Velcro & Tupperware

Let me introduce you to my newest, bestest buddy – Velcro tape.  It’s actually two separate tapes with adhesive backing.  One has the plastic “hook” Velcro and the other has the fuzzy “loops”.

Adhesive Backed Velcro Tape

Adhesive Backed Velcro Tape

I’ve had good luck so far sticking the hook side to the velomobile and the loop side to the thing I want stuck.  I used it to stick my cyclometer onto my control panel where I can see it and easily remove it for a closer look.  I also stuck my iPod to one of the wheel wells where it is easily seen and accessible.

But that’s the easy stuff.  I wanted to mount my new stereo where it would be secure, safe from harm, and easily removable as dictated by my exceedingly fickle whim.  My answer was to Velcro the stereo into a tupperware box (to protect it from any dampness on the floor of the velomobile) and Velcro that to the actual floor… of the velomobile.  The whole thing fits nicely under my seat and looks like this…

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The Dayton amplifier is on the left.  On the right is an extra battery (if I ever feel the need to haul around a spare).  Otherwise, I’ve made a wire to go from here to the auxiliary outlet on the velomobile.  The wood strip has a bunch of plugs to make everything quick and easy.  The battery is secured by a strip of Velcro on its bottom but is also held in place with another sort of Velcro tape.

Double Sided Velcro Tape

Double Sided Velcro Tape

This stuff has the hooks on one side and loops on the other.  It’s good to use for tie-downs.

You can see extra strips of Velcro tape in my tupperware box.  That’s for my alarm system, but I’ll save that for another post.

I’ve been thinking that for ultimate flexibility, I could upholster the entire inside of the velomobile with Velcro fabric so I could stick my stuff anywhere at all.  The one drawback is that I’d wear my fleece jacket one day and never be able to get out again.

Cops & Velomobiles

This is a tongue-in-cheek video of my last ride.  Please forgive the artsy-fartsy self indulgence at the end.  I couldn’t help myself.

Again, thanks to audiofarm and its artists for the music…

Definitely Not My Kind of Snake- King Zaya –http://audiofarm.org/audiofiles/20174
Electro Tango – Vol. 4 – Oscar Aguilar –http://audiofarm.org/audiofiles/14886
Looking Over – Sondre Dragsnes –http://audiofarm.org/audiofiles/20093

And here’s to refueling…

Italian Sausage with Red Peppers and Perogis

Cheers!

The Sound of Spring

With Spring just around the corner, I know that everything from Hummers to Harleys will be pulling up to stoplights with their stereos blaring.  Not to be intimidated by this alpha-dogging of the urban serenity, I’ve decided to meet it on equal footing with my own special brand of noise.  I call it – pause for dramatic effect – The Velo-Blaster!

It consists of a Dayton mini amplifier and these things…

Dayton Sound Exciter

Dayton Sound Exciter

They’re not speakers, they’re called sound exciters.  They work by vibrating whatever you attach them to.  Don’t get all excited!  I mounted mine just behind my shoulders on the top section of the shell.  There were other places which would produce a bit better sound but they were also the places exposed to arm movement and storage access.

Because the sound is produced by vibrating the whole shell of the velomobile, you can hear the music just as well on the outside as the inside.  Great for picnics!  Although I may joke about imposing my callous ego (and Justin Bieber) on the horrified bike path pedestrians, I’ll probably only use it on the long country roads that I’m fond of.  My apologies to the cows.

Another Winter Ride

OK, I’ve finally got the next video done!  There was a bit of a delay because I got it all finished, produced and uploaded, only to find that some of the free music that I’d used wasn’t so free after all.  It was actually lifted from somebody else.  Gah!  I had to start all over.

The streets were absolutely clear but the bike paths were a bumpy, rutted, icy, slushy mess.  I spent most of my time cranking the steering from one extreme to the other to keep on course.  I was very happy for the extra turning power the YellowMobile has because of its exposed front wheels.  I don’t think a velomobile like the Quest would have made it through, simply because it wouldn’t be able to stay on the path.  My Quest buddies would probably quip that they aren’t stupid enough to travel the bike paths in conditions like these.  Well, I gotta be me.

But not to worry, I won’t make you sit through all that.  While I might like sliding and jostling all over the bike path at 5 mph, it isn’t all that visually compelling on video.   Anyway, here are the best parts – at last.

All of the music is courtesy of audiofarm.  My thanks to the artists!

Channelings – Kirk Douglas – http://audiofarm.org/audiofiles/20821

As One To One – Lyndon Daniels – http://audiofarm.org/audiofiles/18828

Goodnight Mooncow – Alexander Chereshnev – http://audiofarm.org/audiofiles/20709

Step By Step – Oglsdl – http://audiofarm.org/audiofiles/20220

Troubles With Cammie

I’ve learned a few things about my little camera with an attitude.  One is that he gets a little warm in his plastic waterproof jacket.  This causes the plastic to fog on cold days, making for very blurry, boring videos.

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It seems that Sony has also discovered this problem and is now offering condensation reducing, anti-fog sheets as accessories.  While the idea of putting diapers on Cammie is rather fitting, I didn’t particularly like the words “helps prevent condensation” in their advertising.  I don’t want to come home with hours of video only to find a full diaper and a partially foggy lens.

My solution – drill two tiny holes (at an upward angle) just under the lens portion of the waterproof housing.

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I know, it felt pretty stupid drilling holes in a perfectly waterproof box but I figured that if Cammie wants to go swimming at some point, we’ll just have to buy him a swimsuit.  The result – no more fogging.  I haven’t been out in a heavy downpour yet so I’ll have to get back to you later about that.

***Please see the comments section for a better version of the drilling method which Pete was nice enough to contribute***

When I started using Cammie, I got one of these suction cup bases to mount him on.

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Seems like a good idea – put him anywhere and not have any permanent mounts glued to the vehicle.  What I found out was that the thin shell of the velomobile flexes a bit when you go over bumps.  This is only a little vibration when the camera is mounted right on the surface, but you put that camera on a little pole attached to that surface and the little vibration translates into a major wobble out where the camera is sitting!

So I’ve opted for the glued on mount for Cammie.

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I still plan to use the suction mount but I’ll have to use it where the velomobile’s body is more rigid and the road more smooth.