Introduction: Circular Bike Rack for Burning Man

About: I grew up at a time when technologies were transparent and easy to understand, but now society is evolving toward insanity and incomprehensibility. So I wanted to make technology human. At the age of 12, I c…

Sherry needed a 12-bike bike stand for Burning Man, and Noah, Scott, Sherry and I needed a project for Group Project Day at Pier 9. We had 6 hours to design and build it. And have lunch. And argue about how to do it. Here's an account of our day...

We made a radially symmetric bicycle rack from discarded wire spools that we found while discussing the easiest way to cut circles out of plywood.

Step 1: Discovering the Power of Found Objects (dumpsters, Junk in the Alleyway...)

Of course we wanted the bike stand to do something other than hold bikes. So we decided to make it grossly flatulent as well. Park the bike, and it would let off a huge smoky fart through a car exhaust. Maybe... Let's get functional first.

Nice thing about burning man is that space is not a premium. so we decided to make the rack cylindrical and park the 12 bikes at every hour (30 degrees) around the perimeter. Scott learned how to use Fusion 360 last week so designed a sweet cog inspired shape for cutting out on the waterjet. Noah tool-pathed it and found that it would take three hours, use more than $800 of machine time, and use 62 pounds of garnet (waste, i.e. not reusable), so we scrapped it and went for lunch. On our walk back from lunch we were discussing cutting the circles by hand when we ran across some ends for cable spool. A good omen! Two of these spools were 32", across. Perfect. We snaffled them and adopted our design accordingly.

Step 2: Measure Equal Angles Around Perimeter

We decided to make room for 12 bicycles, like a clockface, 30 degrees each, so we found the center of the round piece and measured equal distances to get equilateral triangles (6 positions), then bisected each of these angles, for a total of 12.

Step 3: Prepare 12 Divider Posts

There are 12 divider posts that provide spacing for the bicycles. Each one is held in place using a dowel that's been glued into the vertical supports, but friction inserts into the top and bottom circles so the rack can be knocked down and travel flat.

We used a center hole drilling jig to make holes for the dowels in the center posts and then glued the dowels in place.

Step 4: Drill Holes in Top and Bottom Circles

We used the same center finding jig to drill holes for the dowels in the top and bottom circles. Drill 12 receiving holes in the top piece and 12 in the bottom.

Step 5: Assemble It

The bike rack is designed to be assembled and knocked down with just a hammer. Line the dowels up with the holes and knock the pieces together.

Step 6: Test and Take to Burning Man to See How It Works!

Sherry will report back on how it worked at Burning Man!

Step 7: Life Cycle and Other Uses

The bike rack is recyclable and can help "fuel" the Burning Man recycle+reuse culture.

Additionally, there are other uses.

Put each of the two end pieces on a ball or other pivot point, and you have a new kind of physical fitness that develops the combination of strength and dexterity. See Figure 10 in