James Alex Artis

granddadarmyretirement-thumb.jpg~20150523_194157031_iOSI served 24 years [1968 – 1992] on active duty in the U.S. Army.  I am now a retiree who thinks we are entitled to at least one vice, providing it does not harm or hurt anyone and is neither illegal nor immoral. My current vice is back to photography. My other vices include “city” farming, stereo equipment, computers, in-home theater, and now smartphones. City farming was my most recent vice. Cycling is my long-term passion. By the way, I am a U.S. Army Ranger.

meI have two children; both now adults, with two children each.  My daughter Sherry [Rogers], is 49 and my son, Michael [Pamela] is 47.  My grandchildren, Gabriel, Lia, Adriana, and Brandon are 20, 18,  17, & 14 years old, respectively. Man, am I getting OLD–73, 12/17/2018.

I am fortunate to have two other wonderful children by virtue of my biological children’s marriages, Rogers and Pamela.  Sherry and Rogers are the parents of Gabe and Adriana; and, Mike and Pam are the parents of Lia and Brandon. I love you dearly and miss you more than ever! Most of my Peeps [at the: Event ~ Celebrating A Centenarian–Thelma Page Burnett, Saturday, July 2, 2016]. Mrs. Burnett, my mother-in-law, passed January 29, 2018, at age 101. May she forever Rest in Peace.

Rogers [not present] & Sherry English, with Gabriel  [not present] & Adriana and Michael & Pamela, with Lia & Brandon, are my children and grandchildren–my peeps. Of course, Sherry and Michael’s mother is Ann. Sorry Rogers & Gabriel were not there.

Lia 11/2017
Adriana 11/2017

I am blessed to have Lia Iman Artis & Adriana Brooks English, both 17-year-old granddaughters, who have more than a curious interest in photography and are possible heirs to my photographic equipment and, I trust, my photography legacy. Please see my first article regarding Lia and my second article introducing Adriana. Lia begins as a full-scholarship freshman at NCA&TSU, August 8, 2018. Adriana starts college fall 2019. We are proud of both these ladies. Best to them…

40 thoughts on “James Alex Artis”

  1. Jim, In case you didn’t see the request from rails-to-trails in the Spring/Summer 2009 issue on page 5… I think your adventure to Tater TOT 2008 would be a great addition to their magazine. Please consider a submission if you have not already.



    They are requesting entries for the next issue:

    What is the farthest you’ve traveled to reach a rail-trail?
    Where did you go and what did you find most memorable about the experience?

    Essays should be no more than 250 words in length and may be edited for publication. If your essay is chosen, we will ask you to provide a picture of yourself to accompany the essay. Send your essay and contact info to magazine@railstotrails.org.


    1. Thanks Russell for bringing this to my attention. I had not seen it. I’ll do my best to meet their March 31st deadline. I’ll do my best to submit an interesting article–either way, the experience was interesting and rewarding. Thanks again. –jim


  2. Well Russell, I followed through today, 03/31 [I’ve been busy]. Thanks again for bringing the essay submission to my attention.

    Here is my submission [244 words]:

    I traveled 2,630 plus miles from Fayetteville, North Carolina to Kellogg, Idaho to ride the Coeur d’Alenes bike path in and around Mullen and Plummer, Idaho. The ride was with a group of 30 cyclist who gathered late June ’08 at Kellogg to experience the thrill of recumbent “triking” across the panhandle. A blast it was, especially the ride from Mullen back to Kellogg. The slight downgrade gave just the speed boost for some incredible speed on our super-low trikes. I’ll always remember the journey and the beautiful scenery along the Coeur d’Alenes.

    The journey began mid-June with a drive to south-western Virginia for a week of riding in the Virginia and eastern Tennessee mountains. Scenic and fun–a week of fitness training for the Idaho ride. I then drove, by myself [and 3 cycles], in 3.5 days to Kellogg for the meet up and ride the rail-trail. It took 3 alternators to get me there–the 2nd in Vermillion, South Dakota and a 3rd in Rapid City, South Dakota. There were times I wondered if I should continue my journey west or return home because it seemed this experience was not to be. Well, for the beauty of the trail and lake at Coeur d’Alenes, the trip was definitely worth it. From there, I rode the Seattle-to-Portland Classic and RAGBRAI in Iowa, with brief riding stops in Saint Paul, Minnesota and Morton, Illinois. Total experience–FANTASTIC! I’ll do the Coeur d’Alenes rail-trail again!


  3. You live in Fayetteville, NC? That’s where I grew up (Army brat) and my parents and sisters still live there. I’ve never cycled there and it seems very transportation-cycling unfriendly. Interesting to read about your adventures!


    1. Indeed I do. I grew up here, attending local schools, etc. I’ve cycled all over town, without mishap. I grew up riding in traffic. For longer rides, we ride in the Eastover area or Robeson, Scotland, Hoke Counties area. What part of Fayetteville do your parents live? Thanks for your interest in my blog and your comment. Come visit often. –jim


      1. That’s cool! My biggest concern would be drivers who aren’t aware of or don’t agree with cyclists’ right to be on the road. I did see a new “share the road” sign when I was there for Christmas.

        I went to Byrd and my parents still live in that area. I live in Chicago now, which is very bike friendly.


        1. I understand. We all ride with some degree of risk. I try to ride as safe as I can, keeping an escape path in mind. When you are in Fayetteville again, maybe we can hook up for a ride. I discovered your blog from this post and decided to comment on it in my blog. I’ve also added you to my link list. Thanks and be safe. –jim


  4. I really like your 700. I did a search, looking for a close-up and some info on your safety flag pole. Maybe I’m doing something wrong. I like how you put the light on the top of the pole. The pole looks like it is something more than just a standard pole. Would you mind sharing some information on the mount and where you got the pole.

    We have spoken before, I live over in Jacksonville. I have recently purchased a slightly used Road & Speed.



  5. Hi Jim
    Very soon I’ll get in touch with Ashley to order a custom QUAD Kit.
    Here is possible progression to a fine finished vehicle for accessing the outback.

    For instance, remember Rafael going towards Austin and he stopped for a storm only to be challenged by the Coyotes? About 2 miles further to the minor summit is a delightful place to camp. From there there are truck-tracks leading to springs, wild ridges, old mines … its to these tracks I hope to head.

    The Coyotes song at last light, their Reveille, is my Taps…at first light, their Taps, is my Reveille. The occasion is tingling but in delight. So far have gotten along rather well with them.

    AND a well construed QUAD has every likelihood of getting me there.

    First stage, imminent, is to to get a base QUAD kit with some essential components to simply get it up and running for substantial orientation and experiments.
    Second stage, early winter, is to try out rear side rails and remove the center rear fork and frame tube (I have 3 frames)

    AND to do trials on equipping a Drive-Train that can do 6 Gear Inches to over 100 Gear Inches
    Third stage, late winter, is to establish the Drive-Train securely and add Torque Couples to the side rails (dissasembly and shipping)

    June stage is to head for the East slopes of the South Cascades for Base Camping.

    I’m pasting in a link to a screen shot of a bit of a QUAD brochure I authored to hang up always right in my face . There is quite a lot if info there. Might you have a look – maybe pass on any new QUAD thoughts you might have?

    … this trip has started.


    1. Terry,

      Your Quad idea sounds exciting. I have not considered a quad. I look forward to reading about your adventures with it. I take it the 1st link [UTAH QUAD] is to show their stock model? Thanks for sharing. –jim


  6. Great website and thanks for being a bentrider friend. If you are ever passing through Onida, South Dakota– please stop by for a visit and ride.

    God bless,



    1. Hi Vern,

      Thanks for the compliments and the invite. I was across South Dakota in ’08. I may do that again one day. I’ll do my best. Thanks for the visit also. Take care. –jim


    1. If I’m to be referenced as a user of an app, I’d want to buy it rather than receive a free copy. I’ve read the reviews and description. At this time, I am not interested. Thanks for the contact. –jim


  7. Hey Jim! Love the trike. Do you have spec sheet somewhere on your blog that I am missing that goes over your lighting and power set up for it. I am planning some long distance rides and would like to duplicate some of your lighting.



    1. Thanks Scott,

      I use DiNotte Lights. No spec sheet, but several articles and pictures of what I did. Search DiNotte and you will find what and how. Thanks for your interest. Let me know if you have other questions. –jim


  8. Jim,
    I love that Catrike, and the website. Not sure I’ll ever come close to doing the sorts of mods you’ve done on your bikes, but I’m just getting into blogging on my new website, and would appreciate any advice you might have.


  9. Curious to know why you are selling that fantastic trike. Something new on the horizon?

    I’m a fellow BROL lurker, but also from Spivey’s Corner, long time passing, and worked at Bragg for a time on staff of The Paraglide among other GS-jobs–writer-editor-photographer stuff.

    I left in 1980 to follow my then new wife as she began a 20-year USAF career.
    I’m something of a camera geek and like having a good AV home theater system–to my wife’s dismay (TURN IT DOWN!).


    1. Hi Charles. It is a fantastic trike and I love it. I sent this reply to another curious reader yesterday:

      I do enjoy my trike, and my VK2, and my RANS Stratus XP, as well as the other bikes I have sold. I cannot have an infinite stable. Selling the first made it easier to sell the next. I’d like Silk to be ridden more than I can ride her, plus I will buy a Cruzbike Vendetta. Selling Silk makes that easier. I’ll still have Fargo. My cycling days are only beginning. I hope this explains sufficiently. I think the ability to let go is important.


      I posted the bike of my dreams [Cruzbike Vendetta] shortly thereafter.

      Thanks for asking.

      I see we have many interest in common.

      The best!



  10. I set off for my first real bike ride in three years. I have been active in other pursuits but as we all know few things replace the workout that comes from traveling under your own power. Before setting off I increased my intake of fluids and carbohydrates to make sure I would make it. I covered the first 8 miles relatively easy. I then arrived at Forest Park and rode the outer 7.4 mile trail feeling good even on steep hills with the stock gearing. A short break and 16 oz of fluid later I was riding home when my headrest lost a screw and shifted under my head. I’m thankful i carry tools and spares. I was able to pull aside and remove it entirely before I could lose more hardware. I proceeded onward causing an entire street repair crew to stop and stare in disbelief as my little orange flag passed by among a row of trucks. Each guy looked up in order to figure out if it was blowing in the wind or attached to some slow moving object. Then I appeared on my neon orange 700 at the stop sign. That must have been a very unusual sight for them. The very last hill made me stop and take a moment to gather my breathing before finishing. I approached it with too much vigor and midway lost all of my momentum. All in all my first 13 mile ride was accomplished just fine. Traffic gave me the lane during much of the ride which is a welcome break from car mirrors passing within inches of my handlebars on diamond framed bikes of the past. This shakedown ride has shown me a few things as well. Namely the customizations that must be done to make the 700 a capable speed demon turned touring rig. Jim, you are showing me from your experiences that a bike can do much more than intended when you devise a solution using your existing setup and a few well chosen upgrades. Now my research and study is in full effect. Changes are afoot and soon I will have my Word Press page and Flickr page up to document the changes.

    Until next time. Keep spinning.



    1. Hello Julian,

      Very nice story. Thanks for sharing. Glad you had a good ride. There is nothing wrong with stopping on a hill [one advantage of a trike] and then proceeding.

      My only upgrade for climbing was lowering gearing.

      The best!



  11. I finally updated my Flickr page with before photos of the 700. Once my parts arrive its going to undergo a few changes. I will update my photo stream as the process unfolds.

    Jim, do you know of anyone who makes custom Catrike seats? I have an idea to remove tour weight from the rear of the bike and place it near the cross member to keep the center of gravity low.


  12. So far I’ve relocated the computer off the boom onto a hinged armrest bracket from a retired Profile aero bar. This allows it some level of give if my hand abruptly pushed it. The spring is under tension which holds it up for viewing. I’ll mount the other one on the other fender mount for my iPod later in the week. My idea for the storage is to remake the seat cover and place my heaviest items on the underside. Since the rear triangle is somewhat shaky when you grab a seat stay and shake it I figured keeping the COG low would only help make the 700 more feasible as a long distance touring bike. I do wish I could put a 26″ or a 20″ geared wheel on the back but the long term effects of raising the crank set and impeding blood flow to my feet competing with gravity negate this option. Once I remove my current seat to take measurements and draw it to scale I need to find someone who can sew my prototype. This could all be so much easier with a trike with 3 wheels of similar size but I do like the swiftness at which the 700 travels on flat ground so I’m willing to make concessions for this benefit.


  13. I have in fact. I think I have the current version with the 3 pockets and pump holder. I’ve noticed massive twisting regardless of how often I adjust it. I looked on the Catrike forum and found this, apparently many others have the same issue. I’ve written to Catrike to see what model years were affected by the recall and to see if my model year was affected. I tend to pay for things I don’t feel comfortable making myself. The seat isn’t as complicated. I just need to source the materials. I’m waiting to hear back from Catrike before proceeding. I do feel that making the seat mesh pull double duty as a storage spot will make the 700 more feasible for an otr bike and not just an around town speedster.


    1. Good. My understanding is the 700 in now Generation 3. Gen 2 & 3 do not have the slip problem to the best of my knowledge. I recommend giving Mark Egland [at BigCat] a call to confirm. –jim


  14. Hey Jim, are you dodging these storms okay up your direction? Lots of damage and power outages around the country. Holler back when you get a chance.



    1. We are well Julian. Thanks for asking. Lots of rain and heat [can do without it]. The wind has not been too bad at my location in the county. Although we had golf ball and tennis ball size hail in my county, none here. The plants survived. –jim


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