28 May 2011

The Ambassadors

Ride #79
Saturday, May 28th

30 miles on the American River Parkway

I met up with a couple of other trikers to ride down to Old Sacramento to listen in on the jazz festival for a bit. My sweetheart's son (between undergraduate and graduate school) tagged along, perched on my old Trek hybrid bike. He's about 5 inches taller than me, with looooong legs, so 'perching' is the only word that works.

Near Old Sac

We listened for a bit to the Professors, and to the Raptors (a middle school band), and to a marching jazz band (can't recall the name). The blue-shirted part of the crowd in the following pic were in the band. They had amusing headgear.

Next year, I'll go down again, but I'll pay for admission. I'd feel better about doing that then lurking around the fringes. I might not bicycle, since I'm not sure about leaving it locked but unattended. I wonder, is there bicycle valet parking? There should be!

Bridge into Old Sac

From I-5 I always see an imposing old building. I finally got a shot of the front of it (Pacific Gas and Electric).

So, who are The Ambassadors?
I'll tell you.
Folks out riding their bikes, even though it threatened to rain: The Ambassadors of Fitness.
Moms and Pops and Kids: The Ambassadors of Family.
Three trikes together: The Ambassadors of Cool.

I have 60 miles left to ride if I want to make my goal of 300 for May is Bike Month. Not going to make it this year!

The goal for next month is to go for at least 2 round-trip erranding/shopping in town on my bike.

26 May 2011

erranding, again

Ride #78
Thursday, May 26th
6 miles in scenic Cameron Park

Had to get some lab work done, with fasting! Since I did not want to ride 6 miles before eating, I caught a ride to my sweetheart's workplace, unloaded and unfolded the trike, and pedaled away.

I'd done this before, several months ago, and the hill up to the medical offices had nearly worn me out. I stopped three times to catch my breath. Today, I cruised right up it, nonstop. I was still winded at the top, but that was OK.

Bicycling beforehand means the phlebotomist (there's your 10 dollar word for the day) had an easier time than usual with me and I was out of there in no time.

I had parked my trike near the entrance, chained to the sign for the lab. No bike racks. Sigh.

I had a couple of people waiting to pounce on me and ask questions when I emerged from the building, so I obliged and made a slight show of wheeling away.

I had meant to eat a banana and some snacks before leaving, but I was caught up in the questions. I snarfed down a banana while exiting the parking lot and made most of the ride home with the peel tucked down my shirt collar (no pockets).

Normally, I make this ride home using quiet residential streets, but I was feeling spunky today, so I took the main drag across town. No bike lane on 99% but fairly wide shoulders. Of course, there are basically no bike lanes in El Dorado County, so why am I complaining? I was buzzed closely by one motorhome with a towed car behind, but no other close passes.

As was true of the ride detailed in the previous post, the little bit of bike lane was 1/2 asphalt road surface and 1/2 concrete curb apron. What are they thinking?

I managed the turn into the driveway with out stalling out or having to go down hill past to get a good angle.

Today was just a GREAT day!

A couple more rides on the books for May, and then time for a new month!

24 May 2011

Loops, schmoops

Ride #77

Tuesday, May 24th
7 or so miles in Folsom

I parked in a slightly different section of the same-ol parking lot and, since I was feeling like a vehicle today, decided to slog up East Natomas Rd and then up some more on Sophia. I had gone this way last on New Year's Day, in the rain and cold, to shoot the bike club's epic hill-climbing challenge.
The roads felt totally different on a sunny weekday in May!
Lots more traffic. Not so bad on Natomas where there are generally two lanes and the bike lane is all asphalt, not so reassuring on Sophia, where the bike lane is 1/2 asphalt and 1/2 concrete curb extension.

This screen-shot from Google Maps shows what I mean. There is a  bump where asphalt meets concrete.
Even the label has to extend onto the concrete!
And there is only one lane in each direction on Sophia, so unless I'm riding with one wheel on concrete and 1 or 2 on asphalt, cars have to swerve around me. Generally across the double yellow line. Or at least they think they have to swerve.

So why am I whining? I'll tell you.
(you knew I was going to say that, didn't you!?)
1) abrupt differences in height along the direction of travel (like the asphalt/concrete line on Sophia) are GREAT for grabbing a wheel and causing a spill, no matter 2 or 3 wheels.
2) the paint used to mark off bike lanes is generally slippery, even in dry weather.
3) the above mentioned swerving of passing cars

My trike is about 6 inches wider than the handlebars of my old hybrid bike. On standard width bike lanes, all three wheels fit nicely within the lines. On Sophia, I have several choices. And unlike a buffet, not all the choices are great. Wait. Buffets aren't all good either. nevermind.
As I was saying ... I can run with my right wheel on concrete, my left wheel on asphalt, and my rear wheel (the center, if you will) hopefully avoiding the bump. Not great, especially since some sections of the concrete/asphalt interface are sprouting 3ft tall weeds. And any slight course correction (to avoid a bolt, or a manhole cover, or a diviot, or a grate) risks catching my rear wheel on the weed-infested bump. Which, when I'm rolling down hill at 25 miles per, is not fab. On the plus side, I'm contained in the bike lane.
Another option is to avoid the bike lane all together and take the lane. Not safe in a 50mph zone.
Or I can run with my left wheel just outside the bike lane stripe, and my right wheel to the left of the concrete. This is what I did, which still led to swerving by passing cars. They might have swerved anyway; not being used to seeing a recumbent trike in the area.

By the time I was starting up the hill on Sophia to Green Valley, I was tired of the bike lane and tired of the traffic, so I turned around at a usefully placed cross-street and headed back to the shopping center.

And this is where the loop is not my friend. I'm getting closer and closer to my car, my feet are tired from pedaling, my butt is tired of climbing, and I'm sooooo close to my car.
But I've only done 7 miles!
Well, I could just stop and walk around for a little while and keep going.
But there's my car, right over there.
I could do some more hills - leading to cardio and a happy physician. And a happy me.
Ooooo, there's a Jamba Juice. And my car.
I should not park near the Jamba Juice.
I should not ride past my car when I'm not finished with my ride.

I bailed on my ride, had a pomegranate smoothy and a low fat muffin, loaded my trike in the car, and went home.

On the upside, the trike is already in the car, I'll be down in Folsom again tomorrow, and I can easily go for a 'make-up' ride.

I moved my boom out 1/4 of an inch, the beast still shifted well. I'll see how my knees feel and maybe take it out another 1/4 inch next ride.

22 May 2011

Oh my oh my

Ride #76
Sunday, May 22nd

18 miles in Folsom, CA

Although there were no trombones, we did have a parade today.
Yes, all the bikes you see in this pic (and MORE) were on the ride with me!

A parade of more than a dozen bicycles winding their way down and around Folsom's bike paths. I seem to remember counting 17 heads rolling by at one point. No idea if I am remembering that number correctly. I'm sure there were more than 12, and less than 20.

This was one of my bright ideas (maybe I need to switch to compact florescent bulbs in my head) to satisfy multiple levels of bicyclists.

Not sure it worked quite right.

The first part of the ride was 9 miles with a long hill. I did discourage one hopeful rider from this part of the ride, and I think that was OK, since the second, flatter and slower, and also 9 miles part of the ride seemed OK for him. He was slightly pink around the edges and muttering about cardio. So I'm glad he skipped the first part of the ride even though I hate bossing people around. I think he would have been miserable.

I had one person on a 3 speed, walking the bike only a few times. There were others for whom this ride was far too slow. I figured I was providing them with practice for going really really slow without crashing from the clipped in pedals. Heh heh heh. Or maybe an entry into trackstanding.

Managing a large group of people on a non-straightforward path is non-trivial. I'm glad my sweetheart showed up for the second ride and swept the group. He only needed to play herding dog once.

So how does one ensure that all riders are ready for a ride? Ask them how long they've had the bike, what's the last ride they did and how long was it. Ask them if they do other cardio stuff: hiking, swimming, dancing, rowing. Then there are the bikes. Does it shift? Can the route be done on 3 speeds? On a fixie? Blah. Too much thinking!

It was relaxing to go an average of 9 miles an hour, but stressful to try to keep an eye on that many riders.
I think I'll go bombing around on the trails sometime this week All By Myself. I do, after all, need to squeeze 75 more miles in this month for May is Bike Month.

19 May 2011

For no apparent purpose

Ride #75
Wednesday, May 19th

12.5 miles around Folsom

The 'cycle was still in the back of the car this morning; I had to take the car for an oil change, so I decided to leave the trike in there and go for a ride after the car was finished.
I argued with myself all the way from the shop to my eventual parking spot. "Where do I want to ride today?" "Not there, but why?" "Maybe here." "Well, I don't know, you decide." "No, you decide."

I ended up at the old same spot of the Raley's shopping center: proximity to bike path, restrooms, and food for after the ride. Although I had decided to stick the Raley's to Glenn Rd. route onto the Nimbus lake loop, I changed my mind AGAIN and decided to have no purpose for the ride.

That whole no purpose thing only lasted about 4 miles, then I decided - "Hey, I can pedal over to Bicycle Planet and maybe pick up some replacement brake pads." So I turned on my Cherry Bomb rear blinky and headed out into traffic.

Folsom has great bicycle infrastructure: in addition to bike paths they also have bike lanes. And many of the right turn lanes are separated from the bike lane by a nice chunk of concrete. So I enjoyed the bike lanes on Oak Ave. and Iron Point. The traffic was light and well behaved.

I found a couple interesting things along the way:

Yes, I'm part pack-rat and part scavenger.

Alas, Bicycle Planet was out of Avid BB7 brake pads (they are quite popular) so I picked up a medium-bright red blinky for the back of my bike. It is easier, I've been told, for overtaking vehicles to figure out how fast the overtaking is when there are TWO red lights to look at. I shall hang on to the Serfas seat stay light as a loaner.

I contemplated trying on helmets, but I was pretty sweaty and thought that might not be very nice for the next shopper.

I pedaled back, dodging traffic down Prairie City Rd. and then back on to the bike paths.

Somewhere along the way, I stared down this lovely creature.

And startled our state bird, again.

Hopefully no rain this weekend. I've got to get the rest of my miles for May is Bike Month!


Ride #74
Wednesday, May 18th

10ish miles in Sacramento on the Ride of Silence.

We had a small group for the ride (sort of a last minute thing with not a lot of advertising): at least 4 from one of the groups I belong to, 2 from another local group (I can tell from the jerseys), 2 folks about whom I have no clue, and a very interesting utility bike with a side car for the child. I might have missed a few people.

There are at least two ghost bikes near Sac State's campus, so we rode over there to add some flowers to those memorials. The person who ended up hosting this ride was recruited at the last minute (since the original planner was off in Moab for a few days) so there was not a lot of participation. She's thinking of a 100 person ride next year.

The logistics of getting even 10 bicycles clustered around a memorial without impeding foot or vehicle (I include bicycles as 'vehicles') was ... interesting. So I think the organizer's idea of having multiple destinations for next year's ride and splitting the group up (and starting in a place with a larger meeting area) are all Good Things. And maybe if the meeting area had publicly-accessible bathrooms that'd be nice also. A middle-aged bladder is Not Fun.

I encountered again the idea that folks who ride recumbents ride them because they have some disability that prevents them from riding a 'normal' bike. Sigh. As if I'd ever want to ride such an uncomfortable thing ever again.

Our route took us on quiet streets in Sacramento, some with speed-bumps/undulations. I would call them speed-humps (but many people I know would take that totally the wrong way) since they are low and smooth and easy to ride over. Some of these undulations are full width and some are two with a sort of a gutter in the middle. I was surprised by the gutter-type and it was a very strange feeling to have my two front wheels go over the humps, and my rear wheel not. Undulations are fun!

I blinged out my trike with extra front and rear lights, wore my yellow high-viz with reflective piping jacket, and used both reflective flags. I was determined to Be Seen!
Three forward facing white lights; one strobing and one steady on my ride's frame, and a wimpy cheap camping headlamp on helmet. For red lights, I have a Serfas seat-stay blinker mentioned in an earlier post, and a NiteRider Cherry Bomb blinker that is Very Very Very bright. Really, the CB is so bright the Serfas does not add a whole lot. I wonder if I can figure out how to attach a second CB to my headrest?
There are several schemes to add side-visible lights to one's bicycle. Some are passively reflective, like reflective bands on one's shoes or ankles, or reflective sidewalls, and of course the CA legal code mandated side reflectors; but some are active, usually battery or generator-powered LED lights. I got to get me some of those.

I've decided I don't like riding around a city at dusk/night. Especially if it is one I don't know too well. Of course, this attitude might come from having momentarily misplaced the car. I knew it was two blocks down and one right turn away from Fremont Park (our meeting place) but with all the one way streets around there it took me a while.
I did remember that I had parked across from a lively and loud bar.
There are a lot of bars in that area.
Oh dear, oh dear, whatever shall I do?
How about a bunch of U-turns on the handful of two-way streets!
Did I cross the train tracks? I think so....
Hey, is that my Prius?! It is.

And now for a public service announcement.
Let the flames begin.

Bicycles are vehicles.
They belong on the road, if the rider so chooses.
A rider choosing to use the road has a few obligations that are mostly describable as:
"Don't be a jerk."

You are a vehicle. You are subject to the vehicle code.
Don't blow through stopsigns or lights.
Don't ride against traffic.
Be predictable, visible, and safe.

14 May 2011

"... ran out of songs to play."

Ride #73
Saturday, May 14th

38ish miles in Lodi, CA

Today I saw:
        A Magpie
                    Emu (!)

Puffy clouds, vineyards. Lovely.

and some bikes:
                 Tandem recumbent
              Recumbent, plain
           Recumbent, trike
        Recumbent, handtrike

Most of the vineyards have lovely roses. One I passed seemed to believe in my principle of "no rose unless it is a stinky rose". Like pedaling through perfume.

I was passed nicely by:
        Farm equipment
           Pickup trucks
              Sports cars
                    Other bicyclists.
Not so nicely by a couple of sedans. Hrmph.

This was a ride organized by the Lodi Rotary to raise money for their charitable efforts. The 15th one!

I decided to do the shortest ride they offered, the 50 km.
I dithered about trying twice that distance for a moment, but decided that I am not ready for more than about 40 miles at a time right now. As it was, the seemingly endless stretch of Peltier Rd into a headwind on the return ride wore me out!
My average speed for the first half (no headwind) was just shy of 11mph (10.9 if you must know) but my overall for the whole ride was exact-ally 10. Which which I am pleas-ed.
And down to the Mokelumne River I attained a zippy 28.6 mph. It was soooooo nice to coast! I'm not sure I really am in love with the constant pedaling necessary for truly flat rides.

OK. That last statement was inserted by my evil twin, Skippy.

Moving on.

Row of palms on Acampo Road

The Acampo store was more interesting to look at but this building was easier to take a picture of.

This was a bit different from the Napa Cycle for Sight I did earlier this year: everyone checked into the Lodi event as they arrived, got a nice red t-shirt, a wrist band, and a route map, unloaded their bikes, and set off.
Some folks traveled in pairs or bunches, but there were other independently minded singletons like me. The Napa event was 3 separate mass starts.
The camaraderie of the large group was nice, but I really think I prefer riding by myself. So I guess that's OK for a solo-tourist-wanna-be.

Rest stop at Clements Fire Department.

Sorry, strawberries already eaten in this shot.

There was a lot of fresh fruit at the rest stop, so I pigged out. Despite that, the aforementioned headwind took enough out of me that I stopped for some dried fruit and nuts on the side of the road.
I had picked up some Kirkland (Costco) brand individually packaged fruit and nut mix (dried cranberries and cherries, almonds, walnuts, and dry-roasted pistachios). Convenient enough, but I would have liked salted nuts in there instead. Time to make my own!

This picture is for all the people who grew up with human-sized haybales. It was a Very Large hayfield.

Returning to Lodi High School (home of the Flames), I loaded my trike in the car, ate a nice tri-tip lunch provided by the organizers, and drove home.

I had no real problems mechanically (although I did regret my decision to re-install the left wheel reflector - it sang to me the entire ride).
I need new batteries in my Cherry Bomb rear light; my Serfas seat-stay light (I have it on my headrest) came apart in the parking lot at the end of the ride (I had not gotten the battery cover back on correctly when I changed the batteries); but my Cateye Opticube HL-EL450 worked just fine.

I like the Cateye light: it has a strobe mode which my larger brighter light does not, it is small and easy to attach to a smallish tube with an o-ring. "But wait," you say! "Doesn't that light have an attached nifty clamp-strap thingummy?" Yes, it does, but it broke on the third use and it was such a pain to use that I don't want another thingummy anyway. Hurrah for o-rings.

I think I need to take apart my right bicycling shoe and see if the metal plate and cleat screws have shifted around.

And, major triumph, I stuffed my trike into a Toyota Prius!

It does, after all, fold

T-storms in the forecast. Should I be a responsible ride leader and cancel tomorrow's ride? I've another hour to decide.

13 May 2011

Duck, duck, _ _ _ _ _!

Ride #72
Thursday, May 12th

About 11 miles around Lake Natoma

Cool, clear, and sunny this morning. We went clockwise around the lake (a wide spot formed by the Nimbus Dam on the American River), hauling ourselves up the still-under-construction Hazel Bridge.

I like this bridge and the new bike lane is a huge wonderful improvement over the old one. They've even added bike-lane lights! How cool!

And lights-on-a-stick. Pretty!

We were trying to figure out what the decorative stuff is on the downstream side of the bridge (where the old ped/bike sidewalk used to be covered by an ugly but effective mesh). Maybe a replacement for the mesh?

The early morning view upstream is a blast of sparkly sunlight.

We were out early enough to catch some of the later bicycle commuter traffic, and late enough to see a handful of other recreational cyclists out enjoying the morning.

These particular trail denizens did NOT want to give us right-of-way.

A little further on, we saw some damage from the recent winds.

The limb from waaaaaaaaay up there...

landed waaaaaaaaaay down here. And it was a tree-sized limb. Or maybe a trike-sized limb.

A couple more rides this week coming up.
Will I make it to the 300 miles I pledged for MayIsBikeMonth?
Stay tuned: you'll know when I know.

10 May 2011

Running around loose

Ride #71
Tuesday, May 10th
9 miles of errands around town

I'm still chicken about the BIIIIIG hill in front of our house (up or down, does not matter - just give me a set of yellow feathers!) so I caught a ride across town with my sweetie and then rode back through town, erranding along the way.

Rolling small town street

The bank for a new PIN, the jewelers, coffee to kill time until my order was ready, back to the jewelers, back to the bank to double check the PIN, to the library to return some books and books on CD, to the pharmacy to pick up a 'scrip, then home. Whew!

Huge beautiful oak at the library.

I have got to figure out some high-viz clothing that does not feel like wearing plastic wrap. I shed my yellow jacket once I was in a less congested area, leaving me in a bright pink long sleeved light cotton shirt. I hate polyester and nylon and other unnatural fibers, but finding cotton or light wool in true high-viz yellow has so far proved impossible.

I, as usual, behaved like a vehicle, using left turn lanes and all that. I was pleasantly surprised how many of the automated signals in left turn lanes were bicycle-aware.
I got a congratulatory rebel yell from a passing motorcycle: probably because my ride is just plain cool and I was pedaling along at about 25mph at the time. I returned the compliment with a big Power to the People gesture.

Not all city lots have houses on them.

As usual, passing cars gave me plenty of room, and I tried to stay in the shoulder (what there is of it) where it was not full of dubious looking debris. My tires took a beating from my trip through Placerville: lots of little slices. I'm loath to get replacement kevlar banded tires while my original ones are still in reasonable shape but I often wonder how a blow-out will feel. I just keep an eye on all three tires, pick gravel out when I find it, and cross my fingers!

Another ride later this week (assuming no rain) and then some weekend riding fun!

Donuts are not my friend

Ride #70

Sunday, May 8th
Miner's Ravine Trail, Roseville CA
4 lousy stinking miles

My sweetie and I tried to go for a bike ride the other day. And I suppose we did but we bailed out early. His legs were quickly tired and I had a raging headache and didn't feel too well.

That's what I get for eating some kind of horrible grocery store donut (with technicolor pink sprinkles on it, no less) instead of my usual oatmeal breakfast.

I do know better.
Learned my lesson.
Maybe I'll learn something from this.
Not likely!

The grasses are already starting to turn golden.

This is a nice little trail. It hooks up with something called False Ravine trail (I've never been on that one). If you start at the Sculpture Park and go east, it is generally up. Which explains my sweetie's tired gams. However, then when you turn around, you can sail downhill.

I think I shall hit that trail some day before a band rehearsal (Roseville Community Concert Band). It is pretty and I've enjoyed it before.

07 May 2011

Roll your own (ride)

Ride #69
Saturday, May 7th
19 miles on the very busy and very lovely American River Trail

The meetup.com site (where two of the bicycle groups I belong to reside) has a feature where a member of a group can suggest a ride, and when enough people also think the ride is a Good Idea, then it becomes 'active' and we can all pile on on and decide the details.
Last September, someone suggested early morning weekend rides, and we finally did it, eight months later. Since I was not in charge (no one was - quite refreshing) I'm not sure how many folks we had: 8 I think?

Anyway, we wandered along the path, chatting, sightseeing, chatting, munching, and having a great time. I missed seeing the deer, but there was at least one. And I got gobbled at by a turkey. I think I was being cussed at by next year's Thanksgiving dinner. Just you wait! Revenge is sweet with a side of cranberries.

The weather was cooler than yesterday, but as we got later in the morning the pesky wind picked up. I am still tired from Thursday's long ride, so the wind was not my friend! Especially when I was slogging up a little hill, on the steepest part, and the wind up and slaps me in the face! Hrmph!

Now, regular readers of this blog might wonder where, on this 1st Saturday, the Sacramento Recumbent Riders were. Well, they were there at William Pond as usual, and I got a little bit of flack for showing up at the meeting place and time but not riding with them.

It was a lot of fun watching our little band of casual bikers checking out all the different recumbents there today.

Most of the folks in the casual bike group ride either mountain bikes, or bikes like this one: a hybrid or fitness or comfort bike.
Hybrid bikes are quite popular: the rider's position is quite upright so there is less strain on the neck and shoulders and wrists and back. I used to ride something like this, but my body can't tolerate even that much.

I have a wonky knee, so I'm always checking out other people's bio-mechanical form as they pedal along. And today I did a little good in the world and helped two of today's riders adjust their saddles a bit higher.

Starting and stopping on a bicycle (a conventional or "safety bicycle") can be nerve wracking if you have always ridden a bike with the seat too low. "But I want my feet on the ground!". So a couple of folks worked on that as well.
Nothing like an impromptu bike clinic under a shady tree by a lovely river!

Me, I can lie down on the job.

We started at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery, a popular parking place for bike riders. It is, wonder of wonders, Free! so I was expecting a very crowded lot. However, it was not too bad. And it has been repaved with beautiful smooooooooth pavement. The old surface was like riding around attached to a paint shaker.

I experimented with the most reclined seat position available to me on my trike.
I like it.
I'm keeping it.


06 May 2011


First, a note.  There is a benefit ride coming up in the Sacramento area: Ride4Matt
Check it out, participate if you can.

Ride #68
Thursday, May 5th

57 miles along most of the American River bike path

I think this is the longest I've ever ridden in one day in my life. I'm not dead so it is obviously survivable.

My triking pal and I left Folsom on a fine, bright Spring day. We returned later - much later - that day. And on my part at least, hot, tired, slightly sunburned, and ever-so-mildly crabby.

This was, I suppose, a little taste of touring in some ways:  it was a fair distance, it was a bit stressful, and I'm sitting here a day later composing this post in a coffee shop.
On my phone.

My left foot is bruised, my leg muscles are tired, and my allergies are in full swing. It is a good thing the coffee shop has lots of paper napkins. I'm thinking about what kind of small pump I want to buy, and trying recall the correct sequence for removing and replacing a rear tire. And thinking about the next loooooong ride!

Hey, I just noticed that my phone's keyboard has a voice recognition function. Here goes: I have no idea if this is good to work or not I have removed myself to the car so I don't sit in peets coffee house talking to my phone which would sound very very very strange.
Hey. I can 'speatype' a run-on sentence! Ok. Back to work.

When using clipless pedals (pedals-that-attach-to-your-shoe-with clips. Don't ask me, I didn't name them) on a recumbent, it is useful to push the foot away as well as pulling back on the return. Apparently, I cannot do that effectively for more than about 35 miles. I started loosing the "oomph" in my legs at that point and I suppose my left foot was repeatedly slamming into the bottom of my shoe: hence the bruise. I'm considering more cushy forefoot inserts for my shoes.

We took plenty of breaks on the way out and even more on the way back! I stopped and stretched about 3/4 of the way through the ride. I drank 24 x 6 ozs of water: still not enough, since I came home with a raging headache. Two packets of electrolyte replacement powder and several glasses of water put me to rights.
I've added some packets to my bike bag.

I ate two oranges and a handful of trail mix along the way. And some jerky. I was pretty hungry at the end of the ride, so I think more trail mix is in order.

About 4 miles from the end of our ride, my steering started getting squirrelly. My rear tire was losing air! So we stopped and pumped it up to see if I could get back without hassling with a tube change. It held enough air to do so, I did no damage to my rim, and I put a new tube in the next day. And here's the "tattoo" to prove it. Saturday's ride will tell if I did a good job.
Have you hugged your bike today?

My pump sucks. Yes, air pumps are supposed to blow (which in this case is a good thing), so we used my pal's pump. I LIKE that pump! It's a Topeak road morph. Very nice, especially the built in pressure gauge.

I experimented a little bit with tipping my seat all the way back. I seemed to have more power with less effort, and it uses slightly different muscles than my usual, more upright, posture. I've set up the seat and the mirrors for the new laid back position and I'll give it a try on Saturday's ride.


01 May 2011

May is Bike Month

Ride #67
Sunday, May 1st

19 miles, some on the ARBT

Today is the first day of my favorite month of the year. How better to celebrate then to go for a ride? And even better, a ride I'm not leading! I got to hang out at the back and veg. Lovely.

We had an assortment of eight riders, some on road bikes, some on hybrids, a handful of mountain bikes, and me on my orange beastie.

I did see four other recumbents while we were out and about: one hand-powered and three foot-powered.

The group started from a shopping center on Sunrise Blvd., but I decided to park up at the light rail station and get a few more miles in and have more elbow room for unloading and loading.
In general, I don't mind parking at a shopping center to go for a ride, but I feel a lot better about it if I'm going shopping or eating at the center as well. I did not need to shop, or eat, so I'm just as glad I parked where I did.

There are three ways to get across US50 in the suburban Sacramento area: an overcrossing near Hazel Blvd, the tunnel on the South Canal near Gold River, and an underpass paralleling Sunrise. The Sunrise underpass has been around since 1997, but it seems very little used. The underpass hooks up to a stretch of abandoned road, then to a lovely paved multi-use sidewalk that runs down to the entrance at the Sunrise area on the American River.

The abandoned road. No idea what the name used to be.

I'm very glad the county set that underpass up, since trying to negotiate the Sunrise/US50 area in anything less than a ton or so of steel is just too ... exciting. It is remarkably difficult to find out about this alternate route: I found it by accident several years ago, and try to spread the word. It shows up as the usual green dashed line designating bike paths on the ARBT map, but it is not labeled.

I arrived at our shopping center meeting place in plenty of time, and watched the rest of the riders trickle in. I'd met some of today's riders before, but I have another batch of new faces for which I can forget the names.
I answered the usual questions about my trike: is it comfortable, what kind of brakes, how does it handle, how is up hills. Interestingly, I did not get weight or cost questions, so that was refreshing.

One of the folks on the ride had a flat tire (I had actually never heard the distinctive 'pop' and 'hiss' of a flat before, so that was cool). Most of the group waited while the tube was changed out, taking the opportunity to chat without having to watch for oncoming and overtaking bicycle traffic.

I solved my "brake" issue of yesterday. It was not a brake thing at all, but rather my wheel reflector banging around in the spokes. I removed it entirely. Now I just have to figure out how to put the thing on so it stays put!

On the way back I got tired of vegging and took off like a cat with a scalded tail. Earlier, I had not commented on the handful of folks who, I suspected, felt that a trike might have trouble keeping up with 'real' bicycles. I'm pretty good at sprinting, and took advantage of an ever-so-slight downhill and zoomed past the group doing about 20mph.

Oh yeah. Eat my dust.

The jog over to Gold River shopping center shows up on the way back. Sue me.