Monday, March 4, 2019

Pedal There


Riding a bicycle is really energy efficient. It does require the existence of roads to be that efficient, which is a huge assumption. They currently exist.
In the days before I had a car I carried some really long lumber strapped to my bike a couple of times, and pretty far, 5-10 miles. Not fun in traffic...
When we bike toured as a family in Europe and New Zealand, we carried our own stuff on our bikes from hostel to hostel. That is really efficient, but hard, and there have to be hostels. We rarely met folks camping that way, first a German family, then an Austrian man and a family from Tasmania.
The folks who bike camped were very impressive, indeed, carrying much heavier loads than we were. It placed them upon a pedastal of nearly super-human endeavor in our estimation. 
That's good context. It's a really advanced level. I bike camped some in Germany in summer of 1981, and gave up on it pretty quickly after everything got wet. That's the problem with tent camping, it's a fair weather activity.
That's not quite the end of that thought, though...

This guy made a bike camping trailer for $150 and what looks like a couple of years of work, with this being the second project. It is a really refined and well engineered design, an exercise in using the least which works well, and everything working together. It is waterproof, well insulated, aerodynamic, very light and includes the essential functionality for surviving bad weather and sleeping restfully, anywhere. He largely used plastic political campaign signs and duct tape for the outer shell, and aluminized bubble insulation inside, on a 1" X 2" wood frame, supporting more of that plastic and a foam mattress. Note that it is low enough to sit in the end with feet comfortably on the ground, chair height.

This "Cockroach" project is way more wigged-out, contrived and fabricated by some London lunatics, a human powered motorhome. They starting by welding 2 bikes together for 2 riders in tandem, and made lightweight a 2-sleeper camper shell around it. The video includes their day trip out of London for "wilderness camping" in a bit of forest. Great videos riding through London in the gloom and over the Tower Bridge..

How To Carry Major Appliances On Your Bike, by Mr. Money Moustache:
Right around the same time I bought this new fixer-upper house, I bought a special piece of equipment to help make the project more efficient.
With the new house a five minute walk from the old one, commuting time was not an issue. But with the hundreds of trips carrying tools and materials required for a project like this, I didn’t have the right vehicle.
On foot, although I try my best I am simply not badass enough to drag a table saw and miter saw along with a stack of 2x4s for much distance down the street. My old Burley bike trailer will easily carry a load of cordless tools or a few weeks worth of groceries, but does not have the capacity for real construction work. But my construction van,  a 1999 Honda Odyssey with seats removed and a plywood floor, is overkill for minor daily hauling. This is a luxury construction rocket, a leather-appointed 220 horsepower Rolling Cavern. It is well-suited to carrying thousands of pounds of goods or people on multi-state voyages at 75MPH, but I would be a wasteful car clown if I used it to haul a tool belt and a compressor up and down the small hill in old-town Longmont*.
So with your entertainment in mind, I acquired this extremely large and badass bike trailer from a small Iowa builder called Bikes at Work:

Bikes At Work 64-AW trailer link, 5'4" of trailer, which is 28" wide, costs $975 and appears to be made from a sturdy aluminum ladder.

This fellow made his own trailer from a sturdy aluminum ladder. One might have to buy extra length and take off some at the ends, and the folding support part of a folding ladder. The width might or might not be the same at both ends.

Home Depot has this straight 8' long aluminum ladder, 18" wide for $96.84.

Burley's trailer hitch is supposed to be better.

Here is a (Munich) site with a lot of associated bike trailer parts, priced in Euros.

Here is a video of 15 bike and motorcycle camping trailers that mainly seems to highlight their flaws as products. The $150 guy did much better.

Here is a Google Images search of bicycle camping trailers. Everything else looks like it would be more dangerous in side drafts, and heavier.

Included below is Jenny's Birthday Picture in our garden, with plum blossoms, after the latest Arctic Blast blew in 3/3/2019. It's colder today.

Protected Indoors

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