DISCLAIMER
It is crucial at this point that I tell you I am not a true bike builder and will not claim to be. I am building a creation of my own design and taking any and all knowledge that I can find from experts, fellow builders and people with ideas that I like. These pages will document the success and failures that I have met along this road.

JULY 1993
To start this path we have to know why I decided to build a bike when I live in a state where flat and straight surfaces are far in between. My drive to work everyday followed the Kanawha River. In the predawn hours the river is as smooth as glass and one day I came up with the idea that it would be great to have a super fast water bike to cruise the river. Not a big clunky plastic thing like you rent at the park but a speed machine. Great exercise, no traffic and a it would be fun to ride. While at K-Mart one day I saw the July 1993 issue of Popular Science concerning the race between the Flying Fish and the Decavitator; two such boats. Later in the year I could not get the idea out of my head and I wanted that issue to review materials and construction of the boats.

So I asked a friend at work if he had that issue. Turns out he had the October 1993 issue which featured the Cheetah, a high speed bike on the cover. This was the first time I had heard of a land speed record for bicycles which the Cheetah owned at 68.73mph. Looking at the design of the Cheetah I felt that I could build a better bike and so it all began on that faithful day.

October 1993 Popular Science magazine cover.

The bike needed a name. In 1993 Jurrasic Park the movie had come out and everybody was thrilled with dinosaurs. Although T-Rex was the king the stars of the film were the evil Velociraptors. Paleontologists will point out the inaccuracies of the movie creatures but it doesn't matter they were still cool. My 5 year old son loved to run around pretending he was a Velociraptor, fast and with sharp claws. A quote from the movie stated that the Velociraptors could move as fast as a Cheetah. This was perfect since the Cheetah was the only bike I knew about and so the name was born, The Velociraptor!

Those early wireframe drawings stayed that way until sometime in 1996 when Microstation added raytracing to their system. This allowed you to render a drawing with actual reflections. To improve my skills I dug up the old bike drawing and made some changes.
I would later do a few animations and as the internet came along I would start to dig for more information about the project.

Original design from 1993 with proposed rider position.

However it would always remain a design of the imagination with no means to build it. Looking back at the early renderings it is easy to see everything that was missed. No thought was given to the gearing and the steering design shown here would never work because the wheel would have to be in a slide or picked off the ground to turn.

MAY 2003
In May of 2003 I moved into a house with a 4 car garage. The garage was seperate from the house which meant that I could work late at night. I was thinking of my painting and other projects would utilize the garage space. I had become hooked on three TV shows, Junkyard Wars, Monster Garage, and American Chopper and became fueled with the belief that I too can build anything. With a few bucks in hand I purchased an arc welder and a new mountainbike.

I figured it was three months til the challenge. I could whip the bike out in a month the shell out in another month with time to spare. I didn't weld, the welder I purchased is not the best for the job and I knew nothing about building a bike. I had tracked down lots of information on the web and even talked to a few riders for hints. However I did not have the budget to purchase some things and in some cases I did not know what I even needed.

I returned to my cadd program and hatched out a new design for the shell and dimensions that I needed to make a winning bike.

First step cut up your brand new bike. NOTE: I never needed a brand new bike but at the time I thought I did. I tried some different configurations around for the gears and spent every bit of the first month mangling the gear set and the frame.

In this picture you can see the frame cut. That was mistake number one. You can also see the hacked up jackshaft. I decided to use a standard hub as my jackshaft to hold the gears. Human legs can only pedal so fast. So to get the required speed you need a second set of gears. You pedal a big gear that turns a little gear connected to a big gear which is chained to a small gear on the tire. I will explain more on this as my design evolves.

SEPTEMBER 2003
I would not even come close to making the race this year. I had no steering and no shell. What I did have was a bike that I could test the drivetrain out on a pair of rollers. The length of the bike was critical and so were the clerances. The tires here ar street tires made for mountain bike rims. This picture shows the final position of the jackshaft and the design that would stay in place for the next 6 months. I was able to pedal this one up to 95 mph and hold it. That tire was humming.

This is what I had by years end. A 10 foot long piece of cromoly steel that you couldn't take to the road. I would put a pillow on the bar to lay down on. Shame I was not into making an exercise machine because this thing with its high geraing is a major workout.All thats left from NEW mountain bike is the cranks, the wheels and the front forks. Thrown into the mix are pieces from 3 other bikes at this point. The record would remain at 81MPH for 2003 and I had an early start on building a bike for the 2004 challenge. The build continues in 2004.

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