News and Events

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

Friday, December 30, 2011

All for this Year!


Not long to go for the year now, and I'd like to thank all the people who've helped me over the last 12 months.

Quite a difficult year at work, in previous years I have sailed through work but this year have had trouble meeting deadlines and have more hard work in the year ahead.  But many thanks to Brad, Matt, Rafal, Byron, Az, Josh, Raf, Supriya, Malcolm, Hasib and Ross for their help.

Away from work, well you may have read about it here but thanks to my wife Christine and son Ewan.  Great to see John Kuljis, Graham Signiorini, Robert Waryszak, Kim Tolhurst, George Durbridge and Alan Ball regularly on bike rides, get well soon Robert!

Tim Marquardt and Pete Heal supported me as OzHpv president through the year.

Only managed a few Audax rides through the year but was always ably supported by the volunteers running the rides.  Recumbents are always warmly welcomed.  Will try for a few more next year but work needs to settle down a bit.

Ok, thats it, wishing you all the best for a safe and happy new year when I will keep blogging, mainly about bikes but also about whatever else comes in to my head.

I have installed a new Sturmey Archer hub into one of my recumbents, when I get some time I will write about that but for now here is a teaser photo.  Au revoir.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

OzHv meeting at Myrtleford

Simon Watt and Andrew leave Lake Buffalo
David, William and Ken near Myrtleford
David Downing & his machine
Alan Ball folds his Evolve Trike
Alan Ball & John Halbrook
Pete Heal with "Eileen" the trike
Christine, Fahey and Val
Graham Signiorini & the Rotovelo.  Pete Heal chats to Kim Tolhurst.
This trailer train did a few blockies around the caravan park
Kim Tolhurst & Peter Mathews heading to Lake Buffalo

Relaxing at Lake Buffalo

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tweed Ride v. Futurebike 3000

Just one detail from one of the many historical bikes on the ride.
Alan B. and Robert W. discuss bike design
I posed for this one, my bike in action, Robert W. Photo
Paul Farren mounts his steed
About 140 years of cycling history side by side
(Green trike is Alan Ball's creation the Evolve trike)
More Motley crew.  Robert from the Vichpv ride is behind Alan, I'm on the right, Robert W. Photo
Mr. Very Impressive (at right, in dress) steals the scene &blows fashion out of the water.

On Sunday, my friend Robert Waryszak called a ride for recumbents and others that went along the banks of Gardiner's Creek and The Yarra River.  There had been heavy rain the day before to the extent that the creek had burst its banks and there was still mud and water over the bike track in places.  Arriving at the start point, several would be-riders started ringing Robert on his mobile asking if the ride was going ahead.  Of course it was!  We got only a few spits of rain, but we only had 4 riders on the Vichpv ride, myself, Robert W., Alan B. and another Robert who joined us along the way. 

Anyway from "The Age Newspaper" I knew that a Tweed (dress conservatively and old school with bike to match) ride was being held at Federation Square from 11:30 the same day and our own small ride took a diversion to see what was going on.  Lots of people there.  Lots of fashion!  See here for more fashion oriented pages.  Not sure that Very or myself would've made it onto these pages.  Oh well, we will just get on with our lives and live and breathe another day.

Steve Nurse

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Painted! Named! Eastlink!

Part of the painted Bike with "Monarch" sticker (Bike painted through Bikes De Ver)

At Richmond Station: Hmmm!  Hmmm.  Hmmm?

A flag was compulsory for recumbents on the Eastlink Ride, this is the flag I made. 
One of the fast-finishing recumbent riders from Phantom HPV


In contrast with the last post's not very exciting pictures, I have been out and around today at the 37k ride on the Eastlink tollway.  The whole tollway was closed, it is 3 lanes wide, so the ride is on as smooth as fast a surface as you could wish for.

There were 3 distances for the ride, 75, 37 & 15k, and I was on the 37k ride mainly because I had agreed to be part of the "Cruzbike Team".  As it turned out I saw Kim Tolhurst and a few of the other Cruzbike riders as we got off the train near the ride but lost track of them soon after.  

At the start of the ride I took a few photos before heading off into the crush of people at the start.  After a little wait, we were away, the bike going very well throughout the ride.  Only a few people were passing me but there weren't many "serious" riders on the 37k ride.  My overall time was 1 hour 10 minutes for the distance, about 32kph average.

Ok, till next time! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Progress on Repairs

Suspension before change

New Derailleur Post at Front

Seat after

As mentioned in the previous post , with much attention lavished on my new bike, my old bike had been sadly neglected.  So in the last week or so I have been fixing things or "putting on new things that don't quite work yet".  In the latter category we have the derailleur post, up till now my long wheelbase recumbents have existed with a single chainring on the front and I'm attempting to fit a double chainring and derailleur to the bike.  Not quite there yet, as we have it now, the front wheel takes out a standard derailleur as it turns during steering.  Hmmm, might be better to fix the broken things first, the seat had been a bit wonky and stripping away all the corflute revealed the seat had been held on by 1 nut and a watchstrap!  After some fixing that is remedied, we now have 8 nuts and a watchstrap!  As well there is a bit of timber reinforcing the front of the seat, I think it looks cool and I'll probably put the same thing on the new bike.  All for now!

Seat Before

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fixing The Old Bike

Fixing the Old bike in the Back Yard
During the entire time I was making my new bike I did b*gger all to maintain my old bike and it's stayed round the side of the house rather neglected.  Yesterday I took my new bike down to a local bike shop to get painted and my old bike became my set of wheels once more.  A 15k or so fairly local ride helped me sort out what needs doing on the bike :
* Fix Bottom bracket bearing
* Replace cranks 
* Fix wonky seat.
* Try to fit a top derailleur
* Replace Chain
* Replace Corflute.
* Replace back tyre
* Remove tired looking reear wheel cover.
Anyway (very sad I know) today I had some fun replacing the bottom bracket bearings with one of those sealed unit things cannabalised from a slightly knackered  / frame bent 1980's road bike.

Till next time, Regards, Steve Nurse

Monday, October 17, 2011

Round the Bay in a Day 2011

At the end of the ride, Photo by Jeremy Lawrence
Last year I was booked in to do this ride but had mouth surgery a few days before so withdrew.  Not to be stopped, I registered again this year.  Quite hard work but the bike went well, and I managed to get around the 210k in about 10 hours, that is, about 5am at Alexandra gardens and back there at about 3pm.  That included about 2 hours of ferry ride, lunch and other sundry stops.  Highlights were chatting with a bloke for several kilometres through Geelong, and moving easily with a large group of riders toward Sorrento. Here is the short video I took.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pre Round the Bay

Paul Prentice and his Roulandt Recumbent
Knitted Bike Cover
Trisleds new load Carrying Trike.....

Which is front wheel drive. 

Today is the Saturday before the annual Round the Bay in a day ride and I know of at least 1 other recumbent rider going on the ride, John Reynoldson who is riding anti-clockwise, I am riding clockwise.  Needless to say we will see other recumbents along the way. 

There is a bike fair around the start / finish of the ride which runs for 3 days and today I pootled in to have a look around and gather up all the free and cheap stuff available.

Here are my awards.
* Best and only free T-shirt is from
* Best and only load trike: Trisled front wheel drive as per photos.
* Best decorated and least aerodynamic bike: knitted cover bike.

Also good to catch up with Paul Prentice, he lives quite near to me, he was cruising around near the bike show on a 1980's Roulandt and we stopped and had a chat.  He is a keen environmentalist and bike collector and loves to chat about bikes.

All for now, will report on the ride within the next few days.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ride to Work Day

Scene at Edinborough Gardens on Ride to Work Day

Helmet from Fed Square (before)
Ross Harrup Rode in from East Burwood....
On his shaft drive bicycle
Helmet After

Wednesday last week was "Ride to Work Day" in Victoria, and for the first time I took part in a small way.  I took the day off work and sauntered off at the late hour of 8:30 and caught the tail end of the Yarra ride to work day In the Edinburgh gardens.  There were some cyclists and quite a few police (and no crime to speak of) gathered. Managed to get a cup of tea and then I rode off into the sunrise.

My next appointment was at 10 o'clock and I had some time to kill so rode via Federation square and bought one of the inexpensive ($5.00) bike helmets on sale there.  Victoria has compulsory bike helmet laws and a bike hire scheme - cheap helmets are a way to encourage bike hirers to wear helmets.  It doesn't always work and dudes ride round helmetless on the hire bikes with gay abandon.  But it makes for cheap helmets.  See 

The helmets come in small and large sizes and has an adjustment knob at the back which tightens a band around the top of the head.  It can be adjusted quite quickly but the headband tends to make the helmet a bit sweaty - there's not enough ventilation there.

Next stop was the RMIT bike market where I set up a small stall selling  bike books and boardgames and representing ozhpv.  I saw bike acquaintences Ross Harrup, Ken Smith and Kim Tolhurst during the day.  Ken is a vichpv ride regular, Ross has been building and riding unusual bikes since forever and Kim is the Australian agent for Cruzbike.  A pleasant day was had.

During the day I did some surgery on the bike helmet, attaching lights and reflective material and having a go at the ventilation issue.

The big bike ride "Round the Bay in a Day" is Coming up Sunday, we will see how I go and I'll report back after Sunday and recovery.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

October Vichpv Ride

John Kuljis sports a handlebar moustache
courtesy of his Fraser rowbike.....

which he rode to the Vichpv / Ozhpv
  come'n'try ride October 2011.

The label on the rowbike opens up a
whole new line of insults,
"Hey, Mr Trampoline man etc."
After mucking around with bike on Saturday, I went for a ride on Sunday.  It's easy to ride along bayside beach road and end up at the start of the vichpv / ozhpv come'n'try ride in St Kilda. Bike is going well.  Here is a short video I made.   I can overtake quite a few standard road racing bikes on this stretch of road, especially on the downhills. All for now except to say Happy 21st Birthday, Cameron Shallard!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Making a new bike part 14

The back wheel disc - finally
We are close to the moment of truth now when I will be riding this bike on a long ride, the Melbourne "Round the Bay in a Day", and I am fiddling around with bits and pieces on the bike.  Firstly and most importantly, I bought a complete new front wheel from Bikes de Ver just down the road in Fairfield.  The original wheel was a bit buckled which meant the V-brakes had to be set quite wide and the brake levers were bottoming out.  Not a good situation.  Anyway, I spent an hour or so at the bike shop and in between other customers coming in, my front wheel cluster was removed and swapped onto a new wheel, a new Schwalbe Marathon tyre was fitted and the new wheel was put on the bike.  The gentlemen in the bike shop are very experienced bike riders and mechanics and were checking out my bike, telling me how they would have done things different, what brazing flux I should have used, and which bits of metal should have been cro-moly instead of mild steel but generally admiring the beast.  I left the old wheel with them for straightening and we had a bit of a chat.  They have a guy who paints bikes so when there is a break of a few weeks when I'm not using the bike, I'll take it up there for painting.
Rotating the handlebar extension to adjust the grip.
Still life of nasturshiums with recumbent bicycle.
On getting the bike home I muck around with the handlebars a bit, swapping the side that the extensions are on.  All for now.  Blogging as the mighty Cats (Geelong football club) demolish the Magpies in the grand final football.  Not really a football believer but half the conversations people have in Melbourne this week are about football, you are left out in the cold if you know nothing about it. Really all for now. Bye
Steve Nurse

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Spotted in Dandenong

Unidentified Flying Object in Dandenong Part 1
Unidentified Flying Object In Dandenong Part 2
My work takes me between 2 workplaces in the outer Melbourne Suburbs of Rowville and Dandenong, and sometimes I borrow a company car for the drive between the sites.  On Wednesday I happened to have my camera with me and managed to take 1 bad and 1 reasonable photo of this Aero - Dude on a bike.  Must admit I didn't know whether to blog about this one, the first photo is so terrible with the cyclist obscured  by a slightly boring company car.

Now I have worked out that people take photos for a couple of reasons: 1. Pictures record events or objects or people at a particular point in time for posterity and 2. Pictures are taken to look beautiful and to demonstrate the skill of the photographer, or sell a product,  and they're manipulated to a greater or lesser extent to look even more beautiful.  When photographers take photos that both record events and look beautiful they are blessed.  But in my case, I don't have a reputation as a photographer and nothing to protect so I will just publish a crap photo of an interesting subject if I want to. 

If you are looking for much better cycling photos, have a look at the photos on this page of ecovelo and all the photos you get to from all the links, like this one. I will try to take good photos.  But if I don't I will just publish and be dammed.  Because I can.

So back to my photos after all this diversion.  The gentleman in the photo could have chosen the duck-down-and-decrease-frontal-area or ride-a-recumbent methods of reducing wind resistance but has gone his own way with an aerodynamic body extension.  And good on him - we need more varieties of bikes and riders! 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Building a new bike part 13

Previous Set of Handlebars


As discussed in the previous blog entry, work on the bike is not quite done.  Although everything now works fine, I am tweeking and modifying and improving some things.  Handlebars are on the list and I'm motivated to do them this weekend.

So why change the handlebars?   Well there are 4 things I thought of:
* Make the bars lighter
* Make the bars more aerodymamic by running brake and control cables down the tubes.
* Have the bars split to simplify carrying the bike inside a car or on a car roof.
* Remove the need for cable ties on the handlebars.  See here for the way the bike was before.  

The next few photos show the result.  The materials I needed were 1" x 1.2mm wall cro moly tube, 7/8" thin wall steel tent pole, 7/8" steel tube and lock mechanism from kid's scooter handlebars. The way these handlebars are set up, the split in the bars is essential if the bars are to be removed from the bike at all as the zinc plated tentpoles would normally make the bars captive.  The build process could be automated by having the cro-moly tube laser cut.  Here are the photos, any questions please ask!


Steve Nurse