Photos by MJ Klein
It’s been a long time since I rode my recumbent trike. This ride article is also going to feature an update on my health, just to be complete.
This is what she looks like today.
The topic of my health has been an ongoing debate in some ways, whether I’m in good health, or something is seriously wrong with me. Let me explain…. I regularly exercise, either on my stationary semi-recumbent bike, or lifting weights. Normally, I do one or the other, or both, 2 times a week. Normally I have no difficulty with either exercise. In the past, my heart rate was excessively fast and I took a beta blocker for about 6 years. I’m happy to say that with the exception of 2 or 3 times, I’ve been off the beta blocker since January 20th of this year. My heart used to race whenever I ate, and often this made me reluctant to eat some meals because I just didn’t want to deal with that issue. Nowadays, I am able to eat with a normal reaction.
The other problem that I have is dropped heart beats. Anyone who has experienced these can tell you how uncomfortable this is! When I’m resting and my heart rate slows down, I tend to get dropped beats. This is caused by a premature triggering of the heart beat, which is out of sync, so the heart just doesn’t beat that time. I’ve been suffering from situations where it does this every-other-beat for 10 or 15 seconds at a time! Sometimes, it’s so bad that I get light-headed and I have to sit or lay down so I don’t fall down. Fortunately there is medication that helps with this problem. Finding the right combination of medications is an unpleasant experience, as I recently changed medications to find one that works better. That particular one was not effective and I spent an entire weekend with dropped beats every few minutes.
One doctor suggested that I check into the hospital for tests. I did that towards the end of August. Repeated tests found nothing wrong with my heart – in fact the doctor could find nothing wrong with me at all. The tests included a check for tumors of the adrenal glands, which can cause similar problems to what I’ve been experiencing. My heart is good and strong. My EKG records show no damage or degeneration and are perfectly normal except during dropped beats. My cardiologist told me to “ignore the dropped beats” as they cause no damage and mean nothing bad. But I can assure you, that is much easier said than done!
I am taking a new combination of medications that seem to be working very well. I’ve also increased my exercise level and that helps too. My heart does not drop beats when it’s under load, so exercise keeps them down during and for some time after the exertion. One of the things I had in mind was to get my trike back in good running order (after sitting for several years without being ridden), and today was my first real shakedown ride.
I had a few problems mainly due to neglect. My front derailleur was stuck and wouldn’t shift. Some lubrication on the derailleur itself and the cable freed it up and now it shifts perfectly. I had to do some mounting of new components to update the trike, and now it seems in good working order. Let’s take a look at some photos and I’ll explain them in detail below:
Notice the pink canister on the left steering handle. That’s pepper spray for aggressive dogs. I’m currently sourcing a more forceful spray. Also notice the alloy rear wheel and Topeak rack and bag on the rear.
I’ve upgraded to Baoch front lighting. This light is extremely bright.
I’m riding with the lights on at all times to increase visibility. The Baoch light is so bright that you can’t look directly at it.
This is the cockpit view of my current setup. Let’s check out the details:
The Artifice trike comes with accessories holder bars on both sides – very convenient. This is the left side and we have a mirror, removable fender, GPS, water bottle cage and air pump all mounted on this left bar. As you can see, I’ve drilled some holes in the bar for some past things I’ve mounted but have now removed.
Center, is the Baoch light, with the cable leading down to the battery pack strapped to the boom (more on that later), and mobile phone holder (more on that too).
Right side, we see the outside mirror, a clip to hold a small bag for things like keys and change (current whereabouts unknown), removable fender, the Airzound air horn, water bottle cage with a bottle of water, and the air horn airtank in front.
The Artifice trike came with this cool bracket that mounts on the boom tower and holds the light.
This is the Topeak mobile phone mount. Notice the Baoch battery back strapped to the boom just above the mobile phone mount. The mobile phone fits into a case that very securely attaches to the mount with a slide rack.
This is the mobile phone mount with the phone removed so you can see the detail. The phone case slides right on with a solid “snap.”
Topeak rack and pannier bag (which can hold my camera securely).
Finally, the rear of the trike, showing the Cateye rear light.
Below is the map of where I rode today. It was a quick 6km circuit where I got to push the speed and do some turns. The trike is ready for longer distance rides!
Thanks for reading. Be sure to leave us your comments below!