Tag Archives: building bikes

Hoping I don’t lose this post, and the Feed

I really hope the auto-save function of this composing page doesn’t crap out on me, because my computer has been crashing all day trying to filter the Feed. I have had several links crash fortunately they could be reloaded. If this page crashes, on the other hand, I have to retype anything that doesn’t get saved. Given there are at least 24 links waiting to be collated commented and posted to the blog, losing this page could be a major pain in the grommet, to use an expression popular with my father. So here’s hoping the computer doesn’t trash the composing page.

Up first was a hard decision today as there were lots of stories with multiple links. I think this NYC hit-and-run “wins” the right to go first. 27-Year-Old Woman on Bike Killed in Hit-Run Crash and Officials ID woman killed in hit-and-run also YOUNG WOMAN KILLED BY CAR WHILE RIDING BIKE HOME FROM WORK; POLICE SEARCHING FOR DRIVER this too Cyclist on City Island killed by hit-and-run driver Part of the problem is either there were three different 27 YO victims killed by white cars on the City Island bridge who all worked in the same restaurant, or whoever gave out the reports to media changed the make of the weapon vehicle… But yeah, nothing the cyclist could have done to avoid this wreck besides live and work in the same building so she didn’t need to cross that bridge.

Also with lots of links is this wreck from the Great White North. Cyclist seriously injured in Oshawa and Cyclist seriously injured in Oshawa Well there were a lot of links that somehow disappeared from the links window, at least one as I was trying to copy the URL to post here. Funny thing is what wasn’t mentioned, the driver wasn’t charged with hit-and-run in spite of having left the scene, which is heavily implied by the driver “returning”. Can’t return if you never left.

This FL cyclist was killed off of the road waiting, in the median, to get a second break in traffic to complete crossing the street. FHP: 1 dead, 1 charged with DUI manslaughter and Driver charged with DUI manslaughter after cyclist struck, killed in Winter Park LEO are still trying to figure out what caused the driver to veer off the road to hit the cyclist. Well, DUH! he was drunk and probably angry at seeing a cyclist in “his” road.

Still in FL, the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike. Bicyclist dies after being hit by minivan in Pompano BeachAuthorities said the bicyclist did not have any proper working lights.” Of course not, they were smashed to bits in the wreck, that’s why the didn’t work after the wreck.

Moving one state over from FL we get this fatal wreck in AL. Alabama cyclist killed in collision is sixth such death this year For those of us who have to depend on the media to get accurate reports of wrecks reports like this are a nightmare. “The crash is being investigation.” Really? was this written by the same people as ‘All your base are belong to us’? At this point it looks very possible that this was a right hook by a driver who never saw the cyclist.

Still in AL we get a kid hit head on in a residential area. McCalla 9-year-old hit by car, injured while riding bicycle outside grandfather’s house The remains show a hard, but survivable impact, and also really bad welds in the fork. I’m being serious here, look at that wheel and you tell me if something really hit hard enough to break the steer tube on that fork. This is the bicycle builder coming out in me, which explains why it takes me so long when I build a bike. The steer tube broke between the crown race and the fork crown, which could only happen 2 ways, not enough heat to actually join the steer tube to the fork, or way too much heat welding in the crown race destroying the base metal in the steer tube without actually joining it to the fork… I know, TMI.

Our Daily Ted provides a breath of fresh air today. Morning Links: How the economy and bike lanes affect bike wrecks, and fight the bikelash over Rowena road diet

Still in CA. Long Beach woman killed in bicycle collision on PCH in Huntington Beach identified The wreck is still somehow a hit from behind wreck in an intersection they were both crossing.

Two reports on the same wreck in CA. Emmy winning sound editor one of two killed in Moorpark crash involving car, bicycle and motorcycle and Distracted driving may have been factor in fatal Moorpark crash That might be the only explanation of why a driver went from one shoulder to the other to kill two people on two-wheeled conveyances, absent some evidence the driver hated cyclists.

Maybe crap infrastructure contributes to bike wrecks? A Young Cyclist’s Death Spurs Changes, Lawsuit in Cupertino

NC cyclist killed in pinball wreck. Cyclist killed Sunday morning in east Charlotte collision He cleared the intersection, but not the killing zone when a left-turning vehicle sent another vehicle spinning through the shoulder area.

It just occurred to me today that the same group that was getting injured/killed the most at the beginning of the study period are the ones getting injured/killed at the end of the study. Cycling deaths, injuries rise as pastime grows in popularity The people getting killed the most at the start would be in the same age group as the ones getting killed the most at the end of the study, they just aged into the biggest group of cyclists as they got older.

I’m still trying to figure out how the truck got on the race course to hit the cyclist. Surely they closed the streets to traffic while the state championship race was running? Cyclist injured after hitting truck at Fort Smith race Comments say the course was closed and the driver of the weapon vehicle had been told twice to scram but went on the course anyway.

I strongly suspect this was a kid being a kid. Boy rides bike off embankment, suffers serious head injuries, police say I can’t say for sure, but this sounds like something I would have done at his age.

PA cyclists remember those taken too soon. Cyclists Pay Tribute To Slain Bike Riders, Hope To Raise Awareness

Making cyclists less “other”. Letters: Humanizing ‘cyclists,’ pope and refugees

Making drivers more aware that cyclists have a right to the roads and are going to be there. Signs of Our Times: Sharing the Streets I would prefer a sign that told drivers hitting a cyclist or pedestrian would cost them the car they hit said cyclist or pedestrian with, but hey, can’t have everything.

The cyclist who tried to get LEO to enforce the bike/bus lane restrictions gets hit by a car in the lane he was trying to get enforced. Cyclist who complained about Clifton Boulevard lane violators injured in bike-car clash We all know how loud a car horn can be when you are outside the car, especially a few feet in front of the car when the horn goes off. It can make you jump out of your skin if you are not expecting it. And there were a couple hundred comments when I filtered the links, but none as I posted the link here.

Signs of another kind. You Won’t Soon Forget These Photos of Ghost Bikes. That’s Exactly the Point.

A wreck in Canuckistan. Cyclist critically injured in collision south of Edmonton Ouch, cyclist hit head-on by a salmon driver. Nothing you can do about that. I hope the victim recovers.

Road.cc has the same opinion of a left hook wreck as I did. Accidental death verdict in case of Guernsey cyclist crushed by lorry Seriously, how hard is it to blame a driver for hitting someone on a parallel road when crossing that road?

A cycling hazard that is mostly confined to Oz, thank the lady Ghisallo for small favors. Where magpies swoop in Canberra: Cyclists fall prey to swooping birds I mean it sucks for the Aussies, but there are only a couple million cyclists there, compared to the billion or so in the rest of the world.

Programming note my friends have decided I need to get out of the house more and are taking me to do something not involving computers or cell phones. I think I’m going shopping or something.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet


No post yesterday and maybe no post tomorrow, but Wreck-Free Sunday today

I had to take a Mental Health day yesterday for the same reason I spent all night Thursday doing an archive binge on a long-running web comic: The Stoopid is starting to get to me. The reason there may not be a post on Monday is I have budgeted money for a trip to the Metals Supermarket to buy raw stock for a couple of new bikes and because I’m taking DART I might not get home in time to get the post don before Monday is over. Actually I probably won’t get home in time to get a post up before Monday is over but there is a chance that I might not get to make the trip because I have to call ahead to make sure they have that material in stock and to get a price on it.

There’s some kind of American Football game on tonight and that has pretty much overtaken all the media outlets. I think they’re calling this the “Pot Bowl” or something like that… I mean even the motorsports media have been talking about this game: “This just in, another sport has sucked all the oxygen from the media universe and we can’t talk about anything else.”

Anyway, back to that trip to the Metals Supermarket. The store is located on a street that doesn’t have any busses running on it, but at either end of the block is a bus stop for 2 different bus lines for a total of 4 bus lines serving this location. All I need to do is figure out how to get the stuff home (if they have it in stock). It just takes 5 hours of travel time to make a round trip outside of a rush hour. That’s about par for the course when dealing with DART serving the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. So between shopping and transit time I expect to be away from Casa de El Poeta for a minimum of 6 hours tomorrow, if the material is in stock. My previous metal supplier was a similar space in time away from me, so this is nothing new.

Puppy Bowl X is playing on Animal Planet. It’s really silly. No it’s REALLY SILLY. Beyond Goofy.

I keep getting distracted from doing the post by The Other People That Live Here, like the lady that lives across the hall needing to get her TV switched over to her DVD player so she can watch her movies. Part of the problem is the cable box and the DVD player don’t output at the same aspect ratios so the TV has to have its zoom level changed between the two to see the entire picture on either one, and this particular movie I had to change the zoom again to a completely different setting when the actual movie started. Other People can be so annoying at times when you know they’re just refusing to learn something.

Something that has been running through my mind has been comparing a quad-copter to a four-poster Custer Channelwing in a direct comparison, by taking two identical quad-copters and using the motors, controllers, batteries, and props out of one to build the Channelwing VTOL craft for a lift-off, a vertical tractor pull so to speak. This would then be useful in determining the separation required to get maximum lift out of both sets of motors with the wings set for “normal” flight so that the front wings did not interfere with the airflow over the rear wings when the transition was made to hover. I already figured out that the rear wings would have to be higher than the front wings, but how much and how horizontal separation would change How Much that I don’t know. Also affecting How Much is scaling effects, or changing the size without changing the density of the atmosphere to compensate for the change in Reynolds Number . The reason for the four-poster arrangement for the channelwing is the reduction in control complexity this creates for the hover mode compared to the usual twin channels on a single wing. While roll and yaw are easy to control with just two channelwings, pitch requires the ability to move the thrust vector away from the center of gravity without changing the direction of the vector so that the attitude can be changed independently of the motion. The 4-poster Channelwing can do this with moving flaps in the airstream where the quad-copter changes the power distribution of the motors.

One of the experiments I want to do with this particular beasty is to rotate the channels from horizontal to vertical a little bit at a time until I get to the point that with the control flaps set for full lift the craft rises vertically instead of crabbing into the air so hover can be maintained just off lift-off. That way when the full-scale version is built I will know how far to lift the nose at partial power before applying full power to climb away from the heliport. And when I get that built I will be able to take the bus to the local heliport to fly away in my VTOL. The 4-poster Channelwing is basically a quad-copter that has the ability to transfer to a horizontal mode and cruise at a much lower power setting.

We had another RPG yesterday, which was another reason not to do a post. Anyway, my Warlock got leveled up again (twice in three sessions) and now does 2d6+1 damage with Eldrich Blast between leveling up and getting an extra Feat and has a DC of 15 against Fortitude for Sickening Blast. I now use SB with every attack to both damage and incapacitate my foes, so that Melee fighters can then have greater effect against them. We encountered a party of Hobgoblins on the road to the next city we need to explore on our Quest and while they did some damage we managed to repel them without anybody having to resort to using the Scrolls of Raise Undead we captured from the Lich last session. I had to leave before the battle in that session but I left the character sheet with another player so Sparrow Jr. got the XP needed to level up with the rest of the party even though I missed 2 sessions.

Incidentally, today’s headline is a parody of an old Soviet saying: “Jam yesterday, and jam tomorrow, but no jam today.”

PSA, Opus

Bonus Post: I have fantastic fans and a conundrum

No wrecks in this post, just a bit of thinking out loud. I frequently mention how great (some of) you are to me. Well you just went past great and into fabulous. I got a cashier’s check over the weekend with a note that I should buy a cargo bike to replace Blue and Gigi properly. I guess “properly” means “gold plated” or something like that because the check was for $2000. I can get a fantastic cargo bike locally or a really comfortable bike from my favorite bike brand and not spend the entire $2K.

The conundrum lies in the fact that I can build a bike myself and the issue with not having a new cargo bike yet is getting the metal I need to build the bike I want. I can eventually get the metal from the Internet, but I want to get my materials and supplies as locally as possible. And it’s looking very much like I can’t get bicycle-sized tubes and wall thicknesses in single bicycle quantities locally. But I have plowed that ground many time already, to get back to the point, I has moneys I can’t give back and I do need the item I was told the money is for. Do I do the lazy thing and buy a cargo bike already built, or do I use the money to get the materials I need from a source I don’t like just to get the bike built?

PSA, Opus

Another stream of consciousness post on a Wreck-Free Sunday

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.

PSA, Opus

A sudden change of focus on my projects on a Wreck-Free Sunday post

Well my project focus has changed as a result of Blue getting stolen from the grocery store Friday. I had been planning on building an awesome T-Bucket, now I’m getting stuff together for that full suspension 20/20 crank-forward cargo bike. I’m going to use the tried and true “throw the parts on the jig in the correct places and build a frame to connect them” design process 😉

This is an evolution of the “Crank-forward bike that fits on a bus rack” project from a couple of years back when I discovered that Blue would rest on the frame instead of the back tire when sitting on a bike rack as mounted to buses in our local transit system, just with an extended top tube to support some cargo carrying containers. I have a back wheel, rear swingarm, rear shock, suspension fork, stem, handlebars, head tube, bottom bracket, crank, 44 tooth chainwheel, and brakes. I need to buy a shifter (I’m making this a 1 by 9 or 10 system so only a rear shifter needed), brake handles, a front wheel to match the rear one (I have the rim but I need a hub to match the rear hub), rear derailler, cassette, chain, and some nesting square tubing and bar stock to build the seat tube and seat post so they don’t twist when sat upon, and a few pieces of light 1″ round tubing. I should also mention I have a set of fresh, clean, bright yellow, kitty litter buckets and about 2 square feet of DOT reflective stickers, ready to mount for cargo carrying.

The specs are fairly straight-forward: 42″ wheelbase with a 70° head tube angle and a 45° seat tube angle so that the cockpit is open but there isn’t an excessive reach to the controls, the seat will sit close enough to the ground to get both feet down for slow speed maneuverability and balance but still allow for full leg extension as was pioneered by the Vision Thoroughbred (RIP Vision Bikes).
The bottom bracket will be 19″ from the front axle giving a slight toe overlap but not enough to be a problem giving 23″ from the bottom bracket to the rear wheel.

I’m doing this not because I don’t miss Blue or I was chomping on the bit to build another bike, but because my transportation options without a bike are severely limited in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. Mrs. the Poet gets around strictly by public transit but that’s because she can use me on the bike to do things she can’t get to on the bus, or that the bus is not convenient to use to get to. I seriously need a cargo bike for a bunch of stuff around here. Also I need to get some practice with the new welder I bought and would prefer to practice on a practical project than just throwing bits of metal together at odd angles. But the need for a bike is greater than the need to practice welding.

And I had better get to it.

PSA, Opus