A bicycle made of wood? | HT Tech

A bicycle made of wood?

Yes, 42-year-old Orissa carpenter Daitari Barik has come up with one that works, can carry up to 100 kg of weight and achieve a speed of 10 km per hour.

| Updated on: Feb 16 2005, 20:34 IST

A bicycle made of wood? Yes, an Orissa carpenter has come up with one that works, can carry up to 100 kg of weight, and it is drawing curious onlookers.

The master craftsman behind the invention is Daitari Barik, a 42-year-old carpenter from Tina village in this district.

The wooden cycle is the size of a normal one and can achieve a speed of 10 km per hour.

'We were surprised how someone could make a cycle from wood,' said Ramaniranjan Mohanty, a school student when asked what drew him to Barik's home. 'I have come to see how it works.'

Like Mohanty, scores of curious people are lining up outside Barik's house every day to get a glimpse.

Asked what inspired him to make the cycle, Barik said: 'As a carpenter I have made most wooden articles. One day I wondered whether it would be possible to make a wooden bicycle.'

Barik said he spent about 200,000 ($4,500) on his creation — and it took seven years to complete.

He has named it 'Nandighosa', after the chariot in which Lord Jagannath is carried every year during the famous car festival of Puri.

For his project, he took a loan of 15,000 ($340) from a rural bank while some well-off locals donated 4,000 ($90).

Barik said he had to put up with sarcastic comments initially.

'My wife thought I had gone mad. The villagers would say: 'What does he know about science and technology?''

Unmindful of the jibes, he went ahead and designed the cycle. All the parts, including the wheels and spokes, have been made from different kinds of wood.

'I have pasted four layers of wooden rings on each wheel and the ball set has been fitted with the help of grease in the free-wheel, which helps in rotating the chain,' he said.

'Initially I used to toil for about 15 hours a day. On average, I would spend about four hours each day on the bicycle,' he said.

It took him two years to complete the two wheels and 13 months to prepare a bell. The chain took almost two months while the free wheel took seven months and the ball set three months. The handle and mudguard took two months each.

Barik got help from the district industries centre. 'It encouraged me and helped me to display the cycle at some fairs,' he said.

Barik now hopes to graduate to bigger vehicles, including a wooden car!

'I have collected the wood and hope to complete the car in four years. This apart, I am also making fans from wood and magnet,' he said, exuding confidence that it would be operated without electricity.

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First Published Date: 16 Feb, 18:24 IST