Amir and Lotan build a wind-bike, Interview: June 2/09

Amir Florentyn & Lotan Toiw & wind-bike

Amir Florentyn & Lotan Toiw & wind-bike

Wind-bike!

I got an e-mail from Arieh Schkolnik, from Kibbutz Nir-Itzhak, concerning two Grade 10 students, from Ma’ale Habsor Comprehensive School and from Nir-Itzhak, who put together a wind-bike. He sent me the photos you see below. I knew I had to speak to them, so today I interviewed Amir Florentyn and Lotan Toiw about the project.

Lotan on the wind-bike

Lotan on the wind-bikeanother view of the bikeLotan Toiw

Interview:

 

Judih: What do you call your vehicle?

Amir: We call it a wind-bike.

J: When did you start working on it?

Amir, Lotan: During the Purim break – it took us 3 days.

J: What gave you the idea?

Amir: Arieh! (Arieh Schkolnik, who we’ve met before demonstrating how rockets can be powered by water)

Amir: But,there’s a story.

J: Tell me

Amir: You see, Arieh already had a wind-bike and we asked him if we could borrow it. But, the kibbutz safety manager had seen Arieh try it out on the road with kids, and he was concerned that it wasn’t safe enough.

So Arieh, of course, didn’t agree to let us use it. So, we decided, right then and there to build a new one, one of our own.

J: How did you start?

A: We went to the kibbutz bicycle storage area and started to look for parts. We needed wheels and a good seat. We put them together, attaching them to the front part of a bike and built a kind of triangular frame.

After that, we needed more bike parts and pipes and other pieces of iron and steel. We built the steering wheel and the housing for the mast (which we already had). We made the steering wheel from two handlebars (one was already attached and we mounted the other one a little further back.

Finally, we started to build the chair and finished the assembly, and we were ready to experiment.

A: We had to figure out how to attach the sail. At the beginning, we were doing all this on the kibbutz, but we didn’t succeed much. When we went to a more open space outside of the kibbutz, we managed to travel. We were able to catch the wind and it worked.

 

J: How’d you feel?

Amir: We felt great.

Let me tell you how it works.

To steer the sail, we use our feet on the handlebar. There’s a string on the sail that catches the wind. We usually try for 45 degrees into the wind.

J:How fast can you go?

A: We managed to go about 20km/hour

J: Is that fast?

A: It’s fun. We even managed to crash. At least I did. But the vehicle was fine.

Lotan: There are no brakes.

J: Is that a problem?

A: Yes. The only way to slow down is to free the sail, and then the wind can’t catch it or push us.

J: Do you have plans to make more of these bikes?

A: First we need to work on some form of brakes!

Lotan: We also need to lower it, to make it more stable on the road.

J: Who is Arieh Schkolnik?

A: He works with my father in electronics on the kibbutz. And he has always invented things, including this wind-bike.  A few years ago, Lotan and I found a wind bike that some other kids from school had made. We just needed a sail for it. We went to show Arieh and he got very excited and he built a new sail for it.

Our wind-bike includes parts from my father’s wind-surfboard – the sail and mast.

J: Ah, so you were lucky. Do you have any other projects?

A: Not at the moment.

J: Okay, thanks a lot Lotan and Amir. Good luck!

 

Jan 28, 2009

It’s been a week of noisy nights.

We’ve had a few Tzeva Adom alerts in the area. Just this afternoon, Kibbutz Nir Itzhak had a flashback alert at four p.m. The qassam landed somewhere close by. One day this week, we were surprised by a huge boom just beside us as an old forgotten weapon ‘slick’ was discovered in Kibbutz Nirim and evacuated to open fields for safe detonation.

Yet, today while walking , I had the pleasure of seeing quiet fields and a serene horizon over Aza. Life changes from moment to moment, as we all know.

Benji Davis writes about his experience in Sderot

I read a very good article that appears in Sderot Media Centre. Perhaps, you’d enjoy taking a look.

Here’s an excerpt:

From 90210 to Sderot: Get the Story Right!

By Benji Davis                                                                      Tue Jan 26 2009  06:29:08

I just returned from a two week visit to Israel. I spent my last weekend in Sderot and the Western Negev. One year out from volunteering in Sderot, I have written this piece on the international media’s lack of context in covering the current conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Hundreds of journalists from all over the world just left Sderot and the surrounding areas covering the current conflict between Israel and Hamas. Where were they one year ago? Where were they four years ago, eight years ago? I spent six weeks volunteering in Sderot exactly one year ago, and I can tell you, the journalists were nowhere to be found.

Unfortunately for Israel, it took eight years for the international community to understand that innocent civilians in a western democracy live daily under the current threat of rocket fire. During this time, the range of the threat expanded from a tens of thousands to over one million innocent Jewish and Muslim Israeli citizens.

In these eight years, has the UN Security Council ever condemned nearly a decade of rocket fire on innocent civilians of one of its member states, Hamas’ use of human shields, and its use of schools, hospitals, and mosques to store and launch rockets at Israel?

Read the rest of the article here:

http://www.sderotmedia.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=312&q=3

In other news

Calaniot or Anemone are beginning to bloom. This is a shot taken by Dekel, in the beautiful fields near Kibbutz Be’eri. Soon, very soon, there’ll be carpets of red.

First calaniot or anemone, by Dekel

First calaniot or anemone, by Dekel

I’ll be back. Hopefully with more flowers and less news of the other sort.

Judih

Jan 28/09