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

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

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

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FREE GIFT awaits you!

TO BE SEEN OR NOT TO BE SEEN

As I sit here typing this it is snowing again outside. Being stuck indoors thru another nasty winter unable to go riding outdoors I am envious of those who can ride at this time of year. So sometimes I watch others ride on videos posted online. Here is one I came across which I think looks very inviting.

One of things I noticed as I watched this is safety flags. This is a subject I approach with passion. I have WRITTEN ABOUT IT before and even made up a VIDEO of my own about it. I know not everybody agrees with me on this as it is obvious by the flags they choose to fly and by the position they have them at. Safety flags can be quite effective and eye catching or they can be quite ineffective. In this video embedded below I captured a screenshot of two trikes in the front of the camera. Both are flying safety flags. One is barely flapping while the other is flapping vigorously. One is farther away than the other. The one which is most visible and eye catching is not the one which is flapping the most or closest. It is the one flapping the least and furthest away. How can this be? Color! The yellow flag stands out far better than the multi-color (blue, white, red and yellow) one. Look for this fairly early on in the video. Normally the flags that flap around a lot are more eye catching, but if the colors are not all that noticeable than the flapping doesn’t accomplish all that much good. You can see this in the video.

2 safety flags from behind 2

Nope, I just don’t get it. Why bother? Why spend the money to fly a flag that doesn’t show up? I mean the whole idea of a safety flag is to help others see you. If is for your safety … hence, it is called a safety flag. Flags might be pretty to look at, but if they are not eye catching … well, what can I say? It’s your funeral as they say. I know there will be many who spurn what I am saying. They might even get upset with me. I know many will go on ignoring what I am saying. But if just a few trike riders wake up to this and do something to help others see them it will be worthwhile getting others upset with me.

The size and shape of the flag makes a big difference as to whether or not it attracts attention and accomplishes its mission … making you visible and helping protect you. There are flags which are very popular but the shape of them makes them worthless as safety flags. They barely move and because of this and their physical size they can’t hardly be seen from behind. They actually blend right in with the flag pole so what is seen is something about 5/16 of an inch in width. That is ridiculous! I am talking about flags that look like these pictured below:

I have followed behind several flags like these (shapewise) and unless they have the additional ribbons like the one if the bottom picture they are practically worthless. The ribbon is the only thing which can be seen as it flaps around and moves enough to catch the eye while the much larger flag surface just can’t be seen from behind.

While I am at it I see some trikers fly their flags down real low. I assume they do so trying to keep wind resistance down. I guess they have it in their minds that this is going to slow them down a half a mile an hour and they can’t have that. Again, I don’t get it. Why bother at all? If your flag isn’t going be placed where it is noticed then you might as well not even have one.

Then there are those who fly their flag(s) quite high. In doing so their flags are above the straight forward line of sight of most motorists with the exception of semi-tractors. In my opinion safety flags should be about 5 feet off of the ground to their top. Also the flag pole should be fairly upright … not angled way back. That not only helps them flap better but it will help keeping someone from getting their eye poked out if they walk or ride into your flag sticking way out behind your trike where it is quite vulnerable.

Well, anyway the video of this trail ride is neat and it makes me all the more desirous to ride. Come on Spring! I want to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

LIT UP

Riding a tadpole trike is a lot of fun. However, getting hit by a motor vehicle would quickly bring the fun to an end. Tadpole trikes and their riders are a small silhouette which are difficult to see, especially in low light conditions such as an overcast day or in the shade. So having good lights and highly visible safety flags are very important to being seen. We must be “lit up”.  Bright flashing headlight(s) and taillight(s) are very important. There are lots of lights to choose from and all sorts of prices you can pay for them. Some use replaceable batteries while others use built in rechargeable batteries (or an external seperate rechargeable battery pack connected to the light by a wire cord). There are pros and cons to both. The replaceable batteries (usually AA, sometimes AAA) have one tremendous advantage over the built in type. If the battery power dwindles down all you need to do is carry spare batteries along with you to change them out. If you have a built in rechargeable battery you need to have some way to recharge it and that usually isn’t too practical unless you are somewhere around electricity for a long enough period of time to accomplish the task.

Battery drainage varies greatly among the various lights. Some only last a few hours at best while others will last 20 or more hours. Replaceable batteries usually last considerably longer than the built in rechargeable batteries. I usually use rechargeable AA and AAA batteries in my lights but I also carry alkaline batteries with me in case of failure of the rechargeable batteries. I have had very satisfactory service using rechargeable batteries. A friend of mine used to use a brand name headlight which like my Planet Bike headlight used 2 AA batteries. However, the battery life in his headlight was quite short compared to my Planet Bike headlight. He finally replaced the headlight with a Planet Bike headlight like mine and likes it much better. So … all lights are not created equal. Just be aware of this as it makes no sense to buy a product even if it is a brand name if it eats batteries like crazy.

I personally really hate buying products from China as in doing so we in the U.S. (and many other countries) only hurt ourselves (our own economy). That being said, there are so many inexpensive products available nowadays which come from China. Certainly they are hard to resist as we all like to save money and get great prices (just so the quality of the product is sufficient). Bike lights are no exception. I paid $50 originally for my Planet Bike headlight and $25 apiece for the two Planet Bike taillights I use. Now a very similar headlight can be purchased for only $6. And a very bright headlight (1200 lumen) can be purchased for $16. Like I said, there are lots of lights available.

Here is a picture of Steve Greene’s Planet Bike headlight which is the same headlight I use.

 planet bike headlight flashing

If you are interested in these lights I speak of which are so cheap you can check them out on the Facebook Tadpole Riders Group. Or you can just check them out individually online —

$16 1200 lumen headlight

clear diffuser lens to spread light out more

red lens to use for taillight

$6 headlight

$6 taillight

Well, I hope you are well lit and I am not referring to intoxicating beverages. It is important to be seen. Our lives and well being depend upon it! May we all …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’