Saturday, June 16, 2007

So what's next?

I think my middle aged knees will appriciate a couple of days off, but I'm looking forward to next Sunday's 2nd annual Newington recumbent trike rally. Over the next week, I'll be working on the story of my car free challenge experiance for BentriderOnline.
Without the pressure of needing the velomobile on a daily basis I will be able to start some redesigns which I'll continue to document on this blog. I've been operating under the principal of, "If it aint keeping you from riding don't start taking it apart. you're going to need to ride the thing tomorrow." Some of the issues I'll address are:

  • The lid of the tailbox. I really like the look of the lid, but the thing was a pain in neck to line up to fit down tightly and frankly velco was not the best way to secure it. It blew off 3 times. Twice I had to backtrack to find it. I think bungee cords are probably the better solution.

  • The steering of the trike. What I have now works fine, but the handlebars swing out in a wide arc that will interfer with wheel wells for the fairing. This has been the primary project I've put off because I knew I couldn't get it done in one evening so that I could ride the next day.

  • The floor of the velomobile With warm summer weather around the corner, tightening up the velomobile with a floor hasn't been my top priority, but the real advantage of a velomobile is to extend the riding season later into the fall and winter.

  • A rain/sun awning I was lucky during the challenge month that I only got caught in the rain 3 times all on the way home when it didn't really matter if I got wet. A coroplast roof extending a foot or so out in front of my head seams like it would do the trick.

Other projects on the horizon:

Helping a friend build a rear suspension trike similar to the one to the right that I built last year and turning it into a velomobile. He found this blog and realized we lived about 10 miles apart. After he looked me up we spent an afternoon talking trikes and are now developing the shopping list of parts.

Figuring out how to build a no weld trailer out of conduit. My experiance riding the velomobile with the tailbox filled to the gills with groceries made me think that a trailer would be a better solution. I'm sure I was very very close to the weight limit on the tail box and the trike handled like a battleship. I've seen write ups of how to build a trailer out of conduit, but they all involve welding nasty galvinized conduit. I don't have a welding set up and I'm not excited about exposing anyone to the zinc fumes that are released when welding anything galvanized. So hopefully I devise a workable alternative to share with the world.

Finally, I'll also be working on a blog with the Plainville Greenway Alliance, a volunteer group working to fill the hole in the Farmington Valley Greenway that eventually will run from New Haven,CT to to Northhampton MA and be part of the East Coast Greenway.

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