Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Velomobile Transport Cradle Is Ready For MakeFest!

Late this evening I put the finishing touches on to the transport cradle that I needed for my velomobile so that I can safely move it to the Davenport Iowa MakeFest in July.  I was happy to have this portion of my preparations for the show done well ahead of time.  Transporting the velomobile in a pickup truck is not an ideal way to move the velo but I simply could not afford to haul it in a covered trailer without a big expense to rent one.  So I designed this transport cradle for my friends pickup truck so that the velomobile will be safe and secure on next months road trip. 

The cradle is made up of 2 x 2's and some 1/4 inch by five inch panels that make up the ramps so the velomobile can easily roll into the correct position in the cradle.  The main pieces of the cradle are bolted together and the long ramps are simply nailed on using small finishing nails. The two small ramps in the photo above are not attached to the cradle and really do not need to be as the assembly does not move when the velo is being loaded on to it.  

Here is an underside view of the cradle.  I added four more pieces of 2 x 2's to the underside of the ramps for added support.  The velo is not that heavy but the 1/4 wood flexed quite a bit when I rolled the velo on to the ramps so I thought it would be a good idea and it did not add much extra weight to the cradle so it was a go from the start. 

Once I was happy with how the velo slid into position on the cradle I had to figure out how best to strap it down for transport. The picture above shows how the cargo straps are wrapped around the frame and then attached to to I-bolts at the front of the cradle. (See next photo for outside view) This worked out perfectly as there are I-bolts at each corner of the cradle so it (and the velo) can be strapped down to the bed of the pickup truck at each corner.

Here you can see the bright orange straps that hold the velo onto the cradle.  At the rear of the cradle the cargo straps attach to the corner I-bolts like the front and then directly to the frame just ahead of the rear tire.  It turned out to be a perfect mounting point to hold the velo securely without a lot of hassle or time to do so.  Once I have the velo all prepped for the Makefest I will again strap it down to the cradle and then cover it up with a plastic cover just in case there is a chance for rain on the day of the Makefest.  Hopefully not but it's a good idea to be prepared just in case. The cover has eyelets around the perimeter and I will run a rope in and out of these eyelets to draw the cover up around the base of the velo to secure it.  This should do nicely when the time. comes.  So another step closer to getting ready for the Makefest in July!

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