News and Events

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

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Live from Meeniyan Motel Part 2


Today was the second day of the Anzac Day Long Weekend and Anzac Day (April 25) itself. Anzac day is a war memorial day, and Anzac itself stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Today's ride was due to go from Meeniyan to Foster along the Great Southern Rail Trail. The distance is about 30k each way but the more mountainous road route is only 20k! The train route the rail trail is based on was chosen for its flatness, don't mind the distance!

Anyway about 20 of us headed out and it was a fair old hike for 1 day. At 11 am we had a minute's silence for Anzac day and Ken said a few appropriate words. Thanks Ken!

On the way back, Eric Ball and I swapped vehicles and so I was riding one of Alan Ball's hand made folding trikes for a while. This trike is quite low compared to a standard bike and so most cyclists tower above you. The ride on the trike is interesting, it doesn't need much steering so you get to look at the scenery more. As well, the trike stability is great. There were some chicanes near road crossings on the trail and several cyclists had (embarrassing rather than harmful) falls attempting to negotiate them. But the trike handled fine and was fun to ride through the chicanes.

The ride had lovely views, good company, and we didn't get rained on too much, what more can you ask for?

Of all the riders we had 4 trikes, 1 standard tandem, 1 recumbent tandem and 1 recumbent bike.

Best Wishes, Steve Nurse
(Google Earth Image and Spelling Corrections courtesy of Ken S. , thanks Ken)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Live from the Meeniyan Motel Part 1


Well my wife Christine and I are away for the Anzac Day Long weekend (April 26 is a holiday here) and spending some time in Gippsland on a ride organised by Robert Waryszak and broadcast on the Vichpv Yahoo group

The trip from Melbourne was good and on the way I was admiring some of the Leongatha to Meeniyan rail trail meandering below us. We arrived about 3pm and a short while after assembling my bike a bloke named Ken rolled up on a Greenspeed trike and we started to have a chat. He was going on Robert's ride on Sunday and he had come from Leongatha on the rail trail. So I joined him for for a ride on the way back. I got about halfway to Leongatha (Koonwarra) before heading back. My trip was uneventful except for buying a bottle of wine at a Koonwarra store. But Ken, well Ken had a cup of coffee at Koonwarra and he had a puncture as well. Anyway, there he is in the photo fixing his puncture. Nice things, one sided hubs, none of that horrible icky process of removing wheels before replacing the tube.

Till tomorrow


Steve Nurse

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Bike lights never really act in isolation. You need a minimum of one front light and one rear light on a bike to be seen and immediately you have a bike lighting system instead of just bike lights.

Why shouldn't some of the lights on your bike share their batteries? You can wire up your bike lights to do this already:

* You can make a light into a power source by running wires from the end positive and negative terminals in the light to outside the light.

* This can be used to power another light, typically a rear light which may have been provided with only a tiny battery to begin with.

* Packages for containing and connecting multiple batteries are available from electronics stores and hub dynamos and solar charged batteries are also available. These all make excellent independant sources of power for bike lights.

It would be nice if all bike light manufacturers provided a simple socket to allow for input voltages for the light or output voltages from the light's battery pack. This would allow simple plug and play arrangements of bike lights. Don't know if this will ever happen.

Anyway the photos show one of my efforts in this area. The tiny 3V battery in this flashing rear light is replaced by a 3V battery pack. The lifetime of the new battery pack is many times that of the original.


Steve Nurse

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Shopping for Kitchens

Well my wife Christine needs a new kitchen and she is plotting with my sister-in-law Lynn and carpenter - friend Ray to plan it. And she's doing a good job.
So anyway, a Saturday rolls around and Christine had warned me that I'd need to come along to the shop where they make the kitchens. When the time comes, off we trot in the car. Not much traffic on the way there and the staff at the kitchen shop are very attentive, explaining all the bench options and sinks and gas cookers and stuff. Once you've sorted out everything they do a 3d cad drawing of your kitchen.
Other than just hanging around, I was able to put in my big question about side opening oven doors. Can you swap them over for right or left hand opening? The answer is yes!
On the way to the kitchen shop, Christine had spotted a place where they sell pillows and we need new pillows. According to Christine. But I don't care, the pillows we have now are fine and I don't think about pillows. But according to Brian Nankervis, (rock and obviously allround guru) "Happy Wife, Happy Life". So I shut up. After the kitchen shop we are buying pillows. Ok.
After we've selected the pillows the lady in the shop spies our kitchen shop brochure and says "Oh, you've been shopping for kitchens down the road, that must be fun"
Well, I'd been bottling it up for too long and in answer to a direct question, had to lay it on the line, "Well I think the ladies are enjoying themselves but the blokes are being dragged around not having much fun. The blokes are thinking let me out of here, I'd rather be mucking around in my shed or drinking beer or watching the football." After a bit more banter along these lines (one of the other guys in the shop is laughing) we head home and stop at a sensible place along the way.
We buy some plywood. So I can make boxes for a load carrying bike. That can carry beer. That's right, I'm a bloke.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Rickshaw Trike: Part 1

A new vehicle has entered our lives, a tricycle rickshaw. How we came to have it is a long story but we've got all day so settle down with a cup of tea.
My wife, Christine has scoliosis and has had some trouble walking since a hip operation last November. I am a rusted on bike rider and to help us both get around our suburb we have contemplated getting something of the "duet" ( cycle type.
An email on the ozhpv mailing list from Pete Heal alerted me to the sale of a "duet" style trike in Canberra, it is shown in yellow above. Unfortunately while the price for the trike was ok, getting it down to Melbourne was going to cost as much as the trike itself. While still contemplating the yellow trike, a Rickshaw trike came up for sale on ebay, and the seller was Tony from the bicycle garden ( near Castlemaine. The price seemed much more reasonable at about $360 so we put in a bid which turned out to be the only bid. Tony is a bike builder and after a bit of discussion we put Tony on the case of fixing up the trike.
In the first week he only worked on the transmission, swapping the original, very heavy, fixed back wheel for a lighter 27" wheel with disc brake.
Then, Christine and I visited Tony's Bicycle Garden to look at the trike. The footrests for the trike were way up high and no good for Christine, and the leaf springs weren't doing much good. We asked Tony to remove the springs and replace the seat, then went off for lunch in Castlemaine.
Well Tony couldn't find the right seat, so he fixed the one on the Rickshaw and sent us down some photos (top left)
More in the next installment!