LOOK MAW, NO PEDALS

TIME FOR SOMETHING A BIT DIFFERENT

Sooner or later it had to happen. Somebody would make a reverse trike with no pedals … just a motor … and not an e-motor. What we have here is a 3 wheel motorcycle. It is powered by a relatively small 1981 Yamaha SR 185 four stroke engine. This would definitely require registering it as a motorcycle and having a  licence plate on it to operate it on the road. Eventually he plans on making this into a velomobile. He is not that far along yet in this video. He only has a cheap small engine muffler on it which is way too loud. I noticed that he is wearing earplugs while riding it.

More of his videos

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STEAM POWERED TADPOLE TRIKE

This would indeed be a unique sight to be seen riding along on. I rather doubt if it would be allowed on most trails however. I have not yet heard or read anything about the fuel economy … how far one can go on a full tank of water. I would guess that it varies according to how hard and fast you run the steam engine. And since it does not go all that fast to begin with my gurss would be that one would most likely be running it pretty near full throttle most of the time. From what I have seen watching several different videos on dare not go very fast with one of these steam powered machines as they would self destruct shaking themselves to pieces.

If you want one you can’t just put your order in. These are all home custom built machines.. After all, it is not like there is a huge market for steam powered anything nowadays.

 

Even in the Navy steam has come and gone. I worked with and on it all the time in my younger days as I was a certified unlimited high pressure plate and pipe weldor (all positions with space restrictions). Steam can be very dangerous. It is invisible so one needs to be extremely careful around it. You can hear it but you can’t see it. It can quite literally cut your fingers off if you run them over a high pressure steam leak. You might be asking … if steam is invisible what is I see we call steam. Actually it is “spent steam” … steam that is cooling down and becomes water droplets. The Navy had both 600 psi and 1200 psi steam systems. The ships I served on were all 600 psi systems.  I can’t make out what the gauge is showing on this trike but it is a very low pressure steam system. (I think the gauge shows 75 psi.) The builder of this trike said that it only takes 20 seconds to get steam up to get underway. A Navy destroyer would require about 2 hours to get “steam up” if starting from cold boilers.  I am sure most all of us have seen movies, especially western movies, where they show steam locomotives which burned wood and/or coal to heat the water to make steam. There is no wood needed on this rig. The boiler has a spark plug to ignite liquid fuel to heat the water. I have a hard time understanding British people when they speak. I wish they would use English. (That is a joke, son.) Anyway, if this man said what the fuel is I missed it. I really do have a hard time understanding most British people. They sure know how to slaughter their language so that most of the rest of the world can’t understand them.

There is another video below which explains how a steam engine works. There is nothing practical about this setup. Its top speed isn’t impressive. It is just something unique. And wearing the clothes and looking like this man does adds greatly to it all. I have to admit … I would love to see this man and this trike out cruising around.  If I had one I would be out there … at least on some occasions. I already have the horn and a spark plug laying around not being used. Hey, it is a start.

Hey, speaking of wood fired steam engines … This Brazilian man has experimented with several different designs. He has several different videos. I chose this one below to show here.

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PERFORMER CANTUS CARBON FIBER TRIKE

Carbon fiber trikes have come and gone … mostly gone as for one reason or another they just don’t seem to be popular. Terra Trike tried making and marketing one for awhile but it disappeared. There are still a few around but we just don’t hear much about them. Performer offers a carbon fiber model they call CANTUS. I personally consider a trike made of carbon fiber to be a  high risk as if they break most likely they will be in the junk pile. The main attraction to carbon fiber is weight. Strangely that is the one thing I can’t find on Performer’s Cantus webpage. They don’t state how much the trike weighs. I looked it up online and found it is 27.5 pounds so it isn’t all that much lighter than some aluminum models. The CANTUS is 22 speed and has high end components. The cost begins at about $3700. For that price you get standard aluminum wheels which I would prefer over carbon fiber. I don’t think carbon fiber wheels would last very long for me.

 

Carbon fiber wheels are available for an additional cost ($4325).

It is a really nice looking trike but I would be most concerned about the carbon fiber breaking and becoming a piece of junk. I will stick to my aluminum frame. It has held up great over the years and believe me it has endured some nasty bumps and shock treatment. Besides I have no need of shedding a few pounds of weight off of my trike. I have great need of shedding it off of me however. That’s another story and I don’t want to talk about it.

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A TADPOLE TRIKE FROM YESTERYEAR

It is not recumbent and it is not human powered, but it is a tadpole and it is rather old. 1911 and lookin’ good. It is said to have a 10 HP engine and two forward speeds and a reverse. It has chain drive to the rear wheel. All that is missing is the pedals. 
                                               1911 Kelsey Motorette Trike
 See the brass radiator behind the seat. and notice the hand crank on the right side.
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
and
keep on pedalin’

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ALL WHEEL TILTING AR-3 STEERING COMPARISON

Here is a video about steering on recumbent trikes. It explains the typical commonly found steering and the AR-3 lean steering.

Here is the video description found on YouTube:

“AR-3 Recumbent Tadpole Trike, all wheel tilting mechanism explanation. In depth description and details of standard tadpole recumbent steering, and why the AR-3 all wheel tilting steering is revolutionary.
The Patented steering design is like no other and follows the natural feel of a bicycle because of its center axis steering system cleverly angled forward, which emulates the feeling of a bicycle while banking into turns with all three wheels. KAZEbikes.com for the latest development and video.”

It sounds great to me as in I would like to have it. There is one thing I noticed that bothers me … the seat appears to be placed very far back behind the crossmember of the frame. My guess is that the weight distribution is much different on this design than it is on a regular non leaning design. I definitely don’t like the look of the seat. The part where one’s butt sits looks extremely small. Speaking of the seat there is a video about it …

For more information visit their website … https://kazebikes.com/

$3995 for non motorized version

$5995 for motorized pedal assist version. Pedal assist with 350 Watt Bafang rear hub motor and 36 Volt lithium E-bike battery.

$1595 for the AR-3 frame kit (use your own wheels and various components)

I would think that the frame kit is in high demand. I see that the website shows Out of Stock while that is not the case for the complete trike models. Only a 26 inch rear wheel can be used on  this design. It will be interesting to see a leaning trike out there. Tire wear should be improved since this pretty much eliminates tire scrub from hard fast cornering. Pushing forward on one handlebar while pulling back on the other handlebar is how steering is accomplished.

Specifications AR-3E (motorized version):
The E-bike version is all we have fully assembled.
Approximate Total weight: 48 pounds riding weight. (very light for a trike with motor and battery)
Steering Radius: 8.5’
The frame was FEA static tested to Rider weight of 480 pounds but we recommend 250 pounds for best riding results. I would keep the cargo balanced for a more pleasurable ride.
Width: 36”
Length: 84” (That’s a long trike.)
Height: 26” with backrest retracted. 3“ additional with backrest fully extended.
Ground clearance: 4.5”

How the AR-3 works:
Being prone also gives a great aerodynamic advantage lending itself to going further and faster with the less effort than a conventional bicycle. Obviously many of us don’t wish to or can no longer perch on a standard bicycle seat. The seat on the AR-3 is comparable to a high performance sports car bucket seat.

Articulating all wheel tilting steering for recumbent tricycle and other vehicles providing stability and controlled lean of all three wheels simultaneously.

Consisting of a single front steering yoke that rotates or steers, on a pivoting axis neck, with a negative castor angle and bearing on the stationary frame which forces the rear wheel and frame to actively tilt into the direction of the turn.

The active front wheel leaning linkage consists of, the front steering yolk with horizontal bushings on the outer ends, which only allows the front wheels axles and control arm assemblies to lean in toward the turn producing a camber to both front wheels.

Tie rods, connected to the front wheel’s spindle assembly and anchored to the frame, forward of the pivot axis, actively linking handlebars, front wheel and frame tilt together thus causing all wheels to lean together when directional force is applied.

“All the Benefits of 3 wheel recumbents, but with all the virtues of a bicycle.”                                      (their words not mine)

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NEW BAFANG ULTRA CRANKDRIVE MOTOR

If only I would have known about this e-motor sooner it is what I would have bought instead of the much lower powered Tongsheng unit. This Bafang is twice as powerful (twice the torque) .

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RECUMBENT HISTORY

 

came across this interesting webpage I want to share here. It is the history of recumbents. Lots of photos and information are found here.

https://www.lightningbikes.com/riders/martin-krieg/recumbent-history/index.html

It was the photo below that influenced me when I built my first recembent bike. I considered using this steering setup on it, but went with  a different type instead.

Here is what I built. I used two steering heads and connected them together with an adjustable connecting rod …

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3 WHEELS 1 LEG

 

I just discovered this tadpole rider, Paul Fogarty, and his Facebook page he is using as his blog. He is a disabled person who doesn’t let that stop him from riding. He is indeed an inspiration to others. With no arms and only one leg he rides a highly modified tadpole trike adapted to his needs. He is new to triking and his trike is a work in progress to get it all set up for him to effectively serve his needs. I am impressed with his accomplishments. Check out his FB blog page and perhaps give him a shout out to encourage him. And may he be able to continue on trikin’ and …

ENJOYING THE RIDE!

BTW, Paul has an ICE Adventure tadpole trike on order.

Paul also has a personal FB page for those interested in checking it out.

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SAW, SAND, & GLUE …BUILDING A WOODEN TADPOLE TRIKE

I came across this video of the building of a wooden recumbent tadpole trike. I myself have no interest in a trike made out of wood but I am sure there are those who do. Never the less I do have to admire the effort and skill of the accomplishment.

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TRIKEXPLOR … some interesting offerings

                                                      TRIKEXPLOR

I have written about one or more of the trikes/quads offered by this company before but as time goes by they keep coming out with more offerings. They always look interesting. I won’t elaborate on them as I really don’t know much about them as far as their quality and customer service.

Chinese made trikes have, of course, been around for awhile. And they are known for low cost. Again, I have written about them previously. And HERE is another past posting on them.

TrikExplor is a Chinese company which is something which personally bothers me as I don’t believe we as Americans should be buying all the products we do from China. In doing so we build them up while greatly damaging our own country. Besides that they are a Communist country and I think it is morally wrong for us to do business with them. Please understand I have nothing against the people of China. It is the Chinese government I have an issue with. Furthermore the Chinese are well known for totally ignoring the law and manufacturing copies of well known products selling them at a much lower price.

I truly wish we had such products being offered right here in our own country … made in the U.S.A. … and at a competitive price. I suppose however that the market is lacking for that to happen. Even some of these Chinese offerings are quite expensive … over $7000.

Right now as far as I know such products are not being offered here in the U.S. with the exception of certain offerings from Utah Trikes. I guess only time will tell as to whether or not these somewhat special trikes and quads will catch on and be sold in sufficient numbers for other manufacturers to offer them.

Whatever we choose to ride may we all …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

WHAT, A STAND UP TADPOLE TRIKE?

What will they think of next? We talk about the extreme comfort of a recumbent tadpole trike comparing it to a recliner chair and then somebody comes along and undoes all that has been accomplished in creating such a dream machine. I am talking about standing up while riding a tadpole trike. Yes, you heard (read) me right! Hard to believe, huh? The picture up above is just a drawing, but this thing really exists. Actually the inventor/builder has had several prototype models thus far … with the goal of improving it with each new design build. Obviously the appeal of this machine would probably be only those who are into skate boarding, snow boarding and surf boarding. That leaves me and a whole lot of other people out. I guess I am thankful I was born when (and where)  I was as there are just many things younger people do that I am so glad were not around when (where) I grew up.

See? I told you so. It doesn’t appear to be human powered, only electric hub motor powered so there is no exercise involved in riding it. And that is one big hub motor so I assume it is fairly powerful. I found this video which explains several things about this machine.

It is a tadpole trike, but it certainly isn’t recumbent. It is just the opposite of recumbent as the word recumbent means “prone position” or “lying down” … no , it doesn’t mean “feet forward out in front”. There are a whole lot of tadpole trikes being sold labled as recumbent and they really are not recumbent at all. I read that there is a seat kit available for this trike so I reckon it may be able to transform (morph) into a recumbent trike of some sort. 🙂

I look at this and it just screams UNSAFE. But then that is what I think of skate boarding too … insane! It is like tempting fate. I can’t imagine trying to make a panic stop on/with this trike.

Riders of conventional tadpole trikes can ride on a 100 mile ride all day long in great comfort.  One sure couldn’t do that on one of these. Oh well, different strokes for different folks. I don’t understand it, but that is okay I guess.

Here is a newer prototype …

Here the inventor/builder takes the trike for a ride around his city …

I wonder how many of these he will sell. Hey, in this crazy world we might be surprised. Hey, if they can ENJOY THE RIDE more power to them. Too bad they aren’t getting any exercise in the process.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

 

4 WHEEL DRIVE REAR SUSPENSION ELECTRIC MOTOR ASSIST FAT TIRE QUAD

What more could you want in an off road human powered vehicle? This beauty is nearly unstoppable. It is an L Trike  or Camel Trike made in China and sold from China thru ZZMERCK (Zhengzhou Merck). I find their media coverage a bit confusing. One place they call it an L Trike and another place they call it a Camel Trike. It is not even a trike so I don’t know why they would call it either one. Googling “L Trike” turns up nothing, but Googling “camel trike” gets results. It doesn’t come cheap … $7500-$8500. It looks nice, but I don’t trust the quality of Chinese products. Hopefully this is well made. I will say though that this trike is definitely complex in its design which translates into … “there is a whole lot of stuff that could go wrong and cause problems”.

I said it is rear suspension and it is, but at first I thought it was full suspension, but after taking a closer look at it I guess it is not.This quad weighs approximately 110 pounds (50kg) so it is not light. The wheels are laced rather uniquely. Although I have seen this before I don’t think it is all that common. They are laced only on the inside of the rim. No spokes attach to the other side. This is covered in one of the videos further below.

The one thing I noticed is that the cables are hanging way down low where they could easily snag of lots of stuff riding off road. They created lots of road clearance only to place the cables way down low. That makes no sense! I see it all the time on people’s trikes. Some people just don’t seem to care about such things even if you point it out to them. I wonder if they would change their tune if a drooping cable ruined their day causing a bad wreck. At the very least it could cause serious damage to the cable and possibly other things.

4×4 Fat Tire Recumbent Quad

Model/Price: Model: MF426E, Price: US $7,500-8,500

Website: http://zzmerck.com/products/recumbenttrike/2017-09-28/398.html

Brief description: four-wheel drive system, aluminum alloy 6061 frame, Vee 26×4.8 tire, DNM air spring suspension, SRAM11 speed, 500w mid drive motor, 48v 20ah lithium battery, climbing angle more than 35 degrees. For All Challenging Terrain!

SPECS:
Transmission system     
Front derailleur: Sram NX11
Rear derailleur: Sram NX11

Drive system   
Crankset: Flywheel crankset
Flywheel: Sram NX11 11 speed 11-42T
Chain: Miche 11 speed
Chain tube: Nylon
Pedal: Exustar clipless pedals
Novatec bearing secondary drive hub
Customs Aluminum alloy 7075 secondary drive
Fouriers chainring
Customs power divider
Customs shaft, hub, shaft hub, cardan

Brake system    
Front brake: Avid E3 hydraulic disc brake
Rear brake: BB7 disc brake

Wheel system 
Rim: Alloy
Spokes: 304 stainless steel
Tires: Vee 26-4.8 foldable tires
Front hub: Novatec customs hub
Rear hub: Customs shaft hub

Suspension system
DNM air spring suspension (double chamber)

Electric system
48v 500w mid drive motor
48v 20ah lithium battery

Light system
Led headlight

Frame: Aluminum alloy 6061 T6
Seat: Nylon mesh

No way could I do this on my tadpole trike. I would find myself in a real predicament. This quad goes right up it …

 

The next video definitely demonstrates that it is all wheel drive …

This next video is suppose to be a demonstration of the quad riding thru snow, but there is very little snow on the ground so it isn’t much of a test. A standard trike with standard tires could go thru most of the snow shown, but probably not all the uneven ground, etc. as there would be traction problems  …

The next 4 videos are about the design and bulld of the quad. You may have to pause them to read the English captions in order to follow what is being said.

That is a lot of money to lay down to attempt some off road fun, but hey, if you have it to spend you might as well go for it. You can’t take the money with you when life is over. BTW, you can’t take the trike with you either. We can only enjoy them here in this life … so do your best to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW WHETHER THEY ARE COMING OR GOING (B2B TRIKE)

Now I ask ya … how in the world do these people expect to get anywhere fast? I mean, they are pedaling in opposite directions, right? I mean, anyone can see that. For those who don’t know anything about these tandem trikes two or three of them were made (I have seen both figures). Great Britain’s ICE trike manufacturer made them. I would think it would take some getting used to facing backwards and have the trike going the opposite direction you are looking.

“talk about complexity”

HERE is an article about one of these trikes.

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MASA SLINGSHOT, A BIT OF NOSTALGIA

masa-slingshot-racer

The era was the 1970s … 1975 as I understand is when the first of these were introduced here in the United States. A rather unique recumbent trike of the tadpole configuration came on the scene. Even though it originated in Japan it was the United States where they were most prevalent. They were big and heavy yet supposedly they were built for racing on oval tracks. Obviously they were not designed for touring and general riding. They were quite long compared to tadpole trikes of today. Their days were numbered and now they are more less a collectors item. Not only were they long, but they had a wide wheelbase so they are not too practical as far as fitting on trails and thru various openings. Speaking of being long … the chain on these was 13.5 feet long. That is a lot of chain in case you didn’t know it. Most modern day tadpole trikes have about 9 to about 10.5 feet depending upon how far out the boom is adjusted. Some say that these Masa trikes did not handle well and could tip over easily … that too much of the rider’s weight was on the back wheel. That being said you can also read that the trike handles well and doesn’t tip over as easily as modern day trikes. Take your pick. I give up. Well, I have already said more than I know about them. 🙂  So I won’t say anything more. I will just post a couple of videos where they are featured and talked about.

HERE are lots of pictures of two of these trikes.

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IT’S JUST A HILL … GET OVER IT

steep hill 2

saw those words printed on shirts you can buy and thought they were pretty “catchy”. I think most riders would agree that it is a lot more fun and enjoyable going down a hill than it is climbing it. Many have reported reaching some pretty fast speeds on their descent. I am talking 40 to 50 plus mph. Velomobile riders have reported reaching speeds in excess of 70 mph. Going down the longest steepest hill I know of around here where I live the highest speed I have ever obtained is only about 28 mph. Here below is a picture of the hill I speak of. Looking at the hill one would think that it would yield higher speeds than that. I have only ridden my trike on it once as it is a distance away and not someplace I normally ride.

Tonkel Rd. hill 2

It is said and is quite true that we must climb the hill enduring the challenge and difficulty in order to enjoy the fun and thrill of going down it. Climbing a steep hill only using our human power can indeed be challenging. And certainly our ability to do so depends upon our physical condition and the gearing we have available. Low gearing is a must for hill climbing.

This is a 3 speed internal hub with  a 10 cog rear cassette … totaling 90 speeds. I would love to have something like this on my trike.

3-speed-hub-with-cassettes

I would settle for 81 speeds. The option to shift the internal hub instantly changing the available gear down lower would be a ‘godsend’ as they say.

My tadpole trike came with 27 ‘speeds’ (3 chainrings in the front and 9 cogs in the rear cassette). The newer ones are 30 speeds as they have a rear cassette of 10 cogs. They come with a 34 tooth cog as the largest diameter sprocket on the rear cassette. My trike originally had a 32 tooth sprocket as the largest cog on the rear cassette. I later changed it to 34 tooth which definitely helped a little bit with hill climbing. Still I could really use a smaller chain ring on the front. The hills I normally climb here where I live are not anything like the one in the picture above. I would definitely need lower gearing to tackle something like that. Either that or I would have to make numerous stops to rest. That is one thing good about riding a tadpole trike. Stopping to rest doesn’t involve having to “dismount” and then struggle to get started again like a bicyclist does. And we don’t have to concern ourselves with balancing while going slow. We can climb a hill just as slow as we can manage the pedaling involved … perhaps at 1.5 mph … maybe even slower for some of us. Try that on a bicycle.

50 tooth cog on rear cassette

In the picture above you are looking at a 50 tooth cog . I have seen 42 and 44 tooth sprockets for the rear cassette and just now I found this 50 tooth. Given enough traction and strength in the trike build I would think that a person could just about “pull stumps” out of the ground with that low gearing. 🙂 Of course, one must keep in mind that when talking about a derailleur system the rear derailleur can only handle so much gear range. Going with such a large sprocket on the rear means that the largest front chain ring would have to be smaller in order for the rear derailleur to handle things. (I have an article on rear derailleur capacity.) So what you would gain in low gearing you would lose in high gearing (fastest speed obtainable). If we live/ride somewhere that has lots of hills to climb and yet we also like to go as fast as we possibly can we have a bit of a problem. Solutions are available, but they are not cheap. There are two and three speed internal hubs for the crankset as well as various internal hubs for the rear wheel. Some fabulous gearing combinations can be had for a price … more than what some trikes cost.

Many of us have one or more hills to contend with … GET OVER ‘EM! … and

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

ALL ABOUT BIKES (AND TRIKES)

recently came across a webpage I found interesting and decided to share it here on my blog. It is part of a website of GOPBC.org (Georgia Organization of Parents of Blind Children). The title of it is “All About Bikes – for Parents of Visually Impaired Children“.

They write: “A much more detailed article about a great many cycling options for visually impaired and other special needs children and also a lot of information of general interest about unusual bikes, trikes, etc. There are lots of photos … “

Here are the contents:

Introduction
Safety First

Conventional Bikes vs. Recumbents
Common Bike Designs: Touring, Mountain, Hybrid
Suspension: Solid, Hardtail, Full
Child Carriers & Child Trailers
Tandems: Conventional & Specialized
“Active Trailers”; Trail-a-Bikes, Tag-Alongs and Similar Solutions
Passive Trailers for Kids & Utility Trailers
More Unique Tandem Bikes: Child Sized, Side-by-Side, Back-to-Back, etc.
Trikes for Kids
Trikes for Adults
Tandem Trikes and Convertible Trikes
Special Needs Setups including Wheelchair / Bike Tandem Combinations
Quad Bikes: 4 wheels for 1, 2, 3, and passengers
Truly Long Bikes: Inline options for 3, 4, 5, and even 6 passengers
Kiddie Cranks, S & S Couplers, and various unique bikes
The Biggest of the Big– 7 & 8 passenger solutions
Hauling Solutions– how do you get the bike where you want to ride it?
Answers to common questions
Links
The final word

As you can see there is lots covered so it is a good general read about bikes and trikes.

FOUR SEATER VELOMOBILE

Most of us are familiar with velomobiles and have seen various ones in photos and videos if not in person. All of them I have seen were built for one person … until now that is. Feast your eyes on this one of a kind prototype built by Trisled of Australia …

4 seat Trisled velomobile 2

It is not in production and may never be. It was custom made for someone who wanted one. It is interesting. Can you picture something like this coming down the street towards you?

4 seat Trisled velomobile 3

Here is a look at the framework underneath the body. As you can see it is basically two tandem bikes side by side. And it is a quadricycle, not a trike. That should make it a bit more stable.

4 seat Trisled velomobile frame

HERE is an article about this vehicle.  The article states that this trike was made for a charity ride across Australia, but to date there has been no such charity ride take place and this one of a kind velomobile has disappeared and its whereabouts are unknown.

4 seat Trisled velomobile rear view

AMPHIBIAN VELOMOBILE

Athough this is a delta style recumbent trike in this video I am sharing it here just because of it’s uniqueness. That is not to say that others have not made similar trikes and even bikes. I have written about one before. Here is a picture of it. As you can see it is propelled by rowing and not by pedaling.

rowing

Unfortunately it was back during my first tadpole rider blog and has been deleted and gone forever so I can’t link to it here. Of course, there have been many human powered watercraft of various sorts made over the years, but they are strictly for use in the water and not able to travel on land. I am only looking at trikes that can be ridden in the water as well as on land and also are classified as “recumbent”. Here is the video of this delta trike …

And here is another one I find even more impressive …

And then there is this one which mystifies me. With two large openings in the bottom where his feet step thru down onto the ground how can this shell float? There has to be more to this shell than meets the eye.