Snow in June in Indiana? Yep, it happens every year … that nasty white stuff is falling to the ground thru the air. Now the temperature is not cold so it is not miserable out there like it is in January.. However, that white stuff is coming down and it is nasty to deal with. Don’t believe me? Here is proof …
See all that white stuff alongside of the trail? That’s what I am talking about. Yep, every year at about this same time it shows up like clockwork.
Of course, I am not talking about real snow. I am talking about cottonwood trees which are considered undesirable by most people. Those cottonwood seeds are quite messy and a real nuisance. And have you ever had the displeasure of having them go up your nose, in your eye or into your mouth? Swallowing one is a dreadful experience. I really need to wear a bandana over my nose and mouth to keep those nasty cottonwood seeds from going places I don’t want them to.
Cottonwood trees are quite common along rivers which is where many trails are built. Consequently dealing with this annual event can’t be avoided many places. It is just a fact of life. Of course, one could ride where there are no trees but I much prefer the shade they provide.
A canopy helps keep some of the sun off of the rider but doesn’t do much to lower the temperature. It helps provide some relief but it is not the same as a well shaded area to ride thru.
Well, the good news is this snow in June only lasts about 3 or 4 weeks. I am pretty sure I will survive it. I just need to keep my mouth shut. Keeping my eyes closed is not an option, however. How about you?
I just discovered a new trail part of which is already in existence. It will eventuallly come to my area … Fort Wayne, Indiana. Right now what exists starts in the northwest side of Kendallville , IN. and goes northwest to near Sylvan Lake near Rome City, IN. There is a one mile long portion of this trail which has been built here in Fort Wayne. I rode it a couple of days ago.
BTW, if you aren’t already a member of TrailLink.com I highly recommend them as a great resource concerning trails. It may very well be the best I have found. There is no cost to join TrailLink.
Here is the start of the trail in NW Kendallville …
I have been on North Angling Road many times when I was younger. There use to be a gravel pit just off of this road I went to along with a couple of friends where we would ride our motorcycles back in there. We had a blast until they closed it off to the public. These many years later I just took a look on Google satellite image of the area and I can’t even see any evidence of a gravel pit ever being there. But back to the Fish Line Trail … most of the trail utilizes the historic railroad corridor that once carried trains for the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad. The trail is just over 7 miles long at this time. It is my understanding that it will eventually be built south to Fort Wayne as we as further north. Trail Link reports that the trail’s current northern end lies in Rome City on Lions Drive, just at the edge of the open space of Gaff Park. The trail requires another brief on-road connection via County Roads 450 E and 800 N, before resuming southeast on the former railroad corridor all the way into the outskirts of Kendallville. The Fishing Line Trail, located in Northwest Fort Wayne, is named for its history as a railroad corridor. Formerly the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad, residents in Fort Wayne used to hop on the trains and head north to Michigan to fish. So now you know … that is where the name comes from.
Right now the Fort Wayne portion of the Fish Line Trail runs for only one mile in between Washington Center Road and Cook Road (red line in image below). This is west of Lima Road. Eventually it should connect to the existing trail in NW Kendallville. Of course Allen County will only take the trail north to the county line and Noble County will bring the trail south to the county line where the two will meet up. I rode Fort Wayne’s section today. It is a nice trail. Our city’s Trail Manager told me that the Fish Line Trail is a “regional trail” which will eventually go north to Grand Rapids, Michigan. That would be a long ride. In other words, it won’t stop in Wolcottville. The trail manager said that Fort Wayne may have some problems trying to take the Fish Line Trail north of Dupont Road as much of the area is already developed and privately owned. She said that they may have to use some other trails to get further north before they can take it to meet up with Noble County’s trail. By the way, she also said that she thinks Noble County has built about 12 miles of the Fish Line Trail so far. Here is a map of the Fort Wayne Fish Line Trail that has been built thus far …
That reminds me of some humor I came across as a teenager. When the railroad was being built across the United States the eastern portion was to meet up with the western portion. A golden spike was to be used to connect the rails together. Here is the humor in how the tracks met up together at Promontory Point …
The existing trail in Noble County is well maintained by volunteers but it isn’t plowed off in the winter time. The trail is almost all asphalt paved with the exception of the very northernmost section … from the area of the Gene Stratton Porter Memorial Home to Kendallville. Of course, it is possible that by now it is all paved.
The next 3 pictures are all taken on Fort Wayne’s one mile section of trail …
Crossing Ludwig Road …
North end of trail at Cook Road …
Noble County Trails has plans to expand Fish Line Trail north to Wolcottville, IN and south to Avilla, Ind. Avilla is getting closer to me but it is still quite a distance from the Allen County line where I am at. I would be very surprised if much of anything happens in Allen County as far as Fish Line Trail expansion to the county line. It is not even listed among the many trail development projects which I receive monthly updates on. I doubt if it will ever get done in my lifetime or at least in the time I have left I will continue to ride. It would be great if it all got built fairly soon as it would make for a great trail to hop on and ride some distance.
Lagrange County Trails (the next county north of Noble County) also has trail building plans. I don’t think they have any immediate plans to continue the Fish Line Trail further north. Instead I think their future trail will have another name but may connect to the Fish Line Trail. The proposed 17 mile Hawpatch Trail, which will stretch west to east from Millersburg to Topeka, and from Topeka to Wolcottville is getting closer to its beginning. As I stated above Noble County is suppose to extend the Fish Line Trail further north to Wolcottville. The image below shows the approximate route of the Hawpatch Trail.
This is a poor quality video for sure, but it is the first and only one I could find when I first looked …
Definitely parts of it look like a fun ride with several sharp turns. As you can see in the video there are at least two times the trail incorporates the use of county roads as part of the trail.
Noble County Trails shows on their website — Benefits of Trails: When a trail is constructed, people use the path for many purposes. The multiple uses are one reason why trails are so successful and appeal to so many people. Trail benefits include: Improved Health … the Indiana Trails Study, which surveyed trail users on six different trails in Indiana, found that in all locations, over 70 percent of trail users reported that they were getting more exercise as a direct result of the trail. (Indiana Trails Study, Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, Indiana University, November 2011), Safe Transportation, Economic Boost … The bicycle industry is estimated to support 1.1 million jobs, generate nearly $18 billion in federal, state, and local taxes, and contribute $133 billion annually to the U.S. economy. (The Active Outdoor Recreation Economy … by the Outdoor Industry Foundation, 2006), and Better Quality of Life.
I can’t argue against any of that! I am an avid trail supporter and trail user. I love riding on trails. Hey, ENJOY THE RIDE!
HERE is an online map showing existing, planned and proposed trails in Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana.
Now I ask ya … WHAT’S WITH MOTORISTS ANYWAY? Some just don’t give me any respect at all. They take the right of way when they don’t have it. I mean … what’s with motorists at 4 way stops? I clearly was stopped first while they are still approaching the stop sign. They were still rolling forward . I have been stopped. I have the legal right of way according to how 4 way stops work, but they take off cutting me off. I guess since I am on my trike I don’t count.They are a lot bigger than I am so might makes right. What’s with motorists anyway?
What’s with motorists at traffic lights? We are facing each other stopped at a traffic light. They are going to turn left. The law clearly stipulates the vehicle going straight thru the intersection has the legal right of way and vehicles which are turning are to wait until the vehicles going straight have already gone thru the intersection. But I am on a trike and I don’t count. The motorist is confident that he will accelerate fast enough to make his turn before I hardly am started. That being the case he takes off cutting me off. Sometimes he gets a surprise as I accelerate much faster than he expects and I block his path making the turn and he is forced to stop. He usually gets mad … obviously has an attitude problem. Afterall, he was in the wrong in what he tried to do. What’s with motorists anyway?
Then the other day I almost witnessed instant karma. A car ran the red light and the car pulling out making the left turn nearly got hit. Fortunately for him he saw the car speeding thru the red light and managed to stop before they would have collided. It was fortunate for me too as I probably would have had both of them come right into me. I was watching the turning car so I did not see the car running the red light. I am coming thru the intersection and see the turning car suddenly stop out in front of me forcing me to go left of him. The speeding car running the red light just barely missed me. Angels watching over me! And I am the only one obeying the law. What’s with motorists anyway?
ICE has their ADVENTURE model. GREENSPEED has their Magnum XL model. TRIDENT has their Titan model. HP Velotecnik has their Scorpion Plus model. TerraTrike did have their ROVER model but now I think their heaviest duty model is their RAMBLER. PERFORMER has their Hero model. All are heavier duty trikes capable of heavier riders. CATRIKE is often slow in coming out with models to compete with other manufacturers. Finally they have come out with a model they advertise of being able to haul 425 pounds of total weight. They call it the Catrike MAX.
Here is what Catrike says about it …
The all-new MAX offers a higher/wider seat and incorporates a larger diameter Cross-Member and wide sturdy rims to accommodate 425 lbs of rider and gear weight. In addition, it is equipped with Schwalbe Big Apple tires, 1×11 SRAM drive train and the new Catrike Assist Bars that help support the rider when getting in and out of the seat. It is the most robust model in our line and has all the features you have come to expect on a Catrike: Avid disc brakes, signature hand rest, Catrike Peace Boom, adjustable seat angle, locking brake levers and Ackerman Steering. Enjoy fun, adventures and freedom aboard the Catrike MAX. The MAX comes with a rear fender but no front fenders.
Frame & Geometry:
Wheel Base 40 in 1880 mm
Wheel Track 34 in 864 mm
Total Width 37.25 in 946 mm
Total Length** 74 in 1879mm
Seat Angle 47/57 deg
Weight 40lb 18 Kg
Seat Height 14.25 in 362 mm
Seat Width 16 in 406 mm
BB Height** 16.25 in 414 mm
Ground Clearance 6 in 152 mm
Total Height 32.25 in 819 mm
Height w/ Seat Folded 25.25in641 mm
Turning Circle 14.5 ft 4.4 m
Turning Radius 7.25 ft 2.2 m
Rider Weight Limit*** 425 lb 193 Kg
Rider X-Seam Range 39/46 in 99/117cm
* weight includes pedals, mirror, flag, computer mount and neck rest if standard on the model.
**varies according to riders height.
***rider and gear
Brakes Avid BB7 Disc Brakes
Brake Levers Catrike Locking Brake Levers
Front Derailleur N/A
Rear Derailleur SRAM APEX 11-Speed
Shifters SRAM 500 TT Bar End Shifter
Crankset FSA Omega Abs 165mm
Bottom Bracket FSA Road MegaExo
Chainrings FSA 42T
Chain Guard N/A
Cassette SRAM 11/42 11 Speed
Chain KMC e11
Idler TerraCycle Sport Power Idler 15T
Headsets FSA Zero Stack
Front Tires 406 Schwalbe Big Apple Performance 2.0
Rear Tire 406 Schwalbe Big Apple Performance 2.0
*All components are subject to change with an equivalent substitute based on availability
The Pumpkinvine Nature Trail is a rail trail between Goshen and Shipshewana, Indiana. It is about 17.6 miles long. It has a 15 mph speed limit on it. Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes are allowed on it. Class 3 are not allowed. I have ridden it about 3 times. I didn’t care much for the section between Goshen and Middlebury. I found it rather boring as many rail trails are. It was pretty straight and no shade. I much preferred the section between Middlebury and Shipshewana.
There is a nice bicycle shop in Middlebury quite close to the trail. They also sell and service tadpole trikes. It is called Pumpkinvine Cyclery. They sell Catrike, Trident and Azub recumbent tadpole trikes. In the image below taken from the trail you can see the bike shop just straight across the highway.
Pumpkinvine Cyclery is right across Indiana Highway 13 from the trail. There is a sidewalk all along the highway on the west side so one could exit the trail at York Drive onto the sidewalk and ride to the shop without having to cross the highway in front of the store … which would be a little safer. On the map below the side walk is shown in black.
The Pumpkinvine Nature Trail also connects to the MapleHeart Trail which runs alongside of a highway going from Goshen to Elkhart, Indiana … a 5 mile distance.
BTW, I have failed to mention that this trail is in Amish country so expect to see Amish people out and about. Be careful around their buggies, wagons and horse pulled farm equipment. Horses spook easily. The sound of flapping flags can spook them. It is best to slow way down or even stop and allow them to pass you. There are often Amish people bicycling on the trail. Shipshewana is definitely a rather unique town with various Amish stores, restaurants and a flea market. The trail used to stop a short distance outside of Shipshewana, but I understand that since the last time I was there riding the trail they have extended it on into town.
1.75 miles of the trail north of Goshen is packed crushed limestone. The rest is all paved with asphalt. 1/2 mile of the trail utilizes a county road as part of the trail. That is east of Middlebury if my memory serves me right. It is low traffic so there should not be any concern. The local motorists are quite accustomed to sharing the road with trail users.
Have you ever come around a blind corner and suddenly found some sort of hazard right in front of you causing you to have to slam on the brakes or steer suddenly off of the trail if that is possible? I have had that happen a few times. It most often has been a homeless person lying down on the trail … sometimes asleep. Sometimes it has been a bicycle, e-motorized scooter or a so-called mo-ped (in reality a motorscooter). Sometimes it has been a large rock or chuck of concrete. How about riding out in bright sunshine and having to go into a dark area such as under a bridge … has this happened to you and again finding some sort of hazard in your path that you can’t even see due to your eyes not adjusting to the darkness from the brightness?
One time there were 3 of us riding along on our trikes plus a guy on a bicycle. We were following each other fairly closely. I was in the lead when we went under a bridge into darkness like I am talking about. Right in the middle of the underpass I was able to make out a motor scooter laying across the trail. Somebody had placed it there. I slammed on the brakes and yelled “STOP!!!!” to my friends behind me. Fortunately we all got stopped without incident. There was no place to go to the side around it so it was good that we managed to stop. The picture above is the place it happened but the trail as well as the bridge are all new since that time and it is no longer like riding into a dark cave like it was then. Anyway, myself and another guy managed to drag the trike out from under there so we could continue on our ride.
As to the homeless people laying on the trail I assume they were drunk or on drugs or both. I think I did run over one guy’s hand or arm as it was covered up by a blanket which was sprawled out over the trail. His body was over to the side. I yelled out to him “passing by you” but I am pretty sure he was asleep and didn’t hear me. He suddenly groaned as I passed by him … when I ran over part of him. Several times I have had to call the police to have them remove these people off of the trails. There have been several times I have had to deal with people laying or sitting on the trail. Personally I think they have elevator problems. Just yesterday I came upon 4 of them sprawled out on the trail. They saw me coming but didn’t budge.
One time I was riding along with another friend on a tadpole trike when we came upon a motorscooter which had been abandoned and set on fire right on the trail. The plastic components were all melted and stuck onto the asphalt. The asphalt received a little bit of damage. My friend and I removed what we could and the next day I brought a floor scraper with me to scrape off the rest we could not remove. Of course, this incident was reported to the trail management and the police dept. That was a bad way for someone’s joy ride on a stolen motorscooter to end. The owner didn’t get that scooter back.
The city of Fort Wayne, Indiana has a whole fleet of these e-motorized scooters for rent. They are nothing but a menace. I sure wish they would get rid of them. The buttholes that rent them leave them parked all over the place … in the middle of the trails and under bridges, right in front of ADA ramps on sidewalks, etc. Most often then turn them sideways so they take up even more space.
I have come around a curve and ran over a goose a couple of times when they were on the trail. They did not have time to move out of the way. They had the misfortune of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Fortunately for them they survived.
A city street under a viaduct for a railroad crossing where it is always dark under there can be hazardess. It is especially dark on an overcast day. It has lights on under it but they are too dim to do any good. I was riding along passing under there hoping I didn’t encounter anything as it is just too dark to see it if it is there. One time it was there … a big chunk of concrete. I hit it and was thrown up into the air. Fortunately no damage was done. It just scared the crap out of me. No, not literally! Stuff like that can be really dangerous. And one never knows about the malicious pranks some people pull. People could get seriously injured or even killed as a result of such nonsense.
I have had some very close calls like when I rounded a blind corner and a deer suddenly jumped across the trail right in front of me barely missing me … probably about 12 inches or so in front of my face. That will get your attention. I could have reached out and touched him/her. That could have hurt if we would have collided.
I don’t know how many times I nearly got hit by bicyclists who were riding over on my side of the trail and not paying any attention. A head on collision with someone on a bicycle is not something I want to participate in. Fortunately up until now everytime this has happened they “woke up” at the last possible second and managed to swerve over missing me.
Tree limbs and bushes also come to mind as in “hey, that wasn’t there yesterday”.
This north east Indiana multi-purpose trail is slowly being built. The Poka-Bache State Visionary Trail is 81 miles long running north and south from Ouabache State Park near Blufton to Pokagon State Park north of Angola near the Michigan State Line. On the map above you can see the red which indicates the existing trail and the yellow which indicates the portions still needing to be built. I have ridden all of it in the top 3 counties. I have not ridden any of it in the 4th county in the south. When I rode the trail in Angola it was only in Angola. I see that they have extended it on further north to Pokagon State Park. I was not aware of that.
The map shown above is not truthful. They show the trail in Allen County where I live as being built all the way up to the county line. That is not true. They just started working on it this Spring. They are still clearing the land getting it ready to place a gravel surface on it before they pave it with asphalt. Right now the trail ends just a little way north of Carroll Road. The trail here in Allen County is built on an old railroad corridor and is named the Pufferbelly Trail.
It is named Pufferbelly after the steam locomotives that used to operate on the railroad that used to be there. The other three counties involved are dragging their feet on trail building. I am so glad Allen County is working at it and making progress. The trail is scheduled to be completed next year (2024). The next county north may not have their section built but at least I will be able to ride to the county line … another 4 miles further north than I can now. The Pufferbelly Trail has become one of my favorite local trails. Much of it is well shaded and there is enough curves in it to break up the normal boredom I find with many rail trails.
It surely is a very slow process … commitees meeting monthly … but very little seems to be happening.
Next up is a video of the groundbreaking ceremony for completing the trail up to the north county line …
For those who don’t know or remember the history of TadpoleRider.com and the TadpoleRider Facebook Group I will share it here. I got into tadpole trikes back in 2007. At the time I first started looking online concerning tadpole trikes all I found was Steve Greene’s Trike Asylum blog. He had not had it all that long at that time. I started commenting on his blog and before long he contacted me asking me if I would be interested in being a contrubuting editor on Trike Asylum. I accepted and started writing articles weekly which he published. I think only about 2 or 3 months passed when I decided to step down from that position. Shortly afterwards I started up TadpoleRider.com. If my memory serves me correctly this was in 2009. I wrote articles and published them for about 9 months when I was having some serious vision problems in my life and I made the decision to discontinue TadpoleRider.com. I had put a whole lot of hard work and time into creating it. I did a very foolish and regretful thing. I also decided to delete the entire blog losing everything I had put into it. Of course, now I wish I had never deleted it but it is too late. It is gone forever. Later my eyesight improved and I made the decision to restart TadpoleRider.com.
I had been a member of various Facebook Groups which were about recumbent trikes. I made the decision to start my own FB Group which I called TadpoleRider. It grew very quickly becoming the 2nd largest FB group about recumbent trikes. I was sort of wore out and made the decision to dismantle the FB group and close it down entirely. In October 2019 I decided to start a FB group back up using the same name. It has been an altogether different story this time around as growth has been very slow. in 3 and 1/2 years it finally has gone over 1000 in membership … 1022 as I type this. The first time around the group had over 2600 members within just a few months so you can see there is considerable difference. Anyway, I am 76 years old now and still going strong. I don’t have any plans of shutting TadpoleRider.com or TadpoleRider FB group down even though I readily admit sometimes I feel sort of tapped out writing new articles on TadpoleRider.com. Writing is just something in my blood so I don’t expect to stop unless I am forced to.
I would like to see the FB group grow significantly more and much faster, but it is what it is and I have to accept that.
For what it is worth I have to say that I am beholding to Steve Greene for helping me get started in this.
I invite you to join the TadpoleRider Facebook Group. Just so you will know in order to be approved into membership those requesting membership must first answer the three membership vetting questions Facebook will present to you. No one will be approved without answering these questions.
I doubt very much if you can tell it but you are looking at my new rocket booster I installed on my trike today. No, it is not really a rocket booster. It is just a 72 volt battery. It arrived a week ago but I didn’t install it until now. My current hub motor is rated at 72 volts, but all I have had is 48 volt batteries so that is what I have been using. It did pretty good on 48 volts but I have been wanting to use 72 and get the performance it is capable of. I am not disappointed even though it comes no where near the top speed of 44 mph they claim for it. I assume the weight I am hauling around is limiting me to about 35 mph. That’s okay. I am satisfied with it. One complaint I have with this battery is the lack of an on/off switch. You have to hook it up “hot” which I didn’t care for. I tried to plug in the connectors and the arc destroyed the connector making it unusable. I had to cut it off and strip the wires connecting them live using wire nuts. That is not the way I would like to have it hooked up.
With just one battery onboard now all that weight is mounted down low. And my trike is no longer all cluttered up with 2 batteries, 2 battery chargers and lots of wiring. I have one battery charger now which is hidden from view. I like to carry a battery charger around with me so that I am able to charge the battery when I am stopped someplace where I can do so. My one concern is that this battery weighs more than the battery mount is rated at. I am using plastic cable ties to help take some of the weight and stress off of the battery mount hoping it will prevent it from failing. I already had one battery mount break and the battery was within its weight carrying capacity.
Personally as a highly experience repair weldor and metal fabricator of over 60 years experience I think the bracket was poorly designed and likely to break where it did. Anyway, TerraCycle replaced it for free under warranty which I greatly appreciated.
My 48 volt batteries have enough age and recharging cycles on them to go clear down to where they yield about 20 to 25 miles on a full charge so that is 40 to 45 miles total between the two batteries. This 72 volt battery provided 50 miles or so today so I have more miles I can ride out of just one battery. If need be I could add a 48 volt battery back to gain some more miles on a ride but, of course, I would have to switch my system back to 48 volts to use it. Most of the time 50 mile range will do me as I don’t ride as long and far as I used to now that I am getting older.
No, I don’t have a rocket booster but it seems like it with this new battery. And, in case you are wondering, I don’t use all those taillights at the same time. But if I need them I have them. If my rechargeable batteries go down I have other lights I can use. I normally only use the two outside lights which are 150 lumen Cygolite HotShot Pro. The single light up above by itself is an automatic brake light. As far as I know it works ok. I am not behind it to see it work so I am assuming it is.
I bought a new set of bags for my trike several months ago but never mounted them until today when I had everything removed making it possible to mount them. So now I have plenty of storage space. They are waterproof.
Well, that is my story and I am sticking with it … at least for now.
2nd day of riding with new battery … wow, even better! I got 30 miles in before the battery power level indicatordropped off of the full charge indication. And I was riding on the full power setting all of the time. I am liking this. I can ride at 20 plus mph barely “above idle”.
3rd day of riding with new battery … double wow … it just keeps getting better. Today I got over 40 miles in before the battery power level indicator dropped off of the fully charge indication. Actually, I stopped riding at over 40 miles and it still hadn’t dropped off any. Now I know that this type of power indicator is not accurate as once it starts to go down the remaining indicator bars go down much faster than the very first one.
I have noticed that I can turn down my power setting from 5 to 2 and it is just right for cruising along at 13 mph at full throttle and just right for me to pedal constantly at a comfortable cadence. That way I am getting constant exercise. I still don’t have PAS. I am still waiting on the PAS unit with a longer cable on it as the one that came with my e-motor conversion kit is not long enough to reach on a trike installation.
So far it looks like I am able to get 75 to 80 miles out of a full charge and even more if I keep the power set down lower than I am use to doing … which is full power.
The NIRCC (Northeastern Indiana Regional Coordinating Council) has a website with some useful information. I just discovered in thanks to our local trails senior manager who is in charge of trail planning and construction for Fort Wayne and Allen County. She sent me a link to the NIRCC website as I had emailed her asking a question about the status of the Poka-Bache State Visionary Trail. Allen County is currently working on the last section to be constructed in the north end of the county. Then Allen County will be thru with their portion of the trail other than a connecting section between the north section and the southern section which is scheduled to be built in 2024. BTW, the Poka-Bache Trail is called the Pufferbelly Trail in Allen County.
I was hoping the two counties north of us will have their sections they are responsible for completed near the same time Allen County will have their section completed, but our trail manager said it will probably be another 15 years before the Poka-Bache Trail is completed. I doubt if I will still be alive in 15 years much less able to ride at all let alone tackle the 81 mile long trail. On the map below sections that still need to be constructed are shown in yellow so you can see much remains to be done. … about 50 %.
Even Allen County has a southern section that still needs to be built. Allen County has constructed far more of the trail than any of the other counties involved. Dekalb County has done very little so far. The existing trail they have shown in red between Auburn and Waterloo has been in existence for a very long time … since 1976, some 47 years ago. In fact, it is referred to as Indiana’s first rail trail. I have ridden it 2 or 3 times. I have written one article on the Poka-Bache Trail in Auburn and Dekalb County. The 7 mile long section in Angola to the north was completed in 2009. I have ridden it once, but it was only in Angola and out to the north a little ways them. It did not go to Pokagon State Park then. I don’t know when they added that as I had never heard about it being built.
Anyway, this website provides information on each individual county and town/city involved in the construction of the Poka-Bache Trail as well as other trails and bike routes in N E Indiana.
Fort Wayne is a city in northeast Indiana. It is Indiana’s 2nd largest city with a current population of 269,621 (within city limits). It is about 346,000 if you take in the Metro area. It is relatively small as cities go but it is growing and has much to offer.
Paved bicycle trails are among the offerings. I think we have at least 130 miles of trails built so far. The eventual goal is 300 miles of trails. That is quite a lot for this size of city.
Building trails is quite expensive so it is usually a fairly slow process due to lack of funds. I am sure the cost has gone up over the last couple of years. It used to be about $750 per linear foot for a 10 foot wide paved trail. I have written about trail construction and trail planning before.
All of our trails are multi-use type. Bicycles, walkers, runners, skate boarders and roller skaters are allowed on them. Horses are not allowed with the exception of one trail twice a year for a few hours.
Motorized vehicles are not permitted but sometimes they can be seen zooming up and down the trails. There are always those who could care less about the rules. I have stopped some of them and told them that their vehicle is not allowed on the trails. Most of them give me a ridiculous story that the police or some other city official has given them permission to do so. I know better than that so I insist they get off of the trail and stay off of them. Only a few seemed genuinely sincere saying the did not know and would get off at the first exit they come to. Most remain defiant. I rarely try to confront any of them anymore. This day and age it could be a very dangerous thing to do. It is just not worth it. I could call the police but by the time they show up the law breaker is long gone. I used to be a Greenway Ranger which means absolutely nothing as we have absolutly no authority out on the trails. All we can do is call the authorities. I had some fun with photo editing. I modified my Greeway Ranger Identification Card by adding the “badge”, picture with name and the FW Trails logo.
It is extremely rare to see any police out on any of our trails. The police used to have regular bicycles but now they have e-bikes. They have never had emergency lights or sirens however and I don’t think that has changed.
I am nearly 76 and a half years old now. It will be interesting to see how many of the remaining 170 miles will be built that I can ride on while I still can. Each passing year I notice a little change in my physical abilities.
Well, it is time to stop typing and go for a ride while I still can. Catch ya on the rebound as they say.
A few days ago on one of the days when it was raining all day long I brought my tadpole trike into the garage to work on it. I was sitting on a mechanics chair on castors when I started to move the chair back away from my trike. One of the wheels went down into a depression in the concrete floor of the garage and the chair caught and quickly tipped over all so easily dumping me off of it and down onto the floor. I lit right on my tailbone and I am here to tell you it hurt. And days later it still hurts. I am glad to say that it doesn’t hurt nearly as bad as it did. And at 76 years old this old body does not deal with such things as well as it did many years ago. Nope, it didn’t exactly tickle.
I asked a few different people to pray for me that the pain would subside and I would heal quickly. I am happy to say God is answering those prayers. I can still feel it but there is very little pain and discomfort now. It still is not tickling. That’s okay, I can do without tickling. It was bothering me a little bit sitting on my trike seat, but now it feels fairly normal.
The mechanics chair is a combination mechanics creeper and chair … a handy gadget. However, I would have to say that it tipped over too easily. I don’t know if that means there is a flaw in its design or what. I sure do like to be able to sit down while working on my trike. This old body appreciates it. It just doesn’t appreciate getting dumped over and falling onto that hard concrete floor. Well, I learned how easily and quickly it can happen so hopefully I will be more careful when moving it around in the future. I don’t think I will soon forget the matter. Nope, it wasn’t a ticklish matter.
I am sure most of us have experienced trail users do really stupid things like step right over in front of you just after you told them that you were going to pass them on their left side. It has happened to me numerous times … nearly every day that I go out riding. What is wrong with these people? Maybe they need to attend a Basics-101 class.
I often find myself thinking … “I hope they don’t drive like they walk”. The trail rules are plain enough … “STAY TO THE FAR RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS”. It is not just a rule, it is common sense. Yet so many pay absolutely no attention to this. They walk right down the middle of the trail. To make matters worse they often meander around going all over the trail. Most bicyclists do the exact same thing. There is no possible way to get past them unless and until you get their attention and cooperation to get out of the way. And rarely do they pay any attention to whether or not anyone else might be coming up behind them. I have had trail users refuse to move over out of the way. Again, WHAT IS THEIR PROBLEM?
Of course, I don’t mind if they are over to the left when something is on the trail on the right side. I would be on the left along with them. I don’t even like to run over an insect.
Sometimes one just has to forget about continuing on down the road or trail. It is somewhat like “turn around, don’t drown” … except it is more like turn around, don’t become a victim. I ain’t messin’ with that.
One thing I have observed … people don’t have to be wearing earbuds to be “tuned out”. Of course, I am of the opinion that many people are tuned out due to taking drugs. I find that often when ordering food in a fast food restaurant. Many young people just seem to be in a daze … in their own little world. They just stand there with a blank look on their face. They don’t even hear what I say to them. I have even had to get someone else to take my order. And I have spoken to the manager about what is going on.
Well, I doubt if this will ever change. It is just something we have to deal with. People will be people … with all their faults.
Some of us live and ride in areas where we see several different species of wildlife. I always enjoy seeing animals although admitedly there are some I would prefer to see in videos and not in person. Here where I am at in northern Indiana I am somewhat limited in the number of different species. Other than deer and horses I don’t see any sizeable animals like bear, elk or moose. And I don’t think I want to either. On rare ocassion I may see a garter snake but I can’t recall ever seeing any other kind of snake while out riding. Of course, I have seen squirrels, raccoons, ground hogs, rabbits, oppossums and on rare occasion foxes, skunks, wolves, a large weesel looking critter, large snapping turtles, one large painted turtle and many different birds including hawks, buzzards, eagles, pheasants, turkeys and various water birds. And, of course, I have seen lots of different insects. A few of them saw me from the inside as I had managed to swallow them.
Once when riding along with some friends we were going around a curve on the Towpath Trail when the guy in the front suddenly stopped and yelled for us to stop as he spotted an animal over in a field off to the right side. If my memory serves me correctly I think it was a deer, but I could be mistaken. It was at the same time period we had been seeing wolves and eagles. The second guy had just got around the curve when he slammed on his brakes right in front of me. I was still turning thru the curve so slamming on the brakes to avoid running into him resulted in my trike tipping over spilling me out onto the asphalt pavement and me losing some skin as in OUCH! That is one time I would just of soon not seen the animal. I was sore for a few days following that.
A few days ago I was riding along on the Towpath Trail when I saw an animal on the trail ahead of me. As I got closer it did not move which was rather unusual. As I got much closer I could see it was a raccoon but not of the normal appearance. This guy was a light gray color and just looked quite old to me. He just laid there as I rode past him. I knew enough not to mess with him as he could be very dangerous. I rode on past him and then turned around to go back toward him. As I got closer to him he slowly got up and walked off of the trail over to the side. My thought was he was probably nearing death. He just stayed right there watching me watch him. I turned back around and continued my ride leaving him alone which I am sure he appreciated.
Recently I came upon the first snake I have seen in several years. I don’t know what kind of snake it was. It looked silver and still quite young as it was skinny and only about 14 inches long. Usually I only see garter snakes.
Certainly encountering wild life can greatly enhance our ride. Just remember that there is a reason they are called WILD. Enjoy them but don’t mess with them. They could wreck your day and then some. And never mistreat or harm them. God is still keeping the books and those who mistreat wild life will answer to Him for doing so. Enjoy the ride and …
Fellow tadpole rider Sylvia Halpern on her 9000 miile trike journey stated while riding in my State, Indiana “Indiana is a cycling dream state. I took small and quiet farm roads that had great scenery. It also helped that the weather improved. I loved every day cycling in Indiana.” My response to that is “wait, are we talking about the same state?” It is not the first time I have encountered people whose thinking is much different than my own. My wife and I moved down to the Atlanta, GA area for ten years and thought that it was much more beautiful down there than up here in the north. I came back up here with a friend from down there and he commented that he thought it was much prettier up here. I thought he had slipped a gear or something. Different strokes as they say. Hey, Sylvia’s most recent video is of her riding in Indiana. Indiana, my home sweet home!
Moving right along … which she sure seems to be … 37 days to reach central Indiana and she has had some rain/storm days she didn’t ride … I think she is making very good progress on her journey. My wife and I were just down to Bedford area just before Christmas in 2021. We drove down there to get a puppy we learned of. Bedford is a very hilly area and rather pretty … much different than where I live in northeastern Indiana. Sylvia reports “38 miles with 2600 ft of climbing”. I can believe that from what I saw of the area.
I wish she was riding thru Indiana further north than she is. I would love to be able to meet up with her and ride a ways along with her. But her route is too far south for me to do so. She has been changing her route since she got into Illinois and Indiana. She has been using Google Bicycle Routes taking their suggested roads and so very glad she did. She reports that she is thoroughly enjoying these alternate roads thru the countryside. I can tell she is in southern Indiana and not northern as she mentions more than once how incredibly smooth the roads are. Our roads up here in the north are not smooth at all. Well, I guess I would not wish that on her. I am enjoying watching her videos and following her progress. God speed, Ms Sylvia! Be safe out there and enjoy the ride.
It does not do any good to complain about it … the weather, that is. But come on … stop with the teasing. I mean yesterday was 84 degrees and lots of blue sky and sunshine. Today was only 44 with a totally overcast sky. That is hard on a guy (or gal). The ten day forecast shows nearly everyday below normal temperature-wise. Of course, this is typical Indiana weather at this time of year. Truthfully we never know what we will get as I have seen it in the 90s & 100s early on and come August when it normally is in the 90s it only was in the 60s. Strange things are happening I tell ya.
It is hard to go from wearing shorts and a short sleeve shirt back to clothing I wear thru the winter, but it is necessary if I want to stay warm enough.
And failing to dress warm enough makes for a miserable ride. It feels so good to stop and go inside of a restaurant or restroom where it is much warmer. I find myself staying longer than I normally would as my body warms back up. But all good things must come to an end as I have miles to go before I am finished. Hot cocoa time as it really helps when chilled. No need of sunburn protection for awhile.
I have been an avid bicyclist most of my life. The only exception to that was my 8 years in the Navy and even 1.5 years of that while on shore duty I had a bicycle and rode it everyday weather permitting. I loved cycling but I will readily admit that it was hard on my body. I went thru the usual list of complaints suffering a sore neck, aching hands, wrists, forearms, shoulders, back and butt. As I aged to went from road bike with racing style handlebars to mountain bike with upright handlebars. I also tried different seats ending up with a super soft gel type seat. It all helped but truthfully I still hurt and suffered riding a bicycle.
I never kept track of my total mileage over the years but it surely was over 500,000 as I practically lived on bicycles.
I learned of recumbent bicycles so I decided to try one. I built my own recumbent bike and rode it until winter was coming on. I wanted to keep riding but riding a bicycle on snow and ice was not something I wanted to do … especially as I aged. I had learned of recumbent tadpole trikes so I made one and rode it thru the winter. Ah yes, great comfort, much more safe and lots of fun to ride. I quickly got hooked. I tried going back to my recumbent bike when Winter had passed and Spring had sprung, but I found that I much preferred riding my tadpole trike. Firteen years later I am still riding my trike. I sold my recumbent bike over 14 years ago and don’t miss it all. The recumbent bike had eliminated all my physical pain I had experienced from riding a diamond frame bike so I appreciated having them for a season in my life. But if I have one regret it is that I didn’t discover tadpole trikes much sooner than I did. Like Tony the tiger says …
Hey, I really like this. I am not in need of it but if I were I sure am glad that it is being offered. It is called Velochair. It is an upstart company which I would think will be successful as surely there are lots of folks who could put this to good use in everyday life. They call it a recumbent wheelchair hybrid. At first glance I assumed it was electric motor assist. I was wrong. It is strictly pedal powered.
“The Velochair was developed by founder Kenneth Simons after he was diagnosed with Ossification Posterior Longitudinal Ligament, or OPLL, in his early 50s.
A lifelong runner and downhill skier, Simons could no longer bear weight on his legs for an extended period of time .
He found that most current mobility devices did not promote his activity, which prompted him to create the Velochair and restore his sense of independence.
This innovative solution can be operated by people with a variety of mobility challenges, providing indoor and outdoor flexibility to those who struggle with balance, strength, or walking.
The Velochair is a fun and safe way to exercise muscular, cardiovascular, and neuro systems.”
It looks to be well engineered which impresses me.
No doubt there will be many who will “cheat” using this when they don’t really need to.
The Velochair can be operated by only one hand.
As you can see the rear wheels do the turning/steering.
A word of caution … with a short wheelbase and rear end steering … definitely do not try to turn sharp at too fast of a speed as you will likely tip over.
Built for the Future
Designed and Manufactured in the U.S, the Velochair is built out of custom handmade printed carbon fibre components. Weighing around 42 pounds, the Velochair can be folded for easy transport and is light enough to be lifted into the back of a standard SUV or hatchback for transportation. The chair is also entirely customizable and adjustable to each user’s specific needs.
It’s All In The Details
1 – Steering
Steering tillers are what guide the Velochair directionally left and right. Tillers control the rear wheel steering allowing for tight turns increasing maneuverability. The Velochair can be steered with one or both tillers allowing for left or right hand operation. There is a quick release to remove either tiller to provide side transfer, if desired.
2 – Pedals
The Velochair comes with comfortable platform pedals that can be modified with the addition of different straps and leg supports as needed.
3 – Boom
The Velochair boom is adjustable in length and angle to provide the user with the optimum pedaling position.
4 – Seatback
The Velochair seatback folds for transport and locks in place during use. The seatback is adjustable to help the user find the optimal angle for their comfort.
5 – Brakes
The brake levers are located on the steering tillers. Either side lever will control the brake. Brake levers lock to park the Velochair in place and are also used to control speed while going downhill.
6 – Seat
The Velochair comes with ergonomically designed seat cushions that provide comfortable support.
This innovative product can be operated by people with a variety of mobility challenges, providing indoor and outdoor flexibility to those who struggle with balance, strength, or walking. The Velochair is a fun and safe way to exercise muscular, cardiovascular, and neurological systems.
$5,499 price includes shipping costs to lower 48 states.
Right now their Velochair is constructed of carbon fiber and titanium … both are expensive materials. They are looking/wanting to migrate to aluminum which should lessen the production cost.I hope they can bring the price down as $5500 is quite a lot for a wheelchair.I think this would sell but it would sell even better at a lower cost. That would be good for them and for the customer. BTW, they are looking for a Designer and a Fabricator.
I am now 76 years old. This morning a friend called me to tell me of the passing of a mutual friend. We all used to ride together. He was just a few weeks younger than me. Here is a picture of him on the bicycle along with another friend.
Having someone you know your own age die really brings home the fact that we are all nearing death. If fact, all my friends I have ridden with or do ride with are all living on borrowed time so to speak. We are all past 70 and according to God’s Word, we are all living on God’s grace when we go beyond 70 years of life. (Psalm 90:10) I don’t think there is a day that goes by that I don’t think of that.
Here is another picture of him along with another friend and myself.
I watched my parents as they aged. Nearly all of their friends died several years before they did. My mom lived until 84 and my dad lived until 93. One can guesstimate how long they will live … for me perhaps half way in between my parents … 88 or so … but it would only be a guess. I could die before I finish composing this. We have no guarantees in life as to how long we will live. I am thankful that I am healthy. But even our health can change very quickly.
I am sure my friend who just died did not have a clue his death would occur when it did. That is not to say he went suddenly without any concept of the possibility of his being near death. I have no idea what all transpired for him near the end. I had no idea he had a staph infection in his leg which apparently worsened and entered his bloodstream where it reached his heart resulting in death. We emailed each other quite a bit but he never mentioned anything to me. I did notice that it had been a few days since I last heard anything from him. That was not unusual however so it was no clue anything was wrong.
He used to ride his diamond frame bike nearly every day. The others in our group all ride tadpole trikes and we have all motorized them which brought him to getting an e-bike … an expensive one … some $5000. He rode it for one year and part of a second year until his elderly mother needed his help in her daily care. That took him out of the picture and his like new e-bike just sat out in his garage. A couple of years passed by and during the time he developed poor blood circulation in his one foot which prevented him from being able to ride his bicycle anymore. He faithfully took care of his mother until her passing several months ago. Then he got tied up in dealing with her estate and finances. He inherited quite a lot of money but he didn’t get to spend hardly any of it.
Why am I telling you all of this, you may ask? That is a good question. If I come up with the answer I will be sure to get back to you. No, I am just kidding with you. Many of us are elderly and death is a certainty. Ten out of ten people will eventually die. That includes you and I. It is like taking a trip. It is best and most wise to prepare for it. It is most foolish not to. We all have a trip coming up. It is called “entering eternity”. There are only two destinations … heaven or hell. The choice is ours. Yes, it is our choice where we spend eternity. We make the choice in this life. Once we draw our last breath and experience our last heart beat our fate is sealed. We have made our choice and it is too late to make any changes. I won’t go on any more. Most likely you know the truth and are accountable for it. And if you don’t know the truth just click on the link below about the FREE GIFT. DEATH IS OUR STALKER! It will eventually find us and over take us. Be careful and be safe out there. And give serious thought to what lies beyond death. There is nothing more important and precious than your eternal soul.
For those who want a crank drive e-motor there is a fairly new contender available. CYCMOTOR has a few models to choose from … from 750 watts to 5000 watts … plenty of power to destroy your trike. As for me, I will stick with hub motor drive and save the drive train from destruction. But if you really want a crank drive motor this company offers torque sensing and although it will only accommodate a single sprocket various size sprockets are available up to 50 teeth.
Their 750 watt motor is called the Photon and is probably the most practical and popular model to select. 750 watts is the legal limit and it can easily destroy the drive train. More wattage is not needed for that. The Photon kit is currently selling for $850 plus applicable tax. There are not very many crank drive motors that offer torque sensing so this is an attractive feature.
I would love to have 5000 watts in a hub motor but not in a crank drive. Like I said, 750 watts can easily destroy the drive train in short order. I speak from experience. It was an expensive repair.
The package includes everything you need to convert your bike except the battery:
Motor body with Gen 3 torque sensing freewheel module
Built-in CYC XP6 controller
Chainring with chainring cover
Bottom bracket assembly
Brake sensors (optional)
User manual (ecopy)
eBike Headlights (optional) available here> https://www.cycmotor.com/product-page/ebike-headlights
Their batteries are quite limited … only three models .Their smallest battery (36 volts 10 aH) costs $383 and their largest battery (52 volts 15 aH) costs $707. One thing to remember about motor wattage … the bigger more powerful the motor is the more battery power it will consume. And the more power you require from the motor (the harder you run it) the more battery power you will consume. For me 15 aH would not last long.
I like the fact that it comes with a thumb throttle. They are extremely handy and very practical in my opinion and experience.
BTW, one thing you might want to consider is replacing your standard chain with an e-chain which is stronger and made for the additional power the chain has to handle.
So if you want to go the route of crank drive e-motor definitely CYCMOTOR is one to seriously consider.