The Steam Whistle keg bike became a reality when our co-founder Cam Heaps rode this bike during Ride To Conquer Cancer 2012. Steam Whistle has been supporting Ride To Conquer Cancer for several years now and the bike was custom built bike for Cam for the ride. Cam rode the bike a total of 220 kilometres during Ride To Conquer Cancer '12, while serving beer the entire way.
During Earth Month, we asked our supporters to help us name the bike, eventually narrowing it down to six names and opening it up to a voting system. The winner was Steamcycle (submitted by Valerie from Georgetown).
The creator of the bike, David Keogh, tells us how the inspiration for the bike came about, how long this masterpiece took to build and about some of the challenges that he came across along the way.
How did you end up building a cargo bike that dispenses beer?
Somewhere way back in 1993 I started a draught beer system company called The Linemen (shameless plug) installing and maintaining draught beer systems in restaurants, bars, stadiums, resorts and homes. By now I can say I have been inside or worked on most licensed establishments in Toronto.
Ten years ago-ish I started to design and build Custom Dispensing heads, mostly because I needed something that was not available on the market. From there, things just snowballed. I now spend a lot of time looking at objects and wondering if I could get “That” to pour beer; mostly the answer is “Yes!”
How was the idea for the keg bike born and what inspired the concept?
The Keg Bike was born one afternoon on Mission Beach in San Diego, California. With the Craft Brewers Conference done for the day Cam Heaps and I had run into each other and made plans to spend the next day at the beach. I can think of no better place to spend Cinco de Mayo than San Diego. Mission Beach was busy and fun. The bicycle rules the beach. Oh, you get “Slowmo” the roller skater, and Russel the skateboarding bulldog, but the bike is king. Two types are the most popular: The Beach Cruiser and the Low-rider. Cameron mentioned that he needed a bike for the Ride to Conquer Cancer. I had just finished building some bikes and we started to talk about what he wanted; then we never spoke about it again...
How long did the process of building the bike take?
The Monday before the ride I got a call from Cam asking if I could build that bike we talked about, I said, "Yes." Monday at 4pm: I had four days.
What are some of the bike’s features and where are these parts from?
The Trike itself is a Schwinn single speed, with a band brake. The Frame was painted Steam Whistle green and clear coated, the 144 spoke low-rider wheels, white wall tires, ape hanger bars, grips and Springer front end were sourced and ordered from Al Petri & Sons, Lincoln Park, Michigan.
I had a Detroit turn-around in front of me. As I drove there, Al and his staff built the wheels and trued the: 144 spokes times three wheels. The low-rider wheels work on a different size axel then the one shipped, so a new one had to be machined. The regulator for the keg was the first of its style in the country - I ordered it from the US and it shipped over night, with a preset pressure so it would be less weight to carry. The Ice Chest is from a 1970’s Kawasaki motorcycle fairing, painted and clear coated, and it holds a 50" stainless steel coil that the beer runs through for cooling.
What was the most challenging part of building the bike?
FOUR DAYS! The entire thing was a challenge, from parts that don’t fit to a lack of low-rider parts in the country, trying to keep the weight down; after all someone had to ride it in the end. All the while the clock was ticking.
What was the most fun part in building the bike?
FOUR DAYS! I ate and (barely) slept Bike for four days. I assembled it on the loading bay at the Roundhouse, and the “WOW” factor was high. Really, the best part was that Sunday when I rode my bike against the ride traffic to meet up with Cam. He was so happy the bike was no trouble (well a little but...) The beer had poured well, and after he lead the Steam Whistle “Flying V” across the finish line and hooked up another keg to the bike, he told me how many people hooted and yelled at him because of his bike.
Ride to Conquer Cancer (the Ontario Ride) is just a week away: June 8th and June 9th. Steam Whistle has been supporters of the ride since day one! We not only sponsor the ride by offering every rider a cold Pilsner at the finish line but also by participating with our very own Steam Whistle team.
Prior to the date, we throw themed fundraisers like our Cinco De Mayo RTCC fundraiser that happened at the brewery in May.
We fundraise individually to help the ride.
And last but not least, we bring our Pilsner for the riders.
Hope to see you at the 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer ride!
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