News and Events

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Testing the Hollow Beam Bike

A few of the build details...

Of the new bike...

including cable-through handlebars with small stoppers on the ends.
Here is the whole thing after finishing a blocky.

As discussed yesterday, my newest wooden bike was almost finished.  Today is a hot Saturday and this morning I worked on the bike (find, fit and adjust brakes, gearchange lever and derailleur) for a while till I was hot, knackered and hungry.  Then I came in, regathered my strength and have just finished the bike off (found bolts to secure the seat, bolt on the seat) and been around the block, multitool and shifter in hand.  The steerer is still a little bit loose but otherwise I have a bike which is a goer.  It weighs about 16kg but there are a few things still to add, ie corflute box on the back, and seat varnish and padding.

Yesterday, when riding my other wooden recumbent, I was singing and reflecting on the benefits of lightening and hollowing out bicycle beams, (with apologies to Little Feat  )
"Driven every kind of rig that's ever been made,
and ridden the backstreets, so I wooden get weighed"

All for now

Steve Nurse

All for now

Hollow Beam-Bike

Light, hollow timber components for bike: "rear triangle".  This is an engineered version of a completely handmade rear triangle shown here.
Rotary Laser cut Handlebar parts, brazed in and as supplied.
Some extra routing I did, recesses for the bottom bracket plate.  Note the plates under the wood used to set the milling height.
Back of frame with rear pivot (black square) and plates used to hold the back wheel. 
Bike taking shape, I am borrowing a few bits from the bike shown in the background.
Some solar lights bought today and now adorning the back yard.
Edith Lynch with Christine - dinner out the front of our place.
Front of the frame assembly.  There are 2 plywood plates and one steel plate each side of the frame and these help distribute the load (mainly from braking) evenly into the frame.  Without these plates, the main beam timber splits pretty quickly. 

Its summer holidays here and I've been spending some time working on a hollow beam bike.  As mentioned way back here , I've been gathering parts for a while and some of the NC routed timber parts for the bike been hanging round the house for months.  More recently, I've bought custom made laser-cut flats and tubes (lugs, dropouts and handlebars) and various bronze bushes and shoulder bolts (suspension pivot).  So this week there has been some fairly patient drilling, filing, painting, varnishing and gluing.  In some places where the wood looks weak, I've put a fibreglass - and - epoxy skin in place to improve strength.  The timber frame and rear triangle bits are routed on one side only.  The routing is to remove material for weight saving and to get most of the functional holes ( for bottom bracket, rear triangle pivot etc.) in place and  accurately cut.

It may be rideable tommorrow, will see how it goes.

Best Wishes and compliments of the Season!

Steve Nurse

PS - My article about iLean trikes was published this week, thanks to Vi Voung and Theo Schmidt at Hupi.  Here is the link -  your comments most welcome.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Ewan Graduating

Exhibition Building, Melbourne, my son Ewan in gown graduating......
from Biomedical Engineering.
Ewan, Phoebe, Christine waiting outside for the start.
Afterwards, on the way to the Pub

Last Saturday my wife Christine and I took a taxi in to the Royal Exhibition Building to watch my son Ewan graduating with a Masters Degree in Biomedical Engineering.  We were just on time arriving but as we pulled up near the building, we got a phone call from Ewan saying there was a fire evacuation and not to hurry.  We met Ewan and his girlfriend Phoebe out the front and sauntered in when the (smallish) fire was all put out and sorted.

Well a greaduation ceremony is quite an affair and its not at all like receiving exam results by SMS or other abbreviated form of communication.  Oh no.  Upstanding and proper universities have long and formal ceremonies where various University people who have degrees and Masters degrees and even doctorate thingies gather on the stage and confer bits of paper on Graduands and then the Graduands have degrees and Masters degrees and even doctorate thingies.  This involves much wearing of gowns and funny hats, photography, bowing and shaking hands.  Ewan was part of it all.  My photography was a bit remiss, I didn't get up in time to get a good photo of Ewan on the stage.

After the ceromony we went to a pub for lunch.  Congratulations Ewan!


Stephen Nurse

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Ozhpv gathering, Corowa NSW, December 2013

Near Chiltern, a horse having a cool off....

and a drink in a swamp.

Ross's Zockra High Racer: note the cranks!

Bev and Alex in Chiltern
Rick Willoughby  (in stripy shorts) and his pedal powered boat on the Murray

Bev and Alex, just West of Chiltern

"The fast Mob"

Just about everyone in Rutherglen

Lloyd Charter
Me! Riding to the RSL club.  Carrying everything with you in the bike precludes carrying a suit for such occasions.  (Graeme S. Photo)

Bustling Springhurst on a Saturday morning, the post office and
Hotel, now a private residence.
The fast mob in Howlong
On the way to the RSL


Last Saturday I travelled up to Corowa by train to visit the ozHpv gathering in Corowa.  The weekend included the Annual General Meeting for ozHpv but  mostly it's for getting together and riding with other recumbents.

So I got on the early train from Melbourne to one of the nearest towns on the railway line, Springhurst.  Springhurst has seen busier days, it used to be the terminus for a train line heading north to Corowa and Wahgunyah, but since that line  shut a lot of the town's activity shut too.  On last Saturday morning the only shop, (the post office) was closed and there were copies of the "Border Mail" labelled with their owner's names lying under a rock.  On the train I had been surveying the map I'd photocopied and Pete Heal's email concerning weekend activities and on getting to Springhurst rang Pete and confirmed I could head toward Chiltern and probably catch up with some other recumbent cyclists / fellow lunatics*.  (*Pick one depending on your attitude)

Nice riding between Springhurst and Chiltern with virtually no traffic.  And Alex from Natural Speed Engine and Bev were in Chiltern and I joined up with them for lunch and the occasional rummage in second hand shops.  The main group were still a fair way away and Bev, Alex and I headed off on a backroad toward Rutherglen.  We split up at Rutherglen and I visited Tapsell's books which is vast and I picked up a very good vintage surfboard plan for not very much.

After that it was a short trip on the bike track to Wahgunyah and a longish climb through Corowa and beyond to the Bindaree caravan park and motel - Ozhpv headquarters for the weekend.  I set up my tent and met up with a few old bike riding mates, Graeme Signiorini, Peter Moller from Adelaide, Willem Reid, Struan Little and many more, as well as "The Canberra Mob" and "The Audax Mob" and "The Geelong Mob".

Soon after arrival, Rick Willoughby gave a demonstration of his pedal powered boats and invited any and everyone to have a go.  The boats appeared quite fast and there were certainly no awkard motions (rowing).  The AGM followed and then an evening and dinner at the massive Corowa RSL.  The venue had not one but 2 bands playing, the Abba tribute band "Babba" and a Country and Western dude.  After dinner a napkin got passed round with the agenda for the next day's ride.  Very impromptu but it worked.

The morning's ride was "all roads lead to Rutherglen", with the fast mob riding 50k over 2 hours via Howlong to get there.  I must admit I struggled to keep up with everyone, speeds were about 24kph  into the wind and 30kph in cross winds.  In the end I rode into Rutherglen with Duncan Cleland from Canberra.  There was really a fine smattering of fast recumbents, Carnon fibre Velokrafts, Zockras, m5s and Perfomer lowracers amongst them.  After morning tea at the Rutherglen Bakery we rode back to Corowa and I packed up ready to head back to Melbourne.  I had already arranged a lift back with George and it was a pretty quick trip back.  Knackered when I got home and I slept for a few hours when I got there.  One of the highlights of the weekend was having very little to unpack!  There was the sleeping bag,  the tent and that was about it.  Anything else would have been too bulky to carry.  

Coincidentally, the RACV magazine has a current article about riding round Corowa, Rutherglen and Wahgunyah.  Here is the link

Ok, All for now.  Lots of bike bits await me in the shed and I'll spend some time in the next few weeks putting a hollow frame timber machine together.  As well, Simon Watt who was on the Corowa weekend (and also my "Oppy" team) is running a flat "easy" 1200k Audax ride in April 2014.  Not sure if I will do it but Alex was talking about going along.  This gives me some training to think about!