Category Archives: riding
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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I grew up learning how to steer in a skid/slide … first on a bicycle, then a motorcycle and finally a car. As a kid my dad taught me how to steer a car in a skid. When I say taught I mean he showed me how to do it. At 16 years old I can remember driving my parents’ car down the city street purposely placing the car into a skid sideways between parked cars along the sides of the street and controlling the skid as I drove past them.
A few years later while in the navy I drove a ’63 Corvette on a particular curvy road south of San Diego, CA where there was a sheer drop off along the edge and very rough cliff like terrain below and nothing along the sides of the road to keep a vehicle from going off over the edge. I would put the Corvette into a controlled skid in the curves as I sped around them. Yes, it was foolish and dangerous as it could have very easily and quickly resulted like what is pictured above. I wouldn’t not do any of this today, but as a teenager and into my early 20s I thought nothing of it. I am saying all of this to say that learning how to control a skid or slide can save your butt should you find yourself in such a predicament.
I find in riding a tadpole trike on a slippery surface such as snow or ice the trike can all by itself sometimes seem to go into a sideways slide. Without taking proper needed action when this happens it could result in an unwanted unexpected disaster. For me it just comes natural to turn the handlebars and steer out of the skid. It is “second nature” as they say. I find it fun and challenging. Many times I have purposely put my trike into slides just to steer out of them.
As illustrated in the drawing above when the rear wheel of a trike slides sideways you should steer in the same direction you are sliding to control the skid. As the trike straightens back out you should turn the front wheels back straight. Learning how far to turn the front wheels and for how long is crucial to successfully controlling a skid. You can also over compensate and make matters worse. If you fail to straighten the wheels back around at the right time you can cause the vehicle to skid the opposite direction. It is best to practice all of this in an empty parking lot where there is plenty of room to slide around without concern of hitting anything.
This video shows the rider steering in a skid. Notice at the very end when he tips over it is the result of the trike going from the slippery surface onto dry pavement and the tire “caught” suddenly and caused the trike to tip over.
The best advice I could give anyone to learn how to steer out of a skid is as I stated previously … to practice in an empty parking lot where you have plenty of room around you. Of course, I am talking about riding on a slippery surface such as snow or ice. I would also caution you not to try this if the slippery surface is not continuous. What I mean by that is that the snow or ice needs to cover the entirety of the area where you are riding. You don’t want to be sliding sideways and then suddenly hit dry pavement (like the rider in the video above) as that could be very dangerous resulting in a bad sudden tip over … a violent one where you could easily get injured. Even if you don’t normally ride in such conditions it would be good to learn this skill so you know what to do if it ever happens to you when you do ride. You could find yourself riding on a surface where there is loose dirt or gravel or a wet spot suddenly come up where the rear wheel starts to slide sideways. Again, I caution you about the rear wheel sliding sideways and then suddenly hitting dry pavement as the trike is likely to tip over suddenly. I can’t over emphasize this.
Riding over uneven surfaces can cause a trike to go into a skid/slide … especially if you are already in a turn (going around a curve).
Even riding on some surfaces like in the image above can be hazardous. This was on dirt and probably loose dirt at that. The rider knew to steer with the slide to try to control it and recover from it. Most of the time this works, but sometimes things just go wrong and the end result is not what was expected or wanted. This person tipped over. Fortunately they were not injured. I personally think the reason they tipped over is because the rear wheel slid into a stone or something causing the slide to end and tipping the trike over suddenly. Just going over uneven ground can cause it. It doesn’t take much sometimes to cause such a scenario. It is also noted in the video that she could not maneuver as she would have liked to because of a cactus plant sticking out in her path. That in and of itself could produce the results she experienced.
Here is the video which goes with the picture above:
The rider is most fortunate that the rollover didn’t result in serious injury. She went right onto large stones.
Sliding sideways can be fun as long as you can safely control it, but it can also be extremely dangerous when things go wrong. Be careful out there. Do your best to keep it upright and …
ENJOY THE RIDE!
It is said that people are essentially the same the world over. And this, of course, includes children. Here are some kids enjoying riding tadpole trikes.
In the Philippines
In United States
(turn the volume way down on this one)
Here is an interesting video mainly about hi wheel bikes, but it covers recumbents as well. Martin Krieg is quite a trooper. He has accomplished so much even though he has been quite physically challenged as a result of a very serious head injury in an auto accident and has had to overcome so much. Martin is very involved in trying to get the greenways of America connected together and people back to cycling.
I apologize for the video below being small in size. It must be some sort of glitch as it plays normal size on Vimeo’s website. I have no idea why it doesn’t here. You can click on the full screen option and watch it that way.
This next video features Martin at various points thruout it.
Unfortunately I have not figured out anyway to embed the next video into this blog posting so you will have to watch it on their website.
Here he is on a Lightning P38 recumbent bicycle.
I can, will and do attest to that. Riding with friends is great fun. I don’t mind riding by myself, but I readily admit I much prefer riding with others, especially close friends. Of course, when you are riding with others somebody has to take the lead. When it comes to myself and those I ride with we often take turns leading. However, one of us in particular most often leads … and it ain’t me.
Whether we are riding with others or by ourselves do try to …
ENJOY THE RIDE!
Today is an American holiday … Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I thought it would be fitting to share a video I made a few years ago. It is a slow ride across the new MLK, Jr. Memorial Bridge here in Fort Wayne, Indiana where I live. After riding across the bridge I rode thru a portion of Headwaters Park which is adjacent to the river the bridge crosses.
Here is a map of the area. The red line shows the path I rode.
The bridge is pretty at night as it has various lighting available which they can change.
I went out for a trike ride this morning. It is January 11th and I am in northern Indiana here in the United States. The average normal high temperature at this time of year is in the low 30s F. It got up to 50 today and the forecast is for 55 tomorrow. The truth is we have been and are continuing to experience a roller coaster ride in the weather dept. December was mostly a very nasty month weatherwise with mostly below average temperatures and bad wind chills. It was brutally cold. Anyway, it sure was great being out there riding today and not having to deal with typical January weather. I am not wearing shorts yet, but hey, I am not complaining.
We had some very high winds yesterday lasting for many hours. The bike trail I rode on today was covered with tree limbs so I spent most of the time I was out tossing them off to the side of the trail. Once I got them off of the trail I could ride normally and enjoy it. I even tried out my new knee joints trying to pedal fast. It felt good. Unfortunately tonight as I type this my knee joints are letting me know I over worked them. That’s ok. They will recover. Tomorrow is another day and I hope to be back out there enjoying this unusually warm weather. Next week the forecast is more roller coaster weather as Friday normal January weather returns until Monday and then all week we have above normal temperatures again. Hey, I am for that! That helps to …
ENJOY THE RIDE!
Cadence … when talking about bicycling is by definition: “the pedaling rate … the number of revolutions of the crank per minute.” I suspect that there will be those who don’t agree with what I will be saying here. That’s ok. To each his own as they say.
Typically most people pedal somewhere between 60 and 80 rpm. Does cadence matter? I say yes, it matters a lot. Ideally one should pedal as fast as they are comfortable with and can maintain without over stressing themselves. That being said I would add that it also is not good to pedal too fast even if you are capable of it. One needs to strive for a reasonable cadence. 60 to 80 rpm is ideal in my opinion. It is not good to pedal slowly while pushing hard on the pedals. It is far healthier to spin faster not exerting a lot of pressure on the pedals even if you are a brute capable of such. It is not only hard on your body, but it is hard on some of the components of your trike. In fact, you can quite literally do serious damage to your trike by pushing too hard on the pedals. We need to strive for a sensible compromise between how fast we pedal and how hard we push on the pedals. Most of our trikes come with quite a selection of gears. As one changes gears they should select the gear ratio which will keep them pedaling at the same cadence continually. Pedaling at a higher cadence provides more of a cardiovascular workout. Pedaling at a slow cadence pushing hard on the pedals can damage your knees.
I personally usually pedal at a cadence of about 60 rpm. I have found just recently that I can reach 120 rpm … something which I didn’t think I could do at my age. This was while using short crankarms. I am sure I could not do it with long crankarms like my trike came with. I would do good to pedal it at 100 rpm.
This cadence thing all gets into the matter of how your trike is setup. The length of the crankarms play a major role in what you are capable of when it comes to how fast you can pedal. Shorter people need shorter crankarms for optimal performance and doing right for one’s self. Too long of crankarms will prevent or at least hinder one’s ability to pedal at a proper cadence. Typically most bicycles and tadpole trikes come with fairly long crankarms. They are fine for taller people, but for those who are on the short side or have knee joint issues shorter crankarms are needed.
I have written previous articles about crankarm shorteners. I recently started using them and really like them. I wish I would have got them many years ago. Actually I wish manufacturers would simply install crank arms which either adjust or have multiple tapped holes in them so the buyer can position the pedals wherever they need them.
Some people are not capable of pedaling at a higher cadence. If that is true of you then all I know to say is do the best you are able to do. Most of us, however, are capable of pedaling at what is considered a proper cadence (60-80 rpm) and we should strive to do so as we will benefit from it. Learning to use the gears our trikes have so we maintain a constant cadence is essential.
Our trikes need to be set up properly with the boom adjusted to the correct length. Our leg extension needs to be about 85 % and our feet should be placed on the pedals so that the balls of the feet are making contact. We should not be using our toes or instep on the pedals.
Some computers have cadence sensing built into them. They require a pickup magnet and sending unit quite similar to that which is used for the speed. It, of course, is mounted on the crankset in order to measure the cadence. I have never had one myself. I have a pretty good idea of how fast or slow I am pedaling without having one. Cadence counters are good though. Since I have never had one I have simply used my watch and counted my rpms various times over the years. I have gotten to know my cadence thusly.
I personally believe that one can ride longer spinning at 50 or 60 rpm than they can at a higher cadence. And I think our bodies will thank us if we keep our cadence down to 60 or 70 rpm. When we spin faster we start using considerable more oxygen which is not good for our muscles over an extended ride. Muscle fatigue can occur if we spin too fast for an extended time. Blood flow increases with higher rpm so pedaling at 60 – 80 rpm is better than 30- 40 rpm as some people do.
Well, that is my take on this subject and you can take it or leave it. Spinning vs. mashing is healthier for us and for our trikes. Use those gears and maintain a proper cadence. It will help you to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’