Bike + Menorah December 9th, answer the call!
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thanks, byogman, you’re very kind. It looks like a 3rd-grader’s school project, which is about my level but I think it’ll work for the ride. As often happens, I got the lights from srpit, I got the coraplast idea from Stu, and I got the inspiration for the shape from your example.
I think my contribution consists of 213 zip-ties and not cutting off my finger and bleeding all over the thing. But I do love a scrounge project.
-How did you cut the coraplast, if you don’t mind me asking?
-Target stocks stuff a little bit differently in the E Liberty store: they definitely had some themed lights in that store….a small section next to all the Christmas lights as of last week.
To bend the coraplast (between the vertical and horizontal surfaces) I first cut a faint line into the surface on the outside of the bend using a one-sided razor blade, just enough to break the surface so it can give a bit to fold.
Then I scored the inside of the fold by dragging the tip of a screwdriver along the intended line, just to pre-crease it where I want it to fold.
To cut the coraplast I used the one-sided razor blade, and when I needed to I used a normal pocket-knife blade. For poking the holes for the zip-ties, I used a 1/4inch knife blade.
The concern is, it’s just too easy to slice your fingers while you are exerting some force.
The great thing about coraplast is that it somehow seems to grow along the side of the road. So you try a to bend and cut a small sheet, and if it goes wrong you throw it out and go harvest another sign for “we buy ugly homes”.
Very nice! I have utility knives & Xactoblades and some translucent coroplast laying around, so may give that a whirl.
Anonymous 12/02/2012 at 6:25am #
I’m planning on having a little design / fabrication get together at my house at the western edge of squirrel hill tomorrow, let’s say at 1:00 pm going however long need be. I will be distracted because I have the kids, and this will be a refreshment/entertainment free party, but I still think it might be useful to get folks together and that my home is a good central location for this.
So, if you want to come, bring as much in the way of tools / supplies you’ll think you need so everyone can work in parallel as much as possible. I do have a circular saw, drill, some hammers, wood glue, and a very few clamps to lend as needed.
PM me for the address, I will be out between roughly 9:30 and, best guess, 11:30 but should be moderately responsive otherwise.
I think the new super-low price entry point is pretty huge. Could definitely help draw in more people.
An aside, coraplast is a super neat material, but if someone can’t scrounge it I think maybe you could do ok with something even more basic?
I have cardboard at my house… lots and lots of cardboard (never got rid of the boxes from the move well over a year ago).
Granted, it has drawbacks. Not nearly as sturdy and you need to put something between the lights and the cardboard to deal with heat… like aluminum foil perhaps, of which I also have plenty at home.
You also need help on making a rigid 90 degree angle, for which I have 2 X 2s leftover from sukkot that could easily/quickly be crosscut and nailed/screwed into (please bring your own nails/screws, I go through a lot and am about out).
Anyways, just trying to add to the catalog of cheap ideas. I don’t think anyone need fear the project anymore.
Hot glue guns are *great* for quickly tacking together pieces of cardboard. The hot glue might melt coroplast, though (haven’t tried that combo).
Hot glue melting coraplast might be a good thing. Thinking about the idea of a soldering iron, what you’re doing in essence there is making a bit of molten metal to join two surfaces into one. Only in this case the melting point is a bit lower.
Note: I haven’t tried this, but the concept seems workable. And as byogman says, if you have to scrap it, the only loss is time, not materials.
Anonymous 12/02/2012 at 1:41pm #
Realizing now that when I posted about the design / fabrication “party” at my house tomorrow was (actually rather substantially) past midnight.
To be clear that’s, Sunday December 2nd, 1pm. PM me and I’ll send you my address.
Byogman, I’m unable to make the fab-party, but I really appreciate the offer and your hospitality.
Anonymous 12/03/2012 at 12:18am #
Vannevar’s display looks really good. Got to see it today. BTW – I actually picked up those battery powered lights at Pat Catans. There’s one in McKees Rocks and one in Beaver County by Green Garden Plaza if I’m not mistaken. They were quite cheap, but you need to get two C batteries (not included).
Thanks. Here’s a picture from today, I thought I’d see how it looked on the bike, sitting on the platform on the front rack.
Anonymous 12/03/2012 at 2:18am #
also there’s smidgen too much rear wheel visible.
I wonder if I could get a Steelers skirt guard for the rear wheel. NTTAWWT. (btw well played guys)
Anonymous 12/03/2012 at 9:11pm #
Just talked to the folks at Pinksers.
So, an FYI, there’s a tiny little blink/toy Menorah at Pinkers that probably would be reasonably easy to strap to a helmet, selling for about 12$ (14$, but 15% off). The guy told me there were 3 left.
If you don’t have a bike rack and you’re not feeling up to a project, it may be just the ticket.
Also, other, more conventional battery powered menorahs are there starting around 35$.
Anonymous 12/03/2012 at 10:23pm #
So, we’ve got an example of this to share (I talked to Pinskers after he left so there are 3 left as of now to the best of my knowledge). It’s really fun seeing these, keep it up guys!
And again the album link if the image links are unstable:
He’s kindly offered his contact info to me to share with anyone going for the same approach, so PM me if you want it. Here are his instructions:
Depending on manual dexterity, it should take 5-10 minutes to attach. It’s called Rite Light Blinking Menorah, which I bought at Pinskers for around 10 or 12 bucks. The lights blink alternately lifting up half at a time and someone all of it.
I used 8 and 11 inch cable ties. Put one horizontally around the Menorah between the base and the candles. This provides a place to attach the ties to the menorah and run them through two openings on the helmet. Don’t fully tighten the ties until all are on place. With only 3 ties (one around the Menorah and 2 to attach to the helmet, it was secure. I put one 11 inch diagonally around the base to be sure. Amusingly, it has a suction cup on a nylon string for hanging it. I squeezed this through a vent so the nylon string provides a stabilizer support (not needed but a cute engineering refinement).
Anonymous 12/04/2012 at 1:08pm #
OK, here’s my attempt. I decided to go for a backpack mount instead of bike/helmet options.
View in a dark room without using the flash:
I’m not sure how much I trust the hot glue on a bike ride in the elements, so I may run a strip of clear packing tape around the whole shebang once or twice for insurance. I wouldn’t like that look close up, but at night and from a few feet away I don’t think you’d see the tape.
What are all y’uns using for lighting and power source?
For about $3, Costo, Lowes, Target all sell varying versions of this:
It takes two C-cells, not included, and has ten lights. The Target version I saw had colored lights, the CostCo and the Lowes Hardware (Item #258315) had white lights.
Anonymous 12/04/2012 at 10:05pm #
Looks great! I love that everyone has their own take on this project. The variety will make for a great photo op.
(And so nobody misunderstands, if you don’t have yours together yet and are feeling unsure, please don’t take me to mean that I think copying is bad, the more designs get out there the harder it will be to avoid. The more menorahs the better, period.)
Anonymous 12/05/2012 at 12:03am #
Please correct me if I’m wrong, Byogman, but even those unable to get/construct a menorah can join the ride – correct? I imagine that some folks might not have the “crafty” gene and others just might not have the time to put something together.
Would multi-colored spoke lights be appropriate or not?
Stu – the lights on my menorah are from Pat Catans in McKees Rocks.
yeah, i’d love to join the ride, but i don’t think i’m going to be able to get a lightshow set up.
(also, i’m generally opposed to spending money on once-a-year things like this, especially since i move so often I’m likely to lose it before i get to use it again…)
Anonymous 12/05/2012 at 1:06am #
You can absolutely join the ride without a menorah, please come. A short sword or dagger made of anything, even if it’s just cardboard wrapped in aluminum foil is enough to go as a Maccabee.
Bonus points for any women joining the ride if they have a wine cup referencing Yehudit.
I plan on fabricating some daggers tomorrow night as a nudge for some of the folks I know in the squirrel hill community that are on the fence about this and pass them out directly at Schul. If you want one too, let me know, but it will probably be more convenient for you to make.
They will look like a second grader did them because I plan to get a second grader (my daughter) to do them, but she did my menorah so hey, and this is all in good fun.
As for light on the bike, multi-colored is fine. The only thing I would avoid is something that’s red and green only.
We’re definitely hoping for non-accessoried riders to come out. It would be great to have a pack of cyclists. (almost said, a flock of.. )
And while our hosts may offer bonus points for riders that refer to Yehudit (which is a way-cool story btw),
I’m thinking that Nuclear Cross-Niche MondoPoints™ might go out to anybody invoking the concept of Yehudit Moon
Finals week may foil my plans, but I’m hoping to come to this. I don’t know if I can get a menorah going in time, but a Yehudit reference is definitely doable.
Also, byogman, just wanna say this was an awesome idea and I am super-glad you were willing and able to organize it. I hope it becomes a tradition
Anonymous 12/05/2012 at 3:37am #
I hope to make it a tradition, and I hope finals are kind enough to allow a little break and a short ride for you (and anyone else you can think of that’s worth asking
Remember, short ride, silly fun, heated tent and latkes at the end!
Anonymous 12/05/2012 at 4:32pm #
hmm, tempting to be part of the parade fun, but i’ll have to hustle as a i leave work @ 4pm on the northside. but as i am heading to oakland anyways, i could probably catch up en route.
Anonymous 12/05/2012 at 4:59pm #
Most of the route is in Oakland going west on fifth before doubling back along Forbes.
We should be pretty easy to catch up with along the way and VERY easy to spot.
We’re doing the same route as the cars right after the cars pass, with the one exception that we’re just going straight east from 2100 Wightman to Murray along Hobart to avoid holding up traffic on Murray and be more beginner friendly.
In case it’s of any use, I thought I’d mention a bit of logistics.
Coming in from the Land Beyond IKEA, and having just learned there’s a Steelers home game Sunday @1300, I’m probably parking my car at either the Bastille or the Birmingham Bridge and then riding to the parade start, so that when the parade concludes it’s an easy Jail Trail jaunt to the car and out beyond the Pale.
and FWIW-PS, menorahs and/or accessories are not required. Got a bike? Come join the ride.
Anonymous 12/06/2012 at 1:31am #
Pseudacris, look forward to the last minute menorah!
If someone wants to park closer to the ride, it being a Sunday you may do ok right near the parade end in Oakland. I think it’s all free on Sundays.
If things look full there, and full when you go past Phipps, my recommendation would be continue in the same direction to Anderson Playground (dinosaur park on google maps) in Schenley Park.
Pretty decent amount of parking, all free, 1.3 miles from there to the start in squirrel hill, .7 miles from the end. Not bad considering that start and end are almost 2 miles apart anyway.
Two minor stinkers.
First, Panther hollow is a 35 limit road, with much higher speed drivers so the safe direct route to the start is a climb on sidewalk until things level out on Hobart (but the sidewalk is mostly very good).
Second, that the playground, if you can imagine this, is next to a $%^&*ing interchange. (That’s how you’d know you missed the playground on the right hand side. Be the exception, drive slowlyPseudacris). Not a highway-ish one, and I seriously doubt it would be an issue at a random afternoon hour on a Sunday, but please watchful starting out nonetheless.
I bike between my home (east of Frick Park) and Sq Hill/Schenley Plaza often, so I’ll be fine. All the buses have bike racks, too, and the 61A,B,C all go within a few blocks of the start & finish.
Do you think there will be a lot of kids or cyclists not comfortable riding city streets or hills? If so, I could suggest an alternate route that would start & end in the same spots as the cars.
Anonymous 12/06/2012 at 3:42am #
It’s a very flat route for Pittsburgh, the only real work is getting back to squirrel hill after parade is over.
But I don’t think we’re getting anyone who doesn’t already ride in streets this year.
Next year I hope to.
@Vannevar: did you say “good morning” to me on liberty ave today at about 1100? i thought i maybe recognized your bike by how little of it i could see.
I won’t be at the parade, but I just wanted to say how great this is. It really shows how having a community of cyclists that can connect can make a big difference. Imagine, years ago, one cyclist joining this parade with a home-made menorah. Amusing, cranky, whatever. But you’re going to have five, ten, who knows how many cyclists joining the parade, with menorahs, and lots of people will notice. Some will change their minds about cyclists and treat them more kindly the next time they see them on the streets. And it will have happened because someone had a creative idea and took action on it, and others were interested in it and took part. This is the kind of bike advocacy that changes minds and helps make Pittsburgh a better place for cyclists — as well as being a lot of fun.
@hiddenvariable, that could have been me, I was in that area at that time. Sorry to miss the chance to say hello face-to-face.
If you’d like a photo to confirm that it was Myself, here’s a recent sketch:
Peace Out, VB
Anonymous 12/07/2012 at 5:55pm #
jonawebb, your comments appreciated. I expect a small but spirited group. Every rider matters here.
The forecast is mid 50s (yay!) and 60% chance of rain (ok, not so yay). I’m going to be there. Those I’ve talked to so far will be there, too.
In case you’re on the fence about doing a ride in the rain for fun, a quick reminder on the length of the route (just under 6 miles), and the heated tent and latkes at the end. Also, ridiculousness=fun and there rain adds, not subtracts.
And it’s a little more than just the fun.
First, it’s a very public display of drivers and bicyclists celebrating together.
Next, it’s the festival of lights… how better to emphasize light’s role in safety during this darkest time of the year?
Finally, because this is something related to biking that we, as Pittsburghers, are claiming first. We rock, now let’s just go out there and rock hard.
¡!¡!–BIKE MENORAH CONSTRUCTION UPDATE–!¡!¡
I had to change a roll of paper on a printer at work this week and realized the inner core was a translucent coroplast tube of just the right diameter: SCORE!
Borrowed a fine-toothed japanese style saw and hand-cut the core down into little candle holders. No miter box, so they lean a bit (just pretend it’s an Eva Hesse-inspired design!)
I splurged on a set of battery-powered tea lights because I want the flickering candle effect. In the strip district I was able to get a pack of plastic cups for $2. These will be the rain covers.
Found the perfect-sized piece of scrap wood in the basement and gave it a coat of leftover primer. I’ll also drill drainage holes in the wood and a couple of extra holes so that I can affix this to my rear rack with cable ties.
I’ll glue the coroplast tubes to the wood either with a hot glue gun or leftover caulk.
Still figuring out how to prevent the candles from bouncing out. I don’t want to glue them down because I need access to the switch and battery compartment on each candle. Museum Wax would be perfect, but I’m out.
I’m thinking about adding blue glitter on the rim of the tubes…dipping in in white glue then in glitter the way you’d put salt on the rim of a martini glass. Not sure yet…may stick with a clean modern look.
 – there will be nine candles total, with the middle one being a bit taller
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