Darryl.Richman's picture

Ok, that headline is a little misleading. I got a spacer from Vech (who is one of our spnsors! Thanks Vech!) for the new roller bearings for the steering head and spent an hour modifying the piece — which is intended to work on the US fork /2 models — to work on the R52, and was able to remount the front forks. So, I am working on the bike... some.

But what I'm really focusing on right now is whipping the Sprinter van into shape. I bought it in January last year as a vintage bike hauler. I've seen them in use in Europe, fitted out with fold down beds and small kitchens and awnings, with room to haul a couple bikes, so I had been on the hunt for a while when I found a slightly used 2004 model (only 115,000 miles!) at a good price on Craigslist. It was in Sacramento, and on my way home, I stopped at a Cycle Gear shop that was right along I-80 and bought a couple of the rocker-style wheel chocks. Since then, I have done nothing else to the van, other than add a backup camera. The chocks are still floating loose in the back!

Obviously, this has to change a bit. The first thing is that the floor has to be dealt with. The PO had put down some masonite, but there is a strip on the right side where he had installed shelves or a machine, and there's no masonite. Last week teammate Steve Woodward was here for a few days and we cut a piece of plywood to fit the hole. Yesterday I got a remnant piece of heavy duty, waterproof vinyl flooring for cheap, and I hope to get it installed in the next few days. I've never installed flooring before, so this will certainly be an adventure.

The van has a bulkhead between the cab and the rear, and I bought a couple of big U bolts. I'm going to drill the bulkhead and put the bolts through it, so that they can lock the upright posts of the wheel chocks. This will make it easy to remove the chocks at any time and not leave anything protruding out the floor or back from the bulkhead.

And I've ordered a big true sine wave inverter. Installing it will require removing the driver's seat in the van to get a 4 gauge wire in from the battery. I plan to mount the inverter on the cab side of the bulkhead wall, and then run two power strips through the bulkhead to cargo area. That will leave one outlet and the USB charger port available in the cab and make it easy to see the battery charge level and watt meter displays.

The inverter is needed to run flourescent lights in the cargo area, which is otherwise a black hole. I bought a couple of battery powered LED lights, but they're really not bright enough. Also, the inverter has to run a small contractor's pancake air compressor.

Finally, I'm building a fold down work table. It will have a metal top but otherwise is constructed from 2x4 framing and a plywood cover. It will have two fold-out legs to support the front. I intend to bring a vise that will mount to it.

Not actually important for the functional use of the van — but very important for the team — are the magnetic signs I have to order this week. They will display the logos of our big sponsors, and list the names of our individual sponsors. If you want to put your name or the name and logo of your business on the side of the Team Boxer Rebellion van, as it travels from California to New York and back, your time is running out!

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