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We see the abbreviation “FAQ” frequently and I am sure most of us know it stands for frequently asked questions. Many websites and printed material have a FAQ area where people can go to try to find answers to frequently asked questions. Q&A is also commonly used. I have thought about going to the effort of trying to make a FAQ page for this blog, but I have never felt ambitious enough to tackle it. So what is a guy to do? Well, we can always let George do it, right? In all seriousness TerraTrike has a FAQ page on their website which covers a lot of different topics. HERE is a link to it. Maybe they can answer your question. I am just not into to it at this time. Woe is me! I guess I need to be thankful for what others have contributed and made available. Of course, some of their answers are TerraTrike trike specific so they won’t be of any help if you have another brand. Even some of the questions which may sound “generic” on the surface they are responding to in regards to their own trikes … so their answers may not be as applicable if you have a different brand of trike.
Here are the questions they have listed:
While out on a ride recently I noticed (could not help but notice) lots of dog and goose poop on the trail. Now I understand that wild animals are going to do this and there isn’t much we can do about it. We just have to deal with it. The matter of dogs comes down to their owners. The dogs may not know better, but their owners certainly do. They just don’t care. Sadly there doesn’t appear to be much we can do about it either. Yes, I know … S H _ T HAPPENS!
We can’t expect the dog to clean up after themselves, but dog owners are required by law to do so as does common decency.
I said it is not the dog’s fault and this is true. However, they can be taught where they should and should not go to the toilet. Here is an example of a well trained dog who knows where it is appropriate to relieve himself: Then again, dogs are generally more savvy than lots of people.
And another one:
This much I know … it ain’t good to ride thru poop. And unfortunately it is rare to see anybody make any effort to get it off of the trails. I spent a third of my time riding today removing poop from off of the trail. It is really aggravating as this should not be happening. What is wrong with people that they do this? I wasn’t raised that way. I find it hard to believe that people can be so low and irresponsible. Yet it seems to be all too commonplace. Nobody wants to walk along stepping in dog poop or riding thru it on a cycle. It is challenging enough to avoid riding over dog poop on a bicycle. With a tadpole trike it is even more difficult to avoid as we have three different tracking wheels and our trikes being wider we don’t always have the space to maneuver as we really need to.
In addition to the fact that it is quite unpleasant to step on or ride over dog poop it is illegal for dog owners to allow a dog to poop outdoors and then not clean up after them. I have said it before, but I would like to see these dog owners faces shoved down into their dog’s pile of poop.
Well, now I went and did it. I unloaded here. I feel better now. So I say pooh pooh on poo poo. Without it it is much easier to …
ENJOY THE RIDE!
We often hear/read that line about one thing or another making us look fat. Frequently it is meant to be funny. But, hey, being fat isn’t funny … nor is it fun. Those of us who are fat, especially obese, are our own worst enemy. I ought to know. I have been fat most of my adult life. I come from a family that are mostly overweight. This was mostly on my mom’s side of the family. I was always normal weight as a child. I weighed 140 pounds when I graduated from high school. I started gaining weight when I reached about 22 years of age. This was while I was in the Navy. It has been a battle ever sense … one which I have not done very well in winning. I have lost all my excess weight about 3 times, but always gained it right back and usually more. On one of my weight loss attempts I got down to 135 pounds. Here is a picture of me in the Navy before I started gaining weight. I think I was about 20 years old here. As you can see I was still normal weight. I didn’t usually wear coveralls, but I was on this occasion as I was about to work on a nasty job which could easily ruin my work uniform.
Although I am talking mainly about myself in this posting I want to address the subject of being overweight and exercise. I don’t think it is any secret that here in the United States we have a serious issue with obesity. Just looking at people in most any direction or place we see it. (It is pretty hard not to see it.) And the tadpole triking scene is no exception. In fact, it seems that the majority of tadpole riders have an issue with their weight. We turn to our trikes as a form of exercise in hope that we will lose weight. Some do, but many don’t. I am among those who haven’t done very well losing weight no matter how much riding I do (and I have done a lot). I have talked to others who have told me the same thing. I am sure most of us have heard the saying … Calories In, Calories Out. The bottom line here is simply that exercise alone is not enough. It is far more about what we eat and how much we eat. It takes a whole lot of riding to burn off the calories of unhealthy meals, snacks, soda pop, milkshakes, candy bars, etc. And most of us who are overweight do not eat healthy foods like we should.
I love cheeseburgers, french fries, chocolate milk shakes, candy (especially chocolate), ice cream, cakes and pies … you know … all the foods that taste so good but aren’t good for us. A few years ago I tried to go the vegetarian route. At first it was okay and I definitely lost weight eating nothing but vegetables, fruits and nuts (the foods God told us that He gave us to eat). However, it didn’t take long before I grew very tired and dissatisfied and longed for meats and other unhealthy foods again … foods that I have eaten all my life. So I went back to my old lifestyle and gained the weight right back. I had lost about 50 pounds eating “bible foods” and I felt great. The original foods God provided for man were grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables. “They constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect, that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet.” (see Original Bible Diet)
Recently I lost 30 pounds after the knee joint replacement surgeries. I was encouraged and thinking I would be able to continue losing weight. However, it didn’t take long before I gained back 20 of those 30 pounds rather quickly. Recently I have lost 4 pounds, but it is a battle ground and I am not doing well at it. As much as I would like to, I can’t blame my trike. It is not what makes me look fat. When I point a finger at it I have 3 fingers pointing back at myself. Nope, it definitely is not my trike that makes me look fat. It is easy to try to put the blame somewhere … anywhere … rather than simply admit we like food and don’t discipline ourselves as we need to. I stand guilty. How about you? Yeah, I know. Now I am medlin’. Sorry!
As much as I love riding my trike I know I greatly limit myself being overweight. Hill climbing is where it is most obvious. Pedaling a lot of weight up a hill is slow going and makes it extra difficult. When I am riding with friends they don’t slow down nearly as much as I do. Yep, all that extra weight makes a huge difference. I often wonder how I would do if I weighed 140 pounds again. I would like to think I could out perform my friends I ride with. (And I am pretty sure I could.)
So what’s the problem you ask? Well, I lack the motivation and self discipline needed. I confess it. Shame on me. I have nobody or nothing to blame but myself. I certainly can’t blame my trike. It has done an amazing job hauling my fat carcass around all of these years. I have to sort of feel sorry for it because of all I put it thru. I just recently discovered that I have two more broken spokes on my left front wheel. I have had a lot of broken spokes and have come to the conclusion that most of this is probably the result of the load the wheels carry. Hard cornering with a fat tub aboard tends to break spokes.
Nope, my trike doesn’t make me look fat. I make me look fat. I acknowledge it. I am guilty. I really need to eat a salad for lunch and probably supper too. (And without any dressing on it!) ( … but a cheeseburger sounds so much better.)
Some riders have FAT trikes while some trikes have FAT riders. Hmmm, another fact of life. Well, fat, normal or thin … do your best to …
ENJOY THE RIDE!
and don’t believe the saying “Thin may be in, but fat is where it’s at”
It’s a lie!
I have started a Facebook Group with the same name as this blog, Tadpole Rider. It is more less an extension of this blog. By that I mean if you enjoy reading this blog you will likely enjoy the FB group. In fact, you may enjoy it even more as it will be sort of a “real time” deal where I and members can post, comment and interact whenever we are online and logged in. We can discuss various topics and give advice. We can attempt to answer one another’s questions and resolve issues. We can share our experiences and knowledge with one another. We can post pictures and videos. All it takes is a Facebook account to visit it and a request to join the group if you want to post and comment. I invite you to come check it out. Just click on the link provided below to go to it.
There are some specific guidelines and rules to follow. There aren’t many, but what ones I have established are crucial and must be adhered to.
1) This group is about tadpole trikes so only postings and comments pertaining to tadpole trikes and riding them are allowed. (Don’t post about bicycles here. There are other groups for those who want to post about bicycles.) Anything else will be deleted as it is in violation of this rule. If a member repeatedly violates this rule they will be privately warned (if possible) and if they continue to do so they will be removed from membership.
2) All postings and comments must be clean and wholesome as well as respectful to others. No one will be permitted to argue and ‘get ugly’ with other members. Again anyone who violates this will be warned privately (if possible) and if they continue on they will be removed from membership.
That’s it! Simple enough and I think quite reasonable. Please come join. The more the merrier and, indeed, the better the group will be.
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As most of you know I don’t normally post articles about bicycles on this blog. I am making an exception here as I came across this video which I have found very interesting. It is the documented story of a man on a journey by bicycle. He is riding from the far north in Canada down to Argentina, South America. Actually if I understand correctly he plans to continue his journey riding around much more of the world. This video is dealing with his ride thru the brutal northernmost section during wintertime. Of course, winter is pretty much 9 months out of the year and he purposely did not choose the 3 months when the weather improves. As you can see by the time he reached British Columbia the weather had improved considerably. As to the first portion of his ride all I can say is “BRRRRR!” I don’t think there was ever a time in my life when I was much younger that I would have any desire to attempt such a bicycle journey. I would not even want to do it in a car or truck with a good working heater. 🙂 Never the less, watching this man on his journey is quite interesting.
If you like these videos he has several more of them he has created as he continues his travels about the world. Click HERE to visit his YouTube videos page. And you can visit his website HERE. Meanwhile just …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
I recently came across a website offering a free service to bicyclists (cyclists). It is called Bike Index. It sounds like a very good idea and hopefully it will catch on all around the nation. We can help accomplish this by using it ourselves and promoting it to others. The “others” include local bike shops and police depts. as it takes all of us together to make this work. This also provides a means of looking up bikes to see if they are reported stolen. This could be handy if you found a bike or are looking into buying one … making certain it is not stolen. Of course, you would need the serial number to look it up.
I know the local police here where I live come across lots of bicycles which never get reunited with their owners. They collect until they are auctioned off periodically. What a shame they don’t end up getting returned to their owners, but without the police having anyway to know who they belong to there isn’t much they can do. All they can do is store them in a room hoping the owner will come looking for it. When the room fills up with bikes they have no choice but to get rid of them. With this registration system that could change. So register that puppy!
I spotted Catrike, Challenge, Greenspeed, ICE, HP Velotecknik, Quest, Stein, Sun & TerraTrike listed to choose from on their drop down menu of cycle manufacturers. It is somewhat challenging to locate the manufacturer as the names are not all together in alphabetical order as one would expect. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to how they list the many names. And many of the names are not actually cycle manufacturers, but rather manufacturers of various cycle related products. All these added names make it all the harder to find a cycle manufacturer name listed among those they display. It is easy to miss names listed and so this may not be a complete list of the trike manufacturers. BTW, if your cycle manufacturer is not listed they instruct you to use OTHER. Just type an “o” and Other will appear at the top of the list on the drop down menu. Definitely I think their drop down menu needs a lot of work to make it practical and easy to use. It makes no sense to have a cycle product manufacturer listed along with cycle manufacturers when they are asking you to select the manufacturer from their drop down list. I don’t think anybody has a WD-40 bike much less a tadpole trike, but that is one of the choices.
Once you have registered your cycle if it gets stolen you just login to this website to report it stolen so bike shops and police can look up stolen cycles reported on this website. Pretty nifty, huh?
BTW, I noticed that there were some registrations listed for Great Britain so apparently this goes beyond the United States. It may be open to any country, but I don’t know that to tell you so.
Here is what they state on their website:
The Bike Index makes stolen bikes harder to sell and easier to recover by making sure important information about your bike is there when you need it the most. The process is simple, secure, and free.
HOW IT WORKS
It’s simple: we offer an easy and efficient way to store and update important identifying information about your bike.
In the unfortunate event that your bike is stolen, you can harness the power of our network to help get it back. Registering with Bike Index ensures that law enforcement, bike shops, individuals, and everyone in between has the information they need to help reunite you with your bike.
Bike Index is the most widely used bicycle registration service in the world. We strive to be the best resource in the fight against bicycle theft.
I have registered my tadpole trike including color photos of it and the serial number on the frame. Unfortunately on older Catrikes the serial number was only on a decal which could be removed. Newer Catrikes have them engraved in the frame. I have a 2013 model which is the year Catrike started engraving the serial numbers, but my trike came with a decal and is not engraved. I think it is shameful on the part of any bicycle manufacturer to use decals instead of stamping or engraving the serial number into/onto the frame.
None of us want to experience our trikes being stolen, but if it happens we may very well be thankful that we registered our trikes while we had them and had the opportunity. It just might help us to be able to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
I don’t normally write anything about bicycles since this blog is about tadpole trikes. However, I am so impressed with this cyclist that I decided to share about him here as an “extra bonus”. This Frenchman, Robert Marchand, is 105 years old (maybe that should read “young”) and just recently set a new world record for his age group. Actually they had to make a new age group for him. He pedaled just over 14 miles in one hour attempting to beat his previous record. I couldn’t do that at half his age. All I can say is … “WOW !” Now he says he is waiting on a rival to compete against him. 🙂 Any takers? You can read about him HERE and HERE. And here is the Wikipedia writeup.
He has my admiration. Now if we could just talk him into riding a tadpole trike while he is still around and able he could really have some fun and …
ENJOY THE RIDE!
Note: I want to state upfront that when I started writing this article I was under the impression that this tadpole trike journey was still ongoing. It was not until after I completed writing the article that I discovered that the ride was completed in August 2014. I have made some changes in what I wrote in an attempt to try to reflect this, but I can’t assure you the reader that everything will be clear and accurate. I am still a bit confused myself. Never the less, I think you will find it an interesting story.
Dan says ‘cycling is therapeutic and gives him purpose’.
Dan McGuire is a determined tadpole rider who indeed is an inspiration as well as a challenge to the rest of us. I think he is approximately 83 now. Dan is stricken with Parkinson’s Disease as well as arthritis, scoliosis and something weird with his eye according to his daughter. She writes “Canada is his playground” and it sure looks like he is making his way around its vastness. He started this current journey in 2013. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’t in 2007. Dan has been a longtime cyclist with several accomplishments in the past. This was approximately a 10,000 km (6214 mile) trike ride he set out on at approximately 80 years old and he did it alone although others have accompanied him on parts of his journey.
You can read his daughter’s article about him HERE.
And HERE is Dan’s Facebook page.
Note: Although his journey ended in 2014 the following webpage appears to be still up and functioning as far as I know … And HERE is a webpage where you can donate on behalf of Dan to help Parkinson Society British Columbia. Their statement is that they are “there for those in need. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is committed to offering support, sharing reliable information and raising funds for programs and research. We receive no government funding, so we rely on you. ” Dan has a personal goal set to raise $10,000 for this organization. On this webpage you can also leave a comment for Dan to encourage him and wish him well.
Upon further reading about Dan it appears that his journey across Canada was successfully completed in 2014. It just goes to show ya that you have to be careful what you read online. 🙂
Dan, I don’t know if you will ever see this and read it, but I just want to say thanks for your commitment and effort in raising awareness and demonstrating that life isn’t over just because one becomes affected by Parkinson’s Disease. Your journey was (and is) indeed incredible and my hat is off to you. I don’t know your current status as to whether or not you are still cycling, but I sure hope you are and will be able to continue to do so for some time yet. You are an encouragement and inspiration to the rest of us to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
How do you balance that thing? … Just one of the dumb questions I have been asked. And some comments are as dumb. One such comment I have heard a couple of times is … “That thing sure looks uncomfortable.” And then they ask me about it. I usually ask them if they have a recliner chair or have ever sat in one. If they say yes I then ask them if it is/was comfortable to which they reply “Of course”. Then I tell them that sitting on the trike is much like sitting in a recliner chair. They don’t know what to think or say then. One person went on to say … “Well, it just doesn’t look comfortable to me. I think I would prefer a regular bike.”
Then there are those who come up with statements like … “I will give you $125 for it.” I tell them … “That wouldn’t even buy the fenders on it.” Most people have no concept of how much money is involved in a tadpole trike.
“That doesn’t look safe! I would be afraid to ride something like that.” I occasionally hear that. What can I say? In my opinion having ridden diamond frame bicycles for nearly 60 years before switching over to recumbents I think it is far safer than being on 2 wheels. Of course, anything we operate is only as safe as the way in which we operate it. But inherently a tadpole trike is far safer than a bike. And most tadpole trike riders would readily tell you that they get far more respect (from drivers of cars and trucks) on their trike than they ever did on a bike.
Another common question is … “Is that hard to ride? It looks like it would be.” My answer is … “No, why do you think that?” Then I go on to explain that it could not be any simpler. There is no balancing involved like there is on a bike so that in itself makes it easy. It is quite comfortable, easy to pedal, has excellent brakes, handles like a sports car and is a blast to ride.
Another often asked question is … “How do you steer it?” Again, my comeback is usually … “The same as you do any bike … you use the handlebars” … while I am demonstrating it for them.
I try not to get smart with them although I have to admit it is challenging not to at times. Remembering that as a tadpole trike rider I am an ambassador. I want to promote tadpole trikes and help others take notice of all they have to offer. I would like very much to see many more of them … just so it doesn’t get too crowded out there. 🙂
Yes, as the numbers grow we can all …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
Happy Holidays? … Not Hardly! It’s called Christmas (with a capital C) for a reason. And this song says it all …
Sadly our society has changed drastically. Until the last few decades here in these United States the two most popular holidays each year were Thanksgiving and Christmas … both centered around God and His loving goodness toward us. Do you know what has replaced these two holidays as the favorites? Halloween and Super Bowl Sunday! It is no wonder that this nation has come under God’s judgement. We have demonstrated to Him that He is no longer important in our lives. I am not here to preach. I am just stating a fact … one which I find so very tragic. God’s love for us has not changed nor will it ever. We are the ones who have changed. Today is Christmas Day and I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a blessed New Year … not happy holidays.
Remember … the truth is not what you think it is. The truth is not what I say it is. The TRUTH is what (and WHO) God says it it. Jesus said “I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except thru ME.” (John 14:6) It is not about religion, but rather it is about personal relationship with God which is only possible thru Jesus Christ.