The Original Frankentrike
was actually a pedal-powered bicycle rickshaw named "Rameena"
after one of the lovely passengers I carried across the great expanse
of the Black Rock Desert one night during the yearly BurningMan
Festival. It was built in 7 days in August of 2000 from 12
dead bicycles and one "live" one, and then evolved over the three years
that followed before finally being retired in August of 2004.
It was Taxi #5 for the Black Rock City Cab Company and
miraculously survived four years of adventures at the BurningMan
Festival. It is now a lawn ornament in somebody's backyard on
Beacon Hill in Seattle. It suffered through a few canopy
experiments; cycled through several car batteries, inverters and
ghettoblasters. Dueling sound systems were D.J.'d by
the driver while tiki lamps, christmas lights, hurricane lanterns and a
rotating red police light lit the way and warned others of imminent
approach. Such a warning was indeed necessary as visibility
was extremely poor for the driver (especially at night) and the single
rear caliper brake was entirely insufficient. I got into the
habit of simply yelling "No Brakes!" as this was easier to clear people
out of the way rather than trying to explain the severe inability of
the vehicle to stop, especially on any sort of terrain that wasn't
absolutely flat (i.e. most of Seattle).