Kevin McCloud will be crawling his way to this year’s Grand Designs Live at London ExCeL in the Cock-roach - a pedal-powered motorhome built by Harry Dwyer and Charlie Waller of Aircraft Workshop.
The bicycle-propelled bug has been created entirely with fully-recycled materials, including two salvaged bike frames which have been welded together to allow Harry and Charlie to drive the Cockroach side by side. Pieces of this critter-come-camper have been sourced across London, from Bow to Chelsea (including recycled signage from Grand Designs Live) and assembled to produce a ‘quadrocycle’ sized vehicle, in full (and tax-free) compliance with highways laws.
Under the protection of a recycled correx roof (a lightweight, fluted plastic used in ‘For Sale’ signs) Harry and Charlie plan to pedal the Cockroach around the UK, living within its comfortable quarters whenever they are out of the saddle.
Powered by solar panels which hook up to a mobility scooter battery, the house on wheels contains an area for two to bed down at night and recover from a hard days cycling, a table, TV and appliance points and a gas stove equipped with pans to cook up a calorie-packed meal. Old laptop batteries will create their main power storage unit while the window screen is made from two more wheels which give the motorhome its bug like appearance.
Harry Dwyer explains, “We're making our own survival machine to escape the city. The Cockroach is made from rubbish that we've picked up from all over London. Old bikes, the council have removed from railings, old for sale signs left by estate agents, builder's rubbish, skip finds, once you start looking there's a lot of useful motorhome building materials being thrown away.
We wanted a road vehicle that wouldn't cost anything, that we could sleep in and go on an adventure. The motorhome is big enough for two bunks so on a long journey Charlie and I can get a good night's sleep after a hard day's peddling. It's certainly not spacious but we're good friend's so hopefully we won't get cabin fever. We plan to pedal it from our workshop in London to Paris.
It's a little rickety and a bit top heavy so cornering has to be taken with care but it's surprising just how well it works. Being out of the wind and rain makes the cycling experience very relaxing and only one person has to steer so the other can map read or look out for good camping spots.
Who knows how far we could travel, once we get going we'll just need baked beans and a good bit of sunshine, the road awaits”
The Cockroach will be on show at Grand Designs Live from 5-13 May at London ExCeL with Kevin arriving in the bug on Saturday 5th May. The green motorhome is just one of many eco innovations featuring at the show this year. Kevin’s Green Heroes returns with 5 new inspirational companies and also includes a live element where selected heroes will be producing their products at the show in real time.
Kevin will be on stage throughout the event discussing issues such as ‘Sourcing Sustainably’ and the reduction of plastic pollution, in the Grand Theatre with Kevin McCloud and experts including Craig Bennett from Friends of the Earth, James Shaw of James Shaw Design, Vanessa Yuan of EcoBirdy, and Adam Fairweather of Smile Plastics.
For more information visit www.granddesignslive.com