28 December 2013

Short and Steep

#314 / #108

Red Leader and I will be standing around for 4 hours tomorrow (literally) so we opted for a short ride today, just shy of 9 miles, on the bike paths in Empire Ranch, which is in Folsom, but feels like El Dorado Hills.

Here are a couple of screen shots from Strava

Anyway, 'nuff said.

26 December 2013


#313 / #107

I figured we ought to ride off some of yesterday's pie, so we headed on down to the American River Parkway, and cruised just like we did last ride: Sunrise to Watt and back. Red Leader set a personal record (Strava) for the ride back from Watt. Go RL!

We saw Pink Cruiser Girl again, this time riding towards us. And two recumbent bikes, one with a little fairing, one without. And two trikes, who we passed in a rumble of tires and swoosh of air. A cute little dog was riding in a basket on the lead trike. Both trikes were orange (I approve) and other than that I have no idea what kind of trikes they were. The fun kind, I imagine.

The weather was lovely - 65 or 70 degrees, calm, and sunny! We both wore shorts, and Red Leader wore his new jersey. I made it with yellow sleeves and a blue body and black cuffs and collar. There's no zipper, it just pulls over the head. I altered (made longer and larger) a free (yes, FREE) pattern from Shelby.fi for the Vuokatti pullover and used some two way stretch wicking UPF 30 fabric from Rockywoods.

The yellow blows out every camera sensor I've tried in on. But you get the idea. The fellow in the distance on the left is one of the recumbents we saw today.

That's all. Probably a ride on Saturday, I hope. Maybe 30 miles? Hint hint.

21 December 2013

Pink cruiser girl

#312 / #106

Red Leader and I went on a 20 miler today, on the American River Trail from Sunrise to Watt and back. Plenty of people out enjoying the sunshine. Saw 4 - 5 deer who were strolling across the trail, utterly unconcerned with the various bicycles.

Saw one recumbent bike and one recumbent trike, and another trike as we were leaving the parking lot on our way out.

Red Leader got a good head of steam coming down the hill from William Pond on our way to Watt, passing a small woman on a pink cruiser type bike. I didn't bother passing her since I figured she'd pass RL on the upcoming small rises. And she did. She was pushing that cruiser about 15mph - wheeee!

The Underarmor Cold Gear shirt I made for Red Leader is working out well. He wore leg warmers under his shorts but I ditched mine early in the ride. I wore my Ibex lightweight wool shirt (long sleeved) with arm warmers over it, and my wool Buff over my ears. No need for a second shirt or jacket or vest. About 60 degrees today. Cool in the shade, perfect in the sun.


18 December 2013


#311 / #105

Blah. Turns out I cannot eat eggs as often as I'd like - sometimes get a tummyache. Like today.

So much for lovely egg-white omelets for breakfast. Bah.

So Red Leader continued on down the trail and I headed back to loaf at the car and try to ignore my sore stomach.

My short ride (less than 8) was nice, despite the tum. I saw a faired recumbent bicycle and another recumbent trike. And some small packs of kitted-out road-types. The usual squirrels, trying to dodge bikes on the trail.

By the time Red Leader had come back and packed up his trike, the old food-digester was feeling better, so we ate lunch.

And that's all she wrote.

15 December 2013

Sizzling Cheese Food

#310 / # 104

Happy Birthday to Red Leader, now officially 60 years old! Yay!

We decided to start our ride from Alphabent in Sacramento, for an excuse to visit there before and after our ride. It was a Sunday workshop day, but we were the only ones there. Which is OK because we didn't get there until after the workshop would have started. So we were not really late, you see.

Anyway, we unloaded the trikes and headed up the Northern Sacramento Bike Trail, all the way to Elverta, California. We stopped in Rio Linda on our way back for lunch at Tummy's Sub Shop. Yum!

This is a rail trail, constructed on a former rail right-of-way. There are plenty of level crossings to navigate, all very straightforward, with plenty of polite drivers more than willing to let us across the unsignalized crossings.
Near the end of the trail, in Elverta, the trail departs from its straight-ahead path and takes some short turns back and forth. Red Leader proclaimed that the locomotive engineer had fallen asleep on this section. It's his birthday, so he can make up whatever stories he wants.
If I'm not mistaken, this is part of an old electric interurban route that went from Sacramento to Chico. It is easy to imagine being a train on some of the elevated curves just after the trail crosses the American River Parkway trail.

Five years ago, when I last rode this route, all of the green painted trail arches had their signage intact. Some have been vandalized since that time. The ones that remain call out the names, we presume, of the former stops on this rail line: Rio Linda, Del Paso Heights, Elverta, and so on. Or they may be the names of the communities the trail passes through. No clue. The depot building still stands in Rio Linda, I think. Anyway, it sure looked like a rail depot!

Most of the users of this trail were on foot, with a few bicyclists and a handful of horsemen and woman at the far end. Some of the horse traffic was on the trail, but much of it was using the grassy fields adjacent to the trail. I could tell exactly when the horses in the field traveling in our same direction noticed Red Leader: first the horse's head would turn, then it would start swinging its rear around to directly face the Evil Predatory Thing buzzing along the trail.

Tummy's Sub Shop has a nice rail out front to lock bikes to, and has good sandwiches. RL had some thing full of different kinds of salami, and I had a "Turkey Tummy Tickler" with bacon and avocado on wheat. Yummy Tummy!

While we were basking in the sun, enjoying our lunch, we spent some time trying to figure out why the restaurant across the street was promoting "Sizzling Cheese Food". Well, it was not. How about Sizzling Chinese Food.
It really did look like 'cheese', honest!

We went about 20 miles, averaging just under 11mph with all the stops and starts at the crossings. I love this kind of ride, but Red Leader is not a fan of all the stopping and starting. He's been spoiled by the American River Parkway trail.

09 December 2013


#309 / #103

Sunday, 8 December

Cold, cold cold: by Northern California standards, anyway. Right about 40 degrees with sunshine and a very cold but fitful breeze. This is at 1pm, the warmest part of the day.

I begged and pleaded and nidged and possibly whined (who, me?!) to get Red Leader to come out with me for a bike ride.
We came, We saw, We ran away.

We went 4 miles, and I decided that we should turn around. Red Leader is a gentleman and did not chide ME for bailing when I was the one who 'made' him come with me.

We both wore our shoe covers (by Aerotech Designs and bought at the end of last winter) for the first time. His are sedate black and mine are blinding yellow.

Red Leader wore an UnderArmour Cold Gear jersey I made for him (ColdGear and HeatGear fabrics are available from Rockywoods online). And his bulky fleece jacket and his rain jacket. And Supplex tights and leg warmers (both from Aerotech). And his usual socks and the aforementioned shoe covers. And a synthetic Buff that did not keep his forehead warm enough. He needs a proper balaclava. He reports that only his face was really cold. And the bottoms of his feet eventually got cold (air leaks via cleats?)
The UnderArmour material did its duty as a baselayer and wicked all his sweat into his very absorbent (and not wicking) fleece jacket.
I'll be making him a Windstopper fleece real soon now.

I dressed in many fine layers and looked a bit like an expensively dressed color-blind homeless bike person. From inside to outside, and top to bottom.
Wicking brimmed cap under a wool Buff under my Nutcase helmet. Black, forest green, orange with silver flames.
Short sleeved Ibex lightweight merino shirt under a long sleeved version of the same under a midweight Ibex Merino turtleneck under my homemade Schoeller jacket (material from Rockywoods, again). Black, dark orange, blue, orange and brown.
Supplex tights under a stretch skirt. Black and blue, pink.
Smartwool lightweight crew PhD socks inside my mesh Pearl Izumi shoes, topped off with neoprene covers. Neon Yellow.

Red Leader proclaimed that I needed a few more colors. I think he was joking.

01 December 2013

Enthusiast or Unbalanced?

#308 / #102

Lovely lovely lovely weather this first day of December. Mid 60s, calm, sunny. Tons of people out on the trail.

For a change, we started at Folsom and rode just past Sunrise recreation area and back, along the south side of the river both ways, swooping up and down the hills, moving at a pretty good clip. Red Leader's longer boom position continues to pile on the speed.

Our turn around spot was the sunny, grassy bathroom block just down river from Lower Sunrise Recreation Area. You may know it as near the place Cowbell Dude sits on a bench and ding-a-lings to encourage riders.

As we were taking turns in the bathrooms, I overheard once cyclist comment to another, "I usually think he's just an enthusiast, but sometimes I wonder if he's just unbalanced." One could say that same thing about rabid, frothing trike riders as well: willing to ramble on and on about our marvelous machines, chatting up complete strangers at the drop of a hat, and otherwise disrupting cocktail conversations from coast to coast. Ain't it great?

Looks like still great weather on Wednesday, our next planned ride.