Leave a Trail of Flowers As You Cycle Through the Wastelands.(+ Bonus Material)




Introduction: Leave a Trail of Flowers As You Cycle Through the Wastelands.(+ Bonus Material)

I wanted to make a bike mounted device that would actively spread wildflower seeds along the wastelands and derelict areas that I often cycle through; thus helping our struggling pals, the bees and the butterflies.

I prepared to use what was to hand; a tennis ball and some bolts and brackets.

The trained monkey following a banana on a stick will come later.

Step 1: Step 1

These are the parts-

A tennis ball

A 6mm nut and bolt

A strong strip of metal (this is a stabiliser bracket)

A bolt long enough to go through a tennis ball and two nuts (I used a 10mm bolt)

Step 2: Step 2

Drill a hole in the ball and then drill one exactly opposite to create your axis points.

Step 3: Step 3

Put a washer on the 10mm bolt and push it through; mark the equator and drill some holes about 1 inch apart around it.

I used an 8mm drill.

Step 4: Step 4

Rubber is hard to drill and closes up after drilling to some extent; also the fluff covers the hole.

I heated up a spoke and cleaned the hole up by melting the rough edges away.

Instead of any drilling I imagine that a soldering Iron could be used but it would smell a bit.

Step 5: Step 5

Bolt - washer - ball - washer - nut - bracket - nut.

The nuts are tightened against the bracket and act as locking nuts, allowing the ball to still spin freely.

The excess bolt is then cut off and the burr filed down.

Step 6: Step 6

On most bikes there is a hole for a mudguard attachment between the seat stays at the rear of the bike, below the saddle.

I fixed the whole ball assembly to this hole; the bracket was pre-bent to rest against the wheel with sufficient pressure to turn with the wheel.

Step 7: Step 7

These are the the wild flower seeds; they can be collected from abundant places in the summer or bought online.

For general meadow and wasteland areas-
 Musk Mallow
Meadow Buttercup
Red Campion
 Self Heal
White Campion
Corn Poppy

For woodlands and along hedges-
Hedge bedstraw
Hedge garlic
Hedge woundwort
Herb bennet
Nettle leaved bell flower
Ragged robin
Red campion
Self Heal
Sweet cicely
Welsh poppy
Wild Foxglove
Wood sage

These have to be funneled in through one of the holes; my funnel end was too big so I attached a Bic pen lid.

Step 8: Step 8

Well  what do you know/ . . .   I got my monkey after all. 

This is the spreader in action.

It does work well but is difficult to catch on camera.

Thank you for ploughing through the instructable his far. . . you can stomach it, please carry on for the bonus material.

Step 9: Bonus Instructable Step 1

This is powdered chalk and I hoped that it could be used in my seed spreader to leave a temporary trail as I rode on tarmac paths, for fun.

Step 10: Bonus Instructable Step 2

It didn't really work; it just deposited the chalk on the frame.

I tried a cardboard cowl; that didn't really work either.

Step 11: Bonus Instructable Step 3

After some delibratiion I moved the ball to here; on most bike there is a hole that is used to fit bicycle stands.

Step 12: Bonus Instructable Step 4

Here are the test runs.

They do not show up very well on camera but there is a followable trail  so use you imagination.

I suspect it will work better with white chalk which I will be trying soon; and maybe enlarging the  holes.

Anyhoo have fun and please do not forget to vote if you have enjoyed this instructable.


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    11 years ago on Introduction

    Here's a neat twist for you... http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index.jsp?productId=10934024 •Crayola Glow Chalk let kids create outdoor art that glows in the dark! •"Includes: 4 bottles of chalk dust, 4 packets of glow powder/activator, 2 thermoform trays with 8 molds" •Will create 8 pieces of chalk •Will glow for 4 fantastic hours!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Beautiful idea! Make sure to use indigenous plant seeds, though. The wrong kinds of plants can aggressively overtake the habitat of and kill native plants. (I've spend many hours volunteering with a land conservancy trying to reverse this very issue! On a larger scale, an entire ecosystem changed by one invasive plant.)
    I DO, however, very much appreciate efforts to beautify the world. :)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Wonderful idea, very creative! Just to be technical for a moment, the connection you chosen is the "seat stay bridge".

    Another idea that may effectively serve the same purpose could be to wedge the tennis ball between your spokes. I've seen this done for aesthetic? purposes. Some consideration of hole orientation would be necessary however; centrifugal force might prevent seed distribution. On the other hand, it could be taken advantage of by rotating the tennis ball slightly depending on what kind of terrain you're cycling through, such that you have a less consistent but more selective distribution. Make sense?

    Good job overall :)


    11 years ago on Introduction

    next time dont steal wilbers ball !! Really cool "ible" and not a bad idea on its face but aren't you sowing the seeds ON the trails ? and less than a handfull at a time? Why not just broadcast a handful of seeds at appropriate places ? or make a pocket full of small seedbombs? Oh well...I guess every little bit helps ... ^5


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Dear Ignite,

    Thanks for the comments, they are totally valid.

    I just like things with a fun value; once my brain has a stupid idea it has to carry it through, at the expense of everything else.

    Wilbur appreciates your support.

    Kind Regards



    11 years ago on Introduction

    Nice idea, and every little helps when you're battling against monoculture agriculture.

    An interesting thing is that all the plants on your seed list are also common native (or long term naturalised) British wild plants too. I'm in the process of establishing a mixed hedgerow along one side of my garden and I'll be using a lot of those once I extend out from this into a wildlife / meadow area.