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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
Monday, July 23, 2012 - 06:11 AM
Summer is here and the riding season in full swing for us at ICE HQ. We regularly set off for a lunchtime ride around our local area; it’s a great way for us to chat, relax, get some fresh air and get the blood pumping. After a few years of leading these rides I’d like to share some tips I’ve picked up along the way.
Social cycle rides should be just that – social! Of course we know each other pretty well at ICE, but the last year has seen lots of new employees. Before their first ride I have a quick chat with the new-comer, checking out their experience, fitness and letting them know the plans. It’s important that they feel confident that they know the plan, and know they will be well supported by the whole group. Through the ride we all check on each other to make sure that everyone’s having a good time and help can be requested if needed.
Before we set off I check that everyone is well prepared and the trikes are up to the ride. I always wear a helmet and bright clothing, at least one rear-view mirror, a bottle of water and pack a windproof jacket. For evening rides I insist that everyone has working lights (front and rear) just in case it gets dark before our return. The important thing is to stay safe and not get caught out – take a tool kit and make sure that pumps fit valves!
I like to work out a route well in advance and share it with key riders. Some routes will have difficult sections, such as traffic interchanges or hills were people may get separated, so I plan safe catch-up stops so that everyone can re-group, and identify short-cuts to get us home quickly if necessary. On longer rides I’ll also plan rest-stops, sometimes at a café or pub, so that people have a chance to grab something to eat and reflect on the ride so far.
Riding in a close group is great for a social chat, but it also takes practice; staying together without clashing wheels requires consideration and communication. Try to pick up the pedalling rhythm of those around you and let people know before you change speed or direction.
How you let people know about changes in speed and direction is another skill to be mastered. Some cycling groups have hand signals that everyone passes up the line, but this is a problem if the hazard is behind the group. We are lucky to ride in quiet traffic conditions, so a clear shout from one rider to the next does the trick for us.
Some of these tips may seem dry and possible over-the-top, but they are important to keep the ride enjoyable for everyone. Riding with a group is more than just sociable; it’s an ideal way to learn more about the pastime, gain experience and confidence, and inspiration for your next big ride.
Monday, July 23, 2012 - 06:01 AM
On September 16th 2009 I had a bad fall while training for the Three Peaks Cyclocross Challenge; I broke my neck and suffered a C3/4 & 5 spinal cord injury. Totally paralysed from the neck down I spent 6 months in Pindersfields spinal unit at Wakefield, UK, but through sheer hard work from the doctors, physiotherapists and myself I am now able to take on challenges we never thought possible.
Two years after the accident that rendered me a tetraplegic I was cycling through some of the most spectacular scenery in England on the Coast to Coast challenge. I was fortunate to get funding from Regain, a charitable trust for sports tetraplegics, to buy an ICE Vortex. Now I wanted to give something back by raising money for the charity. I set off from the Georgian sea-side town of Whitehaven in the west, and cycled through the network of quiet country roads and pathways that span the fells, uplands, dales and moors of northern England, before reaching the old fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay on the east coast.
Flushed with success and wanting a new challenge I decided to attempt the LeJog. This is another coast to coast, but this time from Lands End, the most south-westerly point in Great Britain, to John O’Groats, the most north-easterly point, covering over 870 miles.
I set off from Lands End at the end of April 2012 on what turned out to be one of the wettest periods since records began. I slogged along the minor roads of southern England through the kind of persistent rain that seeps to the bone. After 5 days I arrived at my host family in Shropshire suffering from hypothermia and, ironically, dehydration. That evening I passed out.
I refused to give up, but it was still too cold for me to continue (my fingers don’t work in the cold) so I waited for a break in the weather. I set off again on the 23rd May with hot sun and a south westerly wind. I made super progress on this second leg, so much so that I managed to shave a day off my target time. Elated by my success at completing the challenge I decided to add a few extra miles to my journey and boarded a ferry to the Orkney Isles before returning to Aberdeen.
My adventures won’t stop here; I suppose it’s addictive. On the 17th July my daughter and I are cycling across France from Caen to Monte Carlo – watch this space for more news on my quest to raise money for Regain, the charity that helped me return to sports.
For more information on the sports charity that helped me, click here to visit their website
If you would like to help the charity with a donation, click here.
Monday, July 23, 2012 - 04:59 AM
All ICE trikes were hand built following the best English frame building traditions. Keeping the manufacturing in-house opened up all kinds of possibilities for customisation.
As a school boy Chris had fallen in love with the fancy lugged frames of Hetchens and Bates and decided to bring this level of craftsmanship to the recumbent world. Learning to make and braze intricate lugs in a frame proved to be somewhat of a steep learning curve. Concentration was everything as one slip with the oxy-acetylene torch or a file would render the frame as scrap metal. With their usual determination the ICE boys conquered the skills needed and fancy lugs were introduced across the range as an option. They proved very popular and they always prove to be a talking point.
Craftsmanship was ICE’s watch word and this helped promote the care and attention to detail built in every ICE trike. The second generation rear suspension was another result of ICE’s unique blend of Art and Engineering. The handmade lattice box section near the suspension pivot was used to minimise weight while maximising stiffness. It looked good and worked even better.
It was not just the frames that were produced to the highest uncompromising standards. The carbon fibre seat developed for the Micro was made in two halves. Hidden inside were the multiple tailored layers of carbon fibre and Kevlar each layer carefully designed to do a specific job. Each seat took days of meticulous work to make. They were very strong, very light, had built in ventilation channels and above all were absolutely beautiful to behold.
A nasty problem arose when Sturmey Archer’s factory was closed and the secure supply of the world’s best bicycle drum brakes was gone, fortunately ICE had sufficient stocks to keep them in production for a few months while plans to make disc brakes standard was pushed ahead. To that end ICE developed a hub specifically for its trikes by the time that was in production Sturmey Archer brake production had moved to Taiwan and once again excellent drum brakes were available. Now ICE Customers had even more choice.