Tag Archives: Bicycle

Economizing and Living Independent for survival in comfort In Today America


Travel (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn (back soon, sorry for not commenting))

English: Bicycle touring

English: Bicycle touring (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

World cyclist Heinz Stuecke on the place de la...

World cyclist Heinz Stuecke on the place de la Sorbonne in Paris, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The recent articles regarding my Recumbant  Trike project and my old articles regarding the Technomads Tribe is again on my mind.I have retired awhile ago so ai could devote more time to creating a rock solid self powered vehicle to travel at random with.I am hoping to get others interested in a life of travel,exercise and good times all over the USA.If others who were self supported were to go along with no demands to stay for any length of time it would truly be a happy group project.We would be that Technomadic Tribe.

Self sufficent would mean a way to support ones self along the way.The tribe would share life experience with whatever they knew best.For instance,A mechanic such as myself would help with repairs.Some one who was good with writing might help with a person supported by blogging.Some one such as a nurse would come in handy when a mishap handed out a skinned knee or elbow.A person with a long life of history background would find historical sites useful.Navigation might be a person who has traveled before.I think anyone with a good sense of their life would enjoy the friendship that will last a lifetime.Riding together has always been safer than alone.

Currently my research has been collecting articles on survival and self sufficiency of those who are experts.Articles of those already traveling on the road to lifes adventures have been a lot of help.The subtle little things they learned by hard lessons are well heeded.The type of terrain.How to cope with the different riding conditions.What to pack and how to stay out of trouble healthwise

.The vehicle you are riding would need to be rugged enough to be trouble free while not being astromonically expensive.I read about the folks that rode just acrossed the country and the enjoyment that they shared.There is also the 71year old gent that rode acrossed the USA and decided to keep riding.Has done so for years.He is quite the expert on the crossing alone.

Bicycling has been my interest since my paper route demanded a way to deliver the 110 papers to my customers.My older red head sister, Jean bought me a single speed Huffy with baskets.I have been riding every since with the exception of last year where a bit of surgery knocked me down for a while.Life is to short to just lay down and get fat…

Think for moment of the first day that you have no muscles aching and the crisp air filling your lungs as the morning greets your waking brain.The smell of bacon and eggs hits you in the nose and the smell of fresh coffee.Some one is fixing the breakfast in their turn for it.The day is just beginning and for the first time in a long time you feel healthy and alive.

The headline fears are still available to you since the electronic world has made that available.Communications with those you value are next fone linked to say I am ok or catch up on family or business  affairs.Then the morning meal with friends of the road tribe to eat,plan and get ready for the day ahead.Repair if need be and repack to get a better ride.Maybe to make the load more accessable,more,easily available.

The trip is not like the road racing bikes you see on the street.Pedaling like crazy to give their butts a ride.Going so fast and working so hard that they miss everything along the way.You all agree that the group is ready to ride and go at a leisure pace that everyone will enjoy.Stopping to take pictures,readjust for comfort and generally enjoying the time given.There is no relatable feeling that compairs to it when you finally feel in shape and nothing hurts.A few days after you started riding with the tribe the pains become muscle and your weight drops to comfort levels.Your body tunes to the athlete you always dreamed of being.You are free and alive,maybe fore the first time in a long time or the first time ever.The wind is in your face as you pedal along with your new friends who share your feelings of living.

You ride with others. Slowest riders in front and fastest riders in back to be able to pace the group.A few riders ride far ahead to scout the route for easiest passage.Your destination may be a camp ground somewhere ahead or a hotel for showers food and a rest period.The autos pass with care because there would be a lot of eyes in a misdeed done.The tribe is from all walks and professions of life.The talents and abilities are from diverse worlds united with the common love of thier life of freedom.

This article is as close as I can explain as to why I have worked for these years building a trike wih every conceivable option that I could find or think of.I wanted to retire and ride just to see the world I missed.I will be uploading  the pictures soon for those interested.I am constantly making upgrades with modifications to every part that doesnt measure up to an easy ride.

My latest project is trying to interest people in buliding trikes to travel this road with me.Perhaps for a summer,perhaps…..

I will be writing again soon I welcome those who are becoming followers and readers alike.WELCOME DEAR READERS


Photo of an Irish breakfast taken by Ludraman ...

Photo of an Irish breakfast taken by Ludraman with a Sony Cybershot DSC-P9. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



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Posted by on April 21, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Recumbant DIY Trike Project Part 3/The Chains to Long/Jackshaft Using Pedal CHainwheels

Animation of a spinning bicycle pedal

Animation of a spinning bicycle pedal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

holga | 35mm | sprockets #3

holga | 35mm | sprockets #3 (Photo credit: slimmer_jimmer)

My latest change to my bolt together trike[I don’t have excess to welding equipment yet]is to increase the torque to the rear wheel.This feature may slow down the trikes speed going uphill while compensating for not being able to standup on pedals like a conventional bike.Its really going to be easier to just stop and sit awhile in my “ez-boy recliner”type tadpole while the conventional rider poops out and walks uphill.This extra low gear will allow me to simply downshift a couple sprockets and walk up the hill sitting down.Ready for this?Okay listen up.

I have cut off a mountain bikes rear end to build this trike.(Dont whimper mountain bike person)It has suspension from the factory that built the left the pedals intact just under and to the rear of the tadpoles seat.Cutting off the pedal arm on the right side as you would sit on the bike(before you cut the frame).You need a second pedal/sprocket setup from another multi-speed bike.this new setup should be of a type to fit your current pedal shaft.Note that  the pedal shaft is sometimes square and other times round with a hardened pin through the pedal arm  near the sprockets to lock it onto the shaft.This has to match-up on both sides of the pedal-shaft.A loose or non-fitting  sprocket is going to be nothing but problems.This completes the rear left side jack-shaft  part of the super low gears.OK,Hang with me on this its going to get more interesting.

Next you need to find another rear gear changer/ really does not have to be for a wide gear/sprocket range.A 5speed gear changer from an old bike will do just fine for what we want.For the moment you can just put this deraileur aside.We wont need it till we accomplish a few more real easy steps.Don’t get discouraged at this point.This is a grand design for powering up the usually butt busting hills ahead.This will be well worth the effort when you pass those who Poo-Poo our “bents”as freaks of engineering.You know,Those guys that boohoo’d in the 1930’s when recumbant riders whooped them athletic types on conventional bikes.Those days are a changing.Some cheery things to say as you pass the walking sweating conventional rider  might be,”nice day for a ride when you can”or “Yeah,I used to ride one of those things too”:) But I digress here a bit.Getting back  2 my project.The front sprocket on your tadpole trike is on the side its usually found conventionally.This is where we get creative.I’m sure every possible innovation has been tried on wheeled pedal vehicles.This next trick is found on tandems(bikes built for two).Take the  front tadpole pedal assembly and reverse the drive sprockets.That is, take the pedal arm with your drive sprocket and switch it to the opposite side it normally is on.Trade sides with your pedal arm that would normally be on the left side.It will now be on the right side.Sprockets  on the left of the pedal shaft as you sit on the trike.No need to mess with bearings on anything that allows pedals and spockets to be removed without messing with the bearings and shaft.This Jack-shaft sprockets  is your super low gears.You now join the front reversed sprockets/pedals with a shortened chain to the makeshift Jack-shaft just behind your seat.How does this make more gears,you ask…I am getting to that and I hope you have followed to this point.

The 5speed gear changer I obtained has to go ahead of the secondary(Left hand sprockets).I reversed the    gear changer.Turning it upside down and  backwards to what you find on the rear wheel of a bike.I also found it best to place the 5speed deraileur on the bottom  of the chain.This position allows a smooth gear change and also acts as a chain idler.This would be the part of the chain returning from the front sprockets.You may have to experiment a little to find the sweet spot that smoothly shifts the sprockets best.I placed an idler flat belt pulley from the hardware($8.00),on the top part of the chain to help maintain it from slopping around.I bolted this to the frame with 3/8″bolts.The deraileur also is bolted to the frame.There’s lots more sophisticated ways of doing what I have done.If you have suggestions please feel free to comment.You have to ask why I would build what i could buy?Its the shear thrill of seeing what your own abilities and imagination can create.This setup can give you hours of tinkering to create the gearing for the rides of your dreams.I have yet to invent,(I guess),a way to shift the front gears on this trike.So-far i have 21gears on the rear sprockets.Three sprockets on the right side jack-shaft.Three sprockets on the opposite side of the jack-shaft and 2sprockets on the front main drive at the front of the trike.T 3 three sprockets in the main/front drive pedals so far have been a rather uncooperative project.The chain idlers have been reluctant to take up enough slack to stay on the sprockets in extreme low gears.This would be very useful if you were pulling a loaded trailer uphill.I will post the solution when I find it ,or you find it and impart the in genius idea to me in the comments.

The gear changers need to be tuned very tight on the jack-shaft (right/rear sprockets).That is, the limiting screws for hi and lo will be nearly as far screwed in as possible.This being because you wont be changing 5,7or 9gears,Only 2 or 3 sprockets.A real short distance.They were not designed for the large sprockets and its going to take patience to find the perfect setting.Believe me when I tell you how much power it puts into the hills.Lastly,You need to add gear changing levers and run new cables to them.They should be tightly adjusted to work properly.A bit more tinkering by you(the pro by now).Almost done with this.

I mounted a pair of conventional gearshifts on the down-post to my trike.My deraileurs were mostly Suntour and Shimano.They are what I had from bikes I was given to experiment on.You might use other parts that work better.Please feel free to share.Your 15 minutes? of fame…

This super-gear setup will either have you pedaling like crazy to climb a hill at a snails pace or going 30miles per hour as I have been clocked doing by a rather shocked  automobile driver following  behind me.(I blew a tire at 30mph and nearly ditched it)!Next time,26″fat tires instead of700s

I really hope to include photos soon of my rather unique project.I really have not had time to make a proper journal for anyone to use yet.This will follow in the future making a clearer instruction manual for those adventurous enough to dare to go where few riders have gone before.The world of human powered vehicles.Humans can put about the equavilant of 14 horse-power to those pedals and to the rear wheel as it hits the blacktop.This is what I have often read anyway.A super-gear simply provides a way to convert all that “Horse Power” into power pulling torque.Yeah,it is very slow in double granny.I don’t have a schedule when I ride and the super high gear is a rollie-coaster ride for the strong hearted.I really must look into disc brakes in the future.Those friction wheel pinchers really stink when your doing 25mph and a deer jumps out to see what this thing looks like up close and personal.Yup…..disk brakes n deer whistles 🙂

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Posted by on April 18, 2014 in Uncategorized


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update on my homebuilt no welds experimental tadpole trike project

the new trike

the new trike (Photo credit: yewenyi)

the start of the ride

the start of the ride (Photo credit: yewenyi)

My last blog was a rough outline on a recumbant tadpole trike with62 possible gears choices.I have since finished this phase of the project and discovered a real problem existed.the pedal area of the frame was not strong enough to keep from twisting.All was fine on my first attempted ride,  I started picking up speed and slipped a front chain.It was because the trikes frame had warped from  the pedal side stress.So my beloved trike is back on the drawing board.Design wise anyway…i am trying to design a trike that would be easy to build fir anyone that doesnt have a machine shop to make all the holes,welds etc.Just tab”A” into slot”B” sorta thing.I will perfect it eventually.Then I can do my dream adventure of a life-time.A year long journey to see the country on the finished product.

Can you even imagine the freedom of the road without a boss hanging over your shoulder.I can,because its my dream…A troop of Techies that have a dream of traveling in their odd looking pedal powered,solar assisted vehicles.These folks are independent of the grid as free people.Writing articles on camping gear,survival,bicycles,or just the encounters that we have as permanent tourists.Independence isn’t free.It means putting the usual life that people have on hold.The nice little house.Nice little car.The nice little yard.The butt busting boss.Stress big enough to kill a Marine Corp.Hard-case.Yeah it would just break my heart to have to leave all that behind.To be able to home school your kids as you wished.Just an awful life.Lets call this little band of roving folks a Tribe of Technomads”in honor of the original Technomad that toured for years in the 60,s.If you google Technomad,You will find our mentor,Stephen.

With his equipment which was state of the art then and is a museum piece now,he traveled by pedal power for 9years.using binary keyboard input to write / shortwave radio to communicate and the archaic internet of that period to write.think what that lifestyle would be if he had had what is Hi-Tech now.Just think of the possibilities that miniturization has made available.Lets use that thought for a moment in time.

I would love just love to find a group of talented people that could share their life talents to hold it all together as a…Well lets call this group of pedal powered,solar charging techies a”TRIBE”That is what it is for all intentional purposes.

We would have Smartphones,Laptops,Portable stoves,solar cells,and the best camping equipment available.The light weight things available to the world is hi-tech in its own right.The living would be free and easy if we could establish a system of support and survival.The survival of the “Tribe”would be the greatest priority.The schooling,communication with the world,and working for each member of the Tribe would be balanced be the ease of lifestyle.No timetables.No boss on your butt.Just the democratic choices of the tribe to go where it chooses in the country.A true democracy.

WE would be the test bed for products of the camping industry,Electronics industry,food industry.Maybe the survivalists could learn from us. either way it will be the trip of a lifetime.People joining us as we go thru towns just to say they road with us a ways.TV and radio trying to pickup a bit of news on us as we get near their area.The experiences will be memorable if nothing else.A new sunrise each morning and a new sunset each night.The stars over head as your ceiling.Ride south for the winter and north for summers.Maybe we will find our Shangri-La .

This is my goal for one year from now.A trek of Techies that work,ride and live together as a fully integrated TRIBE.Technomads.

Your friends will think your crazy.Your significant other will think you need therapy.You will laugh each day as you get in better shape and earn money as you pedal and enjoy.John Lennon ‘s sang “You may say I’m a dreamer,but I’m not the only one.Is this a dream you have hidden deep in your emburdened life.Homeless is not realizing the whole world is your home,The water is free,before they bottle it for you(cut out the middleman)  .The food is anywhere and even a soup kitchen is something to write about.Showers are actually available anywhere.See camping gear   That is available today.Hot shower to go..Yup! no need to cooked barb-q style anywhere,baked to order.Sleeping in confort even in Heat and cold.Life in the free of grid world isn’t so bad when you plan ahead.You may want to share your thoughts on this idea of mine.

To my knowledge it hasn’t been done before in this way.Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.More to come in the future blogs. Till next time,Take care my friends.

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Posted by on June 18, 2012 in Uncategorized


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