RAIL TRAILS CONSERVANCY revisted

Yes, I have written about this before. That was 7 years ago. Some of us have no trails near us to ride on. So sorry for you. Some of us have planned out bike trails which have been built which we can ride on. Some of us have rail trails near us we can ride on. And some of us have both types of  trails near us we can ride on. I am fortunate in that I have both near me … over 125 miles of trails. That being said rail trails may or may not be among my favorite trails to ride on. Rail trails are particularly interesting because they take advantage of existing “corridors” which are no longer in use by a railroad company. Because the route was laid out with trains traveling along them they don’t have sharp curves nor steep grades. So if you don’t like steep grades and sharp curves this is good for you. Train corridors may be fairly straight and without shade … neither of which appeal to me. I have ridden rail trails which I very much disliked because of these reasons. In a word … “BORING”! Just miles and miles of nothing of interest to see nor curves to break up the monotamy. And in hot weather … “MISERABLE”! … as there is no relief from the sun. And yet rail trails can have lots of curves, be very scenic and offer great shade making them great to ride on. At this point in time we only have one rail trail here in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area where I live. It is named the Pufferbelly Trail. It is a mixed bag. Most of it is fairly straight with no shade in parts of it while quite a lot of it has really nice shade.

If we play the game of “Let George Do It” we might find things going nowhere fast. The more ‘we the people’ get involved the more likely we will see progress made.

RTC (Rails Trails Conservancy) has lots of videos. And no, they are not all about raising funds, promoting and growing trails.

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IT’S CHRISTMAS!

No Ho Ho Ho for me. I say Humbug to that. Christmas is not about some jolly old fat man with the attributes of God being able to know everything about us and able to travel almost instantaneously. He is Satan’s substitute for the real meaning of Christmas.

We have the Holy Bible to teach us and help us know the truth. In it we find the truth of Who God is and learn of His great love for all of us. There is one main theme thruout the Bible. The Old Testament tells us that “Someone is coming!” and the New Testament tells us that “Someone has come”. Beyond the main theme is another very important theme and that is man has sinned (that includes you and I) which created a very serious problem for us. That problem is ‘our sin separates us from God’. As much as God loves us and desires us to be with Him He is holy and therefore can not allow sin in His presence. We have a problem. God in His Word tells us that the wages or consequences of sin is eternal damnation apart from Him. We are eternal beings as our soul will live forever. This flesh will die but “we” won’t. We all have eternal life although most of us will experience what the Bible calls a second death where we will be judged and cast into eternal hell because of our sin. That is not the perfect will of God. It was not what He originally planned. Most of us have heard the word “Gospel”. It literally means “Good News” and that is exactly what it is. To understand and appreciate the good news one must first understand and grasp the bad news. The bad news is what I just talked about … the fact that we are all sinners and hell bound because of our sin. All God asks (actually demands) of us is that we agree with Him … that we are guilty as charged and have this problem we can’t do anything about. In His love He has provided the help we need so desperately. He provided salvation for us. Innocent blood had to be shed. There was only one source of innocent blood God would accept. That “Someone Who came” was very special. That Someone was none other than God Himself. In His great love He humbled Himself and was born as a human baby Who lived among us and showed us Who God is. He was special in that He had no earthly father which would have resulted in Him being born a sinner just like you and I were. He was without sin and therefore qualified to shed His innocent blood for us. Long long ago all of this was planned out and then carried out over 2000 years ago on a hill far away where an old rugged cross stood. Yes, He made the very tree that that old rugged cross originated from. There on that cross He willingly underwent horrific suffering and great pain to carry out that plan. But the story did not end on that cross. From the cross He went to the grave just like all other men do. The Good News is He did not stay in that grave. He came back to life and conquered death so that we also can live beyond the grave. Thru Jesus and what He did for us we too can have victory over the grave and experience the best news yet … we can spend eternity with the God Who loves us. It is indeed Good News! It is not complicated although man tries to make it complicated.It is as simple as ABC. Do you know the ABCs? If you have never accepted what God did for you that would be the very best Christmas gift you could receive. It is a limited time offer however. It expires upon your last heart beat. Jesus is alive today and forever. He has His arms extended to you to welcome you into His embrace. He loves you. He proved His great love in what He did for you and I. Today, if you hear His voice hearkening to you, do not harden your heart turning away from Him. You many never have another oportunity as none of us know what a day will bring forth. Our last breath could be seconds away.

Below is a video I made awhile back. I hope you enjoy it.

And may you and your family have a very blessed and Merry Christmas.

 

 

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E-TRIKE PAS VS TORQUE SENSING

There is no doubt about it. Torque sensing is best and preferable over PAS (pedal assist sensor)(cadence sensing). That being said, not all e-motor system kits have torque sensing as part of their offering. I wish this were not so but alas it is what it is. My current e-motor came with both a hand throttle and a PAS sensor. I hooked up the hand throttle but I never messed with the PAS sensor. Just now I got it out of the box looking at it to see what would be involved in installing it. Of course, winter weather is upon us now so I don’t know if I will be messing with it before Spring when it warms up. I do need to get it installed for sure so that I will have “pedal assist”.

 

I paid big bucks for a torque sensor years ago.I had to buy a new crankset as the one from Catrike would not work with the torque sensor. I paid big bucks to install it. It didn’t work. A few months later I was having my trike worked on so I cautioned the mechanic that he needed to be very careful not to allow the torque sensor spindle in the bottom bracket to rotate as it has very delicate wires which will readily break.

He didn’t listen to me and he broke every one of the wires. It didn’t work before so it would not have mattered but I was getting ready to return it for a different type. I was very concerned about all the broken wires so my late brother in law who was a senior electronics technician repaired all of them for me. He did an excellent job on it but, of course, it was all for nothing since it didn’t work. Anyway, I got the other bottom bracket torque sensor but never installed it.  It would have required me to purchase another crankset as the one I had bought for the first torque sensor would not work with the newest torque sensor. And the local bike shop could not locate a crankset that would work so I never installed it. Now I don’t have that e-motor installed anymore so it doesn’t look like I will ever use the new torque sensor. I don’t think much of that type of sensor. They are just too delicate and too difficult to install and set up properly. Now they have a different type which is not mounted in the bottom bracket. I like that concept much better.

Here is a DIY hack some might want to consider.

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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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I JUST DON’T SEE IT (the SEARCH BOX that is)

If you use a smartphone rather than a desktop or laptop computer you are missing out on things. On a smartphone you normally only see the one main column of a website. Other columns off to the sides don’t appear. Recently I had a reader of my blog looking for the search feature on TadpoleRider.com. She could not find it. I tried to help her but quickly discovered the problem. She was using a smartphone. In the image below is what TadpleRider.com is suppose to look like. The search box feature in on the far right circled in red.

But when viewed on a smartphone it does not appear the same. Here is a captured screenshot of my website on my smartphone. As you can see you can’t see the searchbox. It is there but a smartphone does not show it.

 

I don’t know a lot about smartphones. I know enough about them to know I don’t like them. They remind me of a Chevy El Camino or Ford Ranchero. The person could not figure out whether they wanted a car or a pickup truck so they got a Ranchero or El Camino and therefore didn’t get a car or a pickup truck.

Anyway … I could not help this person … not immediately, that is. Later after I learned about this I was able to help her.

I have a nephew who is very knowledgeable of anything computer related (inside of it or its operation). I turned to him for help. He told me to simply turn the phone 90 degrees holding it sideways. Of course, that feature has to be turned on in Settings in order for it to work. It is turned on in my phone so I did as he said  and I could see more of what is there, but I still could not see the search box. From there I figured things out for myself and within a few seconds of making some changes in the smartphone’s Display Settings the search box appeared on my screen. The only thing is it was too small for me to use it with my poor eyesight. Yes, I had to change the Display Settings to a smaller size and smaller font size.

Below is an actual screenshot of my Android smartphone being held sideways. As you can see now the search box is visible on the far right.

Anyway, it can be done, but I will take my desktop computer any day. I never had any desire for an El Camino and don’t have much use for smartphones. I know I would not be constantly changing my Display Settings just to view websites properly. I rarely view any websites on my smartphone. I feel sorry for those who only have and use a smartphone for everything on the internet. And then there are those who have the attitude and thinking of “with a smartphone I have no need nor desire of a desktop or laptop computer”. It is their loss in my opinion.

In the picture above from the James Bond movie, Goldfinger, this Ford Falcon Ranchero would be grossly overloaded if it really had a full size car compacted into this small size sitting in the bed of it. I am reminded of the true story of a guy with a Ranchero who went to a gravel pit to get a load of small gravel stone. He waited his turn and when the operator of the front loader got to him he told the operator to dump a  bucket load in the back. The operator asked him “Are you sure that’s what you want?” He said, “yeah, dump it in”. The next thing … all four tires blew out and the Ranchero was all the way down sitting on the ground. I think the payload for both Ranchero and El Camino was only 600 pounds. His personal theme song had to have been “what kind of fool am I?”

I can’t imagine trying to compose this article only using a smartphone. They have their good points and uses but just don’t compare to a real full size computer. Maybe if you have really good eyesight you can use your smartphone with really small Display Settings. And my fat fingers just don’t work very well with that small keyboard.

I am sharing about this because having the search box to use is an extremely handy and useful tool. You can quickly and easily find all sorts of things on TadpoleRider.com with it.

Also all the other links on the side are very useful. In the captured screenshot image above you can see the column on the right. I made the screen display as small as I could trying to capture as much of it as I could, but it goes on and on far more than what you can see in the picture.

Here is a quick video scrolling vertically so you can see all that is available on the far right side of the website. If you use a smartphone to view my website it is likely you have never seen any of this before.

Not only is there a search box, but there is also links to pages I have created, recent posts, archives listed by each month and lastly, categories to help in finding articles about things the reader is interested. There is also an email signup to subscribe to TadpoleRider.com and a “Follow me” button as well as my email address to contact me. Oh yes, I almost forgot. There are also links to the Most Recent Comments.

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For those who are interested here is a video of the car crushing and dropping it into the Ranchero.

WAYS TO AVOID GETTING FLATS

Utah Trikes produces lots of good videos. Here is one about various available options one can pursue to avoid getting flat tires. I noticed that the very first option mentioned is my choice … Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires. It is still the best tire money can buy and most sensible approach to the matter of avoiding flats. You not only get excellent flat protection but you get incredible wear. … 2 to 3 times as much as the Tannus.  It is a lot of tire for the money. I personally am very unimpressed with the Tannus tire.

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ANOTHER BICYCLIST ON PUFFERBELLY TRAIL HIT BY CAR AT ROAD CROSSING

It has happened again. Another woman was hit by a car while crossing a road here in Fort Wayne. She was riding her bicycle on the Pufferbelly Trail when it happened.

This is the second such incident in  less than a year. The first victim died in the crosswalk. This rider suffered life threatening injuries. Of course, the driver was not ticketed.

The video below is local news coverage of the first incident. They cover the proper procedure for trail users and motorists at these trail crossings.

I have crossed these same roads many times. They are dangerous in my opinion. I don’t know what the answer is. Trail users certainly need to be careful  and not be lulled into crossing the road if someone stops to let them do so. Motorists are not suppose to stop to allow trail users to stop if they are still over at the side of the road. They greatly endanger the trail user when they do this. It is much safer to just waive the motorist on and wait until there is no traffic before attempting to cross. All too often other motorists don’t stop and then these horrible accidents happen. I have a hard time calling them accidents. In my opinion there is no excuse for motorists to attempt to go around a stopped vehicle at these crosswalks. When they do this they are guilty of murder as far as I am concerned. Of course, they usually get away with it.

In the video below I am riding the Pufferbelly Trail. Starting at about 3 minutes 17 seconds into the video I am coming upon Carroll Road where the woman bicyclist was killed last year. At the very end of the video I come up to Wallen Road where this latest incident happened.  The trail ended there back when this video was made (2016) but since then it has been expanded a few more miles southward.

Be very careful at trail crossings. Don’t be a victim. Everyone needs to learn what to do and what not to do in order to safely cross roads. The life you save may be your own. We all want to …

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SW900 LCD DISPLAY CONTROLLER — INSTRUCTIONS WOULD HELP

I make no claim of being an expert on e-motors. That being said I have had seven different e-motors on my trike thus far. The first three were all BionX which the dealer installed. Even with them I had the experience of uninstalling them and reinstalling them myself. And all of the rest of the motors I installed myself. What I am trying to say is that by now I have had quite a lot of experience installing and uninstalling e-motors. The clutch went out on my last e-motor so I started looking at what is available to replace it. I don’t care for crank drive motors so didn’t bother looking at any of them.

I found a complete motor conversion kit for only $469. That does not include a battery but I already have a few batteries so $469 was an attractive deal. Of course, it comes from China and there are no helpful instructions that are provided. Installing it was not a problem but getting it to work without instructions was quite challenging. Fortunately I was able to find instructions online which was a big help. I got it running but the top speed was quite slow. I was ready to send it back for a refund when I sort of accidentally stumbled across the problem and got it resolved. If only the Chinese would include instructions all of this could have been avoided.  For what it is worth, I just now found one user manual which covers what the problem was and why I wasn’t getting much speed or power out of this new motor. Anyway, I am writing this article in hopes it will help others in getting their self installed e-motor system up and running.

My new system uses the LCD-SW900 display console controller which is a common display console controller various e-motor manufacturers use. I did not use the cadence assist hardware component in my installation. I may install it sometime in the future. I only have a manual thumb throttle hooked up. Upon completing the installation using a 48 volt battery (this motor is made for 72 volts) my top speed was only 5.6 mph and had no torque available at all to climb the slightest incline. I rode it that way for a couple of days.That is a mighty slow ride but still better than I can do on my own without any e-motor assist. About 2/3 of the way into my second day of riding so slowly I just happened to discover the answer to more speed and power. I pushed the UP ARROW button on the 3 button control which caused it to go from power level one to power level two. (PAS — power assist — level is displayed at bottom left corner of SW900 display) Simple enough but without any knowledge and understanding of how it works … well … I was stuck at 5.6 mph as when first turning the system on PAS 1 is what it starts out in by default. If only they had provided instructions. Anyway, I knew that 5 levels of e-motor assist were programmed into the SW900 display console controller so I continued to press the UP ARROW button watching it change up to assist level 5 and experiencing more speed and power with each level of increase. Hallelujah! ! Happy days are here again! Definitely this is the most powerful e-motor I have had installed yet. It is not as fast top speed as my former e-motor but I am really liking it as it is whisper quiet and far more powerful. I am tempted to buy a 72 volt battery just to see if this motor will perform as advertised … about 45 mph top speed. I am nearly 76 years old and probably should avoid the temptation as I would likely find myself careening off of a tree unless I wrapped myself around it. BTW, to go down in the assist level pushing the DOWN ARROW button lowers it one level at a time. Turning power on and off is accomplished by holding the middle button down a few seconds. So if you find yourself in the same situation I was in hopefully this will help you.

Speaking of help:

SW900 manual

SW900 manual

SW900 manual with the error codes for troubleshooting

SW900 manual with the error codes for troubleshooting

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RECUMBENT MAINTENANCE BASICS

Here is a video which covers several maintenance matters with our trikes.

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LOOSEN UP THERE!

Notice: This article may contain commentary that reflects the author’s opinion.

would rather imagine that we have all heard the saying “in a perfect world” which is usually followed by a statement that a certain thing would exist or not exist. Well, that can be applied to our tadpole trikes. I will preface this by stating that not all trikes are created equal. Some are better designed, engineered and better built approaching perfection. I have long known about and practiced riding my trike using only a somewhat loose grip on the handlebars. In a perfect world … if the trike was properly engineered and made this approach works fine. I came across an article written about this subject. In short using a light touch or grip on the handlebars is desirable, recommended and works best. It just doesn’t take much “input” from the trike pilot to effectively steer a trike that is well designed and in proper mechanical condition. So don’t ride all tightened up … relax … loosen up. If you have never done so give it a try. Just don’t overdo it and loose control.  And don’t get so loosened up that you fall asleep.

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MAINTENANCE & REPAIR HELP RESOURCES

As fun as our trikes are to ride they do require periodic maintenance and repair. Many of us do our own mechanical work on our trikes. Being mechanically inclined is one thing but knowing what we are doing or need to do is another. Thankfully help is available and from several different sources. Certainly YouTube videos come to mind. I usually just do a search for what I am looking for on YouTube. A quick simple search for tadpole trike repair  brings forth many results.

Then there are lots of different companies that have various videos and articles on repair and maintenance. Parktool is one that immediately comes to mind. Utah Trikes is another one.  Hostel Shoppe is yet another one. There are several other bike/trike shops that have created videos as well as individuals. Some are pretty good while some are not so good. Anyway, whether you are an old hand at doing your own work on your trike or a newbie help is available for most everything. All you have to do is search for it. Modern day technology is great in someways. All the information we need is right at our fingertips.

Maintaining our trikes making any necessary repairs will help us …

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TRANPORTING YOUR TRIKE

This is a topic I have covered before. This Laid Back Bike Report video covers hauling them in three different vehicles.

In the video they suggest placing the trike inside of the SUV front first with the crankset and boom up between the seats right beside the people sitting in the seats. I personally think I would rather have the rear wheel there. I rarely ever haul my trike anywhere since I don’t go anywhere outside of my home area to ride. I just ride on my local trails. That saves me a lot of money and assures that I sleep in my own bed every night which I greatly appreciate.  Yes, it gets old and I admit I would much prefer to be riding new trails nearly everyday but it ain’t gonna happen. I just have to make do with what I have and am thankful for our local trail system of over 130 miles of paved trails. I am able to  …

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HOW TO OPERATE A CRANK DRIVE E-MOTOR

It is no secret … a crank drive motor is hard on drive trains. And if the rider does not know how to properly use that extra power being applied to the pedals the drive train can be destroyed quickly. Here is a video sharing advice on how to operate a crank drive e-motor.

Anyone using a crank drive e-motor would be wise to heed this advice. I was aware of what is shared here and followed this advice. My drive train was still quickly destroyed. Personally I don’t and I can’t recommend crank drive e-motors. After replacing badly worn parts of my drive train I went back to using my rear hub drive and much prefer it. My local LBS sells and services e-bikes including installing Bafang units on trikes. They say the same thing … a very simple truth … crank drive systems are hard on drive trains and they don’t recommend them.

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INSTALLING A REAR HUB MOTOR KIT

My eZee rear hub motor came from Grin Technologies and I installed it myself. Here is a video showing the installation process on a bicycle. It is similar on a trike.

I did not need the torsion bar as the eZee hub motor does not have anywhere near enough power to need it.  I had to spread my rear dropouts further apart to fit the unit in. The wheel my eZee motor was laced into did not hold up. I had to replace it . I bought a much stronger BMX rim and had it laced up by a professional wheel builder at my LBS. It has held up fine. After my experience with BionX and Golden Motors I have been well pleased with the eZee hub motor.  And then when I tried the Tongsheng crank drive motor which greatly disappointed me the eZee was a joy to go back to. The only disappointing thing about the eZee is I don’t have pedal assist … only a hand throttle. Oh I bought pedal assist when I first got the eZee hub motor kit. I paid a lot of extra money for it and still had to pay more for a different crankset as my Catrike crankset would not work with the torque sensor. Then I paid more to have my LBS install the torque sensor for me (with my assistance) only to discover that the torque sensor didn’t work. Grin Technologies sent me a different one but it required an even different crankset which we could not find available so I never got the torque sensor installed. It was just a lot of wasted money and effort. So during the 4 years I have had the eZee hub motor I have only had a hand throttle. Now I have gotten good at using it … so much so that I can pretty well duplicate what pedal assist feels like. One thing about it just buying the hand throttle would have saved me several hundred dollars which I ended up wasting. My advice to anyone wanting pedal assist is to by a unit with it built in. The eZee motor does not have it built in and the separate torque sensor which goes into the crankset bottom bracket is not at all practical. If I knew then what I know now I never would have bought it.

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TAKING OUR K9 FRIENDS ALONG FOR THE RIDE

I used to take our dog with me on rides. Unfortunately that ended as he developed health issues and was suffering so we had to make the hard decision to put him down.

A few years have passed and now we have a new puppy. So far he is not taking to riding with me as well as our first dog did. Our first dog would ride in an open basket just fine but this new puppy can’t be trusted. He will jump out. So something was needed to ensure that doesn’t happen. I came across this Sunlite basket with a top cage on it. It is working great thus far but I am concerned our puppy will all too quickly outgrow it. Hopefully if that happens I can go back to using the other basket I have hoping he will ride in it and  no longer try to jump out. Time will tell.

This basket is made to mount on a rear rack. It has quick release spring loaded clamps that hold it onto the rack. Of course, this is only good for small dogs. If you have a larger dog then you will need some other way to accommodate him or her. Probably the most practical thing is using a trailer. But if this basket appeals to you there are several sources where it can be purchased. Modern bike advertises the cheapest but they add on a $25 shipping charge. Whatever you decide to do enjoy the ride and having your dog(s) along. And …

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FACEBOOK GROUPS FOR COMRADERY & HELPFUL INFORMATION & INTERACTION

Finding a Facebook Group about recumbent tadpole trikes is about like trying to find a cold medication at the pharmacy. There are just so many to select from one is overwhelmed. And, of course, some are better than others. Some are far better while some are not so good. I am not here to make recommendations or rate any of these groups. Obviously it is not practical to join a whole lot of them. One thing I will say … just because one group has over 7000 members while another group only has 123 members is not necessarily a sure way to select a group. One would think it would be and should be but my experience tells me otherwise.  One thing I have learned the administrator(s)/moderator(s) make a big difference. I quit one group because I could not tolerate the lousy job the administrator was doing. I found I had no use for the guy. Constantly butting heads with him I finally had enough. I miss the group but I sure don’t miss him. Facebook groups need rules that everybody needs to abide by. There are always those who won’t and don’t obey the rules and thus cause problems for the group. A good administrator stays on top of this and disciplines members or removes them from membership. In these groups one will find seasoned knowledgeable experienced trike riders who can and do share what they know with others who are newbies or just not as experienced and knowledgeable. Those who have questions and issues can get help in these groups. I highly recommend joining a few. I have two Facebook groups I have started concerning tadpole trikes. I even have a third group which is on Cloudhub which is an alternative to Facebook. Cloudhub just never caught on. My Cloudhub Recumbent Trikes Group only has 4 members. My first Facebook group I started years ago was Tadpole Rider Group. It quickly grew to the second largest FB groups about recumbent trikes. Due to health reasons at the time I made the decision to shut it down. Years later the health issue no longer existed and I made the decision to restart it. This time around, however, it never took off like it did the first time. Over the last few weeks it (Tadpole Rider Group)  has doubled in membership but still it is only about 283 as I type this. There would be more but one ongoing problem I am experiencing is that several of those wanting to join are not answering the two vetting questions as well as agreeing to obey the group rules. Without this they won’t be approved to join. I hate turning away people who want to join but it is necessary to have these questions to help weed out SPAMMERS, ROBOTS and other unwanted applicants. If you are a Facebook user and don’t belong to a FB trike group at this time I invite you to look into it. You can simply do a search on FB for recumbent trike groups. Enjoy the interaction with fellow trikers. And most certainly …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

NOT A GOOD LOCATION FOR E-BATTERY

The picture above shows a common place to mount a battery. However there are pros and cons about mounting it here. The best pro I can think of is that it keeps the weight down low helping the center of gravity to remain low and thus help the trike to handle better and safer. Another pro is that the key is in easy reach from the seat. I like all of that but even so I am considering relocating the battery because of the biggest con. In this location the battery is subject to getting water and mud on it. In this picture above I wrapped the battery in plastic trying to keep it clean and dry. It definitely helped. I even taped around the plug in the front which is very susceptible to water and mud getting on and in the opening and on the electrical contacts. It gets so bad that the plug won’t plug in or if I can get it in it doesn’t make electrical contact and I have no power. I have to try to clean it out and up in order to use the battery. Like I said, placing the plastic on the battery did help but I didn’t leave it on there as it was not practical to have it on there. First of all it greatly interfered with plugging and unplugging the power cable. This is something I have to do frequently when I switch from one battery to another. I probably could come up with something else to help keep it clean and dry … like maybe a plastic bag of some kind. It definitely needs something. And I really don’t want to have to relocate it. You may have noticed the rubber tarp straps on the battery and wondered about them. The battery by itself weighs 14 pounds. That is a lot of weight sitting on the battery mount to constantly be working the aluminum metal  mount and fatigue it to where it breaks off at some point in the future. The tarp straps help hold the weight of the battery and take a lot of strain off of the aluminum mount in hopes that it never fails. It may not win any fashion contest but it works … it works great. Nope, this is not a good location for an e-battery as it is constantly getting mud and water flung all over it. My other battery is up above the rear wheel on a rack. That places the weight up high but it doesn’t get messed up like the lower battery does. It is always very clean and dry. Well, enough talk … it is time to ride boldly ride. Hope you manage to do the same.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

MY CAMERA MOUNT

Every once in awhile someone asks about how to mount their camera. Here is what I did. The standard tripod for cameras is a 1/4-20 thread which screws into the camera. To mount my camera I used the tripod mount threaded hole in the bottom of the camera. I simply took an extra headlight mounting clamp and placed a 1/4-20 bolt thru it. It was easy to do and works great. Here are a couple of pictures of it.

The 1/4-20 bolt has its head ground down so that it doesn’t protrude down too far and interfere with the clamp as it is placed on the tubing it mounts to.

With this clamp mount I can mount most any camera. Aiming it straight forward it does catch my right foot as I pedal … something I don’t personally like to see in videos.

Below  is a video I filmed with this camera mounted as shown. I apologize for the in and out of focus going on. The camera has a feature which won’t stay turned off which automatically focuses on the face or whatever it perceives as its focal point. I turned it off before I started but it turned itself back on. I hate this camera. It is a Sony. I have a Samsung camera which I like much better but the screen display quit working on it.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

 

LOW COST E-MOTOR OPTIONS

Gary Solomon of Laidback Bike Report brings us another video offering information and help for those who would like to add e-assist to their trike.  Here is the video description … If you want to add an electric motor to your existing trike David Hall offers some compelling and inexpensive solutions. David is the founder of Eco Cycles in Nashville and shows us how you can install their motors, batteries and displays on any trike.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.

TRAIL CROSSINGS-DON’T BECOME A VICTIM

Whether you ride on trails or roads or both there is danger out there. This picture above is of one of our local trails crossing a rural road. As you can see there is a painted crosswalk as well as flashing yellow lights on the road to let motorists know if any trail users are present. The law in Indiana requires motorists to stop and yield the right away to anyone who is IN the crosswalk. If the person crossing the road has not yet entered the crosswalk motorists are not required to stop. Unfortunately all to many motorists don’t seem to know and understand the law. I have to admit that I was mistaken myself. It was my belief that motorist are required to yield to anyone who is AT a crosswalk so that they could get across the road using the crosswalk. Personally I think that is the way the law ought to be. Mind you, I don’t know what the law is about this in other States or countries.. The picture above is of the same trail crossing. Just a few months ago a female trail user was killed while crossing the road in this crosswalk. She had the right of way since she was IN the crosswalk. However, that is not the full story. Here is what happened and I have witnessed it many times myself as I sat there on my trike at crosswalks.

A motorist is driving along and they see someone there at the crosswalk waiting to cross. The motorist wants to be kind and nice so they stop to allow the trail user to cross the road. It is a nice gesture, but it can be quite dangerous. The problem is they may be stopped but that doesn’t mean other traffic will also stop. Many times I have seen motor vehicles go around them and drive on down the road. Also traffic coming from the opposite direction may not stop. If the trail user happens to be crossing the road they may very well be hit. That is what happened to the women who was killed a few months ago. https://www.wane.com/news/local-news/carroll-rd-closed-at-pufferbelly-trail-as-police-investigate/ I still see it all the time. Some well meaning motorist will stop to let me cross the road. I just wave them on and wait until it is safe to cross.I may have to wait awhile before it is safe to cross but at least I am not going to become another victim.  I have seen many motorists drive around past them shouting obscenities and flipping them the bird while honking their horns. They obviously have an attitude problem. And, of course, there are always many motorists guilty of inattention … texting or whatever. It is just not worth the risk folks. It would be nice if all trails crossed under or over roads instead of “at grade level” but that is too costly.

Here is the same trail with a crossunder under Dupont Rd. being constructed. And here it is completed. It is great to simply ride under the busy road and not be concerned about one’s safety.

This is the next road south of where the female trail user was killed. https://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/20180701/trail-crossing-right-of-way-goes-to-drivers Yep, motorists have the right of way. Trail users must wait until it is safe to cross.               

UPDATE— 11/20/22 I just read that the man driving the vehicle who hit and killed the woman received a sentence of 3 years in prison.

BE SAFE OUT THERE!   

so you can …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

You are invited to come join the Tadpole Rider Facebook Group. Please note that in order to join you must first answer the two membership vetting questions and agree to comply with the group rules.