Category Archives: news and interviews
I have read and heard various things concerning BionX. Mostly I have heard that they are out of business even though their website was fully functional as far as I know the last time I checked it. However it only looks like it is functional. I checked it just now and found that it is quite deceiving. When I clicked on Finding a Dealer and then clicked on Dealer Map the page would not open. It gave the message “This site can’t be reached”. Wanting to know the truth I made a phone call a few minutes ago. I called and talked to the owner of the BionX dealer I and a couple of my friends were dealing with. I asked him about the status of BionX. He said that they are most definitely totally out of business and will never come back. So those who have a BionX system are out of luck if anything goes wrong with their systems … at least as faras gettng any help from BionX. No parts are available. Batteries are not even available. That is certainly not good news for BionX owners. I understand that there is one or more companies around which have some parts and batteries. And I would not be surprised if more businesses pop up offering some help in the battery dept. even if it is rebuilding one’s current battery. I sure am glad I made the decision to return my BionX system for a full refund when I did. I am really happy with my eZee hub motor system. HERE is an informative article about BionX.
I am not sure what is going on with Bionx since they went into “receivership” Feb. 27th. I know that their website was more less unavailable (non-functioning) following that news. There doesn’t seem to be much of anything available online to read about it. I was just checking out the BionX website and see that it is back up and functioning with no mention of their recent woes. If I hear anything more I will share it here.
update — One reader of this blog reports in a comment that he heard that BionX has been bought out from receivership and is indeed back in business. Sadly, the dealer nearest me has not heard anything out of BionX since all this started.. I have emailed BionX asking them what their current status is, but they haven’t emailed me back yet. It will be interesting to see if the new ownership does anything about the propietary structuring of BionX. I sure hope they make some needed changes.
Just letting you know that the Tadpole Rider group on Facebook is closed. It is suppose to be totally deleted, but something went wrong in the process and it is still up … just stuck in limbo. I have attempted to contact Facebook for their help, but that is next to impossible the way they have things set up. I know my decision to shut down the Facebook group disappoints many people, but I just had to do it as I just got worn out. Between the Facebook group and this Tadpole Rider blog I was consumed and it was taking its toll on me. It needed to end. It is something I have thought about for quite some time. Now that I have closed down the Facebook group I feel so relieved and am enjoying not being tied down to it. I apologize for the abruptness of it. I purposely did not announce it as I knew it would lead to some folks getting downright nasty and ugly in what they have to say. I wanted to avoid that. I truly appreciate the following and the interest the Facebook group had. I thank all of those who joined as members for your loyalty and contribution. The group grew to over 1200 members in a year. I wanted to post this notice here on this blog so it would help some of you know what has happened to the Tadpole Rider Facebook group.
I need to spend far less time at the computer so I have made the decision to stop contributing to this blog. This will be my final posting … at least for now. I am not saying I will never add anything further, but for now this is it.
I will leave the blog online so it will remain available. I truly appreciate the many loyal readers of this blog. I am sorry to have to be sharing this with you.
BTW, for those who are wondering I also closed down my tadpole rider group on Facebook. I apologize for the abruptness of this, but I knew better than to announce it as it would only lead to some nasty ugly confrontations from some folks. I wanted to avoid that.
I know Catrike is aware of this, if for no other reason than the fact that I emailed them about it several years ago when I first discovered it.
I recently came across a website offering a free service to bicyclists (cyclists). It is called Bike Index. It sounds like a very good idea and hopefully it will catch on all around the nation. We can help accomplish this by using it ourselves and promoting it to others. The “others” include local bike shops and police depts. as it takes all of us together to make this work. This also provides a means of looking up bikes to see if they are reported stolen. This could be handy if you found a bike or are looking into buying one … making certain it is not stolen. Of course, you would need the serial number to look it up.
I know the local police here where I live come across lots of bicycles which never get reunited with their owners. They collect until they are auctioned off periodically. What a shame they don’t end up getting returned to their owners, but without the police having anyway to know who they belong to there isn’t much they can do. All they can do is store them in a room hoping the owner will come looking for it. When the room fills up with bikes they have no choice but to get rid of them. With this registration system that could change. So register that puppy!
I spotted Catrike, Challenge, Greenspeed, ICE, HP Velotecknik, Quest, Stein, Sun & TerraTrike listed to choose from on their drop down menu of cycle manufacturers. It is somewhat challenging to locate the manufacturer as the names are not all together in alphabetical order as one would expect. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to how they list the many names. And many of the names are not actually cycle manufacturers, but rather manufacturers of various cycle related products. All these added names make it all the harder to find a cycle manufacturer name listed among those they display. It is easy to miss names listed and so this may not be a complete list of the trike manufacturers. BTW, if your cycle manufacturer is not listed they instruct you to use OTHER. Just type an “o” and Other will appear at the top of the list on the drop down menu. Definitely I think their drop down menu needs a lot of work to make it practical and easy to use. It makes no sense to have a cycle product manufacturer listed along with cycle manufacturers when they are asking you to select the manufacturer from their drop down list. I don’t think anybody has a WD-40 bike much less a tadpole trike, but that is one of the choices.
Once you have registered your cycle if it gets stolen you just login to this website to report it stolen so bike shops and police can look up stolen cycles reported on this website. Pretty nifty, huh?
BTW, I noticed that there were some registrations listed for Great Britain so apparently this goes beyond the United States. It may be open to any country, but I don’t know that to tell you so.
Here is what they state on their website:
The Bike Index makes stolen bikes harder to sell and easier to recover by making sure important information about your bike is there when you need it the most. The process is simple, secure, and free.
HOW IT WORKS
It’s simple: we offer an easy and efficient way to store and update important identifying information about your bike.
In the unfortunate event that your bike is stolen, you can harness the power of our network to help get it back. Registering with Bike Index ensures that law enforcement, bike shops, individuals, and everyone in between has the information they need to help reunite you with your bike.
Bike Index is the most widely used bicycle registration service in the world. We strive to be the best resource in the fight against bicycle theft.
I have registered my tadpole trike including color photos of it and the serial number on the frame. Unfortunately on older Catrikes the serial number was only on a decal which could be removed. Newer Catrikes have them engraved in the frame. I have a 2013 model which is the year Catrike started engraving the serial numbers, but my trike came with a decal and is not engraved. I think it is shameful on the part of any bicycle manufacturer to use decals instead of stamping or engraving the serial number into/onto the frame.
None of us want to experience our trikes being stolen, but if it happens we may very well be thankful that we registered our trikes while we had them and had the opportunity. It just might help us to be able to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
I don’t normally write anything about bicycles since this blog is about tadpole trikes. However, I am so impressed with this cyclist that I decided to share about him here as an “extra bonus”. This Frenchman, Robert Marchand, is 105 years old (maybe that should read “young”) and just recently set a new world record for his age group. Actually they had to make a new age group for him. He pedaled just over 14 miles in one hour attempting to beat his previous record. I couldn’t do that at half his age. All I can say is … “WOW !” Now he says he is waiting on a rival to compete against him. 🙂 Any takers? You can read about him HERE and HERE. And here is the Wikipedia writeup.
He has my admiration. Now if we could just talk him into riding a tadpole trike while he is still around and able he could really have some fun and …
ENJOY THE RIDE!
Catrike just recently received a nice writeup … a feature story … in the August edition of the AWS Welding Journal publication. It is entitled “Trikes Take To Welding”. You will find it to be a “good read” as it addresses some of the technical aspect of Catrikes and shares a lot about the awesome engineering that goes into Catrike trikes. Click HERE to read the article.
If you live in the United States you may want to know the ranking of your home state as to “bicycle friendliness”. HERE is a webpage where you can find the information. See whether or not you agree with what you find.
This subject is almost unbelievable and most definitely scary.
Evil hearted people are stringing barbed wire (and other wire) across trails and roads where cyclists come upon them and usually don’t see them at all or don’t see them in time to avoid injuries. In the image below (which I created to illustrate this as I don’t have any actual pictures of a paved bicycle trail where this has been found) I have circled the wire in yellow.
Nobody likes meeting up with barbed wire …
Here is a real picture of barbed wire across a trail in the U.K.
The cyclist spotted it just in time to get stopped. He reports that if he had been going the other direction which is downhill he never would have seen it in order to avoid it. Anyway, this sort of thing is happening in various places all over the world. I think it is mostly on off road riding areas, but some have been reported on bike trails and roads.
Not all of these wires are face high. Sometimes they are lower so that the front tire catches it and the bike gets flipped over. At least that is what the intent is. At our height we might get our faces or necks right into it.
Hopefully this won’t “catch on” and escalate. I have not heard of it happening anywhere near me.
SOOOO fellow tadpole riders do your best to be alert. No one wants to be a victim of such evil practices. We all want to safely …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
Welcome to SPEZI 2016
Most of us were/are not able to go there personally. Fortunately there are some folks who did go and they went for one purpose … to provide a report consisting of interviews on video. And now they’re back … and the Laidback Bike Report from Spezi 2016 in Germersheim, Germany is completed and uploaded to YouTube.
Gary Solomon writes … “Known in Germany as the Spezialradmesse this is the world’s largest trade show of recumbents of all sorts. There were about 20 exhibitors who showed 2 wheeler recumbents and about 40 exhibitors with trikes most of them recumbent. ” I am not trying to steal their thunder. I only want to be a channel … a means … for others to discover their great video and view it. They truly did a great job … very professional.The interviews are very interesting and very informative. You can find out “what’s new” from various manufacturers.
Here is their team that went there and produced their awesome interviews.
Gary Solomon, Lars Komm and Larry Varney
Here is the contents found on their video. With this if there is anything in particular you are interested in you can skip ahead to it. If there is something you aren’t interested in you can skip it altogether.
Table of Contents for SPEZI 2016 Special Report
00:02:09 Hardy Siebecke-Organizer of Spezialradmesse (Spezi) http://www.specialbikesshow.com/
00:05:21 Anthrotech http://www.anthrotech.de/
00:09:02 Velomo http://www.velomo.eu/
00:11:55 HP Velotechnik http://www.hpvelotechnik.com/
00:17:18 ICE http://www.icetrikes.co/
00:20:50 Räderwerk http://www.raederwerk.com/
00:24:44 Hase http://www.hasebikes.com/
00:27:44 AZUB http://www.azub.eu/
00:30:55 Wolf & Wolf http://www.wolfundwolf.ch/
00:34:49 ZOXBIKES http://www.zoxbikes.com/
00:37:31 RARTRIKE http://rartrike.blog4ever.com/
00:40:08 Test Track scenes
00:44:18 Katanga http://www.katanga.eu/
00:49:01 Trident Trikes http://www.tridenttrikes.com/
00:51:20 Advanced Velo Design (Windcheetah) http://www.advancedvelodesign.com/
00:56:08 Nazca Ligfietsen http://www.nazca-ligfietsen.nl/
01:00:07 Pima Velobike http://www.cabbike.pl/
01:02:26 Flevobike http://www.flevobike.nl/
01:08:22 Cycles JV-Fenioux http://www.cyclesjvfenioux.com/
01:09:41 Bike Revolution http://www.bike-revolution.at/
01:13:40 Velomobiel.nl http://www.velomobiel.nl/
01:16:35 Gary Rides a QuattroVelo
01:17:53 Larry Rides a Windcheetah
01:18:27 Out Takes
The well known and respected German tire manufacturer, Schwalbe, has put together a considerable amount of information about tires on their website. Being the number one tire manufacturer in all of Europe and gaining rapid ground in the U.S. I think it is safe to say that they know a thing or two about tires. Here are their various webpages concerning tires:
****************** and as an added bonus 🙂 …
SCHWABE MARATHON PLUS REVIEW
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 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.
You can read his daughter’s article about him HERE.
And HERE is Dan’s Facebook page.
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.
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, 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’
Matt Galat is getting to be pretty well known as time goes along. His ambitious undertaking of riding his tadpole trike on a 5 year long journey covering more than 100 countries as he goes from China to the United States is indeed an amazing and challenging adventure. Most of us could never make such a journey, but we can take advantage of what Matt offers us thru his excellent videos and writings about his journey. His website has a new look which is phenomenal in itself. He has done a great job with it.
Those who have already been following Matt on his journey probably already know of the two set backs which have occurred on his first two attempts. The first one ended when he got hit by a truck and received a broken collar bone as a result.
After healing up and totally re-outfitting with a new trike and trailer he started off again.
That attempt ended when he developed a knee problem. Since then he has been working toward getting into the physical condition he will need for his next planned adventure … climbing Mt. Everest before he continues on his trike journey.
Matt’s videos and narrative are always very well done and interesting so I highly recommend them to you. Follow along keeping up with his epic adventures. There are several different ways you can do this. Here are some of them:
I can see that this journey Matt is on has already brought on some changes in him … good or bad … you be the judge. Hey, it just might grow on ya’. 🙂
I would say that this is a clear cut case of photoshopping going on.
(Actually it was done with an fun image app.)
Speaking of technology … turning air into drinking water as we ride … producing 1/2 quart per hour. It’s Australian inventor says the bottle works best between 86 degrees and 104 degrees Fahrenheit and between 80 and 90% humidity. He also says that it isn’t perfected yet as far as filtration and it is something he is working on. He plans in the near future to set up a crowdfunding campaign to get the Fontus to market. He is anticipating pricing of under $100. Although this is a useful new tool for cyclists, it is a potentially life-saving design for underdeveloped countries.
Note: you can click on any picture in a WordPress blog and have it open up in it’s own window where it will often appear larger size. To return to the previous page you were viewing just use your browser’s back button.
The one question I have about this product is … what happens if the bottle gets full? Does the water generating system shut off? If not, what happens to the water that is still be produced?
For as long as I can remember I have heard and read that the higher the air pressure in a bike tire the better it will roll … meaning faster because of less rolling resistance. Along with this it was believed that narrower tires do better than wider tires when it comes to the speed they are capable of. Well, now it has been proven that this is false. Yep, now they are saying that we can run wider tires and at lower pressures without encountering a reduction in the speed we can obtain as well as the effort needed to propel ourselves along at those speeds. HERE is an article about this subject written by Jan Heine on his blog.
Personally I have a difficult time accepting this. My own experience is that the same tire at a lower pressure rolls less easily than it does at a higher pressure. I can detect a lot of difference between the pressure as it takes more effort to pedal and I can’t go as fast when the pressure gets down too low. And I am talking about staying within the minimum and maximum pressure rating. It really is difficult to argue against scientific studies, but I am not buying into this just now.
So what about you? What do you think? Your feedback is most welcome. Leave a comment.