Bike Yard East

Been busy putting together a couple of bike things for two different kind of bike shops. Bike Yard East is the friendly bike workshop at Hackney City Farm run by Celia . I found an old kiddies bike by the side of the canal and wrapped it in old inner tubes that got cut down the middle . Tried to fasten it to the roof yesterday by the cut in half front wheel . Got to give it some more thought cos failed miserably .

The other is for Bike Kitchen .Its a new workshop space in Hoxton where you pay a membership then rent stand space to work on your own bike under expert supervision . Jenifer gave me an old Giant frame to work with . Been working with this tube wrapping technique . Its gonna have a butchered head jammed between the forks . See how long before the council make her take it down

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Family bike history

While up in Hull at my mums 65th birthday party a bit ago we got chatting about cycling and our family . “Your great grandad was into cycling  ” , says my mum . “I think there is a newspaper cutting up stairs about him .”

Well there was a cutting about him , and this is it . I think  ‘into cycling’ was a bit of an understatement . He only started Hull Thursday road club and was a fanatical rider his whole life .Mum reckons he lived til 95 and rode his bike til he was 90 . What an inspiration . Always wondered where i got these cycle crazy legs from . Cant believe I never knew about him til now .

Hull Thursday club became one of the strongest cycling clubs in the country , and is still going today .


Under construction

Think like a termite

AAAHHHGGRRRRHHHH.  I am a carpenter and maker of things so thought that making my own web site would be a piece of piss . Spent the last few weeks bouncing off the walls trying to collect photos and write some stuff to make a web site of work ive been involved in . Next few weeks should see some shuffling around of what I put up there , adding bits and redoing all the crap bits . It’ll come , as long as i can stop throwing the computer at the wall .

spring roof

before the haircut

before the haircut

lots of dead stuff

All this lush weather has seen the brownfield roof on the container building at Hackney City Farm bust into life . Thought it was time for some maintanence so got the ladders out , pulled off all the dead stuff and threw some buckets off water over it .

nickin the water

Salvaged the water from an unused water butt collecting water off the strawbale building .

new growth

spring greens

The roof garden looks like it seeded well from last year and should go crazy this year .

golden pigs

bike park

Oi , You cant park that there .

This is the new monster boat . Broads cruiser built by Breydon Marine about 30 years ago .We got it off Ebay and drove it from Shepperton all the way down the Thames to the canal system . Her name is Karen Ann but should really be Popeye . More about her later , im sure .

popeye sparks

Been working on upgrading the domestic battery system on Olive Oils big brother , Popeye ( mine and Ellens new boat )

This is the battery bank we get our power from for the electrical stuff we use like bilge pumps , lighting , stere ereo , hair straighteners and the like . Sick of run down batteries and no leccy we decided to do a proper job on it . First we got some fat new deep cycle batteries . Found them on ebay . Used to be back up power for the landing lights at Manchester airport . Never used , but replaced routinely every few years , a bargain at £ 100 for 2 6v to make one 12v 185 ah . We got 4 giving us 370 ah . GGrrrr . Should do the job .

We had a Sterling battery to battery charger laying around from bike power generating project , so we stuck that in . Simply put , this changes the voltage coming from the alternator to one that the leisure batteries like a bit more . Charges them quicker and more efficiently . Was easy to put in with only three 3 wires to connect .

To make sense of whats going on with it all , I splashed out and bought a NASA battery monitor . Until now ive always used a multimeter across the battery terminals to check the voltage . This gives some kind of indication of the state of charge of the batteries , isnt too accurate . The new monitor tells the batteries voltage , amps being drawn , percentage of capacity and time left till the next charge . Hopefully all this accuracy will prolong the batteries life , keeping them working better for longer.

Hunting around on ebay for a decent , cheap solar panel to add in to the system . Free sunshine power when its there and engine / alternator back up when its not .

Olive Oil

Until recently Olive oil was my home for 3 years or so . She taught me alot about a simple and uncomplicated way to live , free from the drip fed constraints of living in a plugged in box . Me and me shipbuilding partner , El , have been giving her a spruce up ready for her new tenants. Away from the building site for a while has given me some time to spend getting carried away with tiling the galley . My first mosaic . Smash the tile and stick em on the wall . Easy