JC Midge Build Diary issue 2


I thought it was time to give an update on how things are progressing. Although I haven’t published much, plenty has been going on behind the scenes and endless photographs of bits of plywood aren’t exactly interesting reading.

So as things stand, the task of cutting out the plywood parts is complete. This involved sticking the full size patterns onto the sheets and cutting around them. This was easy work and all down to the thorough job John Cowperthwaite did in producing them.


(Apologies for the poor photographs in part due to the Severn Trent Van blocking access to my garage preventing me from getting the panels outside)

On Monday, Connor and I drove to Newport Pagnell to collect the donor vehicle for the project. A very reasonably priced Suzuki SJ413. It has spent the last 11 years on a farm being used as a “learn to drive” vehicle for the Farmer’s daughters. It has amassed a whopping 150 miles since 2003. The body gently succumbed to rust over the last decade but mechanically it is a low mileage, unmolested example of the marque. It was happy to start, go into gear and the chassis is pretty much perfect. I don’t think I could have found a better starting point for the Midge.


(pictures courtesy of Connor)

I have just completed the first bit of real construction. The transmission tunnel comprises of 9 pieces of plywood and it went together pretty well but I think I will dry build the other panels onto the chassis before skinning them with aluminium so that I can get the fit just how I want it before committing myself to destroying £150 of aluminium.Image

(the glued transmission tunnel drying out in the warmth of the hallway allowed by the generosity of @no1LindaMason)

As I want two clear days to take the body off the SJ and I am going to need the help of Connor for the heavy work, this will have to wait until I can commandeer him away from college, however the progress won’t be stalled as I have the powder coating oven to build, at the moment it is cunningly disguised as a filing cabinet and a double oven. Time to get the angle grinder out me thinks


Keep posted by subscribing to my blog for the continuing adventures of me and my Midge (MkII)

Can I just point out powder coating is unnecessary and just something I fancied doing


A Reassuring Response

All to often these days we see You Tube videos of reckless and dangerous driving affecting the lives of cyclists. After my accident I have tried to raise awareness of the need for greater tolerance by all road users to allow us all to get to where we intend to be in a safe manner.
Yesterday I sent an email to a road haulier regarding a you tube video of a reckless pass by a lorry on a cyclist.  I received a reply from the company’s Operations Manager and I am impressed by the manner in which he responded. I have copied it out below in full.
I often criticise, so it is only right I praise.
Perhaps there is a chance for us after all.

Good Morning

 Thank you for your email regarding the YouTube video.

Fagan & Whalley Ltd take driver training and road safety in general very seriously and have invested much time recently in promoting cycle safety, both from the point of view of the HGV driver and indeed from the view of the cyclists.

As recently as this Monday we provided a HGV and our Training Coordinator to Greater Manchester Police as part of their on-going campaign for education of road safety.

 In this instance it would appear the driver has misjudged the oncoming traffic island and had to cut-in sharply, and thankfully a collision was narrowly avoided.

 The driver has been reprimanded for his actions and will attend our safety course in the very near future.

 Thank you again for contacting us and be rest assured we take these instances very seriously

 Daniel Wood

Operations Manager