WHY YOU SHOULD TRY A RECUMBENT TRIKE

Recumbent trikes have become quite popular and for good reason. They are super comfortable. They are far safer than bicycles. And they are a lot of fun to ride. Like most of us I rode bicycles all my life until I got into recumbents. And initially I rode a 2 wheel recumbent bike … not a trike. I loved riding the recumbent bike until I tried riding a recumbent trike. That is all it took. I was hooked on trikes. I totally lost interest in my recumbent bike so I sold it. I found the recumbent bike comfortable but the recumbent trike was even more comfortable … noticebly more comfortable. Don’t get me wrong. In my earlier years I found riding a bicycle lots of fun. And there are definitely things you can do on a diamond frame bike that you can’t do on a recumbent bike or trike. Some of those things I miss. But as the years rolled along I found that riding a diamond frame bicycle was taking its toll on me.  My body was letting me know that a bicycle is not friendly toward me. I had aches and pains and discomfort that really started to get my attention and no matter what I tried to do … changing the seat, the handlebars, my position … it didn’t help much. I knew of recumbent bikes so being a weldor and metal fabricator I decided to build myself a recumbent bike. WOW, what a difference! I no longer had any discomfort. I rode my recumbent bike thru the year until November when knowing that winter would soon be upon me I made the decision to build my first tadpole trike. I wanted to keep riding thru the winter and I knew 2 wheels on slippery surfaces was unsafe. And I had learned already that a recumbent bike goes down easier than a diamond frame bike. They just are not as stable. Once I got my first tadpole trike built there was no turning back. I was hooked. It was more comfortable than a recumbent bike. It was safer and it was a lot more fun to ride than a bicycle. I rode it thru the winter and come Spring I attempted to go back to my recumbent bike. I rode it for a couple of weeks but discovered that I much preferred riding the trike so I went back to the trike and never looked back. I sold my recumbent bike since I no longer rode it nor cared to ride it. I bought a new 2009 Catrike Trail and sold my homemade trike. I have been riding a tadpole trike now for 16 years and absolutely love it. Well, that is my personal testimony concerning how I got into tadpole trikes.

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RAIN PROTECTION

It feels like rain drops … so many rain drops … it feels like rain drops falling on my head. So go the words to a popular song from my teen years. Personally I try not to ride in the rain but I know some cyclists choose to go and ride boldly ride in inclement weather.

I used to carry rain gear with me on my trike but I have not now for several years. I don’t even know if I still have any. I never have had any “quality rain gear”. I know it is expensive. The one above is $450 and that is just for the jacket.  I think that is an outrageous price … about 4 1/2 times more than it should cost. I find that the rider’s seat position on a tadpole trike makes it difficult to get proper effective protection compared to what the rider of a bicycle has. This is mostly the lower part of the body I am talking about. If I were a rich man I would have quality rain gear and the means of carrying it along with me on my trike. Maybe someday, but I am not going to hold my breath waiting for it to happen.

Here is a pair of $190 rainproof pants …

Being a big person (I am talking about FAT) it is quite challenging and difficult to get in and out of rain gear, especially the pants. It is hard enough to put them on at home but when I am already out riding it is extremely difficult to do.

What about canopies, you ask? They are great for  providing shade but they don’t help much when it comes to rain, especially when the rain is coming down on an angle and wind is blowing it about. At best they might keep the face, head and neck dry. But if the wind is blowing the rain  much … huh uh! I speak from experience. And most canopies offer no protection for the feet and lower legs.

There are canopies which offer more protection … on the sides and the front. Of course, they cost more.

And then there are velomobiles which offer great protection. The one shown above even has a windshield wiper.

I know I don’t like riding in the rain. I have done so many times out of necessity … I got caught out in it … and I got quite soaked just like I had been in swimming with my clothes on.

Lastly, there is always the concern of getting electronics wet. Water and electricity still don’t mix. Cell phones, GPS devices, etc. must be protected. Many of us have electic motors on our trikes.  The motors themselves are water resistant but wiring, batteries, switches, connections, and display consoles can be a concern. I have had moisture get inside of my computer and my display console. Both took days to dry back out. I had a perfectly good battery get destroyed by getting wet inside. That was a costly mistake.

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PODBIKE FRIKAR VELOCAR

Norway is working on bringing this velocar to market. They call it a velomobile which, of course, it is. I call it a velocar as technically that is what it is. It has some neat features. It has pedals but there is no mechanical connection of any sort to use them to propel this quadmobile along. What it does have is wires as pedaling turns an e-motor acting as a generator to supply power to charge a battery. BTW, pedaling backwards will reverse the direction the vehicle is going. They have designed this velocar so that the top speed going downhill is limited to 60 kph or about 37 mph. The motors will brake the speed automatically. It is capable of regenerating braking where it can put some charge back into the motors. Being a quadcycle it has a total of 3 motors … one of each rear wheel and one used as a generator to charge the battery when pedaling.

There is a stainless steel roll bar designed into this velocar to provide some degree of safety in case of a rollover. There is also  built in means of emergency escape if the normal exit mode is not able to be used.

With that huge clear canopy vision certainly should not be a problem. You might be wondering how the rider gets into and out of it. The canopy raises up out of the way but so does the body. I am not sure what the reason is for the body raising up. It seems to me that would make it more difficult, especially for a short person. I guess I would have to see it and try it to make a fair judgement.

Being made in Norway their main market is in Europe, of course. That also means that this vehicle is limited to only 250 watts. The idea of getting out of the weather is appealing. They say that this vehicle is about the width of a typical bicycle trailer. That means is would easily fit on bicycle trails.

It has special lighting along the sides to help it to be seen. Of course, it has LED headlights and taillights and turn signals. It has cargo space behind the seat. They offer a child seat option.

I am a little confused by their claimed turning radius as they show 138 inches which is about 11.5 feet but their video shows a circle which is the diameter not the radius. I would hope it is 138 inch diameter as 138 inch radius is quite a large turning diameter.

One nice feature they have incorporated into the design is the ability to park/store this vehicle in a smaller space than what it would normally require.

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

VIDEOS

One battery comes with the purchase of this quad. An extra battery can be purchased and this vehicle is designed to accommodate two batteries.

They made changing the wheels easy enough … just one bolt to remove and off it comes. I like the spokeless wheels. Extra wheels can be purchased to use for winter tires.

Now if your appetite is wetted and you live in the United States I am aftraid I have some bad news for you. So sorry Charlie! Due to stupid laws in place motorized quads are not legal here. So you can not buy one of these and have it shipped here. To satifsfy your curiosity the price tag for the premium model is about $7351. That even includes carpeting on the floor. Shipping charges are extra.

THE STANDARD FRIKAR E-BIKE WILL INCLUDE:
One external mirror
Easily removable canopy
Dual front lights
Dual rear lights
Sidelights *not in Germany
Direction indicator lights
Daylight running lamp
Reverse light *not in Germany
Hazzard warning light
Internal speaker for warnings
Adjustable seat
Adjustable pedal generator
Pedals with toe cap
Summer tires
Battery (reach up to 80 km)
Standard battery charger
USB charge port
Mobile phone mount
Bike bell
Ready for user-installed keyless entry kit (user-installable)
Bluetooth interface for free dashboard app

Initially they are only selling their Plus model which I called their premium model. It has a few features their Standard model does not have.

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RIDING IN/ON/THRU SNOW

It’s that time of the year again … SNOW, that is. So if you are like me and try to keep riding thru the winter months … and you live in the north where you have winter with snow …  you have a choice. You can stay home or get out there and ride in the snow. I do what I can but I readily admit I am not the winter rider I used to be when I was younger. I learned quickly that there is a difference between riding ON SNOW as compared to riding IN or THRU SNOW. I learned that a standard tadpole trike is about worthless when it comes to riding thru much snow. 2 or 3 inches is about all standard tires will roll thru and that is only if it is a light dry snow. A heavy wet snow is quite a challenge.

Snow is not as slippery as ice but it can be fairly slippery. Traction can be a problem. The resistance of the tires rolling thru the snow determines the traction. Some riders like studded tires for riding on snow. I am fine with them on ice, but to me they are not practical on snow. I don’t think they provide much traction on snow. All these studded tires shown above are knobby tires and it is the knowbby tire tread pattern which provides most of the traction … not the studs. The studs are for riding on ice.

I much prefer an aggressive knobby tire. I have one (pictured above) but haven’t used it for several years now as I have not been riding in snow deep enough to need it. I get by with my normal tires just fine. When I did use it it provided amazing traction.

That is me plowing snow with my trike in the picture above. Now if you believed that I would like to talk to you about some prime property in southern Florida. Actually that v-plow is being pushed along by a diesel powered train locomotive. At least it was until I got ahold of it.

Here where I live and ride the city is suppose to plow the snow off of the trails when there is a minimum of 3 inches depth. That helps immensely, of course. I used to remove leaves off of one of our local trails. I made up an “angled plow” to do it and it worked great. I did it for about 3 years before it broke and I never repaired it so that ended my leaf removal efforts. I thought about making up a snow plow to pull behind my trike but I never did. I don’t really want to get involved in snow removal. BTW, I could never do it or the leaf removal without having a powerful e-motor to use.

I suppose if I was really serious about winter riding I would use tire chains. However most winters anymore we don’t have the kind of weather that requires them. I would no more than install them when I would have to remove them.

I am not a fan of using plastic cable ties as they break and “litter” the earth as they fall off.

Yes, riding in the winter on snow can be fun. There is no reason to wimp out and stay home … not unless you have some really serious winter weather which is just too nasty to get out in..

This was our driveway in 2012. Needless to say, I did not go out riding at that time. I did go out riding when I took the picture below.

And I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I was able to ride thru this snow as it was not deep enough to offer too much resistence to where I lost traction. Most people who talk about going out riding in winter with snow on the ground are riding “ON the SNOW” and not “IN IT” or “THRU IT”. There is a lot of difference. It is easy to ride on the snow but it can be hard to ride in it or thru it.

The velomobile video below demonstrates this. Riding on snow was not at all challenging but when he got to virgin snow and was riding in it he had to give up as he could not make any progress. He totally lost traction.

 

Here is a video I made back in 2008 when I had my homemade trike. I apologize for the poor quality of the video. Unfortunately it is a copy of a copy of a copy several times over and with each copy it lost quality and became blurred.

If you can do so I encourage you to make the effort to get out there and ride thru the winter. Even if you have to make it a shorter ride than you usually do. 

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– 38 DEGREES FAREINHEIT … I’M STAYING HOME

– 38 degrees … Hey, that will wake you up … or if exposed to it too long might put you to sleep … permanently. It is Dec. 24th as I sit here in comfort typing this. It is warmer today than it was yesterday but the wind is still blowing hard resulting in blizzard conditions (white out). It is nasty out there! And it is not just here in the northern states. Atlanta, GA has nearly identical weather. It is below freezing in Floral City, Florida. I need to explain — the – 38 was the “feels like” temperature yeasterday morning … not the actual temperature. The actual temperature was about -8 degrees.

The wind was blowing hard all night Thursday, all day Friday, all night again Friday … and still blowing hard this morning (Saturday). It is my understanding that much of the United States is experiencing this same weather. It is amazing to me how this can happen. We went from temperatures in the 40s and 50s to this frigid weather.

Next Thursday the temperature is forecasted to be back up into the low 50s for 3 days. Crazy man, crazy! I will take it though. Of course, it is also suppose to rain or snow nearly everyday for more than a week. So it doesn’t look like I will be going out riding when it warms back up. It seems it almost always happens this way in northern Indiana.

This has long been one of my favorite trike videos …

I can remember as a kid growing up I would be sitting in the classroom at school looking out the window at the great weather we were having and really looking forward to the weekend so I could enjoy the nice weather. And almost every weekend it would rain. Such is life! But I still want to …

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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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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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EFFECTS OF COLD WEATHER

Above is a picture showing my bell (yellow arrow pointing to it). BTW, did you notice the snow on my wheel?

One thing that I notice every year when the temperature plays games cooling down somedays and warming back up other days I am not the only one complaining. Both my bell and my squeeze bulb horn are greatly effected by it too. Below is a picture of my horn mounted  on my right side handlebar below the wrist rest. The red arrow is pointing at the wrist rest.

 

Yep, they don’t like the cold weather any more than I do. If fact, they refuse to work like they normally do in warmer weather. Neither are very loud. It is amazing how they change when cold weather comes along. I bet if I were in Florida I would not experience this. But I would probably find something else to complain about. Fortunately I don’t have that much use of my bell or horn in nice weather so cooler weather is not any big concern as there is even less need of either as there are fewer trail users out once the weather changes. In fact, many times when I go out I am the only person out there on the trails.

Hey, speaking of the effect of cold weather I haven’t mentioned e-batteries. They don’t like cold weather either and will let us know it. They do so by not performing the same as they do in warmer weather. The distance we can go on a full charge will be less than normal. And that’s normal! Fortunately it is not all that much of a concern as most of us don’t care to stay out there as long when the weather is cold. I am starting to shiver just sitting here thinking about it. Who likes bundling up in cold weather anyway. I know I don’t.

Well, it is time to put and end to this before my body temperature starts dropping. It is 35 degrees F. outdoors as I type this. It has not warmed up any at all in the 3.5 hours since I got up. That is discouraging. At this rate if I do go out riding I will need to bundle up like I was in the picture above. When you live in the north this is what we deal with if we want to …

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NOT READY FOR THIS!

looked out the window into our back yard early this morning and what did I see? It was not anything I wanted to see. It was that nasty four letter word … SNOW! And it is only mid October as I type this. I tell ya … I AM NOT READY FOR THIS! Yesterday was cold, windy and light rain off and on. It was not a pleasant day for riding … and it is still early Autumn. Oh woe is me … whatever will I do? I’d give a lot of dough, if only I could know … the answer to my question … is it yes or is it no? Does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight? When your mother says don’t chew it, do you swallow it in spite? Can you catch it on your tonsils and heave it left and right? Now I ask ya … does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost over night? Old timers will know where that came from, but younger folks won’t have a clue. It doe not have anything to do with anything. It just sort of fit and flowed off of my pen … and I am not even using a pen. (See the video at the bottom of this article.)

By now you have probably figured out that I don’t have anything in mind to write about and am just rambling on here. But the weather outside is frightful and so I think I will remain inside today. I had enough of nasty riding weather yesteday. And we have only just begun. At least 6 more months can be expected. It is probably more like 8 more months before decent weather returns. Why do people choose to live in the north and deal with nasty weather? Well, at least I have something to look forward to today. I will be going to an eye doctor to get my monthly injection in my eyeball. Doesn’t that sound like fun? It is not really as bad as it sounds. When I first heard about it it made me shudder, but after experiencing it I discovered it was no big deal … a piece of cake … at least when the doctor is skilled. I have a great eye doctor I deal with. Sure I would much rather not have to get the monthly injection but it is helping to preserve what eyesight I have left in my one eye. The other eye is already totally blind. Thank God for two eyes as I still have vision in one and it enables me to …

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and most every other thing … even compose a nonsensical article for this blog. Hopefully we will both live thru it.

BTW, the snow had all melted away by afternoon. I understand that we here in northern Indiana were fortunate as some states got 12 to 18 inches of snow and more is forecasted for them.

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Now for a bit of nostalgia …

.

REAL FEEL VS FEELS LIKE

am sure most of us have heard the terms concerning what the current weather actually feels like to our bodies. “Feels Like” is probably to most common. Accuweather has patented their “RealFeel”. Of course, before we started hearing and using these terms we had the good ol’ “Wind Chill Factor” commonly used. Along with it came the explanation that the wind chill is what the weather actually feels like to us humans and animals. Colder weather is coming on. Much of the northern United States  went from warm summer weather to much cooler Fall weather literally overnight.

Hey, it’s that time of year and there is nothing we can do about it. We can’t all move south to warmer weather. Yesterday and today are much colder days than what we have been having. I am not rushing out the door in the early morning as it is just too cold out there to enjoy being out. Even the warmest part of the day which is late afternoon still FEELS rather chilly. I was out riding yesterday and found I was not dressed warm enough. Mostly it was my hands that got cold as I did not have the right gloves with me to cope with the weather. I also did not have the right headwear. I dug all that out this morning and will be taking it with me today. I am even taking some chemical hand warmers along just in case I need them. Hopefully I will get by without them.

One thing I have noticed which I am not too thrilled about is the fact that as I age my internal furnace doesn’t seem to be working as well as it did when I was younger. What I am saying is I get cold easier than I used to. That equates to not going out riding in temperatures I used to years ago. I used to go out riding with temperatures in the 20s. Last year I found I didn’t venture out unless it was at least in the mid 30s. I don’t know what will be the case this year but I can tell you I am already struggling with the mid 50s. Of course, I could dress warmer and probably not have a problem. It is just that we went from 80 degrees one day to mid 50s the next. I wasn’t ready for that.

If only I had a space suit with heating and cooling available to me. I don’t think I could sit on a trike with it on however. Besides that I know myself … I would have it ripped open the first day.

Again, if I were a rich man and single I would be snowbirding in the Floral City, Florida area and riding on the Withlacoochee Nature Trail during the cold months in the north. I would have started doing that several years ago. But alas, I am married and I am not rich. My wife and I have talked about snowbirding but we don’t know if it will ever happen. She is not yet retired so that has to happen first and then see how our finances go. Who knows? We might “git ur dun”. Maybe I will meet up with some of you down there. Unless and until then I am stuck here dealing with colder temperatures.

Hey, it is now 11:10 AM and we are having a real heat wave … 50 degrees F with a feels like temp of 46 and 9 mph winds. I think I will eat lunch and then bundle up to head out. The forecasted high today is about 54 degrees.

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WINTER BLAHS ALREADY and IT ISN’T EVEN AUTUMN YET

How is it possible that I can already be experiencing winter blahs when Autumn is not even here yet? Well, at least according to the calendar it isn’t here yet. I tell ya …. the temperature has already fallen off. Oh, it will warm back up some as summer has its last hooray, but the overnight lows are already announcing change of seasons are upon us. I was out riding yesterday wearing shorts and a short sleeve shirt. I did put a sweatshirt on and was thankful for that along with the brown cotton gloves in had in the pockets. I assumed as the day went on I would be removing all of it, but the temperature never climbed much so I wore it the entire time I was out. I laid in bed last night covered with only a sheet and was cold all night long. Tonite will be different as I already put a comforter on the bed. I will be warm tonite and hopefully will get better sleep.

Oh, I am looking forward to Autumn and all the beauty of the foliage. I can’t say I am looking forward to the leaves falling onto the trails, especially if the city fails to remove them like they often times do. I used to remove them myself, but I stopped doing it.

I had a friend who also use to remove leaves off of the trail. I liked my leaf removal rig a lot better than his. Mine was made like a plow which off loaded the leaves to the outside  as I went along but his didn’t and they kept  piling up making it harder and harder to pull. Also it would just dump a whole bunch of leaves on the trail that then had to be removed by hand. Here is a video of him with his rig …

HERE is a previous posting about our rigs. All I have to show mine is still pictures … no video. Watching it in action it is easy to see how much better it worked than the one my friend designed and made. Yes, a powerful leaf blower would be great to have and use but I can’t afford nor justify spending my own money on one.

And when winter finally does come and we get snow I may not be able to ride to the trails even if the snow has been removed. And there is a good chance the snow won’t be removed from the trails as the city doesn’t do a very good job of any kind of trail maintenance. It makes no sense to me to build trails if you are not going to maintain them.

One thing I have not touched on is dealing with cold weather. As for me as I have got older I don’t care to deal with colder weather. When I was younger I would venture out in temperatures in the teens but not anymore. Now I usually won’t venture out if it isn’t at least in the mid 30s. Bundling up is not something I enjoy having to do.

It is really bad when snow falls on top of leaves. I am hopeful that doesn’t happen this year. It greatly adds to the winter blahs. I know I need to fight the winter blahs remembering “this too shall pass” and I have survived many winters thus far and I assume I will survive this one. I just want to …

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WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS

They” say we are having a drought here in northern Indiana where I live. If we are I think it is safe to say that it has come to an end. It is raining hard and the forecast if for it to continue to rain …  for the rest of the week.  Boo Hoo!  So it doesn’t look like trike riding is going to happen. Oh well, I will just have to figure out something else to do. Maybe I could and should build a boat. It is looking and sounding like I might need one. It is really coming down hard out there. I know we need the rain. If nothing else the farmers’ crops need the rain. I just hope they don’t get too much.

With all of this rain the rivers are sure to flood and most of the trails I normally ride will be closed due to flooding. I don’t like having to ride in the streets and roads but with the trails closed I don’t have much choice.

Even if it were to stop raining long enough to sneak in a short ride it would be a wet one with all the standing water on the streets and trails. I have a full set of fenders but they are limited in how much good they do. They don’t stop all of the water and crud from being flung up onto me.

It is so sad that Adam and Eve blew it committing sin (rebellion against God). After they sinned a curse came upon the earth and mankind. Prior to this there was no such thing as rain and flooding. God watered the earth with a dew on the ground thru the night. Wouldn’t that be nice? Yes, if only man would not have sinned things would sure be a lot different. Of course, we will never know. And it is unfair to put all the blame on Adam and Eve. We would have done the same thing. As to the reality of things, they were absolutely pure prior to that. Adam chose to disobey and BECAME a sinner. You and I can’t make any such claim. We were born sinners and therefore we  are at enmity with God Who is Holy and Pure. Being holy and pure He can not allow us into His presence as we are unholy and impure. That is the problem we have and what keeps us separated from our Creator Who loves us and wants us to be in a relationship with Him. We have a serious problem that only God can fix. And He did fix it. He did His part. Now the ball is in our court. You can read all about it HERE. Oh how He loves you and me!

Rain rain go away, Come again another day. I want to …

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FRIKAR E-BIKE VELOCAR TRIKE

From the Norwegian makers of Podride their newest offering is this e-motor version. The problem is like their Podride the  Frikar is still  not available. It is only in prototype and not in production. They are taking pre-orders however. They show a production startup of Spring 2022. and actual availability in 2023.

Personally I would prefer Podride’s quad version as it would be more stable.

One thing for sure, whether 3 wheels or 4 wheels the rider is protected from the weather. Of cours,e being closed up inside of a velocar is quite uncomfortable in hot weather. It does say that the canopy is removable. In hot weather I would prefer not to be inside of any body unless it has air conditioning. Hey, they may offer it at some point in the future.

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BUT I DON’T FEEL LIKE GETTING GOING

The weather sure makes a difference in how motivated I am to get myself out riding. I guess it has to be this global warming thing. Yep, it is so warm that most days this Spring have been and continue to be below normal. I went out yesterday and nearly froze out there. I need to dress for winter weather not spring weather. I am waiting for it to warm up before leaving each day but there is a problem. It is failing to warm up. Even the warmest part of the day is several degrees below what is normal for this time of year. And to make matters worse we have had some “teaser days” with the high temperatures in the 70 and even 80s, but the very next day it is back to much cooler weather.

This obviously is meant to be funny but it is not far from the truth. Of course, it is based on computer life. I used to see a lot of this back when I used Microcrap … I mean Microsoft Windows. Years ago I switched to Linux Mint and all the headaches that come with Windows are gone. With Windows there was something gone wrong to deal with almost constantly.

Some of you live in places where you can identify with what I am saying. Well, April is almost over with. We will see what May brings in the weather dept. Right now I need to go bundle up as if it were still winter if I am going to go riding today. 65 degrees is the normal high for this time of year. We are having weather 15 to 20 degrees below that. And we have been having quite a bit of wind as well so the “feels like” temperatures have been like winter days. It gets a guy down and is hard to deal with. There are times when I wish I could kick myself in the butt. Instead I sit down in the recliner chair and soon may be dreaming about nicer weather. If I were a rich man I may be living down in Florida but then the daily high temperatures are already hotter than I care for. I bet they don’t have any freeze warnings overnight like we do.

There are places around where the weather is pleasant but they lack trails to ride on.. I am not afraid to ride on roads with cars and trucks but I definitely prefer paved trails. Smooth winding paved shady trails and 70- 75 degree weather … AH, perfect in my book.

                                                  Toledo, Ohio bike trail

Recently I was at my LBS (local bike shop) and talked with the service manager. He told me business has been very slow due to the lousy Spring weather we have been having. Normally they are quite busy at this time of year as people are getting their bikes ready to ride. I know I seldom see any other cyclists out on the trails when the weather is not so nice.

It will be interesting to see if we just sort of skip Spring and mover right into Summer. I certainly hope not but it has happened before. Nap time for me and then I will be bundling up to go out for a ride.

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ONLY 103 DAYS UNTIL SPRING ARRIVES

Winter is not even officially here yet and already I am looking at how many days off Spring is. As of today, Dec. 6th, Spring is 103 days off. I am anxiously awaiting. I think I can safely say that the only two  things I like about winter is cold water out of the faucet and the grass stops growing so I don’t have to mow it. There is absolutely nothing else good I can say about it. Wait … there is one more thing … it kills off pesky insects.

I try to keep riding thruout the winter but I certainly don’t like it as far as dealing with wither weather. And the older I get the less I like it. Back when I was in my early 60s I could dress in shorts and a short sleeve shirt when it was in the 40s and it felt good. By the time I was in my late 60s the shorts were still ok but not the short sleeve shirt. Now that I am in my mid 70s there is no way I could dress like that and be comfortable. As I age things are changing and the changes are not welcome changes.

I used to hate dealing with hot summertime temperatures. At 80 degrees I was already miserable and anything above 80 was miserable for me. But now in my mid 70s I can handle the 80s okay. I am still miserable in the 90s however.

Anyway, I am ready for Spring weather … just 103 days away. 103 days … that is a very long time. One day at a time … that is the secret to getting thru it. Oh Lord help me … one day at a time. One hundred three days. I can do it! Meanwhile I am going to do my best to …

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TECHJAYSE MEN’S CYCLING GLOVES REVIEW

Fellow trike rider, David shares his opinion of these cycling gloves which the manufacturer claims are good for temperatures between 32 and 50 degrees F.

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CHEMICAL HAND WARMERS

Some riders use chemical hand warmers during cold weather riding. I am among them. I have tried all sorts of gloves, mittens and combinations of various ones trying to find something that works for me. It always comes down to my thumbs for me. I struggle the most trying to keep my thumbs warm. I wish I could tell you that the chemical hand warmers do a superb job for me but it just isn’t so. They do help though.

I have a pair of gloves with mitten flip covers which are made by HotHands. They are fairly warm gloves/mittens as they are a soft warm material with Thinsalate in them. They are designed to hold a chemical hand warmer over the backside of the fingers. This is about worthless for me. I need the chemical hand warmers on the inside of my fingers to keep my fingers warm. Even then it has minimal effect. This picture below shows a special area on the front side of the flip over mitten cover but there is no such thing on mine. That is where I am talking about having a pocket to hold a chemical packet. Hmmm, I wonder if they added one after I bought mne. I emailed the manufacturer about this and heard back from them. They haven’t changed their product. Why this picture shows this square area on the front side I don’t know. It does not exist in reality.

I have tried placing the packets elsewhere inside of the mittens but it doesn’t work very well. I have even lost one while riding along as they tend to try to fall out. A pocket is needed to place them in so they are held in place.

I find the best thing for me is to wear just a pair of Hotfingers mittens and use 4 packets of chemical hand warmers inside of them … two in each mitten … one down inside for my fingers and one inside the thumbs of the mittens. These mittens are not all that warm in and of themselves but they do a pretty good job of keeping the wind from passing thru them which helps immensely. The thumbs are large enough to place a chemical packet down inside and still get my thumbs in. I can just sort of hold the chemical hand warmer packet with my fingers and my thumbs are snug against the chemical handwarmer packet inside the thumb of the mitten.

Here are my 4 used packets I am experimenting with to see if I can get a 3rd day of use out of them

One thing I have observed and learned about these chemical hand warmers is that they don’t work without exposure to air (oxygen). It takes oxygen to get them started and if you remove the oxygen while they are creating heat they will stop the chemical process and no longer produce heat. Then if you reintroduce them to oxygen they will start back up again. Since they are suppose to last for about 10 hours I can place them inside an airtight container such as a plastic bag to deny them oxygen and then get a second day’s use out of them by reintroducing them to air again. That is nice as it saves money. They do get expensive if you use them daily. Today I used them for a second time and upon arriving back home I placed them back into a plastic bag to see if I can get a third day out of them. That would be nice but I am not going to hold my breath as they say. There is rain in the forecast tomorrow so I probably won’t be able to ride anyway. However, I can take the packets out of the plastic bag and see if they take off again producing heat. I will let you know.

Well, I am letting you know … Yes, all 4 packets have started producing heat and so it appears as though they would work for a 3rd day. The manufacturer wants customers to believe and accept that they are only good for one day. They don’t want people to know that they can be reused like this. Of course, they make more money that way.  I can’t test them today though as it is too warm outside to use them. Tomorrow will be much cooler. I will see if they fire back up for a 4th day.

Hey, they are warmed back up on the 4th day and ready to go. The question is … how long will they last? Will I make it thru my entire ride today? Stay tuned.

Still there? I am back from my ride and I got a third day of riding in using the same chemical hand warmer packets. That is good to know. I have been doing two days but I never tried for three before.

Update: I discovered today that this reuse of the chemical packets does not always work. Sometimes they don’t start back up. Sometimes they are slow to start back up. And sometimes even if they do start back up they don’t last very long.

BTW, the best price I have found for chemical hand warmers is at Walmart unless one comes across a special deal like a surplus store or some other place. I just looked and Harbor Freight Tools looks to have the best price at this time.

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ALWAYS THE THUMBS

It is always my thumbs that get cold. Even if I manage to keep the rest of my hands warm my thumbs get cold. It is a bummer! I usually use mittens when it is the coldest. With mittens one can keep all the fingers huddled together to help warm one another, but those thumbs … they are out there by themselves … sorta sticking out like a sore thumb one might say. There just is not anyway to keep them warm. I have tried using chemical hand warmers which help but most gloves or mittens just are not made to include a chemical hand warmer along with one’s thumbs. It is very crowded in there and rather uncomfortable. So what is the answer? I wish I had one. If any of you know something that works please share it. And no, whiskey is not acceptable. I am doing my best to …

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SURF’S UP AGAIN … TRAIL FLOODING

We have just had  a bunch of rain which means one thing … trails flooded over … which means one thing … BOO HOO! At least it is not as bad as it was a few years ago when I filmed this video.

It happens all too frequently and gets old for sure. Personally I think it is a bad idea to build trails along rivers. Two things for sure about all that water … it is wet and it is cold. Oh, and three more things … it is muddy, messy and very slippery. However, that is what we have and must constantly deal with. I do my best to deal with it and …

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SUMMER’S LAST HOORAY

I just got home from a 51.41 mile ride on this day … what looks to be summer’s last hooray. The high temperature today is forecast for 82. It was another beautiful day for trike riding in northern Indiana, Fort Wayne to be exact. The 10 day weather forecast shows lower temperatures … still nice weather but no more 80s. That is fine with me as I prefer it lower than 80. I will have to say that as am getting older the 80s don”t effect me like they did when I was a few years younger. I wore a sweatshirt all day today while riding and was quite comfortable with it on. A few years ago I would have been quite miserable … way to warm. I took the sweatshirt off upon coming home. It is pretty breezy outside today . The 15 mph wind plus my 20 plus mph trike speed is enough where the sweatshirt feels good. Fall weather is almost here. I look forward to the pretty Autumn leaves but I sure don’t look forward to what follows … winter. Come winter I will be missing summer. Definitely Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons for riding. Winter, of course, is my least favorite. I try to …

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but is gets rather difficult and unenjoyable when it gets cold. I am not a fan of indoor stationary exercise so riding outdoors is the only option for me.

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