Smooth Riding in May

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It has been fun riding Electra this month!!! Recap: May 3, I took her maiden voyage. The day before, I installed the balance wheels at level 2 and rode through the neighborhood. That week I rode her half the time and Roxanne the other half; that was 6 days split 3 and 3, but on the 7th day I rode Electra so it became 4-3.

For the second week I adjusted the balance wheels to level one and planned to adjust them back to level 2 in June. The balance wheels at level one has allowed me to become familiar with the bike and ride faster. I put extenders on the crank arms so each pedal extends 0.77 inch; my feet are happier with more room. I also noticed the headlight is bright, and the electricity generated must be less at lower speeds because the light flashes then. On my rechargeable LED lights, strobe is an energy saving mode. But on Electra the power is generated in the dynamo hub, and at higher speeds the light burns steady. The taillight would also flash, but the wire delivering power is broken, and I have not repaired it yet; I don’t know if the rear stays in flash mode or becomes steady. Flashing lights are more visible to motorist, but a steady light makes judging distance easier for the rider. The front light burning steady at higher speed is good, and if the taillight stays in the flashing mode, that’ll be excellent!

Time is advancing, I’m now in the third week with the balance wheels at level one. This is also the week with Memorial Day Weekend. Next week we have Memorial Day, and then it is June. Soon I’ll need to adjust the balance wheels back to level 2.

I’d also like to install a larger crank set. Electra only has 81 gear inches, and when I’d like to shift into a higher gear, she is already spinning in the highest gear. My first thought was lower the cassette (higher gear ratios have more teeth on the chain wheel and less on the cog). Then I discovered Electra has a freewheel. Both a freewheel and cassette go on a free hub; the freewheel is the inexpensive option that does not perform as well. I increased gear ratio a couple times on trikes by installing a larger crank set and chain for the larger chain wheel. It is a small performance enhancer, but an option. Take off is slower so I’d like to wait and see how much of my balance comes back. The faster I get >= 5 MPH, is idea for self balance. But there are many times when a slow ride is the only option and balance is vital.