Hill-climb up to Vista Chinesa in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Discussion in 'Travelling, Commuting & Safety' started by Ollie, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. Ollie

    Ollie Member

    This was my second attempt, last time my rear hub locked up in the frame and unscrewed itself shortly after entering the national park. I managed to get home on a very wobbly back wheel. I was lucky the chain stayed on.

    This time I had some strong 36 hole, 12g spoked wheels and a new 'performance' carburetor. I had to give it a lot of assistance and five stops to let the engine cool down, but eventually it got me to Vista Chinesa ('Chinese View' in English), a pagoda-like structure built up in the mountains next to a fantastic view of the city.

    From the start of the national park, the route climbs over 1350 feet in under 3 miles. The average grade is 9.1% and 14% at it's steepest.

    I stopped whenever there was an area flat enough to re-start the engine, but at one point I stalled on a steep section. Starting the bike and getting enough momentum to get going again was nigh-on impossible so I had to push it to the next flat-ish section. I almost got hit by a car while trying to get it going on the narrow road.

    Here's my bike half-way up:

    My bike at the information board:
    And the view from the pagoda:

    It was a fun experience, but I doubt I'll do it again for the sake of the engine. A shift kit would have been ideal, but unfortunately I can't easily get my hands on one.

  2. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    Bet it was fun going down though!
  3. Ollie

    Ollie Member

    Oh man, it was awesome! So fast! :)
  4. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Just order the shift kit online.

    I live in Australia, and it takes 7 days for items to arrive from SickBikeParts.
  5. Ollie

    Ollie Member

    It's the 100% import tax on anything over $50 that's the issue. It would cost me almost the current value of my bike, plus postage. I'm scheming up a 3-speed motorcycle instead, using my spare engine and a Sturmey Archer S3X hub that my mate is going to bring over when he visits from England.

    The hub is a 3-speed, but with no freewheel, so it can run forwards or backwards like a fixie hub. That means I can flip the wheel over and have the engine running straight to the hub's sprocket without needing a jackshaft. That should result in a light, hill-climbing bike! That probably won't be for a year or so, though.
  6. Zen builder

    Zen builder Member

    Ollie, Looks just like where I live in Western NC. I can ride a mile and a half down the road then it climbs 1000 + feet in 3 miles. The switch backs in your photo looks just like our switch backs. I am still breaking in a motor , and like you have a single speed cruiser . I like the idea of flipping the wheel to give you the gearing. Has anyone out there done this? And what was the outcome. Take into concideration our terrain.
  7. Ollie

    Ollie Member

    @Zen builder:
    I started a thread about it but it seems nobody has tried it yet.

    An important consideration is that when the hub is flipped, there is no easy way to attach a normal freewheel for pedaling. That would legally make it a motorcycle in the US I think.

    Here in Brazil the law only requires unregistered motor vehicles to be under 50cc and not go faster than 50km/h.
  8. Zen builder

    Zen builder Member

    Totally had a mind freeze when not considering having a pedal chain if the wheel is flipped. I keep going back to a drum brake set up on both axles , and internal 3 speed in the rear hub. Just not sure what parts to use. I don't want external gears, as I am building to resemble a board tracker.
  9. Ollie

    Ollie Member

    I love the looks and low-maintenance of drum brakes. I get you mean; a vintage-style bike would look strange with a derailleur.