Friday, June 13, 2008

Gravity, a 'blast' from the past, and recumbent cycling in Denmark.

Finally had time to move the battery on my recumbent trike to a lower position on the frame in order to prevent a repeat of my canal-detour last April.

The only reason why this was not done before that tour was because there was no secure place to put the battery where it was also easily accessible. After stripping the trike down for the summer, I had some extra aluminum tubing that I used to fashion a crude bracket to hold the battery to the back-side of the seat.

new battery location

And with it's 12 pound weight much lower, it's no surprise that the center of gravity dropped along with it. When the battery was up behind my head in the 'trunk', the rear-end of the trike tended to sway a bit when going around turns and there was a definite under-steer (front wheels pushing to the outside of a turn) behavior that contributed to my April canal swim.

Now the trike corners like a little race-car. The wheels feel 'planted' to the ground, hitting corner apexes at a higher speed than before. It's one of those 'Doh! Why didn't I think of this sooner' moments. Fear has been replaced with the former joy of recumbent cycling - my 'recumbent-grin' has returned!

Another addition to the trike is an AirZound. This is an air-powered horn with a 're-chargeable' bottle. I had one ages ago in my childhood days, but it was never as loud (115 decibels), nor as light (100 grams). A few quick pumps of my cycle-pump (up to 5 bar) and i'm good for about 30 blasts of a few seconds each. More than enough for waking up Grandma as she crosses the street against the light, or letting cars know that I'm nearby.

AirZound mounted on the right handlebar

Summer in Denmark is definitely here! The weather changes quickly this time of year, from quick rain showers to sunshine to wind gusts that threaten to blow me over. Currently re-designing the side and back parts of the fairing into light fiber-glass and carbon-fiber panels so that I'm ready for the coming fall and winter.

Naughty picture: the LeitraTech without her skirt on!

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