James Revillini

Say 'no' to styrofoam.

Author: James (page 2 of 13)

Terratrike Cruiser brake line improvement

Today, I found a kink in my left brake line which was probably the result of the brake line getting caught in the spokes and wrenched. It was making the brake stick, so I got a replacement cable and sheilding from the LBS. After installing, I was testing the steering and I realized that there was a small improvement that could be made to prevent the brake line from ever getting stuck in the spokes again.

Loosely fasten the brake cable to the steering rod so it can shift as needed.

One zip-tie later, and I was in-business. The issue is, I think, a flaw in the design of the Terratrike Cruiser. Luckily the workaround doesn’t bust your budget.

DIY Luggage Rack for Terratrike Cruiser Recumbent Tricycle

You’ve been tearing your hair out because you have an old license plate and you just don’t know what to do with it.

You also have a Terratrike Cruiser (or something similar) with no luggage rack. What can you do?

Terratrike Cruiser DIY Luggage Rack - View from right-rearThe answer is simple: build a luggage rack. In minutes, you can build a luggage rack for your trike that is sturdy, shock absorbent, and requires little to no handy-man skill. I am not a handy-man, just a man. Let’s get to it.

Materials Required

  • License Plate*
  • 2′ Bungee Cord (rope could work but bungee is better)
  • 4 Zip Ties (even very small ones will work)
  • Electrical Tape (optional)

* Anything flat and approximately license-plate sized will work, as long as you can drill holes in it.

This installation assumes that you are doing a right-side installation (your right if you’re sitting on the trike).

Step 1 (Optional) – Put a strip of electrical tape around the edges of the license plate.  You’re going to be attaching this plate alongside one of the rear frame beams, so this should help to minimize scratching and potential clanking when the luggage rack is empty.

Step 2 – Secure the top edge of the plate to the right rear beam using 2 zip ties.  Make sure you go under the chain and any derailleur cables or you won’t be able to go and/or shift. You should probably leave the zip ties slightly loose because this allows the plate to pivot to fold up when not in use!

Step 3 – Attach remaining two zip ties to remaining holes along the lower edge of the license plate. These provide an easy way to hook on the bungee cord.

Step 4 – Hook the back-most zip-tie loop to one end of the bungee.  String the bungee cord through the upper right corner back of the seat, then down to hook to the other bungee cord.

Pictures would probably help at this point.

No Luggage? No Problem.

When you have no luggage, you can unhook the front-most loop from the bungee, pull the bungee (this will cause the plate to flip up vertical), and then hook the bungee to the left upper-corner of the seat so it stays.  This will prevent clanking and you’ll feel cool that it can do this.

Extra Luggage? No Problem.

If you want to carry more than this rack can support, you know what?  You can do the same thing on the other side of the trike!  I know – it’s amazing … but it’s true!


This luggage rack is cat food friendly.

This setup will allow you to carry 15.4lbs of cat food! The proof is in the picture.

iTunes 9.2 hangs when syncing voice memos

If you just need a workaround so you can access other, non-voice-memo features through iTunes, such as backup, music sync, app sync, etc., then follow this procedure:
1. disconnect your iPhone from the computer
2. fire up iTunes
3. open Preferences (Edit > Preferences)
4. click the Devices tab
5. select “Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically (see attached)
6. Click OK
7. plug in the iPhone.
It will still backup the device, but what you do from there is up to you.  It will not get your voice memos transfered to the PC, but theoretically, you should be able to go to the Music tab when you click on the iPhone and select Sync Music, but deselect the voice memo option.
Until a fix is released, use one of the other workarounds to get your memos copied to the computer.

Ride 1 on the Trike

I just finished my first real ride on the trike: 11.6 miles, my normal commute to work, and it was wonderful!  I kind of thought I was going to feel unsafe riding next to traffic in a moderately wider vehicle, but traffic was nice to me and gave me a little more room than usual.  I think they like looking at the trike as much as I like that extra buffer zone that’s needed so they can check it out as they drive by.  I did find myself praying that they kept their eyes on the road so they wouldn’t smash into anyone in front of them while they were distracted.  The 6′ flag pole that I bought at the Tractor Supply Store was a perfect safety addition to my trike.  It fits right in the pole that goes up the side of the chair.

After putting 11 miles on it, I feel like I know the vehicle much better.  It’s got some quirks that are no problem to deal with, and I found several advantages to trike riding as opposed to bike riding.  First, the quirks.

Quirk 1) Pedal steering – when in a high (tough) gear, pushing hard tends to move the trike to the side that’s doing the pushing, but it’s not like it swerves the bike all over the road … it’s just a gentle movement.  I found that my body was automatically compensating somehow in the steering mechanism after a short while, and the slight veering ceased.

Quirk 2) Less suspension / shock absorption than a bike.  Even when you have no shocks on a bike, I think your torso and arms do a lot to buffer shock from getting to where you feel it most, your head.  On the trike, you’re lower, you have more wheels to hit things with, and shocks that aren’t absorbed by the give of the seat easily travel up from the tail bone to the head.  Personally, this sort of thing is really cool to me.  It feels more adventurous and daring.  Also, I did NOT stay on paved road.  I went over planked bridges, gravel road, and even over roots, rocks, and grooved pavement.  So I’m not complaining, just pointing this out.

Quirk 3) Extremely responsive steering!  When going fast, the slightest twitch of the steering bar caused the whole machine to wiggle.  I quickly got used to this and was careful not to twitch when moving along.

And now, the good stuff:

1) Excellent power transfer!  Having your back against something and being able to push against the pedals allowed me to move super fast!  I felt that my legs were getting a more complete workout, while my torso and arms got a chance to relax, which was really nice.  Plus, even though I was moving well, I felt like I was kicking back and relaxing.

2) It makes it through those cement trail blockers … you know – those things that they put up to prevent motorized vehicles from getting on the trails?  I was a little nervous that I would have to pick it up and walk it through, but it squeezed through with about 5 inches on each side.

3) Roots, rocks? No problem.  Last week, I took a spin through the neighborhood and ran over a few roots in some yards to see what i could get away with.  Today, in the woods, I got to a spot where there are a bunch of boulders with just enough space for me to squeeze through, but between them, there is a slight incline that’s full of rocks and roots.  My first attempt failed because I was in too high a gear and did not have enough momentum.  My second try in a low gear was a huge success!  I couldn’t believe I got over that!  a slightly knobby tire for the back may be a good idea at some point in the future.

4) Regular shorts and flip flops are OK!  I like looking casual when I ride.  No offense to those who wear the tight spandex stuff, but it’s just not for me.  I was able to pedal in wearing baggy shorts and my flip flops!  I know I need to be careful with the flip flop thing since there’s the threat of foot suck, but I didn’t even feel close to any danger at any point.

It was a very pleasurable ride, especially considering that today is one of those days when the weather people advise everyone to stay inside so as not to get a heat stroke.  BAHHHHHH.  Mind over matter, that’s my motto.

Incidentally, I just looked at my mileage on bikejournal.com and I’m going to be passing the 1000 mile mark for 2010 tonight on my ride home.

TerraTrike Cruiser has Arrived!

It was a good thing I called yesterday to see when my highly anticipated trike would be delivered, because apparently they needed to speak to me to arrange for a delivery and didn’t have any contact info for me.  So I asked if I could just pick it up.  From the title, you know that this was a success.

I was somewhat surprised to find that he trike was shipped fully assembled, which means Terratrike not only did the extra work, but paid for a more expensive delivery.  I don’t have a picture of it, but the carton it was shipped in had “Congrats, James!” penned on the top with a permanent marker.  That was a really nice touch.

Today, I took a few pics of me modeling my Cruiser.

Trike is so close I can taste it

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This is what it will look like, by the way.

The Perfect Summer Song

This song, Daisy, by Stone Temple Pilots, in my opinion, best captures the spirit of a summer day by the pool, lake, or pond.  I picture a gentle, lazy, hot afternoon, or a cooling transition into the evening, sun heavily edging toward the horizon.

Oh boy oh boy, the trike, it’s a comin’

I am excited.

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I hope it gets here before the holiday weekend, because you know the shipping dudes are going to be drinking and partying and probably blacking out, or selling their freight for more booze money.


Bentrideronline.com‘s Bryan Ball informed me via e-mail that I had won the Terratrike Recumbent Tricycle which was the prize for the Terratrike Car-Free Challenge!

I don’t have any further details yet, but I’ll post them as I know!  I’m so excited I can hardly contain myself!!!!

James D. Revillini, Age 80

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