Patches! And Bicycle Astronomy Field Trials
Stadri Emblems sent me two prototype patches to check out. I'm happy. The woven patches do have some clarity over the more traditional embroidered patches. Stadri sent me a photo, but that didn't quite do them justice. Here's the patches, along with the custom bicolor stamp and one of the stamped bookmarks, then a closeup of the patches.
Since I got the Yuba Mundo, I've ridden it every day, except for last weekend, when Geneva Bicycle Center had it in the workshop to rebuild the front wheel around a Shimano Alfine dynamo hub. The dynamo powers a Schmidt Edelux LED headlight, which is amazingly bright and lights up steady at very slow speeds (which is good as when I'm riding laden with telescope and other supplies, I might be going a bit slow!), as well as a red LED taillight. I had fun snaking the wiring up the fork and stem to the headlight, and then alllll the way back to the end of the rack for the taillight, battening them down with black zip ties along the way. I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but a little feature of Yuba's great double kick stand is that you can work on the bike without a stand. Put a little weight on the front and you can spin the crank and rear wheels. A little weight on the rear and I could spin the front wheel...and see if my wiring job was working. It's a little thing, but it's been enormously helpful.
The bike is basically done, and I'm thrilled with it.
The next stage I'm calling Bicycle Astronomy Trials. It's all about testing out what works and doesn't in terms of carrying astronomy gear on the bike, and running a few proto-star parties. This week I designed and printed the sandwich board sign. When I got the sandwich boards in the mail, my first thought was...oh, they're big! But then I put them on the side of the bike, and they looked more manageable. The Yuba cam buckle strap holds it fast against the frame. The print shop did a great job with the poster proof. I'm going to another version in landscape version for one of the board insert's flip-side, so the poster will be oriented correctly when I'm riding. Then when I place the sign, that insert will get flipped around.
Here's the sign, photographed by Zora. Stretch your neck before you try to read it.
Here's the bike, with one sandwich board sign, eyepiece case in the bread basket up front, tripod, mount and solar telescope in the Go-Getter bag:
The solar telescope came with a HUGE aluminum case; you can see it sticking up from the go-getter bag behind the sign there. I'm going to make a much more appropriately-sized soft case out of some waxed canvas and some foam, and my trusty Pfaff sewing machine. Eventually I'll make a version of the Go-Getter Bag out of the same stuff, optimized for the Veloscope and other stuff I need to haul.
On Friday, I did my first Bicycle Astronomy solar observing event. You can read more about that on the Bicycle Astronomy blog here. It was a great start, and the solar telescope is really something else.
Coming Up: Most of the surveys I sent out are now back. Thanks! If you haven't filled out your reward survey, please do so as soon as you can. I can only send it out once. I'll send out the remaining surveys this week....I was waiting to get some information together on those particular rewards so I can ask you the right questions. I'll start production of bookmarks in the coming week, place the order for the patches, send out the last surveys, and then it's on to ordering Field Notes journals, t-shirts, prints, and the wool shirts.
On the programmatic side, I hope to do the first Bicycle Astronomy nighttime star party this coming week. It's been two solid weeks of cool, clear nights. I'm probably pressing my luck that it will continue until I'm actually ready for it! Wish me luck, and as always, thanks for the support.
pledged of $5,000 goal
seconds to go
Jun 29, 2012 - Aug 4, 2012
Pledge $5 or more
Your name will be listed on the Bicycle Astronomy webpage as a "Bookmark Supporter". You'll also receive a manila cardstock bookmark with the astronaut on a pennyfarthing logo hand stamped and the words "Bicycle Astronomy" typed with a 1948 Corona Sterling.Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $15 or more
Mission Patch Supporter. As the name suggests, you'll get a custom-made mission patch with the Bicycle Astronomy Astronaut on a Pennyfarthing logo. And the cool bookmark and your name on the Bicycle Astronomy webpage!Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $25 or more
In addition to all the benefits above, the "Bicycle Astronomy Computer*" level supporters will receive a limited edition Field Notes journal (in lined, unlined or graph for the geeky-at-heart) with the Bicycle Astronomy logo hand-printed on the cover. Beautiful and great for writing your astronomical observations (and the location/time of the star parties) in. Also holds the bookmark! *Computers, by the way, were people (usually women) who did the complex calculus for planning rocket trajectories. They did math, all day long. And got people to the moon and back!Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $50 or more
The "Shirt Off Our Back Supporters" will get all that jazz above, plus a cool black cotton t-shirt, locally hand silk-screened with the Bicycle Astronomy logo in white.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $75 or more
8 backers Limited (92 of 100 left)
Show Print Supporters: All the benefits of the above levels of support, plus a limited edition Bicycle Astronomy Show Print. The same letterpress-style broadsheet that advertised the county fair, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. Depending on how it works out, it will either be an archival inkjet print or an actual letterpressed poster.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $125 or more
All the benefits of those other levels of course, plus an archival inkjet print of the famous "Earthrise" image from Apollo 8. I call this the "Unscheduled Change of Perspective" level of support. To understand why, here's a snippet from the official NASA transcript of the mission: Frank Borman (Mission Commander of Apollo 8): Oh my God! Look at that picture over there! Here's the Earth coming up. Wow, is that pretty. William Anders (Apollo 8 astronaut): Hey, don't take that, it's not scheduled. Borman: (laughing) You got a color film, Jim?Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $250 or more
Local Hero Level: All the benefits of the other rewards above, PLUS a super nice, USA-knit Merino Wool long sleeve shirt in black with the bicycle astronomy logo on it in white.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $500 or more
0 backers Limited (4 of 4 left)
Venetian Power Patron level. When Galileo discovered the four largest moons of Jupiter through his telescope, he named them after the patriarch of the powerful Medici family of Florence. He was trolling for a Patron, and what makes a rich Venetian happier than having four mini-planets named after himself? Anyway "Medicean Moons" didn't stick...now we call them the Galilean Moons after the person whose discovery rocked the foundations of our understanding of the universe. Anyway, those who choose to become Patron level supporters of Bicycle Astronomy will get all the great swag above, PLUS: I'll come to an event of your choice (block party, reunion, etc) and give you your own personal star party (if you happen to live within 13 miles of Geneva and it's clear that night!--we can reschedule if not), AND I'll name one of the Galilean Moons after you and refer to it by that name for the duration of the project star parties. There are only four moons, otherwise known as Io, Europa, Gannymede and Callisto, so only four of you can have this honor.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012