Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Safe Road Position

I had posted this earlier on My Ride Groups Blog and had such excellent comments and discussions the last time we rode so I thought I would repost it here.

Check out this Web FAQ Page: http://cyclingsavvy.org/hows-my-driving/
There is some really helpful info and animations that could help you be safer Riding on our Streets
Oh I added another video about 'bents on the sidebar. It highlights my favorite ride, a Gold Rush Replica by Easy Racers

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tour D'Alberta DNF

Ah what a Glorius day for an organised tour! Forecast was to be sunny, low wind and  over 25 c  (and it was!) My first good chance to ride my Mango Velomobile and show it off to over 1500 riders, volunteers and of course spectators.
I arrived about an hour before the start of the ride to get processed and do the meet and greet thing. Most Albertans have probably never seen a velomobile so it was a big draw. Lots of pictures and curiosity. I never did get any negative responses from any one and a had couple of really interested riders with some good questions. (Nice to meet you Mark!)
   It was at first amusing then it got somewhat annoying for a bit to hear the same question over and ovre again. Can you guess it? Yep: "Does it have a motor?" To most I guess this is an obvious question as it looks like a somsort of new type electic thing. or what they have the impression of one should be.
   As the ride progressed the Mango really made an impression on the hard core roadies as I was crusing and passing many at over 35kph and sliding down the hills at over 50kph. Plus they were so amazed that I was not even pushing it most of the time, just pedaling at a average cadence, coasting and breathing normally as they were huffing and spinning to stay along side and talk.
The Mango did supburb until after the mid way point. 7 km out from the lunch stop my chain started to make this wild and bizarre undulating and grinding sound then it stopped after a couple of seconds. Okay that was weird. I continued to ride but my butt started to get kinda warm. I stopped and checked. Couldn't see nothing, So I rode on. After a kilometer my butt got really hot again and then I had no chain movement. It was really hot and sunny so as I looked down into the darkness I could spin but the chain did not move. What the frak? So I jumped out to get a better look and to my amazement the power chain tube had come loose and wrapped itself around the chain ring. So THAT was the weird noise and girations of the chain a while back, the chain tube had come loose. Okay I had a couple of zip ties to no problem. Ya right. 1 hour and a half later I was 40 km behind the last rider on the tour. No matter what I tried, with zip ties donated from far and wide, the chain tube would not stay and would wrap itself around the chain ring. By this time completing the ride was out of the question. So I got a ride back to my van drove back to my velo and went to the finish line to meet my freinds as thay finished their ride.
   I did have fun that day, met some great people and realized that the volunteers of these organized rides will try to do the impossible sometimes. I did get 55 kilometers in at a moving avg of 29 kph! My best ever! (yes the area riding in was flatish of with some rollers).

Now I have to figure out how to get the chain tube to stay in place. Can someone upload a couple of photos with a suggestion of how to fix a chain tube in place in a '08 Mango. Plus I could use a diagram of the proper chain routing too.
   I had mentioned to those trying to help me get the Mango rolling again that "a big part of day was not just finishing but the adventure of it all." I really did have a great day and I get another oppurtunity to figure out how to fix and maintian my velo and to add to the knowlege base of my blog! So please I could really use the info on how to affix my chain tube properly. send them to me email at velorydr at telus dot net
Thanks, I hope your adventures this week are fun too!

Attached Images
 My Freinds Lloyd, Carool and Lyle Finishing The Tour D'Alberta

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mango Tutorials: Front wheels alignment.

Sinner Bikes (Harry L)  has posted another Video Tutorial on YouTube. I have posted it on the Maintenance page here on this blog as a back up for future reference. Even though these are Mango spefic tuttorial . I am sure the basic mathods will work for the Quest and Strada velos too. (someone correct me if I am wrong!?)
Harry is producing better and more comprehensive tutorials all the time. We are very thankful for this legacy!
Keep on Filming HARRY! 
Love the Bloopers!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Velomobile Accessories: Whats' the Most Common and the Best for the Buck

Friday July 13, 2012 - Hmm,  the other day I was looking at my stats page and noticed that My Accessory Page gets several hits a week even though it is a static page. A thought hit me that maybe people were looking to see not only what I had to offer but were looking for Ideas to see what others may have added. So I am going to host a poll  this month to see the results. Head over to BROL and this thread: http://www.bentrideronline.com/messageboard/showthread.php?p=962799#post962799
Please add your thoughts and top 10 addons or accesories. I will tally up the results and post later this month for all to see and have on here for future reference. Thanks

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hot time Ridin in da city

Finally we have had a streak of fine Hot weather over 30c that has lasted over a week. Since we got back from our riding tour in Idaho with TOT, I have been able to get a ride in everyday. But not in my Mango. But on My GRR.
Heresy you say! No, just practical.
   I enjoy temps under 30c and the thought of riding in my Mango (sweat box) while my Cool Blue Gold Rush sits on it perky `lil`stand just whispering:``Come on, you know you want to!...`` Well I can`t resist. I get on for a nice evening ride; the breeze flows across my brow and the world is right! ( I was going to say: ``blows through my golden locks``, but I been to shavin``me `ed for several years now! LOL)

 Plus, several of the rides I have done lately have been group rides and the velo is not a social beast.  The GRR is a cheeta in lambs clothing. When other riders in a group I am with think it`s time to do some smokin`, I just smile, wave and let `er loose. Wham bam thank you ma`m`, we are gone! Some jaws drop and others just laugh and yell: `` wait for us at the restaurant!`` AAAAAAHHHH!!   it  is so FUN!
Now does that mean I Don`t want to ride the velo anymore. NO WAY! A couple of 100 km rides and Cooler temps are coming later this summer and fall. The velo is reviving up and waiting for her time romp `n stomp! It`s great to have such awesome rides to choose from depending on the conditions. I am a very, grateful, man!
So what ever you ride, enjoy the day, the weather and the the company if any.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

New Urban Riding Video From Harry

I enjoy watching posts on the the internet with video about riding a velomobile. Harry L. from Sinner Bikes usually has some great videos. This is his newest reguarding riding a Mango in the city.

 These are great to show people how versilte a velo can be in every day use. A great way to promote the velonuat lifestlye.
Way to go Harry! Looking forward to more!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Morning, the Last breakfast. Many Good byes, Teary eyes and card exchanges. Then we loaded up the van and WENT SHOPPING again! What is it with girls?! We stopped at a Fred Meyers and it is one  of those Megastores that carry everything from clothes to groceries. So I took the opportunity to get some cycling wear and some only in the US made Potatoes chips!Its along trip back with tired people so we took our time stopping along the way for Coffee breaks and a nice Picnic type supper besides the Highway and a creek in Kootenay National Park.
dinner in Radium
We Stayed the night in Banff Park near Lake Louise at a Hostel. It was my daughters first night in a hostel and she a had a typical teenage girls reaction to sharing a room with several other ladies who snore or move around a lot at night. Not Well. I was surprised she was not grumpy this morning. oh well teenagers.

My morning view and coffee spot! right outside the hostel.
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The clouds and mountains along the Banff Parkway, always an awesome and mystical drive
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Today its just drive 5 hours to reach our home in Calmar, Clean out the Van, stock up and then head to our cabin 1 hour north of Edmonton a long weekend of relaxing and more riding.
TOT was a everything I expected, The best UN organised Recumbent Event in the U.S.!  WE THINK OVER 100 people showed up for rides, laughs, good food, trial rides , bike show, parts exchange, new friends, old friends and yes even a few beers. Thursday night a few of us were sitting around after that great ride from Harrison to Plummer with a drink in our hands, our feet up , sun shining. when someone said “life sure don't get better than this does it?!”
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I hope you get several of these this summer
P.S. As we drove to and from the TOT we saw the most wildlife ever!
50 Deer of about 3 types, 4 bear: 1 grizzly and 3 black,
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eagles, an elk, 1 wolf, a blue Herron, Canadian geese, and a rare lynx.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

TOT DAY 5: Oh Glorious Day!

This was the Day, Wednesday, The Sunny was out, the skies were clear. Just what the doctor ordered.
The agenda for the day was to load up the trike, bikes and velos to drive to Harrison and ride a 50 km out and back along Lake Coeur d'Alene over the stepped bridge and up to Plummer the beginning of the Trail D’ Coeur d'Alene
This turned out to be the day of the largest group ride. Over 40 riders headed west.
It was also the hottest day of the ride. The trail runs along the east shore of the of the lake again on top of the old railway bed that is paved and smooth. This part of the trail to Plummer is about 25 km long and is best enjoyed with Hot sunny weather! The first highlight is the ride along shore, the second  is the stepped causeway up and over the lake.  The worst and best is the 6 km ? ride up the valley wall to Plummer, Then you get a rest a couple of kilometers Later at the Trail head which also serves as a memorial to the Fallen Warriors and soldiers from the local native American tribe this part of the trail resides in. 
Then comes the down hill run returning the way we came. I was cruizn’ at about 55 kph  Can you say  WAAAAA HOOOOOO!
One of the The traditional rewards for riding that stretch is visiting the local ice cream shop in Harrison and sampling their wares! Hmm I only got a double scoop, Espresso Chocolate chunk and Moose Tracks!
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We took the scenic route back to Kellogg around the east side of Lake Coeur D'Alene finally arrived back at the hotel around 4 pm and lounged around the portico of the hotel and convinced Dave to stoke up the Barbie  to help him reduce the amount of left overs he had not used during the previous night. ummmm just enough food for the few of us who had not left after the days ride. A lot of people left that night to get head start of their long ride home!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

TOT DAY 4 Oh Rainy Day….

2012-06-25 23.34.25
For the first time in the 6 year history of TOT all rides were cancelled due to steady rain. But oddly enough  it was one of the best days of the week. It was an opportunity for many to expand their relationships. The Guesthouse Inn where we were staying has a large area where they serve a continental breakfast and it also serves as a games /rec area where guests can socialize. After breakfast many took the time to break out dice and scramble boards . I dragged my Mango in to the lobby and replaced the chain. Meanwhile a lot of men took my suggestion and headed into Spokane to REI for shopping and eats at a couple of nice restaurants, A few heartier souls (1 fella and 3 GALS) tempted fate and headed to Wallace to try out the zip lines. My wife and Daughter took off for Coeur d'Alene for a girls day of shopping. Most of the day was spent in just visiting and getting to know each other better. The highlight of the day was a culinary comfort food delight as Dave  (aka: Mandrake) cooked up up some Brats, hotdogs, Chicken and or Philly beef wraps under the portico out front of the Hotel Lobby. If you are ever in Boise Idaho on a Friday or Saturday night downtown look for his Gator Dog stand between 10- 3 in the evening. You will get some of the best local fast food in the country! After the meal  everyone mustered in the common areas eating and, socializing until bed time.

I am in the news

Check out the article a local newspaper did on my Velo and me!http://www.pipestoneflyer.com/Article.asp?id=2030

The page is not completely visible so here is the print copy:

It's a bird, it's plane, it's a...
No! It's a Velomobile! Huh? "A what?", you might ask? Well, it looks like some sort of futuristic car, possibly pulled from the pages of a Jetsons cartoon, but what a velomobile actually is, is a lightweight shell enclosing a recumbent bicycle, that can have a lot of the accoutrements that a car has, using no more fuel than the rider can supply with his/her legs.
    Larry Hager, owner of Renu Cycle in Leduc, is a huge proponent of the vehicles. As a matter of fact, if you ever see one of these funky bikes go streaking by you in Calmar, Leduc or any point in between, chances are it's Larry pedaling away inside his "yellow torpedo".   
    He just received his velomobile in January of 2012, but this coming August will be 10 years that Larry has been riding recumbent bikes. "I first saw a recumbent bike on tv and I thought they were kinda cool looking." said Larry. Then on a family vacation down in Bentley, they happened to be present during the Bentley Days Parade where Larry finally saw a recumbent in person. He immediately drove down to Bentley Cycle where they had one recumbent in stock, and took it out for a test ride. He was hooked.
    "I am a big guy who was really out of shape at the time, and I just wanted to lose weight and get healthier. Riding a conventional bike was quite painful for me but a recumbent took those issues away." shared Larry. "I was so out of shape though, that when I first climbed on I couldn't ride it to the end of the block without being winded, and if I tried to ride to the end of town I couldn't breathe." However, within only two weeks, Larry biked from his home in Calmar into his business in Leduc. "My wife had to come and get me and bring me home." laughed Larry, "But it was a milestone in my life."
    Now Larry has lost 65 pounds and regularly rides 100 kms a day, and can do up to double that in a single day.
    Since starting, biking on recumbents has become a driving force in his life. "My wife now rides a recumbent as well, and we have been known to book our vacations around different rides and riding opportunities." said Larry, with a smile.
    Riding has taken Larry to Sacramento where he rode the American River Bike Trail, which is 90 kms long and ridden over two days. He has also been to Kellogg, Idaho where he took part in the "Trikes Optional Tour". This is a fun tour for bike enthusiasts of all sorts, that travels 300 kilometers in five days. Riders with bikes, trikes, recumbents and velomobiles gather together for what is akin to an unmotorized Sturgis.
    Currently, Larry is looking forward to the "Tour De Alberta", which is a one day recreational ride that takes place on July 22, 2012, beginning in Morinville, AB, and has categories for every level of rider. Organizers are hoping to see 1200 riders taking part this year.
    When asked what made him switch from a regular recumbent cycle to a velomobile, Larry replied with a grin, "Speed!" A self described speed freak, Larry is always looking for ways to go faster on his bikes. "The velo is a great machine for speed." he said. "Being completely enclosed in the aerodynamic velo body drops your wind resistance and enables you to go faster using less energy than a regular recumbent." Larry's top speed riding the velomobile so far has been clocked at 72 km/h, with his daily average commuting speed being 28 km/h.
    "It's also much more comfortable, stable and maneuverable than a regular bike." said Larry. "To be perfectly honest, as a biker, on the road you are typically viewed as an annoyance. Riding the velo, drivers treat me like another car."
    Another perk to riding a velomobile is protection from Alberta's notoriously fast changing weather. On nice days you can ride with the top open and the wind in your face, or on inclement days you can invest in a removable wind screen and cover that will keep you warm and dry. You can also accessorize a velomobile almost as well as a car. There are attachments available for lights, a horn, cell phones, sound systems, water bottles, odometers, and a flat tire kit with a pump, amongst other things.
    "They are already really big in Europe." said Larry, "But they are really just starting to be seen over here. With such an interest in ecologically friendly transportation taking off in this country, it doesn't get any friendlier than this! There is no fuel used what-so-ever which is also really easy on your wallet. Plus the fact that people are looking for ways to get healthier at the same time, so this is a natural fit. The inventor of the velomobile is 75 years old and still rides his over 1000 kms a month!"
    Larry shared that living in this area is also a bonus for velo riders. He said that Leduc was a great place to ride almost year round as the roads and multiways are cleared very quickly after snowfalls, which enables him to continue riding even in winter. With the mild winter we had this last year, Larry began riding his velo in February, and except for a couple of heavy snowfalls we received in late winter, he has been riding ever since.
    As a matter of fact, it was his love of biking that started his new business venture, Renu Cycle. Already a small business owner, running the Crack Masters and U-Haul franchises in Leduc, Larry realized that there was no one around that did bike repairs anymore. Since he had been working on his own bikes for years it was a natural progression when friends began asking him to fix their rides. Working out of the same building as Crack Masters and U-Haul, Renu Cycle is starting to really take off. So much so, that between the business and Larry's love of recumbents, he is also working towards becoming a dealer of velomobiles.
    These last 10 years have been so much more than just enjoying himself and riding bikes for Larry. "It has almost become a lifestyle now." he confessed. "Really, I started out just being a fat guy that wanted to get healthier. These bikes let me do that while having a lot of fun."
    To encourage anyone interested in trying out a velomobile, Larry generously offered to allow anyone interested to get in touch with him at his shop, and come on down for a spin on his "Yellow Torpedo".
    If you want to learn more about these interesting vehicles before climbing on, you can also go to Larry's blog at www.velorydr.blogspot.ca, where you will find a wealth of information on velomobiles, and many links to other sites sharing info on velos and recumbents.