Engineering Professor Builds Wooden Bike, Wins Best in Show

Jay Kinsinger, assistant professor of mechanical engineering

Jay Kinsinger, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Cedarville University, with his award-winning wooden bicycle. Photo supplied by Jay Kinsinger.

by Public Relations

January 12, 2012

Jay Kinsinger, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, has always been a bike lover. He found the perfect marriage of his engineering skills and interest in cycling when, as a teenager, he built his first bicycle. The fact that it was a flop didn’t stop him.

Today, Kinsinger and his family share this love of cycling. “It became my personal challenge to involve my whole family in bicycling from the very beginning,” he said. “I built special bicycle trailers that would accommodate infant car seats, trail-a-bikes, kid-friendly tandems and a triplet (bicycle built for three). All four of our kids passed through the ranks of my various contraptions. We pedaled club rides as a family and made fantastic memories touring self-supported in the Midwest, the Pacific Northwest and New England.”

It’s no surprise, then, that when they decided to do a bicycle tour of Europe this past summer, Kinsinger built bicycles for the family. These new bikes were created out of wood, and were engineered in such a way that they could fold down to fit into suitcases to save on bag checking fees. The eventful trip was chronicled in the family’s blog, bikeeurope.

Recently, Kinsinger entered one of his bicycles in the Dayton Carvers Guild's annual Artistry in Wood (AIW) show. The show touts itself as the largest woodworking show in the nation.

“When I wheeled my bike into the judging area, all my hopes and expectations of winning a prize were dashed as I surveyed all the incredible work that I was up against,” said Kinsinger. However, his unique bicycle stood out among the other woodwork. He walked away from the competition with three blue ribbons: first in category, first in class and best of show.

Kinsinger hopes to continue to enter his bicycles in woodworking and bicycle shows. “I continue to perfect my process and will most likely enter AIW next year,” he said. “I really want to simply ride them and teach others how to build them."

Cedarville University attracts 3,300 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.

More Information

Department of Engineering and Computer Science

Engineering and Computer Science Preview Day

Cedarville University's Engineering Camp