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The Country Living Grain Mill
Connecting Your Mill To An Exercise Bike

Country Living
Productions Inc.


country living mill country living grain mill, hand grain mill
The 914-Mile-Per Gallon Machine
By Jack Jenkins
It was 4:55 a.m., the time that our alarm radio does its early morning thing. My consciousness was struggling when an announcer began intoning something about "the most fuel-efficient machine in the world. This marvelous machine gets 914 miles per gallon," he said.

Suddenly, I was very awake. Visions of replacing our 12 miles-to-the-gallon van leaped into my sleep-shrouded head. I listened carefully. I was both disappointed and delighted in the same instant. This magnificent machine was nothing less than the human body.

I had to have more information, more documentation. I called long-distance to the radio station to see if they could give me sources on the story, but, alas, the very stuff that radio is made of (in an instant, here- in an instant, gone) had taken its toll. They had erased the tape and claimed no ability to retrieve the information.

Still the thought of such phenomenal efficiency plagued me. Here we are inhabiting one of the most efficient machines ever devised and yet we persist in surrounding ourselves with inefficient, energy-wasting machines, expensive convenience appliances that literally encourage the degeneration of the most magnificent machine ever placed on earth- the human body. It's not fair to condemn all appliances. If used correctly they can give us the time needed to accomplish and create. But, like many blessings, mankind has a tendency to overindulge, to take for granted. Often we forget where to draw the line. If it's convenient, we overindulge. If it's pleasurable, we sate ourselves. When we cross over this line of reason and restraint, both the body and the mind suffer.

It may be a simple thing, but to me when I spend ten to thirteen minutes grinding- by hand- our fresh whole wheat flour in the Country Living Grain Mill, both my body and my mind benefit. I'm keeping in tune this 914 miles-per-gallon machine. I could never use an electric grain mill so beneficially. Mentally, what value? The sense of pride I feel as I walk into the kitchen with two pans of beautiful, fresh whole wheat flour and hand them to Ann, is inestimable. A simple thing, perhaps. But often the simple things have the greatest value.

The Country Living Grain Mill with Mounting Board and Exercycle
(The 914 Mile-Per-Gallon-Machine)

country living mill country living grain mill, hand grain mill

The mounting platform with a slotted 2 x 6 board locks the exercycle into place, while making the tension of the belt easily adjustable. The wing nuts and bolts in the slots make it quick and easy to make all adjustments.

country living mill country living grain mill, hand grain mill1. The feet of the exercycle should fit firmly against the 2x6 adjustable board.

2. The wing nut and bolt (located on either side of the board) should be tightened down once proper belt tension is achieved.

3. Use a three or four inch pulley hub suitable for use with a v-belt.


Creating your own 914 Mile Per Gallon Machine

Dear Friend:

Unfortunately, since there is such a huge variety of exercycles on the market, I don't have any specific plans describing how to hook an exercycle up to the grain mill. There is no standard pulley for the exercycle hub that I can recommend because most of the exercycle brands have different flywheels and hubs. The exercycle (AVITA made in Redmond, Washington) that I have hooked up to my Country Living mill has been off the market for at least 15 years. I actually took my exercycle flywheel to a machinist and had him mill a pulley to fit the hub. It cost me $40 but I have been using it for almost 20 years now, so it has been well worth it.

I suggest that you look for an exercycle with a cast iron flywheel and enough space between the frame and the flywheel to allow you to bring a V-belt out from the hub. I saw an exercycle in a thrift store a while ago for $8.50 (cheap). I guarantee that if you are patient and look around you can find a very nice but inexpensive cycle that will serve you well.

For the best ratio, it would be nice to put a three or four inch pulley on the exercycle's flywheel hub. An off-the-shelf pulley might work for you. You will have to drill holes through the pulley and match them to holes drilled in the cast- iron flywheel. Self-tapping metal screws will hold the pulley to the flywheel of the exercycle. Some people have used a strong epoxy to bond the pulley on. Someone suggested J. B. Weld - I haven't tried it, so I can't assure you of success. Trouble is, all hubs are not created equal, so you may have to have a machinist machine a pulley to fit the hub of the cycle that you decide to get. Another alternative is to run your V-belt around the outside diameter of the exercycle flywheel. The ratio isn't efficient, but I know several folks who have done just that and they seem satisfied.

I wish you well,

Jack Jenkins