Yep, another day that I sat down at the computer with absolutely no idea what was going into the post this afternoon.
One thing that was brought to mind was the anniversary of the March on Washington for civil rights for black people. In many ways cyclists are the new black people, but there are some important differences. When black people were killed in the South it was mostly acts of intentional violence, people were deliberately killing black people for whatever warped reason they had. When most cyclists are killed it isn’t because of any emotional reason or intent, it’s because of indifference to the point that a cyclist is never seen, much less seen as a fellow legal road user. They just don’t care that there is a cyclist on the roads with their car or truck. That’s at least 90% of the deceased cyclists out there, anyway. But there are still an unknown number that are killed because of a violent hatred for the existence of cyclists. These are the equivalents of the lynchings and torchings. And then you get the guy that hit me back in 2001, who went out of his way to try to kill me. I have only encountered one person like that in nearly 50 years of riding on the roads, but that once was almost too much.
It was a really good race last night. Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kaine raced the last few laps clean when Kasey could have done the “bump and run” to get around for the win. Come to think of it I don’t remember any deliberate bumping incidents the whole race last night, although I’m sure there were a couple that took place away from he camera’s attention. That’s not to say there was no contact. The piles of wrinkled sheetmetal cut from wrecked cars scattered around the garages is a testament to there being contact last night in droves, it was just (mostly) incidental racing collisions where one driver or the other went just a tiny bit past the limit of adhesion and had to “borrow” the other car’s grip to not hit the wall or anything else.
I’m still having no luck at finding the tubing I need to build the cargo bike to replace Blue, who replaced Gigi, who replaced the Stratus when it blew up back in 2007… And don’t ask me how a bicycle can “blow up”, it just did and bent the frame in the process… The problem is still finding small lots in the sizes and alloys I need. Local suppliers don’t want to talk to you unless you’re buying a “bundle” which is a half-ton as near as I can make out, all of the same tube in whatever length they want to sell. I need 4 different sizes in 2 alloys to go with the scrap bikes I’m using for their headtubes and bottom bracket shells. Buying “bundles” of metal would cost me thousands of dollars and leave me with enough tubing to build about 6000 bikes. I might make maybe 2000 bikes in my lifetime if all the stars align and everything goes my way, so buying “bundles” of tubing is not a good idea for me at this late date in my career.
Interestingly enough finding tubing for the T-bucket is much easier and local suppliers are willing to sell single-job supplies in those sizes, at reasonable prices. One would almost think I was supposed to build the T-bucket instead of the cargo bike. Judging by the amount of time my meditations get sidetracked into dimensions and geometry for the T-bucket instead of whatever I was supposed to meditate about when I wasn’t interested in the T-bucket you would think my personal deities are trying to get my going in that direction, too. The design details that keep getting shoved into my mind are mostly in the trunk area where the fuel tank and battery go while working around the rear suspension. That’s the tricky part really, leaving room for the suspension links to move while getting the battery mounted as close to the axle as possible but still in front of the axle to reduce the polar moment. Since this car will have to do many things I need to stuff 10 pounds of “stuff” into a 3 pound sack.
If I change the tires, shocks, and springs for racing then I can make the car much more civilized for street and long trip use. Since I was planning on using coilover shocks as my spring/damper system replacing the unit replaces the spring and the shock on that corner with a simple 2 bolt swap to remove the street unit and install the race unit, times 4 corners. Racing I’ll use quick pins to speed up the swaps but I’ll have to use bolts for street use to pass inspection. For street use I have selected 205/75R15 tires on all 4 corners running on 15 X 7 aluminum DOT race wheels (stronger and lighter than the steel versions at a lower price, a win-win-win), while for racing I’m looking at 25-13.5/15 on 14 inch wide wheels. Add the spring and shock change and the only thing about the car that will be similar in race mode will be the cockpit and engine. I’m getting a 12V impact wrench to use to loosen the shock bolts and swap wheels when I go racing. I’m trying to decide if I need to have an anti-roll bar on either end of the car to swap between street and race. I might be able to connect an anti-roll bar to either axle and forget about swapping the springs, or maybe both axles. Still 2 bolts at each corner to swap out, but hooking up sway bar links (the other name for an anti-roll bar) is a heck of a lot easier than swapping coilover units.
I’m also thinking about running Moon Discs for the street version to clean up the wheels aerodynamically. Aero drag is the main reason I picked the skinny 205 section tire for street use and cleaning up the outside of the wheel with the Moon Disc would just add to that. The Bonneville vibe of skinny tires and Moon Discs would also be a plus. Also the tall sidewalls of the street tires help cushion the ride while the race tires would reduce the ride height by about an inch without adjusting the springs. This is a “Good Thing”.
Well it’s lunch at Casa De El Poeta, and Mrs. the Poet wants to see my whole face there, not just the part that sticks out over the top of the laptop screen, so I’m going to have to wrap this up here as soon as I can.