27 April 2012

Ride 158


22 April 2012

Crazy Yelling Woman


Sunday, April 22nd
20 miles on the ARBT

More Trikes! More People! More Sweat!

Today, I parked at Wm B Pond and rode 5 miles to the Waffle place. Boy, Sunday is the busy day for them. I squeezed in at the counter, gobbled my waffle, and hopped back on the trike to meet the mob of 23? More? trikers and 'bents forming up for Day Two of our Assault on the River.

We rolled through the streets of Rancho Cordova, causing quite a stir and many smiles and waves. The handful of velomobiles got the "Ohh, Cute!" comments.

We gathered up again at Wm Pond for a Day 2 picture.

I felt impelled to stand on the park bench and bellow about riding single file and sharing the bike path. It helped a little bit, but I still lost my ----  (think of the S-bomb, or if you are southern you could say I lost my religion) later on and basically channeled some irritable high-strung rodie stereotype and let fly with my not-inconsiderable lung power. I am not proud of losing my temper. I have not lost it like that (public yelling, with the JC bomb, the G-bomb, the F-bomb) for a very long time.

At Watt, I decided to turn around and head back.
It was hot.
I was sweating buckets.
I was starting to suspect a calf strain.
And I did not want to tempt myself into loosing my s--- again.

However, I still had a ball. I might only do one day of this ride next time if it is this hot - my body is not ready for 45 miles in two days in 90 degree heat. I have no idea how the bike tourists do it. My disgusting sweaty helmet is off to them.

21 April 2012

Oh, you ain't seen NOTHING yet!


Saturday, April 21st
TARTAR day 1
25 miles on the American River Bike Trail

Trikes And Recumbent on The American River, see? TARTAR: an unorganized un-event involving piles and piles of recumbents. Pretty cool, even though the weather was hot.

Entering trail from Rossmore Road

Laid back
Tandem and a trike
I wore my new self-made UnderArmor CoolGear tunic (yes, it is possible to find UnderArmor fabric at various on-line outdoor fabric supply places). My torso and arms and neck were cool. I was pleased. My face is feeling left out. I forgot to take a cotton hanky with me to wipe the sweat off. I also forgot to reapply sunscreen to my sweaty face. Hopefully I will remember both the hanky and the reapplication tomorrow.
My new shoes continue to please.
I had no goathead thorns or other mechanical issues.

I skipped a rest stop so I ended up in a forward-riding clump of a couple other 'bents.
Passersby: "Hey, look at that! Oh! There's another one!"
In my head: "Kid, you ain't seen nothing yet" knowing there were at least a dozen more behind me.

Somehow, I managed to volunteer myself (as a local) to lead people across the Folsom Auburn bridge. (I decided it was TOO HOT to go to Beals Point today). It worked OK, but I find I am quite speedy so I did loose more than 1/2 the bunch by the time we got around to the Nimbus Boat Launch. But  that's OK, I got them all across the bridge and onto the south-side trail.

Tomorrow, we go from the midpoint of the trail to Old Sacramento.

15 April 2012

A New Record!


Sunday, April 15th

11 or so miles around Lake Natoma

Under the Hazel Bridge

25 people (or it may have been 24). Or maybe 21. I'm not sure anymore.

Trust me, it was a LOT! The most ever, I think.

So, a nice turnout for the monthly Ride Around Lake Natoma with the two Meetup groups (Diamond Frame/Safety Bikes/"Normal" Bikes) with which I am an assistant ride leader.

The usual other recumbent trike rider showed up, he had tightened up what needed tightening from last time so his ride was better this time.

My elbow in the trick shot!

One fellow turned back quite early on (his rear brake was rubbing a lot, and it looked to me like he had a front brake rubbing on the sidewall! Or maybe he had a hobby of sanding his tires. No clue. The back tire was also getting flatter and flatter. I hope he gets his new tires on and we see him next month.

Setting off at the back of the mob.

A couple of other folks took off from the group to go on longer rides, no problem.

I had a flat also! So I tipped the trike over in the parking lot and quickly swapped out the punctured tube for my last un-patched tube. Better buy a few more tubes, I suppose.

No other mechanicals of note (although I did neatly drop my chain clear off the granny. So I stopped and put it back on.) No worries.

I tried riding with my new bike shoes quite loose. A little too loose, I suppose, but no hotfoot.

I like my half-way reclined seat. I need to move the headrest a little higher, but it does not seem that this new more laid-back position is going to require moving the boom in any. I believe I am a little faster in this position. Is it aerodynamics and/or better muscle efficiency from reducing the bend at my hip? I don't know and I'm not sure I really care. I do know I moseyed along at 18 mph for a while. I was surprised.

I do find that the more laid back position requires that I spin more up hills (less advantageous angle for mashing) but that is not a bad thing.

There is a new Recumbent Meetup group in Sacramento. Their very first ride is this afternoon. But I'm not going to make it.
Boo Hoo.
I'll see if I can organize something at this end of the American River Trail for later in the season.

Next weekend is the un-organized un-sponsored un-stressful recumbent gathering on the American River Trail.  Prior to that will be some local errands. I hope.

08 April 2012

Afternoon Ramble


Sunday, April 8th

My sweetheart and I went out on the Folsom bike paths, on a version of our 10 mile ride.

I had pulled a muscle in my thigh this morning, so I was pretty tired by the time we got done. At least, that muscle was pretty tired. The rest of me was fine.

I'm getting used to clipping in with my old cleats on new shoes. I managed to lace them too tightly today and had Feet of Fire, but after I loosened them up, it was fine.

Himself did great, pushing the pace more than usual and increasing his average speed by 10%. He was pleased.

A pack of kids were at our rest stop, themselves resting from the skate park, or maybe just hanging out. One 10 year old (I'm guessing) asked me if I had built my trike. I told him about Atomic Zombie, where he can get plans build all kind of recumbents. He seem interested and unfazed by the idea of welding. I hope he gets to build one.

It was pretty quiet on this Easter Sunday.

I was trying to take a picture of budding leaves, but I missed.

This morning, I had finally gotten around to taking off my front fenders (even though more rain is forecast) and fussed at my brakes a little. I managed to get the rotors to not "sing" from being a little out of true from excessive downhill chicken-braking and it was really nice to ride without hearing "shh shh shh shh shh" all the time.

I did not clean the chain, but I did check the rear derailleur for excessive gunk. There was none.

Yesterday, we had gone down to Alphabents (formerly Peregrine Bicycle Works) in Dixon, CA so Himself could check out some recumbent bicycles.
He discovered the nasty learning curve on two wheels (he really was interested in overseat steering but the knees of his long legs kept whacking the handlebars) and underseat steering freaked him out.
He also discovered that he does not like the idea of balancing while facing up. He'd rather face down. Weird.

So, a bunch of folks were there trying out trikes, so he did also. He tried a Catrike Expedition with a very reclined position and a huge rear wheel (I'll confess I tried it also). And he tried out an ICE and all the Velotechnics, including the Gekko, with which he was quite taken. On the way home he proclaimed himself "quite confused now" but I did see him looking on the internet for Gekko reviews, so we might become a multiple German 'bent household.

By the way, registration is open now for May is Bike Month, the Sacramento area ride-your-bike-why-we-don't-care-just-do-it thing. So go register if you feel like it.


05 April 2012

My Own Private Waterloo


Thursday, April 5th

18 miles through parts of El Dorado County

I came, I saw, I tried.
I ran away.

I had cut down some roadie's 50 mile loop of hill-suffering fun to a 'mere' 35 miles. I knew it would be tough, but I didn't know how tough.

I'm not that tough!

I set out from my house on a splendidly clear cool spring morning to brave the perils of Bass Lake Road (I only had at most 10 cars patiently waiting behind me)

and then to chicken-brake down Seranno Blvd.

Then I hooked a left on Silva Valley and stopped off at the stripmall to use the restroom.

I take great pleasure in calling this recently built "town center" a strip mall.

Then out onto Latrobe Road where, when stopping to snack, a kind person in a pickup asked me if I was OK. People are great!

Latrobe, once it has shaken off pretentious El Dorado Hills, runs through pretty ranch land.

This side of Latrobe is flat. Did I ride over there? No.

Most of Labtrobe has shoulders or bike lanes, but eventually it is thoroughly rural with no shoulder. And a long hill! Again, the drivers were very patient with me.

Finally, I got to dive off onto Cothrin Ranch Road. Now I know why it is beloved by roadies near and far. It is pretty, quiet, and has stupidly steep hills. Hills short and long, some straight, but mostly curvy. Liberally decorated with potholes for bonus points.

After some miles of this, following the route I found on ridewithgps (which routes you onto, then off of, then back onto Cothrin Ranch Road) I came to a steep hill after a steep hill on Grazing Hill Road.
I was not sure I could make it.
So I decided (with NO research at all) to turn around (down hill, thank you) and return to Cothrin Ranch Road and just stay on it.

Those of you who know this area are probably laughing your asses off right now.

Did you know that not all roads remain paved? Well, I sure do now!

CRR turned into a gravelly mess, still with hills and so on. I had to push my trike up one hill because I just could not keep from repeatedly skidding out on my "baldie" tires. And then continue to push when it turned paved again since it was steep enough I was not sure I could start moving up it.

But I got this GREAT view on that damn gravel hill.

Ok. Pavement again. Whew.
Crap. More hills.
Look, more hills. Hills hills hills hills. What was I thinking!
Every single muscle in my legs was shaking like I've never seen. I got slower and slower and slower and slooooooooooooooower. I kept drinking water, and eating food. And gasping. And watching my legs shake.

Finally, I did the wise thing, called my sweetheart for a ride. While waiting, I loafed near an emu ranch and listened to them chirring away and to a distant dog barking barking barking.

While waiting, I also ate the rest of my two oranges, a handful of turkey jerky and a Kind bar.

Trikes are rolling loungers, even when parked.

I'm really glad I tried to do this ride. My sweetheart is sure I'm out of my mind, since he got to drive in on a SMALL selection of the kinds of hills I'd been battling all morning. And he also figured out how far away from the house I had gotten.

I'm also glad I bailed out, since the terrain would only get HILLIER later.

Blue line is part of where I rode. Red blob is what was ahead if I had not bailed.

My average was a stunning 6.9 mph and my top speed (on Bass Lake Road) was 35.4. I was frantically pedaling to stay ahead of a truck on a fast downhill.

Hey. Did you notice those shoes? I finally ditched the old Velcro-closure Pearl Izumi X-Alp Drifts with a new pair that has laces. I think they may even be more comfortable than my old pair. I'll have to re-learn how to clip in since they feel different from my old ones.

01 April 2012

It's not over yet, there's still time to puke!


Sunday, April 1st.

My sweetheart surprised me again today by requesting a bike ride. I dashed around excitedly, getting everything ready.

We went on a 10 mile ride on Folsom's bike trails. A beautiful Spring day, playful breezes and bright sunshine.

Lots of people out enjoying the lack of rain. Plenty of puddles to ride through.

Himself pushed pretty hard, getting his heart rate up nice and high. Probably too high for too long (is he ever going to learn?) since he announced near the end of the ride (when I requested a grocery store stop to pick up stuff for dinner) "I'll be puking in the bushes."
I told him "It's not over yet, there's still time to puke!" Aren't I nice?

He did not actually puke, but he didn't feel very well. So I don't think I'll be taking him up Beal's Point yet.

This week, I am going to clean my chain, the gears, the derailler, and shorten a chaintube. And probably take off the fenders (this time for sure). Maybe I'll even get around to ordering a new idler and install that.

Say, I can put off cleaning by putting off ordering the idler. Yeah, that's the ticket.