Cargo Trike - on the road
Observations, and photos of working and playing.
Photos 104 through 113.
When I finally got this thing on the road, I became concerned about the amount of effort needed to steer it and bring it back to center. Low-speed turns are naturally worse then faster ones, but the trade-off is that the trike is amazingly stable and wobble-free while hurtling downhill or around sharp curves. As time has passed I've gotten quite used to how the beast handles, but I'm still not thrilled by how much upper body strength is need to return the front end to centre after a low-speed turn. I also wish the thing was lighter, 'cause you really feel the weight going up any sort of incline. I don't mind going slwow, and I can gear down enough for most hills - it's just that it takes so long to travel this way! Thank goodness Ottawa doesn't really have any large hills, at least not in the central / downtown area where the trike is mainly used.
In 5 months of being on the road, I have only had one negative reaction, and that was from a driver frustrated by my slow progress in a left lane as I was getting ready to move into a left turn lane. He simply honked at me and swung around to pass on the right. But otherwise there's been a remarkable lack of grief, and all other motorists seem to treat me as a vehicle. Granted, my trip to the show is at night when traffic is minimal, but even when doing deliveries or moving junk around I try to stick to side roads, as I don't need motorists breathing down my neck while they wait for an opportunity to pass. I think the fact that the trike takes up a full lane, and is running with lights on at all times (along with having turn signals) is what helps alleviate traffic hassles. From behind, I don't think most motorists can even tell that the trike is human-powered! The only drawback so far is being stuck in traffic behind a bunch of smelly vehicles.
The trike continues to work well, and the only glitch was having a transistor overheat in the switiching circuit, thus shutting down the headlight. Richard quickly diagnosed and remedied the problem, and all has been well since then. While the trike can be a bit of a chore to ride when it's hot or when going uphill (there's a lovely long hill over the Rideau Canal on my way home from the Market that I could do without), it has otherwise been wonderful to stake my place in traffic and move stuff under my own power! And the trike just seems to boggle some people's minds at first, but it's still a relatively simple machine and everyone understands what I'm trying to do with it.
|104. at the St. Patrick's Day Parade, carrying 350 lbs. of PA gear!.||105. outside its very first music gig.||106. carrying a load of bikes destined for the re-Cycles bike co-op.||107. same.|
|108. holding the camera crew for a taping of a show on HPVs with our local cable company.||109. out for a night ride after the HPVOoO gang's Sunday night soup ritual. Grant Watson, co-creator (along with his brother Mike to the left) of my Rainbow chopper, parties in the cargo area.||110. Dressed up in a beach theme as part of the HPVOoO Parkway Promenade on Aug. 19/04.||111. Same event- passing Richard's Greenspeed tandem. He was towing a lot more weight, but I had a bigger umbrella, hence more wind shear. ;o)|
|112. The Promenade took us out to the annual Folk Festival. I was supposed to be staffing an info table, but the earlier pouring rain dampened enthusiasm. The penguin has the comfier seat, and didn't let the rain bother him as much.||(Promenade photos by Vic Gedris)|