26 June 2013

Dropping in


Took the opp to ride on the American River Parkway trail today, from Wm Pond to C St. in Sacramento. Yesterday was rain and sometime in the next few days it will break 100.

Alphabent, the recumbent shop where Red Leader and I bought our trikes, has moved their shop from Dixon to Sacramento.

To get to their shop (they open at 11 on weekdays), take the American River Parkway Trail (ARBT) west to about mile 3, then where an overpass and a wooden bridge pass over the trail, take a left onto the rail trail (unmarked, but follow the sign saying Downtown or something). Stay to the left and it will take you on to C street, right next to the Blue Diamond processing plant.
Today, the plant was sugarcoating nuts. Smelled SO GOOD!
Follow the bikeway signs on surface streets around the plant, eventually returning to C street. The shop is just past 12th St. (light rail tracks), on the left.

They are in a nice large building at 1114, a former motorcycle shop. They are across the street from the old Global Mill building. The front of the building is a giant roll-up door, so I was able to roll right into the shop.

I got some advice about my idler, and ordered a pair of the X-shaped waterbottle mount adapters for the Ergomesh seat. I can't tighten my seat across the lumbar area while I have the waterbottle cage mounting screws going through the seat's cover.

The Terracycle idler I have is slightly larger in diameter then the stock idler, and when I settle my giant butt into the seat, things shift around, sometimes letting the curved seat flange, clamped by one of the seat's quick releases, contact the edge of the idler.

A couple of extra washers added to my existing stack (I'm up to 5 now) from the shop's bin of random bits and pieces was enough to shift the idler out from the frame, letting the seat flange ride between the two edges of the idler, while still clearing the toothed cog.
I need to take a picture and send it to Terracycle.

It was getting warm while I was riding back, about 85 or so. I kept sucking down water and pedaling along. When I finished my ride, the sweat (that had been evaporating with the wind of my passage) started pouring down my face, getting in my eyes. OUCH.

I saw two unusual things on the trail today. One was a horseback rider near Sac State (never seen one in that area before) as well as two very confused people in a blue sedan driving along the bike trail. Did they think it was a road? How did they even get on the trail? Arrrrrrgh!

23 June 2013

Sunrise Scramble


No, this is not an exotic American Diner dish, but my latest attempt at a new group ride for the casual biking group I volunteer with.

I advertised it as a faster paced ride, shooting for an average of 12-13mph. Apparently, the cool weather is good for me because my average was 13.7mph.

3-4 riders kept up with me the whole time and the other 5 or 6 turned around or dropped back or something. However, folks seemed to enjoy it and have asked to do it again.

I saw no rangers with LIDAR on the trails. And there was an encouraging article in the Sacramento Bee detailing all the citations the park service is handing out. Including homeless camping and off-leash dogs! Yay! I feel like less of a target today.

I have concluded, for now, that it not too much hassle to keep my speed just under 15mph and I get a good workout. Someday I'm sure I'll be busted going 20 off the end of a long downhill, but I'll worry about that later.

I got my daily laugh and a little ego boost as well. Two people on the ride (two who kept up) commented that they expected "that thing" (my trike) to be slow. Ha ha ha. Weren't they surprised!

ta ta for now.

Houston, we have issues.

19 June, 2013

#267 / #78

Red Leader and I couldn't think of where else to go, so we set out for Sunrise on the American River Parkway Trail. We unloaded, setting out for Wm. Pond or Watt.

I turned around after about a 1/2 mile since I had had to stuff the chain back in place at the idler, and I could not get it to work the way I wanted.

I hate crouching on the side of the trail, putzing around with my trike.

So I spent a rather entertaining afternoon watching increasing numbers of law enforcement vehicles arrive at the park.

Oh, didn't I say? When we arrived, there was a sedan 'parked' against a tree in the middle of the lot. Every tree is surrounded by a little concrete parking berm box.

The car's horn was blooooooooooooooooooooooooowing. Nonstop. Quite distressing.

No one was taking responsibility for the car, but there were a lot of gawkers.

Eventually, after 4 local police cars, one highway patrol, and a really huge ladder truck (fire engine) had come and gone, the tow truck showed up and slowly and steadily hauled the car off of the concrete berms. Very noisy.

Red Leader had an uneventful ride, and I worked on my trike the next day, in my nice clean quiet garage.

To replace the chain between the idler and the chain keeper, I find it necessary (with the Terracycle idler) to remove the whole assembly and put it back together properly.

I had gotten it together, but I think I lost one of my shims (washers) on the side of the trail, because now the idler is rubbing on the part of the seat that is clamped in the quick release.

I want to see about getting new chain tubes and to find out if my rear cassette needs replacing, so I stuck the old worn down Velotechnick idler back and and suffered with the noise on my next ride.

Aw, crumbs!

18 June, 2013


So, I totally forgot to write this post. And the next one. So IOU 3, count 'em, THREE posts.

Tuesday's ride was from our local auto service center to the house. The SVU needed an oil change and some work on the 4WD system. So I slogged up the hill from the auto place, dodged gracefully through the world's worst bicycle/car/light/freeway off ramp exit intersection, then hit Durock road.

Which had been recently coated with gravel for the famous and famously uncomfortable chipseal process.

Where do I usually go to let cars pass me? The shoulder.

Where does the extra gravel end up? The shoulder.

I was glad that not all of Durock was gravel-enhanced. Eventually, it turned into nice new smooth pavement with shoulders free of gravel and I zipped through downtown Cameron Park and then home.

15 June 2013

The unUsual suspects

#265 / #77

Today, Red Leader and I lead a nice large (10 total) group around Lake Natoma today. Roadies, partially reformed mountain bikers, and one upright-posture bike with one of those neat noseless saddles. Some old friends and some new.

No one got lost, or even slightly misplaced, and there was lots of conversation going on at our two rest stops, so I Declare the Ride A Success!

The East Lake Natoma Trail (on the south side of the river) was moderately busy, as was the American River Parkway Trail proper (on the north side). In lieu of my usual long-winded safety reminders, I just said, "walkers have the right of way." "Don't be jerks." And that was all.

Lovely warm day, bright sunshine, and very little breeze. I managed, finally, to get up the hill before Negro Bar in my middle chain ring! Yay me!

Rubber side down, and CU later!

09 June 2013

Tennish / Ghost Town

#263 & 264 / #76

Two rides today, one with the casual bike riding group (10 easy miles in Folsom). Then one on the spooky deserted American River Parkway Trail.

The 10 mile ride was Red Leader and my usual 10 mile route on Folsom's bike paths. It was great to share it with new people! There were not many people out on our outbound leg, more on our inbound leg. My theory is that our outbound leg required some connecting the dots to get a whole bike path route. And the inbound leg was more straightforward.

Ok, on to ride #2

An article in the Sacramento Bee has caused a bit of a flap, detailing as it does the plans of the Sacramento County Parks authority to begin the process of enforcing the 15mph speed limit already in place (but totally and utterly ignored) on the Parkway Trail. Lidar guns and warnings and citations and all that jazz. Here's a link to the article.

Whether it was from the strong Delta breeze this afternoon, or the faster riders avoiding the Parkway because this is the first weekend of enforcement, the trail was quite empty. I saw only a handful of riders I would characterize as "fast".

I'm not sure now if I am in favor of this enforcement or not. It was a royal pain in the ass checking my speedometer to see if I was exceeding 15mph. I did, several times.
It also means that I have to kiss my attempts at a 15mph AVERAGE on certain routes goodbye.

I have a bunch of thoughts rattling around in my head about this, which I will lay out in no particular order.

I think I'll be riding on the roads in Folsom more often, I'll load up my trike with some extra bright red flashers and maybe see about getting some hi-viz gloves for better signaling visibility.

How are the Park Rangers going to catch a speeding bicyclist to warn or cite? Their own bicycle? Motorized vehicle? I'm interesting in learning this.

This enforcement, by not happening from the beginning of the parkway trail's existence, but by suddenly being enforced years after the 15mph limit was put in place, means many riders of this trail will choose to leave the trail. Is it still a MULTI-use trail then?

Anyway, I'll still ride the trail and wait and see what happens. Should be interesting.