Have BionX. Will Travel.

Before drawing the line under my tricycling adventure, I have one more commentary.

It’s a word about gear:


Whew! There. I said it. I finally got it off my chest.

Now, please let me tell you a bit more about how I rolled.

In the picture is a suitcase, a backpack and a computer case.

In that suitcase is everything I needed (wanted) to sustain me on this adventure. When I left Calgary on May 4th, the leaves were not even out on the trees. It was still cold. When I get back to Calgary in early September, the leaves will be about to turn autumn gold.

Meanwhile, the summer in Europe has been hot, with temperatures consistently over 30+C.

Thankfully, I brought clothing for these big temperature fluctuations. But all that clothing also has meant bulk and weight to cart around.

In the backpack is my camera equipment. As you likely know, I love taking pictures. If you have enjoyed the images I’ve posted with my stories, then bringing a pack full of camera and lenses was essential, not extravagant.

In the third case is a Lenovo computer. It was state of the art technology nearly a decade ago. In other words, it has still done everything I have needed it to do. But it has also weighed 5 times more than its 2017 equivalent.

Now, in the interests of full disclosure, I did mail home to Canada two separate boxes of items I realized I could do without.

That’s another hidden advantage to Plan B*. It helps you simplify; identify the essentials.

I’ve previously introduced you to the AZUB Ti – Fly recumbent tricycle. You’ve made each other’s acquaintance. A couple more facts about the Ti Fly, though. It conveniently folds down for transport in the back of a car trunk. It can be disassembled for packing into a soft sided bag.

AZUB also has a trailer onto which the soft sided shipping bag fits so the trike can be loaded and transported. The trike fits into the bag; the bag fits onto the trailer; and the loaded trailer can be hauled on a train, plane or bus as overweight luggage. Or it can be loaded into a car trunk or SUV.

Conveniently, the trailer can also be attached to the Ti – Fly and act as a cargo carrier. It was the perfect size to carry all my gear as well as spare tire, inner tubes, air pump, and security chains for locking down at night.

Needless to say, compared to most cyclists, transporting my gear was like driving an 18 wheeler semi-trailer instead of a car.

Bob Hawkesworth sitting in recumbent tricycle

It sometimes kept me from going where cyclists could go.

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“Bob’s pedal power” on my own, would still be barely getting this rig out of the AZUB parking lot. What gave me the strength of my youth was a piece of great Canadian technology: a BionX battery and electric motor assist: http://ridebionx.com/

Bracket on a tricyle that holds a battery for the BionX system
Bracket for attaching the BionX battery.
Tricylce with BionX batter mounted in place
Ti – Fly with BionX battery attached.

Don’t get me wrong.

I still had to pedal like a mad fiend at times. Climbing long hills was a true grind. But when I pedaled like mad or crawled up the hills, I also made progress – thanks to the extra boost I could get from the BionX battery and motor.

I was tired at the end of each day. Exhausted even, at times.

But I did manage to haul all the big, bulky gear I brought. The BionX did more than make the cycling manageable. It also kept it fun.

By the numbers:

On the road:                                 21 days.

Distance travelled:                   712 kms.

Actual pedaling time:             45 hours & 41 minutes

Average speed:                         14.5 km/hr

Canadian technology can sometimes show up to give Plan B* a beneficial boost. For this excellent adventure, let’s add “B* is for *BionX”.


4 Replies to “Have BionX. Will Travel.”

  1. Am really enjoying your trip reports, Bob – including this interesting information about the BionX. That’s quite impressive that you can travel an average speed of 14.5 km/hour. Here in Alberta we are very mid-summer with all that entails – including some strong storms which are exciting in their own way. I’ll be eager to read your first reactions when you see Alberta landscape out the window of your plane when you return in September!

  2. Bob – Impressive technology. (1) Had you considered taking a touring bike (with less baggage) instead? Having done one and two week trips myself (of 100 – 160 km/day), I enjoyed the vantage point of a ‘normal’ bike – giving you a clearer vista than just three feet off the ground, making it easier to follow maps, etc. (2) Did you need to do frequent map checking from your recumbent bike? (3) How much did your fully loaded AZUB Ti – Fly weigh?

    1. My first idea was to take my folding bike. I might do that someday. But this adventure has had several goals, not just cycling. Hence, the extra gear. And the recumbent option really appealed to me. I frequently consulted my map and continually got lost anyway. The trailer was also solidly built. I would only be guessing at the weight of the trailer fully loaded. 60 kilos? 70, perhaps?

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