Evan Schlussler was tired of climbing a 30-foot ladder every time he wanted to reach his tree house in Sandpoint, Idaho. And since he’d like to live in it one day, he decided to make the trip up both easier and way more interesting. He built a bicycle-powered pulley system that hoists his entire body weight up to the tree house using his own pedal power and an old water tank as a counterweight.
“As soon as we came up with the idea, I knew I had to make it a reality,” says Schlussler, who spent hours laying the plans in his head, then made the contraption in a week.
“I just started cutting and welding pieces of scrap metal to the bicycle frame for attachment points and pulleys and such,” he says. “I changed the gear ratio on the bicycle by swapping a large front sprocket to the rear, which was still not quite easy enough to pedal, so I added a pulley into the system to gain a bit more [mechanical] advantage. Once I had the counterweight adjusted, it worked better than I could have hoped.”
Now that he’s got an easier way up to his hideaway, he plans to finish building and insulating the walls in a few weeks. Visitors are allowed, he says, if they bring cookies.
What we like best is the look he gives the camera at the 0:24 mark. That’s the look of a man who has built something amazing, and knows it.
“I have loved trees all my life and wanted to live in one for many years,” Schlussler says. “So this is me manifesting my dreams.”