Saturday, December 8, 2007

Do It Yourself LED Headlamp

I stumbled upon this cool DIY LED headlight last night. Allen Chapman, the do it yourselfer who came up with it has done a really good job documenting how he built it and where he bought the parts. Light output wise it compares to the $400 to $500 high end lights. It looks like a fun winter project and I like the square tube look. It goes with the trike.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

I rode over to Bantam Bakery in Plainville this evening for a showing of Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth. The showing was organized by the Plainville Greenway Alliance and the Plainville Conservation Commission. They had a good crowd and you can't beat Bantam Bakery for snacks.

In order to do the ride I had to get the trike's lighting system set up. I'm running a 20w Halogen headlight off of a 12 motor cycle battery. Like the rest of the trike its a home built set up. The light is actually a car fog light with a white bulb rather than the yellow that it came with. For visibility I'm also using a planet bike strobe mounted mid way up my flag pole. A 5 LED red light on the back of the fairing and just for added 360 degree visibility a xenon strobe at the top of my flag pole. I runs off of a 9 volt transistor radio battery. Finally I've mounted a headlamp to the visor of my helmet which I usually run in the flashing mode. Over kill you say? I was glad to have some extras as I watched the front headlight dim to dull glow as the battery ran down. Maybe someone will get me that killer LED headlight I saw over at REI for Christmas (Hint, Hint).

So watching the Nobel Prize winner's movie it's really hard not to think about how much different this country maybe the world would be if the supreme court hadn't given W the presidency.

Calculate your carbon foot print with the handy online tool on the Inconvenient Truth web site.

Obviously the more you can leave the car a home and walk, ride or take the bus the smaller your footprint will be.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bentride 2007

This past weekend was the annual Bentride in Hammondsport NY.
The Glen Curtis museum played host to the festivities. Curtis, if you're not familiar with him, was a motorcycle pioneer who used his knowledge of engines to also become a well know builder of airplanes. In the picture you can see a bunch of us test riding recumbents beneath a sculpture of one of Curtis's early planes.

Here are some of the gang who came from far and wide for the Saturday expo and Sunday ride.
My velomobile attracted quite a bit of attention. Here's Bentrider's Mr. Trike himself, Larry Varney taking it for a spin.

After the expo, a bunch of us rode to lunch in Bath. What was that about there being a stereotype that recumbent riders are all old men with beards and aerobellies. OK maybe there are a couple guys who fit the description.

There were two other velomobiles in attendance. In this picture John Tetz (white shirt) builder of the zote foam velomobile talks with Krash, builder of the VeloKit (pictured in the second picture)
All in all it was another great recumbent weekend. The weather Sunday was perfect for the 47 mile ride around Lake Keuka. Thanks again to Bryan Ball at BendriderOnline for organizing it.Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bentride this weekend

I'm looking forward to the annual Bentride around Kukla Lake in NY this weekend. Bryan Ball, publisher of organizes this event each year. This year I'll be heading out with my friend Mike. We haven't finished building his trike yet, but it will be a great opportunity to check out the new trikes and other people's homebuilts.

Monday, June 25, 2007

A great week end

Saturday I dropped my daughter off for her first day of her summer job as a life guard and went in to Hartford to hear Bill Moyers and Barak Obama at the 50th annual synod of the United Church of Christ. They were great. An intelligent, thought provoking, motivating speech from a presidential candidate. What a concept!

Having done my church thing on Saturday, Sunday was for cycling. Newington Bicycle held their 2nd annual recumbent trike rally. Mike Gallagher put together a nice ride and good food. There were 8 of us who rode including Mike and his wife on their Greenspeed tandem, Franny Yerkes on her ICE trike, Alex (my trike building apprentice from last summer) and a woman doing her first trike ride on a borrowed Greenspeed gt3s, John (I think) on a HP Scorpion trike and John Tetz and I in our home built velomibiles.

John has just fitted his zote foam velomobile with a 4 1/2 lb homebuilt electric assist system which he kept talking about as still being in the test phase. Well John, when a 75 year old guy passes me with ease going up a hill, I'd say the test is successful. John and I had lots of fun racing down the hills. The aerodynamics of velomobiles make it easy to leave everyone else in the dust. I set a new speed record for my velomobile at 47.4 miles per hour coming down the hill into Newington at the end of the ride. That front end alignment I did a little while ago made all the difference in the world. At 47+ mph the trike was rock steady.

After the ride I had arranged to meet up with my new friend Mike, one of the blog readers who had contacted me about building a trike/velomobile. We had planned out a rear suspension trike with 20" BMX wheels all around. Knowing that Mike has been spending a lot of time reading everything he could about trike construction on internet I knew he would be excited to see John's zote foam velomobile. Over lunch at the end of the ride I asked John if he wouldn't mind stopping by my house. Three homebuilders talking trikes, it was great fun. I know I eagerly awaiting John's write up of the power assist.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

So what's next?

I think my middle aged knees will appriciate a couple of days off, but I'm looking forward to next Sunday's 2nd annual Newington recumbent trike rally. Over the next week, I'll be working on the story of my car free challenge experiance for BentriderOnline.
Without the pressure of needing the velomobile on a daily basis I will be able to start some redesigns which I'll continue to document on this blog. I've been operating under the principal of, "If it aint keeping you from riding don't start taking it apart. you're going to need to ride the thing tomorrow." Some of the issues I'll address are:

  • The lid of the tailbox. I really like the look of the lid, but the thing was a pain in neck to line up to fit down tightly and frankly velco was not the best way to secure it. It blew off 3 times. Twice I had to backtrack to find it. I think bungee cords are probably the better solution.

  • The steering of the trike. What I have now works fine, but the handlebars swing out in a wide arc that will interfer with wheel wells for the fairing. This has been the primary project I've put off because I knew I couldn't get it done in one evening so that I could ride the next day.

  • The floor of the velomobile With warm summer weather around the corner, tightening up the velomobile with a floor hasn't been my top priority, but the real advantage of a velomobile is to extend the riding season later into the fall and winter.

  • A rain/sun awning I was lucky during the challenge month that I only got caught in the rain 3 times all on the way home when it didn't really matter if I got wet. A coroplast roof extending a foot or so out in front of my head seams like it would do the trick.

Other projects on the horizon:

Helping a friend build a rear suspension trike similar to the one to the right that I built last year and turning it into a velomobile. He found this blog and realized we lived about 10 miles apart. After he looked me up we spent an afternoon talking trikes and are now developing the shopping list of parts.

Figuring out how to build a no weld trailer out of conduit. My experiance riding the velomobile with the tailbox filled to the gills with groceries made me think that a trailer would be a better solution. I'm sure I was very very close to the weight limit on the tail box and the trike handled like a battleship. I've seen write ups of how to build a trailer out of conduit, but they all involve welding nasty galvinized conduit. I don't have a welding set up and I'm not excited about exposing anyone to the zinc fumes that are released when welding anything galvanized. So hopefully I devise a workable alternative to share with the world.

Finally, I'll also be working on a blog with the Plainville Greenway Alliance, a volunteer group working to fill the hole in the Farmington Valley Greenway that eventually will run from New Haven,CT to to Northhampton MA and be part of the East Coast Greenway.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Last Day

Well its after 10pm on June 15th and I'm not planning on going anywhere tonight so I guess this is the end of the challenge. Over the past month I've ridden 306 miles in my velomobile through 10 towns in central CT. Thousands of people have seen me, hundreds have waved, given me a friendly toot of the horn or a thumbs up. A bright yellow velomobile with "Car free challenge" written across the back attracts attention. I'm happy to report that virtually all of it was positive.

Many of the women I know were concerned about my safety as I rode in traffic. The only near miss was when someone was so intent on looking at me as they passed me that they almost caused a head on collision.

Lots of people thought this had something to do with high gas prices. The fact that gasoline prices reached record highs during the challenge month was, however, purely coincidental. Back when I was driving I typically filled the tank once a week at about $35 right before the challenge started. So in the month I saved $140 on gas. To be honest that pales in comparison to the $303 car payment. Put another way, before the gas prices went up this spring it typically cost about $25 to fill the tank. That means the higher prices added $10 a week. Most Americans spend more than that a week on coffee they could make at home.

No this wasn't about gas prices this was about seeing if I could do it and getting into shape. I'm happy to report that riding everyday, I've lost about 5lbs and about an inch around the middle. My homebuilt velomobile held up pretty well and I have enjoyed showing it off.

This blog has been my first serious try at blogging. In the last two weeks since I figured out how to put a site meter on it there have been 540 visits. My blog has been featured in a local political blog and a blog by a recumbent bike rider somewhere where I think the speak Portuguese. I followed a link back to his site and it wasn't Spanish.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

2nd to last day

Today I rode to two events. The first was a ground breaking for a renovation and expansion of New Britain's HRA Head Start program. This was a great milestone as we'll finally be able to offer high quality preschool to poor children in a nice facility rather than the 90 year old school and portable classrooms that we've been making due with for so long. There were lots of folks I know at the event and for some it was the first time they had seen the velomobile.
Eventually I checked my watch and had to make a rather hasty departure to allow my self enough time to stop at the office before heading to my next meeting at the State Department of Education in Middletown. As I rode through Berlin I stopped in front of the local hardware store to take of my jacket and stick it in the tailbox. As I was putting the lid back on a guy came over to check out the trike. Turns out he was at the hardware store to pick up some parts for his latest project putting an electrical assist on a bike. Apparently we live about a mile apart. I hope to connect with him in the future. The next stop on the way was at Berlin Bike shop for a planet bike high intensity LED flasher. Bruce, Mark and some of the other mechanics came out to admire the trike.
After cranking up a long hill in the granny gear there was the thrill of a long steep decent. I hit 38 miles per hour and the trike handled well. Last Saturday's front end alignment certainly helped. As I came into Cromwell I realized that my options of places to pick up something for lunch were rather limited so I ducked in for a salad at (forgive me) McDonald's. To my surprise, sitting a table was Bill Graustein. Bill was the first person I met in CT who regularly commutes to work on a recumbent bike. He's also the chair of the board of trustees of a foundation that funds much of the early childhood work going on in CT. After a little quick showing off of the velomobile it was on to my meeting.
On the way home I stopped in to say hello and show off the velomobile at Suburban Cycle in Berlin. As of the end of the day I was up to 295.4 miles for the month. Even if I have to invent a couple of errands, I get in at least another 5 miles tomorrow to break 300 miles during the challenge.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ride to the Plainville Greenways Alliance Meeting

With only a 1/2 mile to and from work today it didn't really feel like I had been out for a ride today so I decided that I would finally go to a Plainville Greenway Alliance meeting. Plainville is the next town over from New Britain and is the one town along the Farmington Valley Greenway route where there hasn't been any construction. There is an East-West rail line that carries through traffic and a line that goes north and south to the town line. This North-South line in Plainville is the only strech of the rail line that used to run from New Haven up to North Hampton, MA that is still active. The small but dedicated Plainville group came together to try to save an old railway bridge that crosses Northwest drive near the Farmington town line that had been abandoned by the railroad. While the group was too late to save the bridge, they have continued to work to close the gap in the trail. At some point during the meeting I asked, "So do you guys have any kind of web presence?" Of course the answer I got was, "Well, no we've kind of been waiting for someone who has a clue how to do that sort of stuff to help us". So sometime in the next week I'll be setting up a blog for them.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Starting Week 4 with a ride to Hartford

I started the last week of the car free challenge with a ride to a meeting in Hartford for work. This is now the 3rd trip into the capitol city so I've perfected the route and shaved about 10 minutes off the trip. That's probably due mostly to having lost a couple pounds and gotten into better shape with daily riding. As of the end of the ride today my mileage for the challenge is 253 miles so far. Not much compared to the training regime of hard core racers but I'm just using it for daily transportation. There were several fairly level stretches were I found myself spinning out in the top gear doing 26 miles per hour. The fairing definitely has an impact when I start getting up over about 15 miles per hour.
I've just added a link to pictures I took of Ethan Davis's corplast fairing. Its in the Favorite Web Pages section to the right and down.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Red Bull anyone?

This afternoon I rode up to Walnut Hill Park to check out the New Britain Criterium race. Lots of spandex clad guys on expensive bikes. On the way home Amy and Kristen from the Red Bull marketing team chased me down to tell me about the Red Bull soap box derby Apparently they saw my velomobile and thought that it looked like like something that might get entered into the race. They gave me some free samples and were good sports about following me home so that I could get the camera
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Building the front fairing

The front fairing is built out of coroplast. Sometimes called corrugated plastic it's waterproof and light weight. As you can see from the ribs of the fairing I used recycled signs for the parts that wouldn't show. The basic skeleton consists of a coroplast bulkhead in the front and then about 18" to 20" behind in a second inverted U shaped piece of coroplast. Finally to add stealth there is an inverted U of 3/8" aluminum tubing that when the fairing is closed fits into a space on the cross bar of the trike next to where the seat attaches.
Here's the fairing skeleton from the front showing the bulkhead and ribs. All of this started as a large drawing on flip chart paper to figure out knee and toe clearances. I then cut out the drawing and traced it on to the coroplast.
Here's the fairing half assembled at the NE electrovelo event in Maine. I had hoped to have the fairing finished for the event. Then I had the crazy idea that I would work on it up there giving a live demo of how to build one of these. It was way too windy and there were too many other cool vehicles to try out. That's me in the formula 1 type electric racer and my son clowning in my half done trike.
Here it is making taped together prior to hot gluing. The fairing is held together with pieces of scored coroplast which enables one to fold the coroplast into an L. Using these L shaped pieces the outer shell is hot glued to the ribs underneath. Preeating the pieces to be glued with a hair drier seams to make a better more durable bond.
Sorry, for some reason this picture comes out sideways. Tip your head to the right for the proper orientation. If you click on the picture you'll get a larger view clearly showing the small scored pieces of coroplast hot glued to the underside of the fairing to hold it all to gether. To finish off the outside I used red electical tape to cover and seal the joints.
Another sideways picture. Tip your head to the left this time for the proper view. As you can see the fairing tips forward for easy entry to the trike. The video clip to the right shows how the fairing lifts forward.
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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Tail Box construction

The tail box was inspired by pictures of Lee Wakefield's tailbox.
I used a similar construction method of building a frame out of aluminum. There are two pieces of aluminum L that run parallel to the trike with some cross pieces. The picture is taken from behind the trike

From the side you can see the two vertical pieces that support a cross bar that is higher than the wheel and can therefore go all the way from one side of the tail box to the other
Here you can see a piece of recycled coroplast sign that will serve a bulkhead across the tailbox.
In this picture you see the frame with the coroplast floor of the tailbox in place

Here you can see how joints in the coroplast are reinforced with pieces of coroplast that has been scored with a knife so that it can be bent. These pieces are then hot glued into place

Hot gluing

Here's the finished tail box with out the lid

The finished lidPosted by Picasa

Monday, June 4, 2007

Rainy Day

The remnants of tropical storm Barry are soaking us today. I went with the original form of car free transport, I walked to work. Sorry no way to do exciting pictures of duck boots.

When I can't ride I turn my attention to other distractions like how to build a no weld trailer to pull behind the trike. The tail box may be able to hold $113 worth of groceries, but the trike does handle very well with that much weight in the tail box. A trailer that transfers the weight to another set of wheels might be just the trick. I found a couple of interesting designs on the web:
The bamboo trailer
Conduit trailer
Not being near a local supply of bamboo, I'll probably go with conduit. Now I just have to figure out how to get it home from the store on the trike. On a related homebuilder note, for all of you thinking about experimenting with building something out of coroplast like a fairing or tailbox, I've discovered that coroplast signage gets pitched by fast food franchises on a regular basis. So get to know the manager at your local Tim Horton's or Kentucky Fried Chicken. They get signage to advertise in their stores as part of their franchise deal.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Plainville Trail Day

Plainville, CT's Greenway Alliance held its trail day today. Clearly not as big a deal as yesterday's event in Southington, but I got to walk down North West Drive to see where the proposed trail will be. Jim Cassidy in the tan shirt behind the trike, Kathy Cole (seated) and her husband Steve (not pictured) have been at the core of the effort to fill the Plainville hole in the East Coast Greenway through CT. So far Plainville is the only town along the old New Haven to North Hampton (MA) rail line not to have any trail building activity going on. north of Plainville the Farmington Valley Greenway is mostly complete from Farmington up to East Granby. To the south part of the trail has been paved in Southington and the trail along the route of the New Haven to Northhampton canal/rail line is complete from Cheshire south to Hamden.
The Plainville Green Alliance meets at the public library on the second Tuesday of the month at 7pm. If you would like more info call 860-747-2909.

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Saturday, June 2, 2007

Some Stats

Today's ride was 22 miles which means my ride to Southington a couple of days ago was more like 17 because I went several miles further to get to Panthorne Park where the trail fest was. The mileage total so far for the car free challenge is 181.9 miles. There have also been a couple of times I've had to readjust the sensor when it wasn't recording so I know its really a couple of miles more. I know for the serious racers out there that 180 miles in two and a half weeks is no big deal.

A number of you have been asking, "How much does it weigh?" The trike including the lock that's always on it is 44lbs. The front fairing is 11lbs and the tail box including the tools and patch kit that stay in it are another 12lbs. So yes, I was peddling 67lbs up that killer hill today. It's a good thing I've got a granny gear. 28 teeth in the front and 34 in the back with a 24" wheel. That's 18" of travel for each revolution of the peddles. So far the maximum speed I've hit coming down a hill is 37.9 miles per hour. It would go faster, but until I figure out why there's some play in the steering I start riding the brakes when it gets up over 30.

Southington Trail Day

I rode out to the Southington celebration of National Trail Day this afternoon. It was a much bigger event than I expected. This picture doesn't do it justice. There must have been over 700 people while I was there and plenty more people coming and going. I briefly met the guy who organized it before he went off in search of a photographer to take my picture. I didn't get as much time at the festival as I had hoped. Repairs to the trike this morning took longer than expected so I got a late start. I ended up making a mad dash for home to catch a ride to my kids orchestra concert.
A couple of days ago I rode to Southington for a work meeting and had an unexpected surprise as I approached the crest of the big hill between Southington an New Britain. Today only about a 1/4 mile away from that spot someone stopped the minivan and got out to take pictures of me as I came by. She commented on the "Cool factor."
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Riding to work meetings

Yesterday I had a meeting for work in Middletown, CT at the State Department of Education. It was an advisory committee meeting not a formal presentation so I didn't feel compelled to show up wearing a tie. The ride was a little over 10 miles each way and it was hot. My strategy was bring a change of cloths, fill the platypus water bladder with ice water and get there early enough to wash up and change prior to the meeting. Everything went according to plan except one of the supports on my left front fender broke requiring the occasional readjustment to keep it from rubbing on the tire.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

An unexpected surprise

I rode to a meeting in Southington today (about 22 miles round trip). There's quite a hill seperating the New Britain from Southington. On my way back I had been climbing this hill slowly for about 15 minutes when two cars came zipping out of a new housing development. They turned and went about 100 yards and pulled over. I heard the girls in the second car yelling to the boys in the first car, "Why did you stop?" Meanwhile I'm slowly chugging up to the crest of the hill. As I pulled even with the first car packed full of 5 or 6 teen age boys, and half expecting some wise acre remarks I was greeted instead by applause.

I have to say that despite all the worries about safety from so many of the women I know, the reaction to the velomobile and the car free challenge has been universally positive. There's nothing like 25 waves, honks or thumbs up an few amazed, "You built that's" to make you feel like it was a good day.

Monday, May 28, 2007

First Video

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what's a video worth. You be the judge, but remember this is my first try at this. My daughter did most of the camera work. The editing is kind of rough, but it does give you a good sense of whats under the fairing.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Grocery shopping

Can this cart full of groceries fit in the tailbox? With the exception of the loaf of bread that got stuck into the "mailbox" behind my head and the two boxes of tissue that tied under my seat, Yes! I fit a week's groceries, $113 worth on my trike.
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Father and son triking

Despite yesterday's qualms about safety, today I hitched up my son's little trike and the two of us headed to church. It's only a mile and its a quiet Sunday morning . My son is always hesitant to get on his trike in this configuration. He'd rather be on his two wheeler but once he's on it he always has fun. Maybe it's that he can loaf from time to time and make me do the work of pulling. He's slowly warming to the attention we get as we ride down the street. It's taken a while for him to understand those people pointing and whistling are giving us their approval not making fun of us.
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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Insurection on the Homefront

I got up early this morning to make a few repairs to the fairing. In a car I never realized how many potholes there are. I also now know why most production velemobiles (manufactured fully faired recumbent trikes) come with all wheel suspension. After regluing some joints that had vibrated loose I turned my attention to my 9 year old son's mini trike. I built a tow bar and if I remove the tail box, I can connect the two trikes. This gives me the ability to take him along which was my strategy for getting him to his gymnastics class about 10 miles away in Southington. When I mentioned my plan to my wife she got all worried about whether it was safe. I wouldn't want my son to ride his regular bike on the road behind me because he still can't ride a straight line, but towed behind my trike the two us are pretty darn noticable. Between us there are two flags and a strobe. Well to make a log story short, my son picked up on my wife's concerns and persuaded mom to let him skip gymnastics this week. I used the found time to make some more adjustments to the trikes but I had been looking forward to the ride.

Friday, May 25, 2007

A Trip to Our Favorite Organic Farm

Its Friday which means market day at Urban Oaks organic farm. Who would have thunk. An organic farm right here in New Britain. With several green houses they run a whole sale business supplying restaurants with organic greens and herbs year round. During the summer they also plant field crops on a couple of acres. Fridays are pick up day for their pre-order business. Order on Tuesday and pick up from 3-6pm on Friday. Since I can never get my act together to pre-order, I just head over when I can. Sometimes I miss out on the incredible morning glory muffins, but usually there are still some scones, all baked fresh by Kathy at Sweat Sage Bakery. The Urban Oaks greens and herbs are always great. They've got kale now. If you would like more info on Urban Oaks or to get on the pre-order list, contact Tony at
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Weekly milage total

My total for the first week was 85.2 miles. Not much by a racer's training standards, but I'm not a racer. I'm riding for transportation. It's actually more than I thought I would be riding. My daily commute is just 1/2 a mile. My trips during the last week included two rides into Hartford for work, grocery shopping, errands and a trip to an event in Farmington. That one was actually a trip and a half as I discovered that the lid for my tail box had blown off and I had to double back to find it. Fortunately no one had run it over and I have since designed a better means of attaching it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The politics of the gasoline tax

The headlines say the Gov. Rell and the Republicans in the legislature want to declare a gas tax holiday for the summer. What a dumb idea. Talk about pandering to the polls, this would cost the state an estimated $124 million at the same time public transportation advocates are pleading for a $12 million increase in mass transit subsidies. Eliminating a 25 cent gas tax for a summer isn't going to do a thing except put off the inevitable.
Oil and gasoline prices are going to go up. We are at or very near peak world oil production at the same time that China and India's economies are booming. With that amazing growth record numbers of new cars are hitting the roads in those two countries driving up demand for gas.
The sooner people start factoring higher gas costs into their decision as they buy cars the more hybrids and smaller cars will be on the road reducing gasoline demand.
The problem isn't that gas prices are too high, the problem is that there's not much in the way of alternatives to cars. Last week I tried to figure out how to take the bus from New Britain to West Hartford (the next town over). What is typically a 15 minute drive would have become a three hour expedition due to 50 minute layover at the mall and walks at either end because the bus doesn't run near our house or where were going.
In europe gas taxes are much much higher than in the US. The result being gasoline prices that are roughly double what they are here. The difference is that mass transit is ubiquitous. Bus, subway and train service makes it quite possible for european families to do most things by public transit and have just one small car that the use occaisonally. Many european countries also have very bike friendly cities. In Copenhagen, Denmark and all through out the Netherlands lots of people use bicycles as a primary means of transportation.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Car Free at the Capitol

Today I rode the 12 miles to the state capitol in Hartford. The CT Early Childhood Alliance was having a press conference to present about 5,000 pictures drawn by preschoolers of what they want to be when they grow up. We had the Senate President, a bunch of legislators and 40 or so preschoolers dressed up as what they want to be when they grow up. I got to be Ready Rabbit, the mascot of the Ready Set Grow Campaing and wear the big blue bunny outfit. I've decided when I grow up, I definately don't want to be a mascot. I think I sweated a pint in that thing.
Having done my time in the costume I couldn't pass up the opportunity to have Ready pose for a picture in the trike on the lawn in front of the Capital .
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Installing a head light

When I designed the fairing I wanted to have a place for a headlight. Other coroplast fairings that I've seen had a bite taken out of the front where a traditional bicycle light was installed. Most bicycle lights until you get into the real expensive models are mostly useful so that you can be seen. They don't put out enough light to really light up a dark road. For those reasons and because I'm cheep I bought a set of inexpensive car fog lights from JC Whitney took out the yellow light and replaced it with a 20w flood light. Its powered by a 12 motor cycle battery that goes in the tail box. The wires run through the main tube of the trike frame.

Here's the light looking out through the soda bottle window.

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A visit to my sponsor

I finally finished the top of the fairing creating a small storage area behind my head. This was the spot that we decided would be the location of my Bianca Signs Ad. The folks at Bianca were great and did all the lettering on the sides of the fairing.

Here's the trike in front of their shop on Newington Road in New Britain.
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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Car Free at the antique car show

After church I headed down the street to the antique car show. Something about showing up at an event celebrating muscle cars of 50's and 60's in a human powered vehical with the words "Car Free Challenge" enblazened across it appealled to me. It was a lot of fun. Lots of people asked how it worked and I possed for quite a few pictues.
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Car Free at church

I rode to church this morning and our new minister of Social Action Ben Doolittle said, "I've been praying for some inspiration for the children's message, you'll be great." So on cue one of the deacons opened the door and I rode down the isle to the front of the church. The theological connection was a bit of a stretch but the kids were pretty interested. Afterwords I got quite a few supportive comments.
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