Friday, November 20, 2015

Wow, Am I Getting Lazy

Today's tracking via APRS and Ham Radio

Just a short ride today up to Los Cuates Restaurant to meet with Paul N5DBB for our quasi-monthly lunch date.  The last time I rode the bike was for our LAST lunch date, exactly a month ago.  BAH
Since we work in Albuquerque at the New Mexico Albuquerque Mission (LDS) office, we have neglected our beneficial exercising. 

Almost every day I spend 30 minutes to an hour swinging the heavy wood-splitter maul, but that is merely heart-attack stuff:  Exert yourself in short violent bursts until you're exhausted, take a few minutes break, and do it over and over again.  Instead of feeling energized afterwards, as after a bike ride, I feel like I've been whipped and run over.  Oh the Joys of Old Age....
Anyways, it was great to actually saddle up the bike and get in a  few miles today.  We had 6 INCHES of snow dump on us Monday night, but it was mostly gone the next day, with high winds the next couple days, but today was absolutely fabulous.   Just cool enough to keep it enjoyable.
My current scheme is to take the bike to town every workday on the bike rack on the gas-burner vehicle and ride it for an hour or less for exercise and stretch breaks in ABQ.  We'll try to stay in touch and let y'all know how that works out.
I forgot the GoPro camera today but nothing interesting happened anyway....

Ride Started: 11:22 AM    Ride Ended:  1:51 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   14.2   Ending Voltage: 13.1  Lowest:  13.0
Lowest Temp  57 F      Highest Temp:  71 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  6.79
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   6.1 MPH                              7.2 MPH                   24.5 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 6 mins                         56 minutes                9  minutes

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

RV Life Etc.

A Sample Day of RV Travel this month

Time certainly gets away from us whether we're having fun or not.  Fortunately, most everything is fun as long as we wake up in the morning outside any major hospital, har.
My major interest in blogging is in regaling the masses about the wonderful-ness of people-powered travel, especially of the biking and triking variety.
Since the first part of September we've been too busy to find time to ride such fun people-powered devices, but we have been having a bit of fun anyway, what with our several misadventures running around chasing children and grandkids in our Bounder RV.
SO.  As we recently returned from a couple of overnights in Colorado and Utah, we were cruising southbound on Highway 550 (previously known as the notorious NM Route 44 between Bernalillo and Bloomfield NM) we started to get nervous, since it was starting to get dark.  In years past, before my cataract surgeries in both eyes and before I started turning into a worry-wart, driving all hours of the night was no big chore for me.  Even though I've had several close calls over my lifetime of driving at night, it didn't bother me that much.  Nowadays, I don't mind short bits of driving after dark, but Jacque HATES it and gets downright negative if we continue driving after dark.  She prefers finding a place to park, getting set up, and putting on the meal preparations...... well BEFORE dark.  I'm still suffering from "Get as many miles as you can before stopping" syndrome.
This trip, as we climbed the hill southbound out of Bloomfield NM, the sun started setting.  We had thought (earlier in the day) that we could make it easily from Moab, UT, to home in one stretch of driving, as we have done many times in the past.  This time, however, we didn't START the trip until 11 AM or so which kinda klonked the concept of making the run entirely in daylight.
We had gone only a few miles as the sky darkened when a fast moving car approached from the rear and I noticed if he passed us he would run over a couple of shredded truck tires lying in the middle of the 4-lane road.  He roared past without a care, and did not seem to suffer any  damage from the tire carcasses he ran over, but it worried me that he might have side-swiped us trying to miss the junk.  THEN I began to worry about what might happen if we encountered such junk in OUR lane.  Yes, the headlights worked and I could see maybe 100 yards ahead..... BUT the RV, especially when towing the Toad (RV talk for a towed vehicle, in our case a not-very-light Ford Exploder), is extremely hard to stop and takes a long while, standing on the brakes, to come to a complete stop.  So, in fact, I was running faster than our brakes could save us if something appeared dead ahead in the headlights.  Had there been anywhere to park, I would have given up and pulled over and waited for daylight to resume travel, even though we'd hoped to get home in time to attend our home Church ward on Sunday morning.  We passed the Jicarilla Apache Casino out in the middle of nowhere;  where the old temporary casino lies vacant with a large parking lot.  We stayed there one night a year or so ago on another trip and the noise from trucks coming and going from the station and casino made it hard to sleep.  Thus we continued on, finally arriving in the darkened village limits of Cuba, New Mexico.  We saw no signs for RV parks so I turned on the mobile internet and we Googled to see if any were listed for this non-bustling metropolis.  We laughed out loud when the listing "Theresa's RV Park and Beauty Salon" appeared.  We called the number to find how far it was and we had passed it without noticing any signs of an RV park.  "Theresa" very politely explained she had a vacancy and that she would "Turn the Light On" for their sign so we could find them.  We carefully turned the monster RV around and went back, spotting her now-illuminated sign on the west side of the highway.  It was still very dark and we could see no entrance but turned in anyway, realizing at the last moment that there WAS no paved entrance, and the narrow dirt entrance was rugged and full of pot-holes..... we were desperate enough to carefully crawl the rest of the way behind the "Beauty Parlor" (a room in the proprietress's double-wide mobile home) to find our spot.  The nice little old lady vaguely pointed where we could park, commenting ".... I'm not sure..... I think that's a good place..... I hope the electric works here for you..."
Daylight Shot of Theresa's Sign
 There were about 6 other trailers and RV's parked here and there, and we wound up parked in a rough non-level area just behind the owner's mobile home.  Our hydraulic RV levelers did their best, leaving us sloping a bit more than usual, and the electric not only had a receptacle that worked for us but seemed to power up the RV nicely.  When we tried to warm up some leftovers in the microwave, however, we realized the electric connection was weak... the microwave would start for a second or so and then just blink off.  She had only asked for $15 for the night so we didn't complain;  we just ate and went to bed.
The "park" hookups seem to have been installed by an unemployed brother-in-law or something, as the sewer hookups were an odd collection of "Y's", allowing 2 campers to drain into the same pipe.  Fun.
Being so close to NM 550, we worried about "big rig" and other road noise, but it was not that bad, and we slept fairly well.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Short Day, Short Ride

Today's Trifling Tracking

I tried out a very short ride this morning just so I could say I rode.  Also hoping it helps with the metabolism, blood glucose, yada, yada.
I got up shortly after 6 AM this morning and had to walk Lilly the spoiled puppy dog who has yet to learn that OUTSIDE is where she is supposed to go potty.
She did her business like a good girl  and I proceeded to saddle up and take off on the bike.  I didn't want to use up the entire morning with bike riding, much as I'd love to, as I have other less exciting things to do, like finish painting the house, it's past time to start building up the winter woodpile, keep the RV and cars and tractor lubricated, maintained, and running, all that kind of baloney.
Tink, for once, did NOT anxiously follow me around begging to come with, since she was still in the sack with Jacque.  So I left the snoozing females and got going.
Of course at the 7-ish hour there is a lot of traffic, courtesy of those few Americans who still have jobs and must commute to Albuquerque and Santa Fe to get to work.  For the last several years I have had almost no negative experiences with those who think it's cute to come as close as they can without hitting me, although of course there are often those young fellers who love to rev up their engines while passing or approaching just because...... just because..... because they have an engine to rev up.
But none of such nonsense today.  The only "close encounter" I had was with a walker approaching me head on who foolishly walked off into the weeds and gravel off the shoulder so I wouldn't be forced to go around her by veering into the traffic lane.  It was nice of her, but no traffic was around at the time, so I could have easily gone around her, with both of us able to remain on the pavement or shoulder.

Ride Started: 7:25 AM    Ride Ended:  8:31 AM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.3   Ending Voltage: 13.1  Lowest:  13.0
Lowest Temp  61 F      Highest Temp:  71 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  6.37
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   5.5 MPH                              7.0 MPH                   26.6 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 9 mins                         54 minutes                15  minutes

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Jogger Outruns Bicycle - Bad

Today's Tracking, Got it Memorized

We got going a few minutes later than we did yesterday, but still got going fairly early.
The clouds kept the sun covered up, mostly, and kept things quite a bit cooler than normal.  So much so that I actually wore my thin windbreaker today and only took it off after the first 3 miles and first real hill climbed.
All the coolness was wonderful, of course, but as we were creeping up the first hill in Grandma Gear, we were shocked to notice a jogger passing us like we were sitting still.  (I say "We", but Tinkerbell wasn't  shocked at all or upset in the least.  She just rides in the back basket peeking around my left shoulder to see what's up front).  We WERE moving slow, but NOT sitting still.... at least it didn't seem like it until this guy stormed by us.
Even more disgusting was the obvious fact this jogger was no speed demon;  he was just out for his morning constitutional, same as me.
Now, this happened while Tink and I were climbing a long hill, plus I was carrying Tink in the back basket, plus 20 or more pounds of electronics, radios, GPS, snacks, water, tools, and other favorite junk..... but still.  To be outrun by a jogger.  This video was edited for shortness, and necessarily so.  It took me a good mile to catch up to him and pass him, and he kept running farther ahead of me as long as we were both going uphill.  I caught up with and passed him about a quarter mile AFTER I topped the hill.  OH, to be 20 again.  Or 30.  Or 40.  OR FIFTY..... sigh.
Once we got the jogger in our rear view mirror  and rode on our way, it was a typical enjoyable ride.
Still working on the idea of a better time angle.  It was just enough time left to shower and get dressed in decent clothes and make it to Albuquerque for our appointed duties.
Another thing I have discovered the last couple of earlier morning rides..... I have left without eating anything for breakfast, not even a snack, and my measured blood glucose has been HIGHER during the rides.   Normally I ride after breakfast, and even with food in the belly I normally have to set my insulin pump to a lower basal rate (usually 25% of normal) while riding to avoid insulin reactions from low blood sugar while riding.  Two days in a row of riding without eating ANYthing before or during the ride and my blood glucose has RISEN while riding.... on an empty stomach.  I am forced to suspect I am burning fat by not eating, and I am not used to this, so am not getting the insulin dosage right to take care of this situation.  I'll have to continue riding without breakfast and monitor my weight to see if any blubber really IS burning away.

Ride Started: 8:04AM    Ride Ended:  10:14 AM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   14.1   Ending Voltage: 13.0  Lowest:  13.0
Lowest Temp  60 F      Highest Temp:  71 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  10.52
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   5.1 MPH                              7.1 MPH                   27.2 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
2 hours 4 mins                       1 hour 28 minutes       36  minutes

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Early Biker Catches the Worm

Today's Tracking via GPS and Ham Radio

With our recently overloaded time demands, I decided to try riding fairly early in the morning, BEFORE I perused the Drudge Report, before I checked FB for gossip, etc, in hopes I could get in a ride and still get anything else done.
Didn't seem to work out that well.... it's currently 11 AM and we have to leave for Albuquerque in about 40 minutes, which means I'm still  not gonna get any household, yard, or car chores done today.  Sigh.  Maybe if I wake up a couple hours earlier and trade sleepy time for bikey time..... we'll see.
Tinkerbell, as usual, was literally between my feet after spotting me donning the biking duds, i.e. the day-glo yellow Tee shirt with the Velcro zipper down the front for fresh air purposes. Since Jacque was home safeguarding Lilly the Teeney Dog, Tink and I rode the vast dusty trail..... together.
We encountered more road crews paving small sections of Mountain Valley Road, as well as county crews trying to keep up with the heavy tree-sized weed growth along the guard rails on Frost Road.
The Paving Crew was, surprisingly enough, already hard at work at just after 8:00 AM.  They blocked the road only for  a few minutes, and the workmen kindly held back the Bobcat while I bounced around them and got back on the right side of the road.

We, Tink and I, stopped for about half an hour to check up on our favorite neighboring teenagers to see if they had gotten their donated garden tractor running yet.  We clunked around with it for a bit, getting all smelly with gasoline all over my hands.  The battery had not been charging so it was too dead to even spin the engine to see if it would start.  Gave up for another day and left for home.
On the way home we encountered another mild road blockage... crews cutting and slashing around the guard rails, freeing up the shoulders for bikers and such...

It was a bit cool this early in the morning.... it won't be long before I'm wearing additional layers to stay warm.  BUT not YET.

Ride Started: 7:20 AM    Ride Ended:  10:09 AM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.5   Ending Voltage: 13.2  Lowest:  12.6
Lowest Temp  57 F      Highest Temp:  82 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  10.51
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  4.8 MPH                              7.1 MPH                   27.2 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
2 hours 13 mins                    1 hour 20 minutes       52  minutes

Thursday, August 27, 2015

No Time for Riding

Today's As-Usual Tracking via GPS and Ham Radio

Jacque and I have been asked to serve as "part-time" service missionaries at the New Mexico Albuquerque Mission and for the last 2 weeks have found just how involved such a project is.  Thoroughly enjoyable, we have found we have little time to do ordinary things like repair our vehicles, take care of yard and household chores, and...... ride bikes.
This morning we had "off" until 12:30 so I thought I would just start early and get in a decent 10-miler and get home in plenty of time.  I was able to get going shortly after 9 AM but by the time Tinkerbell and I returned, it was a rush job getting out the door.
Lilly went into surgery today to have her dewclaws surgically removed, so she was already in the vet's custody by the time I took off on the ride. 
Lilly After Surgery, Safe but Unhappy

Tinkerbell, as usual, was not about to allow me out of the house and insisted, again, on riding with me.
It was a pretty great riding day, though the wind got up a bit higher than preferred.  It actually got stiff enough to slow me down on my normally 30+ MPH downhill... only made 27-something, pedaling furiously trying to go a little faster.
It was nice to see the County Road Crews out trimming the huge weed growth that has been blocking the road shoulder / "bike lane" for weeks, what with our summer of lotsa rain.

Ride Started: 9:13 AM    Ride Ended:  11:23 AM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.2   Ending Voltage: 13.2  Lowest:  13.1
Lowest Temp  64 F      Highest Temp:  87 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  10.34
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  5.0 MPH                              7.1 MPH                   27.9 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
2 hours 4 mins                      1 hour 28 minutes       38  minutes

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Must be Hot when You Like Headwinds

Today's Tracking via GPS and Ham Radio

I again took up riding today.  I at first thought I'd leave both dogs behind again, but Tinkerbell REALLY likes to go and was quite frustrated yesterday when I left her home.  Lilly, on the other hand, has yet to develop a taste for riding, even though she slavishly tries to copy Tinkerbell's behavior in almost all things.
Today I decided to try taking both dogs but this time to carry Lilly in the belly papoose harness I used to carry dearly departed Jazzy in.  Lilly fought against the whole concept at first, since she is violently opposed to any kind of restraint.  But in spite of her protests she seemed to take a liking to riding up front, face into the wind, and only complained a couple times throughout  the ride.  During previous rides she cried and whined most of the way, but she was inside a doggie carrier in the stoker's backseat on the tandem recumbent.  We'll see if she increases any enthusiasm for riding in the future.... stay tuned.
Today was a bit warmish, believe it or not.  We also experienced a fair amount of stiff gusting wind, but in spite of slowing us down, we appreciated the whistling breeze which helped cool us off.
Another display of unrestrained horsepower as we rode peacefully along....
 Note the mandatory urge to accelerate and powershift as he passes the lowly slowly bicycle.
As usual, we seemed to attract headwinds both coming and going, but again, we appreciated their cooling effect.
When  we got home both doggies immediately collapsed and slept for several hours.  Much as they enjoy riding, they don't do doggie naps while doing so, and as a result are completely bushed when we get home - even though they haven't expended any effort at all.  Such a Dog's Life

Ride Started: 12:28 PM    Ride Ended:  2:43 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   14.4   Ending Voltage: 13.2  Lowest:  13.1
Lowest Temp  84 F      Highest Temp:  98 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  10.61
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  4.8 MPH                              7.1 MPH                   25.2 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
2 hours 13 mins                    1 hour 29 minutes       43  minutes