Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pixie Bike Time Trials

This is a new project, come and race with us! The next event is October 19th at the Wells Fargo Center for the Mini Makers Faire. We will have transformation stations to make your bike "PIXIETASTIC!?!"

Camerawork and video by Sara Grey.

We'll see you at the races!!!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Finally a Video of the Races!

Well, its been quite a few months since we raced at Maker Faire, and it took long enough to get this video up, frankly we were all exhausted. We are planning on doing it all again in May, with some pedal car building workshops coming up (here in Sonoma County).

Please make sure that you look back in this blog to find the build requirements and restrictions before you start welding.... we will be rejecting cars that obviously do not meet some of the most basic rules... like the NUMBER OF WHEELS!

This video is of the "Man vs Machine" race, meaning that it is Pedal Cars and Power Wheels racing at the same time.  Believe me, it moves really fast when you are out there, even is we look like snails in the video!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Some News from the Races.

We raced all day Saturday and Sunday, every other hour we had 2 heats per hour. We also had one race at the end of each day that was "Man Against Machine" -pedalcars vrs. powerwheels.
Race results and more photos and videos will follow in the next few days!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Trustin is going to RACE!

Trustin has finished his car!

It took almost 2 years, but Trustin is in the finishing stages of this unique pedalcar.
Side lever stearing, dual rear disc, webbing seat, and a proud builder/racer on the pedals.

The Banner Will Be Waving!

New Banner for the Faire

Sometimes we like to do things the old way, and this banner shows it.  The fonts were supplied to us by Kathie Sever, they were carved wood letter type from the late 1800s, she printed them on paper for us a couple months ago. We put the print on the opaque projector and my daughter traced the letters onto the canvas. We painted all the color with acrylic paint, and then Joshua sewed the border and the backing. This is just one example of the path that we choose to take.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

New car on the scene...

Bruce just rolled up with his new car, working title is the Clean Machine.
This car has a lot of clever solutions for store bought parts, like the forks-become spindles,
and the excercise bench-adjustable seat with head rest. Also a great use for an aluminum
box tube as main frame member.
We look forward to seeing him at the races and at the faire.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Just like in the old days:

Josh found this website with some great black and whites of kids and Peddle Cars,
there is some good inspiration in these pictures. Just 23 days till we race, and we hope
that you are putting on the last touches, or at least begining to think about brakes.

This takes you there:

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Unicorns Just Wanna Have Fun!?!?!

Goli did a little profile of US, all of US, this includes YOU.

here is the link:


You have seen those jogger/walkers all over, you know the kind with three wheels and some sort of
nylon bag support with a sun shade over the top. In our neighborhood the homeless guys have started turning them into trailers for their stuff. Well I had a couple in my yard and finally took a good look at the rear wheels; it ends up that the plastic locking brake and all the trim pieces come off to leave a hub that takes a simple bearing, in my case I just salvaged the bearings that came with. In my case, the bearings fit a 1/2" bolt, or spindle.  If you need different bearings, these can be pretty cheap, I have seen them called: insert bearings, flange bearings, wheel barrow bearings. These wheels measure 10"and 12", and i cant really testify to how these will work, but they show promise, and they are FREE.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Klaus brought the Sederholm Speedster to the races last year with just the top "hood" of sheetmetal on the car. He's working on the rest of the bodywork this week; 20 gauge mild steel welded to the frame tubes, hammered over the edge and welded and ground smooth. Hopefully he's adding a lot of weight so he won't be as fast as last year.

As of today there are only 35 days left until the races!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Some of us are one wheel drive, some of us are using a combination of free-wheels to get power through the corners at all times,kind-of like a differential ... but not quite.

This is an explanation of how a differential works from all makes so much more senses now. It is a 9 minute video, but so worth it.

And just so we all know what we are talking about, here is "differential" defined:

Monday, April 1, 2013

It might just look like fancy letters to you,

 but this was printed by our friend Kathie Lebec Sever who works at the Rob Roy wood letter type collection at the University of Texas. These letters were hand carved in wood over 100 years ago.  Look for more of our stuff with these on them.
Kathie also is a master with a sewing machine:

It might take a while, but it will be worth it.

Trustin started his pedal car last year, he was really into it.

He was very methodical, and took his time with every cut.

It was not ready for the race last year, but he has revived the project,

and we all hope to race against him and loose, because it will be awesome.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

More News about the Races, from MAKE itself...

Maker News
This is the work of a Genius, or a Madman.
(another post about brakes!?)
There is alot going on with the left rear of this pedalcar. First, the arm that goes on the outside of the wheel comes off with two bolts to access the tire. The brake caliper is mounted to that bar, and the handle shares the shaft that has the transfer axle sprocket, that handle also has the twist-shift for the derailer. Crazy, works really well. This car is one wheel drive, and one wheel brake.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Put on the BRAKES!?!?!?

Speaking from experience, brakes are the last thing I put on a vehicle, thats not saying its the best way to go about it, just what happens. Here are a few examples from three different cars built last year, on their way back to the course this year.

 This is Todd Barricklow's #3 racer. One wheel brake only, the left. The Aluminum spacer is through bolted onto one rim, and the bicycle disc mounts to it. The brake caliper is cable actuated, and must be tilled out of the way, in order to remove the wheel. Stopping power is a good stop, as long as the left wheel is on the ground.

This is some of the parts from the Carsophogas. Dual front disc brakes, cable actuated. Last years plastic rim is on the bottom of the stack, this years spoked rim is in the middle, and the pvc/disc/bearing insert is on top. His challenge this year is to make all 4 rims interchangeable, but the front and rear axles are different sizes. This means a custom disc plate that can be put on with 2 different bearings.... I dont know if he has it figured out yet.

The Sederholm Speedster has dual rear brakes, cable actuated. A mounting disc similar to the above one on the #3 was made out of steel, and through bolted in a similar manor. He has a similar bolt that removes to tilt the caliper out of the way. This car stops really well.

These are all bicycle disc brakes, not the cheapest approach, but a good stop. There have been some other brakes used, and they will be featured in a later post.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Jann is just Rad.
She was our only female racer last year, she was fast and nimble,
 and we hope to see her back on the track.


This is one of the videos that got posted of last years races, as of today it is 54 days and 12 hours until the start of the next race day. This video has footage of the crash that stopped the "Carsophogas" for at least a few more races that day. The Sederholm Speedster crashes right into the plastic wheel around the turn of the eight. That is where most of the collisions were that year, not in the "X" of the track.

Friday, March 15, 2013


Sometimes we call it our commercial, sometimes its our calling card. Its about the pedal car races, and mostly we just call it :
    Our VIDEO

It will be TWICE as much FUN!!!

As some of you may know, we will be sharing the racecourse at Maker Faire with the Power Racing Series. These folks take the little kids plastic electric toys, and then they hack them into racing machines. They are all tech, and it will be fun to share the whole space with them in the pit for the weekend. They have a little video for this racing season:


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Build and REGISTER!!!

If you are building a car to race with us at the 2013 Maker Faire,
we need you to REGISTER with us at: 

We also need you to REGISTER with Maker Faire itself at:

Your Registration with Maker Faire gets you tickets to the faire, usually a goodie bag of some sort,
and the email notices that you will need to get to the faire, and inside.

We will be contacting you from our registration forms to get a little more info before the fair, and to size up the competition.

65 days till the Faire!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Oh the joys of racing!!!

 I (Domo, white helmet) had the fortune of powering the "lil buddy" for one race.  Thats #3 driven

 by t3t (todd barricklow) on the inside of the turn, giving me a run for my money.  It was racing 

like it should be... by pedal.... at its best!!'Mayhem on the track, Buzz giving play by play and 

keeping score.  Me, having fun and trying to win, to keep up the reputation of the undefeated "lil 

buddy".  Death Defying Figure Eight Pedal Car Racing!  Build a car and come race with us at 

Maker Faire 2013! Long live WDC and FBUC!!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

 This Is Buzz:

Buzz is our Race Announcer and he had quite a job trying to keep track of all those
cars as they tried to complete their 7 laps. He may have gotten a little sunstroke or something, because
he started calling everyone by different names, and making up new ones for Joey for every race.

We got him a scissor lift, and of course he took it all the way up, the full 30 feet.
He terrified every cameraman that went up there with him.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mystery Pedal Car seen in Los Angeles!!!
Our friend Lane from Cetma Cargo Bikes spotted this cute little pedal car
somewhere on the streets of Los Angeles, and shared this with us. A clever little
machine that appears to be comprised of at least 3 kids bikes and an old chair.
If anyone knows more about this car please let us know, and if anyone knows the builder,
let him/her know about Maker Faire! We would love to race this machine.
Thanks to Lane.
You can see Lane's cargo bikes at

Friday, February 15, 2013

Pedal Car Guidelines

This is a description of the requirements for the Pedal Cars. Application form will follow soon.

Four wheels. Single seater. Must have brakes! No larger than 50"wide x 70"long wheelbase. Your pedal car body can not be more than 4" wider and 20" longer than your wheelbase. You may not race a stock store bought vehicle. No sharp edges. Nothing designed to harm other racers or vehicles. The goal here is fun! RACING RULES: Race winner is the first one to complete the designated number (7 or 8) of death defying figure 8 laps.
Poor sportsmanship will not be tolerated. You must wear a helmet! And, have fun! RACING FORMAT: The primary race will be the Death Defying Figure 8 race. Depending on race day realities ie; available space and number of cars on site. We may have time trial drag races on the slalom course and straight track and/or an "everyone in" oval track rally. The goal - to have fun! ON RACE DAY: There will be a brake and steering test on race day. (You and your vehicle must arrive and register on Friday, 5/17) Your car must complete a short slalom course and be able to stop in the designated stopping zones. The Race Official will have the final say if the vehicle does not meet the safety requirements of the death defying challenge. OTHER INFO: There will be a race official. He/she will have the final say. There will be a pit area provided for each vehicle.
There will be a dunk tank... The goal here is Fun!

Please also follow our tumblr page.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Our Mascot:

A special thanks goes out to William Smith for the drawings that you see of this fine unicorn.
He is another of the fine artists that live in our community, check out more of his stuff:

Pedalcars built by the Santa Rosa Chapter for the 2012 Death Defying Figure Eight Pedal Car Races at the bay area Maker Faire!

Todd Barricklow's #3: one wheel drive, one wheel disc brake.
Started life as a three wheel bicycle, inner hub 3 speeds.

Arn Anderson's Bunny Fluffer Racer: an amazing combination
 of reclaimed parts and  built from scratch elements, removable bodywork.

Jann Samuels: our only female builder in 2012, this is an
incredibly lightweight, fast machine. Dual front disc brakes.

Klaus Rapensperger's:  Sederholm Speedster, fast and wide, dual rear drive
and dual rear disc, all wheels are 26".

Joshua Thwaites's: Little Buddy racer. Two bastards were welded
together in the middle, one wheel drive and one wheel coaster brake.
This was the overall winner at Maker Faire 2012. Front half was a 
WRFF trike, rear was a bolt on trike rear end.

Joey Castor's: Son of ..... There is so much to say about this machine...
Tube frame, under-frame steering (kind-of), chain tension problems that were remedied by
holding the chain up with his fingers while driving, he was as much an obstacle as a racer sometimes.

Dan Kjeldsen's: # 17 racer. Built around a recycled Tricycle frames and scraps.
One coaster brake and one hand-caliper. Removable garbage can hood for extra style.

Kelly Cowan's: Carsophagus.  Plywood, the steering from an old go-cart, some plastic
rims, and the freewheel chain system that was going around that year.

This shot is from the Maker Faire 2012 races. Todd's #3, Dan's #17, and the Steamroler!

All together now.