It’s been a long day. Work was moderately physically demanding this afternoon (swinging a sledge hammer in the hot sun) followed by several hours volunteering at the local bike co-op. Plus the daily 22km commute. I’d kind of like to go to sleep now. But tomorrow is World Car Free Day and I do feel that I should celebrate the day by publishing an appropriate blog post.
Not having a car definitely limits one’s lifestyle in a number of ways. Living in a city a person can usually work around these issues but occasionally you are reminded of the usefulness of owning a car. In particular, cars are great for moving things around. While I can carry a lot on my bikes eventually there is always something just a bit too big. I have a nice bike trailer that I have used to haul my kids around in but it won’t fit large objects. The solution to this is a cargo trailer and early this summer I made that a project. In particular, I wanted a flatbed trailer. Thinking that I should be able to convert a kid trailer for this purpose I watched the Kijiji classified ads closely waiting for a trailer at the right price.
This manifested itself as a Nakamura trailer for $10.00. The canvas was badly faded and it smelled like the previous owners had let their pets use it a s a latrine. A utility knife quickly removed the canvas and fixed that problem. My wife allowed me to use one of her old IVAR shelves for the platform. This was quite a concession, as she patrols Kijiji for that stuff the way I do for bikes. Thanks, Dear Spouse! I attached the platform with some metal brackets and electrical conduit clips and PRESTO: Instant Cargo Trailer! After the first couple of trips, I decided the hitch wasn’t very good so I upgraded it with a home made contraption. At least, I THINK it’s an upgrade. So far it works. Time will tell, I suppose.
This project went well enough that I recently made a second trailer. This one I intended as a present for a friend . I also found this second trailer on Kijiji and it was a much better trailer, a Burley (I had a crisis of conscience and I almost kept it for myself ). I didn’t push my luck by asking for another IVAR shelf and instead made a platform out of scrap reclaimed hardwood flooring I had in the garage. These were pieces that were to warped or otherwise unsuitable to use. However, they made a very spiffy looking (and strong!) flatbed. The hitch on this trailer (a burley classic hitch) worked fine so I didn’t change it.
The following pictures show the trailers and some of the loads I hauled his summer. Unfortunately, I neglected to take any pictures of the first trailer before the conversion. Oops! I am a poorly organized blogger. In any case, it’s been fun and productive.
HAPPY WORLD CAR FREE DAY!