Category: How To

So we set out to create a new project for BikeCommuters.com. We wanted to debut the project at the Two Wheels One Planet Breast Cancer Awareness Ride. The proceeds of the event was donated to the American Cancer Society; Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. We reached out to BikeBug.net because we thought their Cargo Trike would be a perfect match for this build. They saw our vision and graciously sent us one of their Cargo Trikes. bikebug.net

 

Once un-boxed, we started building it up. Here’s a photo right after we assembled it. We did make a few changes. We added a bell and a white saddle. But the major changes are coming!cargo trike bikebug.net

As you can see from the cargo area, there is quite a bit of potential. What we did next was very important to the build. We sourced wood from old pallets. In fact, the wood came from broken down pallets that Two Wheels One Planet received from deliveries. We did have to get 2, 2×1 lumber pieces to help with the framing. With all of our materials in-hand, we started cutting and piecing things together.12074968_10207174347184637_4451090786850402141_n

This is the floor of the cargo area that is supported by 2×1 pieces that are bolted onto the frame of the trike.12079541_10207196393895791_1585582633886914512_n

Flipping the trike upside down made it easier to create a jig so we can make sure that our floor was installed evenly. 12088383_10207196394135797_4526714278549380360_n

Floor is pretty much done. We then started building the upper shelf with more 2x1s and then used the pallet wood against the bars of the cargo area. Once everything was screwed in and bolted down, the shelf was pretty secure.IMG_5063

The next step was to box in the upper shelf to keep our goods secure. Again we used reclaimed wood, measured twice and cut once. We’re almost done! Now we just have to finish up the rest of the wood work and then we’ll get to try out our new build.

So here’s what we set out to do…serve cotton candy for the Breast Cancer Awareness Ride. We figured the pink cotton candy was a great match to the event’s theme color.12122398_10207259838761873_4199634754740551532_n

Yes, cotton candy! So here’s the final product…We installed a commercial grade cotton candy maker on the upper shelf to help us serve massive quantities of cotton candy.IMG_5088

The upper shelf also has 6, 1″ holes that holds the paper cones for the candies. That sign was hand painted by my 14 year old daughter and it came from a used pallet! The bottom shelf is great for storing extra goods such as sugar, cones, extension cords and etc. We installed the BigBug.net 200 Smiles Per Gallon plates right in the front so people can see it!IMG_5089

Notice the white wall tires? Those were provided by Two Wheels One Planet! I went with the white theme because the fenders were white and I upgraded the saddle to a white one. I’m considering running white bar tape too. IMG_5090

Here I am explaining to a “customer” how cotton candy works. I told him that cotton candy is “delicious science!”trike

Here’s one of the great things about the BikeBug.net Cargo Trailer. It fits perfectly in my mini-van. That way if I want to do another event for a school or other non-profit, I can easily load it up and go! 12088045_10207263810461163_1412244360725008626_n

Believe it or not, we served more cotton candy to adults than kids! In fact we served some to a whole family who have never had it! Both mom and dad as well as their daughter have never touched it. This photo is of Muni, one of the employees of Two Wheels One Planet, he wanted a cotton candy bigger than his face! Challenge accepted!12143259_10207266149319633_5574283332260106554_n

Overall the reception of the BikeBug.net/BikeCommuters.com Cotton Candy Trike was well received. People kept asking about the trike and where they could get it. When I explained that the wood was sourced from the bike shop, I got more nods and approvals.
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We want to thank the folks who supported this build such as BikeBug.net, Two Wheels One Planet and of course BikeCommuters.com (someone’s gotta pay for supplies). I also have to thank our friend Loren Brewster who guided us in building the wood sections of the trike. We anticipate many more events where we can feature the cotton candy trike. We’re hoping that we can bring it out to more bicycle events like Ciclavia, Ride of Silence and even local races.

I’m sure you’re wondering, “why cotton candy?” Simply put, people love that stuff and it’s easy marketing. We can pass out stickers, business cards and tell them all the great things going on at BikeCommuters.com as well as BikeBug.net.

We’ve partnered up with the folks of BikeBug.net to create a new project build. We’ve got a Breast Cancer Awareness Ride that we plan on debuting this build at. The event is slated for October 17th, so that means we don’t have a lot of time to get it finished. So here is what we received from BikeBug.net, a foldable cargo trike. It comes with everything you see, but we did upgrade the seat to match the white fenders and we threw on a bike bell just for kicks.

Cargo Trike by Bikebug.net

Cargo Trike by Bikebug.net

The cargo trike is equipped with a single speed coaster brake.

The cargo trike is equipped with a single speed coaster brake.

Riding the Cargo Trike is going to take some getting used to. We found that it likes to tip when you take sharp turns. Another upgrade we are considering would be a 3 speed Nexus hub. Pedaling the trike isn’t impossible, but it is tough!

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The white fenders POP against the red paint.

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There’s going to be some major work involved with this build project, we just hope we can meet the deadline. Hopefully with the help of some talented people, we can get this project rolling.

If you use white bar tape on your road bike, then you know that white is a magnet for dirt. The easiest way to clean white bar tape is with some Simple Green and a rag. Spray some onto a rag and start scrubbing. Half of this tape was treated with Simple Green while the other half wasn’t. See the difference?
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This technique also works great on white wall tires!
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Bike commuting is a great way to stay active, save money, and help the environment at the same time. With your route planned out, and the proper mindset, you can set yourself up for a great experience. But without a little thought and the wrong setup, you could be setting yourself up for disaster.

Pick the right bike for the job

A lot of riders ride simple bikes to work every morning, and some ride the Ferraris of the bike industry to work. An expensive bike is fine but you don’t need it. The idea of commuting to work is to save you money. If your morning commute is mostly flat, there is no reason for a carbon fiber road bike with 30 gears. A simple bike that fits you comfortably, meets your budget, and has around 5 to 10 gears will suffice.

If you plan to commute at night or early enough in the morning that lights on a car would be required, you may want to also look into front and rear bike lights, as many states are now requiring them.

Protective gear
Not every state requires an adult to wear a helmet. Any seasoned rider can tell you there is no shame in wearing a bike helmet. In 2009, 91% of all bike fatalities were due to not wearing a helmet. These can and most likely will save your life. Although your commute might not be long, you will still be surrounded by other bikers and cars. Anything can happen, but know this. There are all kinds of helmets in all kinds of styles and shapes. Some of them are pretty amazing and comfortable.

As you will also be commuting near roads and highways, you may want to invest in some protective glasses or goggles to protect your eyes. Like helmets, these come in all forms of shapes and sizes and can even be made to prescription as needed. You’ll want to be sure these protect you from the sun’s UV radiation and are sturdy enough with polycarbonate lenses, as regular lenses offer less protection from small rocks and other debris flung from cars passing by.

Keep it simple
Take the time to get on your bike and ride to work on your days off. Take different routes and time yourself to see which one will save you more time. Also keep in mind the type of traffic and obstacles you may encounter during the morning work rush. You may also want to keep a backup route in mind in the case that there is an accident or road construction.

Carry only what you need
If your daily commute is only a few blocks, there is no reason to pack for a huge journey. Carry what you need for your day in a back pack or a messenger bag. If you normally carry a brief case, find a bike rack that will best accommodate it.
Make sure that in your pack to carry an emergency kit, emergency contact info, and possibly a rain kit just in case. The emergency kit should consist of at least an extra tube, tire levers, and a tire pump. Tire pumps come in many forms and sizes, so be sure to find one that fits your tube style and will not weigh you down too much. For rain gear, a simple poncho and rain pant will suffice, and usually only weigh a small amount.

If you are worried about carrying your dress clothes with you, or wearing them on your commute, you may want to stash a couple shirts, jacket, and a pair of shoes for work , in you cubicle or office. It might also be a good idea to keep a towel and clean up kit in your office just in case.

Bike security
Unless your office allows you to bring your bike inside, you may have to store it in a bike rack, or attach it to a sign post, or some other immovable object near your work. In most cases a u-lock will do the job by simply running it through your rear tire and frame. If you are worried this will not work, you may want to invest in a longer cable style lock. With a cable lock you can run it through you rear tire, frame, front tire, and then around the object you would like to attach your bike to. If you bike seat is attached to a quick release, you may want to take that and any other item that would be easily stolen with you.

It seems like just yesterday we were extolling the virtues of the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, and its rise to the top of the bike commuting cities in the U.S.

All that growth and increased cycling interest has come at a steep price, however:

Philly has been ranked the number one major city for bike commuting; we’ve landed on the Top Bike-Friendly Cities in America list; new bike lanes are turning up everywhere. But with this increase in bikes has come a historic high for bike theft. The thefts have been on the rise for some time, according to data provided by the police department, climbing from 1,849 in 2011 to 2,122 in 2013. We’re on track to top that this year … and that’s just with the number of bike thefts that are reported.

“The actual number is three to four times higher,” says statistical analyst Tyler Dahlberg, who completed a study on the topic for the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia last year.

Read more at http://www.phillymag.com/news/2014/09/29/philadelphia-americas-worst-city-bike-thefts/#TTGCiW2VVHA6HmwG.99

Now’s a good time to brush up on your anti-theft methods. Take a look at the following articles from our extensive archives:

Choosing a good lock

Bolts or skewers to prevent wheel theft?