Category Archives: riding

“FAUX PEDALING” – FAKING IT HERE, BOSS

Recently I have been coming across the term faux pedaling. I had never heard of it before so I had to look it up. It isn’t the easiest term to find much of anything out about. To start off the word faux is French and means “fake”. Here is the dictionary definition of faux:

made in imitation; artificial.
“a string of faux pearls”
not genuine; fake or false.
“their faux concern for the well-being of the voters didn’t fool many”

Basically from what I have been able to gather it is pedaling without any physical effort … not putting any pressure pushing on the pedals. With e-motor assist this is possible if the rider wants to do it. There are those who say it is cheating. It is true that one doesn’t build up leg muscle or burn as many calories when faux pedaling, but the good news is the rider is still getting exercise spinning the cranks around. And if they are spun fast enough the rider can get a cardio workout even if they are not building leg muscle. That being said, usually the faux pedaling is done slower than what the cycle is traveling so it is obvious that something is going on that just doesn’t look right. One thing I have often done with and without e-motor assist is to pedal backwards while going forward. I have tried pedaling forward while going backwards, but found that it just doesn’t work.

So what is my point in bringing this subject matter up? I don’t know. I may not have one other than to mention that I am sure there will be naysayers out there who want to sound off and protest against this. Keep in mind though that there are some folks who are not physically able to push hard enough on the pedals to propel the cycle. They are doing good to be able to faux pedal. At least they are out there getting some exercise and …

ENJOYING THE RIDE!

And they are only able to do so with the aid of e-motor assist. Yes, the motor is doing most of the work, but that is a whole lot better than being a total couch potato. So just maybe others need to be kind and cut them some slack. None of us know what tomorrow holds. We could be among those who find them self saying “Faking it here, boss!”

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THE GREAT ALLEGHENY PASSAGE TRAIL

The Great Allegheny Passage Trail is reported to be one great ride. Many of us will never be able to take the actual ride, but we can experience it via this video.

THE GREAT AMERICAN RAIL-TRAIL

The Great American Rail-Trail is an ongoing project as well as a great vision. From sea to shining sea … from Washington (D.C. ) to Washington  (Seattle) … better bring your pajamas as you won’t make this ride in one day. I like the idea of riding across the country on a bike trail and not having to deal with riding on dangerous roads.

Most definitely one challenge and important concern to such a trail is providing toilets all along the route. We can’t be going behind a bush or tree and definitely we all have to go sometime … in more ways than one.

HERE is an article about this trail explaining the plan and providing some information about what has been built thus far and where things stand.

Much of the trail utilizes rail trails that are already in existence and are simply being linked together rather than starting from scratch and building all new. In my State of Indiana the Cardinal Greenway is a part of it.

I hope the governing body has the good sense not to restrict e-assist cycles from using the trail. I wonder how the governing body is going to work seeing how this long trail system is utilizing existing trails which already have their own governing entity.

One thing about it … if a tadpole trike rider took off on this nearly 4000 mile long trail they certainly could …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

I put together this video for this occasion.  It is a compilation of images of recumbent trikes out in the snow … riding in a winter wonderland. Merry  Christmas to each and everyone of you. May you truly know and embrace the reason for the season.

BRAKE STEER

The two front brakes on a tadpole trike are such an important component. We need them to slow us down at times and to completely stop us. That is a given. But did you know that you can help steer your trike with them? I do it all the time. It is very helpful for those who like to ride a little faster than others. Entering a curve going faster than is recommended the use of one brake applied properly can make a big difference in how the trike handles the curve.  Those who are really skilled at riding fast thru a turn may use a combination of leaning their upper body into the turn as well as braking on the inside wheel of the turn. Using a brake to help the trike turn thru a corner is something one must be careful of as if it is not done correctly it could have bad results. So my suggestion is to learn how to do it slowly … at slower speeds … discovering how it works and becoming skilled at it. Then one can start speeding up a little at a time until they reach their personal potential or the physical limitations … whichever comes first. Be aware that applying the brake too hard in a turn is dangerous and can result in a crash. Like ol’ Dirty Harry said … a man’s gotta know his limits … and the physical limits of the trike. Anyway, by slowing the inside wheel down in a turn the trike will want to turn thru it easier. Too much brake application is not good so as I said practice is needed. I would suggest practicing and honing your initial skills in an empty parking lot where you have plently of room. Then you can move onto streets, roads and trails. Just don’t “hotdog” around others.  Be a good ambassador out there when you are around others. In doing so we can all …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

BIRTHDAY RIDES

Birthday rides have been around for awhile. It is not just a matter of going out for a ride on your birthday, but rather riding one mile for each year of one’s age.  I must admit I think they got things messed up. Riding 90 miles at 90 years old seems like a bit much to me. It seems like the mileage needs to be decreasing as one ages rather than increasing.  Hmmm … I think I would rather take a ride on a tilt-a-whirl anyway on my birthday. I wonder if I could still handle it at 90. Although I have not ridden any carnival rides for at least 30 years I like to think that at 71 I could still handle it like I did as a teenager. What? Oh ye of little faith! My birthday is near the end of the year and I live in the northern United States so I won’t be going on any long rides at that time of year. I do good to be able to go out for a short ride. Then there are the New Year Day rides. The weather is seldom very accommodating so I rarely go out for a New Year Day ride. As most of us have learned … in life you can’t always have your cake and eat it too. Hey, that chocolate birthday cake does look pretty good. I can’t ride my trike until I get new wheels for it and I can’t eat any of that cake. I am trying to make the best of it. I really want to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

So have any of you done birthday rides? Sound off in the “COMMENTS”.

CENTURY RIDES – ARE YOU UP TO IT?

I have never been much of a goal setter in my life. I reckon I am just too “laid back” in my approach to life. I have never had a bucket list as some do. I just take one day at a time and usually have no anxiety in my life. I truly enjoy inner peace each and every day. Never  the less, I have had one desire of sorts I have wanted to accomplish. I have wanted to complete a “century ride” on my trike. When I was younger I many times rode 100 plus miles in one day on my bicycle. It was very common for me. However in more recent years since I started riding recumbents I have never ridden that kind of distance in one day. About 9 years ago I attempted it and made it to 89 miles when I was forced to stop as it had gotten dark and the batteries in my headlight drained down to where I could no longer see where I was going. I didn’t carry extra batteries with me at that time. (I have since then.) It bummed me out as I was doing well and would not of had any issue getting the remaining 11 miles in. I didn’t have the health issues then that I do now … at least not to the extent I do now.

Century rides are normally a matter of an organized event where numerous bicyclists participate and must complete the 100 miles within 12 hours. That being said, riding 100 miles certainly isn’t limited to  doing so under those conditions.  Part of my riding that day was riding with two friends and part of it was riding my myself. A small part of it was riding on city streets while the rest of it was all on local trails.

The other day a friend of mine told me that he was going to ride 100 miles that day. I knew he wouldn’t do it as he is quite prone to exaggeration and falsehoods. I hear such stuff all the time from him. The fact that he made the boast that day sparked something within me as the day went on. I had not planned to attempt riding 100 miles, but as the day went on I kept riding and by 6:30 PM I had ridden my first century ride on my trike. I started out about 8:30 and stopped for lunch for at least 30 minutes. I rode at a slow pace when I rode with my friends as they ride very slow. So in order to get the 100 miles in in the tme I started actually working on it (about 3:30 PM) I had to ride much faster. I was glad to have finally accomplished it. I am not getting any younger and it is not likely the health issues I have will ever improve. I have done it andno doubt will ever attempt it again. I am sure I could. I just don’t have any desire to do it again. Once is enough. And here is the proof:

my two computers showing the 100 mile distance on the tripometer mode display

I know that some riders have ridden on several centrury rides. I would be interested in reading comments from readers as to whether or not you have ridden on at least one centry ride. If not, have you considered it? Do you have a goal of accomplishing it? Please sound off. And by all means even if it is something you have no hope of ever accomplishing don’t give up. 100 feet in distance is better than nothing. Do whatever you can do to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

and

ENJOY THE RIDE!

TEARING IT UP HERE, BOSS!

Flies, mosquitoes, gnats, mice, rats, potato bugs, bed bugs, fleas, cockroaches, lice, mites … the list could go on and on. All these belong to the animal kingdom and they are all considered pests of various sorts and degree. Even animals we consider beneficial and good that they exist sometimes do things which we don’t appreciate and bother us. But I am not writing about these sorts of pests today. Rather I am adding a few other words to that list of pests. These are words that are not of the animal kingdom although certainly sometimes an animal can cause one or more of these words to materalize. If it sounds like I am talking in riddles perhaps I have been so I will get to the point. I live in a northern city in the United States. And like most northern cities we have a serious problem with potholes. Like the list of animals which plague man I add potholes to the list. They are one nasty threat which are out to mess up our day and bring destruction upon our “cycles” regardless of what kind we ride or how careful we  try to be to avoid these threats.

Even our paved trails are not exempt from these nasty holes. Holes of any type regardless of the cause can do some very serious damage to our trikes … most particularly tires, inner tubes, spokes and rims. Even our frames can crack or bend from the harsh impact. Sometimes we don’t see the holes in time to avoid them. And I find that even more often I see them, but circumstances don’t permit me to avoid hitting them. I have objects on both sides of me which have me “penned in” … unable to steer to one side or the other to avoid them. Sadly most cities do a very poor job “fixing” potholes. Where I live is no exception. Both of my front rims are in bad shape due to hitting so many potholes. And some of those potholes were really bad ones.

Hitting pot holes on a bicycle is more dangerous than it is on a trike, but that doesn’t mean that a trike can’t wreck also. Here are a couple of bikes that encountered a pothole while riding along on a road. I sure don’t miss riding bicycles. I feel so much safer on a trike not to mention so much more comfortable.

Definitely holes are worse than bumps, but I would have to add bumps to the list of pests too. Probably the most common and worst of the bumps I encounter are the result of tree roots raising the asphalt or concrete.

These shown above are minor compared to the ones we have on some of our local trails.

And, of course, raised concrete is the worst as it usually means we are hitting sharp raised harsh edges. They too can do some serious damage to our wheels (tires, inner tubes, spokes and rims) and more.

In dealing with such threats certainly suspension would be of some help with the emphasis being on “some” as it can’t totally prevent damage from occurring. However, many of us lack suspension so we must deal with this issue the best we can. Balloon type tires can also be helpful as they offer some cushioning effect. Of course, there are trade-offs in any of the choices we have.

The amount of air pressure we run our tires at also comes into play. The higher the pressure the less forgiving the tires are when we hit holes and bumps. Of course, running too low of pressure on a given tire is also a problem as then we lack sufficient protection having air pressure inside offers. Every tire has a range in which they should be maintained … not under inflated and not over inflated. Certainly FAT tires offer a lot of protection as they are the ultimate balloon tire. I have been running balloon tires on my trike now for several months, but I will soon be switching back to Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires. I like the ride and handling of the balloon tires just fine, but in order to obtain good handling and reasonable speed I have been running them over inflated by 5 to 10 psi and that has no doubt shortened their life. In the past I have always ran the 1.75 width Marathon Plus tires, but this time I ordered the 1.35 width. I have never had that narrow of a tire mounted on my trike so it will be an experience for me. I have seen them installed on other trikes and they look so tiny compared to what I am used to seeing. And going from my 2.15 balloon tires to the 1.35 will really be drastic. And I will be going from a maximum inflation pressure of 50 psi to 100 psi with the Marathon Plus tires. There goes my only form of suspension. But I bet I will be able to ride a little faster. I don’t know though. These Big Ben balloon tires roll really good with the psi I am running in them. It will be interesting to see how this all pans out.

Be careful out there. Some of those potholes are deep and it is not likely you have a snorkel or scuba diving gear with you much less a ladder. 🙂

We live in an imperfect world and dealing with these pests are a part of it. That is why I titled this TEARING IT UP HERE, BOSS!  We need to stay alert and do our best to avoid these “nasties”. Hey, regardless of these hazards I plan on doing what I can to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

P.S. – I didn’t care for the 1.35 Marathon Plus tires at all so I switched back to the 1.75s.

MOM ON A TADPOLE TRIKE

This isn’t my mom, but it reminds me of my mom. If she were still alive at an age when she was still able like this mom, I am quite sure I could be making a video like this one of my mom riding my trike. She rode bicycleS and motorcycles for many years and really enjoyed it. i occasionaly rode with her many years ago. Lots of fond memories filled with fun are mine these many years later. I am pretty sure my mom would be a tadpole rider today if she lived her life in a different time span. And she too would be wearing the infamous “recumbent smile”.

TRIKE RACING IN FLORIDA

MOVING RIGHT ALONG …

Moving right along …

3 CHEERS FOR RECUMBENT TADPOLE TRIKES

LET’S GO FOR A RIDE

TRIKE RIDING TOGETHER AS FAMILY & WITH FRIENDS

I am past 70 years old so I have to think back a ways to remember as a child growing up doing various things together as a family. Still I have fond memories and appreciate those times we spent together. We didn’t have tadpole trikes then. We did have bicycles and motorcycles which we rode together.My parents may be gone but friends are still around and almost daily I am making memories with them riding our trikes When I look at videos online showing families/friends riding together it brings back those memories. Perhaps it will for you as well. And if you are younger than I am perhaps you are still making memories with your own children. Anyway, here are some videos of families enjoying riding together.

HERE are more videos.

RECUMBENT TRIKE RIDE WITH MY DOG

RECUMBENT RANGERS ON THE WITHLACOOCHEE TRAIL

BUMPIN’ INTO BENTS

More and more I too am “bumpin’ into other tadpole trikes out on the trails. No, not literally. I have not collided with any of them, but I sure am seeing more and more of them making their appearance. I like seeing the numbers growing.

RIDING ON THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA

We hear a lot about fake news nowadays (it is about time somebody pointed it out). Well, we also have a lot of fake images. The one above is an example of such. That being said, there really has been cycling on the Great Wall of China. Here is proof …

You didn’t see any tadpole trikes along there, did you? I think you will agree that it looks mighty risky on a bike much less attempting it on a trike. It sure looks like a guy could fairly easily launch himself into “inner space”. I think the odds are pretty good that if you rode off one side or the other you would head down and not up so there is not much chance of going into outer space.

And even if you were to tempt fate you might find it a little crowded at times. I know that would cramp my style as I hate dealing with crowds. 🙂

And then there are other times one would be hard pressed to spot a single soul on some parts of the Great Wall.

So I don’t know about you, but I think I will stick to fakery. It is much much safer. 🙂

HERE are more of my fake pictures.

Wherever you find yourself riding try to be safe and …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

 

ORGANIZED RALLIES, RIDES and EVENTS

There are several various rallies, rides and events held each year around the nation. And, of course, there are similar events in other countries of the world, but I am only covering some which are here in the United States. By the way, to the best of my knowledge and understanding all brands of tadpole trikes, delta trikes, “Florida tricycles”, 2 wheel recumbent bikes and diamond frame bikes are welcome to participate regardless of the event being a specific brand name trike. There are always other pedal powered cycles in attendance from what I have seen in videos and still pictures and from what I have read about the rallies.

Rallies: (Some of the biggies/best known)

Heart of Texas Recumbent Rally  (HOT … a Catrike rally held in Austin, TX)

Wisconsin’s Hostel Shoppe hosts their Midwest Recumbent Rally in August. They also sponsor an annual FALL COLOR TOUR up in Wisconsin.

Fort Stevens (Oregon) Recumbent Rally

Here are some more individual listings of rallies:

West Michigan Recumbent Rally

RBR Recumbent Bike and Trike Rally (Pennsylvania)

Smoky Mountain Recumbent Rally  (Maryville, TN)

Tator TOT Recumbent Rally    (Idaho)

Great Western Bicycle Rally (central California)

PALM ride (Pedal Across Lower Michigan)

TerraTrike RiderFest (Michigan)

Michigan HPV rallies

For 11 years Catrike offered an annual rally including rides and a tour of their factory in Orlando, Florida. However they no longer sponsor the ride which I find very sad.

Rides:

RAGBRAI is an annual seven-day cycling ride across the state of Iowa, the oldest,
largest and longest cycling touring event in the world. The route averages 468 miles,
with an average of 67 miles per day. It begins along Iowa’s western border on the
Missouri River and ends along the eastern border on the Mississippi River.

BAK (Biking Across Kansas) is a recreational and social rally for cyclists, an annual,
eight-day tour across the state of Kansas. BAK promotes wellness through cycling,
while experiencing the history and beauty of the Kansas landscape, and the warm
hospitality of the Kansas towns and people.

GOBA (The Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure) is an annual one-week cycling-camping
tour in June. Each year the GOBA route features a different part of Ohio, meandering
through the quiet countryside and stopping at tourist destinations. The ride includes
5 days of cycling from town to town, and 2 days of optional loops.

You can read about some other rides and events HEREHERE  and HERE

Bent Rider OnLine  has a MESSAGE BOARD concerning events, rides and rallies readers post.

Recumbent Events:

Recumbent Cycle-Con

Races:

http://www.recumbents.com/wisil/calendar.asp

Rider Meetups:

TrikeGroups is probably the best of the websites for connecting with other riders. HERE is another website concerning meeting up with other trikers and organizing rides together. I think you have to sign up to use this website. If there are none in your area you can start one here. HERE is a website where you can look up groups listed by State.

Sadly, these websites have been around for a few years, but there just doesn’t seem to be much interest in it. With only a few exceptions what few group listings there are only have 1 to 3 members and don’t ever seem to grow. I am not surprised at this however as it is exactly what I have found to be the way most riders are … no interest in riding together.

I created a group on TrikeGroups for Fort Wayne, but no one showed any interest so I deleted it. As much as I would love to see other tadpole trike riders here in Fort Wayne meet up to ride together it just doesn’t seem to be happening.

http://www.trikegroups.com/browsegroups.php?s=2&c=IN

I guess most of us who ride tadpole trikes don’t buy into the words of the song … “Let’s get together … yeah, yeah, yeah … It could be so much fun”. OK, I admit … I added my own words on the end. But it is true ya’ know. I don’t mind riding by myself, but I definitely think it is more enjoyable to ride together with other tadpole trikes.

There may be bicycle organizations in your area already, but most usually are hard core diamond frame road riders (“roadies”) who go out pedaling around 23 +/- mph average … in short, a different breed which I think most would agree that tadpole trikes don’t fit in too well.

One thing I want to mention is that most organized rides and test rides at events require helmets to be worn on rides.

I am sure there are numerous events I have not covered as I certainly don’t know about all that many. Hopefully those of you who have an interest in this can do some digging and find out. Usually local bike shops have information on rides and events concerning cycling. And hopefully this will be helpful or at least encouraging for all of us to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

IF YOU’VE GOT ‘EM, USE ‘EM (GEARS THAT IS)

I have never been a smoker but certainly I have been forced against my will to be around a lot of smoking. When I was going thru boot camp (recruit training) in the Navy I remember the company commander saying the words “If you’ve got em, smoke em”. This was how a smoking break was announced. Obviously, if someone lacks something they can’t very well use them.

Some folks buy trikes which lack sufficient gearing for hill climbing. What can I say? But for those who purchased trikes with low gearing available what I am talking about here applies … if you have low enough gearing, use it. I am amazed at the number I riders I come across that don’t use their gears much at all. Hey, that is what they are there for. Some are quite intimidated by them. They don’t understand them and don’t know how to shift them. I am amazed by that as it is so simple. And it is also so practical, sensible and very much needed.

We can encounter some horrendous hills and having and using “granny gear” is a must if we are going to climb them. I have written quite a bit about this before: HERE, HEREHERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE, With all that already written I won’t go on here much more. I just want to emphasize that we need to use the gears and not be afraid of them. If you have a derailleur system the main thing to remember is don’t try to shift when stopped or while pushing hard on the pedals. Shifting, especially downshifting, must be done ahead of time before one gets themselves into trouble not being in the right gear. One can do serious and expensive damage to the rear derailleur when attempting to shift if under heavy load or while stopped. You can literally turn it into the shape of a pretzel leaving you stranded and having to buy a new derailleur.

So I say again … if you’ve got ’em, use ’em. It will make your ride much more enjoyable and help you to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’