11 December 2009

Idle Hands are the Devil's Playground

When winter rolls around, I usually find myself out in the garage on cold nights playing bikes. Once the over-due maintenance is done, I start to tinker. Here are some of the project that I've been working on.

I never seem to have my camera around when I want it, especially when I'm biking, so I'm making a camera mount for my handlebars. That way I can also take decent low-res videos of my epic rides.  Instructions are here and the bits cost about $2 from the hardware store. (Note: The Ace Hardware at S. 12th and Sprague carries all of the bike-sized metric bolts that you could ever need.)

I've wanted to upgrade the rear tire on our Madsen, but no local shop stocks a 20" Marathon. Well last Saturday the Mrs. and I found ourselves in Seattle, volunteering at the Winter Beer Festival. We had parked at a B&B called Inn of Twin Gables*, where we would be staying the night, then walked over the Ballard bridge to Hale's for the event.

About half-way over the bridge, we spotted the Dutch Bicycle Company of Seattle.  What luck!  We checked out their awesome selection of Dutch bikes and they happened to have just one 20" Big Apple burried up in the rafters.  I strapped it to my bag and we continued to the festival where we poured tastes from Schooner EXACT Brewing.  They took home the second place people's choice prize for their Hoppy the Woodman barrel-aged winter ale.  The beer was great and we had an awesome time.

*I highly recommend the Inn of Twin Gables.  Katie, the innkeeper, was an excellent host (a story of her grandmother provided the title of this post.)  And she made us a very tasty and healthy breakfast.  Possibly the best night I've ever had away from home, and at a very reasonable price.

Rain Cover
The kid's don't mind getting a little cold and wet, but the downpours in November and the sub-freezing temps of December are extremes that I'm not always comfortable biking in with children.

I'd seen pictures of Madsen's prototype rain cover, but have heard it's been shelved for a different design.  Being cheap and not wanting to wait for a produciton model, I'm making my own.  The frame is made of 1/2" EMT electrical conduit.  It's super light and easy to form, plus the frame disassembles into two pieces for summer storage.   The cover itself will be made from outdoor canvas and clear plastic.  A drawcord at the bottom will go under the lip of the bucket and hold the frame down.  This is where I am so far.  You'll have to imagine the rest.

This should work fine for low-speed, winter kid hauling.  I'll post more photos and a how-to when it's done.


sara said...

I am super impressed by your bike work. Can't wait to see your Madsen rain cover when you're finished.

Carrie said...

Great ideas! Looking forward to the rain cover :) I love the dutch co. place too!

Anonymous said...

I'll buy a rain cover from you! We're in Seattle.

I've been using a rain cover from my Bob double stroller to cover the bucket for groceries and non-kid loads and for one kid kind of lying/scrunched down...

Just found your blog and am so glad!

Matt in Tacoma said...

Still working on the prototype, Brynnen! I'll be heading to Seattle Fabrics in the coming weeks to source material for the cover.