29 September 2010


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.


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.

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


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.

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com

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

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!

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com

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!

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com

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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14 September 2010

Planning is overrated

Ride #7, 14 September 2010. 5.4 miles? Yes, there is a question mark on the distance. I had planned to do a reverse of September 10's route. Well, I got confused, turned around, and just plain misplaced. So I'm not actually sure exactly where I rode this morning. I do know I went up and down a couple of sections of trail twice or maybe three times. I crossed Parkway probably more often then I had planned to (and I rode on Parkway as well - which I had not planned to do at all). I would normally rely on my nifty cyclocomputer to tell me how far I went but I kind of forgot to reset it until I had already gone a little ways. (I had been racking up invisible miles by playing around with my gears in the garage yesterday). I did have a map, but I had a great deal of difficulty figuring out how to get from where I was to where I was trying to go.


I had a lovely ride. I saw a jackrabbit bounding through a field (their ears are so long they look fake) and some smaller birds alongside the trail. One pair of cyclists in screaming yellow jackets and a lot of walkers enjoying the cool sunny weather. Part of the area where I was so (ok I can say it) lost was near an elementary school so I saw lots of parents walking their kids to school. At the end of my ride, I spent some time chatting with a older gentleman: he was just setting out for a ride on his super upright Trek mountain bike. We confessed to each other our need for speed, lamented the problems of aging knees, and shared favorite rides on the Folsom trails.

One of the features I love about the Folsom bike trails are the wooden bridges. Many trails intersect Willow and Humbug creek, so bridges are necessary.

Cycles moving at speed make quite a rumble, and three wheels rumble quite a bit more then two. Or maybe it is just that I'm closer to the noise than on my old Trek bicycle. (Yes, those are my toes in the bottom of the frame. Many recumbent trail pictures feature toes).

And to the left there is as close as you are going to come for a while seeing me on my trike. Maybe I should make shadow puppets next time.
Although it is easy to stop or even slow down and take pictures while on a trike, I find that I just want to keep cycling on and see what is around the next corner, to watch for jackrabbits without the bother of fishing out the camera, to wave to passersby unencumbered by even a small digital point and shoot.

Next ride scheduled on Thursday! (we'll see if I can make it around the route backwards. Hrm.)

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11 September 2010

Squirmy cleats, sharp sticks, and other misadventures.

My my, what exciting stuff can happen on a scant 5 mile bike ride!

Ride #6, 11 September 2010.
We (my sweetie and I) were out again this weekend on the Folsom bicycle trails – it was around 90 F and there were more bicyclists then walkers out on a Saturday afternoon. Now, I'm on a recumbent trike so I can creep up slopes quite slowly and, if I get in the wrong gear, I can slow quite unexpectedly. So it is not wise to tailgate me. Also, the lovely Purple Sky flag I have is quite long and because it is in an improvised temporary holder on my rack, angled back somewhat more than it might otherwise be. The eyes of a 6' 4” fellow on a fairly upright bike slowing suddenly behind my trike are about in the same place as the end of the flag! But we had more fun than not (and more than a sharp stick in the eye).

We stopped twice to adjust my sweetheart's seat and I had a little bit of trouble unclipping my left the second time we stopped. I also had serious damp butt since I had sat on the end of my hydration tube for a mile or so. Then I started getting a squirmy feeling between the left shoe and the cleat, and by the time we got back to the car, I could not get my left shoe out of the clip, so I just left the shoe on the pedal and we loaded up the car. The shoe looked pretty silly just dangling there. Turns out (as I'm sure the more experienced among you know) that one or both of the screws holding the cleat to the shoe had loosened. I released the tension spring almost all the way and finally got the cleat and shoe off.

I was going to do a Sunday/Tues/Thurs week but since this was the second day in a row, I think I'll be wise and do MWF again. So tomorrow I'll work on adjusting the rear derailleur a little bit. 
Time to improvise a shop rack!

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10 September 2010

This is how it's supposed to be!

Ride #5, just under 7 miles. I feel good after this ride - no twinges or anything. Not too tired. So I think this will be a good distance for the next week. Then I can see about increasing a little more.

A few posts back I mentioned my shoulder troubles. Well, a night of rehearsing for an upcoming concert can often set the shoulders talking to me and last night sure did. I went to yoga this morning and had a lot of trouble with my shoulders, enough that if I had planned this ride on a conventional bike I would have had to have canceled my plans. I was a little slower and more careful getting the trike in and out of the car, but that's the only way my shoulders affected my ride. Yay! Boo-ya! Go Team! And there was much rejoicing and so on and so forth.

The Friday morning population of the bike paths is a bit more dense (like: populous, not dim) than other weekday mornings. The usual assortment of fitness walkers, dog walkers, and other cyclists. Including one tending to the road bike side of things. My route today was essentially a torturous double lobed circle and every time I came around to face east, which I did 14 times, I got a face full of early morning sun. Bleah! I'm considering a longer visor for my helmet.

Today's route was planned with streets! So I loaded up my bike with two flags and two rear taillights and a headlight.
Parked for a moment just off a bike trail

The large pink flag comes from a small company called Purple Sky. This is the largest flag they have and the gray circles are reflective material. Someday I will learn to take photos without excessively cluttered backgrounds.

The pole for this flag is six feet tall, and the theory is that it will be about windshield height on a SUV. I figure the little orange bike flag will get the rest of the vehicles.

I don't normally succumb to naming vehicles, but I know a couple of people who specialize in horse names for their bikes. They've had classical names (with Homer you never need to run out) and I think names from horse stories (but don't quote me on that). And not just ordinary horse names, but Elvish ones from Tolkien. So how could I resist naming my beautiful orange machine?


You know, that crazy eight-legged horse of Odin's. Half stallion and half Loki in the form of a mare. Those gods.
What can you do?

So I need to make a Sleipnir flag (a little preview - based on an eighth century stone carving). I figure it's perfect - a trike has too many legs for a bike and not enough for a horse. And the trike is made in Germany (yes, I know Germany is not Scandinavia - sue me.)

Besides the flags and lights, I also added a tiny bike computer (odometer, speedometer, trip etc.). What is this insistance on having directions with NO WORDS - I like words. Pictures are OK, but words make more sense. Anyway, I'm still figuring out all the things it can tell me but, assuming I've set the tire size correctly, my top speed today was 19 miles an hour. I did get pedaling pretty fast at one point so I'm not totally surprised.

This trike is working out very well and I look forward to going outside and getting exercise. And aerobic and all that.
A cycle, no matter how many wheels, does you no good unless you use it.

So get out there and indulge in your favorite form of exercise!

Next ride, and next post, this weekend.

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com

09 September 2010

Fall! (but not down)

The weather for today's ride (#4 for those following along at home) was cool (60 F) overcast and breezy (probably 12 - 15 mph). A Preview of Fall and an excuse to wear lightweight wool!

I remember riding on days like this on my old Trek bicycle and I would whine and grouse and sigh heavily when I had to turn into the wind. The wind really pushes you around on a bicycle. I did notice the wind on my face today but the trike is so much lower that it was merely refreshing instead of annoying. To get an idea of the difference in height between a conventional bicycle and a recumbent, consider this: I can roll my machine right into the back of the SUV and I suppose I could sit in it also and maybe only have to duck a little bit. My sweetie's bicycle cannot be rolled upright into the vehicle, since the seat won't clear the roofline. And when he's riding that bike, he is sitting on that seat. A lot more vertical surface area for the wind to push around.

Anyway, there were only a few souls out today - a few dog walkers, some joggers (earbuds firmly inserted), and a trio of happy cyclists. The bicyclist imitating an airplane (hands-free "flying") got a bit of a shock when I appeared suddenly around a corner (they were riding three abreast and oncoming!) but no crashing occurred. I saw some California quail on the trail (it was nice having a ground-level view of the birds) and some sparrows. The ponds and creeks are mostly dry this time of year but I am looking forward to eye-level waterfowl in spring.

There was a persistent annoying intermittent whisking sound on the right side: not a scrubbing sound, but a faint brushing. The clicking while coasting drowned it out, so I spent some time turning circles in the granny gear (granny gear is the absolute lowest gear available - since I don't tip over I can cruise along, still pedaling, about as fast as an infant can crawl) in a quiet cul-de-sac, leaning over and staring at the right wheel. The sound was matched to the turning of the wheel, that much I figured out. Finally occurred to me to see what was different on the left side. Duh! Turned out the reflector had come untucked from the spokes on the right. I tucked it back and all was well.

I un-reclined my seat and had less tingly foot. Wiggling my toes while coasting also helped. (Since one's feet are about at heart level on a 'bent, it can take a little while to adapt to the different circulatory requirements of the posture.) Pumped up the tires (Greenspeed Scorchers) to 80 psi all around (from 60) - I don't think I know enough to tell much difference yet. I have Schrader valves; my bicycle had Presta. I think I slightly prefer Presta but I can cope.

I did have one incident of spontaneous unclipping, which seemed to come from my right foot's desire to be slightly toe in rather than the tension being still too loose. So I might change the angle of the cleat on that side. I will be not at all surprised to find that I do not want a perfectly symmetrical setup left to right.

I ran my headlight, more because I could than because I had to: it is an older Cygolite with a bottle battery (fits in a short bottle cage). The on/off/intensity switch is on the support for the left hand mirror. I got an extension cord from the manufacturer so I could mount the headlight all the way forward. I've routed the wire with cheerful blue 'velcro' (designed for bundling computer cables). I need to pick up some black, but orange is hard to find. If I can't have orange, I'll go for contrast! You can see the blue on orange just behind the Scorpion sticker on the boom.

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com


More helpful information from benrideronline: I can so get orange velcro - just not at the local Fry's.

A Bike Path Made for Two

This is ride #3 (06 September 2010) on my beautiful new Scorpion, about 5.5 miles. I managed to entice my sweetheart out onto the bike paths with me (he has a nice Specialized DF which spends too much time hanging in the garage!). We are both sadly in need of exercise so getting out is A Good Thing.

Still cruising around on the neighborhood bike trails, a bit later in the day than my previous rides (my sweetie is not a morning person) but it was still only in the low 80s. More bikes than walkers on this Labor Day Monday.

The route was mostly flat with just a few little inclines and declines. They are too small to call hills: more like cute little baby slopes, but enough to give me some practice shifting early enough to keep from mashing on the pedals. I had a blast on a little curvy section of the trail. I remember learning to be confident on those little curves on my DF bike, but it is even more fun on a trike! I just leaned left, right, left, right and enjoyed myself. I'm afraid I whooped and hollered a little bit, but got only smiles in return.

I concentrated a little bit on spinning smoothly and not giving the returning leg as much of a "free ride" on the pedal. So still more of the muscles in my legs got a little workout - exactly what I want! I loooove clipping in - so much easier to get the ol' feet blurring. (Spinning is a technique which saves the knees from wear and tear: one uses lower gears on the cycle so the feet move faster and there is none of that slow motion mashing on the pedals.)

I also tried a tiny bit of steering with the brakes (I have independent left/right brakes). That's fun but not something I'll do a lot of: a bit too exciting and I don't know what the long term mechanical downsides might be. I also worked on convincing myself that it is OK to pedal while cornering - the inclination is to coast.

I still have not installed a computer (odometer, speedometer) on my ride, but my sweetie said our usual cruising speed was 8 - 10 mph, slower up slight inclines or when I was messing about with the clips, and sometimes a "blinding" 14-15. Which is brisker than I expected. These particular trails have a lot of intersections and curves and blind corners and street crossings so they are not a great place for speeding around. The Folsom South Canal is the place for that.

On the mechanical side I had tightened the clips on the pedals so there was a lot less unexpected unclipping - however the right side still could be a bit tighter. On the left I could finally feel the 15degrees of float ("float" is a characteristic of some pedal systems: it allows your foot to turn in and out a little bit while still remaining firmly attached to the pedals).  My right fender was a bit loose, so I tightened that up. Tomorrow I'll go over the trike and check for other looseness.

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Getting lost in Folsom

The next handful of posts appeared in a slightly different form on Bent Rider Online (a message board for recumbment riders).


Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeal! (That's a happy sound, for those wondering.)

On this morning's ride (02 September, 2010) I saw one recumbent hand trike (delta), a couple of DFs (diamond frame bikes - shorthand for 'normal' bicycles), and lots of people out walking their dogs and generally getting outside before it gets to be 100 F. I collected a lot of smiles this morning and waves and one inquiry "Do you have air conditioning on that?" "Sure, as long as I keep moving!"

This morning was my second ride on my new toy and my first clipping in. I'm still sticking to neighborhood bike paths until I get a little more familiar with the machine.

There are a lot of components to play with on this machine, and it was tempting to spend all my time parked by the side of the path, allen keys in hand. I stopped a couple of times to adjust the neck rest and to play with the seat angle. And that's all! Really! I promise! Before my next ride I need to adjust the suspension a bit and I might investigate some slight adjustments to the handgrip position.

I also need to evict my former ride (Trek) from the corner of the garage and see if I can figure a way to hang the trike. Right now it is parked in the back of the Toyota. "No, dear. I am not planning on using the truck as a garage. Really! I promise!"

I had a devil of a time with my right shoe (new to clipping in) and eventually decided that the tension on that side was just too loose to stay clipped in. However, I seemed to have found an acceptable fore-aft position, side to side position, and angle for the cleats. Or at least on a short ride it seemed OK. Time will tell.

I improvised a water bladder bag to hang from the seat back. I am eventually getting (I hope!) dual water bottle cages but the shop is still working with HP Velo. on that. The non-folding Scorp that I test rode had a braze point on the frame under the seat for a dual cage when using the mesh seat. There is no braze point on the folding version. Neither of the two proprietary HP V cages the shop had on hand will fit this trike with a mesh seat. However, the shop managed to attach one short cage which will serve to hold the bottle-battery for my light.

Although I have the headlamp attached, I did not bother with the bottle battery and switch for this ride. I have an older Cygolite for which I was able to order an extension cord so I can have the battery behind the seat, the switch on the mirror mount, and the headlamp as far forward as I can get it.

That's all (and enough) for now.


For the curious, I bought my ride from Peregrine Bicycle Works in Dixon, CA. A great shop.

What I did not admit to in this post was getting slightly lost. It has been 2 years since I spent any time on the paths in Folsom: there are a lot of paths and a lot of intersections. I got a bit turned around, but found my way safely back to my mobile garage: AKA Toyota SUV.

The folks on BROL (bent rider online) are super helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. After I made this post, I learned that there are braze on points to attach waterbottles in FOUR places on the seat frame: all one needs to do is apply a hot poker to the mesh seat cover to expose the braze points. All right! Hot pokers - my favorite!

And I was gently and kindly warned off from messing with the front suspension (which I was not planning on doing anyway) and the rear suspension turned out OK after all.

AND I got advice on storing my trike. Such a deal!

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Attack of the TLA (three letter acronyms)

I love to be outside and, as much as I love hiking and backpacking and generally loafing in the great outdoors, cycling is my favorite activity, hands down. So this is my 'cycling blog. Specifically, my 'bent trike blog.

I hiked and backpacked and bicycled as a kid and teen - then life happened and I stopped. Some people have red sports cars or new religions as a mid-life crisis. I went outside and played.

I tried hiking: still fun. Backpacking: also fun. Horseback riding: not so fun. I rented a bike a couple times: Big Fun!

In May of 2007 I bought a Trek fx (a fitness-type bike, not a mountain bike but not a road bike - an often uneasy combination of the two: more upright than a road bike but without the burly suspension or fat tires of a mountain bike). I knew that I could not ride a road type bike with that very bent over posture and this was also an affordable bike and the same kind of bike as the one I'd rented.

I rode that thing everywhere: on the bike paths in Folsom, CA; on the American River Bike Trail; in Sacramento traffic; to the grocery store, the hardware store, the library. I rode it all the way from Folsom to Sacramento State (about 20 miles) once or twice a week. I hauled way too many library books (finishing a thesis) - learning that an overloaded rear rack does funny things to the handling. I even took it on a super easy mountain bike path!

I enjoyed the heck out of that bike.

So you can imagine my distress when I seriously strained my shoulder just 13 months after I'd started riding. I dutifully went to PT (physical therapy) for a year and faithfully did my home exercises. Eventually I was able to play trombone again, vacuum the house (darn), and other ADL (activities of daily living). However, riding my bike was too much for my shoulder. I'd ride my bike and significantly regress in my PT. Besides that, it hurt like the blazes.

I moped and whined and carried on and was generally grumpy for two years: can you imagine the pent-up bicycle longings? I'll bet you can't.

Finally, just a week ago, I was finally able to take delivery of a new HPV (Human Powered Vehicle) - a splendid German-made recumbent tricycle.

Now, "tricycle" may bring to mind a little red kid's toy, or maybe a clown, or even Artie Johnson's yellow raincoat man on Laugh-In.

But this is a different beast altogether: designed for speed, or comfort, or touring; generally very well made; tending to be expensive. A grown up toy. (I suppose I should mention that recumbents are also available in two wheels, or even four!)

To be specific, I have a full suspension Scorpion recumbent tricycle by HP Velotechnik. It is set up for touring with fenders and a rear rack. This is probably the one and only recumbent cycle I'll ever own, so I indulged myself.

Oh yeah, and it is orange.

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