30 December 2012


two hundred thirteen

legs tired, headwind blasting
one rest day: need more.

powered by girl grins
sunshine blue sky clouds blow by
grim joggers, fleet bikes

gasping reaching push
struggling with my sisters
she runs, rides, smiling

turning around now
more wind? Unbelievable
just plain offended

more smiling faces
pink jackets, scarves concealing
skinnier than me

no matter, we all
run/ride together, apart.
more wind blasts in face

no bail out for me
pushpull pushpull pushpull PUSH!
get 'er done. Car sight!

28 December 2012

In the Library... with a book...


Before the afternoon rain came, I slid out the garage this morning and over to the local library to pick up some mysteries.

Ok. It was a little more complicated than that. 

First, I got my cool weather tights on, found a light wool shirt, my fuzzy vest, my arm warmers, my wool buff, my full fingered wool gloves, thick wool socks and my high viz wind breaker.

I took Red Leader's trike and bags out of the back of the car, took my trike out, unfolded it, put the seat on. Put my trunk bag on the back, a pannier on the side and found my full-finger gloves. Put a flag on and attached my birthday lights - a lovely and functional pair from Busch and Mueller.

Then I went in through the garage, shut the garage, through the house, back outside and on my trike and rolled away.

Today was trash day, so there were lots of garbage cans to dodge. All drivers were well behaved, giving me plenty of room on the road. I did cut in behind a few trash cans to let cars pass but in general I kept a steady line. And I managed to avoid all the potholes and cracks in the asphalt. For fun, I stopped at all stop signs, befuddling drivers left and right.

When I got to the library, I sat outside for a bit and drank some chocolate milk (Ovaltine and Nido in powder form in a screwtop mug, just add water) and a small food bar. Sitting out allowed me to cool off a little so when I went into the library it only slightly resembled a sauna compared to the overcast low 40s outside.

I browsed the new books, picking up a Neal Stephenson and a Sarah Paretski, then headed for the fiction shelves for the newly buzz worthy Lee Child.

Pannier comfortably stuffed with books, rolled away, to slog up hills and freeze downhills back home.

My new headlight, ixon IQ, is having a problem staying on, so back to the shop it goes for replacement. So sad.

About 9 miles total, max speed just shy of 25mph, average just shy of 9mph.

Rain and wind tomorrow, I might stay home.

27 December 2012

Steppin' out


Red Leader had the flu over Christmas, so he did not feel much like riding on this sunny, crisp (outdoor-speak for cold) day.

I found a substitute in the Lanky Lad (my stepson) who agreed to a hybrid rental and a short ride in Folsom and on the American River Trail.

Renting a bike was a shallow excuse for me to ask the bike shop to bail me out of my inept brake pad change attempt. My Avid BB7 pads have almost 3000 miles on them and it was time for new ones. Now, BB7s are supposed to be among the easiest mechanical disk brakes to work on, but not in my case. I got the old pads out, got the new pads in, but even with the caliper adjustment backed all the way out, both the inboard and outboard pads made serious contact with the rotors. Scrub scrub scrub. Bleah.

It took the tech 1/2 an hour to sort it out. He got a quick lesson from me in HP Velotechnick's wheel removal, then LL and I headed out for a coffee to avoid hovering over the tech. Mr. Tech took it for a spin around the parking lot and pronounced it so comfortable!
Yes, yes it is.

Lanky Lad has been without a bike at college due to self-admitted neglect of his vintage Schwinn. He received funds for a used bike at Christmas and will go bike shopping for a campus-worthy beater when he returns to Oregon in January.

He may reconsider looking for a hybrid, but I believe the Giant comfort bike he rented was unusually heavy and slow for a hybrid frame. However, he kept up with my junior-roadie speed (15-20mph) down Iron Point Road from the shop, lamented his decrease in aerobic conditioning, but pedaled gamely up the Iron Point hill when we returned to the shop.

I have finally signed up for the premium (paid) Strava subscription and have had fun adding filters to my segments in a (usually) vain attempt to raise my rank on the leaderboard.

I've put the front fenders on my bike, and plan to try to ride every day, barring torrential downpours, high winds, or lightning.


24 December 2012

Recreational Roadie


Recreational riders are known for sticking to the trails. Roadies for riding on the roads.

Today I did both.

I set out up to Beal's point on the American River trail, getting my second best times on a couple of Strava segments, then had the urge to stop in at Folsom Cycle (the sponsor of the bicycle club to which I belong).

So I rode through Beal's Point park and out onto Folsom Auburn Road. There is a reasonable bike lane for most of it and the traffic was cooperative. I was wearing my bright yellow jacket and had my fancy B&M tail light going.

Of course, I got to the shop just as they had closed, so I spent a little while discussing my trike with a rider who was hanging out there munching on a power bar.

I continued down FA road, sort of muffed the intersection at Greenback, but made my way onto the downstream side of the bridge and back to the parking garage and the car.

It may be time for new brake pads in my disk brakes. I think I'll have to take them out to see if 3mm remain. I have replacement pads already and Avid BB7s are easy to work on.

I also spent a little time (since I was going oh-so-slowly) meditating on my rear derailler while the chain is in the granny gear in front. There is an intermittent yet regular tapping/clacking sound from the rear. It is only audible when I'm in the granny in front. I have my right hand mirror aimed at the back of my bike, so I can check my rear tire while rolling, and I noticed today that the tap/clack sound is accompanied by a slight jump in the derailler cage. I wonder if the three master links in my chain are making that sound? If so, why not in all the gear ranges.

Well, that's a puzzle for after Christmas.

Merry Xmas (as my family would always say). I'll hold off on the Happy New Year in anticipation of a ride between now and then.

19 December 2012

Tiny Frosty Delite

#209 / #36

Did you know, if it is 48 degrees F and you are cycling along at 18mph, the windchill is 41 on the new chart and 31 on the old. It felt more like the old chart today.

Did you also know that pushing the boundaries of your husband's temperature comfort results in a post-ride excursion to REI?

Well, it does.

We turned around after about a mile and a half.  Red Leader's fingers got too cold. My old de-padded Terry coolweather tights were chafing in unfortunate places.

I was wearing a lightweight merino wool crewneck shirt from Ibex and my homemade Schoeller fabric jacket (wind blocking).
My ears were protected with my wool Buff. I was wearing the aforementioned Terry cool weather cycling tights.
I don't need that pad any more and after several years of diamond frame riding it was pretty skanky. So I removed it. I was (and am) reluctant to remove the last bits of stitching that held the pad in as I am not sure the tights would remain intact if I did. So it chafed the back of my thighs pretty good. A longer ride would have meant more chafing and discomfort.
I use mesh cycling shoes so I found my nice thick REI 'hiker' wool socks and my feet were fine. My hand were protected with full finger Ibex gloves (more wool).

Red Leader was wearing his Underarmor HeatGear fabric short sleeved shirt under his lined Supplex jacket. Nothing on his head but his helmet. He had cotton cargo shorts and wicking ExOfficio boxers, and fleece leg warmers from Aerotech Designs. Some kind of wicking athletic socks in his non-mesh cycling shoes.
The stretchy-backed Novarra gloves he has did not keep the backs of his fingers warm.
He reports that his fingers were cold (a 7 out of 10) his head was a 5 out of 10 and his legs and so on were fine.

So he has a windproof (and waterproof) cycling jacket now, an Original Buff, and a long sleeved wicking shirt, as well as lobster claw gloves.

Now if only there is another cool clear day before his vacation is over. (More rain on the way).

11 December 2012

Bodacious Beals

#208 /  #35

It was Time, Past time, Time to GO, Time to Climb on our lovely trikes.

So I successfully sold Red Leader (AKA Himself) my husband)) on the idea of crawling up Beals Point and then possibly going around the lake.
We did the Point, but not the lake.

It is 9.7 miles round trip from the parking garage in Folsom to the Beals Point section of Folsom Lake State Recreation Area.

We went across the newish bridge rather than the old wooden ped bridge.

We spent a little over an hour, with a moving average of 8.5. My max speed was a paltry 21 mph. I did considerable braking on the downhills due to washes of sand across the trail and lots of leaves.

Whoever it is that maintains this trail has fixed the lumpy root problem in the two underpasses on this ride. Which is nice, since I did not bounce out of my seat this time. I think the suspension on my trike makes fast curvy bumpy downhills even more (unnecessarially?) exciting.

Most of the other rides were skinny fit roadie types, passing us in a blur of legs. And there were not too many of them on this workday afternoon. And the weather was a lovely low 60s, mostly overcast, with a breeze at the top of the climb.

I dropped my front chain between the rings while shifting, so I had to stop and pry it out. The end of a tire lever works pretty well for this. No other mechanical issues. Red Leader got his heart rate up to about 165, high but he did not feel nausous or dizzy. So no worries there. Our legs are tired.

08 December 2012

The Coach on the Couch

#207 / #34

Today was another ride around Lake Natoma, where Red Leader and I herd a gaggle of assorted Meetup casual bikers around the lake.

Today was a low attendance day, it was around 50 degrees F, a bit cold for all but the most diehard of the casual set.

We had 2 repeat offenders (folks who've been on the ride before) and two newbies. No mechanical issues and a nice pace for the ride.

The pace of this ride is determined largely by who shows up. I always hope that I don't get a sharp division between rabbits and tortoises. One of the folks today, by no means a tortoise, worried that she was too slow. She was fine!.

I swept, so I got to hang out with her. We will call her Ms. Green, since her bike is a lovely pastel green Trek. Ms. Green had been off of her bike for a while, and when she'd gotten it back from the shop from a tune up, the shop had raised her seat for her.
This is a common thing with the casual rider. The seats are almost always too low. Ms. Green's seat was just right. She didn't like the tipped forward posture the higher seat gave her, so I told her that she could have the shop see about raising the handlebars a bit.

Ms. Green's bike is a 27 speed, and she was not sure about shifting the front derailler. So we got to talk about gears and hills and I encouraged her to shift down to her littlest ring when a hills was coming up. She got a little more confident as the ride went on

My work here is done.

One of the jobs of a ride leader, in my opinion, especially of a group of casual bicyclists, is to be there to provide information if it is desired. I'm always happy to do this, as I think if someone is going to bicycle, they might as well be as comfortable as possible. Mentally and physically comfortable.

That's how I roll, bellowing useful advice from my rolling lounger.

02 December 2012

Noah's got nothing on us

#206 / #33

It has been raining for days. Folsom, where we rode today, is not very far above sea level, and the bike paths generally follow either Willow Creek or Humbug Creek.

The creeks were raging. We had to detour several times to avoid flooded areas.
Our trikes are covered in speckles of mud.

So was I.

The trails were covered in leaves and twigs and entire branches. I got swatted in the bottom by twigs, my front headlight fell off somewhere, and we each had to pull vegetative debris out from under our trikes.

It was FUN.

After days pent up inside, when Red Leader suggested riding in Folsom because he'd seen blue sky there, I was all for it.

I knew we would not be able to use the underpass under Bidwell. It is designed to carry the creek's water when there's been a lot of rain.

This picture does not convey it well, but the water was moving so fast that the actual creek, on the other side of the metal fence, was shooting up in the air as high as the fence and roaring. The water at the foot of the " flooded" sign looked like it would wash the sign away at any moment.

We detoured around on Bidwell, then came to a section that I did not know would flood. The 'pond' in the middle distance is actually the bike path.

This water would be about chest deep on me. I'm nearly 6 feet tall.

So it was back out to Bidwell to retrace our route back to the car instead of finishing the loop.

Tomorrow, after some errands, I will be cleaning off two trikes.

Stay dry and warm out there!

26 November 2012

Terriers and Trikes

#205 / #32

Saturday, Nov 24th

The last time we were out we saw NO recumbents at all. Today it was a veritable trike-fest.

We arrived at one of our usual launching points, on Folsom's bike trails, to find an entire van full of trikes unloading. I've mentioned this crowd before, as the producers of the hysterically funny "The Goathead Thorn and You" youtube video.

Anyway, these brave souls had decided to ride with their little dogs, the dogs being held on laps. Red Leader (the rider formerly known as Himself) and I figured they were out of their minds, barking mad, in fact. The dogs were certainly barking mad. We could hear their frantic barking and yapping for a miles around the bike paths.

Another fellow in a bright yellow jacket rolled up as the dog-convoy was getting set up, but we didn't get a chance to talk to him.

We took the mildly hilly route (I chose, Red Leader went along) to the southeast from Green Valley/East Natomas intersection. I decided to charge on ahead up the hills when I knew that RL would not come to confusing intersections.

We both got a good workout, pedaling just short of gasping for air on my part, and a heartrate of just under 150 for RL.

RL decided to hop up on a wide sidewalk along Empire Ranch Road. I don't know why, he might not be comfortable riding in a bike lane when there is an alternative, or he might have been thinking of a section farther along, where one can stick to the sidewalk and avoid a Pointless Down and Up that the bike path gives you.
I suppose I should ask.

I didn't like riding on the sidewalk, so next time I'll stick to the bike lane.

Hopefully a couple of rides this week, we'll see.

22 November 2012

Snot Rockets and Story Time

#204 / #31

Ok. So it has not been quite two weeks since our last ride. It rained a lot last few days. Himself (who has a new name "Red Leader") was busy busy busy.

No rain today. Sunshine, the faintest of breezes, plenty of wildlife, and beaucoup  people. Not the usual herds of roadies, but family groups, strings of kids, walkers, dogs, coyote, deer, suicidal squirrels (no squirrel fatalities but a couple of near misses). And some unfortunately stinky sections of the trail: smelled like dog doo doo and dead fish combined and left to rot in the sun. Bleah.

Why Red Leader? Because we are geeks and it is a Star Wars reference. Because Himself rides a red trike. Because he really really wants to be in front all the time. Because I'm strange.

And I'm in good company (strange company) because Red Leader promptly announced that he needed red leader hosen. Go on, think in German for a minute.

Awful, yes?

We went from Sunrise to Watt and back - our usual. It was cool enough that the noses ran. Drippy noses can lead to snot rockets (for those of you unaware of this dainty habit, it involves shutting one nostril with a finger or knuckle, turning over ones shoulder, and violently expelling what ever is in the nose. Ick.
I do not "rocket".

As we rolled along, I saw a women walking with a couple of kids. She was telling a story as she walked. I heard a bit more of it when we saw her again at a rest break: something about enchantments and castles. I would like to know how it ended.

We got back home after our ride around 3pm, just in time to start cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Roast beef, mashed potatoes, salad, and apple crisp.


11 November 2012

Where the deer and the ...

#203 / #30

No antelope. We did, however, have 1 deer and 1 coyote and squirrels innumerable. Also birds, bikes, recumbent trikes, and handcycles. Many of them twice, once coming and once going. We started at Sunrise and went to Wm Pond and I think many run that route backwards.

We also saw a touring family. Mom pulling someone/thing in a trailer, Son with a single pannier, Daughter with another pannier, and Dad with two pairs of panniers, front and rear. I hope they have a good tour, however long or short it may be.

Himself had some cramping in his calf, not the first time, so I dropped some electrolyte in his water bottle. He sucked it down and felt better. I managed my food today better than I have in the past (can't really eat much for about 2 hours before exercise or I get a big fat stitch in my side). I ate a cheese sandwich at noon, by 2:30 were were on the trail, I had a piece of orange and a piece of Odwalla bar along the trail, and ate the rest of the orange and the bar at the end of the ride. I feel great! And no stitches!

I had one mechanical today: the quick release lever that holds the folding hinge of my trike came unhooked while I was riding. Fortunately, the lever scrapes along the pavement so I stopped right away and put it back in place. No idea why it did that, although we had made a stop a little while before, pulling off the paved trail and down a slight lip to the sandy shoulder.

I spent rather more time than usual batting along at around 15mph, my max speed was only 18. Himself was dragging a bit on the way back, so we ran about 11 or 12 on the way back. I did set a personal best on the bridge climb, so I'm pleased, even though I'm still only 255th out of 284. At least I'm not dead last ...

It was a bit cooler today than it has been, so I wore my trusty Ibex midweight zip neck and started with (but soon put away) my windblocking jacket. I also wore Danskin exercise tights instead of cotton/Lycra shorts.

Himself wore his usual wicking top (the only one he has, I need to find warmer material for a long sleeved version) and I loaned him my knee warmers. He kept his jacket, a lined Supplex one I made last spring, on for the whole ride.

At our turn around point, now heading back to the East, I swapped out my brimmed cap for my favorite piece of gear, my wool Buff, since my ears were getting cold. Let's see. What else. He wore full fingered lightweight gloves, and I wore my usual fingerless ones. As long as I kept my fingers off the brake levers, I was comfortable.

The knee warmers were a qualified success for Himself, but they kept creeping down since my extra-padded thighs had stretched them out quite a bit last year. We will look for leg warmers or tights/pants for Himself. He probably also needs wool blend socks rather than poly blend ones. I wear lightweight Smartwool socks most of the year.

All of our clothes were soggy by the end of the ride. Just because it is 55 degrees does not mean you do not sweat. I need to make sure to put a couple of fleece jackets in the car for after the ride.

The time change is playing hob with our riding schedule, and I may be on a Federal jury for a couple of weeks, so I don't know when we'll be out again.

10 November 2012

The Stylin' Seven


I had a full house of signups for my Seven 7 ride this morning, but only 3 people besides me came. That was OK, it was even more casual and more laid back then usual. This is the ride, for those of you following along at home, designed to take advantage of Folsom's lovely and mostly flat bike paths and to provide a venue for folks unsure of their bike-riding abilities.

We stopped after a couple of miles to pump up Seven Speed's tires (you met her in the September post 'Coasting Uphill'). My Topeak Road Morph was handy, so I pumped up one tire and Seven Speed pumped up the other.
I eventually ended up pumping both tires, since the tires were so soft (I'm amazed she could even go 5 mph!) it was hard to attach the pump head to the valve stem. We had a useful conversation about pumps and valve types and so on. Seven Speed was MUCH faster after the air-up. Yay!

So, this ride generated two quandrys for me to puzzle over: bike maintenance and the implied social contract of a meetup group.

My inclination, which I usually follow, is to Damn the Torpedoes Full Speed Ahead, Devil Take the Hindmost, Sink or Swim, and other macho jingles. In other words: it is your bike, and you are responsible for making sure it is ready to go before the ride. HOWEVER, 1/2 of the rides I run are super-casual rides for folks just starting out/ getting back on their bikes. Should I, as another meetup rider leader I know does, scurry around before the ride checking out everybody's bikes?
Maybe. Maybe not. I know that I will follow my previous practice, which is to be there to help people adjust their helmets, air their tires, adjust their seat height, but I will wait until asked or until it is obvious (or a safety issue).

I'm not in charge of the meetup group: I just run rides.
If I were in charge, my inclination would be a bit on the draconian side. So maybe it is just as well I'm not. In charge, that is.
I figure, if you sign up for a meetup and then don't show up it is kind of rude. If you do it two or three times in a row without ever coming to a meet, I feel like you ought to be bounced right out of the group. But this is a CASUAL group, so I figure I need to get my panties untwisted and develop a more casual attitude.
The true quandry comes when the ride is an attendance-limited one. I only limit the attendance if I think there is a high chance of lost or left behind. Rides on Folsom's bike paths are, for me, always limited. Those paths are darn twisty.
This time, the no-shows (and the repeat-offender no show) did not affect the waiting list for the ride: in other words, no one missed out because some dozy burke couldn't be bothered to un-RSVP. Next time, I don't know what I'll do. Should I email the repeat no-shows a few days before the ride and gently remind them? Should I invoke the automatic (optional) function of Meetup and ask a question when someone RSVPs yes? Should I ignore it?

I'm going to ignore it, since riding a bike, even a recumbent, with twisted panties is no picnic.

08 November 2012

Lake Loop

#201 / #29

We got started too late on Wednesday, with only two hours of daylight left to get out on a bike ride. Darn time change.

So, instead of heading out to the American River trail at Sunrise, we opted to start in old Folsom and do the Lake Natoma loop. I was dragging, Himself was flying. I periodically caught up with him, but I could really feel Tuesday's hills and traffic-sprints.

I suppose this means I need to do more hills. OK. I will!

I was also suffering from the effects of having three fillings replaced earlier that morning. Once I'm numbed up (I generally set dental-office records for the amount of numbing agent required) I'm good. But the effects later that day, after the numbing wears off, are usually a throbbing jaw where that HUGE GIANT needle goes in. What does that have to do with riding? Nothing.

I swallowed some tylenol and carried on.

The rock slide I saw on my last ride on this route has been mostly cleared off the trail. There were several groups of three-abreast walkers. Why do I always encounter them on a blind hill or curve?

Anyway, no mishaps, nothing much to report. We did see on other recumbent (two wheels w/ under seat steering). And I did run my blinky taillight and headlight during the ride. Himself and I desperately need bright yellow jerseys. We are pretty invisible on the trail an hour before dark.


06 November 2012


Today was my 200th ride on my lovely trike. I've had Sleipnir for two years and two months (more or less).

And I got a Round-To-It as well, dropping off the Prius for its 90thou checkup and riding back home from the auto shop. I've been planning to do this for years, since before I went recumbent, but never did it.

Today ride was only 9 miles, all in traffic, on roads with, at best, intermittent bike lanes, at worst, no shoulder. The weather (mid 70s) was a little bit warm for my screaming yellow jacket, but I wore it anyway.

Right out of the door of the Toy Shop I hit a hill, so I shifted down down down and crept up up up up. Lovely thing, first thing and not warmed up at all.
My next challenge, at the top of the hill, was to slither across two lanes into the left turn lane. My back up plan was to use two ped crosswalks to make the left turn if I had to. The difficult part of that two-lane-slide was my very low speed cresting the hill, and the limited rear view of overtaking traffic due to the steepness of the hill. But I got it done, made my left turn in a vehicular fashion.

Then I cruised down Durock road, keeping my speed around 20mph since faster than that was uncomfortable as the road was quite sloped. I waited briefly for a lane closure,  pedaling like mad to keep up with traffic.

Then back through town and to my usual haunts. Up another hill to drop off my mail-in ballot, then home.

05 November 2012

Empire Ranch

#199 / #28

Sunday, November 4th.

I dragged Himself off on a route he had not ridden before, one of my favorite cool-weather rides: through still more Folsom neighborhood bike paths.

Starting at Raley's in Folsom on Green Valley, we wound our way on well-known ways to the duckpond, then zipped east to Silberthorn drive, across Golf Links, and back onto more bikepaths. After a tiny down hill, the path climbs up and up, dumping you onto Empire Ranch Road with its lovely wide bike lane (this is Hill Part Two), exiting at Bijan onto more bikepath and onto Hill Part Three. We ground our way to the top, admired the view of Folsom from the top from our slow-rolling trikes, then shot down the curvy hill and back to our starting place. Himself shot, I chicken-braked all the way.

OK OK, I'll put a map in.

We didn't see much wildlife, except for assorted birds, but there were a fair amount of people out on the paths. Most seem to take the loop section of our ride in reverse, so we were on the downhill when they were on the uphill. I suppose some day I might try it in reverse.

31 October 2012

Your sign here

#198 / #27

Friday, October 20-something.

Himself and I went out for a ride before a long weekend of playing renaissance music.
I was thinking so hard about the music that I forgot to ever write the post!

I remember seeing a couple pushing two strollers, a double and a triple.

We saw two delta trikes, and a pair of tadpole trikes twice.

Several of the same 'normal' bikes zipping back and forth.

My average from Sunrise to Wm. Pond was 15.2 mph. I love cool weather!

Lots of squirrels. A flock of turkeys.

That is all.

24 October 2012

I spy with my little eye...


Rain rain, go away.

I managed to start my ride just after one rain shower and finish just before the next. Today was poodles, puddles, fish and fishermen, and rocks.

I went around Lake Natoma: it was different being all by myself, no riders to herd, no sweetheart to keep up with. It was relaxing. The fellow walking the gorgeous standard poodle was wearing those nifty individual-toe foot gloves things. I tried them but my toes are too twisted up from the 1980s and several pair of very high Italian high heels. Hey, I had the high pony, crop top, and parachute pants.

Oh dear, TMI.

I have not put my fenders back on so I was lightly covered with little flecks of muck tossed up by my tires from the damp pavement. The fish were jumping again near the Hatchery, and I saw several fishermen out in the water: one fighting a nice big fish, and another along the bike trail with two enormous fish stacked up at his feet.

Yesterday's rain destabilized the cliff face on the north side of the river. The gap in the rocks was just wide enough for my trike.

It was nice riding by myself but I'm looking forward to (hopefully) a Friday ride with Himself.

20 October 2012

The Valve-stem Volta

#196 / #26

I think this was probably the loveliest Saturday for a bike ride of the whole year. A day early in Spring with flowers and green grass might win, but I'm not sure.

I started off the day checking my tires before leaving this house and discovered a soft left front tire. When I touched the valve cap prior to letting the rest of the air out, the tire started hissing! Oh no - a leak I cannot patch (around the stem).
So I pried off the tire, got a tube from the bag, stuffed it in, pumped it up. While removing the pump head from the freshly inflated tube, I ripped the stem right out of the tube.


So much for getting a bit of Yoga in before the ride.

Pried off the tire again, inspected the hole in the rim where the stem sticks through, filed off some burrs, and did it all again, stopping short of ripping out another stem.

We had an uneventful ride, although I did lose one person. She reported later that she did make it all the way around the lake and had a good time. I SWEAR I did not see her pass me. Really, I did not. One of the other folks on the ride even went back and looked for her.

Ms. B took lovely photos of our ride. I'll include one here. I'm hiding behind the women in the white jacket. The tall fellow in blue in the middle of the shot is Himself.

15 October 2012

Double-dip Sundae

#194 & #195 / #25

Sunday, I went on two bike rides: my easy peasy lemon squeezy 7 mile absolute beginner ride in the morning and then a longer ride with Himself in the afternoon!


"Parking lot" Al and his charming wife came along on the morning ride and some other returning riders as well. It was beautiful weather for both rides, in the high 70s and sunny. A perfect Northern California fall day.

Between the rides I lubed my chain and also inspected a lubed my rear derailler. It was shifting funny on the morning ride. Not that there was much shifting going on. Or pedaling for that matter.

I don't know that it made a difference, but I had no trouble shifting on the second ride.

The theme for both rides was "Nuts". It is fall which stands for things falling. Generally the falling things are tree-parts, the the parts which fall the most are tree-fruit. In Northern California, that means Nuts. We have a lot of Oaks. Equals a lot of nuts.

Nuts pop out sideways or in unexpected directions when you ride over them. The zing through the spokes and rattle in the undercarriage. Today I even saw a nut in the process of falling out of a tree. It bounced off the pavement. Maybe a squirrel tossed it.

Nuts also mean happy frantic squirrels gathering them up. I almost ran over one squirrel and spend a few minutes thinking of what a mess that would have been.

No squirrel was harmed writing this post. I suppose a nut or two might have been, but we have plenty of them, so who cares?
Not I.

07 October 2012

The New Pavement Polka

#193 / #24

Went for about 13 miles yesterday afternoon. Beautiful weather, mid 70s with a light breeze. Lots of scampering squirrels.

Himself commented that this was the best weather he'd ever ridden in. I told him that's what he gets for buying a trike in May (I bought mine in September).

I had recently strained some tendons in my ankle from causes unknown so I'd stayed off the bike for a while. No problems from yesterday's ride. Himself decided to not go the full 20 miles, since his knees were a bit sore after the last 20 mile ride. I have still been unable to convince him of the benefits of stretching.

There is about a mile of brand new asphalt, decorated only with those temporary yellow reflective sticking up things. I do not like new pavement. My trike handles funny. So I dropped my speed from 15 mph to 12.5 mph and was much happier. I did notice that peddling was easier on the new pavement, so I expect it is a friction thing.

23 September 2012

Double Deer Doppio

#192 / #23

Plenty of wildlife today on our ride from Sunrise to Watt and back (Am. River Trail). Deer. Coyote. Attack Pigeons. Itchy Roadie.

I drove through two deer. One had crossed the trail just before Himself, and another was thinking about crossing as I rolled up. Both deer froze, giant ears (Mule deer) extended, staring at the contraption. Both decided heading away from the trail was the best option.

We rode in the late afternoon, when more wildlife is out. The coyote (a big one) was sloping along next to the trail, probably looking for dinner. Birds were out as well: California Quail, which just look so funny running along, and flocks of pigeons. One pigeon elected to become airborne just as I was passing it. I nearly had pigeon for dinner.

Picture this. It is nearing sunset, and we are rolling due east. A roadie passes us, lit up as by a spotlight by the sunlight. As he rolls by he gives himself a nice, satisfyingly long right-butt-cheek scratch.
I guess it really was itchy.

Nice weather for the week ahead: if Himself's work schedule allows, we will squeeze a couple of rides in.

18 September 2012

Cool breeze

#191 / #22

Not cool, really. But cooler than it has been. And cool to be out on the trail with Himself, batting along around 13mph average.

One other recumbent, a low racer this time. A handful of pacelines and a deceptively fast woman on a fitness/cruiser bike. Passed me handily and I was going 15 at the time.

Saw a fellow on a road bike, drops and all, riding quite slowly along the bike path, chatting with a friend who was on the dirt on a mt bike. Do these two tribes converse? I suppose they do.

We rode from Sunrise to Wm Pond and back again, to give ourselves a break from our longer ride just two days ago.

Today, Himself asked me about lubing and cleaning the chain and so on. So I gave him my view: lube what should move and tighten what should not every couple hundred miles. I checked out his chain, and in my opinion it is sticky and gritty and I would clean it. But I'm a crazy person who uses a wax-type lube (not sticky) that needs more frequent application.

Like tomorrow, when our truck is in the shop and I can spread out in the garage, wallowing in bike tools.


16 September 2012

Go West

#190 / #21

This afternoon we set out from William Pond Park and went west for 10 miles, then turned around and went back. We were about 4 miles from Mile Zero on the American River  Trail.

I dropped my chain in the parking lot setting out but was able to put it back, no problems. No other mechanicals.

We saw one jackrabbit and one recumbent high racer. Lots of other bicyclists (non-bent) and some peds. As were unfolding our trikes, we noticed a Catrike Trail (beautiful bright yellow) come rolling in. She puts her trike on a Hitch Rider rack, on the back of the car. We rolled on over to check it out. She likes it. We were intrigued.

The Army Corps of Engineers is working on the levee by Sac State's golf course, so we got to take the slightly bumpy and entertainingly twisty detour that heads closer to the river. This old section of the bike trail, my local informant has told me, is a section of the original trail, rerouted due to yearly flood closures.

Both of us noticed distinct changes in temperature and humidity while riding along. That's a nice way of saying "Gee, did you notice that section that was like riding through giant swamp dog breath?", "Yes, yes, I did."
There was also a nice cool section to make up for GSDB.

We will try to get out a couple more times this week, schedules and weather cooperating.

15 September 2012

... and your little dog, too!


Out this morning for another ride without Himself. A ride of a mere 7 miles at a mere 7mph would drive him NUTS. So he slept in, while I shepherded (led, rather) a band of extremely casual bikers though Folsom's twisty bike trails.

Along the way we heard plenty of red wing blackbirds, even though the wetlands are largely dried up this time of year, and saw a crew of folks PUTTING UP SIGNS.

I am blown away! Signs telling us Willow Creek Trail, and Humbug Trail. So excited! I'll have to take pictures some time.

While loading the car, up drives Parking Lot Al (the only named person in this blog). I had not seen him since last winter, when he was laid low by pnumonia. Or how ever you spell that. ANYWAY, he is back on his trike, and allowed as how this ride would be about right for him. So I hope he can join us next time.
We compared road rash scars. He wiped out a few weeks ago. I also met his very very small and frighteningly adorable dog. (Frighteningly because I know I'm getting older when dogs smaller than my head look OK).

Some of the group hung around afterwards, shooting the shit and drinking coffee.

I shall lead a ride like this once a month or so. Seven Speed came along, and might check out trails in Roseville so we can ride somewhere other than Folsom.

13 September 2012

The Usual

#188 / #20

Last night, we went on what has become one of our Usual Rides: Sunrise to Wm Pond and back again (American River Trail).

Plenty of other folks out, lots of roadies, a few small pacelines, another recumbent, a handcycle, and some casual riders. We also saw a couple of deer.

Himself and I had an interesting conversation about getting stronger/faster on a trike. He's pretty competitive, even with himself, while I have been called "the least competitive person I know" (no one knows you better than your mom).

I finally figured out that Himself was trying to figure out what category he fit in.

I don't know that there even ARE categories! Do we need categories? If there are, what are they?

The casual riding group I belong to has rides less than 20 miles and less than 15mph with minimal climbing. The road side of that group has frequent rides of over 50 miles and over 10 thousand feet of climbing (no, I'm not kidding). There is a huge expanse of abilities, expectations, and desires in the middle. Both these groups are "normal" bikes.
The recumbent riders of Sacramento have a 30 mile ride every month, a slow ride is 13mph average. I could just about keep up the last time I rode with them. Some of those folks will figure out how to add an additional 15 or 30 miles onto that ride, so it is "worth it".

I figure we ought to have Loafers - who ride every once in a while, generally go no more than 10mph but usually around 8, and balk at rides of more than 10 miles, or any kind of hill at all. I know they exist, at least on the Safety Bike ("normal") bike side, since I'm running just that kind of ride this coming weekend.

Then there are Casual riders - usually between 10-12mph, a few hills are OK, and rides longer than 20 are intimidating.

Or should that be up to 15mph, and rides less than 50? If you run that set of numbers past the Loafers, they will say, "Gosh, that's a long ride, and really fast!" but if you run it past the 10k+ feet of climbing, they'll be all "Oh, that's a total beginning ride".

I come to no conclusions.

I told Himself that when he runs out of chainring in front (he's always in the big ring and frequently spins out) then he's reached the limit of the trike. Other than that, I have no idea.

11 September 2012

Tahoe City to Squaw Valley


I headed out without Himself today, for a group ride up in Tahoe. This was my first time bicycling at any kind of elevation. Not too bad, but I was even slower than usual on the hills!

Here's a link to info about trails (paved) up there.
To get from Tahoe to Squaw Valley you have to ride on some bike lanes. It is reasonably flat, given it is in the mountains.

The only downside to this trail for trikes is the cross slope of the bike trail where it crosses a couple of driveways in particular. It is quite tilted (probably for snowmelt) and I felt it necessary to slow way down and lean over quite far to the uphill side of the trail.

We went about 15 miles. My nervousness on downhills, corners, and tilted areas, and gasping from the elevation conspired to give me an average speed of


a blazing


6.2 mph by my GPS and a less humiliating one of 8.3 on my onboard bike computer.

And now for the good parts...


One person had a GoPro taking pics every 30 seconds. How could I resist doing donuts in front of the camera.

I'm not in the picture and neither is the shy person. Parking lot at Gatekeepers Museum

Truckee River

More river

Guess what!? More river!

Riding into Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley with no bikes

Playing tourists

Still tourists: we are getting pretty good at it.

They walked. I rode.

Pretty cool! We got our own flagger on the bike trail

Gratuitous clouds shot from moving car. Makes a change from a moving bike.

Your friendly blogger: relaxed tourist.

09 September 2012

Coasting Uphill

#186 / #19

Himself and I have not been on our trikes in two weeks!

So today we went on one of my regularly organized rides: 11.5 lovely miles around lovely Lake Natoma with a lovely bunch of 12 people. And the weather was lovely too!

Himself led the group out and I played sweep, so it was a casual bike sandwich with 'bent bread.  I had two folks show up without RSVPing. I don't have a problem with that, although I do have the option of making the meeting location (as posted on the site) private. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.

Besides having fun, my goal is to provide a chance for folks to get out and ride. I hope the one fellow decides to sign up with the group. The other woman is already a member, but was not sure she'd keep up with the group. I'll call her "Seven Speed".

Those are the two reasons I've heard most often "Oh, I just want to check the group out" and "Oh, I'm not sure I can keep up."

Seven Speed, on her seven speed bike (get it?) did have trouble keeping up, she was going about 5mph while the rest were going between 10 and 12mph. I hung back with her, chatting about gears and shifting and her shifting got smoother and her hill climbing got less wobbly. Since she had not RSVPed, I felt no obligation to stay with her, so eventually we discussed how to get back if she decided to turn around and I zoomed on ahead.

I caught the trailing member of the group (and picked up one who had missed the turn) just before getting to our rest stop. It was a lively group of people, many conversations and much laughter. My sneaky plan by having Himself lead is he gets to spend more time socializing with random strangers. He seems to enjoy it, also.

We were just getting organized to go over the big bridge and head back, when up rolls Seven Speed!
Yay! You made it!
She and another rider decided to head back on their own, retracing our route, since they knew how to do it.

We got to see Seven Speed again, when she found us at the very end of the ride. Double Yay! She will do just fine: she used to ride that route on a fixie, something I would never consider doing.

Only one mechanical today, one fellow dropped his chain off the front when shifting. He hopped right off and fixed it. No worries.

Himself tells me he finally got his trike up on two wheels (and he didn't flip - not that I really mind). It was on a very sharp corner (more than 90 degs) with the slope of the corner going the wrong way, making it even more likely to flip.

CU (Rubber side down)

28 August 2012

Big bad wolf

#185 / #18

I huffed and I puffed and there were no houses to blow down.

Himself decided (in the interests of domestic tranquility I usually make/allow him to decide our routes) to go from Folsom on the south side of Lake Natoma and up the American River Trail as far as we/he felt like it, then back to Folsom.

We went 15 miles. Hillier miles than our 20 we've been doing, so we agreed it felt like the same amount of effort.

It was hot. Still 85 when we returned to the car about sunset. Something or other is blooming, and I ate crap food today. So I think all three of those (mostly the crap food) contributed to me feeling like I could just not catch a full breath.

We saw two other recumbent trikes out. One a cheerful fellow in bright yellow on an ICE whose name started with D? I think. And another anonymous fellow on some orange thing. Probably a Catrike, since it seemed low and fast.

We have a houseful of people this weekend, so we might not make it out again until next week. Boo hoo.


24 August 2012

The Muffin-top Boys

#184 /#17

Friday evening, August 24, American River Bike Trail

We went about 19 miles this evening, dodging rattlesnakes, deer, and bunnies: the usual.

We collected one "cool bikes", one "hella sick", one "I should draft you two" and one "muffin-tops".

Himself thought of the perfect comeback to the last, "Things change when you age and maybe when you age you'll stop being an a**hole. Stranger things have happened." Of course, the offending pair of skinny young dudes were long gone by then.

Anyway, we had a lovely ride although it was a little warmer than we had thought it would be, over 95 when we began, but a breezy 85 by the end.

No boom spinning on Himself's part (his right knee was tired so he was not pushing as much as he might) and I managed to sail around the Corner of Crash without any more close encounters with the gravel.

I finally got around to swapping out my wearing-out HP Velotechnik idler with a spiffy Terracycle version. I didn't have the shim on hand so it is not quite in the right position, but even with some chain-tube rub it is still quieter than my old idler. Tres sweet!

18 August 2012

onyerlef onyerlef onyerlef

#183 / #16

Went around scenic, crowded Lake Natoma today. This was a group ride w/ me in charge (be afraid, very afraid) and this was the WORST attendance day ever! I had 14 people signed up and 9 did not show. Phoo on them. They missed a nice ride.

It even rained a few drops on us! The temps were much lower than they have been the last week or so and it was great to get out on the trike again.

We shared the south side trail with the Folsom Triathlon people. I was cautious passing folks and wore out my "on your left" phrase. We had only one mechanical (the chain popped off the front derailler of one of the hybrid bikes along for the ride) easily fixed.

Himself led us out at a nice 10.9 mph average pace and folks seemed to find that pace just fine.

The last little bit of the trail, getting up onto the bridge access, is steep!

Yes, it is as steep as it looks.

Recumbent riders can sit down on the job.

For a pre-ride bonus, we got to drool over many classic cars in town for a rally. Here is just one of them, in my favorite car color!

You'll notice (maybe) that Himself's ride number  has incremented more than mine. Himself went on TWO rides without me! I'm so proud!

14 August 2012

Flippin' Flippers!

#182 / #14

Saturday, August 4th

Well, I went all of 2 miles before flipping my trike.
I wanted to wait and post until I had had my beautiful (and exceptionally sturdy) steed checked out.

All is well. The right wheel maybe needed to be trued up (so that was done) and I need to run out to the automotive store for some primer and paint for my rear rack, and apply some shoe-goo to the corner of my seat. The handlebar/steering needed to straighten out and that is all.

My road rash is mostly healed (thank you Tegaderm and a very very useful article by Dawn Richardson in an old Velonews). And Himself and I are waiting for the weather to drop back down out of the triple digits so we can go riding together again!

I probably turned too hard on a corner and flipped the trike and myself going about 15mph. I slid some number of feet on the shoulder of the bike trail (through dried dog shit - thanks SO MUCH for cleaning up after your dog), my trike sliding right along with me.

The exceptionally sturdy rear HPV rack saved my rear derailluer from getting smashed. So that was good.

Himself went back to get the car and I carefully rode to the nearest parking lot and waited for pickup.

I had a nice deep but small patch of road rash on the heel of my right hand (the worst) and bruises and scrapes on my right forearm, and ditto on my right hip. And my tetanus shot is up-to-date. My fav underarmor shirt is shredded on one arm and so is my fav pair of shorts.

I know, I know.
"Rubber side down!"

27 July 2012

The Snakey Samba

#181 / #13

15.5 miles on the lovely American River Trail

And we averaged 12.6 mph! Both my Strava app and Himself's Garmin app agree.
I set some "personal bests" on some segments of our ride. Not that I care. Well, really I care a little bitty bit. Like, enough to post about it. But, you know. Not really. Sure. Yeah. Totally believable. May I borrow your backhoe? My shovel is not doing a fast enough job.

Enough of that!

Plenty of critters out tonight. Suicidal bunny-rabbits, a Very Large flock of geese (we crossed the crossing geese during a gap in their line), turkeys, and a Very Long snake. I believe it was a rattler. The oncoming bike traffic yelled some incomprehensible thing, the next oncoming traffic was clearer "Snake on the trail." I decided that 'snake' is not very intelligible at evening ARBT speeds, and think 'reptile' would be better. Of course, by the time you get to '-tile' the oncoming traffic would be 50 yards to your rear, so maybe not. I did try waving my hand and arm in a snake-like movement, which did no good at all. Well, I did get a weird look. So maybe it was worth it.

Anyway, we successfully avoided the snake and I hope he had a nice dinner of vole or something.

Once again, Himself got his boom to rotate. He tentatively identified it as happening when "powering" (I call it mashing) up a hill. His left cleat was also quite out of place by the time the boom shifted.
My theory is that some motion he makes while powering/mashing is causing his foot to wiggle on the pedal, which is moving his cleat, and when the cleat can't move anymore, the boom twists.
My torque wrench has taken up permanent residence in Himself's trunk bag.

It is time to lube my chain again, and I think it is also time to break down and get a Terracycle idler for my ride.

Admire the new picture for the blog: most of my riding is with Himself, so I figured it was time for a picture-change.

25 July 2012

Glimmer Glimmer Limmer-ick

#180 / #12

9ish miles in Folsom

We kind of phoned in our ride plan this evening. Inertia prevented us from going farther than the next town to ride.

And after a nice dinner of hamburgers (!) (Yum!) I'm too fat and lazy to come up with much of a ride report:

A trike-riding pair from out West
Thinks riding at dusk is the best
The air's kind of cool
Dusk stars are like jewels
So they ride in the summer with zest

Plans for the American River Trail on Friday.


22 July 2012

'Round and 'round she goes


11.5 miles around Lake Natoma, on the usual ride with unusual people

I had a flock of 8 riders, mostly newcomers the the group, to shepherd around the lake today. We left at 9am to beat the heat, and mostly managed to, as it was only 90 at 11am when I drove off after the ride.

An occasional rider with the Casual group came along on his mountain bike (nice new tires due to a recent blowout on a ride) and I voluntold him to lead the group out. He set a brisk-ish pace, about 13mph, and everybody seemed OK with it.

We regrouped at the Nimbus boat launch, then straggled across the Hazel bridge to the other side. I stuck with our slowest rider (who was not all that slow, really) and we caught everybody up at Negro Bar, where once again the water fountains were shut off (no body needed water this time so no worries) and made our way across the bridge and back to our starting place.

Himself was still sound asleep when I got home. He had dithered around last night about the ride (for him to even consider getting up at 8am on a weekend to go cycling is a world-shattering event) but the 104 degree forecast changed his mind.

I have grown accustomed to riding with Himself, so hopefully we can get out some evening this week.

I've changed the description of my blog to match the riding I do now. Riding with my sweetheart instead of myself.

 Now I just need to take a new picture with both trikes for the blog header.

16 July 2012

Turkey Trot

#178 / #11

Afternoon ride again today. A little earlier since the weather cooled off significantly today.

For a change, we started in the parking garage in Folsom and took the rail trail that parallels Folsom instead of the rolling hills of the trail closer to the river.

Maybe not a great idea since this trail make numerous street crossings. Badly planned street crossings with extremely tight turns and impossibly placed cross walk push-buttons.

To make it even more 'interesting' my digestion was acting up and we made several stops to deal with the trots. Are they 'trots' when one is on a bike?

Anyway! things settled down somewhat and then took a break at Nimbus Flat boat launch and debated going farther down the trail, but ultimately decided to cross the Hazel bridge and head back.

Himself set a blistering pace once we hit the slope down to the river's edge and I managed to move up to within less than 1 minute of the Queen of the Mountain on Strava (QOM is the fastest female on that segment of trail as recorded on their database). So that was a little bit o' fun.

I have a hike on Wednesday, so we probably won't ride again until Thursday.

13 July 2012

buzzin' along

#177 / #10

Friday, July 13th

6 miles on the El Dorado Trail

I had not been on this trail in over a year, so it was nice to see it again and interesting to watch Himself's heartrate climb and climb and climb as we climbed and climbed and climbed.

For those of you just joining us, this trail is built on parts of an old railroad grade. And it is heading into the Sierra Nevada mountains. So it was 2.5 miles of NO COASTING then 2.5 miles of ALL COASTING.

Although it was still in the 80s when we set out, the trail from the Mosquito Road bus station is very shady. So we enjoyed the relief from the heat.

We decided to turn around at the US 50 overcrossing, since it was about a half hour before sunset.

Himself turned on his blinking front light, and I turned on my rear red flasher. I also put on my bright yellow windbreaker and then we sailed down the trail, my un-grease-packed hub making a racket like a swarm of bees. The noise we made bell ringing and whooping was enough to keep folks out of our way.

No flats or other mechanicals, despite the date

07 July 2012

Fiat lux

#176 / #9

17 miles on the American River Trail

The Recumbent Riders of Sacramento's monthly Moonlight Ride.

I had never gone on this ride before, but figured it would be a good longer ride for Himself, since there was a long dinner break at the halfway point. We did the short version, starting and ending at William Pond park; while the rest of the riders started from Discovery Park, at the far end of the bike trail.

We had a few minutes to wait, so Himself demonstrated the multi-functionality of a recumbent trike.

It's a lounger! A dessert topping! A floor wax!

Recumbents and their riders started arriving, a tandem, another trike, and a couple of single seater two wheelers.

It was still hot when we set out, despite the early evening hour: 7:15pm. We rode east on the trail to Sunrise, then straggled into Jack's Urban Eats, where I had one of the most disappointing salads of my life. Not much in there but the spines of romaine lettuce. Bleah. However, the company was excellent.

We set out back down the trail in the cool evening with the sun just setting, lights blinking and my headlight much dimmer than I remember it being. I was not a happy camper. I stuck right on Himself's tail, pretty much blindly following his extremely bright blinking taillight.

In between whining to myself, I noticed that the Purple Sky flag on Himself's bike was really really visible (others said so as well) so I'm glad I have two of these flags with retro-reflective material. I'd like to get another, but they may not be available anymore.

I thought the rest of the riders were right behind us, but they only caught up when we were nearly back to William Pond.

How did I know they were catching up? Because I was sure alien spaceships were following me. Or maybe a car was on the bike trail. Or a low flying very bright very quiet helicopter.  Holy cow, Batman! Those lights are BRIGHT. I gotta get me one.

Or, maybe not. The problem with a moonlight ride in the summer is we did not get home until 10:45pm. That's late. Folding up the bikes and putting them in the car at night is a pain. I don't much like doing anything at night, walking, driving, canoeing. None of it. Not my thing. Himself was treated to my full vocabulary of "four" letter words. Repeatedly treated. Such a lucky guy!

He had a good time. I'll recover.

I demanded ice cream so we stopped on our way home for some vanilla. Split between the two of us and bedecked with maple syrup, it made the perfect end to the evening.

Himself not only made his boom spin today, he also had cleat problems. The Shimano cleats will not stay put and twist out of place. So then his heel hits the crank. Then he turns his foot to clear the crank, inadvertently unclips, and bounces his foot off the pavement. No damage done this time. Maybe locktite on the cleat screws?

06 July 2012


#175 / #8

Thursday, July 5th

14 miles on the American River Parkway

Himself and I dragged ourselves away from our comfortable couch (he took Thursday off) and met up with the Sacramento Recumbent Riders for the Thursday evening ride.

I was a mite confused about which ride was which (and I 'broke' my email subscription to the email list so could not post and ask questions), so we ate dinner THEN went back down the trail with the group. Hey, we got to ride, so there!

Because the days are so long right now, we did not have to use our lights, but we did anyway!

Himself did great, monitoring his heartrate and keeping it at a good level. We were usually in back of the small group.

I think I'm getting hooked on evening rides!

Hope to make the next Moonlight ride as well.

30 June 2012

The after work crowd

#174 / #7

12.5 happy rolling miles on the American River trail, Friday evening.

We are getting faster unloading the trikes from the car.
Himself takes out his Gekko, then I take my Scorpion out. We unfold them. He pumps up his tires while I'm finishing up attaching all the stuff to my trike. I pump my tires while his is fighting his way into his bike shoes. We ask each other several times if we locked the car, then we roll away.

 The trail was not hugely busy, a mixture of fast roadies and slow casual bikers. Some walkers, and a single group of obnoxious teens. I'll admit I flew the bird. It felt good. 

As usual, I rode in the rear so Himself can set the pace. He's getting faster by the day. Someday along here I'll not find myself coasting to the top of the rises to avoid running into him.
I like to charge up short hills. I'm the hare, he's the tortoise (I run out of wind at some point and slow down, gasping, whereupon he passes me, smugly).

My favorite rise for doing this (the gasping part) is on the American River Trail, coming from the east up to the Wm Pond Bridge.
On this ride, I got almost to the actual bridge before gasping my brains out. Now I'm looking forward to charging up to the top of the bridge and gasping as I coast down the other side.
This little climb shows up on Strava as a 'segment'. It is 2/10s of a mile, average grade of 1.8%. It starts at the yellow pylons at Rod Beaudry Drive, and goes to the riverbank. That explains why people go so fast through that intersection.
I made it up averaging 8.7mph with max power of 108 watts. 1 minute, 42 seconds. My fastest time since I've used Strava.
The fastest rider up that rise (according to Strava) is more than 3 times faster than me.
I think I'll stick to competing with myself.

No boom-spinning for him, no flats for either of us. Just a nice ride.

Last ride I spent some time observing Himself as he pedaled along.
He seems to hunch up his left shoulder when pulling back on his right leg (or pushing with the left). I can't for the life of me figure out what assistance that would give him, but I'll bet it contributes to the spinning Boom of Doom.
He has a hip that troubles him when he sits or walks for long periods. He also tilts to the right as he sits in the trike. The trails we ride on are not really crowned (he should try the South Canal sometimes - like riding on the side of a hill for miles and miles) so that should not be contributing.

Hoping to get out three times a week with Himself and maybe making a Thursday Recumbent ride some time (ride to dinner, linger long enough for the sun to set, ride back, lights ablaze. Or so I've been told.)

27 June 2012

Seeking cowcatcher

#174 / #6

10 miles or so in Folsom

Late afternoon, and the temp is dropping from the high of 90 today. By 6:45pm we were rolling onto our usual route through Folsom's bike paths.

Today, I dodged two off-leash dogs and two kids on skateboards/scooters.

I sweated and panted. (You! Out of the gutter!) Himself set a good brisk pace and I decided to CHARGE up the little rollers by the hospital. I was huffing and puffing and felt like I had done some good for myself today.

At the end our our ride we chatted for a while with a lovely little old lady, from Philly and still sounded like it, and her son about recumbents and bicycling and that famous really really hard hill in Philly that bicyclists often fall over on.

Himself's boom stayed in place, we think. I tightened it down with the torque wrench after the last ride. He had to tighten his cleats again (what is it with Shimanos?) and I helped him fish his chain out from between the chain guard and the big ring. No mechanicals for me.

Max speed 23 (too fast for the trails, blame Himself) and average 10.6. Thank you Strava.

24 June 2012

In the Library with a Candlestick

#173 / #5

12 miles on the American River trail and some detours

Beautiful beautiful weather. Plenty of people out enjoying the weather.

Due to my little fender bender last month, there was no Lake Natoma loop scheduled for the bicycle group. But Himself and I got out and around the lake anyway.

We were at a music workshop all last week and I was completely happy to go for a ride today.

Recumbents for the WIN!

I handed out a couple more business cards for my favorite local recumbent bike shop.

Himself's boom kept slipping. I don't know why, but I we kept straightening it and tightening it. When we got home, we confirmed that the Gekko also has the plastic bushing that should be just visible between the sections of the boom (it is) and used my handy torque wrench to tighten the bolts to the required 14 newton meters. Hope it holds. I suppose the next thing to do is to remove the boom, make sure everything is grease-free, and reassemble.

We were nearly back to the parking lot, near Negro Bar on the trail, when we noticed a crowd of stationary bikers ahead.

The trail was closed and the police were out looking for a body. Ewwww.
So we waited around trying to decide what to do and by the time they opened up the trail, we had come to no decision and so proceeded onward.

The search (and the trail closure) had moved farther on, so we detoured up out of the Negro Bar parking lot and had an exciting few minutes on Greenback Road. Not something I want to repeat. The bike lane is nice a wide and quite smooth, but getting from the bike lane to the bike/ped overcrossing on Folsom Auburn Road Bridge is a pain in the butt.

What we should have done is in yellow, what we did is red, and the vehicular bike would be green.
The dangerous part is dodging to the left into the ped crosswalk cutout. Himself made a pickup squeal his brakes.

However, we survived and got back to the car, where we answered our third set of questions about "those things".

I should mention that my bicycling acquaintance from Sonoma County (I mentioned him a few posts ago) who was involved in a bicycle/vehicle collision passed away last week.

15 June 2012



12.7% is what Strava says the hill in front of our house is (that's the easy one, no idea what the really steep one is). Mighty fun going down, not so much going up.
I exceeded 30mph on the way down today (really, I thought I was braking enough to stay at the 25mph limit!)

I rode to PT again today, about 5.5 miles total. Not as hot as Tuesday and a nice breeze. I admit I slowed down whenever I was in shade - enjoy it while it lasts!

Stopped for coffee on the way back. Ahhhhh.

Today was a day for frenzied pedaling: I had a total of three left turns that are not at lights or stopsigns, usually I can just look at the empty road and signal and change lanes and make my turn. Not today! A U-haul, several sedans, and a landscaping truck were objects to be accommodated. Even on a Friday, the roads around here are not terribly busy, and it happens that all the left turns I had were blessed with good visibility, so no worries.

And a bonus today: another client rode his bike to PT today. I semi-jokingly told the office they need to put a bike rack in. It will be interesting to see if they do.

No riding this weekend or next week, CU later!

12 June 2012

Yellow Face


5 miles in my 'hood

I set off this morning from my house for my second to the last physical therapy appointment (for last month's whiplash), arriving in plenty of time all sweaty and bright pink. Hey, they're PTs, they can handle it!

As I slogged up the hill from our house, I reflected that the patches of shade on the side of the road were still there at 8:15am. Then, as I rounded the corner to the second half of the hill, I realized that at 8:15am the sun was still low enough that, combined with the upward angle of the hill, and the upward angle of my poor sweaty face, I would have a face full of sun for several minutes.

Did you know? A trike crawling up a hill goes slowly enough that one can close one's eyes and about every 10 revolutions of the pedals peek through the glare and confirm that the trike remains on the correct side of the road. Very restful.

On my way home, I stopped at a local vegan/gluten free bakery for a scone or two.

I have tried three different browsers on my Android tablet, none work very well with Blogger. Today's post was entirely composed with the ASUS browser pre-loaded on my tablet. Plain text typed in the HTML editor (good thing I remember my HTML tags). Pictures are a pain in any of the three browsers (ASUS, Google Chrome Beta, Opera Mobile).

In other news, an acquaintance of mine in Sonoma County was struck by a car while bicycling. He remains in serious condition 5 days after the incident.
  • My first thought was for his family (I know his wife and his children and their families)
  • My second thought (selfish, I know) was a pre-whine about all the people I know who will now earnestly and perhaps aggressively tell me how unsafe bicycling is. Often these people DON'T ride a bike.
  • My third thought was "I hope they catch the bstrd and throw the book at him (they did, actually: arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run)

So, today I will do three things: see how I can publicize the bakery, make a real effort to sort out what I want to do with the chaintubes on my trike, and meditate all the while on my injured acquaintance and his family.

10 June 2012



13 miles on the American River Trail

Himself and I rolled out this morning before noon (a miracle occurred: angels, music, the whole enchilada) for a lovely ride on the trail.

It was busy! An organized ride was going on (REX - next year I'll try to do it - supports the trail).

Himself set a surprisingly brisk 13.3 mph average pace from Sunrise to Wm Pond. I am pleased!

While loafing at Wm Pond (and not eating oranges: well he didn't - the elderly oranges had picked up a "leftover" taste after several weeks in the refrigerator which my unrefined tastebuds could not detect. Anyway, I ate my orange) we encountered another pair of trikers, out from Natomas (a suburb 90 degrees from ours). He was on a Greenspeed Magnum and she on a Rambler or Rover I can't remember- the really high seat position trike - looked quite spacious!

Himself could not clip in and discovered that his cleat had lost a screw. I had spare screws in my bag (DO NOT mock the bag full of 8lbs of stuff! It is USEFUL and awe-inspiring) so we fixed the "you've got a screw loose" problem and got rolling.

We decided to travel as a group back to Sunrise (they had parked a little further on) so we did, taking many shady stops for various reasons. I was loafing along in back so I finally had the leisure to bust out the camera.

All the pictures look the same, so pretend the pretty trikes are just decorating different landscapes.

Himself is way ahead: he keeps cooler when traveling faster.

Look! An oncoming trike! 4 trikes in one shot! Amazing!

08 June 2012

Short and sweet


5 miles in Folsom

We got a late afternoon start today so we only went on a 1/2 ride. We are getting faster unloading and setting up the trikes, but this time it was my turn to stop after 20 feet and go get my waterbottle out of the car.

The Strava app shows a max speed of 23mph which is 5 mph faster than I noticed us going. Himself's Garmin app showed 18mph. Of course, I did have to play catch up at one point.

And then, I did get ahead once. Someday I'll take a rearview picture without including my well-padded elbow. But not today.

Around 6:30pm in Folsom is when the families come out to play. As we were loading the car up I saw several long trailing strings of assorted family members on bikes; groups of young women on cruisers, generally with large wicker baskets and flip flops*; and a few lucky ice-cream eating folks relaxing after a warm June day.

*um. The young women didn't have large baskets, their bicycles did.
NO NO NO, "baskets" is not a euphemism for anything!!
Ok. And there is no bicycle that I know of equipped with flipflops.

07 June 2012

Cottontail Cotillian

9 miles in Folsom

My whiplash continues to improve so when Himself called from work and suggested a bike ride, I was all over it like stink on a road killed skunk.

He had driven the Truck of Trikes to work, so all we had to do when he got home was to fill up the waterbottles. As much as I am doubtful about permanently storing the trikes in the truck, it is handy.

We hit the trail about 5pm after the worst of the heat. The sun had about 3 hours to go so the glare was not too bad yet. It was quite pleasant to ride in the later afternoon.

I was trying to get Glenn in action putting his waterbottle back. I missed.

We missed, again, clobbering a cottontail on the trail. This bunny dodged to trikes, a pedestrian, and a kid on a bike. Survivor Bunny will pass his dodgy genes along!

By the end of the ride, my neck and shoulders were pretty tired, so we skipped the duckpond loop and headed back to the parking lot.

My Strava stats:
Time 00:54:35
Elapsed Time 01:04:05
Max Speed 21.3mi/h
Avg Speed 9.9mi/h

All is well.

03 June 2012

Drip drip drip


7 miles in Folsom.

Today was cooler than the last few days but I still worked up a good sweat. Cold drops of sweat from my scalp hitting my shoulders. Yes, it is June.

Himself may have sweated also, but he is too polite to talk about it.
Me, I have no filters.

I'm more recovered from whiplash than the last ride, but decided not to be dumb about it and we only went 7 miles instead of 10. 10 may have been OK but I can't tell. My upper traps do a lot to hold my head on straight; they got a workout so I suppose 7 was OK after all.

Himself debuted cleated pedals (we had to order shoes wide enough for him before he could clip in). He also debuted a bright blue UnderArmor shirt I made for him. He practiced pulling back, so I'll bet he'll feel it tomorrow.

Thanks to a post on BROL, we figured out that the bosses for the water bottle cages on the rear of the Gekko's seat can be used w/out poking holes through the seat cover. So Himself has two cages for bottles installed.

I tried out Strava as a ride tracking application today. I have to figure out how to rename the route: right now it is imaginatively entitled "Ride."
It will be interesting to see how very much slower I am than others on some of the famous hills around here. Strava collects stats for 'segments' (user defined) of rides and posts comparative listings of others' rides on those segments.

Between this ride and the last one I cleaned my drive train (chain, cogs, deraillers), trimmed chewed up chain tubes, and lubed everything I could think of. I wiped off my bike's frame (there was a lot of dust and dirt and splotches on the underside) and admired the gleaming orange paint. Heck, I even wiped the inside of the rear fender!

While looking around for something with which to flare the ends of the chain tubes (stick the last 1/2 inch in hot water first to soften up the tube), I found that a cheap (and totally ineffective) hand held citrus juicer from IKEA was just the right size and shape to flare the tubes. So it is out of the kitchen and into my toolbox.

I'll probably sneak out Wednesday for an early morning ride.


25 May 2012

Waltzing along


4 miles in Folsom

Why only four? Why so many days with no posts?

Well, I'll tell you.

I had a little fender bender (car on car for those who wonder) and, let me tell you, when a pickup truck challenges a Prius, me in the Prius is going to lose. I was rear ended (totally not my fault and all the parties involved agree with that) so I have whiplash for the third time in my life. I'm a freaking whiplash expert by now.

Anyway, I'm getting better every day but rattling around on a trike is not recommended. Or so says the physio and after bouncing around for four miles I would tend to agree with him.

So why did I go out anyway? I'll tell you. (You knew I would; you are so surprised you ought to sit down and have a cup of tea or maybe something stronger).

My sweetheart got a trike of his own. A lovely and very foldable HP Velotechnik Gekko.
He likes red.
His jacket is red (I made the jacket - it almost rained today so we finally got to wear our jackets.)

We stuffed both trikes in the car and went for a short ride. It was SO GREAT riding trikes with my sweetheart! Just fantastic.

Car-load of trikes and assorted bike stuff.

I was so excited to get out of the house that all I had with me was my phone camera, and I'd set the resolution for pictures very small, but I hope they get the idea across.

Himself went with a simple rectangular trunk bag for now. He stated he will "go shopping" for something else but I'll bet he doesn't.
Speaking of shopping: he did order bike shoes, but he ordered the wrong ones so we shipped them back today and ordered the right ones. The pedals he has are Shimano-type clips on one side and plain pedals on the other so he just wore regular shoes today.

The orange and brown blob on the ground is my cycling jacket (I made this one also). I sacrificed its pristine nature to keep the new trike from the gritty ground (it seems to work best, for now, to tip the trike on the side to fold and unfold it).