Monthly Archives: September 2003

Gillingham at night

On Saturday, while staying at the King Charles Hotel, Gillingham for a Seite weekend, I went into the centre of Gillingham at around 11:30pm. Partly for a walk to stretch my legs and partly to see if there was a bike shop that I could nip into on Sunday to get some inner tubes, a pump and repair kit to make sure I could cycle home OK.

Anyway, what a sad and depressing place. Pedestrianised streets with vomit, urine and litter, boarded up shops and homes. Plus of course many completely drunk, loud and frequently quite violent young people.

I am saddened when this is the best that these young people can find to do and be at the end of their week. What a waste of potential and what a loss for their lives.

When Society and the Church are not offerring something that is percieved as better than this then our failure is immense. How well the Church is hiding a loving friend and saviour from them. The question is: What is God saying to the Church and to Christians about this situation and who is taking notice? One thing is sure even while Church and Society may not be interested, the God who loves them enough to die for each and everyone of them most certainly is.

Feedback on the prototype Load Carrying Trice

I have had quite a few comments by email on the World Exclusive, prototype Trice for Load Carrying so I thought some more stuff would be good.

a) The intention/expectation is that this would be an option for all Trice models and could be retrofitted to existing models. I suspect that may not be possible for absolutely everything (e.g. the tube size on new Tandems is different to our X2) but all Trice models have a joint under the seat which is the key requirement.

b) The flexibility is huge. From my secret informant:

The original concept included what amounts to 3 sets of seat mounts which gave us the versitility to swap out child seats, cargo boxes, small mesh seats, or any custom fitting without removing the extension piece from the trike. You could carry a family-sized load of groceries in the morning and take the family for a ride in the afternoon.

c) For several reasons don’t rush off to ICE demanding one of these. Firstly, it is not ready yet. The pictures illustrate this being an early protoype without full chain and cable management. Secondly, ICE are really busy at the moment building full trikes which is after all the key part of their business. Thirdly. you need to get behind me in the queue ;-)

d) Misc comments

That has got to be one of the most compact tandem trikes I’ve ever seen!

Sure, but on most tandems the stoker pedals ;-) But for carrying the young, disabled, elderly or lazy this is great – especially as you can switch to carrying cargo instead very quickly.

This is a wonderful & just great development, as it means one trike can become the basis for a number of machines lots of folks might use… at lower cost than getting a new machine for each use: Everyday riding; Hauling kids or groceries; Light to heavy touring; Potential for serious industrial & commercial uses, depending on the rear used.

Just to clarify, you don’t need to change the whole rear to switch between uses, just what is clamped on top of it.

Great shots… the extended Mini sort of makes it into a “mini-wagon”, as if a Morris Minor were made into an extended Hatchback or pickup truck (lorry to you I think) sort of vehicle. Pretty cool though… like a tandem for midgets maybe? (Why not cater to small people if it means broader acceptance of trikes?!) – It’s a wild looking trike really though… sort of a small pick up for real. However it does sort of defeat the purpose of a mini, doesn’t it?

Well the mini was just a test bed – it should fit all Trice models. In this case the idea was to have something to carry a child that is shorter than trike + child trailer (due to concerns about getting across road junctions quickly).

e) Just a note that Robert Stein also has a pluggable rear end on his range of trikes www.steintrikes.com although no prototypes that give this kind of load bay.

f) Also Bob Stuart on the Trikes mailing list responded to my original posting suggesting a quad by pointing out a similar approach he has taken in the past (although without the pluggable nature) for load carrying (I assume on his CarCycle).

I took a different approach and added a space between seatback and rear wheel, somewhat in the spirit of the long john cargo bike popular in the low countries. This does have the disadvantage of becoming somewhat less stable if loaded, but is far better than a load over the wheel, and it preserves the streamlined shape. As usual, the longer chain mandates a disproportionate increase in frame weight for equal pedal feel.

My feeling is that this is one of the most exciting developments in cycling in a long time. I really look forward to this becoming a reality.

World Exclusive, prototype Trice for Load Carrying

In “42: Next Trike dreaming” I wrote about my dreams for a load carrying Trice, my idea being to add a delta (2 wheel) backend to a Trice to give a large load platform.

In turns out that ICE are already on the job and already have a very neat solution as a prototype. By adding an extra length of tube at the joint under the seat they can create a flexible load space. All that is needed is the extra tube and gear/brake/chain extentions.

In these pictures you can see the first prototype definately not finished eg no chain management etc, but already working as a way to allow a Trice Mini to carry children (the standard Mini would not be stable enough with a child over the back wheel).

babytrike1a.jpg

babytrike2a.jpg

A Reply to: Laura Moffatt has an email from me.

42: Laura Moffatt has an email from me.

I got a reply this week (as a letter) with some extracts from the proposals on the Sexual Offences Bill which make commercial sexual exploitation of a child an offence. That does not seem to help the full range of the problem of slavery so far as I can see at first glance.

So Laura thanks for replying (in about 3 weeks – not bad at all) and good try – but no cookie yet.

I did it!

So I managed it! Total distance 104 miles. Made up of 53.75 miles to Gillingham from home on my XXL on Friday and 51.1 miles home today (Sunday). Coming home took just under 5 hours in total.

Some pictures to follow when I am not quite so tired.

Highlights included 7 punctures on the way there. One “normal” and then 3 in each front when I went over some thorns. On the other hand I got all the way home without a single puncture.

Ride speed 14.4 mph average moving speed going and 13.6 on the way home (Roast Beef and Yorkshire put plus choclate gateau was not a good foundation ;-)

Route great apart from confusion on the section from Maidstone to Gillingham where the steep road I needed to croos the North Down on had a dead end sign at the bottom so I did not use it. Instead I had to cross using the A229 dual carriageway, it was trying to come off that as soon as possible where I used a short section of footpath and caught all the thorns.

The XXL worked great the whole time, very comfortable and only tired legs now – no aches anywhere else at all.

The actual weekend was also pretty good. Great to meet a load of friends returning with me as Methodist Student Ministers rather than Foundation Students. Also meeting again the new 1st year Methodists that we already knew from the North Bank Centre (now called the Guy Chester Centre).

Also good to meet the 1st yeat Anglican and URC ordinands and share the time with them.

Some good fellowship, good worship (even if it was rather Anglicanised it did come from the Methodist Service Book) and a gentle start to the term and our new course and status. Back to term proper on Tuesday evening at Southwark Cathedral.

Oh yes, I thrashed Luke (Director of Studies) at pool, unfortunately he got his own back by soundly beating me at table football.

Next Trike dreaming

Now that I have the best fast touring recumbent in the world with my XXL my thoughts return to my other dream – for the best utility trike in the work.

When we look at carrying significant loads for touring or shopping or business then tadpole trikes can take quite a lot of weight but not enough volume, that is unless you use a trailer.

We already see from posting on the trikes mailing list and from our own experience that trailers are widely used. While this is flexible there are disadvantages particularly speed. But there are others too.

What is the alternative? Well one option is to have a delta trike. Of these some of the best seem to be the Lightfoot Cycles, but these are huge, heavy and to my mind not well suited to the size of the UK.

So my dream is for something different. It is a Trice XL trike with a 2 wheel rear end ie a quad. This would be a small lightweight, low and high performance quad by all the standards of what is available today.

The idea would be to carry a variety of luggage between the back wheels plus a range of trailer options which would in particular include trets like trailer bikes as well as load carrying.

3 Books require 3 online bookshops

Just been buying my core texts for this terms course at Seite.

I could only get one from Amazon.co.uk, another direct from SPCK and the 3rd I found 2nd hand from elderbooks.co.uk

One day the core texts will all be in print and all in stock somewhere, but unfortunately I guess that won’t be until after I have finished the course.

Note to self, order next terms books much earlier – now how many terms have I said that to myself ;-) Mind you I did that for the very first term and even read them all cover to cover before starting the term which turned out to be overkill.