Category Archives: news and interviews
I have started a Facebook Group with the same name as this blog, Tadpole Rider. It is more less an extension of this blog. By that I mean if you enjoy reading this blog you will likely enjoy the FB group. In fact, you may enjoy it even more as it will be sort of a “real time” deal where I and members can post, comment and interact whenever we are online and logged in. We can discuss various topics and give advice. We can attempt to answer one another’s questions and resolve issues. We can share our experiences and knowledge with one another. We can post pictures and videos. All it takes is a Facebook account to visit it and a request to join the group if you want to post and comment. I invite you to come check it out. Just click on the link provided below to go to it.
There are some specific guidelines and rules to follow. There aren’t many, but what ones I have established are crucial and must be adhered to.
1) This group is about tadpole trikes so only postings and comments pertaining to tadpole trikes and riding them are allowed. (Don’t post about bicycles here. There are other groups for those who want to post about bicycles.) Anything else will be deleted as it is in violation of this rule. If a member repeatedly violates this rule they will be privately warned (if possible) and if they continue to do so they will be removed from membership.
2) All postings and comments must be clean and wholesome as well as respectful to others. No one will be permitted to argue and ‘get ugly’ with other members. Again anyone who violates this will be warned privately (if possible) and if they continue on they will be removed from membership.
That’s it! Simple enough and I think quite reasonable. Please come join. The more the merrier and, indeed, the better the group will be.
tadpole trike, tadpole trikes, tadpole tricycles, recumbent trikes, recumbent tricycles, recumbent tadpole trikes, recumbent tadpole tricycles, American Cruiser, Atomic Zombie, Azub, Bikes Reclinadas, CarbonTrikes, Catrike, Challenge, David Bruce Trikes, Edge Recumbents, Evolve, FFR Trikes, Fortrike, Greenspeed, HP Velotecknik, ICE, KMX, Logo Trikes, Outrider USA, Performer, Podersa Cycles, Scarab, Steintrikes, SunSeeker, TerraTrike, Ti-Trikes, Trident, TrikeWars, TriSled, TW-Bents, Utah Trikes, Windcheetah
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.
Here is an interesting video of a person who is a paraplegic. Thru the aid of computer programmed nerve stimulation implants he is able to pedal a tadpole trike. Unfortunately I am unable to show the video here. In order to view it you will have to CLICK HERE and watch it on another website. The video should appear and start playing automatically.
It is neat to see what modern technology is able to accomplish. May those who are stricken with such physical problems continue to be aided so that they too can …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
Another FAT trike has made its appearance. With the popularity of fat trikes more manufacturers are coming out with their particular offering. This time it is Tri-Sled and they are calling their fat trike “Gizmo Phat”. That seems like a rather strange name, but hey, who cares. I guess in the scheme of things it matters not. I think it is a nice looking trike. Tri-Sled is an Australian manufacturer. Their “flagship” model is called Gizmo and so they continued with that name as part of the model name on a couple of other models they also offer. Did you follow that? Oh, never mind … it is not important.
As is often the case there is not much information available concerning this new model at this time. It does look interesting as the width of the trike has purposely been kept minimal so that it will fit thru small openings where many trikes could not go.
HERE is TriSled’s website. HERE is TriSled’s Facebook page. At the time I am composing this article I do not find any mention of this new model on their website, but it is shown (just announced) on their Facebook page.
As you can see it has a rear disc brake as well as the ones on the front wheels.
With no information to be found online about this new model there is not much more I can offer here and now. As you can see it has 20 inch tires. Here is what little they have said about this new model:
“Introducing ‘Gizmo Phat’….Trisled’s latest contribution to the Phat bike world! Featuring a hand crafted aircraft grade Cro-mo frame (like all Trisleds), Carbon fibre seat, and more compact 20×4” wheels. We’ve also kept the track width ‘Trisled Narrow’ … “
It will be interesting to see what happens as time passes. The FAT trike scene is getting more and more interesting all the time.
I recently came across this video I am sharing here. It does an excellent job explaining why people enjoy riding a recumbent bike or trike. Here is the video description:
“Why do people ride recumbent bikes and trikes? One of the biggest reasons is the comfortable riding position of recumbents that avoids the well-known discomforts and pains of traditional diamond frame bicycles. In this video, recumbent riders explain why they made the switch to recumbents and love their new ride.
This video is part of a series of videos sponsored by both Catrike and Easy Street Recumbents of Austin, Texas. We are grateful for their support.
A few words about making these videos:
The interviews are mostly culled from several hours of interview footage collected at the 2015 Heart of Texas Recumbent Rally. The unexpected weekend Texas freeze cancelled all of the riding events this year, so we all had to make do with visiting, eating, and drinking in Austin. Everyone I talked to said they had a great time! But this also left a lot of time for interviews, so it was fortunate that Phil Allen and I had come down on Thursday with his lighting, mikes, backgrounds, and camera equipment for the interview setup. My wife, Patti, tried to come down on Friday morning and the highways from Dallas to Austin were closed!
A word or few about Phil:
Phil Allen is a professional videographer and editor, with (among other awards and accolades) a Texas Emmy under his belt for the documentary “A Fair To Remember” about the history of the Texas State Fair.
Phil did all of the “studio” interviews you see in these videos. Ironically, there are also a few outdoor interviews of his that we are using from the 2010 “Texas Catrike Rally” in Dallas, the first rally organized by Jane Knight, that preceded the Austin-based Heart of Texas Recumbent Rallies. This is ironic because I has asked him to come by and film this group at the Sonic while we were stopped for lunch, since it was near his house, and he might be able to use it as a a documentary subject. 5 years later and here it is finally getting used. Phil also provided technical and creative guidance on assembling these videos. And Phil created the 30-second commercial intro used on each video, including the narration. (I just replaced his stock video clips with riders from my video archive.)
I have been filming Catrike and HOT Recumbent Rallies since about 2010, and started editing and posting them just for fun. I have also been collecting video footage at various riding events since 2010 (sometimes riding with 2 or 3 cameras going) and that archive has come in handy for this project. After the first HOT Rally video posted, Mike Librik (Easy Street Recumbents owner) asked me to keep doing it each year. Mike kept wanting more interview footage, and I finally got him to bring in professional help from Phil in 2015. While I have spent many weekends planning out these videos and editing them together from the hours of interviews and years of riding video archive, I could not have put this together as well without Phil’s guidance and insights. Phil and I have known each other since our kids started in school together in 1999. This is the first video project we have been able to work on together and I am very happy with the results. I hope you are too.
after illness or injury
HERE are other videos posted on YouTube by Steve Erickson.
I am sure many of us know about Matt Galat’s amazing trike journey that is underway once again … starting over after his first attempt ended unexpectedly while still in China thanks to a big truck hitting him resulting in a broken bone in his left shoulder. Matt is all healed up now and re-outfitted even better than before. Here is a picture of Matt with his new rig.
He calls his endeavor JaYoe. JaYoe! is a Chinese phrase meaning “add fuel”. Matt has many great videos he has already created and now he offers a podcast to listen to.
The JaYoe Nation Podcast follows Matt as he makes his way from China all the way to USA on the seat of his recumbent trike. This podcast gives you a chance to see the in’s and out’s of what goes into traveling around the world. Learn about the places, people, and cultures as well as the gear and personal journey’s that take place during a tour like this.
Here is one of Matt’s most recent videos … laughingly entitled “REBOOT”. That pretty much sums up what is going on concerning his world journey.
The JaYoe Travelogues follow Matt as he rides his trike from China to USA … through 100 countries as he ventures and captures what he is ‘seeing, doing and meeting’ along the way.
If you are interested in following Matt’s journey around the world, visit the following links…
Way back in the year of our Lord, 2011, a rather unique event took place here in the United States. A group of velomobiles gathered together in Portland, Oregon to participate in the ROAM velomobile tour from Portland to Washington, D.C. ROAM stands for Roll Over America. They averaged about 125 miles per day. The vast majority of the velomobile riders who completed the tour were from Europe, most particularly the Netherlands and Germany. Their route they were travelling brought them thru Fort Wayne, Indiana where I live so I made the effort to go to the city park where they would spend the night camping.
I saw many of them as they pulled in to the campgrounds. It was summertime and every single one of them were totally soaking wet with sweat inside their velomobiles. They looked like they had just climbed out of a swimming pool with their clothes on. When I saw that I was really turned off to velomobiles as far as riding inside one of them. I sweat enough out in the open air on my tadpole trike. I could not handle being in a mobile oven.
I was looking over this velomobile pictured above and talking to the owner and builder of it. While I was there a friend of mine happened along with his video camera. He was producing a video about this event and conducting interviews with the riders. I was asking questions myself which were captured on the video’s audio. I did not realize at the time that my friend was producing this video. Otherwise I would not have done this. He said it didn’t matter as my questions were good questions anyway so it didn’t mess up his video taping.
Here are some more pictures of this particular trike:
Just a reminder that you can click on any of the photos to have them open up in their own window where you can see them full size. To return to this page just use your browser’s back button.
In this last picture you can see my trike sitting in the background with my yellow and orange flags sticking up above the open cockpit of the velomobile.
While at the city park checking out all these velomobiles rolling in I befriended a German rider who was in need to new chain for his velomobile. I took him to a local bike shop (before they closed) so he could get the chain he needed.
Here are some of the velomobile riders posing together.
And here they are lined up for photo shoots in the nation’s capital.
And here they are riding down the streets in Washington, D.C.
Also if you are interested in reading websites about this event you can check them out HERE.
If my memory serves me correctly they started out with about 50 riders from 7 different countries. About half of them were from Europe and the rest were from North America (U.S. and Canada). Most of those who were from North America dropped out along the way for one reason or another and it was mainly the Europeans who completed the tour. I think there were 30 some who completed the event.
I talked to several of the riders and some of them reported that coming thru the Rocky mountains they exceeded 70 mph downhill. One of the riders wrecked while travelling along at about 25 mph when he encountered “rumble strips” the second day out. He described what happened HERE. What I don’t understand is this is reported to have happened on I-84. My question is ‘what were these velomobiles doing on an interstate highway?’ It is my understanding that it would be very much illegal for them to be on an interstate highway.