News and Events

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

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Ossie Nicholson Ride


Basic time and distance stats for the ride. I used the gps as a speedo throughout, as navigation was simple and most of the ride was on familiar roads.

Official version on Audax brevet card. I stopped at all the official checkpoints, and this proved to be just the right places for rest and refuelling stops.

Just before Frankston on the way back. There was a very welcome tailwind from this point on. Also, traffic was light, so most often I had a lane to myself. Lights worked well.

Portsea food stop, a lamington eaten on the spot and another stored for later.

Delivery of lamington and hot chocolate from the Portsea shop.

Atop Arthur's seat, which I walked up, pushing the bike due to the steepness of the hill. The chairlift operation was most impressive, and so quiet I could hear singing (happy birthday) and conversations from the gondolas as I ascended. At one point I waved to a gondola, and got a "nice bike" response. "Better if it had a really big motor on it" was my obvious reply.

Audax kit at Mount Martha, includes Brevet card and Take - a - look mirror. Peter Donnan recommends it!

Mt. Martha stop, Paul on left. I had ridden with him and Bryan Taaffe late last year. This time, I was faster than Paul on the flat and downhill, but he was much quicker than me on Arthur's seat. I saw him briefly again at Portsea, he was leaving as I was arriving.

Bryan Taaffe on Beach Road

A bit slow for Bryan, a bit fast for me. For about 20k we were on a compromise speed of 30kph. Bryan is training for an around - Australia ride and was good for about 35kph on this sort of stretch. With my level of training I was good for about 25kph. After Bryan had flitted off, I was able to join in a small, relaxed, chatty pelleton doing 25 or 26 between Mordialloc and Frankston. I needed to recover my energy a bit!

Bryan at the start.

At the start, there are some gun riders here including Rishi Fox. There is free parking under this bridge in Port Melbourne, but I rode there and back, at least partly because the lighting wires makes the bike harder to pull apart and put in the car.

Hi, Just a few photos at this stage, I will add some comments later. There was a big hill in the middle of the ride (Arthurs seat), and due to my general lack of fitness and low gears on the bike I had to walk up it. That put me a bit behind, but I was generally very satisfied with the ride. Average speed a bit over 17kph, Regards Steve Nurse

Update April 25: Not much to add beyond what I have written already. Bryan got in at 2:46 and averaged 32.2 kph, almost bang on what he had predicted. He sent me some photos and screen grabs, here they are below. He is planning an Around Australia trip to start later in the month, and I will keep readers informed of any start dates and links to that ride. I don't mind living vicariously. But just a bit.

2 problems with the bike on the ride, but so minor its hardly worth mentioning. I had left pointy screw ends on the boot lid catch and got small cuts on my hands from them. Sometimes the top fairing mount bolt bangs into the pedal when steering. I haven't learnt to avoid this, and will do a bit of fixing of it today.

Many thanks to the ride organizer, Dieter. He had a mechanical problem with his bike, which meant he couldn't be there at the end to accept Brevet cards. But he had texted me saying what was going on, and said he'd organize the Brevet card. And sure enough, a few text messages and a day or so later, he had picked up the card from our letterbox. This was above and beyond the call of duty, typical of many Audaxride organizers!

Final Update: Bryan has now set up a web page for his ride around Australia, here is the link. He is fundraising for youth mental health and will take off on his lap when weather clears up north. Here is the link.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Ossie Nicholson Memorial Ride Prelude

Ossie Nicholson Ride Route: Short description is a 200k ride from Melbourne to Portsea and back.


Since the beginning of the year when my bike failed, I've been repairing the bike, but also looking for a new opportunity to test it - and that's come along which I'm pleased about.  At the same time as I decided to ride, I heard my wooden tailbox kit will be ready today, and I should be able to build it up into a lightweight, aero 'box and test in the ride.

As well, I am building a small fairing for the bike and running the dynamo lighting cable through the frame. Anyway, will report on all this in this post. Maybe even do some training as well.

More to follow soon, regards Steve nurse 

Fairing mod. I'm keeping only a small fairing for this bike.

and this begins the cutting process. Managed to peel away and keep the black border moulding.

Making the base, its only small and gives the fairing support and shape at the bottom

Mounted on the bike, still a top cut and mount to do, but I have made some parts for that already.

Oh, I'm famous! Visiting Billy from Sean and Horn to pick up seat parts. I gave him my Cycle Zoo book and he's in it.

Parts safely home by bike. Will be 2 or 3days before I get to them. I have work and volunteering days and a wedding!

Parts are ready! Didn't see this till about 4:10, left soon after that to pick up parts

Here is a pic of today's progress, I bought 2.1m x 2m of acs10 / ventisit padded material. This is a standard padding material for recumbents.

Not a greenwash blog. Picking up corflute by car.

Update Saturday 9 April

Some work on the fairing yesterday morning and seat today. With the fairing I have to secure it at the top and do a few mods on existing components. With the seat. I have made a start, gluing some of the lower parts together, and using tee nuts to allign parts. Also I have varnished some parts which are inside and hard to reach after assembly.


Steve Nurse

Dipping tray for plywood. Plywood is easier to bend after about an hour in water.

Tray with my current biggest part in it. The tray has survived from previous uses a few years ago.

Bit of work on the Zipper fairing. Zipper do a great job by covering the fairing with masking tape so it stays clean while you are working on it.

End of day with a temporary prop at the top of the fairing.

Monday's progress shown above.

Dipping tank in use.

Basic setup is to clamp the spine to the frame material.

In progress

Back view. All held together by cable ties

Tuesday April 12: Today's progress. Front part of seat almost ready. I have parts to make 2 seats but won't make the next one yet. Will just press on till the bike is ready, then maybe start building the 2nd seat up once its done.

1st ride using the fairing. Not great unfortunately. The fairings ok but the mounts could do with a bit of work.

End of the first day on corflute

2 ribs each side set up the shape of the corflute.

Tailbox inside.

End of day 2 on corflute.

Hi For the last 2 days I've been working on the bike tailbox. The front timber is done, and I've been on the corflute for a while. A partial 2d plan for the bottom bit was quite useful, and now the corflute I made for it is on the bike, for the most part trimmed and finished. The cable ties securing the corflute also holds 2 layers of Ventisit padding. The corflute for the 'box top is cut out, I just need to fold it, bend it and attach it tommorrow.

Tailbox on and working by the end of Sunday

including drink bottle and

bottle mount.

Rear panel.

Clamping the top piece. The clamp needed to be hacked by removing the stop pin which stops the slidy bit from sliding off. This increased the largest gap of the clamp.

Fitting the lid

A soldering iron used for quick and easy corflute hole drilling with a bit of a spot welding effect.

Corflute strip is at the top on each side. It helps join the top and bottom of the tailbox. Mainly its held on by cable ties.

Plan for top of tailbox.

Top part of tailbox cut to plan.

Update April 17: Quite a warm windy day today, and I spent most of it making and fixing on the tailbox lid and back, effectively finishing the 'box. I need to attach a tail light on the back, adjust the bottom plate a bit and tidy up the lid opening but its just about ready. Weight is a bit over 3kg, roughly what I was aiming for. Test ride was ok.

I feel I've done everything in the right order. The new 'box includes Ventisit padding which alters my posture relative to the bike meaning some steering adjustments might be necessary - best to make those adjustments before hanging the final version of the fairing all over the front.

Hopefully the fairing will be fitted and finalised tomorrow. Its been a few days since initial testing, and I think I know what the problems are.

Regards Steve Nurse

Bike out the front after....

a shopping trip- there is gaffer tape, 4kg wine, 3kg oranges, 2kg milk all in the back, and all trasferred without incident.

Slightly more than usual interest in my bike at The Hive shopping Centre Abbotsford.

Here are today,s photos. With 4 days to go till my ride, I am glad to be switching from building to riding. As well as shopping, I did about 8k on the Kew Boulevarde.

Internal wiring for headlight from rear wheel dyno. This worked, poking the wire through the frame with a broom.

Not great, but it works. Lighting wires need to be separated  / connected when bike is split or reassembled.

2 training rides over 2 days, Airies Inlet to Lorne and return, and Airies inlet to Kennet River

I don't use the Garmin much but for this trip it acted as a speedo. Pleased with my average speeds and the trip back was a blast with some nice downhills and a tailwind.

Still some ripe blackberries on the roadside. Its mid April and they've been fruiting since January.

Same as it ever was, Kennet River Surfing.

Kennet River eating. After looking at the Little Book Library, I turned back round to find sparrows pecking at my pie. No real harm done.


View from the cockpit

Netting on the cliff face to help prevent landslides and erosion after storms.

More of the same type of work underway. This was a queue, waiting for roadworks.

Beach side erosion near Spout Creek

Hi, a few photos above from Wednesday and Thursday, when I was staying at Aireys inlet. There was some ok surf around but I didn't go out, contenting myself with a couple of swims, and putting in some training kilometres and bike fettling.  The light cable now runs through the frame, making things much neater, and the light is in front of the fairing. The trip from Airies to Kennett and back was a bit of reclaiming - on travelling through Wye I was remembering the last time I had been there by bike - a fairly hopeless middle of the night trip on a failing trike. Much, much, much better progress this time and the bike is going well.

Replacing the rear fork after bogging and spraying. The last few k's from Kennet had been on a dirt road, and the open parts of the fork had picked up heaps of dirt inside and out. This latest mod at least stops the muck getting in.

And one last mod! Adding a catch to the tailbox lid.


Counting down hours to the ride now, just about everything is set. 2 mods shown above were finished. Also rode about 30k today, a shopping trip on the trike, and a bump in ride on the bike. It goes well and seems to be very fast downhill. See how it goes tommorrow!


Steve Nurse