This machine, called the Eagle, could climb hills with fervor and also go down curbs as well as stairs. It also took away the danger of taking the sometimes fatal header that happened frequently on traditional HiWheel bikes.
They could also be used to descend in style as well as comfort. The first mountain bike of the day, they also went down curbs as well as stairs.
Because the Eagle cyclist does not pedal the same wheel he is steering, he can ankle. What this means is that he can take take advantage of the full pedal stroke by pulling up on as well as pushing down on the pedals.
(As stills from 2009 trip run)
He did the ride by himself because his support vehicle and crew fell apart during the financial meltdown that took place as he was finishing his book, “How America can Bike and Grow Rich” during the fall and winter of 2008 - 2009.
Martin’s ride ended in Salt Lake because electric storms kept him inside for 17 of the 34 days he was on the road. Besides depleting his funds, such unprecedented weather also threw him too far off schedule for him to keep any of the meetings with Mayor’s that he had planned during what was supposed to be the 7th annual National Mayors’ Ride.
Along the way however, he did become the first man to pedal over the Sierras made all the more challenging by all the up and down climbing he had to do. He pedaled many thousands of feet daily in Nevada,which is surprisingly the most mountainous state in the Union.
He also pedaled in and out of Lake Tahoe and from almost 7000 feet descended into Carson, NV, for well over half an hour at 30 and 40 mile an hour speeds with his legs crossed over the steer tube in front of him.
Here he is practicing that technique on a Palo Alto hill.
(below excerpt runs as talk about)
Krieg says that the biggest challenge of his ride to the birthplace of Mormonism was biking non stop for 14 hours (you can’t coast on a HiWheel) across the Salt Flats to Salt Lake City. A 102 mile distance, not only was there no shade, but there were no services such as food, lodging, water or restrooms. Just grind it out pedaling. With cars passing at 95 mph and temps in the high 90’s, the head and side winds that gusted as high as 40 mph were the least of his troubles.
Working hard to keep hydrated, he drank several gallons of hot Gatorade becuase, at the time he knew no other way to keep his urine from turning red due to lost electrolytes. He also ate well over a dozen energy bars as well as all the other food he was able to bring. The 7 mile an hour road speed that carrying his own gear slowed him down to greatly belabored his breathing and made the flat sameness of scenery feel like an uphill grind the whole way.
The world he passed through glared back at him with first blinding white and then dead lifeless reds and browns. All this ended at one of the biggest truck stops in the western US, where he was stuck between two freeways for the next two days. It wsa here that he was left to eat truck stop food because even more violent storms arrived soon after he got there.
When he did get to Salt Lake City, a short ways away, Mayor Ralph Becker, who had expected him many weeks before, was not even in town. Nor would he be for the next ten days……..
If the Busycle had been with Martin, as had been planned, he could have at least given public demonstration rides. And that is the safety net for his 2010 journey.
(Show stills & video of Busycle)
*** snip ***
Note: (11/4/09) After we recorded the above, I discovered that by now being able to ankle with the Eagle, I can rest my arms a little when doing long uphill ascents. I don't always have to be out of the saddle, leaning far over the bars, to keep the front end down. What this means is that I can take one hand off the bar for pictures and recorder notes if the road grade is not too steeply pitched.
Next, I look forward to dialing in the shoes that will be the perfect fit between the pedal clips that I need for this....