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.

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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.

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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. 

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IT’S CHRISTMAS!

No Ho Ho Ho for me. I say Humbug to that. Christmas is not about some jolly old fat man with the attributes of God being able to know everything about us and able to travel almost instantaneously. He is Satan’s substitute for the real meaning of Christmas.

We have the Holy Bible to teach us and help us know the truth. In it we find the truth of Who God is and learn of His great love for all of us. There is one main theme thruout the Bible. The Old Testament tells us that “Someone is coming!” and the New Testament tells us that “Someone has come”. Beyond the main theme is another very important theme and that is man has sinned (that includes you and I) which created a very serious problem for us. That problem is ‘our sin separates us from God’. As much as God loves us and desires us to be with Him He is holy and therefore can not allow sin in His presence. We have a problem. God in His Word tells us that the wages or consequences of sin is eternal damnation apart from Him. We are eternal beings as our soul will live forever. This flesh will die but “we” won’t. We all have eternal life although most of us will experience what the Bible calls a second death where we will be judged and cast into eternal hell because of our sin. That is not the perfect will of God. It was not what He originally planned. Most of us have heard the word “Gospel”. It literally means “Good News” and that is exactly what it is. To understand and appreciate the good news one must first understand and grasp the bad news. The bad news is what I just talked about … the fact that we are all sinners and hell bound because of our sin. All God asks (actually demands) of us is that we agree with Him … that we are guilty as charged and have this problem we can’t do anything about. In His love He has provided the help we need so desperately. He provided salvation for us. Innocent blood had to be shed. There was only one source of innocent blood God would accept. That “Someone Who came” was very special. That Someone was none other than God Himself. In His great love He humbled Himself and was born as a human baby Who lived among us and showed us Who God is. He was special in that He had no earthly father which would have resulted in Him being born a sinner just like you and I were. He was without sin and therefore qualified to shed His innocent blood for us. Long long ago all of this was planned out and then carried out over 2000 years ago on a hill far away where an old rugged cross stood. Yes, He made the very tree that that old rugged cross originated from. There on that cross He willingly underwent horrific suffering and great pain to carry out that plan. But the story did not end on that cross. From the cross He went to the grave just like all other men do. The Good News is He did not stay in that grave. He came back to life and conquered death so that we also can live beyond the grave. Thru Jesus and what He did for us we too can have victory over the grave and experience the best news yet … we can spend eternity with the God Who loves us. It is indeed Good News! It is not complicated although man tries to make it complicated.It is as simple as ABC. Do you know the ABCs? If you have never accepted what God did for you that would be the very best Christmas gift you could receive. It is a limited time offer however. It expires upon your last heart beat. Jesus is alive today and forever. He has His arms extended to you to welcome you into His embrace. He loves you. He proved His great love in what He did for you and I. Today, if you hear His voice hearkening to you, do not harden your heart turning away from Him. You many never have another oportunity as none of us know what a day will bring forth. Our last breath could be seconds away.

Below is a video I made awhile back. I hope you enjoy it.

And may you and your family have a very blessed and Merry Christmas.

 

 

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.