28 November 2013

Salmon poop

#307 / #101

Yes, you see correctly - Red Leader has passed the 100 ride mark on his trike. Yay!

I had a horrible sinus cold last week so I missed going on his ride #100.

We went out this morning on the American River Trail to earn a little bit of our Thanksgiving Day dinner. There were some other people out, all seemed to be in a holiday mood, not really riding too hard and smiling a lot. Nice.

We started at Sunrise, which is rather near the river, as is the area on the trail near Hagen Park. I don't know what is going on with the American River, but it STANK today. Smelled like someone overflowed a sewer into a swamp. Ick. Red Leader decided it must be from all the salmon who are making their way upstream this time of year.
Fish poop. Yeahnaw, I don't think so.

We'll ride some other day this weekend as well.


17 November 2013



Red Leader decided to sleep in today, so I set off at 8:15am from the parking lot at Lower Sunrise Recreation area to ride 1 hour and 45 minutes over to Alphabent, where Other Shop Dude was holding a workshop on shifters. I learned a lot and got to chat with the couple that were visiting the shop (when it was in Dixon) when RL was buying his Gekko. Sweet!

It was pretty chilly this morning (when I'm not having hot flashes I seem to be slowly freezing to death) and I think it is time to find the shoe covers I bought last spring. I wore full fingered gloves and my wool Buff and a wool shirt over my wicking shirt, and some Supplex tights from Aerotech designs. Eventually, I shed the gloves and the buff. Finally, the last half of the ride back, I shed the wool shirt.

I didn't see any deer this morning, but I did see huge coyote. He eyeballed me from the grass on the other side of the trail and I waved one arm and shouted HA. He was not impressed. I'll confess I kept one eye in my rearview and one hand on the pepper spray for a few minutes after that.

I chatted for a few moments (while rolling along) with a woman riding a Sun delta trike. Fun!

Coming back, I was pretty slow moving - my glutes are tired and so are my hip flexors. Those're what I seem to use most when riding. I kept myself distracted by playing Tommy Dorsey and Glen Miller selections on my little speakers. I have a playlist on my I-thing called "Swingin' T-bones". Nice.

Red Leader may go out on a ride by himself tomorrow, it will be ride #100 for him!


16 November 2013

Where's my cupholder?

#305 / #99

Today was the monthly around-the-lake ride I lead for a local casual bike group (casual hammerin' wheels on Meetup.com). Rather low attendance (although I've had fewer) probably because of the 60 degrees at our starting time. Mr. Mohawk, another group ride leader, showed up sporting shorts and a sleeveless shirt, as well as his eponymous helmet. Brrr! A couple showed up also, she on a Raleigh and he on his mountain bike so he "wouldn't ride too fast" for his girl. Red Leader stayed well out in front of the pack, as he often does.

I started off in my wicking shirt, under a wool shirt, under my windbreaker. I peeled out of the windbreaker while rollling along, stuffing it between my back and the seat, and shed the woolie at our rest stop at Nimbus. So I guess Mr. Mohawk was not so wrong after all.

At Nimbus Flats boat launch, I chatted for a minute with a couple on a tandem, who decided to come out and explore this trail. I'm not sure the map they had would do them much good. They asked how to get to Folsom from where we were, and - after hearing about both routes - decided that the south side trail sounded the most straight forward. I told them about the group, so I hope they can hook up with the Hammerin' Wheels sometime.

I stayed in the sweep position, right behind she of the Raleigh, with an average for the ride of 10mph - just what I would expect from the slowest person on a ride like this.

When we got home, Red Leader persuaded me to let him help me with the cyclecomputer roll out test - my Greenspeed Scorchers (Kevlar type) measure 1506mm circumference. We measured my rear wheel, even though that is a drive wheel, because that's where my sensor is, and the rear wheel's an ICE wheel, and the two front are Velotechnik's wheels. I had been using a figure of 1554, which was my SWAG (scientific wild ass guess) based on a tire one size smaller and one size larger from Cateye's chart. So. It will be interesting to see if this brings my onboard distance on long ride closer to the distance found by my phone's Strava app.

RL may join me tomorrow when I ride down to Alphabent for the Sunday workshop.

13 November 2013

Double Electric Bug-aloo

#304 / #98

A fast ride today - 13.9mph average (Strava) or 14.2 (my onboard computer). A tie with my fastest recorded speed on the run between Sunrise and Wm Pond and back again.

Red Leader had another flat. I think it is because he did the Goathead Dance. Go to Youtube and look for "The Goathead Thorn and You." If you don't laugh during the vid at least once, there's something wrong with you.

I breathed in two bugs today. Passed the same bunch of riders 3 times. Got two stitches on hills. With my yoga practice and weightlifting this morning, and our lung-searing ride this afternoon, I feel GREAT!

Rubber side down!

09 November 2013

Trike on a stick

#303 / #97

Red Leader, leading as always, and I went out for a longer ride on the lovely American River Parkway today. We aimed for and attained 30 miles.

Those of you who follow this blog might remember that RL got his trike adjusted last weekend, specifically moving the boom out far enough so his legs are much less bent when at full extension. Our ride back after that adjustment was faster than the ride in.

Today, that speed was still evident, cooking along quite nicely around 15mph. Red Leader always rides in front of me as I'm still a bit faster than he is and the point of these rides (in my opinion) is to keep him happy and exercising and enjoying the trike. I coasted a little less this ride, and decided that what I need on solo rides is Trike-On-A-Stick. Like a carrot on a stick except less vegetable. I always ride just behind Red Leader - slow or fast, there I am, trailing along quite happily. On solo rides I get distracted by all the things to see and don't ride as fast. Maybe a decal of Red Leader on his Gekko stuck to my glasses?

We saw lots of trikes, one tandem, and a handful of recumbent bikes. Spent a bit of time talking to a fellow who was very interested in our trikes since he hates riding on winter's wet pavements. I handed out one of Alphabent's cards. I hope he finds something he likes.

We were really not sure where the 15 mile turnaround would be from Sunrise and spent lots of time making unsupported guesses, then discarding them as our guesses slid away behind us. It was about the I-80 overpass, if you must know. This may be Red Leader's longest ride to date. Not sure. I plan on trying to do 30 mile rides with him at least once a week, and then moving to 35 or 40 in January. I'd like to do the whole trail round trip with him by May: Folsom to Beals, then to Discovery and Mile 0, and back to Folsom again.

05 November 2013



Went for a "ride your age" ride today. Which would be 51 years and 51 miles.

The weather was beautiful, in the high 40s at the start of my ride this morning, and around 60 at the end. I wore a windbreaker and my midweight wool pullover over my usual wicking shirt. I added wool gloves and a wool Buff.

As the day warmed up, I shed layers, ending up in bike tights and my wicking shirt.

I saw a bunch of turkey vultures cooling off in the sun on the top of a tree, a coyote crossing the trail, and three or four deer.

I saw one faired recumbent bike, one unfaired bike, and a couple of trike riders. And one pack of fast riders in a long fast double pace line. Also a bunch of highschool students, as well as the usual assortment of road bikes, hybrid bikes, mountain bikes.

I brought along 4 mandarin oranges and ate one about every 12 miles.
I was pretty hungry by the time I got to about 40 miles, so I stopped at the vending machine at the Sac State Aquatic center for a bag of goldfish crackers. Yum! After my ride, I ate lunch at my favorite place, Karen's Bakery Cafe, ordering a salad sampler with salmon salad, Moroccan chicken salad, and wheatberry salad. All good.

I did pretty well, considering I have not done a ride this long for a couple years. My hip flexors are pretty tired and I admit to crawling up the last few hills in my most granniest gear.

02 November 2013

Slice 'n' Dice

#301 / #96

Red Leader and I rode down from William B Pond park to Alphabent today, where Other Bike Dude (not Bike Dude) took an indifferently sharp knife to Red Leader's chain tube.

This was on purpose and with our blessings. Halloween is over, so put that zombie-killing thing away!

Red Leader has had his Gekko for about a year and a half, and (I suspect) contrary to the manufacturer's expectations, the Gekko is folded all the time, except when RL's riding it. So the little bit of flexi-tube that lets the chain go through its contortions when folding/unfolding has spent nearly all its life folded into a bend, and the bend - kink, if you will - is very reluctant to go away, making the chain drag as it goes through that section of the tube.

Red Leader had the option of a new piece of flexi-tube that would eventually get just as kinked as this one was, or of cutting away the kinked section and seeing what happens down the road. He opted for surgery, with Other Bike Dude cutting out just the kinked section of the flexi-tube.

The tube to the front of the excised section can drift up and down the chain a little bit now, but it does stay clear of the front derailler. The other side is also anchored. I doubt the little bit of flexi-tube will be missed.

Red Leader manages to spin his boom more often than most, so he straightens it and tightens it up every couple of months. Over time, it appears that his boom has also migrated to a much shorter position. OBD pulled it out more than an inch. Now Red Leader has much more power to his pedals, as we proved on the way back from the shop, bumping our average speed from 12.0 on the way to the shop, to 12.4 overall by the end of the ride.
Normally, we are slower on the return. We were 8/10s of a mile faster (he sets the pace - I just follow along). Whooo! This is fun!

I did the ride out and 1/2 the ride back in my middle chain ring - just to use those other gear combos a bit. The last half of the ride, I gave up and used the big ring (my usual on this ride) since the faster cadence at Red Leader's new speed was just a bit much for my little/middle combo.

In other news, the patch I put on Red Leader's tube didn't hold so we got to change his rear tube out AGAIN this morning.


Tuesday, I ride my age (51) for my birthday. What better present than a long bike ride?