By Katie Macarelli
Better, stronger, crazier for the Cruise
With the School of Mines being situated in the heart of Golden, CO, it's a given that some stellar engineering will leak into your every-day life as a resident. The Cruiser ride is no exception. At the April cruise, I noticed some young gentlemen who made good on this residential promise. "They have to be Mines students," I muttered to my husband (a former Mines Grad). "Yep. Definitely," he agreed. They had that unmistakable gleam of intelligence and invention in their eyes, both wearing scruffy t-shirts...and they were riding this.
After the May ride, I did a little 303 detective work and tracked one of them down on Facebook. I was CORRECT. Read about David Stallman and Dawson Swan; a recent Mines graduate and a current Mines student. Find out the nuts of bolts of their Six Million Dollar Bikes; in particular "Miss May: The Swing Bike".
"So the swing bike was built for the May cruiser ride. For the April cruiser ride I built a tall bike, and I wanted to build some other trick bike for this month. My friend Dawson Swan really wanted to make a swing bike, and I had seen one before and also wanted to make one. Neither of us had ridden one before, but we were sure we could pull it off. We looked at a few pictures of swing bikes that have been done before, and based ours off of that.
I got the main frame and wheels from a friend that was no longer building up the bike. The frame is steel and rather thick walled, which made welding easy. For the rear pivot, we chopped the head tube off of a bike I found in a dumpster which was nice because it had a large top tube and down tube coming off it that made welding it easy. The entire bike came in at just over 30 lbs.
Dawson did most of the tube cutting and welding, and I stripped paint, put Bondo on joints and painted it. I got the chain installed a few hours before the cruiser ride. The bike is a blast to ride; you can really do some interesting things on it, and it really likes to mess with you."
Then I threw David some questions:
1. What's your and Dawson's background? I'm guessing Mines students? Engineers? Or perhaps Just handy with tools and like to experiment? I graduated from Mines this May, and Dawson next December with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. But we both have a lot of experience welding on different projects and tinkering with tools."
2. Are you guys Golden residents? Current places of employment? Any interest in working within the bike industry in the future on the build/engineering side of things? We both currently live in Golden, but Dawson is from Evergreen and I'm from the Bay Area in California. Dawson is working at Wolf Robotics working with automated welding robots, and I am currently looking for a job, possibly in the bike industry.
3. Do you have plans to make a bike per monthly cruise? If so, what's next for June or is it...TOP SECRET? So far I am building a new cruiser bike per cruiser ride, but I'm not sure which of my projects is going to be finished for this month's cruise yet, it could be a couple of things. "
Come on Tuesday, June 25th to find out if David and Dawson continue with their plan. I know they are Mines students, but it's quite a lofty goal to build one bike per month.
So I asked my husband, "Can it be done??!!?"
"Can a Mines student factor 3rd order polynomials?!?"
"...Of course it can be done."
Only time and the Cruiser Gods can tell.