Monday, August 11, 2008

The Big Wheels Get Paint

The Seussian Pedal Tractor is almost done. All the mechanical bits are finished. That's three derailleurs, five chains, two brake calipers, shifters and the cables that control everything. We did a three person test-ride last Friday and we couldn't stop laughing. We rode it out of the driveway, down the street aways and then peddled uphill back to the shop. It was hilarious and instructive. The big wheels needed a little bracing at the ends of the spokes. They bent ever so slightly during the test ride. The gearing will work fine. We were able to ride uphill with three people on it but only two people pedaling (the front pedals weren't installed yet). The bicycle chains may be a weak point. I will have to bring spare chain and a chain tool whenever we ride it anywhere.

This past weekend I primed the big wheels and the long bike frame. Yesterday I painted the big wheels with fluorescent spray paint. The plan is to mount UV lights on the canopy frame to illuminate the wheels for night travel.

Today I started bolting the shoes to the big wheels. I need only two more pair. The next post should be of the completely finished pedal tractor. I say this knowing that we will probably come up with wacky ideas for add-ons. It may never be really finished!

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