Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day 2 Cascade Locks to Umatilma

The day started out cool and comfortble.  Most of the day's ride was on the sholder of I 84.  Not particularly fun.  After a while you get used to the big trucks whizzing by. The real problems were the rumble stop and road debris particularly the wires from blown truck tires. Among the group we had 15 to 20 flat tires.  The rumble caused one ride to lose control and flip.  Rider was banged up and velo shell sustained some cracks.  Fortunately we're done with highway for a while.

I discovered today that

Location : 28-36 E Main St, Walla Walla, WA 99362,

Friday, July 29, 2011

Out of the coastal forest and into the dry grasslands. You can see the big hydro dam in the distnce

Location : The Dalles-California Hwy, The Dalles, OR 97058,

Blasting down I-84

Yes there is an I 84 in OR too, and out here you are allowed to ride a bike on the sholder.  After some negotiating the OR DOT agreed to set up a rolling blockade so the we could ride through a narrow tunnel without cars or trucks.  This picture is of the group blasting down hill on the way to the tunnel.  Every velomobilist'z fantasy, racing down a hill on an interstate without cars or trucks.

Location : 841 NE Forest Ln, Cascade Locks, OR 97014,

Monday, July 25, 2011

Parachute Making

I spent the evening sewing two drag chutes to slow me down as I desend the rockies.  As I ran the sewing machine I couldn't help but think, "Thanks Grandma Gay for not sewing something for me but rather teaching me to use her old treddle sewing machine.  Thankfully, we moved up to an electric machine.  I've got new found respect for people sew tents and stuff made of nylon. I did a passible job but its not pretty.  Certainly won't be quitting the day job to become a tailor.

Location : 80-86 Thorniley St, New Britain, CT 06051,

Location : 144-178 Ella Grasso Rd, Newington, CT 06111,

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Roll Over America Route

Yup that's right, the plan is to ride from one side of the country all the way across to the other. 3 days until I fly out to Portland.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Homebuilt roof for under $60

They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery. This is my homebuilt version of the Flavobike roof. The Alleweder has a large opening so it required 2 x 4' aluminum rods, a short piece of 1/4" derlin rod, a sheet of blue foam camping pad, a 2' x2' piece of polycarbonate, some nylon nuts and bolts and two tubes of liquid nails extreme outdoor glue.

I used a fiberglass flag wand to figure out the shape of the curve so that I could just see out to the sides from under the roof then traced it on to a piece of cardboard. I then used the cardboard as a template as I bent the aluminum tube to create the desired curve of the roof. Then I cut an inch long slot in one end of each tube. I cut a similar slot into a short piece of derlin rod. Once that was done I drilled a hole through the aluminum and darlin perpendicular from the slot. This way its the darlin not the aluminum tube that touches the vertical connection to the velomobile.

I then fired up the BBQ and heated a sheet of blue foam camping pad (Walmart $5.95) and stretched it over an empty propane tank to put a curve in it. Next I cut a piece of 1/16" polycarbonate to the proper size. Then I put it all together by cutting some 4' long strips of fabric about 2.5" wide and glueing them to the blue foam with liquid nails. It was a lot easier when I glued the fabric to one side of the foam and let it dry. The next day I used a short piece of the 3/8" aluminum tube as spacing guide to glue the fabric around to the other side of the foam. This created a sleave on either side of the foam. After the glue dried I slid the aluminum tubes through to give the roof its shape. Then I drilled holes along the edge of the windshield and poked coresponding holes through the foam. Finally I secured the windshield to the foam using nylon nuts and bolts from McMaster-Carr.

All of that was fine but the back end was kind of long and didn't match the roof line of the turtle deck so I cut a V out of back.

Then I applied some Liquid Nails glue to the edges.

And finally I stitched up the incision from the inside so that it can't be seen from outside.

And voila a sub $60 roof (sub $50 if you count the cost of the individual nylon nuts and bolts rather than the cost of the bags of 50).

Here's a view from the front.