My New Plycycle – a plywood bicycle

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

I like bicycles, I’m not a collector, but I do have a few of them. They get used whether it’s just riding around Melbourne – here’s a comparison of my three bicycles in that city. Or riding further afield, like trying out my new London bicycle with a little London-Paris trip. Now I’ve got a new bicycle to play with, a wooden one.

David Murphy made my TW-16 Plycycle – or DaMu Plycycle if you wish. TW because those are my initials, 16 because it’s the 16th iteration of his wooden bicycle development and Plycycle because that’s what it’s made of: Plywood.

IMG_7151 - Plycycle - 540▲ David and me with my almost finished Plycycle.

IMG_3994 - Plycycle Williamstown - 540▲ And here I am about to ride home (20km) with my finished bicycle.

IMG_7153 - plywood layers - 270◄ Some surprises about my Plycycle. First of all it’s surprisingly light, it weighs in at less than my everyday aluminium Wheeler mountain bike (the one I took to Africa few years ago) and less than a kilo heavier than my aluminium and carbon fibre Bianchi road bike. That’s because every layer of plywood was cut directly from its computer controlled design.

It’s a delight to ride, but might be rather faster if I didn’t spend so much time explaining about it to other interested cyclists.

IMG_7142 - it's a work of art - 540▲ The real surprise, however, is that it’s simply beautiful, a real work of art.

Looking back over my website I’m surprised how often bicycles pop up. I went temple visiting in Hampi, India by bicycle last year. Then there was a little bicycle ride with friends in the beautiful Transylvanian region of Romania. Or cycling in Italy, in China, in New York and, of course, my Tanzania and Malawi stage of the Tour d’Afrique. I’ve even discovered some family cycling history when I stumbled upon my grandfather’s First World War bicycling.