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  #1  
Old 07-20-2009, 11:56 AM
Martell Martell is offline
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Default Who can invent this for me?

i want someone to invent a bike trailer with clippers that would chop blackberry (and other) bushes down as you ride. The pedaling of the bike would be used to power the clippers. It would also have an optional gravel cleaner attachment which would scoop up any gravel it encountered.

It may need to be front mounted so it can clear the area first. I'll leave the implementation up to the inventor.

Let me know when it's ready and I'll come pick it up.
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Old 07-20-2009, 12:44 PM
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K'Tesh K'Tesh is offline
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Talking ooohhh... sounds fun!!!

I've got ideas, I've always got ideas... but I lack the building skills...

(BTW: You forgot to add the snow plow/path sweeper)

Rubberside Down!
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  #3  
Old 07-20-2009, 01:26 PM
canuck canuck is offline
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Wouldn't it need a rear mounted sweeper to pick up the clippings?
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Old 07-20-2009, 03:07 PM
Martell Martell is offline
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I think you are right, it would be better to have a rear-mounted sweeper to pick up clippings and gravel. It would be OK to drive over the gravel as you went because you wouldn't be going too fast while using this thing.
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Old 07-20-2009, 03:45 PM
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A few years ago I swept up the gravel left on the road at the Carmen Dr. overpass on I5. The gravel had flatted one too many tubes and I decided to finally take control of the situation. It felt good, but it took quite a while and I was surprised how many heavy loads of gravel I ended up shoveling off the side. While its a nice thought, I think the practicality of a human powered gravel sweeper would be very limited due to the weight of the gravel.

I've also mowed my share of grass with a push mower, and any number of times I've been stopped dead by a thick blackberry shoot or stick. Probably easier to just carry along some pruning shears and gloves if you want to chop off errant blackberry shoots. I've also had sucess just calling the proper authorities if there's a significant bramble that's in the way and needs some work.
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Old 07-20-2009, 03:45 PM
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Dream on! Realistically, I think the horsepower/human pedal power needed to do that kind of work, plus move the bike, would far exceed what one person could reasonably generate.

Riding through the nature park out in Beaverton, I noticed they use a gas powered blower to keep the asphalt paved multi-use path free of leaves. It's a very quiet, clean running model, but seeing it made me wonder if some ingenious person might be able to fairly easily engineer a bike powered blower that could do the job. Doesn't need to travel fast....only 2-3 mph. Most of the energy expended could go to creating the blower discharge air velocity. Stationary exercise bikes commonly use fans to produce working resistance, so it might not be too much of a stretch to direct that fan air into a hose for blowing leaves and dirt off paths.
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Old 07-20-2009, 06:35 PM
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wyeast wyeast is offline
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While slightly more complicated than what you probably envisioned, I would suggest that a bike-hybrid electric blower may be more useful. An all-mechanical model may require multiple passes over problem areas, where a hybrid electric could continue operating while the bike was sitting still (or even have the hose detachable for really tough spots -i.e. operated like an oversized canister vac in reverse)

Trick out the gearing so that pedaling = slow drive + fast generator flywheel, and strap a small battery pack to the rear.

Same principle could go with an electric weedwhacker - although owning a battery operated model, I can vouch that it would have a rough time with blackberries.

Last edited by wyeast; 07-20-2009 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 07-20-2009, 10:22 PM
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wyeast, I'd think the incorporation of a storage battery could make such a pedal powered blower more versatile. Sounds like an idea that a design engineering class might be able to make quite an impact with. Might be good if there were a vacuum machine too.

I think there's a need for something like this...maybe a market too. People hate gas and electric blowers...and I can't really blame them. In a commercial or residential setting, those kind of blowers are to a certain extent, an unavoidable reality.

In situations like the nature park, to me at least, there is something about the presence of the gas powered blower, even though it was relatively quiet and clean, that is thoroughly antithetical to the park's essence. Hand sweeping and raking would probably be the most ideal means of keeping the path free and clear of debris, on condition that enough money was in the budget to provide for necessary labor...or enough volunteer labor to get the job done that way. Gets to be a lot of sweeping and raking...I think the path is about 2 miles.

This park wants to be a place of quiet and reflection, a refuge from noisy, polluting gadgets. I think the sight of a well operating pedal powered blower would help to make an impression that consciousness of the parks serenity is being kept in mind. Other places such as public gardens or memorial gardens might benefit from a machine like this too.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:59 PM
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q`Tzal q`Tzal is offline
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Envisioned this solution a few years ago after reading about the guy with the snow plow on his bike.

Greenspeed GTT (tandem) with a trailer behind it. The trailer would simply house a long tube brush diagonally so that debris is swept as close to the curb as possible.
I envision the stoker powering the brush unit electrically. The trailer would of course hinge at the back and that makes direct mechanical drive of the sweeper more problematic than converting the stoker's energy to amps via a generator and a matched motor back to rotation. A matched 3-phase AC set would likely be most efficient.

If you check the video of a street sweeper in operation I linked to above you can see that they use gutter brooms that sweep inward towards a tube broom that sweeps the whole mess in to the collection area.

As mentioned above the weight penalty of road debris is too much to design for on HPV. Sweeping debris towards the motor vehicle traffic might be cathartic but is in all likelihood illegal. This leaves only sweeping towards the curb.

Putting the sweeper up front poses some issues regardless of the type of HPV. Unless it is totally integrated into the body of the vehicle it will require separate steering which increases operator's level of danger. I refuse to die for gravel and glass.

Speaking of safety: I think it only prudent to set something like this up so it doesn't have to balance at the slow speeds it will be crawling along at.

Now the trimming is problematic. I'd personally go with an electric hedge trimmer to get the job done. The problems start with the rigging: how are you going to set one hedge trimmer so that it can trim any impinging vegetation without having to invent some complicated arm? I suppose you could set up multiple trimmers so that you could in effect trim a hedge tunnel for yourself but I image it would weigh a ton and be prohibitive to power. And really this is a BIG safety don't. For the sake of health and liability don't put potentially lethal devices out of the hands on control of the person doing said operation. I'd rather do my trimming from the saddle as well but I don't think it wise unless someone invents a disruptor ray that only affects plants. Of course cotton and rayon are made from plants so suspect it would be quickly illegal for men or boys to have one.

So you could say I've thought this through. It's quite possible. The price may put people off; the GTT starts at $7,850. If you have all the skills needed to complete the rest of the conversion (welding, electrical and electronic controls) you could probably finish it for under $11,000.
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  #10  
Old 07-21-2009, 08:33 AM
Martell Martell is offline
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One possible solution to the debris pickup problem is that you could sweep debris into a bin, and have an overfill system that would redirect to the edge of the road when the bin was too full or too heavy. If people can carry around a couple small kids in a trailer, they could carry a decent amount of gravel/glass/debris.

You are right that a hedge trimmer mounted on the front of a bike sounds dangerous. It would be a nice feature in a Mad Max bicycle world. Maybe a better option would be that this bike would just have a chargeable battery with a standard AC plug-in and a place to store tools. You could bring along your electric hedge trimmer or weed wacker and an extension cord. The previously mentioned bin could be used to store trimmings. Most brushy areas aren't prohibitively long, so stopping for a few minutes to do clean up wouldn't be a huge issue.
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