Category Archives: videos

GOPRO MOUNTS TIPS & TRICKS


GoPro cameras are very popular and take high quality pictures and video. Many tadpole trike riders use them. GoPro has numerous accessories and mounts available. Here are three videos explaining it all.

 

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CATRIKE MODEL LINEUP


I came across a video where all the different models of Catrike tadpole trikes are shown and described. I was impressed with it so I thought I would share it here. Please be aware that since this video was produced Catrike has come out with two more models, the 550 and the Dumont.

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tadpole trike, tadpole trikes, tadpole tricycles, recumbent trikes, recumbent tricycles, recumbent tadpole trikes, recumbent tadpole tricycles, American Cruiser, Atomic Zombie, Azub, Bikes Reclinadas, CarbonTrikes, Catrike, Challenge, David Bruce Trikes, Edge Recumbents, Evolve, FFR Trikes, Fortrike, Greenspeed, HP Velotecknik, ICE, KMX, Logo Trikes, Outrider USA, Performer, Podersa Cycles, Scarab, Steintrikes, SunSeeker, TerraTrike, Ti-Trikes, Trident, TrikeWars, TriSled, TW-Bents, Utah Trikes, Windcheetah

TRAIL RIDING IN GERMANY


Germany is the home of my ancestors. I have never been there myself, but I understand it is a beautiful country. And, of course, tadpole trikes are very much in use there. Here are a couple of videos showing both road and off road riding in Germany. I took a class in Spanish language and in German language in high school and don’t know a single word from either language. So I can’t help you with the German words here. However, you know what they say … a picture is worth a thousand words.

AH … TO BE A KID AGAIN


It sure is neat to see kids riding tadpole trikes. I sure wish I would have been introduced to them when I was a kid. Tadpole trikes just were not around back then so it wasn’t possible for me in my childhood. I never heard of them until about 12 years ago. Here is a custom built trike being ridden by a kid and he is obviously enjoying himself.

I don’t know when the modern day configuration (low slung recumbent tadpole trikes) were first made. Recumbent bikes have been around since the late 1800s. Actually the first patent for a recumbent tadpole trike was in 1869 … before chain drive came along. It was a far cry from those we have today however.

I believe that the Japanese MASA Slingshot racing model appeared about 1974.

masa-slingshot-racer

The first modern day type recumbent tadpole trikes were all custom made by individuals before any started being manufactured and available to purchase. Anyway, fortunately riding a tadpole trike as an adult somewhat makes you into a kid again. 🙂

Ya just can’t get away from that ol’ “recumbent grin”. Here is my grand niece riding my Catrike Trail trike for the first time.

abby-riding-my-catrike

And here is my wife with that recumbent grin/smile riding my homemade trike back in 2007. I was still building it and didn’t have it painted yet.

lucys-recumbent-smile

And here she is once more with that recumbent grin while riding my Catrike Trail. I apologize for the poor quality of the picture. It is a screenshot of a paused video of her riding and the video itself was poor quality from making a copy of a copy a few times and each time it lost some quality.

lucys-recumbent-smile-2

The infamous “recumbent grin” I chalk up to bringing the kid out in us. And it definitely helps us to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

Yep, keep on TRIKIN’ and you can keep on smilin’

DOES THIS GET YOUR ATTENTION?


planet-bike-1-watt-headlight  pb-blaze-1-watt-headlight-on-full-power

have used a 1 watt Planet Bike headlight for many years now. I almost always use it on flash mode as I almost always ride in the daytime and rarely at nighttime. At only 1 watt it is amazingly bright. This is due to the excellent optics employed. It is not a great light for nighttime use, but for for daytime with the flash mode it is superb. It operates on two AA batteries and they last an amazingly long time … like around 20 hours or more. I usually use rechargeable batteries in it which are super economical to use. I recently had a problem with my light as it would shut itself off almost immediately after turning it on flash mode. I just assumed it’s time had come after giving me many years of faithful service. I ordered another headlight to replace it. Meanwhile I removed this one from my trike and brought it inside the house. I started messing around with it and determined that the problem was a simple one and one I could fix. The battery contacts just needed cleaning. Now it is working great again. Here is a video of it I just took inside the house. It shows it on flash mode. Now I ask ya … would this get your attention?

It has always worked fine for me and many people have commented that they saw my headlight flashing from a long distance. It is also quite visible from the side also which is an added plus as many lights are not very visible from off to the side. I like the idea of others seeing me while I am out there and am a firm believer of the importance of good lighting front and back as well as highly visible safety flags.

I have also experimented around with taillights and although I really liked what is shown in this next video I opted not to keep it because white light showing on the back of a vehicle is illegal.

As can be seen in the next video I now have a very bright red taillight which is so bright I would not dare use it at night time as it would be blinding to others. It is so much brighter than my other taillights that it makes them look dim when, in fact, they are also plenty bright, especially at night.

The concept of being able to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

appeals to me. How about you?

RACING ON ICE


Technically (officially) it is still winter even though much of the United States has been having Spring like weather. So … because it is still winter according to the calendar I bring you “Ice Bike Races” … even though the video is 10 years old.

And as an added bonus here is another video … one which I think you will find somewhat hilarious as one after the other would be rescuer falls thru the ice.

STEERING IN A SKID


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.

car-slides-off-road-in-curve-reduced

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.

steering-in-slide

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.

steering-in-slide

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).

trike-tip-over-red-arrow-2

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!

KIDS ENJOYING TADPOLE TRIKES


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 Malaysia

In Romania

In the Philippines

In United States

In England

(turn the volume way down on this one)

In Croatia

In Slovakia

In ?????

MOVING RIGHT ALONG


Various things come to mind I am tempted to say here in response to these videos, but I will stifle myself and let others think what they want. I have never been a smoker, but I remember in Navy boot camp the words “smokem’ if you’ve gottem”. That seems to apply here but it has nothing to do with cigarettes.

Most definitely at 45 mph or so this rider is moving right along.

Certainly not getting any exercise …

Continuing to move right along …

Another one with money to burn …

Keep in mind that here is the United States 750 watts is the maximum power allowed on the streets by law.

WINTER PLAYTIME or FUN ON 3 WHEELS


Having an electric motor pedal assist tadpole trike does have its good points … like playing on the snow covered roads, etc. You could not do most of this shown in these videos without a motor. Just so one avoids smashing into trees, telephone poles, parked cars, etc. 🙂

I am not sure what I am hearing on this next one. That can’t be the actual sound of this trike. It has to be added sound effects. What do you think?

It’s just not the same without an electric motor, but you can still have fun …

And I would think that 4 wheels would even be more fun than 3 … especially when FAT tires are involved.

Even with a motor I would not want to try this. It is definitely winter, but it doesn’t look like fun at all.

So whether you are motorized or a “plain Jane” always do your best to …

ENJOY THE RIDE

and be safe!

You might want to avoid riding at the north or south pole though.

BRRRRR! … ONE COLD JOURNEY


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’

PANNONRIDER SOLAR VELOMOBILE


pannonrider-solar-velomobile-with-canopy-open

The Pannorider Solar Velomobile is a rather interesting concept. It hails from Hungary, however it is not yet in production to my knowledge. Most solar powered “velocars” don’t look much like what we think of as far as traditional velomobiles. They are usually “boxier” and sit higher. An example is the ELF. With the exception of the rear end the Pannonrider looks more like a traditional velomobile. That means it is more aerodynamic than a velocar such as an Elf. Of course, there are good and bad points to each. I reckon it comes down to personal taste and needs. The velocar would be easier to get in and out of, but it also has a higher center of gravity. The velocar would probably be more practical to haul things in if shopping is one of your main uses for the vehicle. But if you are mainly using the vehicle to ride and like the idea of solar power then the Pannonrider might be more suited for you … if it ever comes to market.

pannonrider-solar-velomobile-front-view

There are lots more pictures of it HERE.

From the video description … “It is obviously designed to be used in cities and in the traffic so it has pretty big ground clearance, most probably very good turning circle, full cover etc. The solar panels are integrated in the roof and on the rear side which gives it a very special look. Maybe not so aerodynamic, but this velomobile is not supposed to be a racing machine, but more to be a practical vehicle for everyday use.”

pannonrider-solar-velomobile-side-view

Their website consists of these four pages:

Concept     Realization     Pannonrider 1     Pannonrider 2

pannonrider-solar-velomobile-rear-view

The basic parameters of the hybrid HPV driven by alternative energy:

Top speed: 31 mph (50 km/h)
Range: 43.5 miles (70 km)
Weight: 66 pounds (30 kg)
Capacity: 264.5 pounds (120 kg)
Gradability: 20 %
Lifetime: min. 10 years

*Zero emission from the primary energy production to final use
*Network independent alternative energy production and storage on the vehicle
*Human and other alternative energy use in the drive train
*Application of environmentally friendly, recyclable materials in each unit
*Electronic energy and drive management
*Ultra lightweight, yet secure body, which protect passengers from all external        impacts
*Ergonomic interior
*Undercarriage: in the font and at the rear, damped, adjustable suspension
*Braking: braking energy, regenerating braking
*Fits today’s environmental, security and quality demand
*Attractive design
*Low exceeding height, easy to get in for PRM

HERE is an article on this velomobile. And HERE is another article.

So if you have a hankerin’ for an electric motor pedal assist velomobile with a little help from the sun keep your eye open for news of this vehicle coming into production. Meanwhile I know I am going to just do my best to … KEEP ON PEDALIN’ so I can do my best to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

MARTIN KRIEG – A MAN OF GREAT VISION – NATIONAL BICYCLE GREENWAY


martin-krieg-3

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.

http://www.abc10.com/mb/news/local/davis/big-story-behind-the-big-wheel/346584864

Here he is on a Lightning P38 recumbent bicycle.

martin-krieg

HERE is an article about Martin which he wrote himself. HERE is another article about Martin. And HERE is another article.

martin-krieg-2

RIDING TRIKES WITH FRIENDS IS LOTS OF FUN


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!

A RIDE OVER MLK, JR. MEMORIAL BRIDGE


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.

mlk-jr-bridge-headwaters-park

The bridge is pretty at night as it has various lighting available which they can change.

mlk-bridge-at-night

WHAT’S YOUR CADENCE?


computer-cadence-counter

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.

bike-computer-with-cadence-counter-3

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’

WHY DO I RIDE A TADPOLE TRIKE?


Here is a video where the trike rider addresses the question “why do I ride a trike?” He won’t get any argument out of me. I fully agree with everything he said.

BOOM CHAIN TENSIONERS (CRANK ARM SHORTENERS UPDATE)


Note: I started out writing this article about an update on the subject of crank arms shorteners, but it more less evolved into another topic so I changed the title accordingly.

It has warmed up a bit recently and all the snow has melted. Between that and rain we have had recently the rivers have risen and flooded over their banks so that some parts of our local bike trails are flooded over and closed. Boo Hoo!! Never the less I have been able to ride my tadpole trike which I thoroughly enjoyed despite the nasty wind chill factor. In order to ride my trike I removed the crank arm shorteners I had installed on my wife’s recumbent bike I am using for rehab and exercise here at home. I installed the crank arm shorteners on my trike. (I was even able to move the pedals one hole further out so that means my new knee joints are improving.) What a difference! I really like them (Yes, both the crank arm shorteners and my new knee joints.) 🙂

crank-arm-shortener-on-my-tadpole-trike-3

However, there is one thing that I noticed using them on my trike that I didn’t notice on the bike. With the crank arm shorteners installed on my trike I need to readjust my boom … lengthen it … as I am not getting the leg extension I need with the pedals relocated. I have not done that yet, but I should. It probably will require adding some more chain. That is the main reason I haven’t tried moving the boom out yet. It is winter out there folks and I am not too crazy about working out in the cold to accomplish this task.

A rear derailleur is supposed to be able to handle about 2 inches of extra chain length as far as movement of the boom.  That equates to approximately one inch of boom adjustment. However that figure is based on the boom position at the shortest length the rear derailleur handles to the position of the boom at the longest length it can handle. If the boom is already positioned out quite a ways within that range than most of that 2 inches is already used up. If this is the case then additional chain would need to be added.

One nice option is to employ a Universal Boom Adjust Chain Tensioner designed for the boom of a tadpole trike.

crank-arm-shortener-on-tadpole-trike

They are not cheap ($155), but they do make it easy to move the boom in and out and automatically maintain the proper chain tension. They are especially nice to accommodate various riders of differing sizes. The chain can be made up long enough to move the boom out for a tall rider and when the boom is shortened for a shorter rider the chain tensioner automatically takes care of the extra chain the rear derailleur would not be able to handle. Obviously there is a lot of extra chain and hardware involved and it might appear a bit unsightly to many (myself included), but they do work. You definitely would not want to run it into a curb or such as it would likely be damaged. TerraCycle (not to be confused with TerraTrike) manufactures these for several different brands of trikes. They can be purchased from some trike dealers and trike manufacturers as well. Catrike sells it for $150, but it is $145 at most of the other sources I have seen including directly from TerraCycle. The Chain Gobbler fits Greenspeed trikes and sells for $149.

Here is a Utah Trikes video on the subject of these chain tensioners …

So this is a very handy and practical option available. Most definitely if you have various size riders riding the same trike this is the way to go. Adding and removing lengths of chain even if you use links which are supposedly quick and easy to remove is a real pain compared to this slick setup. So if you have $150 or so burning a hole in your pocket here is a place to unload that cash and make your life easier. It is always nicer to ride then to “wrench”. And it will even help you and others to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!


It is Christmas Day so I thought I would try to find something to post pertaining to tadpole trikes and Christmas. There doesn’t seem to be lot available concerning this, but here is what I found … some videos. And while I am at it I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. May it be filled with and centered around the true “meaning of the season” … Jesus Christ … Who was born to carry out God’s plan of salvation for you and I. I have written previously about this. It is “aimed at your heart“. As to all the rest that the world throws in I say … “bah humbug!”.

If it is possible where you are at and you are up to it I encourage you to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’  and  ENJOY THE RIDE

And lastly here is a much longer video by Ed Miller, a tadpole rider well known for his videos as well as the canopies he manufactures and sells.

I have written about LED lights previously.

Here is an excellent Christmas message I have selected to share with you.

WISE MEN STILL SEEK HIM

The Great Exchange … our sin for Jesus’ righteousness …

A NICE DAY’S RIDE


Here is a video of some tadpole trike riders out for a nice day’s ride together. 63.45 miles … not too shabby. I used to go for similar rides often times, but my knee joints brought that to an end and I did good to get 30 miles in on a good day. Now with new knee joints freshly installed I am hoping to get back to riding longer and farther again.