Easy Street sunset

Having announced this in our email list and on our Facebook pages, I’ll say it here for you website readers:

Easy Street Recumbents is shutting down showroom operations.

The Austin showroom will shut down at the end of April 2023.  Mike will switch to doing trike repair work by appointment, using the same phone number.  His website will be tricyclewizard.com, email at mike@tricyclewizard.com.  This website will be live by May.

The Fort Worth shop closes at the end of July 2023.  Micah will either switch to repair service by appointment or else run his own storefront if he can get the funding.  He hasn’t worked out his branding yet.

Anyone who has a trike of ours will still have repair services available.  Yes, it will be more hassle, and there won’t be a trike showroom to hang about in, but we’re not leaving you in the lurch.  We offer our condolences to our customers for this additional hassle.

You need not offer condolences to Mike, who initiated this whole thing.  He’s quite tired of spending $8000 per month to keep a showroom for $150,000 worth of inventory.  This is a guy who’s never been into “stuff.”  He’s happy to sell it down and get on with another re-invention of himself… light out for the territories in some cutie-pie’s travel trailer, hop another freight train, or astral travel about the cosmos in the company of large, benevolent fungi.  Congratulations are in order here. He’ll be back to adjust your brakes, as he does have house payments to make.  He’ll likely start doing handyman work, and pursuing some other gigs he’s had in mind.  Maybe he’ll learn French (he is a Polish citizen, after all).

Micah, in Fort Worth, is being inconvenienced by this, but he’ll get to graduate to being his own boss and setting up an operation according to his own design.  Best of luck to him.  He’s where he needs to be.

When Easy Street started there wasn’t much of anything in recumbent support in Texas.  Planetary Cycles in Houston had always been doing some recumbents on the side, but didn’t broadly advertise it, and they are still around.  There is now a demo only showroom in San Antonio, and recumbent specialists to the north and south of Dallas.

A big thanks to all our customers for supporting us, and supporting us still.  We’ll be hanging onto the same phone numbers.




Now hear this…

Greetings, beloved customers!

Don’t panic. After 27 years of doing this recumbent biz, Mike Librik (that’s me) is closing down Easy Street Recumbents showroom operations. The Austin showroom will close on April 30th unless someone takes it off my hands and keeps it going. The Keller showroom will do the same on July 31st.

Neither Mike in Austin, nor Micah in Fort Worth, will disappear. We will continue to support our current customers by appointment. Our major suppliers are aware of this change and will continue to provide us with parts as long as needed. Again, don’t panic.

In Fort Worth, Micah intends to continue some sort of established operation, so he’s keeping all his tools. The nature of this operation depends on what investment support he gets, but he plans to stay active in recumbent retail and service. If you’d like to invest in his shop then let him know.

In Austin, I will still be available for trike work, but will be actively advocating the establishment of a new recumbent specialist in Austin that can render me redundant. I don’t expect that will be too soon.

If you or anyone you know is interested in the exciting work of specialty retail in the 21st century, put them in touch with me! I’ve got two complete shops, with tools and supplies, vendor accounts, fixtures, doddering old computers, and a battery-powered towel dispenser. Valuable intangibles like branding, website, phone numbers, and customer sales data is available to anyone buying the operation(s) whole. I wouldn’t call my financials “impressive,” but if you factor in my lack of management professionalism and neglect of common budgeting and marketing practices you’d see there is a lot of easy improvements to be done.

It sounds banal, but my real satisfaction in this work has been the care of my customers. I grow decreasingly interested in the technology. What motivates me is the pleasure that my customers get from that technology. I don’t even ride my own bike that much since I quit using it for my primary transportation.

On the other hand, Micah’s heart remains with cycling, and with exploring what the latest technology is doing to transform his riding and yours. Hopefully we’ll be seeing him shaping his own operation, which I’m sure won’t look entirely like mine.

More to come. Keep in touch.

COVID-19 message from Easy Street

Your friend and mine

Cootie alert!

March 2021 update:  Regardless of what the governor says, both Easy Street locations will maintain existing distancing and mask protocols until the authorities offer some kind of substantiated reason why we should relax our guard. 

This is a war, and it isn’t over yet, even if we are all tired of it.

Both Austin and Keller’s shops will be staffed during regular shop hours, but expect the doors to be locked.  Call the showroom phone when you arrive.  We will offer curbside service during regular shop hours and if necessary by appointment.  We are limiting access to one party at a time.

You may call or email the shops and expect the same rate of response.  Additionally, you may call the Keller shop outside of shop hours and get some kind of response from Micah, except on Sundays.  You can also call the Austin shop at its cell number any day, and Mike will make an effort to get back to you.

For repairs, let us know you are outside and we’ll come get your ride.  We can still handle all forms of payment.  Credit cards over the phone carry higher fees for us, but we’ll take payment that way if you wish.

We can also offer delivery and pick up for a fee.  Generally runs with the van start at $50, but talk to us and we’ll see what we can do and when.

For information and problems, by all means just call on the phone to discuss.

Be aware that Micah is the sole operational staff at the Keller shop.  If he cannot it make it to work then the shop would be closed, though he may still be available by phone.

As above, we are here for you, even if the circumstances complicate things.  Call us and we will work out how to help you.

ESR News, February 2020, with HOT Rally news, product news, and my annual round of self congratulations


2020 Rally and Demo Day

Time to crank up the ballyhoo machine again and remind everyone about the upcoming 2020 Heart of Texas Recumbent Rally, taking place in Keller (Fort Worth) on March 21-22.  Registration is available online at https://www.bikereg.com/2020hot or by calling the shop.

The event is a little different this year.  It is smaller (65 people max), shorter (1.5 days) and costs less ($25).  Significantly, I’m mixing it with our 2020 Demo Day, so along with our other Rally events that day, Rally guests will get to play VIP recumbent expert for the crowd attending that event.  For more information, see our website:  https://www.wemakecyclingeasy.com/2020-rally/

Please, come to my party!  Expect to see (read: We hope to see) a pre-production electric-assisted Catrike and some new TerraTrike models that won’t be available until summer.  Bacchetta will have something interesting, but we can’t say what it is until they formally announce it.  Easy Load Ramp systems will be there too.  Who else?  We’ll see.

Register here


Meet the Maverick

The TerraTrike Maverick, that is.

Of course I think of Samuel Augustus Maverick, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, twice elected mayor of San Antonio, and notable non-conformist in ranching circles.  Maverick was known for not branding any of his cattle, and an unbranded head of cattle in anyone’s herd came to be known as “a maverick,” as would anyone with an independent way of thinking. Never mind that gambler from the television show.  Now, it means a tricycle!

Significantly, the Maverick is replacing the iconic TerraTrike Rover, which redefined TerraTrike’s product line and took the company to the next level back in 2010.  The Maverick is essentially a lower-budget Rambler, and anyone familiar with the Rambler will recognize its form in the Maverick.

Like the Rambler, the Maverick is lighter than the Rover, but it doesn’t disassemble like the Rover does.  It won’t convert into a tandem like the Rover, and for that reason the Rover will stick around as a tandem that can shrink down to a single.  Like the Rambler, the Maverick uses “vertical drop outs,” meaning the rear wheel slides downward to come out of the frame.  This makes wheel removal much easier when a rear fender is installed.  It also makes boom adjustment less precise since the rear wheel cannot be slid backward in the frame to tension the chain.  It would be easy to add a spring-loaded chain tensioner, though one is not included.

I bring this up because having sold through most of our Rovers, we’re now starting to bring Mavericks in, and we’ve had a hard time keeping them in stock.  TerraTrike is supplying them at three spec. levels, much like they did with the Rover.  The “i3” model does not refer to Bob Marley’s backup singers, but the model with an internally-geared three-speed hub.  That isn’t a large enough range of gears for most people, but it works for some limited applications.  The “i8” model will use the good quality Shimano Nexus-8 internally-geared 8-speed hub, which we’ve been a proponent of in the past.  The “x8” model will sport an 8-speed rear derailer.

We had such great success selling the Rover equipped with the NuVinci N330 shifting system that we will make an effort to keep that system available on the Maverick.  This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve played the maverick ourselves, having first introduced the Nexus-8 hub on the Rover after disapproving of the kinda klunky Sturmey-Archer 8-speed hub used on early Rovers.  After a second major retailer introduced a Nexus Rover, TerraTrike finally got on board and produced them, before moving to the NuVinci N330, which proved to be a great match.  We have Keller shop manager Micah Simmons to thank for recognizing the strengths of the N330, and Easy Street ended up being the largest buyer of that model among all of TerraTrike’s dealers.

Battery care tips from Bosch

Bosch, who makes all the washing machines and cordless drills, has jumped into the e-bike market.  They are a major player in Europe, and are competing heavily with Japan’s Shimano Corp. selling a line of well-made, well-supported e-bike motors.  TerraTrike currently uses Bosch motors on the Rambler EVO, and in their Boost Kit, which will retrofit any TerraTrike currently in production, excepting the Sportster and Tandem Pro.  Catrike will be using Bosch motors on their E-Cats.

Anyway, I got a newsletter from Bosch about battery care, and it taught me a few things, so I wanted to share it.  This covers lithium-ion batteries, which are the standard nowadays on any decent assist system; Shimano, Bosch, Bionx, Bafang, Golden Motor, E-bike Kit, or any of that zoo of brands coming out of China.  Here is a reprint:

Do you have customers who plan to store their Bosch-equipped bikes during the winter months? Let them know that the ideal battery state-of-charge for long-term storage (i.e. over three months) is between 30%-60%, and the ideal storage condition for their battery is a cool, dry location that’s between 32°F-68°F. Note: a little warmer is better than below freezing, so when in doubt bring your battery inside; just not by the furnace.

Is it cold where you ride and do you and your customers prefer to use their Bosch-equipped eBikes through the winter? Excellent! Just keep in mind that you may need to adapt your charging habits to cold weather. If it can get below freezing where you store your bike, bring your battery inside to charge at room temperature.

The performance of your Lithium-ion Bosch battery can be temporarily affected by the cold. If you’re experiencing significantly decreased range during your cold-weather rides, consider storing your battery at room temperate prior to your ride and using an insulating, neoprene battery cover.

As we often say, think of your battery as something like a living thing.  Your bike can be treated like a piece of machinery, but the battery isn’t quite like that.

We don’t have battery covers in stock since it never gets that cold around here, but if you are interested in them let us know, as we can get them from Bosch’s US distributor.  They have models to fit either Bosch or Shimano systems.

Alfine-11 and Nexus-8 hubs need an occasional oil change

Now a technical matter.

Speaking of Shimano-built internally geared hubs on TerraTrikes, we also like to put the Alfine 11-speed hub on our Rover Tandems.  This is another Easy Street exclusive.  The Nexus-8 is great, but it doesn’t have a wide enough range for the tandem application of the Rover, so we started building our tandems with the Alfine-11.

Shimano states that Nexus and Alfine hubs should come in for an oil bath every year.  We find this excessive, though we appreciate their support for our bottom line.  But having seen a worn-out, not-lubricated Alfine-11 in the hands of another technician, I think it is time to step up and remind people of this occasional service need.  If you are putting the miles on your Nexus or Alfine hub, do yourself right and drop off your wheel with us.  This is a fairly easy, $40 service job (a little more if we need to remove and reinstall the wheel), which will keep those pricey parts running more happily.  Keep it in mind.


More self-promotion 

Besides getting TerraTrike’s dealer of the year (I think I mentioned that in the last ESR News), we were #3 in purchases from both TerraTrike and #4 from Catrike.  I could say “#3 in sales” but the rankings are based on how much they sold me, not how much trikey joy I actually spread to the people of the Earth.  Fortunately, since I’ve got such a horror of holding too much inventory, what I bought is pretty much what I sold.  I know this isn’t the case for all of my fellow dealers.

If you find me a little blasé about these honors you are right.  At the end of the day I’ve got my li’l bank account, a list of jobs to get done, and the memories of the people I’ve dealt with whom I hope got the best service I can give.  All else is fleeting.  I’m sure there is a haiku in that somewhere.

That’s all I can think of.

Come to my party!

Your old pal
Mike Librik, Easy Street Recumbents

The 2020 ‘Bent Event in Keller, TX

‘Bent Event?

“Recumbent” means to lay back.  ‘Bent is shorthand for recumbent, referring to the style of trike or bike that lets the rider lean back.  ‘Bents have been around since the 1930’s, but since they aren’t allowed in the usual bicycle races, very few people know about them. Those who do know about them are hooked. Not only are they more comfortable, they have many safety advantages as well.

Easy Street, the oldest recumbent trike and bike specialist in Texas (since 1996) will host their 2020 ‘Bent Event at their store in Keller at 2041 Rufe Snow Dr. #101 on March 21st from 9AM to 5PM.  For more information, call Mike at 512-789-4118.

What can you expect at the ‘Bent Event?
  • Lots of recumbents to try.  But then you can come by the shop any day and find lots of recumbents.  But this day we’ll also have stock from the Austin shop, new models coming in for spring, and….
  • Lots of recumbent riders.  Our salespeople are very nice.  But if you come to the ‘Bent Event you’ll meet a lot of recumbent enthusiasts with their personal rides. Talk to people like yourself, our recumbent community, not just the salespeople.  See an even wider assortment of models than we keep in the store.
  • Recumbent industry people.  Get insights from recumbent trike industry guests.
  • Join us for a ride.  You can always test ride on the beautiful John Barfield Trail, that connects right up to our shop.  Our community will be playing all day, and we invite you to take a ride.
  • Community ride Sunday morning.  Join us the following morning with your own bike as we ride out to breakfast.  We’ll have two rides: 11 miles out and back to Grapevine, and 7 miles out and back to NRH.  Both rides are primarily on trails, minimally on neighborhood streets on a quiet Sunday morning.
  • Deals!  Look for closeouts to 2019 stock.  Mike the owner will be there, and he might be in an agreeable mood to make some deals with local buyers.
Who rides recumbents?

Easy Street has been selling recumbents longer than anyone in Texas.  There are a few main types of customers whom we meet:

  1. Never much of a cyclist but wants to ride.  Lots of people never like the hunched up position of upright bikes, and never got comfortable with balancing one.  But there is this beautiful trail by their house.  Their kids or spouse or friends ride.  They want to enjoy cycling, but they don’t want to deal with that bicycle.  These people are a silent majority, and they often buy casual trikes.
  2. Love cycling, falling out of love with that bicycle.  Many customers are committed cyclists who love the activity and the sport, but for some reason no longer get along with the traditional upright bike.  Often it is an injury or a disease.  To keep doing what they love they need to re-think their ride.  These people often buy fast bikes, fast trikes, or sport-touring bikes
  3. Love cycling, but not the balancing.  The committed cyclist who isn’t getting any younger and is more concerned about falls.  These folks tend to get fast trikes or sport-touring trikes
  4. Wounded warriors.  Easy Street has partnered with the Veterans Administration to provide trikes for wounded soldiers.  These hard-chargers aren’t planning to let injuries keep them from fitness goals.  These people also get fast trikes or sport-touring trikes.
  5. Wise beyond their years.  This is often a younger crowd with an interest in long-distance cycling.  Riding such as ultra-marathon, self-supported touring, century rides, or charity rides, would all be better on a more comfortable and safe bike. Some people just have enough sense to see that.  These whippersnappers get sport-touring bikes, sport-touring trikes, or fast bikes.
  6. I wish my (spouse/parent/kid/friend) rode with me.  Some customers are perfectly happy with their regular bicycle, but they know and love someone whom they’d like to bring along.  Often these friends or family are from type (1) above.  We usually set these folks up with sport-touring trikes.
  7. All the other non-conformists. Recumbent riders are a laid-back crowd who don’t have a lot to prove to anyone.  This makes for a pretty nice clientele.  We’ve got ‘bents for all kinds of riders on our main products page.

Shop news, December 2019

The bike biz is as it always has been – fun, but littered with broken dreams. Every year many shops start, many fail, and the rest struggle along in an often crowded market where no one makes much money. Many mainstream bike shops still avoid recumbents, citing the complexity of the product and wide-ranging peculiarity of the clientele.  But this complexity insulates ‘bent specialists from the competition with online sales and the “commoditization of the product.” Yes, you can often buy popular parts and accessories from England for less than I pay my distributors for them.  I’ll bet some of you already do. Fortunately for me, it takes some creativity to get some stuff to work on these wacky frames.  So the geeky recumbent specialist remains more essential than the iconic bike shop bro’.

I’ll grant that Easy Street and I had it fairly easy for a while. 1996 – 2007, the really early years, was a lot of sleepy part-time dilettantism. 2008-2015 saw steady growth of sales and paid down a big chunk of my mortgage on my tiny central Austin house. I’ve seen other regional ‘bent specialists come and go. But since 2016 the Texas market has become more crowded. One recent competitor flared and waned, but three other specialists now operate in Texas. Some of these are better built to survive than others, but that depends on how quickly they adapt, or can adapt, to realities of space, staff, and inventory. The same goes for me. I’ve had to run leaner this year, reduce space, squeeze staff, and spend more time in the trenches than, say, writing newsletters, if you hadn’t noticed.

Some years back I took some personality assessment for managers, which clarified something I already knew. I’m not a leader type with a defined vision and a ruthless will to realize it. I’m more inclined to develop those around me while cementing their loyalty through nurture. This is how I managed to spawn the Fort Worth shop and set Micah working on a long leash. Micah started with strong technical skills and enthusiasm for the product, greater than mine, and is growing his organizational skills. My Austin sales manager, Ron Blackman, whom many of you now know, came in with a good grasp of, and background in, retail management, but only passing involvement with the product. Now he sounds increasingly like the recumbent wizard that a shop needs to anchor its bona fides.

The long term goal is a mutually-supporting network of experts levering the buying power of several local and regional markets to keep product and support in reasonable range of more Texans. Shops will be no bigger or lavish than they need, and product selection will stay focused. It is hard to say how long this process will take. Opening the Fort Worth store took more out of my spiritual and financial marrow than I let on. I still have more experience than the people I work with, but I don’t expect that to last. This isn’t “Mike’s Trikes,” after all, but Easy Street, a brand that represents stable consistent service, built to last.

Product updates, December 2019

I haven’t done a roundup on these product updates for a while.  Sorry if this is old news to some.  Let me know if you have any questions or need clarifications.  I’ll try to get some images added to this, but having sat on this info long enough I think I’ll just get it posted!

Catrike product updates:
  • All of Catrike’s “big rear wheel” models, the DuMont, 700, 559 and Expedition, now use 12mm thru-axles to hold the rear wheel, making the rear end stiffer than the older 10mm quick release axles. This is good for people who want to corner hard.  It is not so good for people looking for alternative transmission options like internally-geared hubs or e-motor wheels.  These will no longer fit the frame unless designed for 12mm thru-axles.  However, I can fit a Rohloff $peedhub to 12mm dropouts, if your tastes run that direction.
  • Catrike announced a Bosch electric-motor option and it should be available this spring. I expect it will initially be only available on newly-ordered models, but we should have conversion parts available soon after.  Since the motor mounts at the crankset, not the rear wheel, the 12mm thru-axle from above isn’t a limitation.
  • Catrike has discontinued the fully-suspended Road model.  The DuMont is now their only suspended model.
  • The lower-priced Eola arrived earlier this year. To be honest, I’m yet to find the ideal pitch for this trike. We sell a lot of Catrikes, but have only sold one Eola in both shops (which was then returned for an upgrade). Ironically, it isn’t that this is a weak model.  Catrikes are such a good value that you can get a lot more Cat by spending not much more money.
TerraTrike product updates:
  • These people just can’t sit still. Besides a lot of changes in their main lineup, they are constantly coming out with new accessories. If you’ve been hankering after the Ergo-Luxe seat available on new ICE trikes, you should check out TT’s new padded seat cover.
  • TT has replaced the paradigm-shifting Rover with the new Maverick. This trike resembles a Rambler in construction, cutting some weight. Prices are in line with what we saw on the Rover. The Rover will still be available in its tandem version, which can still be converted into a single trike. Sadly, there will not be a NuVinci N330 shifting system option on the Maverick. We sold lots of N330 Rovers and plan to bring in our own N380 kits to keep this system available. As an easy to use shifting system it had great synergy with the Rover, as it will with the Maverick.
  • The Rambler will change considerably. It will take the Rover’s place as the 400-pound capacity trike. The trike will come standard with 24 inch wheels all around, and the track width will widen out to make the high-sitting trike safer and allow tighter turning with those big front wheels.
  • The Gran Tourismo will evolve into the GTS (I do regret when real names get replaced by abbreviations), shedding some weight and refining the design. TT has always done a good job of making trikes that are affordable but not cheap, and they are challenging themselves by pushing into the faster realm of “sport-touring” trikes. Will they succeed? I’m yet to see a TT that really sells and performs like the Catrike Expedition or ICE Sprint. But then Jeff Wiswell’s crew should never be underestimated.
  • Faster? Indeed, TT will be releasing the Spyder, an attempt at a really fast trike on par with the 700 or VTX. There will be an aluminum and carbon version. Expect to see all this new stuff at the ‘Bent Event. This wouldn’t be the first carbon fiber frame TT has made, but few remember the Edge built back around 2007 with its through-the-frame chain routing.
  • The Boost Kit, which is a Bosch e-motor retrofit, is still available, and now a Boost Kit for the Rover/Rover tandem frame will be available this spring.
  • Easy Street has been named TerraTrike’s “Dealer of the Year” for 2019. Thanks guys! I’ve been selling this product for 20 years now, and they’ve already planted a tree in my honor at the company headquarters. I’m looking forward to taking the plaque down to my local bar and enjoying some free drinks.
Bacchetta product updates:
  • The bike company that has aligned itself with ultra-marathon performance and speed has started making a trike. The CT2.0 (abbreviations… don’t get me started) debuted this year.  Production had a gradual rollout and a few hiccups, but is now rolling. If you know someone who likes to ride fast but is starting to encounter balance problems, this is the trike to see. Our experiments have not shown it to be significantly faster than the ICE VTX, but it takes the prize in looks.
  • 10-speed? Nah, who needs it? Bacchetta’s bike models are switching from 3×9 shifting systems to 2×11 systems, keeping up with the fashion. I’m sad to see those 3-speed cranksets fade from use, with their huge gearing range. You could mainly leave the chain on the middle ring and not have to think about the 1st and 3rd gears. Now I have to cook up some other kind of gear-simplification advice for my more techno-newbie customers.
Inspired Cycle Engineering product updates:
  • No new models, but some rearrangement of names. We quit stocking the FullFat, which was a striking trike to look at but didn’t sell that well.  It’s been replaced in our showroom with an Adventure HD dripping with techno-gizmos to beat the band. Come sit in the generous HD seat, with the posh Ergo-Luxe cushion, zip off with the Shimano STEPS electric assist automatic shifting Alfine 8-speed hub, yada yada. As usual for ICE the package comes together elegantly and we’ve sold a few of these.
  • The VTX remains the best established racing trike. The Sprint-X is the fastest folding trike you can buy. The Adventure is still the ultimate luxury casual trike.
  • I’m still annoyed that the electric-motor option is not available as a retrofit, but only available on new purchases. Hmmph.
AZUB product updates:
  • The Czechs continue to make this line of durable touring bikes and trikes. They probably miss out on some share of the market by not trying to make stuff meant to be “fast.” They build for the honorable tradition of piling it with luggage and setting off across the steppes of Asia, which is great. But most people who spend money on premium ‘bents are looking to be fast, or at least pretend they are. AZUB did offer a dual 700C wheel (road bike size wheel) version of their MAX bike at Recumbent Cycle Con this year. It is now in Keller being set up for a buyer.
Lightning product updates:
  • My favorite olde-timey steel framed racing recumbent is the venerable P-38, made by this little craftsman operation in California. The latest from Tim and crew is a full embrace of the disk brakes on the lower-end Phantom and flagship P-38 bikes. Of course you can still get a P-38 set up however you want, but the frames all come with disk brake mounting tabs.
Electronic shifting:

We’ve had more opportunity to play with Shimano and SRAM electronic shifting systems, which are lightweight, simple, and mostly reliable. Like any electronic gizmo they sometimes don’t do quite what they are supposed to and the fix is generally a part replacement more than tuning. So, like hydraulic brakes, they work great, better than mechanical stuff, but if there is a problem then it becomes a matter for experts with special tools. This has been our experience with tubeless tires as well – lots of benefits, but more complication in setting it up and getting it going.


In electric assist motors, we remain impressed with both Shimano, who supply kits for ICE and AZUB, and with Bosch, who supply TerraTrike and Catrike. Both systems require special frame parts and don’t allow for a front derailer.  But they allow for internally-geared hubs and aren’t hindered by 12mm thru-axles or any other inventiveness on the rear wheel. They are also both more expensive, but well engineered and full supported, which I value highly.

We were warming up to The Copenhagen Wheel e-motor system, despite some limitations on what models it could fit on, with its simple set up and lightweight, integrated parts. But then the company suddenly went kaput, leaving one customer momentarily in the lurch. We’ve installed a few other brands, some Bafang, UT Custom, and E-bike Outfitters.  These all worked once we finished with them, but all had some part needing replacement. I’m not yet sold on any of them.


Lastly, my technical wizard Austin sales manager Ron has created an LED flagpole system. After some struggles with parts choices, trike frame variety, and just financing the parts orders, we’ve now released the system. It costs $214.95, but comes with a rugged mount, a rechargeable battery, and powerful set of modern COB LED lights.  If you recall the LED “whip” system we had before I can tell you that this is much more powerful for about the same price.  We checked out some cheaper systems, down to about $60, but they were just not up to the job.

See a cute video on Facebook here, and Ron’s video from a Christmas parade in Temple here.

2020 Rally and ‘Bent Event, Saturday March 21 and Sunday March 22nd

2020 Rally and ‘Bent Event, Saturday March 21 and Sunday March 22nd

For our 2020 rally and spring event, ESR will develop on an earlier concept and borrow from the Heart of Texas Recumbent Rallies we’ve done in recent years. The new ‘Bent Event will be a combination of a public demo day, where the recumbent-curious can come and try out the new spring lineup, and a rally, where the enthusiasts can share their love of this activity and the culture around it.

Saturday, March 21, at the shop in Keller, just outside Fort Worth:
  • We’ll actively promote the event with the surrounding communities in the DFW area to bring in the crowds.
  • I’ll have a lot of new models from our suppliers.
  • We’ll have manufacturers’ rep’s on hand to help show off all the neat stuff. Currently TerraTrike will be on hand. I’m yet to go after others, but that will happen.
  • We’ll be doing test rides around our test ride space, and down the Red Carpet Trail, connecting to the Little Bear Creek / John Barfield Trail system
  • Other fun stuff that I haven’t thought of yet

But that is just part of it.

Registration will open for a “mini-rally” that day, which includes:
  • VIP status as a Recumbent Ambassador at the ‘Bent Event. Bring you ride, bring your recumbent homies, and be a recumbent elder statesman to help guide and energize the crowd that arrives. I’m all about giving people someone to interact with who isn’t a salesman. Come give the crowd someone to deal with on their level and show them what the culture is about.
  • VIP lounge, snacks, and other perks
  • After the main event, we’ll meet for dinner and talks, a mini-‘Bent University, for those who are familiar with that part of our former HOT Rallies.
  • I might come up with other ideas.
  • I will probably not have an opportunity to put on the chicken suit this year. 🙁
Then, Sunday March 22
  • Rally registrants will get overnight bike/trike storage at the shop, if needed
  • Meet up for a ride down our fabulous trail system. I’m still designing the route, but I’d anticipate a 1 hour ride, a stop for food at a restaurant (that will be expecting us) and a ride back. Anyone wanting to turn around sooner can, since the ride would mainly on trail except maybe at the very end.
  • This ride will be open to everyone in the community, so I’d expect a mix of recumbents and not-so-recumbents.

Why the change? I need to get more exposure for the Keller shop, so I need a public event. The Rally is great, but it doesn’t reach new people and, honestly, to do it up the way I’d think proper was a lot of work. Though it broke even on paper, I could never compensate for the amount of time my Minister of Culture put in to organizing it.

I’ll probably bug you with more announcements as this event approaches, but you can also keep up by going to the HOT Rally Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/HOTRecumbentRally/

A Bird Walk, Sat. at 8:00 a.m., has been added …

A blue birdSo … Saturday, March 2nd, is our biggest Rally day and now … it’s bigger!   One of our neighbors at the Business Park is Wild Birds Unlimited, run by owner, Donna Berry.  It is just a lovely shop with a whole variety of Nature-focused items as well as, specifically, bird seed and all things birdie.

If you want to start your Saturday with a Bird Walk before all those pesky recumbents take over the nearby trails beginning about 9:00 a.m., join her and others at 8:00 a.m. for a chance to see and have identified for you the local bird population.  When asked which birds you might get to see, she mentioned cardinals, chickadees, woodpeckers, and a Yellow-Crowned Night Heron has been sighted in the neighborhood.  Meet the group  at the Wild Birds Unlimited shop, around the corner from Easy Street and next to another exciting store you might want to visit which is all about fish and aquariums.

If we are lucky, Donna be contributing a raffle prize or coupons … we have our fingers crossed.

2019 HOT Rally schwag

Having gone to so much work to design this stuff, I think I’ll take a moment to show you the fabulous items that will dispensed to those lucky recumbent riders with enough taste and discernment to come to my big tricycle party.

  1.  Rally-themed Purple Sky Flag.  Our first custom flag designed with help from the multi-talented Raina at TerraCycle:This lovely number features our HOT logo cowboy mingled deftly with our ESR logo wheel, spangled with reflective stars and of course a Texas icon, just to get everyone’s ego inflated.  Safety with style!
  2. Rally t-shirt.  Everyone needs another t-shirt, right?  This one will be a silver-gray District brand t-shirt, which we brought in a sample of to make sure it was of good quality.  I, for one, do not do cheap in this regard.  The front features our new chicken roping graphics which I personally find cute and maybe someone else does too:
    The back of the shirt will be where all our groovy sponsors will have their logos crammed.  We’ll also have those badass Shootout trikes.  I may be the only one here who remembers the 2010 Rally shirts, which I borrowed on for that Shootout image:
    Not like anyone can see the back of your shirt when you are riding your recumbents
  3. Goodie bag.  We mainly used the shirt images for the bag, but since Catrike sponsored the bag we gave them an extra bonus impression:

Pretty cool, huh?  Of course the schwag is just a bonus.  People mostly come for the Easy-ritos and the guy in the chicken suit.

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