David Harris' Vanguard

David was nice enough to send us an email in 2006 and I am finally getting it on the site. My apologies to David for the delay!

It's been about 15 years that I've had my RR (Vanguard), and I lost touch when Dick Ryan moved away. (I did get to try a Duplex once, but couldn't figure out how we would transport it for long rides! I wish we had some pictures of that day...)

Bike to Work day led me to web-search for some more 'local' bike stores, and that led me to look for info on Dick Ryan, which turned up the Ryan Owners Club. So, here I am! :-)

In January 2006, I *finally* got a job within 10 miles of home! In the past, I had some short-term work locations (8- and 16-miles, each way, respectively), but I also needed to carry a laptop and other tools in the panniers, and the 16-mile ride was over a busy freeway-over-freeway interchange to get there. Now, my ride is 3 miles each way, with one street-over-freeway crossing, and good bike lanes most of the way.

Three photos (attached) show me before participating in a "Unique Bicycles" 'float' in the annual Newark Days Parade. The other shows me in front of my new job, posing for Bike To Work photos.

My RR was the "Color of the year". It's stored in the garage, so the color has held up very well. I have non-amplified speakers mounted on the top bar of the seat, usually connected to an FM radio behind the seat on the lower strap near my left hand. More recently, I connect an iPod. On the top strp on the right side, behind the seat, I have a leather holster for a Ham Radio (VHF/UHF transciever*), with an L-bracket on the seat post supporting an antenna. This is connected to either a speaker/mic, or to a headset under my helmet (with the transmit control under the front-right edge of the seat, easily actuated with my hand on the right handlebar.

I'm still trying to solve the problem of mounting a headlight, so I'll be looking to see how other RR owners have adapted to this.

Best regards,

David K. Z. Harris, N6UOW

(* = for the technically curious, I use an ICOM handheld radio. Handheld radio transmitters are typically MUCH less picky about the antenna and ground plane than a mobile radio, and consume less power, so I don't need to also carry a heavy battery around. Using AA cells, I get 5-watts of power for a good riding day. (My new pack has NiMH cells, but has one extra, so I *still* get 5-watts!) Also, using a 1/2-wave antenna also minimizes the need for a ground plane, while providing a "lower angle of radiation". That make the signal pattern better for simplex, bike-to-bike communications, versus talking to hilltops.)

More info:

I was first introduced to recumbent bikes by following Steven K. Robert's early adventures (the first 10,000 miles) online on Compuserve. I later saw "version 2" of his bike at a Ham Radio meeting in Palo Alto, CA, after the first 10,000. Later, I worked for Telebit Corp, and found out Telebit was a donor of a pair of cellular-modems...I got to see version 3 of the bike while it was being developed, and Steve was living on-site at Sun Microsystems in Mountain View, CA. I spent 2 years in the Bikelab, doing most of the physical integration (OSI layers 1 and 2) of the audio and data systems on the "Winnebiko". (I even have a few Bikelab pictures...)

During some shakedown rides, I was driving as a 'chase car', taking video and photos as Steve, and Martin Gardener (on a "regular Ryan" (Vanguard?) rode on local streets. After one ride, into the local foothills to a nearby college, to display the bikes at a Ham flea market, Martin asked if I wanted to try riding his bike clear back to the lab(!), "if you'll trust me to drive your car". I handed him the keys, and followed Steve on a 9 mile ride home. It was AWESOME!

A year or two later, my grandmother died, and I received a tidy little gift of money from her estate. I could buy a really nice radio, or pay most of the cost of a new Vanguard. I picked the bike. It's now over a dozen years old, and still going strong.

I ordered my bike through Steve DesJardins, who I also met at the Bikelab. Steve DJ ran Eliptical Cycles, and sold a few different bikes. I got to try a T-38, and a few others, as well as Steve DJs Ryan before I made my choice. (Later, my wife and I got to try a Fleetwood with Steve DJ as well. What a ride, but it took the full width of a small street tomake a U-turn! We decided that we'd wait for the right color of the year, and then get my wife her own Ryan...but Dick moved back east, and I lost track...and my wife still rides a purple upright! :-(

Click to join ryanownersclub

Click to join ryanownersclub