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.

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