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)