Wheel Transportation Series Part 3
Build em up
So you broke em down, hauled em over, and now you’re in the home stretch building em back up. This is my favorite of the stages, the prize is in sight, we are closest to the best part of this process: riding the wheel. This is a great time to “check in” with your wheel, check for gouges on the rubber, and tighten up the screws on the boards. Careful not to go into full autopilot, it is possible to assemble the wheel in crazy ways. One time when I was working with CircEsteem, we were doing a performance with some of the kids for the WMBA. Earlier in the day we had asked the students to build the wheels while we organized other things. So that evening when it comes to Showtime, we go backstage and realize that one of the wheels is built with the bar pieces switched so that the bar was super close to the handles leaving a huge space between the boards and the bar. Needless to say, it was an interesting performance, and I now always build my wheel myself. 🙂
To clarify, here is a wheel built correctly.
Here is a wheel build backwards.
So lets get to it! You’re going to want to build the wheels such that the hoops are parallel with the ground. Then I like to stand inside the wheel and guide the male and female pieces together. Put all of the pieces together such that the two single bar pieces are between the hoops and boards, with their bars closest to the boards. It should look like this.
Then connect 3 out of the 4 wheel pieces, and screw in the top 6 (of a total 16) screws. Make sure that the two pieces are fully touching so that not just the PVC, but the metal on both sides is touching. Then I like to stand inside the wheel holding at the last open connection and lift the wheel up so I am standing inside of it. Then I bring the open connection to 10 or 2 O’Clock (here it can be helpful to have a friend so you can each grab a hoop and pull them together). The way that works best for me is to have one hand on either side and pull inwards and together, guiding the two ends into one another.
Often you may find the wheel is a bit stubborn and it will get stuck before the two pieces finally join. There are a few things here you can try. You can bring the distant connection to the floor and hang from the hoop above it. I have seen people bounce the wheel up and down with their body weight to try and kick start a lazy connection. Otherwise you can put the connection at the top and hang from the hoop while trying to pull them together. You will find different wheels like different techniques, so have fun, and don’t be afraid to get inventive.