Summer 2010 Newsletter
What is a Hydrobiker?
Definition of a HydroBiker = one who pedals on water. May be man, woman, child or pet. Hydrobiking may result in smiling, laughter, a sense of well-being. One can ride singular for the lone adventurer or in tandem with your favorite partner.
What have you done with your HydroBike? Send us your favorite HydroBike pictures or adventures and be featured in our next newsletter. Send pictures or stories to info@FunWatercraft.com
Ray's Maintenance Tip
Now that you’ve gotten your HydroBike out on the water, it’s important to evaluate how it’s performing and to do a little PREVENTIVE MAINTENACE. The HydroBike has proven over the past 19 years to be very low maintenance; however, it’s important to consult your "Owner's Manual" for our recommended service intervals that are guaranteed to extend the life of your HydroBike for many years. It is imperative to check the drive train oil every year and to change it at least every other year and to oil the outside chain frequently. This will keep the drive train running smoothly and quietly for many years to come. You can purchase the FunWatercraft eco-friendly drive train oil and chain oil by
The difference between a little preventive maintenace and none
Interview with Hydrobiker Tom MobergIn general most HydroBikes are used for recreational use, a little exercise here, a relaxing jaunt there, undeniably a fantastic way to get out on the water whatever the purpose. However, we at FunWatercraft do come across a story or two of a HydroBike owner who takes water excursions to an entirely new level. Meet Tom Moberg, an avid athlete, a lifelong academic, and a spirited adventurer. Tom’s adventures span from hiking coast to coast in Northern England to participating in international cycling races in Morocco and Australia. There is no doubt that Tom, a retired professor, is ready and willing for any adventure. Tom’s HydroBike story began when he tested out a HydroBike from a man named Jack in St. Louis. After one test drive, he was hooked! In 2003, he celebrated his birthday with a brand new HydroBike, a birthday present from his wife.
Tom now lives in Fargo, ND. He started out by taking his HydroBike out on rivers and lakes for short excursions and then eventually started taking some multiday trips on it. Tom state, “Not counting lake riding, I’ve done trips on the Red River (200 miles), the Missouri River (70 miles), the Red Lake River (70 miles), and the Mississippi River (765 miles).” He rides both upstream and downstream with ease and he can maneuver the HydroBike through the wakes of boaters who decide to test the waters around him. The upright positioning of the HydroBike allows Tom to take in an enormous amount of scenery on his rides. Tom did note that the HydroBike can lead to some saddle sores and numbness after riding 20-30 miles a day. However, he has tinkered around with his HydroBike gears and seats to make it work for his long distance touring needs.
Riding the HydroBike elicits attention from people along the banks of the river who look on with curiosity. In all of the miles he has ridden, he’s only met two people who have seen a HydroBike, one of which actually worked for Ray Buresch who invented the HydroBike. One generous member of a Vietnam Veterans group actually invited Tom to join in on a picnic and told him that seeing him pedal down the river thrilled and inspired him. It was a proud moment nonetheless for Tom, I am sure. What are some of his favorite moments on his most recent HydroBike tour?
“It’s hard to think of single favorite moment. One glib answer is the first hour or so of each day when everything is fresh, nothing hurts very much, and the day’s possibilities seem infinite. But in general, these river trips are a grand continuum of new sights, sounds, places, and people, with an overlay of adventure and potential challenge and even danger. A river trip is a wonderful opportunity to be responsible for almost nothing in the “real world” but to be almost totally responsible for one’s self.
On a more particular level, I always enjoy seeing the tow boats, especially when one goes by my campsite in the middle of the night with its searchlights sweeping the banks, the engines chugging and humming, and the huge barges swishing along like an immense apparition floating through the dark. It’s like some kind of huge “mother ship” from an alien world. I also like going through the locks, where there is always a sense of excitement and energy in having those huge machine systems working just for me to carry my little self-propelled craft down the river.
One memorable experience on the last trip was “racing” a tow boat with a full complement (3x5) of barges for nearly 8 miles down the river. We started even as I pulled out of my lunch stop and the tow came alongside me. I was hoping I could get far enough ahead of the tow that I could lock through before it arrived at the lock so I could save a couple hours of waiting time. When I called ahead to the lockmaster on my radio to check the locking queue, he said if I got there ahead of the tow, I could go through. I rode as fast as I could (5-6 mph) outside the shipping channel, trying to be very careful not to get directly in front or behind the tow. Most of the time I was moving faster than the tow and nearly got ahead of it, but each time something held me back – a head wind and waves, weeds on my propeller, a thrown chain. At one point, a female crew member came out on the deck of the tow boat, waved her arms, and cheered me on. (Or maybe she was saying “What are you – an idiot?”) In any case, I finally slowed down, dropped back, and took my turn locking through after the tow was done. But I had a very exciting ride for a couple hours.”
Tom is able to combine his experience, gear and skills he has used on his other adventures when he takes his HydroBike tours. He packs his lightweight gear onto the decks of the HydroBikes which enables him to camp along the river when he is done riding for the day. He takes good maps and knows about the river in which he is touring. He knows how to fix things and brings extra parts and tools. He watches the weather. Some of Tom’s advice for HydroBike touring, ”… Keep reminding yourself to enjoy the journey, the unexpected, the challenging parts as well as the easy parts, the people you meet, the new sights you see, and the ever changing, fascinating world of the river. (And feel free to contact me for more free advice.)” When asked if more HydroBike tours on in his future, Tom responded, “ I’m hoping to ride another 150 -200 miles on the Mississippi River this fall. So far, I’ve ridden the Mississippi River from Bemidji, MN, to Clinton, IA, and would eventually like to get at least as far down the river as St. Louis. Beyond that, there’s a world full of interesting rivers out there…”Moberg, Tom, taken from written interview July 2010
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