31 July 2012

DIY Madsen Bucket Covers Revisited

I am constantly amazed that most of the TBR web traffic is directed to our posts about DIY Rain Covers for our Madsen Cycles Bucket Bike (which we sold over a year ago.)

There was version 1.0 that we used for our bike:

Then we made version 2.0 for some friends in Seattle:

There is apparently a HUGE demand for these things. Maybe not huge, but folks want 'em.  While we made ours to keep out the rain and cold, others are simply trying to keep out the sun. This brilliant shade cover photo was sent to us from Ryan in Sacramento:

Here's another great shade cover by @conanlow

(photo used with permission)

Meanwhile, Madsen Cycles is finally testing what appears to be a more finalized prototype of their bucket cover.

Is your bucket covered?  We'll continue to add a few more pics and links here. Leave a link in the comments or email matt (dot) newport (at) gmail.

16 July 2012

DIY Bike Art

I wear things out: clothes, shoes, tools, bike parts. I usually fix or replace these things before they fail completely, but this was not the case for my VO saddle. The lower rail broke right at the clamp, which simply made the whole thing even springier than before and lilting to one side. It wasn't dramatic or dangerous and VO is already shipping me a replacement. (Fastest customer service ever.)

Meanwhile, I rummaged through my parts bin and pieced together my own attempt at Pablo Picasso's "Bull's Head" from 1942. It's a work-in-progress, but I'm happy with it so far.

10 July 2012

Cargotrikes: For Kids!

After our own 4th of July bike parade fun, I saw that other friends had similar experiences. Specifically, transportland.org posted about Longtail Kids in a neighborhood parade with this awesome video.

You can imagine my surprise when later that week a kids cargotrike showed up on Seattle Craigslist. After a day of discussion amongst friends and family on twitter, we decided to bring it down to the Ranch. We met the seller near JRA Bike Shop, which we also visited because they carry Yuba Mundo and Sun Atlas Cargo bikes. (Testride!) We also met up with fellow family bike blogger Family Ride in her hood for more bike geekery and some downtime at the playground. I try to make the most out of every car trip to Seattle and this one was no exception.

Backstory: this Diamondback Lil'One (16" wheels!) was brought up from Mexico by a family moving to the Northwest.  They sold it to our CL seller at a garage sale, who has been holding on to it for nearly a year in an attempt to find it a good home. It was in great shape and even came with a clown horn, but I added a plywood base and some pink coroplast wheel guards before letting the kids ride in the front.

You know - for kids! 

There is a slight learning curve to tadpole trikes, but our oldest picked it up quickly. Basically, don't ride faster than a grownup can walk and give yourself plenty of room to turn. 

Hauling used razor scooters from a garage sale.

Hauling a brother.

Hauling a sister and a friend.

Losing a race.

My turn!

Apparently these little trikes would be used by children to help families sell items at a market or to run errands. I certainly plan on making my kids haul their share of the load in the future! Unfortunately I can't find any other photos or information about this trike's former life south of the border. Any one have any clues?

I did find is this cuter-than-cute flickr set of Kinderbakfiets from De Fietsfabriek. Leave it to the Dutch to make 495€ cargotrikes for their kids (that's ~$600 US). Adorable.

04 July 2012

Independence: Best Celebrated Together

A mom from my daughter's class invited us to an Independence Day bike parade in our neighborhood. My daughters decorated their bikes and I crafted a bigger and better flag pole for my Xtracycle.

We met at her house around 9am, along with many other neighbors and friends. We paraded our bikes, scooters, and dogs around the block a few times. Some folks knew we'd be coming and were waiting in their lawn chairs for the parade to pass.

We returned for a potluck breakfast on the lawn and were treated to part of the Freedom Fair airshow. An F-22 Raptor maneuvered loudly over the treetops above Commencement Bay as we chatted about schools, bicycles, houses, and pets. The kids played in the street and climbed trees.

I can't think of a better way to spend this national holiday.