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A Week Trekking With Trike

A week with the new trike. I have to say, it has been a blast. Almost like learning to ride again. Different muscles, different techniques, different habits. 17 miles doesn’t seem like a lot (my total according to MotionBased), but I’ve spent more time working on the trike than riding it in this first week.

Major milestones:

  • Realize the seat is forward a bit too far, adjust seat forward.
  • Furthermore realize that the bike rack and headrest are connected to top seat brace - remove both, adjust seat.
  • Attempt to reattach bike rack, realize that rear fender is attached to bike rack, realign steel bar to adjust rear fender radius to match rear wheel.
  • Replace headrest’s stops with quick-release pins - realize after performing this modification that now that bike rack has moved, there’s no place to attach headrest posts. Place headrest to the side for another day.
  • Clean off previous owner’s attempt to fit GPS mount to bike using foam tape as a spacer - mount my GPS on front bracket.
  • Tighten seat hinge bracket
  • Finally commute to work with my Arkel pannier hitched to the bike rack, GPS recording the journey. Right foot cramps up half-way to work, tighten shoe straps and finish commute.
  • Keith is first to greet me at work, tells me I’m at the wrong door that I’m supposed to be next door (reference to the adult daycare next door)
  • Upon hearing the laughter from Keith’s joke, the entire company comes out to see the new trike.
  • Sure, the trike may not be ridden through doorways, but simply rotate it 90 degrees about its length and it easily fits through most doorways.
  • Ride trike home that night, even with tightened straps feet fall asleep while clipped in.
  • Ride back into work following morning.
  • Adjust length of boom to maximum, slide seat back even further, adjust seat angle flatter before leaving work, since I realized that I wasn’t extending my legs the proper distance during my pedaling stroke. Bike rack now sticks into my back through the seat webbing.
  • Enjoy a much nicer ride home save for the bike rack in the back, realize I made the leg distance a bit too big, adjust seat forward a tiny bit to compensate. Right foot falls asleep a bit, but nothing too major.
  • Remove bike rack and rear fender.
  • Finally take bike out on purely recreational ride around the townhouse. 6 miles to test the new settings, feet only fall asleep towards end of ride.
  • Adjust cleats on shoes to the fully-forward position. Having them set to the rear worked well when I was concerned about clearance on my upright when carrying my pannier, but on the trike it is more important than ever to make sure the contact point is lined up with the ball of your foot so your arches can work properly. Take test spin after adjustment, quickly feel more confident and comfortable.
  • Spend a few hours trying to remount the bike rack and rear fender. Without at least the bike rack, commuting via trike is not the most ideal, since it involves driving over my supplies/laptop, driving back home and then pedaling back into work. Finally come up with something that will work after playing a bunch of games, but high on my list is to get a real, recumbent bike rack. While I’m all dirty, I also tighten the brake discs and move my GPS mount up onto my rear view mirror.

So, yeah, it has been a bunch of work and little joy. Hopefully that will change now that the bike is almost setup the way I want it. I still want a real bike rack, and the headrest would be nice to fit back onto the bike, but for now concentrating on the drivetrain/driver is the most important thing.

I’m slowly coming up to speed on the trike compared with my upright…I averaged 9.6mph this afternoon on my ride after work, that with a 341ft elevation gain. I’m about 1.5mph behind the speed I can obtain on my upright, but I’m confident that the gap will only get smaller as I take longer and longer trips. Other than foot-falling-asleep-issues, which I believe will be minimized with the most recent round of adjustments, the comfort of the trike is a world apart from the upright experience. Imagine being free of booty-pain. No saddle sores. When it comes to the Ironman in a month, I might prefer pedaling for an extra hour overall in exchange for the unsurpassed comfort on the trike.

Comments (1)

Kate:

aaaah...I wish I could tell such exciting bike tales...soon, perhaps...

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 26, 2007 11:11 PM in Fitness and Play and Work.

The previous post in this blog was Trivia For Boobies.

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