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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 12-29-08, 04:04 AM   #1
SeizeTech
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Snow plow on a bicycle

http://www-bdnew.fnal.gov/pbar/organ...Bike_Plow.html

this guy is amazing. He rides his bike to work during the summer, but finds the trail has too much snow on it in the winter, so he starts to walk the 7 miles of trail with a shovel clearing the trail with a homemade push plow. Then he switches to a pull behind plow for his bike.

The local bicycles have joined forces in a "pony express" effort. When some of them catch up to this guy, they offer to switch bikes so they can take their turn at the work.

My thoughts: WOW!!!

My ride to work is 22 kms, where only the last 5 kms are on trails that receive priority plowing. the other parts dont ever get plowed.

Do you think this is possible with an ebike, or a motorized bike? Do you think the city police would want to charge me, even though it is obvious that I'm using a motor to accomplish something that really is that easy to do any other way?

Tyler
Calgary, AB
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Old 12-29-08, 10:26 AM   #2
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w0w that is sooooooooo awsome!!!! to bad the snow here in alaska is hard as a rock lol
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Old 12-30-08, 03:02 PM   #3
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w0w that is sooooooooo awsome!!!! to bad the snow here in alaska is hard as a rock lol
The snow gets hard here too after not too long.. I think the trick is to get out and ride/plow as soon as it falls - don't wait for it to get hard.
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Old 01-12-09, 10:47 PM   #4
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Anyone out there fluent in farmer technology? I was thinking that one of those rake/disc trailer thingys ( I don't know the name, I'm hoping someone will correct me) would break up the snow and ice really well. And, then a second pass with a plow might work to push everything to the side.
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Old 01-13-09, 08:20 PM   #5
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I have found a picture of what I was thinking about. this is trailer that is quite capable of ripping the ground up, so could it be used to make short work of hard pack snow?
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Old 01-13-09, 09:34 PM   #6
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Seize, you mean to pull something similar behind a bike? Like a smaller version?
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Old 01-14-09, 12:40 AM   #7
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that is an amazing idea! i would totally want to help with that!
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Old 01-14-09, 09:42 AM   #8
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Seize, you mean to pull something similar behind a bike? Like a smaller version?

Well, currently I am still searching for ideas. I've resigned myself to the idea that most things will be too heavy unless I build it myself.

I actually have 2 goals, which may seem like I am confused if I don't do a good job at keeping them separated.

Goal #1: somnething simple and light that I can drag around all of the time.

Goal #2: something much more industrial that I could use on a weekend trip if I was up to doing some really hard work. With this idea, I wouldn't rule out a blade/ripper on an ATV, if the city would grant me a permit to use the ATV on the trails.
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Old 01-14-09, 09:46 AM   #9
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I have a 2 wheel drive ATV with ice chains and a winch. The blade often attaches to the winch so you have the ability to raise and lower the blade.

I have a suspicion that they will be a natural prejudice against ATVs. A lawn tractor or bobcat would be easier to get a permit for.
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Old 01-14-09, 09:48 AM   #10
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that is an amazing idea! i would totally want to help with that!
Thats great! I see that you are from Alberta. Please tell me that you are in Calgary.
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Old 01-14-09, 09:53 AM   #11
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raevyn, do you think you could get power in motion to sponsor something, if we were to carry some sort of advertizing banner for them?

(PS I just checked your profile to see where you are from. Wuhoo! a fellow calgarian!)
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Old 01-14-09, 10:13 AM   #12
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Seize,

Here is what I've gotten so far last weekend.

I intend to pull it with a bike that has an electric motor on the front.

It will be a simple "V" plow. I just ran out of mats.
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Old 01-14-09, 10:53 AM   #13
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yes! i am a fellow calgarian! I cant say for sure if my store could sponsor anything at this point in time. things are pretty slow right now. but my boss is usually working with me on weekends, so you could always come in and explain your plans to him and see what he says. I always work on weekends right now, so I am always visitable as well, if you have nothing better to do. We might be able to help come up plow design ideas or supplies as well. Its something to think about as well. I personally love the idea! I would probably have to put a rear motor on my bike to do it. My Roomate, Andrew, works over at the Goodlife Bike shop as well. They would be a good place to bring up your idea. there is a good chance that you can get volunteers there for the plowing, once everything is constructed! I might come up with a few other ideas as well, but I would suggest talking to andrew about the construction ideas, he loves projects like this. He works weekends as well!
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Old 01-14-09, 03:19 PM   #14
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Seize,

Here is what I've gotten so far last weekend.

I intend to pull it with a bike that has an electric motor on the front.

It will be a simple "V" plow. I just ran out of mats.

I like the material that you are using. It seems to offer ease of construction as well as ease of repair/modification.

Did I hear you say 'front' motor? I'm concerned about the strength of your front forks, will the front forks withstand the strain from the motor pulling in one direction while the plow is getting snagged on various cracks and bumps.

Actually, this leads me to a general concern about a bike pulled plow. I would like to have some sort of safety mechanism that ensures that it's impossible for the blade to come to a grinding halt. Because if it ever does, I'm worried that I'm going over my handlebars.
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Old 01-14-09, 03:30 PM   #15
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Hi Raevyn, up until this morning, I hadn't really thought of this being a bigger project that others get involved in too. I kinda had it in mind that I would build something for myself, and hopefully others would do the same.....ideally on the same trails that I ride ( grin)

But the sponsorshop idea could be a good one. Perhaps something as simple as a safety vest with the power in motion logo on it. or a free shovel after I've worn out the first shovel, etc.

Anything too expensive sort of breaks away from the spirit that we are all in this sport together. Even a really expensive plow design get to be complicated because everyone involved will want to claim ownership of the plow.

For example, if I was to fix up my ATV, the ATV and all accessories would be best paid for and owned by me. But, it certainly would be cool if someone would donate some fuel while I'm donating time. ( keeping in mind that ATVs are notoriously cheap on gas, 5 gallons goes all day)

the most important thing a business or organization could do for an ATV is put some political pressure on the city to make sure I can get a permit to use it on the trails in the same manner as a bobcat or lawntractor.
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Old 01-14-09, 05:57 PM   #16
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well my boss knows the bylaw officer in charge of bike path stuff. i dont know if it would do any good though. our best bet is probably talking to the city's transportation services.

well i actually called 311, and spoke to the city myself, and the ATV idea is a no go, just because of liability issues. however, the nice lady suggested that we should take some of our ideas to the alderman. So i think we may be back to bike plows. for the motorized bike plow, you totally want rear wheel drive. I have a front motor, and if it goes on loose snow, you end up sliding all over the road. I do it almost every day on my way to school. it can be fun sometimes, but rear would be more ideal in winter.
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Old 01-14-09, 08:12 PM   #17
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I think I understand a new thing about this design...

You see how he puts a wheel on the front of the wedge? I think this is how he prevents the blade from coming to a screaching halt when it finds a crack in the road.
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Old 01-14-09, 08:31 PM   #18
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Hi, I'm just throwing out ideas as they come to me..... I have a set of roller blades that i haven't touched in over 10 years. I'd bet the wheels would work well for a design like David's. Also, I'll bet that an old set of training wheels could be made to work, too.
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Old 01-14-09, 09:16 PM   #19
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I like the material that you are using. It seems to offer ease of construction as well as ease of repair/modification.
Yes, it's like working with K'Nex. Didn't want to weld in the basement.

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Did I hear you say 'front' motor? I'm concerned about the strength of your front forks, will the front forks withstand the strain from the motor pulling in one direction while the plow is getting snagged on various cracks and bumps.
Time will tell. My bike has 20" wheels (smaller lever) and no suspension. When I go out this weekend to plow I'm expecting to be walking beside the bike instead of riding. If the frame's head set ovalizes I won't cry too much.

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Actually, this leads me to a general concern about a bike pulled plow. I would like to have some sort of safety mechanism that ensures that it's impossible for the blade to come to a grinding halt. Because if it ever does, I'm worried that I'm going over my handlebars.
I plan to set the plow at a reasonable height. I'm also doubtful of getting any speed with the contraption in tow.

By the way what I have in the picture twists around the main axis pretty bad. I bought what seems like the reminder of mats today so we will see. I didn't use loctite on the nuts and bolts but in retrospect I should have.
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Old 01-14-09, 09:24 PM   #20
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... for the motorized bike plow, you totally want rear wheel drive. I have a front motor, and if it goes on loose snow, you end up sliding all over the road. ... .
Hmm... thus far I rode in pretty deep stuff with ruts and the front motor gave me better traction than no motor at all (with Marathon Winter tires). I was very pleasantly surprised. It does sound kind of nuts to have a front drive on a bicycle in winter, but it does work well (thus far). By the way I ride a Xootr Swift where you lean forward quite a bit, maybe that's th difference.

It's OK either way, just trying stuff out. If it doesn't work out it's no biggie. I will let you guys know how it went either way.
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Old 01-14-09, 09:34 PM   #21
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By the way I ride a Xootr Swift where you lean forward quite a bit, maybe that's th difference.
leaning forward would help i suppose. and you are right, front wheel drive works much better than no motor at all. but in comparison (my roommate has a rear motor) you do get better traction with the rear motor than the front, as far as i have seen at home and at work. (i work at and electric bike shop) so i am just going by what i have observed. maybe it is a bit different with the 20" wheels. i have 26" tires on a rather large cruiser bike, which may be why i slide around alot. i dont put alot of weight on the front. or maybe i just have bad balence? who knows. what i should probably do, is put a basket on my bike and throw a sandbag in it to add some weight, and i dont add alot of weight to it by just putting myself on it.
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Old 01-14-09, 09:40 PM   #22
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this is my baby right here. as you can see, no weight except the motor on the front. hehe, i slid and almost did a donut on my way to school the other day
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Old 01-14-09, 09:42 PM   #23
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why is there a little box on the top? is it for road salt? on the plow i mean...
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Old 01-15-09, 09:09 AM   #24
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I think that he wrote something about a water bottle providing weight and a ballast
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Old 01-15-09, 11:51 AM   #25
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I've decided that my first attempt will be a hacksaw and ducttape attempt - LOL

I'm thinking of taking an old scraper, cut it, add a hinge and a bungee cord,....then start dragging it around the neighborhood and learn a little from it's short comings.

You know how a scraper will stop on the crack between sidewalk blocks? I'm hoping the hinge and bungee cord will provide a means to deal with this problem.
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