TREK, TREAD OR TROT — THE TRAILS

Here in Fort Wayne, Indiana where I live we currently have about 130 miles of paved trails. The city of Fort Wayne and the Fort Wayne Trails organization offer programs to the community where once a week guided bicycle rides and guided walks are offered to the public giving people an opportunity to get better acquainted with our trails. A different section of a trail is featured each time. Also twice a year (I think) they offer the same thing to horse riders. That is the only time horses are allowed on our trail system.

I have written about this before. And HERE is another posting about it. Those articles only covered the TREK the Trails. I have never written about TREAD the Trails nor TROT the Trails before.

TREK the Trails is for bicycles and happens Tuesdays at 6 PM during the months deemed comfortable enough weatherwise to do so. Most rides are 8-9 miles long covering a different section of the trails each time. The average speed is 10-12 mph. There is always someone bringing up the rear so no one will be left behind due to not keeping up with the group or mechanical failures.

TREAD the Trails is for walkers, runners, etc. and is on every other Thursday evening. It is a 5 km walk starting at a different place each time.

TROT the Trails is for horses. At present there are no horse trails available in Allen County although they are working to change this. For now twice a year a limeted portion of one of our multiuse trails, the Maumee Pathway, is made available … always on a Saturday and only during strict hours. Much of the riding is done on old golf course trails on a defunct golf course the city now owns which is adjacent to the trail. The satellite image below shows the golf course property outlined in red. You can see the golf cart trails running thru it. Clear to the bottom is the Maumee River and the Maumee Pathway (Trail) alongside of it.

Fort Wayne Trails

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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

FREEWHEEL OR CASSETTE … HEY HEY HEY … WHATCHA GOT?

Most rear sprocket clusters nowadays are cassette type … not freewheel type. That is because freewheels came along first and were replaced later by cassettes. They don’t look much different from one another so how can you tell which one you have? This video answers that question plus helps you to determine what tool you will need to remove it if you do the work on it yourself like I do.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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

RIDE TO ARRIVE — A PARODY

If you are looking for something a bit different … you have found it. Or maybe I should say I found it and am posting it here. I don’t follow what this man is making a parody of so I can’t really identify with this video. However, it is different. It appears to be well done so hopefully you will enjoy it. I like the “three finger greeting” at the end. I think we ought to start greeting one another like that. Who knows … maybe it would catch on all over the world among tadpole riders.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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

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.

**********

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.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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

 

WHY GET ELECTRIC MOTOR ASSIST

Definitely e-assist has really caught on. Of course, there are those who still resist the idea and speak out against them. That is the way life is. People have resisted just about anything one can name in the early days of its introduction. In fact, I was not in favor of e-motors on trikes unless one truly needed one. Even until this day I still somewhat feel that was believing that if a person is able to ride without one they should not take the plunge until they really need one. But I don’t make an issue of it with anybody. I believe in just leaving people alone and let them do what they want. Anyway, this video touches on the subject of getting e-assist.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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

AFFORDABLE VS CHEAP TRIKES

There are both affordable trikes and cheap trikes. My advice is to buy the best you can afford even if you have to delay to save up. There are also dealers who offer financing enabling customers to buy a better trike paying for it over time. I definitely caution people not to by a cheap trike as you get what you pay for. Fortunately there are not very many “cheap trikes” being manufactured. I personally would suggest a Catrike or an ICE or HP Velotechnik or an Azub. I think you would be happier with your purchase as the quality is so much better.

You might be wondering why I did not include TerraTrike or Trident. Well, defintely they are more affordable, but I personally don’t think they offer the quality found in these others I have listed. I think you would be more content with one of the other brands I mentioned even though they cost more. Certainly there are a lot of testimonies to back this up. It is true that both trike manufacturers offer good customer service but that does not equate to product quality.

I left out Chinese trikes. The trikes themselves may be alright but customer service can be a major concern. If components parts fail and you can’t get them it would probably mean you would have to replace them with brand name parts which cost a lot more. Over time you will probably spend more than what you saved and deal with down time where you can’t ride.

Definitely avoid Mobo and Kent.  In my opinion a reputable dealer who cares about their customers won’t sell these cheap trikes.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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

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.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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

WHY YOU SHOULD TRY A RECUMBENT TRIKE

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

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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

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.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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

2023 TERRATRIKE MODEL LINEUP

TerraTrike boasts that they are the largest manufacturer of recumbent trikes. Certainly they are popular and sell a lot of their trikes. And they have acquired Australia’s Greenspeed trikes  as well as the North American distributorship of Great Britain’s KMX trikes. Here is a video sharing their 2023 model lineup and a bit about future plans.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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

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.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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

RECUMBENT TRIKES … ARE THEY FOR YOU?

You may be asking … “is a recumbent trike for me”? Keep in mind that one does not have to be old  or disabled to ride a tadpole trike. But if you happen to be old or disabled recumbent trikes are likely your answer. They are highly modifiable and can be equipped to meet the needs of nearly everybody. From a basic tadpole trike to a FAT trike to a sophisticated velomobile there are lots to choose from. When it comes to riding on thru the winter most definitely 3 (or 4) wheels are far better and safer than only 2.

That is how I got started with tadpole trikes. Winter was fast approaching and I wanted to keep riding … riding safely. I knew 2 wheels were unsafe as a bicycle goes down readily on slippery surfaces. I had already experienced that more than once. Fortunately I never received any serious injury, but I was well aware it can happen. So I built me first tadpole trike and rode it thru the winter. I fell in love with riding a tadpole trike. It is so much more fun than riding a bicycle and it is much much safer. When Spring time finally came around I tried switching back to a 2 wheel recumbent bike, but quickly discovered that I much preferred riding the trike so I sold my bike which I didn’t care to ride anymore. That was in the winter of 2007-2008. So for 16 years now I have had the infamous “recumbent smile” on my face and never a moment’s regret. Recumbent tadpole trikes are difinitely for me. I bought a 2009 Catrike Trail and sold my homemade tadpole trike.  I now ride a 2013 Catrike Trail.

Recumbent trikes come in two completely different design builds … a Delta with one wheel in the front and two wheels in the back …. and a Tadpole (originally called a Reverse trike) with two wheels in the front and one wheel in the back.

Although my personal preference is a Tadpole design you may find you prefer (need) a Delta design.  A Tadpole is like driving a sports car (Corvette) while a Delta is like driving a family sedan (Rambler). Not everybody is able to get in and out of the low seat of a Tadpole trike so for them the Delta is the only way to go. In all fairness there are some Delta trikes which are made low to the ground and built for speed and cornering.

These videos address these subjects:

As shown in the video above there is a lot of difference between a Delta recumbent trike and a Tadpole recumbent trike. I fully agree with the thumbs down for the Delta and the thumbs up for the Tadpole.

One last comment … I have found that riding a tadpole trike brings a whole lot more respect from motorists than one gets riding a bicycle. That, of course, adds greatly to the safety factor.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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

ADDING LOW COST E-ASSIST TO YOUR TRIKE

Anybody who has followed me thru the years know that I have had several e-motors on my trike over the years. I started out with BionX and then gave GoldenMotors a try. Then I went to eZee which I really liked. Next I tried Tongsheng which I had heard (read) such good things about but I found very disappointing. And now I have NBPower which I like quite well. In fact, I have a second brand new NBPower hub motor sitting on the floor next to me. I bought it as a spare at a better price than I paid for the first one. I have purposely steered clear of recommending e-motor conversion kits to others but I have been so pleased with this one that I have decided to recommend it.

Most hub motor kits I have found to be 135 mm width which may be a problem on some trikes. I have a Catrike and I had to spread my rear dropout slightly to get the second hub motor (GoldenMotors) to fit. Since then the eZee and NBPower  hub motors slide right into the dropouts okay. I am not advising anyone to spread apart the rear dropouts, especially if you trike is still under  frame warranty as it is likely to void the warranty.

I do want to disclose one important thing. This hub motor wheel comes with a 7 speed freewheel sprocket which means you must give up whatever your trike presently has … 9, 10 or 11 speed. It is a bummer, but not the end of the world. I bought and changed my 7 speed freewheel for different sprockets as I did not like the gearing that came on the hub motor wheel. You can order the 11-34 freewheel HERE. And, some say that a 9 speed chain won’t work with a 7 speed sprocket, but so far it is working well for me. I can’t say if your current setup is 10 or even 11 speed. And for what it is worth, I am not a fan of freewheels vs the newer cassettes. I have found them to be cheaply made and not hold up as well as cassettes.

I purchased it on Amazon. HERE is a link to it. The 20 inch wheel currently sells for $439. It does not come with a battery so that has to be ordered separately. I recommend a 72 volt battery if you can afford it. I already have 48 volt batteries so I am using them thus far. I hope to get a 72 volt someday and take advantage of the power offered by this motor. With 72 volts it should reach about 44 mph. With 48 volts my top speed is only about 23 mph on a fully charged battery.

Even settling for a 48 volt battery the total cost is about $800 to $900. That is a lot better than $2500 or even more many people are paying for Bosch and similar high dollar systems. And this thing is a rocket compared to the underpowered Bosch system like Catrike uses. You can spend more than a thousand dollars on some 72 volt batteries, but that is still more than $1000 cheaper than a Bosch system which will wear out your drive train much sooner adding to your operational expense as sprockets are not cheap nor is the new chain. Crank drive systems are notorious for wearing out drive trains prematurely. When I had the Tonsheng crank drive system installed on my trike it wore out (completely destroyed) my expensive TerraCycle idler pulleys in only about a month.

Yes, I am well pleased with this setup and so I am recommending it. The only thing negative I can speak of is it lacks torque sensing. It does have PAS sensing. I have a fairly recent article about PAS vs Torque Sensing  for those who are not familiar with the subject.

I will say this … the assembly and setup instructions supplied with the hub motor wheel kit leave something to be desired. That being said help can be found online. And I am willing to help in anyway I can. I had to look it up online to find what I needed to get the job accomplished. BTW, the PAS parts won’t install on the crankset of a Catrike. One must use a workaround in order to have a functioning PAS. There are different ways to accomplish this.

The kit comes with a hand throttle however unless specifically requested a twist throttle is provided vs. a thumb throttle. I personally much prefer a thumb throttle as a twist throttle is very tiring on the hand and wrist to use. So if you want a thumb throttle it is necessary to request one when the order is placed. (The seller is very helpful and will work with you on any issues you may have.) If they can’t furnish you will the thumb throttle you may have to order it separately. Make sure you get the one with the longer wiring as it has to reach from your handlebar to the controller which I assume you would mount somewhere behind the seat. You can order the thumb throttle HERE.

HERE is the setup instructions for the display console. Dealing with e-motors thru the years has been and continues to be a learning experience. One thing I learned is that when my trike did not have any speed or power upon completion of the installation it was because I did not have the PAS number selection turned up. It was on only 1 of 5 … actually 1 of 6 as it starts at 0 if I remember correctly. 0 is power to motor is turned off. 1 is the lowest power setting and 5 is the highest. So if you install this motor kit and find it doesn’t seem to have any power or speed (maybe 2 or 3 mph) be sure to check the PAS setting. You can readily change it using the 3 button switch. The middle button turns the power on or off. The left button turns the power (PAS) down until it reaches the lowest setting 0 (zero. The right hand button turns the power (PAS) up until it reaches 5 … it’s highest setting. The PAS number is located on the bottom left of the display console.

I have found that as with all “graph” type battery power level indicators it is not very accurate. I can ride about 60 % of the miles I normally get out of a full battery charge before it drops off of the full charge display. It has 5 bars that make up the battery power display.

The picture above is from when I had the eZee hub motor and its display console. I am posting it here so you can see the way (place) where the display console mounts.

If your trike does not already have a mounting bar for the display console to mount on you may need to purchase and install one. TerraCycle sells them. Actually what I use is a combination of the top part from TerraCycle and the bottom part (called a mirror mount) from Catrike. This is what you see in the picture above. You can buy it for either the left side or the right side. If you would want to mount the display console sideways you would not need the T part on top from TerraCycle. Or you might save money by jerry rigging something out of PVC or whatever.

I wrote about a 20 inch rear wheel but this kit is also available in 26 and 700 sizes for slightly more money. The size can be selected on the same page the link to the 20 inch goes tol

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. I am always willing to help in any way that I can.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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

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.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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

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.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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

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.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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

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.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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

PODBIKE FRIKAR VELOCAR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

VIDEOS

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

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

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

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

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

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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

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?

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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

 

RIDING IN/ON/THRU SNOW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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