2017 Fort Stevens HPV Recumbent Retreat

STILL TIME TO SIGN UP (IF YOU ARE QUICK ABOUT IT)

September 8-10, 2017 – Oregon Coast

Okay, it’s getting close now! This annual event used to occur in August, so teachers could attend, but recently (2016, I think), it was moved into September (sorry teachers). This is three days of fun events, rides, and camaraderie, and from what I hear, is now mostly composed of recumbent tricycles rather than recumbent bicycles (like it originally was). Evolution continues in all things of life, and the retreat is no different. If you plan to attend, now would be a good time to get your reservation all squared away while there is still room for another triker or two. If this sounds like something you would like to do, here is the link: Recumbent Retreat

Here is how the Recumbent Retreat website appears:

http://www.recumbentretreat.org/

Posted in Triker's World | 1 Comment

The Story behind Trike Hobo’s fatrike …

 

The following article was written in March 2015, shortly after I sold my Catrike 700 in order to raise additional cash needed to acquire a new fatrike. More can be read HERE.

The Story

From a very early age in childhood, around the age of three or four, or thereabouts, as my recollection of such distant early times is rather nonexistent, I have been an explorer of the wild world around me. I would go out to places like the Mojave Desert with my mom, dad, and sister, camping and hiking. I loved it. The need remained with me, eventually leading to the purchase of a four wheel drive vehicle once I was old enough with a job to afford one. As a matter of fact, my dad and I used to ride motorcycles out in the wide open desert on dirt trails even prior to the state issuing me a driver’s license. My passion for exploring what’s around the next bend in the road, and up the next mysterious canyon grew to insatiable heights, and over the years, exploring in my old Jeep was the prime thing to be doing. I learned all the roads out there, but I still loved to read backountry maps.

My old 1975 Jeep CJ-5 allowed me to explore the most distant locales … on dirt roads!

When I lived in the high country of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, I kept on exploring on the old mining roads above timberline, reaching dizzying heights, seeing the world as a bird might. I kept up my hiking also, and climbed some fourteen thousand foot peaks too. In all this outdoor wilderness wandering, I was also enraptured by fast automobiles, due to my dad’s automotive journalism career. At a couple of points in life, I sold my 4WD rig and bought a Corvette, but it wasn’t long each time until my passion for the backcountry would overpower my need for speed, and I rather quickly ended up selling each Corvette in order to get a new extreme terrain vehicle. The wilds were my way, not the paved and crowded human mazes where cops sat in wait for me to speed by.

Up until 2008, I kept merrily exploring the outback in my petrol powered vehicles, on roads most rational folks would not even consider roads. But finally, my love of respecting the air we all breathe outweighed my selfish desire to drive toxic Jeeps into the wilds. The explorer in me had not diminished one bit, but I could no longer personally rationalize my use of vehicles that ran counter to my need to breathe fresh air. Thus, 42 years of car use came to a screeching halt, cold turkey, leaving everyone who knew me dumbfounded over the supposedly sudden twist of direction. It wasn’t sudden however. I had been thinking it over for quite some time, and 2008 was my year to cease being a hypocrite. I had been talking the clean-air talk, but not walking the clean-air walk.

Car ownership was no longer a part of my ride on this planet, but to me, that didn’t mean I had to give up exploring the outback. My resolve was simply to transfer over into a way of exploration that used my human power. I had always been a hiker, but there were still times I wanted to experience the mysteries of my planet in places that were too distant to reasonably reach by foot. My plan in late 2008 was to find and acquire a human powered extreme terrain vehicle, so I could explore in an environmentally friendly manner.

There was a problem I soon discovered, and that was in early 2009, after spending much time searching the internet for a human powered extreme terrain vehicle, it became clear that there was nothing in existence that met the needs I found in my old Jeep. I wanted a quad or trike, and envisioned myself still on the same roads I had always driven, but the only thing I could find was a quad, made by a company that had suspended production the year prior, probably because the highly sophisticated off-road vehicle was too costly for the average Joe or Josephine. It was fully suspended on all four wheels, with hydraulic shocks, and would have been loads of fun, but I couldn’t have one.

In the three wheeled realm, no such animal even existed (the Berserker, while notable, did not have wide floaty tires I would need in sand). And neither did the two wheeled world have such an extreme rig. Sure, there were mountain bikes, but they were insufficient for my needs. I wanted comfort, just like my Jeep, and I wanted large storage capacity, just like my Jeep, because I loved going out for a week at a time into the middle of nowhere, being totally self sufficient. Everything out there had skinny knobby tires, offering hardly any traction in sand washes or snow. I chose not to compromise.

About this time in early 2009, I was invited to present at an author’s breakfast in Death Valley, having written a huge book all about the place. I had no car. I had a problem, it seemed. But then, I was told a local man was selling his recumbent tadpole trike, so, in a moment of need, I bought it, got familiar with it, and set off pedaling for Death Valley. It was 900 miles away. Man, what had I gotten myself into? The trike was really comfy and quite capable of packing all my supplies, and I learned to love it. It was a 2007 ICE Qnt.

Nearing Death Valley National Park in 2009 on my 2007 ICE Qnt trike

Then, in 2010, I started this Trike Asylum website to help others searching for trikes. It took me tons of time to discover what little I did, because there was no central place that presented recumbent tadpole trikes at a glance, so I created one. Of course, you know the story from there on out, because I’ve been writing volumes of stuff all about it. The trusty Q found a new home in late 2013 (quicker to sell it than to put a new chain on it :-), and I relived my former Corvette days on the coveted Catrike 700, the same color as my first Vette, by the way. The 700 was like getting into a Lamborghini and mashing the pedal to the floor, at least in human powered comparisons. What a trike! And then I discovered how I could tour on it, and had the most enjoyable and comfortable paved highway trip I had thus far taken on a trike. I was in clean air heaven!

I was addicted to speed on my 2014 Catrike 700!

During this time, I had also been watching with envy as Maria Leijerstam began planning her expedition to the South Pole of Planet Earth … on a recumbent tadpole tricycle. Wow, that got my attention. One look at the trike ICE was custom building for her endeavor at once brought back images of my old fat tire Jeep. Here was the go-anywhere extreme terrain vehicle finally realized in a trike! Maria was going to have a world-first vehicle. No thought crossed my mind that I would be paying to have one custom built for me though, so I contented myself with all the fun I was having on the 700. But then things changed. In a seeming flash, the landscape of cycling moved into backcountry exploration in a very big way. Fat bikes were getting started, looking more like motorcycles than bicycles. The thought crossed my mind, but still, I really like sitting in a comfy seat to explore my vast world, not straddling a metal pole with a thin strip of leather inserted into my rear end.

Maria Leijerstam on her custom built ICE backcountry recumbent tricycle

Then, it happened! The glorious days arrived just a moment ago, where fat tire extreme terrain tricycles popped onto the scene, with ICE leading the way, but with Azub in close pursuit. The wave had begun, and there was no stopping the enthusiastic response from the triking world. More companies jumped in, and as I write, it is only becoming more and more popular. There is serious money to be made in the extreme terrain trike venue, and the manufacturers are seeing it. Today is different than in 2014 when I ordered the 700.

Things have come full circle. What did not exist in 2008, the vehicle that I actually truly wanted, became reality in 2015. All of a sudden, I realized that I could now return to my lifelong addiction to the natural world, get off the boring pavement as I did in my Jeep, and get back out in nature, only this time, without poisoning the air in my wake. But then I thought, how ridiculous – I just got the new Catrike a year ago! What am I thinking? A new trike again in 2015, just over a year later? Well, yes, that was the path I opted to take and that is where I now am, having ordered the new trike March second of this year.

With all new products however, there can be wait times as manufacturers ramp up for full production, and iron out any initial bugs. The leading edge is also known as the bleeding edge for a reason. As you have very likely guessed by now, after all this ranting, is that my new trike is a fatrike. For me, this new trike was going to be either an Azub or an ICE, the two that, after having a good look at the present field, stood out in my own thoughts as the one’s best suited for my rugged backcountry needs. My new trike needed to be bomb proof, as the saying goes, able to carry supplies, and take me out to wild territory where, if something broke, it could mean my life! For me, this is serious business. I am not just some weekend warrior who wants to use a fatrike for local outings within walking distance of the house. In fact, the first expedition, which I presently plan on starting later this year, leaves no room for any mistakes out in the field. Second chances are rare out there!

As I write this, there are still several weeks until I leave, and my return to the wilds, after six years of vehicular abstinence, is greatly anticipated. I am like a kid in a candy shop. Street riding is fun, no doubt about it. Dirt riding is the epitome for me however. My wild side really will be wild once again – this time on a mega fatrike, going where I only used to go in my Jeep CJ-5. Yee haa … time to get down and dirty!

Since I do not have my fatrike yet, I cannot write about it. Or at least, I choose not to write about what currently does not exist, except in my mind. Once I get it, I’ll share it here for those who are interested. In fact, the next time I return to this page for updates will be once the monster trike has joined my quest for ultimate adventure. Which one did I finally choose to get? That, my friends, is the next chapter …

Exploration, not Destination, is my new mantra!

BTW: I forgot to mention that I seriously considered an HP Velotechnik Scorpion fs26 Enduro, based on three friends of mine who have fs Scorpions and swear by them. The reason I ultimately opted not to go with the Enduro is twofold: 1) The tires, while knobby, are still rather narrow, and will not float on sand and snow like the fat tires, and 2) The ground clearance of the Enduro, while sufficient for most dirt roads, is too low for some of the stuff I envision from my days in the Jeep. I chose not to compromise this time, thus a fatrike it shall be. The HPV Enduro is well suited for most backcountry trikers however.

Learn more about fatrikes HERE!

and if you get one, you can …

The ICE Adventure seems lilliputian compared to the ICE Full Fat!

Mark Waters sits happily upon one of the first fatrikes delivered to the United States.

Initially, I also considered the acquisition of an HP Velotechnik Scorpion Enduro as a possible alternative to the Azub and ICE fatrikes. I eliminated this trike as a possible backcountry buggy for two main reasons: 1) While the ground clearance was fine for most riders and uses, it sat too low to the ground for my needs in extreme terrain at times, and 2) The Enduro had typical mountain bike tires, not the larger fat tires that provide superior effectiveness in many scenarios, such as sand or snow. So although the Scorpion Enduro is a very fine trike, it was not best suited for my unique needs.

The HP Velotechnik Scropion Enduro off-road recumbent tricycle

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Trike Hobo cruising neighborhood on Bigfoot

Fatrikes are awesomely comfortable on pavement! Plus, they really show up well …

An easy local residential cruise on the exceptionally mega-comfy mega-trike is a great way to spend a lazy summer afternoon in August. Fatrikes are always a blast to ride!

Near a quiet intersection in the rural neighborhood, a local pedestrian is aghast at this gigantic human-powered contraption I am pedaling! How do you steer, she wonders. Where is the motor, she asks. It looks more comfortable than a bicycle, she comments. I sit and just smile, sharing the triking lifestyle with all interested people I meet who express curiosity about my mode of humble transport. Every time I get on this trike, regardless of where I am going, the comfort factor just pops out in my consciousness every time, and it’s wonderful to be looking at sedan drivers eye to eye, rather than being hidden below their passenger window. Drivers simply cannot miss seeing a fatrike cruising the roads. This trike may be slower than my former speed trikes, and it may not accelerate in lightning fast seconds like the Catrike 700 I once enjoyed, but in all other arenas, I am content with the purchase. Yep, just riding this fatrike brings a smile to my face! Photos by John Gardner (who rides a mountain bike with front suspension).

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English ICEman, the triking troubadour

Alonzo Savage rides and strums the English countryside:

Alonzo’s wife Margaret also rides an ICE trike, pictured here with the troubadour’s trike:

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ICE Frame Failure on 2017 Tour de Wyoming

While riding the 2017 Tour de Wyoming epic cycling event, Trike Asylum reader Steven Telck, who rides a 2011 ICE Adventure recumbent trike, experienced a catastrophic frame failure far out on the open road. This post presents known facts about Steven’s experience so that other riders of similar trikes might have the knowledge about a potential future event on their own trikes.

Steven Telck rides his 2011 ICE Adventure recumbent tricycle on a previous United States tour. He is a highly experienced and capable overland triker, and has also toured on this trike in Asia.

Following this background information will be two photographs of Steven’s frame.

BASIC BACKGROUND INFORMATION: During the week of July 16-21, 2017, Steven was a participant in the multi-day Tour de Wyoming cycling event, which consisted of four mountain passes, and more than 400 Miles in six days. He was riding his 2011 ICE Adventure trike on this fully supported tour – there was no cargo on the trike in panniers. He only carried a water bladder and water supply to remain hydrated, as the cargo normally carried on a tour that is unsupported was carried by the Tour de Wyoming support organization. Cyclists essentially pedaled the distance without being encumbered by standard gear such as tent, sleeping bag, food, and clothing. Steven is six feet five inches tall, and weighs 245 pounds. He had approximately seven pounds of water on the trike with him. The weight limit for his trike is 275 pounds. Steven says the load on the trike was about 20 pounds below the maximum recommended weight limit for the vehicle. There are about 5,000 miles on this ICE Adventure recumbent trike.

Steven, a Wyoming resident, was pedaling about 25 miles per hour along an interstate portion of the tour when he began to feel what is described as a fish-tailing sensation. Fish-tailing is when the hind end of any vehicle begins to move laterally, or perpendicular to the direction of travel. He reports that initially it was a mild sensation, felt in corners, but as the day progressed, this movement became more pronounced. When Steven first felt the mild fish-tailing, he stopped and checked things that he thought might be causing the problem, but was not successful at locating the malfunction. He checked again later as the issue reached a level that could not be ignored any longer, where the trike was too unstable to ride. Upon a carefully detailed protracted inspection, he realized that where the swing arm for the rear suspension joins a curved portion of the trike’s frame a serious tearing of the metal was actively in progress. The tear had become pronounced enough that the trike was critically unstable and unsafe to ride any farther on the tour.

Not wanting to relinquish his enjoyment of the Tour de Wyoming, and having a strong desire to complete the event, Steven loaded his trike into a motorized vehicle and took it south 160 miles to Louisville, Colorado (near Denver) on a Sunday to the dealer where he originally purchased the human powered vehicle. At the dealer, owner Chip happened to have the part necessary for Steven to continue his tour, so Chip spent the next hour repairing the trike with the used part. This was now around 7:00 PM on that Sunday. Steven then drove his trike back north to his home state, and the following day, the Adventure was back out on the road of adventure. Below are two photographs that reveal the severity of this frame failure, and how it could lead to serious injury to the rider had it broken all the way, or failed at speed on a mountain pass descent.

Steven’s ICE Adventure frame suffered a catastrophic failure while riding a supported tour.

Upon his successful completion of the 400 mile Tour de Wyoming, Steven emailed the Inspired Cycle Engineering company about the details of his experience. ICE responded, saying that they were sorry to see the failure, and that they would send a replacement curved tube, hinge, and the front section of the back end, under warranty, via FedEx. ICE informed Steven he could dispose of the broken parts, as they had no need to inspect the failure in person, but that the photos of his trike would be forwarded to the engineering division of the company for analysis. The new replacement parts were received by Steven within two days after their response to him. His 2011 ICE Adventure is now fully functional once again, but he reminds other ICE owners to remain vigilant when it comes to frame inspections, saying that he will now always inspect this area.

Additional photos of other ICE trikes:

From a Trike Asylum post dated May 21, 2015, comes this photograph of an ICE frame that failed in the same spot as Steven Telck’s recent frame failure. Click HERE to read that post.

If you have a post-2010 ICE trike with this rear setup, periodic visual checks might be a means of avoiding such a catastrophic frame failure out on the road. An ounce of prevention is worth …

From a Trike Asylum post dated April 23, 2015, comes this photograph of an ICE frame that failed in another location, where the two mainframe components are attached to one another:

Above appears to be on an ICE Q trike, which predates the 2010 conversion to the new frame styling, design, and fabrication. Below is the new frame design as it first appeared in 2010:

The 2010 ICE frame welds

A comment by the company regarding its findings and solutions would be welcomed. Also, if you have information about serious frame failures on any brand or model of recumbent tadpole tricycle, please post a comment here to assist others who ride the same trike as you. Thank you.

REGULARLY INSPECT YOUR RECUMBENT VEHICLE!

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ICE Sprint in lavender field in Sequim, Washington

Kathie Boley, avid Trike Asylum reader and trike pilot, is spending some time this summer up north in Washington, having left the more southerly areas of California where she and  her husband Paul live, and at every opportunity the triking duo rides their twin ICE Sprint recumbents. She reports that Sequim (pronounced skwim) Washinton, far up by the Canadian border, is a great place to pedal. They found this awesome lavender field, the perfect backdrop for trikes! The two of them plan on attending this year’s recumbent retreat at Fort Stevens State Park in northern Oregon this coming September (where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean). Join ’em!

I bet the aroma from the field was heavenly!

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Ticks, no signal, hilly countryside – JaYoe in Japan

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Meet John Zaenglein, producer of My First Trike

This video log (VLOG) by John was produced this past January. He has more for you to follow on his My First Trike website HERE. Gee, it seems like more and more of us trikers are getting into VLOGs these days – Matt Galat, John Zaenglein, and who is next … maybe YOU!

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Jen and Tony’s Australian outback trike tour

Have you been keeping up with Jen and Tony and their adventurous outback trike journey? It seems there are many new trike adventurers taking the plunge and pedaling long distances these days compared to just seven years ago, when only a few of the bravest would dare to try such awesome exploits. Well, Tony and Jen are two of the new breed of undaunted nomads to pull one of these overland trike treks off, and they have just finished a grand trike tour through the wild outback of the Queensland Australia territories. To immerse yourself in their inspiring adventure, simply click HERE to be transported to their website. If you are wondering about initiating your own overland trike journey, Jen and Tony have much insight to share with you!

Click HERE for the entire exciting overland triking adventure!

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Ten of the best rail cycling trails in the US

Thanks to Kathie Boley for bringing this to our attention:

Click HERE to read about the ten routes and see photos!

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JaYoe and Matt Galat – pedaling Japan and camping

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ICE Neckrest Commentary

My Wyoming triking pal Steven Telck has reported back to me with his impressions of the ICE suspension-style neckrest – this after he was finding that the traditional compression-style rests used by nearly all manufacturers were not meeting his personal comfort needs. Steven asked for my humble two-cents worth on neckrests, so I gave him my thoughts, wherein I recommended the ICE suspension neckrest. Steven has an ICE trike, so it was a natural anyway. He was using a custom neckrest (compression style) by a regional manufacturer, but sought more comfort. As I have used both styles of neckrests personally on my trike expeditions over thousands of miles, and clearly prefer the suspension type, I told Steven that trying a suspension neckrest might be just the solution he needed for more comfort.

So, the Wyoming ICEman went ahead and ordered an ICE neckrest for his ICE trike from the boys and girls over across the ocean at ICE. After mounting his new neckrest, and trying some different adjustments, he sent me an email, which follows below, along with a photograph of the new ICE neckrest on his ICE trike:

“The ICE head rest is uncomfortable.  My neck seems to be contacting the rails, and every darn bump is jarring and uncomfortable.  I have tried many different heights and angles to the dangle so to speak, and still can not find a comfortable location for the head rest. It all has me terribly confused and disappointed.  I am glad I opened the plastic bag from ICE carefully, as I think I will need to send this unit back.  Thanks Trike Hobo for your suggestion to try a suspension head rest as it was worth the try, but it just isn’t working out for me. I have taken a photo to help illustrate my dilemma. My only hope is that maybe you can figure out what I’m doing wrong in my adjustments by looking at the photo. Perhaps I’m missing something here.”

Okay readers, if you have any suggestions for the Wyoming ICEman, feel free to leave a comment to this post. I think I may have figured out a solution for Steven, telling him that it looks to be tilted back way too far, and to move it forward by about six inches – but, maybe some astute trike pilot out there can see something I may be missing also. I feel so bad for Steven, having recommended this solution that isn’t working for him. I do hope we can all find him a satisfying and happy ending to his comfort problem! Hang in there Steven – we’ll figure it out fer ya’ …

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2011 Recumbent Retreat – Fort Stevens, Oregon

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Arizona Whip lighted trike flagpole

Here is a post from Trike Asylum dated March 21, 2011:

Arizona Whip Lighted Flagpole

Posted on March 21, 2011 by trike hobo

Okay folks, you’re gonna’ want to see this! Don’t go away yet, because today you will be exposed to the ultimate in after-hours visibility for low slung recumbent tadpole trikes. This incredible information comes to us from Robert Shaver, a patent attorney in Boise Idaho. He rides a Catrike to and from work everyday, and has been doing so for three years now. Word even has it that he has not missed a day on the trike! What a devoted trike pilot.

So, what happens if Bob has to work late? The sun goes down as he’s helping a last minute client, and his Catrike is parked at his law firm’s parking lot. Well, Bob is a partner in this firm, so if work demands a late day, so be it. He’s a crafty fellow however, and darkness is not his enemy, as you shall soon see. In fact, I’d say he’s a whole lot SAFER riding his tiny Catrike home from his business in the dark than during the daylight hours. How so? Well, rather than me continuing to get your curiosity up, I’ll simply paste into this post a post from his own blog. Get ready for the ultimate taillight array!

* * * * * * *

Arizona Whip Lighted Flagpole

by Robert Shaver

I have been looking for a way to light up the flagpole on my recumbent trike, and found a product that looked like it would work, the Arizona Whip. Jerry at Arizona Whips was very nice to work with, and I got it hooked up this past weekend. The whip is 5″ tall, and is of clear lexan. Inside the clear tube are 24 LED lights, 12 facing forward and 12 facing backward. Each side has a red group, and a yellow group, and on one side the red and yellow groups of LEDs flash on alternately. Jerry has other color configurations, including a red, white and blue one. The whip screws into a clamp that grips the 1.25 inch tube of the rear wheel fork. The clamp is for 1.5 in. tubes, but with some rubber and duct tape shimming, it grips the 1.25 inch tubing nicely with one Allen bolt for tightening. It extends up through the frame and clears the panniers, rack, seat, and headrest nicely. These pictures show the whip in daylight, and the clamp attached to the frame.

I ran a switch forward to the left hand grip, so I can turn it on and off from the seat. It runs off a 9 v battery. I have not ridden it to work yet, so I don’t know how long the 9 v battery will last.

The picture below is how it looks at night, from the rear. The bike is facing not quite straight, and the bag on the rack is blocking one of the LED lights. The headlight is shining across the street at an angle, and provides lots of illumination.

This sucker is not cheap at $150, but if I can get noticed by a car either ahead of or behind me, it will be worth it.

* * * * * * *

Learn more:

http://www.arizonawhips.com/index2.html

Visit Bob’s websites:

http://patentpending.blogs.com/

http://bicyclepatents.com/

http://dykaslaw.com/

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2012 Recumbent Retreat – Fort Stevens, Oregon

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Making a custom flag for your recumbent trike!

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2012 Recumbent Retreat – Fort Stevens, Oregon

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2013 Recumbent Retreat – Fort Stevens, Oregon

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Triking Japan on an HP Velotechnik Scorpion

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2014 Recumbent Retreat – Fort Stevens, Oregon

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Trike trainer time versus trike street time (comparison)

John  Zaenglein, popular up-and-coming trike guru, and producer of the highly successful My First Trike website, compares pedaling a recumbent tricycle outside in the real world to pedaling one inside on Sportscrafters trike trainer rollers. Here is what he has to say:

Visit John’s website for much more recumbent trike content HERE!

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2016 Recumbent Retreat – Fort Stevens, Oregon

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2010 Recumbent Retreat – Fort Stevens, Oregon

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Paul and Kathie Boley – ICE trikes – coastal visit

Now and then, a Trike Asylum reader or two will pass my way and we will meet up for a short period of time to talk about … trikes, of course! What else in life is there? There is a popular campground at the river marina where many cyclists stay every year during riding season, and where Adventure Cycling groups pitch tents on their journeys. The manner in which I discover these folks typically is when my telephone rings, and my old cycling buddy Matt Jensen tells me about some nice trikers whom he just met at the campground. Matt rides everywhere all the time, and makes periodic rounds through the camps to see if fellow cyclists are about. If he sees trikers, he meets them, and then gives me a ring in case I want to pedal on down to meet them.

Well, that is how I recently met Paul and Kathie Boley, from Three Rivers, California, which is in Sequoia National Park territory. Paul and Kathie are avid ICE Sprint trikers, and enjoy going to the Recumbent Retreat up at Fort Stevens State Park in Oregon, where the Columbia River and Pacific Ocean meet. They plan on attending the 2017 retreat this September, so you can meet them too if you happen to be there for all the festivities, trikes, and day rides.

Paul showed me his homemade ICE Sprint trike stand, which he holds fast to a picnic table with large clamps. Kathie and Paul also introduced me to these crazy Monkey Lights, which don’t do much in the daytime, but are a visual feast to behold when triking at night, as they will be doing at this year’s Fort Stevens retreat (some recent TA postings will be showing the night recumbent parade with tons of colorful lights, which everyone loves to watch, especially the kids). Their two trikes fit neatly in the back of their minivan, which they pull behind their motorhome, so at every campground during the summer, Kathie and Paul have a fun time triking around. Kathie has a DaBrim helmet brim to keep her face shaded from the sun, although she didn’t really need it here the day I met and talked with them because it was all clouded over (and it was only a day or two away from the July 4th holiday – while everyone else is baking in triple digit heat, all the coasties are totally comfortable in the sea breezes and forests).

As I was visiting with Paul and Kathie, Matt showed up again, so the four of us enjoyed talking trikes and bikes for quite some time, which really flies when you are having fun around these fun recumbent tricycles. I rode Bigfoot to meet them, a trike made by the same company as the Sprints, but considerably different in design and abilities. Without further yakking on my part, here are some things to look at from that day at the campground:

Kathie’s Sprint is the X model, the thoroughbred edition of the standard ICE Sprint.

The DaBrim helmet add-on sure beats the anemic little stock helmet visors!

Paul lifts Kathie’s ICE Sprint X onto his homemade trike stand to demonstrate its utility.

Monkey Lights really shine at night – wonder if they are against the law in some areas?

Here is Paul’s ICE Sprint trike stand in its entirety, easy to make right at home with wood.

The front of Kathie’s Sprint X looks pretty cool, all in black with high power lights.

Fold down the rear minivan seat, and two trikes easily fit, along with all the triking gear.

Left: Paul / Middle: Kathie / Right: some weird forest pedaling creature

Matt Jensen snapped this photo milliseconds before I pedaled over the top of the smaller ICE.

SOME ADDITIONAL PICS KATHIE TOOK WITH HER TELEPHONE:

As you can see, a good time was had by all, including Matt (not pictured here).

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Matt Galat triking through Japan

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Entering China on a unicycle!

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2015 Recumbent Retreat – Fort Stevens, Oregon

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On the road in Japan – Matt Galat, the JaYoe! guy …

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Monkey Lights … by MonkeyLectric – be COOL!

Monkey Lights

First, another Trike Hobo crazy film:

Followed by some seriously awesome monkey business:

Learn more, or get ’em here: http://www.monkeylectric.com/

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Patriotic Catrike enthusiasts!

“Hey, this thing is pretty comfortable! But should I tell my boss I ride a tricycle at my age?”

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Electric Assist Recumbent Trike

From Glen Aldridge, proprietor of Mid-Island Trike Adventures in Parksville, British Columbia Canada, comes this very informative article about electric assist solutions for recumbent trike touring. Click HERE to visit Glen’s company website. Above is a photo of Glen on the road.

ELECTRIC ASSIST SOLUTIONS FOR RECUMBENT TADPOLE TRICYCLES

by Glen Aldridge

ELECTRIC TRIKES  – Are you considering an Electric Assist for your trike? You have many options & the information can be daunting. Watts? Amps? Sine Wave? Geared? Brushless? etc. etc. Here is all you need to know to make an informed choice.

For Trikes you have 2 main choices for converting to an Electric Assist. A Motor in the Rear Wheel or a Motor that drives your Chain.

To control the power going ultimately to your back wheel you need a control device. This can be a ‘hard control’ throttle like an ON/OFF switch or a ‘soft control’ similar to a volume knob on your stereo. (This describes how they operate not what the actual control is.)

Throttle – Can be a Twist Grip or Thumb Paddle. These have a tendency to be either ON or OFF.

P.A.S. – Pedal Assist Sensor is connected to your Crank & detects when your pedals are moving. These tend to be a softer assist adding power gradually when needed. The better sensors add power based on how much effort you are putting into your pedals while the cheaper units increase the power required at the touch of a button.

You will still need to operate the gearing on your trike to climb hills. Remember, for most systems they are an ‘Assist’ & not intended to turn your Trike into a motor cycle. This can be done though with much more powerful systems.

Which system is Better? – Either system works well with cost being within $200. of each other. The Crank Systems balance the weight better on your trike which is better for cornering. The motor in wheel systems can run quieter, keep everything compact & the noise behind you. Just be aware of the risk of tipping over on high speed turns if all the weight bei over your back wheel.

Batteries – Your biggest expense by far will be the Lithium Battery. With reasonable care they will last for 5 years or more so your annual operating cost becomes minimal even if you replace your battery after 5 years. Once you know what your Battery range will be just remember to halve that so you have enough power for the return trip home. On most systems this can be 50-60kms of assisted riding while still staying within your safe operating zone. You should aim for 80% of your batteries maximum capacity to get maximum life out of your battery. A guage on your Display will tell you how much battery charge you have left.

Most ratings for Batteries consider the battery exhausted once it will only charge to 70% of it’s maximum capacity so it is quite possible if you only make 20km trips your battery could last several years longer. Of course if your route includes killer hills where your motor is doing most of the work your range & battery life may not be what is advertised.

Should I choose a Hub Motor or Crank Drive? – This is a tough question to answer. Both systems have seen wide use in the E bike market from Manufacturers & After Market Conversions. I don’t see either method having any serious advantage over the other although the Crank Systems seem to be gaining wide popularity & becoming smaller in size plus balance your weight better.

How much power should I choose? – In Canada the legal on road limit is 500 watts. In the U.S. it is 750 watts & in most European countries it is 250 watts. I recommend a 350 watt, brushless, geared motor system as it keeps your weight low while still providing enough power for your assist going up hills.

How much weight are we talking? – The systems I install will add about 20 lbs./9kgs. to the weight of your trike. This includes the battery weight. While it may not seem like a lot, lifting your trike to load it into your car or muscle it through your doorway is enough to make you wish for something lighter or it could put your back out. Adding a Higher Wattage motor will increase the weight considerably as will adding a larger battery.

What kind of Motor? – There are 2 types of Hub Motors for in wheel installations. A Direct Drive Motor or a Brushless, Geared Motor.

Direct Drive Motors –  tend to be heavy, large & produce less torque for hill climbing. They also make it harder to pedal your trike without any power being applied. This is a distinct disadvantage should you find yourself out on the road & run out of battery power or develop a fault. They usually cost less than Geared Motors.

Brushless, Geared Motors – are much lighter & produce more torque by use of internal gears. They tend to be a little more expensive than Direct Drive motors but will put less strain on your entire driveline & battery. Another advantage of the Geared Hub Motors is you can operate your trike without any, just a little or with maximum power applied. If you run out of power or develop a fault out on the road you can still pedal your trike home.

What about cost? – A complete system with 350 watt motor (In Wheel or Crank) with an 11 amp/hr battery. (Medium Range) installed in your trike will cost $1200 – $1400. Canadian

Click HERE to visit Mid-Island Trike Adventures!

Glen Aldridge explores the Canadian backcountry of British Columbia.

​GLEN ALDRIDGE
#57-120 Finholm ST. N. Parksville, BC V9P 1J5
Phone – 250.900.6773

Editor’s Note: This article may be found at any time under the “More” and “Trike Tour” menus in the main Trike Asylum menubar.

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EFNEO​ or GTRO

Glen Aldridge, our tried and true trike guru from the mystical realm of British Columbia, Canada, has shared an honest evaluation of some trike-related hardware. I’m sure that by the title of this post, you must know what Glen will be discussing below (if you do, you’re one step ahead of me, haha). Seriously, Glen has really jumped into triking in a big way in the last few years, and has become quite the sought-after guru for loads of northerners.  He owns and also operates the Mid-Island Trike Adventures business, and is showing folks what a fun time the recumbent trike can be, bringing three-wheeled adventure into otherwise mundane lives! So, without further ado, here is Glen’s detailed article about EFNEO or GTRO (with pics below):

EFNEO​ or GTRO

by Glen Aldridge

For those that have been waiting for the past few years for this Internal Crank Set to come to market I can finally say, mine is installed. If you are not familiar with this crankset it is similar to a Schlumpf or Patterson Drive with one big exception. It gives the equivalent of a 28-40-50 tooth crankset while the other 2 give you a 28-45. The unit quality seems on par with the Patterson & Schlumpf drive (I have never owned a Schlumpf.) Installation is very straight forward as long as you have the right bicycle tools & you don’t need any special facing of your​Bottom Bracket ​housing to make everything fit. Shifting comes with your choice of a Paddle or Twist Grip Shifter Included in the price, cable attached ready for installation. This is a nice touch & makes installation very easy. I think most trike owners would prefer the twist grip shifter as the paddle shifter will require installing upside down for the correct orientation of your left thumb. As I am already using Paddle shifters with my Alfine 11 the upside orientation d​id​n’t bother me.

Our area is mostly paved roads & hard packed trails with lots of climbs & fast down hills. In other words just about perfect conditions for a trike evaluation, not so good if you are a Mountain Bike Rider & wondering how the hub will work on your bike.

I spent the better part of 5 hours riding with a few stops for water, photo taking & always people want to ask me about the trike. I covered 35 kms. in these conditions with a top speed of 55 kms/hr. About an average ride for me. I have one word to describe the hub – AMAZING! The ratios chosen are perfect! For the climbs I was able to spin without getting too winded & even though I was slow on some of the steeper climbs, about 4 mph (6 kms) the hub never missed a beat. In fact one of the things I found amazing is gear changes are imperceptible. There isn’t any clunk, hesitation or noise as a gear is engaged or dis-engaged. I have been told that Schlumpf drives are noisy while the Efneo is almost silent. I think I get more noise from my Alfine 11 behind me & it is pretty quiet. Another small item that proves convenient with the Alfine, both large Paddle Shifters Down Shift. This saves the confusion of having the right shifter go the opposite way to the one on your left. With the Alfine 11 this proves to be intuitive as they only come with Paddle Shifters.​Although I didn’t weigh the hubs the weight seems comparable to The Patterson hub it is replacing. 

I’m going to give this new hub 10 Stars & a big thumbs up! Great Job!​

PHOTOGRAPHS OF UNIT ON AN HP VELOTECHNIK GEKKO RECUMBENT TRIKE:

Posted in Triker's World | 8 Comments

Olentangy Trike Ride, Columbus – June 16, 2017

Posted in Triker's World