09 September 2010

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.

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com

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