The Nation’s Capital to Niagara Falls

Let’s go back a few days to review iglide on tour’s travels from Washington DC to Niagara Falls, some of the most photographed areas of the United States!

After more than 2 months on the road across North America, iglide on tour finally made it to the United State’s capital, Washington DC. DC, short for District of Columbia, is a 68 square mile area between Maryland and Virginia that serves as the capital city of the United States. The city is a perfect representation of the US’s “Melting Pot” nature; the city is home to more than 170 embassies and international cultural centers. Local colleges and universities host about 20,000 international students each year, and 15% of DC residents speak a language other than English at home. All that diversity surrounds countless memorials, statues, and icons that represent American history and heritage.

The Nation's Capital to Niagara Falls

While in DC, the iglide car visited the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and the White House, likely the three most famous landmarks in the country. The Lincoln Memorial, seen above, is a monument dedicated to the US’ 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. Showcasing a seated Lincoln, surrounded by engravings of two well-known speeches by Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address, and his second Inaugural Address, the memorial has been the site of many famous speeches, including Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

The Washington Monument was built to commemorate George Washington, the first President of the United States of America. The monument, which is made of marble and granite and stands a massive 555 feet tall, is the world’s largest stone obelisk.

The next stop in the nation’s capital was the White House – where the President of the United States lives while in office since 1800. Many Presidents throughout the country’s history have put their own mark on the White House, including Thomas Jefferson’s expansion of the house, Theodore Roosevelt’s relocation of the offices to the famous West Wing, and the rebuilding after the British burned much of the building during the War of 1812.

The Nation's Capital to Niagara Falls.2

Heading North out of Washington DC, iglide on tour traveled to another city filled with US history, Philadelphia – home to the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and more modern landmarks like the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Reading Terminal, and a statue of famed movie boxer Rocky Balboa.

The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American Independence. Commissioned in 1752, the bell is inscribed with the words “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” The Bell, which was originally used to alert lawmakers of legislative sessions and to notify the public about meetings and proclamations. The bell cracked when it was rung for the first time, and despite multiple repairs, the crack remains.

Color photo showing the Liberty Bell, from the shoulder down to the lip, with a focus on the crack.

Independence Hall, where the Liberty Bell was originally housed, is the site where America’s founding fathers gathered to sign the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the document announcing that the thirteen American colonies, then at war with Great Britain, regarded themselves as thirteen newly independent sovereign states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. 11 years later, representatives from those states came together to create the US Constitution.

The Nation's Capital to Niagara Falls.4

There is more than just history in Philadelphia, however. One of the most famous American sports films, Rocky, notably took place in Philly, using the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art as a training area.  A statue of Rocky, a fictional boxing legend, has been added to the bottom of the iconic 72 stone steps.

On it’s way out of Philadelphia, the iglide car made a stop at another customer, this time, Pride Mobility, a leader in the design and manufacture of mobility products, including power lift chairs and mobility scooters. Pride uses iglide bearings in a variety of their mobility products like wheelchairs. Because they are extremely wear-resistant and require no maintenance, iglide plastic bearings are an excellent solution for products that need to be used long-term, day after day, like wheelchairs and other personal mobility products. In the lift and tilt mechanisms of their wheelchairs, Pride uses igus’ iglide G300 bearings, and also uses DryLin J linear bearings to help tilt the seat. In addition to being a long-lasting solution, igus plastic components are also immune against water, dirt, and other outside elements that can affect typical ball bearings. By using components that are strong against the outside elements, Pride Mobility customers can trek out into the wild without worrying about bearing failure!

From Philadelphia, the car continued on until it reached Niagara Falls, one of North America’s most beautiful landmarks, also marking iglide on tour’s 3rd passage over the Canadian border. Made up of three waterfalls on the Niagara River, The falls are split between New York (USA) and Ontario (Canada), and include the Horseshoe Falls, which is the most powerful waterfall in all of North America.

While at the falls, the iglide bearings got the chance to go by boat around and behind the falls, getting drenched in water. Unlike metal, there was no chance of rust from the waterfall!

From Niagara, it was time for iglide on tour to head East towards New England, the final stretch of the iglide tour across North America!

Look for us on the road!

Kayla

 

From West to East- iglide on tour reaches the Atlantic!

Let’s go back a few days to see iglide on tour’s journey through North Carolina and Virginia.

From Nashville, the iglide car drove East through the Smoky Mountains towards Charlotte, North Carolina, officially marking iglide on tour’s arrival at the East Coast! 

From West to East- iglide on tour reaches the Atlantic!

Although Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina, Charlotte is larger both in size and population, the largest city in the state. North Carolina is the furniture capital of the world, and is home to some of the most renowned furniture companies in the world today. During it’s time in the state, the iglide car found some sizeable examples of the state’s most famous exports!

From West to East- iglide on tour reaches the Atlantic!.2 From West to East- iglide on tour reaches the Atlantic!.3

In Charlotte, the car came across “Metalmorphosis,” built in 2007 by artist David Černý. The giant mirrored head weights in at 14 tons, and stands 22 feet high, created of layers of steel that rotate individually, deconstructing and re-building itself right before your eyes. The statue is so popular that it even has its own live webcam!

From West to East- iglide on tour reaches the Atlantic!.4 From West to East- iglide on tour reaches the Atlantic!.5

While in North Carolina, also known as the “Tar Heel State,” the car made a visit to a customer that specializes in woodworking equipment. igus’ lines of bearings, linear systems, and cable management systems are all exceptionally tough against flying wood chips, sawdust, and other debris that is unavoidable in these types of applications. In fact, igus has developed a special Energy Chain cable carrier to protect cables and hoses against even the harshest debris-filled environments.

The RX tube from igus is the perfect solution for ultimate cable protection – even against chemicals or hot metal chips. The tube’s smoothly rounded contour prevents chip accumulation,  is almost air-tight, and can be opened easily at any point. Check out this quick video to see how much protection an RX Tube can provide:

https://youtu.be/Su8y8oWmKYw

From Charlotte, iglide on tour headed to Richmond, Virginia, a city filled with American history. In 1609, Western settlers colonized in Jamestown, located to the Southeast of Richmond, creating the first permanent Western civilization in the United States. During the American Civil War, Richmond was the capital of the Confederate States, and was the site of many battles. Currently, these battlefields serve as public parks scattered across the city, many still holding canons used during the war more than 150 years ago to serve as reminders of the lives lost there.

Richmond is a small city with a centrally located downtown area and quaint colonial suburbs. Downtown Richmond is also home to America’s first shopping mall!

During its stay in Virginia, iglide on tour made one more stop, this time to visit the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics students of Hanover High School. igus works closely with many students across North America as part of its YES (Young Engineers Support) Program, which donates products to students all over the continent who are working on engineering projects. The entire iglide team had a fantastic time talking with students, who were very excited to get inside the tiny orange iglide car!

The YES Program donates products to thousands of students each year, including participants in FIRST Robotics, BEST Robotics, and a variety of other popular STEM Competition programs. To learn more about the YES Program, please visit the YES page on the igus website.

From Virginia, it was time to continue North for iglide on tour – check back to see what adventures were in store next!

Look for us on the road,

Kayla

Honky-Tonkin’ through Music City, USA

Last week, iglide on tour took to Music, City, USA – Nashville, Tennessee – let’s go back and see what happened!

After leaving Cleveland, Ohio, the car drove over 500 miles to Nashville, the capital of Tennessee. A large center for music, publishing, healthcare, and transportation industries, Nashville is also home to a large number of colleges and universities. The city’s name came from Francis Nash, a general during the American Revolutionary War.

Honky-Tonkin' through Music City, USA

The iglide car was able to make its way to the Grand Ole Opry – known as the home of American country music, and though the car couldn’t quite fit through the doors, the bearing-filled dry-tech box took its spot inside. The Grand Ole Opry began as a weekly radio broadcast in 1925, and is still among the longest-running radio shows in history. Live concerts by country music’s biggest stars are performed each week on what has been dubbed “The Show that Made Country Music Famous,” attracting millions of visitors every year.

Honky-Tonkin' through Music City, USA.2

On a tour through the Opry, the dry-tech box was able to get a backstage peek at the venue, including onto the stage itself, where a circle of older looking wood surrounds the main microphone. This circle of oak is in fact part of the original Opry center stage, which was recovered after the venue flooded in 2010. This circle, where many of the most famous names in country music have stood, was built into the replacement stage to continue the tradition.

Honky-Tonkin' through Music City, USA.3

A number of igus’ Motion Plastics solutions are found backstage in many venues around the world to help move stage equipment, sets, lighting, and more reliably and quietly. The liftband energy supply system can vertically expand more than 42 feet, lifting at more than 3.2 feet per second.

The E-Z Triflex Energy Chain included in the system allows cables and hoses to be installed and exchanged very quickly and easily, and nylon tapes allow for a nearly unlimited filling weight, allowing even the most complex stage equipment or set pieces to be moved as needed for the best possible performance, night after night, and in the Grand Old Opry’s case, decade after decade!

Honky-Tonkin' through Music City, USA.4

After leaving the Opry, iglide on tour headed downtown to check out Nashville’s Broadway, a renowned entertainment district and gathering place for country music lovers of all kinds. The street is lined with small bars and music venues, as well as dozens of cowboy boot Shops.

Honky-Tonkin' through Music City, USA.5

Many of the bars lining Broadway have a real “honky tonk” feel – that is, they cater to the die-hard country music fans that live and visit Nashville with live performances nearly every night of the year. One of these venues was the portable Nashville Pedal Tavern, which seats 16 patrons – who pedal the bar around the streets of Nashville while enjoying their drink of choice! When the iglide car pulled up beside this pedal-powered pub, one woman was so excited to see the orange car she started a dance party for it, only stopping to pedal away once the traffic light turned green.

Honky-Tonkin' through Music City, USA.6

During its time in Nashville, the car attracted much more than just dancing drinkers, however. Around each corner people would ask about the car’s story, and where it was traveling over the course of it’s journey, which had brought it nearly 37,000 miles to Tennessee!

Honky-Tonkin' through Music City, USA.7

From Nashville, the car carried on in the American South – stay tuned to read about the next adventure of iglide on tour!

Look for us on the road,

Kayla

The iglide car crosses the border! Michigan to Ontario, Canada

Let’s look back a few days as iglide on tour took on the USA/Canadian border yet again!

After leaving Chicago, the iglide car racked up a few more miles and headed to Kalamazoo, Michigan, marking the 10,000th North American mile of the tour. The car started in Anchorage, Alaska with 25,000 miles on it, and has reached 35,000 in just six short weeks! Time flies when you are driving the iglide car across the country!

The iglide car crosses the border! Michigan to Ontario, CanadaThe iglide car on the first day of the North American tour in Alaska. Little did the car know that it would have racked up 10,000 more miles six weeks later.

In Michigan, the car made a large number of customer visits to an incredibly wide range of companies. The iglide car met customers that use igus products in medical beds, amazing welded assembly systems, and, being in Michigan, a number of automotive applications!

While iglide bearings are used in a number of applications inside the iglide car, and millions of other automobiles manufactured each year, a number of igus products are also used in the manufacturing process itself!

igus’ line of Energy Chain cable carrier systems are used in a huge range of applications, including on manufacturing robots, like those in car-building plants. Energy Chains guide and protect cables and hoses that supply energy and other resources, without the risk of snagging on the many other moving parts in any busy plant. Triflex Energy Chain Systems allow for multi-axis movement – like the twisting motions of a robotic arm – without compromising cable protection.

igus’ line of linear products, known as DryLin, are also widely used in manufacturing plants. DryLin linear bearings and slides use the same self-lubricating properties of our iglide bearings, making them a reliable, clean solution. They will not attract dirt and dust, as they don’t require sticky lubricants, and unlike traditional ball bearing systems, any dirt and does that does find its way into the bearing will either be pushed aside by the sliding motion, or will meld into the plastic material without increasing the coefficient of friction.

Despite the wide range of applications and industries, the iglide car is still well received at all customer visits.

The iglide car crosses the border! Michigan to Ontario, Canada.2Customers are always so intrigued by how spacious the little car actually is. They are always surprised at how much legroom there is! 

The iglide car crosses the border! Michigan to Ontario, Canada.3

From Michigan, iglide on tour headed North to Detroit, and crossed the International Ambassador Bridge into Canada. The suspension bridge is privately owned by Grosse Point billionaire Manuel Moroun thorugh the Detroit International Bridge Company in United States, and the Canadian Transit Company in Canada. The bridge is the busiest international border crossing in North America in terms of trade volume. More than 25% of all merchandise trade between the US and Canada cross over this bridge.

The iglide car crosses the border! Michigan to Ontario, Canada.4 The iglide car crosses the border! Michigan to Ontario, Canada.5When the cars cross the bridge they cross over the Detroit River, they pass through two countries on one bridge. 

As the car crossed the border, the bridge’s border control was only concerned with one thing – how to enter a German license on their computer system! They loved the idea of the tour, and were curious about where the car was from, and where else it had been. They even took a car-shaped sticker to remind them to follow the blog as well!

The iglide car crosses the border! Michigan to Ontario, Canada.6

Once the car arrived in Canada for the second time along the tour, it was able to see a different side of Canada from the Yukon it explored early in the tour. Expecting to see bison, pronghorn, and mountains, the car instead saw miles of cornfields and dozens of wind turbines. The only animal to be seen was a muskrat!

In Canada, the car made more visits to customers, traveling with igus team members from both the USA and Canadian offices. With skilled staff memebers all over North America, the iglide tour has been like a bit of a family reunion!

The iglide car crosses the border! Michigan to Ontario, Canada.7

After a few more wonderful visits, it was time to travel back over the border to Detroit, where the iglide car spent the afternoon sightseeing.

The iglide car crosses the border! Michigan to Ontario, Canada.8

In Detroit, the car drove to the monument to boxer Joe Louis, known as “The Fist” in the middle of downtown. The statue is a memorial to the famous boxer, who is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. Commissioned by Sports Illustrated Magazine, it represents the power of Louis’ punch both in and out of the ring.

The iglide car crosses the border! Michigan to Ontario, Canada.9

After a long run of international travel, the iglide car headed south, towards Cleveland Ohio, where we met with members of the press who have been following the iglide tour since the beginning!

Look for us on the road,

Kayla

Chicago, IMTS, and the iglide car

The iglide car has been very busy as it travels from city to city across the entire United States. Let’s take a look back at the tour’s time in the Windy City!

Chicago – The New York City of the Midwest. The iglide car headed to Chicago, where igus had set up a booth for IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show. Being one of the largest trade shows in North America, over 100,000 people had pre-registered. Hundreds of people buzzed through the igus booth over the course of the 6 day show. In fact, the booth was so busy it was often one of the last to close at the end of each day due to the busy activity.

Once the iglide car appeared outside the show, it began receiving lots of attention as well – from IMTS visitors and press editors from all over the world. The car even had a special treat- being filmed by a German media company, who are using the iglide car in an upcoming television program! They said the car (probably due to its tiny size) was the perfect fit for their film.

Check out the igus booth at IMTS! 

After leaving IMTS, iglide on tour traveled to more igus customers – this time in the Chicago area. The iglide car saw many customer applications where igus’ plastic bearings are used, including in the door systems of large busses.

iglide bearings are used in many automotive applications; 56 have been under the ultimate test over the past several months in applications inside the iglide car, but in fact, iglide bearings can be used in even more automotive applications – just as our customer uses them in large bus door hinge systems. iglide G300, the original iglide bearing, is a perfect solution in hinge systems, as they are able to handle high static loads with ease, are insensitive to dirt, corrosion resistant, and can also compensate for misalignment.

Even with all the activity surrounding IMTS and more amazing customer visits, the iglide car still managed to sneak away and have some fun. The stopped by the famous Chicago Theatre, as well as Millenium Park, which is located in the “Loop” community of Chicago. The park rests right on Lake Michigan, and was opened to the public in 2004.

Although the car couldn’t fit (hard to believe) into the Art Institute of Chicago, our bearings were able to sneak inside and take a peak at the different art displayed in the museum. Some of the most famous paintings in the world are hanging on the walls in this museum. For example, works by Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Rene Magritte and Georges Seurat.

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, by Georges Seurat, is an oil on canvas pointillism painting. Pointalism is a type of pairing where the whole canvas is made by dots to form a whole image. This painting is showing people relaxing along the Seine River in Paris. 

The car also drove down the famous Michigan Ave, equivalent to 5th Ave in New York or Rodeo Dr. in LA. While driving it passed skyscrapers such as the John Hancock Building, the Willis (Sears) Tower and the Trump Building.The John Hancock building has The Signature Room restaurant and lounge on the 95th floor with panoramic views of the city that are indescribable. This building is the seventh tallest building in the US and has America’s tallest swimming pool located on the 44th floor.

The view from the Hancock Building’s Signature Room, located on the 95th floor. 

The Willis Tower,  originally called the Sears Tower, is a 108-story skyscraper. In 1973, when it was competed, it was the tallest building in the world, surpassing the World Trade Center and keeping its title for 25 years. It is now the second tallest building in the U.S. next to the Freedom Tower in New York City.

The Willis Tower

Chicago is known for their famous skyscrapers and also for their unique foods. Garrett’s popcorn is a local favorite. The must have item on their menu is Caramel and Cheddar mix (The Chicago Mix) popcorn. While it might sound… interesting to say the least, people walk out of the store with buckets of it!

Another must eat is the Chicago Style hotdog. The ingredients are yellow mustard, chopped white onions, bright green pickled relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices, sport peppers and a dash of celery salt on a poppy seed bun – the ultimate Chicago classic!

Once the car was able to fully experience the culture of Chicago it was time to head to to Michigan.

See you on the road!

Kayla

Wisconsin

The first stop in Wisconsin was the city of Milwaukee, the largest city in the state, and the 31st most populated city in the United States. Milwaukee is a funky little city with so many different activities. There is the art museum, beautiful Lake Michigan, Miller Park Baseball field which is home to the Brewers, a downtown area with a canal running through the middle, the Milwaukee Public Market, as well as dozens of eclectic restaurants and bars.

Wisconsin.1.1

As mentioned above, the iglide car drove through the city to experience some of Milwaukee’s highlights, and stopped at the art museum, Miller Park, the public market, and drove along Lake Michigan. The Public Market, located in the historic Third Ward, is half food and half local vendors selling hand-crafted items on the sidewalk. The market also has street performers, and plays live music outside to be enjoyed while shopping.

Wisconsin.1.2 Wisconsin.1.3Downtown Milwaukee; the canal lined with restaurants and Shops

Wisconsin.1.4 Wisconsin.1.5

The market’s founders drew inspiration for the development from the Pike’s Place market in Seattle (which the car got to visit a few weeks ago).

Wisconsin.1.6The car posed with Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes in North America

The car stayed at the Pfister Hotel, rated among the top ten most haunted hotels in the country by Travelocity. It was owned by Guido Pfister and his son Charles, and opened in 1893 after its $1 million construction. It currently has the largest hotel collection of Victorian Art in the world.

Wisconsin.1.7In front of the hotel

The halls of the hotel are eerie; doors creak open, and as you walk you can feel the presence of ghosts around the corner. There have been many encounters by guests of the hotel, but it is rumored that the ghost of Charles Pfister leaves the hotel’s staff alone, and they have a good relationship.

Wisconsin.1.8Not a still from “The Shining,” but a look at The Pfister’s eerie halls

The car was sad to leave Milwaukee and the haunted hotel, but it was time to head north to Appleton to visit customers.

Just outside Appleton, we stopped in at a manufacturer of car wash systems which use igus Energy Chain cable carriers. As the car wash moves, the Energy Chains keep the cables and hoses that supply the car wash safe and tangle-free. The iglide car took a drive through the wash, looking pristine on the drive to the warehouse after getting its wash.

Energy Chains working hard to clean the iglide car

Wisconsin.1.10The car inside the customer warehouse, where igus cable carriers are being filled and sent out for use inside car washes

Our next customer visits were to companies that specialize in agricultural and lawn equipment. These customers take advantage of iglide plastic bearings to run consistently and reliably in their equipment to help their reputation for dependable, long-lasting equipment.

Because of their resistance against chemicals, iglide bearings are not affected by the chemicals and fertilizers that can be prevalent in agricultural applications, and they are also unaffected by unavoidable dirt and dust that can clog and seize traditional ball bearings.

Manufacturers and at-home engineers both love that igus has no minimum orders, and more than 90% of all orders placed ship within 24 hours.

Wisconsin.1.11

From Milwaukee, it’s off to Chicago for the IMTS trade show – Look for us on the road!

Thanks for reading,

Kayla

Across Iowa

From Minneapolis, the car headed south to Iowa. The state is known for their corn, which the iglide car has seen much of! Iowa is often referred to as “America’s Heartland,” and borders the Mississippi River.

In the 2nd half of the 20th century, Iowa’s agricultural economy expanded into a wide range of manufacturing, processing and financial industries, and anywhere with a large range of industries is a great place for igus to be!

We had time to stop at a few of our Iowan customers, like one manufacturer of packaging equipment that uses igus’ DryLin R linear bearings and iglide j plain bearings in their machinery.

Used in many ares of packaging, including in food and drug production plants, igus products are extraordinarily safe and long-lasting, as they are not affected by crumbs, sugar, or other material in these types of facilities. igus products also are not reliant on grease, and with no grease, there is no threat of contamination from bearings!

Across Iowa

While in Iowa, the car took a drive to the Original Field of Dreams, a baseball field and pop-culture tourist attraction, featured in the movie Field of Dreams.” Upon pulling in the long dirt driveway, the car was greeted by the farm’s owner, Don Lansing.

Across Iowa.2

With sun flower seeds in his shirt pocket and his Field of Dreams baseball cap on, Mr. Lansing told the story of the day Hollywood knocked on his door 25 years ago, interested in filming a movie on his property.  Mr. Lansing said “If you build it, they will come, and they sure do” in regards to how many people come from all over the world just to see this field used in the 1989 movie.After the movie came out, people from all over flocked to his field, making their way from as far as Eastern Europe and Japan to walk on this beloved field.

Across Iowa.3 Across Iowa.4

Before passing through Iowa, a stop at the Mississippi River was in order. The chief drainage system for the entire United States, the Mississippi flows for 2,340 miles across the country, making it the 4th longest river in the world.

Next stop from Iowa is north to Milwaukee!

Thanks for reading,

Kayla

 

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minnesota is known for its cheese curds, farmland, and distinct accents. The state of Minnesota is also home to the largest mall and state fair in the USA. The iglide car was fortunate enough to get to participate in all of these Minnesotan activities.

Minenapolis and St. Paul are the “Twin Cities” of Minnesota.” Minneapolis is the larger of the two, and lies between banks of the Mississippi River. The smaller of the twins, St. Paul, is the state’s capital city.

Minneapolis is abundantly rich in water, with 20 lakes, the Mighty Mississippi, and a number of creeks, waterfalls, and wetlands. It was once the word’s flour million capital and a hub for timer. Today, the city is primarily a business center between Seattle and Chicago. For being rated the country’s 14th largest metropolitan area, the city is very quiet and still. Traffic is minimal, and most restaurants are emptied by 9 PM.

In Minneapolis, we visited a number of customers, including a manufacturer of commercial and residential lawn mowers. They use iglide bearings in a variety of applications on their mowers, and choose iglide because of their ability to stand up to flying dirty, soil, and other debris that could clog and seize traditional ball bearings.

iglide plastic bearings are also able to stand up to fertilizers and other chemicals that is unavoidable in the agriculture industry. Some iglide materials, like iglide T500, can even stand up to hydrochloric acid! Good luck trying that with a standard plastic material!

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Another customer visit was to an engineering firm that works in many different industries, including wind turbines. Because of their light weight and green properties, iglide bearings are a natural fit inside. Because they are up to 8 times lighter than metal bearings, iglide bearings can reduce the weight and drive requirements of applications, and they also require less oil power to create than comparable steel bearings.

After visits to customers, the iglide car took off for the Minnesota State Fair. This year, the fair set a record for their highest attendance ever – with 252,092 people walking through the gates with 2 days to go!!

Everyone had a great time at the fair, especially those hungry people that wandered in! You could buy any type of food imaginable on a stick- from beef jerky to alligator, even a salad on a stick!

Strolling through the fair, a lumberjack show and carving contest drew quite the crowd, the competitors even had a race up and down the tree trunks using their rope skills for support.

Minneapolis, Minnesota.2 Minneapolis, Minnesota.3

From the State Fair, the car headed out for some shopping at the Mall of America – 4.3 miles of store front, or 7 Yankee Stadiums of shopping under one roof! Inside, there is even an amusement park with a fully looping roller coaster.

Minneapolis, Minnesota.4 Minneapolis, Minnesota.5

From Minneapolis, iglide on tour heads south to Iowa, Look for us on the road!

Thanks for reading,

Kayla

Wyoming and Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

The drive from Denver to Hill City, (Mount Rushmore) South Dakota was roughly six hours, a fairly short drive for the iglide car. On the drive, the car drove through Wyoming and passed animals that haven’t been seen on the tour before, including pronghorn and a camel farm (which was very unexpected for Wyoming). Wyoming is exactly what one would expect, acres and acres of plains with very minimal population. One town, Lost Springs, had a population of four. The car had a flash back to the Yukon at the beginning of the North American tour where it passed more animals than people on a given day. But this time instead of pine trees, mountains and bears it was plains, farms and cows.


The plains in Wyoming

Wyoming and Mount Rushmore, South DakotaFields of sunflowers

A western sunset

There are a lot of similarities between these stretches of road and iglide bearings. At first glance, they are nothing special; stretches of fields without a human for miles, and a small, light, plastic bearing. Upon closer inspection, however, those vast plains become beautiful landscapes, and iglide bearings reveal themselves to be an innovation in plastic bearing technology – lightweight plastic embedded with strengthening fibers and microscopic particles of solid lubricant. That means no adding grease or unexpected seizures. It also means reduced energy consumption due to their extremely light weight – iglide bearings weigh approximately 80 percent less than PTFE-lined bushings!

 

The car arrived in Hill City, about 10 miles from Mount Rushmore, and drove through the old west town, with a population of 950. The town was exactly what a classic old western film portrayed it to be, a frontier town. The facades on the restaurants resembled movies about the Old West, down to the rickety steps and creaky wooden doors. The shops were extremely old fashioned, selling rock candy, jaw breakers and home-made fudge, and the roads were lined with sculpted wooden animals.

The town of Hill City

Saloon style buffalo burger

The car’s next stop was Mount Rushmore, one of the most patriotic landmarks in the United States. The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota. The presidents carved into the granite (left to right) are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. This was sculpted by Danish-American Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Borglum. Doane Robinson was the one who conceived the idea of Mount Rushmore. He was a state historian of South Dakota and picked this location in South Dakota to promote tourism in the region.

From left to right, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln

Initially Robinson wanted four western heroes to be featured on the mountain such as Lewis and Clark, or Red Cloud and Buffalo Bill Cody, but Borglum wanted the sculpture to have a more national focus. The project took 14 years and was finished in 1941, with over 400 workers continuously working on it. The presidents were chosen because of their role in preserving the Republic and expanding its territory.

Roughly three million people venture to South Dakota each year to see this granite sculpture. As an American, to see this famous sculpture almost felt fake. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the sculpture looked pasted into the mountain. Americans see this image many times in their life on posters and in books but few actually get to see it due to its location. Unlike the Statue of Liberty, which is in a prime location, Mount Rushmore is not. It is a more out of reach US attraction and to actually see it was unreal.

 

The next stop in South Dakota was Sioux Falls, another six hour drive east through the hay and corn fields of South Dakota. On the drive over the iglide car made a few stops. One was to visit “1880 Town”. For anyone who is familiar with “Dances With Wolves”, starring Kevin Costner, this is where a portion of the movie was filmed. Although the car stood out a bit next to the run down town the car learned that some of these pieces of machinery such as the train and an old cars may have broken down due to the rusty metal bearings inside the vehicle. The iglide car was happy that igus plastic bearings were retrofitted into 56 different parts of the car. The car joyfully said goodbye to the ghost town and knew that running on iglide bearings would keep the car from ending up like these vehicles.

The spiffy iglide car next to a run down vehicle, clearly lacking iglide bearings

This sign seems pretty legitimate

Sioux Falls, also called “The Heart of America”, is the largest city in South Dakota. the population in 2013 of 165,000 and is the 47th fastest growing city in the United States. The car was able to stop here, have a good meal and refuel for the home stretch to Minneapolis. The car only had four more hours left of the 14 hours journey from Denver, Colorado.

Wyoming and Mount Rushmore, South Dakota.2

Next stop, Minneapolis – look for us on the road!

Thanks for reading,

Kayla