25 February 2012



Saturday, February 25th

26 miles on the American River Trail and in Fair Oaks

I need to push myself more if I am to get stronger and faster. So I set up a ride I called 19@12@10, since it was 19 miles, avg 12mph, and at 10am.
Hey, I can't always come up with clever titles.

This ride was not for the casual rider, but rather to serve as a stepping stone between casual rides and longer, faster rides.

I had 6 people show up and a whole gaggle of family hangers on (not my family).
One person dropped out because his pedal threads stripped out. Fortunately, he was local so knew the closest bike shop (they even gave him a lift back to his car. Shout Out for Carmichael Cycle!).
One of the gaggle misjudged the width of the yellow poles delineating the bike path at intersections and wrecked. One person had a flat before she even got there and I never did meet her.

And the wind blew!

Now, I did not find out about any of these mishaps until after the ride. Fine ride leader I am! I was sailing along ahead around 14mph, knowing that my average would drop a little bit on every hill. I did pretty well, wind considering, and managed a respectable 12.4 mph average on the way out.
Now, on the way back, I was POOPED. So I got slower and slower. But that's why I do this ride. To get faster.

We all straggled (ok, I was the straggler!) back to the starting point and I added my yellow high-viz jacket and two flags to my bike. Ate some more orange, some beef jerky, and drank the rest of a bottle of water.
Refreshed, I headed back down the trail to ride north into the Fair Oaks hills to visit a new local recumbent shop: Laid Back Cycles.

Laid Back Cycles, corner of Fair Oaks Blvd and Sunset.

Three new tires bungee-ed to the rack. Worked great.

I picked up three new tires Mickey was holding for me, visited for a moment, then went back down the hills to the river and the bike trail.

Fair Oaks Bluffs, gotta walk up there sometime (off of Bridge St)

Bridge over the river (sometimes called The Red Bridge)

Lovely park in Fair Oaks

Flowers! Spring is here!

Intersection of Grand and Main. Very quiet streets, many fine hills to choose from.

Two climbing roses

And I learned something today.

First, that I'm a crank. (regular readers should already know this).
Second, that bicycling makes me forget that I was ever cranky.
Third, that appearance is everything.

I spent nearly 20 miles on the trail today, generic grey shirt, generic black pants, no flags, no lights, no bright yellow jacket. Unremarkable. The only people who wanted to say anything to me were the usual folks curious about my ride and folks "passing on the left".

Once I was bedecked in flags and bright yellow (and I was only on the trail in this plumage for 2.5 miles, the rest was in traffic) I got all kinds of 'encouragement'.
Encouragement in the kind of voice you'd use for small children who are dubiously potty trained, or tea-cup poodles who for once did not bite the guest or piddle on your foot. Sort of an artificially bright, over-articulated tone. Dripping with condescension. Gah. Give me a break.

Fourth, that adding flags and a yellow jacket on the trail subtracts about 10 mph from perceived ability.

By the time I had picked up my tires and gotten back on the trail, I could barely remember the annoying 'encouragement'. So that's OK.

20 February 2012



Monday, February 20th

13 miles on the American River Trail

My guy had today off so we went for a ride.

We started off at Sunrise and rode to Wm Pond and back.

He's setting up his heart-rate monitor

His new gears continue to treat him well and now he's noticing his aching nether regions (I think he needs a 'bent but I'm a little tiny itty bitty bit biased).

We did see these fellows twice today.

Our average speed on the way out was 10.7 and overall it was 10.4 (downriver on the way out and up on the way back). I let him set the pace although I did have one needforspeed episode and got up around 19mph for a little bit.

There were lots of people out enjoying the trail, even on this grey-ish day.

I played photographer for a daughter and her mom who were out. Mom (or maybe it was grandma) was exultant that she had made it as far as she did. They were very particular about the framing of their shot. I was happy to reshoot.

We ate some snacks at Wm Pond (orange for me and jerky for him) and made our way back.

As usual, a couple of people asked me about my ride. One fellow stated "My wife needs one of those because she keeps falling over". I wonder what she'd think of that?

I have a mysterious creaking sound when cornering. Seems to be the seat. I will check it over and tighten the straps before my next ride.

16 February 2012

A little this-a, a little that-a


Thursday, February 16th

I dunno. About 20 miles? Here and there and all over the place, driven by impulse.

I started in old Folsom. Crossed the river.

Went down stream on the north side of Lake Natoma (nice change for me).

Now, this is where you get to ride along in my brain while I pedal all over the place.

Realized that I would miss my planned bio-break at Nimbus boat launch.
Kept going anyway.

Crossed Hazel on the still enchanting ramp/bridge/thing.

Stopped for a moment at Sunrise boat launch.

Bathrooms past Sunrise locked. Piffle.

Set sail again intent on stopping at Hagen Park. Got interrupted by the port-a-things at Oakton Way (before Hagen).
You know you're getting desperate when those start to look good.

Got hungry (NOT related to the port-a-things!) while there, ate some jerky and part of an orange.

Decided to turn around since I was still hungry and lunch was beckoning.

Stopped at Nimbus Flats boat launch. Unlocked restrooms. Ate some more orange. Lunch still beckoning.

RC boats! How cool!

Chased a big fat panicked grey squirrel along the bridge over Alder Creek.

The squirrel was running on the left side of the bridge, trying to figure out how to avoid the dread 3-wheeled monster w/out also taking an unexpected bath in the creek.

Decided to take the southern loop of the bike trail that takes one to the Folsom Outlet Mall, bypassing Willow Creek and the boat launch there.
"Oh, hey. I can take the rail trail!"

So I did, leaving the bike path along the river and taking this trail that parallels Folsom Blvd.

And so back to old Folsom where I ate a nice lunch at Karen's Bakery Cafe.

I took a small transistor radio along with me. I hung it on the back of my headrest. I didn't turn it up a lot so it was only really audible when I was going less than 10mph. Which was generally up hills and when I want distraction anyway.

I like the radio. I have an I-pod (somewhere safe. So safe I can't find it). If it ever turns up I'll get little bitty speakers for it.
I like music. I hate ear-buds. They are uncomfortable. I also like hearing what's going on around me, so music in the air (my own soundtrack!) is what I want.

(I've done away with the cloud of tags in the sidebar of my blog. It is messy and I'm bored).

12 February 2012

A Cheerful Mob


Sunday, February 12th
10-ish miles around Lake Natoma.

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Creatures of all sizes and states, it was time again today for The Ride Around The Lake Whilst and at the Same Time Yakking and Generally Carrying On. (so sue me, I've been reading strange books again).

It was sunny at home, and foggy in Folsom. I'm glad my yellow windbreaker was in the car, or I would have been a cold recumbent driver! My fingers were a little cold, but not too bad.

One person turned back since she got too cold. I had considered wearing shorts and am glad I did not!

My sweetheart came along today. The new gears he got made a HUGE difference. He chewed up the hills. Well. We call them hills, since this is a Casual Bike Ride. And no bailing out to wait for pick up.

And ... I was surprised and charmed to meet another triker today. He has an inexpensive recumbent trike which he ordered from a place down in Florida and did most of the assembly of the components himself. He was pleased as punch with his brand new ride and had no problems sticking w/ the group. I sure could not have kept up on my first ride. He even spoke of centuries in his future. Go dude!

We had 16 people on the ride, the usual mix of hybrids and road bikes. And now I suppose I ought to add trikes, since I am not alone, thanks to Mr. New Dude and "Parking Lot" Al.

I hope to get another ride in this week, since President's Day weekend is already booked.

(No pictures, bad blogger, no biscuit!)

06 February 2012

Ever had one of those days?


Sunday, February 5th

A whopping 5 miles.

A So. Cal recumbent fellow is heading up this way in April to ride on the American River Trail.
So I said I'd go out and video the proposed route from the proposed hotel to the trail and back.

This is the email I sent him after my ride.

"Gah. Just gah.

"I went out today and videoed the route. However, I managed to slam the hatch of my car on my helmeted (and camera-ed) head, popping the SD card out w/out noticing it (probably still in the parking lot of the hotel) so I can't provide any video. I'm such a klutz!

"I started at the Red Roof Inn and followed your route as best I could (including dodging through the parking lot). I had to take to the street (Zinfandel) to cross Folsom Blvd since the sidewalk (south of Folsom and east of Zinfandel)  was closed and impassable due to construction.
I assume you intend us to cross Folsom Blvd at Zinfandel using the ped crosswalk and signal?

"Coming back I used the "alley" you mention at Coloma (I don't know the proper name of them, but they are little streets that control a neighborhood's access to a busy street). The ped crossing pushbutton
from the alley onto Cordova worked great there.

"Since the sidewalk was closed at Folsom, I took the left- most traffic lane on Zinfandel and turned left at the BKing entrance to the parking lot, since that is the first entrance accessible going south on
Zinfandel. Not something I'd recommend for folks timid in traffic. I, however, seem to be laboring under the delusion I am immortal, so I was OK with it.

"Here's a ridewithgps link for my route today (I tried to be faithful to my various dodgings in the satellite view)
"They should be done with the sidewalk by April and hopefully will not be doing anything else to get in our way!"

04 February 2012

+1 x2


Went for a lovely bike ride today on a lovely day with a lovely bunch of coconuts.

I mean people.

"Parking lot" Al and I dragged our significant others along. Mrs. Al on her Trek Hybrid and my sweetheart on his Specialized hybrid. 

Al I and I were, of course, lording it along on our trikes.

Al. Slightly fuzzy (shot over my shoulder)
Kind of fuzzy all the time (that beard). My sweetheart.
Mrs. Al
Most of the ride we had a diamond frame sandwich going, with Al leading the way and me bringing up the rear.


The direction West was very interesting today.

There were lots of other people out enjoying the unseasonably warm sunny weather.

A one minute and twenty-four second video of two entertaining encounters from today's ride.

We retired to Subway for sandwiches and conversation afterwards.

Tomorrow I'll go preview a route for a future spring recumbent trike ride in the area (I volunteered to scout the route before hand).