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How to make a bike worm racer

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This 16 foot long earthworm/bicycle was raced in the Davis Deadly Derby VI with Team Worm Bin (Me, Clara, Jenny, Bobby, and Rezz). We got third place out of 10 teams! It's support frame is 3 inch PVC pipe, the skin is from burlap sacks, and stuffing is straw. It weighs about 35 lbs, cost about $40 to build (not including bike), and was 6 hours in the making. Clara and Jenny had dung beetle costumes and compost bins (cardboard) were zip tied on some bikes.
 
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Step 1: Plan the dimensions

Picture of Plan the dimensions

I had a 14 foot length of PVC pipe that someone drove a truck over, so I got it free. 14 feet long was the basis for the dimensions. How wide should a 14 foot earthworm be? I sketched a worm on a piece of paper and decided a one foot diameter worm would look right. Don't plan too much though. Just start building!!!

Image from Ms Peck's 2nd grade class
http://ed101.bu.edu/StudentDoc/current/ED101sp09/eflukes/wormexternal.png

Step 2: Melt the PVC frame

Picture of Melt the PVC frame
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Melt the PVC pipe with a heat gun to any shape you want! Melting the PVC is surprisingly easy. Evenly heat a 3 inch section of pipe by moving the heat gun back and forth. When it starts melting, fold the pipe to the position you want. Remove heat. Hold it in position with your hands, and in about 20 seconds, the pipe will re-solidify! It's very strong too! Don't worry about the kink. Idea from Rob http://www.cockeyed.com/incredible/2009/box01.shtml You can use a BBQ or stove for heat if you don't have a heat gun. If you need smooth bends check http://www.instructables.com/id/Bend-PVC-Pipe/


rockerape1 year ago
Is it safe to ride this thing near gigantic birds?
maxstevenson (author)  rockerape1 year ago
I think I would jump off and let the worm fend for itself!
EasefulApe3 years ago
What does it do for us?
maxstevenson (author)  EasefulApe3 years ago
Worms can turn diverted kitchen waste into compost that can fertilize your garden or potted plants and reduce methane production in landfills. Worms Rock!
l3owzaaaah3 years ago
Be careful when heating the pvc not to burn it as it can release harmful gases, excecute this step in a well ventilated area for health reasons.
maxstevenson (author)  l3owzaaaah3 years ago
Yes, for sure, I didn't mention that. I think it smells so much most people will realize it might be bad.
Narlo113 years ago
Looks like a giant turd.
maxstevenson (author)  Narlo113 years ago
Many people thought it looked like a giant _ _ _ _ _! Groups of young males usually yelled it out a car window.
swizzle3 years ago
My parents own a bait shop. Could you waterproof something like this and make a mount to attach it to the roof? Hmmmmm....I may have to try it. Maybe make a big fake hook to impale the worm with!! Could be fun. Thanx for the instructable.
maxstevenson (author)  swizzle3 years ago
This design is fast and cheap, so I think you should try it (if you have a free PVC pipe and burlap sacks). For outside use you could put garbage bags inside the burlap before stuffing the straw, then paint the burlap. If you have a decent budget, cover it with fiberglass and then paint it!
Definitely something to thing about. I'm not sure how much fiberglass it would take to create a 8' to 10' worm. My Pops wouldn't want to keep it on the roof all winter so I'd have to downsize it a bit for winter storage. Thanx for the idea and have a great day. Swiz
adamlee3 years ago
you just made my day! :)
maxstevenson (author)  adamlee3 years ago
:)
I really don't understand???
maxstevenson (author)  Green Silver3 years ago
It's art!
But will it catch on in the "Tour de France?"
maxstevenson (author)  Green Silver3 years ago
It may look like a delicate parade float. But it's tough enough to race!
macpower3 years ago
Silliest, most useless, impractical instructable EVER!

I love it! It's gorgeous!

Mike
Maker of the Ball of Death
http://www.instructables.com/id/Ball-of-Death-or-How-I-Learned-to-Stop-Worrying-an/
maxstevenson (author) 3 years ago
This weekend in Davis
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYzMs-OqADE&feature=player_embedded
Fun Davis whimcycle parade video! But... but... I did not see the BikeWorm?! ;)
maxstevenson (author)  sitearm3 years ago
Oh, sorry, you are right, no bikeworm video! If I get one I'll post it later.
Absolutely absurd. The reason i love it.
maxstevenson (author)  falcotheimpaler3 years ago
Thanks Falco! I feel the same way.
ilpug3 years ago
this is... odd. but quite creative. you should enter in the Kinetic Sculpture Race.
maxstevenson (author)  ilpug3 years ago
Thanks for the comment! KSR often has water, sand, and/or mud bogs. With the skinny tires this worm racer is pure street!
i live near the original one in Humboldt County Califirnia. its one of the coolest events of the year.
maxstevenson (author)  ilpug3 years ago
For the Glory!