Category Archives: riding

PICK A TRAIL, ANY TRAIL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wherever you choose to ride be safe out there and …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

TWO VELOMOBILES RIDING AFTER DARK

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

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

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CATRIKE FACEOFF … 700 VS EOLA

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

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

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

ANALOGY OF A CRASH … SOMETHING TO BE AWARE OF

 

Although this story is about a velomobile we all need to remember that a velomobile is a tadpole trike with a shell around it. That means that what happened to this velomobile can happen to a tadpole trike. I have written about trike tip over before.

These videos point that out. This was an accident and accidents do happen. I have had several accidents on my tadpole trike. Fortunately I am still here to talk about it. BTW, rumble strips are very dangerous for small lightweight vehicles including bicycles and motorcycles. At the end of this video I will relate the story of another velomobile that encountered rumble strips.

Back in the summer of 2011 a group of velomobiles (mostly from Europe) rode from Portland, Oregon to Washington, D.C. This organized ride was called ROAM (Roll Over America). There were about 50 velomobiles involved. They came thru Fort Wayne, Indiana where I live and stayed overnight at a local city park at a campground. I went there to see them and meet some of them. I wrote up an article on my Tadpole Rider blog. While talking with some of the riders I learned of one of them that had their ride cut short way back in the western U.S. when going 70 mph downhill and flipped over suddenly when it hit rumble strips. These European riders knew nothing of rumble strips as they don’t have them in Europe they said. This was a very unfriendly introduction indeed. The velomobile involved in this wreck was hauled on a trailer the rest of the way.

The good thing about this was it was only the outside of the velomobile that got “road rash”. That body protected his body. If he had been on a regular tadpole trike he likely would have had an altogether different outcome. It could have been not only road rash but he could have slid right into or under the passing truck.

Yes, sliding around sideways and suddenly have the rear tire catch regaining some traction can easily result in a violent tip over. As the saying goes … Been There, Done That … and I am not anxious to repeat it. Try to be careful out there. We all want to be safe and …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

THE LANE SAVER

A new safety product is coming out which may be of interest to some riders, especially if they ride on streets and roads. It is called The Lane Saver. It’s purpose is to help keep motor vehicle traffic a safe distance away from the cyclist.

HERE is their website.

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ARE YOU PHONY?

Now I ask you … are you phony? I am talking about while riding your trike. I must confess, I am … at least some of the time. Not many have probably heard of the term “faux pedaling”. Faux is a French word which means “fake”. Faux pedaling has recently become part of cycling vocabulary as a result of equipping bikes (and trikes) with motors. Now riding a bike or trike which is strictly “pedal assist”  one can’t be guilty of faking it as in order for the cycle to move the rider must be pedaling supplying some degree of human power applied to the pedals. But for those who have a hand throttle they certainly can get away with faking it if they choose to. I am talking about simply pedaling without actually pushing on the pedals adding anything which helps move the cycle along. They are simply turning the crankset and it can’t be detected whether or not they are actually helping propel the cycle along. Yes, sometimes I am just turning the crankset … faking it. But for what it is worth … sometimes I am pedaling and not using the motor at all … providing 100 % of the propulsion. So please don’t be too hard on me. I am out there nearly everyday riding approximately 50 miles a day. I may be faking it or I may not be. I am not telling. I assure you that I am getting quite a lot of exercise … more with a motor than I got without one. And with the motor I am truly …

ENJOYING THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

DANGER DANGER DANGER … CROSSING ANGLED RAILROAD TRACKS

I learned as a child as I am sure many of us did that one must be careful crossing railroad tracks that intersect the road on an angle. The more of an angle the more dangerous the situation is. This is especially true for a bicycle than it is for a tadpole trike yet even a tadpole trike can be susceptible to the possibility of a wheel going down into the tracks and causing a wreck. It is always safest for a narrow width wheel vehicle to cross over railroad tracks at as close to a perpendicular (90 degree) angle as possible.

This is to prevent a wheel from getting caught in the railroad tracks and causing a wreck. Depending upon the width of the road the rider may have to ride over into the oncoming traffic lane to make this maneuver so be sure the way is clear ahead and behind.

Although the video below is about bicycles it illustrates what I am talking about including a wheel getting caught and causing a wreck. Fortunately the rider saved the situation and managed to avoid going completely down.

As a child I learned what can happen. I had the same experience as the bicyclist in the picture above did. Fortunately I didn’t get injured but it taught me how important it is to cross tracks safely. I might mention that the worse the pavement is at the train tracks the more dangerous the crossing is. Be safe out there so that you can …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

RIDING IN CADES COVE (TENNESSEE)

I came across this video and thought I would share it. I have often heard a lot about Cades Cove in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains and I am sure it would be a great ride. I am equally sure that the closest I will ever get to riding there is watching videos of others who rode there.

Ed Miller has several videos of riding thru Cades Cove …

There is camping and lodging available for those visiting Cades Cove.

Cades Cove is rich in wildlife …

Cades Cove is rich in history …

Cades Cove is rich in natural beauty …

There are several waterfalls to see …

For those who can manage and handle a winter day excursion there is more natural beauty to behold …

HERE is an interesting read about Cades Cove as well as info resources on several topics including places to stay overnight.

If you are fortunate enough to be able to ride in the Cades Cove area be safe (don’t attempt to get too close to the wildlife) and …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

HERE are more videos of recumbent trike riding in Cades Cove.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

“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.

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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’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

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!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

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”.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

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!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

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.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

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 occasionally 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”.

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TRIKE RACING IN FLORIDA

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MOVING RIGHT ALONG …

Moving right along …

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3 CHEERS FOR RECUMBENT TADPOLE TRIKES

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