The Grand Tour: Fife and Beyond

Ramblings of an inveterate cyclist

 Monday once more, my allotted time in the laundry so, a chance to catch up on my blog whilst the washing machine does all the work.

My bicycle originally had combination trigger-changers and brakes. However when I converted it to an e-bike I had to use trigger-changers that were separate from the brake levers, since the brake levers, that came with the kit, had electric cables attached, that in turn connected to the controller, so when you operate the brake the motor would cuts-out, which made a lot of sense.

What do you do with the trigger changers and brake combo? Well, you turn to your tricycle. My tricycle is a bit of a bitsa, starting off in the 1960s as a road bike, I then converted it to a tricycle by brazing on a Higgins rear axle. Later I changed the front forks for ones from off a mountain-bike so that I could upgrade to a disc brake, (wider that the original road forks). Now it was time to change to trigger changes, but again these could not be accommodated on to drop handlebars, a butterfly bar was my choice. I like butterfly handlebars you can still, move your hands around the bars, for it can be very tiresome on long runs holding the same hand position, as on a straight bar, anyway as you grow older the bottom part of the drop bars is seldom used.

Nothing is that simple of course, not everything is interchangeable on bikes. My handlebars were old school so it took a bit of hunting and waiting for the new butterfly bars that were the right diameter to arrive. Now fitted along with the trigger changers and brake combo, no problem, however, the inner and outer cable, not only had different nipples but were too short so new inner and outer cables were ordered, that was Sunday, and according to Amazon they will be here today, and you wonder why High Street stores are closing.

I have never been a stick in the mud when it comes to upgrades, we evolve or die. If you still want to ride that Barn Gate or Curly framed bike, that you rode back in 1950 fine but riding a loaded tricycle with two calliper brakes bearing on the front wheel rim alone, in modern traffic or downhill and in the wet I can assure you, is twitchy bum time.

If you have never ridden a tricycle then you letting the best thing in life pass you bye.

They make brilliant touring bikes that will carry a good load, and since it is spread over a vast area of tarmac, you will hardly notice that it is there. You can roll up at traffic lights, or halt signs and if you have to stop, simply pull on the brakes and stop. Out in the country, you have time to look around you without having to worry unduly about anything, other than just sit up and enjoy the scenery. OK it will take some practice, you can’t lean a tricycle into a corner you have to steer it around the corner and move your weight to compensate, or the tricycle will flip over.

This is a little extreme

But I’m trying to teach gran to suck eggs, you will all remember the skint knees when you rode your first tricycle, at around five years of age, tricycles have not changed much, they just got bigger.

And some take it very seriously indeed.

I was attracted to tricycles many years ago, it was at the York Rally. I was coming up the hill, and there was a lad coming down towards me, he was riding a conventional tricycle. He was brilliant, weaving in and out of the cats-eyes, at breakneck speed, first hanging off one side of the tricycle then the other,

“What a poser” I though, “Must get one of those”.

I am hoping that ridding my e-bike (which I still pedal) I will build up the stamina to ride my tricycle for many years to come, for I have never lost the thrill of having only ‘three wheels on my wagon’.

Keep the pedals turning and stay safe.

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