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Cargo Races? Tractor Pull?

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Cargo Races? Tractor Pull?

Old 01-29-18, 10:23 PM
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CliffordK
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Cargo Races? Tractor Pull?

One of the things that inspired me into car-free cycling was a few years ago there was a local Eugene DRT (Disaster Relief Trials) race. It was supposed to be about 30 miles of cycling around the city, picking up, and eventually dropping off various cargo items which was supposed to have added up to about 200 lbs, but I'm not sure it was quite 150, perhaps even around 100 lbs. Nonetheless, it was a fun day. Actually, one leg of the race did go up Skinner's Butte, but that was only moderately loaded.

I think the Eugene DRT race has since stopped running, but as far as I know, there is still one up in Portland (if I could only get all my gear up there). Also Seattle and San Francisco. Oh, it looks like Bend, OR also got one. Is the disease spreading?

And, since that first race, and going car-free, I've learned quite a bit, and challenged my preconceptions.

One of the most challenging things for me is when I hit about 400 or 500 lbs of cargo, and have to head home over two small hills (and even anything hill-like including road crowns becomes daunting).

I could probably build a bike trailer capable of handling 1000 lbs, but it would be a challenge to the legs.



Anyway, I originally thought it might be a challenge to try to pull, say 1000 lbs on the flat. But, I've also been considering what it would take to increase my personal cargo capacity for hills. Much lower gearing

So, what about designing a cargo race designed specifically to push one's limits?

There used to be a Skinner's Butte Criterium Race, although, as far as I can tell, it has been defunct for about 15 years now. It did a short loop around Skinner's butte. At least the Midgets only did a couple of laps, and I presume only went halfway to the top of the hill. Perhaps the whole race only did half the hill as I don't remember any switchbacks.

The Criterium race was clockwise, and there was a dangerous 90+ corner at the bottom of the hill which was lined with straw bales. Ohh... I found a map, not at all the course I remember... perhaps someone had enough of that corner Eugene Celebration Cycling Classic - Races - Stage Three I'm pretty sure the original course went clockwise starting and ending at about the start/finish on the Strava map below. Probably doing Cheshire/High onto 3rd, and skipping the top of the hill.

Anyway, I was thinking about a very short DRT race. Simply up the hill, and back down. Probably run it as a TT, or 2 or 3 cyclists at a time. Or possibly staggering starts by when people would return with the weights, and communication to avoid dangerous road conflicts.

Racing to the top would be about 221 feet of climbing.

https://www.strava.com/routes/11806515

Have maybe a couple of categories:
50 lb micro mights < 12
100 lb mini mights (13-14)?
200 lb flyweights (15-16)
500 lbs single
1000 lbs single
500 lbs tandem
1000 lbs tandem

Power Assist? I'd probably skip that, but it is possible. The local co-op does mostly power assist deliveries.

The DRT races often also have family categories. Perhaps do a family tandem category?

Walking category?
If the course is say 0.8 miles to the top, with a speed of about 1 MPH, it could take a person say 30 minutes to an hour or so to do the climb fully loaded.

Perhaps race to the top for a finish time, then return down untimed.

TractorPull.jpg

Is there anybody else that would be crazy enough to do something like this?

One would probably need to require really good brakes for the descent.

Year 2019?

Last edited by CliffordK; 01-29-18 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 01-31-18, 01:45 PM
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Posted earlier.. one in NL https://www.bikeforums.net/utility-c...-nijmegen.html


You have part of the Skinner's Butte criterium lap they do several times..

As a one way, would be an individual time trial .. start every 30 seconds.

out and back, as shown, would only need 1 stopwatch





....

Last edited by fietsbob; 01-31-18 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 02-01-18, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Posted earlier.. one in NL https://www.bikeforums.net/utility-c...-nijmegen.html

You have part of the Skinner's Butte criterium lap they do several times..

As a one way, would be an individual time trial .. start every 30 seconds.

out and back, as shown, would only need 1 stopwatch
....
Some wonderful photos in that thread. Somehow I missed it earlier. There was a variety at the Eugene DRT I went to, but nothing like the above. I need to get to Portland or Bend.

I also need to get to work on my cargo bike V2 (or V3), although I do find my bike + trailer to be convenient for my needs, so I'm not convinced that a cargo bike would always be best.

Unfortunately it has been a long time since I participated in the Skinner's Butte Criterium, and as mentioned, I believe the map I found is a different course. But I think either the old course only went halfway up the hill, or perhaps some roads were changed. And, yes, one, or a couple of laps for the midgets (when I raced), and more laps for the older riders.

If one got the weight right, however, then there would be no need for more than one lap. Just getting to the top would be enough of a challenge/struggle. I have a great fear of sponsoring a race with reckless descents, so I'm leaning towards just a climb, and untimed descent. Communication between the start and finish lines could be by radio or cell. And, if one got it down to 1s accuracy, that should be plenty.

30 second starts might be OK, but getting enough 1/4 ton or 1/2 ton weights to the start line would be enough of a hassle for a couple of riders on the hill at a time. Plus getting enough steel or hay or other weights. So, that would also be a limiting factor.

I could probably convince CAT to help store stuff as they are close. Even get some of the riders to help carry supplies to the official start (or have the first riders pick up at the store and the last ones drop off at the store).

I think this will have to be a 2-year project to get rolling. 2019? Perhaps combine with "Eugene Sunday Streets" 2019? Especially if I have to convince the "sponsors" to come up with heavier duty bikes, or higher capacity bikes.
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Old 02-05-18, 08:44 PM
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I've pondered the idea of building a "Ton Bike", the opposite of the 12-lb wonders currently being designed. Use car tires, keep the weight low for proper handling.


On the 1,000 lb + hill idea- I recall reading several years ago of a case where a pedicab was going downhill, couldn't get stopped at a redlight, ran it, and got somebody killed. IE, there is a potential safety hazard to be dealt with in addition to the strong legs & low gear requirements.
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Old 02-05-18, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
I've pondered the idea of building a "Ton Bike", the opposite of the 12-lb wonders currently being designed. Use car tires, keep the weight low for proper handling.

On the 1,000 lb + hill idea- I recall reading several years ago of a case where a pedicab was going downhill, couldn't get stopped at a redlight, ran it, and got somebody killed. IE, there is a potential safety hazard to be dealt with in addition to the strong legs & low gear requirements.
At the cargo race I attended, they did do a rudimentary brake check before the race. There actually was a part where they had a dynamic course change... which took us up that Skinner's butte hill, but I think loads were still only around 50 to 100 pounds at that time. I was terrified of the descent. We actually had to stop in the middle for a photo op.

If weights are heavier, then one may well have to require trailer brakes, and a physical brake check on flat land. Get up to 5 MPH, and slam on the brakes.

The DRT race was not on closed streets, and there was actually a crash somewhere else on the course. I don't know how serious.

My plan is for a closed course which should help with traffic. And, I'm leaning not to have a competitive loaded descent, but still the right angle turn is a little worrying.

I suppose there are straighter hills if one wanted to stick with a hill climb, although it may be difficult to find one so centrally located that the government would go for closing. Flagger + pilot bicycle?

As far as a heavier duty bike. One ton? Hmmm... Like I said, 1/4 ton or so really slows me down. I do think 1/2 ton is theoretically possible, but would require very low gearing, even for simple cruising. I don't know about hills. Unless you had a tandem, or were going for extremely short, flat distances, I really don't think 1 ton would be all that practical, although perhaps a flat profile low rolling resistance tire would take the weight better than the typical round profile bicycle tires. One wouldn't need real wide tires. The narrowest car/trailer tires would probably be fine. Still, even slight hills makes heavy loads tough.
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Old 02-06-18, 11:02 AM
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The Lap around the Butte went up the south side, and back down, but not to the very top.. this was in the 70's..

they closed those streets , for that day..
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Old 03-31-18, 11:34 AM
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Bike version of an old school truck/tractor pulling competition..... HELLZ YA!!!!
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Old 04-02-18, 08:59 AM
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i don't remember all the details (i guess i could just look at it again), but one of those oregon manifest you-tubes has a race as part of the competition. don't think it was quite as detailed as you're describing. guess i should just look for the link and add it.

edit:


i thought there was another one that focused more on the race and details, but this is the only one i could find.

Last edited by Philphine; 04-02-18 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 04-02-18, 04:10 PM
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Nijmegen NL I imagine there will be a 2018 one as well https://www.bikeforums.net/utility-c...-nijmegen.html

But it lacks the Basaltic Butte of an old Volcano to climb, on a bike or pitons and ropes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nijmegen
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Old 04-03-18, 05:46 AM
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The International Cargo Bike Festival is moving to Berlin Germany for 2018
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Old 04-03-18, 03:50 PM
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Would be neat to see cargo bike races. Should be more bicycle stuff around the world. people need encouraging to ride a bike
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Old 04-04-18, 12:51 AM
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There is already an international series of cargo bike races which includes one in Arlington USA today (4th April 18), and it looks like there will be one on the 15th of April at the international cargo bike festival in Berlin.

Here is a link to the dedicated Cargo Bike Race website and calendar.

Maybe you could get some local additions made to it.
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Old 04-07-18, 08:23 PM
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I've pulled over 1,000 pounds on a 4 wheel garden/nursery cart behind a single speed Miami Sun'Traditional' trike when I lived in Tampa, St. Pete, and the Florida Keys. The chainring was a 36 tooth, and I think the rear sprocket was an 18 tooth. Whatever they come with anyway.
Admittedly, it was flat; the only hills were the bridges.
I had no problems pulling the load. The trike usually had a couple hundred pounds in the basket, as well.
My current trike is the 7 speed version with improved braking, and the new garden/nursery cart has a 1,400 pound capacity (I overloaded my old 1,000 pound capacity cart a "few" times).
I'd be willing to participate if I'm in the area.
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Old 04-07-18, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by bicyclridr4life View Post
I've pulled over 1,000 pounds on a 4 wheel garden/nursery cart behind a single speed Miami Sun'Traditional' trike when I lived in Tampa, St. Pete, and the Florida Keys. The chainring was a 36 tooth, and I think the rear sprocket was an 18 tooth. Whatever they come with anyway.
Admittedly, it was flat; the only hills were the bridges.
I had no problems pulling the load. The trike usually had a couple hundred pounds in the basket, as well.
My current trike is the 7 speed version with improved braking, and the new garden/nursery cart has a 1,400 pound capacity (I overloaded my old 1,000 pound capacity cart a "few" times).
I'd be willing to participate if I'm in the area.
I'll try to start talking to some people shortly. But, I'd probably target for summer of 2019, probably connected somehow to Eugene Sunday Streets.
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Old 04-09-18, 01:08 AM
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Somewhere out there I've seen plans for both R/C truck and lawnmower sized tractor pull sleds built mostly from bike parts. I'd be curious just how much some different types of bikes could do with a sled setup. The lawnmower size seems just about perfect for bikes, though finding the right amount of weight would need some trial and error.

Remember, though, that you need a way to get the sled back to the start line, so either a really strong winch or a way to declutch the weight transfer mechanism and have it slide back onto the wheels for easier towing.
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Old 04-09-18, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by KD5NRH View Post
Somewhere out there I've seen plans for both R/C truck and lawnmower sized tractor pull sleds built mostly from bike parts. I'd be curious just how much some different types of bikes could do with a sled setup. The lawnmower size seems just about perfect for bikes, though finding the right amount of weight would need some trial and error.

Remember, though, that you need a way to get the sled back to the start line, so either a really strong winch or a way to declutch the weight transfer mechanism and have it slide back onto the wheels for easier towing.
I was thinking of pulling up a hill in the middle of a city park.

I said "Tractor Pull", loosely applying the term. But, also realizing some issues that I've had pulling loads up hills, and specifically up my own driveway.

At some point, one reaches a point with multiple competing issues:
  • Aerobic/Anaerobic threshold.
  • Minimum speed for stability (and thus a trike)
  • Potentially moving slower than walking speed (and thus carrying more than one could carry walking without gear reduction).
  • Traction
  • And, I suppose parts durability. For example, how much torque can pawls take? Chain?
Returning to the start would simply be coasting downhill. However, good brakes would be required, and perhaps trailer brakes for loads > 200 lbs. And, for safety, I'd avoid timed racing on the descent.

Some kind of a dirt competition would be interesting, but not necessarily applicable to ordinary cycling.
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Old 04-09-18, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
And, I suppose parts durability. For example, how much torque can pawls take? Chain?
A lot, at least briefly. The shop owner and I both tend to tighten freewheels the same way; lowest gear, front wheel against the wall, pedal until it stops firmly, then stand and bounce on the high pedal a couple times to be sure. I weigh 205 and he's around 315. Never snapped a chain or had a pawl slip while doing that yet. (And some of the freewheels are 10-20 years old. Some people just won't even let me sell them a much-less-used one for $5, even after I show them how gritty theirs is compared to a new one.) Frankly, the possibility never occurred to me since the only times I've seen pawls slip have been when the FW was so rusty or gummed up with hardened grease that they couldn't engage right.

I seriously doubt that, outside of a fatbike with some seriously lugged tires on ground that's just perfect for it, you could manage the combination of crank torque and traction to ruin a freehub or freewheel that's not already well worn in a normal tractor pull run of 320 feet. (Not sure what the lawn tractor distance is.) Chain, maybe.

I think I'd set a rule of allowing a foot down once per pull; that would give two wheelers a little help in keeping up with trikes, but the second time foot touches the ground, that's the end of the pull. (Maybe a 10' starting area where the rule doesn't apply in case of a little wobble there.)

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Old 06-04-18, 04:19 PM
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Model 318 Aerodynamic Fairing by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr

Hope to win by having aerodynamic front pannier configuration. Don't laugh , fairings are barred by the UCI International Cycling Union account it's *cheating*...
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