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).

18 May 2012

The Caterpiller Cha-cha


30 miles today on the American River Bike Trail

I did not head out as soon as I had planned today, so the end of my ride was rather warm and I got slower and slower and sloooooooower. I seemed to have eaten enough (today's snacks were Nature Valley Granola bars (4 total) and an orange. 2 bottles of water and one of electrolytes. I had a wonderful tuna melt and a green salad and a gingersnap at Karen's Bakery Cafe after my ride.

These little guys were out EVERYWHERE. I zigged and zagged and mostly managed not not run any over.

I wonder if today was a furlough Friday (the state offices are closed two (I think) Fridays a month) because there were quite a few people out today.

I saw one group of cyclists at William Pond (my turnaround point today) and it took me a bit to notice that they were all signing. So even non-verbally-communicating cyclists talk up a storm at rest stops.

I tried out a little mini battery powered speaker for my ipod. It worked out well.
(I prefer not to ride with earbuds in. I can't hear enough of my surroundings and they are pretty uncomfortable.)
I strapped the speaker to the back of my headrest supports, facing forward. It was loud enough to hear when I was moving slowly, when I was most in need of entertainment, and basically inaudible at 15mph or faster, when I needed to by paying attention to the trail, anyway. And not loud enough to bother others, I hope.

I finally noticed ONE bike path sign, way way up on a post where no bicyclist I know would look. Good try anyway.

And the official name of the trail is the South Lake Natoma bike trail, which nobody uses anyway.

I stopped at Hagen Park (one of many stops today) and inadvertently disturbed a duck and her ducklings. I wish I had had a video camera running, because the ducklings each tumbling over into the pond was, dare I say, cute.

Duck and -lings pre-tumble

14 May 2012

Triple Threat


9 miles in Folsom.

Himself took a 1/2 day off (waaaaay too much vacation saved up) and we pedaled around Folsom's bike trails this afternoon.

He was going pretty fast. My three-days-in-a-row legs were working hard to keep up. But I did. He corners faster than I'm willing to. So I worked a little harder after each corner. And there are a lot of corners in Folsom.

We almost missed our turn because the pavement and the dirt and everything was covered with tree-fluff.

A light coating of fluff

I got tree-fluff stuck to my tires. It went "crunch crunch crunch" when ridden over.

My tire needs a shave! BTW the round dents you see are wear indicators. And it is also pretty easy to see that my alignment is good, also. Well, neutral chaotic, if you must know.

I experimented with slightly higher pressures in my tires (it's been over a year at 80psi all around, I tried 90 in back and 85 in front). Don't know that I can tell the difference.

I've ridden 102 miles in May so far. I'll make, and exceed, my pledged miles. Yay me!

13 May 2012

Slings and salmon


26 miles today on the American River Trail.

I took it slower than the last time I went out on one of the 20 mile weekend rides. Yes, it was longer than 20.

This was another ride NOT organized by me but I got to help anyway by leading us out.

Well, I led us out once we got on the bike path.

I learned a new phrase today "bike salmon" when you want to travel on a specific side of the street but it is against the flow of traffic (you use the sidewalk). I am constitutionally opposed (what does that mean anyway? That it is against my personal Constitution or makes my physical self (little c constitution) disturbed?) to riding on the sidewalk to avoid crossing a street in traffic on a bike so I practiced Effective Cycling and got to the bike path before the salmon did.

Whew. That was quite a sentence.

It was cooler today (Delta breeze) so I wore my spiffy cycling jacket for all of 5 minutes. I think it never got over 80 today, but was certainally cooler than yesterdays near-90.

Pretty early in our ride a fellow on a yellow Greenspeed trike zoomed up to the group and tagged along. It took me a while to place him, since the last time I saw him he was on a diamond frame going up and down Beatty Road in El Dorado Hills on our club's annual New Year's Day hill-climbing suffer-fest.

Being totally observant (sarcasm here) I finally noticed that he had one arm in a sling. He had broken his collar bone two days ago in an 18mph mountain bike crash and was riding his girlfriend's trike one-handed because it beat staying at home discovering all the things he couldn't do.
He has a plate in his shoulder.
And the trike was far too short for him.
And one tire was not seated properly so he bump bump bumped along.
Other than that, he was fine.

We chatted for a while, then he found a couple of right-paced roadies to chase.

He would periodically return to the group, the pursue some more roadies. I noticed that the roadies worthy of pursuit were female. Remember, a triker's view of a roadie from behind is a spandex-clad ... well, behind.
I had a good laugh.

We had a variety of speeds along today; I was out in front with sling-man and two others. The ride leader was behind with the other two riders. It was interesting, and a bit pleasant, to be in on a group ride but with unencumbered vision.

We managed to stop at the same places twice for bio-breaks and water and rest, but we did not come to our turnaround point at the same time. Eventually, sling-man pointed out that we had been sitting and waiting for 20 minutes so we headed back, only finding the others nearly at the end of the ride. All's well that ends well.

I feel pretty good for having ridden 37 miles in one weekend. But I'd still like to bust out 60 or 70 in a weekend sometime.
7 more miles and I'll be at 100 miles for the month, 2/3rds of the way to my Bike Month pledge.

Keep ridin' and smilin'

12 May 2012

Fine Folsom Frying


Cool lake on a hot day

11 miles on the Usual Loop around the Usual Lake with the Usual Suspects. Well, some of them.
It is getting hot and our 10am start time may have deterred some folks, or maybe they are doing everything for the whole weekend on Saturday. Or or or ...

Anyway, we had a sociable group of 4 people, me and my sweetheart, and two Repeat Offenders (who have come on this ride before).

All went well, except that the water fountain at Negro Bar was turned off. What is up with this!? I'll be emailing Folsom SRA with a request for an explanation. Hope they have a good one.

And Himself was a bit struck by the heat. So he parked himself in the shade, drank some electrolye enhanced water, and I soaked his shirt with some plain water. He cooled right off and perked right up.

We stopped near the beginning of the ride and pumped up a pair of tires and had an interesting conversation about bike pumps.

The other 'bent rider putting his pump back.

Tires pumped and ready to roll

Both of us with recumbents on this ride had Schrader valves on our rides, so we had TWO pumps available, one for each tire on the mountain bike. Made for faster pumping.
My sweetheart (in beige and brown shorts above) is getting ready for his Cowboy Mount, where you get rolling and then swing the other leg over the bike. I could never learn that trick. And now I don't have to.

10 May 2012

Don't feed the chain


19 or so miles on the American River Trail

I want to rack up more than my pledged miles for this month (I pledged 150). After today's ride I am more than 1/3 of the way there and we are less than 1/3 through May so I have hope.

I saw a surprising number of brightly clad jersey wearing riders out today. Many travelling in packs. I was again in my "roadie disguise" bombing along at about 14mph on the way out.

On the way back it was, admittedly, slightly uphill, but I was slower than I expected.
I had traveled to my starting place in the hatchback, so I folded my trike for transport.

When I unfolded it, I had forgotten to make sure the chaintubes were all in their proper places.

Bad Triker, No Biscuit!

It took 11 miles for the tube to work its way back to the rear derailer and proceed to get all torn up and another 8 miles for me to notice it (ie. I didn't look until I was back at the car).

So I'll have to trim off the chewed up part and have a slightly shorter tube back there. And I suppose I ought to inspect the derailuer for bits of plastic.

Lightweight irrigation tubing makes fine chain tubes. And then the folks who sell the idler I have my eye on also sell super slick extra special tubes. I might go that route.

Riding on Saturday, maybe on Sunday.

Pollen count is super high right now and riding two days in a row might be foolish. We'll see.

08 May 2012

Slogging up, rolling down


11 miles in Folsom

It is Bike Month, and I'm trying to stay ahead of the miles I've pledged for our group, the Hammerin' Wheels. We are in first place right now in the Team Challenge and plan to stay there.

I started in Old Folsom as I had planned, but decided to skip the hills in Empire Ranch because it was rather warm today and both drinking fountains that I knew about on my route were Turned Off! What?! <whine> Folsom! </whine>.

As soon as I left the parking structure, I started smelling the Kikkoman plant.

I am tired of poppy-pictures so I shot this plant instead. I'm pretty sure it is terrestrial but beyond that I have no clue.

Although we are in the beginning of the dry season, there was enough water this year to fill the winter wetlands (now not so wet) with lush green grass.

Looking through the sides of the bridge

I was noticing lots of cut down pines along the trail. Turns out these Grey Pines have some kind of disease so down they go. The trail smelled nice and piney from all the cut up logs.

The trail work made for a short detour. It was a short stretch of well-laid crushed stone. Not bad to ride on, even up hill on a smooth-tyred trike.

The gravel path is on the right

I'm glad I started downstream and slogged up right away. It took me 50 minutes to get to the highest point, but only 20 to return to the garage. Yay, Gravity!

I hope to get out at least once more before the weekend (I've done 25% of my pledged miles and I hope to exceed my pledge this month).

06 May 2012



Sunday, May 6

Rolled out this morning for a lovely 20 mile ride on the American River Trail. I was not in charge of the ride but I got to lead anyway. That's what you get for coming along on another organizer's ride.

There were a dozen or so bikes today. The tandem riders who often join me around Lake Natoma were there as well as some total strangers. Cool!

I performed my public service today by eating every insect on the AR trail so other cyclists did not have to. Phtoooie!

I answered the usual questions about my trike. I collected my second "you're pretty fast on that thing" from a couple of passing roadies. I should talk, I was in "roadie mode" today with my shaped 7 panel shorts and my club jersey. Maybe that made me faster? Dunno.

Saw a cottontail and some turkeys.

I wore my Voler sun protective leggings today and tried out my recumbent bolero: just a long sleeved high-collared Underarmor shirt that ends at my ribs.  It worked well over my sleeveless jersey. So I only had to put sunscreen on my face. Where it attracted dirt, grit, and bug corpses. I have started wearing my old cycling gloves so I don't have to put sunscreen on the backs of my hands. I was all matchy matchy today with red, black, and white jersey and gloves; red sun leggings; and a white bolero.
The leggings have a zipper at the back of the ankle. I decided that the zipper needs to NOT be right on my Achilles tendon. They still work rotated a bit.

I was having too much fun to take any photos. So I took this lame-o one after we were done with our ride.

Is a bad photo better than no photo? I dunno.

01 May 2012

May is Bike Month

Tuesday, May 1st

Bike month kickoff at the El Dorado County government offices in Placerville. This is the 7th year. Who knew? I missed the last six, I guess.

I parked at Missouri Flat Road and bicycled up to the gov't offices. I had the trail to myself.

There were a handful of people there, some of whom I'd been passed by on the way up.

I answered a lot of questions about my recumbent, despite parking it kind of out of the way.

More people arrived, clustering in groups and chatting bike bike bike.

I was pleased at the interest generated by the Friends of the El Dorado Trail's display.

I saw one Sacramento Wheelmen jersey, Team Rev, and a couple of other jersey-like items.
Most folks were El Dorado County casual.

I was wearing a loud Hawaiian shirt and bright red arm and leg sun-covers, a new thing I'm trying this summer in lieu of sunscreen that I must remember to reapply. I was pretty memorable, and not just because of my bike. I was a one woman rolling comment-generator/freak show. And the only recumbent at the event.

After Mr. Somebody or Other (El Dorado County Transportation Commission/Committee - see how little I know?) talked,

Mr. Somebody-or-other

we applauded ourselves and set off from the Center

onto Ray Lawyer Dr.,

on to Forni Rd. and then onto the bike path, eventually crossing Weber Creek on the splendid and long wooden-decked bridge

The El Dorado Trail is a rail-trail so it is never very steep, but it is going up (eventually) to the Sierras. So I had already done the up up up part and got to coast most of the 3 miles back down to where I parked. I decided to stop there and not go up and down another time. So I missed out on the bag lunch I may or may not have RSVPed in time for.

Tomorrow I will ride to my dentist's appointment. Yay!