Thursday, March 30, 2017

Trikes are for Kids... of All Ages

Today's Boring Very Short Track

I had a very short morning window in which to sneak a ride, so I did indeed get a very few miles in.
The weather was cool but not frigid (Though I wore the windbreaker, fully zipped, coming and going).
I forgot the GoPro vid-cam, as is too usual, but I did get a still shot via the Iphone in front of a typical government sign claiming to prohibit cyclists from entering postal property for any reason:

(Sorry about the Sun Glare)
No unusual events occurred, and my main thought as I pedaled the Catrike up and down the road was how much fun it is to zip around on such a machine.  If you haven't tried a trike, you don't know what you're missing.  Doesn't matter if you are young or old or in between, fat or skin and bones.
Tell Charlie over at Two Wheel Drive (just moved the store to Central and Morningside in Albuquerque) we recommended him.  They will gladly let you take fun test rides on any of the several trikes (and hundreds of "normal" diamond-frame upright bikes) they have on display.

Ride Started: 9:53  AM    Ride Ended:  10:31  AM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.8   Ending Voltage: 13.0  Lowest:  12.5
Beginning Blood Glucose:  223  Ending Reading:  *125*
Lowest Temp  53 F      Highest Temp:  67 F  
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  3.55
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   6.4 MPH                             8.7 MPH                   29.3 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
33 minutes                            24 minutes               8 minutes

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Doing the Tandem Twist

Today's Track via GPS and Ham Radio

We were on a roll, to plagiarize another phrase, until the last few days when it suddenly decided Winter was not yet over, after all.  It started to rain yesterday just after we woke up, and an hour or so later it turned to SNOW and came down so heavily it began to accumulate on the ground.  On and off again, it snowed all day, and made a muddy mess of our goat-path road.  Jacque made it to and from Albuquerque fine, but it certainly was not conducive to biking.
I don't recall the excuse I used for not biking on Monday.  I went to town for a flat repair on the Ford Exploder and ran some other errands while there, and it was almost 3 PM when I finally got home.
During the misery of being house-bound because of the weather yesterday, I finally worked up my courage to start our tax return for 2016.  I HATE doing taxes, even though the last few years we've qualified for free online returns.  It usually takes several days of intermittent effort, trying to track down and download all the needed IRS forms, etc, etc.  This time, however, I only put in a couple hours last night on it and another couple hours this morning and I easily talked Jacque into a celebration ride, even though it was still a bit cold and damp outside.
We took the Terratrike Tandem for this ride, and we "only" took it for the relatively short but intense ride to the Post Office and back.  When we got to our normal parking space next to the  pavement of Frost Road, we found the normal hardpan dirt and gravel to be fairly slimey mud.  I had to engage the 4-wheel drive to move around at all on the normally-dirt area, and tried hard to park where we could step out of the vehicle without  getting too much mud on our shoes.  Not too much success there, BAH.

We got saddled up and rolling and it was fairly pleasant in spite of the long hill and the mostly uncomfortable cold breeze.  The doggies got all wound up several times due to nearby OTHER dogs being walked by their human servants.  Coming home back the mostly down-hill grades, we get to coasting pretty fast, and the length of the frame on the tandem allows it to noticeably drift back and forth, requiring some dedicated attention to the steering.  It's a steel frame trike and no lightweight, but I can actually watch Jacque twist one direction while I'm bending in the other.  It's only noticeable at speeds approaching 20 MPH and higher, and of course Jacque, in the back seat, notices it more than I do.
We were down to about our last half-mile when I tried to shift the front chain rings to the highest gear and FOOF - suddenly my left-hand gearshift no longer worked.  Another control cable bites the dust - We go through several each year.  So I gotta cut this epistle short and get back outside before the sunny day fades away.

Ride Started: 12:44  PM    Ride Ended:  1:34  PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.4   Ending Voltage: 12.8  Lowest:  12.5
Beginning Blood Glucose:  225  Ending Reading:  105
Lowest Temp  53 F      Highest Temp:  64 F  
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  3.57
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   4.4 MPH                             5.8 MPH                   27.3 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
48 minutes                            32 minutes              11 minutes

Saturday, March 25, 2017

I Ran Out of Gas Before the Chainsaw Did

Today's Tracking via Ham Radio and APRS

Yesterday I needed to cut down a couple of our numerous Juniper trees.  The chainsaw had been in use last week and barely had any fuel in it.  I didn't want to fill the tank when I planned to run it only a few minutes, so I poured in a cupful or so of gas and went to work.  The job, as usual,  turned out to be more difficult and time-consuming than I anticipated.  After about a half hour of this "5-minute task" I had the trees felled but the chainsaw was still roaring in full voice so I thought I'd cut the trees  into stove lengths until the saw ran out of gas so I could stow it back in the shed with a dry tank.  The saw just kept running and the wood kept piling up and my energy level kept running lower...... and lower.  I felt like my blood glucose must be very low and eventually I had to manually shut the chainsaw down and give it up and put it away with a bit of gas remaining in the tank. As I recall, when I got inside, my blood glucose tested at 39.  I was very fuzzy indeed.
I then spent that afternoon assembling another APRS/Ham Radio set for my new trike.  I also added extra length to the upper plastic tubing used as a chain guard, which really turned into a frustrating project since the separated chain kept sliding back out of the new tubing.  I got good and black and greasy with chain gunk, for sure.  Finally got that short project (over a week of intermittent effort!) working and took it for a 1/4 mile quickie test ride.
Since we'd missed 2 days of riding by today, Saturday, I wanted to do a trike ride with the new tracker assembly.  Jacque was in Albuquerque doing high level Eastern Star work so I rode alone.  I don't have room for 2 doggie passengers and I didn't want to leave either of the pooches home alone, so I left them both home alone.  They tried to rush the door when they saw me heading out in my yellow bike-shirt, but I was able to get going without them with minimal complaining.
The weather today was a bit on the strange side, with stiff winds, cloudy and overcast, and a bit on the cool side.  Our vaunted global warming fell apart the last 2 days, with snow and frost Thursday night and some rather bitter cold Friday.  I didn't get too awful cold, in spite of the gusty wind, since pedal-power produces its own bountiful body heat.

Ride Started: 1:25 PM    Ride Ended:  3:22 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   14.0   Ending Voltage: 12.9 Lowest:  12.5
Beginning Blood Glucose:  120  Ending Reading:  91 
Lowest Temp  57 F      Highest Temp:  67 F  
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  10.56
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   5.4 MPH                             6.9 MPH                   29.0 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 57 mins                      1 hour 32 minutes      25 minutes

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

We Rode Our Separate Ways

Today's Roundabout Tracking

Well, today we decided to load up the trikes and ride again...
That is, until I went outside to load the trailer and realized it was still full of unloaded firewood that I hauled in from Albuquerque yesterday and stopped unloading when it got too dark.
Jacque decided she would haul her Catrike down to the pavement in her Subaru and Lilly and I would do our bounce-all-the-way-down ride directly from the house, skipping the trailer business for this trip.
When Lilly and I got down to the road we turned east on Frost Road, intending to do another shortened ride just out a couple miles and back.  We topped the first hill at about the 2-mile mark and turned around and enjoyed the downhill coast for almost a mile, expecting to meet Jacque and Tink at any moment.  We got back to our turnoff without encountering them, so we rode over to Jacque's parking spot - still no Jacque - So I called her on the cell phone to enquire as to their whereabouts and found they had ridden down to Guiterrez Canyon Road.  So we went there too, Lilly and I.  I hadn't ridden this route in almost a year or so and I was surprised to remember how lovely an area it covers, along with the smooth pavement and relative lack of traffic.  It also has some fairly steep grades, but not terribly so.  We rode up the road for a mile or so, intending to catch up to Jacque eventually.  We saw her faintly in the distance as she climbed the first hill.
I got to thinking I'd initially planned to do a short ride, and that I still had to climb the last mile of uphill huffing and puffing to get back to the house, so we turned back, Lilly and I.  As we got back to Frost Road I noted my handlebar-clock showed 12-Noon-Something and thought, well, since we're so close to the Post Office, why not ride that-a-way and get the mail?
Lilly soon took to whining and crying, which normally means her bladder is hurting and she needs to stop and "do her  business".  We parked in front of the only rest facility on Frost Road, a 3-year old Eagle Scout project, and let her do her thing.  She finally found an acceptable spot to make the deposit upon, and we saddled up again.  While we were buttoning down doggy harness and such, we were passed by a comely young Mommy pushing a baby carriage.  Embarrassing it was to take an unseemly amount of time to catch up to and pass the speeding baby buggy as we finished the ride to the Post Office.

We stayed on the so-called Bike Trail for this leg and realized - Again - why we and most other cyclists avoid it like the plague.  It was paved very thinly, and years ago when it was brand new, the weeds almost immediately began popping up through the asphalt, cracking and heaving it.  The county has "patched" the cracks several times, but the resulting ruts and bumps are very difficult to ride over without bouncing your teeth loose.  Passers-by  wonder why cyclists are on the "dangerous" road shoulder when there's a bike trail adjacent.... they don't often realize how beat-up most cycling trails can be.
The weather has certainly been bike-friendly this last week or so, and of course it won't last..... but we're still smiling while riding!

Ride Started: 10:40 AM Ride Ended:   12:11 PM
Starting Blood Glucose:  162  Mid-Ride: 95  Ending BG:  70
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  10:02
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
4.8 MPH                               6.3 MPH                  30.5 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
2 hours 4 mins                      1 hour 35 mins            28 minutes

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tuesday, Still Huffing and Puffing

Today's abbreviated tracking

A short ride today, with Lilly again acting as Co-Pilot.  We turned around close to half of our normal ride since we felt pressed for time. We (Lilly and I) are going to Albuquerque to repair more Missionary bikes today.
Again forgot the GoPro helmet-cam so no danger of boring video today.

Ride Started: 9:40 AM Ride Ended:  11:05 PM
Starting Blood Glucose:  186  Mid-Ride: 163  Ending BG:  105
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  6.28
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
4.3 MPH                               5.7 MPH                  29.0 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 27 mins                      1 hour 5 mins            20 minutes

Monday, March 20, 2017

Monday, a Tradition Continued

Today's Tracking Courtesy of Ham Radio and APRS

It's a Joke, Son.... our "Tradition" may well be almost a week old by now.
So, we took Sunday off and enjoyed not riding, resting our weary bods, but this morning we were ready to go again.  We're  both trying to improve or at least maintain our health,so it's biking long or short for us.....
Jacque again surprised me by going riding with me again this morning.
We rode our individual Catrikes this time, which makes it easier on  me since my trike is so lightweight compared to the big tandem.  We started early enough we knew the mail wouldn't yet be "up", so we went the same directions.  Lilly rode with me again and Tinkerbell, the Senior Princess,  rode with Jacque.
I got ahead of Jacque and noticed the road dept. was destroying the right shoulder of Frost Road between Tumbleweed and Mountain Valley Road.  The shoulder, where cyclists normally ride, was completely blocked. Trying to avoid having to ride out in the traffic lane, I turned north on Tumbleweed. One of our dearest friend families lives there, and sure enough, they pulled out and waved at me with the kiddos cramming the windows as they drove by.

The weather was again remarkably nice, and this early in the day it was just cool enough to be pleasant.
I thought Jacque would come the same route as I did, but I met her as I headed back south on Mountain Valley.  She had ridden in the traffic lane and found it not too bad.  As I rode on up to Frost Road and headed west, I was again disgusted with the poor condition of the road shoulder, with rocks, debris, pits and bumps for that mile - comparing unfavorably with the opposite shoulder on the same stretch going east.
The rest of the day I found myself less exhausted than I felt last week, so hopefully I am rebuilding a little bit of stamina here....

Ride Started: 10:36 AM Ride Ended:  12:11 PM
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  9.35
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
5.1 MPH                               7.9 MPH                  26.5 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 19 mins                      1 hour 11 mins          38 minutes

Saturday, March 18, 2017

...And a Short Saturday Run

Today's radio/GPS Tracking

Jacque is really getting into the biking for health thing..... She suggested, again, for the third day in a row, that we go for another ride on the tandem.
We love riding the Bosque, but it's almost 30 miles away.
Not only that, but we have to cross Albuquerque almost its entire width to get there, meaning it takes slightly less than a full hour one way with all the usual traffic.  It's even worse now with the ART (Albuq Rapid Transit) construction going on, which has Central almost totally ruined and thus lots of additional delays.
We COULD park farther north at the  city lot at Alameda, but that's been a magnet for car thieves and burglars for years.  We've parked there in the past with no incidents, but neighboring autos have been burgled so we avoid it.  No matter where we park, it's a long drive, and it adds almost 2 full hours to the time allotted for biking, and it eats up the most of a day... And as much as we love biking, we do have other things we need and have to do.
Which is a lengthy lead-in to why we rode a short ride on nearby Frost Road here in our own neighborhood today.
The weather was again wonderful today.  I again built a fire in the wood stove to take the waking chill off the house when we got up, but if the warming spring-like weather continues, it will be only another few days before we need NO fire in the morning to feel comfy in the house.
We always seem to draw attention with the long bike and the short doggies, and we received a few friendly honks from passing cars today.  Nice folks out here....
I didn't have that much steam in my boiler today, meaning we turned around earlier than usual, and had planned to do a much shorter ride anyway just to leave time for "other stuff".
We hope to work out a more regular schedule for at least a short ride several times each week.

Ride Started: 9:57 AM    Ride Ended:  10:55 AM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.2   Ending Voltage: 12.9 Lowest:  12.8
Beginning Blood Glucose:  151  Ending Reading:  82 
Lowest Temp  60 F      Highest Temp:  71 F  
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  4.92
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   5.1 MPH                             6.3 MPH                   28.7 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
57  minutes                           46 minutes                11 minutes