News and Events

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

Saturday, September 28, 2013

OzHpv Challenge 2013

There were some (hurtful!) comments about my trike in the the road race, saying that I (Hmmf of indignation) resembled Dick Dastardly of Wacky Races fame.  Nothing like me at all!  Where is my moustache and sidekick dog, huh? No, if my bike were a comic book car, it would of course be.......
(Ta da!) Fab1, the 6-wheel pink Rolls Royce of Thunderbirds fame.  By an overwhelming majority it has been voted "Best vehicle in the universe with gratuitous extra wheels"** although I'm sure my trike would have come close second had people known of its existance.
Jamie Friday, Heather Withers and Damian Harkin, officiating and using my trike as a desk at the end of the 2k time trial.
Jamie Friday tries my trike.
At the start of some race or other, my trike in the foreground, right to left Mark, Heather, Malcolm, Kate, Damian, Graham, Jamie, Rolf, George
Mark and Heather in the Shopping Race.  Colin Scrutineering
Shopping Race
Heather, Shopping Race
Kate, Shopping Race
2nd place vehicle, Malcolm Butler's 15-or-so years old Flying Furniture cycle made by Ian Humphries.  Malcolm's featured strongly at the challenge for many years.
Winning vehicle, Jamie Friday's "Preston" home made bike.  With this bike and various different front fairings, Jamie has won the Challenge a few times.
In between races it is all stress and strain.  Breakfast on Sunday morning, Mick, the go-kart track caretaker reads the paper and chats with Jamie, Damian and Graham

Some sort of cycling utopia
Rolf revs up for the 2k time trial, Colin officiating

Mark, Colin, George

And the Winners are! (drum roll) Kate, Heather and Jamie
The ozhpv challenge was held recently in Wodonga.  The challenge is a fairly unique set of races held over a weekend.  The aim is to determine the most practical Human Powered Vehicle by running a wide variety of races over a weekend.  Most cycle races don't admit that anything but a standard diamond frame cycle exist and don't test for things like manoeverability, accelleration or ability to carry luggage.

Wodonga is located within reasonable driving distance from Melbourne and  Canberra which are where where many Ozhpv members live.  A bit further afield are Sydney and Adelaide.  So people can reach the event for a weekend.

Anyway, back to the start!  When repairing my trike I didn't have a chance to test ride it before packing it into the car along with the ozhpv gazebo, timing gear and all my food and clothes.  Up till midnight as it was and off at 7:00am the next morning.

Arrived in Wodonga with plenty of time but couldn't clip my pedal into one of the cleats.  It turned out that I had the right pedal on the left had side and the right left had side and the trike stayed this way throughout the  weekend.   As well the screws keeping my bottom bracket attached to the frame weren't up to the job, with the chain pulling down on the bracket every time I pedalled, the bottom bracket got wobbly and the screws threatened to fall out. On top of all this, I'm not sure that the pedals weren't too short at 114mm.

So despite the trike being not quite right, it still went quite well, with my best result a second in the shopping race.  The full set of scores is here.

At night there was a small amount of entertainment, after the pizza and beer, Rolf Muller and I did a talk about our bikes and later there was a trivia quiz with questions supplied by my wife Christine. 

Congrats to the winners, Jamie Friday 1st, Malcolm Butler 2nd, Heather Withers Women's winner, Kate Junior winner.

Best wishes

Steve Nurse

** No it hasn't, I just made that bit up.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Richard Nurse: 1930's Raleigh Roadster

Richard's New Project

Here is a picture of my brother's new acquisition: he lives in Kent in the UK and bought this bike for 100 pounds or so.  He's gradually restoring it.  The bike has 28" wheels, a 3 speed gear with a shifter on the top tube, rod brakes and a leather saddle.  Anyway, a lovely old machine, good luck with the project Richard.


Steve Nurse

Saturday, September 21, 2013

ozHpv Challenge 2013: prolog

Repairs on the bike: Glue, fibreglass, file, add steel and plywood plates to spread the load on the bike frame.  Reassemble.

Back of the bike drying after varnishing. Short (89mm unicycle) cranks are shown, they can improve handling on this sort of trike.  

Frame drying

Long cranks on the back of the bike. Note that the chainring is on the left hand side as this configuration makes the wheel rotation the same as the pedal rotation in a standard bike.

Short Cranks

A selection of cranks without chainrings.  The long ones come from Greenspeed / Haberstock Mobility , are expensive and intended for Schlumpf drives.  The shorter ones have just the same configuration, can be inexpensive, are intended for unicycles and come from the unicycle . com online shop.  There is a wide variety including types with a disc brake mount which could add features such as parking stability to the type of HPV I have been experimenting with.

With a few weeks to go until the 2013 ozhpv challenge, my newest creation, the Vicycle had an unfortunate frame breakage in Sydney Road.  I had slammed on the brakes and the timber frame said "Uh Uh, I ain't gunna take this crap no more", and promptly split in 2.  It was then necessary to pick both the pieces of my trike and my dignity off the Sydney Road bitumen, gather them up and walk home.  This was all on the day after the federal election, and I had been looking forward to whizzing past all the Capital City Trail cyclists on my way back.  But instead, they were all passing me as I wheeled the trike, all the bits jumbled into the back of it.  Yes, I was passing the occasional Latte sipping, with kids or dogs or both frollicking group of amblers but that was about it.

When I got back I needed to think what to do to restore the bike.  A whole new frame was just a bit of timber with a few holes in it, but I didn't have a seat to match ready.  So restoring it seemed like the go.  This involved glueing the frame together at the front, then wrapping it in fibreglass on a cold weeknight, waiting for it to dry and then drilling and filing into the fibreglass to put the bottom bracket and head tube back in place.  There was lots of plywood and a few steel plates in there as well.  To cut a long story short I fixed the bike but not perfectly as later posts will reveal.  As well I bought and fitted unicycle cranks to various parts of the bike, the photos are up above.

Steve Nurse

The sad news of the passing of our very dear friend Jen Brady reached us a few weeks ago.  Our sympathy and best wishes go out to her family and friends, especially Rob, Finn and Jackson.  Rest in Peace, we will miss you (Christine, Steve and Ewan Nurse)


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Geelong HPV Races 2013

Left to right at Damian's house, Aki, Kim, Graham, Damian

Kim, Graham, Damian, George, Aki

With Damian

Graham S

With Graham S

George at the start of the slalom race

Damian on his Hurricane

Graham S

Victory is mine!  In the relay race at least.
Last Saturday, ozHpv held a race day in Geelong and although there were few in attendance, the event was held in good weather and a pleasant time was had by all.  I almost won a race (off road) on the highly improbable Vicycle.  Graham Signiorini won overall.  Most of these pictures were taken by Aki Kubota.  Aki had bought one of my bikes through ebay the week before and came down to watch us race on his mountain bike and he entered all the races.

After racing, we all retired to Damian's house for beer and coffee, a few yarns and a good laugh.