Ohio City Bicycle Co-op

Water barrel bike trailer

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Written by Jim Sheehan
Tuesday, 14 February 2017 15:39

OCBC has been designing and building cargo trailers intermittently for some time, as a way to re-use bike parts and provide low-cost carrying capacity for cyclists. In 2012 Barton Hiatt got this project solidly underway (see his work journal at bikecart.org), with prototypes in use and production methods documented.  We have been using the last of his prototypes since then, for things like keg rides and trips to the sledding hill, but have been intending to make a bigger version.

We now have an excuse to start building that, with the hopes that it will be usable by citizen tree stewards to water street trees planted under the Reforest Our City project -- we have promised them a working model to demonstrate on Arbor Day, April 24th 2017, with a 10 ft. hose and 55 gal. drum (enough to water 11 trees semi-weekly, weighing 540 lbs).  If it works for them we may need to scale up to produce several, but even if not we'll find it useful to have around, and reproducible for anyone who wants a robust DIY alternative to re-purposed kid-trailers.

Update, April 2017:
Thanks to great engineering help from a truly solid volunteer, the trailer project is moving to the next phase: training volunteers from the 2100 Lakeside Men's Shelter with Traffic Skills and trailer-specific riding techniques, as they water street trees in a pilot of this major effort to make Cleveland back into the "Forest City".  See the trailer in action in this video.

This version holds 250lbs (about 30 gal.) of water, and will cost $250. We plan a more robust version to hold a full 55 gal. drum, but testing this design with a full barrel, braking hard bent the hitch arm, so the next iteration will either have a welded frame or be 4-wheeled cart with remote brakes -- either way a much bigger job, which we'll undertake as time permits.

Any volunteers are welcome to help in this effort, to practice some back-porch engineering and/or learn some useful metal-working skills -- and earn volunteer credits while helping develop another earned income source for OCBC. 


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 April 2017 20:51 )

15th annual Marmots' Meander -- reprised!

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Written by Jim Sheehan
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 22:10

We had a small but enthusiastic turnout for the scheduled Marmots' ride Sunday, but just enough snow to get down the hill a few times on each sled (and Bike Ski) that we brought, before we had worn all the snow away.  So we decided to do it again when there was good snow, and unless it keeps raining, that means for this Saturday's Social Ride.  Here are the new details, from a press release.  Wear your best galoshes for the TV cameras.

Cyclists seek groundhog sighting in the snow on 15th annual Marmots' Meander

Intrepid cyclists are invited to join the Ohio City Bicycle Co-op on a tour of Cleveland's picturesque Flats to celebrate the joys of winter cycling.


The destination of the ride is the neighborhood sledding hill (about 3 miles from the co-op), but, in a traditional observance of Groundhog Day, the group will also visit several active groundhog habitats, in hopes of witnessing the prediction of an early Spring by a real, wild, local Marmota monax.


Riders will meet after 10am at the Ohio City Bicycle Co-op, 1840 Columbus Rd. in Cleveland's Flats.  The group ride will depart at 10:30, and arrive at Tremont Park (the old Clark Field) sledding hill at 2875 W 11th St. (just North of Clark) for cocoa and sledding from ~ 11 to 11:30am. Lunch will be served back at the co-op from noon to 1pm.


This event is free and open to all; donations are always appreciated to pay for food and heat, and to help fund the co-op's year-round bicycle education work.


Helmets are required (loaners are available), and mountain bikes are recommended (and available for rent, with a call in advance). Riders are encouraged to bring any sleds, skis or snowboards they can carry (some loaners will be provided, and transported). Hot Cider and cocoa will be provided at the sledding hill.


Lunch, beginning at noon back at the co-op, is vegan chili with meat and dairy on the side. Potluck side dishes and beverages are welcome. Bike-washing equipment and shop stands for drying and re-lubing will be available after the ride.  Non-riders are welcome to join the group at lunch, when there will also be studded snow tire and Bike-Ski test rides. 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 31 January 2017 22:18 )

Marmots' Meander 2017

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Written by Jim Sheehan
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 22:07

The 15th Annual Marmots' Meander will be run on Sunday, January 29th this year to avoid Saturday conflicts, and leave plenty of time to try out the fat bikes, Bike-Skis, studded snow tires, and various sliding devices we'll be taking out to our neighborhood sledding hill.

We'll meet at OCBC after 11am; the ride leaves around 12pm.  Lunch* will be back at OCBC from 1pm to 3pm.  This event is free (donations appreciated!), but please register here so we can plan for food and ride route leaders.

This year we'll ride to the Clark Field hill via Tremont, and return via Canal Rd. The route is about 7 mi. total**.

Helmets are required (loaners available), and mountain bikes (or those new fat bikes!) are recommended. Bring any sleds, skis or snowboards you can carry (some loaners will be provided, and transported, as well as some Bike Skis -- a ski that straps onto any bike's front tire). Studded snow tires from OCBC's library are also available to try out.  Bike-washing equipment and shop stands for drying and re-lubing will be available after the ride.

If there is snow (or just wet, salty roads) and you don’t want to crud up your nice bike, you can also reserve a rental bike – ready to accept a bike-ski, if you are feeling adventurous -- just choose that option.

If there is no snow we'll just ride on to the Canalway Visitor Center off the Towpath Trail, and take a lap of the MTB trail there if it's not soggy.

 Snow or no snow: you can still join the fun at the co-op after 1pm for chili, camaraderie, and maybe even a bike-ski test ride, snow permitting.

*Hot Cider and Cocoa will be provided at the sledding hill; lunch is vegan Chili with meat and dairy on the side. Potluck side dishes and your own beverages are welcome!

** Some members will be carrying tools along, but this is an unsupported ride. Bring a lock if your bike will be unattended.

This event is free and open to all, but of course donations are always appreciated to pay for food and heat, and to help fund our year-round bicycle education work.  Please register here if you plan to attend.

See pictures from the 2014 ride (to the same hill) here!


Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 January 2017 16:31 )
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