24 May 2010

Right of way.... and bad manners

We decided to take the mother in law with us to the beach as the sun is out finally. We loaded up the inflatable sharks, beach tent, giant styrofoam tube clubs for play fights in the sea (bought in a flea market second hand), buckets, spades etc etc. Number 1 child was in a sulk and wanted to play on her DS at home and refused to cycle, so she joined Number 3 child on the back of the Yuba Mundo. Quite the load.

We were soon on the cyclepath and after a couple of km we ran into a fleamarket that had run over and where everyone had used the cyclepath as a parking space. Obviously because it was a waste of space... We had to ride around this mess through endless cars attempting to find parking space and found our way on the other side. Then after 500 metres, on a corner, a man jumped out infront of us and shouted "Stop ! Its the marathon you can't ride here." Number 2 child ran into the back of the Yuba Mundo with a crash of handlebars and I looked down the cycle path to see 2 or 3 runners and a couple of huge motorbikes escorting them on the cyclepath. I asked him what I was supposed to do and he told me to watch or go home. The path runs through fields and there are no other road options. I looked around, there were no posters warning of the event, no barriers, and very few runners. I told him to "have a nice day" and carried on down the cyclepath as usual. We came across several other cyclists coming the other way looking very unhappy, one of them wishing us "good luck", and every now and then a sole runner. One or two of the runners insulted us and even changed sides of the cyclepath at the last moment to stop us head on to show that we had no right to be there ( A great way to make a child fall off a bike). After a couple of km I came across a couple of cops who were regulating cars where the cyclepath crossed a road and I asked them why the marathon was not being run on the road, like most marathons. It was a registered marathon route I was told. So I replied that I could see where the priorities lay with townhall. The cop didn't like that, and replied that pedestrians do indeed have priority over cyclists. (But not over cars apparently). Which I thought was a strange thing to say. Are marathon runners pedestrians ? LOL, I suppose a cop always has to have the last say and be in the right, whatever the case. He told me to wait while 3 runners and a huge motorbike went past and told me that I could carry on down the cycle path now that it was free. ( He didn't try and tell me to get off the path though, funny that...) so I told him to "have a nice day" and pushed off down the empty path... A minute later while I was thinking over the strange reply and barely hidden anticyclist sentiment of the cop, a runner swore at me in very strong language infront of my children. Fuming I asked a lone bystander what the route was and discovered that we were going to be abused like this for the next 10 km along our normal route. So we hooked a left as soon as we could and took a 10 km detour on another cyclepath to the east and north to avoid them. The mother in law (worried by the extra distance and the risk of not reaching the beach as a result) wanted to carry on with the runners as there were very few and we could share the path which is very wide. Sure, but I told her it would end in manslaughter by bicycle pump if another goon in lykra tried to push us off the path into the bushes, or swore at me in front of the children. I spent the next half hour calming down, fuming at the organisers of the marathon and the impossibility of people to share living space. Although I am sure I am wrong to catagorise runners as I did at that moment in time (I know some long distance runners and they are great people). This is the same kind selfishness that pushes people to drive cars so that they can be seperated from everyone in a bubble of polluting priviledge and comfort at the expense of others, the kind of people I take the cycle path to avoid...... To me this is another frustrating example of individualism and how cyclists are barely tolerated by "normal" people and how much crap we have to put up with in general.

We managed to have a great time any way and stopped in a beautiful poppy field for a rest.

Parked up at a new beach with a kiddy park, picnic, fruit from the local market, a drop of cool Sangria from a market stall to calm the nerves. The afternoon on the beach and playing in the sea was fantastic. Mrs Yuba joined us after work (Yes on a Sunday...) by car (she had to deliver stuff today, she normally travels by bike), and the mother in law was taken back in a car as she wasn't up to the return journey.

Round trip 44 km loaded up like a truck ! Was not planning on the extra 10 km but hey, was not a big deal for me anyway.

7 May 2010

V3 Build

Time to get down to work. The aim here is to build up this frame with parts from another bike that my better half finds too tall, and bits from my parts bin.

A better shot of the (frame turned upsidedown) gusset on the downtube. All the tubes are different ftom V2 and the frame seems lighter. The welding is nothing to write home about, much like the V2, lets say functional rather than pretty. The paint job seems (could be the colour) thiner in places than my V2, with perhaps less lacquer. Still cool though.

Bought this back from Shanghai 2 years ago, all the bikes there have this, and it has sat in the parts bin ever since. I wouldn't leave my bike out of sight with this as you can still drag the bike away and shove it into a van. But sometimes when you stop at a café or for a rest etc, it is a pain to lock up your bike. With this I can sip my coffee and leave it insight on its stand without having to keep a constant eye on it. I have a second one for my V2 Yuba too.

Here you can see the alu spacer that takes the frame dropout from the Yuba Mundo 14mm to the standard 10 or 9mm (can't remember) size for a wheel axel. I see this being the weakest point in this "lite" (read cheap) setup. As the bicycle wheel is one of the strongest structures known to man I don't see the wheel folding. Now the two girls are mobile, I doubt that Mrs Yuba is going to load enough to bust this anyway, especially with two Yuba Mundos to spread the load on outings. This standard MTB wheel has seen serious abuse pulling overloaded trailors and packed racks, children on child seats, sometimes all at the same time. If the axle bends I will look at another solution. This will be an interesting test in a family use context, afterall Mrs Yuba won't be hauling sacks of grain in the bush, or three kids for 40km like me.
Also dropping the wheel into the drop outs was easy, no grunting or effort involved. That is a big change from the V2 which was agricultural to say the least. For that I had to put one foot pushing on a chainstay and pull on the other with a hand whilst trying to waggle in the axle...
Have not tried fitting the dreaded H bars as yet !

Sans headset.

First problem. The Rock Shox Tora fork in the parts bin has been cut too short, which is a shame because they look seriously tough. The headtube on the Yuba is quite long, and even without a headset fitted there is just not enough space to fit a aheadset stem. ( I will have to check that the Yuba Mundo can take a aheadset too, or if I am limited to threaded setups only.) So this bit of parts recycling isn't going to happen... will have to look at other fork solutions.


The fork is also quite laid back due to their length, changing the headtube angle, so that might change the great Yuba stearing. Also it puts a slope off the back of the flatbed, although with rider sag it might all pan out flat.

Ran out of build time, end of part one.


A man came to the door with a rather large box today. I signed it off and opened it up. The cat jumped straight into the box, strange animal, and wouldn't get out.

Very orange.

I am often frustrated by the lack of photos on posts so here are some shots of what sprang to my eyes as being new on the V3.

Still very orange.

If you look carefully there is a new reinforcement gusset (plate) on the underside of the toptube straight off the head tube. This is a traditional stress point on bikes, nice touch. Not sure what the threaded holes in the top and down tubes are for though...

New arrangement here. Beefed up, nice thick kickstand plate I see.

More threaded holes, loop and I like the way the light mounting plate has been moved back out of harms way.

Two more threaded holes and a loop just below them on the underside of the "load area" tube just behind the seat. There are also two threaded holes for a waterbottle holder on the top of the down tube, which is a nice choice to have.

Disc brake tabs, ooooh.

Can't wait to build this up. I have a set of Rock Shox Tora 289 forks in the shed and I am wondering if they would be up to the job at the front. They are MTB forks, and it will be the missus who will be riding this as a Yuba Lite setup... any comments folks ? I will have to look at the BB7 stuff I have in my parts bucket to see if I can peg them on this. I will check on the blogs of the kind people who have already posted on this subject.

I will keep you posted. Hopefully we will have the makings of a family Yuba Convoy here before soon.