Friday, October 17, 2014

Why Do So Many Stare? Is it the Dogs?

Today's Tracking, Briefly

Or is it just because I'm such a ridiculous sight on my weird looking bike, dressed oddly so as to attract maximum attention from inattentive drivers?  The doggie in my belly pack and the doggie behind me in the basket may add to the oddness, but whatever.
Jacque went to a sewing party in Albuquerque today and left me to my own devices.  Since I didn't burn the house down or electrocute myself or anything else interesting I decided I needed to go for at least a short bike ride, considering our recent RV trip caused such things to be intermittent and short term to say the least.
Since I was NOT home alone, but had both dogs and a cat to attend to my every whim (HAH!), I figured I had to take at least the dogs with me.  The cat does well unattended (so long as no food is left on any table tops anywhere in the house) so I left HER to her own devices.
With the weather coming up cold mornings and evenings as the fall season commences, riding later in the day is no big deal now.  It still gets warm on fair days but nothing close to the 90's or 100's as was the case only a few weeks ago.  Still sunny, however, so I did the usual slather-on-the-sunscreen thing, loaded food, water, pannier, radios, and dogs, and took off.
The roads seemed a bit steeper than I remembered.  Can it be I've already lost my bike-legs and have to re-condition them?  Perish the thought....
My bike also would not shift into the highest gear, leaving my average speed lower than normal due to not being able to crank it up while going on level pavement, or better yet, downhill.
The bike had blown over on its side while we were away RV'ing so maybe the bracket has been whacked.  We'll see if it can be readjusted or if it needs to be REPLACED.

Ride Started: 2:31 PM    Ride Ended:  4:04 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:  13.0       Ending Voltage: 12.5
Lowest Temp  64 F      Highest Temp:  78 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  5.52
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  3.5 MPH                               7.1 MPH                    22.5 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 33 mins                      46 minutes                  45 minutes 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Off Road Triking

Friday night we stopped and stayed the night at Gooseneck State Park in southern Utah.
What's "Gooseneck State Park"? You might ask?  I never heard of it  either until Jacque was told of it while stopped in the bustling metropolis of Bluff, Utah.  It  turned out to be one of those lesser-known wonders of the world:  Supposedly the longest "River Meander"  in North America, where the San Juan Rivers flows in oxbow-fashion or gooseneck-fashion for 6 miles while progressing only 2 actual miles south towards its eventual confluence with the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon.  The cliffs and walls of this stretch of river almost equal the Grand Canyon in their size and awesomeness.
Friday evening we walked almost a half mile or more around some of the bends in the  canyon-tops but Saturday morning we unloaded the trike and rode IT around the rocky paths.  In spite of its extremely low clearance,  only a couple inches in the middle, we managed to steer around most of the larger crags and rocks and ridges in the goat-path and, though very slow, made better time and exerted less effort than walking the same distance.  AND, thankfully, avoided any noticeable damage to the trike..... not even any shredded tires or flats.

Later on as we approached Mexican Hat on Route 191,  we were awestruck when we spotted the source for the  name "Mexican Hat" -- a very tall rock formation with what looks almost exactly like a sombrero, upside down, on the tippy-top.   The side road leading to it was dirt and gravel, and not being familiar with it,  we did NOT want to take the huge lumbering RV and trailer down that-a-way.  So we pulled into a gravel pull-out across the roadway and unlimbered our trusty trike, already off-road-proven, and rode IT down the gravel road to a nearby position where we took the inevitable selfies with the Stone Sombrero in the background.  Will post picture(s) when we get to an area with decent wifi and cell coverage  so we can transfer pictures more easily between smartphones.
Also we got no tracking coverage either place today.  Either no ham radio coverage is in these areas or my antenna's broke again or something...
Ride Started:  11:45 AM    Ride Ended:  1:00 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:  13.1       Ending Voltage: 12.8
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  2.77
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  3.6 MPH                               5.0 MPH                     16.7 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
42 minutes                              25 minutes               10 minutes

Friday, October 10, 2014

Mo Moab

Today's Repeat-of-Yesterday Tracking

We enjoyed our short ride yesterday afternoon we decided to try it again, this morning, before our checkout time for our RV expired.
We only went about a half mile farther than yesterday but enjoyed it still.  We especially enjoy riding through the tunnel underneath Highway 191, with its resounding echo when I scream aloud.  Yes, some people never grow out of making loud noises in places with echoes.....
We might actually have to come back and spend a real day here sometime... threats we have made before.

Ride Started:  8:45 AM    Ride Ended:  10:00 AM
Beginning Battery Voltage:  13.1       Ending Voltage: 12.8
Lowest Temp  61 F      Highest Temp:  67 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  7.77
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  3.3 MPH                               7.1 MPH                     23.4 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
2 hours 22 mins                     1 hour 5 mins            1 hour 10 mins

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sunset Ridin' Above Moab

Today's Tracking in the Boonies

On our way back to NM from our RV vacation we decided to stop just north of Moab.  Jacque hates to travel after - or even close to - dark.   We stopped today about 4:30 or so and the Lovely One suggested a trike ride.  This IS Moab, after all, mountain biking capital and all, and there is a nice paved bike trail running parallel to Utah Route 191 all the way from our RV camp into Moab itself, 10 miles down the hill into town.  Jacque had an emergency tooth extraction in Ogden and has been a bit too sore to joyride on the trike until today so we both jumped at the chance.
First off the bat going down the trail we encountered an Artiste painting the gorgeous landscape.

Then, a few more miles down the road towards Moab, some speed racers came up rapidly behind us and slowed down as they realized what a unique spectacle they had encountered, expressing interest in the trike.  So we all stopped and they took off for a short trial ride on our Tandem Terratrike .
When they returned we had a nice visit with them before they remounted their 12-pound Carbon Fiber bikes and sped away. 

We got back to the RV just before dark, safe and sound.
Roughing it with Mobile Bed and Flush Toilet

Ride Started:  5:21 PM    Ride Ended:  6:17 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:  13.0       Ending Voltage: 12.9
Lowest Temp  67 F      Highest Temp:  71 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  7.13
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  4.7 MPH                               7.5 MPH                     22.0 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 30 mins                      56 minutes                  31 minutes

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Shopping Utah by Trike

Today's Quality Tracking via APRS and Ham Radio

We're parked in the RV up here in Utah visiting relatives and enjoying  very balmy and/or  rainy October weather.
My sis went for  a trike ride with me after church on Sunday, and rainy weather has eaten up much of the available time for cycling  around the countryside since.  Jacque  has stayed busy sewing up a storm, of course, with her battery/inverter powered Brother sewing machine.
Today  is Wednesday and mostly sunny and...... Jacque ran out of sewing thread.  We could have waited for our brother-in-law Bill to get home so we could borrow his car, but it was too ripe an excuse to go for a trike ride.
The ride was only a few miles but fraught with cars and construction.  Fortunately, it seems Utah drivers are even friendlier and more tolerant than our New Mexican variety.... and  most Utah streets, even in the smaller towns, are nice and wide with more than enough room for bikes even with no stripes or labeled lanes.  We find riding on the roadways  thus much easier than trying to navigate the complex curb-laden crossbar-blocked so-called  bike paths.
Riding the almost car-less side streets was quite pleasant, until we had to get up on Main Street and ride across the construction zone over I-15 - with no shoulder whatsoever.   Crossing was made easier for us this trip because for some odd reason the traffic stopped behind us and left  about a third of  a mile of clear road behind us.  Then when we arrived at our  Joann's Fabric Store destination, there  was shade to park in AND a huge swath of lush green grass for the dogs to pee in.  Which is a Wonderful Thing.
Both doggies are wonderful ice-breakers with little kids and adults  alike.  Jazzy is especially endearing what with her penchant for running left and right, leaping with joy as she bounds about like a happy-go-lucky jackrabbit with wings.
Before we knew it jacque was done with her threadbare shopping and we rode across the street to another shopping plaza and then returned to my sister's place.
The construction's yellow cones had  this side of the roadway blocked off, forcing normally 4-lane traffic into 2 lanes.... leaving us a clear path about 20 yards wide all the way across the freeway. Which was great as long as it lasted. Which was quite a while.
With streets and boulevards as wide as these we're surprised so few other cyclists are on the road.

Ride Started: 10:26 AM    Ride Ended:  12:37 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:  13.2       Ending Voltage: 13.1
Lowest Temp  53 F      Highest Temp:  78 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  6.92
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  3.2 MPH                               5.6 MPH                  25.9 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
2 hours 10 mins                     1 hour 14 mins          55 minutes

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Kissing my Sister

Well, I didn't really kiss my sister, I just took her for a ride on our Terratrike while visiting up here in Utah.
Her knees are in terrible shape and she endures a lot of  pain when walking and standing. We've been encouraging her to try a trike for therapy - as so many people have found to be helpful.
We only went 4 miles but she seemed to enjoy it a lot, without  getting crippled up from the short joyride - and even though we had to pedal strenuously up several mild grades.
We were quite disappointed with this area's "Rail-toTrail" route, as there are uncut curbs cyclists  are forced to cross while dismounted, and the crossings of streets are blocked on both sides by gates designed to keep out 4-wheelers and motorcycles.... and unfortunately work quite well at obstructing tandems and 3-wheeler trikes also.
We managed to shoe-horn ourselves and the rig through several such  blockages but often having to clip the edges of several goat-head patches on the edge of the pavement at such crossings.  We finally tired of such nonsense and turned onto the vehicle-populated streets and rode back to her house without incident.
It's been raining on  and off regularly these last few days but it  mostly dried up today so we enjoyed  our after-church ride.
Ride Started: 3:51 PM    Ride Ended:  5:30 PM
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  3.99
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  2.1 MPH                               5.0 MPH                    16.3 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 53 mins                       48 mins                    1 hour 5 minutes 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Road Dirt and Grasshopper Guts

Today's Admittedly Brief Tracking

Today's entry title came to me while I was scrubbing my face with a warm wet washcloth just moments ago after coming home from our Saturday ride.
Today is Jacque's birthday, which means we celebrated yesterday by going to the State Fair and attending Jacque's favorite fair activity:  The Draft Horse Pulls.  Sometimes her birthday falls on the exact day of the horse-pulls and sometimes not. 
Horse-Pulling meant we did not go for a ride yesterday.  We did walk around a lot, looking at our favorite fair displays, such as Robert Duck's Racing Ducks , and of course eating our mandatory Navajo Taco at the Navajo Cafe in the so-called Indian Village.  The Navajo Taco was by far the healthiest thing we ate while there.  Also ice cream at the dairy barn, Texas Taters, the deadly bag of miniature fresh-fried donuts.....
We decided, yesterday, while ingesting all this illegal food, that we should go for a ride today to burn some of the carbs off.  So we did.
We had lots needing doing the rest of the day so we planned just a short ride 5 miles or so out and 5 or so miles back.
This summer has been an unusually wet summer for us, with lots of too-tall weeds ..... and probably related to all the weeds, kazillions of grasshoppers seemingly covering the ground and filling the skies.  Not that big of a plague, of course, but every few feet on the pavement are mating and crawling hoppers, and they are fleet on their feet and wings.  Several times one splatted its way inside my shirt and sleeves, and of course we splatted a few of them as we rolled down the road.  We notice that even at 30 MPH downhill with a screaming tailwind it's not fast enough to outrun the little (AND Big) buggers.  Matter of fact, at speed, they positively hurt as they smack against you like pebbles of various sizes.
We spotted a moving sale in a yard we passed so Jacque had to go shopping.  After all, it was HER birthday.  What could  be more fitting than garage sale-ing by bike?  Or Trike?
AND - we (Yeah, I went inside and bought a couple items too) bought some stuff, and had to run the cycle back to the SUV so we could go back with a motorized vehicle to retrieve our purchased treasures. 
Had we known we would be adding to our stocks of worldly goods, we could have towed the bike trailer with the trike and foregone the ignominy of using the gas-powered vehicle.  Oh Well.

Ride Started: 11:52 AM    Ride Ended:  1:49 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:  13.2       Ending Voltage: 12.9
Lowest Temp  71 F      Highest Temp:  84 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  9.30
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  3.8 MPH                               7.3 MPH                    34 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
2 hours 27 mins                     1 hour 16 mins          1 hour 10 minutes