Before we actually get to the bike explanation I have to introduce some key players that really helped inspire me and encourage me.
In early 2014 I met Harish and Eriko Kamath they’re an amazing couple who founded an organization called Binnovative. That year Binnovative was hosted the first ever Boston chapter of the NASA International Space Apps Challenge. I met them because they came to the company I worked at to ask for sponsorship for the hackathon. When they told us about the 48 hour weekend event my manager and I got very excited. An open to the public hackathon hosted by NASA to tackle problems big, small, on earth and in space. We decided to sponsor it, and came April 2014 we were not disappointed. When I arrived at the Cambridge Innovation Center I was blown away by the projects the participants had created, I was even more blown away by the high quality of people Binnovative amassed. I knew on the spot that I had to get a piece of Binnovative I had to get involved.
The people I met and the projects I saw that weekend shook me, it made me think about what kind of projects had I done. When I came to the realization that I hadn’t done anything a flame exploded inside me, I decided I’m done waiting until I have enough time, enough experience, or enough money. I thought to myself I don’t care how I do it I’m going to start a project and I’m going to do it now! I just had no idea what project or how. At the time I was reading “how to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie, and “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson. The one thing I knew successful people had was a mentor and I thought to myself I need to convince Harish to be my mentor. He was a successful Electrical engineer working all sorts of amazing projects and I knew he could help get moving in the right direction. So I wrote him an email and explained what was going through my head. “I’m almost 20 years old and haven’t worked on anything substantial, I’m in school for engineering but if I leave to school It would be at least a couple years before I get to do an internship or work study, and I want to build something now. He agreed to help me out, and I was ecstatic.
I’ll never forget the first meeting we had, he asked me what my passion was, when I paused and list a few different things; he said no, I don’t believe you. He explained that a passion has to be something that oozes out of you, it should be clear in your mind. It’s that reoccurring theme in your life, the thing you daydream about, it’s the topic your mind goes to when you zone out, it’s the topics or subject that practically sucks you in. He told me to take some time and think about this very carefully.
I went home and I wrote on my whiteboard one word for every subject, topic, skill, profession I ever had interest in or even thought I liked. I filled my whiteboard and once I filled the board I started thinking about and crossing off the things can I decided I could live without. Which things I felt like I wouldn’t do for free. Crossing off the things I would rather pay someone else to do rather than do myself. As things started to slim down it got harder to eliminate them from the board. I began to think about my childhood dreams and aspirations. Which of these subjects do I have the earliest memory of daydreaming about. Eventually there was three things left on the board, computers, cars, and motorcycles. I thought to myself I enjoy working with computers and I can even code in a few languages, but it doesn’t necessarily pull me out of bed in the morning so to speak, so I crossed it off. Now cars and motorcycles were my favorite toys to play with when I was a kid. I had and still have most of a huge hot wheels car collection. My favorite video games were racing games. I loved to tape playing cards to my bike frame so the spokes would hit it and make motorcycle sounds.
It was clear my passion is in cars and motorcycles. So had to start a project car, but when I came to analyze the feasibility there was just no way. I had no garage, no tools, no money, no experience and no mechanical guidance. So I figured I could go on craigslist and find a cheap broken motorcycle to take apart and learn how it works. I knew the engine worked the same as a car’s engine designed around the 4 stroke cycle. It wouldn’t take up too much space. I figured I could probably buy cheap tools on craigslist too and maybe I wouldn’t need that many to work on an older bike.