Moving stuff on the quad

Today was a little busy, I had megatrailer on the quad and was biking around the place for a couple of hours. Phuong went to a fan-dancing lesson and found a somewhat overstuffed couch and reclining armchair so we traded up. It's definitely better than our old couch (also found on the side of the road), which we put out the front and then neighbours in unit one grabbed it.

After our usual lunch at the Addison Road Organic markets (thanks Paul and Fiona) we rode off most of the way to work to pick up a single bed that Phuong found on Freecycle Sydney. That was not huge fun, Old Pyrmont Bridge road is pretty busy and there's not a lot of spare road space for moronists to go round me safely on the uphills. On the way back we found a queen size mattress so that got piled that on top. Then in Enmore we got a couch-frame for Phuong's futon base but luckily for me that turned out to be a lightweight steel frame rather than the big heavy wooden one that Kelly had. So, now we have a lounge organised. Yippee


Moving big things again

As part of my ongoing (destructive) testing of the Trisled load-carrying quad I've been using it during our latest house move. Most of the work was done with a hired van, but we had a heap of stuff that wouldn't fit in the one trip, and I was keen to move by bike as much as possible. So I've been dragging stuff the couple of kilometres between flats (downhill, uphill, down, up, down then steep but short uphill... longest flat section is about 300m). Mostly I've been using BinBike because I'm riding that to work every day. That will carry most things, including Phuong's desk (1.2m long, tied to the rear rack) and it tows megatrailer for the ugly bits (my shelves which are 2.6m long). Of course, we destroyed another wheel doing that because megatrailer has cheap, trashed wheels from found BMX bikes on it.

But I've been using the quad for a few things. We got a washing machine the other day, so I took the bin off and put a bit of plywood in place, then rode off the get the machine. It turned out to be one of the new lightweight ones so that was no real hassle, but it attracted a certain amount of attention. Plus the weather has responded to our move by raining with some enthusiasm, so I've been using the bins to keep stuff dry as I move it.

This weekend I will be taking it apart and shipping the rear end back to Ben for a com plete rebuild, he's putting a Rohloff in it and hopefully two wheel drive. That should solve most of the current problems, so I can work on finding new ones :)

Longbikes rock!

I was reminded today of my early load bikes based on the Long John design. There's now an online archive of the original designs at www.longjohn.org. My ones were of course a bit more agricultural looking, but they worked pretty well I think. The prototype worked but the steering sucked a bit, there's subtleties in the pushrod steering that take a bit of working through. I started with the simple, obvious style everyone else uses but couldn't get enough steering movement to make me happy. After a bit of faffing I ended up with the thing shown that worked better but still not very well.

The final version was called "one less ute", was made from chrome moly steel and was very light for its carrying capacity - around 20kg of bike could carry over 100kg of load despite the bike being nearly 3m long. The commercial bikes tend to be heavier than that, carry less, and have a much smaller load platform - mine was 1.5m long by 600mm wide. Plus the load platform folded upwards making the bike very narrow when folded, so I could park it in a hallway.


Back in Sydney

I'm back, I'm working, I'm staying at Phuong's place while I look for a flat, and I'm about to go to a meeting. So instead I'm sitting at home reading blogs and I found this excellent music video... "Code Monkey" by Jonathan Coulton

Soon I will go to the Bike Film Festival meeting. Really.