Hello! My name is Paul Elkins. I live with my wife Mary in the Puget sound area of Washington USA.
I’m just a guy who loves to come up with new ideas. Most of my ideas you may notice have a singular minimalist bend to them. I know it’s not for everyone. It’s just my thing.
My Father and Uncle were great influences on my way of thinking, with my father always tinkering with cars and my Uncle displaying what a person can do with imagination, calculation and a few handy tools.
As a youth I was always drawing some sort of doodle art, but eventually my father introduced me to his world of wrenches and sockets. Like a lot of ten year old boys I had a desire to build my very own Soap box Derby. When my father gave me the OK, that’s when my art doodles turned into derby designs. We eventually purchased a set of derby wheels and made a plywood base, but then mandatory overtime at my father’s job took priority, and that’s as far as it went; me sitting on the garage floor on my derby plywood base, dreaming of crossing the finish line…
It was in 1970 at a car show that I spotted my first custom recumbent bicycle perched in a corner. I was quite frankly blown away and immediately started drawing my own version, or versions should I say. Hundreds of sketches were made, years went by, and it wasn’t until I was sixteen that I made my first recumbent bike in my high school metal shop class. (Aaah the days when schools were more funded…) Like the soap box derby it was never quite finished, but at least it could coast down a hill. Progress.
When I turned twenty I was fixated on a reverse steer recumbent bike idea. I saw one in a Popular Mechanics article, so it must work, right? Many drawings and two years later, I was ready for my first test run. It took two hours to get two feet on the pedals and make a snake like path. Like learning to juggling 4 balls I was determined, and soon I was commuting to work with this odd bike. Years later I made a more traditional recumbent bike and was pleased with the outcome. I also learned that not everything in Popular mechanics is a good idea.
At age Forty, after my second divorce, I had a hankering to build a boat of some sort. The first two were made with inner tubes, but when paddling they just spun in circles. I studied a few kayak and canoe construction books and eventually came up with a cross design that I named Liberty, (I was in need of liberation). It was a kayak at first, then a mast and spinnaker was added, then a small trolling motor. I liked the little trolling motor, but wanted wanted to go faster and have a hull upgrade. That’s when the Little Miss Sally was born. Both of these boats flew off my car rack while going 45 mph. The next day they were both in the water, with little damage.
Later, I went to my first Burningman Art festival. I created and brought along a three wheeled Briggs and Stratton motorized trike to get around on the vast Playa. I was hooked. Talk about sensory overload! The next year I made and brought along a clever fold-up kitchen galley. The simplicity and compactness of the kitchen galley inspired the stealth camper design I made in the back of my Toyota truck to tour the country with. This also influenced the compact design of my ‘Post Apocalyptic bicycle camper’ that I built for Burningman a few years later.
I made my bike camper out of a material called ‘fluted plastic’. Later I discovered all sorts of uses of this wonderful material. I’ve made kayaks, boats, shelters, vehicle covers, even a back pack with this material.
As time went by I thought some people might like to see what I’ve made, so I created the ‘High Mileage Trikes’ blog. Ultra efficient vehicles is yet another of my fascinations. Eventually as more ideas were hatched and prototypes made, the content outgrew the capacity of the blog, so this website was created.
Afterwards, I started making videos of my latest ideas, and eventually plans were made and sold for some of my ideas. The adds on my videos and money form plans help finance future projects, and makes for peace and harmony at home.
What started as showing just my ideas has now branched off into showing what other people have made based on my plans. To access these check out the ‘Your Creations’ tab.
So there it is in a BIG nutshell.
I encourage you to mill about. There’s lots to see. Just click on any picture to see more detail and access a video link.
I also want to give a HUGE Thanks to my wife Mary, who without her patience, support and understanding of my compulsive obsessive ways, most of what you see would not exist.