Monday, May 6, 2019

Alternate Agenda

With some stormy weather moving through the area this week, and temperatures hovering in the 40s and 50s, I've had to adjust my agenda just a bit. My primary plan was to get the road bike out and do some distance cycling to see just how far I could make it without calling for SAG, or in my case MOM support. (I don't call her SAG. That could lead to trouble.) She's more than willing to come and rescue me in the event that my ambition overextends my actual ability . . . and sometimes common sense. Some other things have cropped up in my schedule, too, that make a long journey a bit of an inconvenience at the moment. Therefore, an alternate agenda has been implemented.

The bike trailer modifications may get done this week. My young nephew, with glee, stripped the old canvas and nylon from the trailer frame a week or so ago, enabling me to start adding additional supports and to build the platform that will rest on the lower frame. I decided to keep the side rails intact to act as support for the cargo area. Why not? They're already there and they fit perfectly. I will be increasing the length of the trailer, somehow, and I may exchange the 20" tires for 24" or 26" tires, which will allow the trailer to pull more smoothly. The added height will improve visibility and safety. I may even buy a new flag for it to help drivers see it better. Or, I may design one of my own.

I considered building a trailer from scratch, and I have a few designs drawn up, but those will have to wait for another day. They're fairly simple and make use of things already in existence, so I won't have to actually create new stuff, just modify what is already around. Weight, as with humans, is always an issue for these little trailers. The one pictured to the left can carry up to 100 pounds. That's not a lot when you consider what you might need for a longer bike tour. The new one, with some assistance, will be able to haul around three hundred. The real question is, will I be able to peddle that much? There are bicycle cargo trailers out there designed to hold much more, but it has been written, and I heartily agree, that 300 pounds is the maximum weight a cyclist should consider pulling, for safety reasons if not because hills seem to grow higher the more weight you're towing, and the trailer really weighs in on those downhill grades. Would you want 600 pounds pushing you down a hill? I don't think so.

I'll be adding trailer brakes, just as soon as I figure out how. That should help on those declines somewhat. As I mentioned in another blog post, I had to abandon the first bike tour plan as a majority of the route is underwater, and may be for some time to come. Thankfully, there are additional points on the compass to aspire toward.

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