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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 04-03-08, 09:26 PM   #1
Sianelle 
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Tricycle joys.

My 'car' is my Hercules tricycle with 250watt electric assist via a hubmotor on the right rear wheel. The left wheel is driven by the pedals and is fitted with a 'Sachs' Duomatic kickback 2 speed hub.
I know some of you have seen my tricycle before, but I'll show you a quick picture just in case someone hasn't.......

I've tidied up the body mounting some more since this photo was taken, but essentially this is what my tricycle presently looks like.

I haven't been so well for a while so my trike has only been getting light shopping basket use, but today I needed to go to the garden centre to buy some compost. Three 50 litre bags of compost!
Absolutely no problem loading up when I got there. Our local garden centre is only small and where the bags of compost are stored was down a gravelled path. No problem, - rode down the path on my trike and very carefully loaded up the three bags because I'm still having some problems with symptoms, but I hate having to ask others to load something on my tricycle because they never get the load properly balanced and then I have to shift about myself anyway. (sigh) Sooooo it's just easier to do myself in the first place.
Rode my tricycle up to the garden centre shop and paid for three bags. The young woman behind the counter must've misheard me because she asked if I wanted her to load the bags into my car....... It was kind of her to offer because there I was standing in the shop with my walking stick and I might not be able to manage, - only I didn't have a car. I suppose it's a fairly standard assumption for people to make, - three big bags of compost, - therefore you must have a car to take it home with.
When I said that I didn't have a car because I had a tricycle instead she was very surprised and rushed outside straight away to have a look. She told me that she would love to have something the same herself and generally admired my Hercules and said nice things, - BUT then she asked me if I had far to go and if I would be able to manage such a heavy load. Now as it happened I hadn't really thought about that. The quickest way home from the garden centre takes in one of the few hills we have around here, but if I go right around back to the township I can ride home on the nice flat main road. Trouble was I didn't really fancy riding on the main road with a heavy load due to the traffic thru town which often includes very large logging trucks.
Sooooo what I did was I smiled and said, 'I'll be fine thanks, - I have a two speed hub,' - and I set off in the direction of the aforementioned hill. Well I was in top gear and the hubmotor was pulling fine when I approached that hill, - I've got a 24 tooth sprocket on the Sachs hub btw. To tell the truth I was really surprised how far I got before I had to kickback to low. A lot of people think a 250watt hubmotor isn't much, but if you stick with it by pedalling to help it along it's surprising just how much it will haul. Getting to the top of the hill was a bit more of a stiff climb than I would've liked, but I didn't have to get off the saddle to do it and I was feeling pretty comfortable about the amount of effort I was having to put in. Down the other side I didn't have any anxious moments either. Folk think those old fashioned roaster stirrup brakes aren't much chop, but that's because knowing how to set them up properly is almost a lost art. Set up correctly they're as good as anything else around and I love their total reliability.

I get a lot of joy from riding my tricycle. I really can't be bothered with a car. A car is just too big, too awkward to manover, parking the things takes far too much effort. On those very few occasions when I do have to drive a car I find that when I get to my destination I have awful joint and muscle pain from having been sitting passive and inactive behind the wheel. Btw if you haven't figured it out by now I live with a disability. Since I started to seriously ride a bicycle or tricycle for transport over two years ago now, I've been enjoying far better health and I've had less relapses, and if I do relapse I get back on my feet again much more quickly. My blood pressure has been steadily reducing too and at the moment it's 100 over 60; - not too shabby for a 50 something year old woman.
Bicycles and walking are perfect for local journeys, and yet I'm the only one who arrives at church via my own shoe leather or on a bicycle. This is a very small rural town for heaven's sake!
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Old 04-03-08, 09:40 PM   #2
Platy
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That is a very fine looking piece of machinery.
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Old 04-03-08, 10:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sianelle View Post
My 'car' is my Hercules tricycle with 250watt electric assist via a hubmotor on the right rear wheel. The left wheel is driven by the pedals and is fitted with a 'Sachs' Duomatic kickback 2 speed hub.
I know some of you have seen my tricycle before, but I'll show you a quick picture just in case someone hasn't.......

I've tidied up the body mounting some more since this photo was taken, but essentially this is what my tricycle presently looks like.

I haven't been so well for a while so my trike has only been getting light shopping basket use, but today I needed to go to the garden centre to buy some compost. Three 50 litre bags of compost!
Absolutely no problem loading up when I got there. Our local garden centre is only small and where the bags of compost are stored was down a gravelled path. No problem, - rode down the path on my trike and very carefully loaded up the three bags because I'm still having some problems with symptoms, but I hate having to ask others to load something on my tricycle because they never get the load properly balanced and then I have to shift about myself anyway. (sigh) Sooooo it's just easier to do myself in the first place.
Rode my tricycle up to the garden centre shop and paid for three bags. The young woman behind the counter must've misheard me because she asked if I wanted her to load the bags into my car....... It was kind of her to offer because there I was standing in the shop with my walking stick and I might not be able to manage, - only I didn't have a car. I suppose it's a fairly standard assumption for people to make, - three big bags of compost, - therefore you must have a car to take it home with.
When I said that I didn't have a car because I had a tricycle instead she was very surprised and rushed outside straight away to have a look. She told me that she would love to have something the same herself and generally admired my Hercules and said nice things, - BUT then she asked me if I had far to go and if I would be able to manage such a heavy load. Now as it happened I hadn't really thought about that. The quickest way home from the garden centre takes in one of the few hills we have around here, but if I go right around back to the township I can ride home on the nice flat main road. Trouble was I didn't really fancy riding on the main road with a heavy load due to the traffic thru town which often includes very large logging trucks.
Sooooo what I did was I smiled and said, 'I'll be fine thanks, - I have a two speed hub,' - and I set off in the direction of the aforementioned hill. Well I was in top gear and the hubmotor was pulling fine when I approached that hill, - I've got a 24 tooth sprocket on the Sachs hub btw. To tell the truth I was really surprised how far I got before I had to kickback to low. A lot of people think a 250watt hubmotor isn't much, but if you stick with it by pedalling to help it along it's surprising just how much it will haul. Getting to the top of the hill was a bit more of a stiff climb than I would've liked, but I didn't have to get off the saddle to do it and I was feeling pretty comfortable about the amount of effort I was having to put in. Down the other side I didn't have any anxious moments either. Folk think those old fashioned roaster stirrup brakes aren't much chop, but that's because knowing how to set them up properly is almost a lost art. Set up correctly they're as good as anything else around and I love their total reliability.

I get a lot of joy from riding my tricycle. I really can't be bothered with a car. A car is just too big, too awkward to manover, parking the things takes far too much effort. On those very few occasions when I do have to drive a car I find that when I get to my destination I have awful joint and muscle pain from having been sitting passive and inactive behind the wheel. Btw if you haven't figured it out by now I live with a disability. Since I started to seriously ride a bicycle or tricycle for transport over two years ago now, I've been enjoying far better health and I've had less relapses, and if I do relapse I get back on my feet again much more quickly. My blood pressure has been steadily reducing too and at the moment it's 100 over 60; - not too shabby for a 50 something year old woman.
Bicycles and walking are perfect for local journeys, and yet I'm the only one who arrives at church via my own shoe leather or on a bicycle. This is a very small rural town for heaven's sake!
Yours is one of two trikes that give me "Trike Lust" the second is a delta trike owned by one of the Profs at the University I work. Don't get me wrong I love my '07 Schwinn T&C, but it's Chinese heritage is always just under the surface with it's cheap quality wheels and abundance of nylon lock nuts..
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Old 04-03-08, 10:47 PM   #4
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I'm just curious- does that have brakes on both rear wheels? Are they the conventional rod brakes as used on a bicycle?
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Old 04-03-08, 11:13 PM   #5
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Your rig is very impressive. I'm pretty sure I couldn't haul three bags of compost on my bike. (well, maybe with a trailer, but even then, probably not as easily). But, I need to ask: what's a stirrup brake? (I assume setting one is a lost art because no one has seen one...)
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Old 04-04-08, 04:35 AM   #6
Sianelle 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bragi View Post
Your rig is very impressive. I'm pretty sure I couldn't haul three bags of compost on my bike. (well, maybe with a trailer, but even then, probably not as easily). But, I need to ask: what's a stirrup brake? (I assume setting one is a lost art because no one has seen one...)
This is a rod operated stirrup brake. This particular example is on a Raleigh bicycle, but is virtually the same as brake on my Hercules.


For a rear brake I use the coaster brake that's built into the Sachs Duomatic hub and it's a brilliant piece of German engineering that works flawlessly. The left hand handlbar lever now operates an electrical switch 'clutch' that switches off the hubmotor without disturbing its control settings; - something that's very useful to have in stop-start type traffic. A coaster rear brake is just the job on an electric assisted tricycle because it's all too easy to run out of hands for operating levers up at the handlebars while giving handsignals in traffic. The hubmotor wheel isn't fitted with a brake, though I could do that after a little metalwork if it proved necessary. So far I haven't felt the need for an extra brake, but I might fit one over the Winter if I'm desperate for a workshop task to occupy myself with during the rainy season.

Thanks for all the nice comments btw
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Old 04-04-08, 10:34 AM   #7
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YES!!! I,too, "love" my trike. My Worksman PAV is my "truck" around town
being a joy to ride just kicking back to pedal to the next destination.

It's to the point now where neither my old Suburban ,nor my PU truck, get
started unless I need to leave town which isn't often.
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Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 04-04-08, 10:58 AM   #8
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That is just beautiful! I'd love a trike... especially one like yours!
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Old 04-04-08, 11:20 AM   #9
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That's a sweet trike. Useful and with classic lines.
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I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
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