Hey y'all, this is not exactly a bicycle mechanics post, but I thought I'd share a fork-mount bike rack I "made", to solicit either admiration or warning...
The pics below pretty much speak for themselves. My $$ layout into the project was under $7, most of which was the square u-bolts (about $2.50 ea), and $1.39 for a pack of 3 wing-nuts to make my life a little easier. The pair of washers ("fender washers", to be precise) were virtually free, and the wood was scrap. The rear wheel is secured with a pedal cage-strap I also had laying around, and I also had a front skewer laying around (although it's not hard to take the skewer out of the front wheel). It took about half an hour to measure things up, cut the rectangles of plywood, groove the inside faces to receive the skewer, and drill holes for the u-bolts.
I consider this much preferable to $100+ I would have to lay out for a name-brand fork-mount rack (I'm already unhappy with how much the towers & load bars cost!) (I realize, that if I watch CL carefully, I could probably pick up a used name-brand fork-mount rack for about $20, but most of the go for $50+)
Anyways, I think the ad hoc project was quite successful. When the bike is mounted, it is secure enough that I can pull the frame and shake the minivan. I live in San Diego, so I expect for the wood block to never ever see a drop of water (it will not live on top of the car, I don't even keep the towers/bars on the car unless I am specifically using them).
I measured the height of the seat when mounted, it's a bit less than 9'6", so I can watch for that height limit on the road (I don't think I've ever seen a bridge sign any lower than 10' though). The biggest worry, actually, is forgetting that it's up there and destroying my bike, garage, and maybe car when I get home. My wife's brilliant idea was this: we have a garage-door-opening button integrated into the car (Honda Odyssey), up near the map lights. When the bike is up there, we'll cover that button with a post-it, so when we get home and reach for the button, we'll remember the bike is up there. (also our house faces West, so usually when you get home it's evening, so the setting sun throws shadows onto the house, and you can see the bike up there as you pull up)
Anything else I failed to think of?
OK, here's the pics (this really did happen!):