Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Down by the river

This time of year, the riverside trails are coming alive, there's action from muskrats on the bank, birds in the trees and humans on the path. The sheer numbers provide for likely encounters with free bicycle culture.

Which brings me to: Why the hell hasn't somebody developed a low cost DIY trailer system for bikes using bed frames, shopping carts and bicycle parts? It seems that the utility movement is taking off but, other than Surly ($700!) and handful of garage operations, nobody is making heavy duty trailers and a reliable DIY design is absent. That (and maybe a few other things) is what Jose is up against (click to enlarge pic and notice the fine detail):

Jose was attempting to extend his MB4, with trailer, through the addition of some angle iron. The apparent chaos in this picture has some order: the two lag bolts held together with a hose clamp are being used as a leveller; the cordless drill motor stator shaft (hardened) is being used as a punch; disc brake rotors act as anvils:

While I would like to believe that Jose is some sort of trailer impresario, truth is it was a bunch "wrong tool for the job." I sent him to the Bicycle Collective (celebrating its 10th year) to get more useful parts and use some good tools. Each of the prior pictures has alluded to it, so you knew it was coming, the crux of the DIY quandary, the trailer hitch, solved with clothes hangers: 

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