I’ve had a lot of fun riding my recumbent trike lately. I keep calling it a bike, but as you may know, technically, it’s a trike. Three wheels and all that, but who’s being technical. Technically, they are all Human Powered Vehicles (HPV) or as Pennsylvania calls them in it’s own quaint way, pedalcycles. I find it interesting that Pennsylvania uses a more general term to be more inclusive, while New York keeps referring to “Bicycles or skating or gliding on inline skates.” They also refer to “Toy vehicles.” Shows what the attitude towards cyclists is…
Anyway, Monday, I rode a 37-mile ride on Labor Day. The bike club I belong to held a ride with a picnic following it starting at a nice little private camp in North Tonawanda, right on the Canal. I elected to ride the longer option. Partway out the ride, I stopped to help another rider who had a flat tire. Changing a tube is easy to me, but a couple sets of hands makes it go quicker. The rider held the bike. I removed the front wheel and changed the tube. Another rider pumped it up. It only took a few minutes.
But by then we were way behind everyone else. A couple other riders had also stopped for a mechanical problem and caught up to us. We ended up with about 8 people riding together. We got to the point where the short ride and long ride diverged. The short ride took a shortcut across the route, whereas the full route went on north through the Tuscarora Indian Reservation. I split off alone to finish the long ride. All the way back, I rode alone and never caught up to any other riders. Not that I was expecting to. But it was a nice day and while it was cool when we started out, it warmed up quite nicely. I rolled in to the picnic in one piece, feeling good, ready to do it again!
So I did, the next day. I usually ride the Monday morning “Breakfast” ride that starts in Pendleton, but it was replaced by the Labor Day ride since it was a Holiday. I hadn’t gotten to the Tuesday morning ride before, so thought I’d try it. They meet at Ellicott Creek Park, which is only a little further from home. Many of the same people ride both mornings, but this time there was only a total of six riders. We did a ride out into Amherst and stopped for coffee and bagels before riding the Amherst Bike Path back into the park and starting point. That ride came out at 26 and a fraction miles.
Wednesday was looking nice in the morning, but cooler weather was supposed to be on the way. I wanted to do a longer test ride with the panniers and some load on the trike, so I loaded it up and headed out on my own from home. I rode out some back streets in Lockport and east on Lincoln Avenue. I’ve gone on a number of rides that way before, so it was familiar territory. I turned off to the north before reaching the end of Lincoln and headed back into Lockport on Chestnut Ridge.
I think I set a record for dogs on this ride. They all must have been out. I’ve been curious about dogs and how they react to the trike. For that matter, how I react to them with the trike. I have always traditionally just outrun them on a bicycle. It gives you a little spurt of adrenaline and is good exercise to sprint away from a dog that chases you. But there is always a chance of an accident, or the dog catching you, if you break a chain or something like that.
I’ve decided not to run from them anymore, or at least to see how they are reacting before I take evasive action. I think most of them are just being dogs, protecting their territory and/or being friendly and curious. The dogs today (and for that matter all summer) have lived up to that premise. A number of dogs barked at me as I went by and many even come out into their yards to guard it and fend me off – like I was going there anyway! But today, as I went down a road I hadn’t ridden on before, two dogs came out of their hiding places and ran towards me. The first one was coming right up to the road, while the other one was hanging back, staying on the grass. The first dog came right out into the road, but I sensed no aggression or anger towards me, so I just kept going and spoke to it. He even circled around to the other side of me and looked me over, but seemed just friendly and curious. I told him he was a good dog and he trotted alongside as far as the end of the property. I told him to go home, and he did! The other dog didn’t seem interested enough to even leave the front lawn. So, I neither sped up or slowed down for the dog and it worked out just fine. There is one dog, further along on Chestnut Ridge, that I have ridden by before who is always chained up and I’m glad that he is. His barking along with pulling at the chain, is much more strident and aggressive. I’m glad that one is tied up and I think I would outrun him if he ever was loose.
It got cooler and darker as I rode today. A change in the weather was happening and I rode through a few raindrops, but nothing that amounted to anything. I was wearing a light windbreaker and my raingear was in the panniers, but it was never worth stopping for. I kept it short today, arriving home after a mere 14 miles.
The goal of finding out how the trike handled with the load on it went well. Despite the weight, the trike handled just fine, and the difference was nearly unnoticeable in effort. I do know I have to be careful about tipping with all the weight over the back wheel. A slow, sharp turn could end up off balance easily. But as long as I remember it and lean, there is no problem. I wish there was a way to share some of the extra weight onto the front wheels. I’m sure going up a hill will be harder too, but on the small hills I hit today, there was no problem. The speed on flat roads was just as if I had no load at all.
So, sometime I need to try an overnight camping trip from the bike. Maybe even before the season is over, weather cooperating. No photos today. I didn’t stop to take any all weekend, even though the camera went with me.