The Merger Is Complete

I've now completed migrating my Clunkerbike posts over to and will now let this blog fold. My bicycle stuff is very design and mullet hack oriented, so I'll still be posting bike and trike things. While I wait for the weather to improve, so that I can get outside and practice a bit of welding for the trike, I've been working like I'm full-time on bike related designs, as well as music designs and projects, along with other artistic musings. (A wooden trike may be built in the not too distant future, as a test for a CNC router I'm planning to build.) The site is probably more intriguing - unless you're a bicycle purist to the level of ignoring all other facets of life. So the original Clunkerbike, this place, is an archive. No new content will be added here, the domain will lapse, but the posts will remain up on but noting new will be found here. From now on, if you want to keep reading my stuff, come over to S

I'm likely merging clunkerbike with shiny happy rainbows in the next month

This blog will always be but I won't be posting here anymore, and I'll be letting the domain go, too, probably. I'm kinda inadvertantly cyber squatting on a handful of little league domains and tend to post my design and development stuff, including bike stuff, to Shiny Happy Rainbows , anyway. I have another blog I want to start as a process of writing a book. Dry political stuff, optimistically pointing to a better way to run a networked planet. As that comes into being, I'll post about its availability on Shiny Happy Rainbows . Cheers, Crunchy. (24/06/2023)

Bicycles Make Everything Better.

No, they really do! As a weird example, I've been "researching" Arduino-based, robotic drum machines - Heath-Robinson affairs that allow a drum machine to play a real drum kit, instead of stored sounds. How do bicycles make this better? Bowden tubes. "Bowden tube" is the engineering name for the outer sheath of a bicycle's mechanical brake cable. You might call it "the hose" or just the "outer." The whole mechanical brake cable has not been used on one, single robotic drum system I've seen, yet, for the hi-hat, the upper and lower cymbals that a drummer operates with a pedal, as well as hitting with sticks, all have these complex linkages and gadgets and firmware code that gives the effect of half-pedal, rather than an actual half pedal. They using car door lock actuators (solenoids) to do this, these things are on or off, they don't have a half position. Or do they? Spoiler alert, they do, but the solution is mechanical. The

Everything a Car Can Do, So Can a Bicycle

I'm one of those "Clives" (old men) who, as well as a touring bike, has a cargo bike. I usually put it to work doing this kind of thing... I call it "Thunderbird 2" because It's my plan to have some standard pods. There's a big black load deck on the front, where most, middle-class people have a kiddie carrier, but why would I bother with that? My kids are old enough to have kids, if they want to. Mine's the bicycle equivalent of a Toyota Hilux, it has a box pod that normally mounts on the load deck, the original plan was to put a counter and coffee machine on it (but food truck laws! Jesus, was going to cost as much as doing the same with a large van! Tens of thousands of bucks, just to get compliant!) and I've even built a disability seat, but that's yet to be pressed into service, or even tested. However, today I started building a campervan pod for it. A 1.8m x 0.5m camp bed with a bivi, that folds up into 0.6m wide,0.52m tall pod. Th

Everything I Learned In Physics Says This Is Impossible!

Perpetual motion. We've all heard of it, some of us have tried it. Hook up an induction motor to an induction generator, give a big rip on the zip cord, hey presto... Nothing. The losses exceed the gains and the motor stops. Very quickly, in fact. Regenerative braking, in fact. Except... So this guy has rigged this machine, effectively a motor driving a generator, with the genny wired back to the motor. I call bullshit. But is it? I can't see how he's tricking us, and his hydrogen electrolysis closed loop generator credibly works. (see video below) I can't see the hoodwink in the vid above, but that doesn't mean there isn't. I'm no fing cooker! How's he tricking us into thinking that electromagnetic perpetual motion is happening? I need higher minds than mine on this one.

What Am I Doing On _MY_ Clunkerbike, Though?

I'm sick of waiting to die. I'm 61, I have congestive heart failure (diagnosed 2 years ago after a heart attack that "would have killed [me] if [I] weren't a cyclist":my doc said) and insulin managed diabetes (adult diagnosis but hey, my endocrinologist has just declared me a Type 1, at 61!), so I've been feeling pretty damned brittle for the last 2 and a bit years. I have been finding myself getting a bit paniced on the bike when I can't handle a short, uncategorised climb, say Brighton Rd from Inkerman to Alma. I have literally been acting like I'm waiting to die. Then I snapped. "Fuck this shit!" I screamed, "Didn't I once write a song with a chorus that is literally, I want to live forever, or die trying?!" How was this cardio-anxiety any sort of " Gallant Attempt at Immortality "? (<- Soundcloud Link) My response has been to hatch, as "Baldrick" would put it, a cunning plan. I have come up with

A Bunch of "Kiwis" Ride Le Tour A Day Before The Race

" One Day Ahead " is a film that asks, "Can an ordinary bloke complete the Tour de France?" Eight riders from New Zealand, one a former olympic cyclist, but none from the pro peleton, get to gether to ride every stage of the 2018 Tour, the day before the official race goes through. "Just ride it to enjoy it... ...'cause there's no room in the car." I'll be watching this tonight and maybe adding a bit more to this post tomorrow, when the reel has been watched. Twenty hours later: Watched it, great tale! Would have liked to have seen more riding and scenery, but there was enough, and I kept spotting places I know from the official Le Tour coverage on SBS every year. That said, I highly recommend this film. For cycling and non-cycling reasons pretty much alike. The eight riders, the cameraman/support crew mate, his wife, and the odd other person close to the riders, set out to see if, as ordinary blokes, they could complete the entire

Fixing a Droopy Box With a Naughty Bracket

The "Rude Bracket" My trusty Reid commuter tourer, "Buster", the Urban X2 with a wide drop bar conversion, has a Wildman head box on the bars for snacks, "occy" straps and other small tat that one might need on a shopping run or longer. The trouble with this otherwise cavernous, yet light, headbox is it gets "the droop" every time the front wheel hits a bump. So I designed and printed the above "rude bracket" to provide a counterforce against the underside of the stem. The Headbox, featuring the solar panel that keeps my lights charged. Now at the proper angle. Aside from keeping my solar panel reasonably in the sunlight, when the headbox droops enough, it rubs against the front tyre. The carbon fibre reinforced, 3d printed, PETG "rude bracket" screws onto the top of the headbox mounting frame, under a custom branding "Clunkerbike" badge and rests against the underside of the stem, as per... The "Rude Bracket

Walking is the Bicycle for the Mind (Sorry, Mr Jobs)

I have some, shall we say, "unusual" views on alternative transport. Riding isn't worth getting the bike out for for under 10km, for that, I'll use my e-scooter, especially under 8km one way. Less than 4km, I'd rather walk. And I've recently realised that a train trip (with a bike) to Bairnsdale, to do the East Gippsland Rail Trail is 2 days riding (Bairnsdale to Orbost and back) because I can't put the bike on the coach from Orbost back to Bairnsdale. So, why not walk it over three days, yet plan for 5, and make an adventure of it? The whole trail is about 98km, the walking equivalent of 490km cycling. That, for me, traditionally was 5 days cycling, but I find I have, post heart attack (Nov 20, 2020), more stamina walking. So I'm aiming for 33km/day on foot, with a 5 day "reality check" packing and timing limit. Here's the route... East Gipsland Rail Wikipedia has a great article on the trail and, if

Trike Update

With Melbourne having an unseasonably, soaking wet start to summer, I haven't been able to get the welder out. I have all the parts, apart from 56 of the right length spokes for the front wheels and the sheet steel needed for the seat shell, I just need favourable weather to be able to get the project into the only suitable welding workspace I have access to, the driveway. Can't take an electric MIG outside when it's raining, sigh. So, to feel like I'm actually "proceeding", I've been 3D printing jigs and braces to help keep the frame true. That, up there ^, is the jig for starting the side seam on the head tube. Yes, the angle is _meant_ to be -45 degrees, it's a lean steer trike. It works like this schematic... The hardest join in this style of trike is the the cross-member and steerer. I printed a clamping jig for that, too. See the earlier post about that here .