BIG HONKIN’ TRIKE RALLY 2023 ITINERARY

HERE IS THE ITINERARY FOR THE RALLY!!!
Big Honkin’ Trike Rally, Inverness, FL 2023
This Trike Rally is a non-sponsored, non-supported and loosely organized event for mainly recumbent trike riders. The rally will last from Sunday, Feb 19, 2023, to Saturday, Feb 25, 2023. Participants can attend on one day or several. A list of area bike trails will be available in case you wish to explore other area trails. Participants can ride by themselves or in their own groups on any of the trails, or ride with the main group at the listed time and day. All rides will be out and back, so riders can ride at their own pace and distance. Wednesday, Feb 22 there will be no group ride as this is for participants to visit local attractions or ride on their own.
There is no fee and only one organized event – a barbeque meet and greet provided Sunday afternoon (Feb 19, 2023) by the Traveling Trikers/Citrus Cyclepaths group, free of charge to all persons attending the event. All are encouraged to attend this meet and greet where you can get to know some of your fellow trikers from around the country.
All rides will originate from the Depot (under the water tower) at Wallace Brooks Park, 208 N. Mill Ave, Inverness. All miles noted on the rides will be figured from the Depot.
A couple of administrative items: Please obey all trail rules and signage which include riding in single file when meeting, passing or being passed by other trikes/bikes or pedestrians (joggers, walkers), and always alert those you are passing with “On your left!” or bicycle bell. There are several road crossings on the Withlacoochee and other trails marked with stop signs for bikes. If vehicles are approaching, they have the legal right of way – however, most vehicles in this area are familiar with the trails and bikes and will stop to let you cross (do not take this for granted). Be sure the driver sees you and is definitely stopping for you before you proceed. If you are riding in a large group, please “double up” at these intersections in order to cross as quickly as possible.
NOTE: All rides are out and back, so distances are for total length, but anyone can turn around at any time to ride whatever they are comfortable with. No pressure on distance or speed!!
Sunday, Feb 19, 10 AM – NORTH WITHLACOOCHEE – meet at Depot for quick welcome ceremony and then ride the Withlacoochee Trail north from Depot to end of trail – approximately 32 miles round trip.
3:00 PM – Meet and Greet barbeque at 4382 E Amsterdam St/4361 E Bennett St (outdoors in back yards), Inverness – free of charge for rally attendees. Follow the pink arrows from the trail.
Monday, Feb 20, 9 AM – N. WITHLACOOCHEE/BLUE RUN TRAIL – travel on your own or meet at Depot in vehicles (trikes loaded) and convoy about 15 miles to the Gulf Junction Trailhead, 2233 W Magenta Dr, Citrus Springs FL 34434, to ride N. Withlacoochee Trail to Blue Run Trail connector– approximately 24 miles round trip. Return for lunch (on your own).
Tuesday, Feb 21, 9 AM – (drive out time if you plan to follow us!!) – SANTOS TRAIL – travel on your own OR meet at Depot parking lot in vehicles (with trikes loaded) and convoy about 30 miles to the Santos Trail, Landbridge Trailhead, 11100 SW 16th Ave, Ocala FL. Santos Trail is about 30 miles long round trip and is a hilly, curvy and fun trail to ride. However, if you do not have e-assist or are not a strong rider, we recommend you pick another trail to ride on this day, as the hills can be very challenging.
Wednesday, Feb 22 – OFF DAY. Enjoy the sights, visit Orlando (Disney World, Universal Studios, etc), Tampa (beaches, shopping, etc) or ride other area trails.
Thursday, Feb 23, 9 AM – SOUTH WITHLACOOCHEE – depart Depot and ride south on the Withlacoochee Trail to the end (or as far as you feel comfortable) – approximately 60 miles round trip. On your return ride, Mike and Susan Gaeta will be hosting a free hot dog social at their home in Floral City from 11:30 – 1:30. If you plan to attend, please be sure you turn around in time to reach the restrooms on the trail at Floral City by 1:00. From the restrooms, follow the pink “BHT” arrows to 8898 E Washington Lane. From restrooms, ride through the parking lot, take a left out of the parking lot to stop sign. Turn left and then first right (E Marvin St) in front of the school. Stay on Marvin for 4 blocks and turn left on S Annie Terrace. (Remember: follow the “BHT” signs) Their house is the last one on the left at the lake.
Friday, Feb 24, 9 AM (drive out time!!) – WITHLACOOCHEE BAY TRAIL – depart Depot and drive to 10247 N Suncoast Blvd, Crystal River, FL, approximately 25 miles. Trail is 7 miles long one way. Follows the abandoned cross-Florida canal. Short, scenic and ends at the Gulf of Mexico overlook.
Saturday, Feb 25 – Pack up and say “GoodBye” to Inverness! We hope you have enjoyed your visit!! Travelin’ Trikers
OTHER TRAILS IN THE AREA YOU MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER: (Google for more info)
SUNCOAST PARKWAY, Lecanto FL (10 miles from Depot) Trail is approximately 60 miles long one way, almost to Tampa. Parallels turnpike, not too scenic but if you want to ride fast, this is the trail.
WEST ORANGE TRAIL, Winter Garden FL (52 miles from Depot) Trail is 22 miles long one way. Nice trail through scenic Winter Garden area.
VAN FLEET TRAIL, Polk City FL (74 miles from Depot). Trail is 29 miles long one way. It is very flat and straight, but with lots of opportunity to see interesting wildlife as you cross the Green Swamp.
GAINESVILLE/HAWTHORNE TRAIL – Gainesville/Hawthorne Trail, 874 SE 4th St, Gainesville FL, approximately 65 miles from the Depot. This is a very scenic trail, mostly flat (a couple of hills) and fun to ride. It is approximately 34 miles round trip. After ride, there are several restaurants in the local area.

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As much as I would like to go to it this year I can’t, but I am hopeful I will make it next year.

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THE PROBLEM WITH BIKE LANES

Personally I have never been a fan of bike lanes. I think they are dangerous for cyclists to use. I would rather take the lane than risk those dangers and concerns. With motorists not paying attention and respecting bike lanes and cyclists using them to vehicles parking and driving in bike lanes to car doors opening out into bike lanes it is challenging. This Canadian cyclist shares some other concerns … all of which I find myself in agreement with. Most of us have probably heard all of this before. I know I have.

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THE FUTURE OF TERRATRIKE

From what I have seen TerraTrike is making some good smart moves. I like the idea of going with a rear wheel hub motor on their new e-trike rather than a crank drive system as I am not a fan of crank drive e-drive bikes and trikes. Here is a video about what they are up to.

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SO YOU BOUGHT A RECUMBENT TRIKE … NOW WHAT?

So you bought a recumbent trike … now what? That is a fair question. Do you have any questions? This video addresses some important matters and answers some common questions new trike owners have.

If you still have questions or concerns feel free to address them in comments or you can email me and I will do my best to answer them for you.

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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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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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LOOK AT ALL THE RECUMBENTS, ESPECIALLY TRIKES

want so much to go down to Florida to ride on the Withlacoochee State Trail and videos like this make me raring to go. I see all of the tadpole trikes on the trail and I want to join them. I would like to go there in February when the Big Honkin’ Trike Rally is going on. My wife said no to my going this coming Feb. but she said I can go in 2024. I sure hope so. It would be so neat to be a part of this.

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TRAILS ARE AWAITING!

Yes, trails are awaiting! I have been watching videos of some nice trails down in central Florida and wishing I was there at this time of year to ride them … ride them all.

Florida Hikes have a lot of nice videos of trails and other places one can check out Unfortunately they can’t be embedded on websites. You must view them on Vimeo.

Of course, YouTube has numerous videos on paved bicycle trails in Florida.

So many trails already exist and they continue to build more. I like that! That might even tempt me to move there … something I swore I would never do after spending a couple of years there while in the Navy. I might have to make some changes in my lifestyle … like getting up earlier and out riding before the heat of the day hits.

HERE is a list of bike trails in Florida. And HERE is another good source concerning bicycle trails in Florida.

To view this map in a larger size online click HERE.

Still the trail calling out my name the loudest is the Withlacoochee State Trail.

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REVISTING THE GREAT AMERICAN RAIL TRAIL PROJECT

Some progress is being made on the Great American Rail-Trail. It is quite a project. I first wrote about it a couple of years ago . Click HERE to view it. From the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., to Seattle, Washington one will be able to ride the entire distance on paved trails. It is reported to be about 53 % completed at this time. That is not really much of an increase as it was just over 52 % two years ago when I first wrote about it.

And here are a couple on bicycles riding on some of the existing route …

David has a total of 11 videos of his Great American Rail-Trail ride in case you want to watch any more of them.

With so many of us having electric motors on our bikes and trikes that becomes a major concern and consideration as our batteries need to be recharged. I would say that we are pretty much on our own as far as having a means of accomplishing this. Buying some sort of generator or other power supply can be expensive and can be heavy weight to carry along with us. Yet it is a necessity. I know that there is solar power but personally I don’t think it is very practical.

I doubt if I will ever ride the Great American Rail-Trail. I consider myself as having done well to have ridden the trails I have in the past when I was younger. And some of those trails are part of this Great American Rail-Trail project as they are using as many of the existing trails as they can in the route planning.

Click HERE to visit their website.

Click HERE to visit the routing in each individual State.

 Since I live in Indiana I am featuring Indiana’s part in this.

Click HERE to check out the State of Indiana. The report shows great detail. All States involved are available to view.

As the legend indicates the blue lines are existing trails being used. The red lines indiate gaps requiring connecting trails to be constructed. Indiana does not have much needing to be done. Some States have a whole lot of trails needing to be built. I wonder how popular it will be. Do you think you might ride it someday?

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MULTI-USE TRAILS

Although we often call them bike trails most are multi-use trails intended for walkers, runners, skateboarders, roller skaters, and bicyclists. Some trails also allow horses. I have never had a discussion with anyone about this but I bet if we were honest we would say that we as cyclists would prefer they were strictly bike trails. And walkers would say they would prefer if no bicycles were allowed. I can understand why as many cyclists display bad discourteous  manners and give cyclists a bad name. Of course, most walkers do the same. And watching videos of various trails I have noticed that people are the same all over the world. Then I recall the famous words … “Can’t we all just get along?” I would be the first to admit that it is quite challenging. People aren’t going to change.

Multi-use trails don’t include sharing the pavement with airplanes, right? Or does it? This cyclist definitely has a front row seat. I am pretty sure that is closer than I would care to be.

Some animals I am thrilled to share the trail with …

And some I want no part of. I am glad I don’t have to share the trail with this guy …

And another …

And another …

And another …

 

Unfortunately there are too many vicious acting dogs out there and many of them are not on a leash like the law requires.

And another …

I don’t mind small harmless snakes but this fella (or gal) I find intimidating.

And some more …

Even our fellow cyclists can be a royal pain …

Cars are not allowed on trails, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t encounter them …

A friend of mine told me about a car passing him on a trail. He estimated the car was doing about 30 mph. I have only seen motorscooters and motorcycles which, of course, are not allowed either.

And hopefully we won’t be party to a police chase while riding along the trail …

That could have some really bad results.

So I guess one could say that there is good and bad in multi-use trails. I reckon that is true of just about everything in life. Dirty Harry said it … “go ahead, make my day” … only I would alter it … “help me to make your day”. Since we all have to share the trails together may we make the effort to make each other’s day. It is not easy dealing with others but we really need to make the effort. And may God add His blessing!

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“THE LOOP” … 130 plus MILES OF RIDING IN THE DESSERT

Several times others have recommended snowbirding to Tucson, Arizona rather than Florida. Quite honestly there is nothing about most of the western states that appeal to me. When I look at the western half of Texas I can’t help but wonder why we fought Mexico for it. It is just miles and miles of nothing but wasteland in my opinion. Mexico ended up more less possessing it anyway and without firing a shot. The states of Arizona and New Mexico also have no appeal to me … just more wasteland. Tucson as a city has no appeal to me. But then I don’t like cities at all. I am a “small town boy”. That being said I am somewhat impressed with The Loop. At 130 or more miles long that is a lot of trail to ride. Of course, it is riding in the dessert … something which probably would not appeal to some of us, including me.  I just looked at their weather forecast. It is a little cooler than I thought it would be and their daily highs are different than what I expected for December. Here in Indiana where I live it gets colder as the winter months pass. December can be a mixed bag of offerings … from the 60s down into the teens. January is usually the coldest month and by March it is usually starting to warm up a little bit with the emphasis on a little bit. In Tucson December is in the 60s for highs and starting in January each month it gets a little bit warmer. By the end of March it is up into the low 80s so for me that would be my cut off point for snowbirding. I don’t like heat and low 80s is as warm as I care for. I could handle all those temperatures from Dec thru Mar. I doubt very much if I will ever get to travel to Tucson and ride The Loop but maybe you might. They have expanded it some already and have plans to expand it more.

PLEASE NOTE — I JUST HEARD THAT E-BIKES ARE NOT ALLOWED ON THE LOOP. THAT IS RIDICULOUS!

This next video discusses the use of motorized cycles on The Loop …

Click HERE to order the book about The Loop mentioned in the video above.

The sound is lousy in this next video but it shows e-bikes riding on The Loop. At 3 min. 40 seconds into the video there is something I always like to see …

Online maps are available with various information about the trail system.

Here are more videos …

And here is a very long video of a bike ride on the loop where a bicyclists rides about 16 miles or so one way to get to Flowing Wells.

After watching the video above I can see that The Loop is not as appealing to me as I thought it would be. It looks to be very boring to ride. There is very little shade and the scenery really sucks in my opinion. And there looks to be a lot of it which runs right next to busy roads and trail users have to cross these roads. I would not care for that. They do have the trail considerably closed off to any unwanted traffic being able to get onto it. It is fenced in. I would feel quite trapped if I were on the trail as there are very few places where one could get off of the trail. I don’t know what they have for restroom facilities but I didn’t see any in the video. According to THIS there are lots of restrooms available all along the trail.

Floral City, Florida and the Withlacoochee State Trail is looking more appealing all the time. It is partly cloudy and 79 there right now and only 56 in Tucson. And it is raining in Tucson. I would expect that in Florida but not Arizona. But alas, I am stuck here in Indiana with little hope of going anywhere to escape winter. I am hoping we will have an unusually mild winter with above average temperatures and very little precipitation … rain or snow. Now I could handle that. It would help me to …

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GOAT HEAD? … WHAT’D YOU CALL ME?

In the 3rd chapter of Genesis we read that because of sin (disobedient rebellion against God) the earth was cursed. God did not originally create the earth with all the bad elements man deals with.  Thorns were unheard of prior to this curse. Where I live we don’t have goat heads so I have never had to deal with them. I sure have heard and read others talk about them. They definitely are a real menace. Here is a picture of the plant that these rascals are found on.

We have other kinds of thorns where I live but rarely are they found on a bike trail.

Those who walk where these thorns exist also deal with them.

Unfortunately there are a lot of cyclists who do have to deal with these thorns.

Without proper and adaquate protection the result is lots of flats. That is never a welcome thing. So what is a person to do? It would be nice if this threat were simply removed but I am sure that is not practical. That means that the cyclist must do whatever it takes to prevent getting flats. There are options available. There are tires which are flat resistant. There are tire liners. And there are sealants that can be used. Some claim that flat resistant tires alone suffice for them while others say they still get flats with them and need something more. Since I have never had to deal with goat head thorns I am not in a position to advise anyone.

From what I have seen and heard these goat head thorns not only are a threat to the bottom of a tire but they also are found sticking into the sidewalls. Sidewalls of tires don’t offer hardly any protection in comparison to the bottoms. In the picture above the longest most threatening part of the thorn  is not what is sticking into the tire’s sidewall. Some sidewalls are more vulnerable than others. Some are quite soft and thin making them easy to penetrate.

In all the years and hundreds of posts on this blog I have never done one about goat head thorns. I know I have mentioned them in past articles but that is all. Probably because I don’t have to deal with them I have never written much about them.  It is sort of “out of sight, out of mind”. Here in the United States they are found mostly in the southwest as I understand. I am in northeastern Indiana so I am far away from anyplace they are found … for which I am thankful.

From what I have read this plant was not native to the U.S. but was “unintentionally introduced here”. I am not sure what that means. I wonder how one would unintentionally turn loose this menace.

Reading about this plant is rather interesting. Man has used it for various purposes.

Here is a video illustraing how to get rid of these plants.

There are lots of videos on YouTube about goat head thorns and cycling.

The next time I hear someone call me a goat head I won’t take it as a compliment.

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OUTRIDER HORIZON OFF ROAD E-TRIKE

If you have the money they have the trike. And it is a beauty! It has some really nice features. Of course, they don’t come cheap. Although it is designed for off road riding it is quite at home on road as well.

Here is a video presentation of it including a test ride …

Only 21,500 U S Dollars and a 14 month wait to have one built for you. Personally I would much rather have a quad. They don’t tip over as easily and can go places a trike can’t.

One thing I noticed from watching the video above is that the electric motor is fairly noisy. I like a nice quiet operating motor like the hub motor I have now. I can sneak up on people with it. 😉

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TRIKE TOURING IN KRABI, THAILAND

Matt Galat tours Krabi, Thailand with a friend on tadpole trikes. This video features some spectacular drone footage.

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DRAFTING WITH RECUMBENT TADPOLE TRIKES

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

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

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KEEPING THOSE HANDS WARM … WHAT WORKS BEST FOR ME

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

HotHands Thinsalate mittens…

Hotfingers mittens …

Hand knit wool mittens…

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

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and …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

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

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

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

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

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

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

SHOP IS DEFINITELY CONVENIENTLY LOCATED RIGHT ALONGSIDE OF TRAIL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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

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

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

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

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

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

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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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 …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

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.

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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Now for a bit of nostalgia …

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CANAL ROUTES

Long before you and I were born there existed transportation canals. They were man made. Most of them are gone now but some of our bike trails have been built along some of them. Here where I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana the Wabash-Erie Canal passed thru.

We have at least 4 local trails that go along the paths of these canals. If I had not researched a little bit about this canal I would have remained totally ignorant of it. The Wabash-Erie Canal pretty much followed along near the Maumee River from Lake Erie near Toledo, Ohio  to Fort Wayne. From Fort Wayne it continued on southwest to the Wabash River and followed it southward until it headed back southeast to the White River. It ended at the Ohio River at Evansville, Indiana for a total distance of 497 miles. Perhaps you noticed that the sign shows the canal as being only 468 miles long instead of the 497 I stated above. I don’t know which is correct, but 497 is what I read online. On the map far above you can see the several canals that used to exist. The picture below shows a typical canal boat used on the canals. They were drawn by a team of horses or mules from the shore alongside of the canals. Those paths were called “towpaths”. There are some modern day trails  which have “Towpath” in their name. We have one right here in Fort Wayne.

The canal was abandoned in 1874, sold in 1877, and its path through Fort Wayne sold in 1881 to the Nickel Plate Railroad for its roadbed. The last boat was seen on the canal in 1882. Historical Society Marker

I read that these draft animals can pull 50 times more weight on a boat in water than they could if it were on  a wagon on land.

Along the Towpath Trail there are still some remains of the canal. I have ridden past there hundreds of times and never realized  this. Just yesteday I found out about it.

For what it is worth right after I composed this article I rode the Towpath Trail again looking for signs of a former canal. I stopped and got off of my trike and walked over to the area shown circled, but I saw no sign of a canal ever being there.

From the St. Joseph River a “feeder canal” was built taking water from the St. Joe River down into downtown Ft. Wayne to provide additional water to the Wabash-Erie Canal. The St. Joseph Pathway and Becketts Run Trail  follow alongside of it in places. I have seen sections of this feeder canal as it is quite obvious.

 

In the picture above the red line indicates the Saint Joseph Pathway as it passes thru Purdue University property. The yellow line indicates the feeder canal. It runs in a straight line all the way up to where it connected to the St. Joe River further up north of Becketts Run Trail in what used to be called Robinson Park. It is all gone today as it has been made into a housing subdivision. The blue line indicates the west bank of the St. Joe River. The picture below is of the same area. You can see the water filled canal running alongside of the bike trail.

Here is a sign concerning the feeder canal along Becketts Run Trail.

This is a modern day replica of a canal boat. This one is made of aluminum and is used to offer rides to those wanting to take a river cruise aboard it here in Fort Wayne. There is a monetary charge for it. It operates mainly on the Saint Marys River and it docks downtown at Prominade Park.

I find it interesting that the Towpath Trail is named after the towing path alongside the canal used by the horses and mules to pull the canal boats, but there is nothing to see as you ride the trail. If there was a canal out there with banks alongside the horses and mules walked on I sure don’t know where it is and I have ridden it hundreds of times. I have often wondered about it. If anything is there to see I am not aware of it. The next time I ride out on the Towpath Trail I am going to look harder to see if anything is there.

I posted an article awhile back about a tadpole trike ride along the Erie Canal. There are several YouTube videos documenting the ride and the remains of the canal.

I contacted a key person with our trails asking if any map is available that shows the former route of the canal and our trails. I was told that none exist but another person came up with a map in a .pdf file format which I have been unsuccessful in posting here. However, I saved it as a .jpg format which I can post here.

If you live near so that you can get to ride near any of these old canals used to exist you might want to check them out to see what remains of them.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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