News and Events

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

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Audax Head Tube Badge

Audax bling as head tube badge on Malvern Star Sportstar.
1st try was not quite so successful, this was an attempt to make a brooch or display case mount for the older series of French Audax badges.

2nd go quite a bit better.

RHS, note biopace.


Final badge detail, the 3d printing is not much good at handling stress, and the timber at the sides makes most of the forces on the orange printed parts compressive.

In the Wild #1.....

and #2

For a while I have been accumulating Audax Badges.  These are small pats on the back you can give yourself after finishing a ride and come in French, Australian, and cloth badge varieties with different distances from short (ish) 50k to much longer 600, 1000 and 1200k rides. Every few years the badge style is refreshed, so you can start collecting, or slinging them into a dusty old box all over again.

Anyway, the French enamel badges don't come with any pin on the back, so they can't easily be mounted on a board or worn as a brooch, or even put on display in the pool room .  I decided to do something about that, so about 2 months ago tried scanning one of the badges, tracing over the resulting profile in Autocad, importing that into Solidworks, and then 3d printing it as a mounting plate for the badge.  Unfortunately that attempt came out no good (top photo, a small problem with scale!), and I shelved the idea for a while.

Then, a few weeks ago, more bling arrived by post courtesy of Rober Wikinson's Big Al Rides 200 brevet, and at about the same time as a Malvern Star Sportstar bike frame arrived in my life courtesy of Wecycle.  I was motivated to start again, and did so, and the above photos are the results of both the bike resto and badge mounting.

Here are the relevant details!

Bike: Malvern Star Sportstar frame, fork and seatpost with pieces salvaged from other bikes & my stockpiles, 11-34 6 speed cluster, Shimano 38t biopace single chainring, non-indexing gear shifter, 27" steel wheels, Selle Royale suspension saddle.

Bling: Audax 2016 -2019 French 200k medal, mounted in 3d printed plastic and timber frame, suits 32 diameter head tube.  3d print completed at home on Cetus 3d printer, in orange PLA+ material. 19 x 7mm pine timber.


Steve Nurse

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Flower of the month for July

Stopping to collect Brassica, or cabbage-type weeds in Studley Park Road, just near the Yarra River

There is masses of the stuff, and its easy to pull out. I am not sure if they appear every year, or this is just the first time I've noticed it.
Some of the weeds I pulled are now in planters at the side of the house.  Instant garden!  Note bike under repair, it was rescued from a hard rubbish pile and is in pretty good nick.

More captive salad leaves in the kitchen.
Of course, once you see and notice a plant once, it seems to be everywhere.  Here is another patch in Royal Park.

In previous posts like this one, I documented a Melbourne "Flower of the Month" but have been a bit slack on that lately, but I'm reviving the series.  And maybe it should be called weed of the month, as my recent involvement with plants has involved edible weeds including Fennel, and this month's Brassica.  Our ex neighbor was Greek and used to pick edible and cookable weeds and plants from the nearby creekside, and a recently acquired book, The Weed Forager's Handbook has rekindled the foraging weed instinct in me. Anyway, enjoy the pictures, and the book is highly recommended!  Regards

Steve Nurse

My trike and more Brassica plants (at left) Other unknown plants (at right)

Sunday, July 15, 2018

About my trikes, the heart

Local letterbox, with decorative steel support, and

another one, and

yet another one. This style of fence and post decoration has been celebrated in the local Green Bins artwork on Hoddle Street, which is still there and thriving.
Letterbox and house number, now that's thinking!
Lego house number and letterbox, that's really thinking! 
Bluebower Letter box with diorama

Bluebower Letterbox with lego diorama.

Bluebower #3

Bluebower #4

What's with all the letterboxes, then?  It's really just showing off some local creativity and everyday playfulness in our neighbourhood, and to draw attention to their similarity to the ideas present in the Bluebower letterboxes and some of my trikes.

Just like in "about my trikes, the bones" on the structure of my trikes and lack of chain stress in the frame, there is an appeal to a higher theory here, and that is contained in Jules Pretty's "Manifesto for the Green Mind" which is an anti-sloth, pro-happiness, pro-learning and pro-environment wake-up call. It calls for regular physical activity outdoors, continued cognitive engagement  and socially based activities and creativity low in material consumption yet delivering health benefits.

After picking out photos of my own creations, a phrase welled up for some of the enabling tools (bluebower letterboxes, my trikes when they go on sale) for this creativity and that is "gifts that keep on giving".  That is, like learning to play the ukelele say, these are things that don't stop, and can be played with, learned about, and used to provoke satisfaction and discussion and interest and friendship.  A certain amount of vanity needs to be thrown away, your diorama, your ukelele playing, your bike side panel, your bike pedal will never be perfect and some of your friends might disagree but what the hell, life's for living. Or something.

That is probably enough rabbitting on for now, photos of some bikes and trikes and their customisation follow, which is just the same as my usual blog, but a bit of a summary and showcase.


Steve Nurse

Experimental speed trike, the seat is laid back further and the steerer is longer than usual

Wooden trike as seen at fringe furniture 2017

Timber trike with clear sides and internal lighting

Clear sides on timber trik tailbox.

cutting out clear panels

Cloth covered panel #1

Corflute panel internals

Plywood panel

Plywood panel internal

Decorated corflute at master's degree exhibition and celebration

In the wild near Melbourne town hall

Cloth panel #2 from an old cycling jersey I owned but never wore.

Sold this load carrying trike during the year.

Cloth Panel #3

In the wild with a trike including cloth panel #2, Audax 100k ride.

Pedal modification for recumbent bike, the red parts are 3d printed

Another Pedal Mod

My wife Christine at work on cloth panel #4

Graham Signorini's bike foreground, mine background at U.N. International Bike Day

With James and mike from Wecycle, U.N. International Bike Day

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Audax 200k ride, Cobram

Outside Cobram Hilton

Audax ride start

My fixed bottom bracket front wheel drive, Simon's moving bottom bracket front wheel drive

Road to Berrigan

Apple Supply

Fuel tank with pizza and apples


Still trying to perfect the on-bike selfie, the colourful background keeps getting in the way of the blurry thumb covering the lens.

Waaiwa Post Office. Zoom out a bit and you would see sheep and horses.

A 2d selfie, just before sunset near Namurkah

Brevet Card, Job Done.

Ambience Cafe Cobram, from left to right in foreground Simon, Rodney, Ann, Peter

OzHpv committee meeting in Cobram. We struggled through the adverse conditions which included a few wasps and hoards of pesky noisy gossippy nearby but mostly friendly Audaxers. Left to right, Richard, Simon, Dome, Ian. Tim is in the meeting by the wonders of modern communication, Simon's circled black phone was on speaker mode.


A few months ago, the OzHpv committee planned a meeting for July, and it was suggested that it coincide with an Audax ride, and we chose Rodney Cruz's North and South of the Murray rides around Cobram as the best alternative. Dome lives in Western Sydney, Richard in Tungamah only 50k from Cobram, Tim, Simon and I are in Geelong and Melbourne,  so Cobram seemed fairly central.

The weekend and meeting went exceptionally well, having got back and had a few days to recover feel quite refreshed.

So I went up to Cobram on Friday, and arrived in time to set up my tent at the Willows caravan park, then drive out to visit my Dad's cousin and her husband, Mary and Geoff.  Mary and Geoff are both well, in their late 80's and still living on the farm which their son David runs.

I drove back into town and bumped into Dave Harrington who was pootling around the caravan park looking for fellow Audaxers, and then Ian Boehm, staying in a nearby cabin. We arranged to meet at a pub for dinner later.

Then followed "First dinner" of bread and left over casserole, microwaved in the caravan park's outdoor kitchen microwave with some friendly locals mingling around.  After meeting Ian and Simon in their cabin I was bumped up to first class, a couple of people had withdrawn from the cabin due to injury and family issues, and I had a bed! in a heated! cabin with a colour! TV and microwave and kettle and other modern accoutrements.

Second dinner was pizza and a few beers at the pub with Dave, his partner Ann, Simon and Ian. I really couldn't eat all the pizza and drink all the beer, I was full up and felt a bit sick but wrapped the left over pizza in some serviettes for later consumption.

Up early next morning for the ride (link to route map) , and we met up with a few familiar crew at the start in central Cobram.  Squawly winds had been predicted and they duly arrived, cold and with a small amount of rain from the west.  So the ride to Berrigan (mostly North) was ok, but turning left to go to Finley it was headwind all the way.  Luckily I was riding with someone then and we took turns pushing into the wind.  After morning tea in Finley, it was a solo ride for me the whole way, although we had a bit of overlap at the Cobram lunch stop, the Ambience Bakery.  The hard bit of the second 100k was from the start of Blarney Road, about 24k of headwinds diluted only by roadside trees and crops.  Right at the start there were lots of apples lying on the ground, and I helped myself to some and that was most welcome.

Here is the video  I took near Waaiwa, a town with a very small post office!  I ended up getting back in to Cobram about 8pm, which was not bad I reckon.  My gps had been (gasp, shock) useful, and I'd been able to light it up with my helmet light when required, so that pleased me a lot.

Next morning, after an evening spent watching the Tour De France start, we packed up and reconvened at the Ambience Cafe, first (9am) to catch up with some fellow Audax ne'er do wells, and then 10am for a very productive Ozhpv committee meeting.  The Ozhpv Challenge 2018 is on, woohoo! If I keep up the Audax riding I might even be really fit for it.

Thanks to Ian and Simon for the upgraded accommodation, and to Rodney for organising the Audax ride.