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Another short ride day due to the constraints of being an emergency service responder on-call. But you know what? I kicked bucket! Or kicked the bucket.
When this 42-day odyssey began it quickly became obvious to me that I needed a lot more than a single pannier. Then I recalled that last year I found this site that described how to make panniers out of buckets and being kind of impulsive I bought the necessary locking system where they went into the tool room to collect dust.
1st step was to throw a post up asking for help getting some buckets. Last year when the first impulse took control of me, Hank came through and gave me one to experiment with. It worked real good to store some grass seed in and I even used it a couple of times as a stool. This year my hero was Gary who came through with 2 and 2 more on the way.
This morning’s ride took me to the Rocket at 1st and Cedar where I met Gary and Hank for coffee. Gary came through with two of the necessary buckets. Score! Maybe I’ll attack this project in a serene and organized manner. Nah, probably not.
So buckets in hand and not much else to do today but wait for the pager to go off I decided to go for it.
Step 1 – Go to http://www.bicycletouring101.com/BikeDIYPanniers.htm and read it. I found it helpful to print the directions. Though it really isn’t rocket science.
Step 2 – Using the directions from the aforementioned site go to a hardware store and purchase the correct bolts and washers. Surprisingly enough I actually did this and it saved us both a lot of heartache.
Step 3 – Gather the necessary tools.
Step 4 – Assemble the necessary hardware
Step 5 – Remove straps and bungee from the guide assembly
6 – With the stuff removed, place the guide assembly on the bucket and mark and drill your holes. You did read the directions didn’t you? Good! That makes us happy.
7 – Mark and drill holes in your bucket.
8 – Remove the original bolts from the straps and bungee.
9 -Attach the straps and bungee to the bucket with the longer bolts and washers.
10 – Holy crap! There is no step 10. We’re done. That was fun. I’m wondering, just wondering. If a partnership with Pat of Rackufacture fame is possible.
According to Pat and John front loads are “the way to go”. So that’s why these are currently on the front of The Bruce. Tomorrow will be my first test with an 11-mile ride to my fire station. Tonight, I’m going to park a couple of blocks from the Bike Hang and ride on over. It’ll be the first minor test. Thursday they’ll have some stuff in them for the fire house. Then on Friday I get to ride home, re-pack the buckets and ride to Felts Field for a shift at MedStar. That’ll be a decent test.
After mounting I noticed a potential issue with the buckets moving around at the bottom. My idea is to get a 1/2 or 3/4 inch nylon strap, use the large soldering iron to put some holes in it and bolt it near the bottom of the bucket. That will give the bungee and hook a guide.
Phew, long post. But there’s the blow-by-blow of my experience.
So, Day 5 – 4 miles in 23 minutes with an average speed of 10mph and top of 31 (Washington Street Hill) and two bucket panniers installed.
Who Loves Ya?
To see daily mileage/destinations click here.