February 15, 2017

My friend Tosch Roy is cool. He ski races uphill, he is a musician, he owns the trendy backpack company Free Range Equipment, and he rides around Bend, Oregon on an electric bike he built. Tosch once beat me across town; me in my 400 horsepower truck, he on his 2 wheeled Tesla.


Having a break in my paddle designing schedule, I decided to fill the time building a gas-powered bike. Though I'll never be as cool as Tosch, I thought I could have a cool bike.  My bike has a Honda 4 cycle motor which is more commonly used on garden tools. Think weed-wacker or leaf blower. My bike is loud, and the tone of the exhaust is reminiscent of that neighbor who insists on trimming his hedges at 7:00 on a Sunday morning. It needed a muffler.



Version one of my bike muffler was an asparagus can. It worked well, but it looked like an asparagus can. To make it look racier, I built a carbon fiber heat shield, which I immediately melted on the first ride. Version two was an aluminum water bottle. The shape was sexy, the beautiful blue anodizing was eye catching. But the aluminum construction couldn't handle the heat. The aluminum distorted when I rode. Gravity was slowly pointing my muffler toward the ground. I was concerned it would snap off when I hit a Central Oregon pothole.

Stainless steel is more heat resistant than aluminum

Enter Hydro Flask®. Hydro Flask insulated water bottles are constructed from stainless steel. Stainless steel is more heat resistant than aluminum. Because of the large color selection, I was able to match my white frame with a white bottle. Cool.



So, how does it work? It still sounds like a garden tool, but a garden tool with STYLE. The stated horsepower of my motor is 1.3 very tiny horses. I am finding that baffling my engine and not reducing power is tricky – but the first thing people ask when they look at my bike, "Is that a Hydro Flask?"

I think I have the cool part down.


 Aloha, Dave

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