• 16th June 2008 - By adventuresofgreg

    Our climb up the Highwood


    Great training day on Friday with Dennis from Boulder CO and his friend Danfa from San Diego. We drove out to the start of highway 40, about 40 km east of Banff and cycled south about 150 km up and down the pass which is still closed to traffic until Sunday. It was a good, hard ride – they are both fairly experienced and capable cyclists and I was challenged to keep up with them climbing the pass. We saw mountain goats, big horn sheep and two Grizzlies.

    Dennis and Dafna as we climb the Highwood pass

    There is still plenty of snow at the top

    Mama grizzly bear and her cub at the side of the road


    The problem with using the 3/8 stainless rod as a flexible shaft for the pro is that it will eventually fail. Rick calculated the stresses for a number of different materials and I think in order for a fail-safe stainless shaft it would need to be something like 10 feet long. The alternative is to use 2011 T8 aluminum or spring steel. We can’t get the 2011 aluminum anywhere and I found 1/4 inch spring steel from a flexible drill shaft manufacturer and purchased some from them.

    It’s 1/4″ OD rather than 3/8″, so none of the couplers that Manny machined for me will work, so I just welded a 3/8″ stainless length to the end where the prop hardware slides onto. I would plan to ask Manny to machine some nice parts for me, but I wanted to make sure that the spring steel shaft would work first (the length, depth, feel, etc).

    I wanted to see what riding with a free wheel would be like so I cut apart this old Shimano freehub that I had and coupled it to the shaft. Now the ride should be more like a road bike than a fixed gear and I should be able to coast a bit without having the stopped prop add so much extra drag. Again, Manny can machine some nice parts for me to mount the freehub, but I wanted to make sure that this freeprop was something that is worth even adding – not sure about that yet – I need to give it a try.
  • No Responses to “Grizzlies and a freeprop”

    • Adrian McKenzie on June 16, 2008

      I see on your video you're up above the snowline with bare legs.

      Don't you get cold knees?

      I'm always getting told by more experienced cyclists than me that I need to cover up my knees when training in winter (I'm in New Zealand) otherwise I'll get knee problems.

      I haven't covered up and haven't had any problems – be interested to here your experiences?

    • Rich Easton on June 16, 2008

      now that by welding the spring steel shaft you have? ruined its temper, don't you? have to re-heat treat at least the welded section? to avoid failure.

    • Anonymous on June 16, 2008

      In regard to Adrian's comment, it is important to keep your knees covered. My rule of thumb (completely undocumented) is keep em covered below 70F when biking and 50F when running. It's important to do this when you're young because the problems don't show up until later in life – like past your 60's. I learned this from a 75-year old who was a great long-distance runner (having started a age 57) but had to stop because of his knees.

      It's also helpful to get lots of raw leafy greens. I'm on a raw food diet so I get that, but for anyone who isn't have at least a pint of green smoothie in the morning. There are some available in stores (Bolthouse farms eg) but it's best to make your own in the blender from a piece of fruit (apple, pear, peach, banana, etc) and a head of lettuce spinach or other soft,mild greens. Add water so it mixes to a drinkable consistency.

    • Adventures of Greg on June 16, 2008

      knees: I usually wear something on my legs, but it wasn't that cold aside from when we got to the top. Oh, and in the pelting rain on the way down.

      temper: yes, you are correct about welding spring steel. Once I test the set-up (length, angle, curve, freehub, etc) I will get Manny to machine some proper hardware for connecting the spring steel shaft to the prop hardware and the freeprop.

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