On a recent errand I spotted this stadium related bike hack.
I am not sure about how safe this is . . . might be a kind of ejector seat depending on the circumstances.
Still, major points for creativity and how cool would it be if the person had season tickets and just wanted to have his/her seat with them at all times? Adds new meaning to having a "seat license". Other horrible puns or analogies welcome in comments =)
In the most recent post in this series I noted that I had some left over PVC pipe after my front light installation and I pondered what to do with it. For a long time I had not really been happy with my rear light situation. A while back I installed a rather large basket on top of my rear rack and the only rear light I was riding with was attached to my rack, which as you can see from the green arrow, is not as long as the basket. The light was visible from this position, but mainly from a distance.
The basket construction is not really conducive to light bracket installation, however with a piece of PVC pipe, a pipe clamp and some zip ties . . .
As with the front installation, I decided to install two lights as opposed to just one. You never know when one light might go out and with two you are pretty darn certain to always have rear blinky coverage - plus, I had the space so why not use it?
In the last post I had also noted that those who left a comment would be considered for a bikehacks.com sticker giveaway.
I am happy to say that I have decided that everyone is a winner. Joe, John, Ron, Beth, Korina, C Thomas, and Glenn, you all will receive a sticker pack in the mail. All but John left an email address for follow up, John - send me a message via our Submit Your Hack link with your full name and postal address.
When cleaning my bike I like to use gloves. One issue I have is that the gloves I use, and like to reuse, are not well ventilated and if I clean my bike for a long time, the insides of the gloves can become damp, and they don't dry well without a bit of help. Musty glove smell is kind of nasty and one method to promote drying dawned on me recently. I have a couple of different hammers and . . .
Placing the gloves on the hammer handles in this fashion helps to air them out and avoid musty conditions. Readers who have thoughts on how to dry out gloves are welcome to leave solutions via the comments section.
In my last post in this series I noted that I had successfully installed my PURCHASED front basket, however this led to a big problem for someone who often commutes in the dark - handlebar mounted headlights are rendered ineffective when placing contents in the basket. But thanks to inspiration from previous posts on this blog, I had a relatively easily solution. I proceeded through what one might call a Goldilocks and the Three Bears progression.
I thought about this solution, which I had spotted on a bike on the mean streets of NYC back in the day - nice, but reaching the light while riding would not be natural or easy . . .
I then thought about this bikecommuters.com inspired idea - two lights is a concept I liked very much . . . but when using a bungee net to secure contents in the basket, the straps and lights might not get along due to the lights being close to the "loading/strap zone" . . .
So I settled for the best of both - keeping the lights under the basket means they stay out of the way of strapping things in, and keeping the lights off to the sides means I can reach them easily while riding. I chose plumping clamps as the means to secure the PVC pipe to the basket.
I love this solution as well due to the fact that you never know when your batteries are going to give up on you. Yes, you can carry extra batteries with you, but then you have to stop and put them in. Now, if one light goes out I have the other. Also, I can use a combination of modes if I like - I can have one set to constant and the other set to blink. Or if it's really dark or the surface is really challenging, I can set both to the high constant setting.
To get the fit of the light mounts just right, I used some gaffer tape - not matching of course as I want my bike to be as offensive to the eyes as possible.
You might think the story is over, but after cutting the PVC pipe to the desired length I had some left over. This got me to thinking, "What might I use the extra pipe for?" I did come up with something and guesses in comments based upon this previous picture of my bike are welcome . . .
. . . and those who leave a comment will be considered for a bikehacks.com sticker giveaway.
In the last post in this series, I noted that I ordered the front basket I had been coveting and that it "kind of worked out" - which needs some explanation. To that end . . .
I needed some other work done on my bike so I left it at the shop to have them install the basket when it arrived. I got a call from the shop telling me that my bike was kind of ready, which was a first. Typically your bike either is or is not ready to pick up. The dude who called me was not the one who had worked on the bike and said the mechanic would explain when I arrived. As a reminder, this is the product I had ordered -
And if you notice, at the end of the red arrow there is a series of three holes which are meant to allow for adjustment when installing the basket. However, the basket that had been delivered only had one set of holes drilled - pretty strange really. The mechanic had installed the basket, but could not thread the screws that came with the basket through the holes due to a slight mismatch between the bend in my handlebars and the basket hooks. He did say that with a little coaxing, he thought the basket could be made to fit, but he did not want to take responsibility for the "coaxing". I took a look and although flummoxed as to why additional holes were not drilled, decided that I was probably capable of making things work. I discussed two options with the mechanic -
1) drilling additional holes 2) bending the clamps to fit my handlebars
He gave me a couple of zip ties and I threaded them through the holes to secure the basket for the journey home.
After arriving home I cracked open a beer and stared at the hooks and handlebars for a while, I decided to choose the bending option and covered a hammer with an old sock and started to "coax" the hooks. I was successful, however the bolts that came with the rack were a bit too thick to fit through the holes when I had them lined up - I could get the bolt through the top hole, however due to the bend it hit the handlebar and I could not get it through the second hole. I knew a thinner bolt would work, but that I would also likely need a washer to keep the thinner bolt from sliding through the hole. A quick trip to the hardware store and . . .
However, the story is not over. I had a nice new (coaxed on) front basket, but it's installation rendered my handlebar mounted light ineffective! What to do! Stay tuned . . .
As tempted as I was to liberate the front basket in question, my conscience got the best of me. I still remember getting chewed out by my Mom when I was a kid for stealing a toy Poopatrooper. Thanks to the power of Google, I was able to find what I am talking about -
I don't know why I found it so enthralling to throw toys like this into the air and watch them parachute down - especially because I am a bit fearful of heights. I do know that stealing one from a store caused my Mom to become apoplectic. I had never seen, nor have I since seen, veins in her forehead bulge out so markedly. Maybe getting caught at such a young age kept me from a life of crime. Any way . . .
The power of Google also helped me to locate the front basket quite quickly. It was attached to a Specialized Globe bike (I also have a Globe, which was part of the appeal) and it only took me a few minutes to find out that it was quite an affordable accessory.
I try to support my local bike shop when I can, and since they carry Specialized products I made my way down to see if they had the basket in question in stock. They did not, however I asked them to order it for me . . . which kind of worked out. More details to follow in the series.
Is it okay to remove a part or accessory from a seemingly abandoned bike?
I will now elaborate on the issue through a series of posts. First, the object of my attention is displayed here:
I did not take a picture of the full bike, but as you can see from the front tire - it had not been paid attention to in quite some time. I have never had a front basket before, and if this person was not interested in taking care of their bike, might I put the basket to better use? At this point it was just serving as a trash receptacle for passers by. Did I take the basket? Stay tuned.