I didn't get the bike on the road yesterday since I spent a couple hours in the morning replacing the broken link in the chain. I carry bike tools - including a multi tool with a great chain breaker - So in theory I could have repaired the chain right on the side of the road Saturday but it was getting dark. So it was just as well to bring it home and work on it yesterday. After replacing the link, I took the liberty of cleaning the chain with one of those cheesy plastic Wal-Mart chain cleaners with the 3 rotary brushes. It slushed quite a bit of gunk out of the chain but there was still lots of caked grease and dirt blobs when I finally stopped the process. I wiped it down and then lubed it carefully, one link joint at a time, and then wiped it down again.
It was still so greasy it turned my pants black on that ankle closest to the chain today. I either need to add a chain guard of some kind or come up with a gaiter leg-wrap to protect the offending leg.
The weather was absolutely beautiful, if a tad cool, today. Days like this, in the middle of January and other winter months, are one of the many things that make New Mexico "The Land of Enchantment".
The warm temperatures, however, mean MUD with a capital THUD for our dirt and non paved roads. I normally bypass OUR mud and muck by trailering the bike and driving down to a popular parking area near the end of the Frost Road bike path across from Sandia Knolls, but it has turned into a bog as well. I backed the trailer into there, sank to my ankles when I stepped outside the vehicle, and decided to find somewhere else to park. I drove about 3 miles eastward to another wide spot at another intersection but it was too muddy as well. So I drove to the only paved parking lot in the area I know of: The Post Office. I normally avoid parking there since it is a long climb to get there, from most directions, and I prefer to do a hill CLIMB at the early part of a ride and not at the end. BUT, you do what you have to do to get in a bike ride out here in the boondocks.
The road shoulders are dry now, with only occasional traces of moisture. The road salt and grit from the last storm and road-crew efforts are beginning to blow off, leaving a fairly safe surface to ride on the shoulder. However, when I cannot hear nor see any cars behind me, I often ride out in the nice clean smooth pavement of the roadway.
As I was whizzing east on the bike on Frost Road, I saw a cyclist approaching from the other direction, and at first I thought it was Brian K from Edgewood, who I met not far from the same spot a few days ago. He is a skinny wreck, and so was this approaching rider.
This video a la GoPro seems a bit improved- I again checked the mounting tube and realigned the holding clamp on the upper end to eliminate any possibility of the tube flopping back and forth. Less audible ker-thunking now.....
Though it was ALMOST cool enough to be wearing a jacket, I never put the windbreaker on today, since I normally get too hot when I do.
The sun is getting higher in the sky as we progress further from the winter solstice, and the solar panel on the front is probably doing pretty well in generating battery-charging power. I don't see much effect in the voltage readings, unfortunately. My hope was the solar panel would exceed the demands of the electronics and actually provide a net positive charge, leaving the ending voltage higher than the starting voltage, but that hasn't happened yet. It likely doesn't help that when I transmit on the ham radio it far exceeds the current supplied by the panel.
Ride Started: 12:24 PM Ride Ended: 2:28 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage: 13.3 Ending Voltage: 13.0 Lowest: 12.6
Lowest Temp 57 F Highest Temp: 71 F (This reading must have occurred in the direct sun)
Stats from the GPS: Total Miles: 14:33
Overall average speed Moving Avg Max Speed
6.9 MPH 9.9 MPH 32.9 MPH
Total Trip time Moving Time Stopped Time
2 hours 4 mins 1 hour 26 mins 38 minutes