CHEAP ELECTRIC TADPOLE TRIKES

Chinese motorized trikes

It is said that “you get what you pay for”. That is usually true. I hope it isn’t the case when it comes to cheap trikes that come from China. They certainly offer some low prices. Of course, shipping isn’t cheap ($500 – $700) so the price increases considerably over the list price of the trike alone.  The fairly well known website, aliexpress.com, has gobs of tadpole trikes listed for sale. Among them are electric pedal assist trikes. They come with either 250 watt or 500 watt Bafang brushless rear hub motors.

As you can see in the pictures the batteries are positioned up high under the rear rack. They are handy to get at there, but it also means that adding that weight at that height affects the center of gravity and handling suffers. The higher the center of gravity the easier a trike can tip over.

As to quality they do skimp on components using brands which are not among the more common names we usually see on trikes. So be aware that should the cheaper components fail sooner than later you might be laying out some money to buy better quality components. If that happens, then I would say that there was no real savings realized in buying these lower cost trikes. And the components may not perform to one’s liking in comparison to brand name components.

red 250 watt

Their 250 watt model with no suspension (shown above) sells for $1,818.76 including shipping to the U.S.

rear suspension 250 watt

Their 250 watt rear suspension model (shown above) sells for $1,818.76. That is the same price as the no suspension model. “Go figure” as they say.

silver rear suspension 500 watt

Their 500 watt rear suspension model (shown above) sells for $2,265.76 which includes shipping to the U.S.

Delivery time to the U.S. is said to be 11 to 19 days.

Their trikes come with:  high carbon steel frame, choice of 26 or 20 rear wheel, fenders, neck rest, rear rack, mirrors and a flag pole. They also come with a rear V-brake for parking which can be replaced with a disc brake if preferred. The mesh seat can be exchanged for a fiberglass seat.

They say they can custom make a trike if a customer is too heavy for their stock trike (which has a weight capacity of about 264 pounds). The same is true for customers who are too short or too tall for their standard trikes.

Chinese motorized trike components

I would not care for the electronic digital display to be mounted vertically. That is quite impractical trying to view it. I am assuming that the battery pack has an integrated taillight of some sort although I have not read anything about it.

As to top speed and battery power endurance these trikes don’t measure up to some of the more expensive motorized trikes out there we normally read/hear about. They won’t go as fast nor as far using battery and motor power. They do have 5 levels of power including a button to push which will give full motor propulsion which does not require pedaling.

Being made of high carbon steel rather than chrome-moly steel or aluminum they will be heavier. One plus is that should there be frame breakage high carbon steel can be readily repair welded successfully by a qualified skilled weldor. Although high carbon steel offers more flexibility than aluminum is doesn’t flex as much as chrome-moly steel does.

They also sell kits to motorize trikes which, of course, is a much cheaper way to go if you already have a trike. Installing it would require considerable mechanical ability.

BTW, they also offer lots of tadpole trikes which are not motorized which are, of course, cheaper yet. And they offer at least one FAT tire trike which I will be writing about quite soon.

In closing I am going to throw this out for what it is worth. In my nearly 70 years of life on this earth and most all of those years involved in various sorts of mechanical things including a career as a weldor and metal fabricator since age 12 I have a lot of experience with metal objects. I have a lifetime of repairing them when they break. I would be very concerned about the quality of these trikes and probably would not spend my money on one myself. My gut feeling is that I would regret it and wish I would have just spent a bit more. Then I would know I bought quality and would have the assurance of a company and dealers who stand behind the products. Buying something from China pretty much leaves the buyer on their own should problems arise. Even if there is some support dealing with a company on the other side of the world doesn’t appeal to me.

SCARAB TRIKES (product of Texas)

Scarab trikes 320 vs 2026

Scarab trikes … made in the good ol’ U.S.A.  Available in two models … 320 (20 inch rear wheel) $2550.00 … or 2026 (26 inch rear wheel) $2650.00. With 54 speeds it offers some impressive gear inches. Equipped with drum brakes and indirect steering.

Scalab yellow 2026 ft front view

Scarab states that with the seat laid back at a comfortable *42* degree angle, air resistance is much less. At 20 MPH on a SCARAB trike, you will be using only about 75% of the effort normally needed on a conventional bike. Optional seat angles are available down to 30 degrees.

Scalab yellow 2026 ft right side view

Trikes include complete frame, all components, cordless computer, rear rack, left hand side rear view mirror, computer/mirror mount, rear fender, and are available powder coated in various colors. Normal colors (red, yellow, black, white, etc.) are usually available quicker than custom colors.
Both models are completely assembled and ready to ride (5 minutes from crate to street).

Scarab crucifix

SCARAB SPECIFICATIONS:
FRAME 4130 CRO-MO
WHEELBASE 42” (2026 is 45″)
TRACK 32” (outside measurement of width app. 36″)
LENGTH 77”-80″ max. (depends on model and boom adj.)
GEARING SRAM 3X9 hub, 9 spd. cassette
INTERNAL RATIOS 0.734, 1.00, 1.362
SHIFTERS SRAM twist grip w/ thumb shifter incorporated for rear hub
TIRES Comet Primo 20 X 1.35 (Schwalbe tires available as options)
RIMS Velocity Aeroheat (ISO 18-406 36H front-ISO 18-559 32 H rear)
*SEAT ANGLE* 45 degrees (actual measured angle is 42 degrees)
SEAT HEIGHT 10” from ground
BOTTOM BRACKET HT. 16 1/2″ (approximate measurement-depends on boom length)
BOOM LENGTH Adjustable telescoping boom (will handle riders from 5’0″ to 6’6″+)
GROUND CLEARANCE 3.5” under the handlebar center section
WEIGHT Approx. 33 lb. without accessories (bags, bells, whistles, etc.)
TURNING RADIUS 7′-8′ RADIUS (as speed increases, obviously radius increases as well)
GEAR INCH RANGES Gear inch range is from 17.2050-182.6568 depending on crankset

Scarab front spindle

Scarab rear qtr

Scarab yellow front qtr

Cruising along at 18 mph on a Scarab trike:

Scalab yellow 2026 ft right side view close up

B & M ENTERPRISES
Barry Beuershausen
210-212 Dowlor
Refugio, TX 78377
361 526-4458
Email Address: bment@prodigy.net
(Note: when emailing, please put “Scarab Trikes” in the subject line due to spam filters)

TALK ABOUT TIRE MILEAGE

worn out trike tire

What kind of mileage should we get out of our tires? What should we expect? What is typical? What factors affect the mileage we get out of our tires? When should we replace our tires? Is it safe to ride on a worn out tire? I will attempt to address these questions and more in this article.

The short definitive answer is … “IT ALL DEPENDS”. I just knew you were not going to like that answer, but in all truthfulness it is the only answer one can give. Let’s look at some of the different things that it depends upon. I won’t go into great detail here, but I do want to touch on the majority of factors that come to mind. Here are factors that can and do affect tire wear:

* the tire itself and how it is constructed and the material (rubber compound) used. In short, not all tires are created equal.

* inflation pressure (especially too high or too low. It is important to maintain proper pressure in tires. Too low of pressure is most likely to occur and does the most damage in premature wear and failure.)

* type of surface being ridden on (smooth vs. rough, sharp stones, etc.)

* weight being carried on the tires (rider’s weight as well as any kind of cargo)

* whether or not the rider is aggressive (hard fast cornering for instance)

* wheel alignment (most especially toe in)(really severe tire scrubbing can occur and destroy a tire very quickly)

* temperature (especially surface temperature where the tire is running on)

* debris ran over which damages tire (glass cuts can greatly shorten the life of a tire)

* hitting harsh bumps or holes

* running into damaging things (especially with the sidewall of the tire)

I am sure there are other factors I have not thought of. I myself have gotten as little as 200 or so miles out of a brand new tire and as much as over 14,000 miles out of a tire. Obviously only getting a couple of hundred miles out of a tire is a bummer. And just as obvious, getting over 14,000 miles out of a tire is fabulous. The 200 or so miles was the result of sidewall damage when I hit something. The tire was a Schwalbe Tryker tire which has very weak sidewalls which damage very easily. If I were to have done the very same thing with the tires I use now I don’t think they would have been phased as they are amazingly tough. Like I said, not all tires are created equal.

Trikes, unlike bikes, don’t lean when turning. (Not unless you have a lean steering trike … which few of us do.) Because of this rubber is “scrubbed off” of the tires, especially the front tires, when riding. And this can be rather significant if the rider is a “hotdogger” (aggressive rider in fast cornering). Front tires on a tadpole trike will wear out faster than the rear tire.

Other damage can happen to a tire which shortens its life. Hitting a hard bump or hole can destroy the tire and cause a bulge or deformity to occur. Depending upon how badly the tire is damaged you might be able to ride on it for awhile longer, but I would definitely suggest keeping a close eye on it. Sometimes a tire can be “booted” to extend its life some. However, it is always best to replace a tire which had such damage. BTW, if you hit a bad hole or bump you should also check the rim and spokes for any sign of damage or loosening.

Cracking in the sidewalls of tires can occur either from riding with underinflation or aging or both. Cracking can also be caused by overinflation. With Schwalbe tires cracking of the sidewalls doesn’t seem to be nearly as common as tires of yesteryear most of us grew up with. I can’t speak for other brands as I don’t use any other brands and therefore have no experience or first hand knowledge concerning them.

As to answering the questions about when a tire should be replaced and if it is safe to ride on a worn out tire to some degree I would have to respond once again by saying “it all depends”. I do not advocate riding on a worn out tire. If you use tires that don’t have a protective liner built in I definitely would advise against riding on such a tire when it is worn out and the “insides” are starting to show thru. It could even be the inner tube starting to show thru and even if it is not yet it could quickly do so if a person continues to ride on such a tire. It is very dangerous as the tire could suddenly and catastrophically fail. That could result in a very serious accident at worse. At the least it could leave you stranded unless you happen to carry a spare tire and inner tube with you. Most of us don’t carry spare tires along when we ride (although many of us do carry one around our middle of our bodies).

In the picture at the start of this article you can see a worn out tire with the blue protective liner showing thru. Some tires have green liners. Some have reddish liners. Some have no protective liners at all.

If you use tires which have protective liners built into them then you are not in nearly as much danger when the tire shows wear and the liner is showing thru. Truthfully you could probably ride quite a few more miles on such a tire and be perfectly safe. Most definitely my advice is to replace the tire as soon as possible and by all means keep your eye on it if you continue to ride on it in such a condition. I myself have ridden a couple of hundred more miles or so on a tire which has started showing the protective liner … more than once. There was no problem at all in doing so, but I don’t advise doing so. If, however, the black rubber of the outside of the tire continues to quickly disappear and more and more of the protective liner shows thru it can eventually reach the point that it would be more and more of a concern to continue riding on it. The protective liner is not intended to be what contacts the riding surface.

Tires are constructed in various layers and are integrated together giving them their strength. With high psi air pressure inside of them trying to force its way out once a tire is worn like this it could conceivably fail. So don’t take advantage of the fact that the tires are well constructed. Replace them in a timely manner when you spot this sort of wear. There isn’t much left which is holding the tire together when it gets like this. It is dangerous to continue to ride on a tire that is worn this badly like pictured below.

tire protective liner showing thru all the way around

Depending upon the tire the mileage obtainable out of it even in the best of circumstances will vary some as tires are made different from one another. Some have a soft rubber compound that just doesn’t wear as good as a tire with a harder compound. Of course, a softer compound will provide a smoother softer ride. There are trade offs in all of this. I could be wrong about this, but I think that a low pressure tire is not likely to provide as many miles as a high pressure tire all things being equal otherwise.

Schwalbe tire wear

Schwalbe Tire Co. has a webpage with information of tire wear. In general Schwalbe states that their non Marathon tires should get 1242 to 3106 miles (2000 to 5000 km) while their Marathon family tires should get 3728 to 7456 (6000 to 12000 km). They state that the Marathon Plus tire should get “much more” than 6213 miles (10000 km).

The lowest I have ever got with Marathon Plus tires is around 7500 miles and as I have already been saying the best is 14,144 miles. That was on the rear. On the front the best I have got is 12,278 miles. I think I would have to attribute the phenomenal mileage to the fact that I have slowed up considerably the last 2 or 3 years due to my knee joints getting worse. In slowing up I am not experiencing as much tire scrubbing in hard fast cornering.

I have written several other articles about tires previously. Click HERE to read them.

I want to insert here that the prices for tires seem to be constantly changing. It pays to research and check prices as you can save a bundle of money. I always buy from the same source as I have never found any other source which offers anywhere near as good of prices.  I recently bought 4 new Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires from my German source and paid only $29.45 each which included the shipping charge. I think that is the best price I have bought them for yet. Of course, I buy 3 or 4 at a time in order for the price to be that good as I am paying the same shipping charge whether I buy one tire or 4 tires. So the more I can buy without going over the weight limit the lower the per tire cost is. (They list for about $53 each without shipping.) Again, I only use the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires so I have never ordered any other tires for this German source. I can’t say anything about what else they sell and how much they cost. I have always received excellent service from this German company. They usually have the order here in the U.S. within 2 to 3 days. Once it arrives here it is another story as it can get held up in customs and then once released the US Post office takes over the remainder of the delivery. That is far longer than it took the German company to get the shipment to the U.S. (They use DHL to get it here to the U.S.)

When one stops to think about it tires have come a long ways from those many of us grew up with. They are better engineered and made nowadays. Going from 2000 miles of maximum mileage to over 14,000 is quite a testimony. All those miles and flat free riding … can’t beat that. Thanks Schwalbe for manufacturing the very best tire money can buy and helping me to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

WATER BOTTLE HOLDERS

H2O

Water … don’t leave home without it!!! We can live without food for a fair length of time, but water is a different story. I don’t know how long a person can survive without water and the answer doesn’t seem to be easily found in an online search. It seems to be controversial. Some say 3 days and others say as long as 12 days. I am sure it depends upon the individual person and the circumstances and environment. Any thinking responsible person will carry water along with them when they go out for a trike ride. Most use some type of water bottle while a smaller number use some sort of “bladder”. I personally have always used water bottles although several years ago I stopped using the plastic type and went with stainless steel Thermos brand water bottles which I love.

plastic water bottles

Regardless of what type of water bottle we use we need some sort of a holder for them to carry them on our trikes. Over the years I have bought and tried several different water bottle holders. Most of them have been made of metal, usually aluminum. And most of them have eventually broken as the metal just doesn’t hold up. I finally tried some plastic ones and love them. They have lasted for years already and have shown no sign of failing. And so I can and do only recommend the plastic type like I have. The ones pictured below are the type I have. There are other plastic types, but of the ones I have seen and tried (in the store by placing my water bottle in them) I can’t recommend them. I think these are the best of all I have seen.

plastic water bottle holders 3

I have seen other plastic and carbon fiber holders, but I can’t comment on any of them. All I can say is I am well satisfied with the ones I have. I took a water bottle into the store with me to see how the various water bottle holders fit and held my stainless steel Thermos water bottle. These plastic ones I got fit and worked the best. The carbon fiber ones are, of course, extremely expensive and as far as I am concerned there isn’t that much difference in their weight vs. these plastic ones.

Here are pictures of the two I have …

my water bottle plastic holder my water bottle plastic holder 2

There are water bottle holders which are adjustable so that they will snugly hold various size (diameter) bottles. Personally I don’t think I would put much faith in them holding up. I would be very suspicious of the adjustment mechanism lasting as I think it would be a weak point and likely break or fail.

adjustable water bottle holder

Speaking of failing … one trike rider recently reported that he rides thru the winter in bitter cold temperatures. He said that the plastic holders will shatter in the sub zero weather so he has to use metal holders. For me, I think I would be more concerned about myself shattering going out in that kind of weather. 🙂

There are also holders which strap the bottle in securely. They work okay, but it is not likely that you could readily and easily get a bottle out of it while riding along.

strapped in water bottle holder

I use an elastic wristband around my stainless steel bottle  to hold it securely in the vertical mounted holder on my seat back so it can’t “pop out” hitting a bump. It is still easy to remove from the holder if I want to do so while riding. Of course, I use the water bottle located on top of the boom as my main source until I empty it. I might add that it rides okay in that holder. So far it has never popped out of it hitting a bump.

wristband on water bottle water-bottle-in-holder-with-elastic-band

I mentioned the stainless steel water bottles I use made by Thermos. You can see one of them in the picture above. I have written about all this before. Again, not all stainless steel water bottles are created equal, especially if you like having ice cold water with you. I have used other stainless and aluminum water bottles and they did not do well at all keeping ice from melting quickly. The Thermos brand bottles will do so for 2 to 3 days although I think they lose their ability to keep ice that long as they age. Mine will only keep ice now for 1 to 2 days. That is still quite good when compared to most other water bottles. The insulated plastic water bottles are a joke as far as their ability to keep ice from melting. I had 3 of them. They barely performed any better than the plain ol’ plastic water bottles. They did good to last 2 to 3 hours before the ice was melted.

I also have a pile of broken aluminum water bottle holders. Don’t ask me why I am holding onto them. Hmmmm, what is scrap aluminum selling for nowadays? Many years ago I would have repair welded them, but alas, I no longer have the welding equipment to do it.

If you are looking for good quality water bottle holders I highly recommend the ones I use. Most LBS stock them and you can, of course, order them online. They come in various colors (white, black, blue, red, and yellow). Sometimes you can even find them in a color which matches your trike. I didn’t find any green so I opted for the white. Besides, white doesn’t absorb heat like darker colors. Every little bit helps when it comes to helping the water to remain cold.

plastic water bottle holders

Stay well hydrated so you can  …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

CHAIN LUBRICATION

WD-40 not recommended

Selecting a chain lubricant is not as bad as selecting a over the counter pain reliever or cold/cough medication, but there sure are a whole lot more choices out there than there used to be which greatly complicates things. I am not here to recommend one over the other as I certainly am no expert on the subject. If you are looking for recommendations you might try checking out reports such as this one.

There are products classified as wet lubes, dry lubes, wax lubes, ceramic lubes, Teflon lubes and probably others I know not of. I purposely selected WD-40 for the picture above just to see if I could get a response out of anyone. WD-40 is a great product, but it certainly is not recommended for chain lubrication (nor is 3 in 1 oil pictured among the lubes in another picture further below). That being said I want to make sure I communicate that I am talking about the original WD-40 product most of us are familiar with. In recent years the makers of WD-40 have come out with a whole line of products made specifically for bicycles.

wd40 bike products

I myself have been using one of their chain lubes and I really like it. They offer both a wet and a dry product. The two most common chain lubricants are the dry type and the wet type. Depending upon what kind of riding we do (where we ride) one might be preferable over the other. HERE is a short article on this subject. If we ride in rain, mud, and/or snow we should use a wet lube. Switching from wet to dry (or dry to wet) lubes is permissible, but the chain should be thoroughly cleaned first.

We do need to be careful what we use as we can gum up the drive train if we use the wrong thing. Of course, a part of all of this is also very much tied into keeping the chain clean as well as properly lubricated. I have written about chain cleaning previously.

variety of lubes

Wet lubes pick up dirt and grit from the road and other surfaces we ride on so the chain will be messier if they are used. Dry lubes can wash off in a heavy rain. They are a little more difficult and time consuming to apply and have to cure up after application before the cycle can be ridden. It is recommended waiting 3 to 4 hours before riding. Properly applied and by wiping the chain down periodically dry lube will last a long time providing you stay away from rain or mud. Teflon and wax lubes also need to harden before they are ready to work in lubricating the chain.

Most of us probably use too much of the lube products when we apply them. I am sure I do. I am bad at not following the directions. I put a lot on and don’t wipe any off. I just take off riding with the chain loaded up with the lubricant. I usually use a wet type lubricant which means the chain can be messy. Any excess oil doesn’t seem to last long however so it is not a problem as far as I am concerned. I usually apply the lubricant while I am out riding as that is when it usually comes to mind in my case. Another thing about the WD-40 wet chain lube I use is that it smells good. After using it I can smell it for awhile as I ride. Of course, if one happens to be riding past a hog farm it really doesn’t make that much difference. 🙂

Don’t be like the owner of this bike and neglect cleaning and lubrication of the drive train.

nasty bike chain

Keep your chain properly maintained and it will help you …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

CATRIKE GETS A NICE WRITEUP

Catrike just recently received a nice writeup … a feature story … in the August edition of the AWS Welding Journal publication. It is entitled “Trikes Take To Welding”. You will find it to be a “good read” as it addresses some of the technical aspect of Catrikes and shares a lot about the awesome engineering that goes into Catrike trikes. Click HERE to read the article.

Welding Journal

VEE TIRES FOR TADPOLE TRIKES

As much as I love Schwalbe tires and most especially the Schwalbe Marathon Plus there are other tires available for our tadpole trikes. Among them are Vee tires. Vee Tire Company makes several different tires including FAT tires. They have over 30 years of experience in the tire manufacturing industry. They make tires for automobiles, motorcycles and bicycles. In addition to their website they have a Facebook page. Their email address is: info@veetireco.com      I see that they are headquartered in Atlanta, Ga.

Among their offerings are:

MK3

Vee Tire MK3

MK3 … Available in an incredible number of different sizes ranging from very narrow to balloon tires. Here is what they say about this tire:

This tire boasts incredible sidewall strength using our honeycomb sidewall
technology. The MK3 is a timeless BMX classic whose performance does not disappoint.

****************

Speedster

Vee Tire Speedster

Speedster … Here is what they say about this tire:

The Speedster was designed for rolling speed and minimal drag on hard
pack or paved terrain. The honeycomb center tread provides virtually zero
rolling resistance and unbelievable tread life. The honeycomb feature also
gives you excellent traction in dry or wet conditions. Large diamond shaped
side knobs provide the grip you need in corners, while the tread knobs get
smaller towards the center for the ultimate speed and traction.

Obviously these tires are designed for bicycles (which lean when turning) and not for trikes. That is not to say they can’t be used on a trike as nearly all tires used on trikes were designed for bicycles. The only exception to this I know of is the Schwalbe Tryker tire which was designed specifically for trikes.

****************

Zilent

Vee Tire Zilent

Zilent … Here is what they say about this tire:

With innovation adopted from our automotive and motorcycle technology,
Zilent features special compounds for a low rolling resistance while its state of-the-art construction provides high load capacity and added strength for flat resistance. Its innovative tread makes this a quiet tire and offers angled super grip for revolutionary cornering capabilities.

****************

Baldy

Vee Tire Baldy

Baldy … Here is what they say about this tire:

The Vee Tire Co. Baldy is designed with a smooth surface for minimal rolling
resistance and water release grooves on the sides. This tire is optimal for all
weather conditions as the water grooves also double as traction for loose terrain.

****************

Capsule

Vee Tire Capsule

Capsule … available in 20 X 2.25  Here is what they say about this tire:

Smooth enough to kill the street and just enough bite to ride the dirt. The Capsule was designed for all three surfaces  — street, dirt & ramp. 100 psi has never felt so good.

That being said I find confusion … their webpage shows 2.25 while elsewhere I found 2.35 instead of 2.25.  One place on their website shows 100 psi while another shows 65 psi.

****************

I guess I should not be surprised at this as the .pdf webpage I refer to further below does not list the Baldy tire at all. It most definitely is one of their tires that is available in several 406 sizes. Speaking of 406 sizes …

A word of caution … when ordering 20 inch tires make sure they are 406 and not 451. Recumbent wheels are 406 while BMX bicycle wheels are 451. A 451 tire is much larger in diameter and won’t fit on a recumbent wheel which is 406. The picture below shows a 451 inner tube in a 406 tire. As you can see there is too much inner tube to fit inside the tire. My understanding of the sizes is as follows: a fractional size such as 20 X 1 3/8 is a 451 while a decimal size such as 20 X 1.5 is a 406. So as long as the size is shown in decimals it should be a 406.

451 inner tube in 406 tire

I have not studied in great detail all the different tires Vee Tire Company offers and therefore I don’t know all the different tires they have which will fit on a tadpole trike. If you are interested in their tires you will have to research it yourself to be certain the tire you have in mind will fit and perform satisfactory. Some of their tires only come in larger diameters and not in 20 inch.  As far as I know the ones I have featured above all are available in 20 inch sizes.

VEE tires has a .pdf webpage which lists all their tires and has the size shown (406) for those tires which will work on a recumbent wheel. It is on page 37. Just look under the column  ETRTO to locate 406.

By the way, even if the tire is a 406 there could possibly be a problem width-wise if you go too narrow or too wide. If you are not certain check with someone knowledgeable of such things.

BTW, as I stated early on … they also make FAT tires which I believe some are only available in 26 inch and others are available in both 26 and 24 inch. They are available in “snowshoe”, “speedster”, “bulldozer”, “hillbilly” and “Vees” (two different patterns). With the exception of the Speedster all the others are knobby tires with varying tread patterns.

Vee Tire FAT tires

The H-Billy (shown on right below) is the most aggressive knobby among them.

Vee Tire FAT bulldozer & h-billy tires

Vees FAT tires

Vee Tire FAT Vees tires

So if you have a hankerin’ to try some other tires on your tadpole trike you might want to look into VEE Tires. As for me, I am sticking with the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires as I still think they are the best tire money can buy. With them I just …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

OH FOR SOME SHADE

high heat thermometer

Sunshine on my shoulders, in my face, on top of my head, on my arms, legs … all over me. That’s okay when it is 30 degrees F., but when it is hot and humid it makes it mighty uncomfortable out there riding as well as dangerous and even deadly. Consequently I can’t go along with the song lyrics of it making me happy.

So I ask ya … which trail would you prefer to be riding on?

sunshine vs shade

There certainly is a world of difference. That shade feels soooooooo good! Actually these pictures are of the same trail (Maumee Pathway near Fort Wayne, Indiana). Fortunately it is mostly shaded. And it is my favorite local trail to ride, especially during the summer months when it is hot. I mostly ride on it just so I can be in the shade and take advantage of the cooler temperatures found there. I would guess that about 6.5 miles of the 8 miles or so I usually ride back and forth on is well shaded and another 1/2 of a mile is somewhat shaded.  And depending upon what time of the day one is riding out there some of the remaining trail is shaded for awhile.

Now I ask ya, doesn’t that look inviting?

shaded trail

and this?

shaded trail 4

Over exposure to the heat is dangerous and deadly. So be careful while out riding when it is quite hot and humid. Be sure to stay well hydrated and avoid being out under direct sunlight anymore than necessary. We need the sun, but be respectful of it as it can do a number on you. Heat can make you feel miserable and even kill you. I am not a medically trained person, but I know that if we start to feel overly hot, flushed and weak we need to stop and find shade to get relief from the heat. We should do something to help cool down our bodies, especially our heads. Pouring water over us or soaking a cloth of some sort to use to wipe ourselves with will help. We should relax and allow ourselves to cool down and recuperate before trying to go on. If we are by ourselves it is most important that we discipline ourselves as we have no one to give us aid should we need it. If we are with others we need to watch out for one another as there may be signs we miss that someone else picks up on. Slowing up and not keeping up the pace may be such a sign as heat can zap our strength.

sweating on trail

The older we get the more we need to be concerned about all of this. Even so a young person can be overcome by heat exposure. A 12 year old boy died from the high heat while hiking on a trail just recently out near Phoenix, Arizona.

We all want to safely …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

Oh, before ending this article I want to mention the use of canopies. They do help in comfort while riding. I certainly have nothing against them and would myself like to have one on my trike. However, I can’t for a couple of different reasons I won’t go into here. What I want to point out is that they only offer immediate shade and usually only partial shade at best as they don’t shade all of the body. And the bigger factor is since it is only local shade and not constant shade over the entire area where we are riding they don’t lower the temperature. It is still hot. I really enjoy riding along a very shaded trail as it feels so much more comfortable than out under the sun. The difference is temperature can be considerable.

handheld umbrella shade

trike rag top 2

WHO’S FOOLING WHO?

Many of us know the popular commercial where we hear the words “It’s not nice to fool mother nature!” Well, I am here to tell you that it works both ways. It is not nice for mother nature to fool us. Of course, sometimes it is a case of “mine eyes deceiveth me”.

sun rays shining down thru tree foliage 3 marked

While riding along a trail I frequently see “something” up ahead which from a distance appears to be another person. As I get closer I discover that it was not another person at all, but rather it was a tree, a bush or a sign of some sort … something other than what it first appeared as from a distance. Often times there was sun shining on it … a matter of the sun managing to find its way down thru the tree foliage and illuminating just a small area in the midst of an otherwise dark shaded area. I also see what appears to be litter along the trail which I am prepared to pick up to properly dispose of it. As I get closer I discover it is only a leaf that the sun is shining on which makes it stand out and take on the appearance of man made material … litter … out there on or alongside of the trail. It is not such a big deal except sometimes I have slowed way down to retrieve it only to find out it was for nothing and I have to expend all the effort to get going again and back up to speed. Another thing that happens frequently is seeing a bright green or yellowish color in an otherwise dark shaded area. I am thinking it is another person wearing one of the safety florescent colored shirts or jackets. But no, it turns out to be sunlight striking some green vegetation and once again fooling me.

sun rays shining down thru tree foliage marked

Yep, I find that mother nature likes to play tricks on me. Oh well, I guess it adds to the riding enjoyment while out there. One thing for sure … I am not going to let it keep me from …

KEEPING ON TRIKIN’

SLOW MOTION CRASHES

slow motion capture of car hitting bicycle slow motion capture of car hitting bicycle 2

Here is a video from the Institute of Traffic Accidents Investigators slow motion video from crash day 2016 at Bruntingthorpe Airfield and Proving Ground in Leicestershire England. iX Cameras was pleased to supply the cameras and videographers to capture each impact.

Filmed at 2000 frames per second on an i-SPEED 716

I don’t know what it would look like with a tadpole trike involved. Here are some trikes that were involved in wrecks with cars/trucks:

This first one is Matt Galat‘s trike.

Matt's trike after wreck 4

ICE trike smashed up

As you can readily see the cyclist is no match for the car. It is quite terrifying to watch this as the slow motion really makes it clear what is happening. Hopefully we can avoid this scenario and …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

Be cautious and ride as if your life depends upon it.

because we ride

SIDE MOUNT KITS

Side_Mount_Expedition reduced

Convenience … that is what this is all about. Having some of the things we use most often right at our side within easy reach. Well, you can have it thanks to Steve Sussman at FinerRecliner. He offers them for Catrike trikes at this time. Here is one on a Villager …

Villager_w-CURVE_and_sidemount

Here is what Steve says about this product he sells:

This is a great way to keep snacks, camera, phone, gloves and other bring-alongs right at your fingertips, accessible while you ride…you don’t even need to get up!

The side mount kit accepts just about any brand handlebar bag. And it’s adjustable so you can set the bag height, fore-to-aft location and distance from the seat to suit you.

The kit’s “L” tube is also a great place to mount a beverage bottle.
We include the Topeak bottle bracket mount with each kit. And then
you can choose the cage that will work best for you.

The kit includes a 130mm mtb stem, “L” tube of 6061 thin wall
aluminum, end caps and the Topeak bottle cage mount.

Side Mount Kit for Catrikes – “L” tube, mtb stem, Topeak bottle cage mount………………………………………$53.00

side mount bar without bag on it

For those with a Catrike who are interested in this note that the bag is very exposed to all kinds of crud coming off of the front tire as it is in a direct path of whatever is being thrown off of the tire. Even with fenders I think it would get crud on it. Never the less, I am sure this would be very handy for many riders. I just wanted to point this out so that others would be aware of it.

Side_Mount_yellow trike

There you have it. So if you have a hankerin’ for one or two of these (one on each side) they are available. Now you know. 🙂

Hey, if it will help you to … KEEP ON TRIKIN’ … I am all for it.

JaYoe REVISTED

JaYoe! icon

have posted a little about Matt Galat’s trike adventures previously, but haven’t been doing much more in the way of updates, etc. on him. You can read and see videos about him on this blog. Here is a listing of my previous postings from most recent to oldest:

JaYoe! … Just Add Fuel

The JaYoe Nation Podcast

JaYoe … New Trike and Trailer

Hit From Behind By Truck

Matt’s World Triking Adventure

Epic Adventure on a Tadpole Trike

Steve Greene’s TrikeAsylum blog has been doing a good job covering all that is going on so I figure there is not much sense of my doing so also. I myself usually do all my “keeping up” thru his blog. Those who have been following Matt’s story know that he has already started out twice on his world tour via tadpole trike which will take him thru about 100 countries from China to the United States. Both times thus far he has had to interrupt his trike journey. The first attempt ended when he was hit from behind by a big truck. He received a broken collar bone out of that mishap. After surgery, recuperation and reoutfitting he started off on his second attempt, but it ended when he developed knee problems. Some more time has passed and he has been recuperating in anticipation of round three. Meanwhile another adventure he had planned during his world trike tour was to climb Mt. Everest. No, not on his trike, but on foot. He did attempt it, but that too ended prematurely as he had some problems develop and had to turn back. Never the less, my hat is off to him for even attempting it. Not many of us would be up to doing something like that. But Matt is no ordinary person as you can see by just looking at  the “selfie” he took I have shown below.

alien facelift

Matt is a great photographer and videographer. The picture above attests to that. 🙂 (Can you ever forgive me, Matt?) Seriously Matt creates some great videos which are always well done and interesting. You can check them out HERE.

Here is one video which pretty much covers his story up until now …

If you are interested in his attempt at climbing Mt. Everest you can watch his video HERE. And HERE is the Google Maps Street View of the route thru the small village where the climbers walk to and from the base camp of Mt. Everest.

I am sure that we all wish him well and that he will be able to continue on with his epic journey safely and successfully completing it. And may we all just …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

Matt just announced July 25th, 2016 that his current plan

is to restart his world tour trike journey in April 2017.

TRAIL PLANNING

paved trail thru green trees

Bike (multi-use) trails are great and have become very popular. They are ever increasing as community leaders and planners recognize their value. Many additional trails are planned for the future, but it is a slow process building them. There are various reasons why it is such a slow process. First of all and most prominent among the reasons is that they are very expensive to build. The cost of a five-foot bicycle lane can range from approximately $5,000 to $535,000 per mile, with an average cost around $130,000. And that is only 5 feet wide. Most trails being built here in the U.S. are anywhere from 8 to 12 feet wide. Our local trails where I live average about $142 per linear foot. That is nearly $750,000 per mile. I have seen various figures … $150,000 per mile for a 10 foot wide trail. Cost per mile differs based on many factors, including right-of-way acquisition, engineering, and other environmental factors. I just asked the person in charge of our local trails what the cost is. Here is her answer:

On the cost per mile, it really varies.  If it’s a locally-funded project, then it’s generally $400,000 – $500,000 per mile.  If it’s federally-funded, then it can be $800,000 – $1,000,000 per mile.  When you have boardwalks, bridges and/or retaining walls, that really increases the cost.  I would say use $500,000 per mile as an estimate, but that is ONLY construction.  You need to add in engineering and right of way.   I’d add $125,000 for engineering and $150,000 for right of way.  This brings the total to $775,000 per mile.  So, you are looking at about $147 or $150 per lineal foot.

So I was very close in what I stated above. I just took a look at the current trail planning for our area and I added up all of what is listed. It totals over 32 miles. We currently have nearly 90 miles of trails I think.

benefits of trails

It is no secret that we are living in uncertain and troubled economic times. This greatly effects trail building as the money just isn’t there as much as it used to be. Quite frankly I am amazed that new trails are being built with all the economic woes that beset us. One of the things which is helping is the fact that some of the trail building is part of a road widening and/or improvement project the state or federal govt. is doing so they are covering the expense involved so that the local government doesn’t have to.

There are factors which add considerable expense and challenge to trail building. Crossing a busy road may require a bridge like pictured here. We have a local trail project which will require something like this, but larger so it will be very challenging. It is also in a much busier area and far more developed than the area in this picture.

bike trail bridge over busy road Wooster, Ohio

And dealing with a marshy wetland area or such may require extensive boardwalks.

wooden boardwalk

Crossing rivers and creeks may require a bridge … again, something that is not inexpensive to build.

unique bridge over river on bike trail

Of course, sometimes there are already existing bridges such as abandoned railroad bridges which can be used and save considerable expense.

railroad bridge used for bike trail

Sometimes a road bridge can be altered and a bike trail included in it. Here is a trail project which involved incorporating the trail into the bridge when it was rebuilt recently. The red line shows the trail. The yellow line is a wide sidewalk which runs along the road for a distance.

St. Joe Ctr. Rd. bridge Rivergreenway Trail marked

In addition to building the trails it costs a lot of money to maintain them. Most trails need to be mowed and the weeds kept under control. Up north snow must be plowed off of them if they are to remain open and usable. Repair to the surface including repaving is required periodically. Trees which fall onto the trails must be removed and any damage caused must be repaired.

nh boardwalk tree damage 2

Some trails flood over making a huge muddy mess of them which has to be cleaned off of them. Here is a section of one of our local trails trail which floods frequently and has about 7  foot of water over it (higher than I can reach).

just add water

Sometimes some pretty serious problems develop involving trails and pose big problems and expense. Trails which run alongside of rivers can experience bank erosion threatening the trail and the safety of trail users. If it can not be stopped and corrected and the trail surface repaired the trail may have to be closed or rerouted if that is possible. Even if it is possible it is not always something there are funds available to accomplish. Here is my trike posing to show the opening in the trail caused by river bank erosion. It is all repaired now and repaved.

Maumee Pathway river bank erosion problem my trike front wheel down in opening

It doesn’t help any when so many trail users litter throwing their trash all over the place instead of carrying it with them until they get to some place where they can properly dispose of it. Somebody has to clean that up. I pick it up nearly everyday while I am out riding. It is quite disgusting. Some trails have volunteers who do this, but some have paid employees that taxpayers fund to clean up the litter. People are something else. I constantly see litter thrown down on the ground within a few feet of a trash can provided along the trail.

trash along trail 2

Broken glass is a huge problem, especially for cyclists.

broken-glass-on-pavement-2

And then there is the problem of vandalism and theft which also requires a good sum of money to fix and replace. Again it is usually taxpayers who foot the bill. Here is a fence along a trail that somebody destroyed.

vandalized fence along trail

Getting back to trail planning … oftentimes there is a “master plan” … what I would call “the big plan” or “big picture”. What I am talking about is the trail network connecting together so that a trail user can navigate and travel about mostly if not all on trails and not have to use streets and roads. Of course, all that trail network is a long way off and who knows if it will ever materialize. It is nice to know that it is being planned. Here is a map showing trails planned for Indiana where I live. (sorry for the blurriness)

Indiana trails

Here is another map of it although it isn’t much better quality.

Indiana northern planned trail network

Indiana southern planned trail network

Here is an interesting statistic … as of July 2013, 97.9 percent of all Indiana residents live within 7.5 miles of a trail and 93.2 percent live within five miles of a trail. That is pretty amazing when you stop to think about it. I mean … who would have thought this could be the case?

Hey, with all these trails popping up there is no excuse to not …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’  🙂🙂

TRAIL RULES DON’T APPLY

Trail Rules sign

Did you know that trail rules don’t apply? That sure seems to be the attitude and position many take. I find this especially true among bicyclists. I would estimate that about 75 % of bicyclists do not obey the trail rules such as giving a warning they are passing other trail users. They obviously don’t believe the trail rules apply to them. Then there are those on foot who pay no attention to the instruction to stay to the right  except when passing. Many meander all over the place making it impossible for other trail users to get by them without them getting over out of the way. Other trail users walk abreast of each other and take up the whole width of the trail. Many trail users have earbuds in their ears and can’t hear anything other than what they are listening to. The trail rules don’t apply to them either. Then there are dog owners … oh … they are something else. The trail rules (not to mention the state law where I live) require them to keep their dogs on a short leash under their control. But ol’ Fido gets to run free and just do whatever he wants including attacking cyclists and walking or running right out in front of them causing them to wreck. Definitely there are a whole lot of dog owners who don’t think the trail rules apply to them. One of my really big pet peeves is when they allow their dogs to poop right on the trail and then just walk away and leave it there. Now I don’t blame the dog, but I sure do blame them. What kind of a person would do such a thing? I would like to take a hold of them and shove their face right down in that pile of poop. Yeah, that is what I would like to do.

I find some folks have some very interesting attitudes and thinking about trail rules. Recently one person stated that the rules are “archaic” and senseless. That would be laughable if they weren’t serious. I believe most people would disagree with such a notion regarding trail rules … saying just the opposite. Rules are very much needed. People being rebellious by nature and “unrestrained” will self destruct and do major damage in society. So I say to anyone who thinks the rules don’t apply to them and are stupid or senseless you are guilty of “stinkin’ thinkin’ ” and are seriously in need of an attitude adjustment.

Trail Rules sign 2

There is nothing archaic or senseless about trail rules. They exist for very good reason. And none of us are exempt from them. God has commanded us to obey those in authority over us as long as man’s laws don’t violate His laws and commandments to us.

don't tune out

Just as I started writing this article I received an email from our local trails authority which included a list of the trail rules. Here is a portion of the email …

“Below are some fundamental rules that will help keep everyone safe:

+Walk and Roll on the Right. Pass on the Left.
+Use Bell or Voice When Passing. Slow down, allow the trail user to react and then pass the person on the left.
+Don’t Tune Out. Music is a great way to pass the miles but make sure you can still hear. Leave an ear bud out or keep your music low enough to hear other trail users.
+Use Caution on Blind Corners. When encountering a blind corner, slow down, stay right and use your bell or voice to say that you are proceeding. +Never pass on a blind corner or hill.
+Doggone it, Mind Your Pets. Keep your pet leashed and be sure to clean up after it. Dispose of the waste in a receptacle. Never, ever litter.”

They all make perfect sense to me … nothing archaic about them. The only thing I will say is concerning the “on your left”  announcement I think needs some improvement as it can be confusing to some people. I usually say “coming up behind you and will be passing on your left side”. Of course, many trail users have earbuds in their ears and don’t hear anything I say even though I say it loudly. Some people are on the left side of the trail so it isn’t possible to pass them on the left. If people would just obey the rules it would make everything so much better. We need to read and heed. One way or the other let’s all just try to get along out on the trails and …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

I will admit that every once in a while I come across signs that get my attention 🙂

stupid signs 1

danger thin ice 2

no parking beyond this sign

uphill-both-ways1

RECUMBENT RALLIES & EVENTS

There are more and more recumbent rallies and events starting up all the time and most are an annual thing. A few are very popular, organized and well attended. Some of them have become annual and are well known and attended.

Here are two online sources I have found that list recumbent rallies and events:

http://www.rtrmag.com/events.htm
http://www.reversegearinc.com/events-calendar/

And you can always find them by doing a Google search.

Among the “biggies” is the Heart of Texas (HOT) rally …

The Midwest Recumbent Rally is another large and popular rally …

And sometimes there is even educational gatherings of various sorts (1 of 4 videos) …

And there is help with mechanical information on maintenance and repair …

Good tips, instructions and information are always appreciated.

There are even recumbent tandem rallies …

Yes, with the great increase in popularity of tadpole trikes and other recumbents more and more planned organized activities are taking place. So, do keep your eyes and ears open and just maybe some of us will meetup at one or more of the meetups. And may we all …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

IT’S JUST A HILL … GET OVER IT

steep hill 2

saw those words printed on shirts you can buy and thought they were pretty “catchy”. I think most riders would agree that it is a lot more fun and enjoyable going down a hill than it is climbing it. Many have reported reaching some pretty fast speeds on their descent. I am talking 40 to 50 plus mph. Velomobile riders have reported reaching speeds in excess of 70 mph. Going down the longest steepest hill I know of around here where I live the highest speed I have ever obtained is only about 28 mph. Here below is a picture of the hill I speak of. Looking at the hill one would think that it would yield higher speeds than that. I have only ridden my trike on it once as it is a distance away and not someplace I normally ride.

Tonkel Rd. hill 2

It is said and is quite true that we must climb the hill enduring the challenge and difficulty in order to enjoy the fun and thrill of going down it. Climbing a steep hill only using our human power can indeed be challenging. And certainly our ability to do so depends upon our physical condition and the gearing we have available. Low gearing is a must for hill climbing.

This is a 3 speed internal hub with  a 10 cog rear cassette … totaling 90 speeds. I would love to have something like this on my trike.

3-speed-hub-with-cassettes

I would settle for 81 speeds. The option to shift the internal hub instantly changing the available gear down lower would be a ‘godsend’ as they say.

My tadpole trike came with 27 ‘speeds’ (3 chainrings in the front and 9 cogs in the rear cassette). The newer ones are 30 speeds as they have a rear cassette of 10 cogs. They come with a 34 tooth cog as the largest diameter sprocket on the rear cassette. My trike originally had a 32 tooth sprocket as the largest cog on the rear cassette. I later changed it to 34 tooth which definitely helped a little bit with hill climbing. Still I could really use a smaller chain ring on the front. The hills I normally climb here where I live are not anything like the one in the picture above. I would definitely need lowing gearing to tackle something like that. Either that or I would have to make numerous stops to rest. That is one thing good about riding a tadpole trike. Stopping to rest doesn’t involve having to “dismount” and then struggle to get started again like a bicyclist does. And we don’t have to concern ourselves with balancing while going slow. We can climb a hill just as slow as we can manage the pedaling involved … perhaps at 1.5 mph … maybe even slower for some of us. Try that on a bicycle.

50 tooth cog on rear cassette

In the picture above you are looking at a 50 tooth cog . I have seen 42 and 44 tooth sprockets for the rear cassette and just now I found this 50 tooth. Given enough traction and strength in the trike build I would think that a person could just about “pull stumps” out of the ground with that low gearing. 🙂 Of course, one must keep in mind that when talking about a derailleur system the rear derailleur can only handle so much gear range. Going with such a large sprocket on the rear means that the largest front chain ring would have to be smaller in order for the rear derailleur to handle things. (I have an article on rear derailleur capacity.) So what you would gain in low gearing you would lose in high gearing (fastest speed obtainable). If we live/ride somewhere that has lots of hills to climb and yet we also like to go as fast as we possibly can we have a bit of a problem. Solutions are available, but they are not cheap. There are two and three speed internal hubs for the crankset as well as various internal hubs for the rear wheel. Some fabulous gearing combinations can be had for a price … more than what some trikes cost.

Many of us have one or more hills to contend with … GET OVER ‘EM! … and                                                   KEEP ON TRIKIN’

NEW ARTICLE POSTING SCHEDULE

am just letting readers of this blog know that I have decided to try to post new articles twice a week … on Tuesdays and Fridays. I am not promising anything, but rather will see how it goes. Thanks again for your support, understanding and patience in all of this. There have just been times I haven’t felt like doing this … just quitting altogether, but then there are times I do feel like continuing it on. At the very least I have often felt like I just need to step back for awhile and coast. I am just trying to work thru it. I have two new postings prepared and scheduled at this time and as stated they will appear Tuesday and Friday. If I find that this is more than I care to do I may reduce the new article postings down to only one per week.

WHAT IF THIS WERE MY LAST POSTING ON THIS BLOG?

Anyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time knows that I have talked about stopping my ongoing involvement in coming up with new postings. Some would say it was unwise to do so. However, I believe in being upfront, open and honest with people. When I first started this blog I didn’t know what to expect. And after writing on it for about 9 months (I think) I found myself somewhat depressed and feeling beaten up and so I made the decision to discontinue it. I also made the decision to totally delete the blog thereby losing all my hard work in creating what I had up to that point. I did have some saved text files of pages I had created, but much of what I had written previously was gone forever. A very few weeks past by before I realized that I had blown it when I deleted the blog. I also made the decision to start it back up even though it meant starting from scratch. I have been back at it now for quite some time and have seen the number of visitors increase to where people in about 174 countries (out of a total of 196) have visited it. And number of visits each day has steadily increased as well. I never would have dreamed that this would happen. And yet I am sure that these numbers pale when compared to many other blogs which are far more popular and read than this one.

I have enjoyed writing and producing this blog, but I keep coming to the place where I feel tired of writing and trying to continue it. I am not saying to you that I will never write anything more in this blog as I think I have learned to never say never again. I have made the decision though to stop writing and posting new material temporarily. I will leave the blog up this time. This may be my last posting for awhile and so I have pondered over what should I write about. This blog is about tadpole trikes and I have tried to discipline myself and not write about much of anything else.

 … I HAVE GOT GOOD NEWS TO SHARE …

It is possible that this may be my last opportunity to communicate with you and so I want to be sure I say something meaningful and important. I want to share with you what is on my heart. If we never interact again I want to be sure that I have faithfully conveyed the good news to you. What is the good news, you ask? The good news is simply that “God loves you!”. I am talking about the one and only true God Who is the God of the Holy Scriptures … not Allah, Buddha, Confucius, or any other false god of which there are 1000s.

His Word tells us …
For God so loved the world (you and I) that He gave His only unique Son (Jesus Christ) to be a propitiation for our sin. For those who don’t know the meaning of the word propitiation here is the definition: “the turning away of God’s wrath by an offering that satisfies and appeases Him. God loves us, but He hates sin. Because He is holy and pure He can’t allow sin in His presence. We are all sinners. We are born with a sin nature, that is, it is our nature to sin. We can’t help it. One of my favorite gospel tracts is entitled “One Way”. It is mostly pictures and does an excellent job illustrating the sin problem and why we need salvation that God offers us thru Jesus Christ. You can read (see) the tract HERE. Or you can simply watch this video. As you can see it tells the story of man from the beginning in the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve dwelled. They disobeyed God and in doing sin came into the picture for them, their children and on down thruout mankind as the world’s population grew.

HERE is another version of this tract on YouTube which has a song playing. It is a good song, but I didn’t want to post it here as I think it is distracting to watching the video.

Yes, if this were to be my last posting on this blog I want to be sure that I have communicated to you that Jesus loves you. He left heaven to come to earth to carry out the plan of salvation. I explain it all in great detail in my personal testimony you can read HERE. I very much invite you to read my testimony as it explains why we need to be saved and how God planned from the beginning to provide salvation for us.

Whether people want to believe and accept it or not we are living in the End Times and are quickly approaching the very end of this age. Denying it, rejecting it, believing something different doesn’t change anything. Truth is truth. God has spoken and He is faithful to His Word. He has said what will happen and we are seeing it happen before our eyes. The problem is too many of us go thru life like a horse wearing blinders on their eyes. The proof/evidence is all around us and we are without excuse.

horse wearing blinders 3

God is very angry over sin and He will judge it. Again, in His Word He tells us that He is coming back to earth in His righteous anger to pour out His wrath on those who have rejected His gift of salvation thru Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:8-9). Right now today He is offering His gift free to us. We can’t buy it. We can’t earn it. All we can do is accept it. I emphasize the word today because we have no promise of tomorrow. God says that if we die in our sins we will face the consequences He has warned us of.

gift offered

If I were holding out a gift to you you would not actually possess it until you reached out and took it from me. The same is true of the gift of salvation that Jesus offers. We must “receive Him” into our hearts and lives.

There are lots of resources available for further reading on my other blog I call “Truth to Ponder“.

I know that there will be those who read this post and get upset, even furious over it. Believe it or not, I used to be such a person myself. I am reminded of a story about a family being sound asleep in their home all comfortable snugly in their beds. It is the wee hours of the morning when a motorist is passing by. The motorist sees flames shooting out of the house so he drives up near the house and gets out running up to the front door banging on the door and yelling “Fire! Fire! Wake up and get out there while you can!”. He then runs around to windows banging on them … continuing to yell … all in an effort to alert the people inside so they can safely get out and be spared a horrible fate. Now those people inside could do two things. They could awaken and get out of the house while they can and be ever so appreciative of the passerby for stopping, awakening and warning them of the peril they face … or they could get angry for disturbing their good night’s sleep … after all they were so comfortable lying there undisturbed sound asleep.

Every single human being who has or ever will live (has been conceived) has eternal life. We will all spend eternity somewhere. The grave is not the end as some foolishly believe. That “somewhere” comes down to two choices … heaven with God or … in eternal anguish in the Lake of Fire apart from God. God will judge sin. Each and every one of us will stand before the Judgement Seat of Jesus Christ and give account for our lives. Those who die “in their sins” will not partake of the great things God has prepared for those who have obeyed the gospel and received Jesus as Lord and Savior. Yes, God loves us. He proved His great love for us when He died a horrific death on a wooden cross while we were still sinning before Him. So I ask you, if you have not already received God’s free gift of salvation, “what will you do with Jesus Christ?” You can’t be neutral. Jesus said that we are either for Him or against Him. It is my prayer that those who read this last posting on this blog will seriously and sincerely take a look at this matter of salvation and eternity. There is no more important thing I could be sharing with you.

I end with these words recorded in John 3:18 …
“He who **believes** in Him (Jesus) is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only begotten(unique) Son of God.” – New American Standard Bible (NASB)

**believes** as used here is not simply a matter of belief in one’s head, but rather it is a matter of fully embracing Jesus in one’s heart, trusting in Him and giving one’s self totally to Him in full commitment and devotion.

John 3:36

WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH JESUS? SOMEDAY YOUR HEART WILL BE ASKING, WHAT WILL HE DO WITH ME? The above verse of scripture provides the answer to that question. We can go thru our entire lives ignoring, denying, rejecting the TRUTH and justifying ourselves, but in the end we will bow our knees along with everyone else and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is LORD and fully agree with what He has said to us in His Word.

offer expires

Jesus Christ can be your Savior and best friend … or He can be (will be) your worst and deadliest enemy. We must all stand before Him in judgement. Yet it is not Jesus Who will be our judge. Rather it is the written Word of God which will be used by Him to judge us. The bible is no ordinary book. Man could not have written it (on his own) if he wanted to … and he would not have written it if he could have.

How will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?  Hebrews 2:3

It is a ·terrible [dreadful; terrifying] thing to fall into the hands of the living God.    Hebrews 10:31

Here are two excellent movies I highly recommend … “The Moment After” and it’s sequel “The Moment After 2″. They illustrate what is coming upon mankind and what people will face. I suggest that you watch the original before watching the sequel.
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Bible prophecy is fascinating as well as frightening … it is frightening for those who don’t know Jesus and have a personal relationship with Him. For those who do know Him personally bible prophecy is encouraging and reassuring. Jesus came to earth the first time some 2000 years ago. He came to provide salvation for sinful man. He is coming back to earth again … and soon … to pour out His wrath on sinful man who have rejected Him and the salvation He offered them. I mentioned earlier about the proof/evidence all around us that we are indeed very near the end of this age. HERE is a good article on the matter of all the evidence that Jesus’ return is imminent.

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This may or may not be my last posting on this blog. For now I am taking a break from it. Whether or not I continue on with it is unknown to me at this time. At this point in time what I am thinking about doing is reducing the number of scheduled new postings to one per week instead of three per week. I don’t know if it will be posted on a certain day of the week. I will just have to figure it out. Thank you for bearing with me. For now I think I can say along with Arnold … “I’ll be back”.  ……….. In fact, look for a new posting next Wed. July 13th and hopefully on each Wed. from then until I decide to do something different.

ENJOYING LIFE AT THE SPEED OF A TRIKE

trikes stopped along beach

Is life flashing past you? Maybe you need to slow up and enjoy life at the speed of a tadpole trike. I find it most rewarding and rejuvenating. God has said in His written word (the Holy Scriptures, the bible) that our life is like a vapor … here today, gone tomorrow. That certainly is true and the older we get the more we seem to notice it and agree with it. We eventually get to a point where we say to ourselves (and perhaps to others) … “where did our lives go? It seems like it was only a few years ago I was young and vibrant … able to do things I can no longer do … and remembering lots of differnet things in our past. There is nothing wrong with being busy just so we aren’t too busy. Being busy is better than being lazy and unproductive. Still though balance is needed in all things.

trikes stopped during group ride

One of the great benefits of riding a tadpole trike over a bicycle is the ability to somewhat safely “take in” more of our surroundings from our perch on the seat. Of course, like anything else there is a time we can do so and a time we need to pay full attention to our riding … for safety’s sake … ours as well as others.

Trike Hobo

Many of us know who this guy is. He refers to himself as “trike hobo”. That is somewhat fitting as one of the meanings of hobo is a carefree wanderer. I am sure he would readily testify as to the enjoyment he has experienced while riding his trikes.

tadpole trike pulling train

If you are a person who tends to speed along as fast as you can go maybe you need to hook up to something to slow you down like this triker did. (No, he isn’t really hooked up to the railroad car.)

So whether you are an international triker, a national triker, a regional triker or a local area triker like me by all means take advantage of the time spent in the saddle and enjoy all that you can each and every time you are out. Yes, enjoy life at the speed of a tadpole trike. And  do all that you can to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

HOW DO YOU STEER THAT THING?

Steve on moon with lunar rover tire tracks

am sure many of us have been asked that question by others. I sometimes reply “with the handlebars” and usually show them where the handlebars are at since they don’t seem to be able to figure it out for themselves. That is the short and simple answer to the question, but wait … there is more to it that that. I mean … SELF STEER, WE STEER, PEDAL STEER, BRAKE STEER, BODY STEER — THEY ALL STEER. Did you follow all of that? I am sure some of you did, but for the rest I will explain further. Let’s look at them one at a time.

I already mentioned the WE STEER and don’t think it needs any further explanation. We simply turn the handlebars and thus we steer the trike. The only thing I think I will add here is that if we hold onto the handlebars too tightly and are pedaling hard we can effect the steering thru the handlebars by simply moving them back and forth. We often won’t even realize we are doing this. Of course, direct steering vs. indirect steering will also make a difference. Usually direct steering is more sensitive to slight movement, especially at speed.

SELF STEER (self centering) – is simply the way the trike is designed. If designed and built correctly the front wheels should more less center themselves and go straight ahead on a flat smooth level surface. This is desirable.

PEDAL STEER – is when the trike tends to turn one way and then the other as we pedal along. This is the result of the boom flexing and effecting the forward line (path) of the trike as it moves along. This is something undesirable, but unfortunately it happens. Some trikes are far worse than others. That is because some trikes have a whole lot more flexing going on than others. Again, a well designed and built trike will have very little pedal steer. Pushing hard on the pedals results in a worse case of pedal steer. Shifting into a higher gear will decrease pedal steer. It is important not to grip the handlebars tightly as when pedaling we tend to input slight movement into the handlebars. Using just the fingertips can help us lesson our grip. Shorter crankarms will help reduce pedal steer. The more upright a person is sitting the more likely it is to experience pedal steer. Riding sitting as stationary in the seat as possible while pedaling and not swaying your upper body side to side in the seat will help reduce pedal steer. Just leaning to one side or the other will cause the trike to steer in the opposite direction. Again, depending upon the trike design some trikes are more sensitive to this input and will move about accordingly. So pedaling from the hips and not involving the upper body will eliminate most pedal steer. The further out the boom is extended (accommodating a tall person) the more likely it is to have an increase in pedal steer. “Mashing” (hard pushing) the pedals usually results in increasing pedal steer. It is far better to “spin” than to mash. The straighter we can push on the pedals the better. This may mean pulling our knees together inward somewhat and adjusting the position of our feet on the pedals as well. Pedal steer can be pretty much eliminated if we work on it.

Here is what Catrike says in the owners manual about some of this …

<> Riding tips: If you don’t have experience with recumbent tricycles, you may find that for the first few rides you experience noticeable pedal steer (pushing hard on the pedals makes the trike swerve) and brake steer (grabbing one brake harder than the other causes the trike to swerve). These two phenomena become much less noticeable as you gain experience. Pedal steer is minimized or eliminated by pedaling smoothly at a fairly high cadence, rather than mashing hard. Brake steer is minimized by braking smoothly and evenly…if the trike lurches under braking you’re overdoing it (it’s like driving your car…you don’t stand on the brakes every time you slow the car; rather, you learn to modulate the pressure so that the car does not lurch). The smoothest, most enjoyable ride comes when you learn not to over control the trike. The steering is very responsive, and does not require much input at all to make the trike change direction. The less you try to steer, the smoother the ride will be.

BRAKE STEER – occurs when only one brake is applied and the trike steers in the direction of the applied brake. This can be helpful when done properly by someone experienced and skillful. However, it can be quite dangerous as well, especially when it is done by someone not so experienced and skillful. It can be quite scary and lead to tragedy.

Here is what Catrike says in the owners manual about some of this …

<>  Brake Steering: Our frames are designed for a diminished brake steer effect. However keep in mind that the trike is not a heavy vehicle such as a car. It does not have hydraulic, electronics or self correcting mechanisms either. It is instead, a very light recreational vehicle with a mechanical steering linkage that carries a rider sometimes over 8 times its weight. Therefore the weight & dynamics of the driver can exert total control over the capabilities of the vehicle. It does demand that the rider develops proper riding skills, such as smooth pedaling, smooth steering and smooth breaking and that it is always conscious when riding. The Catrike has front brakes only, since in a breaking situation 90% of the weight is transferred to the front of the trike. The front brakes are also independent, meaning that you can break the right wheel only, or the left wheel only. Therefore, especially in high speed or down hill situations, it is mandatory that you pull both brakes at the same time and with the same intensity. If you elect however, to brake only with one brake, this could cause the trike to steer out of your path and cause serious injury or death.

……………

The bottom line here is we need to be careful in applying the brakes, especially at higher speeds.

BODY STEER – which seems to have varying effect depending upon the particular trike and how it is designed and built and perhaps setup. Body steer is simply a matter of leaning to one side or the other while seated and riding along. Leaning to the right should result in the trike steering to the left. Leaning to the left should result in the trike steering to the right. Oftentimes I would have to say it doesn’t have much effect.

(I purposely left out lean steer trikes since they are not very common.)

So when someone asks you how you steer that thing you can share with them all of this I have discussed here. Of course, they will probably be sorry they asked.😉 It probably would be better to just tell them that you steer it with the handlebars and then you can just …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

Lastly, HERE is a poem of sorts someone made up about pedal steer. I would give them credit for it if I knew who wrote it, but alas I don’t so all I can do is share the website where it is posted. It is rather lengthy, but interesting:

PEDAL STEER
As the internet has flourished,
It’s the place where brains are nourished –
Questions answered, good advice, and all for free.
But at times we find confusion,
Petty spats with no conclusion;
On some issues, people simply disagree.

Pedal steer’s one red hot topic,
Where the biased and myopic
State their strong opinions – kooky to sublime.
Teams of tadpole testers wrote us,
“It’s a problem you will notice..”
Others tell us, “You’ll forget it; give it time.”

Some folks try to understand it,
And why builders haven’t banned it,
Simply making good decisions in design.
Are some tadpoles worse than others?
Men might ostracize their brothers,
Disagreeing… So what is the bottom line?

One authority is certain:
“CASTER! That’s the culprit.” (Flirtin’
With a partial loss of credibility)
Other pundits shun that war word;
Sure the rider’s too far forward,
They insist the key is fore-to-aft CG.

One guy says, “That boom’s too flexy.
Sure, light weight is super sexy;
Still a tadpole works much better if it’s stiff.
Folding frame or soft composite –
That’s the sort of stuff to cause it.
Solid alloy steel would fix that in a jif!”

Some posts tell us, “Make tracks wider.”
Others claim that all a rider
Needs to do is just relax his stonelike grip.
Scores of would-be trike designers,
Second guessers, geeks and whiners
Offer their beliefs or freely share a tip.

Though I rarely speak in bellows,
I – like all these other fellows –
Can’t (or should I say I won’t?) resist the urge
To assist in education
Of the unwashed population,
Helping logic, truth and reason to emerge.

No, you know of course I’m poking
Fun at technogeeks; I’m joking.
Still there is some truth in what I have to say.
I’ve spent years in engineering,
Analyzing, probing, peering
Into why contraptions act some quirky way.

When I started out three-wheeling,
I encountered that odd feeling
As the trike began to waggle – gee then haw.
But did I, appalled or frightened,
Shout, “This wrongness must be rightened!”
In a single word, the simple answer’s ‘NAW’.

I feel sure – at least I’m hopin’ –
That if you’ll keep your mind open,
Though you doubt at first, you’ll have a change of heart.
Gather ’round, all those who’ll listen;
I’ll share points some may be missin’,
Going back to basic biking as a start.

Hey… remember starting biking?
It was not much to your liking
When the danged thing rocked from side to side – then CRASH!
Still all cyclists gained reflexes –
Smart and dumb folks, both the sexes –
So that they weren’t dumped each day they dared to dash.

You have seen one-wheeled abortions,
Watched their riders do contortions,
Smiling, though they jerked around to stay upright.
Unicyclists, pedals pumping,
Pirouetting, even jumping,
Balance as they ride, aloft, eight feet in height.

BOTTOM LINE (IMHO time):
Folks, it’s not exactly SHOWTIME
When someone can ride a tadpole straight and true.
Even if, when you first try it,
You may think, “Bull. I don’t buy it,”
Settle down and give it one more chance (or two).

Tadpoles yaw when someone meddles,
Blithely stomping on their pedals,
But it’s not at all essential (as on bikes)
That new riders learn rare talents,
Skills or even basic balance
To prevent unplanned rollovers on their trikes.

With their stable three-point footing,
Tadpoles yaw, but they’re not putting
Even handicapped (or clumsy) folks at risk.
Riding tadpoles is so easy,
Thoughts of skill can be… well, breezy –
Or at least until one’s cornering gets brisk.

Some folks find some trikes instinctive;
Others get a strong (distinctive)
Feeling when they pedal other trikes, they swerve –
Back and forth, like some cheap floozy,
Strutting through some joint, so boozy
As she waddles by, her path’s an ess-shaped curve.

But so what? Folks, pedal steering
Isn’t something to be fearing.
In most cases the sensation’s pretty small.
Subtle shifts you make in spinning,
From the first as you’re beginning,
Well may mean that you won’t notice it at all.

At its worst, it’s one reminder
Trikes – compared to bikes – are kinder.
Hey, at least you won’t keep falling while you learn
How to make those small corrections
That will counter odd deflections
As your pedals, cranks and wheels begin to turn.

Pedal steering is SUBJECTIVE.
Any rational detective
Should catch on and tell the victim he’s to blame…
Well, at least in part, I’m thinking,
Though I’m grinning now and winking,
And although of course all tadpoles aren’t the same.

I believe most tadpole riders,
Once they’ve stroked their three-wheeled gliders
Long enough and far enough to earn their stripes,
Learn the simple compensations
For whatever deviations
Pedal steering makes in tadpoles of all types.

Tadpoles don’t demand much training.
Just go riding; stop complaining.
Very soon you’ll note your style has reached its peak.
Is it automatic? Brainless?
If it’s mental, folks, it’s painless
To develop what’s required for good technique.

So… I’ve stated MY opinion,
Which some TROLL (and faithful minion)
Will insist and swear is wrong as wrong can be.
Hey, if TROLLS begin agreeing,
I’ll be very swiftly fleeing
To another point of view… Is that just me?

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