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November 16 2011

Lady and the Tramp or Beauty and the Beast!

We ordered Janet a Terratrike Rambler while travelling through Utah this year.  Stopped at Utah Trikes in Payson and tried out a couple of different models, but decided on the Rambler.  After doing research, we were relatively sure this was what she wanted, but wanted to test ride one first. UTT was offering a free paint upgrade with a new Rambler purchase, so Janet opted for the neon pink and we ordered one for her.

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It arrived today and got it unpacked and all the bling installed, here is a shot of it after her ride around the block a few times… very nice looking.  Still waiting on the flags from Purple Sky, but its as it will be mostly now.

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Here are the Rambler and the Rover side by side.  The Rover is a few inches longer and 5 lbs heavier and admittedly, not quite as pretty as the Rambler.  In riding, I think the Rambler rides better, feels a little more “sporty” in its handling.  A much better seat, its same frame, but the mesh seat of the Rambler is more comfortable.

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Didn’t put much on Janet’s trike, she wanted to keep it simple, no homemade attachment pieces, not a ton of lights, but the necessities… So she has two tail lights (Q-Lights) and a steady and flashing front white light (Topeak), with a special mount from my China bike supply place.  Put the triangle on hers and added the accessory bag on the rear seat.  So with the short rear fender, computer, and pwer pedals she is all set.

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The Rover, or the beast, on the other hand is probably overloaded with my crap. I have a couple of custom made pieces for attaching the rear seat bag and the front light, also the rear light on the rack.  Power grip pedals, rack, rear fender and of course lots of carrying capacity…

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Probably got a lot more stuff than I need, but that’s my job, to carry stuff and the Rover is good at it….

September 21 2011

Olympia/Woodlawn Trail

The trail head for this starts about a mile from my house and its downhill most of the way, so that is a plus. The trail is abut 5 miles long and goes through Olympia and Lacey Washington.  Its on an old railway bed, so it is gently sloping and paved the entire way. It is really two trails, through Olympia, it is in a park-like forest setting and through Lacey, a very urban environment.

At the Olympia trail head they have a nice restroom facility, parking, and water fountains.  From there it is slightly uphill for about 3 miles, but the grade is gentle (less that 2.2 degrees).  Along the way you can access the I-5 trail, this takes you along the freeway and provide access to the northern route of the Western/Chehalis Trail, out to Woodward Bay. The Olympia section crosses very few streets and is a very nice peaceful setting.  You can access the southern segment of the Western/Chehalis Trail from this segment. After about 3 miles you cross into the Lacey setting.  This section of the trail crosses numerous streets, many very busy intersections, but has crossing lights a the majority of them.  It is an urban setting and parallels some industrial areas. But its highlights are 2 coffee shops right next to the trail, the Coffee Bean and Cutters, about a mile from the Woodlawn Park turn around. There is also a local bicycle shop (lbs), Joy Ride Cycle, about a block off the trail, if you need assistance.

The turn around point for me is Woodlawn Park in Lacey.  This park is part of the Lacey Community Center and contains a large parking lot, playground, children’s fishing lake and the Community Center building.

On my return, I take the I-5 Trail junction and come back to my house via city streets (with bike lanes).  This allows me to miss one of the steepest hills in the area, right in front of my house.  I can come down it, instead of up it, makes a huge difference in the ride, but only takes off .3 miles.  The round trip is 10.3 miles and is my normal daily ride.

From the Olympia/Woodlawn – Western/Chehalis Trail system, I have access to over 35 miles (one-way) of paved, former rail trails, to choose from.  Round trip rides in access of 75 miles are possible on any day, all without endangering my life by being on surface street or roads.

So if your coming to the Olympia Washington area, please bring your bike and give the trails a try.

September 8 2011

On the Road Again

Well took a couple of weeks off from riding, 1 to go fishing and 1 because of heat and laziness. Got back on my schedule today.  My ride is from my house to the Olympia/Woodlawn Trail head, then the length of the trail to Woodlawn Park and back to the I-5 Trail, then to the house, 10.5 miles round trip.

From my house to the trail head is downhill, so that means coming back via that route is all uphill, with a couple of really steep ones right near the house.  So on the return, I hit the I-5 trail and come back via another route, this route takes out the hills, but reduces the trip by a half mile or so.

The Olympia/Woodlawn Trail runs through Olympia and Lacey and is what I call a “Trail of Two Cities”, each segment is very different.  From the Olympia Trail head, it is through a woodland setting, lots of trees and shade,not hardly any streets to cross, a quiet park like setting.  That runs about 2-3 miles. Then You get to the Lacey segment, very urban, lots of street crossings, and unfortunately some of them are relatively busy.  But its nosier and more stops for crossing signals.

The Lacey segment does have 2 coffee shops adjacent to the path, so that makes it nice for my morning ride.  Woodlawn Park has parking and a great playground, not that I need a play ground, but makes a nice trip for the grandkids..

Anyway, back to riding again.  new target is 75 miles per week.  So far my long rid is 35 miles, maybe next week as it cools down, I’ll do a 50 miler. Slowed down my cadence today, tended to use a higher gear instead, little slower average, but knees felt a lot better.

Ride miles: 10.5
Average MPH: 8.1
Max Speed: 20.1
Odometer: 150.2

September 4 2011

Seat Bag and Other Stuff

I finally got a seat bag to hold some water bottles.  Finding stuff for a trike is not as easy as for a 2 wheeler, not much to hang it from.  This is a Fastback seat bag made for a solid recumbent seat.  So I made a bracket for the back of the seat to hang it from and it works great.

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The bracket is made from 1/2” PVC tubing and parts.  First a tee fitting, cut to fit the seat bracket (2), then a few inches of PVC tubing cut to fit (2), then a 45 degree fitting (2), then a PVC electrical conduit 90 degree piece, cut to fit.  I use hose clamps to attach it to the seat.  It was a little loose fitting for the bag, so I added the pipe insulation to it, fits perfectly now.

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A couple of more shots from different angles to give you a better idea.

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Works great to carry water bottles, my emergency tool kit, tire changing tools, patch kit, and a extra tube.  With room left over.

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Got this next one off e-bay.  Got the lead from the Bent Riders Forum.  Only $6, free shipping.  Took awhile since it came from China.  Works very well for camera, wallet, phone etc. Stuff you might want ready access to.

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Took last week off to go fishing, back to the ride this week….

August 21 2011

35 Miles

well got in a 35 mile ride today.  From the house to the Western/Chehalis Trail, via the Olympia, Woodlawn Trail.  17.6 miles to the intersection with the Yelm/Tenino Tail and back.  Lots of people out today, pleasant weather.  Say a few recumbents and a few delta trikes, but no other tadpoles. Lots of people wanted to stop and ask questions about mine.

Slower that a 2 wheeler, but steady and less strain on the body.  I wasn’t really tired, although my knees did ache a little.  But no heavy breathing or chest pains.  Nice relaxing ride.

Total miles: 34.95
Average MPH: 8.7
Max Speed: 18.7
Odometer: 136.4

August 20 2011

More Bling

I added some stuff to the trike this week.  I have been trying to figure out a way to mount the flashing white light in front.  Didn’t like the dowel in the handle bar method.  So first off, my Army wind sock.

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Works pretty nice.  Its not as big as it appears here, it’s the camera angle.  Give me a lot more profile to on coming traffic and makes the trike more visible.  The wife hates it, so I just take it off when she is riding.

New handle bar mount.  This is nothing more that a male PVC 1/2 inch plug.  Took a 5/8 inch dowel, removed some wood from one end to let the plug fit snuggly on it, then painter it black and stuck it into the hollow area of the handlebar.

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Looks better than just sticking the dowel in and covering it with black tape.

Then I started on a front light mount.  I mount this into the hole used for the front reflector. I wanted to get the light out to the end of my foot to prevent the strobe effect bouncing off my feet.  The hanger is a 1/2 inch conduit bracket, then 1/2 inch pvc pipe fillings for the rest. Works OK, but I have a few plans to improve it.

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Got in 22 miles today, that put me over a 100 on the odometer.

Trip: 22 miles
Avg: 8.5 mph
Max: 23.3 mph
Odometer: 101.3

August 13 2011

Trike Cockpit

A shot of the trike cockpit.  From left to right, the Planet Bike Protégé 9.0 Computer, white flashing light, also goes to steady, and the bell off of my 60’s Yugoslavia made folding bike.

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The picture below shows he modification I made to the handle bars to allow enough room to mount accessories.  I used a 3/4 inch wooden dowel and cut it about 6 inches long, then stuck it in the end of the handle bars about 4.5 inches.  Covered the part sticking out with back tape and added the accessories.  It could be a little shorter, but that is for revision 2.0.

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Below is my frame mounted air pump.  No place on the frame, so I mounted it to the frame on the back of the seat, perfect place…

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It is a week old and we have over 50 miles on it so far. The wife is averaging 5 miles a day or more on her rides.  I have it set up for her now so she can decide what she wants to buy when the time comes.  I am riding the mountain bike while she is using the trike. 

August 7 2011

Trike and RV

Well we’re off to Oregon for a couple of weeks.  First stop McMinnville and Olde Stone Village RV Park.  It’s adjacent to the Air and Space Museum with a connecting path.  This year the museum has added a huge water park with a 747 on the roof and water slides coming out of the 747 into the building.  Grandkids are going to love it.

The park is a nice place to ride, so I have been working to get the trike set up for Janet.  She rode it 3 miles last night over to the museum around and back.  Think we are getting it set up for her pretty good.  She will be riding it for the next 2 weeks while we’re in Oregon and I am riding my daughter’s 2 wheeler. Luckily we have the same x-seam, or at least close, so the handle bars are about all I have to adjust.

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I put a butt pack o the trike to hold water bottles and tools.  Its temporary until the rack arrives, they are back-ordered, and I have a large trunk pack to go on it.  Also, a commuter bag, from Utah Trikes, fits on the bottom of the seat and holds water bottles and tools.  But the butt pack works OK for now..

Going to spend a couple of days here then its off to Eugene, lots of trails in Eugene, one along he river.  So we should get plenty of time here to get it all tuned up for Janet, then have some nice rides in Eugene.

August 5 2011

Tune up Ride

Checked the alignment based on the instructional video from Terratrikes, which differs some from the manual, but it came out neutral which is correct.. Also adjusted the Sturmley-Archer gearing according to another instructional video and off I went for my second ride.

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I ride the Olympia/Woodlawn Trail, which runs along the I-5 Interstate. The trail head is about 2 miles from the house, streets are either very low traffic or with a bike lane, so its pretty nice. It is an old railway, so incline is 2.2 degrees or less and it is a wide paved trail.  It intersects the Western/Chehalis Trail, which adds about 20 or more miles to the possible paths I can ride.

Got in 12.5 miles today, average 7.9 mph, max 20.4. I didn’t let it out today, after the mishap yesterday was a lot more cautious. Total on the odometer 18.9..

It handled really well today, not near as twitchy as yesterday. I have added some bling, but not too much, still adjusting the bling. Have a flashing white light on front, but need to make a mount for that to get it better. It is on the right and I want it on the left. Added an old bell off my Yugoslavia made folding bike, had a nice compass and bell, but my grandson really, really wanted that one, so its now on his bike. Got a PB Protege 9.0 computer, works well. Two Q Lights on the rear, a carbon bottle cage to hold the wife’s stainless bottle, a small air pump mounted to the seat back cross brace, flag, and a rear fender… and of course the Power Grips, which worked a whole lot better today, tried different shoes and they seem to fit nicer…

Anyway, off in the RV tomorrow to Portland and Eugene OR, lots of trails in Eugene, will try a few… if anyone in vicinity, give me a shout on PM, maybe we can go for a ride…

Trip Miles: 12.5
Average MPH: 7.9
Max Speed: 20.4
Odometer: 18.9

August 5 2011

Trike Arrives and a Wreck

Got the Rover today,even with all the shipping issues, I was thrilled. So here are first impressions and lessons learned….

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Adjustments, adjustments, adjustments….

Ordered this from Utah Trike and from what I have read on the forums, they usually come all set up. I think a couple of things happened, 1) I wasn’t clear about how I wanted it setup, because I really didn’t know and 2) A lot happened to it in shipment. The box was really beat up and open on the bottom. I was afraid there was stuff missing, but it almost all seems to be here. Missing one screw that holds the seat adjusters on and both the quick releases for the seat, but I can get them local… using replacement screws right now…
I had to put it back to the mid mark, they had it on Long and that didn’t work for me. I am 5’8" and with the seat all the way forward, I felt too close to the handle bars. I set it at mid and removed chain links. But at that setting, my heels sometimes touched the crossbar so I moved it out about an inch. I assume you do not need to be right on the black mark that in-between marks is still OK.. can someone verify?

Then take a ride, then adjust the handle bars, take a ride and adjust the steering, find a place for the lights and the bell, attach them. Redo the cable routing for a few things, then redo the cable ties for all of them. Go to the bike shop and get the proper screws… It has taken awhile to get it all right. Next time I will but local if possible, less hassle, but since no one around had any until late August, guess it works out in the long run…

Impressions…
Thought at first I wasn’t going to be happy with gearing (8 speed Sturm-Archery), but after the ride, all was fine. I definitely used all 8 gears and would like a little higher range, but don’t want to give up the low… I live on a very steep high, when it snows the city blocks it off and it is the town sled hill, really steep. I climbed it in the trike at the end of the ride today… not fast, but steady… I ride a 27 speed bike and although I never use them all, they are a little closer together on the ratio that the SA, but I am sure it will be OK, especially for the areas I ride.

Rode 6 miles for a test…. avg speed 8-10 mph, fastest on straight and level 18.7 mph, which is almost exactly what the gear chart indicates you will go in 8th gear… fastest down hill 23.4 … didn’t go down the steep hill by the house, wanted to come up it, so went around the other way , besides doing over 20 on my first ride was exciting enough…

Steering seemed squirrelly at first, but that was due to it being tightened down all the way, once I adjusted it according to the video, it was fine..

Wreck! Well I hate to admit this, but my grandson and I were racing around and around the drive, RV pad, and patio this evening and I tried a sharp turn with a side hill lie and it dumped me… right on the concrete.. not any damage to the trike, scraps and bruises for me… lots of entertainment for the neighbors :lol:

So far I love it, still lots of adjustments to get it set for the wife… she will use if for the next few weeks and I go back to 2 wheels while she decides what she wants. It doesn’t seem to fit her quite as well, but we’ll just keep adjusting until she is comfortable.

Tomorrow another ride, then its off to OR for some trail riding. I’ll take a pic and post it to prove I really do have one, I know its a forum requirement. I think its call Proof of Trike…

Trip miles: 6.4
Avg speed: 8.2
Max Speed: 23.4
Odometer: 6.4