This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Reaching for the gusto. From 50 to 57 years of age, I was one of the lead riders for the Blue Bonnet racers of Lewisvilles taking new 'green' members on shorter tours - for them to learn the basics i.e. like the importance of water bottles, and using highways for safe travel. From that period to 1996 my wife Gail and I would still do tours at White Rock Lake until they enforced a new helmet law. Since we are not children racing about, but adults limited to 9 mph average by pedal power, I modified our bikes for comfort, no longer concerned with femur stroke efficiency, and road gearing above 75. Swallowing pride, my low gearing was reset to 25 for a 3 to 1 overall delta. At my last “Munster German Fest” this was the settings used for a 40 mile tour for me, and a 22 miler for Gail (who was thrilled that my training program worked for her). Gail was still employed, so her bike riding time was limited to the edges of rush hours, and that terrified her, especially when I got pushed off the road by a monstrous SUV, into a ravine in Carrollton TX (typical hit and run).
With my retirement I was losing my leg power because of diabetic neuropathy that was untreated at the time, but I learned careful riding in the “clear zone” between rush hours. I then pointed out to “my friend at the time (in 2010) Kevin Falconer,” that Carrollton should set up a program that would entice Senior bikers to safely travel by Time Share Traffic rules, so as to improve individual responsibility and freedom. He was favorable to the concept, until City management cut him off, and he then no longer corresponded with me. This idea would ideally require speed limits for selected streets for transportation to be set between the hours of 9:30 to 4:00 pm to just 25 mph, to have the same respect for Seniors as school students that are returning home, while enticing them to ride bikes, rather then use 4 mpg 10 ton buses, reducing capitol expenses of the City. Now concentrating on bike application for seniors. We have the need for saddle and bike fit comfort. I am a 5'10” man that only has a 5.5' man's leg length i.e. making my overall height at 5'7”. My racing bike was set up with a 22 inch saddle height, a forward sweeping goose-neck to mount my three position handle bars in order to move CG forward, and handle my larger upper body, 28 inch Continental fiberglass tires @ 110 lbs/inch. This bike is terrible for casual sport biking!! With downhill speeds approaching 55mph, and about 1 square inch of contact surface resistance for a 200+ lb total mass is not a good system for older riders, that need good controllable stopping power. A transportation machine is different than a racing machine; this is an attitude that is disturbing to motorists who wish to control everyone to drive Indy 500's, so they can get out of the way - while they make way for the boys with the big egos. This stupid competition is the fuel marketing uses to enhance products to ridiculous over-development that they call good engineering; instead of honest concern for efficiency. I averaged 17 mph on my metric century, and was happy to end in the middle of the pack. My friend rode his 3 speed English bike doing about 9 mph for a full 100 miles, making him about the last rider back; close to sundown. The next day he was chomping at the bit wanting another century; whereas I wanted to just take it easy. The bottom line was that he was more physically fit than 1
myself, I was concentrating on hard riding racing machines because of peer pressure; while he concentrated upon doing the distance with a bike that was comfy to him. Because of extreme leg power (leg pressing 700 lbs) I was a sprinter capable of holding 45 mph for 600 feet, whereas my friend was much more aerobic, and capable of sustained duration. So ideally the better bike for the typical 5 ½ foot tall senior would be a 24 inch tired bike with conventional 1.375 inch tires at about 45 psi, that would make this rider closer to the ground, and soften road jarring (compared to a Trek racer as an example). A forward swept goose-neck would still be needed to match upper torso length. Saddle (Gortex preferred) height would be about the same due to the shorter crank arms that compensate for the shorter mature pedal stroke i.e. to ease the tiring by repetition and to handle the lower gearings of 25 to 75. If one would like to assemble a bike out of “left overs,” mounting 24 in wheels onto a typical adult frame would make axles further apart for a smoother ride. Using 20 inch wheels would be about the minimum diameter, and crank would need to be installed for the shorter pedal stroke, and for the larger chain wheel to spin rear wheel a bit faster for the crank rpm. After doing a metric Century on a Dahon, and later a French Multon (Frenchy was better because of rear shock) that was done for the heck of it, I concluded that 16 inch tires are just too small to be pleasant, especially with a bike that is just too close coupled to force more upright riding. Dahon had internal hub 4 speed transmission, whereas Multon had a 6 speed derailer. Idealism seems to always reside somewhere between extremes. ;) Yes, it is a psychological barrier to overcome i.e. the thought of riding what appears to be a “child's” bike, and that for a workout period of time, a few less miles are traveled, but we have to be honest to ourselves that we are no longer open ended competitive. We ride for the Civil freedom it affords, and social camaraderie, rather then a trophy that some younger stud wishes to win. Hope this information from a retired professional engineer will be helpful in creating more interest in the sport of fun bike touring, the healthy way to exercise. Bike Crutches The ebikes push the envelope for us oldsters, and will supply the leverage to “ride with the experts.” Although the experts may be faster on the downhill, the uphills and flat land is where the ebikes excel with more total hp, even from us seniors that can still move their feet in a circle. The Rules of the Road has one small problem, and that is, hugging the curb. Because of an ebike acceleration, this becomes dangerous due to the number of impetuous drivers that wish to make a screaming right turn at an intersection, or a gaggle of fast impetuous children to create short circuits, so common sense courtesy, and safety, requires the dismount and walk across an intersection if using sidewalks for travel. Too many motorcycles and bikes get sideswiped by hit and run drivers, that never get reported; or have the typically prejudiced court transfer blame onto the biker perceived as a lower class citizen. Under Civil law the bike has the right of way, and one should take command of his lane to prevent accidents; when reasonable. If authority find disfavor with Civil law, they should modify the lanes by stripping, to give access to the smaller transportation vehicles instead of doing nothing other then passing the buck and supporting imperialism. For this reason, pedestrian crosswalks should be avoided, unless following DPS rules and walking the bike across the street. The best configuration for a trike is the reverse configuration (that will not fit on a old fashioned sidewalk due to improve stance stability). Because this configuration is currently popular with about a 2
150 cc or larger engine; it is truly too robust a structure for a 1 hp electric version, so the aluminum framed brushless motor/differential driven etrike is the most economical, and viable version to date. The EW-36 configuration is about the best configuration because of independent wheel suspensions giving it the feel and stability of a 2 wheel vehicle at about the 22 km velocity (the mathematical center of the design). The only flaw in the architecture is the use of a brushless motor for Senior Citizens meaning very little breaking when throttle demand is zero; instead of counter EMF charging battery via brush type PM motor (i.e. generator acting as a regenerative brake proportional to velocity). The ebikes I wished to import (and service) for seniors, (before this attack by Carrollton that destroyed this fledgling Father Son corporation) was a more safe clone manufactured in China with brush motor and regen brake, and available to me through my Chinese agent to Ali Baba. Because of marketing, this version that is more centered to senior citizens; is currently unavailable because it does not access wheelies and childish stunts that are more popular with the brainwashed American public.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.