Are tadpole trikes really slow compared to road bikes? Hmmm, it stands to reason that a bicycle has more going for it as far as less weight and less rolling resistance, so I would think that the answer is yes, tadpole trikes are slower than bicycles. But the truth is it is all about the “engine”. Watch this video as this tadpole rider zooms by all the bicycles he encounters.
Today is Memorial Day… a national holiday where we remember in gratitude those who sacrificed their lives in defense of our nation and our liberties. It is not about high speed race cars, gatherings where we enjoy great food together or anything else. It is about giving honor to whom honor is due. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen gave their all so that we could have the freedom and blessing of such things. My heart goes out to families of those who died while serving in the military … and let’s not forget those in civilian life such as policemen, firemen and others who also have lost their lives serving us. We are so blessed here in America.
My dad served in WW2. One of his duties was being part of a 3 man crew on a Higgins boat landing craft taking the soldiers and Marines ashore usually under heavy fire. He told me of many times hearing bullets whiz past his head just missing him. He had a terrifying experience stuck on the beachhead during the landing of Marines at Iwo Jima when their Higgins boat was damaged. The boat propeller had picked up a steel cable underwater and stripped out the gearbox leaving the boat drifting toward rocks ashore. The three of them had to abandon the boat and try to swim to shore. He never saw the other two men again so he assumed they either drowned or were killed by enemy fire. It was very difficult and dangerous swimming to shore. He had no weapon to protect himself. All kinds of bullets and shells were being fired constantly. All he could do is hide behind an open bow door of an amphibious landing ship. He spent the entire night there. The next morning his ship sent another boat in looking for their boat and its crew. He was all they found.
I can’t help but think about how blessed I am to have my dad make it thru that horror and be able to live his full life. Of course, I would not be here if he hadn’t. And you would not be reading this blog. In his 80s he was presented with a military shadowbox by one of his grandsons.
He was ready to go again …
In his 80s a couple of his grandsons talked him into getting a computer. He learned how to do photo editing and got creative with many different things including this picture above.
Here is a picture of two of my heroes …
I am truly saddened and ashamed of and for those who give no thought to what our freedom cost. I myself served 8 years in the U.S. Navy so I know very well the sacrifices military members make.
It was no picnic. But thanks to those who willingly served yesteryear and today my family and some of our friends will be enjoying a cookout with some of the traditional holiday foods. I plan on giving honor to whom honor is due before we indulge in the good food. I invite you to do the same.
Freedom is much cherished by man but sadly even in our freedoms we can be in bondage and not even realize it.
The One to Whom the most honor and gratitude are due laid down His life willingly for us. Yes, Jesus Christ, the Name Above All Names, truly set me free and it is to Him I offer my highest praise. No one else accomplished what He did nor could they. Thru the shedding of His totally innocent blood I have forgiveness of my sin and the promise of eternal life. He paid the price I could not pay. I needed a Savior and He willingly laid down His life for me. And He did it for you as well. It is by His grace we are saved. But He won’t always offer us His grace. He came the first time to offer us a means of escaping the fate we deserve.
We are accountable to Jesus, our Creator …
He is coming a second time to pour out His wrath on those who have rejected His grace and offer to save them. If you have not done so already I ask you … WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH JESUS? He alone offers salvation and forgiveness of sin … and it is free to you. He paid the ultimate price for our salvation but He offers it freely to us …
Low cost entry level trikes have come and gone. Here is one that has been around for awhile and looks like it may stay around. There are a couple of upgrades available for this trike which this video addresses.
Many tadpole trike riders transport their trikes to get to places where they ride them. Hitchrider makes trike racks for this purpose. They offer a kit to convert their single rack into a two trike rack. Here is a video about it.
I mainly ride on pavement for which I am thankful we have a lot of where I live. I have ventured off road on my trike several times but I have never found a tadpole trike to be very practical to ride off road. To each his own as they say. There are those who like and even prefer off road riding. I loved off road riding on a motorcycle but on a tadpole trike … not so much. Anyway here is a video of a couple of guys enjoying themselves riding off road.
Many of us have electric motors on our trikes. And they require batteries to provide the electrical power to run the motors. Lithium batteries have a deserved reputation of being capable of being quite hazardous, but that does not mean they are particularly dangerous. Never the less, it is important that we know some things about our batteries and understand some basic fundamentals. It is always best to buy quality lithium cells such as Panasonic and Samsung. The much cheaper batteries likely use no name Chinese cells and with some of them come an increased chance of something going wrong … especially if the batteries and/or chargers lack good battery manangement electronics built in. Any more, that isn’t much of a concern either. Basically lithium batteries are safe in my unprofessional opinion.
The video below shows a battery on a bicycle catching fire and the guy dealing with it. It is quite likely that he did something he should not have done that caused all this.
This man is living dangerously approaching the burning battery that close and spraying water on it. With the explosions taking place it could shoot out and hit him. And as you can see spraying water on a lithium battery is not exactly safe or effective.
This next video educates us some about lithium batteries and helps us to understand “proper battery management”.
BMS … BATTERY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM is the all important element of safe operation. Batteries must be properly managed. Most of us pay no attention to the recommendation to only charge our batteries to 75% instead of fully charging them. The man mentioned fully charging our lithium batteries limits them to only about 300 charges while charging to only 75% will increase their life to around 12,000 charges … some 4 times longer. I have known this for sometime but I admit that I charge my batteries to a full charge everyday. The good news is both the batteries and the chargers have built in BMS to ensure battery safety. In the early days it was not always so. Things have improved considerably since then.
Now I ask ya … what is 30 feet wide and highly contageous? The answer is simple enough … IT HAS TO BE MY TRIKE. If you don’t believe me just ride nearby me and watch cars and trucks. There is enough room for two A1 Abrams tanks side by side with room to spare for my trike to pass thru yet motorists coming toward me will stop and wait for me to get thru all by myself before they proceed. When I am sitting at a red light or stop sign they will stop 3 or 4 car lengths behind me as if they are afraid to get any closer. In both scenarios I don’t get it. The only thing that comes to my mind is that they lack confidence in their driving skill level. Of course, I readily admit I prefer this over the opposite that some trike riders report. I don’t ever remember a driver getting close to me other than a city bus driver that just had to pass me and then immediately pull over to the curb at a bus stop . In doing so she cut me off and forced me to brake hard so I didn’t get squashed. I pulled up alongside of the door of the bus yelling at her. She just looked at me. She would not open the door. I reported her to the bus company but it didn’t do any good.
Anybody else get the impression their trike must be super wide and something to avoid getting close to?
I don’t know about you but I sometimes enjoy watching videos others have made of their rides, especially when they are featuring certain trails. It is extremely unlikely that I will ever be able to physically go there and ride on those trails myself so this is the next best thing. Featured here in this video are some nice trails down in Alabama.
It is raining and the rivers are rising expected to go way above flood stage. That means that most of our local trails will be flooded over and closed. Boo Hoo! Probably only one trail will be unaffected and will remain open (hopefully). It always bums me out. It only takes one day of rain to close a trail but then it takes several days sometimes weeks before it reopens. This usually happens at least a half a dozen times a year. Here is a video I filmed almost 4 years ago of trail flooding.
Even small creeks and ditches can cause major problems and close trails.
The flooding shown in the beginning of this video above no longer occurs. The street has been entirely reconstructed and raised up so flooding can’t happen there anymore. And there is a new bridge over the creek. It is a great improvement.
One of the things I am most amazed with is how deep the flood water can get. On one trail, the Maumee Pathway, there is an area that floods over where the water level is higher than I can reach while standing on the trail. In the picture below I have drawn a yellow line about where the trail is under the flood water. The red X is about where the water level is well over my head. I am short so I can only reach about 7 feet up. My guess is based on what I see on the trees the flooding gets about 9 feet above the trail. It doesn’t seem possible. BTW, in the picture below the Maumee River is on the other side of the trees. That is not a river you are looking at in the picture. It is flood water across the trail and over onto an adjacent farmer’s field. The first picture below shows the trail and the farmer’s field.
The next picture below shows the same area flooded over. The trail is marked in yellow and the red x is where it floods so deep.
Below is a photo of that area of the trail that floods over so deep. You can see the river on the far left and the farmer’s field on the right.
In the video below you can see this area and all the flood water that covers several acres of farm fields on both sides of the road. It takes a long time for all of this water to disappear.
Yeah, it really bums me out when all this flooding occurs. It would not be so bad if it would go away quickly and the trails would reopen. But every time it floods the trails get covered with clay river silt which makes for a very muddy and slippery mess. All of that has to be removed which is no easy job.
Sometimes gates have been closed so trail users can know that the trail is closed. But sometimes there is no way of knowing flooding has occurred until you come to it riding along the trail.
I learned the hard way not to attempt to ride thru flood water. One can’t tell how deep it is and attempting to ride thru it can result in bad things happening. I won’t elaborate on that other than to say that cold water on a winter day is no fun to ride thru when it is a foot deep or more. Brrrrr!
Well, despite flooding and trail closures I am going to do my best to …
Keep On Trikin’
It may result in having to ride on streets and roads more than I usually do. It won’t be the first time.
There won’t be any rain or flooding in heaven. There probably won’t be any tadpole trikes either. That’s okay, though. I am sure what ever the Lord has it will be great … far better than anything we have here on earth. Are you ready for the journey ahead? The way has been provided and made clear. It all starts by accepting God’s free gift.
For over 4 years now I have been using a rear hub motor. Recently I bought and installed a Tongsheng crank drive motor and have been riding it now for about a week. I have found it interesting as well as challenging and somewhat disappointing making the switch from hub drive to crank drive.
First of all, I NEED MOTOR ASSIST. My knee joints are not capable of doing the job all under human power. Riding under my own power I ride along at about 2 to 3 mph. Walkers pass me. It is embarrassing! I ride in pain and it is misery … not fun.
I had both knee joints replaced a few years ago as both were bone on bone and I was in misery. With new man made knee joints “installed” I am doing better but I still suffer much knee joint discomfort. With motor assist I can and do ride much faster and it makes the riding fun again. I am still getting plenty of exercise but it is fun again. I can’t turn back the clock. I don’t have a time machine to step into. Having motor assist is the next best thing. I enjoy my daily rides. Oh, I am still in some pain, but I am not in misery like I am riding without a motor to assist me.
A few weeks ago my hub motor system developed a problem. The electrical power keeps shutting off and restarting when ever I try to use the motor. I have tried unsuccessfully to find the cause. I have sought help from others including the company I bought it from … all without success. I don’t have the component parts just sitting on a shelf to try hoping it would fix the problem. They are expensive to buy and a bit risky as far as whether or not replacing that particular part would fix the problem. So rather than gamble on whether on not buying an expensive part would fix it I decided to just buy another motor. Yes, it costs more than the parts would have but I wanted true pedal assist … something I don’t have with my hub motor as it is not “built into” the hub motor like some brands offer. All I have ever had with this hub motor is a manual thumb throttle to use.
I have had my eye upon the Tongsheng crank drive motor system for awhile now so it was what I bought. So now after using it for about a week here is the good, the bad and the ugly concerning it. As e-motor kits go it is one of the lowest in cost. That’s good … that’s very good! The pedal assist works great and I am really enjoying having it. The motor is not nearly powerful enough. I left my hub motor installed as I have found that I can use it with the power level turned down to about 40 % or less. It usually stays on with the lower power setting. Going from a 30/42/52 triple chainring set to a single 42 tooth chainring has been lousy. I lost my gear range. No more granny gear for when I truly need it and a much lower top speed as I spin out at 15 mph instead of 22 mph. I hate that! One thing I really do like about this new motor is the economy … how long the battery charge lasts compared to the hub motors I have had. Another good thing about the Tongsheng motor is that it is super quiet. The speedometer/odometer/tripometer is not accurate. Tongsheng does not provide the ability to enter the tire circumference number during setup. All that is offered is choosing tire size … 16,20, 24, 26, 700. Selecting 20 inch is apparently based on a 1.5″ width. If you use a smaller or larger tire the accuracy is off. I don’t like this. It probably would not bother some people but I like having accuracy in my computer.
I switched my hub motor controls over to the right hand side so I could have my Tongsheng controls mounted on the left hand side. Anyway, now I have thumb throttles on both sides and I can use both motors at the same time which is really nice when climbing a hill or going across a busy street. Even with both motors it is no rocket in speed or power.
I have my disappointments with this Tongsheng motor but overall I reckon I am glad I bought it. Would I do it all over again? No, probably not. I think I would buy the Bafang with torque sensing. I did not know about the Bafang with torque sensing when I bought this Tongsheng. It is said to be considerably more powerful than the Tongsheng. As a teenager and young man I had a few high performance cars including a 327 c.i. 365 hp Corvette, 383 Plymouth police interceptor with dual 4 bll. carbs and 426 555 hp Hemi Dodge Charger R/T so I got used to having power to use. This Tongsheng is like driving an American Motors Rambler or maybe a Yugo. I am sure that is quite sufficient for some folks. I will survive, I reckon. Certainly it is helping me to …
Hey, speaking of Yugos … did you hear about the man who walked up to the parts counter at a car parts store and said to the employee behind the counter … “I’d like a rear view mirror for my Yugo”. The store employee was silent for a few seconds and then replied back … “You just might be able to make a deal like that”.
Hopefully you have never had an accident and never will. In over 100,000 miles of mostly local trail riding as well as streets, roads and highways I have never had one involving anyone else. I have only had accidents involving myself. Anyway, here is a lengthy video about the subject of collisions and accidents. This rider has serious problems with getting hit by cars. I am thankful I live where I don’t have any problems dealing with cars and trucks. I always seem to get plenty of respect out there for which I am thankful.