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Sunday, March 29, 2009
Last Monday, nearly hours after posting about the homebuilt frame extension, I went to bed and I got the surprise of my life. I was in excruciating pain by what turned out to be a clogged artery induced, full blown, heart attack.
The next 2 hours and 30 minutes was handled by a team of dedicated and truly professional health care personnel. From the 2 EMT's who got me to the right hospital fast, the Nurses and Doctors who then took care of my problem right there and then the ones who took care of me afterward were all fantastic. Many thanks to the CCU staff at The Royal Victoria Hospital.
I woke up the next morning in my hospital bed with some left over pain asking myself the dreaded question, how much damage does my heart have? I know for a fact that surviving a heart attack is one thing, but the damage caused to the heart is also something to consider and this will impact the rest of your life.
My life was not a very healthy one. I had a terrible diet, until recently I was a pack and a half a day smoker for 25 years and I never spent any regular time at a gym or sports. I was expecting to pay the note at some point for this type of living, but not at 43! Anyhoo, results came back and the Doctors told me I had very minor damage and that with a better diet,some exercise, a bunch of pills taken every day, I would be OK.
According to them, my saving grace was the fact that I've biked on a regular basis since my late twenties. I still have a week of staying put, but I can't wait to get back on the saddle...Doctor's orders!
So keep riding, it's so good for you, it might save your life!
Monday, March 23, 2009
In spite of chaos at work and digging out of home improvement Hell, I've managed to get one of my Spring time projects started. I've been using my Firmstrong Chief bike as my workhorse now for some time and I always wanted a big cargo bike of my own design. Since the Chief is very comfortable and easy to ride, it was a logical step to see what I could do to upgrade it instead of starting from scratch again. I like to be able to carry a lot of stuff and although trailers are great for that, I must admit that they are a pain to haul.
Xtra cycle makes a great product that includes an extension and a rack to make any bike into a serious cargo hauler. I've seen them and they are worth the money no questions. However, I think you folks would enjoy a homebuilt project more than just a simple install/product review article. I'm also a cheap skate and I had all this scrap lying around for free to put this thing together!
Xtra cycle was the inspiration for the want and this great instructable(trebuchet03's article) was the inspiration for the how. Making a bike frame extension requires a few things, the rear triangle from a cheap suspension mountain bike, the down tube from another bike with part of the head tube still on and some brackets.
I simply bolted the rear triangle of the MTB frame where the rear wheel on the Chief is supposed to be using it's pedal axle and the bolts that come with it. I then measured the cut down tube for lenght while the bike was resting on a block at the proper height. I cut the tube, clamped it in a wise for it to fit inside the shock mount on the rear triangle and drilled a hole for the mounting bolt. The other end of the tube was then secured to the seat tube of the cruiser using 3 clamps. Why 3? Remember the golden rule of homebuilt anything, when in doubt, overbuild!
The bike is nowhere near done, I still have to make the custom 34 inch long rear rack that's going on it, but extensive testing of me jumping my big butt on the seat has proven successful with no flex whatsoever.
Keep posted for the rest of this build.
Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
My good friend Josh and his team are looking for staff. Check out the message they sent me today:
"We're getting ready for spring and looking at bringing another employee on board here at Bike Trailer Shop.
Despite the slow economy we're still growing at a good pace and from our view point it looks like the utility cycling movement will be growing strongly in the year ahead.
We are currently seeking an employee to join our team here in Flagstaff, AZ.
I was wondering if you might be willing to mention our available position on your Blog.
It seems that among your readership there is likely someone who would be interested in the opportunity.
Detail about our position are on the About Us section of our web shop.
So if you feel you have what it takes, get in touch with them and say Gerry sent ya. :)