Monthly Archives: November 2014

JUST LETTING YOU KNOW


just want to let readers know that I will be undergoing glaucoma eye surgery Dec. 2nd so I don’t know what that means as far as my posting new articles on this blog. I underwent this same surgery on my other eye back in August so I have somewhat of an idea what to expect. I am trying to get a few articles written ahead so that hopefully I will have something here when readers visit the blog. If all goes as planned there will be no interruption.

By the way, if you haven’t already done so, I invite you to join the Tadpole Riders Group on Facebook. I consider it sort of a complimentary offering to this blog where members can post comments and interact with one another. I try to post quite a lot of material on it and most certainly members are invited to do the same. You don’t have to join to read what is posted. You just have to have a Facebook account. If you want to post comments or contribute your own postings you will have to become a member.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

Advertisements

WEATHER OR NOT


did the best I could. I checked the weather radar … no rain showing. I checked the current weather conditions … 0 % chance of rain was the report. I got my self ready to go out for a ride. I opened the garage door and walked outside. Guess what … it’s raining! I just find it amazing that with all the modern day technology and equipment available and all the expertise acquired over the years they can’t report the weather accurately. I mean, come on … all it takes is for someone to do what I just did. It makes no sense to report current conditions as 0 % chance of rain when it is obviously raining. DUH !!! I see this happening quite frequently. So I guess the bottom line is we are on our own at least to some degree. I will continue to use the modern day technical weather forecasting, but I decided I am going to make up my own weather station so now just on the outside of my garage I have made an addition …

weather forecasting stone 2

Somehow I just feel more confident trusting in this. 🙂

BTW … I am only kidding here. I don’t really have this on my garage.

Keeping up with an accurate weather forecast helps us to be able to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

(Good luck in getting an accurate forecast)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING


Thanksgiving 2

Today is the Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States. I hope you all have a very blessed Thanksgiving holiday and can truly find much in your hearts and lives to be thankful for unto the Lord God from Whom all good things come.

WHAT IS YOUR ANGLE?


ANGLE FINDER

Sure you’ve got an angle! I won’t go so far as to say all God’s children have an angle, but if you ride a tadpole trike I am most certain of it. Tadpole trikes are not called recumbent for nothing, ya know. The word recumbent means “laid back” or “reclined”. That is part of what makes a tadpole trike so comfortable. I like to kid about it saying that “the hardest part about riding a tadpole trike is trying to stay awake”.

So again I ask you … what is your angle? By now everyone should have figured out that I am talking about the seat back angle … how far you are reclined. The seat back angle on tadpole trikes vary considerably. Some are quite upright while others are very reclined. And there are those who prefer one over the other or somewhere in between. Sitting very upright is a matter of better visibility and comfort for some. Being very reclined is a matter of being more streamlined so one can go faster as well as being more comfortable as well. That may sound rather strange to say that both claim more comfort. I won’t get into the middle of that discussion as it probably wouldn’t be wise to do so. I will just assert the well known saying … “differnet strokes for different folks”.

Anyway my understanding is that the range of inclination for tadpole trikes goes from about 75 degrees to about 25 degrees. That is quite a difference … 50 degrees difference  to be exact. Most trikes are somewhere in between those numbers. Mine, for instance, is 45 degrees. I like my seat angle, but I wish I could recline on back another 10 degrees. I have no desire to be up any more than I am now however. There may come a time when I will want to sit more upright, but for now I enjoy being relined. But at my age I am concerned about falling asleep if I get too comfortable.  🙂

Afterall I do want to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FRAME WARRANTIES


When it comes to manufacturer warranties on the frames of their tadpole trikes you will find they differ considerably … anywhere from 1 year to a lifetime warranty. I am only aware of 5 trike manufacturers which offer a lifetime warranty on the frames … Alize, Challenge, SteintrikeSun and TerraTrike. If you know of any others please leave a comment or email me to inform me. I just found out that Catrike no longer offers a lifetime warranty on their frames which is really disappointing.

Keep in mind that if you make modifications to a trike it may void the manufacturer warranty.

I want to state upfront that the information I am providing here is correct to the best of my knowledge. However, it is possible that there may be error in what I am stating as I found this a difficult subject to research and find information on as some manufacturers just don’t seem to offer the disclosure of it. I have even emailed a few manufacturers to ask them what their frame warranty is but none have replied back. That being said here are what I think are the frame warranties offered by some manufacturers: (Those that have no information I could not find anything on.)

Alize  lifetime warranty

Azub  10 years

Catrike  5 years

Challenge  lifetime warranty

Edge  10 years

Greenspeed 10 years

HP Velotecknik 10 years now (used to be 7 years)

ICE 10 years

KMX  5 years

Logo

Performance

Ponderosa 10 years

Sidewinder

Steintrike  lifetime warranty

Sun  lifetime warranty

TerraTrike  lifetime warranty

Trident  5 years

Tripendo

Windcheetah  1 year? (this is not certain … it is just one from a 3rd party source I found) (If it is true it seems rather ridiculous that the most expensive trike has the worst warranty in the industry)

DEFUNCT TADPOLE TRIKES


Defunct … by definition means “no longer existing or functioning”. Like most products and manufacturers tadpole trikes come and go. I could not begin to name all of the various manufacturers which that is true of. Off of the top of my head I can only think of a few. I have known several but they no longer come to mind. To name more I would have to research the matter. Some of them were pretty good trikes and it was sad to see them disappear. Some of them needed to disappear. 🙂 Some may still be in business but just don’t manufacture tadpole trikes anymore.

To the best of my knowledge among those which  are no longer manufactured are:
ActionBent, Berserker, BTR, Cycle Genius, Dalli Cycles, Performance Hand Cycles, and Triclops. I am sure there are many which are not even known by most sources so there is not any place to read about them.

There are some tadpole trikes which are simply listed as “not in production”. Redmount is one such trike. Several others are listed as “prototype” which I assume means that they are not in production. I am relatively certain that many will ever get beyond this stage.

One well known trike, ActionBent, although no longer available lives on more less thru Performer Trikes as they are the ones which produced ActionBent. I have seen a picture of a tadpole trike manufactured in China which looks identical to a Catrike. I don’t think that is legal but you know how that goes.

Murray’s Trike Links is a good resource for looking up trikes.

Yes, trike manufacturers and models come and go as do many other products. There are still many out there and a few more starting up all the time. Tadpole trikes are growing in popularity so there is no reason to think things will deteriorate in the overall picture. Yeppur, I think it is safe to say that we can all …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

WHERE DO YOU DRAW THE LINE?


If you happen to live in a place where you have winter to contend with I want to propose a question to you. Where do you draw the line? I am talking about “what is the lowest temperature you will venture out in?” In the image of the thermometer below I have drawn some lines to illustrate my point. The names I just made up other than my own. And where my name appears is pretty much where I draw the line for myself … about 10 degrees F. is about as cold of weather I will consider going out in. And who knows, that line might change as time passes. I am sure it won’t go any lower but there is a good chance it will go higher.

thermometer

For sure we are all different and we can’t all tolerate the cold the same. We can bundle up only so much and still be able to function. Some of us have more trouble than others keeping our extremities warm. I am talking about our hands, ears and our feet mostly. For some of us bundling up means covering nearly every square inch of our bodies including our faces. It has to be mighty cold for me to do that. I would be miserably hot if I covered my face. I have had to remove such covering many times after donning it as I got too warm with it on.

pace p3 plus face mask

Like I said, we are all different. What works for one person doesn’t work for another. We each have to make the determination as to where we draw the line. We should all do our best we can to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

Hmmm, now that I am thinking about it I am tempted to redraw my line (and it won’t be lower). I can tell I am getting older.

DO YOU HAVE BENT LEGS?


bowed legs

Do you have bent legs? I do. I am not talking about bowed legs like in the image above although I have those too. “Bent legs” is a term used in regards to one’s leg muscles. They say that when someone climbs aboard a recumbent bike or trike for the first time to ride it they find that they are using different muscles than they do when riding a conventional diamond frame bike. Some people say that they experience quite an ordeal until those muscles get used for awhile and built up. They can be quite sore.

I guess I was fortunate in that I didn’t have much trouble making the switch to recumbents. My leg muscles seemed to adapt readily and I didn’t go thru this. I have known people who say that they did and it took them 2 weeks to a month or so to get their “bent legs”.  Ha … I was just thinking … I spent 8 years in the Navy mostly on destroyers and I was always quick to get my “sea legs” too.

It is said that you have your “bent legs” when you can ride your recumbent as fast as you could ride your diamond frame bike. That may be true of a recumbent bike but I don’t think it applies to a recumbent trike. When it comes to a recumbent trike as far as I am concerned having bent legs means that you are past the point of dealing with any pain or discomfort from using the different muscles involved.

Well, that is my Hand holding two pennies. worth. With “bent legs” we can hopefully …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

WHOA NELLIE!


Fred Flinstone brakes

Yabba Dabba Do!

Good working brakes are a must on a tadpole trike. We laugh at ol’ Fred Flintstone and his braking system, but don’t ever try this on a tadpole trike. In doing so you are asking for “leg suck” to occur and that isn’t a laughing matter.

Most trikes have disc brakes.  disc brake on tadpole trike

A few have drum brakes. drum brake on tadpole trike

And fewer still have caliper type brakes. caliper brake on tadpole trike

To the best of my knowledge caliper brakes are only found on homemade trikes. I don’t think any manufacturer of trikes use them other than for a parking brake on the rear wheel. When I made my first tadpole trike I used brakes like this. They were lousy when it came to braking power. Panic stops were an impossibility. I would advise anyone building a tadpole trike to stay away from this sort of brake. (Your life may depend upon it!)

If you insist on caliper brakes at least use the newer cantilever type as they work much better. caliper Cantilever brake

Disc brakes are most commonly used for a good reason. Quite simply — they work the best! Disc brakes have replaceable pads which eventually wear and need to be replaced. Proper adjustment of disc brakes is essential for them to work effectively and provide optimal stopping power. Being exposed to the elements they are susceptible to various things such as getting foreign matter on them, getting damaged (usually bent rotor discs), getting wet from rain, snow or mud. So they need to be kept clean and if damaged repaired or replaced if repair isn’t possible. For bent rotor discs they make tools to use to straighten them. Of course, if they are bent too much they need to be replaced. Of course, in using the tools to straighten a bent rotor the person doing it needs to be knowledgeable and skilled or they would probably just make things worse.

rotor toolrotor tool in use rotor tool in use 2 rotor tools

Drum brakes have been around for a long time and it is hard to fault them. They have some distinct advantages over disc brakes. They don’t provide as much stopping power as disc brakes but they are nearly trouble and maintenance free in comparison. In short, they simply work! They don’t do very well when going down a mountainside road as they overheat badly and fade out so if that is the kind of riding you do you should stay away from them unless you want to try flying on a tadpole trike (flying off the edge of a cliff that is). The landing would be the worst part of the experience.

I previously mentioned disc brakes being properly set up so I thought I would touch on this before ending this article. There are two types of bicycle disc brakes. One has a fixed (non-adjustable) side. The other one has both sides adjustable. The one with both sides adjustable is far better. The most popular and no doubt the best of the brands is Avid. Their single side adjustment brake is the BB5. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy as I think they are junk in comparison to their other model. My trike came with BB5 brakes and I had nothing but trouble with them almost on a daily basis as they would not stay adjusted. Their other model with both sides adjustable is the BB7. I really like it. I spent the money and changed out my brakes upgrading to the BB7s. I am so glad I did. I complained to Catrike about the BB5s, but it fell on deaf ears. I shared that if you look up Avid BB5 brakes in a search engine mostly what you will find is many thousands of user complaints about them … not staying in adjustment. Catrike was very defensive when I wrote them about this matter but later they started using the BB7s only on their trikes. Anyway, I am glad they finally did this as there is a world of difference. Now with the BB7s I rarely have to do any adjusting of the brakes.

I never had any exposure to and experience with bicycle disc brakes until I bought my Catrike Trail. So I had to learn about them and how to work on them (adjust them and replace parts on them). One would think that ideally the rotor should be centered in the caliper. Much to my surprise Avid say the BB7 should be set up off center in the caliper. This is brought out in the first video below. On the BB5s I found that I had to set it up with the rotor off center toward the non-adjustable side with only a small gap of space in between. I usually used a common “business card” to space the rotor away from the non-adjustable brake pad. Then I would adjust the other brake pad over within the same space using the business card so that when the brakes were applied the rotor would not be pushed way over sideways as would happen if the rotor was simply centered in the caliper. As long as there is no rubbing occurring with the BB5s adjusted this way I describe I found this worked the best. The problem is no matter how they are adjusted they won’t stay in adjustment. It was maddening and frustrating dealing with them.

Here is a video illustrating how to go about adjusting the Avid BB7 disc brake:

This next video covers several different aspects of disc brakes. It most concerns eliminating rubbing sounds being emitted from the disc brake.

And here is a video illustrating how to replace the brake pads in an Avid BB7 disc brake:

Keep disc brakes clean and oil free. If you should get oil or grease on the rotor and it gets onto the disc brake pads you can be sure the only cure for the pads is to replace them as once they get oil on them they are pretty much ruined. The metal parts can be cleaned using a solvent such as alcohol. (Be careful using solvents around plastic as plastic can be destroyed by some solvents.) I have tried cleaning disc brake pads which had oil on them using solvents and even “baking” it out of them. It didn’t work. I ended up replacing them.

I have only covered mechanical disc brakes. There are also hydraulic disc brakes. I have never had them nor never worked on them so I am not going to attempt covering them here. They are far less common on tadpole trikes but they are installed on some.

Having good properly working brakes on your tadpole trike will help you to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

HIT FROM BEHIND BY TRUCK


Tadpole trike rider and world adventurer Matt Galat has been hit by a truck while riding thru China. His video on Facebook which I haven’t been able to find elsewhere so I could embed it here is a “selfie” he took while lying on the road waiting for an ambulance to arrive. His trailer and trike is trash as a result of being hit by the truck. Matt himself received a broken shoulder as well as some othe injuries. He appears to be okay so that is good. I think you can view the video on his Facebook page. At the time of this posting I have not been able to find anything more about this accident. I am sure glad he is basically ok and I hope he heals quickly and completely. I also hope that all works out well as far as replacement of the trike and trailer and anything else damaged or lost in the accident. “Ja Yoe!” is a Chinese phrase for expressing a desire to live life to the fullest. May Matt continue on his journey doing just that.

Matt is himself a trained EMT so he pretty much knew what was going on as far as his injuries and what he was up against. Here he is still laying on the road with the police, ambulance and paramedics on scene.

Matt Galat laying on road

Note: There are a few videos Matt made which can be viewed on his webpage and Facebook page, but I won’t include them here as they are “unlisted” and not classified as public.

I will be adding updates on this story at the bottom of this article whenever I come across them.

Here is Matt’s website where he now has a special section about his accident. I have read it and highly recommend it.

https://www.facebook.com/JaYoeLife?hc_location=timeline  Matt’s Facebook page

http://jayoe.com/  Matt’s website

Matt Galat

Matt Galat

may he continue to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

Here are some pictures of his trike and trailer taken after the accident. It is hopeful that the trike is salvageable. Obviously the left front wheel is damaged and will have to be replaced. I haven’t heard anything further about Matt’s condition.

Matt's damaged trailer

Matt's trike after wreck

Matt's trike after wreck 2

And here are video updates on his Facebook page:

Note: There are a few videos Matt made which can be viewed on his webpage and Facebook page, but I won’t include them here as they are “unlisted” and not classified as public.

[

I repeat myself … Here is Matt’s website where he now has a special section about his accident. I have read it and highly recommend it.

THANK YOU FOR SERVING


On this Veterans Day I just want to say thank you to all those who have served or are serving in our nation’s military.

give honor & respect

military veterans past and present

thank God for service of veterans

We owe so much to those who served and are serving. If you have the opportunity today (and any day) “THANK A VET!”  They deserve no less.

And to the veterans I want to remind you that many restaurants offer free meals or other food items and some other businesses offer discounts to military vets. Some form of military service may be required. Also Lowes and Home Depot always offer a 10 % discount to military veterans with proof of service. Be sure to thank these businesses for their generosity in doing this.

FULL SUSPENSION WHEELS


Soft-Wheel 4

An Israeli man (a farmer) has invented or perhaps “re-invented the wheel”. He originally made it for wheelchairs (that wheel is called Acrobat), but it didn’t take long before it was adapted to bicycles. The company producing this product is in Tel Aviv, Israel and is named SoftWheel. The product for bikes is called Fluent Wheels. For those who want full suspension on their tadpole trikes this may be an answer** … by simply replacing the current wheels. However, I don’t think it is available yet. As the saying goes … “Next year in Jerusalem” … only it is Tel Aviv on this occasion.

**Note: Then again it may not be the answer. I address this further below.

Here is some of what I have read about it in various articles:

Fluent Wheel is also pneumatic, but smooths cyclists’ ride without loss of energy or efficiency like classical in-frame bike suspensions: on flat surfaces, Fluent rolls rigid, coming to life on bumps, cracks, and potholes to dissipate impact. SoftWheel relies on a patented suspension mechanism that remains static on standard floors or pavements. Encountering an obstacle (such as a curb or stair) causes the wheel’s hub to shift symmetrically from the center, thereby absorbing the shock and cushioning the rider, as well as the vehicle, from the force of the impact. Then, the hub automatically shifts back to its central location until the next bump. Whereas 30-35 percent of the propulsion energy provided to a typical wheel goes into the suspension – to sustain sagging and bobbing – approximately 97 percent of the propulsion energy provided to the SoftWheel system goes right into the wheel itself, Barel said. Best of all, it requires no particular provisions, making it compatible with any frame that’ll have its width.

This following video is in the Hebrew language:

Here is what the company says about this wheel:

In normal ride on standard floors or pavements, the suspension mechanism remains static. The Acrobat™ acts and feels as a high-end, rigid wheel. However, when encountering an impact caused by an obstacle above a specific threshold, the Acrobat’s Selective Suspension mechanism comes into play. This causes a shift of the wheel’s hub from its previously central location and develops a cushioning effect that dramatically absorbs and lessens the impact transferred to the rider

Once the obstacle has been passed the hub shifts back to its central location smoothly, automatically, and seamlessly. The wheel regains its rigidity and responsiveness, and the user continues moving efficiently.

In fact it is the wheel that absorbs most of the shock generated by impact rather than the chair or the user’s body.

As the first ever suspension technology designed specifically for the urban rider’s day-to-day routine, the Fluent™ wheel provides superb comfort and total freedom to daily riders, allowing them to smoothly pass any obstacle while maintaining the ride efficient.

 Be it electric (eBike), pedaling-electric (PedElec) or manual, the patent pending design of the Fluent™ gives your bicycle full flexibility and allows you to choose your own route, without suffering the bouncy ride or energy loss (sweat or battery) of suspension designed for mountain biking.

 While burning the tarmac the Fluent™ rides rigid, and when encountering obstacles (curb, stairs, bump) the suspension mechanism comes to life to absorb more than half of the impact energy.

 The Fluent™ provides 360° impact response, for optimal shock absorption from any direction.

The Fluent™ provides a smooth ride while saving your effort or battery life for propulsion only

The Fluent™ doesn’t require provisions in the frame, and can be retrofitted to every make of bicycle.

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

HERE is an interesting article to read about the invention of this wheel.

On a regular bicycle this wheel would probably work fine. However, on a tadpole trike I would be very concerned about lateral forces and whether this wheel could stand up to them. I have serious doubts and reservations about this.

I don’t know any more detail about this product at this time. I don’t know if these wheels will be available in 20 inch or if they will accept a rear cassette or what the width is as far as fitting into a trike. And I don’t know anything about the cost. As I stated above I don’t think this product is available yet. I have emailed the company hoping to get some answers. If I find out more I will post it here. I did just now read in a third party article that the Fluent wheel won’t be in production until next year.

Another design by another company is called LoopWheels. Here is one with an 11 speed Shimano Alfine hub.

loopwheel with 11 speed Shimano Alfine hub

There are a few other designs others have come up with, but these two seem to be the ones most promising. If either of these designs would work on a tadpole trike this may turn out to be a very ideal and cost effective upgrade for those wanting suspension on an existing trike. That appears to be the proverbial big if.

Oh well, may we all …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

HEY HEY, WHAT’S THAT SOUND, EVERYTIME IT GOES AROUND?


Are you hearing unusual sounds being emitted from your trike? We should learn to know what is normal and what is not when it comes to noises from our trikes. If and when we hear a sound that is unusual we need to look into it as it may be something which needs attention maintenance or repair-wise. If we ignore it and let it continue on it could lead to more problems and expense.

When it comes to identifying such sounds there are certain things we need to be aware of and give thought to. There are questions which can be asked and the answer sought after. Questions like … “When do I hear the sound?” Do you hear it when the wheels are turning (but stops if the trike stops)? If so, which wheel? Do you hear it only when pedaling (the noise stops when you stop pedaling)? Does the sound become more frequent or more intense if you speed up and lesser if you slow down? Is it a clicking type sound, a rubbing type sound or something else?

Upon answering these types of questions you can move on to discovering what the cause is. I will cover a few possibilities here. Most certainly these are not the only possibilities, but they are common ones.

A clicking type sound may be a broken spoke in a wheel. It usually has a metallic sound as the broken spoke is moving about hitting other spokes as the wheel turns. If you are out riding it isn’t too likely you can do much in the way of a repair so I would suggest doing one of three things …. 1) remove the broken spoke, 2) secure the broken spoke to another spoke using tape, a wire tie or something such, 3) if you don’t have anything available to use if you are strong enough you can bend the broken spoke around another spoke. Just be sure it is tucked in so that it can’t catch on anything else and cause other problems. It is not a good idea to ride with a broken spoke without doing one of these things to prevent it from flopping around and getting caught in something else as the wheel turns. Another source of a clicking sound could be a tree branch caught and being held in place into the spokes so that every spoke which makes contact with it as the wheel turns sounds off. Yet another source could be something stuck on the surface of the tire or into the surface of the tire which sounds off with every revolution of the wheel. It it is something stuck into the tire you might want to check things out before removing it. If it penetrated inside the tire causing air leakage it may be a bad idea to pull it out unless you are able to make a road/trail side repair right there and then. Pulling the foreign object out might make it leak worse and make it impossible to ride it any further. Of course, leaving it in and riding on it might be the wrong call as well as it could lead to further damage. It is a call that needs to be determined on the spot.

A rubbing sound may be a matter of picking up some foreign object such as a leaf, a tree branch or something else. It could also be a matter of something moving out of place such as a fender or fender bracket or brace. It could be your derailleur is out of position and too far one way or another. If you only hear the noise while pedaling I would take a look for this problem as it is a fairly common thing. At the very least doing so will eliminate it from the list of whatever is causing the sound. A friend of mine had such a noise and he took his bike to a local bike shop to have them find and fix this problem. A few hundred dollars later after replacing a few things which were perfectly fine and didn’t need replacing he still had the noise. I finally got involved in it and within seconds I discovered the offending culprit. He didn’t have his derailleur shifted over far enough and the chain was rubbing on the derailleur as he pedaled. I simply shifted it on over further and voila … no more clicking rubbing sound. And I didn’t even charge him anything for fixing it. To those bicycle mechanics at the local bike shop all I can say is … DUH! Shame on them for not discovering this simple thing. Instead it seem like they saw him coming and took full advantage of him.

If you hear a hissing sound like air escaping it most likely is air escaping. In other words, a tire is going flat. Of course, as the tire rotates the sound will change somewhat especially as the leaking area is down on the ground. And obviously, the frequency will vary according to how fast the tire is rotating. By the way, if the air is leaking out but is not loud enough for you to hear it once it gets down low enough you should start noticing a “wobble” coming from that tire. It is not wise to ride on a flat tire or even one which is already too low on pressure as it can damage the tire. It could even damage the rim depending upon what the tire is doing in its flat condition.

If the sound increases in volume or frequency when speeding up and decreases when slowing down you should look for something that has to do with the wheels or the chain/derailleurs/sprockets. As with many things discovery is a matter of using the process of elimination.

Another possibility of the source of a sound is the headset area, brake area, or wheel axle area. Yet another possibility is something broken such as the main trike frame, seat frame, etc. Worn parts such as the chain and sprockets could be the culprit.

As I said, I make no pretense that I have covered every possibility. These are just some I thought of and wanted to share here. If you can think of more please leave a comment and share with us. May we all …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

LIT UP


Riding a tadpole trike is a lot of fun. However, getting hit by a motor vehicle would quickly bring the fun to an end. Tadpole trikes and their riders are a small silhouette which are difficult to see, especially in low light conditions such as an overcast day or in the shade. So having good lights and highly visible safety flags are very important to being seen. We must be “lit up”.  Bright flashing headlight(s) and taillight(s) are very important. There are lots of lights to choose from and all sorts of prices you can pay for them. Some use replaceable batteries while others use built in rechargeable batteries (or an external seperate rechargeable battery pack connected to the light by a wire cord). There are pros and cons to both. The replaceable batteries (usually AA, sometimes AAA) have one tremendous advantage over the built in type. If the battery power dwindles down all you need to do is carry spare batteries along with you to change them out. If you have a built in rechargeable battery you need to have some way to recharge it and that usually isn’t too practical unless you are somewhere around electricity for a long enough period of time to accomplish the task.

Battery drainage varies greatly among the various lights. Some only last a few hours at best while others will last 20 or more hours. Replaceable batteries usually last considerably longer than the built in rechargeable batteries. I usually use rechargeable AA and AAA batteries in my lights but I also carry alkaline batteries with me in case of failure of the rechargeable batteries. I have had very satisfactory service using rechargeable batteries. A friend of mine used to use a brand name headlight which like my Planet Bike headlight used 2 AA batteries. However, the battery life in his headlight was quite short compared to my Planet Bike headlight. He finally replaced the headlight with a Planet Bike headlight like mine and likes it much better. So … all lights are not created equal. Just be aware of this as it makes no sense to buy a product even if it is a brand name if it eats batteries like crazy.

I personally really hate buying products from China as in doing so we in the U.S. (and many other countries) only hurt ourselves (our own economy). That being said, there are so many inexpensive products available nowadays which come from China. Certainly they are hard to resist as we all like to save money and get great prices (just so the quality of the product is sufficient). Bike lights are no exception. I paid $50 originally for my Planet Bike headlight and $25 apiece for the two Planet Bike taillights I use. Now a very similar headlight can be purchased for only $6. And a very bright headlight (1200 lumen) can be purchased for $16. Like I said, there are lots of lights available.

Here is a picture of Steve Greene’s Planet Bike headlight which is the same headlight I use.

 planet bike headlight flashing

If you are interested in these lights I speak of which are so cheap you can check them out on the Facebook Tadpole Riders Group. Or you can just check them out individually online —

$16 1200 lumen headlight

clear diffuser lens to spread light out more

red lens to use for taillight

$6 headlight

$6 taillight

Well, I hope you are well lit and I am not referring to intoxicating beverages. It is important to be seen. Our lives and well being depend upon it! May we all …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

EXCUSES, EXCUSES … WE HEAR/MAKE THEM EVERYDAY


reasons not to ride trike

We humans are very good at making excuses. I know I am guilty of it. I am doing it right now. When I got up this morning it was 31 Degrees F. and it is very slow warming up. I have not yet ventured out. I am waiting until later when it will be up into the 40s. If I wait long enough it will get into the 50s according to the forecast. I am finding that the older I get the less motivated I am to go out riding in colder temperatures. Just a few short years ago I thought nothing of going out when it was in the 20s. The strange thing is once I do go out I usually find that it is no big deal and I do just fine handling riding in those temperatures. For some reason though lately I am talking myself out of it and tell myself to wait until later when it will be warmer. In doing so, I don’t ride as far as I would have if I went out earlier in the day.

My friends that I often ride with bail out on me early. It is already too cold for them. One goes to Florida for 6 months while the other one stays home hibernating thru the colder weather. I am one of only about 3 or 4 people I see out riding on the trails thru the colder weather months. Even now in October the trails are nearly empty. Yesterday I saw one bicyclist, two tadpole trike riders (besides myself) and a man and his wife walking. That was it. The trail was barren of people otherwise. Sometimes I don’t see anybody else out there. Usually on a typical day in warmer weather I would see dozens of trail users out. And the temperature was in the 50s. I am amazed that people don’t/won’t come out even though the temperature is still fairly comfortable. I think most of us have become a bunch of wimps. My one friend will probably be out this afternoon when it warms up into the mid 50s. He will be bundled up like it is minus 50 degrees, but he will probably be out.

Wow, the temperature suddenly jumped from 37 to 41 on the update on my computer so now I really don’t have any excuse:) I reckon I better stop typing and start riding before I come up with some other excuse. I guess I need to go by the list of reasons above as to why I can’t ride my trike. I am not even going to let all those leaves piling up on the trail stop me …

riding thru leaves 3

Hey, I stayed up late last night working on this when I should have been in bed asleep. That’s my excuse and I am stuck with it … er … I mean …. I am sticking with it. I am out of here. No more excuses out of me … at least not until I sign out of here. I really do want to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

Uh Oh! I feel another excuse coming on. Woe is me! 🙂

MATT’S WORLD TRIKING ADVENTURE


Here is the most recent video from Matt Galat as he rides his tadpole trike pulling a trailer thru China on his world adventure trip back to the United States.

From his YouTube description:
Points in this video are mapped out on the JaYoe Map page, so if you are interested to go exploring yourself… you will know where to go. Check out the map page at: http://jayoe.com/map/#
If you are interested in following his journey around the world, visit the following links…
WEBSITE: http://www.jayoe.com
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/JaYoeLife
YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/user/RogueLifeStudios