Monthly Archives: November 2019

RIDEKICK TRAILERS ARE COMING BACK

If you don’t want a motor on your trike but would like some help that an electric motor can offer there is an option. It is a trailer you pull behind your trike which has a motor and battery inside of it. It is not “pedal assist” but merely a hand throttle which the rider uses to have the motor operating to push the trike. The trailer can also be used to haul stuff in. It has a locking lid. The trailer has a built-in LED taillight.

This trailer known as Ridekick is not new. It has been around for several years but they stopped production awhile back. Now they are going back into production once again and should make their appearance next Spring the company says.

Three different models are available. They are all the same except the battery size. Their lowest cost model is $799 and comes with a lead acid battery good for only 8 to 10 miles. The middle model sells for $1418 and has a 20aH Lithium battery good for 25 to 30 miles. Their top model comes with a 30aH Lithium battery and sells for $1644.  Even their most powerful battery, a 30 aH, gets poor performance. 35 to 40 miles is a very small number compared to most smaller batteries used with crankdrive and hub motors. My 20aH battery provides about 55 miles of riding and I weigh a whole lot more than the weight of the rider they show for their test purpose. I don’t baby my motor but use it hard much of the time. I am sure if I were to try I could increase my mileage number on up to 70 or more. I also carry a lot of weight on my trike and I ride dealing with hills which they don’t in their testing.

Inside the Ridekick trailer is a rechargable battery that’s used to power the electric motor which provides a push to assist the rider in propelling the trike.

Here is their top model with the 30aH battery:

Ridekick power trailer LR30
$1,644.00

This Ridekick power trailer gives a boost for 35 – 40 miles on a charge. With about 1000 charge cycles, this battery affords the rider about 40,000 miles of support over the life of the battery.

Every Ridekick power trailer system comes complete with trailer, electric motor, controller, throttle and hitch plate, charger and the battery of your choice. It comes ready to assemble (10 minutes), install on your bike/trike (10 minutes) and hit the roads!

Like BionX this company takes advantage of people by charging very high prices for their batteries. The 30 aH battery costs $945. That is 2 to 3 times as much as it should cost. It always saddens me when these companies take advantage of their customers charging such high prices. It is just my opinion but I think this was the demise of BionX. They had a very good product but they charged way too much for it.

HERE is a review of the Ridekick trailer. It provides lots of detail specifications and information which you can read.

Personally I am not a fan of pulling a trailer with any kind of vehicle. I would much rather have everything ON my trike. However, I am sure that there are those who would like this option and will look into it.

There were at least two other entities which attempted to produce a similar product. Neither of them were successful. One was Wheezy which I  wrote an article about on this blog. The other was Brouhaha which I also mention in the same article.

It will be interesting to see how this company fairs in the marketplace.

So if you like the idea of not modifying your trike but instead pulling a trailer and having a “tailwind” behind you this might be an option for you.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

GIVING THANKS EACH DAY

It is almost Thanksgiving Day here in the United States. I am thankful for this holiday where we as Americans pause in our busy lives to give thanks to God for the many blessings we enjoy from His hand. I am truly thankful for many different things in my life.  I could compile a long list here but I will spare you that. Reflecting back I am thankful for my dad who lovingly made the money I needed available to me so that I could purchase the various items needed to fabricate my first tadpole trike. Otherwise I may not have ever got into this great sport of tadpole trike riding. And again, reflecting back I am thankful I was able to start receiving social security a couple of months before I actually retired from my job. That extra money made it possible for me to purchase my Catrike Trail tadpole trike. Otherwise it is likely that never would have happened. I am thankful for relative good health that each day I can enjoy and benefit from riding my tadpole trike. I am thankful for new friends I have made over the years thru riding my trike. I am thankful for the privilege of having this blog which is read all over the world in at least 193 countries. I am thankful for the many comments I have received back from readers of this blog which thanked me for helping them and encouraged me to continue on. I am sure that if I continued to think about this subject there are many more things I could add to this list.

Before I bring this to a close I just want to say that I am thankful that my Creator, Jesus Christ, loves me so much that He willingly died in my place so that my sin could be forgiven and I would not have to face the death sentence that was upon me as a result of my sin. And I am thankful that He is not a respecter of persons. He loves each of us just the same. He offers the same deal to each of us … forgiveness of our sin … and eternal life with Him. All He requires is that we come to Him on His terms. His great love is AIMED AT YOUR HEART. None of us know what a day may bring forth. We don’t have the assurance of our next heart beat and breath. Death could happen for any of us in the blink of an eye. Procrastination is a very dangerous thing for if we die in our sin our fate is sealed.

At this point in time I have no intention of stopping writing new  articles for this blog. But what if I were to do so? What would I communicate in MY LAST POST?

I am so thankful that each day (weather permitting) I can …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’ and ENJOY THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

ELECTRIC MOTOR ASSIST — THERE ARE CHOICES

Electric motor assist has become quite popular and more and more offerings are showing up. There are two basic ways to go … 1) a hub motor in the rear wheel … and 2) a crank drive motor some incorrectly call a mid drive motor. There are pros and cons to both types. I have written about this previously. Click HERE to read it. And HERE is a similar posting to this one.  In this posting I am not writing about electric motor assist. I am merely posting videos about them. If you want to read any or all of the several postings of the past about electric motor assist click HERE. The videos below will give you some idea of the various options available to motorize your trike. Some are trikes which come with motors while others are motors which can be added to an existing trike. And yes, any trike can be motorized. It is not necessary to buy a new trike.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

BTW … below is a picture of a true MID drive motor setup …

As you can see the motor is located in the middle between the pedals and the rear wheel … thus it is called mid drive. Motors that are mounted in the bottom bracket of a bicycle or tadpole trike are technically CRANK drive not mid drive.

CALLING YOUR NAME

Do you hear it? Do your hear your name being called? I certainly hear mine. You say that you didn’t know trails could talk? Oh, but they can … they do! All I have to do is look at them and I hear my name being called.  More often than not all I really have to do is think about trails. I don’t have to be seeing them for it to happen. They invite me to come ride on them. I will readily admit some are far more inviting than others. When I look at one like this it shouts at me.

And here are several more examples …

Did you notice the deer in the background in the picture above? I always enjoy seeing them and other wildlife.

 

Yes, I hear my name being called. Do you hear yours?

Sometimes rain can really cause problems such as flooding and mud. Oh my name is still being called but I dare not answer. I have more than once got a wet butt trying to ride thru floodwater which was deeper than I expected. That’s bad anytime but it is worse in winter when it is cold. I have found that cold and wet are a bad combination. …

Leaves falling down onto the trails can hamper riding on them and if enough are laying on the trail it can be downright dangerous to attempt it as one can’t tell where the trail is.

Of course, some areas are worse than others. I think you will agree with this picture it is getting pretty deep around here …

 

Sadly for some of us winter really messes up things and that inviting voice is considerably silenced.

Yet sometimes winter only brings a bit of change to our adventure. As long as the snow isn’t too deep or too wet and heavy it can be fun riding thru it. I hear my name being called again. How about you? …

Then there are times when the weather itself isn’t a problem but we have other challenges …

I carry a folding saw with me but this is a bit more of a challenge than I am equipped for. I have a bow saw for larger stuff but I don’t carry it with me. I have to purpose to take it out to deal with something like this tree fallen above. I can and did handle this one shown below (and many more like it) … even much larger than this …

Then sometimes for unexplainable reasons man causes problems. Now I ask ya … isn’t that dumb? Who in their right mind would do something like this? One would think that if they are going to leave the tree intact that they would at least build the trail around it. …

Right now as I sit hear composing this my name is being called. I hear it clearly. There is a problem however …

Yep, man really blew it when he ate of the forbidden fruit. Rain didn’t exist before that. Lots of days are messed up because of that wet stuff falling from the sky. It really muffles that voice calling my name. Oh I hear it, but I dare not answer it.  I am not much of a fan of riding in the rain regardless of how inviting the trail is. Never the less there is always the chance the sun will be shining tomorrow and I will hear my name being called out all the louder. I am hopeful anyway. I want to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

I hope you can and do as well.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

By the way, half of the pictures of trails I have shared here are of my local trails and they really do call my name daily. I am thankful I have them to ride on.

 

OWNING THE NIGHT

I  have written articles about bicycle lights before. Here goes another posting about them. With the invention of LED lights and the development of various lights over the years I think it is safe to say “we’ve come a long way”. It is my understanding that a standard automotive headlight is about 1200 lumens. A lumen is a measurement of brightness a light produces. I won’t bother giving the exact definition here as it is too technical for most of us to grasp much about what they say. HERE is a pretty good explanation of the whole enchilada which is easier to understand.

There are bicycle lights available that are way over the 1200 lumens of a car headlight. The NightRider 3600 Pro is claimed (by NightRider) to be the brightest headlight available currently (at the time I am writing this). 3600 lumens! Wow! That’s more than twice as bright as an automotive headlight. With that kind of brightness one could certainly OWN THE NIGHT.

If one is riding somewhere all by their lonesome away from others out in front of them having that kind of brightness is fabulous, especially at night time in the dark. However, if others are involved out in front of that bright light … well, first of all I pity them … and secondly shame on the one who would expose them to such brightness which most definitely is blinding. To make matters worse for some reason unknown to me most manufacturers of bicycle lights sold here in the United States shine up high rather than have a built in diffuser lens to prevent the light from doing so. It makes absolutely no sense to me. I seldom ride at night but when I do I am not looking for owls up in the trees so I sure don’t need my headlight to shine up high illuminating the trees. Even in the daytime bicycle headlights can be a problem for some folks who are out in front of these bright headlights that shine up way too high.

And the brighter the headlight the more of a problem they cause others. In flash mode in the daytime they could trigger seizures in some people. I think it high time that we cyclists unify and let the bicycle light manufacturers known that they need to do something about this matter. Our lights should be like the bottom illustration above.

Below is a picture of a bicycle headlight that is definitely blinding to anyone out in front of it. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THIS! This person should receive a ticket from a police officer. Such a cyclist is a menace!

Here is a picture of my own trike with my lighting all turned on in the daytime. As you can see it is blinding and I don’t even have any of these powerful lights I am writing about here. My brightest headlight in this picture is only 350 lumens. And I might add that the camera doesn’t really capture this like looking at it with one’s eyes. It is truly annoying, obnoxious and offensive. I have many times come upon bicyclists who have blinding lights on and it is really hard to see the pathway ahead because of it. One can try not to look at such lights but they still cause serious problems.

I don’t have a problem with these extremely bright lights so long as they are not shining up into my face. I am all for them as long as they are being used properly. What little night riding I have done on my trike most definitely I have experienced poor lighting vs. good lighting. I will take good lighting over poor lighting every time I am out there riding at night by myself in total darkness. Crashing into trees, riding over a cliff, etc. is not my favorite activity. BTW, I have written about blinding headlights before.

As I said, I don’t have extremely bright lights on my trike as I really don’t have need of them since most all of my riding is in the daytime. Here is the lighting I used to have … with the brightest headlight being 350 lumens. I had three headlights at the time this picture was taken. They were the same three that were in the picture above.

Actually I don’t even have any of these lights on my trike anymore as I have bought new lights since this picture was taken. My brightest headlight I have is 450 lumens with a diffuser lens but I seldom use it. I usually just use a 350 lumen headlight and it doesn’t have a diffuser lens. And I usually only have one headlight mounted at a time although I have others I could quickly add if I needed them. I would do so if I were to ride at night. I like the idea of owning the night and being able to see quite well where I am going.

Here are two 450 lumen headlights on my trike. They have a built in diffuser lens which keeps the light beam from shining up high blinding others. The red arrows point to the two headlights. The fence in the background is about 112 feet away.

UPDATE … I went out riding at night to test these lights. In the picture they look pretty bright but when I rode with them I was disappointed as they didn’t do the job as I had hoped. I certainly did not own the night with these headlights. In total darkness I certainly could not safely ride very fast as they just didn’t do the job. I even added one more light to these two and it made little difference.

One of my very favorite websites for viewing and comparing various headlights is HERE. You can select from a drop down list a headlight and then select another one from the other side. They will display side by side. Just use your cursor to move the blue divider from side to side to view the other light. And HERE is a similar website.

HEADLIGHTS DATABASE

TAILLIGHT DATABASE

So by all means if you are riding at night by yourself you can OWN THE NIGHT too. But please don’t blind others … daytime or nighttime. We all want to and need to be safe out there and courteous to others. It can be done amigo. Does that sound like a spaghetti western? Oh never mind!

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

TERRATRIKE MAVERICK … NEW ENTRY LEVEL OFFERING

Several years ago when I first put together my TRIKE PRICES page there were a few sub $1000 selections. Then most of them faded out until only KMX offered a few. And most of those were for kids. TerraTrike used to offer the Rover model for $999 but that ended. Like so many things the price went up and put it over the sub $1000 category.  Not everybody can afford the more expensive trikes so there is a need for the sub $1000 market. Well, TerraTrike stepped back up to the plate offering the new Maverick model and the current price is $999. The Maverick will be replacing the TerraTrike Rover. At the time of this writing there is not much information available that I can find on this new model which I can share here. I know that it has a high tensile steel frame as did the Rover but it is considerably lighter than the Rover. Like the Rover and Rambler it has horizontal handlebars.

 

FREE GIFT awaits you!

PICK A TRAIL, ANY TRAIL

Here in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area where I live we are blessed to have several trails to ride on. There are currently about 115 miles of trails and more are planned and slowly being built. HERE is a web page which has information on them as well as great photos.

I know that many places have more and even better trails but I also know many places have no trails at all. My wife and I moved to Fort Wayne back in 2003. A couple of years passed by before I heard about the existing bike trails. They only had the original Rivergreenway at that time … some 26 miles or so of trails … consisting of three different trails which followed the three rivers here in Fort Wayne. Upon learning of these trails I immediately started riding on them and thoroughly enjoying doing so. Since I started in about 2005 I think the trail network has steadily increased in total mileage until now it is around 115 miles of paved trails. And since I started riding on them I have accumulated over 87,000 miles. I think it is safe to say that I am quite familiar with them.

Below is a video of a bike ride on one of the Fort Wayne Trails … the St. Marys Pathway, one of the original trails known as the Rivergreenway. It follows along the St. Marys River.

HERE is another web page the city parks dept. offers with information and maps on the trail system.

On one of the trails, the St. Joe Pathway, it goes right through Johnny Appleseed Park where a fairly large campground is located (about 2 miles north of the downtown area). So anyone who is into camping whether by tent or RV has a convenient place to stay and ready access to the trail. It is right near convenient dining and shopping. There is a nice restroom and shower facility at the campground. The campground only operates seasonally … closed through the winter months.

This is the current Fort Wayne trail network as of Nov. 2018:

The red lines are the current trails. Lots of trails are planned throughout Indiana and many of them are suppose to connect together. I don’t know if it will ever materialize but it would be really great to have such a trail network.

Below is a video of the trails manager and the mayor of Fort Wayne talking about Fort Wayne Trails and showing video footage of various trails. This was several years ago and at that time there were only 68 miles of trails.

So I invite you to come to Fort Wayne and PICK A TRAIL, ANY TRAIL to ride. And if you would like an experienced guide as well as someone to ride with just let me know. You can EMAIL ME initially.

Wherever you choose to ride be safe out there and …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

TWO VELOMOBILES RIDING AFTER DARK

Here are two velomobiles riding home from work after dark. I think this is in Holland where they sure have nice cycling infrastructure.

Looks like they are ENJOYING THE RIDE. Let’s all do the same.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

CATRIKE FACEOFF … 700 VS EOLA

The Catrike 700 model is known to be one of the fastest tadpole trikes around. So how would it do when up against Catrike’s new base model, the Eola? You just might be surprised. Mind you when it comes to competition and comparisons top speed is not the only criteria. What about hill climbing performance? Take a look …

So whether you are riding one of the faster trikes made or one down the totem pole a ways just enjoy the ride and …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!