archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

Author Archive

Ray Taylor’s AZUB Ti-Fly recumbent tricycle!

(YouTube video below)

Ray Taylor recently purchased a new Azub Ti-Fly recumbent tricycle not long ago. Back in 2017, when I put my ICE Full Fat up for sale, Ray expressed interest in it, however, another potential buyer was ahead of him, so I told Ray that if the first buyer’s deal did not complete, then he (Ray) could buy my trike. Well, as it turned out, the first buyer (a fellow and his wife from Nevada), did end up getting my big fat tire trike, so Ray was out of luck.

But there was a silver lining in Ray’s trike search, and he decided upon this Azub, which he now absolutely loves! So, Ray is a very happy triker, even though he ended up with another triangular vehicle. This short presentation shows Ray’s Azub trike in a few still photos, and also includes a specs sheet (pause video to read it) and some video he shot, where he explains more about the recumbent tricycle. Ray’s Azub has some really cool additions you will want to see in the video!

By the way, the Full Fat trike I had for sale that Ray wanted was also this bright orange color.

If you have questions about this trike, please post them in the comments (on YouTube and Trike Asylum), and hopefully Ray will read them from time to time and provide answers. I am not qualified to speak about Ray’s trike, so there may be a delay in getting your comment answered depending on when Ray reads it. Thanks for your patience!

Trike Hobo


Trike Tips Newsletter, Volume 1 – Issue 1, Spring 2020

For joining the mailing list of this newly-launched newsletter, contact:

sunnyriderbeth@gmail.com

To submit text and photos for publication, contact:

daytriker@gmail.com

 


Do you seek sun protection for your cycling helmet? Try Da Brim!

Da Brim

I first learned about the Da Brim company several years ago from my friend Mark Waters, proprietor of Backcountry Recumbent Cycles near Bend, Oregon. These brims, which attach easily and quickly to any cycling helmet, go a long way to keeping the sun’s rays off your face and neck if the sun is high in the sky. If you are riding late in the day, or early in the morning, or are on a cycling tour that includes riding all day long, these brims may not be the best solution, but if you tip your head towards the sun, they would work when the sun is lower in the sky. In wind, they tend to flap a tad from what I hear, but they are pretty stiff, and hold their shape well. Below are two links, the first is to the cycling section of the Da Brim company website, and the second is a company video showing how this brim attaches to a cycling helmet.

http://www.dabrim.com/html/products/cycling.htm


David Massey – latest custom trike trailer information

Refer to earlier posts about David to see the seven segments leading up to this one.


TerraTrike New 2020 Model Line-up


ICE Escapades … Recumbent Trike Ride, by Ken Poindexter


Recumbent Trike Maintenance Workshop, hosted by James


Let’s Visit the Trident Trikes Website!

The original old Trike Hobo Steve Greene hosts a visit to the Trident Trikes website, and man, do they ever have a huge selection from which to choose!


David Massey’s “chapter seven” – electric motor trike installation and custom trailer


Matt Galat, world trike adventurer, has a roadside problem to solve!


David Massey discusses his Azub trike, baggage, and electric motor, then takes a ride!


Happy Trikesgiving … from Steve Newbauer!

Long-time triker Steve Newbauer sends us this seasonal greeting:


Overland Triker David Massey to set out on his Azub

You may recall that a fellow triker named David Massey joined me in 2013 for an overland trike journey along the Pacific coast of the United States. Well, David is once again preparing to head out on his trusty Azub recumbent trike on another long distance trek, and is currently in his initial preparations phase of the endeavor. This time, David plans on pulling a small trailer, with a solar panel on top, which will power his new electric assist motor that will make the mountain passes a bit easier to get up and over. Below are some video presentations, the first one being an introduction to set the stage, followed by a series of excellent videos by David, in which he explains some of the preparations he is currently making, including the electric assist motor and the solar collector panel. David’s presentations below are in chronological order, with the oldest at the top, and the most recent at the bottom.

MY INTRODUCTION TO DAVID AND HIS TRIKE ADVENTURE:

DAVID MASSEY’S VIDEO PRESENTATIONS:

Website links of potential interest:

https://www.youtube.com/user/daveyJ213 (David’s YouTube channel)

https://www.goodnewsonly.com/ (David’s personal website)

https://trikephantoms.wordpress.com/ (our 2013 Pacific Coast trike trek)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1541132645/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0 (The Overland Triker book on Amazon)

 


Trike Hobo discusses his bike … Making it more comfy!

Hey there everyone! Trike Hobo Steve Greene here with ya’ once again, actually writing and saying something like the good old days. I’ve been really busy with my Iron Vegan YouTube channel for the past eleven months, and consequently, I have been somewhat neglecting other aspects of my online presence, including Trike Asylum. Well anyway, for those of you who dearly miss me yakking at you about some form of my pedal powered transportation, here’s your chance to bring back yesterday. I’m still alive and well, and in the following eighteen minute talk, I will reveal some recent modifications I have made to my beloved Specialized Roll Elite bicycle, all in the name of comfort. Oh yeah, comfort is important for all of us human powered people, regardless of how many wheels we have spinning beneath us. So, click the “play” arrow below and hear my latest rants and raves!


Latest from a long lost Canadian triker named Glen …

From Glen Aldridge the Canadian SuperTriker, expert at all things three wheeled, and user of dim light bulbs, comes this latest tale of his tricycling projects … first Glen’s text, hot off his brain, and then followed by some photographs that purport to reveal what in the heck he is talking about! By the way, Glen is the owner of the ever popular tricycle outing business called: Mid Island Adventures, so give the old man a call if you want to have some  triangular pedaling fun up north (250.900.6773 Canadian phone). Everything from here down is from SuperTriker, so if there are any mistakes or other unknown issues, take it up with him (don’t blame me ;-)


Thought I would also let you know about some changes going on.

First the small stuff. I installed a Power Assist on my trike & have learned a few things

about how it effects your & the trikes riding. I am now a firm believer in the Torque Assist

Sensor types that amplify your Pedal Stroke as opposed to the Cadence Sensor type that act more like turning a switch On & Off. The Torque Assist type also simplify your components, reduce the number of connections, wiring & possible problem areas from developing & give you the maximum range out of your battery. I’m sold! Hills are a thing of the past. haha

Mirror Modification – 

One of several problems to overcome adding a Power Assist is where to put everything while still keeping access to the available space. Once I had installed my LCD Display on my left handlebar the only available room for mounting my mirrycle mirror was sticking straight out to the side of my grip. You can see the original in the photo “Bar End.” This meant it either got hit or I had to swing it in every time I passed through trail gates. The dim light bulb in my head finally went on one night & I thought of a solution. I bought a short piece of 1/2″ d. plexi tubing and cut a piece about 3-1/2 inches long. Sprayed the inside & outside with a couple of coats of Tremclad black & bought a pack of 4 in. long screws the same thread as the brass fitting in the mirror arms. (8 x 32″) I had to buy about 25 screws if anyone else wants to do this modification. haha The results seem to work just fine & actually gave me a little more useful room on my left handlebar. You can see the end result in the photos.

I also finished a couple of long term projects that had been simmering in the recesses of my mind. One was my Repair Stand. I had been having a problem of what to use for holding the trike on the stand. Since I often work on various makes of trikes I didn’t want to use the fixed PVC cut pipes that are commonly used plus I wasn’t sure how I would mount them securely in 1 inch square aluminum tubing. There might have been a Power Surge in recent weeks as that light bulb in my head went on again. On boat trailers they use rubber guides to get a boat to where it needs to rest on a trailer before it is tied down. These are called Keel Rollers & they just happen to have a 3 inch wide flat section between two raised ends. Perfect for holding the 2 inch diameter tubing in trike frames. Plus I can swivel the Rollers to match the different crucible angles.

Versatile Trailer – This one has actually been a big bug of mine. All the commercial trailers you buy are either for hauling kiddies or do not give you much cargo room. There are a few heavy haulers out there but I wasn’t about to spend $500. for a utility trailer. I wanted something that could take cargo boxes, maybe 2 x 4 lumber, bulky items & it had to be easy to store. My first headaches came when trying to buy 16 inch wheels with solid axles. I eventually had to buy my own & convert the wheels from Quick Release axles since I didn’t feel they would be strong enough. While I was assembling everything together I had a half sheet of 1/4 inch plywood that I thought would look a lot nicer than the plastic floor I was going to originally use so I sanded it down added 3 or 4 coats of varathane & put my new heavy duty rivet gun to work. I have to stop thinking up projects that I need to buy tools for. :) Anyway, the trailer has come along well & I made a custom mount for the Gekko to connect my trailer hitch & arm & now working on magnetic holders for things like the crates to haul on the trailer.

I bought some 1 inch flat bar aluminum & estimated the angles needed for my wheel deflectors & just hand bent them in my vice. The little black horizontal support pieces were cut from a dollar store broom handle. I made the connector mount for the back of my Gekko as Internal Gear Hubs don’t seem to work well with trailer connectors on their axles.

Now the big stuff. I have decided to powder coat my trike. My only complaint on my Gekko has been the super thin paint job it received. The paint seemed to scratch just by wiping it with a cloth. Since it is now 4 years old I have decided to give this a shot & teach myself a new skill. The Gekko frame breaks down into 3 sections & the longest section is 28 inches long. Since most domestic ovens are 24 inches wide this means that section has to go into the oven kitty cornered. That measures 28 inches corner to corner so that could be a challenge trying not to touch anything while hanging in a 400 degree oven. I have chosen a cherry metallic Powder Coat with chrome accents but will practice first on smaller insignificant pieces. Stay tuned./Glen

PHOTOGRAPHS OF ALL THIS STUFF:


USA Perimeter Ride: The First 150 Miles … on a tricycle!


New Bike Day – Arcade 2020 – John Langlois

It’s two wheels, not three, but it’s a fun watch if you have a few minutes to be amazed:


Steven Telck’s final thoughts about his European trike adventure!

(see prior Trike Asylum recent posts to read Steven’s journals)

Friends,

Three people have written asking if I am back from Europe or if I had chosen to stay. I guess that means more people than I thought might have been reading my emails. I have been back again in Wyoming now for a few weeks. Sorry for the delay in the last message. I have been busy putting my trike back together when I got back to Wyoming and teaching a flute class in South Dakota and it slipped my mind that I should send out a last letter. o here is the last letter with my opinions, thoughts and reminiscences of my trip.

First thing I had to do when I arrived home was find my trike. Yes the airlines lost it somewhere between Denver, Colorado and Casper, Wyoming. Finally after two days it showed up at the house. I was hoping it had been lost as this was the first time I ever insured it for a trip and I could have gotten a new one if the airlines had permanently misplaced my trike. Well the old girl and I are still together so the romance continues between us.

This trip was rough on the trike. I had trouble with the boom constantly pivoting in the frame housing and that has been fixed with “fiber grip”, a rear tire blew out in Germany, idler bearings gave up the ghost on a Sunday in a part of France with no bicycle shops, a bent derailleur hanger caused shifting problems and a constant creak in the front end for the last three weeks of the tour was very distracting. The front middle chain ring is worn out and it and the chain needs to be replaced. At this time the bottom bracket now 10 years old is getting new bearings as they feel like gravel in a pipe instead of bearings.

As a quick refresh of some thing written about previously.

I had a great time visiting England and ICE recumbent trike company. I have been dealing with ICE for ten years via email where they help me with technical problems, make suggestions on best practice and just generally helping me keep my trike working well. They have been more than great in dealing with warranty issues and their products are evolving to suit a new market with their addition of electric assistance trikes. It is just possible I might be looking into that option in a few years, but I want to resist making that move for as long as possible. Any one who might be thinking of purchasing a recumbent trike would be well served to purchase an ICE recumbent.

I remember the kindness of a 13 year old German boy named Sedrick who brought me warm tea when he understood I was fighting a strong chill. He went home in the rain and returned with a thermos of tea. The next day as I was going into the village to get breakfast when I met him coming down to see me with croissants. He is fatherless having lost his father at the age of 10 to some sort of lung cancer. He said his mother never remarried and did not have a boy friend. It seemed like he was happy talking to me and maybe I was for a short time a father figure.

I remember the late lunch in a small French town as a local restaurant where I was scarfing down lunch like there was no tomorrow. At the end of the lunch a cheese platter was brought out as the French commonly have cheese as desert. This platter had about 10 lbs of cheese on it and as the waitress set it down she look at me and said “Please don’t eat all”. I guess the comment was appropriate as I was not interested in a slow two lunch and I was wolfing down lunch as fast as they could bring it to me. I was just filling the hunger I was feeling that after noon not having eaten the night before, nor breakfast as my camp the night before was far from any town. After this little episode I made sure to have some cheese and salami in the bags at all time during the ride.

I watched a cooling tower of a nuclear power plant in Germany which never came online after it was found to have been accidentally built on a fault line be demolished. I sat for nearly 3 hours waiting for the tower to fall only to be caught with my camera shut down when it finally fell.

Near the end of the trip I went up to a local mountain to watch paragliders and it was amazing to watch people run off a mountain with nothing more than a harness and a sail to fly along the cliff faces quietly and gracefully down into a valley below.

I must admit during the whole trip I meet many good people in all the countries I visited. Riding in the Netherlands was a pleasure were every driver allows a bicyclist to share the road and ride safely and there are so many bicycle paths. I found this to be true in all the countries I visited, but must admit the Germans are a bit more aggressive in their driving, yet I never felt at risk in Germany. It was in Germany where a young man really helped me out when my rear tire on my trike blew out on a narrow road with little in the way of a safety margin to repair a tire and which I had no way to fix not carrying a spare tire. After driving me 10 km to a bicycle shop he would not take one Euro for gas.

If any of the readers of this document think or believe the French of being unfriendly they are extremely misinformed. I believe this to be an urban myth from years ago started by people who were not friendly themselves when first meeting French people. I have been to France now twice and both times I met openly friendly people. It is amazing how people will go out of their way to help you when you approach them with a little grace, such as quietly explaining you don’t speak their language and asking politely if they can help you.

I fondly remember all the encouragement offered to me as I climbed Oberalppass and Fukra pass. I was struggling to keep a decent pace and make the summit when younger men and women would come by on light weight upright bikes and shout at me “Brave sir”, “respect”, “You are nearly there, only 2 km to the summit”. These two peaks for me with my load were a challenge and more than once I was considering getting off and pushing the trike, but friendly people kept my spirits up and I climbed over the summits with a great sense of accomplishment.

I remember funny people like the two Germans who made the comment about Switzerland when they said “It is a rich country everyone owns a cow” which means all Swiss have more than enough money or the Swiss man who said that the Swiss Air Force only works from 8am to 12am and 2pm to 6pm, so if the country is attacked outside of those hours they must call Italy for assistance meaning no one in Switzerland works too hard.

I am not sure what “Woodstock” meant to Europeans, but many people my age asked me if I had attended the event. If I had I would have been 17 years old and I was still in high school in Jackson Hole at the time. From what little I know of Woodstock it was an event with lots of music, drugs, few toilets and little in the way of food for the people who attended. I personally think it has been made into an unrealistic American iconic dream which has filtered out to the world culture without being carefully examined. I guess one has to ask themselves what was more important to the people attending the event. Was it the music, the free thinking atmospheres or just the social interactions which took place? The recent attempt to have a 50 year anniversary clearly shows that people today are first and foremost focused on the money which might be made from such events. The world has evolved into a litigious society where nothing can be done without lawyers being involved. No city or even small business can accept the possible financial loss which might occur where people might sue over problems no one would have given a second though to 50 years ago, so I was not surprised to hear that the 50th anniversary flopped as there was not enough money to be made and too many regulations and rules to be addressed. For those that attended Woodstock 50 some years ago I believe money and comfort was the last things on their minds. I am from a generation where the concept of “Glamping” makes no sense to me and therefore I guess I might have enjoyed attending Woodstock if I had gone.

What would I have done different now that I have the luxury of looking back? Well some sort of ultra-lite camp chair would have been nice as sitting on the ground especially wet ground during my 50 days of travel was not fun. Better rain gear for Belgium and the Netherlands would have been in order. In Europe they use something called a rain cape. It has no zipper or a very short one in the front which means it will keep a recumbent rider much drier in the recumbent position. It is sort of a poncho made for bicycling. If I had brought along such a cape, I might not have gotten so cold in Germany, but then again I would not have met Sedric. I would have taken less cash as I found it hard to exchange anywhere other than Switzerland. I would take flip flops in the future rather than crocs, as crocs are much harder to pack and take up a lot of room in my panniers. A bathing suit which I forgot would have been nice for swimming at camp ground pools. A much smaller lock and chain. A 10.8 lb chain and lock was a bit much to push up the mountains of Switzerland.

I had a great time and highly recommend that people should see Europe and try to experience the culture. Moving from country to country is free and easy. The Euro makes currency easier. Keep in mind that England and Switzerland don’t use the Euro. I can honestly say I have been in both Germany and France at least 25 times as I crossed over the Rhine river daily to camp, eat or find a better bike path.

All the pictures and short videos I took are at this link on my Google Drive. If is unfortunate, but many people tell me they have trouble streaming videos stored on my G Drive. Many of my readers have told me they can not access any video and I also can not play a video from my G Drive other than through Internet Explorer. With Chrome it just doesn’t seem to work. If you down load the video it plays on a local computer, but I understand not everyone wants my unprofessional videos cluttering up their computer. If any one is interested in looking at my pictures I will leave the link active for a time.

If my legs continue to hold up I am giving thought to riding the north island of New Zealand in the next few years. Like the European trip it would be totally self supported.


Recumbent Trike Touring China: Winter Training Camp

This is four hours long. I have not watched it yet. Hope it’s worthwhile, or entertaining at least:


Triker Telck – latest news from the road …

August 29

Well I rolled into a campground last night after 6 p.m. so the reception was closed. Went and picked me out a spot, had a nice shower and charged all my electronics. Next morning I was up at 8am which is late for me and there still was no one at reception.  I guess I could have skated out, but I didn’t want to mess with my karma, so waited 30 minutes until they opened up and gave paid. This is a campground chain I stayed at before so they already knew me when I gave them my last name and they said “Steven from Casper?”

As I was pulling out the campground and getting ready the turn onto the trail I heard someone behind me said “You are riding ICE.”  Well the grammar  wasn’t perfect, but I did understand exactly what the person was saying.  Seems he also has an ICE recumbent and had bought it used from someone who had treated it like a first born child and saved quite a lot of money on it.  We discussed all the usual reasons why people want to go to recumbents and he pretty much was more or less in line with my thinking and why I had given up upright bikes for recumbents.  Funny thing  he was riding in a standard bike.  Like me he has found it difficult to transport them on public trains which he was using during his vacation. Remy as it turns out is his name commented on Swiss working hours and especially how easy the hours worked are for the Swiss Air Force.  He said they only work from 8-12 and 2-6.  If Switzerland is attacked outside those hours they must call the Italian army for help. I am sure this was a tongue in cheek comment about how no one works hard in Switzerland including national defense.

As I was pulling into this little town for lunch I got off my trike and lookef back and realised I no longer had a bath towel. I don’t know how it came out from underneath the bungee cords. I could have have sworn it was on  extremely tight, but I won’t make that mistake again.  I found a sporting goods store and picked up a really nice one about 3 times bigger than the one I had lost. Microfiber and thin enough  it should dry overnight.

This is the second travel bath towel I have managed to lose, the first one was in Asia, and now this one here in Europe. I seem to be averaging about 1 travel towel lost for every 2000 km.

I stopped for lunch and the young waitress didn’t speak much English and we had a bit of communication problem.  I was pointing at a list of drinks and she was doing her best to translate to English when I came to one where she said “cider”. I thought a cold cup of cider sounded good to me so I ordered some and strangely enough it came out in a large coffee cup. It was a hot day so I took a big drink and it kind of slapped me in the face as it turned out to be hard cider and very hard.  Sort of tasted like beer made with apples. I ordered buckwheat cheese and ham crepe which was very good. As there was no one outside in the sitting area with me I decided to pull out the bass C flute and just started doing some improv. Another lady came in and sat down and ordered coffee and I looked over and I could see she was tapping her foot. After about 5 minutes when I took a break she came over and started speaking Swiss to me when I asked her if she could speak English and she switch to English but she was struggling.  Turns out she’s about my age and this week she’s going up into the Alps to a retreat, it’s one of those places where you walk a steep hill for 3 hours and then you rest in what they call a rescue hut, but it looks more like a full-blown chalet to me from the picture she had on her phone.  Turns out about 30 minutes later we  still chatting when suddenly in walks a man who she jumps up and greets.  It turns out to be her boyfriend.  Seems that she had recorded some of my playing and sent him the file and he had come over to see the flute. She wanted to know if I was camping or staying at hostels to which I said camping every night. Seems that she and her boyfriend had been in Canada and were told by the camp ground manager there would be no problem with bears and not less than 10 minutes later two of them wandered into their camp.  They had been told to picked up their hiking sticks and hold them up in the air make noises and of course because they were here to tell me the story the bears went away.  After that we started telling silly jokes about how fast do you have to run to out run a bear? Of course everyone in Wyoming knows the answer, it is faster than your slowest friend which they found hilarious.

Today  I rode down the Rhone valley for about 45 km with fantastic peaks on either side of me and the Rhone river running down valley. Think of riding along the Tetons only on both side of the road and running from Jackson to the South entrance of a Yellowstone. It must have been a massive glacier to have cut this valley with such sheer sides.  There seems to be some sort of game of people trying to out do each other in seeing who can places a house higher up a  cliff.  I am still thinking about how some must have been built.  Many of the homes seem to have no roads to them, yet one can see power lines to the houses so there must be some sort of roads.  During the winter there must be no access to these houses other than helicopter, so I take it they are just rich folks summer homes.

Well it turned out I miscalculated my day and did not have enough time to get to the next campground.  I did stop at one, but it was almost deserted.  reception was closed and the restaurant was closed and they were not going to open up again today at least that’s what I thought I translated when I ran it through Google.  There were a lot of open spaces, but I could not tell the if someone might be coming in later so after mulling around for about 25 to 30 minutes I decided to go down the road and realised there was no way I was going to make the next campground before dark.  Well cracking down the bicycle path thinking about what to do I noticed a walking path down towards the river through some weeds.  Rode down about 10 m made a right turn and found open space on the bank next to the Rhone river and that is where I  wild camped for night.  Laying down in the tent dictating this blog there was something outside rustling in the leaves near the tent which is most likely a mouse.  Right now it is rather warm so I don’t know if I will need the sleeping bag or not tonight.

August 30 & 31

Definitely did not need a sleeping bag. If I had not been sleeping on a plastic air mattress I might have taken off my t-shirt.  As it was getting dark I heard the bushes rustling and I looked to see this guy kind of walking down this little path that I am camp next to with his arms up in the air shaking them left and right, up and down.  So of course I was thinking what kind of lunatic do I have coming my way, but he looked at me and just waved and turned off into the main trail and  went away.

Even though I was right next to the River the next morning at 6:30 the tent had no dew on it.  Nice to put away a dry tent

Found a coffee shop that said it was open at 6:30, so I rode 4 km off the route to go check it out.  Had my usual morning tuna sandwich with vegetables and  crossiant and a nice cup of coffee.   Im getting cooked on espresso coffee,  think I will have to invest in a machine when I get back to the States.

After breakfast I started a 12 km climb up into the grape vineyards in Lavaux.  Not a different difficult climb but it was hot and it took awhile.  Coming back down the GPS lead me astray.  I was listening to it call-out turns left and right, but I noticed that the road was tappering down to a walking path. I came around a very sharp corner and because of that I had to do it very slowly and lucky for me the minute I could see I was looking at 10 steps going down at a 45-degree angle. So there I was on a path that was only 4 ft wide and had walls and both sides.  Turning the trike around was a 10 minute ordeal.  First I had to push it backwards about 5 ft to the turning point where I started the game of 100 point turn. Forward and backward, forward and backward I don’t know how many times and finally all I did was get jammed  between the front boom in the back of the rack.  At least it wasn’t going to roll down the hill.  At this point I was so hot and sweaty I was almost tempted to turn the wheels down hill and let it go screaming down the vineyards and claim the insurance. I finally decided the only safe thing to do was get on the downhill side of the track grab the frame and drag the rear around the corner so I could move the boom forward. The reason I chose be on the downhill side is at least I could put my knee against the panniers and hold it from flipping and rolling backwards. If I was on the up outside it would probably get away from me. On grades greater than 5% where I am at an angle to the road the minute I get out the seat the trike wants to flip over on its side because it’s top heavy and this was the problem I was dealing with while I was trying to get it unjammed at the corner.  So after grabbing a firm hold on the rear and dragging the rear tyre as I was pulling the truck sideways I finally got it turned around, but the path was too steep to ride up.  So I got behind the trike and lean on my walking cane which is in the plastic tube and pushed.  It turns out I don’t need my steering harness after all.  All I have to do is lean against the top of the cane either left or right and the bike wheels torque steer in the direction I wanted to go. Push right it goes left in vice versa.  I finally got down after a time. The roads were really steep and my brakes hot. I was a bit shaken so I do what I usually do when I’m like that,I stop and have something to eat. It turned out to be a cup of espresso and the best strawberry cream tart I’ve ever had.

Still trying to figure why people seem to think it’s not possible to put in a couple thousand km on a trike yet they don’t question the fact that someone on a regular bike does it.  It must be the small 20 inch wheels and the fact that it sorry low to the ground.  I had one guy look at me like he thought I might have been lying to him when I told him I went over Fukra pass on the trike.  I don’t think Fukra pass is the hardest pass in the Alps, but it is definitely one of the big boys.

I was coming in to Lausanne when I decided to go see the big cathedral and yes you guessed it it’s on the highest point of the city.  So I have Google maps giving me turn by turn instructions and down the road I’m going when suddenly I hit a barricade.  A bunch of people standing around with a few policemen and I was thinking what is this a hostage situation?  Didn’t take long to figure out what was going when 15 young men came screaming by on bicycles so close to each other they could share wheels.  Don’t know what event is going on, but it’s going on for 3 days.  So I am climbing this one long and steep street on the sidewalk because the road was closed for the races.  Again I’m down in my lowest gear getting up the street at about 4 km per hour and here comes a bunch of these young bucks and the past me on the hill like I was in reverse.

Anyway I continue up this long grade of 2.5 km to the top of the hill only to arrive just in time to be told that they were closing for the day but I could come back tomorrow.  I thought fast chance of me going down the hill coming back in the morning so I took some outside pictures and that’s when I ran into the Americans. They were from San Diego California and like many of the Europeans could not believe I was touring around on a recumbent with the tiny little wheels.  One of the  guys had left the States 25 years ago to  live in Switzerland with his Swiss wife.  He says he loves the quality of life here and every time he goes back to San Diego to see his dad it’s not more than a week before he wants to come back to Switzerland. We shoot the fecal matter for about 45 minutes and they were the ones to inform me about this campgroundp here because I mention with these races going on I thought I might have to ride 30 km out of town to find a camping site.  It’s crowded here just like last night and the 6 young bucks next to me have been listening to rap music which they finally turned off and are chattering like Chipmunks even though it is past 9:30.  There are quite a few older people here unlike the last night so I don’t think they’re going to be running about at 3 in the morning talking so loud it was difficult to sleep. I find it amazing that the people here will switch from French to English to German and back French and English several times in just a few minutes.  I’m not sure why they do it, but they can with very little trouble.

Well it was a hard day with all the climbing but I don’t think I got more than 30 km in riding.  60% chance of rain tomorrow afternoon and a cold spell coming in.  Not sure what the Swiss consider a cold spell for this time of year.

Older pic’s

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=11CZ1ZhS1aBLjd0bA0rnAgpZzJakbQRD8

Newest pics

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=1AmZDjoYauzi-qz_CTwNIeEfsOCNqXA4X

Present location in Switzerland.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=46.515129+6.5986065

I apologize for not posting sooner but many things have happened that if kept me very busy and doing this on the cell phone is not the easiest thing to do, so I will just start up again like nothing has happened and we’ll go from here.

I’m riding out of town when I see a guy coming down the bike path on the same side of the road towards me. This is not unusual as many roads have bike paths on both sides of the road and they are bi-directional. I keep hearing the little Ding-a-Ling ding-a-ling warning everyone here including me uses as a polite warning to people who are not paying attention.  I waved at him and he waves at me and I figure we have made acknowledgement yet I keep hearing the little bell.  So I’m thinking this guy is just plain bell happy or maybe ding-a- ling in the head, until I look left and see a whole herd of sheep standing next to the bicycle path grazing and they’re the ones doing the ding a ling sounds as every last one of them is wearing a bell around its neck.  I wonder if the guy approaching was thinking I was the ding-a-ling?

I am not more than 2 km inside of France yet no shop here will take a Swiss franc. This means a stop at a bank somewhere to exchange the 150 Swiss francs I have to euros as they are totally useless in France. If I can’t find a bank to accept the Swiss francs then I’ll withdraw money with my debit card.

Yesterday was a challenging day. Finding camping was a problem. I rode out to an area that was called camping on Google maps, but it turned out to be a public park of scrub trees and dirt. Clouds overhead were threatening a downpour and the last thing I wanted to do was wake up in the morning h to break camp  Next camping was shown as being 23 km away so I as it was early in the afternoon I thought I would risk the rain and ride towards it.  It should be noted that Google maps will send you on a path to hell if you’re not careful when using it.  Well I was not careful and I did not notice that the last 5 km on the map had changed to this really thin line which usually means dirt or worse and of course it was worse.  I have never ridden my trike down a rougher road and that includes all the kilometres in Vietnam. About 2 km from the campsite the road is in one or two conditions, loose gravel and large boulders or large chunks of old asphalt mixed in with loose gravel and large boulders.  It is slightly uphill which means I’m down in my lowest gear fighting these rocks slipping the rear wheel here and there and sometimes just coming to a standstill until I can push backwards and find a different way to go. I finally hit asphalt again and by now my legs feel like spaghetti and I’m barely getting up the hill. When I get to the campground I’m sitting on the trike in front of reception trying to catch my breath and I look down and and noticed that my chain idler looks strange.  Upon closer inspection I can see that it has broken the outer bearing and spilt all the balls out onto the ground  most likely  somewhere in the last 2 km. Well not much you can do on Sunday other than check-in, put up your tent and start thinking about what to do on Monday.  I email ICE and wait for Monday morning to see what they have to say.  In the meantime I take the idler of))lf the trike, clean up the maybe one good bearing  and then with a strong flash light find out it is a standard 608RS bearing. This is the size of bearing used in larger wheel rollerblades.

Now a bit of diversion and a short discussion on on what it means to Google when you say “near me”.  First and foremost the distance estimate they offer to you before you actually ask for directions is always always less than what it actually turns out to be calculated. I figured this is simple to understand in that Google must use a straight line estimate or as the bird flies from your present location to the shop. Also one has to be careful how you asked the question, campgrounds near me and camping near me often give different results.  The issue which I can’t put my head around yet is what is the value used for “near me”? You can ask the question and find a shop 12 km away, start riding towards it, still be 10 km away and asked the same question in Google will show you a shop 2 km away which was still much nearer than when you asked the first question, but never showed up in the search. Now back to the issue of the idler with the bad bearing.

So I start some near me searches, bicycle shops, bicycle repair, rollerblade shops and everything comes up 10 to 12 km away.  Now someone with my feet that’s a bit of a hike. So I’m sitting here in camp on a trike that I can’t ride two feet wondering what to do next.

I decided to begin a new search and this time I used sporting goods and damn if there isn’t one 1.5 km from the campgrounds. I give the shop a call top talk with someone who speaks English, but you could tell by the way they are responding to the questions they did not understand what I needed so it was time to pick up the old cane and take a little hike. I arrived at the shop at 9:15 in the morning and it doesn’t open until 9:30 so I sit down and have a coffee and begin contemplating what I might have to do if I can actually get my hands on a bearing. Finally the shop opens and I walk in and find a young man who speaks English showing my greasy bearing and he just shakes his head no. I asked if they sell rollerblades to which he responds yes and takes me over to the  very limited display.  So I’m standing in the isle contemplating if I should buy a pair of $80 rollerblade just so I can steal two bearings out of the six wheels with 3 dollars I’m just about ready to make this move when I look around this one pair of rollerblades hanging and I see one spare 100mm replacement wheel with two 608RS  bearings mounted in it for €10. Yes those two bearings cost me 5 times more than if I just bought the bearings separately on the internet, but it was probably only 1 fifth the cost at having them overnight Expressed from England.

So back up the hill to the campground to remove the inner race from the damage bearing off the centre bolt which involved a small crescent, a large crescent, a spanner and a small amount of sacrificial blood, but it did come off.  So now I’m sitting in the grass with the clean bolt, a large washer, a small washer and a rollerblade wheel with two bearings in it which I need to get out. I thought it was going to be a big hassle to do that, but they walked right out when I put a allen wrench in the centre and just wiggled them back and forth. I would have thought it much harder thinking them to be pressed in much tighter.  So I slipped the new bearings into the old idler housing and attached the assembly to the trike.  I sent a picture to Patrick telling him I think I got it sorted out to which you kindly replied not quite. Seems that the larger washer belongs inside the housing between the two bearings. This has me scratching my head as I’ve only taken the idler off once in the 10 years and I do not believe I ever remove the bearings and to the best of my knowledge this large washer has always been mounted on the outside.  Patrick has never steered me wrong so I took it all apart put the big washer inside, put some loctite on the bolt and put it back on the trike and it did run smoother. Thank you Patrick.

So I’m laying in the tent patting myself on the back for having fixed the trike when suddenly I hear some meowing. Behind my head I can feel the mosquito netting moving.  I turn over on the air mattress in I am face to face with Mr or Mrs Kitty.  I get a few more polite meows  and off it wanderded.

I am presently staying with the family that is a member of  Trustroots.  Think of it as a cross between warm showers and couch surfing.  It is a group of people who want to get to know each other in a deeper way rather than just having somebody drop in for one day then leave.  Quentin the man who accepted me for hosting said I could stay for one week or two as it didn’t matter is they had plenty of room in the loft. I opted for some nice expanse of greengrass, at my age I should sleep in the bathroom instead of the bedroom and getting up and down that loft didn’t seem all that practical to me. Quentin is a border in the house and practical member of the family.

As I understand it the house belongs to the mother and father of the married couple and their three children who live here. I don’t know if Quintin pays to live here or just helps with the constant ongoing renovation of the house.  It has a loft over a garage with sleeping spaces in it that they keep open for people travelling and need a place to stay either short or long term such as me. Every morning I have breakfast with the family and dinner.  The family seems to be about 95% vegetarian. They have a fair size garden which is more or less neglected since they are so busy with the house reconstruction yet it seems to produce a fair amount of squash, tomatoes and other common garden vegetables.  They have a pear tree and apple tree and two fig trees.

I went on a picnic with them today and watched their son Arsene skateboarding in one of those  concrete roller parks. He just flies on that board.  I would have fallen off in the first half pipe and broke half the bones in my body.

When we got back to the house Quinton my host and I sat around and played music.  He brought out his didgeridoo  and his African drums and his panpipes and I noodled a long with my native American flute.

We had a nice vegetarian dinner composed of zucchini squash from the garden the biggest tomatoes I’ve ever seen in my life. These are known as heritage tomatoes.  We also had rye bread and wheat bread and some othere bread made of spelt.

I have been camping out in the backyard of these folks for 2 days.  All three of their children are homeschooled and they know three other families that do the same.  I don’t have a clear understanding of how this functions but it would seem that the children have to be reviewed by the school board every 3 to 6 months and if they feel they are doing well enough they can continue in homeschooling but if they’re not then they must return to public school.

This couple makes their own rice milk. They said that they used to buy it but they were throwing away all kinds of cardboard cartons and they thought that was very wasteful so now they make their own every few days and bottle it in reusable glass bottles.

The family believes caffeine is not good for them so they brew chicory coffee every morning. It is the first time I have had pure chicory coffee and it’s tasty, but I still prefer coffee.

Quinton the man who invited me to stay here works odd jobs and deliberately only works half time so he can have more free time off to enjoy life. The family of five that stays in the house with him have a small truck in which they move from place to place within four different nearby towns selling pizzas.  This morning they’re going to get up and do some prep work and mix dough for pizza crust. I’m going to learn how to make the dough that they make because they also it as a bread and I really enjoy the taste.  Everything they use in their business is what they call bio and we would call organic.

Quentin sleeps in a tree during the warmer months.  He built a tree house and everything is lashed together with rope and even has a rope ladder up to the platform because he did not want to drive nails into the tree.

I did the same thing one summer in California years ago where I lived in a hammock about 10 feet off the ground in a large old avocado tree, but I didn’t have the tree house, just the hammock.

The trip so far for the trike has been rather good.  I have had only minor problems one which would have left me walking if I had not found the solution and that was the chain idler.  There was one blown out back tyre where a German man who spoke no English pick me up in his Ford pickup and took me 10 km into the nearest bike shop. I also had to replace the cable and housing to the rear derailleur two days ago at a shop s it was getting very stiff to shift. They did a very good job of adjusting it for me after I put it in the trike.

The tent looks like it’s about 20 years old.  It has never been so dirty and that includes many of my extended backpacking trips. It will require a lot of cleaning when I get home especially since many dirty birdies have been dive bombing my rain fly.

Well time to wrap up this one. as usual here are the links to the folder with other pictures and the folder with newer pictures and my present location in France.

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=11CZ1ZhS1aBLjd0bA0rnAgpZzJakbQRD8

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=1AmZDjoYauzi-qz_CTwNIeEfsOCNqXA4X

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=45.2809967+5.8741192

If anyone has any trouble accessing my Google drive let me know.

Steven

Wayfaring Stranger