News and Events

Keep up to date with the latest news and events of Modular Bikes.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Mamachari of the Month


Today I volunteered at Wecycle and worked with Mick, Mike and James to fix some bikes, sell some others and give some away.  For the second week in a row I got to work on an old clunker, a Hallmark Gadabout.  I have owned a few Hallmark Jetset bikes and took one apart to make a leaning trike kit for cruzbike.

So what other daggy names for bikes did Hallmark come up with? Well I don't really know but here is a set of suggestions.

Hallmark Jetset
Hallmark Gadabout
Hallmark Parasol
Hallmark Trend-Machine
Hallmark Shopabout
Hallmark Bon-Vivante

That's enough for now.  Despite its unfortunate name, its still quite a nice bike.


Steve Nurse

PS, Found that the Little Bikes Blog has a liking of Vintage Hallmarks.   The Gadabout has 24 x 1 3/8 tyres and I think its a bit rarer than the Jetset.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

New Byk


As discussed in previous posts starting here, last year I successfully converted parts of a Byk Bike into a recumbent and have since ridden a flat Audax 200k ride on the resulting trike, going once around Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay in one day.  With this working so well, I had been keeping my eyes peeled for more Byks at reasonable prices, and a few days ago I found one, bid for it on ebay, won the auction, and yesterday picked it up from North Melbourne.

Having conquered Port Phillip Bay, surely I could conquer a trip to North Melbourne to pick up a bike!   Yes car would have been a option but I would have to put up with that pesky traffic.

Anyway, a few pics from the pickup are shown above.  I had shuffled the bike around a bit by the time I headed back to Clifton Hill, but basically this was the load carrying setup.  Took bike tracks home as well, the load was a bit outrageous and precarious to be taking on the road.


Steve nurse

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Buckley's Ride 2019

A small plastic box....

bolted on at the front for storage.
Front light mount off and.....

lights recharging.

Coreflute marked out for .....

new water bottle mount.

Start of Buckley's ride.

On the ferry, Peter Donnan centre.

Lunch on the ferry.

Checking in at Albert Park, a swan and some German tourists fairly oblivious.

Ahh! Home and with a cup of tea.

Buckley's Ride 2019


This ride is usually my first Audax ride for the year and I prepareded for it fairly carefully, mostly by fixing up bike accessories: I replaced a destroyed drink bottle mount, charged batteries on lights, pumped up tyres, finessed the wheel discs at the back and reattached a storage box at the front.  No real mechanical tuning was needed, everything was fine.  Actual training was limited to the OzHpv rally rides,5 or 6 40k round trip commutes to work, some 10k rides from Spout Creek to Airey's Inlet, and one 40ker, Aireys Inlet to Lorne and return.

So anyway, the night before the ride I was in bed early and had everything I was going to take or wear laid out on the couchor in the bike already.  A half hour trundle to Albert Park, and very soon we are off under instructions from ride director Sarah.

On the edge of the city, one bunch of 10 including me got through a traffic light, leaving 20 or so behind.  I stuck with the front bunch till Williamstown, when they got away from me, never to be seen again.

Fortunately it didn't take long for a strong rider from the behind bunch to come throughand overtake me, and I stayed with him till just after Weribbee when he turned off into a service station for supplies.  Not long after that, the "behind bunch" started coming through, and I pulled in with them or small groups of them all the way to Lara where I stopped for refuelling myself.  Through Geelong I was with Heather, Henry and another rider, but had run out of puff a bit by soon after Geelong, and they rode off into the distance.  Another group passed me, and then I started noticing the time and "distance to Queenscliffe" signs, and worked out that I could make it to Queenscliffe for the 12 O'clock Ferry, but only if I rode a bit harder!  Which I did, arriving about 12:04, just as the ferry was about to leave.  Whew!

The ferry ride passed quickly, eating lunch, using the bathroom, taking a few pics and chatting to a middle aged lady who was on the ferry to visit Sorrento for a lunch party.

By the time I'd been to the bathroom and topped up my water in Sorrento, most of the other 12-o'clock-ferry -Audaxers had pushed on, and I was able to pass one or 2 before Dromana where I rested for a while before the hilly Dromana to Frankston section.  It was a bit slow and steady through the hills but I got through it ok, and rested again in Frankston.  After that I did quite well on the flat and familiar bits, Frankston to St. Kilda and got in to Albert Park with some energy left at 6pm. 

I was home by 7pm and had earlier ordered a cup of tea from my wife Christine on one of my report-in phone calls. The cup I'd bought in Dromana was in 2 cardboard cups which were very good insulators and the tea stayed too hot for me in the time I had to drink it. I reported this to Christine and she said "God it must have been #%^house" as I am known for my very low standard of tea making and tea acceptance!

After that it was a shower, pyjamas and bed. 

 Overall, I think I did well for the amount of training I did.  I'll stalk the Audax calendar a bit to see what my next ride will be.


Steve Nurse

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Bike Seat Part 4

Side panel and some tools.

Ewan took this one.

...... and this one,

and I took this one.

Now it has a wooden lid, woohoo!

Friends Tony and Jen Hazeldine during part of a very quiet New Year's Eve.  Despite looking very relaxed, Tony isn't even drinking, partaking of a cup of tea instead.  


The last few days I have been at Airey's Inlet, catching up on my son Ewan and his friends, and a few other friends, doing a bit of swimming, sleeping and surfing, but also completing a bike seat and blogging, thinking about the year just passed and looking forward to the new one.

The bike seat is coming along well, but it needs a bit of work.  Its in its final form but the holes and slots which keep it together would let in water, so I have bogged them up with Plastibond.  Then comes sanding and a few coats of varnish.  Today my son Ewan was wandering around talking to his wife Phoebe's Grandma Paddy on the phone (about just about everything) for about an hour and a half, and I managed to coralle his services as a photographer.

Monday, December 24, 2018

New Bike Seat Part 3

Soaking 2 plywood pieces so....

I can bend them like this.....

and this.......

to make this.

Art Tram

Thumbs Up!

List of things to fix became long enough I needed to write them down.


I broke up from work a few days ago so have had some time to work on my NC routed seat kit, moving the pre-prepared 2d bits into 3 dimensions.  To do this, I needed to soak some of the timber, and this worked well.  From a previous occasion when I bent timber for the same purpose, I had made a timber bath from corflute, and I resurrected that (a bit dusty!) from the side of the house and it still worked.

So sofar everything is stuck together with cable ties, and I documented 6 different issues with the design. At a couple of points just behind the seat there are some plates glued together and the timber will end up 4 layers thick there, much more than is needed, and I plan to make a 3d printed feature insert for this spot. The slots in the back panel don't line up with other parts, and there are a few other minor things to fix.

But all in all, its good, I'm keen to get my list of revisions back into the cutting cad so new versions will come out better.

Oh, and I rode into the city on Saturday and managed to snap my bike with a Chinese gentleman and a Melbourne Art Tram by Valerie Tang in the background.

Have A Happy & Safe Christmas!

Steve Nurse

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

New Bike Seats Part 2

Chamfering side panel holes to hide screw heads

Side panel spacers screwed on.

This bit of wood helped the spacers rotating while I was screwing them on.

Side panel all done.

Working under cover on a wet Melbourne day.

Attaching some reinforcements to the central frame.

2 pics of....

grinding back the screws on the sidepanels.

Around my work I've been gradually working on the seat kits I picked up a few weeks ago, the work and progress to date are shown here. Most of this is putting together sub-assemblies and varnishing bits I won't be able to get to later.  Regards  Steve nurseNot much more to say except Christmas and a few days off are coming up and I should be able to finish one of these in a week or two.


Steve Nurse

Monday, December 17, 2018

3d printed Aluminium Part

My friend and Ex-boss Tony  from Spee3d 3d printing machines with an aluminium bike part printed for me by Spee3d.

The new Spee3d part is on the deck.  It is equivalent to the assembly shown on the front of the bike, for a few pics of the whole bike see here.

Another view of the parts.


Today I was emailed by Tony from Spee3d to say that after a long wait, a 3d printed aluminium part I'd designed was ready for me.  Fortunately I was working in the next suburb and was able to pick it up after work without going too far out of the way.

The part is a very early use of the 3d spray technology, and I am really pushing it to even think of employing it on my bikes.  The assembly I aim to replace with the new part was documented in a previous post . The extrusion part has a 3mm wall thickness and this one has an 8mm wall.  For the complicated shapes the assembly uses lost wax castings.

For the new part, there's a bit of machining, cad and plastic 3d printing to go before I can even use it.

But lost wax casting has been around for about 6000 years and spray 3d printing about 2, guess which one is likely to develop quickly?  Anyway, I will keep documenting my progress with this part.


Steve Nurse

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Short Ride Home

Outside Darebin Council meeting rooms.
Merri Creek Bike Path.....

now with legible signs!
Bridge had been flooded during the day.

Today at work it was raining heavily, and a few people left early thinking there might be "flooding at their place".  Well it got quite wet, but despite being flooded previously, work was quite high and dry.  After work I visited an interesting Community Leaders in Sustainability introductionat the Darebin Council Meeting rooms in High St. Preston.  After the session, I chatted to Alice who was interested in my bike and also in improving recycling in her large block of flats!

Anyhow, the rain had affected the Merri Creek which was part of my trip home with bike bridges flooded at some time during the day. Waters had now subsided and I was able to carry my bike gingerly over the bridge without incident. Christmas trees and lights were out, looking nice in the late dusk, 8:30 ish.


Steve Nurse