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We'll be providing lots of entertaining updates about our bikes and trikes and life here at ICE.
The ICE team
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 03:44 AM
In July 2012 my husband Mark and I indulged ourselves with three whole weeks off work to tour the Netherlands. I rode my ICE Sprint and Mark rode his Thorn Sherpa bike. Our tour was circular; starting from home in Kent, England, taking a ferry to France then cycling clockwise through France, Belgium and the Netherlands before returning via an inland route for a 775 mile round trip.
We hit the road very early at 5.40am. The weather was overcast, windy and warm. After an uneventful ferry crossing to France we cycled along the coast through Dunkerque to our first campsite in Malo Les Bains. Our first day on the road had gone well. I was pleased to have cycled 61 miles which is the most I have ever cycled on my trike. It had been a nice comfortable ride, and it was a relief to be free from saddle, shoulder, and neck pain which I suffer from if I ride an upright bike for a long period.
On the second day we crossed the border into Belgium, following the coastal road until we reached the Dutch border on day three. Although the border was unmarked we knew we were in the Netherlands because the cycle paths were suddenly marked with the numbers of the Knooppuntroutes – the Dutch system of cycle routes.
We continued along the coast path taking ferries to cross the many estuaries and rivers that flow into the North Sea. Another first was traversing the Delta Project crossings. These are a series of defences built after the floods of 1953 which destroyed 47,000 homes and caused the tragic loss of 1836 lives. It was strange to cycle along these causeways with the sea on both sides of us. We then reached the Maeslantkering barrier; 22m high surge doors designed to protect Rotterdam and the surrounding area from the sea during high tides and storms.
By the sixth day on the road we were feeling a bit tired. We decided to slow the pace and have a rest day in Delft. We strolled through the open-air market, sampling the cheeses, sweets and ‘drop’ (liquorice). We bought kibbeling for lunch (deep fried cod parings dusted with paprika and served with mayonnaise) and strawberries for dessert. Later we explored the new church with its beautiful new and old stained glass windows, organ with 3000 pipes and William of Orange’s tomb. The views from the top of the tower were stunning and my legs turned to jelly when I looked at the market 108 metres below.
Over the next few days we continued along the coast, with a few mini-adventures and chance meetings along the way, until we reached Amsterdam. We had booked three nights through Air bnb, an organisation where house owners rent rooms to guests. Our accommodation was a self-contained room in the owner’s courtyard. It was well equipped, comfortable and reasonably priced.
While in Amsterdam we visited a diamond-cutting factory, took an excellent bus tour, visited the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank museum, which was very moving and I had tears in my eyes several times for what they went through and their fate. We took an excellent boat trip and admired the beautiful 17th centuary buildings with their many styles of gables.
From Amsterdam we headed inland for the return leg of our journey. We passed through Gouda to the Belgian border, which was marked with a chocolate shop and a frites stall. We stopped in Ghent, which is a very charming city, then headed on to Tyne Cot military cemetery, the largest British war cemetery in the world and the resting place of 11,954 soldiers of the British Commonwealth. When we walked in and saw the thousands and thousands of rows of white headstones we were totally overwhelmed. I could not comprehend the conditions these soldiers lived and fought and I was glad to be able to pay my respects to the people who we owe so much “Lest we forget”.
We left Tyne Cot in a thoughtful, sombre mood and cycled to Ypres. That evening we went to the Menin Gate to watch ‘The Last Post’, which has been played there every evening since 1928 in honour of the 250,000 soldiers of the then British Empire and Allied forces who died in the Ypres Salient battlefields during the First World War. The buglers played the Reveille, and then the British National Anthem. I had tears in my eyes, as did many people.
After those very moving experiences, we reflected on our three-week tour. We will remember the rain; the beaches and the beautiful countryside with crop-filled fields, dykes, and windmills; the Flemish architecture; Van Gogh paintings; and the feelings evoked at The Anne Frank House, Tyne Cot and The Last Post. We will also remember the many friendly and helpful cycle tourists we met along the way, the families, the couples and solo riders.
We made the return ferry crossing to England from Calais, and then cycled the remaining 42 miles home. When we got indoors I made tea and we collapsed on the sofa. Later that evening we started making plans for our next tour…
A day-by-day report of Julie’s tour can be read here
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 03:40 AM
The ICE Vortex is a new breed of recumbent trike. Super-charged with technical expertise and specialist knowledge, the ICE Vortex has been heralded with star reviews. A narrow-track super-light frame carries performance components and cutting edge technologies to deliver an unparalleled speed machine.
Riders have been sharing their experiences riding the ICE Vortex. With an average customer rating of 5 out of 5, we’re proud to share their comments.
When you’re after a performance trike, you have to look to a performance company to deliver.
“I have been doing research on trikes for many years and ICE does have the best that I have seen.” Chris, Canada
“As with other ICE trikes, the engineering features are superb, and well coordinated for the purpose of this machine…the Vortex is all about quality performance.” John USA
Ultimately the ICE Vortex is about speed, and riders find that this trike undoubtedly delivers.
“I've done 29.5mph sustained for 2 miles on flats and have hit low 40's on many hills. Just don't have anything big enough and long enough here in MD. Average speed for most rides 14 to 16mph a solid 3mph faster than the '11 Vortex.” Steven, USA
“It is a fun and fast riding experience.” John USA
“…if you like to go fast then this is the trike. Larger back wheel and easily cruises at 40k.” Chris, Canada
“it's FAAASST and corners like its on rails!” John, UK
When you’re moving fast, you need to have precise steering and reliable stability. The ICE Vortex cruciform geometry provides stability and nimble handling even at speed.
“The famously predictable ICE indirect steering just seems to keep getting better with each new model, and is at the top of the game on the Vortex +.”John USA
“It turns HARD, PRECISE, and SURE. End of story.” Steven, USA
The Air-Pro seat, a hard-shell anatomically designed seat, supports the rider through aggressive cornering and provides a firm platform to pedal against. Angled low, reclining down to 25°, it minimises frontal area and reduces aerodynamic drag.
The ICE Vortex+ is fitted with highly advanced racing components and customised features to efficiently convert pedalling effort into forward motion.
“The Vortex plus readily demonstrates how all these performance features come together.” John USA, who competes in Ironman and triathlon on his ICE Vortex+.
All elements of the trike have been carefully considered and honed, bringing the ICE Vortex+ at under 29lbs (10.4kgs).
“The trike is light!…WEIGHT DOES MATTER. Don't let anyone tell you differently.” Steven, USA
Sleek, beautiful and incredibly fast. The ICE Vortex has it all.
“Fast, fun, comfortable trike with very sexy lines; top of line customer support! What's not to like? Get one now!” Lanier, USA
Full customer reviews are on the ICE website. Click here and go to the User Reviews tab.
Full customer reviews are on the ICE website. Click here and go to the User Reviews tab.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 06:52 AM
I am riding through the deep valley of Wasdale, the lofty, distinct and huge forms of Great Gable and Scafell Pike towering ahead. This is the birthplace of British rock-climbing, my homeland and the mountains where strangers fought to save my life.
Two years ago I fell 40 meters when climbing here. I was severely concussed, suffered nerve damage and broke most of the bones on the right side of my body. I owe my life to the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team and crew from RAF Boulmer who rescued me and the staff at West Cumberland General Hospital who continue to help repair my injuries. I wanted to do something out of respect for these people, my friends and family who have supported me through the difficult on-going recovery.
My good friend James 'Yurty' Pierce had had a trike for years – he’d ridden it 4000km around the Baltic already – and he could see that it would be an ideal way to ‘get out there’. I liked it; it was more nourishing for the soul than the gym, I could ride even though I couldn’t walk, and I could go out with my dog Bodhi – just her and I into the woods. A little piece of me came back when I rode.
So, on Saturday 6th October I set off on a 200 mile coast to coast ride to thank my rescuers and raise awareness of their work. Bodhi came too, and my brother John and his dog Jeb. Mum and best friend Mike were the support crew, and along the route I was joined by friends and well-wishers.
Physically this had been the most difficult endurance challenge I had ever undertaken, even before my disabilities. All in all it went exceptionally well but to keep going took a huge amount of positivity and support. The sheer generosity of people we met was humbling. Not just in donations, but also food and accommodation.
Riding into the finish at Wasdale Head with a peloton of riders behind me was overwhelming. I rounded the final corner to see a huge crowd of supporters, TV cameras and reporters. I finally realised the true scale of what I had accomplished.
It feels immensely powerful to have completed this ride. It raised money and awareness but also provided me with a focus, a goal, a reason to keep strong. As a climber I have become trained in overcoming what I thought previously impossible. This journey provided me with that.
In the next few months I am back in hospital to have corrective surgery on my leg, which will see me back in a wheelchair for a short while, and an external fixator fitted for 8 months. I did this challenge now whilst I had the mobility. The next year could be a lot worse.
I feel very proud that, given my circumstance, I am still in a position to be an inspiration to others. I have a strange feeling that this is merely the beginning.
To show your support for the men and women who saved my life, please make a donation by clicking here
Please visit my website for more information about my journey.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank my family and friends for their on-going support, and my sponsors