Saturday, September 17, 2011


So, If you havn't heard about it.... Get with it and find out - Its crazy and amazing at the same time.

A 50,000 population city built in the desert for one week filled with all kinds of makers, designers, hippies, ravers, crafters and so on. Search up " Burningman "

My trip was very very last minute as normal, giving me about 3 days to get everything ready, and as being a fabricator and builder, you can't go to one of the biggest creative events in the world without something really cool and new to show..

So I started building..

Mr. Dirt Rag him self Maurice ( owner of Dirt Rag and Bicycle Times magazine )
was out testing the new Santa Cruz and seen my pile of BS laying on the sidewalk so he had to stop by and give me a hard time as he always does!

First being the 36er 29er cargo bike to a point that it was ridable - this was the perfect place to get out there and test the machine and beat it up. I put on every part on it that I didn't care about because of the crazy dust and wear and tear I knew it would see.

Next being silverware and plates - I built a quick set up with a spork that wraps around the plate and bolts on. Very few people use any sort of disposable cups or plates out there due to trash so always having a plate and a spork is perfect.

I decided to build my truck in to a desert combat ready rig with canvas top over the bed ( for sleeping in ) and sitting on top of the canvas supports, I welded up a support to hold a 55 gallon water drum acting as a water tower, all plumbed in to a 1930s shower head attached to the side of the truck. This ended up being so nice to take showers in the desert, I found a old NASA temp gauge and mounted it on the side to watch the water temp, as well as a water level hose to watch my uses as the week went on.

 If you want a great way to meet people at Burningman - Just build a shower and they will be your friend all week !!!

With the help of Craig Johnson and his mad CAD skills in about few seconds, I had a blueprint for a sheet metal Conical hat made from .030 Aluminum and I made it just an hour before I left. This was so cool to ride around with ( not in the wind ), it kept me out of the sun and kept my head very cool.

Craig ( aka CJ $$$ ) making the flat layout for the hat on Solidworks
I was feeling lazy and he really wanted to draw it

here is the flat sheet before making the conical hat

The last thing I made was a custom Titanium wedding ring that I spun out on the Monarch lathe before jumping in the truck, using some of that great Titanium left over from Clorox prototype projects, I spun it up with the idea that I shouldn't leave home with out it, just incase something crazy happens and I find the lady of my dreams. ( by the way its back in my shop again )
yep, I hope her hands are cleaner then mine...

Add these things to the already long list of stuff needed to be built for others such as concept electric skateboards, art projects, concept bicycle stuff, and doing all the Clorox and Gov Lab stuff,  it didn't leave much time for a thing they call sleep...

I will keep the story short...

I left Thursday night headed east while talking to Blake ( Aka Random ) about how Dirty Dave was going to ride his Harley almost to 250 MPH at the BUB Speed Trials. My brain decided that would be way for fun to go to the speed trials then to burningman so I kept on driving thru the night headed for the Salt flats passing thru Reno and pass the turn off for Burningman. I stopped in Reno to go in the Casino and after walking in with 100.00 dollars and leaving up with 100.16 ( mostly found change on the floor ) I decided there was only one thing to do with all those profits and that was to go see some ladies dancing....

Back on the road now about 250 miles (400 KM for you metric kids) past my turn off for Burningman, I got an odd feeling to turn on to a small road and go back towards Burningman, why my brain decided with only 50 miles left to drive to the speed trials,  to turn around, it would be a mystery why I turned around but my brain told me to take a crazy gravel road that was 200+ miles long headed back west.
the death of a old Ford COE truck

the result of a new freeway years back..

Driving thru salt flats and gold mines, I got to a point where in every way I was 50 miles from everything.... I seen a man walking or more like dragging himself... I pulled up to see him out of water and in the last few hours before going in shock and maybe death.
I took this picture a few miles before finding the dude
being out here with no water seems like something out of a movie story

My brain is hurting now as I ask him why and how he got out to this point. He responds something about a hot spring... I put him in the truck, water him up and make him take a load off. He doesn't say anything to me but one last thing " you have beautiful welds " as he looks at the mega load of welded things filling my truck bed. Another 50 miles pass and not word was said, I drop him off at the sheriff station and tell him to have them help out, my brain was overwhelmed , and to finish it off - As soon as I dropped him off and everything was good I got back in my truck put it in drive and then had 4 flat tires......................................... My brain was done.....................

I gimped my truck in to the burn and aired up one slow leaking tire and put on the only spare to at least hold the heavy load of water, food and metal things in my truck and just drove it with the 2 fronts flat. I got to my camp and set up, I also got ready to work as I am an employee of the event, checking tickets and searching cars at the entrance.
I had to take this picture because it about made me cry

On the drive back I ended up blowing out my wheel bearing and having to ride the 36er cargo bike over 10 miles down the freeway to the auto parts store to buy a complete front wheel assembly to rebuild my truck on the freeway, it sucked.

the temple took months to build and was a great model of craftsmanship and then 
they burn it down, along with all the things people wrote, added, or put in the temple to burn memories and start clean again...

The story goes on and on but in a nutshell, the week was amazing and there is really no way to describe the fun I had - being with some of the most interesting people and personalities made the week fly by and not think a single bit about my shop, jobs, love, or anything that existed miles away in the real world.

Don't hate on it until you try it......

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