Monday, November 24, 2008

Begining to ride - again!

November - December 2008
I was unsure at how other cyclist would think about riding with someone on an electrical assisted bike - at the time I got it I was so slow that I did not think it matter because I never expected to ride with anyone else. Because it helped me and made me feel a bit safer I continue to ride - I could still only manage 6, 7, 8 to 10 miles rides at first even with the Bionx, but they began to get faster. I would do the ride but finish faster. I was riding the same distances getting home and being totally exhausted. I usually set the assist level to One or sometimes Two because I did want to get stronger - sometimes on long flats I would turn it off. I would do one of my routes and get home park the trike in the garage and go inside, then I would make myself shower before I sat down because I knew once I sat down I was not get up for a while. Then I would eat a little something - remember I am still eating the way I learned from Jenny so I was careful with what and how much I ate - did I mention portion control yet - learning this really help me - I did not have a scale so I could not tell how I was doing but I was trying. Then I would recline in my recliner - with my meal I would have take some pain killer which were given to me by my doctor because of my attempts to exercises and how much pain I was in at the beginning. Then I would rub Mineral Ice on my knees because they would be sore and it helped and then I would fall asleep for several hours. And this was from a 8 to 10 mile ride - I hated that is was so short a ride but I was so pleased that I could ride again and I would feel real good when I woke up. My knees would hurt but my legs did not hurt just got a little stiff of a day. The weather limited how much I was able to ride but I rode when I could. Gradually I began to get better. A number of years ago before before health interfered with me riding to be honest I allowed job and relations issuses interfere with my riding before my health did but once the health issues came up I had pretty much stopped and when the did gang up on me I could not ride for quite a while - When I live in and around New Orleans I was a active member of the Crecent City Cyclist. I really enjoyed that group and miss them now.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Bionx System

The Bionx systems it not just a motor you put on a bike and it will run you around. It is a true electrical assist. It has a computer and will only applies power to the rear wheel while one is pedaling the bike. It senses the amount of torque one applies to the wheel through the petals and compares it to the speed one is traveling and then applies additional power to the wheel motor, when the bike reaches the speed to program wants the bike to be moving based on the torque on the wheel the motor applies less and less power until it is not doing anything.
The Bionx has a speed limiter and reduces it assist at 19.5 mph and stops completely at 20 mph. The system is configurable. It can add as much as 350 watts of power to the wheel motor. Most people of any reasonable fitness can produce about 300 watts of power on a bicycle and can sustain about 200 watts output for a long time depending on their level of fitness. The Bionx has four levels of assist. Level One adds up to 35% of additional power to what the cyclist is applying to the pedals. If the cyclist is applying 100 watts of power to the bike the Bionx would add up to 35 additional watts. The important point here is 'up to' - the assist does not just add 35 more watts but based on the torque applied by the cycles the Bionx will add just enough to move the bike at the speed the Bionx thinks it should be moving based on the torque on the wheel. Therefore the amount of assist is constantly changing based on the speed of the bike, the torque applied to the wheel and the assist level set at the console by the cyclist. As I said before there are four levels of assist and they all work the some way except they apply more or less assist base on the level. Level Two adds up to 75% assist, level Three adds up to 150% assist and level Four adds up to 300% assist.
The Bionx has another feature that is especially useful to trikes. When the keyed brake is applied the Bionx switched to generation mode. This turn the motor into a generator and recharges the battery but also slows down the bike acting as a brake - since all tadpole styles trikes I have seen do not have a rear brake this it very useful when descending because there is no brake induced steering which can occur during descents when using the front brakes.
This system is expensive and adds 15 pounds to the bike but it lets me climb hill faster than 2 mph and that help me keep up with others cyclist.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Bionic Turtle

I will do almost anything to be able to ride. My second ride I went back to the same bike trail but a different section - I thought it was a paved section but I was wrong. This section was worse than the first, it was mostly railroad ballast size stones and it was over grown and very hard to ride on. I was however determine and managed to ride about 6 miles - it took me 4 hours but I did it.
I was beginning to believe that I was just going to be very very slow but as long as I could ride it would be OK. While researching trikes before I bought the Tour I ran across something I had never heard of - Electrical Assisted Bicycle - with my current experiences to date I began to think that is it would work on the trike it might let me ride faster and longer distances also I felt at the time I would always be riding alone because I could not image riding with others when I was riding so slowly. With some of my health issues I also thought it might be sort of a safety thing - giving me the ability to get back from a ride if I got sick out there. ( It has gotten me out of trouble three times so far, twice when I got sick and one when my chain broke)
After some research I ordered a Bionx 350PL system with a 20" wheel. It took me a good deal of work to figure out how to mount the battery but I did and everything seemed to work just fine. I rode it around my neighborhood a little but it was dark and I did not have a light on the trike - then the weather turn bad and it was several days before I could ride.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hello Turtle

After researching it on the web I ordered a TerraTrike Tour. When it arrived and was un-boxed my first impression of it was 'Its so small' it just looked to little for me to sit on. When I lady who I once dated and is now a friend saw it she said it looked like a Turtle - the trike has been Turtle ever since. My first ride on it turned out to be less than great - I did not have it adjusted correctly for me - I thought I did but I did not and I had taken it to a bike trail that I thought was paved only to find out it was a hard packed stone. The trike handled the trial OK but the trail made the trike slower than it could be on a paved surface and sense I did not know any better I just thought trikes were slower. IF I remember correctly I manages to ride it about 5 miles which I was also disappointed in but in hind sight I should have been pleased with because I could ride. Even with all this I did enjoy myself.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Good bye Jenny

I weighted 390.0 pounds. I was still going to Jenny Craig and following the program but it was not working and I was tired of the food and how much it cost so I stopped going in. The interesting thing was that even through I decided to stop using their food and driving ot the center I still was trying eat the way I have learned to - I spent a good deal of time finding food I could get or make that fit the program but that I could buy from regular stores - it took some time but I did it and it got better as time went by. I found that even through I did not want to go to the center I was staying on the program. I did not have a scale so I could not weight but just tried to eat properly. I am not sure where the idea came form but somehow during this time I got the idea of trying to get a trike.