19 August 2011

Will ride for ice cream


Friday, August 19th

A largish group of casual bikers headed out late this afternoon on the American River Trail with the promise of smoothies, ice cream, or coffee at the end of the ride. We had people on road bikes with those bars you might remember from your 1970's 10 speed, upright-posture comfort bikes, a splendid white cruiser, a mountain bike, my friend with the trailer-full of kids, and me on my recumbent trike.

I had the singular honor of leading the parade down to the riverside trail (the fellow on the white cruiser was the actual leader of the ride) and I even managed to keep my speed down to a casual-friendly 10mph. I did a lot of coasting.

We did not see any deer or coyote, but there were a lot of turkeys around. Including some humanoid turkeys on motorized skateboards. Grrrr. Not supposed to be on the trail! Oh well. They buzzed off up the Fair Oaks bridge and out of earshot.

I eventually caved in to my need for speed and took off down the trail like my tail was on fire. I managed 19.4 as my top speed and I know I did not hold it for long since I distinctly remember some gasping going on. I cruised on at about 13mph after that.

We hung out at the pond at our turnaround point, carefully avoiding many fine deposits of duck-shit. Ick. Green and squashy.

As we made our way back to our starting point, dusk happened, so I turned on my lights, the Cateye Opticube in flash mode on the front and the Cherry Bomb in the rear. It was nearly dark when we got back to the Sunrise bicycle path, so I stopped to add the high-viz sleeves from my old windbreaker and some flashing bands that I picked up at REI. I think they are supposed to go on your arms, but I find I can wiggle them over my shoes and wear them on my ankles. I also had two flags with reflective patches on them and a rear reflector. There are also some reflective patches on my trunk bag and the edges of my seat.

I felt highly invisible even with all that. So I need to figure out how to add more lights and reflective stuff to my ride, especially stuff that will be visible from the sides. Must ponder this.

I know I turned off the bike path onto the correct street, but I somehow was unable to find the smoothie place. Hrmph. I suck at nighttime navigation. Heck, I can hardly find the place in broad daylight. My GPS enabled phone helped, since I could remember the name of another business in the same building as the smoothie place (which I already knew was not in Google Maps). So I got there eventually and had a lovely pomegranate something with bananas and granola on it. Yum!

While I was sitting in the store waiting for my order, the two kids decided that the flashing bands on my ankles were too cool! They lay on the floor at my feet (I felt like a disco demi-god for a while, with two devoted worshipers) happily poking the buttons to turn the flashing on and off.

I am just as smitten with my trike as I was the day I brought it home, but my appreciation of its capabilities has grown as my ability to take advantage of those capabilities has grown.

What will the next year bring?
More long organized rides (I'm registered for Foxy's in October and a friend reminded me of a ride in Lodi's wine area also this fall), and hills. Hills since I want to tour.

Speaking of touring, here's a sketch of possible art for a recumbent cycle touring business card.
The ancient Egyptians got nothin' on me.

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