Even if you don’t know Cat, you might have seen his old Blackbird Super Cruiser around town. He recently completed an all new redesign that’s more better than the original.
About five years ago, Cat bought an electric conversion kit for his cruiser style bicycle. That bike broke after about 2000 miles of hard-commuting miles, but he had such a ball he decided to build a new cruiser from scratch. Most people who see Cat and his bike just call it “The Bike,” but he calls it the Blackbird Super Cruiser. I first saw the Blackbird in 2010.
Since then, Cat was tweaked and improved and learned from this 36 volt electric assist recumbent cruiser with a a 30Ah lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePo) battery. It can cruise at 15 MPH for four hours on a single charge. He has over 15,000 miles on that bike.
Cat and I occasionally cross paths on our commute, and last winter I began seeing him on a regular, non-assist pedal bike again. He enthusiastically told me about his new project and described the suspension for his new bike, the new battery system, the new motors, and, with a mad scientist gleam in his eyes, the truck tire with a split hub he would mount on this bike.
He was on his way to Maker Faire last fall to show off his new creation when, alas, the new super cruiser broke down in the driveway. “If you’re going to break down that’s a good place to do it,” said Cat.
He finally got his Beast running about three weeks ago, and I ran into him last night near San Jose Airport. Check this out — a quarter ton of iron, wooden cabinetry and rider in motion cruising along at about 15 MPH.
You can read more about Cat’s original Blackbird at his website here and here.
I rode right past him last night. He was stopped at the little viewing area at 880. I should have stopped and said hello. Thanks for the back story.