Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rail Bike Redoux

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In response to a comment/question on my last post:

I would be happy to give you the dimensions and specs for the guide wheel set-up on the rail bike but if you're looking to make a four wheel dolly, there's an easier way. If you take a rubber tired wheel like you can get from Harbor Freight, cut a circular piece of plywood a couple inches larger than the diameter of the rubber tire and bolt it to the wheel, you have a flanged wheel that will stay on the track. Make an axle the proper length and fasten this to the bottom of a wooden frame and you're in business. You can raise the platform up with the brackets if so desired as shown in the sketch. Harbor Freight sells a 10" tire and wheel for $9.99 but they have them on sale for $6.99 occasionally.

My question to you is: How are you going to move this platform down the tracks? Planning on pushing it? You could pull it behind a railbike if you had one but if you had one you could probably just mount the camera on the bike. Of course, if you had a Fairmont car or a speeder of some kind, you could have all kinds of fun. Me, I'd like to build a handcar, just because.

I live fairly close to the Chicago area and am interested in the abandoned line. Could be a good spot to safely ride the rail bike and a video camera could probably be mounted to it, as well. Keep me in the loop.


citizen55555 said...

You have any thoughts on a folding mountain bike that can tow a boat big enough to fit the bike in but small enough to enjoy the bike ride? I've been searching for a good example of this but no luck. Seems like someone should have done this already. I think I should be able to bike over to a nearby river towing my kayak and then paddle my kayak across the river with the bike folded and attached to the kayak. The continue by bike on the other side.

Shop Teacher Bob said...

Bike Friday makes a folding mountain bike:http://community.bikefriday.com/node/1668.I'm sure there are plenty of custom bike builders that could fix you up as well. If not a folding bike, then one with couplings.

The clever solution would be to have a trailer that floats. Then all you would have to do is pull the bike with the kayak when you get to the water. The pieces that support the boat become out riggers - have them foam filled for flotation. All you have to do is support about 25 lbs, plus the weight of the trailer itself. I'd put some thought into that.