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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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.

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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 …

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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.

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NEAT SMALL QUAD CAMPER

Made by a Dutch company, Flevobike, this compact outfit one could almost live in or out of. It does not have a shower or a toilet but it does have a small refrigerator.  HERE is an article with several pictures of it. The entire unit pulls out of the trailer so that the trailer can be used seperately. It has a 250 watt e-motor and solar panels on top of the roof to keep the battery charged up. The range is said to be 50 kilometers or 31 miles per day on a full charge.

 

 

I wonder if there is room enough for a German Shepherd or Rotweiler dog inside. Smith & Wessen is fine but I would want that for extra protection and security. One thing lacking that sure would be nice is some sort of canopy/enclosure to keep the sun at bay and stay dry in rain and warm in cooler weather. I wonder if it locks up both from the outside and the inside. I see it does have a privacy curtain on the window. The small fairing upfront would help keep one’s feet a bit more comfortable from the wind and perhaps somewhat from the rain. Riding in strong winds would be a concern. I would probably be Florida bound if I had one of these … saying goodbye to northern winters. GoLo has a  WEBSITE as well as a FACEBOOK page. Oh, BTW, this camper is not yet in production. They only have this prototype thus far.

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Withlacoochee State Trail: This might be Florida’s best bike trail

MLK Jr. had a dream. I have one also. My dream is someday I will be able to ride this trail. Unlike some folks I have never been a person with a “bucket list” but I readily admit that I do have this one strong desire.

I titled this using the same title of an article I just read about this trail. I am not copying the article … only using its title. Over the years I have spent many hours  researching about this particular trail which intrigues and entices me so much. I like the idea of being able to ride such a long distance. My plan would be to start my ride in the Floral City area which is about in the middle of the 46 mile long trail. From there I could go north or south and have about the same distance. 23 miles out and back would make for a 46 mile ride which sounds ideal for a day’s worth of riding. As a bonus one can often see various kinds of wildlife on or near the trail.

This map shows the area of Florida this trail is located.

It is my understanding that this trail is popular with many tadpole trike riders. That really appeals to me as I would like to be able to ride with others.

And in Floral City right next to the trail one can find “TrailSide Trikes“. They not only sell and service several different brands of tadpole trikes but they are there as friends to trikers. Many trikers meet together there. Trail rides are offered as well as some events at their location. I would love to be a part of that.

SHOP IS DEFINITELY CONVENIENTLY LOCATED RIGHT ALONGSIDE OF TRAIL

I may never see my dream fulfilled but I am not giving up on it. I am almost 76 years old so time is slipping away. They even have a pretty fancy outhouse alongside the trail.

It is my understanding that much of the trail is shaded, especially the northern half. I like that! Also I read that the scenery along this trail is better than most. I like that also!

One thing that I read which I don’t care for is that portions of the trail have horse trails alongside of the paved trail. That ruins bike trails in my opinion. In fact, I think it ruins it for everybody including the horses.

A few years ago they had some unwelcome activity on the trail which I hope never happens again. A police chase occurred in the Floral City-Inverness area. I wrote about it at the time.

That is a little more excitement than I care for. That tadpole triker was spared but that is too close for comfort. That would scare most of us half to death. BTW, if you watch the first video I posted the pickup truck the police are chasing turns off onto the trail at about 6 minutes and 5 seconds into the video. (This is where I start the video in the link above.) He goes on and off of the trail several different times. What makes this scenario all the more dangerous is that there is a rural road and a highway which run alongside of the trail not far away. If a trail user heard sirens he would naturally think that the police cars are over on one of the roads and not on the trail.

Every February the Big Honkin’ Trike Rally is held in Inverness, Florida. It lasts 7 days and brings recumbent riders together with a more less open schedule where they can meet up with other riders and ride as much and as far on the trail as they care to. I have an article about this rally scheduled to be published Nov. 16th. (The link to the article won’t work until the 16th.)

And a 10 mile extension trail named “The Good Neighbor Trail” has been built connecting the Withlacoochee State Trail to  Brooksville, Florida.

Yes, indeed … I can identify with this. One of those trikes could be mine. I can dream anyway. Yes, I have a dream …

that someday I will be seen on my trike on the Withlacoochee State Trail. I have even thought about moving down there … something I swore I would never do as I don’t like heat, humidity and insects galore. I could handle snowbirding but I could never afford it.  But I can dream …

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65 YEAR OLD MAN BREAKS 7 RECUMBENT TRIKE RECORDS PREVIOUSLY HELD BY 29 YEAR OLD

65 year old Marshall Randall, riding a Greenspeed Aero tadpole trike has broken 7 existing records previously held by a 29 year old man. You can read about it HERE.

Randall, the director of sales and marketing at recumbent cycling manufacturer WizWheelz, recently used one of the company’s trikes to trounce no less than seven World Ultra Cycling Association (WUCA) records. In Feb. 2020 WizWheelz bought out the well known Australian trike manufacturer, Greenspeed. In 1990 the late Ian Sims brought the Greenspeed trike to the forefront for the world to experience and with it some design engineering was introduced to the recumbent trike industry.

Randall rode a GreenSpeed Aero recumbent tadpole trike to set records in the 100k, 200k, 300k, 100-mile, 200-mile, 6-hour, and 12-hour recumbent trike road categories. He conducted his ride in rural Michigan on a frosty day in late September. He maintained an average speed of 17.31 miles per hour.

Congratulations to Marshall. That is an amazing accomplishment. If I had enough batteries on board or at least available to use I am sure I could do as well. I doubt if they would credit me with smashing any world records though. Hey just staying awake that long should earn a guy something.  😉

Marshall got a nice treat from his wife, Kelle, at the end to congratulate him. I guess he had enough breath left at the end to make it thru this.

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‘TOMATERS’ COMIN OUTA MY EARS

Yep, I have got tomatoes coming out of my ears. We used to have our own garden but discontinued it several years ago. Our brother in law puts out a large garden every year and we get a lot of vegetables from them free every year. This equates to not having any need of our own garden. Also I have a friend that lives near one of our local trails I ride frequently. His property is right alongside of the trail.

He puts tomato plants out every year and shares them with several people he knows including me. This picture was taken early on in the season while most of the tomatoes were still green.

I have to admit it is extremely handy to just stop by the side of the trail, grab a plastic bag out of my pocket and start picking delicious ripe tomatoes fresh off of the vine. And they are always far better than can be bought in a grocery store. There are always gobs of tomatoes growing and many go to waste as they fall off the vine onto the ground. We already had gobs of tomatoes from my brother in law so we did not need any more. For some reason not many people seem to be taking advantage of my friend’s generosity. I hate seeing them go to waste so I stop and pick some of his tomatoes. Sadly we are throwing several of them away as they go bad before we are getting them ate. And with cold weather upon us … at least off and on as the seasons change … the tomatoes remaining on the plants are being exposed to freezing. Again, I hate seeing them go to waste but there are far more of them than we could possibly use. The last time I picked a bunch of them I left the bag of them out in the garage. I tell ya, I’ve got tomatoes coming out of my ears. It is a crying shame, surely someone could use them. Well, I am trying to do my part. I am going out to the kitchen to eat some tomatoes. Hopefully, I can get started on the bag out in the garage.

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BROKEN BATTERY MOUNT

My T-Cycle battery mount broke off yesterday spilling my battery onto the road. Fortunately the battery came to rest right on the painted line of the center turn lane and the traffic was stopped at a traffic light so I was able to retrieve the battery without it or myself getting ran over. It destroyed my plug that plugs into the battery. I tried for a long time to repair it but had no luck. That meant that I had a long ride home pedaling under my own power. And that means granny gear at 2 mph as that is all my body is capable of doing anymore as I have aged. I had to stop numerous times to rest. And the worst of it was I knew rain was coming and there was no way I was going to get home before that happened. So, by the time I did get home I was soaked to the bone as the light rain we had been having turned to a heavier rain. At least my phone stayed dry as I placed a plastic bag over it. This morning I went to work on my trike getting the electrical problems fixed so I can ride again using my motor. I just finished that. I am going to take a picture of the broken battery mount and send it to T-Cycle to see if they will cover it under warranty. If not I can weld it and continue to use it but I am leaning on making the pieces out of steel so it will be stronger. Since I installed the T-Cycle battery mount I have used rubber bungee cords on it to help take weight off of it and reduce metal fatigue hoping to prevent this. That is a lot of weight hanging out there to work at fatiguing that soft aluminum piece full of holes. Everything on the trike gets bounced around a lot and suffers serious jolts.
I am not an engineer, but I was a very experienced metal fabricator with over 60 years of experience. I have learned some things about metal and know about metal fatigue. Repair welding was my specialty. I have repaired tons of broken metal pieces … most of which failed due to being underbuilt. The T-Cycle battery mount is poorly engineered as it is weak where they have all the holes drilled and tapped. That is right where it broke, of course.  Most T-Cycle products are well made but I can’t say that about this one. If I remember correctly it is rated for 15 pounds. My battery weighs 14 pounds. I see on T-Cycle’s website that they have improved this battery mount for Catrike so maybe they have improved upon this weak point. I have written about T-Cycle’s battery mounts before. Click HERE to view it. And I have written an article on their other many fine products. Click HERE to view it. I have several of their products on my trike and with the exception of the battery mount I am well satisfied with their design and quality.
T-Cycle, if you are reading this my trike is a 2013 Catrike Trail.

 

 

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COMMON IS NO LONGER COMMON

 

And there is much more written about how people will be in the Last Days. Lawlessness will abound! We certainly see it. A person would be a fool to deny it.

One thing that I have noticed over the last several years is that COMMON  is no longer common. Things like common sense, common courtesy and common decency just are not around any more like they used to be. Yep, common is no longer common. Various examples come to mind. Things like friendly greetings not being returned and not keeping one’s dog under control.

And no matter how wide a multi-use trail is people still manage to take up the entire width of it making it impossible for other trail users to pass them. And they think it is okay to do so. They pay no attention to other trail users and move out of the way. It is almost always necessary to say something to them in order to get them to move out of the way. I am talking about a trail that is 24 to 30 feet wide. Whatever happened to common sense?

Dog owners who refuse to obey the law and keep their dog on a leash are often among the worst as they usually have a real bad attitude problem. If you dare say anything to them they explode into a rage calling you nasty names and F-you always comes out of their mouths. Whatever happened to common decency?

Very few bicyclists obey the trail rules and give a proper warning that they intend to overtake you. Instead the go zooming by scaring others half to death. I was raised to be friendly toward everybody. I greet everybody I see. I am amazed at how many people don’t return a friendly greeting. Whatever happened to common courtesy?

Signs of the times is what we are seeing and experiencing. Signs of the End Times, that is. God’s Word tells us that many people will change like this in the Last Days. So we should not be surprised. Many things have changed for the worse. I like the saying … “NORMAL isn’t coming back. JESUS is!” In closing I echo the words of Jesus … do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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HOW DIFFERENT PEOPLE REACT TO A BIKE PASSING THEM

This video has been posted on Facebook a few times. It is not only a bit funny but it is truthful. I have seen all of these reactions except the “diver”. I hope I never see it.

If EVERBODY would simply obey the trail rules it would simplify everything and make things much safer and easier for everybody. The trail rules require trail users to stay to the far right side of the trail but very few people do. Most walk/run/skate/ ride down the center or even left of center making it difficult or even impossible to pass them. Many meander around all over the trail making it a real mystery what they are going to do next. I don’t know how many times I have already said “PASSING ON YOUR LEFT” assuming they would move to their right like they are suppose to do only to have them stay in the middle or move further left blocking me off from passing them on their left.  I then have to change to “passing on your right”. Sometimes I say something more but usually it is a waste of breath. So I just pass them and try to forget about them as I continue on with my ride.

There are several videos on YouTube about this same subject. I looked at all of them but came back to this one as I thought it was best. BTW, this man has other videos he has made which are similar to this one but of different topics if you have an interest in them.

As long as there are people and as long as there is the sinful nature of man we are going to be dealing with all of this. IT IS WHAT IT IS! Do your best to … ENJOY THE RIDE and

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EFFECTS OF COLD WEATHER

Above is a picture showing my bell (yellow arrow pointing to it). BTW, did you notice the snow on my wheel?

One thing that I notice every year when the temperature plays games cooling down somedays and warming back up other days I am not the only one complaining. Both my bell and my squeeze bulb horn are greatly effected by it too. Below is a picture of my horn mounted  on my right side handlebar below the wrist rest. The red arrow is pointing at the wrist rest.

 

Yep, they don’t like the cold weather any more than I do. If fact, they refuse to work like they normally do in warmer weather. Neither are very loud. It is amazing how they change when cold weather comes along. I bet if I were in Florida I would not experience this. But I would probably find something else to complain about. Fortunately I don’t have that much use of my bell or horn in nice weather so cooler weather is not any big concern as there is even less need of either as there are fewer trail users out once the weather changes. In fact, many times when I go out I am the only person out there on the trails.

Hey, speaking of the effect of cold weather I haven’t mentioned e-batteries. They don’t like cold weather either and will let us know it. They do so by not performing the same as they do in warmer weather. The distance we can go on a full charge will be less than normal. And that’s normal! Fortunately it is not all that much of a concern as most of us don’t care to stay out there as long when the weather is cold. I am starting to shiver just sitting here thinking about it. Who likes bundling up in cold weather anyway. I know I don’t.

Well, it is time to put and end to this before my body temperature starts dropping. It is 35 degrees F. outdoors as I type this. It has not warmed up any at all in the 3.5 hours since I got up. That is discouraging. At this rate if I do go out riding I will need to bundle up like I was in the picture above. When you live in the north this is what we deal with if we want to …

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STUPID LAWS … THEY ARE JUST WEEDS

Part of our newest trail, Becketts Run, goes thru a declared “Wetland Area” and so the trail can’t be maintained along the sides like is normally done. Instead they put up these ridiculous signs and just let the weeds grow. And that is all that is there … weeds. It sure would be nice if they could mow it but the Federal Government says no. If there were something there I could understand and  go along with it, but as I said … it’s just weeds. It doesn’t look a bit different than nearby areas along the trail that they do mow. It would all be a bunch of weeds if they didn’t mow it. Some laws are just stupid. Areas where they are allowed to mow look  the same as those where they are not allowed to mow. Go Figure as they say. Nope, it makes no sense to me.

By definition this area does not meet the requirements of a wetland area so I don’t understand why it is declared a wetland area. This much I know … it is not any fun getting smacked in the face by various forms of vegatation growing out over the trails. It is simply stupid in my opinion and entirely unnecessary.

Hey, speaking of stupid laws I read that it is against the law in the State of Indiana to stand up  and pedal a bicycle. … the rider must remain seated while riding a bicycle. Yep, it is a law still on the books from long long ago.

You know what they say … “ya can’t change city hall” … so I guess I will just keep on getting smacked in the face as I plan to …

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DANGEROUS BOOBY TRAPS STILL BEING FOUND ON BIKE TRAILS

For those who don’t know what the words “booby trap” mean here is a definition: “A booby trap is a device or setup that is intended to kill, harm, or surprise a human or an animal. It is triggered by the presence or actions of the victim.”

want to say upfront this is scary stuff, but it is not my intention to make you fearful even though it is enough to make one shudder and tremble. It is just so sad that people exist who would do these evil things. I wrote an article about this several years ago. I just now searched online about the subject. It not only has not gone away, but there is much more posted online about the subject now than the first time I wrote about it. Most people think of diamond frame bicycles when they think about setting up their booby traps. A piece of wire strung across a trail  is usually placed about a foot above the ground so that a cyclist’s front tire hits it and it causes the bike to flip over spilling the rider out onto the ground. Riding along the wire is hard to see, especially if it is a dark shady area. Sometimes the wire is strung higher up and this is when it gets really scary and dangerous for those of us riding tadpole trikes. People have been killed or at least seriously injured when their face or neck meets up with the wire. Riding a tadpole trike puts our face down way lower than that of someone riding a bicycle.

 

Many years ago when Interstate 69 was being constucted thru northern Indiana an incident happened I will always remember. The pavement was poured but the interstate highway was not open yet. There was still various construction work to be done. The interstate was elevated to cross over an existing road which involved the banks of the roadway to be a rather steep angle. Graders were being used to grade the sides. Because of the steep angle involved a steel cable was used stretched between them to hold them in place so they could not slide down or tip over as they travelled along grading the dirt. A man drove his car up on the new pavement at nighttime. Of course, he had no business being up there as the Interstate Hwy. was still closed. The steel cable was just the right height so that it made a convertible out of his car and took his head off. He won’t  be doing that again.

I am not posting this to make you fearful of riding. That is the last thing I want out of this. I do want to make you aware of the possibility of this happening so that you will be looking for such concerns and hopefully prevent ANYONE from being injured.. Fortunately this has not become widespread. Most bike trails have not dealt with this problem and hopefully never will. Probably most of it has occurred on mountain bike trails. Definitely it has also occurred on paved bike trails as well. We live in evil times and it is only getting worse. Keep your eyes open and be aware of this concern.

BE SAFE OUT THERE!

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

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NOT READY FOR THIS!

looked out the window into our back yard early this morning and what did I see? It was not anything I wanted to see. It was that nasty four letter word … SNOW! And it is only mid October as I type this. I tell ya … I AM NOT READY FOR THIS! Yesterday was cold, windy and light rain off and on. It was not a pleasant day for riding … and it is still early Autumn. Oh woe is me … whatever will I do? I’d give a lot of dough, if only I could know … the answer to my question … is it yes or is it no? Does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight? When your mother says don’t chew it, do you swallow it in spite? Can you catch it on your tonsils and heave it left and right? Now I ask ya … does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost over night? Old timers will know where that came from, but younger folks won’t have a clue. It doe not have anything to do with anything. It just sort of fit and flowed off of my pen … and I am not even using a pen. (See the video at the bottom of this article.)

By now you have probably figured out that I don’t have anything in mind to write about and am just rambling on here. But the weather outside is frightful and so I think I will remain inside today. I had enough of nasty riding weather yesteday. And we have only just begun. At least 6 more months can be expected. It is probably more like 8 more months before decent weather returns. Why do people choose to live in the north and deal with nasty weather? Well, at least I have something to look forward to today. I will be going to an eye doctor to get my monthly injection in my eyeball. Doesn’t that sound like fun? It is not really as bad as it sounds. When I first heard about it it made me shudder, but after experiencing it I discovered it was no big deal … a piece of cake … at least when the doctor is skilled. I have a great eye doctor I deal with. Sure I would much rather not have to get the monthly injection but it is helping to preserve what eyesight I have left in my one eye. The other eye is already totally blind. Thank God for two eyes as I still have vision in one and it enables me to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

and most every other thing … even compose a nonsensical article for this blog. Hopefully we will both live thru it.

BTW, the snow had all melted away by afternoon. I understand that we here in northern Indiana were fortunate as some states got 12 to 18 inches of snow and more is forecasted for them.

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Now for a bit of nostalgia …

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CANAL ROUTES

Long before you and I were born there existed transportation canals. They were man made. Most of them are gone now but some of our bike trails have been built along some of them. Here where I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana the Wabash-Erie Canal passed thru.

We have at least 4 local trails that go along the paths of these canals. If I had not researched a little bit about this canal I would have remained totally ignorant of it. The Wabash-Erie Canal pretty much followed along near the Maumee River from Lake Erie near Toledo, Ohio  to Fort Wayne. From Fort Wayne it continued on southwest to the Wabash River and followed it southward until it headed back southeast to the White River. It ended at the Ohio River at Evansville, Indiana for a total distance of 497 miles. Perhaps you noticed that the sign shows the canal as being only 468 miles long instead of the 497 I stated above. I don’t know which is correct, but 497 is what I read online. On the map far above you can see the several canals that used to exist. The picture below shows a typical canal boat used on the canals. They were drawn by a team of horses or mules from the shore alongside of the canals. Those paths were called “towpaths”. There are some modern day trails  which have “Towpath” in their name. We have one right here in Fort Wayne.

The canal was abandoned in 1874, sold in 1877, and its path through Fort Wayne sold in 1881 to the Nickel Plate Railroad for its roadbed. The last boat was seen on the canal in 1882. Historical Society Marker

I read that these draft animals can pull 50 times more weight on a boat in water than they could if it were on  a wagon on land.

Along the Towpath Trail there are still some remains of the canal. I have ridden past there hundreds of times and never realized  this. Just yesteday I found out about it.

For what it is worth right after I composed this article I rode the Towpath Trail again looking for signs of a former canal. I stopped and got off of my trike and walked over to the area shown circled, but I saw no sign of a canal ever being there.

From the St. Joseph River a “feeder canal” was built taking water from the St. Joe River down into downtown Ft. Wayne to provide additional water to the Wabash-Erie Canal. The St. Joseph Pathway and Becketts Run Trail  follow alongside of it in places. I have seen sections of this feeder canal as it is quite obvious.

 

In the picture above the red line indicates the Saint Joseph Pathway as it passes thru Purdue University property. The yellow line indicates the feeder canal. It runs in a straight line all the way up to where it connected to the St. Joe River further up north of Becketts Run Trail in what used to be called Robinson Park. It is all gone today as it has been made into a housing subdivision. The blue line indicates the west bank of the St. Joe River. The picture below is of the same area. You can see the water filled canal running alongside of the bike trail.

Here is a sign concerning the feeder canal along Becketts Run Trail.

This is a modern day replica of a canal boat. This one is made of aluminum and is used to offer rides to those wanting to take a river cruise aboard it here in Fort Wayne. There is a monetary charge for it. It operates mainly on the Saint Marys River and it docks downtown at Prominade Park.

I find it interesting that the Towpath Trail is named after the towing path alongside the canal used by the horses and mules to pull the canal boats, but there is nothing to see as you ride the trail. If there was a canal out there with banks alongside the horses and mules walked on I sure don’t know where it is and I have ridden it hundreds of times. I have often wondered about it. If anything is there to see I am not aware of it. The next time I ride out on the Towpath Trail I am going to look harder to see if anything is there.

I posted an article awhile back about a tadpole trike ride along the Erie Canal. There are several YouTube videos documenting the ride and the remains of the canal.

I contacted a key person with our trails asking if any map is available that shows the former route of the canal and our trails. I was told that none exist but another person came up with a map in a .pdf file format which I have been unsuccessful in posting here. However, I saved it as a .jpg format which I can post here.

If you live near so that you can get to ride near any of these old canals used to exist you might want to check them out to see what remains of them.

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REAL FEEL VS FEELS LIKE

am sure most of us have heard the terms concerning what the current weather actually feels like to our bodies. “Feels Like” is probably to most common. Accuweather has patented their “RealFeel”. Of course, before we started hearing and using these terms we had the good ol’ “Wind Chill Factor” commonly used. Along with it came the explanation that the wind chill is what the weather actually feels like to us humans and animals. Colder weather is coming on. Much of the northern United States  went from warm summer weather to much cooler Fall weather literally overnight.

Hey, it’s that time of year and there is nothing we can do about it. We can’t all move south to warmer weather. Yesterday and today are much colder days than what we have been having. I am not rushing out the door in the early morning as it is just too cold out there to enjoy being out. Even the warmest part of the day which is late afternoon still FEELS rather chilly. I was out riding yesterday and found I was not dressed warm enough. Mostly it was my hands that got cold as I did not have the right gloves with me to cope with the weather. I also did not have the right headwear. I dug all that out this morning and will be taking it with me today. I am even taking some chemical hand warmers along just in case I need them. Hopefully I will get by without them.

One thing I have noticed which I am not too thrilled about is the fact that as I age my internal furnace doesn’t seem to be working as well as it did when I was younger. What I am saying is I get cold easier than I used to. That equates to not going out riding in temperatures I used to years ago. I used to go out riding with temperatures in the 20s. Last year I found I didn’t venture out unless it was at least in the mid 30s. I don’t know what will be the case this year but I can tell you I am already struggling with the mid 50s. Of course, I could dress warmer and probably not have a problem. It is just that we went from 80 degrees one day to mid 50s the next. I wasn’t ready for that.

If only I had a space suit with heating and cooling available to me. I don’t think I could sit on a trike with it on however. Besides that I know myself … I would have it ripped open the first day.

Again, if I were a rich man and single I would be snowbirding in the Floral City, Florida area and riding on the Withlacoochee Nature Trail during the cold months in the north. I would have started doing that several years ago. But alas, I am married and I am not rich. My wife and I have talked about snowbirding but we don’t know if it will ever happen. She is not yet retired so that has to happen first and then see how our finances go. Who knows? We might “git ur dun”. Maybe I will meet up with some of you down there. Unless and until then I am stuck here dealing with colder temperatures.

Hey, it is now 11:10 AM and we are having a real heat wave … 50 degrees F with a feels like temp of 46 and 9 mph winds. I think I will eat lunch and then bundle up to head out. The forecasted high today is about 54 degrees.

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.