I’ve bought a bike to take the kids home from school. I wavered between all the solutions but eventually was swayed by a chat on the phone with Robin Thorn, who was so enthusiastic about the Me’n’U2 that it decided me.
We’re all aware of the climate emergency and the need for things to change. One thing I’d like to do is use bikes more. The round trip to school twice a day uses a gallon of petrol a day, plus the short journey isn’t great for the car.
My car is on 90,000 miles now so will need to be replaced sometime. With a bit of luck it will go on for a long time yet. Hopefully it will be replaced by an electric car. However:
I can’t afford an electric car
The range is ok, but charging away from home is a problem
Very few electric cars can legally tow a trailer
It seems very inefficient to carry around over a tonne of stuff to transport 150kgs of people a short distance.
EBikes sound like a much more optimal design and would be a huge help on the hills round here. But I’m getting ahead of myself – let’s start on the bike.
School is around 8 miles away and it is uphill most of the way there. That’s actually ok – getting the kids out of the house an hour earlier to cycle to school isn’t going to happen, so we’re only looking at cycling home from school which is mostly downhill. Much easier.
I’ve got two kids and not much money so what are the options for moving them around?
The requirements are:
Kids should be pedalling – I don’t want a cargo bike or trailer – as otherwise they’ll get bored
Able to climb steep hills (they are really steep round here)
I got a bit of a shock when I tried to renew the insurance for Custard – my junk rigged Wanderer. Insurance was refused. The boat isn’t worth much but third-party insurance is essential for my sailing club and many other places. The reason is simple – insurance is calculated by computers and something that isn’t in the computer is unknown.
We’ve just returned from a holiday on the Norfolk Broads with the boat. Had a really lovely time – highly recommended if you are into sailing and / or boats. Having the boat moored at the bottom of the garden on a river, with a pub 1/2 mile down the river plus channels and lakes to explore, is a lovely way to holiday.
I finally got the topmast plug out! Phew. Method was:
One. Buy a big drill from Screwfix.
Two: abuse my power drill and drill a hole through the middle of the plug.
Three: use an original 1980’s hot air paint stripper to push air through the plug as often as possible.
After a few days the plug came out. It is now fitted properly.
I also added a burgee halyard cleat:
Plus I’ve made a tarpaulin pocket to hold the anchor so it is ready for use next to the tapernacle.
Update: here’s the picture:
The anchor is a Guardian – a cheaper version of the aluminium Fortress. It was bought for a 21′ 1100kg boat so is a bit oversized for the Wanderer. However it is very light and I own it so that’s what I’m using. I use old climbing rope for the warp as (a) I’ve got 300′ of it and (b) it is very stretchy. The mount works nicely. I didn’t get the shank mount in quite the right place but it fits ok.