Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Rear Fender

I installed the rear fender. It fits quite well, although I trimmed a little at the brake caliper. It looks good and I like it.

The front fender, yes the front fender. Well, it looked like it might have been a 24" size, so I thought up a great way to reform it. Tonight I ran some very hot water over it to make it pliable, then tightly coiled it up and wrapped tape around the outside to hold it (#2 above).

To keep the tape from unwrapping, I tied it with string. I laid it in the sink and slowly poured a tea kettle of boiling water over it. After allowing it to cool, I cut the tape and string off and voila! I had a tightly coiled plastic fender! Not exactly what I had expected t happen, but maybe I could still save things. (#3 above)

I had an extra 16" wheel (#4 above) that I thought would make a great form, so I stretched the coil of plastic around the tire and wrapped it with tape again, and repeated the boiling water treatment. When I started to unwrap the tape, I began to realize the situation had gone form hopeless to being a train wreck. (#5 above)

Then I started laughing out loud and finished unwrapping the rest of the fender. (#6 above) As I looked at the twisted, distorted mass of junk I had to admit that sometimes I am nothing short of a moron. What was I thinking, pouring boiling hot water over plastic? If I were stranded in the amazon and needed this fender to save my life from venomous fire ants flying up from my tire as I sped down the road, I would use it without hesitation. But then if I were riding through puddles of poisonous ants in the amazon I would deserve to have a hideous looking bike. I'm just glad I can laugh at myself.

"Hello? Planet Bike? I'd like to order a 16" Freddy Fender for the front of my recumbent. Yes, I'll hold." Oh great, they're out of stock. Hmmm. I knew I should have ordered it last week.



Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hangar Bike

Here are a few pictures of the QC bike from the hangar. I love the look and it rides like a whole new bike again.



Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I've now ridden the recumbent almost 30 miles. Last week my son and I took a ride through town. I am getting quite used to the bike now and I have no more ridability problems. It's time to start the finishing process.

First, I'll take the whole thing completely apart and clean each part. Second, I'll touch up any rough spots on the frame and spend a good deal of time "making it look pretty". That will include rewelding any joints that looks ugly, giving it a good bondo and sanding job, and a nice coat of primer. Then comes the paint job, reassembling, lubricating, adjusting and tidying up.

But before all of that, I have one last thing to do. Yesterday I visited the Community Cycling Center (I've mentioned them before). I picked up some nice foam handle bar tape that matches my seat, and a set of used Planet Bike fenders. Both fenders are full size so I'll have to try to recontour the front one using some real hot water and a form. At $5 each they were practically a steal, so if I fail I'm still miles ahead on the rear fender. I need to fit them on and drill holes or weld tabs where needed before paint.

We also picked up two tires (classy-looking whitewalls), handle bar tape and some spokes for our "hangar bike". In deepest gratitude I spent yesterday and today changing the tires, fixing the spokes, truing the wheels, cleaning and oiling the chain and shifters, waxing and retaping the handle bars. I brought in a more comfortable seat from home to fit us old guys better. It seriously feels like a real bike again. With the new black/white tires, black seat and black tape I think the bike looks like a police cruiser - which fits our department perfectly.



Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Seat Work

I finished the seat back modification. I trimmed 3.5" off the top of the seat back and welded on a new cross piece. I picked up two more yards of Phifertex to make a new cover. They were out of black, so I finally settled for dark blue.

The under seat steering has brought one new problem. When the upper side of the chain is under tension and the largest gear is selected on the rear wheel, the chain links lightly tap the under side of the handle bars. I'm going to fix this by lowering the blue skate wheel pulley about 1/2 inch. It's not a major problem, but it means another couple of evenings spent cutting, fitting and welding.

I went to the beach this week with the whole family. It was a good time for everyone. I've also spent about 18 hours working at a very busy fireworks booth. I am truly looking forward to a day of rest for the 4th.

God Bless America,