So strange it might even be real.

”By combining strategies of speculation, ridiculousness, and ‘‘magic’’ with actual hands-on action and experimentation, we can actually test our theory against these different frameworks we live in and propose to see if they actually do tackle the problems we are dealing with and make a change or propose a new framework. Then, simple actions such as painting a bicycle white, using hands-on experimentation and bodging can become a catalyzing force for people to actually imagine how things could be different which they could never imagine before, let alone act upon.

For the full experience I suggest (interested) readers to read from the bottom of the last page. Join the journey from the first experimental harvesting sessions, essays on why I believe this is important in today’s world, sketches of how I build these contraptions, video’s of how they work and documentation of the best 500 meters on two wheels of my life. In order to get the best reading experience I suggest you start all the way at the bottom, the first video showing a ”sketch” of how one could harvest fuel from shallow waters. From there it will become increasingly clear why it is becoming so important that we start figuring out ways on how to do these things ourselves, rather than outsourcing everything to bigger corporations.

Gas collecting apparatus XL

As the vehicle is nearing completion, we also need an apparatus to collect more fuel than a 10 liter bucket. As such the Gas collecting apparatus XL is build. It consists of a big inner tube from a truck, a 80 liter plastic bucket, wooden frame, PVC tube that houses some filters and a valve.

If you bleed the collecting apparatus well, there is no need for a water catching reservoir.
One of the first sketches, there is not enough pressure in the container to fill the balloon sadly.

See the final result here:

Engineering 2.0

After safety testing, the decision was made to go with a polycarbonate fuel container. You either need a vacuum former big enough to make it from solid poly sheets, or come up with a way to assemble flat sheets in to a round shape.

Everything had to be assembled without glue, in order to be able to repair each individual part if necessary.
Simple wooden strips are cut and bend with steam to hold the poly sheets in place.
Big, custom steel clamps are used to keep the wooden strips together after bending. Steel wire and tensioners are used to make sure the whole assembly stays together. Each strip has 2 threaded mounting points to mount the tank to a steel frame on the motorcycle.

The anti-smoke magician

As Robert Jasper Grootveld showed in the 1960s, by becoming the anti-smoke magician he took on the fight against smoking and the upcoming addiction to consumption led by advertisement. Not by telling people not to smoke, but actually by admitting that he too was addicted, ridiculing these addictions, contradicting himself and declaring that he was just smoking all surplus cigarettes so others wouldn’t have to. Through acts such as this, he inspired people that society didn’t have to be that way and that they were actually able to make a change. This led to the formation of Provo, an anarchistic collective actively protesting, campaigning, and inspiring people to demand change around Europe.

PROVO’s white bicycle – for better provocation

The most interesting project that the Provo’s managed to put out was the White Bicycle Plan (Het Wittefietsenplan). In order to protest against the upcoming asphalt-terror of the motorized bourgeoisie in Amsterdam at that time, they came up with the white bicycle, a plan to provide the whole city of Amsterdam with white bicycles that were available to anyone. It was supposed to be the collective property of all of those living in the city, freeing them from the terror of the car.

It symbolized the simplicity and hygiene of the bicycle in contrast to the automobile. This is where I think the quality of this project is; everybody could participate and ‘‘protest’’ by using this simple bicycle. The concepts used were familiar for those involved and could easily be shared with others in an understandable way.
Too bad the first on was immediately impounded by the police after being released to the public, as it had no owner and was thus ‘‘trash’’. Today, the concept lives on in different pay-to-use services across cities worldwide.


Honda PC50 converted to gas.

Quite easy to convert the Honda to gas, the engine might even be easier to work on than a generator engine. Only need to drill a little hole in the rubber boot in front of the carburetor and attach a tube to it together with the rest of the assembly used from the gas collecting apparatus. For dialing it in it might be easy to hot glue a little dial to the valve to remember where idle, turtle and hare are. Just like the generator, this one also needs to (cold) start on gasoline before switching to gas.

Test drive using butane as fuel.