Category Archives: Disabled

PROS & CONS OF ELECTRIC MOTOR PEDAL ASSIST


Those who have been following my writings from the git go  probably know that I got my start in this writing articles about tadpole trikes on Steve Greene’s Trike Asylum blog. One of my earliest articles (To Motorize Or Not To Motorize, That Is The Question which was posted on April 5, 2013) was on the subject of motorizing a tadpole trike and I made it pretty clear that I was against it. I made an exception for those who truly needed it Never the less I ruffled some feathers and caught some flak for writing the article. I have to admit that when I wrote it I didn’t know much about the subject of motorizing a trike. I don’t recall whether or not I was even aware of “pedal assist”. Anyway, since that time I have gotten myself a bit more educated about pedal assist. I also finally reached the point I felt I would benefit from having electric motor pedal assist. I have had one on my trike now for awhile so I have experience with using it and feel I am qualified to write about it. I am loving it. Anyway, I am reposting the early article I wrote so you can read it here in this posting. You will find it at the bottom of this article I am now writing. As you read thru it you should be able to pick up that I was thinking that this subject matter is about propulsion by a motor and not pedal assist.

Recently a fellow triker brought up the matter of a tadpole trike being a Human Powered Vehicle (HPV) … that is to say, they are suppose to be. Hey, that is exactly the position I used to hold so I know where he is coming from. We are all familiar with the terms “Pros & Cons” … stating those things in support or favor of and those things which are not if support or favor of. After having a motorized pedal assist trike and riding it quite a lot already I though it would be good to try to write an unbiased opinion and report on the pros and cons of having a pedal assist motor enhancement. Of course, now I speak only of “PEDAL ASSIST”. I like the description … “it’s like having a built in tail wind”. I am still against a motor propelling a trike where the rider is not required to pedal.

I will state the things that come to mind as pros as well as those things which come to mind as cons. I will say upfront that the list will be considerably lop sided as I have been giving thought to this matter and have to say that there is very little I can come up with to put on the cons list while there is a whole lot that comes to mind to place on the pros list. This certainly is not an exhaustive list. As I think of more I will add them to the lists.

THE PROS

1) It makes pedaling easier not requiring nearly as much pressure to be exerted on the pedals. This greatly helps in hill climbing and those with knee joint problems, pain and weakness.

2) The rider can go considerably faster even though they are exerting the same amount of pressure on the pedals and using the same amount of energy as they did previously. For instance, climbing a hill that used to slow me down to 2 to 4 mph I can now ride up at 14-16 mph if I want to.

3) If the rider tires out during a ride the motor assist helps them to get back to wherever they started from or need to get to.

4) If riding has become a chore rather than the fun it once was then pedal assist can make it fun again.

5) It enables a rider to ride at a faster pace so that being able to ride with faster riders is now possible. You still won’t be able to keep up with a lot of the roadies however as they really go. Funny thing is they are allowed on bike trails and some bike trails ban pedal assist bikes and trikes. It is not right.

6) It is a real blessing to have when you need to zip across a busy street when a break in traffic finally comes along. It can propel you across fast and out of any danger.

7) When you need to make good time to get some place faster than you normally could again the motor is such a blessing.

8) Having the ability to accelerate  quickly and go fast can be a big help in getting away from a dog or person you might be concerned about as far as your personal safety. Of course, most dogs can run faster than 20 mph.

9) Because you are still pedaling, but pedaling easier you actually get more exercise. You can pedal at a faster cadence which is a very good thing as many of pedal way too slowly anyway. And because it is easier to pedal you can ride longer.

10) Someone who has had problems with hernias and are concerned about overexerting them self and causing serious problems can greatly benefit from having pedal assist.

11) Having electric motor pedal assist does not mean that you have to use it. You can ride with it turned off just like it wasn’t there. And quite honestly most of the time I can’t tell the difference between riding my trike as it came from the factory and riding it now with the motor and battery installed but not turned on.

12) If you have long downhill grades you can set the controls to generate rather than use power and in doing this you  recharge the battery. You can also just ride along recharging the battery if you are strong enough to pedal with the resistance involved. Or if you are up to the task even on level ground you can pedal along recharging the battery if you are physically up to it. Please note that the charging rate in this mode is very little so it would take a lot of time and travel to put much of a charge back into the battery.

13) You can play with the minds of the road bike riders  by being able to ride their speed and maybe even pass them. Some of them however ride much faster than a motorized pedal assist can go (legally).

14) When riding off road the pedal assist is great to have. It makes such adventure so much easier and enjoyable and even safer as one doesn’t always have the strength to pedal in/over/thru some places.

15) It reduces the stress being placed on the drive system (pedals, crankset, chain & sprockets) as the motor is helping to turn the rear wheel.

16) If you are riding with others and you have to stop or slow down and they keep going having the pedal assist motor makes it much easier to catch back up with them.

17) It is great when riding into a headwind. Other than feeling the wind you can truly say “what wind?”.

THE CONS

1) The motor and battery add weight to the trike. It has added over 20 pounds to my trike and all on the back. That being said, much to my surprise and delight the only time I can tell there is additional weight is when I lift it. When I ride I can’t tell it at all.

2) Being able to go faster is fun, but it also adds a measure of danger and concern that didn’t exist riding slower. You may tend to go into curves faster than you should. If you are not used to handling a trike at higher speeds you could crash.

3) It is expensive to add a motor to a trike and the battery only lasts so long before it needs to be replaced at considerable cost. My conversion kit costs about $2500 and the replacement battery costs about $900 to $1000. There is always the chance that the manufacturer will either go out of business or simply not offer a replacement battery later on if they opt to make some changes in their product offerings.

4) Some trails don’t allow the use of any motors on  them. I personally don’t think that this should apply to pedal assist systems and I would hope that trails which say no to them will reconsider and change their position on this.

5) Motorizing a tadpole trike adds to the value making it more of a target for a thief.

6) Motorizing a trike makes it so much fun to ride that your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend will want to ride it and cut you out of the picture. 😉

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

TO MOTORIZE OR NOT TO MOTORIZE, THAT IS THE QUESTION

I am getting into something here which I will state upfront I am very opinionated about. I”M ‘AGIN’ IT! To my way of thinking motorizing any type of human powered vehicle is defeating the whole concept of the thing … exercise. I mean, come on … if you want a motorized open air vehicle buy a motorcycle for crying out loud. I rode them for over 50 years of my life until I finally decided I would give it up for strictly pedaling around. I was also riding a bicycle all those years so I still got some exercise … just not nearly as much as I do now.

I am sure that there are some folks who are not able to pedal to get around … perhaps can’t use their arms and hands to propel a vehicle either and so they may NEED something in the way of a motorized trike. But there are a whole lot of folks out there who are perfectly capable of pedaling who really don’t NEED to go this route.

That being said, I know it has become pretty popular. The man I sold my homemade tadpole trike to told me he planned on motorizing it. There is lots of information out there on the subject. And I am sure riding a motorized tadpole trike is a lot of fun even though it could lead to an added element of danger. And there may be some folks who just need help pedaling up hills as just maybe their bodies can’t deliver what it takes.

Obviously there are two main ways to go … electric motor or gas engine. Those who oppose gas engines because they “pollute” would no doubt only consider the electric motor route. But I AM STILL AGIN IT!

Here are some pictures of various setups:

KMX trike motorized

KMX trike motorized

gas engine motorized trike

gas engine motorized trike

solar charging motorized trike

solar charging motorized trike

ecospeed motor on boom

ecospeed motor on boom 2

And I say to ya’ll …

KEEP ON PEDALIN’

(We all need the exercise!)

By the way,  one needs to be aware that there are trails where it is against the rules to ride a motorized bike or trike. Our local trails here in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area do not allow them. Only motorized wheelchairs are permitted. When it comes to “pedal assist” it is not fair to ban them. They are as much as a human powered vehicle as the roadies out there zooming by at 25 plus mph while my top speed is only 20 mph with pedal assist. HERE is a good article on the subject.

CAN TADPOLE TRIKES REALLY FLY?


tadpole-trike-flying

Can tadpole trikes really fly? No, I don’t mean like what you see in the picture above. I am talking about flying aboard a commercial passenger airliner. And I am talking about flying for free. The answer to that question is a definite maybe.

Note – Please keep in mind that I am no expert on this subject and most of what I am about to say is simply my thoughts and opinion. You need to check into this to find out for sure how all this works if you have in mind to take your trike with you as a mobility assistive device.

I think it is up to the airline as to whether they will accept a trike as a “MOBILITY ASSISTIVE DEVICE”. By that I mean whether or not they are convinced that a person truly needs and uses a trike for mobility out of necessity so that it qualifies. If they will then you are “in like Flint”. I Googled this subject, but didn’t find much about it. For some of us our trikes truly qualify, but for others we would be less than honest if we try to use this approach to get free transportation for our trikes. It comes down to our honesty and integrity. We will all stand before the judgement seat of Jesus Christ and give an account for everything in our lives.

Keep in mind that the airlines mostly deal with wheelchairs and power scooters. Their informative webpages and written articles are not geared for tadpole trikes so trike owners must pursue this on their own and work it all out. That being said, the following airlines have written about mobility assistive devices:

AIR CANADA  AIRLINES   ALASKA  AIRLINES

AMERICA  AIRLINES DELTA AIRLINES  HAWAIIAN AIRLINES

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES    UNITED AIRLINES

There may be more and probably are, but I didn’t readily find anything more to list here.

The following is found on Hawaiian Airlines’s website:

What’s an Assistive Device?

Assistive devices are:

Any piece of equipment that helps a passenger with a disability to cope with the effects of the disability. Assistive devices help people hear, see, communicate, maneuver, or perform other functions of daily life, and may include medical devices and medication, wheelchairs, motorized scooters, walkers, crutches, Segways, canes, braces, portable toilets, and other devices, equipment or items that help people with disabilities.

*****

I would think if Segways qualify a tadpole trike certainly ought to. 🙂

HERE is a general article on the subject. Like I said, I can’t find much available about this subject. My guess is (and it is only a guess … I could be wrong) some airlines might be more accommodating (easily persuaded) than others. That being said they are all under the same regulations and requirements. HERE is the FFA Guidance.

Stowage of Wheelchairs, Other Mobility Aids, and Other Assistive Devices

U S Dept. of Transportation – Disabilities

Definitely whether a tadpole trike is flying for free or being paid extra for the trike needs to be properly prepared for the trip to ensure it is protected and arrives unscathed and intact. Some components should be disassembled and removed and the trike should be wrapped in some sort of protective material.  Parts that stick out extra far such as the boom  and crankset, neck rest, etc. are best removed and wrapped up individually. They can be attached securely to the trike so long as they are not protruding out and vulnerable to getting damaged or snagging on something. The chain should be removed. Again, it can be attached to the trike. It should be in some sort of container to keep any oil/dirt from getting onto anything else. Lights may need to be removed as they may be vulnerable to damage.

Wet cell or Lithium-ion batteries are an additional concern and must be addressed to be in compliance with safety requirements of airlines. At the very least the airlines need to be informed of such batteries and their location. It is best to avoid taking such batteries aboard an aircraft.

Traveling with a tadpole trike will require arriving at the airport earlier than normal in order for them to process and load your trike on board the plane so it is important to communicate with the airline to know what they require concerning this.

Note – A reader of this blog commented after this article was posted that it is very easy to have the airline accept a tadpole trike as a Mobility Assistive Device as they are not allowed to question the owner about the nature of their disability. He also said that the trike is loaded onto the plane with little to no disassembly.

Note from me about the note above –  I personally would be very concerned about handing my trike over “as is” to be loaded onto an airplane. I would be concerned about mirrors being snapped off and lights being broken or broken off and missing. And I would be concerned about other damage happening if other items are in contact with the trike during the time it is in the plane.

So, yes … tadpole trikes can really fly … and it would indeed be great to have your trike with you if you are able to ride it where you are heading to. We all want to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

BOOM CHAIN TENSIONERS (CRANK ARM SHORTENERS UPDATE)


Note: I started out writing this article about an update on the subject of crank arms shorteners, but it more less evolved into another topic so I changed the title accordingly.

It has warmed up a bit recently and all the snow has melted. Between that and rain we have had recently the rivers have risen and flooded over their banks so that some parts of our local bike trails are flooded over and closed. Boo Hoo!! Never the less I have been able to ride my tadpole trike which I thoroughly enjoyed despite the nasty wind chill factor. In order to ride my trike I removed the crank arm shorteners I had installed on my wife’s recumbent bike I am using for rehab and exercise here at home. I installed the crank arm shorteners on my trike. (I was even able to move the pedals one hole further out so that means my new knee joints are improving.) What a difference! I really like them (Yes, both the crank arm shorteners and my new knee joints.) 🙂

crank-arm-shortener-on-my-tadpole-trike-3

However, there is one thing that I noticed using them on my trike that I didn’t notice on the bike. With the crank arm shorteners installed on my trike I need to readjust my boom … lengthen it … as I am not getting the leg extension I need with the pedals relocated. I have not done that yet, but I should. It probably will require adding some more chain. That is the main reason I haven’t tried moving the boom out yet. It is winter out there folks and I am not too crazy about working out in the cold to accomplish this task.

A rear derailleur is supposed to be able to handle about 2 inches of extra chain length as far as movement of the boom.  That equates to approximately one inch of boom adjustment. However that figure is based on the boom position at the shortest length the rear derailleur handles to the position of the boom at the longest length it can handle. If the boom is already positioned out quite a ways within that range than most of that 2 inches is already used up. If this is the case then additional chain would need to be added.

One nice option is to employ a Universal Boom Adjust Chain Tensioner designed for the boom of a tadpole trike.

crank-arm-shortener-on-tadpole-trike

They are not cheap ($155), but they do make it easy to move the boom in and out and automatically maintain the proper chain tension. They are especially nice to accommodate various riders of differing sizes. The chain can be made up long enough to move the boom out for a tall rider and when the boom is shortened for a shorter rider the chain tensioner automatically takes care of the extra chain the rear derailleur would not be able to handle. Obviously there is a lot of extra chain and hardware involved and it might appear a bit unsightly to many (myself included), but they do work. You definitely would not want to run it into a curb or such as it would likely be damaged. TerraCycle (not to be confused with TerraTrike) manufactures these for several different brands of trikes. They can be purchased from some trike dealers and trike manufacturers as well. Catrike sells it for $150, but it is $145 at most of the other sources I have seen including directly from TerraCycle. The Chain Gobbler fits Greenspeed trikes and sells for $149.

Here is a Utah Trikes video on the subject of these chain tensioners …

So this is a very handy and practical option available. Most definitely if you have various size riders riding the same trike this is the way to go. Adding and removing lengths of chain even if you use links which are supposedly quick and easy to remove is a real pain compared to this slick setup. So if you have $150 or so burning a hole in your pocket here is a place to unload that cash and make your life easier. It is always nicer to ride then to “wrench”. And it will even help you and others to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

CRANKARM SHORTENERS REVISITED


crank-shorteners

For a very long time now I have wanted to try using crankarms shorteners as they are supposed to help those who have knee joint issues. And it is said that short people should use shorter crankarms. I qualify on both. At my rehab physical therapy sessions I am going thru for knee joint replacement their stationary recumbent exercise bike has the crankarms adjusted to their minimum setting and that setting works great for me. I recently ordered a set of crankarm shorteners so I can pedal normally. With my 165 mm crankarms that came on my trike I have to place the heels of my feet on the pedals in order to pedal it. I tried pedaling my wife’s recumbent bike which I have set up on an indoor trainer out on the enclosed patio at the back of the house, but I couldn’t even pedal it with my heels on the pedals. I think it has 175 mm crankarms. I just am not “there” yet in my recovery. At rehab I can pedal with my feet positioned normally on the pedals. I even cranked it up to 100 rpm cadence a couple of times. So the shorter crankarms really do make a difference. I am really looking forward to having them on my trike.

Here is a video which explains the need and benefit of shorter crankarms.

What I am not looking forward to is winter weather for the next few months. I don’t know how much I will be getting out riding thru the winter. If it gets nasty enough I will no doubt bring my trike back inside the house for the third winter in a row and set it up on the indoor trainer in the living room in front of the large screen TV which is also used as a computer monitor. With access to the internet I can find all sorts of stuff to watch on that big screen in front of me including riding on bike trails. It is almost like being there except I can’t lean in the turns. 🙂

Yep, a set of these just might be your ticket as well.

short-crankarms-2

Shortens cranks by 24, 41, 59 and 76mm. I am pretty certain that I will be using the 59 mm position (next to the shortest) as that will give me about 106 mm crankarms which is close to the setting of the crankarms on the stationary recumbent exercise bike I am pedaling at rehab. The really neat thing about using these is that if and as one improves the pedals can be moved further out. I doubt if I would ever go back all the way to 165 mm though.

HERE is an article I wrote previously about crankarm length.

HERE is the best price I have found on them. I am quite certain that they are going to help me to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FIRST ATTEMPT AT RIDING MY TRIKE SINCE KNEE JOINT REPLACEMENT


my-right-leg-incision-reduced

As some of you know I recently underwent total knee joint replacement. That, of course, means that I haven’t been doing any riding. Naturally I really miss it and am anxious to resume riding ASAP. My doctor had told me I ‘might’ be able to ride by 3 weeks post surgery. It has been 2 and a half weeks thus far. Well, I decided to try it. After all I rode the recumbent exercise bike in outpatient rehab last Friday and did ok with that. So this afternoon I decided to give it a go. My wife had gone to work so there was no one here to try to stop me. 🙂 I got my trike out and got it all ready to ride (lights turned on and safety flags in place). My main concern was getting back up out of the seat as I expected that to be problematic. It turned out that should have been the least of my concerns. Sitting down onto the seat was more challenging than I thought it would be, but I made it ok. It was a bit challenging to get my recovering leg into position and my foot resting properly on the pedal, but again I accomplished it and was “ready to go”. As things turned out what I expected to probably be the easiest part of all this turned out to be the most difficult … pedaling. I took off rolling down the driveway toward the street and as I made my first revolution of the crankset and started bringing my new knee joint back toward me I quickly discovered that it caused excruciating pain.

knee-pain

(No, this is not a picture of my knee.)

Normally with the heel slings I use I am able to lift my feet off of the pedals easily and quickly, but with my bum leg I could not do so. The pain just continued. Finally I got my foot off of the pedal and because of all the pain and weakness in the knee joint area I could not hold my foot up off of the ground like I normally can so my shoe made contact with the ground as the trike was still rolling (I did not want to stop in the middle of the street).

leg-suck-illustration

That resulted in more pain and I nearly experienced “leg suck“. I somehow managed to avoid that and made it over to the opposite side of the street by the curb where I sat for a few minutes trying to recover. Not knowing how I was going to do trying to get up out of the seat I was concerned that I might have to sit there until I can flag down some help from a passerby. Fortunately when I made the attempt to get up out of the seat I found it to be extremely easy. Upon getting up I started walking my trike back over across the street and up the driveway. I put my trike away and called it quits … realizing that I am not ready for “prime time”. I think the seat vs. pedal height position comes into play here. I think I could do much better pedaling in a traditional riding position such as I had when I rode the recumbent exercise bike in rehab last Friday. It looks like I am going to have to get the 2 wheel recumbent bike out to ride for now as the riding position is quite similar to the exercise bike in rehab. Although it hurt like crazy it probably did me good stretching in bending like that. The outside of my knee joint has healed up nicely and looks pretty good, but it is another story internally. The knee joint remains inflamed, tight, stiff and very sore. It is still generating a lot of heat. And to think that in 3 and a half weeks I am going to have the other knee joint replaced. I don’t think I will be doing much trike riding until next Spring.

chuck-the-stickman

(No, this is not a picture of me. That is my trike in the background though. The picture is of a friend who walked the local trails for many many years until he had to give it up recently for health reasons.)

At least now I will hopefully be able to walk on the trails thru the winter months. That is something I haven’t been able to do for many many years and I really miss it. Anyway, as loud as I must have yelled today I figured you might have heard me. 🙂  For those of you who can …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

and I will join you when I can

TADPOLE TRIKES CAN PROVIDE A 2ND CHANCE


We hear/read the testimonies nearly everyday … how a tadpole trike has literally transformed lives. Many have had various debilitating injuries and medical/physical issues arise which have greatly taken away from their former vibrant lives including the ability to safely ride a bicycle. Yes, tadpole trikes can and often do make the difference. People experience a second chance. They have a …

new lease on life

One well known triker is Catherine Brubaker. From her YouTube video description:

“Catherine Brubaker is a fighter. After suffering Traumatic Brain Injury (twice) she has come back and is a real inspiration to everyone she meets. Now she is embarking on a real challenge- a cross country ride on her recumbent trike from Washington state to Key West. She’s joining others on the ride and needs your help to make this dream happen.”

Catherine's 5390 mile ride to Florida.jpg

Of course, this is past history now. She completed the epic ride spoken of in the video and is still riding her trike and fighting the good fight. Go Cat, go!

As I understand it from watching the next video below both she and Dan (mentioned below) made this ride together from Washington to Florida.

Here is another video, a newer one, which features both Catherine and Dan Zimmerman. Dan suffered a stroke. They are currently planning another ride … from Washington to Massachusetts, a distance of 3814 miles. She and Dan are will be riding thru 15 states on this next journey together starting in June 2016. It is called “Sea to Sea Tour”.

Dan Zimmerman & Catherine Brubaker

sea to sea tour map

Perhaps if you live somewhere along their planned route you can come out and show your support when they are near you. Perhaps you can ride along with them for part of their journey (assuming that’s okay with them). Check out the planned route and schedule HERE. (They will coming to within about 40 miles from me. I hope I will be able to go there and see them.) You can read more about Catherine and what she is about HERE.

HERE is Catherine’s Facebook page where you can follow her as she pedals away. Catherine says “I gained hope through riding my trike”.  And Dan has the same testimony.

And you can read more about Dan’s life and cause HERE. You can also make financial donations to help their cause on these websites. Catherine’s GoFundMe

donate today

Yes, tadpole trikes can provide hope and a means of a new lease on life. May we all …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

DAN MCGUIRE, AN INCREDIBLE JOURNEY & A TRUE INSPIRATION


Note: I want to state upfront that when I started writing this article I was under the impression that this tadpole trike journey was still ongoing. It was not until after I completed writing the article that I discovered that the ride was completed in August 2014. I have made some changes in what I wrote in an attempt to try to reflect this, but I can’t assure you the reader that everything will be clear and accurate. I am still a bit confused myself. Never the less, I think you will find it an interesting story.

Dan McGuire 2

Dan says  ‘cycling is therapeutic and gives him purpose’.

Dan McGuire is a determined tadpole rider who indeed is an inspiration as well as a challenge to the rest of us. I think he is approximately 83 now. Dan is stricken with Parkinson’s Disease as well as arthritis, scoliosis and something weird with his eye according to his daughter.  She writes “Canada is his playground” and it sure looks like he is making his way around its vastness. He started this current journey in 2013. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’t in 2007. Dan has been a longtime cyclist with several accomplishments in the past. This was approximately a 10,000 km (6214 mile) trike ride he set out on at approximately 80 years old and he did it alone although others have accompanied him on parts of his journey.

map of Dan's journey

You can read his daughter’s article about him HERE.

Dan McGuire 7

And HERE is Dan’s Facebook page.

Dan McGuire

HERE is another article about this incredible tadpole pilot. And HERE is another article.

Dan McGuire 4

Note: Although his journey ended in 2014 the following webpage appears to be still up and functioning as far as I know … And HERE is a webpage where you can donate on behalf of Dan to help Parkinson Society British Columbia. Their statement is that they are “there for those in need. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is committed to offering support, sharing reliable information and raising funds for programs and research. We receive no government funding, so we rely on you. ” Dan has a personal goal set to raise $10,000 for this organization. On this webpage you can also leave a comment for Dan to encourage him and wish him well.

Dan McGuire 6

Upon further reading about Dan it appears that his journey across Canada was successfully completed in 2014. It just goes to show ya that you have to be careful what you read online. 🙂

 Dan McGuire finishes journey

Dan, I don’t know if you will ever see this and read it, but I just want to say thanks for your commitment and effort in raising awareness and demonstrating that life isn’t over just because one becomes affected by Parkinson’s Disease. Your journey was (and is)  indeed incredible and my hat is off to you. I don’t know your current status as to whether or not you are still cycling, but I sure hope you are and will be able to continue to do so for some time yet. You are an encouragement and inspiration to the rest of us to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

MOBILITY ASSISTIVE DEVICE


If you are physically disabled/handicapped/limited and ride a tadpole trike you may be eligible to travel via commercial airlines with your trike at no cost for the trike. Airlines charge a very large fee for transporting trikes so this could be very helpful. Here is an article about this subject …

http://bentwanderings.blogspot.com/2015/10/mobility-assistive-devise-operative.html

And here are a couple of articles about trikes being used by those with special needs …

http://www.3x365continue.com/blog/archives/01-2015

http://www.disabled-world.com/assistivedevices/mobility/scooters/3-wheel/horizon.php

WHEEZY ELECTRIC MOTOR ASSIST


wheezy electric wheel 5

Onboard electric drives are not the only means available to assist riders in their pedaling. The Ridekick has been around for awhile and the Brouhaha trailer attempted to make it to market, but was unsuccessful in their Kickstarter campaign. Now this new comer, Wheezy, is trying to make it to market. The key word there is “trying” as this has also been in the Kickstarter campaign. According to their Kickstarter page it has been cancelled as of Oct. 24th. I am not sure what that means as far as whether or not the product will ever make it to market.

Here is some of what they have to say about this product designed in the UK:

“Wheezy turns any bike into an e-bike in a click. No special adjustments necessary simply connect Wheezy to your existing wheel and you’re good to go!

The 1.5 amp battery charger is built into Wheezy’s frame so you can charge the 166 Wh battery pack easily in the office, at home or anywhere you like. . Pull its cord out to plug it into the wall for charging. Fold it back into the frame when the charge is complete.  A full charge can take anywhere from 2.4 to 4 hours, depending on the battery capacity. You can travel 12-31 miles (20-50 km) per charge with Wheezy, depending on the rider’s weight, the air pressure of the bicycle tires, riding conditions and the model’s battery capacity (Wh). Three models are being offered:

Wheezy 3 models 2

Originally the company hoped to start shipping this product by the middle of next May. I don’t know where things stand now since the Kickstarter campaign did not go well. They offered lower prices ($400, $490 & $740) on the product to backers, but didn’t get much response. All I can say is … if those are lower prices I would hate to see what their normal price will be. I think those prices are plenty high.

wheezy electric wheel 4

Wheezy is an electric auxiliary all-terrain wheel. It operates on a brushless wheel hub motor that is entirely enclosed, protected from erosion. This means high efficiency, reliability, no noise, no maintenance and a long lifetime.

Wheezy runs on a small lightweight NiMH battery pack used for hybrid vehicles. NiMH is much safer and lasts longer than the lithium (Li-ion) batteries used for standard e-bikes.

It comes with a smart microcontroller, creating for smooth operation and utmost battery efficiency.

Wheezy is encased in a lightweight steel chassis, a frame and running gear, making it much stronger and durable than its aluminum counterparts. Its zinc coating even prevents rusting.”

Setup is fast and easy …  Generally, you need to do 3 simple things;

1) Replace the left rear wheel nut. 2) Add install Pedal Assist Systems (PAS) or Hand Throttles. 3) Connect Wheezy.

Wheezy axle attachment

Here are various items available for use with this product:

Wheezy parts

Wheezy videos on YouTube.

The Wheezy unit weighs about 26 pounds (12 kg). It can be wheeled easily using the tongue to hold onto so that it doesn’t have to be carried. A key-based power switch and battery lock system adds security. The unit can be operated as a pedal assist system or manually with a thumb throttle.

Wheezy pedal assist system

Obviously this is designed for a bicycle. However, with some adaptive ingenuity I would rather imagine that it could be made to work on a tadpole trike. Of course, first it would have to come to market. We’ll see what happens.

TRIKE THERAPY FOR MILITARY VETERANS


Today is Veterans Day and I don’t want to let it pass by without posting something about it. As an eight year military veteran myself I know the sacrifices involved in serving in the military. I appreciate those who serve and want to say thanks for their service. I am a firm believer in “giving honor to whom honor is due” and so I salute my fellow veterans.

me in navy uniform saluting

Yeah, that was me at about 18 years old. I was looking down at a young child who was also wearing a navy uniform of sorts and we were saluting each other.

Jerry Steinman& Steve Newbauer in navy uniforms saluting each other

I have often thought about how neat it would be to have military veterans riding together in a Veterans Day parade with each former serviceman flying the flag of their particular branch of the military.

Military-Flags

vets day parade

There are organizations which exists to help reach out to military veterans who need help coping. A part of their therapy is recumbent trikes.   … “ROLLING THERAPY”

ForgottenNotGone.ORG is dedicated to helping save veterans and their families from the destruction of suicide. Feeling alone,forgotten and abandoned, causes 22 veterans a day to take their own lives in the United States.

ADAPTIVE BRAKE CONTROLS FOR DISABLED RIDERS


Push Brakes for Disabled Riders

AZUB BIKE is known for building high quality custom recumbent bikes and trikes. Among many customizations they have developed also the “push brakes” which allow disabled people to ride on bikes in case they do not have ability to operate regular brake levers.

Push Brakes for Disabled Riders 2

Azub also assemble Shimano Alfine 11 with electronic shifting for easy operation and they have a couple of other options and accessories for disabled riders as well. I went to their WEBSITE and searched for what they have to offer and came up empty handed. If it is on their website I don’t know how you locate it.

electronic shifting