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. ūüôā 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

CAN TADPOLE TRIKES REALLY FLY?


tadpole-trike-flying

Can tadpole trikes really fly? No, I don’t mean like what you see in the picture above. I am talking about flying aboard a commercial passenger airliner. And I am talking about flying for free. The answer to that question is a definite maybe.

Note – Please keep in mind that I am no expert on this subject and most of what I am about to say is simply my thoughts and opinion. You need to check into this to find out for sure how all this works if you have in mind to take your trike with you as a mobility assistive device.

I think it is up to the airline as to whether they will accept a trike as a “MOBILITY ASSISTIVE DEVICE”. By that I mean whether or not they are convinced that a person truly needs and uses a trike for mobility out of necessity so that it qualifies. If they will then you are “in like Flint”. I Googled this subject, but didn’t find much about it. For some of us our trikes truly qualify, but for others we would be less than honest if we try to use this approach to get free transportation for our trikes. It comes down to our honesty and integrity. We will all stand before the judgement seat of Jesus Christ and give an account for everything in our lives.

Keep in mind that the airlines mostly deal with wheelchairs and power scooters. Their informative webpages and written articles are not geared for tadpole trikes so trike owners must pursue this on their own and work it all out. That being said, the following airlines have written about mobility assistive devices:

AIR CANADA  AIRLINES   ALASKA  AIRLINES

AMERICA  AIRLINES DELTA AIRLINES  HAWAIIAN AIRLINES

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES    UNITED AIRLINES

There may be more and probably are, but I didn’t readily find anything more to list here.

The following is found on Hawaiian Airlines’s website:

What’s an Assistive Device?

Assistive devices are:

Any piece of equipment that helps a passenger with a disability to cope with the effects of the disability. Assistive devices help people hear, see, communicate, maneuver, or perform other functions of daily life, and may include medical devices and medication, wheelchairs, motorized scooters, walkers, crutches, Segways, canes, braces, portable toilets, and other devices, equipment or items that help people with disabilities.

*****

I would think if Segways qualify a tadpole trike certainly ought to. ūüôā

HERE is a general article on the subject. Like I said, I can’t find much available about this subject. My guess is (and it is only a guess … I could be wrong) some airlines might be more accommodating (easily persuaded) than others. That being said they are all under the same regulations and requirements.¬†HERE is the FFA Guidance.

Stowage of Wheelchairs, Other Mobility Aids, and Other Assistive Devices

U S Dept. of Transportation – Disabilities

Definitely whether a tadpole trike is flying for free or being paid extra for the trike needs to be properly prepared for the trip to ensure it is protected and arrives unscathed and intact. Some components should be disassembled and removed and the trike should be wrapped in some sort of protective material.  Parts that stick out extra far such as the boom  and crankset, neck rest, etc. are best removed and wrapped up individually. They can be attached securely to the trike so long as they are not protruding out and vulnerable to getting damaged or snagging on something. The chain should be removed. Again, it can be attached to the trike. It should be in some sort of container to keep any oil/dirt from getting onto anything else. Lights may need to be removed as they may be vulnerable to damage.

Wet cell or Lithium-ion batteries are an additional concern and must be addressed to be in compliance with safety requirements of airlines. At the very least the airlines need to be informed of such batteries and their location. It is best to avoid taking such batteries aboard an aircraft.

Traveling with a tadpole trike will require arriving at the airport earlier than normal in order for them to process and load your trike on board the plane so it is important to communicate with the airline to know what they require concerning this.

Note – A reader of this blog commented after this article was posted that it is very easy to have the airline accept a tadpole trike as a Mobility Assistive Device as they are not allowed to question the owner about the nature of their disability. He also said that the trike is loaded onto the plane with little to no disassembly.

Note from me about the note above – ¬†I personally would be very concerned about handing my trike over “as is” to be loaded onto an airplane. I would be concerned about mirrors being snapped off and lights being broken or broken off and missing. And I would be concerned about other damage happening if other items are in contact with the trike during the time it is in the plane.

So, yes … tadpole trikes can really fly … and it would indeed be great to have your trike with you if you are able to ride it where you are heading to. We all want to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

BIKE REGISTRATION THAT WORKS


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’

RIDING TRIKES WITH FRIENDS IS LOTS OF FUN


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!

HELMETS … MY HEAD, MY CHOICE?


watermelon-smashed

This could be our head as it smashes onto the ground.

I was just reading thru a posting and the comments on Facebook about helmet use while riding a recumbent trike. I have written about helmets before**(see links below) so I reckon this is a revisit of the subject. The last several years of my working career were spent employed in a local hospital where my job was being with patients who needed someone with them constantly. That included a whole lot of head injury patients. Some eventually make full recoveries, but some have some serious issues the remainder of their lives. I saw first hand what they went thru and what they put others thru (including myself). (I could tell you some stories.) It was the exposure to all of this which sold me on how important it is to wear a helmet on a bicycle or motorcycle.

hitting-head-on-pavement

So it was only over the last 13 years or so that I personally have been using a helmet. If I ride a bicycle or motorcycle of any kind I always wear a helmet. Of course, I am of the age where helmets didn’t exist when I grew up. I rode many 10s of 1000s of miles on bicycles without a helmet. I only had a few wrecks in all those miles and fortunately I never received a head injury of any kind.¬†I personally rarely wear a helmet while riding on my tadpole trike. ¬†I am not trying to say that it is safe not to wear a helmet while riding a tadpole trike and I certainly am not advocating it. I am well aware that things could go horribly wrong. For me it is a personal choice and I feel relatively safe not wearing one. But if I were to get back on a bicycle I definitely would have my helmet on.

i-wont-wear-a-helmet-2

There is one thing missing in this picture. The person is

not drooling. (I have seen a lot of that.)

Many of us make excuses as to why we don’t wear a helmet while riding. Some say it makes them look stupid or uncool. Some say that helmets are uncomfortable.¬†Some say that helmets are hot.

helmet-ruins-my-hair-2

Some say (especially females) that it messes up their hair. Some would say that helmets are not needed on a trike. Some say that any combination of the above excuses apply.

injured-cyclist-down-on-pavement

What is my excuse(s) you ask? To be honest I find them uncomfortable and hot. I can’t even stand a hat on my head unless it is bitter cold outside.

white-visor-hat-3

Even a visor type hat that is totally open on the top is hot to me, but I wear one when I am riding to shade the sun from my eyes. If I remove it I immediately feel relief as far as the matter of heat. I am really miserable with a helmet on.

enlarg-recumbent-bike-rest2
neckrest-and-helmet-2

Some say that a helmet interferes with their headrest. As to the matter of a helmet interfering with a head rest, first of all they are not headrests … they are neckrests. A neckrest should be positioned low enough that a helmet is above it. Also the type of helmet one wears makes a difference. Many helmets are impractical to wear when a neckrest is involved as they protrude too far back and some even protrude down a little more than others. A helmet which doesn’t protrude back works much better.

  new-headrest-cover-reduced

I have a large size neckrest which I made (pictured above) and my helmet clears it ok. My helmet (a Bell Citi) is fairly flat where the back of the headband is so even if it rests against my super soft neckrest it doesn’t present any problem. Here are examples of helmets that work well with neckrests … a Giro Air Attack (left) and a Bell Citi (right):

comparison-giro-air-attack-and-bell-citi-2

Tadpole trikes can tip over and the rider can get injured in a tipover.

trike-tip-over

I have tipped over a few times, but never hit my head on anything. Only once did I get any injury and it was just some abrasion on my arm. For those who ride tadpole trikes which have high seats they can tip over even easier so extra caution is needed while riding on such a trike.

leaning-in-turn-reduced

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Leaning into a turn can help considerably to prevent a tip over (roll over). Of course, this only applies if you are going fast enough for this to be a concern.

Here is something I learned as a young child:

how-to-take-a-curve

 

This can be very helpful. Just be sure no one is coming from the other direction.

paramedics-treating-downed-cyclist

Paramedics treating downed cyclist.

I guess what bothers me the most about this subject is the stupid comments some people make. I am talking about comments against the use of helmets and the justification some folks make. They are simply ridiculous. I would be the first to agree that a bicycle helmet does not offer the protection that a motorcycle helmet does. Never the less, they do offer considerable protection. No one should ever try to persuade others not to wear a helmet. Yes, it is our head and our choice … unless you happen to be somewhere that has a helmet law requiring the cyclist wear helmets. If you are a rider of a tadpole trike who normally does not wear a helmet and you travel into other states and jurisdictions you might want to check whether or not helmets are legally required. Most of the time organized rides require the use of helmets by all participants.

Nope, far be it from me to try to talk anyone out of wearing a helmet. They could be key to helping us to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

** links to previous articles on helmets:

helmets

helmet laws

how bike helmets are made

 

 

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

PRETTY AMAZING CYCLIST


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. ūüôā¬†Any takers? You can read about him HERE¬†and HERE. ¬†And here is the¬†Wikipedia writeup.

Robert Marchand and his coach Gerard Mistler during his attempt to break his own world cycling record at the age of 105, taking part in a one-hour cycling event in the Masters + 100 category on January 4, 2017 in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France (Sipa via AP Images)

Robert Marchand during his attempt to break his own world cycling record at the age of 105, taking part in a one-hour cycling event in the Masters + 100 category on January 4, 2017 in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France (Sipa via AP Images)

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!

(IN COMFORT)

EVERYDAY PEOPLE


everyday-people

Who rides tadpole trikes? That is a fair question. I think it is safe to say that the answer is “everyday people”. Yeppur, there is nothing unusual or different about most of those who ride tadpole trikes. We are just the run of the mill common people. That is a good thing. I think what makes tadpole trikes attractive to “everyday people” is that they are just simply fun to ride. Most of us cheerfully proclaim …

i-love-recumbents

Tadpole trikes numbers are increasing at an amazing rate. They are really catching on. I am seeing more and more of them as I go out riding.

trike-riders-gathering

Well, I don’t see this many, but that’s only because I am not at the right place at the right time. One could even encounter a traffic jam at times.

tadpole-trike-traffic-jam

Yes, I know. These are pictures of trike events held in past years. But you gotta’ admit … there are a bunch of trikes gathered together and I am pretty sure if you were to take a poll you would find that those many “trike pilots” are just everyday people much like you and me. They are all out there enjoying their tadpole trikes. And what’s not to enjoy? Like I said, they are fun to ride. They are comfortable to ride. They are much safer to ride than a bicycle. They provide great exercise. They provide a great view of our surroundings as we ride along on them. They provide a practical and convenient platform for running errands and hauling items on. They are great for taking long extended rides … even 1000s of miles long. They attract a lot of attention everywhere one goes. Yeppur, lots of everyday people are truly sold on tadpole trikes. I am one of them. How about you?

ENJOY THE RIDE!

IT’S JANUARY?


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!

WINTER ATTRACTION REQUIRES WINTER TRACTION


If you ride in winter weather where you deal with snow and ice you probably already know that standard tires just don’t cut the mustard. For those of you who are not Americans you probably don’t know what I am talking about when I say cut the mustard. It simply means “to succeed” or “to come up to expectations”. Nope, a standard tire will just spin with no traction. One needs a tire that has good traction and “gets ur done”. Different people come up with different means of obtaining traction. Some continue to use their standard tires, but add some sort of mechanism to it to gain extra traction. One such item is plastic cable ties. I don’t personally think much of this for the simple reason that they break and fall off littering our earth as the rider goes on his merry way usually completely unaware of this. I have never tried them, but I can’t imagine them doing much to gain much traction.

plastic-cable-ties

One can also use tire chains although just like using them on a car or truck they are not very practical for long term use unless one is constantly on snow or ice. They are rough riding, noisy and wear out quickly (prematurely) when riding on dry pavement. The ones I found online are more expensive than those for a car or truck (at least what those cost the last time I bought any). Some people make their own.

tire-chains

Another option is the use of studded tires. Some people swear by them. If you ride on ice I think they would be most practical. However, if you ride on snow then I think there is a better option. Besides riding on dry pavement with studs wears them out prematurely and is costly. And they too are a bit noisy on dry pavement.

Studded tyres

Here is what I use and find them perfect for my winter riding. I have found that not all knobby tires are created equal. Some ride better than others. Some get better traction than others. Some offer the best of both. I really like the current one I use pictured below. It is a Kenda tire and was under $20 at a local bike shop.

kenda-winter-tire

Of course, none of these traction options will last as long as they could and would if they were only ridden on snow and ice. Dry pavement riding will wear any of them out quicker. Lower pressure in tires works better for traction. My knobby tire is only a 40 psi maximum tire. I personally only use a “winter tire” on my rear wheel for traction. My front tires remain standard tires I run year around. Of course, they don’t offer as good of traction on the front as a winter tire would, but I get by just fine. I happen to have two rear wheels for my trike so I just keep the standard tire on one of the wheels and the knobby tire on the other. Then I simply change the wheels back and forth instead of the tires on the wheel. That makes it easier and quicker.

Yep, without the knobby tire I would just sit there and spin my rear wheel often times. Many times I have had to dismount and push or pull my trike to get it advanced forward. With the knobby tire I get great traction and am able to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

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 Р80 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.

NEW YEAR’S DAY RIDES


winter-tadpole-trike-ride

Would you believe that early this morning I had this article all written and when I clicked on the “Publish” button instead of it publishing it totally disappeared. All my effort was lost. Now I am starting all over. I was furious. I mean … “thanks a lot WordPress”. There wasn’t even a draft saved. I have no idea what happened, but it sure didn’t make my day. And it is only the first day of the new year. Well, here goes … starting all over again. Hopefully this time all will go well and work right.

Yes, it is New Year’s Day and many cyclists make it a tradition to go for a New Year’s Day ride. For those of us who live in a location that experiences winter weather it can be challenging to go out riding on January 1st. Some cyclists go out riding by themselves. Some go out riding with one or more friends. Still others go on an “organized ride” somewhere near where they live. Here where I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana we are fortunate enough to have an annual New Year’s Day Ride which is sponsored by the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Dept. and cosponsored by a local bicycle club. 2017 is the 22nd year they have had it. I have gone on it two or three times in the past. There have been several years that it is just too nasty weather-wise to venture out. It is called the Chili Challenge Bicycle Tour. I reckon that is a play on words as it most certainly can be and usually is chilly (cold), but it is also named that because at the end of the ride there is homemade chili soup and some other food and drinks (hot chocolate, coffee, hot tea, cornbread, and sweets) served to the participants. The planned ride is a choice of either 15 miles or 25 miles and is mostly on city streets although some of it incorporates some of our local trails. Part way thru the ride they go to Johnny Appleseed Park to stop and watch those who choose to participate in the annual polar bear event where they wear bathing suits and take a dip in the icy cold water of the river. Personally I don’t think their elevators go all the way to the top floor. ūüôā There is also a similar ride for motorcyclists on¬†New Year’s Day. They too make a pit stop at this park to watch this event. It ends up very crowded and unless you arrived early you can’t really get close enough to see much of anything. I usually just continue to ride and don’t even try to watch any of it. The ride is free, but helmets are required to participate.

winter-tadpole-trike-ride-2

The picture above is used with permission compliments of Ed Miller. I don’t think it was a New Year’s Day ride … just a ride on a fresh fallen snow.

Yes, many cyclists, myself included try to get in an annual ride on New Year’s Day. We make it a “tradition”. I have to admit though that the older I get the less I do it as I just don’t care to “fool with mother nature”. Below is a picture of one of my winter day’s ride I took many years ago. If fact, it is so long ago that I was riding my homemade tadpole trike. It must have been the winter of 2008-2009. It wasn’t a New Year’s Day ride however. As you can see there was not very much snow on the ground or trail. You can see my tire tracks from when I rode the opposite direction. And as you can see there was no one else making any kind of tracks out there other than my dog which I had along with me.

winter-ride-on-tadpole-trike-2

I have written before about how poorly a standard tadpole trike does riding thru snow. So if there is much snow on the ground it is quite impractical to attempt to participate in this annual event or even by one’s self as the trike just won’t roll thru much snow … especially if it is a wet heavy snow. There are alternatives ya’ know. Here is an example. You could mount a V-plow and just move that nasty snow out of your way. (You know I am kidding, don’t you? I just had a little fun with photo editing.)

v-plow-on-my-catrike-3

The Chili Challenge ride is over with by now so I won’t be going on it. I am not up to riding 15 miles yet anyway after getting my new knee joints installed. However, I do plan on going out yet today … probably as soon as I hit the “Publish” button and see this get published this time. If it doesn’t I will probably go back to bed. ūüôā

Hey, let’s all …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

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.) ūüôā

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’

DARNED EITHER WAY


There is an old saying … “darned if I do, darned if I don’t” … and sometimes it just seems to apply. It speaks of a situation where one can’t win. The winter weather has improved some lately so I have been trying to take advantage of it and get outside for some exercise and needed therapy for my new knee joints. I went out walking Monday and ended up with my knees and lower back hurting for the rest of the day. Tuesday, despite the cold wind chill factor, I went out riding my trike which I thoroughly enjoyed, but the remainder of the day my knees were hurting. Today and tomorrow are supposed to be nicer weather than yesterday and I was looking forward to riding my trike some more. However, I decided not to venture out today so that I can give my knees a day off to recuperate. I am hopeful I will feel up to it tomorrow. After that the weather is supposed to change for the worse with snow and wind. It seems like I can’t win for losing in all of this. Oh well, I will survive. April will eventually get here and by then my knees should be in better shape. Hopefully I can get out riding and walking some more before then. Every “body” (everybody)¬†needs exercise. I am so thankful I have my trike available to ride and I am generally very healthy. This knee joint matter will improve. I have already come a very long way in a very short time so I am thankful for that as well. So much of our local trail system is closed at this time due to river flooding and/or construction/utility work so I am limited where I can ride or walk right now as far as trails are concerned. Hopefully by April things will be much different and I can get serious out there trying to burn up the pavement. I’ll see about that. I can dream about it. I am no spring chick so I may be foolin’ myself. But hey, I may be surprised. I will let you know. Ya’ll try to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

I DON’T NEED THERAPY … I JUST NEED TO RIDE MY TRIKE


dont-need-therapy

While viewing a Facebook page I came across some shirts being advertised for sale for recumbent trikers. They offer several different ones. One of them in particular caught my eye as I found it to be so applicable to me in my personal life. I am still going thru rehab physical therapy following my knee joint replacement surgeries. I wish I had one of these shirts to wear to the rehab therapy. I would like to see what kind of reaction I would get out of the staff there. Today is my 70th birthday and I have rehab in the morning. After today I have one more rehab session and I will be done. I will be glad when it is over as I can’t say that it is fun. I am not convinced that the rehab therapy was of all that much benefit and needed. Riding my tadpole trike is fun and I miss it. With winter upon us and arctic air making life pretty miserable trike riding isn’t happening. Did I mention that I miss riding my trike?

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As I sit here in the warmth of my home it is 12 degrees F. outside with a wind chill factor of -2 degrees F. That is considerably warmer than it was when I first woke up this morning, but it is still way too cold for my liking. And it is not even winter yet … not officially anyway. Call me a wimp or whatever, but I find that the older I get the less motivated I am to go out riding in the winter time. Nowadays I much prefer to not go out riding if it is below about 35 degrees F. I used to go out riding when it was 20 degrees. The temperature is one thing … only one factor. Snow on the trail is quite another as I found that a tadpole trike won’t roll thru much snow. Unfortunately the trail I usually ride on (which is my favorite) is rarely ever plowed so riding on it is impossible.

I know some of you who read this blog don’t have to deal with ol’ man winter and can ride year around where you are at. And I know some of you live places where the winter weather is even worse than we have here in northern Indiana where I am at. And I know some of you are out riding thru the nasty winter weather. More power to you. You are a better man than me. ūüôā

I reckon the goal for all of us is to¬†do our best to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

C’mon April!

I want to go riding!

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.