31 May 2013



I was out far longer today than I had planned. My Nike Dryfit sunblocking shirt kept most of the sun off my arms, but I am a little pink. I eschewed the sun leggings and applied sunscreen 3 times. My legs above my knees are a bit pink but not bad. I pulled my Columbia cooling buff thing up over my neck, jaw and earlobes so only my face near my nose was exposed. And it was liberally slathered (is that redundant?) with sunscreen.

When I apply sunscreen trailside without the benefit of a mirror, the results are pretty strange. I don't know if my buff pulled up over my face or my shining white gloppy nose (finally observed with utter horror in a trailside restroom many miles later) was why I got such strange looks today.

I rode, by the way, from Karen's Bakery in Folsom to the railroad trestle past I-80 and back again. 49 miles. 4 and 1/2 hours moving time. I think I left the parking garage at 8:45 and got back at 2:45? Something like that. A lot of time outside, anyway.

I saw three other trikes: 2 recumbents with one rider each, and an unoccupied 'adult' tricycle parked by the trail. Between the three 'bent trikes, we represented a good slice of trike-dom - one touring trike with middle of the road recline, one very reclined Cattrike, and a very upright and high-seat trike with basically armrests. Cool!

I had another interesting conversation with a couple of boys. They were dying to talk to me about the trike, so I invited them (with their mom's permission) to do so.

I was VERY VERY HAPPY to see the parking garage at the end of my ride, and even happier to stuff my face at Karen's. The deli case there was quite depleted. Turns out that the rowing teams who were competing all weekend at Nimbus Flats were staying at the hotel down the road from Karens. Rowers EAT. I had a curried tuna sandwich. Yum yum yum!

I will probably lay off the bike for a few days - it will be quite hot and I would like to have some 'legs' left for my upcoming backpacking trip.

29 May 2013


#261 / #74

Finally, Red Leader and I on the same ride at the same time! The heavens resounded with choirs of angels (one hopes they were in tune).

We "loafed" around Folsom on our old route through neighborhoods on the many twisty trails. Red Leader is a bit of a speed freak. I would rather he kept it below 15 all the time on these trails.

Saw a woman on a cruiser type bike returning from the grocery store, her handlebars loaded down with dangling plastic grocery bags.

Many children on bikes and skateboards and feet. Dogs, on and off leash. Other bicyclists - one crouching roadie and many mountain-cruiser-comfort types.

We had a lively conversation with a couple of kids at the skate/BMX park. The city has built a very popular huge pile of dirt in a neighborhood park, attracting kids like bees to flowers.

The two boys were full of questions about the trikes, every third statement was "can I pleaaaaaaase try it?" We declined. I doubt the kid could have reached the pedals anyway. One had heard of Greenspeed trikes. The other was alarmed at the closeness of the derailler to the ground (long cage, 20" wheels). I was told I need new tires since there is no tread left! So I pointed out the wear indicator dimples. We discussed crashing and cornering and the kids were wondering if we were going to try the dirt.

Sorry kids, you are not going to be entertained with two old farts on trikes spinning out on the side of a pile of dirt.
Now, if I had a bike with at 26 in back ...

47 more miles to go for May. Tomorrow is filled with errands, so it looks like I will be emulating those college freshmen I used to tutor: finishing at the very last moment on Friday.

25 May 2013



I didn't ride on Wednesday, saving all my mojo for today's longer ride - 45 miles, I think.

My problems pushing my bike forward (felt like permanent uphill last ride) were do to a deflating rear tire. I have difficulty getting the business end of the pump off of the Schrader valve on the back wheel. The fender and fender stays limit the places I can put the valve for filling, and the bike frame does also. And I suppose I'm chicken about bashing my knuckles into the gears. Which I have done more than once.

When I pulled the flat tube out, the hole was right at the base of the valve stem. Thinking back on that ride, I did have some trouble getting the pump to let go.

So I finally switched that wheel out to a Presta-valved tube. Much better. I used one of the metal type of hole filler, which is actually quite a bit longer than it needs to be, making the available valve stem almost too short. I shall experiment with hacksawing one of the other ones shorter, then when I feel like wrestling the back wheel off again, I'll swap it out.

Today ride started at 7am. It is the Hammerin' Wheels' DIY century ride, no fee and no support. Cue sheets and leaders/sweeps are provided. 50 riders? Me the only recumbent.

I went into this ride knowing I'd turn around at the first official rest stop. And I was the slowest one there, even on this century designed for beginner century riders - pace 13-15mph. I averaged just exactly 13mph before I got myself slightly lost in downtown Sacramento.  I undid what got me lost, and took the parkway trail all the way to mile 0 instead of spending more time wandering around C, 19th, 12th, E whatever in Sacramento.

Then, for the 23 or so miles back, I loafed along at maybe 12mph.

Strava's Android app ate my ride again: probably when I either checked the map or sent a text. Hopefully, the support folks can retrieve it like they did last time.

20 May 2013

ride in the morning cool


Now I know where all the other trike riders are: riding in the morning on weekdays. I saw 2 on the trail and 1 while driving to the trailhead, and three 2-wheel 'bents also.

I have a big ride coming up on Saturday so I wanted to see how I felt riding this morning (Monday) after a week of lots of riding.

I was pretty tired. So I turned around after 4 miles and slogged back.

I would normally ride on Wednesday with Red Leader, but I might send him out by himself.

I'll see how I feel at yoga on Wednesday morning.

18 May 2013

Down with Moderation!

#258 / #71

17 miles today. Only 110 more miles to go in May. 60 of those will be on the Hammerin' wheels "Green Smoothie" century, of which I am doing 30 with the group, then 30 on my own to get back to the start. So, that means 5 miles a day, or 10 miles every other day, or 25 a week for the rest of May. I can do that.

I rode on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Moderation is something I don't get, not at all.

All or nothing, that's me.

Red Leader and I are wandering around the house now, lamenting about our toasted quads. Feels good.

I'll try to get 15 of my 25 miles in on Monday, then the usual ride on Wednesday with Red Leader, then metric century madness!


16 May 2013

Rain?! in May!!!


Last time I was at the dentist's office (across our small town) I said I would ride my bike there for my next teeth cleaning.

So I did.

Preceded by a frantic closet excavation for my winter tights.

It was misty/drizzle, the kind that is light enough the pavement under the heaviest tree cover stays dry. About 60 degrees and little to no wind.

I was a little tired from my previous 2 consecutive days of bike riding, so I made liberal use of my smallest chain ring, creeping up hill and coasting down hill.

I wore a lightweight wool Ibex shirt under my bright windbreaker, and had a summer-weight wicking poly day glo shirt to wear on the way back, figuring it would be warmer and I'd be working harder since it is more up than down back to my house.

Looking forward to a ride or two this weekend.

Rubber side down, everybody.


#256 / #70

16 May, 2013

Riding as we do largely on the local long MUP (multiuse path) we see many people: bicyclists, walkers, equestrians, skateboarders, roller bladers, even those weird mobile stair step machines. But on our trikes, we only get to interact with them briefly, unless we are traveling in the same direction and are either being passed or passing, or bellowing extremely loudly to have a conversation. Of course, we could stop altogether, but that's hardly the point of a bike ride.

So are the occasional shouted comments like "nice bike," "where do you keep the beer," "I want one," "thanks for the flag," "get a flag," "get a real bike" real interactions? I don't know, because they are one way. I hear them, but I don't get a chance to respond. Maybe I get a chance to contribute a big grin or a thumbs up or a single finger or a shouted "asshole". I'm not particularly proud of the last two, but I do have a temper.

Anyway, enough philosophizing. Red Leader and I buzzed up and down the American River Parkway Trail from Sunrise to Watt and back. I was truly irritated when my Strava app failed to upload my data and apparently lost it altogether (temper, temper). But I got over it.

Next bike ride is to the dentist for a cleaning. Maybe that's why I was grumpy yesterday.

14 May 2013

Stray stay


Took off around 8am (an hour later than I had planned) but it was still cool enough in Folsom. I went around Lake Natoma "backwards" again, crossing the Folsom Auburn bridge, north shore, the Hazel Bridge, then south shore.

I saw more walkers than bikers.

I did see another triker, with cool spinning disks on his flag pole. He was riding with two jersey-kitted diamond frame riders who quizzed me about mounting waterbottles behind the seat.

Some squirrels, no snakes.

I'm a little behind logging miles for May is Bike Month, but I'll do a longish ride with Red Leader tomorrow, then ride to a dental appointment, then probably two rides this weekend, which should catch me up nicely.

(I went camping this last weekend which explains my 'no posts' but I'll tell you that Red Leader went out twice without me.)

Off to the garage to reattach my rear fender stay. It held in place for more than 2 years with some blue loctite but it is time to reapply it now.


08 May 2013

Bug city

#254 / #67

Red Leader and I couldn't think of where to ride, so we defaulted to our default: Lower Sunrise, from which we zipped to Watt and then zipped back.

The bugs were out. I snorted one up my nose, like getting water up your nose while swimming but wigglier! Several more bounced off my glasses or face. If I was at the appropriate angle to the sun, I could notice the clouds of bugs before I rode through them and stop breathing for a while.

Speaking of breathing, part of the bike trail was green with pollen. I take allergy meds all year out here and am very glad for them this time of year.

We saw a charming and very fast white velomobile twice, another trike twice, and a couple of 2-wheeled 'bents. I think one of them was a fellow I see on the First Saturday rides - his dopplering hello sounded like he recognized me.

We were passed by a large group of road bikes in a paceline. The leader had the loudest 'on your left' I have ever heard. So, being in a cheerful and puckish mood, I bellowed my very loudest 'thank you' right back.

CU and remember, rubber side down.

07 May 2013

Nothing to see here, move along, move along


7 paltry miles in Folsom.
Went out on roads, back on trails.
Stopped for coffee.
Checked out the wetlands.
Dodged some small branches but not too bad (rained yesterday, last night, and this morning).
If I'd known that some joker had gone to the Folsom Lowe's and bought ALL the 2x2x8 furring strips, I would have bought my paint rollers when I was down in that area on my bike.
Who the hell buys ALL the furring strips? grumble grumble grumble.

Strava once again ate part of my ride. Shows 3 miles, not 7. Bah. As the kids would say WTF!?

Tomorrow, a longer ride with Red Leader. He did go a-venturing on Scott Road when it was closed to vehicular traffic on Sunday. He reports "lots of little hills" and "there were trees." I replied, "So, you had shade?" RL: "No, the trees were not near the road".
Red Leader likes shade.

05 May 2013

I can't believe how fast you are on that thing


Stockton Bicycle Club Delta Century ride today. I did the 1/4 century, as promised.

It was windy, but not as windy as the recent Bike Around the Buttes ride. The route zigzagged northwest, with the west roads into the wind and the north roads with a less annoying crosswind. Then it zigzagged southeast - still cross winds southbound, but helpful tailwinds eastbound.

The rest stop was at the 15 mile mark, and I suppose I needed the two orange segments and the 1/2 muffin I ate, because I took off like my tail was on fire for the last 10 miles, destroying yet another diamond frame rider's preconception that recumbent trikes are always slow on the flats. I did tell him that I had not maxed out, which would be 18mph at my current fitness level. Which was just bragging on my part.

Smasher of Stereotypes! Pulverizer of Preconceptions!

The event was graciously hosted by Jessie's Grove Winery (really nice zinfandel there - how could I not wine taste when in Lodi's wine country?) with music and a lunch provided.

I don't know if it was the wine or the relaxing atmosphere, but the DJ/MC fellow had the hardest time getting answers to some trivia questions from the crowd (for $15 gift certs from RoadId).

Family giving thanks before eating

The very first and last segment of the ride was through the vineyard, on an indifferently paved track that was mostly great swaths of gravel.

Some of it quite deep. My trike, even with baldie tires, had no problem, although I enjoyed one spectacular fishtail through a gravel-filled pothole. I felt a little bad for the skinny tire bike riders pushing their rides (or carrying them) through the gravel.

The parking was on a mowed field. After unloading my trike, I crept back over it towards registration in my most granniest gear, the bumps and ruts in the field interacting amusingly with my suspension. My own personal carnival ride!

The roads were rather empty of traffic with fairly good shoulders and nice long sight lines. The few road crossings (two way stop only) and left turns were no problem at all.

I chatted with a fellow in a Arrogant Bastard Ale jersey several times during the ride. His jersey was totally false advertising. As usual, everyone I interacted with was super dandy and nice. He was wondering if his wife would like a trike. She originally got him into cycling but her health issues prevent her from riding a conventional bike much anymore. I will admit that my exhibition of unnecessary speed was motivated by that conversation.

I also talked a bit with a rider Red Leader and I had seen on the Buttes ride.

I left the house at 6:35am for this ride - far far too early for Red Leader. But when I came back from my ride, he was out somewhere on his own ride! (I can tell because his trike is not in the garage and his bike clothes are gone from the dryer.) I wonder he took advantage of today's no-motor-vehicle traffic closure of a scenic road in Folsom. I hope so.

03 May 2013

Ran away to the circus


May is Bike Month ride #2

The circus has colours. Orange trike, baby blue rear spring, pink flag, green flag, red leggings, screaming yellow shirt.

Daredevils who are shot out of cannons have helmets frequently bedecked with flames. So did I.

Feats of daring! 27.5 mph in traffic!

Pathetic gasping clowns! 2.5mph up a hill!

Obstacles to overcome! 12% grades!

I rode to the library to renew my library card and find a fluffy book to read. A 2011 mystery set in 1921.

Then I rode home again, making good use of my granny gear. No riding tomorrow, just lots of stretching and rest.

Then on Sunday the 25 mile route in the Stockton Bike Club's Delta Century.

01 May 2013

pooL eht pooL

#250 / #66

Being a bit bored with Sunrise to Wm Pond, we did the Natoma loop backwards from our usual way, heading out across the Folsom Auburn bridge, then down to the Hazel Bridge.

Red Leader took the old ramp up to the upstream side of the bridge and I, being tired from yesterday's 1100 feet of climbing, headed to the other side of the bridge via the curvy ramp to the top, rocking the middle/little combo. We met up at the Nimbus Flats boat launch, where they are already setting up for a special event for the weekend.

I tried some homemade goo to keep me going and it was pretty good. From Clelland's "Ultralight Backpackin' Tips," it is mostly brown rice syrup with some cashew butter, protein powder, and salt. I've been puzzling over how to stay fueled and not feel crappy from too much food on a long ride. Usually I eat a combo of fresh orange pieces, dried fruit, nuts, and jerky. That's fine, but on a ride longer than 20 miles it is too much in my stomach. I think this goo is going to be good.

I'll take a few days off to let my poor legs recover and then do the shortest ride the Delta Century offers: 25 miles, instead of the 60 I had originally planned on.