Category Archives: riding
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 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”.
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’
ENJOY THE RIDE!
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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!
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)
Here are some more individual listings of rallies:
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)
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.
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.
Bent Rider OnLine has a MESSAGE BOARD concerning events, rides and rallies readers post.
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 just created a group on TrikeGroups for Fort Wayne. As much as I would love to see other tadpole trike riders here in Fort Wayne join the group (named Fort Wayne Tadpole Riders) (Just zoom in on the map page to find the group. You will see Fort Wayne. Click on the red symbol.) I doubt very much if anyone does … maybe 2 or 3. I also created a Facebook Group by that name and I doubt if more than a small handful will join it. (Please don’t ask to join if you are not from the Fort Wayne area and ride here.) If you do a search by States you will find this listing:
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’
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, HERE, HERE, 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’
A couple of years ago I managed to get the wax in my ears pushed back inside to where it was “impacted”. I suddenly transformed myself into the world of silence. I can remember driving myself to the doctor’s office to have them clear my ears of this wax impacting. It was really eerie driving along not being able to hear. Fortunately they got me fixed up and I could hear again. I can’t say that I enjoyed being deaf, but it was an interesting experience to go thru.
Now I said all that to lead up to my topic of this posting. Basically I am talking about all the different sounds we hear as we ride our trikes along … whether it be around many others and lots of sources of noise or by ourselves with very limited sound sources. Most definitely my favorite riding is away from the maddening crowd and all the noise associated with and generated by it. I enjoy hearing birds singing, squirrels chattering away, frogs croaking, animals rustling the leaves and brush, and even the faint sounds coming from my trike as I pedal along.
Yes, I can truthfully say I enjoy hearing all those sounds. And then back to civilization I hear sirens, horns, car alarms, trains, traffic (trucks, buses, motorcycles, cars, etc.), outdoor speakers at businesses, loud so called music coming from motor vehicles and the list goes on. All of it is noise and not pleasing sounds. Yep, there is a world of difference between noise and sound. One is usually rather unpleasant and objectionable while the other is welcome and soothing.
This subject matter is one reason I like trails that take me away from the noise. I definitely don’t care for trails that run right along a busy roadway where all that horrible noise is present to contend with. I feel sorry for those who only have those sorts of trails where they live and ride. Of course, it is even worse for those who only have bike lanes on busy roads. And then there are those who don’t even have bike lanes … just busy roads to ride on.
Yep, I like the call of the wild as the silence I find out there can be deafening. 😉
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
If you enjoy seeing and listening to birds HERE is a pretty good video to watch.
Here are some fun and thrilling rides, but certainly foolish and dangerous … not to mention harmful and damaging to the trikes. There is a lot I could say about all of this … tempting fate, endangering life and limb and treating brand new expensive trikes like this … but I will refrain and let you think whatever you want about the matter.
Low & Slow … no, I am not talking about whiskey or any other alcoholic drinks nor am I am talking about Bar-B-Que (there is a restaurant where I live called Low & Slow.) Nope, I am talking about tadpole trikes … they are low & slow. At least this is true for many of us who ride tadpole trikes. That’s okay on both accounts in my book. The good thing about a tadpole trike is not that they have to go slow, but that they can go slow. And being low has its advantages.
Riding a tadpole trike is somewhat like riding a go-cart although a go-cart most definitely handles even better. And there is certainly nothing slow about most go-carts. Some really fly. I remember as a teenager riding a motorcycle. I was always impressed at how fast many motorcycles could accelerate compared to most cars. A friend of mine had a younger brother who had a go-cart. In talking it was decided that we would have a race. I assumed I could out accelerate him, but when we took off he shot out ahead of me like I was sitting still. I was quite impressed as well as embarrassed. Now that has absolutely nothing to do with what I set out to talk about here. It is just a story that came to mind I thought I would share.
Seriously, many have compared riding a tadpole trike to riding a go-cart or driving a sports car. I agree to an extent, but in all honesty both will readily out handle a tadpole trike. However, tadpole trikes are a blast to ride. I used to ride a recumbent bike. I could go faster on it than I can on my tadpole trike, but I found the trike so much more fun to ride as well as more comfortable. So I found myself riding the trike and the bike just sat around. I finally sold the bike and don’t miss it at all. The truth is my wife has a bike identical to the one I had and I can ride it anytime I want. I don’t ride it though as I have my tadpole trike to ride. I may take her bike out sometime later this year just so I can go a bit faster. 🙂 I am sure I won’t make a habit of it though. 😉
My grandniece sitting on my trike … about 9 inches off the pavement
As to the matter of being low tadpole trikes all started out being made to sit pretty low. However, in more recent years some models have been appearing with some pretty high seats which, of course, means that they are not so low. That is not for me. As long as I can get in and out of a lower seat that will be what I prefer to ride. I have tried riding a trike with a very high seat and didn’t care for it at all. The handling and feel of it suffers greatly. No, I want the seat down as low as it can go and still have sufficient ground clearance so the frame clears stuff under it. Sitting just 9 inches off of the ground is my cup of tea.
As to the speed, that is one of those things which varies by the individual rider. Like anything else the “motor” determines what the capability is. Definitely downhill on a tadpole trike is a thrill and they can blast past 2 wheeled bicycles of all sorts. Some trikes are faster than others. That is they are designed to be faster. Again, it is all dependent upon the “motor”. I am sure there are those who can ride a Catrike Villager faster than some could ride a Catrike 700 (using Catrike as an example).
Speaking of the Catrike 700, it as well as the ICE VTX and CarbonTrike models all have a 25 degree seat angle. One’s buttocks are the same height, but the torso and head is positioned lower so in that sense the rider is lower. Of course, not every cares to lean back that far and, indeed, not everybody can handle it physically.
The one thing I really love about riding a tadpole trike is having the ability to go really slow … even stopping on an incline and starting back climbing it again when you are ready to do so. And there is no concern about balancing, falling over or having to put your feet down. You sure can’t do that on a bicycle.
Sitting just inches off of the ground one doesn’t have very far to fall should something go afoul. And being down low makes it appear as though you are going faster than you actually are. That adds to the fun of riding a tadpole trike.
A tadpole trike is capable of carrying heavy loads and being pedaled at slow speeds … and in comfort. Try that on a bicycle.
Yep, low and slow … it’s okay by me. I plan on …
KEEPIN’ ON TRIKIN’
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