30 January 2013

The Rant

#223 / #42

Ok. There will be some mild language. So read the next post (whenever it happens) if you are sensitive.

Dear Entitled Assholes,
JUST because the pair of you have 6oz carbon/unobtanium bikes, with aero wheels, bars, and who knows what else, and
JUST because you are super skinny and dressed heads to toes in matchy matchy lycra, and
JUST because you are going about 20mph in a wooded area with lots of blind corners on a trail w/ a much ignored 15mph limit,
DOES NOT mean you are entitled to yell at the walkers.

Get a grip. Lose the assholery.

Guess what.

This sign

means you AND your little friend yield to the peds (and the horses). The directional arrows are not telling you to aim your bikes at the nice walker.

Anyway, up until the Entitled As episode, it was a nice ride on a beautiful day.

I saw some kind of smallish hawk hovering overhead, flapping madly, spying out a late lunch.

I persuaded Red Leader to do about 5 minute of stretching before we rode. His knee was still a bit tender but he spend some time analyzing how he was riding and what was going on.  As I've mentioned before, he tends to lean to the right as he rides, and also there is noticeable upper body flopping and bobbing: again to the right. So he spent most of the ride NOT flopping and pondering his legs. He's decided that his ankles are the weak link, and that when they get tired his feet flop around and that makes his legs tired.

If his work schedule permits, we are going to try for three 10-15 mile rides a week, rather than one 20 mile ride.

I might not make my 50 mile goal this week, but I'll give it a good shot by joining the Sacramento Recumbent riders on the First Saturday ride this weekend.

26 January 2013

Desperately Seeking (Su)Sun

#222 / #41

It was foggy this morning at home. It was still foggy as we were getting ready to go on our bike ride.

We over dressed, actually, since it was sunny and 60 when we got to Wm Pond for the start of our ride.

I shed my jacket and rolled my pants up. Red Leader didn't shed anything, but then he rides colder than I do.

We saw one recumbent and lots of other people out enjoying the breezy sunny day.

The breeze (headwind) on our outbound trip was no fun but it was nice to have it at our backs on the return.

I met my goal of 50 miles for the week. I may or may not bump it up to 60 (my weekly goal for 2013) for next week.

23 January 2013

Toasted, fried, and baked.


It has been months since I've gone more than 20 miles at a time. Today I went 30: Folsom to Wm. Pond and back again.

The forecast was 50% chance of rain and I got the lucky percentage. So I packed my rain gear for no reason. It was around 55 degrees, overcast and not a lot of breeze.

From Folsom to Nimbus I saw 10 walkers (4 pairs and 2 singles) and only two other bicyclists. One overtook me on the hill by the outlet mall. I spent some time pondering why I'm always overtaken on the steep hills, when I'm slogging up at a snail's pace. Then I realized that I spend much more time climbing then I do descending, so I suppose that makes sense.

I did leave a couple of riders behind on a downhill on the other side of the river (my route was outbound on the south side and inbound on the north).

Although I am quite tired now, I think I took the right number of reststops and ate enough food on the way. (Stops were Nimbus Flats boat launch, south Sunrise, Wm Pond, south Sunrise, Hazel bridge, and Negro Bar. Food was a banana and some Tiger Milk bars).

I 'bribed' myself with a lovely pastry and a cup of coffee at Karen's.

My average was 10mph: typical for a longer ride for me.

22 January 2013



Snuck a ride in between yoga and various housekeeping duties. Have about 10 miles of my 50 mile goal for the week. Rain or shine (and it will rain) tomorrow a 20 mile ride.

Who rides bikes most? Men.
Who rides recumbent bikes most? Men.
Trikes? Men, but they seem also to be wife/girlfriend vehicles also.
Who rides around at 8:30am in 39 degree weather? Men.

So I'm not too surprised that several people today took me for a male. Maybe I should start wearing fuschia lipstick. Naw. Not my style. Don't really care, just was funny.

I kept to Folsom's bike paths, mostly because they are the closest trail access to my house and I did not feel like playing in traffic today.

Thursday and Friday look like the only days Red Leader and I will be able to get out for a ride together, so I figure I'd better get 30 more miles in before then. Hm. Looks like a 30 mile ride tomorrow? Why not. I can bribe myself with a brunch at Karen's after. If I ride as early as I can stand, I might beat most of the rain.

It's a Plan!

20 January 2013

Grease-bellied Sneetch

#221 / #40

We went out again on the American River Trail. I would have worn shorts but I am trying to keep my sun exposure as low as I can with a hobby that takes me outside so often. So I wore tights. And a home-made sunsleeve arrangement (like a sawed off mock turtleneck longsleeved shirt) over my new yellow racerback camisole. Which I got grease on. Bleah.

So. I took a look at Red Leader's chainline on his Gekko. Yes, it was not working well and yes, I was able to fix it.

The light blue circle was the problem area. The piece of chain tube has a tiny bolt protruding from it. The bolt is screwed into the chain keeper flange on the idler. The flange and the bolt had parted ways.

So I unscrewed the idler, chased one washer around the parking lot, screwed the chain keeper flange back onto the bolt in the tube, then put the whole idler back together. Then took it apart and included the chain. And then we rolled away.

Well. Almost. Red Leader commented that he wanted a longer visor on his helmet, which is when I noticed that his helmet was way too far on the back of his head. So we fixed his helmet. He may still want better sun shade but it is better than it was.

But wait! We also dug out the large torque wrench and he straightened out his boom and tightened it to the max torque: 16nm.

Then we left. For real, this time.

Plenty of people on the trail, a recumbent or two and some recumbent trikes, also a handpowered one.

RL had been feeling some strains in his legs and ankle. What do you know, concentration on staying centered in the seat (instead of leaning to the right) and straightening the boom made all the difference.

I tried putting my seat back to 3/4 of fully reclined. I like it. Eventually I'll be all the way reclined. But not yet.

AND I made more than my 40 mile goal for the week: 47.6 miles. Nice weather makes a big difference. Next week I will go for 50 miles in one week.

16 January 2013

Not so frozen

#220 / #39

Red Leader and I went out on the American River trail today, RL leading, as is right and proper. We followed and later chatted with a guy on an old-school Linear recumbent. Saw some deer.

It was just shy of 60 when we set out and at sunset, when we got back, it seem quite a bit chillier. And the temperature was just 7 degrees lower. Lack of sunshine makes a difference.

Red Leader reported a 'funny noise' while pedaling and noticed one time when the chain made a big loop under the front derailer. Time to get greasy!

The times that I've noticed the chain not moving on the return path on my bike was due in both cases to a stiff link.

I know what I'm doing tomorrow ...

I'm 5.1 miles from my weekly goal of 40 miles. Yay!

15 January 2013

Far from frantic Folsom frolic


This is what 15 miles in January sunshine gets you: absurd alliteration.

I went up my favorite mini-hill in the Empire Ranch area of Folsom, then down to the watery parts by Humbug and Willow creeks.

I did not take anything to eat, so I got pretty hungry and slow. But I found some jerky in the trunk bag so I nibbled on that. Would rather have had a banana or something.

My mileage goal this week (Monday - Sunday) is 40 miles. So I have 25 to go.
I'd better start planning some more rides, but at least the weather looks cooperative.

13 January 2013

Return of the Tandem

#218 / #38

When I first started leading the monthly "around Lake Natoma" ride for the local casual bike group, a tandem-riding pair would show up and loaf around the lake with us. Loafing on a tandem is practically de-rigueur, since two people pedaling are faster than one. They showed up again today, surprised to see Red Leader on a trike. I guess it had been since before May that they attended.

Only 5 of us went around the lake. It was below freezing first thing and only around 40 when we started out. We were mostly warm enough, although I think some toe covers are in our future.

Only the die-hards were out today - a handful of bundled up roadies and a few sets of walkers, one with a hood trimmed with an immense amount of fur (fake, I suppose).

This week I managed to make my self-imposed 30 mile weekly mileage. Next week I'll bump it to 40. This will ensure that I can't 'cheat' and do my quota with only two rides in a week.

10 January 2013

Oh, to be a mouth-breather


Went out for a brisk 19 miles ride on the American River Parkway.

I may or may not have a cracked tooth - the dentist could not determine yesterday which tooth it was and he does not want to do the wrong tooth (fine by me) so I have instructions to see when I feel it, keep track, and get back to him. One YOWZA while sucking cold air on today's ride. So I decided to try to ride with my mouth shut. Can't do it, can't go fast enough. Reverted to mouth-breathing. No more YOWZAs so I'm happy.

When I checked the Strava app at Wm Pond (I went from Sunrise to Watt and back, so this was on my return) it claimed that my average was 16mph. Which would be nice, but I emphatically don't believe it. And looking at the graph of my ride, there is no way I had an average that fast. So the during-ride-logging data is not reliable.


I had a nice ride, despite teeth, general unfitness, and a blasted headwind on the way back.

I decided to hop up on the paved levee top after I turned around at Watt.

It was nice seeing a wider view then down on the bike trail, but the wind was stronger up there and the surface (graveled chipseal) was rough. Also, the levee trail has quite a crown so I stayed in the middle unless passing or being passed. It was all I could do to maintain 12.5mph on the levee.

Maintenance was happening (it is a weekday, after all) so I spent some time gawking at a crew removing a Very Tall tree near William Pond. I also saw a boat that I believe was some kind of official craft, buzzing up and down the river with two guys standing in the bows. Also saw a crew of Sacramento County Corrections inmates (community service?) spreading bark trailside.

05 January 2013

Clothes horses

 #216 / #37

Finally I get to increment Red Leader's ride tally to 37. He is mostly over the cold (the cough is still there a little) and requested a ride today before it rained tomorrow.

So I came back from this morning's ride, started the blog post, had a snack, and it was time to head out again.

Red Leader wanted a simple ride without a lot of up and down so we went on our usual loop in Folsom.

Some changes from last time we rode this loop: no flooding, and RL had a pile of new bike stuff to try.
He had gotten too cold on our last ride before The Cold, so he had bought warmer lobster claw gloves, a Buff to keep his head warm, a long sleeved full zip wicking polyester shirt, and a bright yellow rain jacket. Not that he rides in the rain, but this is what happens when a guy who likes to shop (I know, I know) goes to Really Expensive Inside.
THEN for Christmas, I got him a new trunk bag (Arkel Expedition - quite posh!), a lightweight high-viz windbreaker, and arm warmers.

So. He was warm enough in wicking boxers, cotton shorts, fleece leg and arm warmers, long sleeved wicking poly shirt, Buff, the light windbreaker, and his medium-warm gloves. Wicking socks.

I was unaccountably chilly starting out, so I was wearing heavy nylon yoga pants, wicking undies, a wicking camisole, wool midweight shirt, my windbreaker, and arm warmers and a fleece vest over the jacket. And I had my Buff deployed as ear warmers. And with all that - fingerless gloves.
After the first 3 miles, I ditched the arm warmers and vest. Perfect. Oh, and I was wearing wool socks with plastic sandwich baggies over the socks inside my shoes. So my toes were not cold from the wind, although my socks were quite damp at the end of the ride.

It did not rain on us, and the forecast now calls for partly sunny tomorrow afternoon. So I might ride out from the house and try my luck finding two local geocaches. Because I need a few miles to make my 30 mile goal for the week. 4.1 to be exact.

Individual white dresses


Today was a double dipping day. I went out in the morning on my Seven 7 ride (seven miles, seven mph, great for seven speeds) with the Casual Biker meetup people. Then in the afternoon with my husband, Red Leader.

We had a full house (8 riders - as many as I want to keep track of on the twisty trails). Two of those riders were bonus recumbent riders - a husband and wife team that I met two years ago when my trike was newish and that's how they came to get a pair of trikes. A Terratrike and a Greenspeed. They are Folsom natives, so they were happy to ride in the back since I knew they would not get lost, if by chance they got separated.

So there I am, riding over the loudest bridge in Folsom (the metal bars at the ends are loose and the boards of the deck are quite loud when ridden on). I had always wondered if it was just my proximity to my tires that made it sound so loud.
Now I know it is just loud!
I'm leading, with a four bike tail capped off by a two-trike decoration. Even as far ahead as I was, I could CERTAINLY hear the two trikes rumbling over the bridge. 6 wheels hopping and banging and bouncing and bounding over the boards.

All three of us on trikes answered a lot of questions, and I even got one of the safety bike riders to hop on and pedal for a few feet. Before this, she had asked me what it was like to ride a recumbent up a hill and I said it can be like a lot of individual leg presses. Which I guess at 8mph and facing the wrong was and a well-chilled face can sound like individual white dresses.

So, to climb a hill on a trike, you have to be ready for a lot of individual white dresses. They do tend to show chain grease, but what's a girl to do?
The Two Trikers and I sat down for a chat and some coffee after the ride.

03 January 2013

January sun


Headed out on this nice sunny day to see if I could chase a cold away with a bike ride.
I'll know tomorrow if I did.

I went over to Empire Ranch and climbed my favorite hill, then - as usual - chicken braked down the other side.

While I was out today I saw and talked to a couple that have trikes. I had met the wife a year or so ago and I had been trying to track her down again. So they have one of my cards. I hope they can come to Saturday's loafing ride in Folsom.

After my ride, I ran across a couple of women with recumbent bikes, unloading them from their car near where I had parked. I had never met them before. One ride was a Sun and I don't know what the other was.

So it was a nice 9 miles in nice weather encountering nice people.