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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Guest Blogger: Richard Nurse

Before photo from this blog post


The object of this project was to restore a 1950's steel frame bike with a coaster brake hub to a usable and ridable state.  The coaster hub was the main problem which in technical terms had ceased to exist.

 I bought a new coaster brake hub made in Czech republic by Velosteel with 36 holes and married it to an old mountain bike rim with the same number of holes.  I dismantled all of the components of the old bike and replaced what I felt was necessary including the headstem.  The chain did not need to be dismantled as the frame has a removable seatstay.

This type of bike is remarkably simple and requires very few specialist tools to dismantle and reassemble.  The replacement of the headstem bearing was done by a local bike shop, otherwise I did all the work myself with whaterver spanners I could find that were lying around.  The bottom bracket was left in the frame as this was in good condition.

First of all I brushed the whole frame with paint stripper, then removed all the old paint using a variety of tools.  The bare frame was inspected for flaws and then cleaned with white spitit.  I resprayed the frame using undercoat followed by a 2 pack epoxy top coat with all the appropriate components suitably masked.  Patience is required during respray.  It is best to apply several light coats rather than beng impatient and using the whole can all at once!  It is best to start working on the bike again after a nice hard finish is achieved.  Follow the instructions on the can!

The rebuild went smoothly enough although with the benefit of hindsight it would have been better to use a larger wheel size than 26" mountain bike.  Bear in mind that brake lugs etc. do not come in to play and so any wheel size can be used except that pedal to ground clearance may be reduced using smaller wheels.  The gearing can be adjusted be altering the single cog on the rear.  I have also found that using wide, flat handle bars helps when climbing as you can use the bars to pull on as well as just using your body weight. 

Airey's Inlet, 23/12/2012, by Richard Nurse


Airey's Inlet to Lorne and return.

Conditions- bright sunshine with a strong southerly wind.
I set off just ahead of Steve on his recumbent and pressed on hard. This was a race of sorts!! The southerly headwind proved troublesome although the gearing (gear) was about right. I had the choice of a low aero tuck position or to stand up and keep my body prone to the wind. Either way progress was reasonably slow but managable. I made it to Big Hill (99m elevation) and then on to Lorne ahead of Steve and waited 5 minutes or so till he came in.  Cold milk in Lorne - it contains protein apparently - and then we were on our way back to Airey's.  Steve passed me on the flat bit leading up to Cathedral rock but I was able to reel him in on the uphill, only to have him zoom past as soon as it was downhill again.  Didn't see him again all the way to Airey's Inlet.

If I had another go at the bike I would put on the proper size (700C or 28") wheels, the small wheels make the ground clearance to the ground clearance to the pedals a bit small.


Today I have learnt that cycling in santa costumes is difficult at best. The pants afford minimal ventilation and where very baggy about the ankles, flirting dangerously with the freshly oiled chain of the single-speed. But it was painted in a very smart matching red.

When Steve and Richard went for their adventure yesterday, I went for a ride on a mystery mountain bike. The frame and wheels were probably a tad small for my comfort, but it was still easy to ride. The tire tread was very bald making riding on the Airey's Inlet unsealed roads very difficult. The bicycles that 'live' at this house are all in various states of disrepair, decades of cobwebs and sea air aren't the greatest conditions for storage, but they do meet of brief of getting one to the shops and back without to much trouble

Second lesson of the day. Santa suits are not made for open water swimming.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Moving Bottom Bracket Recumbent

Front Wheel drive Moving Bottom Bracket Recumbent Bike....

which was made by adapting one of my fixed bottom bracket bikes.....

original layout was like this........

and a bottom bracket brazed to a headstem was the only part I had to make.

I have 2 of the fixed bottom bracket bike I usually ride and one of them is to muck around with as described here. Today I converted it to moving bottom bracket front wheel drive and did a few blockies on it.  Its ridable but I need to keep my knees about 30cm apart otherwise they will bang in to the steering bar.  I made a stem part to fix this: will post more later.


Steve Nurse
Monday December 10

This is the bike with the changed stem, it is now rideable without holding my knees apart but the stem and pedal bracket is a bit wobbly.  Nevertheless its much better to ride than yesterday, and quite a bit of fun.  I can turn fairly tight corners and still keep my shoes clicked in to the pedals.

Will post more as the design evolves.

2012 OzHpv Rally in Myrtleford Part 2

Friday Book Sale at Myrtleford

Graham Signiorini checks out Pete Heal's Velokraft

Some of the visors the Canberra mob use

Jesse (orange T-shirt) and his tandem at the Rail Trail Cafe

Boardgames at the Caravan Park

Simon Watt's chainring "retro but very low q factor"
Some of the shopping from Benella & Myrtleford.  The blue glass is called "Siestaware" and it cracks a mention in one of my recent posts.

OzHpv annual General meeting

Just posting photos, no blow by blow description this time.  Here is the video I took of Pete Heal on the way to Lake Buffalo.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

2012 OzHpv Rally in Myrtleford Part 1

Everton Bus Shelter: Nicely furnished....

Simon W. and Willem fixing a flat

Lloyd & Lloyd & Chris in The Idyl Bookshop and caf in Wangaratta

Simon W. and the Yellow Baron

Lloyd, Lloyd, Wes, Willem, Struan

Deb and Chris
Wangaratta Chronicle

Simon & Graham

Graham after a dip near Wangaratta

Last Sunday my wife Christine & I got back from a bike trip to Myrtleford, "The OzHpv Annual General Meeting and End of Year / what goes on the bike trip stays on the bike trip bike trip" is the grandiose title of the event which I just made up.  Anyway, we had an agenda for the meeting and an agenda for the bike trip and we got on with it.

Wednesday: Drove up to Myrtleford from Melbourne, stopped in the op shop in Benella along the way.  Checked in to the Myrtleford Caravan Park.  Dinner with George Durbridge, Simon Watt, Willem Reid and Christine at the Happy Valley Hotel where George was staying. The host of the Hotel is Mick and we had a fine meal and heard Mick's bush band belt out a few numbers during dinner.

Thursday: Set out to ride from Myrtleford to Wangaratta (50k) quite early with me, Willem and Simon.  Willem bailed it back to Everton quite early, it was hot! There were hills! It was a long way!  Once Willem had turned back I pushed on and caught up with Simon at Everton.  We had a rest and drink, then rode on to Wangaratta at good pace. We met a friend, Deb at the Idyll Book Cafe and also bike riders Wes, Lloyd B.C, Lloyd, Graham who had velomobiled from Melbourne, George who had left Myrtleford early and gone at his own pace.  Struan and Christine had picked up Willem and trike on the way in with the car.  Nice Cafe & Bookshop, we stayed for a while, cooled down, chatted with Deb.  Graham and I went for a swim as we started off for Myrtleford and soon caught up  with Simon on the rail trail.  Hot going with lots of water and rest required.  Graham was knackered by the time we reached Everton, help was called for and he was collected and brought on to Myrtleford by car.  Did I mention it was hot?  Small gathering in our cabin in the evening, after that I settled down after a shower and was soon asleep.

Later on I asked Lloyd how they had gone on the way back to Everton in the afternoon.  He said he and Llloyd B.C. were fine but Wes was not and had slowed to 5kph or so on his trike.  So the Lloyds got out a tow rope and towed Wes back to Everton, two trikes towing a third.  All ok in the end.

Llloyd and his home made trike at Myrtleford

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Some Shopping

New large mug is the recent addition ("bet you can't make it" ie drink this much beer)  to my small collection of tacky glasses made from brown glass bottles...

which are a part of my collection.......

of articles celebrating drinking, smoking and sloth.

Christmas presents (cacti in cute coffee mugs etc.) ....

From a garage sale.
Not much to say here.  My Saturday morning errands took me past several Garage sales and into several others where as usual I bought some junk.  No, not junk, wonderful stuff I will treasure forever.  Anyway, at one such sale they were selling cacti in coffee cups (with saucers and boxes) which I thought quite cute.  Returning later in the day with my wife Christine we bought about 7 of them.  Christmas shopping for my Mum & Dad, Auntie, Edith, Lynn, John, Claire all sorted!  Lynn and John, Claire, if you read this before the Christmas gathering you have to at least feign interest and surprise.  You owe it to us, we did the hard yards.  Revealing all in a pre Christmas blog makes no difference.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Geelong Races November 11

A tricked up Performer Highracer, one of the spectators' bikes

Mike K. crosses the line

Swapping bikes & chatting

Headquarters Tent

Graham S. in Rotovelo

Damian H. in full flight on his Challenge Hurricane

On the Sunday just gone, ozHpv held a second race event in Geelong.  We had a small but enthusiastic racing contingent and many onlookers and enthusiastic volunteers.  Robert W's "Be spon" contingent of 3 trikes and a bike joined us for a chort time at the start.

   Graham S. was the star of the show, winning both of the distance events despite keen competition from Mike King, and despite riding a lazy 60k there and 60k back from Newport to attend.  Mike King had a spill on the Cruzbike Vendetta attempting to overtake Graham on one of the last turns of the 3 lap race.  His elbow and leg were patched up and he carried on as if nothing had happened afterwards.  "Used to it as a bike racer", he said!

It was good to see Ballarat's Mike Bear again and he won the slalom and was enthusiastic trying out lots of other bikes.

Sig from  Clifton Springs came along with a very nice bike and trike for sale.  He was really keen on the slalom and took to it like a 5 year old kid,  with a huge grin on his face after attacking the course with gusto and lifting a wheel at every opportunity.

We had a bit of drama on the way home, the front roof rack wasn't secure and flipped over the top of the car with the bike still attached.  No real harm done but a bit of a scare and a lesson learnt.

(Wise man say,  "if thou be so foolish as to carry a recumbent bicycle with tail fairing on the roof of ones car, maketh bloody well sure the tail fairing is at the back otherwise lift from said tailfairing will  dislodge said bicycle and potentially cause much heartache, grief, and chipping of paintwork"  Here endeth the lesson.)

Look forward to more Geelong ozhpv events in the future, this was as fine a way to spend a Sunday afternoon as I know.  Big thanks to Christine who held the fort at the reception desk all day.

PS Go Graham on Eastlink this Sunday!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

GSR1000 PART 2

Spencer Klaassen from the US rode the whole of GSR1200 on this fixed gear bike.  By the end, the frame was cracked near the bottom bracket and repaired using cable ties and an aluminium can.  Honorary Australian! 

Well its been more that a week since the end of the Audax GSR1000 and I'd like to put down my thoughts on the ride.  Before I forget, this is a link to the video I took after the ride.

Training: No amount of training will guarantee that you finish a big ride.  There will always be a chance of a bike frame breaking, sickness, accidents or extreme weather.  Doing the prescribed training will increase your chances of success, not secure you a finish.

Riding Technique and stuff I carried: All this was pretty good, but for me, stopping with everybody else after 75k probably didn't help things.  I can fairly well plod on all day.

Recumbents or not:  It doesn't matter what type of bike you ride, do the k's and you will be as prepared as you can be for a ride.

Navigation: I need to trust myself on this and print out or buy maps for each longish ride, and bring said maps with me.  The ride instructions were good, I had a secure and visible place to put them and a speedo and distance meter which  worked.  Just need to go through the directions on the cue sheet beforehand, mark them on the map and go from there.

Lights: Generator driven lights are the ultimate for this type of cycling, but slightly over the top for general commuting.  Nevertheless, generators etc. would make sustained night riding easy.  Probably something which feeds a USB charger device would be best, this would mean I could charge my phone as well.  Will keep my eye out for something.

Hills: From what I can work out, recumbent trikes and upright  bikes are better at climbing hills than recumbent bikes.  This means a long sustained hill of hundreds of metres of rise, not a city molehill.  There are no balance issues on a trike, and an upright rider can swing the body around to balance at very low speeds.  For a recumbent bike to climb at low speeds, it helps if the torso is fairly vertical and the shoulders free to move.  The other alternative is very good fitness and ability to climb the longest hill of a ride at about 10kph in almost any weather.

Carrying stuff: The bike performed well in carrying my gear but I didn't have a good setup for carrying important things like phone, wallet, snacks etc. close at hand.  Other recumbentists had bum bags which seemed to work well.  Need to try something like that myself.

And Thanks: to my advisers on this ride, Pete Heal, Peter Matthews, Simon Watt, principal ride companion Henry De Man and all the volunteers for the ride.  The organisation was very good and we always felt well supported.

Back in 4 years for GSR1200 2016?  You Betcha! 

PS, you can't go anywhere these days, I have been mentioned in despatches, see here


Steve Nurse

Thursday, November 1, 2012

GSR1000 2012

Christine & Duncan at Airey's Inlet

Duncan, Paul, Henry

Duncan & Carbent

Peter Matthews

End of Day 1, Henry and bikes in Cobden Hilton

"You're Gonna put your faith in me / When I'm lit up like a Christmas tree" (Triffids / Hell of a Summer lyric coopted for description of Henry's night reflective gear)

Off - Audax: Henry and my bike between Cobden and Colac

Henry on the road

Paul's Metaphysic

One of the 1200k riders: only 30k or so to go.....
and these guys were all riding in a bunch with a massive tailwind
After the GSR, spending a great day relaxing with family on the Surfcoast, surfing, visiting op shops and skateparks, and listening to music on the car's mp3 doodah.  And the occasional cheering of passing GSR cyclists.

Its Thursday night and I have been home from the 1000k Great Southern Randonnee for just over a day, but unfortunately I didn't finish it. Will tell that story now!

Audax is an International Long Distance Cycling Organisation and you actually don't know about the international bit until you attend a recognised 1200k ride.  These rides are held in many countries around the world but only happen in a given place every 4 years.  The great - grand - poobah ride of them all is the Paris - Brest - Paris ride which is huge and well known in cycling circles but there are many other great internationals as well.  The Great Southern Randonnee is one of these!

I signed up for the GSR1000 months before the event was due and spent many weeks training, doing extra commutes, finding out about cycling nutrition, doing 200 and 300k rides, riding up and down hills constantly for 4 hours at a stretch.  But tough Audax cycling doesn't start till about 400k, and a few recumbent Audaxers told me so!

For me the event started when we met Duncan McDonald at Geelong for a small ozhpv event we organised there.  Duncan lives in New Zealand and has organised Audax rides there, he's involved in the recumbent and Human Powered vehicle scene there as well.  New Zealand Audax held its first 1200k ride a few months ago and 9 riders took part, 3 were from New Zealand and the rest were from Australia, the U.S. and other parts of the globe. Now 7 of those 9 are in the Great Southern Randonee!

So, to the rides.  The 1200k ride started on Monday night and I was there to film the start with Duncan.  The only 2 recumbents were a guy from Seattle and Peter Heal from Canberra.

Duncan and I were "on" the next morning and organised a lift from Airies Inlet to Anglesea.  Duncan was due to do 300k on Tuesday and 300 on Thursday, and I was up for 1000k, Tuesday morning to Friday morning.  But there was a devil lurking, the heat.  It was due to be 30 degrees C and the hottest day of the spring.

Set off fine and cruised to Apollo Bay.  It was a real pearler of a day, fine rolling waves coming in off Bass Straight, a few surfers dotted around the ocean.  Paul on his Metaphysic and Peter Matthews kept me company, and the road offers plenty of zoomy downhills to slip away from upright riders and enjoy.  Hot by Apollo Bay and I abandoned my (sun blocking but warming) leg tights and long shirt in favour of short sleeved-shirt, nude legs and sunscreen.  Most riders were fine although Duncan came in a bit late.  Big hills out of Apollo bay and 2 lots of them leading up to Lavers Hill.  A few strong riders powered on ahead of me but I started having trouble, some slow speeds and some get-off and walks.  My speedo is a fairly new accessory and I can report that 4.6 or so kph is walking and my minimum speed is 7 or so.  Gears are low enough but it gets a bit wobbly and stressful!

Anyway, there are others struggling up the hill and I passed one gentleman on an upright who was walking and not in real good shape.

Got to Lavers hill by soon after 4pm, had a drink and something to eat but was a bit sick in the stomach.  Reached 73k or so on the downhill after Lavers, took a phone call from Jamie Friday and whooshed past some resting touring cyclists at about 40kph.  Riding no hands.  Much to their bemusement!

Close to Port Campbell I caught up with Henry who was to be my ride companion for the next day.  He was going quite slow like me and we chatted a bit and rode into Port Campbell about 1/2 an hour before the checkpoint closed.  A few of the 1000k riders were there and generally  despondent, and a couple of others arrived in a bit later.  Paul had been helping the gentleman who'd had trouble on the way up to Laver's Hill who had been picked up by the sag / first aid wagon.  One rider had done a hamstring, two felt weak and didn't want to go on.  Hadn't seen Duncan or Peter Matthews.  Henry and I ate and drank, slothed around a bit and generally recovered.  Henry had a shower and after Audax formalities we agreed to ride on together.   Henry had done two Paris-Brest-Paris rides so I thought, yeah, fine, he knows his stuff. 

Soon after Port Campbell we fell in with a fine gentleman, road bike rider and farmer, Craig, who was out for a training ride and we chatted for a while on the road to Timboon.  It was dark by this time but riding was no hassle with good lights and reflective stuff.

We were going along ok but went straight through Timboon where a left was on the route map.  We had no sat nav or maps and realised we were off course about 5k later.  We didn't turn back but compounded our error and eventually decided to give up the ride and bail it to a nearby town to sleep and await for a bakery to open.  After a few tries, Henry got through to mission control and reported our whereabouts, and we rode on to Cobden where (at 11:30 on a Tuesday night away from holiday season) you guessed it, nothing was happening.

Quite close to the town's public toilets, and beside a Church hall, Henry and I crashed out for the night.  Somewhere amongst all the advice, someone said it was a good idea to take a space blanket.  And it was a good idea, I had purchased said space blanket for the princely sum of $4.00 and I used it.  The night was very warm and I think I got in an hour or two's sleep.

We decamped by about 6 and plonked our bums outside the bakery till it opened at 7, then had breakfast of pies and custard tart.  Yes, we do all the gourmet stuff!

Back in to Anglesea via Colac and Birregurra, it was another hot day and we passed lush pasture fields and drystone wall fenced farms.  Not much traffic and usually downhill with a tailwind.  Quite a bit of chatting with Henry and we got in to Anglesea about 2:30pm I think. Shook hands with Henry when we arrived, he seemed quite fit and he and went off for a swim.  By way of contrast,  I was knackered and after a shower and an hour's sleep plodded back to Airey's Inlet.

So for me,  that was it bar the shouting.  Will follow up with more news and gossip, cycling fashion tips etc. after the post-ride barbecue tomorrow.


Steve Nurse

PS Here is the link to the rider chart for the GSR (click on 1000) - note that only 2 out of 12 finished the 1000k ride.