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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

2017 Highlights


During last year (2017) I wasn't in full-time employment, and wasn't even a full-time student, so had time for a few bike-and-other projects.  And for a year like last year, it's useful for me to write down and share what those projects are if only to document that I've still been productive and haven't wasted my time.  Hear we go!

Buckley's Ride

This is the trip round port Phillip Bay near Melbourne.  Finished in 13 hours on one of my "Fred" bikes.  With a few improvements to the bike (like wheel covers) body (like training) and weather (a bit cooler) I managed the same ride 2 hours faster this year. Woohoo!

Up till September

I was still working on my Industrial Design Master's Degree thesis which was originally submitted in December 2016.  This involved exhibitions of my leaning trikes at Monash Caulfield  in January and April, rewriting the exegesis up to June, passing in September and finally graduation in December 2017.  Because the original submission date was in 2016, I didn't include any 2017 design innovations in my exegesis. The Exegesis tries to answer the research question "How can DIY leaning trikes contribute to Sustainable Transport?"

A Short Tour

In early Feb I rode from Geelong to Airey's Inlet and then on to Ballarat where I took part in a charity ride for the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute.  Quite good fun, and a good break from my studies. I was quite pleased with my time for the 150k or so from Airey's Inlet to Ballarat.  Last year there were ripe Blackberries for picking on the route, and it's blackberry season again now, but I don't plan on riding this time unless I am invited onto a team for the fecri ride at the last minute.

A trip to Aki's Place

In mid March I visited my friend Aki's place.  Up till then I had no idea of the great variety if bikes, penny farthings, unicycles recumbents and tandems he had crammed into his small flat and garage.  For this picnic he brought out a selection for students staying at the hostel where he works to have a go of.  I had his flevobike for a few months now and have now handed it back to him.

Wooden Trike

In April I received some NC routed parts to make a wooden framed leaning trike.  My master's was already under assessment at the time, so this trike wasn't part of my study.  But I felt I had some unfinished business with this style of trike.  The wooden trike for the masters didn't have a tailbox made with the latest features.  As well, a timber design competition came up and I decided to enter that with a trike.  Later in the year the trike was in the Fringe Furniture Exhibition.  I managed to ride it to the exhibition with a Bickerton Folding bike in the back.  I'm very proud of the wooden trike.  Its creaky, completely unignorable and lots of fun to ride.  Once the trike was finished, I had 2 wooden trikes and donated the old one to Monash HPV Team.  Hopefully they are putting it to good use. In a way, this trike was returning home, the parts for the frame had been routed at the Monash Mechanical Engineering workshop.

Cetus 3d Printer

At the end of April I purchased a 3d printer from Cetus and it has been in frequent use.  With the Cetus, I've been developing parts and systems that I hope will soon get me in to Phd studies . Here is an example of some of the work I've been doing. I am nothing short of ambitious for the parts made with this printer and hope to use them as part of a successful phd application. I put a clock design up on Thingiverse, here is the link.

Trips to Bendigo for the OzHPV Challenge.

Throughout 2017 I was organising the OzHPV challenge which was held in December, but in October I travelled up to Bendigo to drum up some support. The challenge went well with most races running as planned, everyone enjoyed themselves but really there needs to be more people turning up if it is to continue.


My brother Richard and his partner Sarah came out from England twice and it was good to see them. My mum and Dad are still living at home but Mum is driving a bit less these days.  Our son Ewan and his wife Phoebe are doing very well.  Ewan finished his Phd in Biomedical engineering and now has a job at Seer Medical, as a medical data scientist no less.  My wife Christine had a shoulder operation and she is slowly recovering from that.  For the moment I'm staying at home helping her, and writing articles, applying for courses, making models and trikes in my spare time.

New Year's Resolution

No big ones for me!  Sofar, my only resolution is not to drink soda water to cut down on the amount of plastic and transporting of stuff that gets carted around from place to place, and I've stuck with it sofar.  At the moment I only drink bottled water in exceptional circumstances, and not drinking soda water is an extension of that avoidance.  As far as steps to save the environment go, this is bugger all and miniscule but it is at least something.

Plans for 2018

I plan to sell the bikes and trikes I don't need and have started this with one trike listed on ebay already. I plan to make at least one more as well, and that will be a fastish trike for Audax.  This will have a lighter seat and steerer than my current trikes and possibly include a front fairing.  I have had holes for a fairing in the custom front dropouts I made for my trikes for months now, and have never used them. The aerodynamics of the front part of my trikes look fairly crap to me and I hope to remedy that with a lightweight fairing.

The next Audax I plan to enter is Green Wedge Hills on Sunday March 4 which starts quite locally and comes in 100 and 200k flavours.  By the time this ride comes along I plan to redecorate my trike appropriately and have some sort of gps doover to guide me.  The trikes I ride these days both have "for sale on ebay" signs on them, so doing Audax rides on my trikes is cheap marketing besides being enjoyable and good exercise. By the end of the year I hope to post some DIY trike plans on the internet.

As for a day job, I hope to get accepted into a Uni for PHd study, and have been applying to various unis and departments for several months now.  If I get accepted it should keep me mostly out of trouble for 3 years or so. Hallelujah when I get accepted!


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