Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Almost Ready to Start Pedaling

Visiting a friend at the end of Route 66
The last few weeks have been very busy. I've had friends and family visits while getting everything ready for the big tour. 

Beautiful new frame for Myrtle

The biggest news is that HP Velotechnik, my trike manufacturer, contributed a new trike frame for the tour. I've had Myrtle for 11 years and ridden probably close to 60,000 miles on the frame. There wasn't anything obviously wrong with the frame but they decided a new one would be fitting for such a big tour. Over the last 6 months, they have also given me a new seat, fenders and 2 extra batteries for my e-assist. I feel like I have a whole new trike.


Please click here to become a member of my Patreon. You can join for as little as $1 per month




Do you want to join my 2023 USA trike tour? Please click here to fill out the contact form. 


New Sponsor!!

Bent Up Cycles in North Hollywood, California is a new sponsor for my Youtube channel. I have known Dana Lieberman, the owner, and Raina Anthony since I first started touring. Raina did all the work transferring parts from the old trike frame to the new one. The only original parts left are the front wheels and Avid BB7 brake levers. Otherwise, the oldest part is my Rohloff Speedhub which is 4 years old. Mel from RecumbentPDX also donated a new rear rack he had laying around his shop. The new frame is bright yellow and so beautiful. It will take awhile for me to get used to such a big change.

Fun video of the new trike frame

Newly built wheels on Velocity Rims

Raina also ordered new custom Velocity rims and built up new trailer wheels. Even though the wheels are still 16", I can now use Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires. All 5 wheels have Marathon Plus tires. This should really help with flat tire protection.

Stylish mechanic Raina

Raina showing the new trike

I've been riding and testing the 'new' trike with the trailer for the last week. The trailer rolls beautifully and it tracks perfectly. I've had it up to 29 mph without issues. On the flats and downhills, I can't even feel the trailer behind me but uphill is another story. I am very happy to be using e-assist for this tour and think this will make the ride much more enjoyable.

New Trike with trailer

There are a couple of big differences for this tour compared to past tours. One, this will be my 1st tour during the summer months. All my previous tours have been fall and winter riding. The other big difference is I'll have to camp much more. Hotels in the US are far more expensive than in other countries and, for me, a real budget buster. Even campground rates will be anywhere from $30-60 per night. I will also be cooking more than I do on tours out of the US. I have good camping and cooking gear and also enjoy cooking. By cooking in camp I'll save money and have more control over my diet.

Camping Gear video

Camping Gear

New tent video

Another big change I've made is switching out my Nemo Hornet 2p tent for a Big Agnes Copper Spur 2p bikepacking tent. The Big Agnes is bigger and free-standing which should make setting up easier, especially in windy conditions. I am expecting lots of wind on this tour. The Big Anges also has a feature where the vestibules can turn into awnings.  My plan is to lock the trike and trailer together and tie them to the awning. It's always been precarious camping in a tent where the tent-fly zippers shut for the night. I typically lock my trike to a tree or the picnic table but overnight I have never been able to see out. If I hear something there has been no way to know if it's an animal sniffing around or a person messing with my trike. If I became alarmed, I would have to get out of my sleeping bag and then exit the tent to check out the situation. With the awning, I'll be able to have the trike and trailer inches away and I can easily look out to make sure everything is ok. I keep the world's loudest whistle and bear spray within easy access while sleeping in the tent.

Big Agnes with awning attached to trike and trailer

There is only a few days left until I leave and I'm finishing up last minute preparations. I've been waiting for contact lenses that were back-ordered to arrive and I should be able to pick them up tomorrow. The weather in Southern California has been very stormy but it looks like temperatures are going to warm up. I think I'll have a window of a week where there is no rain and daytime temperatures will be in the high 60s. It's getting real now!

Nice forecast for the start of my tour!!