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AtomicZombie Extreme Machines Newsletter for February 12, 2017

DIY Bike Builder's Forum
Check Out Our DIY Forum!

Our global Bike Builder's Forum is a great place to get advice on your DIY project, or show off your home built bike or trike.

New members welcome!

DIY Bike Builder's Gallery
DIY Bike Builder's Gallery

Show off your home built trikes and bikes, or take inspiration from the thousands of photos in our DIY Builder's Gallery.

Our Latest Tutorials

HammerHead Winter Trike
HammerHead Winter Trike
Build a fun to ride DIY winter trike. This dual headed monster will run on snow, ice and slush. Great for winter riding!

Kids Tadpole Trike
Kids Tadpole Trike
An easy to build DIY kids tadpole trike. Build this fun trike using basic components taken from a pair of kids bikes.

Rake and trail
Rake and Trail
How to calculate rake and trail and how it effects the steering characteristics of your vehicle.

Gooseneck Basics
A short introduction to the installation and alignment of a common steel bicycle gooseneck.

DeltaWolf Steering Mod
DeltaWolf Steering Mod
This modification will show you how to convert your DeltaWolf Racing Trike from over seat steering to under seat steering.

Random Bike Quote

Cool Bike/Trike Facts

1800s quadracycle

"The earliest recorded pedal-powered quadracycle was exhibited in 1853 at the Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations World's Fair held in New York City. This was about the same time that two-wheeled bicycles started to become popular. Quadracycles were one solution to the problem of low-speed stability in early cycles and were typically multi-seat models.

Both tandem (in line) and sociable (side-by-side) seating configurations were used.

One early design, predating 1869 was the Andrews Quadracycle, built by Andrews of Dublin, Ireland. It was made from one inch-square iron and was propelled with foot levers that moved in a long horizontal ellipse. The Sawyer Quadricycle was introduced in 1855 and featured lighter construction, wooden wheels, iron tires and front-wheel steering via a tiller. Like the Andrews Quadracycle it was moved by foot levers driving the rear axle.

Starley's Coventry Rotary Quadracycle was introduced in 1885 and used conventional bicycle-style rotary pedals instead of foot levers for drive. It was developed from Starley's Coventry Rotary Tricycle design and featured tandem seating for two.

The Rudge Quadracycle of 1888 is described as the first modern practical four-wheeler. It had much lighter construction than earlier models, seated three riders in tandem and was steered by levers from the front seat.[8] Boy on Pedal Car

Early in the twentieth century Massey-Harris in Canada developed the Canadian Royal Mail Quadracycle. This was used for mail delivery in Toronto as early as 1901. The Gendron Wheel Company created children's toy replica pedal cars up until World War II."

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Photo: By Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=802507.

Our Most Popular Plans

OverKill chopper
Our OverKill Extreme Chopper takes extreme to a new level with its huge rear wheel and way-out proportions. Convert just about any car wheel for use on a chopper bike!

The SpinCycle Extreme 360 Stunt Trike gives you an experience that is more like a carnival ride. Pull multiple 360s or drift into the corners on this crazy stunt trike.

Warrior Recumbent Tadpole Racing Trike
The Warrior Recumbent Tadpole Racing Trike is an amazing tadpole trike that can be built using only basic components. Includes under seat steering, disc brakes, adjustable cranks.

Spirit Short Wheelbase Racing Bike
The Spirit Short Wheelbase Racing Bike is an easy to build sporty short wheelbase recumbent bike with over seat steering and an adjustable bottom bracket.

Viking Recumbent Tandem Tadpole Trike
The Viking Recumbent Tandem Tadpole Trike is a high performance tandem tadpole trike with an independent transmission, disc brakes, and dual adjustable bottom brackets.

Aurora Delta Racing Trike
The Aurora Delta Racing Trike merges maximum speed with comfort. This unique DIY delta trike breaks new ground with rear suspension and dual disc brakes.

Three Go Dutch: The Trike Touring Tale of a Touring "Noob"

three amigos

By Danny Clarke, AtomicZombie builders forum

Left to Right, Danny Clarke, John Price, Paul Needham.

This "trip report" cannot truly convey the sheer fun that I had on this my first ever cycling tour in the wonderful cycling heaven that is Holland.

It had been casually mooted between us (John Price (Sandman) and me (DannyC)) in conversation during the 2015 Zombie-Fest that we could be brave and take our home-made trikes across to Holland for a long-weekend for some fun in the world's most bike-friendly country which seemed like a good idea, so we made plans accordingly.

As the due date got closer and word of our intention spread to more northern reaches of the UK (where men wear flat-caps and keep racing pigeons and small racing dogs), a third AZ member, Paul Needham, (Stormbird) enquired whether there was any room for an additional person to join the party. Hardly had the word “Yes” been uttered when a follow-up question, "Wouldn't it be better to go for longer to make the most of all the costs involved?" arose.

Subsequently, I found myself explaining to my wife that what I had sold to her as a "long-weekend" was now an eight-day adventure.

Our ferry crossing from Harwich to Hook of Holland was to be a morning departure at around 9 a.m. on June 3, 2016 with arrival in Holland at around 5 p.m. the same day. John drove up from Brighton the day before and spent the night at my place as I only live about 55 miles from Harwich. Paul drove down through the night from his home in Mansfield and planned to sleep in a day-cabin for the majority of the crossing.

And, so it was that three men in their 60s all converged and met together for the very first time in a cold and windy car park at Harwich railway station at around 7 a.m. on June 3 in a light drizzle of rain.

It took us some time to decant our trikes and trailers and all of our equipment from our three cars so that we could set off for the ferry terminal itself, but soon enough we were off and away.

Anyone seen my passport?

We followed all of the bikers down to a surprisingly empty queue-line complete with barrier and kiosk where one presents one's ticket and passport, but were sent back to re-join the rear of the other queues by a grumpy official. Somehow, in this little sideshow my passport managed to slip out of my pocket and fall to the ground.

It was while we were waiting to be processed by passport control that I realised it had disappeared. I was in a panic. Where had I dropped it in these vast acres of queuing Tarmac?

Luckily, Paul spotted the breeze riffling the pages of my passport as it lay open on the ground some 50 yards away. Quickly, I cycled over and scooped it up before it got run-over and destroyed or blew away in the wind. Phew! What a relief. My journey had almost ended before it had begun.

Hello, I'm Aunty Helen

Having negotiated passport and ticket control we were marshalled into another "pre-boarding" waiting area. While we dismounted huddled together in our little trio and discussed the weather, our experience thus far and other trivia when a lady approached us and announced that she was the renowned triking/velomobile blogger "Aunty Helen" and that she was intrigued to see three recumbent trikes in the boarding queue and felt the need to come over to ask us about our trip and our machines.

She did indeed spend some time with us and took photos of our trikes while we explained that they were homemade and had been inspired by our membership in the AtomicZombie community.

True to her word, we appeared in her blog for June 2016.

The ferry and the crossing

The MV's Hollandica and Brittanica are purposely built for the UK-to-Holland route. They are large capacity ferries in order to make them economical, and they certainly make the cross channel ferries I have travelled on seem very small by comparison.

The weather for our crossing was dull and overcast and the sea itself was very calm and smooth. Our eight hours on board passed uneventfully, although some "spoof" video footage suggesting otherwise was created for fun. The ships are so large that they have casinos and cinemas, as well as bright modern cafeterias.

The "Full English" breakfast was enjoyed by John and I while Paul (who had driven through most of the night) retreated to a day-cabin he had hired for some much-needed rest.

We arrived in the Hook of Holland at about tea time and the journey to our first campsite was fairly short. Our tents were pitched seemingly in no-time.

"Beer O'Clock" had arrived, so we rode our trikes a fairly short distance to a local bar-restaurant called the Oasis Pavillion.

The Dutch are a wonderfully friendly nation and we were engaged in conversation by the bar staff as to our "mission" in Holland. We were allowed (indeed encouraged) to sample a wide variety of the available beers.

Call us "stick-in-the-muds" if you must, but we all settled on burger and chips as our main course. John and I had the meat variety while Paul opted for the excellent veggie burger. Common to all was a really tasty caramelised onion sauce/dressing.

It had been a really early start and a pretty tiring day, so we returned fairly early to our tents for some much-needed sleep.

Dude! What's this fog all about?

Our first morning and a damp chilly one it was too. A "Sea Fret" had installed itself overnight, and the day was cold and hazy with heavy dew on the grass of the campsite and a discernible mist. Every surface was laden with beads of moisture. It was not the most promising of starts for our adventure, I thought.

An unhurried bacon and eggs breakfast was enjoyed by John and I, while Paul stuck to his morning oatmeal porridge as fuel for the morning's exertions.

It didn't take us too long to prepare for a day out and about on the trikes. Pretty soon we were all heading out of the campsite and on our way to Den Haag via a little place called Münster where we hoped to tour a fully working windmill. I was a little disappointed in that the "Sea Fret" was still all-pervasive and the sun was making no impression on the day. It was gloomy and damp.

a foggy ride
Unfortunately, when we arrived the windmill was closed with a little sign telling us that it would be open that afternoon and what the hours of opening were.

And, so we pressed on northwards along the coastal LF "Dune-route" towards den Haag (The Hague).

I have to say I was incredibly surprised that there were so many people out and about exerting themselves either leisure-biking, racing in little pelotons of lycra clad speedsters, or (strangest of all) jogging around staked out tracks in the dunes. I could not help thinking to myself that the Dutch were an incredibly "fit" nation (compared to what you might see in a typical seaside English town).

As the day wore on, the sun at last began to burn through the mist and we found ourselves bowling along in some truly lovely weather. Warm jackets came off and were stowed away in saddlebags. We were down to t-shirts.

This is a fairly long clip (more than 7 minutes), so be prepared to skip through it.

Continued in the next issue: Onwards to Den Haag (The Hague)

Builders Gallery Featured Projects

Kyoto Tandem with custom canopy

Kyoto Tandem with custom canopy. Built by jamesp, USA.

recumbent trike

"Started out with three bad bikes and now have a new bike." Built by chicodog2, USA.

recumbent trike
"Our first try out with my mechanics mat as a seat!" Built by Cambiker71, UK.

tall bike
"I used a full suspension Walmart bike and saved as many parts as possible to build with a single bike. Extra pipe is cheap, black-iron pipe from Lowes." Built by catainaubrey, USA.

See more than 4,000 pictures in the Builders Gallery and submit your own homemade bike pictures. It's free!

Bike Builders Tip

Welding - Flux or Gas Shielded?

"I recently got a welder which has the ability to do Flux Core or Gas Shielded. I do not own a bottle for gas yet (Expensive :-)) but the flux core wire is almost double what the solid core wire is. Another issue I have been having is burning through the 16 guage steel for the bike I am building.

What do most people on the thread use? Flux core or shielded gas? Is the cost upgrade to buy a gas bottle worth it for a hobby welder?" ~ jrich

"I welded for a living for about 15 years, certified in stick and mig at one point in time. I also did a little tig, flux-core, ran mig is spray transfer and welded sub-arc. Good for me, right...lol. I'm still in the welding business (sort of) since I manage a factory with various welders (robotic, mig, tig).

Go for the gas shielded. Flux-core is for outdoors and farms, in my opinion." Read more about this tip @ the AtomicZombie bike builders forum.

bike plans

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