Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

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homo ardentum
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Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by homo ardentum » Mon May 25, 2015 2:09 pm

HELP!! It's time for a little intervention for my friend who will be bringing a Ben Hur chariot style bar cart this year. He intends to go on deep playa treks to provide much needed refreshments for all those intrepid soles who made the effort to get lost in the dust.

The thing is, despite many attempts through arguing and reasoning, the man is ignoring basic engineering logic and wants to go with wood wheels mounted on wood axles. Yes, and towed by his bike. We tried to explain that by using a kid-cart as a frame, he could build out a chariot over it and have a functional, light weight bar cart.

I am envisioning this heavy thing locking up about 100 yards out of camp once the playa dust gets into his greased axles. Then the wheels will sink into the dunes and become a playa anchor. You'd think that since he is an aerospace engineer he'd get it but nope!!!

Please help by providing real-life stories or tips to get his bar playa worthy! It's possible that you could be the beneficiary of a delicious ice cold beverage just when you need it out in deep playa-space.

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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by Lonesomebri » Mon May 25, 2015 2:30 pm

Has your friend been to the playa before? Has he got in a lot of bike time out on the playa? Is he a legal adult?

If yes to all, I'd say sit back and enjoy the entertainment your kind friend is providing. The bar might end up being close to your camp, your gain, and if he makes the whole thing out of nothing but wood, there just may be some other community use for it at the Burn...

Hauling a chariot on 20 inch bmx tires behind a multi-geared mountain bike in the dust can be very difficult, and if it's going against the wind, as it turns out to be half the time,...

But who knows, until they try it?
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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by Ratty » Mon May 25, 2015 2:47 pm

Yes! I say tell him about beast bikes with huge tires and then sit and watch. I have projects that took a million hours and never made it out there. If he goes through the trouble to get a food permit then you'll have an in-camp bar.
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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by GreyCoyote » Mon May 25, 2015 4:11 pm

It astounds me that an aerospace engineer would go off half-cocked and ignore plain facts and modern materials, (but then again, perhaps he has Morton Thiocol somewhere on his resume?).

That being said, chariots and dozens of species of wagons and carts existed for many hundreds of years before sealed bearings were invented. Granted they were never towed behind anything smaller than hoofed mammals, and the friction was a real issue, but they worked. Mostly. :) So maybe he is looking at this project and thinking of rediscovering (or reconnecting with) the Old Ways. If so, then success or failure be damned, its an admirable (if really inefficient) study of ancient systems, and may be worthy of some respect.

Or he may realize the project is cheaper than a gym membership. :mrgreen:
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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by homo ardentum » Mon May 25, 2015 4:26 pm

HAAAAAHAAAA!

Great responses and I thank you! Indeed he's been to the playa, is an adult, but a rather stubborn version of a humanoid. He has a thing about bolts and bolt patterns, but he must have missed the classes on friction. I will take advantage of the bar nearby, but was hoping to get the guy farther away from camp...

Anyway, I hope your responses help! He will be introduced to this thread tomorrow and maybe he'll defend himself or at least try to define his law of phyiscs!

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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by homo ardentum » Mon May 25, 2015 4:29 pm

Oh I almost forgot another classic line from him, "I will not ask for any IDs because I can tell how old someone is. Especially the young women".

He might be fined before he gets anywhere on the playa!

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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon May 25, 2015 4:54 pm

Here's a real-world story: I once tried to tow a standard Radio-Flyer wagon across the playa behind a mountain bike, carrying a few water jugs. It didn't work well at all, rolling resistance was just too much. I didn't do that again.
Mister Aerospace Engineer needs to read about the pioneers of aviation who also built bikes, Orville and Wilbur Wright. They were all about reducing friction on their bicycles and snow sleds.
I appreciate the cool factor he's going for. If style is above all else and it MUST have wooden wheels, at least use a steel axle and real bearings! Then it will have ALL the style he's after and actually have a shot at making it out to the far playa. It won't hurt the look at all, no one will even notice what kind of axles and bearings it has (or hasn't).
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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by Lonesomebri » Mon May 25, 2015 7:19 pm

Wooden wheels..... it can be done.

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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by some seeing eye » Mon May 25, 2015 7:32 pm

Horsepower of a bike .25-1. Horsepower of a horse 15. QED.
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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by Tiahaar » Mon May 25, 2015 11:30 pm

Tow it with a pedal trike with wide wheels and low gear ratio and it will be fine. 8)
You can comfortably pedal around an amazingly large amount of weight at a decent fast walking speed out there on the hardpack, this trike was +400lbs with each plywood sandwich wheel being +50 pounds. Avoid the dunes ;-)
It's being refurbished to come back this year :-)
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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by AntiM » Tue May 26, 2015 7:51 am

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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by Tiahaar » Tue May 26, 2015 11:50 pm

wow cool yay! you got the whole thing! we shoulda come over an given you a ride ;-)
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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by EspressoDude » Wed May 27, 2015 8:25 am

re: Trojan Horse.
The wheels were layers and layers of plywood. Each layer was 2 sheets of 3/4 or 1" ply stacked to about 18" wide. Lubrication was a small amount of lard ( no petro allowed ) Overall everyone was amazed at how easy it moved. But then 3 strands of 600 feet long rope with about 1000 people pulling on the Horse.

there are also some hardwoods that make excellent low speed bearings
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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by FlyingMonkey » Wed May 27, 2015 1:35 pm

Tiahaar wrote: Avoid the dunes ;-)

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Last year that meant staying stationary. :x Between the dunes & the potholes I ended up breaking the welds on my rear basket. But I agree it can be done.

I learned the hard way that thin tires will kill you in the dunes & having the weight properly distributed on a trailer is crucial. Either way, more power to anyone wanting to try something like this. If it doesn't work this year learn from it. But check IDs if you are serving alcohol (Duh!) :roll:


Very cool bike. I can't wait to see it this year.
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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by Gao » Wed May 27, 2015 8:16 pm

As the aerospace engineer in question here - (actually a mechanical engineer working in aerospace) I now have a renewed commitment to pulling this one off. I really appreciate the support with examples of wooden wheels.. on trojan horse, on trikes and through-out history.
My goal is to use only wood as it is both an art piece first AND fuel for the fires afterwards. Hope to see you on the playa - or close to Carnivore camp if that's as far as I get. - I'll have a cooler full of vodka and ice for martinis wherever we end up. and for sure cheaper than a gym membership and a whole lot more fun.

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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by Gao » Wed May 27, 2015 8:17 pm

if it were easy - it wouldn't be rewarding.. through the challenges come satisfaction of accomplishment.

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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by Gao » Wed May 27, 2015 8:24 pm

and for the record.. it is not a "ideal towed bar cart" -.. it is a CHARIOT with martini locker inside. and as far as ID's go - beautiful young goddesses are always welcome for rides - with or without ID's...

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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by FIGJAM » Wed May 27, 2015 8:39 pm

If you're going to burn it, it's supposed to be nothing but untreated wood!!!!!!!!! 8)
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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu May 28, 2015 4:51 am

I knew the more people said it was crazy the more you'd want to do it...
Now that I've got a clearer idea of what you're up to, it's certainly possible.
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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by AntiM » Thu May 28, 2015 4:55 am

Tiahaar wrote:wow cool yay! you got the whole thing! we shoulda come over an given you a ride ;-)
We were on our little rhoadescar, I vaguely remember hollering hi, but neither of us stopped .... it was a lovely plays day and the dust was calling.

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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by Gao » Fri May 29, 2015 9:24 pm

Goddammit Captain! you know me well - and thank you for your encouragement.
The ones who are crazy enough to think they can do something are the ones that do.

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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by homo ardentum » Sat May 30, 2015 11:47 am

It's good to see Engineer Gao in the mix! Let's see, wood wheels at 50 pounds each, chariot structure say 100 pounds, engineer 290 pounds :P, ice and drinks 25 pounds, we are talking some serious labor for movement to occur.

But then again the rangers may impound his rig right out of the gate since ID checking is not necessary in Gao's virtual world!!!
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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by Gao » Sat May 30, 2015 12:20 pm

Mr Ardentum - at 290 lbs your weight projection sounds awfully high - unless of course you are adding the weight of two goddesses, cooler with vodka and ice to the chariot - then yes 290 is about right.

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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by homo ardentum » Sat May 30, 2015 12:39 pm

Perhaps you can recruit gods and goddesses to tow the thing...powered by vodka.

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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by Captain Goddammit » Sat May 30, 2015 12:49 pm

I have some concerns about this cart. What is the speed rating of the wooden wheels? How high will its roll center be? What are you doing to get the NVH levels to an acceptable range?
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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by Lonesomebri » Sat May 30, 2015 12:53 pm

unless of course you are adding the weight of two goddesses
Ha, two goddesses.....amateur.
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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun May 31, 2015 8:44 am

Charlie Sheen kinda' ruined the idea of calling those fine charioteers "goddesses".
We'll have to find something else, so we don't have to go all the way back to 1977 CB radio and call them "seat covers".
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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by homo ardentum » Sun May 31, 2015 6:15 pm

Princess playa ponies?

Dust nymphs?

Playa pixies?

That's all I got until a few more G&Ts.....

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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by AntiM » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:27 am

People?

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Re: Ideal Bike-towed bar cart

Post by Dr. Pyro » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:57 am

AntiM wrote:People?
That's just crazy talk.

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