30 December 2010

Triple Threat!

Ride #26
Thursday, December 30th.

7.9 lovely sunny miles in Folsom. Almost the same route as the last trip, but a little further and with a loop put back in.

My sweetheart came along AND his son (visiting from college for the winter break), so the three of us meandered along the trails, with me acting as sheepdog from the rear. The kid used my old Trek bike (which needs some derailer work, since he was stuck on the littlest chain ring) and he also used my helmet, so I rode helmetless for the first time since highschool! I wore my Tigers baseball cap to ward off the sun. I'll keep an eye out for a cheap 3rd helmet, just in case.

We saw quail and blackbirds and geese and ducks and children and other cyclists and moms and strollers and families and dogs. But not a single fringed surrey.

Our average speed was 9.1 mph, Himself just chugged along - staying on the middle chainring most of the time. HIS front derailer needs some work (I think the cable has stretched a little). So looks like I'll be playing wrench a little bit later this week. I'm getting some practice at this...

As a consequence of my tumble earlier this month, I had a bad link in my chain.
Which I did not find during my post-ejection inspection.
That bad link messed up my shifting (and induced chain suck - oh no! ) so I did not end up going on the 30 mile road ride last weekend, but went home and fixed my chain instead.
OK, so I did not do all the work since I don't have a chain tool. Yet.
I headed over to Bicycle Planet in Folsom (great folks there) with my Very Long chain in hand, and they were kind enough to pop the bad link out and shorten my chain by one link. I bought a whole (regular length) chain and they've ordered a small but functional chain tool for me. When the tool arrives, I'll be practicing on the new spare chain and I'll have lots of links for future repairs.

The chain on my trike is put together with a SRAM master link, so it was relatively easy to take apart. I had to try two different pliers but I got it done. Bifocals don't help.

I did video the chain placement with my new camera before I took it off, and that did help me get it back on and working well. I had to adjust my rear derailer cable again, but it shifted like a dream today. So all is well in trike-land.

On Saturday, 40 insane people (members of the cycling club I belong to) are going to do laps on a local famously steep hill (1.5 miles of climbing). I'm not climbing that hill, but I'll tootle over on my trike and play photographer. It will be fun! So I suppose this is my last ride of 2010 and Saturday will start the New Year off right, with a trike ride and photography fun!

23 December 2010

Blue days, all of them gone ...

Ride #25
Thursday, December 23rd.
A beautiful sunny 7 mile trip on a bit of Folsom's bike paths.

My sweetheart said that the coding problem at work (he is on vacation until the end of the year but email never sleeps) would not get solved today so he came for a ride with me. Booyah! Yes! There was much rejoicing! Und so weiter.

The less he has to do to get out and on the bike, the more likely he is to go. I love fussing around with bicycles so I don't mind at all pumping up tires and loading equipment and all that. He led this ride, with me bellowing occasional directions from behind. I polled him every once in a while if he wanted to go on or turn around and eventually he decided to turn around.

Today's route was partly on the route we could not finish on the 16th, and I think himself is interested in doing the whole messy complicated route one day. We talked a bit about how where we turned around fit into that other ride. He avoided cotton next to his skin and he was more comfortable this time. We might go shopping for a lightweight baselayer for him after xmas. (He borrowed a wicking t-shirt from me and it was, um ... snug. He looked a bit like a giant olive green Buddha.)

My trike worked beautifully today - I just needed to mess with the barrel adjuster for the rear derailluer a little bit near the end of the ride. I moved my tools and bike lock to a seat-back bag and I like having less stuff to paw through in my trunk bag. I was sure there was a baggie of raisins in there, but I could not find them. I'd better check again!

I've ordered a replacement digital point and shoot (a refurbished Canon Powershot) so pictures should appear again soon.

I am scheduled for a 30 mile ride on Sunday, but there is an 80% chance of thunderstorms, so I fear the ride will be canceled.

Happy holidays everyone - time to tinker with my egg nog recipe!


21 December 2010

Well, check that off!

Ride #24
Tuesday, December 21st.
A Shorter Than Expected ride in Folsom

The rain let up so I nipped out for a short ride in Folsom. I'd intended to ride on the pretty little hills and curves under the powerline between Blue Ravine and Natomas, as I did on Nov 29th.

However, I didn't get too far as 3/4s of a mile into my ride I almost rolled my beautiful trike! Too fast on a corner.

Bad triker! No biscuit!

Into the shrubs! Down a little incline! Mud! Arrgh! Shrubs with prickers! My tights were full of little stickers and I have a little hole in the cuff of my wool shirt. And some mud on my windbreaker.
See - this is why I need a new windbreaker - my shirtsleeves always stick out from the windbreaker cuffs. I'd rather rip up my windbreaker than my nice wool shirt. Oh well, small price to pay for triking hubris!

I have a few skinned knuckles and a couple up and coming bruises. I did a little trail-side first aid with my waterbottle and my small first aid kit, then when I got home I throughly cleaned up.
The only things that came off the trike were me and my headlight: a well designed light, it just slid neatly off the mount and neatly back on again. I didn't slide so neatly, but did manage to get me and my trike back up the slope and out of the vegetation without too much undignified thrashing.

I quickly checked that the trike was still rideable, turned around and pedaled back to head for home.

I've just finished a more complete trike check and all is well. I had knocked one fender askew (easy fix) and the handlebars needed just a bit of adjustment. So all is well for my upcoming longer ride on Sunday (unless it rains).

Oh, the other casualty of my tipping was my little digital camera. I think I landed on it.
ooops!
If I can get the card reader to read the card from the camera I'll add a pic of the pretty little trail I was on.

16 December 2010

Enticed or Bedeviled?

Ride #23
Thursday, December 16th. 7 miles, mostly on Folsom bike paths.

What a lovely afternoon for a ride! My sweetheart played hooky from work and we went on a short ride in the late afternoon sun. I like parking at the light rail parking lots and by 3pm there were spots open at the Glenn station. It is easy enough to get on to the bike paths from that parking lot, but getting back at the end of the ride is a little awkward. I need to figure out a better way before I lead any rides from that location. Should I confess that I directed us through a corporate parking lot via the sidewalks? Ok, then I won't!

The really fun loooooooong bridge.

There were plenty of little bitty hills to conquer where the bike path swoops under surface streets. We saw some other bicyclists grimly pedaling along, and some dog walkers. Humbug and Willow Creeks are nice and full, but since it has not rained for two whole days the undercrossings are dry enough.

I had mapped out a longer ride, but himself got a little tired so I sent him up a set of steps with his nice lightweight bicycle and zipped around a loop with more ups and downs to meet him on the uphill side of the steps. Our curtailed ride necessitated a little bit of street riding (and we even took and used the left/straight lane) to get back on the bike path.

The new overcrossing at Bidwell in Folsom

I had wiped a lot of leaves out from between my fenders and my front tires before this outing so my ride was back to being nice and quiet. I did a little surgery on my seat and uncovered the water-bottle braze on points unhelpfully covered by the mesh. I like drinking from a bottle better than a hydration tube so I'm glad I took the time to do it.

Instead of a bladder on the back of my seat I put a bag just for tire repair and locking up, so my trunk bag on the rack is a lot less heavy to carry around at stops.

My sweetie is having the same problem on his bike that I had on my hybrid: not enough low gears. We'll head down to the shop and see if he can get a different gearing setup.

It is supposed to rain from tomorrow until Christmas, so there will be a dearth of posts for the next ten days. Unless I get desperate ....

14 December 2010

Noise Pollution

Ride #22
Tuesday, December 14th. almost 8 miles in rainy Folsom.

Cool and rainy: 53 degrees with enough rain to run the windshield wipers on the way in on the fastest intermittent setting. Breezy. Totally overcast/foggy/misty. Lots of water puddles to test fenders with. Most of the ride was just damp and breezy, but there was one moment of rain showers.

I was a little tired from physical therapy yesterday, so I poodled along averaging 7 - 8 mph. I saw one intrepid (desperate?) runner and two dog walkers: one set with both dog and walker bundled up in bright colors. The other dog was happily trying to catch an egret. No luck, the egret was airborne long before the dog was in range. I saw a handful of California Quail, heard a toad, and saw a flock of geese overhead.






 My favorite curvy section beckoned, but I took it slow today. If you get moving moderately fast over the bridge, then the curves are a swooping bucket o' fun!
Another reason for going slow were all the leaves knocked onto the trail from the recent wind and rain. I love riding on a carpet of fall color, but I do wonder just what might be hiding under those leaves ...




My old Brooks high-viz windbreaker cut the wind just fine, but did get wet through at the zipper, shoulders, and upper arm areas. The midweight Ibex wool shirt underneath, however, kept me toasty warm. Someday I'm going to ride in really nasty weather. I'm thinking 35 - 40 and raining and windy. Then I'll have a reason to break out my lightweight kayak jacket (no front zipper to leak all over me). If I had worn that jacket today, I'd have overheated in no time.
I wore my old Terry cool weather tights (with the pad ripped out) and my legs were OK, although I think my knees were a little stiff from the cold. I think I would have been more comfortable in wool tights and some kind of windbreaking thing over them.
My hands and feet were toasty in wool hiking socks and some Ibex wool gloves and I really like the wool Buff used as a cap under my helmet: just enough to keep me warm.

My trike is parked in the garage right now (instead of in the car in the garage) since I need to move the chain along every once in a while to help get the water out of the chain tubes. Or so I've been told. There was also a mysterious noise on the front left side: I think it might have to do with the brake, so I'll check that out as well.

Oh yeah, the noise pollution came from my outrageously-noisy-when-wet disk brakes. I suppose that was another reason to go slow: less squalling and squealing.

Almost forgot!

11 December 2010

Tomorrow I'll whine

Ride # 21
Saturday, December 11th. 29 (not 27 - actually, almost 30!) miles on the American River Trail

I finally, finally got to meet up with the Recumbent Riders of Sacramento. Yay! Lovely people, cool bikes. Can't wait for next month to do it again.

It is fall, for sure, no fooling, yessiree bob, ya sure you betcha (I suppose Sacramento area natives would call it winter). Leaves all over the trails. I picked eight leaves out of various bits of my trike today. Some of the leaves were very large - the size of my hand. I expected to find them between the fender and the wheel, but most of them got picked up underneath my trike. One enterprising leaf made a semi permanent home in my rear derailluer. I evicted it. Out, damn'd leaf! out, I say!

I slathered up with sunscreen this morning at home but drove down through the low cloud layer to meet up with the other riders. So it was perfect (in my mind) 'cycling weather: calm, about 60 degrees F, overcast. The group left from William Pond and rode all the way to Old Sacramento, for lunch, and then back. My average speed was about 9.5: respectable for me (and a 1/2 mile off from shorter rides) but I was pretty tired at the end of the trip. Hoisting myself up the stairs to write this entry was quite an effort. I'd better stretch some more in a little bit.

28 miles in one day was my record on my old Trek bike, and that was after months and months of steady riding. I'm so glad I can go almost 30 miles on my trike and still move my arms and neck at the end of it!

I spent most of the time in the back of the group, although I did cave in and lead the group for a little while (my ego was averaging 13mph for that section). Lots of lovely conversation as folks filtered up and down the group. I collected some opinions about lights which will help me decide what to get when my front light battery no longer accepts a charge.

I had moved the switch for my front light lower on the steering mechanism, so needed to rescue the cable from scrubbing on the pavement. I'll add a few more turns to the cable and maybe move some of the velcro strips around. I'll also check for leftover leafs parts before I ride again. I had a local shop (not where I bought my ride, but good folks) true up my rear wheel a bit. No more scrubbing (the clearance between fender and rear wheel is tight tight tight). I had no shifting problems and my brakes were fine also (I adjusted them after the last ride).

I hope to get back on the horse that made my glutes really really tired tomorrow, but that depends on if my sweetheart can be persuaded to leave the computer! (I was ill most of the last two weeks, so that's why no post until now).

I've switched to ridewithgps.com to record my routes and, if there is a way to embed a button-link I have not found it, so here's the map. It is not quite accurate, but is generally OK.

29 November 2010

Just call me Granny

Ride #20
Monday, November 29th. 6 miles in Folsom, CA.

This is a fun little ride that I last did on my hybrid bicycle. I remember wobbling up the hills at about 2 mph, and stopping and panting at the top. They are not much in the way of hills, I don't think, but if I did this route regularly, I'd get stronger. It is less than 200 ft climbing in 6 miles, but I think this is just right for me at this point.


Here's the elevation profile (which is the only picture you're getting today):



It is a bunch of ups and downs and fun little switchback sections.

I did better on the recumbent today then on the hybrid last time. Maybe because I'm in a more relaxed position, maybe because I have slightly lower gears available. I did not use the granny gear on every hill, but it was sure nice to have it available. I did not spin up the hill, since my cadence was probably about 60rpm at the slowest, but I did not have to stop on the side of a hill and breathe and I did not feel wiped out at the end. Of course, that may be because I just coasted a lot. And boy, does my ride coast! My top speed was 25mph with gentle breaking.

I saw one other cyclist (on an intersecting bike path) and two dog walkers today. Very quiet and peaceful. I'm afraid the sight of a bright orange (trike) and red (face) and blue (shirt) and pink (flag) 'thing' zipping down the hill slightly freaked out one dog. The other dog did not seem to mind. Oh yeah, I saw two joggers also. The joggers did not freak. They rarely do.

I plan to ride again on Wednesday. CU

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com

26 November 2010

Workin' the Turkey

Ride #19
Friday November 26th. About 12 miles. American River Bike Trail.

Zipped from Sunrise to Wm. Pond and back again. Lovely cool sunny day, not so many folks out at the start of my ride but plenty out and about on the way back. One recumbent hand cycle, but no other foot-powered 'bents.

Had one slightly embarrassing moment: I was at the bottom of a hill running my mouth instead of shifting down and had to stop 1/2 way up since I did not have the leg strength to pedal hard enough to get the front derailluer to move! A kind fellow in a bright yellow jacket helped me pry myself out of the seat and I got going again. I am always amazed how quickly I lose speed on an uphill.

I spent far too much time on this ride fooling around with my little point and shoot camera. I plan on putting together another 'cycling video, and took a lot of footage on this ride. Which made me realize that I really need to investigate a proper video camera: and a way to attach it to me or the the cycle for hands free photography fun!
Riverside
Deer fence around re-vegetation area


Trail-side parks














Before ride #18 (the super short one) I had taken the time to clean my chain (in place with solvent and a rag) and applied some 'wet' chain lube. I also think I figured out which way is which on the barrel adjuster, so between the cleaning and the adjustment, the rear derailluer worked like a champ.

I made a couple of small adjustments to the headrest and I think I've found a good place for it. There is only a small possible area of head resting with the helmet on. I dunno, maybe I should declare it a helmet rest?

oooh - exciting news! I finally have a proper torque wrench so I can make sure that the various things attached to my aluminum frame are not too tight. So this weekend I'll play in the garage.

Might ride in Folsom this weekend, and there is a chance of a Roseville ride midweek if the weather is not too bad.

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com


24 November 2010

Rest-stopping

Ride #18
Wednesday, November 24th. American River Bike Trail. 4.63 miles

Today I feel that the 0.13 miles above four and a half are important. Just for my pride.

I had intended to go the 12 and some down to William Pond from Sunrise, but alas, my digestion refused to cooperate.
Let's just say that there are plenty of porta-potties and restrooms along the ARBT, but not quite enough for me today.

But! I saw lots of wildlife: many red-tailed hawks, some flavor of titmouse, a squirrel that I could have reached out and patted, and a buck. No, I don't know how many points it had. I almost missed the buck since he was passing behind a nice low 2 wheel recumbent. I wonder if the fellow on the 'bent even knew there was a deer passing right behind him. And I managed to enjoy the 50 degree, sunshiney, breezy weather. A nice change from the rain just yesterday.

As I was driving out, I saw a tandem trike. So I waved.

As a sop for this very short report, I'm including a video that I put together yesterday. Some of you might have seen it posted on BROL, and others might have found it on youtube, but here 'tis for the rest of you.

video

I will try again to ride on Friday or Saturday.

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com

21 November 2010

Am I daft?

Ride #17
Sunday, November 21st, bike trails in Folsom CA. A measly 5.6 miles.

It was raining and windy at my house, but down in Folsom, it was just breezy and overcast. The weather forecast was dire enough (thunderstorms! wind advisory!) that the leader of the scheduled picnic ride sensibly cancelled the outing. I went on a ride anyway. There were some families out enjoying the break in the rain, and a couple of other crazy cyclists out jamming through puddles.

I paused, as I always do, by the pond. It is much fuller than the last time I took a picture (see blog for September 10th) and inhabited by ducks and other waterfowl.
I had wanted to do a more extensive loop through Folsom, but my planned route used 3 bicycle underpasses, all probably flooded with all the recent rain. Some of the underpasses have surface street options, but one would require hauling my trike up a muddy embankment. No thanks!


I spent some time fiddling with the barrel adjuster for my rear derailluer, but I think to do it right I'll have to work on the bike in the garage, where I can concentrate just on the bike and not stuff like, oh, driving off the trail or running over a jogger and so on. My fenders (which I reinstalled last week) worked just fine to keep me from getting splashed from the damp trails and occasional puddle.

I dressed in wool layers, topped off with my high-viz windbreaker. I tried Ibex midweight longjohns for leg protection and they were acceptable. If it had been raining, I think I would have been too cold without rain pants on as well. I did eventually unzip my windbreaker and also the neck of the midweight Ibex top I was wearing. I could probably have left the lightweight 'woolie' shirt at home, but it was nice to have when I was unloading the bike. I ended up pulling my wool buff (serving as a balaclava) off as well as my wool gloves by the end of the ride. If I had been riding on hills, I would have removed layers sooner.

The partially unzipped windbreaker was a great place to store my camera and phone while pedaling along although the lumps and bumps caused by doing so probably did not do much for my image as a bicycling fashion plate. The most damage to my image was probably the bright red wool wrap skirt I was wearing (along with a yellow jacket and a bright blue shirt. And a bright red face from the wind.) I whipped up the wrap skirt the other day since, as I often have said, the world does not need to see my rear in spandex (or wool tights).

I might see if I can entice folks out on a short Turkey Day ride. If not then, then on the weekend.

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com

16 November 2010

OMG! May I please borrow a lung?

Ride # 16
Tuesday, November 16th. A shade over 6 miles. In traffic. Ooooh yeah!

I love riding for fun, but I also plan to use my trike (as I used my bike) for running local errands. So today I did.

My doc changed hospital affiliations, so I needed to sign a form allowing the old lab to send my records over to the new lab. My sweetheart works at the 'business' end of town, near the old lab, so I took the opportunity to get a lift to that end of town and cycle back to the house on this beautiful sunny day.

For those out you who worry about cyclists on the roads I was dressed for visibility: wearing a screaming yellow windbreaker, both tail lights blinking, the very bright headlight on, and two flags flapping merrily away.

I scooted from one end of Cameron Park to the other, using a route made mostly of residential streets. When I am a stronger cyclist, I'll run errands via a round trip from home. All kinds of interesting things are just a short ride away: a good hardware store, the library, grocery stores, my dentist, my doctor, the pet store (but I'm not planning on hauling 30 lbs of dog food home), multiple places for coffee, even haircuts!

For the first part of the ride, I slogged up the hill on the way to the lab (not a big hill, but bigger than I'm really ready for) in the granny gear, huffing and puffing. I took advantage of my trike's stability and low gearing to simply stop and catch my breath at two spots on the hill. The second time I stopped was because of two dogs who had to come over and see what I was.

Uncontrolled off leash dogs worry me quite a bit, not because I'm afraid of them, but because I am afraid for them. These two dogs were on the other side of the road, and charged heedlessly across two lanes to have a visit.
In about 5 minutes, a pair of dogs will come over the hill.
A car in each direction had to stop to avoid the dogs. I stopped (I needed to anyway) and let the owners get their dogs back. A stationary trike is less interesting to the dogs, especially since I had spoken in a cheery voice, identifying myself as human.

Although my route home followed the valley that is Cameron Park, there are still little hills. Down hill is fun (that hill I slogged up at the beginning gave me 30mph on the way down!) but uphill is boooooooring. I am so out of shape I had to stop and just breathe in certain carefully selected shady spots. I suppose I need to do this some more?

Nice and quiet road, horrible chipseal!
I wore my usual cotton capris (since I can't seem to find my non-padded bike shorts) and a very lightweight wool short sleeved t-shirt. The wool shirt is MUCH preferable to a cotton shirt. I was about ready to shed my high-viz windbreaker, since I was getting rather warm, but I treasure the visibility it gives me so I just pedaled slower. Yeah, that's why I was so slow. The windbreaker. Wanna buy a nice bridge? Oceanfront property?

I averaged 7.7 mph, top speed 30mph, slowest about 3 mph. My cleats stayed put on the shoes, my trike shifted well (but I still need to check the limit screws for the rear) and I had no flats, despite riding on the shoulder for most of the ride.

The trike is fine, the 'engine' needs some serious rehabilitation.





I'm still hoping for a picnic on Sunday! If it is cancelled, I'll slap the fenders on and go for a ride anyway.

13 November 2010

Time to break out the woolies

Ride #15, Saturday November 13th
Just over 12.5 miles on the beautiful American River Bike Trail.

It was a lovely day in the mid 60s, not a lot of breeze, mostly sunny. The usual assortment of folks on the path: road bikes, cruiser bikes, recumbent trikes and bikes - one with a partial fairing, the hand-trike fellow again, and walkers and joggers.

We started at one of the parking lots at the Sunrise river access, rode just over the bridge into William B. Pond Park, then turned around and headed back to the car. Himself set the pace, an average of about 10 mph. I tended to catch up on downhills (my fastest today was just 20mph) but instead of falling too far behind on what tiny uphills there were, I found myself sometimes coasting up the hill. Now that's fun!

As has been my habit, I wore cotton capris and a cotton t-shirt. Perfectly comfortable on the 'cycle, but I was a little damp and chilled at lunch after our ride. So it is time for more fall-like clothing. I really like wool since it never feels clammy and wicks just as well as 'technical' polyester fabrics and I have piles of it in the closet. You can take me out of Michigan, but you can't ... well, you know. So, you see, we are not busting sheep out of jail, just changing to wool clothing! We'll just leave the sheep in lockup ... baaaaaaaaaaaa.

I have no scenic pictures for today's ride since I left my camera at home. I did bring my GPS tracker with me - forgetting, as usual, to turn it on when we actually started our ride and then forgetting to turn it off after we stopped 'cycling!

We spent a little time at the beginning of our ride, getting my sweetheart's saddle (he rides a 'normal' bike) adjusted a little bit. I never did adjust my rear derailluer and it worked fine this time. I think I want to move my headrest a little bit, since when I relax and flop my head against it, I get a great view of the sky. Interesting, but hard to stay on the trail.

Swapped out my improvised water bladder carrier for a Camelbak Un-bottle. No problems attaching it to the back of the seat, but I forgot to shut off the valve at one of our stops and ended up dribbling water all over the seat. Someday I'll remember.

I had a loose cleat on my right shoe, but I was able to pry the cleat out of the pedal with a screwdriver and screw it back in place. I need to figure out what is going on with my right foot. Do I just wiggle around a lot? Is that why I get a loose cleat on that side? I must remember to add 'cleats' to my pre-ride checklist. And I should put a spare pair of cleats and screws in my bike bag: just in case.

Next weekend a picnic ride with the Casual Biking group! I'll bring my camping setup so I can have hot tea. This will be good to see how my camping kitchen will fit in my bike bag. I'll actually have to add one of the panniers I bought for touring! Cross your fingers for no rain on Sunday.


View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com

06 November 2010

Come Hell or high water ...

... I'm going for a ride.

And I did.

Ride #14, Saturday November 6th. Just over 8 miles.

I finally got to hook up with the Sacramento Area Casual Bikers, a fun and laid back group of folks who just want to ride their bikes.

It has been over a month since I've been able to ride, and I'm so glad to be back I just can't find words to express it. So I'll just natter on about the ride.

We cruised around on the city of Folsom's beautiful bike trails, starting at Karen's Bakery Cafe in Old Folsom and doing a little bike lane/sidewalk work to get on to the Willow Creek/Humbug Creek trail system.


As a bonus, the new bike/ped bridge across Bidwell street is finished! We took a gratuitous loop just so we could 'cycle across the bridge to get to Peet's coffee. I forgot to get a picture of the bridge. If someone in the group gets a good one I'll ask permission to add it to this post.

The group pretty much filled the patio area at Peet's with bodies and a lot of chatter about bicycles and lights and trips and trails and ...


Then we pedaled back down to Old Folsom, spent some more time chatting in the parking lot, then all went our separate ways.

Since I last posted, I've taken the other fender off the front (more straightforward then getting the other one back on). I switched out the pedals from a Shimano type double sided (cleat-ready on one side, platform on the other) for some Crank Brothers' Candy pedals. I set those up with 20 degrees of float and I like them much better! No talking from my right knee at all, very secure clip in, easy enough to clip out. It sounds like I need to adjust the rear dérailleur just a little bit.

Hope to get out again next weekend.
Keep on pedaling and smiling

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com!

29 September 2010

Bah!

Ride # zippo, distance nada, climate - stormy.
I've strained my back so I'll not be riding for a little while.
boo hoo, waaaaaah. Give me some beer so I can cry into it.

sigh.

28 September 2010

Rollin' on the River

Ride #13, Monday September 28th. A shade less than 7 miles.

I believe this trail is actually the Nimbus Trail, but that is not so important. The important thing is that is follows the lovely American River from Folsom to the Hazel Bridge on what I suppose you'd call the south side of the river. I didn't go all the way to Hazel, but did spend some time at my favorite overlook.

I finally stopped, removed the right fender, and strapped it to the bag on the rear rack. I need to get around to either taking both front fenders off or "nut up" (Yes, I enjoyed Zombieland very much, thank you) and take the right wheel off and really tighten the fender down. I'll probably wait until I've ridden in the rain and gotten all wet and uncomfortable before I really get around to it.

This is a shorter post then usual (rejoice!) since I am reduced to using the mouse-replacement-device on the laptop that is substituting for my "real" computer. Next ride should be Thursday and by then I should have gotten around to charging up a replacement mouse.

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com

25 September 2010

Apocalyptic Pinball

Ride #12, Saturday September 25th. About 8 miles.
So there I am, peacefully riding along, admiring the wildlife, coping pretty well with shifting up and down for hills, smiling and waving like some kind of parade float denizen, relaxed and having a dandy time.

weeeeeelllllllll ....

Maybe I was maintaining a deathgrip on my steering, derailling my chain, jamming my gears, sweating, zigging and zagging, all the while frantically dodging trash pickers, roadies, cruisers, dog walkers, and hordes of joggers. In packs! Like - pacelines of pedestrians! Weird.

Congested
The reality was somewhere in between the two. Yes, there were a lot of people out on this fine sunny morning enjoying the American River Parkway but for the most part folks are friendly and polite and really good at sharing the space. However, I did need to pay strict attention while riding along just because it was so busy.

I only encountered one group of oblivious walkers: I was able to squeeze by without having to come to a complete stop (which would have discommoded the fellow overtaking me), or without swerving into the opposite lane (which would have disturbed the handful of riders in that lane), or without clipping any of the walkers (which would have been bad cess for all).

Intrepid river cleanup volunteers!
Today is the annual Great American River Cleanup - when scores of volunteers tidy the river. So a big shout-out to anyone anywhere who has volunteered to clean, maintain, or otherwise take care of a swath of outdoor recreation area. You rock! (That explains the trashpickers).

And there were at least six groups of briskly walking or jogging folks - they slowed to a walk all together, picked up the pace all at once, and so on. Is it a hive-mind or just very organized? You decide. I think there were maybe eight or ten to a group. (So that's the pedestrian pacelines).

I actually passed someone today! On a bike! Ok, it was a cruiser type bike and he
Cruiser/hybrid bikes - comfortable but not fast
was mashing the pedals so was not going very fast. And later on he passed me. But I felt all powerful and shiny for a few moments. I was pleased to note a top speed of 18 mph - pedaling this time. My average is still around 10mph. I don't expect it to increase for quite some time.

I need to sort out the front dérailleur - I managed to drop my chain between the smallest and middle rings. I also need to carry some line and a bungie cord with me, so I have a way to hang the rear of the machine up off the ground so I can turn the cranks and fix the chain. The rope etc. might also come in handy when I need to fix a flat. Today I enlisted the help of a young man passing by to hold the wheel off the ground while I fixed the chain. We had a nice conversation about trikes. He thinks his mom should get one. I stayed in the middle ring for the rest of the ride - not tempting fate, I.

Monday or Tuesday for the next installment.

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22 September 2010

Panacea

Ride #11, Wednesday September 22nd, a little over 8 miles.
I had initially planned to ride on the Folsom side of the American River this morning, but I felt pretty awful (the long muscles of my back/neck were whining and complaining). So rather than driving home after morning yoga, I decided to loaf around on the Folsom bike trails instead. Glad I did 'cause now I feel good!

I generally followed the Humbug/Willow Creek trails - there are some new areas that had been completed since the last time I rode that way. They are so new they don't show up as a route in the "Street View" in Map My Ride or in Google Maps. But you can see the paved path in Satellite view. (From Bidwell to Chaffin Ct. for those locals following along).

There is one section on the route I always feel a bit bad about riding on, since it is through a small local park: on concrete sidewalks - not a proper bike path at all. However, it is a very small section and I just am extra cautious turning corners in that area. I suppose I could always bring charcoal and some steaks and stop for a bbq some day since there is a handy grill right there!

I cycled past the apartments where we lived for six months several years ago (did not have a bike of any kind then - what a shame!). There are a number of apartment complexes and subdivisions in Folsom that back right up onto the bike paths.
The city has done a good job of planning:  wetlands and other habitats play nicely with human habitats.

There were some sets of strolling path-hazards, but I just crept along behind until I had a chance to pass safely. (That's a blind left hand curve just ahead of the trio).

Oh, and I saw a Great Blue Heron flying  overhead. I would have never have noticed that while on my old bicycle. I did not have enough time to get a photo - just time enough to say, "Hey, a Heron!" and then he was out of sight.

Next ride will be either on Friday or Saturday - either way I have a two day break coming up.

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20 September 2010

Bridge, anyone?

Ride #10. Monday September 20th. Whooooo I am not ready for very big hills yet. My glutes they are a-talkin'!

I set out this morning from Old Folsom, heading downstream next to the American River. There is a section of the ABRT (also known as the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail, the American River Parkway, and so on and so forth) that is flat and runs right next to the water.
Of course, to get to the flat you must go downhill, which means uphill to return to one's starting place. I went about 7 miles total. Some at a creepy crawly 2 miles per. Some screaming down hill (not literally - mustn't scare the peds) at 24mph.

To get across from the parking areas to the trail, it is necessary (lovely Latin construction there) to cross the river. One can beat one's way through traffic and cross a cool old wooden bridge now dedicated to pedestrians and HPV (human powered vehicles) or one can use the new bridge (but not the newest bridge which is farther upstream (Lost yet?)) and take advantage of the dedicated ped/bikeway - separated from the traffic by nice thick concrete.

I chose the newish bridge. The ped/bikeway feels very narrow, but I suspect it is about as wide as a regular path; the concrete on one side and the railing on the other make it seem smaller.

And it is smaller in places: whenever there is a light pole the cylindrical concrete bases stick out into the path. So I behaved myself and pulled over and stopped for overtaking and oncoming bicycle traffic. And was politely thanked for doing so. Hm, I wonder if there is a bike lane on the bridge (naw, don't care if there is - traffic on the bridge is at least 50mph).

After the bridge, one can descend to the trail on a switchback section of path with turns about as tight as I can manage on the trike.


After that one passes under the bridge one just
crossed.


Once on the trail proper, it is charging down hill and slogging up hill. Heard some rustling in the shrubbery that was probably squirrels, saw some groups of pedestrians, and a number of cyclists - including a crowd of fast moving folks in a rather ragged paceline. I had just passed a group of walkers all abreast in the oncoming lane,  but I suppose the paceline avoided any problems since I didn't hear the sound of crashing bikes behind me.
View upstream from the newish bridge to the old bridge (previously
unmentioned) beyond which is the cool wooden bridge.


2.1 mph when the shutter tripped and a max speed of 24.7

Tune in again on Wednesday: same bat-time, same bat-channel!

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19 September 2010

Uncharted Territory

Ride #9. Saturday, September 18th. About 7 miles. I asked for fog and I got fog, but not for our ride. We live at 1200 feet or so and the weather down where the American River Bike Trail is was "overcast" and "ceiling 1200 feet. So we were livin' in the clouds this morning. By the time we got to the trail, it was sunny with scattered clouds, mid 70s (F) and perfect cycling weather.

My sweetie, who shall henceforth be known as the King of Flats, got to show off his tire changing skills right in the parking lot. He does not like Presta valves and I don't like Schrader. So guess what kind of valves we each have our our rides? Yep - the kind we don't like. My task when out and about is to get a couple more spare tubes for him. And I figure a couple more for me - I have half again as many wheels as he and maybe this flat thing is contagious...?

We started at the Upper Sunrise area - one of the Sacramento County parks on the American River. I have not been on the ARBT for several years, and never starting from that parking lot. So we took a 1/2 mile side trip and then turned around and found the 'real' trail - zipping downstream for around 3 miles and then turning around and zipping back.

OK - so I was leading on the way out and was zipping and my sweetie was leading on the way back and was not quite so zippy. Hills (ascending) make neither of us very zippy at all and downhills let my inner zippy speedfreak shine. I chickened out and braked for curves at the bottom of hills. Afer all, I would not want to roll my trike where someone might see me! (There's Pride, now where's the Fall?)

We saw plenty of spandex-clad 'roadies' flying by in both directions, a very upright two-wheel 'bent and another 2 wheeler in a (homemade?) velomobile. One fellow operating a hand and foot twowheeler 'bent with the hands only, and a few walkers. We started our trip at a popular put in spot for rafters so there were plenty of bright yellow rafts full of happy people floating down the river. Although the rafters often count as wildlife, I did not see much of the usual sort. I'm sure it was out there, I just was concentrating on staying in my lane and not running over any sticks or twigs so had not time to scan for critters.

My right fender was loose again by the end of the ride - and now that the metric allen keys have reappeared in the toolbox (tidying the garage can be a good thing), I'll see if a longer key makes it easier to tighten things up this time. I'm getting better at shifting before it is almost too late, and my rear derailuer is behaving itself. I didn't spend anytime on the biggest chainring in front so the noise there did not bother me.

oodles of toodles, next ride Monday!

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16 September 2010

Backwards is the New Forwards

Ride #8. Thursday, September 16th. About 6 miles. I managed to go "backwards" around my 6.1 mile route through Folsom. I'm keeping 'backwards' from now on since there are fewer hairy left turns on the counterclockwise route then on the clockwise route.  This route uses relatively quiet neighborhood streets, some with bike lanes and some without.

There were several areas of MUP (multi use path - come on, I know you missed those TLAs) congestion this morning. Again, I utilised the wonderful stability of three wheels and just parked it until the congestion cleared, enjoying the wetlands and other biomes the paths travel though. The area with the most variety of trail-users had a set of three fitness walkers all abreast, two cyclists thinking about passing them, and a family with a toddler who really really wanted to see what was on the other side of the path. All that was missing was a dog or three. Then, just as the congestion cleared, a jogger overtook from behind. I saw the handtrike gentleman again, and a roller blader, and a grandma with her grandsons' razor scooters (Grandma walks them to school every morning and has scooter-toting duties also). I talked briefly to the gentleman with the mountain bike again (his name is Al). No jackrabbits today, but I did spot a fast moving vole or mouse - he got startled but not squashed.

I tend to speed, I admit it. There are so many tempting curves on the Folsom bike paths. There is a particularly nice little curve on my route that I really enjoy. This time I kept pedaling around it and leaned into the corner like some kind of speed freak. Only to emerge almost in the middle of another clot of trail users! I demonstrated the power of disc brakes and we all had a good laugh at my expense.

I have a mystery noise when on the largest chainring in front - it seems to me it might be one of the chain tubes (sleeves the very long chain runs through to help keep it clean). I'm not going to use that ring very much yet, so I won't worry about it at this point. Next time I have the trike in the garage I'll see if I can pin it down. My messing about with the barrel adjuster on the rear derailluer seems to have done the trick - shifting is back to the smooth side of things.
I've ordered an extra long visor for my helmet, since yellow face is out in the mornings still. Looking forward to some fog.

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