Last year I decided to go to Burning Man and knew I needed a bike. Rather than decorate an existing bike I chose to make one that could fit two people and carry anything else I wanted with me. Also important was durability, I wanted as few delicate parts as possible and to keep it as simple as possible. As you will see this bike was very successful and I continued to use it around town for the last year. Now this alone would make a complete subject for an instructable but why stop there?
This summer I entered an art boat race and decided to make my big bike float. With the help of a friend we made our team and retrofitted my bike so it can now ride on land and float in the water.
Step 1: Gathering Your Base Materials
The first step in building a bike like this is to collect lots of raw materials. I spent about a month cruising junk yards and yard sales buying old bikes that I could use for the frame. I decided to use bikes with 24 inch wheels because they are abundant and cheap. I figured with the style of the bike the wheel size would not matter. I stayed away from bikes with suspension forks and tried to get them with about the same frame size.
After I collected a half dozen bikes I picked four of them to use for the four corners of the big bike. For the rear I made sure the rear triangle dimensions were as close as possible. I tried to match the front as well. The pictures show the four bikes I chose set on a chalk outline of the finished bike. I figured out how much room I needed for the seat, and how big I wanted the bike to be. I was limited by the dimensions of a sheet of plywood that I would be using for a roof rack.