17 March 2013

Like a new machine!

#236 / #54

As part of getting a new triple on my trike, I also finally laid the seat all the way back. I remember how weird that felt the first time I tried it almost 2 years ago, but today it felt just right. I felt faster. I doubt I was, but it was a nice feeling.

I did notice my hip flexors a little bit today from the new, stretched out, position. I really need to work hard on stretching them every day (I usually manage once a week) because they are naturally quite tight for me and they do a lot of work on this trike. With the extra recline, my legs start out a little straighter relative to my hips and torso so my flexors start their work from a slightly different, slightly tighter spot.

On some flat, straight sections of the American River Parkway today, I tried to push my trike hard enough that I could pedal with my usual cadence (whatever it is - 80, maybe?) in the highest gear combo. I could not, getting only to 19.4mph. So, for right now, the new gearing is perfect.

I really like the smaller sized big ring in front: in the previous configuration, my calf would brush the chain tube with each stroke, significantly deflecting the tube. My new big ring is just a little larger than my old middle ring, so I don't even notice the slight calf-to-tube contact because it feels "normal".

The annoying creaking came back: I finally figured out it is the mesh of my mesh seat. Maybe someday, when I'm skinnier, I'll try out a BodyLink seat, the hardshell for this trike. In the meantime, I might see of one of the dealers around here can get me the mysterious and hard-to-find-because-HPV-does-not-advertise-them-but-they-exist-damnit water bottle adapters designed for the mesh seat. Then I could hopefully tighten the mesh of the lumbar area (currently held in place and un-tightenable due to holes poked in it for waterbottle braze-on access).

I have still not found a 550lb spring for my shock. Bah.

For those playing along at home, you may have noticed that Red Leader's ride count skipped from 52 to 54. That's because after yesterday morning's ride I felt very ill and dizzy (I attribute it to Friday's bathroom cleaning frenzy) so all I wanted to do was sit somewhere and not move. So Red Leader went out for a ride by himself.


wait for it...

he went up to Beal's Point. This is his second time up. Remember, the first time I had to cajole and pester him to try the 7 and 8% grades. He announced that it was annoying but not awful. Just how I feel about it.

He did, however, have his very first trail-side mechanical, where his rear derailler got bollixed up and refused to shift out of the small ring. We don't remember this being the case when he first got trike, but I'm also not sure he shifted through all the gear combos. He has such a wide range of gears that the chain is effectively too long for the granny + smallest in back. Now, you are not supposed to ride around in that gear combo, but many times you can have a chain the right length to do it while still being long enough to accommodate (pesky word has too many 'm's in it) the Big Big combo (another one you shouldn't really ride around in).
A "hippy on a mountain bike" (his description) helped him sort it out and Red Leader went the rest of the way up.


This morning I measured the chain according to the Hostel Shoppe's set up instructions, and decided that we could (I mean I could) take a pair of links out. So I did. Red Leader has never used or seen a chain tool, so that was fun.

It didn't really help, since he still can't really use the smallest three rings in back with the granny in front.

When we get around to taking it in to the shop for the persistent tick tick tick we'll consult about that also. It may not be doable with the current combo of gears and the rear derailler he has.

I will say that I'm thinking the Gekko being folded most of the time is doing the chain line no favors. It looks to me like the chain emerges from the flexible section a little bit not perfectly straight up and down.

Tomorrow, I'm going for a hike. It's been months and months and months.


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