Similar to the saying, "the best camera to take a picture with is the camera you have with you," is the best place to ride is where ever you are. If you wait for the perfect weather, time, or place you'll probably rarely get out on your bike. That's why it's important to make a commitment to get outside and get pedaling.
I have found that I really enjoy riding the back roads in Wisconsin. Roads that cars have long forgotten make for some of the most scenic and tranquil of rides.
We've also become spoiled with riding on paved surfaces. There's nothing like a smooth swath of concrete or asphalt to pave the way. Compared to some of the crushed stone recreation trails, I'll take the speed and ease of a rural road any day.
The Oshkosh Cycling Club has a helpful map of their group rides. Which of course can be ridden any time. Checking for cycling clubs in an area you'd like to ride might help you find some of the more interesting (and safer) places that see local bike traffic.
Bike Wisconsin organizes a fully supported tour called the Great Annual Bicycle Adventure Along the Wisconsin River. It's a 400+ mile ride over the course of a week.
This year Becky, my wife, rode the GRABAAWR after winning free registration in a drawing. She pounded out 405 miles in her first tour! Of course, she rode her tadpole the whole way. She was one of only a handful of recumbent riders in the tour, and even fewer trike riders.
Chris Woodyard of USA TODAY took the above photo and wrote an article about this year's event. Make sure to click through the photos in the article, and you'll see Becky made the national stage.
She swears she skipped the organized ice cream social, but the camera caught her grabbing some ice cream along the way!
Speaking of safety the other day, the importance of a well placed mirror can not be overstated. It's important to keep an eye on traffic - what's coming up behind you just as much as what is coming towards you.
When climbing a hill, you have to pre-plan and think like the driver of a car. If a car comes up from behind you, how will they react if they meet an oncoming vehicle? Likewise, if you've just crested a hill and are descending, drivers from behind will have less reaction time to realize you are there when they crest the hill right behind you.
Having (and using!) a mirror will assist you in knowing what vehicles are around. With a little bit of consideration, you can make your ride safer for you and the drivers around you.
There haven't been a lot of new posts around these parts lately. That's what happens when you're busy hitting the open road.
I get a lot of the same types of questions about riding a recumbent tadpole trike and there's no place like this blog to try to answer some of them.
One of the common themes is safety while riding on roads. Questions like the following are common:
I have found that drivers don't seem to have too much of a problem seeing us. First, there's probably the "what is that?" look. Drivers actually seem to slow down and gawk due to the uniqueness of the bike. And while trikes are wider than a two-wheeled bike, I find that drivers actually give us more clearance as they go around us than when we're on a two-wheeler.
When it comes to safety, no one is going to look out for you more than you! Don't assume drivers see you, anticipate issues, look for escape routes, and be smart! You can ride smartly by always wearing a helmet, bright or reflective clothing, using lights and flashing LEDs to your advantage, using a mirror, and flying a safety flag. In addition - choose your route carefully and factor in traffic volume, time of day, the condition of the road (wide shoulders, potholes, etc). A road that is lightly traveled during the day, may be a racetrack during the morning and evening commutes.
The attached photo was taken for aesthetic purposes (the risks of writing a blog!) on a slow stretch of road. But realistically you'll be hugging the shoulder most of the time and monitoring traffic traveling in both directions.
I don't think that safety on the road is a recumbent/non-recumbent issue. It's about what type of rider you are and if you are proactively taking steps to minimize risk. Those are choices you'll have to make no matter how many wheels you ride!
You'll get the idea in a few seconds. But seriously, this is an advantage that those riding on road bikes are missing out on!
We enjoy packing a lunch on our longer rides. It's nice when you're touring to be able to stop, sit, enjoy the scenery, and ... eat!
If you aren't familiar with Mr. Money Mustache, I encourage you to check out his site. He writes about personal finances - but that description doesn't do it justice. He writes about living below your means and staying out of debt. Actually, he writes a lot more than that... just go check out his site for yourself.
Of particular interest to cycling enthusiasts, is his latest work titled, "Curing your Clown-Like Car Habit."
(Note: if you are offended by a little vulgarity, this particular rant isn't for you.)
This is the original promotional video HP Velotechnik released to show off the amazing Gekko fx folding trike. It can be folded without removing the seat or any components.
I can't fold ours up in under 10 seconds, but the actual folding and unfolding isn't difficult to do.
The video takes awhile to get to the point, but in the meantime, they show off some of their different bikes.
If you've never ridden a recumbent trike before, the video below will give you a tiny glimpse of what it can be like. Or, if you're in a cold weather climate and expecting 2-4" of snow tomorrow (like Wisconsin), this can really whet your appetite for spring and good riding weather.
One of the things that we found with our tadpole trikes is that it is very difficult not to ride around with a big grin on your face!
This particular trike has many upgraded features over ours. Most notably front and rear suspension. Also note the very different view from the lower riding position. Eye level is much lower than a traditional bike.
Nothing flashy here, but a solid video showing off the GoPro Hero 3's ability to record some nice video of a quick ride.
It's finally here! The warm-up period for the 2013 National Bike Challenge has begun.
Last year was the first year the challenge was on the national stage and over 30,000 participants rode over 12 million miles. This year's goal is 50,000 riders and 20 million miles! What a great way to get exercise, encourage others to ride, and promote biking in your community.
There is an FAQ page that gives information on signing up, creating a team, riding for your employer, and a host of other answers.