Monday 13 March 2023

Getting ready for caching - the bike

Getting ready for caching - the bike

The bike that I used to use for caching a few years back, is still in good condition. I oiled the cables to make them run more easily, pumped up the tires, and it works fine.

That is, it works fine if I use it from home. But I want to be able to transport the bike to where I'll be caching, and I have a bit of a problem there.

And the batteries are still good.

Although my recovery from cancer is 100%, it's left me with a couple of problems. My fitness is terrible, my back is weak, and I have an abdominal hernia. I consulted a doctor about the hernia, and he advised that I should do nothing about it, except I mustn't lift heavy weights, such as a full suitcase.

But the electric bike weighs 25 kilograms, and that's without the batteries, which can be lifted separately. And 25 kg is too much for the hernia.

I've bought a tow-bar mounted bike carrier, from which the bike will be suspended. But how do I lift the bike up to it? I don't want to try to lift 25 kg.

So I bought a block and tackle. Two blocks with three pulleys each, which gives me a mechanical advantage of 6:1. So I'll only be lifting 4kg. But I need to attach the top block to a pole or something.

I tried a six foot pole, but the problem is that I'm pulling the cord, but then the pole tilts sideways and it's difficult to stop that. So I need two poles, joined at the top, so that it can't tilt from side to side. 

Also, there's a problem using the block and tackle. You have to hold on to the cord, or the bike returns to the ground. And the cord tangles itself. And the bike tilts as I lift it.

So, I've ordered a hoist, the kind that has a ratchet and a handle, so the bike stays up when I let go of the handle. Next, I need to build an A-frame out of two six foot lengths of aluminium plus a strut to hold them together, but the whole thing needs to be not too long so it won't fit in the car. I'm hoping that will  work.

There's also the possibility of getting a 12 volt electric hoist for about £90, so I don't even have to wind a handle.

And there's another possibility; that's to get a tow-bar mounted carrier that the bikes sit on, plus perhaps an inclined plane so I can just wheel them on to the carrier. Normal bikes are around 15 kg, but the electric bike is 25 kg, so it needs a heavy-duty carrier. But those cost £360 for the "Halfords Advanced 2 bike Towbar mounted bike rack" (and it weighs 14 kg), and I'm trying the cheaper option first.


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