News and Events

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

Sunday, November 30, 2014

OzHpv Gathering 2014

Bit of a funny way to get customers!  Vline sign at Southern Cross Station.

Anthony was trialling his off-road touring rig and we road together from Albury to Hume Dam, having struck up a conversation on the train up from Albury.

Graham Signiorini and Lloyd Charter in Albury

Michael from Denmark in Albury

Albury, Pete Heal, Alex Mcnee, Chris Curtis.

Assisted by Albury's finest.

Pete & Duncan

Abandoned House, Albury

These bikes had been freighted up from Melbourne for the Great Victorian Bike Ride

Pete and Lloyd conscripted a photographer....

near the Bike Vic encampment.

Its not all beauty here at the modularbikes photo editing studios.  This is the sort of masterpiece I usually delete.

Some of Grahams homemade boat propellors

A bit Rugged!  Climbing on a dirt road near Tallangatta.

Pete and Andrew

Jewel in the Crown of the Towong shire railtrail, the Sandy Creek Bridge, with Alex, Simon, Richard

Simon, Richard, Chris.....

and the way it looked in 1955 from the snappily titled  "The Branch Line, a History of the Wodonga-Tallangatta-Cudgewa Railway" by Lloyd Hughes

Magical Tree at Huon

and another one with Simon, Andrew, Chris, Pete.
Graham, his bike, his Propellors, Willem

For a few days I have been back from Albury and Lake Hume, after a weekend spent up there riding my bike with fellow recumbenteers and attending the Ozhpv Annual General Meeting.  I hadn't been going to go, but there was a prospiracy which made me!  A few weeks before the event, I was retrenched from work, which brings with it "slightly more flexible attendance requirements", so I took the Friday off before the event, which coincided with the start of the Great Victorian Bike Ride in Albury.  Of course, the GVBR completely dwarfs the OzHpv gathering, so I took an early train, hoping to avoid bike traffic on the train.  As it happened, I did avoid the bike traffic, and saw and spoke to only a few early arrivers, taking their bikes up on the train.

One of these was Anthony, who I'd chatted to on the way up.  He is a teacher from Bendigo, had a big touring rig, and was setting out from Albury for a few days independant riding.  His plan was to catch up with some of his pupils who were doing 1/2 of the GVBR, starting in Mansfield.  With a bit of time to kill, I decided to ride out to Lake Hume and my camping ground with him. We parted ways at the Bellbridge turnoff but not before taking a few happy snaps.

After setting up camp just next to Graham Signiorini, Graham and I rode back in to Albury for the start of a ride organised by Lloyd Charter. A few of the Canberra mob had arrived and passed us by car on the way in, Duncan and Andrew stopping for a chat.

There was quite a big recumbent roll-up in Albury for the Friday ride, Lloyd and 3 of his triking mates, 4 from Canberra, 2 from Melbourne and 1 from Denmark!  Michael was in Australia as part of a 2 year world tour, was staying with Pete Heal and had ridden most of the way from his home country....  We went most of the way round Albury on the bike tour, which was buzzing with cyclists in preparation for the Great Vic bike ride due to start in the town on Sunday.  There was a 1k long encampment on the Murray full of bike riders, and we even saw the occasional recumbent.

Graham and I rode back to Hume village, I was slowing down by this stage but Graham pushed ahead quite quickly, waiting for me every now and then.  I arrived at camp and waited for Graham to follow - and waited - and waited.  Eventually he wheeled his bike in, and had come across some bindy-eye or other pestilent puncture promoting flora, and had 4 punctures and had fixed - 3 of them.  He worked on the extra puncture a bit later, eventually fixing it just before we were to head off the next morning.

After breakfast the next morning,  I lathered on sunscreen, having copped a bit of sun the day before, and Graham and I headed out with Pete Heal and caught the rest of a recumbent mob  across the river in Victoria.  It was really nice riding on good undulating roads and we passed several groups of Albury upright cyclists off for their 60k or so constitutional Saturday rides.  My bike is quite good at bombing down hills, and on a ride like this you get to compare its characteristics with other recumbents. Its nice to think its fast because its aerodynamic, but it could be that me and my bike are both heavy as well!

After a while we hit an unmade section of the road which had all the evils on it, bumps, drifts of sand, corrugations and hills.  Yes, I walked up some of it, this sort of road and my front wheel drive wooden bike being somewhat incompatible, the front wheel slipping and being slightly bothersome.  Anyway, that road changed to bitumen again and the riding got smoother with great views over Lake Hume and its abundant birdlife towards Tallangatta.

Lunch in Tallangatta, and the Op-Shop was busy and the bakery crowded with motorbiking, recumbent biking, and road biking - daytrip mobs.  Standing room only outside the bakery and I bought a plate for Christine at the Op - Shop and "The Branch Line, a History of the Wodonga-Tallangatta-Cudgewa Railway" by Lloyd Hughes at another shop.

We went on the rail trail a lot of the way back and that was a bit hot and bumpy, Chris Curtis being jolted off and copping a gashed elbow at one point.  We regrouped and refuelled in Ebden and from there it was a short ride across the Hume Dam back to the Caravan Park.  The day's ride was only about 80k but a bit hot and demanding.  A few of us had a swim, almost everyone had a sleep, and the OzHpv AGM was at 6pm.  Up early the next morning to pack the tent and get on the 6:30 am train back to Melbourne.  It was warm already at 5am when I started riding, and had plenty of time for the train. 

Getting back to Melbourne before lunch was good, my son and his girlfriend came over for lunch, I caught up on some sleep and stayed out of the hot sun for the most part.

Ps,There are  Many Blog posts about the Great Victorian Bike Ride available, I have chosen to highlight this one showing a recumbenteer crossing the Hume Dam, the day after Pete Matthews and I had ridden the same route together in the opposite direction.

Tragically, a rider, Trevor Pearce was killed in an accident on the Great Victorian Bike Ride, his wheel clipped that of another cyclist and he fell under an overtaking truck.  Rest in Peace Trevor and be careful out there everyone. 


Monday, November 17, 2014

A few pairs of photos

My Brother Richard's "new" 1939 Raleigh roadster - Look at those.....

fantastic original stainless steel Westwood rims!
L to R: Mum, Dad, Mum's sister Lorna and me....

In Kew, Melbourne.

These are my socks, drying on the line at home.  There are so many socks of the same type  because this is the only type of sock I own (avoids the "finding matching pairs after the wash" dilemma/syndrome/issue/problem) and because Ermi who helps us with our washing likes to wash sock with sock and jock with jock (but I don't know why).  This photo was taken before the "Big Melbourne November Rain" of 42mm overnight)
Unwisely, I photographed the socks instead of bringing them in.  This photo of wet socks is taken after the "Big Melbourne November rain of 42mm overnight".  (Worse things have happened!)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Brad's 40th in Trida

View from Grand Ridge Road

Brad and Sharon's Round Straw Bale House

"Chookshaw" pen, the chooks are preparing the ground for the next crop of vegies.

My bike at Warragul station.  The seat is pushed right forward so when the back wheel folds underneath, it fits in the train's bike storage locker.

Daisy's taxi.  This is how Brad and Sharon's youngest gets around on the farm.

Brad's trike in the new house

My bike in the new house

Brad, Sharon and the kids

Tony & Brad, '65 Ford

Cutting the Cake

About 12k from Warrigal: another chook caravan
Brad and Tony

Today I got from a day and night away from the city and up to Brad and Sharon Jarvis's small farm in Trida.  I got there by train to Warrigal and bike up the hill from there.  It was hot going up to Brad's place, but fortunately my work boss Tony passed me in his car on the way up and carried most of my luggage (beer, sleeping bag, tent, Almond meal cake) by car for me.  A few hours later I got there!  I stayed overnight at The Jarvis's and met quite a few of their friends and family.  Thanks to Brad and Sharon for putting me up and for the berry jam.  The farm is a very special place.  Getting home was thankfully much easier, and I took a video as I was rolling down the hill.

Postscript: Thanks for the nice comment Brad.  Now I just realised, this post has pictures of hpv's with 1, 2, 3 and 4 wheels.  Actually there are 2 with 4 wheels, can you spot them?  Here is a link to an hpv with 5 wheels.  6 anyone?  Regards


Spirit of Akasha

Mick Turner on right playing along.....

to the surf movie Spirit of Akasha"

On Friday night, my wife Christine and I went in to see "Spirit of Akasha".  This is a surfing movie and an homage, 40 years later to the cult surf movie "Morning of the Earth".  Spirit of Akasha features new music, new surfers, new surfboards but still remains faithful to the spirit of the original.  For us, the big attraction of Friday's screening was live music onstage.  There were about 20 musicians playing at different times, so it was a sort of Rock'n'Roll orchestra.  After the show was over, I went and spoke to one of the musicians, Mick Turner, who I've known since we went to school together quite a while ago.  If you can go see a music plus film presentation of "Spirit of Akasha", I urge you to do so.  The grown ups are not in charge!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Low Gravity Load Bike from 24" Mountain Bike

Donor vehicle was a lot like this one, hoping to transform it......

into this,

or this......

or even this.

Starting the fork mod by extending the fork steerer using an inner sleeve tube.....

Then adding an outer sleeve which is machined to take the lower bearing cup.

This is how it ended up on the bike.  The prongs for load carrying are handlebars cut in half,  held in old handlebar stems.

At work on its maiden voyage!  Returning a broken chainsaw to the dumpster for Stu.
The basic stuff is there.

A while ago, I bought a 24" Victoria Folding bike, and I've been quietly looking for abandoned 24" bikes for upgrade parts (aluminium wheels etc.) for it since then.  While no 24" bikes came my way till recently, I have at least been thinking about them.  Then a few days ago, I had some inspiration, seeing a spot on my Velocino machine fork crown where some load carrying racks could sit.  A day or so later I picked up a 24" Huffy girls bike from a hard rubbish collection. Then I started....

24" mountain bikes are some of the cheapest and least desirable bikes available in Australia today.  They are mainly bought for teenagers who will use them for a few years  and then discard them, moving on to a 26" mountain bike, hybrid bike or racer (or be put off cycling by them).  The tyres on 24" bikes often have heavy, inappropriate off-road tread and don't roll easily on pavement at any pressure.  But they have at least a few things good about them:

  • Wide range of gears.
  • Product of 140 years of bicycle development since 1885 and 45 years of Asian manufacturing expertise since 1970.  Can't be all that bad!
  • Robust and often made of steel.
  • Easy to obtain at a low cost.
  • Size fits a large proportion of the population, most women and a good proportion of men, say 5'3" to 6" height range. 
  • Common size for parts including tyres

At the other end of the scale we have cargo bikes.  Although they have been manufactured for a long time, it is hard to obtain one at reasonable cost and second hand examples sell for a good sum and are not necessarily sold complete.

So when you think about it, there are big incentives in terms of cost to upgrade a 24" bike to a cargo bike.  Sofar the budget for my bike has been 0$ - admittedly I have a shed, very chockers and messy with bike parts and tubes to hack at.  I'll continue on with this project, upgrading some bikes and carrying things on them.