Trike routing limitations and compensation

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mrjemm
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Trike routing limitations and compensation

Postby mrjemm » 20 Oct 2013, 7:03am

With my planning to get into this corner of things, I've been pondering where I'll be riding once settled in and comfy. What keeps occurring though is that the nature of these beasties creates a level of route limitation, largely down to their width, but for me also the thought that I'd likely tend away from population centres for avoidance of attention.

Do some of you also consider these things, or am I making too much an issue of this in my head? Are there things you consider when routing that wouldn't obviously spring to mind to an outsider? Do you find the popular advantages of such machines compensate for potential routing challenges, or perhaps find there are other aspects of the differences that are worth contemplating?

I don't think I am putting this across very clearly, sorry. Part of it, I think, is that I have a vague feeling that I'll be using it in a completely different way to a normal bike; that I'll have a different mindset in using it.

Going back to the more general routing aspect, do you find there's a particular type of road and topography that lends itself to this type of vehicle? Around my way there's an interesting mix of topography, from coastal plain to hill and dale, though far more of the latter. My biggest concern is more the back lane issue of being a boy-racer playground than anything physical, but that's the same for all vulnerable road users of course.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Trike routing limitations and compensation

Postby [XAP]Bob » 20 Oct 2013, 7:13am

The width isn't significantly more than a mtb handlebars.

I avoid cycle paths, not due to width, but due to general surface, design and maintenance issues.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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jayjay
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Re: Trike routing limitations and compensation

Postby jayjay » 20 Oct 2013, 7:51am

My own experience of routes around here.
Since taking to three wheels I have made many more journeys than before, since the comfort and enjoyment of riding has tempted me out more.
I have discovered the local cycle ways which I never explored before, and found I can ride through the area's "keyhole" style barriers. These are a pair of steel "P" shapes back-to back. Very few places have required a lift over so far, one was a country path with narrow wooden foot bridges. Some of these paths are none too clean and glass is a bit of a worry, but so far the tough tyres have not given in.
The extra noticeability of a trike gives me extra confidence in traffic, car parks and packed urban lanes excepted.
Likewise the excellent stopping power and ability to dodge, at low speed anyways, helps me to feel in control of my path.
Fairly big 47 section tyres and suspension have saved me from many a pothole puncture. The reaction to an unseen hole has been "ugh" rather than "damn, where's the patches".
Probably mentioned before, but the vast majority of reaction from people out on the road have been positive. Maybe the usual grin spread on my face has something to do with that.
Hills make a difference. I'm slower up, in lower gear, and quicker down. Not many hills round here but I found when going elsewhere that my legs are now up to the challenge after a period on 3 wheels.
Built f' comfort.

mrjemm
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Re: Trike routing limitations and compensation

Postby mrjemm » 20 Oct 2013, 8:03am

Thanks Bob.

Do you find yourself going the same ways you would have chosen had you been on a DF?

And Jayjay (posted at same time, so your's just came up).

Interesting to hear the keyholes are passable for you. It's more the rural back lanes I'll be riding, but more those that concern me regarding traffic- not so much that folk won't give me space, but may be surprised as they rocket around the bends at silly speeds- particularly the mobikes that rocket about and 4x4s that seem to think they're in a country that drives on the other side of the road and full speed down single track lanes. Again of course, those are problems for DFs too.

Lots of hills, but strangely, I am thinking the climbing style may suit me more. Touring on a DF, climbing with a load as heavy as a trike seems to slow me very little compared to unloaded. Generally slow and spinning, albeit faster than Madame generally.

In my head, I am not anticipating being too concerned with surfaces- so used to aching wrists getting jarred and using Brooks saddles without puffy pants!

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Trike routing limitations and compensation

Postby [XAP]Bob » 20 Oct 2013, 8:05am

Yep, same routes. Often ride with upwrongs...
Some barriers require a lift, but most can be negotiated with a carefully chosen line, or simply driven under :)
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Geriatrix
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Re: Trike routing limitations and compensation

Postby Geriatrix » 20 Oct 2013, 8:31am

[XAP]Bob wrote:Yep, same routes. Often ride with upwrongs...
Some barriers require a lift, but most can be negotiated with a carefully chosen line, or simply driven under :)

The only real limitation I found with a trike was getting it on trains. For that reason I never used it for commuting. Sustrans type barriers were sometimes irritating but not insurmountable.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

mrjemm
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Re: Trike routing limitations and compensation

Postby mrjemm » 20 Oct 2013, 8:44am

Is that with a folding trike Geriatrix? The ICE system at least seems to work nicely and to a reasonably small size.

Talking of gates and trains, I think one time barriers would be a pain is level crossings- at least one I know with kissing gates each side which wouldn't fit a trike, I am sure; think with them so close it'd be a case of carrying right across... or taking a diversion. But that one is somewhere I am unlikely to take it due to an excess of broken glass, bull-terriers and bad attitudes (a matching set) regularly dominating that path (near start of WOTR in Mogum). Not too bad on an upright, but wary of being at eye-level with an unleashed snarling mutt, and harder to avoid the glass (and mucho mutt muck) with 3 tracks.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Trike routing limitations and compensation

Postby [XAP]Bob » 20 Oct 2013, 8:54am

At a level crossing just take the orad - wait for the barrier though
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

mrjemm
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Re: Trike routing limitations and compensation

Postby mrjemm » 20 Oct 2013, 9:54am

Indeed, makes sense. The one I refer to I think has the road gate locked, but there's a road with a bridge nearby. All the others I can think of don't have a separate ped access anyway.

byegad
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Re: Trike routing limitations and compensation

Postby byegad » 20 Oct 2013, 12:20pm

Yes I limit routes to roads, most local 'cycle paths' seem to have at least one barrier too narrow or too awkward to negotiate on the trikes, some have several, and the poor surface conditions make this no great loss.

I ride into town and park the trike, and while it gets attention other road users are very good around a recumbent trike. When were you last waved out of a junction by a taxi?
"I thought of that while riding my bike." -Albert Einstein, on the Theory of Relativity

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Geriatrix
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Re: Trike routing limitations and compensation

Postby Geriatrix » 20 Oct 2013, 1:14pm

mrjemm wrote:Is that with a folding trike Geriatrix? The ICE system at least seems to work nicely and to a reasonably small size.

No, my trike wasn't a folding model, but I think I would also be reluctant to use a folding trike for train commutes as a matter of routine. I have a grasshopper which I suspect folds about as easily as a trike. My experience of trying to manhandle a folded grasshopper with its seat and a bag on/off a train is that evolution has dealt us one hand too few.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

hercule
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Re: Trike routing limitations and compensation

Postby hercule » 20 Oct 2013, 1:59pm

I ride mytrikes pretty much anywhere I ride conventional uprights, short of MTB routes (though I have tried one or two on my Kett!). In an area devoid of meaningful cycle facilities barriers etc are not a major problem. I've just spent the morning riding over forestry tracks avoiding uncharacteristically busy stretches of road - the only real issue being slower progress on the softer surface, and wheelspin on the steeper gradients (ie much steeper than normal roads). On the sort of minor byways with two ruts for wheel tracks the trikes do get a bit bogged down.

I'm much more cautious riding recumbent bikes on anything but reasonable tarmac - I don't quite have the skills (yet?) to catch a wheel sliding on gravel.

Today's ride was great fun though I did grumble at how slow I was progressing initially - but a three mile downhill going sideways round corners was an exhilarating way to finish! Plus the state of the Trice at the end prompted me to give it a much-overdue wash'n'lube.

Geoff.D
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Re: Trike routing limitations and compensation

Postby Geoff.D » 20 Oct 2013, 3:54pm

I've been riding a two wheeled 'bent for about 7 years, and also bought an ICE RS in JUly this year. The reason was partly because I could (Having just retired I had a small pot of cash which I'd never had before) and partly because of the well documented advantages of a trike (stability; relaxed riding; positive recognition from drivers; etc). I'm loving it.

In answer to the question, I haven't found any great limitations...certainly not enough for me to make any compensations in my route planning. But, I must say that my riding is all on surfaced roads. I do sometimes connect roads with a section of unsurfaced lane, but even that is likely to be a maintained (farm, or such) affair. On unclassified lanes, where there's a strip of grassy muck down the middle, there is a problem (as Hercule says), but I find that it doesn't last forever and I certainly don't avoid unclassified lanes because of it.

What I have found is the opposite to limitations....an improved range of routes available. The biggest improvement is in the climbing ability of a trike. Two weeks ago I was in my home stomping ground of Wharfedale in Yorkshire. I rode up Park Rash, out of Kettlewell. It's a 2.5 mile climb with several sections of 20% and one section of 25%. It's taken me 64 years to do it. Never on a D/F (even as a youth) and not on my two wheeled 'bent, despite it being geared down to 19". Always had to have long "walks" when going up. With increasing arthritis which makes pushing a bike uphill an increasing problem, I find this capability of the trike allows me not to worry (so far) as to whether the gradients are going to present a problem.

I still ride my two wheeler. As the fancy takes me. If I'm in a hurry it's a bit quicker. But, I find my steed of choice is becoming the trike.

hercule
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Re: Trike routing limitations and compensation

Postby hercule » 20 Oct 2013, 5:35pm

If anything it's the hills that limit my bent bike riding. I've tried tackling the local steep ones and so far I keep bottling out: can't keep going! The trikes (Kettwiesel especially) will just go up anything. I don't break any records but I do enjoy the view! On a DF I'm sweating over the handlebars and can't see much beyond the front wheel...

Geoff.D
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Re: Trike routing limitations and compensation

Postby Geoff.D » 20 Oct 2013, 6:43pm

hercule wrote:If anything it's the hills that limit my bent bike riding. I've tried tackling the local steep ones and so far I keep bottling out: can't keep going! The trikes (Kettwiesel especially) will just go up anything. I don't break any records but I do enjoy the view! On a DF I'm sweating over the handlebars and can't see much beyond the front wheel...


I'd echo that completely, Hercule. On my 2 wheel bent, there've been times (on the local, sharp Cotswolds' banks) when I've ended up falling sideways into the verge because I've got below stalling speed. I'd like to say that each fall was graceful.....but that hasn't necessarily been so. And then it's been impossible to start off again on the steep slope. Nothing's got hurt except my pride, but I'd rather not be the local "entertainment"

The trike just winds its way up in bottom gear. Easy peasy. (Well....effort, of course). But absolutely no fear of stalling, or having to walk.