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Sunday, August 26th 2007

20:10

More Details from Gordon Koppang

This has been a busy week for us, with lots of wet weather. We did get out for a ride on the quadracycle today, when it finally stopped raining.

The trip was a local one to explore some local streets and look at the gardens and neighbourhoods. Late in the summer here the gardens are all in full bloom and most of them looked grand.

All in all we rode about 10 km, getting some good exercise along the way. Ruth was in the driver's seat and I took the right side. It certainly is much more pleasant to be in the right seat when you can shift your own gears! A real improvement.

Gordon's Notes

I received some more notes from Gordon Koppang about the photos that he sent. He appreciated us posting them, but wanted to give some more detailed notes on what they are all about.

Gordon writes:

“I checked the site last night and saw the pictures up and looking good. I was thinking that I should have put them in some context for you....

“One of the things that first drew me to the Rhoades was that it didn't look as low to the ground as some tadpole trike designs or the delta trikes from Lightfoot cycle. I rode scooters and motorcycles for more than 20 years, so visibility is important to me. I know of at least two seniors out for a spin on their old people's electric scooters who have been hit and killed (right in crosswalks) by these damn big trucks that are so popular here.

“The official Rhoades Car pics and even the pics in the customer gallery seldom give any sense of scale or relative size. They don't answer the question "Where do I sit in relation to cars and trucks?"

“When we took the picture of the 4W1P with the front wheels neatly fitting under the bumper of a Ford F250 4x4, it was to illustrate that such a truck (far from the biggest) could literally back over a Rhoades Car. The first accessory I purchased was the orange safety flag. (I also mounted a Megalert 105 db electric horn that sounds like a gym teacher's whistle. Alas, because its volume is all in the high frequency range, it utterly fails to pierce the car cocoon.)

“The pics of the Rhoades in relation to the Smart Car were intended to show relative size. Axle to axle, the Smart Car is longer than the Rhoades Car - but the Rhoades car has way more over-hang at the rear, so the overall length is about the same. The Smart Car is about 16 inches wider than the 4W1P.

“The big surprise with the Smart Car was how high it rides. Notice that the bottom of the Smart Car's side window is about level with my ear! That means my head is just visible - barely there - for the driver of a Smart Car!

“I have pictures of the 4W1P lined up with the original Austin Mini, but they did not turn out. Next I'd like to try a size comparison with the Mazda Miata.

“And, finally, a note on Uncle Gordon's Taxi Tow. I fastened Skye's old car seat on the rear deck of my bike with a heavy rubber tarp strap. Usually Skye (fair-haired) and Jada (dark-haired) will both ride in the car seat - one in the other's lap.

“You know how it is with young kids. They want to ride their bike, but then two blocks later, they've had enough. Well, you can't leave the bike behind, or strap it on, so I came up with the tow bar idea. It's made from 3/4 inch aluminum conduit and clamped to the frame of the Rhoades with four U bolts. We bungee cord the handle bars of the kid's bike to the tow bar, and the tow bar is just high enough so that it lifts the front wheel of the kid's bike about 4 inches off the ground (the rear wheel trails neatly behind).

“Skye (6 in December) was not interested in her bike at all this summer, so we didn't use the tow bar much. It comes in handy now and then, however, so I leave it on.

“...The 2" square U bolts are perfect for attaching things to the Rhoades (I don't like drilling holes in the frame, and you can't always get by with bungee cords and zip ties)”

More Letters Welcome!

I think that Gordon's notes here add some perspective to the photos of his 4W1P.

We would be very glad to hear from other quadracycle owners about their experiences. As winter comes on we won't be out on the roads riding ours again until spring and so it would be great to have some stories from other riders to share here during the colder months.

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