As you may have noticed I’ve not blogged in nearly six months.  And, sadly, I’ve not ridden much in that time either.  I simply did not get in shape and our summer was so miserably hot it was not wise for me to rush my training for RAGBRAI, the bike ride across Iowas, which I also cancelled.  From those people I know who went, I hear my decision was a wise and health one, the heat was unbearable.

I also got sidetracked when in June I bought an 1983 VW Rabbit Convertible which took a significant amount of my time and resources.  It’s a beauty, fun to drive and my first convertible.  Ironically, my first thought riding it with the top down was that it reminded me of riding my recumbent on a fast downhill ride, feeling the wind whirling around you, naturally cooling you off.

(If you can't tell, my other love is restoring and driving old VW's)

The downfall of all of this is a real loss of my physical conditioning and gaining more weight than I want to share.  As biking is the only physical exercise I enjoy I really need to get back involved, but with a few inches of ice and snow on the ground, I’ve picked the wrong time to get motivated.  I’ve never been a cold or cool weather rider, I really prefer the heat, but mostly I’m scared I’ll take a spill on a patch of ice or puddle of mud.

For months I have been looking for a safe solution and an incentive to get back on the bike and finally I found it, riding a recumbent trike.  Unfortunately, good recumbent trikes are only made by a handful of companies in the US and do not come cheap ($1500-$3000).  Many riders build their own out of old bikes, but even though I own a welder, I’ve not had enough practice to safely weld all the critical joints.  Frustrated, but undaunted (I’ve always wanted to use that phrase), I sought out inspiration and ideas from the all knowing and all seeing GOOGLE.  I came across a do it yourself (DIY) recumbent bike that one can build with no power tools (but they do make the job a little easier).  It’s light weight aluminum and all of the moving parts can be salvaged from other bicycles at relatively low cost.  The aluminum I can easily find locally or on ebay.

First I’m going to build a prototype, probably out of wood, just to get the size and design finalized, but I’m already scavenging for parts.  Goal is to have the prototype done in January and the first build of thew working trike done in February.  I say first build as the beauty of this trike design is you can easily modify and redesign at any time along the way.

So, stay tuned.  There will be a lot more posts here as I plan, build and test the new trike.  The goal is to have a working and dependable trike for my bike ride across Nebraska (BRAN) in early June.  Wish me luck!

And as always, I appreciate your comments and support!

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