29 June 2010

Kickstand Fail + DIY Fix

Just a few days after the pre-school year ended, I found this little doodad on the floor of my garage:

It took me a few minutes to figure out that it was formerly attached to the kickstand of the bucket bike, and that it played the important role of "kickstand deployment keeper". [World Cup jargon, in the parlance of our times. -Ed.]

note the hole on the right

I didn't trust the remaining keeper to hold the bike steady for child loading/unloading, so the whole bike was out of commission until I found a fix.  At least the kickstand still held the bike upright and parked in the garage.  However, several days later an unsuspecting houseguest used the Madsen for quick errand to pick up bags of ice and when he returned, the other keeper had also gone AWOL.  The kickstand would simply continue forward until the feet faced the front wheel.

I notified Madsen Cycles of the issue, but haven't heard back from them yet.** Meanwhile, I came up with my own DIY fix.

I purchased a 5/16" bolt and washer for each side and tapped the keeper holes in the kickstand to accept the bolts.  I threaded the bolts in the holes nearly all the way, then added thread-locking compound on the last few threads before tightening the bolts in place.  It seems to be holding up ok, though I'm still cautious about allowing too much weight to be placed on the kickstand while loading and unloading kids.  In fact, I'm making my 50-lb passenger climb out on her own before I put the stand down.

This is the first non-maintenance issue we've had on the bike after 14 months of regular use.  I figure the bike has nearly 1000 miles on it.  Since the bucket is meant for passengers, it's obvious that this failure is a safety issue.  You may want to take a look at those keepers and make sure that they still appear welded in place.

**UPDATE: As Jared Madsen commented, their official fix was very similar except they use one long bolt to go all the way across.  After they realized this was an issue, Madsen Cycles started pre-installing such a bolt on their bikes before they were shipped to customers.  If you still have the keepers on your kickstand and not a long bolt, you may want to consider doing this to avoid the failure.  Contact Madsen Cycles for hardware, etc.

27 June 2010

The Freedom to Ride

The Tacoma MOB Riders took over the streets once again last night for the Freedom Ride.  Mrs. TBR and I could only stick around for a few stops, but we had a blast!  

If you haven't been on a MOB ride yet, there will certainly be more to follow.  Anyone and any bike is always welcome.  I've heard that custom t-shirts are in the works, too!

06 June 2010

Fighting Hunger from the Saddle

Today I rode the 5th Annual Wheels to Meals ride that benefits St LEO Food Connection (one of my three reasons to ride this summer).  Thanks to the generosity of others, I raised $225 for this great organization.

The ride started on the edge of Puyallup, WA at the WSU campus.  It was raining lightly when I started on the 56 mile course a little before 8am.  I chatted with the only two other riders I encountered, a couple that lived nearby and who had ridden Wheels to Meals before.  We sauntered together along the Foothills Trail for a while, until I decided I needed a faster pace.

Mt. Rainier is hiding here somewhere

The trail roughly follows the Carbon River through Orting and South Prairie.  There were rest stops every 12 miles or so, and I found myself stopping to grab a little something at each one and to thank the volunteers for supporting the event.  Although over 200 riders pre-registered for the event, I saw very few of them on the course.

In Buckley

Lake Tapps

The descent into Sumner

The director of Food Connection, Kevin Glacken-Coley, said a few words of thanks to the riders and volunteers.  Kevin explained how Food Connections Backpack Program feeds nearly 350 students during the school year and that during the summer they will be operating over 20 food distribution locations throughout Pierce County so that many of those same children will have access to the food they otherwise wouldn't have.  


Kevin also likes to point out that you shouldn't have a ride against hunger and be hungry yourself!  So there was a very tasty taco bar at the finish, complimentary Harmon Ale and Washington wine, and root beer floats.  This was after the five (six?) rest-stops that were well stocked with fruit, home-made granola bars, chocolate-covered rice crispie treats...I was stuffed.

According to my records, this was my longest ride for me since last year's Courage Classic, and I was feeling it.  Between the lack of training and a lingering cough, every mile after about 30 was a struggle.  Hopefully I'll have a chance to get a few more long rides under my belt before the Seattle LIVESTRONG ride on June 20.  I'm really looking forward to it.

Now go find your own reason to ride!