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Tag Archive: bike commuting

Merry Xmas Bike Commuters: DIY Bike Rack Just for YOU!

My office has a plethora of bikes that live full– or part–time in the warehouse. This small fleet of communal cruisers and commuter bicycles needed an organized home rather than randomly strewn about the room.

Luckily, we have a couple of industrious fellas who took on the task of building a bike rack with limited funds, two wooden pallets, and an hour to spare. Now we’re sharing with you the step-by-step guide on how to build your own hanging bike rack.

Build Your Own Bike Rack

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

Materials

  • Two ~6’ tall wooden pallets (or five 6′ 2x4s, plus one 8′ 1×6 and one 8′ 1×4)
  • Wood screws (We used Grabber screws #8 x 2.5” and #9 x 3”)
  • Bicycle or storage hooks

Tools

  • Power drill
  • Power saw
  • Hammer

BYOBR Equipment

Building buddy!
Grab a friend or two. The building will be easier, safer, and more fun with a friend.

BYOBR Parker & Will

STEP ONE
Carefully disassemble the two pallets and remove all nails––this is where the hammer comes in handy. Group the pallet lumber into similarly sized pieces. All the longest, sturdiest pieces (the 2x4s) will form the frame of the bike rack.

BYOBR Wood Pallet Parts

BYOBR Pallet Pieces

STEP TWO
Construct the frame using five of the 2x4s. You may need to trim some of the lumber to size as Will & Parker did for our bike rack.

BYOBR Frame

Secure each corner with two long wood screws.

BYOBR Building Frame

The bottom beam usually needs to be the flattest, least likely to wobble; however, the bottom beam on the rack built by Parker & Will was warped. Gotta work with what you have.

STEP THREE
You should now have a large rectangle. Place the third and remaining 2×4 directly in the middle between the two outer columns. You can see how carefully Will measures the distance using the highly-scientific “counting-his-steps” method.

BYOBR Measuring Frame copy

You may need to trim the lumber to size. Secure the middle column with two screws at either end.

BYOBR Building Frame 2

BYOBR Frame Raised

STEP FOUR
Give this rack some feet to stand on! Secure a 1×6 to the base of the outer columns with four screws each.

BYOBR Adding Feet

BYOBR Adding Feet 2

STEP FIVE
Bracer. Create a stabilizer for each foot––’cause you know triangles are the strongest shape (I learned that in 3rd Grade).

BYOBR Feet Added

Parker identified the angle for the cut by holding the 1×6 in place and marking with his favorite mechanical pencil. Super sophisticated stuff here.

BYOBR Measuring Cuts

Trim each stabilizing piece along the identified angles, so that the edges are flush with the frame.

BYOBR Preparing Cuts

Secure each brace with a couple screws.

BYOBR Adding Stabilizers

BYOBR Stabilizers

STEP SIX
More stabilizers! Add a small 1×4 stabilizer at each corner of frame for added stability. That’s four in total, if you’re counting.

BYOBR Top Stabilizers

Measure and cut the smaller stabilizers using the same method in Step Five. IMPORTANT: Don’t place your stabilizers too far into the frame or they may obstruct how your bikes hang. Secure with the smaller length screws.

BYOBR Parker Drilling

Lookin’ good! You’re almost there.

STEP SEVEN
Evenly space four bicycle hooks into the frame. Leave plenty of elbowroom for your bikes’ handlebars. Hint: it helps if you drill a starter hole before screwing the hooks into place. (Look at the teamwork happening!)

BYOBR Will & Parker Adding Hooks

STEP EIGHT
Hang up yo’ bikes! Stand back and admire a job well (and economically) done.

BYOBR Will hanging up bikes

BYOBR Completed Bike Rack

BYOBR Completed Bike Rack 2

How To Hang Your Bike on a Vertical Rack

Have you ever been 5-foot-n-change and tried to hang your bike vertically on moving transportation? Well, I have! This week my combo commute took a rainy Cantaloupe and I for quite a ride as we perfected the Art of Racking. And by Art of Racking, of course I am referring to hanging your bike on wall or ceiling-mounted vertical racks. From bike storage rooms to moving TriMet MAX cars, you TOO can hang your bike vertically despite being vertically challenged!

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Blurry photos… because I’m just that unstable on public transit. (Look, the doors are open, it wasn’t even moving yet)

This “How To” is a feat worth sharing and a basic commuter skill that everyone should keep in their cerebral saddle bag. Here’s a picture narrative of how to get a heavy-ass steel steed like Cantaloupe all vertically racked up without spazzing out and injuring bystanders:

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And… TADA!!! Vertically racked and totally stacked.

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Cantaloupe and the Art of Racking

Now, go ahead and make humping and straddling jokes all you want, but smashing the saddle of the bike into your stomach really makes it much easier to balance a heavy bike and navigate the front tire up onto the hook. Other options include growing taller, asking for help, or riding a lighter bike. I’ll stick with stomach-saddle-smashing for a perfect 10 in the Art of Racking.

 

Friday Musings – Autumn Bike Bliss

Holy Rusted Metal-colored leaves, Bikeman – fall is here, and I hope you commuters haven’t missed out on the lovely leaves spiraling from the trees around your neighborhood. After several years in a less-than-autumn climate known as Hawaii, Mir.I.Am muses on a bike bliss, a.k.a. the awesomeness of autumn commuting!

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Last week, I was swept away by a colorful, picturesque commute along the river. Bike sharrows, blue skies, falling leaves, and a wide greenway was a recipe for Ultimate. Autumn. Bliss. I’ll take a lovely 3-mile jaunt like this at no sweat speed any day… Move over, Portland Streetcar, Cantaloupe is out in full fall force!

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How do you take a picture like this? Maybe assault random strangers walking on the Greenway and beg them to be your mom-shot photographer? Oh. Yeah…

Cantaloupe decided to chill out on the waterfront as I went in search of foods and hot beverages…

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I’m pretty sure this is one of those fancy bridges over the river.

First stop: waterfront coffee at the Bean and Tree and some laptop work time.

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Is it just me, or does lipstick on a cup always remind you of your mom’s coffee?

Second stop: Verde Cocina Buenos Dias Breakfast – featuring giant cubes of sweet ‘n’ savory bacon and local greens at the Portland Farmer’s Market.

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This is food for two cycle humans, by the way. I did not eat this all on my own.

And SURPRISE: if you take a new route back home, you might pass by some space tubes.

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Just kidding! They are lockable rain covers for your bikes.

Sometimes it’s worth it to take the long route and enjoy the ride. Forget rushing and cranking and sweating and red light cursing, slow it down for a little autumn bike commuter bliss before it gets too cold.

Rose City-Me – a.k.a. Interbike 2013 Jealousy

For those of us who did not attend Interbike 2013, meaning the majority of the bike population, I’ve got one thing to say: Rose City-me, bikey ladies and gentlefolks!” (Think “beer-me” a la Andy from The Office…) This past week, as the Bike Commuters gang was hanging out in the desert soaking up bikes and sun, the rest of us were hanging out in our daily lives, fending off jealousy and ogling posts from Jack and RL. Or maybe that was just me. Hanging out in Portland, the capital of bikey hang-a-langs (a.k.a. not Las Vegas, the capital of Interbike 2013) I like to pretend that everyday could be considered an Interbike-worthy moment!

In fact, Portland makes me want to snap pics of bikes with my crappy i-phon skills (only one step up from Retired Asian Dad photo skills). I may not have a cool camera like RL or Jack, a camera so sweet it’s capable of capturing high-resolution bike porn like this and this and that. And I may be taking total creeper photos of other commuters at stop lights or bikes locked up at racks, but it’s all I got, damnit… and I’ll take what I can get. Maybe I could call this post “Portlerbike 2013” or “InterPort 2013” or “Lotsabikes in Portland 2013” and cross my fingers for an air-drop of SWAG.

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The Schwinn le Tour II hath arrived! (Pics don’t get any crappier than this, thanks i-phon)

The mediocre photographer inside of me is inspired on a daily basis by all that this bike-friendly city has to offer. And that includes bike selfies. Yessir, this means if my bike had arms, it would take pictures of itself being shipped from Menlo Park, CA all they way to Portland, OR. Oh man, oh man, are Shwinney and I happy to be reunited! (Shout out to Chris, Aaron, Kelli, and Emily for crazy bike shipping coordination efforts.)

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Now to unpack it and get it to the LBS for some pedal action.

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Almost there…

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Made it! She’s a beauty.

So it seems like my bike commuting life is getting back to normal for the abnormal Mir.I.Am, with bike storage in the basement of our building, a multi-speed orange steed at my side, and plenty of bike lanes to cruise in a flat-like-an-A-cup city. I’m all about you, Portland. Screw Vegas. Enjoy the pics, Bike Commuters:

New Wool Cap Contest

You can win a brand new BikeCommuters.com Wool Cycling Cap (size Larege/XL)!
bikecommuters.com wool cap
To enter, upload a photo of your commuter bike onto our Facebook Fanpage by April 26th, 2013. Then our staff will vote on which bike is our favorite. We’re not looking for anything specific. But I do know our staff has a mix of what they think is a cool bike. We like fast road bikes, mountain bikes, single speeds, vintage bikes, Bakfiets, cargo bikes, Xtracycles, Trikes, E-bikes, bikes that have sweet lugs on the frame, pretty bikes, colorful bikes, Franken-bikes, pink bikes, purple bikes and even regular looking bikes!

Good luck!

We’ll announce a winner the following Monday.