After a lengthy discussion with Kai, we've had a bit of a rethink and decided that the original design for the pariahcycle is both unstable and structurally unsound. Among other problems, these are two fundamental flaws that can't be ignored for pretty obvious reasons. The outcome of this brainstorming session was this redesign:
We decided that the center of gravity of the original design was much too high and could cause balance issues. We believe that this flaw could be overcome by redesigning the bike with the riders on the lower level in a recumbent position rather than an upright position. This would solve several additional problems I had been facing with the earlier iteration. First it lowers the center of gravity of the bike, second it reduces the overall height of the bike by about two and a half feet meaning that the riders on the upper level have less of a distance to fall in the event of a crash, third it provides more space for supports and latices which will improve the bike's structural integrity. Another perk is that it prevents the riders on the lower level from being kicked in the face by the riders on the upper level.
We will also be adding outriggers, which are basically just giant training wheels that will parallel the rear wheel. Ideally these will be retractable so they can be raised once the bike gets moving, but this may turn out to be a greater test of my ingenuity than I can handle. We shall see.
The drawback is that it's going to be a lot more complicated to construct, and therefore require a lot more planning than I generally put into things,
so I got some tools, a box of Equal Exchange Organic Chocolates, put on some Mythbusters,
and set to work turning said box of chocolates into a cardboard model.
I then went out to the shop and used some bike parts and other stuff to lay out a full-scale mockup on the floor.
This was to help give me a sense of scale so I could estimate the amount of material that I will need, and in doing so, what I've realized is that, despite the two and a half feet that the redesign eliminates from the Pariahcycle's overall height, it is still going to be about seven and a half feet tall. This is still ridiculous, but not unmanageable, and still better than the nearly ten feet that it was originally going to have to be.
Additionally, according to my measurements, and (probably incorrect) math, I am going to need about 40 feet of steel tubing and 30 feet of bike-chain, which is a lot.