Category Archives: videos

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.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

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!

VELTOP CANOPIES

VelTop offers canopies for recumbent bikes and trikes. Here are a some videos showing their offerings:

Canopies most definitely offer some added comfort and even safety to our ride and we all want to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

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!

WHICH TYPE OF BRAKE PAD SHOULD WE USE?

Brake pads on disc brakes wear out. Hey, they are suppose to. So what do you do when it comes time to change them? It can be a bit confusing. Organic (resin/semi metallic) and sintered (metal/metallic) are the choices. But which one should we choose? It is further complicated by the backing plate … steel, aluminum … even copper. Here is help …

So to summarize what was said in these videos … organic is okay for dry conditions. They are quieter but they also wear out quicker. Sintered if one is riding in wet conditions. They are noisier but they wear longer.

Having good working brakes is most important if we want to safely …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

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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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!

WILL A CANOPY PROTECT YOU FROM THE RAIN?

What do you think? How much protection from the rain can one expect from a canopy on a trike? I had always heard/read that canopies don’t offer much protection from the rain.

Personally I have only been out riding in the rain twice since I installed a canopy on my trike. The first time was in a light rain with very little wind. The rain was coming down relatively straight. I stayed pretty dry and was impressed and hopeful. However the next time it was raining harder and the wind was blowing quite a bit. I was hoping that at least my face would remain dry but I was drenched like a drowned rat. The canopy did absolutely no good whatsoever. So there is the answer … IT ALL DEPENDS!

Hey, even though a canopy doesn’t offer the protection from rain we would like it to it is still better than what this poor guy  is dealing with …

Of course, there are things which can help. Some people mount their canopies up quite high. I don’t understand that as the higher the canopy is the less protection it offers the rider … even from the sun. When I installed my canopy I knew it needed to be lowered so I cut 4.5 inches off of the aluminum poles used in the frame. I am talking about cutting the vertical pieces, of course. That helped but it still wasn’t enough so I cut another 3 inches off. The canopy still  is about 3 inches above the top of my head so it could have gone even lower. Every bit helps in the protection available. Certainly the physical size of the canopy comes into play. Obviously the larger the canopy the more protection it offers. The shape of the canopy also makes a difference. Some are quite flat while others are domed. Some are even concave on the top. Most are pretty much open in the back. A few are closed such as is mine pictured below. I have to admit that I really like having the canopy come down in back of me. It not only keeps the sun off of me but it definitely keeps the rain off as well..

One can add some sort of side pieces onto the canopy to offer further protection from both the sun and rain. And even a “windshield” could be placed on the front to help keep rain, bugs, and other foreign matter from coming upon the rider. I don’t think I would ever do that as I like having air hitting my face and body. I also would be concerned about the vision thru the windshield deteriorating over time.

Veltop offers considerable protection … at a price …

I can’t say I am disappointed with my canopy as I didn’t have my hopes very high in regards to rain protection. It works pretty good when it comes to sun protection and that is why I installed it. It definitely helps me to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

TIRED HURTING FEET

ARE YOUR FEET TIRED?

Many tadpole trike riders complain about their feet hurting while riding. Of course some, like myself, have ongoing problems with hurting feet 24/7 regardless of what they are doing. In my case it is neuropathy and it just keeps getting worse the older I get. Others only experience discomfort as a result of riding. There seems to be a difference of opinion as to the cause and the cure. However most say that it matters where their feet are positioned on the pedals and the shoes they are wearing. Many say that it is important that they are able to move their feet around on the pedals as they ride. Obviously using clipless pedals precludes doing this.

For those who do use and want/insist on using clipless pedals most say that having the cleats located further back in the middle of the shoe helps immensely.

Keep in mind as you watch these videos below that these people are talking about and to diamond frame bicyclists … not to recumbent tadpole trike riders. What I am saying is that some of the advise given may not be applicable to those who ride recumbent tadpole trikes … sort of an apple and orange thing.

Some riders prefer HEEL SLINGS which permit the foot to be moved around some on the pedals while still providing protection from the dreaded “leg suck” from happening.

For those like myself no other options are available as strapping the foot to the pedal is not possible as it causes considerable discomfort. I have been among the fortunate ones as I don’t have a problem with my feet going down onto the ground if and when my foot comes off of the pedal. So I ride with just platform pedals with complete freedom to move my feet around wherever I want/need to.

I know … there will be those who say I am foolish and need some form of foot retention. Believe me, I am very much aware of leg suck and what can happen. I don’t and won’t consul anyone to ride without some form of foot retention. I pretty much believe it is a personal choice and we need to leave others alone to do what they want. The important thing is that they are aware of what can happen should their foot come off the pedal and down onto the ground.

HERE is one of Steve Greene’s Trike Asylum‘s articles on the subject of foot pain.

Anyway, tired hurting feet including “hot spots” are all too common among tadpole trike riders and if you suffer or have suffered and found something which has helped you please feel free to share with us by leaving a comment. After all, we all want to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

and

ENJOY THE RIDE!

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!

RECUMBENT RACING

Anyone up for a race? Just 35 miles west of where I live is a small town where they have recumbent races. Here is a video highlighting some of the racing. I found it interesting that the tandems and the velomobile were not competitive at all. They got passed like they were sitting still. I thought the velomobile would be leading the pack followed by the tandems.

If I were younger I might participate in something like this. But, alas, I am now an old man and age has caught up with me. I am sure that this was a fun event for those who raced.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

HIGH SPEED POLICE CHASE ON BIKE TRAIL

It seems that just about everybody loves watching the high speed police chase videos. I know I do. However, riding peacefully along a bicycle trail and suddenly finding yourself enveloped in one is not my idea of fun. I mean a guy could get killed out there. Just recently this was a reality for several trail users … most of them tadpole trike riders … as they were riding along on the Withlacoochee Trail in Florida and hearing sirens getting louder and louder. I would imagine that upon hearing the sirens their thoughts were that these emergency vehicles were over on the nearby road which ran alongside of the trail. It probably never entered their minds that the unfolding scenario was on the trail. Fortunately the trail users all managed to avoid catastrophe. I have watched the various videos of this pursuit a few times trying to watch for trail users. I have captured “screenshots” of the various trail users I spotted. All but one was off to the side of the trail. The one who was still on the trail was most fortunate that this parade passed him by rather than scoop him up as a grill ornament.

This was a dangerous person. He attempted to kill police officers and shot at one. You can see the bullet hit the windshield of one of the police cars.

I personally think this should have been handled differently for the safety of the public. At the very least I think a policeman should have used their outside PA system to warn trail users to get off of the trail. Whenever possible I think that helicopters should be used to track these people rather than engage in these car chases. It seems that rarely there is a good outcome. Innocent people end up getting injured and killed. Property damage occurs. Usually the stolen vehicle involved gets destroyed.

Lastly HERE is a news article to read about this happening.

Hopefully none of us will ever deal with such a dangerous situation. Try to be safe and …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

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.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

TOURING WITH E-ASSIST

Sylvia Halpern with Moto-Myrtle

(A 700 watt EcoSpeed mid-drive electric motor assist tadpole trike)

Myrtle the Turtle, known far and wide among the recumbent trike world. (Myrtle is actually the name of the trike.) Sylvia Halpern is the owner’s name and she is well known among the recumbent trike world. And if you don’t yet know the name now is your opportunity to meet this world traveler. Travelling by tadpole trike many thousands of miles and sharing her adventures online we have the privilege of being/getting acquainted with Sylvia. She is on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and her own website and probably other social media I am not aware of.  Among her articles is one about touring with e-assist. It is well written and I recommend it to you. Click HERE to do so. She has titled it “Why not use electric assist?”.

Whether you ride with or without e-assist …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

You can get better acquainted with Sylvia via Gary Solomon’s interview with her when she was featured on the Laidback Bike Report …

FREE GIFT awaits you!

HOW TO TRUE A BICYCLE DISC BRAKE ROTOR

We all know  that SHIT HAPPENS. That includes disc brake rotors getting bent. If they are not bent too much they can usually be straightened and continue to be used. To do so requires the right tools and the knowledge of how to go about straightening them. Here is a tool you will need. It sells for about $18. Park Tools makes some good bicycle tools. This is a Rotor Truing Fork – DT-2C. There are a few other companies that sell their version of this tool. I personally  like Park Tool’s and recommend it.

Here is another well made tool … Foundation Brake Rotor Truing Fork Tool

Park Tools not only make good tools, but they make good instructional videos. Here is their video on how to true a bicycle disc brake rotor.

Here is another video showing a different tool being used.

And here is yet another video …

If you choose to accept this assignment I assure you that it is not mission impossible. Just be careful and follow the instructions. You can do it! And then you can …

  KEEP ON TRIKIN’ & ENJOY THE RIDE

FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

Quadcycle from 1987 Named “Carmichael”

Reaching back a ways here is a custom built pedal powered side by side quadcycle featured on a local TV station.

Unfortunately the video quality is not very good, but you can get the general idea of what this man made so many years ago. I have no idea if it was the first side by side quad ever made.

Here is the video description:

From the VHS video library of Steven K. Roberts comes this local news report of a mid 80s built side by side quadcycle. According to the piece this was designed and build by Norm Ogle with help from Peter Johnson.

If I were a younger man and not having the physical issues I have now in my elderly years I would be fabricating various tadpole trikes and quads. I made one tadpole trike back in 2007 and I was already challenged somewhat with vision problems then.

Lastly, my thanks to Gary Solomon of Laidback Bike Report for giving his permission to share this video from his YouTube channel.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

HOMEMADE TRIKE AND QUAD FROM THE LAND “DOWN UNDER”

received an email from Hector Alberto who is from Australia and is a reader of this blog. He sent links to some YouTube videos of the tadpole trike and quad he has built. I am sharing them here for the world to see.

trike & quad ride on trails:

e-assist quad:

quad ride to park:

I wrote back to Hector asking him if he would send some pictures and share anything about his homemade trike and quad he cared to. Here is his reply:

The trike frame Is made of aluminium and lots of bolts.

For the steering system I’ve used the cheap 17mm ATV stub axle found on eBay and its respective end rod bolts (I was trying to understand how steering works in real).

I want to mention that with those pieces it was easy to make adjustments about angles related with the Ackerman law.

I used 20” BMX front plastic wheels. The original axle and bearings have been replaced by high rpm bearings to fit on the ATV stub axle.

The handlebars were attached using a 90 degree metal bracket between the stub axle and the handlebars. In general the trike use to work fine, but eventually the brake system mounted on the aluminium frame just fell apart.

Front sprocket 42t, freewheel 3 speeds

This picture shows the quad frame standing up when I was painting it.

I decided to go with a quad in order to help my wife bring our son along with her. The Quad measurements are 185cm long X 85cm wide. Yes, it is really a compact size when one takes into consideration that there are two people travelling on it. It has a COASTER BRAKE in the left rear wheel and the right rear wheel has an electric hub motor and a 160mm disc brake system. The quad  is single speed. It has no front wheel brakes.

The trike conversion kits are so expensive in Australia, so I’ve been hunting for a used one. I got one old tricycle for Au$40.  It came with one wheel traction (left one). Once I cut off the back part of the tricycle I went to a friend who welded it as I required. It includes a bottom bracket shell (found it as well on eBay).

The quad frame is using the same steering system as the trike.

The electric hub motor wheel is a 250w 36v “front wheel” for bicycles. It is mounted in the rear right side of the quad. This configuration allows the use either of the rear wheel power drives individually. When the rear wheel with pedal power loses traction you can put extra power in the electric hub motor wheel just by using the manual throttle as needed.

The average travel speed 15-20km/hr. Max speed tested with 98kg aprox., 27km/hr. Realistically, this is not a fast machine but it works excellent for the purpose; plus, my wife and my son love it.

I hope this help others to improve their designs.

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.

A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE

This is a reposting of an article from my original tadpole rider blog which was closed by me some time ago.

Currently a friend of mine who has two tadpole trikes has one of them loaned to a mutual friend so that this person can ride it and know what it is like. I talked to this mutual friend this evening and they reported the exact thing we had expected to hear … that they have now a different perspective … they know what it is like to ride a tadpole trike. They are an avid diamond frame bike rider which, of course, means that they didn’t have a clue what it is like riding a tadpole trike until now. One thing that I heard is that they didn’t feel nearly as comfortable as far as being around motor vehicles. They said that being so low they can’t see nearly as well as they can from a regular bike. They are used to making “eye contact” with drivers, but can’t from a trike. I don’t understand that as I make eye contact all the time as long as the driver is looking. Another comment I heard was when riding between a narrow pathway with a concrete wall of a bridge on one side and a metal railing on the other side it was quite uncomfortable and unnerving for them. They said that all they could see is concrete on one side and metal railing on the other side … rushing by them. Here is a picture of the exact place they were talking about.

Again, this is something I can’t identify with. Of course, I have been riding a tadpole trike for over 5 1/2 years now and have some 22,000 miles of experience riding them. But I don’t ever remember going thru what this person described to me. I guess we are all different. Anyway, most definitely we will experience differences between riding a diamond frame bike and a tadpole trike. Yes, we sit much lower which is good as we don’t have nearly as far to fall. 🙂 Another thing that was mentioned was that it was so easy to reach down and pick up a small tree branch or such off of the surface of the trail while riding a tadpole trike. Most definitely I agree with that. I do it daily and a lot of it. This isn’t something that a diamond frame biker can not do. I am sure that some folks just don’t care to ride anything other than a diamond frame bike and that’s that. That’s fine by me as if everyone made the move to a tadpole trike then they would no longer be unique. I don’t know about you, but I kind of like riding something which is unique. I would love to see several more tadpole trikes out there, but I do hope they don’t become all too common. Now if you really want to try riding something which is truly unique build one of these … except make it a tadpole trike and not a bike:

And if you get it mastered let me know as I would like to come see you ride it. No, second thought just video it and put it on YouTube. I guarantee you would really have a different perspective riding this.

So whether you ride right side up or upside down … do your best to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’