The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

2024 Commencement Student Speaker: Lea Tarzy
Alexandra Slofkiss: 2024 Commencement Soloist
Outstanding Senior Award: Bernadette Maramis
Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: Gloria Sporea

Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: Gloria Sporea

May 10, 2024

Excellence in Athletics Award: Meghan Quinn

Excellence in Athletics Award: Meghan Quinn

May 10, 2024

Excellence in the Arts Award: Joselyn Busato

Excellence in the Arts Award: Joselyn Busato

May 10, 2024

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Ah yes, 6061-T6 Aluminum

From the articles I’ve written previously, one might be able to see that my passions range from running to music to cars to everything in between. For those of you that are my friends, you may have heard that writing for the school paper has been a “side-quest” for me. I do really enjoy writing for the paper and, to an extent, do have a passion for it. These, for the most part, are all things that I like doing (running, listening to music, talking about cars, etc.), but there are some topics or projects that can capture all of my attention.

My most recent project has gotten to the point where I am very excited about carrying a 6-foot-plus cardboard tube around the caf that is holding a crucial part of my project. This is where the 6061-T6 aluminum comes into play–I now have 3 tubes of it that I need to work on making into something. And that something is my current passion project: a full suspension mountain bike. I have been working hard on this for the last year, and now it is starting to take off. So, what does this have to do with passion? And why has this been a great thing? Most importantly, why should you also find a project like this to latch onto for a year or more?

Let’s take a look at the project I have going on. Codenamed BIKEKHANA, this is a personal project to create a custom full suspension mountain bike from scratch. I left the idea simmering over the summer and eventually found the ambition to make it a reality. CAD designs were created, ideas were refined, inspiration was drawn from other bike frames and purchased components were finalized. Once parts were obtained, manufacturing the frame components out of 6061-T6 aluminum started and then those were later welded together. The final assembly then came together, joining the off-the-shelf parts with the custom ones to create a full, one-of-a-kind mountain bike. As of right now, I am working on machining all the parts that are needed for the bike and hopefully it will all be together by the 26th of April, where I will be presenting at the Engineering Design Expo (come if you’re interested: 3 to 5 pm in the Field House).

So where does passion come into play? Well, for starters, it has taken a very long time (over a year at this point). Most of the time, a project like this doesn’t last this long with such an uphill battle for getting it made without passion. The drive to continue was in the pursuit of getting a better bike created, which is another level to the passion I have, as I really enjoy mountain biking. It is something that I feel, with this better bike and it’s custom “flex feature,” will improve my skills not just in mountain biking, but in manufacturing.

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Now why has this been a great thing? The amount of time I have put into this project is massive – well over 500 hours split between designing and manufacturing. While sometimes I don’t have a huge amount of time to spend on it, I still put so much effort into getting it done. And for the most part, unlike classwork or homework, the time spent here does not feel like work. I know at the end of the day I will get something really cool out of it and I honestly find it as a good break from the madness of the rest of my work. 

It also has probably overall improved my mental health by giving my brain something else to do. This leads into the reason as to why you should find a similar type of passion project. Just like a hobby, getting time to do something else aside from work or endlessly scrolling on social media is great for several reasons, ranging from mental health to creativity and boosting productivity. For these reasons, I do think that most people should dedicate a few hours each week to doing something creative that they like–something they find passion in. It really does make a difference, and I feel that it has benefited me in so many ways over the last year of working on this bike. Now, the only thing left to do is to get it built in 14 days.

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