Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Recumbent Trikes with The RoadQueen

The RoadQueen's hot pink ICE Sprint 26"

 We finally took a break from farm chores and projects and spent a day on our recumbent trikes.  It has been a long time since we ventured out on our three wheelers so we thoroughly enjoyed a lazy Saturday on the B & O Trail in Richland County, Ohio. 

Temperatures were ideal at about 70 degrees and other than a late afternoon passing shower conditions were great along the greenways.

With the stability of three wheels camera work while underway is safe and easy.

Spring is one of my favorite times to be outside on a bike. The air smells clean and fresh and blossoming trees and wildflowers along the trail provide fragrance as well as great views.

Since owning and riding a recumbent trike I've discovered an attribute of this type of cycle that really makes the platform shine.  If I'm feeling like racing the clock or hammering out an intense workout my Catrike 700 is up to the task.  On the other hand if I want to spend the day at a relaxing 10 mph the trike does that with aplomb. 

There are racks available to transport a pair of trikes on a car but since I have a pickup truck portaging to the trail is easy as pie.

B & O Trail
Ride Time:    2:59
Distance:    30.54 Miles
Average Speed:    10.22 mph

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Composting System for Small Horsefarms

This is one of the first projects the RoadQueen and I took on last year when we were getting our horse farm up and running.  While she is the equine expert I simply enjoy building things and being a gardener I can appreciate a system that yields wagons full of cured compost for my garden.

We found plans and theory of operation for this system from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension and the Oklahoma State University. Here is the pdf. 

Some of the materials we already had on hand. These were panels of heavy stock fencing, T-posts and a pile of pea gravel to make a raised base to keep the manure pile up off the ground. To cover the gravel we laid heavy one inch thick rubber stall mats to make forking and shoveling easier.  I fabricated corner brackets to connect and stiffen the 2 x 12 frame from 1/16" aluminum.

We started adding to the bin right away from stall clean outs and paddock area.  The key is to continue to add to the pile mixing in fresh manure to the older stuff working towards the open end of the bin.  After 11 months we had the bin about three quarters full.

Over time microorganisms and bacteria worked their magic and now I am forking out beautiful black gold to fortify my garden soil.

Unfortunately we don't have a tractor with a front end loader yet so all the lifting is done by hand and I use a small garden tractor and cart to transport the compost to my garden.  While shoveling shit is not the least bit glamorous or fun I'll still take it over the boring repetition of lifting weights in a gym.