Not that this comes close to explaining the long gap in posts, but I recently picked up a bike-related project that readers might find reasonably interesting: converting a Burley trailer into a flatbed cargo hauler.
When my kids were small, I had a pretty nice Burley trailer that we got a lot of enjoyment from. When the kids outgrew it, I sold it to clear some space in my garage. Some time later, I found myself regretting that decision. Even though I wasn't using it for the kids any longer, it occurred to me that I could have used it for other purposes, like carrying groceries, etc. I like to run errands by bicycle whenever possible, including grocery shopping - but I'd find that there were limits to how much I could carry on the bike conveniently and easily. I often take big water jugs to our market to refill with filtered drinking water - and those really just can't be carried easily on a bike. A trailer would be great for that kind of thing.
To that end, I had been searching around for another trailer that I could hopefully get for minimum investment. I suppose it didn't necessarily have to be a Burley, but I've found that they are built well and last a good, long time, and I generally like the hitch design which is quite secure but also easy to attach to almost any bike (as long as it doesn't have disc brakes). The problem (at least for bargain hunters) is that they also hold their value better than most other trailer brands. Checking garage and estate sales turned up lots of cheap knockoffs from big department stores like Target and Walmart that I wasn't particularly interested in. Checking eBay and Craigslist often turned up used Burleys selling for $150 - $200 - way more than I wanted for this project.
When I got it home, the first thing I did was to attack the fabric - cutting it all away from the aluminum frame. All of it went straight into the trash before I'd even consider bringing the rest of the trailer into my basement.
|Here you can get a pretty clear view of just how horrible the fabric covering on this thing had gotten. It was totally unsalvageable.|
|Here's the frame minus its fabric coverings.|
|With the brackets cut nearly flush, I now have a relatively flat surface onto which I can attach my flatbed.|
|At this point with the wheels off and the canopy sections removed, it's pretty clear what kind of form the finished project will take. Next step is to remove the bolts that are holding the remnants of fabric and straps.|
|I figure there's some real versatility here. Wooden crates can go on/off in minutes. Large, irregular-shaped loads can be bungeed down. I'll have to find a bungee net, too.|
|There it is, all hooked up. $40 for the trailer, another $7 (or so) worth of random hardware, and a couple pieces of re-cycled plywood - and we're ready to haul.|