Monday, July 30, 2007


So, the canoe and bike rack was last set up on the previous car. It's a fairly fancy Yakima setup. There are these adapters, and the rack has been on four different cars now. But it had never been on the Saturn, so it was an hour getting it there. There probably is a clip designed for the Saturn, but i was able to make an existing set work. At least it's secure. Well, i didn't do the acid test - drive on the highway. I would have, but the on ramp to i75 south was closed. The primary test wasn't the drive, it was the canoe.

So, the canoe works. You see, there are paddles, and life jackets. A water bottle. Some binoculars. Can't go anywhere without binoculars. And... and that's it. So really, most of the test was getting the canoe onto a car.

With the rack on the car, the next step is to find the key, and unlock the lock which holds the chain. This is easy, since the lock was unlocked just a couple months ago. Except, that the key can't be found anywhere. After a half hour fruitless search, it is decided that one link of the chain can be cut, freeing the lock, and by the way, the canoe. This takes an hour. It's a very good chain (now slightly shorter).

I'd have never designed a canoe rack that has the canoe upright. I mean, when it rains, it fills with water, right? If too much water gets in there, then what do you do? The car could be overloaded, or the canoe might be too heavy to remove. Bail it? So far, though, it just hasn't been a problem. And for some reason, i've never thought to load up the canoe with everything in sight. One can put alot of stuff into a 17 foot canoe.

One nice thing about the rack is that in addition to the canoe, two bicycles can go up there. And, they go up without rubbing against anything. Nothing worse than a bike rack that damages the bikes. Or the car.

The test run for the canoe involves putting it into the water, and paddling around for a couple hours. Elizabeth Park has a nice parking lot, a little channel that goes out to the Detroit River. From there, one gets to deal with wind and waves. My trip took me to the bridge, which swung open to let a large boat through - always exciting.

And, i made it back alive. Mostly. Nothing damaged that can't be cured
with a little wine and a long bath in the hot tub.

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