21 July 2013

Pinecone Croquet

#277 / #83

The monthly ride around Lake Natoma was today. We had 13 cheerful and speedy riders. We were done at 11am, well before the heat of the day.

It is always good to see old faces. Three people who came on the ride today I have not seen since they were on this route a year ago or more. New riders to the group were two, one showed, one no show. Average for the new riders.

I swept the ride as I always do, except for the very end where I strive to lead.
There is an art to keeping a bunch of diamond frame riders moving slowly enough the group bunches up (important for not missing turns) while moving fast enough they also stay upright.
One of the riders (who is now an event host for the group), I'll call him Mr. Mohawk, threatened a trackstand. I was too busy pedaling up a hill to look behind and see if he had. I'm thinking he did.

At one point, along the trail on the north side of the lake, there was an enormous pinecone in the middle of my lane of the trail. And there was a fellow pushing his bike along the shoulder. I think he may have been scouting for blackberries. I did not think there was enough room to squeeze between Mr. Blackberry and the 'cone, so I went to the left of the cone. Not quite far enough left, since my right front wheel sent the pinecone shooting in to the bushes. I hope it did not hit Mr. B.

I spent most of the time today behind one of the long-lost returnees, who had gotten her bike (neglected for a year) checked out by a local branch of a big chain bike store - starting with a P and ending in ce. Anyway, halfway through the ride, her sweetheart determined that her tires were underinflated, and I suspect her seat could go up 1/4 inch or more.
I guess what I'm saying here is double check the work a bike shop does. Your comfort and safety depend on it. And if you don't know enough about your bike to doublecheck, learn! It is good for your brain and ego.

In other news, I shredded a tire and Red Leader has a different idler.

On Friday, between this ride and the last one, I pulled the bikes out for lubing and tightening. Tighten the things that are not supposed to move and lube the things that are, that's my method.

This is what my rear tire looked like.

The first image is with a fully inflated tube and the second with no tube. Yeouch.

I have no clue what made it do that, aside from some nasty trail debris. So I shot down to Laid Back Cycles in Fair Oaks (my usual shop is not open on Fridays) and picked up the second to the last 20" Scorcher they had.
If I had had the trike with me, I might have tried some other - tougher - tire on the rear, but I have a non-standard rim back there and I need to educate myself about the size tires it will accept, and which tires that will fit in the frame back there with a fender in the way.

Red Leader's idler (stock with his Gekko trike) has about 1000 miles on it and is a year old. It was rapidly approaching octagon-shaped from wear.
His idler is on the left, a less worn one on the right.

Holes right through the surface the chain runs on!

Fortunately, I have my slightly used idler from my Scorpion (exactly the same idler) so we stuck that one on and stood around admiring the neat holes in the old one.
You cannot put a Terracycle toothed idler on a Gekko if you plan to fold it. The chain is designed to twist with the fold and a helpful fellow on Bentrideronline reminded me that is not compatible with the Terracycle product.
Both of our HP Velotechink trikes fold, but mine Scorpion is not a flat fold, meaning my rear wheel sticks up when folded, while Red Leader's Gekko IS a flat fold, so hence the twist. So I have a Terracycle idler and RL will never have one. So sad.

We might go check out some trails in Roseville later this week. CU

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