Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It may be winter now on this side of the globe, but spring isn't that far away. While I am not sure about the practices of the people reading this post, I am an avid biker. Winter is always too icy to safely rely on my bike as a mode of transportation. It is the one season I spent more time either driving or taking the bus.
But once it warms up, I inevitably pull out my trusty bike and let it take me around town as often as possible. This is both for practical and pleasure reasons, as I must admit to have always had a fondness for the wind in my hair and the freedom of careening down a hill on a set of wheels. Much more fun than a car.
Usually I buy my accessories, but I have been trying to get more into DIY where previously I had ignored upcycling. This is one area I had never even considered trying out hacks. That is, until I came across these five and realized how many possibilities there truly are for customizing a bicycle.

1. Freezer Basket - Have you see the cost of bikes made specifically for carrying things? At a local store here they have one with a welded basket that costs $400...it's insane! Because of that I have always stuck with my basic model, and just worn a backpack. But I have always wanted a basket, and this gives an idea for putting on a sturdy one that could really carrying things. It uses a freezer basket, which can be found in most freezers or just purchased. They are very inexpensive, and this is a great use for one. Though you could use any metal basket you might have laying around to get the job done. As long as it is light weight enough to properly balance.

License: Creative Commons

2. Power Gadgets - Just think of all those gadgets you have that charge through USB adapters. This cool ideas attaches a car USB charger and places it under the seat. You can plug anything in as you ride, so you can have your gadgets at full power all the time. Some might even allow you to use them while they charge, though you might want to be careful of that. If the cord is too long it might get caught in the bike spokes and who knows what could happen then?

License: Creative Commons
Link: http://hacknmod.com/hack/power-usb-gadgets-with-your-bike/

3. Chain Tensioner - I remember once a few years ago I was riding down a hill and my chain dropped. Normally it wouldn't be that big of a deal, and I would just slow myself down when I hit more even ground with my feet on the sidewalk. But this was a hill with a sharp curve at the end going into traffic, and I nearly got hit by a car when the driver took the turn without stopping at the stop sign. To compensate, I had to skid sharply to the left and ended up crashing over my handlebars. I was OK, for the most part, but I sprained my wrist pretty badly. The driver didn't even stop, the jerk. My point is, I could have used something to create added tension and keep my chain from dropping. I bet you could, too.

License: Creative Commons

4. DIY Sidecar - Juan Pablo of Buenos Aires sent in the design and photos of a DIY side car he created to Bike Hacks, a blog dedicated to the art of bike customization. I have seen makeshift sidecars before, but none this cool or well made. Just look at the polished wood, the elegant design, the sturdy attachment...it is amazing. It makes me wish I was better with wood, so I could make my own.

License: Creative Commons

5. Newspaper Delivery - As a kid I had a paper route. Who didn't? It was a more innocent time, and parents didn't think twice about letting their kid out before dawn to throw things at stranger's doors. But I always hated the feel of the bag hitting against my side and chest when I rode my bike. This is a nifty way of attaching containers to the bike for easier transportation. It would also eliminate the need to restock and go back out.

License: Creative Commons

Know of any good bike hacks? Have a few ideas yourself? Let us know in the comments.

Author Bio: 
Annie is a geeky blogger for Dobovo, the free fun travel tool.

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