Friday, November 14, 2008

The Rolling Yurt/Baby Bike Shelter

We are working on developing an insulated rain cover for the Llama. Using some yummy fabrics! Mmmm, makes me drool! eVent and prima loft. :) We managed to get our hands on some lovely slate blue gray eVent. eVent, if you don't know is a highly breathable waterproof/breathable fabric. One of the comparisons we found put it at about as breathable as Schoeller, another one of our favorites. So basically eVent is as breathable as a soft shell, but it's a hard shell. Primaloft has a similar weight to warmth ratio as down, but it does not absorb water. Should be perfect for cold mornings.

Anthony and I were talking about our needs for this winter. I take the older one to preschool early in the morning and some of the mornings have already been about 20 degrees. If I don't want to have to take 20 minutes to bundle the kids, we need to have a bike-mounted warming system. We are trying to design this one so I can just put a coat and a hat on the boys and them be fine in cold morning and snowy weather. That way, when I get somewhere I don't have to unbundle them to go inside. Nor do I have to bundle them up to go outside of the bike shelter. That scenario is possible if we made the yurt/bike shelter too warm for jackets even and then had to bundle them up to walk to the door.

We are working on designing double paned vinyl windows to prevent cold spots and condensation. We are also considering how the shelter will interface with a load vs an empty bike. Currently, the rain shelter just rides up over a load, which is fine as long as most air is sealed out. Another consideration is making sure the sides don't flap in the wind, transferring cold air in and warm air out. This should be an exciting project! We'll post pictures when the project is completed! :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty....

By Nickie

...had a great fall!

That's right.  I crashed.  Complete with 60 pounds of gear for a weekend stay with the grandparents, the two kids and the dog in the trailer.  First of all, I'll state that the kids are fine.  One scratch on Samuel's wrist is the only injury between them.  However not so with me.  

I was riding down the hill on Arapahoe Road with the new hub motor finally running, I was able to really get going!  The road there is quite old.  I am not sure if I hit a patch of uneven ground, but the front wheel began to shake.  Anthony gives this the more accurate term "head shake", but I am assured by my brother that the more dramatic "death wobble" is the appropriate terminology.  I think I am inclined to go with "death wobble".  The wobble got worse and worse as I tried to slow down and regain control.  When I realized I was in for a crash, I steered off the road into the grass and leaves and laid the bike down.  Went down going between 15-20 mph.  I landed on my shoulder and broke the "humeral head".  That's the ball at the top of the arm bone.  Drat!  

The good news:  kids are okay.  The wood of the seats protected them.  You can see where the corner of the seats was getting ground down, but the kids where safe though scared.  Also good is that I don't need surgery.  

The bad news:  I can't ride for at least a month leaving me and the kids without transportation.  

We ordered one of these.  It's a steering damper made by Hopey that will prevent this from ever happening again.  Who knows why this happened?  So weird we've ridden thousands of miles will heavy loads and Anthony's been riding this bike all week with no mishap.  We read up on it a bit, sounds like it must just be the perfect set of circumstances producing a bad harmonic.  In any case, with the steering damper, this should never happen again.