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STP 2016

The group I ride with are all “roadies” of varying skill levels – there are seven of them including my wife. I’m the “odd” one with the trike. Going over the logistics for the trip we decided my van would  be used as the support vehicle for the STP this year.

Even though the van can seat six comfortable, carry four bicycles using our hitch rack and carry the trike of the roof, we still needed room for three more riders with their bikes.

Five of the riders made arrangements to get to Seattle either by bus or train and meet us as the hotel. That gave us the room needed to pack the additional bicycles inside the van by roving the rear bench seat.

We packed the van and loaded the bikes and put the trike on the roof with the SeaSucker Trike Rack.

With all of our preparations for the 200 plus mile ride from Seattle to Portland now behind us, we begin the four-hour journey to Seattle.

We arrived on schedule despite the traffic and the detour to REI to pick up the timing chip I rented for my ride.

The hotel we stayed at was about two miles from the start line. My plan was to ride to the start line in the morning to activate the timing chip. The group planned on starting the ride from the hotel.

After unloading the van and taking our gear to our respective rooms, we walk around the area looking for something to eat. The group decides to have dinner at a quaint little Italian restaurant.

I left the group early so I could put the seat on my trike, fill my camelbak, and ensure everything was ready for the early morning start.

I’ll be the first to admin that I’m directionally challenged, even with a GPS. Getting to the start line from the hotel should have been a quick ten minute warm up, thirty minutes later I finally find the start line.

I began the Seattle to Portland in the “third wave” of one day riders and my elapsed time was 13 hours 19 minutes.

Trike Racks

Usually I use my van to transport my trike to organized rides outside of my local area. To make room for the trike, I remove the rear bench seat and roll the trike in backwards. The rear of the trike facing toward the front of the van, and the rear wheel fitting perfectly between the two middle captain seats.

Great arrangement when it’s just my wife and I, terrible if we want to take friends to ride with us.

My van can seat 7 people including the driver and with my hitch rack, I can carry 4 bikes leaving no room inside the van to bring my trike.

For this year’s Seattle to Portland (STP), my wife and I are in charge of hauling 7 bicycles and my trike up to Seattle. With this in mind, in mid June I ordered a SeaSucker Trike Rack. Unfortunately there was a three-week lead time when I ordered the Trike Rack and wasn’t sure if it would be here in time, so I also purchased a TerraTrike Universal Trike Carrier.

The TerraTrike Universal Trike carrier arrived on the 24th of June.

With the backup carrier in hand and the STP quickly approaching, what should arrive at my doorstep today?

The SeaSucker Trike Rack.

I’ll update the gallery with my VTX mounted on my van later tonight.

Sight Unseen

When I decided to buy my first recumbent tricycle (trike) in 2001, there wasn’t any companies that I knew of selling them locally, let alone anything to test ride. My only option was to search the internet, set a budget.
Searching dug up many companies such as Inspired Cycle Engineering (ICE), Catrike, WizWheels, EarthCycles, Greenspeed, Optima, and Windcheetah (AVD) selling various configurations of trikes.
After reading the message boards and making a list of pros and cons, I was able to narrow down the trike I wanted to just a handful.
Whatever I chose, it would be a purchase made without ever riding a trike.
I ended up choosing a Trice Micro from Inspired Cycle Engineering and purchased it from “The Bike Rack” in December 2001. It arrived late April 2002.
I’ve been very happy with the Micro ever since and an avid trike advocate.
Standard bicycles causing me pain while riding was what prompted me seeking a trike in the first place. One of the things I wanted to do was ride an ultra distance cycling event (a ride greater than 100 miles) and using a bicycle in such a ride wasn’t something I wanted to do. I purchased my first Seattle to Portland ticket in January 2002 after I purchased the Micro in December 2001. Although the trike arrived late April, I was still able to train and complete the 204 mile one day ride 90 days later in July.
I have ridden the Micro in eight Seattle to Portland rides from 2002 – 2009 and I still ride and enjoy the Micro. Having ridden over 30000 miles and have had the powder coating redone, I think it’s time to retire the Micro.

Bib # 10452

Picked up my bib # for next weeks Seattle to Portland! This will make my ninth STP since I started riding them in 2002. I took a six-year hiatus, skipping years 2010-2015, and during that time I started a company and completed an item on my bucket list – run a marathon – and I’ve run two of them.
This next week will be my “taper week”, cutting back on the riding, not as hard or as often.
Here’s to a successful 206 mile ride!

Resistance is futile

An aspect of cycling that enthusiasts often neglect is training, specifically indoor training. Training indoors allows you to work on specific areas (cadence, speed, strength), it also gives you mental strength as well.

It’s quite easy to decide to not ride if all you have to look forward to is an hour-long boring ride.

I do an interval training 2-3 times a week, along with a couple of longer rides outside and easy recovery rides on the trainer. All added up, I average 180 miles per week.

The trainer I use for my trike is one by SportCrafters specifically made for trikes. The trainer is basically mini rollers with a resistance fly wheel connected to the rear roller. The faster you rode, the more resistance you experienced. The drawback to this trainer is that the band periodically breaks.

I recently purchased an updated version of the trainer. This one used a magnetic roller, so the faster you go, the more resistance the magnet exerts.

Neither of these trainers really give the same resistance you would experience riding outside. On the trainer, I’m only getting resistance from the rear wheel. Outside, I get resistance from all three wheels, the air, and the weight of everything I’m carrying.

The averages between a “trainer ride” and on “outside ride” are significant. On the trainer, I can comfortably average 25 MPH. Outside I’m able to average 16-18 MPH on many courses.

On standard bike trainers, you can increase the resistance to your effort is harder, mimicking what you do outside. On magnetic rollers, the only way to increase resistance is to replace the non magnetic roller with a magnetic one. You end up riding on two magnetic rollers versus just one.

I did an interval session this morning on my modified trike trainer with the two magnetic rollers. The difference is huge! I was pushing to average 22 mph, where as before, pedaling to maintain 25 MPH wasn’t that hard.