TAKE THE LANE

Bikes may use the full lane, when necessary.

remember when I first heard about “taking the lane”. It made me cringe. My thought was “You have got to be kidding. That is insane!” There was no way I would consider doing it. But I kept hearing  other cyclists talking about it and suggesting it. Finally I took the plunge and tried it. WOW! What a difference it made. Now I do it all the time. I have to admit that I would not do it everywhere if I have a choice as some roads are just too busy and dangerous.

One thing I will say is that it is important to take the lane when you are taking the lane. Some cyclists still ride over to the far right of the lane and by doing so motorists often don’t move over to another lane. They pass by the cyclist all too closely sharing the same lane.  I always ride either in the middle  (B) or even left of center (A) of the lane which forces motorists to pass me using the other lane. I think the very center is best. Riding in B some motorists will still try to  share the lane and pass by all too closely on your right side.

Another factor involving lane position is that riding on the right side of a traffic lane makes it harder for motorists to see you. When I ride on streets taking the lane I am sure to turn on more of my blinking taillights, especially my brightest ones.  I also usually have one taillight on which is set on steady on … not flashing. I always have my high visibility safety flags flying and flapping attracting attention.

As I understand it in all 50 U.S. States it is legal for cyclists to take the lane. I am not sure of this but I think that if a bike lane exists for cyclists to use some places require the cyclists to ride in the bike lane rather than taking the lane. Personally I prefer to take the lane as bike lanes are too dangerous and I don’t like riding in them.

Here are some tips from this website:

  • Always be predictable – drivers should know what you’re about to do, no sudden, unexpected man oeuvres.
  • If in doubt: slow down, move off the road, stop. Mistakes in traffic are more costly than a few lost minutes.
  • Just like driving any other vehicle in traffic: be careful, calm, but confident.
  • Try to anticipate other people’s mistakes, and position yourself so that when (if) they happen, there’s no accident. Always try to read what the others will do.

Lastly, here are some other websites with useful information on them.

https://www.bikeleague.org/content/traffic-laws

U.S. Bicycle Laws by State

My final words on this … according to what others report motorists behavior and attitudes are not the same everywhere. Where I live and ride I have no issues with motorists. They are respectful and patient. Rarely does anyone honk or yell in anger. Some trikers who live and ride elsewhere report serious issues with motorists. They have bad attitudes and can get quite aggressive and ugly. If that were what I would be up against I would probably have to make some changes and do things differently. The important thing is for all of us to be safe out there.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

FRONT END SHIMMY

It is definitely a scary thing to be going along and suddenly experience a bad case of front end wobble, shimmying or shaking whether you are in a car, motorcycle, bicycle or trike. It can be quite unnerving … downright scary. And it is even scarier when it happens at a high speed which seems to be when it happens the most. You can be going along and everything is fine … then suddenly you are like Elvis … all shook up.. My experience is that hitting a bump just right (maybe just WRONG) sets off the front end shimmy. About all one can do to end it is slow down. Of course, we would much prefer this doesn’t happen. So what is the cause of it? That is not something that can always be answered quickly and accurately as it can be the result of one of a few different things or a combination of them. It can be worn front end components such as tie rod ends. It can be poor inferior design. Some trikes are simply not made well and are well known for this problem. It can be toe in adjustment is off. I personally find that the most common cause is the headsets need to be reset as they loosen up. The type of headsets that Catrike uses is notorious for this. Catrike in their excellent engineering even redesigned the headset as the stock headset had a bad problem of shimmying as the manufacturer designed it. Catrike removed the upper bearing and replaced it with a Teflon bushing to help with this. BTW, Catrike owners may need to replace these at some point in time. You can get them from a Catrike dealer, from Catrike or other sources such as Utah Trikes. They can be bought individually or you can buy both for $25.

This Utah Trikes video covers resetting the headsets … starting at about six minutes into the video … and again at about 7 minutes 50 seconds into the video.

There is one thing that was not mentioned and seldom is. For the best results the rider should be sitting in the seat in the riding position so that the rider’s weight is loaded onto the headsets. This works best to have someone else do the mechanical work unless someone else can take the rider’s place who weighs the same. With proper headset adjustment it should help to eliminate front end shimmy. I wish you well in resolving this issue. It has worked for me. Do your best to be safe so that you can …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

CHAIN WEAR & REPLACEMENT

 

I have always gotten phenomenal mileage out of my chains on my trike. I just recently replaced one which had 16,672 miles on it. That is the most I have ever got and truthfully the way it was wearing I think I could have got another couple thousand miles out of it.

I use Rock-n-Roll Gold chain lubricant and am quite impressed with it … more so than any other product I have ever tried.

One of my bike mechanics said to me that I should only get about 1600 miles out of a chain. I said to him “you’re talking about a bicycle, but a recumbent tadpole trike gets far more wear out of the chain than a bicycle”. That is because a trike has 2.5 to 3 standard lengths of bicycle chain compared to a bicycle.That should result in considerable less wear. Even so about 5000 miles is all that one should expect. I have always got far more … usually 9000 to 12,000 miles. One time I got over 14,ooo miles. And, like I said, this time over 16,000.

You may ask me how this is possible. It is possible because of God. That is right! I learned many many years ago to put God first in my finances … to give Him the tithe before I spend money for anything else. He says in His word that if we do this He will rebuke the devourer and we will be blessed. I can not explain this incredible mileage I get out of my chains any other way. The same is true of my tire wear. I have witnessed the result of withholding the tithe. God says it is stealing from Him. One way or another He will get His tithe. If not given freely He will take it some other way. The car or furnace or some appliance will break down costing far more than the tithe would have cost. I have seen it happen in many people’s lives. God is real and everything I am talking about is real. It is truly a joy to give God His tithe. In doing so I also enjoy His many blessings in my life each and every day. May He be praised and may we all …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

BTW, I have written about this subject of chain wear before …  I even used the same title … https://tadpolerider2.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/chain-wear-replacement.

I have also written several other articles concerning chain … https://tadpolerider2.wordpress.com/?s=chain

You might find it interesting to take a look at the many artists’ creations made out of bicycle chain … https://tinyurl.com/y6zlva4a

 

STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES or WHEN YOU KNOW BETTER and DO IT ANYWAY YOU CAN PAY A PRICE

Have you ever done something that you knew better than to do and experienced the consequences? I am pretty sure most all of us have as it is part of being human. If nothing else that is one way we learn in life. Yesterday was one of those days I paid a high price for my stupidity. I am well aware of the concern of carrying various things in the front pockets of my pants when I am riding a recumbent. Those items have been known to fall out. I used to carry my wallet in my left front pocket of my sweat pants I wear in colder weather. I have lost it a couple of times but fortunately I discovered it quickly and was able to turn around and go back to get it before anyone else did. So I stopped carrying my wallet in my front pocket. However, later I went back to doing it as it didn’t seem to be a problem anymore. My wallet stayed in place and I rode many thousands of miles with it in that pocket. Recently I bought a new wallet and yesterday I discovered that unlike my previous wallet this new one didn’t seem to stay put. I was riding down a city street taking the lane when it fell out. I didn’t notice it so I just kept going until I got to the trail I was planning on riding and turned off of the city street. It was a couple of hours or more before I discovered I had lost my brand new wallet. I went back to the area where I had lost it but, of course, it wasn’t there. Somebody else has it now. I am hoping they will return it but I am not holding my breath. Of course, I immediately started doing all that needed to be done reporting lost credit cards, getting them replaced, getting a new drivers license, etc. There is a lot to do when this happens and it is a royal pain. And the bottom line is it is so unnecessary … if only … if only I would have used my head it never would have happened. But it did and yes, I learned a valuable lesson. It was an expensive lesson as I had more cash in my wallet than I normally carry. And, of course, I have various fees involved in replacing credit cards and drivers license.

Yes, when we know better but do it anyway we can find ourselves in deep doo doo. So do try to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN!

Just try not to do anything stupid like I did. It definitely will help you to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

UPDATE … There is good news … answer to prayer. When I got back home from my trike ride yesterday I checked our mailbox before going inside of the house. I saw a large priority mail envelope folded in half stuffed into our mail box. I wasn’t expecting anything via the post office so I was curious as to what this was. I pulled it out of the mailbox and noticed that whatever was in it was the size and shape of my lost wallet. I opened it up and sure enough it was my wallet. Somebody had placed it in a blue collection box and our neighborhood post office sent it to me. The post office wrote a sticky note which was attached to the wallet. It simply said that it was found in a blue collection mail box. All my money was gone as well as a check made out to me which I hadn’t cashed yet. Also some misc. cards and my list of medicines I take were missing but everything else was there. God is good! And a kudos to the post office as well!

RIDING AROUND HORSES

I have touched on this subject previously when I wrote “Honk if you’re Amish” … about riding in Amish country. I witnessed an Amish man dealing with a spooked horse as a result of my riding along in the opposite direction passing him. I assumed it was my flashing headlight that scared the horse. Later when I asked some other Amish men they said that it was more likely my safety flags. Anyway, when I saw the horse rear up and go berserk I really felt bad for the Amish man trying to control the horse. He had his hands full. I could tell he was up to the task however. He finally  headed the horse down the driveway of another Amish farm away from me. The horse settled down and all was okay. That was bad enough and as I said I felt really bad over causing it. I would have felt a lot worse if it were a buggy full of kids and their mother … or just kids with no adults. They might not have been able to regain control of the horse and the result could have turned really ugly … even tragic. It happens all the time when horses get spooked.

BTW, the best advise is … DON’T RIDE AROUND HORSES! If you encounter a horse be aware that they spook easily and it can be a dangerous situation. They could even charge at you. Safety flags should be removed or  at least covered up somehow so the horse doesn’t get spooked by it/them.  It is best to totally yield to the horse … pulling over to the side completely off of the trail if possible and stopping and remaining still until they get by. If there is any concern talk to the rider asking them what you should do. Cooperate together for everyone’s safety.

I seldom see any horses while I am out riding my trike. I pretty much have to ride out in Amish country to encounter them. Horses are not normally allowed on our local trail system for which I am very thankful. One day from the time this is posted on my blog an exception will occur. Horses will be allowed on one of our local trails between 10 AM and 3 PM. It is my favorite trail and I usually ride it every day. I will make an exception that day. Personally I wish they would not have made this exception and kept the horses off of the trail. I don’t really understand why they are doing this. There is a large property alongside of the trail which the city owns. It used to be a golf course. It went “belly up” and was sold. Now it is just land going to waste … pretty much unkept. It has paved trails running thru it. They plan on using this property as part of the “horse day” event. In my opinion  it would not be necessary to use the multipurpose trail as well. The golf course property by itself is quite sufficient to accommodate the horses. It was an 18 hole golf course so there are lots of acres available. But this is “politics” and “we the people” have no say in it. At least they do have 4 volunteers who are supposed to clean up any horse poop. At least it is only one day and I will survive. I will just have to forgo riding on that trail unless I do it before or after the horses are on it. Fortunately there are other trails to ride on. And I do want to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

As an update on the horse event day I offer the following which I posted on Facebook:

“Today was one of two days that takes place annually. Horses were allowed on one of our local trails. The city bought the property of an 18 hole golf course and they opened it up for the horses to ride on as well. I rode my trike to where they were forming up and receiving information and instructions before being allowed to continue on with the ride in groups of 5 to 8 .  There were probably about 100 horses and most of the riders were female. I guess that doesn’t surprise me. I am posting two photos. The first shows one of the small groups receiving the instructions.

The second picture shows a couple of horses that I had noticed had left all the other horses and came back over near where they entered the golf course property. I wondered about it but didn’t give it much more thought. Suddenly I heard shouting and commotion going on. One of the two horses had just thrown its rider and the horse landed on top of her. At first we were hearing “Call 911” “”Get HELP!” But before the call could be made they shouted back cancelling the 911 call saying that she is ok … just shaken up. I hope she is still feeling ok the following day. These bodies of ours are not designed to have horses land on top of us. This picture of the two horses was taken after the incident and they are headed back to where the rest of the horses are riding. I was told that the horse that threw the rider did not have a bridle and never has had one. My guess is that the rider was having some trouble controlling the horse and that is why she and a friend left the pack and came back over to where the horse threw her. BTW, you can see my safety flags in the foreground. I have them wrapped around the flag pole so that they don’t spook the horses.”

I am just seeing if you are paying attention. 🙂

A FREE GIFT awaits you!

TRIKE MAINTENANCE TUTORIAL

Although this video is about bicycles much of it applies to trikes. It is a lengthy video as it covers pretty much everything. Here is an index to help if you locate specific topics.

1. 0:25 THE FRAME
1.1 1:00 frame inspection,
1.2 3:59 what frame areas to protect,
1.3 4:53 the bolts – greasing, fastening,
1.4 7:12 the seatpost / the clamp, cleaning, greasing, fastening,
1.5 11:02 the headset – cleaning, assembly,
2. THE FORK
2.1 18:18 fork inspection,
2.2 18:58 the suspension fork basic maintenance,
3. 21:27 DISC BRAKES
3.1 21:41 the reach adjustment (levers),
3.2 22:42 the calipers adjustment (eliminating the rubbing),
3.3 25:57 replacing the brake pads,
3.4 28:33 bent brake rotors – the causes,
3.5 29:35 truing the rotors,
4. 30:49 V-BRAKES
4.1 31:12 how to improve the braking power,
4.2 34:51 the braking pads – inspection, cleaning,
4.3 36:09 replacing the pads,
4.4 37:46 adjusting the V-Brakes,
5. THE CALIPER BRAKES (ROAD)
5.1 45:54 adjusting the caliper brakes,
6. THE WHEELS
6.1 49:53 inspecting the rim, the spokes and hubs,
6.2 52:55 removing the wheel – quick release,
6.3 56:19 removing the rear wheel (derailleur with the clutch),
6.4 57:44 removing the wheel – through axle,
6.5 1:01:02 removing the tire, replacing the inner tube,
6.6 1:07:45 air pressure inspection,
6.7 1:09:15 the hubs – cleaning, greasing, assembly,
6.8 1:18:14 truing the wheel, (longer verision https://goo.gl/gwTokd ),
7. 1:23:54 THE DRIVETRAIN
7.1 1:24:19 adjusting the rear derailleur,
7.2 1:32:39 adjusting the front derailleur,
7.3 1:35:13 the derailleur capacity,
7.4 1:40:12 the cassette – removal and installation,
7.5 1:43:39 the square taper crankset – removal and installation,
7.6 1:49:34 the two-piece crankset removal (e.g. Hollowtech),
1:55:38 the self extracting chainset,
7.7 1:56:57 inspecting the drivetrain, when to replace the chain,
7.8 2:00:12 removing and installing the chain (the quick link and the connecting pin method),
7.9 2:09:12 the proper chain length,
8. THE PEDALS
8.1 2:11:00 the pedals – removal and installation,
8.2 2:14:34 the clipless pedals adjustment,
9. THE CABLES
2:15:49 replacing the housing and the cables – the proper length)

*********

Keeping your trike properly maintained will help ensure that you …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

WHY YOU SHOULD NOT REUSE THE PINS IN BICYCLE CHAIN LINKS

For many years I reused the pins I have pushed out of the side plate of chains but I don’t do it anymore. I have had a few chain failures as a result which resulted in my having to do some repair/maintenance alongside of the trail. This video explains why pins should not be reused along with other topics.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION STILL EQUALS …

I am sure most of us remember the saying “an ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure” … or … “is worth a pound of cure”. It proved true today while I was out on my daily ride. The small bolt (machine screw) which holds my flag pole holder onto the back of my seat frame broke off and everything went south. At least it tried to. Fortunately I have a plastic cable tie around the flag holder bracket securing it to another place nearby which does not allow the flag holder to fall down onto the ground. I also have my two flag poles connected together by a small elastic bungee cord which prevents the loss of a flag as I ride along. Between these two safeguards I didn’t lose anything. I replaced the broken bolt upon arriving back home and everything is good to go. I have lost various stuff before so taking these preventative measures have paid off.

In the picture below you can see the black bungee cord connecting the two flag poles together.

And here is the plastic cable tie (yellow) which saved the loss of the flag holder. The red line points to the bolt that broke.

Yep, an ounce of prevention still equals (is worth) a pound of cure.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

SECURING YOUR TRIKE FROM THEFT

A tadpole trike is a rather expensive investment and so having it get stolen is a serious concern for many. Trike owners are always asking for advise on forums concerning locking up a trike. Here is a video about securing e-bikes with advise on the matter. It is highly recommended that viewers wear eye and face protection while watching as this video is “shattering”. I noticed one thing they didn’t show concerning cutting locks is the use of a cutting wheel with a battery powered angle grinder. (see video further below.)

Lastly here is a video about various locks …

FREE GIFT awaits you!

REAR WHEEL DIAMETER … 20 VS 26/700

Frequently the subject of rear wheel size comes up as people want to know which is better or preferable. I don’t think I have ever addressed this in all my many postings. Since it is asked so frequently I figured it is past time to do so.

Well, like most everything else there are pros and cons involved. I have had both a 26 inch rear wheel as well as a 20 inch rear wheel. Personally I didn’t notice all that much difference. Never the less I will cover the good, the bad and the ugly of the matter. Don’t ask me why I said that. All I can say in response is that it happens to be the movie playing on GRIT TV as I am composing this.

Let’s start out by covering the obvious … or at least what should be obvious. Having three 20 inch wheels on a trike means that you only need to deal with one size when it comes to spare inner tubes and spare tires to carry along with you.

What may not be obvious is in the realm of performance and handling as well as weight carrying capacity. That is something to consider if you plan on touring and loading the trike down with gear.

A smaller diameter tire will accelerate faster than a larger diameter wheel. That being said a larger diameter wheel will result in a higher top speed than a smaller one. Of course, I am talking about having stock gearing and not messing with the gear ratios. Once one starts changing the gear ratios all of this can and does change. One can accomplish the same things with existing wheel diameter by changing the sprockets diameters in use.

A larger diameter wheel will roll over objects easier than a smaller diameter wheel which means that a larger diameter wheel yields a smoother ride than a smaller diameter wheel.

A smaller diameter wheel is stronger than a larger diameter wheel so it will carry more weight and handle better. A larger diameter wheel has more flex to it than a smaller diameter wheel so it is noticeable in cornering.

A smaller diameter wheel is usually less costly than a larger diameter wheel when it comes to tires to install on it. That being said 26 inch is a very common size with lots of tire choices available. So one might very well come across some good prices on tires.

A smaller diameter wheel requires a smaller trike frame. That may or may not make any difference to people. It is just something I wanted to be sure to point out.

When it comes to folding a trike again obviously a smaller diameter rear wheel folds smaller than a larger diameter wheel.

I have mainly been talking about 20 and 26 inch wheels. I only mentioned 700. Another popular size is 24 inch. They have their advantages but know that 24 inch tires are not as common as 26 inch so the selection won’t be as good.

Changing from one size to another may be problematic as the trike is designed for a certain size. The frame may not be built so that a larger diameter wheel and tire will fit. Also making a change in the rear wheel size will effect the trike’s handling and it may not be as safe. Raising the rear of the trike with a larger diameter wheel/tire will result in lowering the front end of the trike. This will bring one’s feet closer to the ground and cause more of a concern in the matter of “leg suck” and injury.

Anyone considering a hub motor a larger diameter wheel provides more room for a motor to be installed. That means there are more choices of hub motors and with more space available a more powerful motor can be installed than what will fit on a smaller diameter wheel.

Personally I prefer a 20 inch wheel over a larger diameter. It comes down to a personal choice. With either choice one can …

ENJOY THE RIDE

FREE GIFT awaits you!

RIDING IN AN OVEN (HEAT)

Much of the nation (United States) has been rather hot lately and being out there riding is like riding in an oven.  It reminds me of my motorcycling days. Once it gets into the 90s F (30s C) it doesn’t seem to help riding fast as all you feel is very hot air. Having e-assist I normally ride much faster than I can and do ride without it. And normally riding fast … I am talking about 16 to 23 mph … means I feel a lot of air movement which usually feels really good. But when the air temperature is in the 90s it doesn’t matter how fast I ride it just feels miserable. Going fast just doesn’t help. I am not a fan of heat so riding in it is not very enjoyable for me. I don’t know how long this hot weather is going to last but looking at the extended weather forecast isn’t encouraging. That being said I am most thankful for the e-assist and my canopy as they help immensely. I still get rather warm but nothing at all like I would be without them. Before I had them I was one of many who chose to start riding early in the morning (6 to 7 AM) when it was at its coolest part of the day and be done riding by 11 AM or so when it was starting to feel pretty warm. There are things a person can do to help stay a bit cooler. I am always amazed when I see people out in hot weather dressed in black or other dark clothing as there is nothing more miserable one could wear than black when it comes to absorbing the sun’s rays. I always try to wear white or other light colored clothing which reflect most of the sun’s rays. I also see people wear hooded sweatshirts with the hoods up in this hot weather. I mean, what’s up with that? I think perhaps they have some elevator issues … as in … their elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top floor. Wearing hats, helmets and such traps heat from leaving one’s head. With a canopy I don’t wear anything on my head but if I ride without my canopy I wear a visor type hat that is open in the top. I would be super miserable wearing a regular hat which keeps all that heat trapped. One could also wear self-wicking clothing or special clothing designed to be wet and help cool our bodies. There is a hat being advertised on TV lately that does this. Of course, one can always pour water over themselves to cool off. That definitely works. Hey, whatever it takes to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

11 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR TRIKE FASTER

Utah Trikes has some good videos. Here is one of them …

… WARNING … FOR SPEED DEMONS ONLY …

(only kidding … there is some good info here applicable to all)

FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

“CAT EAR” WIND NOISE FILTERS FOR VIDEO CAMERAS

Cats are known to have excellent hearing. They are also known to be hunters of prey. When the Lord Jesus Christ created them He equipped them with ears designed to deal with wind. A cat’s ears have hair which helps break up and greatly diminish wind noise. Have you ever noticed how much wind noise there is as you ride your trike? Have you ever placed your hand up by your ear as you ride along and noticed that when you block the wind from going past your ear you can hear much better? If you have not done so give it a try.

BTW, they make devices to use on a helmet to block the wind from passing by your ears.

I made some which attach to my eye glass frame stems. They work pretty good but I don’t use them as they look goofy.

I have watched a lot of videos and one thing that absolutely ruins an otherwise good video is wind noise in the audio. Sometimes it is so bad that it blocks out whatever else was recorded. Just like with our ears wind passing by the microphone of a video camera is quite noticeable. Video cameras with built in microphones as well as external microphones need to have what I call a “cat ear filter” on them to act as a wind filter. You can buy these. Some work better than others. Here is one for a GoPro camera …

 

BTW, these filters are commonly called “dead cat filters” but I don’t like that name so I call them cat ear filters.

Years ago I decided to experiment with my video camera to see if I could come up with a good effective wind noise filter. I tried several different things. Some worked better than others.

After trying several different things I finally settled on something that has worked great. Even in strong winds it prevents most wind noise from occurring.

To start with I used a plastic eye drop medicine bottle cut to make sort of a funnel with the smaller diameter neck down over the microphone area on the camera. The bottom of the bottle is cut off to make it open. In the picture below I have drawn red lines to show where I cut the bottle. I used the section in between the red lines.

 

I used clear silicone to glue the bottle in place. Silicone works quite well and is fairly easy to remove if ever I want to. The bottle is filled with a man-made fiber material (pictured below) which is the stuffing from inside of a stuffed toy.

Over it at the cut off bottom of the bottle is a piece of black felt like material. Then the last piece is a tossle off of a hat. It and the black felt like piece are also siliconed onto the bottle to hold it all together.

As I stated earlier I experimented with various things including stopping with just using the black felt like piece. I was after near perfection and after adding the tossle I achieved it. Here is a video I made on a windy day. I am riding with a friend talking to him. You can hear a clicking sound coming from one of the chain tubes on my trike. I am telling my friend about it in the beginning of the video. Without the wind noise filter I doubt if you would even be able to hear what I am saying but as you can hear my voice comes thru quite well.

Here are some more homemade wind noise filter videos …

HERE are the Google search results for wind noise filters. And HERE is Amazon’s search results.

 

FREE GIFT awaits you!

E-BIKE BATTERIES AND WATER … A DEFINITE NO-NO

The other day I foolishly rode thru some flood water thinking that it would not be deep enough to be a concern. Boy, was I wrong! I just ordered a new battery as I ruined the one that got wet. I made it thru the flood water okay but just a few feet beyond the electrical power went off. I switched to my second battery and continued on my way. Later that day after I arrived back home I took my wet battery into the house and took it apart. I dried it out and tested it to see if there was power at the terminals when I turned the key switch. All seemed to be okay so I put the charger on it and it seemed to be charging okay. But apparently it wasn’t. The green light came on indicating it was fully charged so I put it back on my trike assuming all was fine. While out on a ride the next day I ran my backup battery all the way down so I switched over to this battery that had got wet. I turned the key switch to power it up but nothing happened. So I had to ride all the way back home under human power only which was quite challenging. I was about 6 miles away from home. I made it but my legs were shouting for relief.

This same battery has gotten wet a few times before but I never experienced any problem with it until now. I may look into seeing if I can raise the battery mount up a little higher as I have it pretty low. My backup battery is up high in a rear rack so there is no concern with it getting submerged in water. I wonder if the power from the battery had been off when it got wet if it would have prevented damaging from happening. Anyway, a new battery is on order. It was an expensive error on my part. I am just glad it was the oldest of my two batteries as it had less natural life left in it than the newest one.

The battery I just ordered is a bit more sophisticated than my first two and yet it is about $100 cheaper. They were just plain batteries but the new one has a LED taillight and a USB outlet built into it. I just hope the taillight can be shut off. I have plenty of taillights so I don’t need to run the e-bike battery down powering a taillight I don’t need on. I like the idea of having it if I want to use it. The USB port could be very handy. This battery comes with a rear rack and a charger. I can use a new rear rack as the one that came with my first battery is broken and needs welding. I stopped using it some time ago and bought another one which is just a plain rack. I fabricated a battery mount to use under it. I will be glad to get back to using this new rack however as it looks nicer than the conglomeration I have now.

I will probably be wondering just how much longer my first battery would have lasted if I had not done a number on it. They say that typically these batteries have 800 to 1000 charging cycles in them. I probably have near 600 or so on this first battery. It is nearly 2.5 years old.

So sports fans … the moral of this story is “don’t be stupid”. Water and electricity still don’t mix. I could have kept on going and enjoyed the ride … avoiding all this expense. If you were nearby I would bend over and let you kick me. 🙂

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

 

TAKING THE LANE

Growing up I never heard of “taking the lane”.  As a child and up thru my teen years I chose to ride on the left (wrong) side of the road against traffic. My thinking and reasoning was that I was able to see the traffic ahead of me coming at me and, if need be, I could take evasive action to keep from getting hit. I never had a policeman stop me for doing this. Later as I grew into adulthood I started riding on the right (correct) side of the road but I stayed over to the right as far as possible trying to stay out of the way of all traffic. BTW, now I try to avoid riding on the left (wrong) side of the road as I came to realize that doing this does present problems for motorists. It can confuse them and shake them up.

In recent years I started hearing about riding out in the lane of traffic “taking the lane”.

When I first heard it I thought it was nuts … asking for disaster. I started experimenting with riding out in the traffic lane and found that there was no problem in doing so. I got more and more comfortable with it and came to the realization that it is safer and better than riding over on the right hand side. So now I take the lane almost all the time. The exception to that is if I am riding somewhere that has a very wide lane where there is plenty of room for motor vehicles to safely pass by me . I am also leery of taking the lane of a road where there are hills and curves which would make it impossible for a motor vehicle coming up behind me to see me in time to avoid colliding with me. It is best just to stay off of roads like that as they are just too dangerous. I want to be safe out there and …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

BTW, I haven’t mentioned designated bike lanes. The concept sounds good but I find them objectionable to use as they are just dangerous. Motor vehicles drive in them, park in them, cut cyclists off not paying any attention to them. Then there is the fact that a cyclist is trapped in a narrow lane between moving motor vehicles and parked motor vehicles. The parked motor vehicles pose a real threat as doors are opened just as the cyclist is riding by. Also the parked vehicles start pulling out often not paying any attention if cyclists are riding along coming up to them. I have also noticed that the surface of bike lanes is usually the worst part of the street as far as the surface. There are lots of manhole covers, pot holes, debris, etc. to contend with. It is difficult and dangerous trying to move about to avoid it.

HOW TO GET INTO AND OUT OF THE SEAT OF A TADPOLE TRIKE

am sure some of you have seen people trying to sit themselves down on a tadpole trike and going about it all wrong. And for anyone who has physical issues such as balance, lack of mobility, etc. it can be dangerous to attempt if not being done properly. There are basically two ways to go about sitting down on a tadpole trike. One method is to step over the boom. The other method is to back up straddling the boom. Stepping over the boom can be quite dangerous and risky for some people, myself included, as they may misstep and trip themselves causing a nasty fall. As the saying goes, BEEN THERE, DONE THAT … AND DON’T WANT A REPEAT PERFORMANCE. So I always straddle my boom and back up. This video by Laid Back Cycles illustrates all of this as well as the assist bars which can be added to a trike.

Years ago I came upon these pictures another trike dealership made up. They are funny so I am including them here.

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FREE GIFT awaits you!