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.

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