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.

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