Friday, April 11, 2014

El Toro Trailer, Updated

You probably don't remember but a while back, I did a posting on kayak trailers that could be towed behind a bicycle.  The tow bar on that one broke.  The fundamental problem on that one was that it was made out of a fairly skinny piece of redwood that just wasn't strong enough.  This time I used oak.  Oak is stronger but the bar sticking out from the trailer is still about 8 foot long and so it flexes quite a bit.  When you're pedaling, the rhythmic motion of the pedaling sets up a back and forth oscillation of the trailer which is not only annoying but also slows down progress.
There it is with an El Toro loaded up for a test run. The length of the tow bar might seem extreme, but it has to be long enough to tow 20 foot (7m) kayaks.
I knew how to fix the oscillation problem which is by adding some cross braces in the form of a triangle, the universal stable polygon. But due to lack of ambition, I never got around to it.  But since the tow bar broke and I had all the tools out to replace it, it was time to add the bracing as well.  Mission Accomplished! as George Bush would say.
And the view from the rear.  The El Toro, an invention of the Richmond Yacht Club is 8 foot long and 4 foot wide.
Tow bar triangulated with two side braces for lateral stability.
And the link from the tow bar to the bicycle.  I should shorten that. Next time.

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