WHAT HAPPENED TO AUTUMN?

remember growing up we had the beautiful Autumn leaves by late September and a lot of them were already fallen off of the trees. This is a month later (late October) and the Autumn colors are just now starting to change. Most trees are still quite green. What’s going on? No, I don’t believe in what they are calling Climate Change as it is a lie with an agenda behind it. I do believe in  periods of earth’s history where the weather has changed … warming up and cooling down. Remember … there is nothing new under the sun. It has happened before and it will happen again.

What does this have to do with tadpole trikes you ask? Absolutely nothing. The only connection I can make to it is the fact that I am not enjoying seeing those beautiful colors as I am out there riding. And I truly miss them. By the time the leaves have made their annual change of color it will be later in the season and colder … at least that is my guess. It is already cooling off to where it is uncomfortable out there if one isn’t bundled up sufficiently. And I have made the mistake 2 or 3 times of not being dressed warm enough to be comfortable while out riding. I am doing something about that as it is no fun riding and being cold.

Maybe where you are what I am saying does not apply. Perhaps your leaves are already changed at their normal schedule and the colder weather either hasn’t happened yet or it has happened and you are dealing with it. I know some riders quit early in the season and put their trikes away until sometime next Spring. Not me, I try to keep riding thruout the winter. I am not thrilled with dealing with winter and it is getting harder for me as I get older. But I am still trying to keep on trikin’. And yes, I know there are some of you who don’t deal with any of this … no Autumn leaves, no cold weather, no snow, no ice, no freezing rain. Winter season is the only time I am envious. You get to keep on trikin’ while I may have to quit for awhile until the weather improves.

Whether I have pretty leaves to look at or not I am hopefully going to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

HEATED GLOVES … GONE WITH THE WIND … THE HEAT, THAT IS

recently purchased a pair of heated gloves. I tried them out today. I am sending them back tomorrow. Yes, they work. They keep my hands quite warm as long as 1) it is not cold outside  2)  I am sitting still.  Therein lies the problem. I bought them to wear when it is cold outside … when my unheated handwear does not keep my hands warm. And, of course, riding my trike means that I am moving.  When cold air moves across the gloves it removes the heat being produced and makes them ineffective. If I had some means of keeping the cold air off of them they might work. As is I have to have the heat turned up on high which means the rechargeable lithium ion batteries only last 2 hours. I ride a lot longer than that each day so I would have to have about 3 sets of batteries to last thru my rides. Well, that is my review. If a person rides really slow these gloves might work for them, but if they ride 15 mph or faster the heat is “Gone With the Wind”. I may try one more product … heated glove liners … and wear them inside of my mittens which do a pretty good job stopping air from getting thru. It is hard to …

ENJOY THE RIDE

with cold hands.

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

KEEPING THOSE HANDS WARM

Are you tough or are you a wimp? Do you ride thru the winter or hibernate? If you do ride do you manage to keep your hands warm enough? Over the years I have tried numerous gloves, mittens, and chemical hand warmers. I have also tried using bar end mitts. I wish I could say that I finally landed on a combination that works great for me, but alas, it just ain’t so. However, what I am using now is working as good as anything I have tried. I use a combination of hand knit wool mittens made in Russia. Over those I use a larger pair of mittens. And when needed I use chemical hand warmers inside of the wool mittens.

The wool gloves do a pretty decent job of keeping my hands warm as long as the wind isn’t a factor.

The larger mittens do a pretty good job of “breaking the wind”.

That’s it …  that is what I use … at least at this time. The wool mittens I got off of Ebay for about $10. The larger mittens I bought at a local Dick’s Sporting Goods store for about $30 I think. The best price I have found for the chemical hand warmers is Walmart. I think they were less than 60 cents each.

I hate winter and don’t like dealing with it. That being said it is just part of life and I have to deal with it. As long as I live where I do I will have winter to deal with. And it is likely I will remain living here where I am at. Winter or not I do try to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

(while staying warm)

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

BAR END MITTENS REVISTED

I have written about bar end mitts previously: My First Impressions and Now That I Have Used Them For Awhile. However with Winter approaching I thought I would write about them again. Back in 2018 I bought a pair and installed them on my trike. I have always struggled with cold hands and feet. And because of this I have tried several different things. Unfortunately I am unable to tell you that I have found something that really works well for me.

My opinion of the bar end mittens is mixed and hasn’t changed. I really like the concept but the actual experience of them is another matter. Two things come to mind … 1) the physical size of the bar end mitts and 2) the insulating quality factor of the bar end mitts. My bar end mitts come up lacking in both areas. My bar end mitts are way too small inside. They are too small even for my bare hands much less bulky gloves or mittens on my hands. Because of this my hands are in contact with my brake levers and those aluminum levers do get cold in the winter time. And the insulating quality of my bar end mitts do nothing to keep that cold from transferring right thru to my hands. Even with gloves or mittens the cold still gets conducted thru all the material involved. With gloves or mittens on there is not enough room inside of the bar end mitts to be comfortable and work the controls (twist shifters and brake levers). I used my bar end mitts one winter season and removed them in the Spring. I reinstalled them the next winter but removed them within a few weeks as they just don’t do the job for me. Just being too small and cramped up inside is enough to make for a bad experience for me. Some suggested to me that I should get bar end mitts that are made for an ATV as they are larger. I will say this about bar end mitts … a factor that I really liked is that they eliminate the wind/cold air by blocking it. I may look into the ATV size at some point in the future. Installing the ones like I have now presents a problem as a trike with vertical handlebars is different than a bicycle’s handlebars. Bicycle bar end mitts are not made for our trikes. It is hard to find really good and effective insulation and if and when you do it costs money. Admittedly, my bar end mitts were inexpensive. They have poor insulation qualities even though the ad said otherwise. It is kind of like many politicians … they’all say anything to get elected. Many manufacturers will say anything to sell their products. Hey, if you attempt to ride thru the winter maybe bar end mitts would help you to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

RIDING IN AN OVEN (HEAT)

Much of the nation (United States) has been rather hot lately and being out there riding is like riding in an oven.  It reminds me of my motorcycling days. Once it gets into the 90s F (30s C) it doesn’t seem to help riding fast as all you feel is very hot air. Having e-assist I normally ride much faster than I can and do ride without it. And normally riding fast … I am talking about 16 to 23 mph … means I feel a lot of air movement which usually feels really good. But when the air temperature is in the 90s it doesn’t matter how fast I ride it just feels miserable. Going fast just doesn’t help. I am not a fan of heat so riding in it is not very enjoyable for me. I don’t know how long this hot weather is going to last but looking at the extended weather forecast isn’t encouraging. That being said I am most thankful for the e-assist and my canopy as they help immensely. I still get rather warm but nothing at all like I would be without them. Before I had them I was one of many who chose to start riding early in the morning (6 to 7 AM) when it was at its coolest part of the day and be done riding by 11 AM or so when it was starting to feel pretty warm. There are things a person can do to help stay a bit cooler. I am always amazed when I see people out in hot weather dressed in black or other dark clothing as there is nothing more miserable one could wear than black when it comes to absorbing the sun’s rays. I always try to wear white or other light colored clothing which reflect most of the sun’s rays. I also see people wear hooded sweatshirts with the hoods up in this hot weather. I mean, what’s up with that? I think perhaps they have some elevator issues … as in … their elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top floor. Wearing hats, helmets and such traps heat from leaving one’s head. With a canopy I don’t wear anything on my head but if I ride without my canopy I wear a visor type hat that is open in the top. I would be super miserable wearing a regular hat which keeps all that heat trapped. One could also wear self-wicking clothing or special clothing designed to be wet and help cool our bodies. There is a hat being advertised on TV lately that does this. Of course, one can always pour water over themselves to cool off. That definitely works. Hey, whatever it takes to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

BAR END MITTS … NOW THAT I HAVE USED THEM FOR AWHILE

Shortly after purchasing and installing bar end mitts last winter I wrote an article about my first impressions. I continued to use them all of last winter and removed them come Spring. I put them back on a few weeks ago assuming I would continue to use them this winter but about a week ago I took them back off as I decided to try something different. What I am trying to say is I no longer have the same impression of them as I had when I first wrote about them.

They do block the wind which is appreciated. However, they are just too small and there is not enough room inside of them. My hands are not only right up against them which means the cold is transferred thru whatever gloves or mittens I wear and causes my handwear not to work as well as it would and can without this scenario. And because they are too small inside I am limited as to what handwear I can use. In addition to these problems it is nearly impossible for me to twist my twist shifters to shift gears. Working the brake levers is even challenging.

So I made the decision to remove them and just wear my Hotfingers Rip N Go mittens which do a good job of blocking the wind and air from passing thru them. Mittens are a bit cumbersome but I can shift and work my brake levers with them.

If needed I can also wear my hand knit wool mittens inside of the Hotfinger mittens which is warmer yet.

And I can use chemical hand warmers inside of either pair of mittens if needed. It has been working quite well for me … much better than using the bar end mitts.

As an update … I have discovered the best combination for me thus far. I have removed the wool mittens from inside of the Hotfinger mittens and am using the chemical hand warmers inside of the Hotfinger mittens. My thumbs were getting cold so by doing this there is room enough inside of the thumbs of the Hotfinger mittens to place chemical hand warmers and keep my thumbs warm. Of course, I am using twice as many of the hand warmers by doing this but at least my entire hands are staying warm.

I know that there are bar end mitts made for ATVs , snowmobiles and motorcycles which are larger and might be okay. I will keep this in the back of my head in case I need to go that route. I have to admit I am skeptical as to whether or not they would be large enough to eliminate the issues I have with these I already bought. Meanwhile I will continue on with what I am doing now and hope I am done with bar end mitts. They are ugly looking when installed anyway. I think I am going to be able to …

ENJOY THE RIDE 

and

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

using my mittens. Now if I could just find a mitten for my nose.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

ARE YOU READY FOR WINTER?

Many of us live where we deal with winter weather. And some of us try to keep riding our tadpole trikes thru the winter. So I ask ya … are you ready for winter? It is upon us whether we like it or not … and whether we are ready or not. And there is nothing we can do about shy of leaving for warmer weather elsewhere … which, of course, some do. But for many of us that is just not an option. We are stuck here in cold weather that comes upon us. The only other choice is to hibernate indoors thru the winter. Spending 5 months or so inside is not something I care to do. I would be climbing the walls if I tried that. For about three consecutive years I brought my trike inside the house and had it set up on a trainer thru the winter months. The “novelty wore off real quick”.  I have never liked stationary exercise. I need to be outdoors and moving. Many many years ago I went inside mall walking in the early morning thru the winter. I could not stand walking inside so I went outside and walked around out in the cold.

So for those of us stuck where we are planted we just have to deal with it. I am among those who try to keep riding as much as I can. If it gets too cold I am done for. If we get too much snow … especially a wet heavy snow … I am done for. If the snow we get is too deep and isn’t being plowed off I am done for even if the weather is decent otherwise. Of course, my daily mileage is less than it is in nice riding weather. And depending upon the weather it may be less some days than others.

Keeping warm can be challenging. I have tried numerous approaches over the years and most of them have been rather unsuccessful. My hands and my feet are what I have the most problem with keeping warm enough. After many years of trying various things I think I have finally got something going for myself that is promising. I have received lots of suggestions from others over the years and have tried several of them. I am here to tell you that what works for one person may not work for another. That being said I am about to tell you what seems to be working for me. As I indicated it might not work for you.

In order to make this quick and easy for me I am simply going to copy and paste what I posted on Facebook:

“Cold winter weather is just around the corner according to the forecast. I can’t say that I am looking forward to it. I am sitting here at home now waiting for it to warm up before I go out riding. It was 18 degrees F. when I got up this morning. I try to ride thru the winter but not in the bitter cold. I can handle the 30s although I have to admit that the older I get the harder it is to do so. I much prefer the 50s but that is not typical winter temperatures for northern Indiana. I have experimented with various clothing and handwear trying to find something that works keeping me warm. Last winter I used “bar end mitts” on my handlebars. I liked them at first as they kept the cold air and wind off of my hands, however, they are just too small inside and my hands are right against them which transfers cold thru them onto my hands. Also it is nearly impossible to work the twist shifters to shift gears and it is even difficult to work the brake levers. I reinstalled them several weeks ago but I removed them about 3 weeks ago. I have found that I do better without them. I am wearing two pair of mittens … a hand knit wool pair which do a pretty good job of keeping my hands warm although air passes thru them … so I wear a second pair of mittens … Hotfingers Rip N Go which are fairly warm by themselves but they do an excellent job of stopping any air from passing thru. It is a bit bulky but they are doing a good job. And, if needed, I can also use chemical hand warmers inside of them. So my hands are staying warm now with this combination. Shifting is still a bit challenging but better than when using the bar end mitts. I have always had a problem keeping my feet warm but I think I have that resolved as well. I am wearing one pair of thick wool socks and leather shoes over them. So far that is doing the job but if needed I can always try using a plastic bag over my foot to block air from getting thru. For my legs I am using a pair of 32Heat “tights” and a pair of sweat pants over them. For my upper body I am wearing layers of a long sleeve undershirt, a regular long sleeve shirt with a pocket, a duck down filled coat and a hooded sweatshirt. This combination keeps me very warm. For my head I wear a ball cap or visor to help block the sun from my eyes and a stocking cap with built in earmuffs over the ball cap/visor. Lastly I use the sweatshirt hood over both to add warmth plus help hold the hat on my head when the wind is blowing. My head stays plenty warm as well with this combination. I also wear a pair of wrap around bubble type safety glasses which do a good job of keeping the air out of my eyes so basically only my nose, mouth, cheeks and chin are exposed to the air. I have not yet needed anything over my face but I do have a couple of various things I can use if I need to. I have to admit that rather then bundling up like this I would much prefer riding in shorts and a short sleeve shirt in 70 degree weather.”

I am in there somewhere!

Please feel free to leave a comment telling others what works for you keeping you warm while out riding in the cold. Notice I said out riding in the cold. We can do without the comments about riding in Florida, Arizona, Southern California, etc. or riding inside on a trainer where it is toasty warm. I am not addressing wimps here but real he men and women who are tough.

As they say, all others need not apply!

So bundle up …

And don’t forget to put on those long johns …

Do whatever it takes for you to keep warm enough and to …

FREE GIFT awaits you!

NASHBAR RAGSTER SANDALS … THEY’RE BACK!

There is good news for those who have been looking for the popular Nashbar Ragster sandals. They are once again being offered by BikeNasbar.com on their website. That being said I noticed that on both Amazon and Ebay they are still showing either “sold out” or “not available”.

The Ragster sandal is a lower cost sandal which is a good quality product. It is a SPD cycling footwear. They are definitely much more affordable than the well known and popular Shimano and Keen brands.

Right now the price is about $50 which they show is a sale price as their list price is about $56. When I bought mine a few years ago I got them on sale for about $35. I don’t know if such sales will be appearing in the future. We can only hope so. At least they are back available again and that is good news. BTW, HERE is a conversion chart to help with the shoe sizes.

HERE is a good article on cycling sandals.

**********

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

BAR END MITTS – MY FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Earlier today I received a pair of bar end mitts I had ordered a couple of days ago. I installed them after getting home from my daily ride, but I wasn’t feeling like going back out to try them. However, later on I decided to try them out. It is a good day for it as it is windy today and feels pretty cold as a result. They definitely made a difference as far as greatly reducing the wind I feel on my hands. In fact, I can’t say that I felt any wind on my hands so they are doing their intended job. I only wore a pair of wool gloves inside of them hoping that the wool gloves would be sufficient to keep my hands warm. They weren’t. This disappointed me as wearing anything more will be a little problematic as there just isn’t a whole lot of room inside of the bar end mitts. Having the bar end mitts installled presents problems as the handlebars are no longer accessable like they were before. I have to use the handlebars to lift my trike up and down out of the back of my truck. And using the locking brake lever is quite difficult now with the bar end mtts installed. I don’t know how much difference there is between brands, but these I bought just don’t allow much room inside. The brake levers are right up against the front of the bar end mitts making them harder to use. Also it would be best not to have my fingers come in contact with the bar end mitts when using the brakes as in doing so coldness is transferred via conduction. I have twist shifters and with the bar end shifters they are very difficult to use to shift gears. So the verdict is out at this point in time. I just wish they was a lot more room inside of them so that these issues were non-issues. If I have to use additional gloves or mittens on my hands to keep my hands warm using the bar end mitts is going to be even more problematic. I will let you know further down the road how it all works out. Meanwhile I hope to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

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?

3-wheels-better-than-2

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. 🙂

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!

FREE GIFT awaits you!