MATT GALAT EXPLORES 2021 TRIKE BRANDS

Well known tadpole trike rider, Matt Galat, shares a video of him visiting a trike dealer and taking test rides on various trikes.

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SORRY TO REPORT THAT DAVID NO LONGER RIDES A TRIKE

I just learned that our fellow tadpole trike rider, David Goldman, has passed away Nov. 22nd. losing his battle with cancer. I am saddened to hear this as David was such an inspiration and encourager to others to do what they can to exercise and improve their lives. He created many YouTube videos and established quite a following. I always enjoyed watching his videos and found I almost always agreed with him. He started a trike ride over in Illinois last year called the DRAT Ride. Can you guess what DRAT stands for?  Quite a few showed up. It is my hope the ride will be continued annually in his memory and honor.

Here is David’s last video from 2 weeks ago …

My condolences go out to David’s wife, family and close friends. David will be missed. Although I never met him persoanally I considered him a friend. Being a fellow triker we held that in common. I have several posts about David on this website.

Here is his video of the DRAT group ride:

Below is a video featuring David as a guest on Gary Solomon’s LaidBackBikeReport. David shares a lot about what he has been thru and how riding his trike has helped him immensely.

HERE is another triker’s (Greg Garduno) tribute to David. And HERE is another one of Greg’s videos in tribute to David back when David had the DRAT group ride.

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5 THINGS WE’D WISH WE HAD KNOWN ABOUT RECUMBENT TRIKES

don’t know that I would go along with everything these women say about this. You can make up your own mind as to whether they know what they are talking about or not.

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DRAFTING WITH RECUMBENT TADPOLE TRIKES

Most of us are familiar with the term “drafting” where one vehicle follows close behind another and experiences a noticeable reduction in air resistance because the vehicle in front blocks the air the second vehicle would normally be dealing with. It takes less energy for those following the lead bike. Road riders often take turns leading breaking the air flow for those following. This is used in racing all the time and semi-trucks often practice it with each other. Bicycle world speed records have been recorded while riding on special railroad track bed behind a train equipped with a special shield blocking the wind for the cyclist. It is also done on land.

But what about just regular riding. Is there a noticeable difference when following behind another trike? This video deals with this.

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KEEPING THOSE HANDS WARM … WHAT WORKS BEST FOR ME

This is a subject I have written about several times in the past. Keeping my hands warm is probably the most difficult thing I deal with when it comes to cold weather riding. I have tried numerous things over the years and it seems that what has worked previously no longer works now. That means I have to come up with something else which will work for me. In the past (last year) I was using “HotHands” mittens made of Thinsalate. I have not been a big fan of Thinsalate over the years as I have tried various products made of it and none of them kept me warm. It has been about 9 days since I last went out for a ride as it has been colder than I care to venture out. Finally it has warmed up a little … into the low 40s (F) so I went for a ride today. I just got back home. I started off wearing the HotHands mittens but only got a couple of blocks from home before my hands started getting cold so I put my  “Hotfingers” mittens on over the HotHands mittens. I rode about 60 % of my 17 mile ride wearing that combination. My hands got cold and they were somewhat uncomfortable as the mittens were too snug on my hands. I stopped for lunch and before leaving the restaurant I changed my glove (mitten) attire. I separated the two pair of mittens and put the HotHands mittens away in my pockets. I replaced them with a pair of 100 % wool hand knit mittens made in Siberia with the Hotfingers mittens over them. I am pleased to report my hands stayed warm with that combination. And now my hands were not cramped inside of tight fitting mittens which made for much more comfort. And with all the room I have inside there is plenty of room to put the packets of chemical hand warmers if and when I need them.

HotHands Thinsalate mittens…

Hotfingers mittens …

Hand knit wool mittens…

Hopefully this combination will work for me thruout the coming winter months as I want to …

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and …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

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STEADY VS FLASHING LIGHTS

 

Most of us have both headlights and taillights. And most of those lights offer both steady on modes as well as flashing modes. Some questions arise concerning both.

Keep in mind that having these lights is all about our personal safety while we ride. We want to be seen. Is a flashing mode more effective than a steady on mode? Many of us think so. I know I am fully convinced of it. Is it legal to use flashing mode? The answer to that is … “it depends upon where you are at” so it is best to do your homework so you will know the answer to that. To the best of my knowledge and understanding most places here in the United States it is legal. What about after dark? Should lights be flashing or steady on? I say steady on. I would never use flash mode after dark. I think it is distracting and confusing for others … as well as offensive. Again keep in mind that our lights and their use is all about our saftey. After dark a steady on light being constant can be seen continually and allow others to better judge our position  and know what they are seing, but a flashing light has the opposite effect. I personally think some people think they are seeing an emergency vehicle., especially if you happen to have multiple lights in use.

And if you happen to be riding in a group others will certainly appreciate it if you don’t blind and dazzle them with bright flashing taillights … or headlights for that matter.

Over the years I have had many differnt lights and light setups. Here is my current taillight set up. It definitely gets the attention of others. Most of the time I just use the two lights toward the sides and leave the middle one off.

HERE is a good article on this subject.

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USING GOOGLE TO CHECK OUT TRAILS

Did you know that some trails are available to view on Google Street View? Yep, you can actually go right onto the trail with the camera as though you were actually there. The picture up above is of the Maumee Pathway in Fort Wayne, Indiana using the Google Street View feature. It is a great feature for checking out trails. You can move along the trail in either direction or look off to the sides and zoom in to see what it there. Only the trails that someone has gone to the trouble to video using the Google camera setup loaned out to them by Google are available to view in Street View. I have used this feature to check out several trails. I have “virtually ridden” entire trails and familiarized myself with them without ever leaving my home here in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I feel like I know the Floral City-Inverness, Florida area fairly well as a result of using Google, especially Street View. I think if I were to actually go there I could readily navigate my way around this area including driving on the highways and streets.

Some of Fort Wayne’s trails are available to view on Google Street View. Years ago our assistant Trails manager and another city employee undertook the task of videoing some of our trails. I posted an article about it showing the camera equipment as they were using it.

I have been talking about the Withlacoochee State Trail in Florida lately. I have spent more time viewing it on Google Street View than any other trail as I want so very much to go there and ride it. I may never get to but I have already done it on Google … not once but several times. Just last night I did so.

To use Google Street View to check out a trail you simply click on the Street View icon and hold  the left button down on the mouse to drag the icon onto the place you want to view. You can only view those places which are shown with blue lines. If the trail does not turn into a blue line it has not been videoed and is not available to view in Street View. In the image below I have drug the Street View icon over onto the Maumee Pathway. It is circled in red.

To go to Street View all I need to do is release the left button of the mouse on the blue line and it will go to Street View.

Once in Street View I can use the mouse to turn the view 360 degrees. I can pan up or down. I can advance in either direction along the trail by using the mouse to click on the chevron in the white circle. It can be moved up or down the trail to move faster (farther distance) or slower (less distance). I can also zoom in much closer to take a look at something such as a sign. Here is the same image as above only it has been zoomed in. There is a compass displayed which illustrates which direction the viewer is looking. It can be changed.

For trails which are not available in Street View you can simply use the satellite image mode and zoom in on the trail. It is not as good as Street View but it works somewhat.

BTW, I read that people can also use their own 360 camera to “film” a trail and then submit it to Google.

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BIG HONKIN TRIKE RALLY

Recently I posted an article about the Withlacoochee State Trail. One of the advantages of being down in that area is being able to attend the Big Honkin’ Trike Rally which is held in February and lasts 7 days. It is held in Inverness, Florida which is right by the trail near the half way point of the 46 mile long trail. Below are videos of the event from 2020. It is set up to where participants can pretty much do as they want as far as riding the trail. One can ride as much and as far as they want … or as little. The event simply brings recumbent riders together.

And here is someone else’s video of the event …

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BICYCLE CAMPERS

Every once in awhile I find myself looking online at bicycle campers. I don’t know, maybe I have some nomad in me. I ponder over pulling a “small home” behind my trike and living out of it as I travel along in my final days of life on planet earth. In time past I have written about bicycle campers. In fact, I have featured Paul Elkins before including this very camper featured in the video below, but unfortunately the post no longer exists. I only have two posts from the past which are about a bicycle camper. Click HERE to view the first one and HERE to view the second one.

You can buy the complete set of plans of this camper from Paul for $20. Paul has invented and constructed many different things and has videos covering many of them. Click HERE to check out his other mobile shelters.

One of them he calls Conestoga.

Another one he calls Bug Out.

There are factory manufactured campers available to buy. Of course, they cost a lot more than these DIY campers. Unfortunately all of them I have seen are made in Europe. It would cost quite a bit to have one shipped here to the U.S. One of them I really like is the Wide Path which reduces to half it’s expanded size when pulling it. Here it is fully expanded …

And here it is at half size being towed along …

It is almost hard to believe that this is the same trailer unit. One thing that all of these campers lack is a toilet and shower although Paul Elkins did make an outdoor shower on one of his campers.

There have been a few different campers people tried to bring to market but failed in doing so.

Here is one which is a little different … tow, float, sleep …

I would not want to get the wheel hubs submerged when weight is added to the boat.

Foldavan makes a rather simple offering good for sleeping only I would say. Of course, I guess one could simply take shelter inside of it.

Dealing with wind could be interesting. A strong wind or wind gust could cause the trailer and trike to tip over. That could really mess up one’s day. And it could cause considerable damage and possible injury.

Hey, I just found a manufacturer here in the U.S. In fact, they are located in nearby South Bend, Indiana. BikeStream-RV sells their camper for $2395. They have a Facebook page as well.

As you can see it is only big enough to sleep in. The video below does a pretty good job of illustrating it.

There is not much extra room inside most of these but at least they would get you out of foul weather if you had no where else to go.

One last option which may be appealing to some as it is small, light and inexpensive. A bicycle tent camper can be had for $390 on Ebay. It is made in China so I don’t know the quality of it. It has 16 inch wheels which I would not care much for. Maybe 20 inch wheels could be installed in their place, but that would mess up the frame work support legs which sit on the ground with the 16 inch wheels. It sets up and tears down quickly so that is a plus. One can also carry up to 50 pounds of extra gear on it when it is all folded up. I would think having a tarp along to place over it might be a good idea … in case of rain or snow. It shows that it comes with a rain cover. I would still want the extra tarp anyway.

I just ordered one of these tent campers so I will let you know what I think of it.

Update: I received the main frame and tent part of it. I have not received the wheels and tongue yet. It is shipped in two different boxes. Anyway I set up the tent in the living room and crawled inside of it. There is lots of room and lots of ventilation available. I don’t think I would have any trouble sleeping in it. I did have trouble setting it up however. The roof poles were difficult to bow and get into place. I got three of them, but could not get the 4th one into place. I hope that changes with use. It comes with tent stakes and rope which I don’t have a clue what they are for since this sits on it’s own frame up off of the ground. It sure took a lot longer to set up than the video made it look. I wore myself out trying to get the roof poles in place. If I had to go thru that at the end of a day’s ride I would be ready to climb in and go to sleep. Anyway, so far I am fairly impressed. Everything seems to be made pretty well and I am hopeful it holds up. Now if I can just get the second box with the wheels and tongue.

UPDATE:  I received the second box with the trailer’s running gear and assembled it. The running gear is cheaply made and poor quality compared to the tent and its frame. I fully expect it to fail me as I am riding along.  Definitely this trailer with the wheels on it is way too wide to fit thru most bollards. That is going to be a problem. Oh, BTW, this does not come with assembly instructions. Howerver, there is a video available to watch. However, if one is mechanically inclined they probably can figure it out on their own as it is fairly simple. I recommend putting the tongue on before putting the wheel on that side as it will allow you to get a straight run at the screw head. With the wheel on you don’t have a straight run.

 

Here is a homemade tent camper. It is far more elaborate but has some good features. Definitely it is not one which you set up and take down as quickly as the other one.

Well, that’s about it for this topic. Who knows what the future may hold? I may someday own one such camper and be seen pulling it along … at least until I am done for the day and can find someplace to park it to crawl in it. I readily admit that I would be concerned about two things … 1) finding a place where I could park it and use it … and 2) my personal safety. I may want to get a German Shepher or Rottweiller dog for both companionship and helping with my safety.

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NEAT SMALL QUAD CAMPER

Made by a Dutch company, Flevobike, this compact outfit one could almost live in or out of. It does not have a shower or a toilet but it does have a small refrigerator.  HERE is an article with several pictures of it. The entire unit pulls out of the trailer so that the trailer can be used seperately. It has a 250 watt e-motor and solar panels on top of the roof to keep the battery charged up. The range is said to be 50 kilometers or 31 miles per day on a full charge.

 

 

I wonder if there is room enough for a German Shepherd or Rotweiler dog inside. Smith & Wessen is fine but I would want that for extra protection and security. One thing lacking that sure would be nice is some sort of canopy/enclosure to keep the sun at bay and stay dry in rain and warm in cooler weather. I wonder if it locks up both from the outside and the inside. I see it does have a privacy curtain on the window. The small fairing upfront would help keep one’s feet a bit more comfortable from the wind and perhaps somewhat from the rain. Riding in strong winds would be a concern. I would probably be Florida bound if I had one of these … saying goodbye to northern winters. GoLo has a  WEBSITE as well as a FACEBOOK page. Oh, BTW, this camper is not yet in production. They only have this prototype thus far.

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Withlacoochee State Trail: This might be Florida’s best bike trail

MLK Jr. had a dream. I have one also. My dream is someday I will be able to ride this trail. Unlike some folks I have never been a person with a “bucket list” but I readily admit that I do have this one strong desire.

I titled this using the same title of an article I just read about this trail. I am not copying the article … only using its title. Over the years I have spent many hours  researching about this particular trail which intrigues and entices me so much. I like the idea of being able to ride such a long distance. My plan would be to start my ride in the Floral City area which is about in the middle of the 46 mile long trail. From there I could go north or south and have about the same distance. 23 miles out and back would make for a 46 mile ride which sounds ideal for a day’s worth of riding. As a bonus one can often see various kinds of wildlife on or near the trail.

This map shows the area of Florida this trail is located.

It is my understanding that this trail is popular with many tadpole trike riders. That really appeals to me as I would like to be able to ride with others.

And in Floral City right next to the trail one can find “TrailSide Trikes“. They not only sell and service several different brands of tadpole trikes but they are there as friends to trikers. Many trikers meet together there. Trail rides are offered as well as some events at their location. I would love to be a part of that.

SHOP IS DEFINITELY CONVENIENTLY LOCATED RIGHT ALONGSIDE OF TRAIL

I may never see my dream fulfilled but I am not giving up on it. I am almost 76 years old so time is slipping away. They even have a pretty fancy outhouse alongside the trail.

It is my understanding that much of the trail is shaded, especially the northern half. I like that! Also I read that the scenery along this trail is better than most. I like that also!

One thing that I read which I don’t care for is that portions of the trail have horse trails alongside of the paved trail. That ruins bike trails in my opinion. In fact, I think it ruins it for everybody including the horses.

A few years ago they had some unwelcome activity on the trail which I hope never happens again. A police chase occurred in the Floral City-Inverness area. I wrote about it at the time.

That is a little more excitement than I care for. That tadpole triker was spared but that is too close for comfort. That would scare most of us half to death. BTW, if you watch the first video I posted the pickup truck the police are chasing turns off onto the trail at about 6 minutes and 5 seconds into the video. (This is where I start the video in the link above.) He goes on and off of the trail several different times. What makes this scenario all the more dangerous is that there is a rural road and a highway which run alongside of the trail not far away. If a trail user heard sirens he would naturally think that the police cars are over on one of the roads and not on the trail.

Every February the Big Honkin’ Trike Rally is held in Inverness, Florida. It lasts 7 days and brings recumbent riders together with a more less open schedule where they can meet up with other riders and ride as much and as far on the trail as they care to. I have an article about this rally scheduled to be published Nov. 16th. (The link to the article won’t work until the 16th.)

And a 10 mile extension trail named “The Good Neighbor Trail” has been built connecting the Withlacoochee State Trail to  Brooksville, Florida.

Yes, indeed … I can identify with this. One of those trikes could be mine. I can dream anyway. Yes, I have a dream …

that someday I will be seen on my trike on the Withlacoochee State Trail. I have even thought about moving down there … something I swore I would never do as I don’t like heat, humidity and insects galore. I could handle snowbirding but I could never afford it.  But I can dream …

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65 YEAR OLD MAN BREAKS 7 RECUMBENT TRIKE RECORDS PREVIOUSLY HELD BY 29 YEAR OLD

65 year old Marshall Randall, riding a Greenspeed Aero tadpole trike has broken 7 existing records previously held by a 29 year old man. You can read about it HERE.

Randall, the director of sales and marketing at recumbent cycling manufacturer WizWheelz, recently used one of the company’s trikes to trounce no less than seven World Ultra Cycling Association (WUCA) records. In Feb. 2020 WizWheelz bought out the well known Australian trike manufacturer, Greenspeed. In 1990 the late Ian Sims brought the Greenspeed trike to the forefront for the world to experience and with it some design engineering was introduced to the recumbent trike industry.

Randall rode a GreenSpeed Aero recumbent tadpole trike to set records in the 100k, 200k, 300k, 100-mile, 200-mile, 6-hour, and 12-hour recumbent trike road categories. He conducted his ride in rural Michigan on a frosty day in late September. He maintained an average speed of 17.31 miles per hour.

Congratulations to Marshall. That is an amazing accomplishment. If I had enough batteries on board or at least available to use I am sure I could do as well. I doubt if they would credit me with smashing any world records though. Hey just staying awake that long should earn a guy something.  😉

Marshall got a nice treat from his wife, Kelle, at the end to congratulate him. I guess he had enough breath left at the end to make it thru this.

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‘TOMATERS’ COMIN OUTA MY EARS

Yep, I have got tomatoes coming out of my ears. We used to have our own garden but discontinued it several years ago. Our brother in law puts out a large garden every year and we get a lot of vegetables from them free every year. This equates to not having any need of our own garden. Also I have a friend that lives near one of our local trails I ride frequently. His property is right alongside of the trail.

He puts tomato plants out every year and shares them with several people he knows including me. This picture was taken early on in the season while most of the tomatoes were still green.

I have to admit it is extremely handy to just stop by the side of the trail, grab a plastic bag out of my pocket and start picking delicious ripe tomatoes fresh off of the vine. And they are always far better than can be bought in a grocery store. There are always gobs of tomatoes growing and many go to waste as they fall off the vine onto the ground. We already had gobs of tomatoes from my brother in law so we did not need any more. For some reason not many people seem to be taking advantage of my friend’s generosity. I hate seeing them go to waste so I stop and pick some of his tomatoes. Sadly we are throwing several of them away as they go bad before we are getting them ate. And with cold weather upon us … at least off and on as the seasons change … the tomatoes remaining on the plants are being exposed to freezing. Again, I hate seeing them go to waste but there are far more of them than we could possibly use. The last time I picked a bunch of them I left the bag of them out in the garage. I tell ya, I’ve got tomatoes coming out of my ears. It is a crying shame, surely someone could use them. Well, I am trying to do my part. I am going out to the kitchen to eat some tomatoes. Hopefully, I can get started on the bag out in the garage.

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BROKEN BATTERY MOUNT

My T-Cycle battery mount broke off yesterday spilling my battery onto the road. Fortunately the battery came to rest right on the painted line of the center turn lane and the traffic was stopped at a traffic light so I was able to retrieve the battery without it or myself getting ran over. It destroyed my plug that plugs into the battery. I tried for a long time to repair it but had no luck. That meant that I had a long ride home pedaling under my own power. And that means granny gear at 2 mph as that is all my body is capable of doing anymore as I have aged. I had to stop numerous times to rest. And the worst of it was I knew rain was coming and there was no way I was going to get home before that happened. So, by the time I did get home I was soaked to the bone as the light rain we had been having turned to a heavier rain. At least my phone stayed dry as I placed a plastic bag over it. This morning I went to work on my trike getting the electrical problems fixed so I can ride again using my motor. I just finished that. I am going to take a picture of the broken battery mount and send it to T-Cycle to see if they will cover it under warranty. If not I can weld it and continue to use it but I am leaning on making the pieces out of steel so it will be stronger. Since I installed the T-Cycle battery mount I have used rubber bungee cords on it to help take weight off of it and reduce metal fatigue hoping to prevent this. That is a lot of weight hanging out there to work at fatiguing that soft aluminum piece full of holes. Everything on the trike gets bounced around a lot and suffers serious jolts.
I am not an engineer, but I was a very experienced metal fabricator with over 60 years of experience. I have learned some things about metal and know about metal fatigue. Repair welding was my specialty. I have repaired tons of broken metal pieces … most of which failed due to being underbuilt. The T-Cycle battery mount is poorly engineered as it is weak where they have all the holes drilled and tapped. That is right where it broke, of course.  Most T-Cycle products are well made but I can’t say that about this one. If I remember correctly it is rated for 15 pounds. My battery weighs 14 pounds. I see on T-Cycle’s website that they have improved this battery mount for Catrike so maybe they have improved upon this weak point. I have written about T-Cycle’s battery mounts before. Click HERE to view it. And I have written an article on their other many fine products. Click HERE to view it. I have several of their products on my trike and with the exception of the battery mount I am well satisfied with their design and quality.
T-Cycle, if you are reading this my trike is a 2013 Catrike Trail.

 

 

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COMMON IS NO LONGER COMMON

 

And there is much more written about how people will be in the Last Days. Lawlessness will abound! We certainly see it. A person would be a fool to deny it.

One thing that I have noticed over the last several years is that COMMON  is no longer common. Things like common sense, common courtesy and common decency just are not around any more like they used to be. Yep, common is no longer common. Various examples come to mind. Things like friendly greetings not being returned and not keeping one’s dog under control.

And no matter how wide a multi-use trail is people still manage to take up the entire width of it making it impossible for other trail users to pass them. And they think it is okay to do so. They pay no attention to other trail users and move out of the way. It is almost always necessary to say something to them in order to get them to move out of the way. I am talking about a trail that is 24 to 30 feet wide. Whatever happened to common sense?

Dog owners who refuse to obey the law and keep their dog on a leash are often among the worst as they usually have a real bad attitude problem. If you dare say anything to them they explode into a rage calling you nasty names and F-you always comes out of their mouths. Whatever happened to common decency?

Very few bicyclists obey the trail rules and give a proper warning that they intend to overtake you. Instead the go zooming by scaring others half to death. I was raised to be friendly toward everybody. I greet everybody I see. I am amazed at how many people don’t return a friendly greeting. Whatever happened to common courtesy?

Signs of the times is what we are seeing and experiencing. Signs of the End Times, that is. God’s Word tells us that many people will change like this in the Last Days. So we should not be surprised. Many things have changed for the worse. I like the saying … “NORMAL isn’t coming back. JESUS is!” In closing I echo the words of Jesus … do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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