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.

 

 

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DEKERS ELECTRIC TRIKES … PRODUCT OF POLAND

I came across this brand of electric trike as the result of the owner of the company requesting to join the Facebook Tadpole Rider Group.

Unfortunately their website does not offer English. However, the Google Chrome browser will translate it. I don’t normally use Google nor do I recommend it as they are just too big for their britches and are up to no good with all their power and money.

To the best of my understanding Dekers presently produces 3 models and they custom build trikes to meet their customer’s personal needs. They cater to those with disabilities.

Website

Facebook

YouTube videos 

 

ZADZWOŃ
Tel.: 791 628 486

NAPISZ
E-mail: kontakt@dekers.pl

ODWIEDŹ (physical address)
ul. Konecka 28a
26-333 Paradyż

They offer a two year warranty. As you can see in their videos the hub motors offer plenty of power spinning the rear wheel at speed easily.

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MULTI-USE TRAILS

Although we often call them bike trails most are multi-use trails intended for walkers, runners, skateboarders, roller skaters, and bicyclists. Some trails also allow horses. I have never had a discussion with anyone about this but I bet if we were honest we would say that we as cyclists would prefer they were strictly bike trails. And walkers would say they would prefer if no bicycles were allowed. I can understand why as many cyclists display bad discourteous  manners and give cyclists a bad name. Of course, most walkers do the same. And watching videos of various trails I have noticed that people are the same all over the world. Then I recall the famous words … “Can’t we all just get along?” I would be the first to admit that it is quite challenging. People aren’t going to change.

Multi-use trails don’t include sharing the pavement with airplanes, right? Or does it? This cyclist definitely has a front row seat. I am pretty sure that is closer than I would care to be.

Some animals I am thrilled to share the trail with …

And some I want no part of. I am glad I don’t have to share the trail with this guy …

And another …

And another …

And another …

 

Unfortunately there are too many vicious acting dogs out there and many of them are not on a leash like the law requires.

And another …

I don’t mind small harmless snakes but this fella (or gal) I find intimidating.

And some more …

Even our fellow cyclists can be a royal pain …

Cars are not allowed on trails, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t encounter them …

A friend of mine told me about a car passing him on a trail. He estimated the car was doing about 30 mph. I have only seen motorscooters and motorcycles which, of course, are not allowed either.

And hopefully we won’t be party to a police chase while riding along the trail …

That could have some really bad results.

So I guess one could say that there is good and bad in multi-use trails. I reckon that is true of just about everything in life. Dirty Harry said it … “go ahead, make my day” … only I would alter it … “help me to make your day”. Since we all have to share the trails together may we make the effort to make each other’s day. It is not easy dealing with others but we really need to make the effort. And may God add His blessing!

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E-TRIKE PAS VS TORQUE SENSING

There is no doubt about it. Torque sensing is best and preferable over PAS (pedal assist sensor)(cadence sensing). That being said, not all e-motor system kits have torque sensing as part of their offering. I wish this were not so but alas it is what it is. My current e-motor came with both a hand throttle and a PAS sensor. I hooked up the hand throttle but I never messed with the PAS sensor. Just now I got it out of the box looking at it to see what would be involved in installing it. Of course, winter weather is upon us now so I don’t know if I will be messing with it before Spring when it warms up. I do need to get it installed for sure so that I will have “pedal assist”.

 

I paid big bucks for a torque sensor years ago.I had to buy a new crankset as the one from Catrike would not work with the torque sensor. I paid big bucks to install it. It didn’t work. A few months later I was having my trike worked on so I cautioned the mechanic that he needed to be very careful not to allow the torque sensor spindle in the bottom bracket to rotate as it has very delicate wires which will readily break.

He didn’t listen to me and he broke every one of the wires. It didn’t work before so it would not have mattered but I was getting ready to return it for a different type. I was very concerned about all the broken wires so my late brother in law who was a senior electronics technician repaired all of them for me. He did an excellent job on it but, of course, it was all for nothing since it didn’t work. Anyway, I got the other bottom bracket torque sensor but never installed it.  It would have required me to purchase another crankset as the one I had bought for the first torque sensor would not work with the newest torque sensor. And the local bike shop could not locate a crankset that would work so I never installed it. Now I don’t have that e-motor installed anymore so it doesn’t look like I will ever use the new torque sensor. I don’t think much of that type of sensor. They are just too delicate and too difficult to install and set up properly. Now they have a different type which is not mounted in the bottom bracket. I like that concept much better.

Here is a DIY hack some might want to consider.

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QUAD MS … ANOTHER UPSTARTER

I just learned of another trike builder from Mexico who is attempting to start up production and sales of his trikes and quads. His name is Marcelo Hector  Sadaba.

He has been fabricating bicycles for some time as I understand and has come up with interesting creations.

And then I read this which totally has me confused: 

“My name is Enrique Grajeda founder of Quad – MS.
(https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100057616331014)
We are a small shop that has 3 years developing 3 platforms of Recumbents, 1 trike and 2 Quads, one of them later for fun/sport and the other for cargo.
We invite you to visit our Facebook page to follow what we are doing, and WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR COMMENTS.
The one you see in the Picture is the Baja Xplorer Recumbent Tadpole Trike, the Version 5 prototype and on final testing.
This Trike is our proposal for those looking and affordable yet robust recumbent trike for transportation and fun.
Comes wit 21 gears, 3×7, with the possibility to add pedal assist.
Since our natural market, once we start selling is Mexico and South America our goal has been to produce vehicles that have a price at the reach of people in our country and the developing countries; we know that for people in Nort American or EU that would be low and we are happy for that as it will allow folks to do a lot of customization.
If you are interested in what we are doing and think that can help us get started, send us a Message, we will appreciate the KickStart.
Cheers from Suny Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico”

QUAD MS Facebook page  

So I guess there are at least two guys involved in this start up company.

 
  • Antonio Mijares No. 16 Ote, Loreto, Mexico, 23880
    Address (located about 2/3 down the eastern coast of the penisula known as Baja California Sur Mexico)

    +52 613 128 4791
    Mobile

    grago.serv@yahoo.com.mx
    Email

    Marcelo’s Facebook page

     

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RESTRICTED VS UNRESTRICTED E-MOTOR SYSTEMS

By law many e-motors are restricted to certain speeds … usually 20 mph here in the United States. Some of us don’t agree to such laws. I readily admit I am among those who don’t think e-motors should have such restrictions. It makes no sense to restrict a motorized bike or trike to 20 mph when riders on non-motorized cycles can ride 30 plus mph.  There are ways to get around these built in restrictions but keep in mind modifying the system is against the  law. And it will void warranties. And it is harder on the bike/trike, especially the drive train. Things will wear out quicker and may even break.

Here is a simple DIY hack which should work on other systems which use a magnet on a wheel to sense the speed of the bike/trike.

The next video covers Tongsheng systems …

The next two videos covers Bafang …

The next video deals with Xplor Odyssey …

Many controllers simply have a wire for the speed limiter which is plugged together. Unplugging it shuts off the speed limiter.

 

Lastly Bosch is a popular e-motor system. The following deals with a hack for it.

For those who want more from their Bosch e-motor system there is a DIY hack using a $200 product which is very simple to install. It just plugs in using existing  wiring and connectors. It simply gets around the built in speed limiter. My understanding is it can be shut off and turned on so that the system can still operate as it did originally.

Installing the Speedbox involves removing the left side pedal, removing the left side cover of the Bosch emotor, unplugging two wire harness connections, plugging in two Speedbox connectors into those two unplugged Bosch connections, plugging the remaining two Speedbox connectors into the Bosch connectors you first unplugged. Test it to make sure it is working before putting things back together. It is all explained and illustrated in this next video.

Purchase a Speedbox version 3 on Amazon. Currently it is selling for $199. You can find it on Ebay and other websites as well. The price is all over the place.

I personally know very little about this gadget so I can’t advise anyone. I do know that they have had at least 3 versions of it thus far and the 3rd version shows it is for 2014 to 2020 Bosch systems. If you have an older or newer system you will need to research this for yourself if you are interested. Be aware that installing this for road use is against the law. Also be aware that installing it will void Bosch warranties.

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“THE LOOP” … 130 plus MILES OF RIDING IN THE DESSERT

Several times others have recommended snowbirding to Tucson, Arizona rather than Florida. Quite honestly there is nothing about most of the western states that appeal to me. When I look at the western half of Texas I can’t help but wonder why we fought Mexico for it. It is just miles and miles of nothing but wasteland in my opinion. Mexico ended up more less possessing it anyway and without firing a shot. The states of Arizona and New Mexico also have no appeal to me … just more wasteland. Tucson as a city has no appeal to me. But then I don’t like cities at all. I am a “small town boy”. That being said I am somewhat impressed with The Loop. At 130 or more miles long that is a lot of trail to ride. Of course, it is riding in the dessert … something which probably would not appeal to some of us, including me.  I just looked at their weather forecast. It is a little cooler than I thought it would be and their daily highs are different than what I expected for December. Here in Indiana where I live it gets colder as the winter months pass. December can be a mixed bag of offerings … from the 60s down into the teens. January is usually the coldest month and by March it is usually starting to warm up a little bit with the emphasis on a little bit. In Tucson December is in the 60s for highs and starting in January each month it gets a little bit warmer. By the end of March it is up into the low 80s so for me that would be my cut off point for snowbirding. I don’t like heat and low 80s is as warm as I care for. I could handle all those temperatures from Dec thru Mar. I doubt very much if I will ever get to travel to Tucson and ride The Loop but maybe you might. They have expanded it some already and have plans to expand it more.

PLEASE NOTE — I JUST HEARD THAT E-BIKES ARE NOT ALLOWED ON THE LOOP. THAT IS RIDICULOUS!

This next video discusses the use of motorized cycles on The Loop …

Click HERE to order the book about The Loop mentioned in the video above.

The sound is lousy in this next video but it shows e-bikes riding on The Loop. At 3 min. 40 seconds into the video there is something I always like to see …

Online maps are available with various information about the trail system.

Here are more videos …

And here is a very long video of a bike ride on the loop where a bicyclists rides about 16 miles or so one way to get to Flowing Wells.

After watching the video above I can see that The Loop is not as appealing to me as I thought it would be. It looks to be very boring to ride. There is very little shade and the scenery really sucks in my opinion. And there looks to be a lot of it which runs right next to busy roads and trail users have to cross these roads. I would not care for that. They do have the trail considerably closed off to any unwanted traffic being able to get onto it. It is fenced in. I would feel quite trapped if I were on the trail as there are very few places where one could get off of the trail. I don’t know what they have for restroom facilities but I didn’t see any in the video. According to THIS there are lots of restrooms available all along the trail.

Floral City, Florida and the Withlacoochee State Trail is looking more appealing all the time. It is partly cloudy and 79 there right now and only 56 in Tucson. And it is raining in Tucson. I would expect that in Florida but not Arizona. But alas, I am stuck here in Indiana with little hope of going anywhere to escape winter. I am hoping we will have an unusually mild winter with above average temperatures and very little precipitation … rain or snow. Now I could handle that. It would help me to …

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E-BIKE CERTIFIED HELMETS

personally don’t wear a helmet while riding my trike. I always wear one if I ride a bicycle. That being said helmets are not something I give much thought to. It never dawned on me that a standard bicycle helmet is said to be effective as far as protection only up to 17 mph. That makes no sense to me. It is like telling a football player his helmet won’t protect him if he runs faster than 10 mph. It really makes no sense since there are bicyclists who reach speeds of 30+ mph without the aid of an electric motor. Anyway, this video is saying that one needs a different helmet offering more protection when riding an e-bike which obtain speeds up to 28 mph. Of course, some e-bikes go much faster than 28 mph. So then what do you do? I don’t know anything about any of it, but I have long thought that a standard bicycle helmet offers minimal protection … especially compared to a motorcycle helmet.

Ebike certified helmets are more costly than many standard bicycle helmets. All of them I looked at were over $100. One was $465. Ouch!  HERE is an article on them.

One person commented that you should bypass this ebike helmet and go with what downhill mountain bikers use. … which is a full face protection helmet. They are not cheap … $200 to $300 dollars on Amazon … but they definitely do offer more protection.

 

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GOAT HEAD? … WHAT’D YOU CALL ME?

In the 3rd chapter of Genesis we read that because of sin (disobedient rebellion against God) the earth was cursed. God did not originally create the earth with all the bad elements man deals with.  Thorns were unheard of prior to this curse. Where I live we don’t have goat heads so I have never had to deal with them. I sure have heard and read others talk about them. They definitely are a real menace. Here is a picture of the plant that these rascals are found on.

We have other kinds of thorns where I live but rarely are they found on a bike trail.

Those who walk where these thorns exist also deal with them.

Unfortunately there are a lot of cyclists who do have to deal with these thorns.

Without proper and adaquate protection the result is lots of flats. That is never a welcome thing. So what is a person to do? It would be nice if this threat were simply removed but I am sure that is not practical. That means that the cyclist must do whatever it takes to prevent getting flats. There are options available. There are tires which are flat resistant. There are tire liners. And there are sealants that can be used. Some claim that flat resistant tires alone suffice for them while others say they still get flats with them and need something more. Since I have never had to deal with goat head thorns I am not in a position to advise anyone.

From what I have seen and heard these goat head thorns not only are a threat to the bottom of a tire but they also are found sticking into the sidewalls. Sidewalls of tires don’t offer hardly any protection in comparison to the bottoms. In the picture above the longest most threatening part of the thorn  is not what is sticking into the tire’s sidewall. Some sidewalls are more vulnerable than others. Some are quite soft and thin making them easy to penetrate.

In all the years and hundreds of posts on this blog I have never done one about goat head thorns. I know I have mentioned them in past articles but that is all. Probably because I don’t have to deal with them I have never written much about them.  It is sort of “out of sight, out of mind”. Here in the United States they are found mostly in the southwest as I understand. I am in northeastern Indiana so I am far away from anyplace they are found … for which I am thankful.

From what I have read this plant was not native to the U.S. but was “unintentionally introduced here”. I am not sure what that means. I wonder how one would unintentionally turn loose this menace.

Reading about this plant is rather interesting. Man has used it for various purposes.

Here is a video illustraing how to get rid of these plants.

There are lots of videos on YouTube about goat head thorns and cycling.

The next time I hear someone call me a goat head I won’t take it as a compliment.

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OUTRIDER HORIZON OFF ROAD E-TRIKE

If you have the money they have the trike. And it is a beauty! It has some really nice features. Of course, they don’t come cheap. Although it is designed for off road riding it is quite at home on road as well.

Here is a video presentation of it including a test ride …

Only 21,500 U S Dollars and a 14 month wait to have one built for you. Personally I would much rather have a quad. They don’t tip over as easily and can go places a trike can’t.

One thing I noticed from watching the video above is that the electric motor is fairly noisy. I like a nice quiet operating motor like the hub motor I have now. I can sneak up on people with it. 😉

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TRIKE TOURING IN KRABI, THAILAND

Matt Galat tours Krabi, Thailand with a friend on tadpole trikes. This video features some spectacular drone footage.

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MATT GALAT EXPLORES 2021 TRIKE BRANDS

Well known tadpole trike rider, Matt Galat, shares a video of him visiting a trike dealer and taking test rides on various trikes.

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SORRY TO REPORT THAT DAVID NO LONGER RIDES A TRIKE

I just learned that our fellow tadpole trike rider, David Goldman, has passed away Nov. 22nd. losing his battle with cancer. I am saddened to hear this as David was such an inspiration and encourager to others to do what they can to exercise and improve their lives. He created many YouTube videos and established quite a following. I always enjoyed watching his videos and found I almost always agreed with him. He started a trike ride over in Illinois last year called the DRAT Ride. Can you guess what DRAT stands for?  Quite a few showed up. It is my hope the ride will be continued annually in his memory and honor.

Here is David’s last video from 2 weeks ago …

My condolences go out to David’s wife, family and close friends. David will be missed. Although I never met him persoanally I considered him a friend. Being a fellow triker we held that in common. I have several posts about David on this website.

Here is his video of the DRAT group ride:

Below is a video featuring David as a guest on Gary Solomon’s LaidBackBikeReport. David shares a lot about what he has been thru and how riding his trike has helped him immensely.

HERE is another triker’s (Greg Garduno) tribute to David. And HERE is another one of Greg’s videos in tribute to David back when David had the DRAT group ride.

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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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KEEPING THOSE HANDS WARM … WHAT WORKS BEST FOR ME

This is a subject I have written about several times in the past. Keeping my hands warm is probably the most difficult thing I deal with when it comes to cold weather riding. I have tried numerous things over the years and it seems that what has worked previously no longer works now. That means I have to come up with something else which will work for me. In the past (last year) I was using “HotHands” mittens made of Thinsalate. I have not been a big fan of Thinsalate over the years as I have tried various products made of it and none of them kept me warm. It has been about 9 days since I last went out for a ride as it has been colder than I care to venture out. Finally it has warmed up a little … into the low 40s (F) so I went for a ride today. I just got back home. I started off wearing the HotHands mittens but only got a couple of blocks from home before my hands started getting cold so I put my  “Hotfingers” mittens on over the HotHands mittens. I rode about 60 % of my 17 mile ride wearing that combination. My hands got cold and they were somewhat uncomfortable as the mittens were too snug on my hands. I stopped for lunch and before leaving the restaurant I changed my glove (mitten) attire. I separated the two pair of mittens and put the HotHands mittens away in my pockets. I replaced them with a pair of 100 % wool hand knit mittens made in Siberia with the Hotfingers mittens over them. I am pleased to report my hands stayed warm with that combination. And now my hands were not cramped inside of tight fitting mittens which made for much more comfort. And with all the room I have inside there is plenty of room to put the packets of chemical hand warmers if and when I need them.

HotHands Thinsalate mittens…

Hotfingers mittens …

Hand knit wool mittens…

Hopefully this combination will work for me thruout the coming winter months as I want to …

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and …

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STEADY VS FLASHING LIGHTS

 

Most of us have both headlights and taillights. And most of those lights offer both steady on modes as well as flashing modes. Some questions arise concerning both.

Keep in mind that having these lights is all about our personal safety while we ride. We want to be seen. Is a flashing mode more effective than a steady on mode? Many of us think so. I know I am fully convinced of it. Is it legal to use flashing mode? The answer to that is … “it depends upon where you are at” so it is best to do your homework so you will know the answer to that. To the best of my knowledge and understanding most places here in the United States it is legal. What about after dark? Should lights be flashing or steady on? I say steady on. I would never use flash mode after dark. I think it is distracting and confusing for others … as well as offensive. Again keep in mind that our lights and their use is all about our saftey. After dark a steady on light being constant can be seen continually and allow others to better judge our position  and know what they are seing, but a flashing light has the opposite effect. I personally think some people think they are seeing an emergency vehicle., especially if you happen to have multiple lights in use.

And if you happen to be riding in a group others will certainly appreciate it if you don’t blind and dazzle them with bright flashing taillights … or headlights for that matter.

Over the years I have had many differnt lights and light setups. Here is my current taillight set up. It definitely gets the attention of others. Most of the time I just use the two lights toward the sides and leave the middle one off.

HERE is a good article on this subject.

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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.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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BIG HONKIN TRIKE RALLY

Recently I posted an article about the Withlacoochee State Trail. One of the advantages of being down in that area is being able to attend the Big Honkin’ Trike Rally which is held in February and lasts 7 days. It is held in Inverness, Florida which is right by the trail near the half way point of the 46 mile long trail. Below are videos of the event from 2020. It is set up to where participants can pretty much do as they want as far as riding the trail. One can ride as much and as far as they want … or as little. The event simply brings recumbent riders together.

And here is someone else’s video of the event …

And this was posted on Facebook:
FINALLY!!! HERE IS THE ITINERARY FOR THE RALLY!!!
Big Honkin’ Trike Rally, Inverness, FL 2023
This Trike Rally is a non-sponsored, non-supported and loosely organized event for mainly recumbent trike riders. The rally will last from Sunday, Feb 19, 2023, to Saturday, Feb 25, 2023. Participants can attend on one day or several. A list of area bike trails will be available in case you wish to explore other area trails. Participants can ride by themselves or in their own groups on any of the trails, or ride with the main group at the listed time and day. All rides will be out and back, so riders can ride at their own pace and distance. Wednesday, Feb 22 there will be no group ride as this is for participants to visit local attractions or ride on their own.
There is no fee and only one organized event – a barbeque meet and greet provided Sunday afternoon (Feb 19, 2023) by the Traveling Trikers/Citrus Cyclepaths group, free of charge to all persons attending the event. All are encouraged to attend this meet and greet where you can get to know some of your fellow trikers from around the country.
All rides will originate from the Depot (under the water tower) at Wallace Brooks Park, 208 N. Mill Ave, Inverness. All miles noted on the rides will be figured from the Depot.
A couple of administrative items: Please obey all trail rules and signage which include riding in single file when meeting, passing or being passed by other trikes/bikes or pedestrians (joggers, walkers), and always alert those you are passing with “On your left!” or bicycle bell. There are several road crossings on the Withlacoochee and other trails marked with stop signs for bikes. If vehicles are approaching, they have the legal right of way – however, most vehicles in this area are familiar with the trails and bikes and will stop to let you cross (do not take this for granted). Be sure the driver sees you and is definitely stopping for you before you proceed. If you are riding in a large group, please “double up” at these intersections in order to cross as quickly as possible.
NOTE: All rides are out and back, so distances are for total length, but anyone can turn around at any time to ride whatever they are comfortable with. No pressure on distance or speed!!
Sunday, Feb 19, 10 AM – NORTH WITHLACOOCHEE – meet at Depot for quick welcome ceremony and then ride the Withlacoochee Trail north from Depot to end of trail – approximately 32 miles round trip.
3:00 PM – Meet and Greet barbeque at 4382 E Amsterdam St/4361 E Bennett St (outdoors in back yards), Inverness – free of charge for rally attendees. Follow the pink arrows from the trail.
Monday, Feb 20, 9 AM – N. WITHLACOOCHEE/BLUE RUN TRAIL – travel on your own or meet at Depot in vehicles (trikes loaded) and convoy about 15 miles to the Gulf Junction Trailhead, 2233 W Magenta Dr, Citrus Springs FL 34434, to ride N. Withlacoochee Trail to Blue Run Trail connector– approximately 24 miles round trip. Return for lunch (on your own).
Tuesday, Feb 21, 9 AM – (drive out time if you plan to follow us!!) – SANTOS TRAIL – travel on your own OR meet at Depot parking lot in vehicles (with trikes loaded) and convoy about 30 miles to the Santos Trail, Landbridge Trailhead, 11100 SW 16th Ave, Ocala FL. Santos Trail is about 30 miles long round trip and is a hilly, curvy and fun trail to ride. However, if you do not have e-assist or are not a strong rider, we recommend you pick another trail to ride on this day, as the hills can be very challenging.
Wednesday, Feb 22 – OFF DAY. Enjoy the sights, visit Orlando (Disney World, Universal Studios, etc), Tampa (beaches, shopping, etc) or ride other area trails.
Thursday, Feb 23, 9 AM – SOUTH WITHLACOOCHEE – depart Depot and ride south on the Withlacoochee Trail to the end (or as far as you feel comfortable) – approximately 60 miles round trip. On your return ride, Mike and Susan Gaeta will be hosting a free hot dog social at their home in Floral City from 11:30 – 1:30. If you plan to attend, please be sure you turn around in time to reach the restrooms on the trail at Floral City by 1:00. From the restrooms, follow the pink “BHT” arrows to 8898 E Washington Lane. From restrooms, ride through the parking lot, take a left out of the parking lot to stop sign. Turn left and then first right (E Marvin St) in front of the school. Stay on Marvin for 4 blocks and turn left on S Annie Terrace. (Remember: follow the “BHT” signs) Their house is the last one on the left at the lake.
Friday, Feb 24, 9 AM (drive out time!!) – WITHLACOOCHEE BAY TRAIL – depart Depot and drive to 10247 N Suncoast Blvd, Crystal River, FL, approximately 25 miles. Trail is 7 miles long one way. Follows the abandoned cross-Florida canal. Short, scenic and ends at the Gulf of Mexico overlook.
Saturday, Feb 25 – Pack up and say “GoodBye” to Inverness! We hope you have enjoyed your visit!! Travelin’ Trikers
OTHER TRAILS IN THE AREA YOU MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER: (Google for more info)
SUNCOAST PARKWAY, Lecanto FL (10 miles from Depot) Trail is approximately 60 miles long one way, almost to Tampa. Parallels turnpike, not too scenic but if you want to ride fast, this is the trail.
WEST ORANGE TRAIL, Winter Garden FL (52 miles from Depot) Trail is 22 miles long one way. Nice trail through scenic Winter Garden area.
VAN FLEET TRAIL, Polk City FL (74 miles from Depot). Trail is 29 miles long one way. It is very flat and straight, but with lots of opportunity to see interesting wildlife as you cross the Green Swamp.
GAINESVILLE/HAWTHORNE TRAIL – Gainesville/Hawthorne Trail, 874 SE 4th St, Gainesville FL, approximately 65 miles from the Depot. This is a very scenic trail, mostly flat (a couple of hills) and fun to ride. It is approximately 34 miles round trip. After ride, there are several restaurants in the local area.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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BICYCLE CAMPERS

Every once in awhile I find myself looking online at bicycle campers. I don’t know, maybe I have some nomad in me. I ponder over pulling a “small home” behind my trike and living out of it as I travel along in my final days of life on planet earth. In time past I have written about bicycle campers. In fact, I have featured Paul Elkins before including this very camper featured in the video below, but unfortunately the post no longer exists. I only have two posts from the past which are about a bicycle camper. Click HERE to view the first one and HERE to view the second one.

You can buy the complete set of plans of this camper from Paul for $20. Paul has invented and constructed many different things and has videos covering many of them. Click HERE to check out his other mobile shelters.

One of them he calls Conestoga.

Another one he calls Bug Out.

There are factory manufactured campers available to buy. Of course, they cost a lot more than these DIY campers. Unfortunately all of them I have seen are made in Europe. It would cost quite a bit to have one shipped here to the U.S. One of them I really like is the Wide Path which reduces to half it’s expanded size when pulling it. Here it is fully expanded …

And here it is at half size being towed along …

It is almost hard to believe that this is the same trailer unit. One thing that all of these campers lack is a toilet and shower although Paul Elkins did make an outdoor shower on one of his campers.

There have been a few different campers people tried to bring to market but failed in doing so.

Here is one which is a little different … tow, float, sleep …

I would not want to get the wheel hubs submerged when weight is added to the boat.

Foldavan makes a rather simple offering good for sleeping only I would say. Of course, I guess one could simply take shelter inside of it.

Dealing with wind could be interesting. A strong wind or wind gust could cause the trailer and trike to tip over. That could really mess up one’s day. And it could cause considerable damage and possible injury.

Hey, I just found a manufacturer here in the U.S. In fact, they are located in nearby South Bend, Indiana. BikeStream-RV sells their camper for $2395. They have a Facebook page as well.

As you can see it is only big enough to sleep in. The video below does a pretty good job of illustrating it.

There is not much extra room inside most of these but at least they would get you out of foul weather if you had no where else to go.

One last option which may be appealing to some as it is small, light and inexpensive. A bicycle tent camper can be had for $390 on Ebay. It is made in China so I don’t know the quality of it. It has 16 inch wheels which I would not care much for. Maybe 20 inch wheels could be installed in their place, but that would mess up the frame work support legs which sit on the ground with the 16 inch wheels. It sets up and tears down quickly so that is a plus. One can also carry up to 50 pounds of extra gear on it when it is all folded up. I would think having a tarp along to place over it might be a good idea … in case of rain or snow. It shows that it comes with a rain cover. I would still want the extra tarp anyway.

I just ordered one of these tent campers so I will let you know what I think of it.

Update: I received the main frame and tent part of it. I have not received the wheels and tongue yet. It is shipped in two different boxes. Anyway I set up the tent in the living room and crawled inside of it. There is lots of room and lots of ventilation available. I don’t think I would have any trouble sleeping in it. I did have trouble setting it up however. The roof poles were difficult to bow and get into place. I got three of them, but could not get the 4th one into place. I hope that changes with use. It comes with tent stakes and rope which I don’t have a clue what they are for since this sits on it’s own frame up off of the ground. It sure took a lot longer to set up than the video made it look. I wore myself out trying to get the roof poles in place. If I had to go thru that at the end of a day’s ride I would be ready to climb in and go to sleep. Anyway, so far I am fairly impressed. Everything seems to be made pretty well and I am hopeful it holds up. Now if I can just get the second box with the wheels and tongue.

UPDATE:  I received the second box with the trailer’s running gear and assembled it. The running gear is cheaply made and poor quality compared to the tent and its frame. I fully expect it to fail me as I am riding along.  Definitely this trailer with the wheels on it is way too wide to fit thru most bollards. That is going to be a problem. Oh, BTW, this does not come with assembly instructions. Howerver, there is a video available to watch. However, if one is mechanically inclined they probably can figure it out on their own as it is fairly simple. I recommend putting the tongue on before putting the wheel on that side as it will allow you to get a straight run at the screw head. With the wheel on you don’t have a straight run.

 

Here is a homemade tent camper. It is far more elaborate but has some good features. Definitely it is not one which you set up and take down as quickly as the other one.

Well, that’s about it for this topic. Who knows what the future may hold? I may someday own one such camper and be seen pulling it along … at least until I am done for the day and can find someplace to park it to crawl in it. I readily admit that I would be concerned about two things … 1) finding a place where I could park it and use it … and 2) my personal safety. I may want to get a German Shepher or Rottweiller dog for both companionship and helping with my safety.

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.