Author Topic: Trike style recumbent usability on adventure routes  (Read 5744 times)

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Offline indydave

Trike style recumbent usability on adventure routes
« on: November 11, 2015, 11:11:07 am »
I purchased an ICE trike a few weeks ago and love it. Would like to ride adventure route down lower east coast into FL. Is it feasible to think of riding on the designated routes with the trike's width?

Thanks for experienced based reflections... Dave

Offline o2tour

Re: Trike style recumbent usability on adventure routes
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2015, 11:43:19 am »
Go to this site https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=tS&doc_id=10634&v=TW. He rode cross country on Ice.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Trike style recumbent usability on adventure routes
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2015, 11:56:48 am »
I passed a 'bent tandem tadpole trike, pulling a trailer, going from West Yellowstone to Ennis.  Man, that was a long rig!

On most of the AC routes I've been on, that would  be a problem only intermittently, for a few miles at a time.  There'll be roads where there's virtually zero traffic, and motor vehicles can pass easily.  (With a bit of gawking, perhaps.)  There'll be a few spots where there's a wide shoulder, and you'll have no problems riding those.  There may be some spots where you'll have to be ready to take the lane, because of no shoulders or (the worst part) where there's a narrow shoulder, perhaps with a rumble strip.  Some of those narrow shoulders are un-rideable by any bike because they're too narrow, crumbling, obstructed by rocks, gravel, etc.  What's left to cause problems are those shoulders that can be ridden by a skilled cyclist, that motorists expect a cyclist to be riding in, but that you can't on a trike. 

Never saw that 'bent tadpole after we got to Ennis, but we agreed there were spots on that road we were glad to be riding uprights.

Offline indydave

Re: Trike style recumbent usability on adventure routes
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2015, 08:27:08 am »
Thank you for taking the time to send your thoughts. The looming uncertainty pushes toward riding an upright, even though I'd rather ride the trike. We'll see in a month or so. Thanks again....

Offline Susan

Re: Trike style recumbent usability on adventure routes
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2015, 12:40:49 am »
Indydave,
I'm in the same position as you are - I ride an upright touring bike as well as an ICE Adventure trike.  I've never ridden the Atlantic Coast route but have completed 4 other ACA cross-country routes and my experience thus far echoes Pat Lamb's comments - there were always sections that I thought I wouldn't feel comfortable riding the 3-wheeler. Most of the time, the problem was a narrow shoulder separated from the lane by a stupid rumble strip - hate those things! 
Until now I've always toured on the upright but would really like to try the trike, in spite of some of the disadvantages. 

In January I'm going to ride a modified Southern Tier starting in Florida and am finally going to take the trike, after the motto, "You won't know until you try it".  I want to stealth camp alot and would be so much more comfortable on my rolling lawn chair.
I have a high tolerance for traffic, and have often, even on the upright, felt better on a heavily travelled Interstate with a wide shoulder, than on some country roads with none - it depends.  In addition to the ACA maps, I always have my Garmin GPS and my tablet PC with GoogleMaps to help me check out alternatives.  Also, it's really helpful if you meet up with other riders going in the opposite direction and can share infos.

There are lots of trike journals on CrazyGuy and posts on BentRiderOnline where riders confirm that when on a trike, cars tend to give them more space when passing due to the "handicap" look.

It's been done, but I just wouldn't choose to do alot of offroad touring on a trike.
However you decide - happy trails!
Susan

Offline indydave

Re: Trike style recumbent usability on adventure routes
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2015, 11:59:14 am »
Thanks Susan...

Thanks for your thoughts...
Rolling lawn chair with a relaxed view... try riding it to a drive-in theater double feature and parking on the front row...it's wonderful. Have had time to ride Indiana rail trails, county roads and state highways and have had really good results with fitting into traffic flow. High tolerance for traffic is something we share. Manhattan's my favorite place to ride an upright. Reading the ICE trike adventure at https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=tS&doc_id=10634&v=TW helped a bit with realizing that with added caution, the trike does have its place on the road.

Good luck with with your January southern tier adventure and thanks again for sharing your experience.

Dave

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Trike style recumbent usability on adventure routes
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2015, 11:25:41 am »
On highway 20 going west in northern Florida I met a man about my age, 65, on a recumbent trike. He was going west. He was able to pass me easily with me on an upright bicycle. Trikes seem to have some advantage in reduced wind resistance. All that may be so, and I made it out to San Diego. Good ride.

Offline Susan

Re: Trike style recumbent usability on adventure routes
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2015, 11:40:06 am »
Hey Westinghouse,
thanks for your encouragement!  I've ridden the ST twice on an upright, east to west both times - the headwinds in West Texas and NM were really bad - I hope that in that respect the trike will be an improvement.
Cheers!  Susan

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Trike style recumbent usability on adventure routes
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2015, 10:39:00 pm »
Susan, you have the experience. I have done the ST, my version of it, 4 or five times on upright bikes carrying 30-45 pounds of gear. Twice to El Paso from FL. About 40,000 miles through 19 countries. I have found the ST a very good ride in winter. I did it last winter in 66 days, long for me, with 43 days cycling major distances. About 25 percent of those days, more actually, were spent in motels The rest were camping, if you want to call what  I do camping, e.g., stringing up an 8 by 10 tarp and sleeping in a sleeping bag on a closed cell foam pad on the ground. It gives one a hard edge. It's good for you. There are articles about touring with a trike. There was one. Perhaps it was on CGOAB. Someone did the Pacific coast route by trike. If you go to CGOAB and type "touring on a trike" you might come across some useful and interesting information.

Offline canalligators

Re: Trike style recumbent usability on adventure routes
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2015, 12:14:29 pm »
Trikes suitability due to width is a myth.  A trike is about as wide as the panniers on a two-wheeler.  You can cower to the right a little farther with a bike, but you should not be doing this anyway.  I recommend reading a good gude to Effective Cycling, such as the Pennsylvania Bike Drivers Manual http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/docs/pamanual.pdf.  Then try it - it all works amazingly well.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Trike style recumbent usability on adventure routes
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2015, 04:41:56 pm »
Trikes suitability due to width is a myth.  A trike is about as wide as the panniers on a two-wheeler.  You can cower to the right a little farther with a bike, but you should not be doing this anyway.

I agree with this in theory -- but I try not to let a nice theory interfere with experimental observation, either.

In some western states (CO and MT in particular), bicycles are expected to be on the shoulder on some sections of some roads (including parts of the TransAm).  The problem with these sections is that the shoulders are not wide enough for a tricycle to ride without hitting rumble strips.  Those shoulders can easily be ridden on a bicycle.

Sure, you can choose to spend some quality time discussing road design and use, local laws, poor engineering standards, and Effective Cycling with a state trooper who calls you out over his bullhorn.  As a practical matter, when that trooper told me to ride on the shoulder, I got over for about five minutes (to make sure he didn't turn around and come back), and enjoyed my day.

YMMV.