SO YOU BOUGHT A RECUMBENT TRIKE … NOW WHAT?

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

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

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5 THINGS WE’D WISH WE HAD KNOWN ABOUT RECUMBENT TRIKES

don’t know that I would go along with everything these women say about this. You can make up your own mind as to whether they know what they are talking about or not.

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DRAFTING WITH RECUMBENT TADPOLE TRIKES

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

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

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USING GOOGLE TO CHECK OUT TRAILS

Did you know that some trails are available to view on Google Street View? Yep, you can actually go right onto the trail with the camera as though you were actually there. The picture up above is of the Maumee Pathway in Fort Wayne, Indiana using the Google Street View feature. It is a great feature for checking out trails. You can move along the trail in either direction or look off to the sides and zoom in to see what it there. Only the trails that someone has gone to the trouble to video using the Google camera setup loaned out to them by Google are available to view in Street View. I have used this feature to check out several trails. I have “virtually ridden” entire trails and familiarized myself with them without ever leaving my home here in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I feel like I know the Floral City-Inverness, Florida area fairly well as a result of using Google, especially Street View. I think if I were to actually go there I could readily navigate my way around this area including driving on the highways and streets.

Some of Fort Wayne’s trails are available to view on Google Street View. Years ago our assistant Trails manager and another city employee undertook the task of videoing some of our trails. I posted an article about it showing the camera equipment as they were using it.

I have been talking about the Withlacoochee State Trail in Florida lately. I have spent more time viewing it on Google Street View than any other trail as I want so very much to go there and ride it. I may never get to but I have already done it on Google … not once but several times. Just last night I did so.

To use Google Street View to check out a trail you simply click on the Street View icon and hold  the left button down on the mouse to drag the icon onto the place you want to view. You can only view those places which are shown with blue lines. If the trail does not turn into a blue line it has not been videoed and is not available to view in Street View. In the image below I have drug the Street View icon over onto the Maumee Pathway. It is circled in red.

To go to Street View all I need to do is release the left button of the mouse on the blue line and it will go to Street View.

Once in Street View I can use the mouse to turn the view 360 degrees. I can pan up or down. I can advance in either direction along the trail by using the mouse to click on the chevron in the white circle. It can be moved up or down the trail to move faster (farther distance) or slower (less distance). I can also zoom in much closer to take a look at something such as a sign. Here is the same image as above only it has been zoomed in. There is a compass displayed which illustrates which direction the viewer is looking. It can be changed.

For trails which are not available in Street View you can simply use the satellite image mode and zoom in on the trail. It is not as good as Street View but it works somewhat.

BTW, I read that people can also use their own 360 camera to “film” a trail and then submit it to Google.

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I JUST DON’T SEE IT (the SEARCH BOX that is)

If you use a smartphone rather than a desktop or laptop computer you are missing out on things. On a smartphone you normally only see the one main column of a website. Other columns off to the sides don’t appear. Recently I had a reader of my blog looking for the search feature on TadpoleRider.com. She could not find it. I tried to help her but quickly discovered the problem. She was using a smartphone. In the image below is what TadpleRider.com is suppose to look like. The search box feature in on the far right circled in red.

But when viewed on a smartphone it does not appear the same. Here is a captured screenshot of my website on my smartphone. As you can see you can’t see the searchbox. It is there but a smartphone does not show it.

 

I don’t know a lot about smartphones. I know enough about them to know I don’t like them. They remind me of a Chevy El Camino or Ford Ranchero. The person could not figure out whether they wanted a car or a pickup truck so they got a Ranchero or El Camino and therefore didn’t get a car or a pickup truck.

Anyway … I could not help this person … not immediately, that is. Later after I learned about this I was able to help her.

I have a nephew who is very knowledgeable of anything computer related (inside of it or its operation). I turned to him for help. He told me to simply turn the phone 90 degrees holding it sideways. Of course, that feature has to be turned on in Settings in order for it to work. It is turned on in my phone so I did as he said  and I could see more of what is there, but I still could not see the search box. From there I figured things out for myself and within a few seconds of making some changes in the smartphone’s Display Settings the search box appeared on my screen. The only thing is it was too small for me to use it with my poor eyesight. Yes, I had to change the Display Settings to a smaller size and smaller font size.

Below is an actual screenshot of my Android smartphone being held sideways. As you can see now the search box is visible on the far right.

Anyway, it can be done, but I will take my desktop computer any day. I never had any desire for an El Camino and don’t have much use for smartphones. I know I would not be constantly changing my Display Settings just to view websites properly. I rarely view any websites on my smartphone. I feel sorry for those who only have and use a smartphone for everything on the internet. And then there are those who have the attitude and thinking of “with a smartphone I have no need nor desire of a desktop or laptop computer”. It is their loss in my opinion.

In the picture above from the James Bond movie, Goldfinger, this Ford Falcon Ranchero would be grossly overloaded if it really had a full size car compacted into this small size sitting in the bed of it. I am reminded of the true story of a guy with a Ranchero who went to a gravel pit to get a load of small gravel stone. He waited his turn and when the operator of the front loader got to him he told the operator to dump a  bucket load in the back. The operator asked him “Are you sure that’s what you want?” He said, “yeah, dump it in”. The next thing … all four tires blew out and the Ranchero was all the way down sitting on the ground. I think the payload for both Ranchero and El Camino was only 600 pounds. His personal theme song had to have been “what kind of fool am I?”

I can’t imagine trying to compose this article only using a smartphone. They have their good points and uses but just don’t compare to a real full size computer. Maybe if you have really good eyesight you can use your smartphone with really small Display Settings. And my fat fingers just don’t work very well with that small keyboard.

I am sharing about this because having the search box to use is an extremely handy and useful tool. You can quickly and easily find all sorts of things on TadpoleRider.com with it.

Also all the other links on the side are very useful. In the captured screenshot image above you can see the column on the right. I made the screen display as small as I could trying to capture as much of it as I could, but it goes on and on far more than what you can see in the picture.

Here is a quick video scrolling vertically so you can see all that is available on the far right side of the website. If you use a smartphone to view my website it is likely you have never seen any of this before.

Not only is there a search box, but there is also links to pages I have created, recent posts, archives listed by each month and lastly, categories to help in finding articles about things the reader is interested. There is also an email signup to subscribe to TadpoleRider.com and a “Follow me” button as well as my email address to contact me. Oh yes, I almost forgot. There are also links to the Most Recent Comments.

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For those who are interested here is a video of the car crushing and dropping it into the Ranchero.

SIMPLY ALARMING

This little thing which as you can see easily fits in the palm of my hand and the remote control for it which is even smaller is a Hendun bike alarm. Recently someone posted about it on Facebook and that is how I learned of it. I bought it on Amazon for only $17.90. In and of itself it won’t prevent one’s trike from being stolen. It is more less a tool to be used to alert the trike owner to somebody messing with their trike.  It is recommended that this alarm be used along with a lock to actually help prevent the theft of a trike. It is advertised as being 113 decibels. I have no way of measuring it but it is loud. I am not so sure that it is LOUD Enough  though to be heard if the owner is inside a restaurant or store or even their house.

I especially like the “panic button” on the alarm’s remote control. I have been pondering over using it  in place of my bell or horn. I definitely think it would be heard. The only thing is the remote is so small it might be hard trying to use it while riding along. Here is a video about this alarm.

And here is another video about bike alarms …

The alarm is a different brand name but it looks identical to the one I bought. That is China for ya. HERE it is on Amazon. It lists for 9 cents more than the Hendun I bought. Of course, Amazon has many different bike alarms and many of them are fairly low cost.

I tested the range of the remote today. I got about 200 feet away from my trike using the remote and it was still working. I didn’t bother going any further distance away.

Here is a video of me messing around trying to learn how to use this alarm as far as all the different sounds it is capable of.

Well, I am going to go install my new alarm. I wonder how loose dogs would respond to it.

UPDATE–I installed the alarm and went for a ride. Within 20 minutes I tried to use it and discovered that the alarm quit working.  I would have to say it is typical Chinese junk. I will be returning it to Amazon and get a replacement hoping it will keep working. If not, next time I will return it for a refund. This is all next day service with Amazon.

UPDATE –I RECEIVED THE REPLACEMENT AND INSTALLED IT ON MY TRIKE. SO FAR IT IS WORKING GOOD AND IS A WELCOME ADDITION.

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WAYS TO AVOID GETTING FLATS

Utah Trikes produces lots of good videos. Here is one about various available options one can pursue to avoid getting flat tires. I noticed that the very first option mentioned is my choice … Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires. It is still the best tire money can buy and most sensible approach to the matter of avoiding flats. You not only get excellent flat protection but you get incredible wear. … 2 to 3 times as much as the Tannus.  It is a lot of tire for the money. I personally am very unimpressed with the Tannus tire.

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5 THINGS LEARNED FROM RIDING A TADPOLE TRIKE

Fellow triker, David Goldman, once again comes thru with a video worth watching.

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SW900 LCD DISPLAY CONTROLLER — INSTRUCTIONS WOULD HELP

I make no claim of being an expert on e-motors. That being said I have had seven different e-motors on my trike thus far. The first three were all BionX which the dealer installed. Even with them I had the experience of uninstalling them and reinstalling them myself. And all of the rest of the motors I installed myself. What I am trying to say is that by now I have had quite a lot of experience installing and uninstalling e-motors. The clutch went out on my last e-motor so I started looking at what is available to replace it. I don’t care for crank drive motors so didn’t bother looking at any of them.

I found a complete motor conversion kit for only $469. That does not include a battery but I already have a few batteries so $469 was an attractive deal. Of course, it comes from China and there are no helpful instructions that are provided. Installing it was not a problem but getting it to work without instructions was quite challenging. Fortunately I was able to find instructions online which was a big help. I got it running but the top speed was quite slow. I was ready to send it back for a refund when I sort of accidentally stumbled across the problem and got it resolved. If only the Chinese would include instructions all of this could have been avoided.  For what it is worth, I just now found one user manual which covers what the problem was and why I wasn’t getting much speed or power out of this new motor. Anyway, I am writing this article in hopes it will help others in getting their self installed e-motor system up and running.

My new system uses the LCD-SW900 display console controller which is a common display console controller various e-motor manufacturers use. I did not use the cadence assist hardware component in my installation. I may install it sometime in the future. I only have a manual thumb throttle hooked up. Upon completing the installation using a 48 volt battery (this motor is made for 72 volts) my top speed was only 5.6 mph and had no torque available at all to climb the slightest incline. I rode it that way for a couple of days.That is a mighty slow ride but still better than I can do on my own without any e-motor assist. About 2/3 of the way into my second day of riding so slowly I just happened to discover the answer to more speed and power. I pushed the UP ARROW button on the 3 button control which caused it to go from power level one to power level two. (PAS — power assist — level is displayed at bottom left corner of SW900 display) Simple enough but without any knowledge and understanding of how it works … well … I was stuck at 5.6 mph as when first turning the system on PAS 1 is what it starts out in by default. If only they had provided instructions. Anyway, I knew that 5 levels of e-motor assist were programmed into the SW900 display console controller so I continued to press the UP ARROW button watching it change up to assist level 5 and experiencing more speed and power with each level of increase. Hallelujah! ! Happy days are here again! Definitely this is the most powerful e-motor I have had installed yet. It is not as fast top speed as my former e-motor but I am really liking it as it is whisper quiet and far more powerful. I am tempted to buy a 72 volt battery just to see if this motor will perform as advertised … about 45 mph top speed. I am nearly 76 years old and probably should avoid the temptation as I would likely find myself careening off of a tree unless I wrapped myself around it. BTW, to go down in the assist level pushing the DOWN ARROW button lowers it one level at a time. Turning power on and off is accomplished by holding the middle button down a few seconds. So if you find yourself in the same situation I was in hopefully this will help you.

Speaking of help:

SW900 manual

SW900 manual

SW900 manual with the error codes for troubleshooting

SW900 manual with the error codes for troubleshooting

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KEEPING COOL

In case you haven’t noticed it a whole lot of the nation (U.S.) is hot and humid lately. Are you still out there riding in it? If so, what are you doing to help fight the heat? Do you purposely ride in shady areas?

Do you have your own source of shade … a canopy?

Do you wear wicking clothing?

Do you use a cooling headband or neckwear?

BTW, some of it is capable of having ice cubes inserted in them or has built in liquid which can be frozen in a freezer prior to use.

How about a hand held mister fan?

Do you ride anyplace that has a mister installed for trail users?

Do you keep hydrated while out riding?

(I hope you don’t get this desperate.)

Maybe you know a fireman who can help you out …

Hey, speaking of misters … maybe you have a trail which goes thru a park where they use a misting system to water the vegetation …

Several years ago in Headwaters Park in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana they had misters in use like this except there were a lot of them and just riding along the trail thru the park was quite refreshing. I wrote an article on misters several years ago. We have one on one trail installed next to a restroom. I have never seen anybody use it. I have just to try it out.

Of course, you can always just pour water on top of your head and cool off. I have done that many times. It is very effective.

Anyway, if you are riding out there in heat and humidity keep cool, man (or woman or boy or girl). We all want to …

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I LIKE SAVING MONEY. HOW ABOUT YOU?

I don’t know about you but I like saving money whenever I can. Of course, I want quality for my money. A good price is not a good price or deal if it lacks quality. I have mostly bought Avid brand brake pads since I bought my trike. They are not inexpensive …. like$22 a set. A few years ago I came across some inexpensive brake pads made in China. What isn’t any more? And, yes, those $22 Avid brake pads are made in China. Anyway, I decided to try the inexpensive brake pads. I ordered several sets of them. It cost me about $2.50 per set. That is a huge savings … $22 vs $2.50. And the good news is they have been excellent quality … every bit as good as the Avid brand. I have been very well pleased with them. I just replaced the brake pads on my trike recently. I could have waited longer but I was pretty sure the right side was getting rather worn and I didn’t want to procrastinate and end up with  a metal to metal situation. Anyway I got 16,775 miles out of this last set so I got my money’s worth out of them. And I just ordered  8 more sets for $2.50 each. And that includes the shipping.

So what is the difference between Avid brand brake pads and  these inexpensive ones you ask? The best answer I could give to that is … $19.50 … that is the difference.

One thing I have learned is when shopping online for them not to jump on what appears to be the best price as if I wait and keep looking I always find them cheaper. I have had problems trying to order them from Aliexpress. I have been buying them on Ebay. Sometimes the price looks good but then I discover the shipping is considerable.

For what it is worth, I would not be at all surprised if many of these various brands of brake pads are made in the same factory. Years ago that was very commonplace in China.

Speaking of saving money, I like buying my tires for half of what most people pay for them. It can be done. I have done it for years.

Anyway, hey, I like saving money. How about you?

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HOW TO OPERATE A CRANK DRIVE E-MOTOR

It is no secret … a crank drive motor is hard on drive trains. And if the rider does not know how to properly use that extra power being applied to the pedals the drive train can be destroyed quickly. Here is a video sharing advice on how to operate a crank drive e-motor.

Anyone using a crank drive e-motor would be wise to heed this advice. I was aware of what is shared here and followed this advice. My drive train was still quickly destroyed. Personally I don’t and I can’t recommend crank drive e-motors. After replacing badly worn parts of my drive train I went back to using my rear hub drive and much prefer it. My local LBS sells and services e-bikes including installing Bafang units on trikes. They say the same thing … a very simple truth … crank drive systems are hard on drive trains and they don’t recommend them.

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FACEBOOK GROUPS FOR COMRADERY & HELPFUL INFORMATION & INTERACTION

Finding a Facebook Group about recumbent tadpole trikes is about like trying to find a cold medication at the pharmacy. There are just so many to select from one is overwhelmed. And, of course, some are better than others. Some are far better while some are not so good. I am not here to make recommendations or rate any of these groups. Obviously it is not practical to join a whole lot of them. One thing I will say … just because one group has over 7000 members while another group only has 123 members is not necessarily a sure way to select a group. One would think it would be and should be but my experience tells me otherwise.  One thing I have learned the administrator(s)/moderator(s) make a big difference. I quit one group because I could not tolerate the lousy job the administrator was doing. I found I had no use for the guy. Constantly butting heads with him I finally had enough. I miss the group but I sure don’t miss him. Facebook groups need rules that everybody needs to abide by. There are always those who won’t and don’t obey the rules and thus cause problems for the group. A good administrator stays on top of this and disciplines members or removes them from membership. In these groups one will find seasoned knowledgeable experienced trike riders who can and do share what they know with others who are newbies or just not as experienced and knowledgeable. Those who have questions and issues can get help in these groups. I highly recommend joining a few. I have two Facebook groups I have started concerning tadpole trikes. I even have a third group which is on Cloudhub which is an alternative to Facebook. Cloudhub just never caught on. My Cloudhub Recumbent Trikes Group only has 4 members. My first Facebook group I started years ago was Tadpole Rider Group. It quickly grew to the second largest FB groups about recumbent trikes. Due to health reasons at the time I made the decision to shut it down. Years later the health issue no longer existed and I made the decision to restart it. This time around, however, it never took off like it did the first time. Over the last few weeks it (Tadpole Rider Group)  has doubled in membership but still it is only about 283 as I type this. There would be more but one ongoing problem I am experiencing is that several of those wanting to join are not answering the two vetting questions as well as agreeing to obey the group rules. Without this they won’t be approved to join. I hate turning away people who want to join but it is necessary to have these questions to help weed out SPAMMERS, ROBOTS and other unwanted applicants. If you are a Facebook user and don’t belong to a FB trike group at this time I invite you to look into it. You can simply do a search on FB for recumbent trike groups. Enjoy the interaction with fellow trikers. And most certainly …

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A FREE GIFT awaits you!

TRAIL CROSSINGS-DON’T BECOME A VICTIM

Whether you ride on trails or roads or both there is danger out there. This picture above is of one of our local trails crossing a rural road. As you can see there is a painted crosswalk as well as flashing yellow lights on the road to let motorists know if any trail users are present. The law in Indiana requires motorists to stop and yield the right away to anyone who is IN the crosswalk. If the person crossing the road has not yet entered the crosswalk motorists are not required to stop. Unfortunately all to many motorists don’t seem to know and understand the law. I have to admit that I was mistaken myself. It was my belief that motorist are required to yield to anyone who is AT a crosswalk so that they could get across the road using the crosswalk. Personally I think that is the way the law ought to be. Mind you, I don’t know what the law is about this in other States or countries.. The picture above is of the same trail crossing. Just a few months ago a female trail user was killed while crossing the road in this crosswalk. She had the right of way since she was IN the crosswalk. However, that is not the full story. Here is what happened and I have witnessed it many times myself as I sat there on my trike at crosswalks.

A motorist is driving along and they see someone there at the crosswalk waiting to cross. The motorist wants to be kind and nice so they stop to allow the trail user to cross the road. It is a nice gesture, but it can be quite dangerous. The problem is they may be stopped but that doesn’t mean other traffic will also stop. Many times I have seen motor vehicles go around them and drive on down the road. Also traffic coming from the opposite direction may not stop. If the trail user happens to be crossing the road they may very well be hit. That is what happened to the women who was killed a few months ago. https://www.wane.com/news/local-news/carroll-rd-closed-at-pufferbelly-trail-as-police-investigate/ I still see it all the time. Some well meaning motorist will stop to let me cross the road. I just wave them on and wait until it is safe to cross.I may have to wait awhile before it is safe to cross but at least I am not going to become another victim.  I have seen many motorists drive around past them shouting obscenities and flipping them the bird while honking their horns. They obviously have an attitude problem. And, of course, there are always many motorists guilty of inattention … texting or whatever. It is just not worth the risk folks. It would be nice if all trails crossed under or over roads instead of “at grade level” but that is too costly.

Here is the same trail with a crossunder under Dupont Rd. being constructed. And here it is completed. It is great to simply ride under the busy road and not be concerned about one’s safety.

This is the next road south of where the female trail user was killed. https://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/20180701/trail-crossing-right-of-way-goes-to-drivers Yep, motorists have the right of way. Trail users must wait until it is safe to cross.               

UPDATE— 11/20/22 I just read that the man driving the vehicle who hit and killed the woman received a sentence of 3 years in prison.

BE SAFE OUT THERE!   

so you can …

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THE ONLY REASON

Tomorrow as I post this is December 25th. It is the day when most of the world pauses to one degree or another to acknowledge the fact that God came to earth in the form of a human Baby on a mission to provide a way for man to be saved from the consequences and penalty of his sin. Man can not save himself although many try. That Baby grew into a Man and completed the mission He was on. Unlike us He lived a perfect life free from sin. This was most important as He was to be the sacrifice offering for sin … the only offering acceptable to a holy God. You can read more about all of this in great detail HERE . Sadly the world (most of mankind) has rejected this salvation God offers to us. Doing so comes at a very high price as our eternal soul is at stake. God offers us this FREE GIFT of His salvation, but for all those who reject it and ignore it they forfeit the opportunity He offers to be forgiven of our sin and we then must pay the penalty and answer to Him in judgement. God is love and He demonstrated His love for all of us by dying a cruel agonizing death in our place. His love is AIMED AT YOUR HEART. He has done all that is needed and all that He can and will for us to be saved from our sin. The choice and decision is ours. Once we breathe our last breath it is too late to choose Him and receive His gift of salvation. Our fate is sealed. So I ask you … if you have never responded to His invitation … WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH JESUS? Someday your heart will be asking … WHAT WILL JESUS DO WITH ME? The answer to that question can be readily found in His written word … the holy scriptures. God is holy and can not allow sin in His presence. We as sinful people have a problem. Our eternal soul will spend all of eternity either with God (if the sin problem has been taken care of) or apart from God. Being apart from God means spending eternity suffering in anguish in hell fire. God has warned us. We are free morale agents. God created us with the ability to choose to do what we want. We have free will. We are not robots preprogrammed by God to do what He wants us to do. There would not be any expression of God’s love in that. Recognizing and responding to God’s love for us loving Him in return is the ultimate expression of love. It is not a matter of obeying God because we have to. It is all about obeying God because we want to … we want to please Him out of a motivation of our love in return. Yes, God demonstrated His great love for us while we were yet sinners … in the very act of sinning and rebelling against Him … Jesus Christ died for us. Therein is love!

I know there are those who will read this and get upset over it. There will be those who want to tell me it has no place here on a blog about tadpole trikes. But you know … none of that matters. There is not a more important message to communicate to others than this message. In obedience to God I am willing to ruffle a few feathers upsetting some. This timeless message may touch a few hearts and that is what matters. So on this Christmas Day I present the Christmas message. It is not about the many things man does at this time of year … putting up an evergreen tree and decorating it, giving gifts to one another, feasting together as family and friends or any number of the things man does during this holiday. The truth is most everything man does is based on paganism practices the Roman Catholic church brought into our culture. And no where in the holy scriptures are we commanded or instructed to observe the birth of Jesus Christ. And He wasn’t born in December anyway. With all of this being true it is important not to “throw the baby out with the bath water” so to speak. This Christmas holiday does exist in our culture so I for one intend to take advantage of it and proclaim the message of the Cross of Jesus Christ. The reason for the season is truly all about the fact that Jesus did come to earth to provide salvation. He came the first time as a helpless Baby. He will be returning soon … very soon … as the King of kings and Lord of lords. His word tells us that He is coming to pour out His wrath (His anger) on all of those who have rejected Him and the salvation He alone offers. Far better is it to accept and respond to His love now than to be the recipient of His anger later. We are without excuse if we fail to respond to His great love while it is being offered and is available to us. Time is short. Besides none of us know what a day may bring forth. Our last final breath could be seconds away. It is all a most serious matter. The greatest gift is not one placed under a tree. The greatest gift is the One Who was placed on a tree. His Name is Jesus. Merry Christmas to all!

Heaven or Hell … it really is your choice.

This song says it all …

Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS and thereby miss out on the salvation our loving God is offering you.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A 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.

SPD CLEATS IN ARCH OF SHOE

Cleat position is something more and more riders are becoming aware of. It is believed by many that having the cleats positioned in the arch of the shoe is better than the ball of the shoe. It is said to help eliminate “hot spots” in the foot as well as other foot pain issues. Nearly all SPD shoes and sandals are manufactured with the cleats position further forward in the ball of the foot. I have read that there were a couple of shoe manufacturers that tried offering them in the arch area but they discontinued doing so because there was not enough interest in this reflected in their sales. So it comes down to DIY (do it yourself) or dealing with a fellow tadpole trike rider who offers this service to others. He has helped many recumbent trikers resolve their foot problems. Here is his contact information:

William (Bill) Barrere:
Email: wbarrere@gmail.com
Tel: 786-307-5986
He has a Facebook group page entitled RECUMBENT ONE.

There are various articles and resources for this subject:

https://www.instructables.com/Midfoot-Bicycle-Cleat-Position/

https://fatguyintraining.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/mid-sole-cleat-position/

There are many more but nearly everything I see has to do with regular bicycling and not recumbents even though my search was for recumbents.

Here is a link to the search results:

 https://tinyurl.com/2p87a54c

I have written articles about this before:

TIRED HURTING FEET

SPD SHOE CLEAT POSITION

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

A 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.

CHEMICAL HAND WARMERS

Some riders use chemical hand warmers during cold weather riding. I am among them. I have tried all sorts of gloves, mittens and combinations of various ones trying to find something that works for me. It always comes down to my thumbs for me. I struggle the most trying to keep my thumbs warm. I wish I could tell you that the chemical hand warmers do a superb job for me but it just isn’t so. They do help though.

I have a pair of gloves with mitten flip covers which are made by HotHands. They are fairly warm gloves/mittens as they are a soft warm material with Thinsalate in them. They are designed to hold a chemical hand warmer over the backside of the fingers. This is about worthless for me. I need the chemical hand warmers on the inside of my fingers to keep my fingers warm. Even then it has minimal effect. This picture below shows a special area on the front side of the flip over mitten cover but there is no such thing on mine. That is where I am talking about having a pocket to hold a chemical packet. Hmmm, I wonder if they added one after I bought mne. I emailed the manufacturer about this and heard back from them. They haven’t changed their product. Why this picture shows this square area on the front side I don’t know. It does not exist in reality.

I have tried placing the packets elsewhere inside of the mittens but it doesn’t work very well. I have even lost one while riding along as they tend to try to fall out. A pocket is needed to place them in so they are held in place.

I find the best thing for me is to wear just a pair of Hotfingers mittens and use 4 packets of chemical hand warmers inside of them … two in each mitten … one down inside for my fingers and one inside the thumbs of the mittens. These mittens are not all that warm in and of themselves but they do a pretty good job of keeping the wind from passing thru them which helps immensely. The thumbs are large enough to place a chemical packet down inside and still get my thumbs in. I can just sort of hold the chemical hand warmer packet with my fingers and my thumbs are snug against the chemical handwarmer packet inside the thumb of the mitten.

Here are my 4 used packets I am experimenting with to see if I can get a 3rd day of use out of them

One thing I have observed and learned about these chemical hand warmers is that they don’t work without exposure to air (oxygen). It takes oxygen to get them started and if you remove the oxygen while they are creating heat they will stop the chemical process and no longer produce heat. Then if you reintroduce them to oxygen they will start back up again. Since they are suppose to last for about 10 hours I can place them inside an airtight container such as a plastic bag to deny them oxygen and then get a second day’s use out of them by reintroducing them to air again. That is nice as it saves money. They do get expensive if you use them daily. Today I used them for a second time and upon arriving back home I placed them back into a plastic bag to see if I can get a third day out of them. That would be nice but I am not going to hold my breath as they say. There is rain in the forecast tomorrow so I probably won’t be able to ride anyway. However, I can take the packets out of the plastic bag and see if they take off again producing heat. I will let you know.

Well, I am letting you know … Yes, all 4 packets have started producing heat and so it appears as though they would work for a 3rd day. The manufacturer wants customers to believe and accept that they are only good for one day. They don’t want people to know that they can be reused like this. Of course, they make more money that way.  I can’t test them today though as it is too warm outside to use them. Tomorrow will be much cooler. I will see if they fire back up for a 4th day.

Hey, they are warmed back up on the 4th day and ready to go. The question is … how long will they last? Will I make it thru my entire ride today? Stay tuned.

Still there? I am back from my ride and I got a third day of riding in using the same chemical hand warmer packets. That is good to know. I have been doing two days but I never tried for three before.

Update: I discovered today that this reuse of the chemical packets does not always work. Sometimes they don’t start back up. Sometimes they are slow to start back up. And sometimes even if they do start back up they don’t last very long.

BTW, the best price I have found for chemical hand warmers is at Walmart unless one comes across a special deal like a surplus store or some other place. I just looked and Harbor Freight Tools looks to have the best price at this time.

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.

HOW NOT TO BE HIT BY A CAR

No one in their right mind wants to get hit by a car. This video gives good advice on how to avoid it.

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.

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!