29 March 2011

Like a cat with a hairball

Ride #56
Tuesday, March 29th
25 miles on the Folsom South Canal

Yes, this is longer than we've gone on the canal, but that's not because we got past Jackson Highway, instead it is because we started at the Fish Hatchery. A beautiful sunny day, my legs a strange shade of whitish-pink from a liberal application of sunscreen, talking talking talking our way down the canal.

Then I had to go and eat a bug. I really did not want the extra protein. I think it was a leg, or something, that got stuck in my throat, right on the gag-spot. So I choked and hacked and spat my way down the canal until I guess I finally swallowed the rest of the bug. There were a lot of bugs out today. I think the rest of the several squadrons of insects were really search parties looking for their missing buddy. Sorry, boys. Not going to find him. Just declare him lost at sea. Or esophagus.

We decided a bathroom break was in order (the one flaw, a major flaw for middle-aged ladies, of the FSC is the absolute and glaring lack of even a skanky port-a-john). We discussed finding a shrub, but decided that since we were not too far from the park on Spoto, we'd detour our way over there for a bit of relief.

I tried to take a picture of some charming cows today, but by the time I was level with the cows, the grass was in the way. There are downsides to being on a low vehicle. Lots of poppies out now.

Hopefully I'll get out to enjoy the sun a little more (even with strange whitish-pink limbs) a few more times this week.

22 March 2011

Talk-powered triking

Ride #55
Tuesday, March 22nd
Around Lake Natomas, about 12.5 miles

Slogged around the lake today, clockwise. I was feeling pretty whipped from physical therapy yesterday, so I was not my usual zippy self, but the beautiful blue skies, puffy clouds, and early wildflowers made it all worth while.

And the great conversation with another triker.

No, that's not a strange exotic spider following me, its a trike!

All the gates are open on the Nimbus dam, I wish now I'd stopped for a better picture of the foaming water at the base of the dam, but I did not so you will have to use your imagination.

Here's some more pics for your entertainment.
South side of the lake

The new bridge with the older one behind

Park area on the north side

Blue skies ahead!

Dam from the Hazel bridge

17 March 2011

Soggy Bottom

Ride #54
Thursday, March 17th
17 miles on the South Canal

We had intended to go all the way to Sloughhouse road, but we found this in our way.

I waded in to see how deep. Too deep.
We turned around since we didn't want to carry the trikes through this twice. Damp wool socks and damp mesh cycling shoes are not too bad. 

We also saw a large bird.

I tried to catch it as it took off. I missed. Twice. Here's a wingtip consolation prize.

I have spiffy photogray (or whatever the trade name is these days) glasses. You know, the ones that turn dark from UV light? That keep you from carrying around a pair of prescription sunglasses? The ones that make it impossible to see the digital camera display?

Oh, did you catch that I said "trikes" plural? Yes!! (insert celebratory fist pump) The local triker I encountered on my last trip through town came on the ride today. So I had a cheerful person on a cheerful yellow well loved Greenspeed zipping along right beside me as well as my intrepid friend hauling the trailer full of kids. She with the trailer did not come are far as the Giant Puddle in the Middle of the Trail since she had a lot to do this afternoon.

Hopefully next time it will not have rained for a week straight and the trail will be clear.

I suspect this weekend's ride will be rained out, but I hold out hope for next week.

Happy chase-the-snakes-off-the-island-day!

We got just across Jackson Highway this time.

13 March 2011


Ride #53
Sunday, March 13th
12 miles in Folsom.

8 intrepid cyclists set out on an overcast day to conquer some little bitty hills. 9 ascents total by my count. A little walking, a lot of huffing and puffing, some extra laps up the switchback by those with extra energy, and we were done and back at the start. But Wait! Let's keep going! So most of the group added a little 6 mile jaunt around the wetlands, then scooted back for more conversation in the guise of putting our bikes and gear away.

I'm very pleased with how this ride went. I had a couple of no-shows (folks who signed up but did not appear, call, or change their rsvp) but those who came seemed to have a good time. Lots of laughter. At times, as I was barreling down a hill on my unfairly aerodynamic trike, I felt like I was pulling a comet tail of bicyclists along behind me. Other times I guess our comet was switched end-for-end as I trailed almost everyone up the hills.

We saw some other bicyclists, but mostly dog walkers out today. Not a lot of wildlife, expect for the ever-foraging ducks and other waterfowl in the pond. A couple of kids exploring an enticing culvert on the side of a hill. I hope they stayed out of the poison oak! A pleasing number of children outside with their parents, many on their own small bikes (the kids, not the parents) with some children on tag-along-units.

A couple of longer rides scheduled for later this week, but it looks like rain again. Boo hoo!

08 March 2011

Nearly Nimbus

Ride #52
Tuesday, March 8th
13ish miles on the American River Bike Trail

Sunny when I left the house, drove down into overcast, and the sun came out for our ride as we left the parking lot on our 'cycles. Thank you, weather!

Saw some fat squirrels (red, not gray this time) and lots and lots of Canadian geese. One was so close to the trail I could have patted it on the back but I like my fingers right where they are so I did not.

Hills. They are something you slog up and sail down. Some folks look forward to them, some dread them. I'm sort of in the middle (and my idea of a 'hill' would make many more serious bikers LOL. They'd be all like "What hill?").
So, there is a lovely long downhill with lots of entertaining curves on the way to the Willow Creek boat launch, our turn around point today. While we were stopping for a rest at Willow Creek, we all sort of dreaded going right back up that hill. But it was not that bad. There is enough hill to get some good speed on the way down and have fun, but there is really only one steep section on the way back up. Which we all did just fine on. Take that, hill!

I think from this point forward, I'm going to try to do 90% of my rides at 12 miles long or longer, and do a 20 mile or longer ride 3 times a month. I'll still lead short beginner rides, and my collection of stupidly steep yet short hills is enough work at 5 miles long to satisfy me.

05 March 2011

Riding with a crowd

Ride #51
Saturday, March 5th

30 miles on the American River Parkway

14 riders today on the monthly Sacramento Recumbent ride. A whole variety of 2 wheels, a tandem, and finally another tricycle - a spiffy and speedy Catrike Speed. In orange. I approve.

I hung out at the back of the pack as usual, chatting with another slow rider. And on the way back from a lovely lunch of salmon pasta salad, I chatted with a different laid back person. So it was a great day on the trail. I'm glad the rain held off until this evening since I do enjoy these rides very much.

Despite my laid back pace, I was pretty wiped out after the ride - took a nap when I got home!

Got an upclose view of a Very Large Squirrel, saw an egret, lots of songbirds, a bunch of circling raptors, and many many many people out enjoying the break in the winter rains. I was very happy to see lots of smaller children out riding their bikes or being towed by their parents. Got several "that looks like fun!" comments and saw other recumbent riders (two wheels, three wheels, and some handtrikes) out as well. One charming small girl wanted desperately to try sitting in my trike so she did. She could not come close to the pedals but she seemed pleased.

There has been a lot of construction on the trail lately, so the ever changing detours are, well, changing. I finally got to see some of the really nice new stone wall construction and other trail improvements. But no pics today since as usual I spend most of my time trying to keep up and juggling a camera slows me down quite a bit.

I think the rides later this week might fit between the storm fronts moving through, so stay tuned!

This is more or less the route I took today.

04 March 2011


Ride #50
5.6 miles in Cameron Park, CA
Friday, March 4th

Got a lift to the other end of town, picked up my lovely new photochromatic glasses (bifocals make it a LOT easier to see the little tiny letters on my Cateye bike computer) and zipped home on mostly quiet residential streets. This is almost the same ride I took back in November, and this time was easier.

I got to geek three, count 'em, three times about recumbent cycles. One of the fellows at the optometrists has, I think he said, a V-Rex - which is a two wheel bent, so he was geeking about my lovely orange ride. And as I was leaving a couple of people who work in the same area stopped and pointed excitedly to the trike. Turns out she has both a Recycled Recumbent by a guy in WI, and a trike. I can't remember what the quiet guy had, but they've both been on rides with the Recumbent Riders of Sacramento before, so I might see them again tomorrow on the 30 mile ride with the 'bent riders.

And THEN, while stopping on the side of the road to shed my bright yellow jacket (too warm for the jacket today but my bright pink shirt was probably equally visible) I chatted for a while with a woman whose husband used to ride a long wheel base recumbent - I guess he toured all over on it, but now he has too many health issues to ride anymore. I hope he gets a kick out of her story of the orange trike.

So, a lovely day on a lovely machine, meeting lovely people. It don't get more lover-ly than that!