Thursday, September 29, 2016

Must be Thursday .... Or Whatever

Thursday 29 September Tracking

I awoke about 5:26 AM today and immediately thought "BIKE RIDE!"
A few dozen winks later, the bed was feeling awfully comfortable, but I managed to get my  lazy butt out anyway.
As usual, I was glad I did.  I had a middling headache when I first  started out, but it didn't  take more than a  mile or two of wind in my  face to clear it up and start to feel  like a million bucks.
My 2-wheeled recumbent and my new Catrike are both safely secured at  home 20 miles away so the only thing I have left to ride is my 30-year-old DF Diamond Back mountain bike or our 3-wheel Tandem Recumbent  Terratrike , and I unfailingly prefer the recumbent in spite of its  length and  weight.  It's a fun ride and good exercise even without Jacque in the back seat stoking for me.
By the time I got  rolling it was a bit after 6 AM so I decided to ride out for half an hour and turn around, making at least an hour ride this morning, which is still enough  to get the old ticker and  circulation going.
It feels like a million bucks, too, once I get  out of  the shower  and stagger off to work.
My GoPro camera batteries are going soft on me:  If I  leave them out of the charger more than 1 day, they have little charge left  in them and poop out after only a  few minutes of running the camera.    I guess  I need to spend some more money, again, to see if I can get some reliable batteries  for this expensive toy.
Not much to comment on this morning.  Weather was noticeably  warmer, about 62 degrees, which is great for cycling.  Cool enough to eventually  work up a mild sweat, without the necessity of starting out with the outer  windbreaker on.  Since I again, as usual, had limited time, I rode only to Paseo Del Norte on the North Diversion Trail before turning around and hightailing it back to the shower.
Tomorrow, Friday, I'll be tied up  from the wee  hours until late or mid afternoon, so no bike ride to cheer me  up tomorrow....
Ride Started: 6:05 AM    Ride Ended:  7:05 AM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.1   Ending Voltage: 12.7  Lowest:  12.2
Lowest Temp  60 F      Highest Temp:  64 F  
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  6:94
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   6.7 MPH                             7.9 MPH                   19.4 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 2 mins                         52 minutes                10 minutes

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tuesday on a Roll

Tuesday Tracking Trail

I awoke at 5 after 5 AM this morning but loafed in bed until 5:07 or so and then got up for a ride.
It was just after 5:30 when I got rolling and the wind was a wee bit cold and stiff this morning.  Heading north on the "North Diversion Trail" planted me face into the wind, which not only slowed me down but chilled me as well, in spite of my wearing a decent windbreaker most of the way.
I looped again around the Vista Del Norte neighborhood   The first few times I rode this neighborhood it seemed quiet and seldom traveled but lately it seems almost crowded, and a couple miles of the 'hood are narrow streets with no shoulders.  Passing cars come uncomfortably close, so I doubt I'll try this one any more in the future.  No really close calls;  just a bit tight and uncomfortable for a leisurely before-dawn ride.
This actually seems to be either a popular commuting or exercising hour since I normally pass several other cyclists, pedestrians, and dog walkers even though it's dark and cold.
By the time I had looped back north up to Osuna I was warm enough it was starting to get sweaty in my armpits, which is not pleasant in cold weather since it provides discomfort from the perspiration as well as the chilling effect as the sweat is exposed to the air.   I pulled off my windbreaker and sat on it, riding the rest of the way 'home' with just the Velcro-front-secured flaming yellow tee shirt Jacque stitched up for me several years ago.
I again left my GoPro safely behind so no danger of pictures or videos from today' adventure.
I talked to a friend on the bike ham radio yesterday who told me he was "too old to ride bikes any more".
Of course I had to argue with him on that point, not the least of which points is that I was a few years older then HE was.  I recommended him to go down to Two-Wheel Drive just west of University on Central and test ride a few of his recumbent trikes and see if it didn't give him the "itch" to get going again.
In another week or so most of my rides will transfer to the higher altitudes of the East Mountains, with occasional forays into ABQ involving longer distances.

Ride Started: 5:39 AM    Ride Ended:  6:42 AM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.2   Ending Voltage: 13.1  Lowest:  12.9
Lowest Temp  53 F      Highest Temp:  53 F  
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  6:34
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   5.8 MPH                             6.6 MPH                   15.5 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 5 mins                         57 minutes                8 minutes

Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday Morning Moonshine

Monday Morning Tracking via Ham Radio and GPS

Just a short ride this morning to start the week correctly, sorta.
I was a bit underwhelmed with my legs this morning; they didn't seem to have much steam.
My blood glucose was a bit on the low side when I started, but it was a bit on the HIGH side when I got back from this very short ride.  Go Figure.
I awoke at 5:30-something and decided to get in at least a few miles before the sun came up, and I succeeded.
The rationale for this morning's title doesn't amount to much;  I just couldn't think of much more than a bit of alliteration.
As we enter the last 2 weeks of our 14 month full time mission for the LDS Church Mission Office here in Albuquerque, we find ourselves both eager to get back to "Normal Life", whatever that is, and saddened at the thought of not being in the middle of all the action involved in keeping a couple hundred missionaries safe and sound.
Hopefully I'll be more faithful doing the bike miles thing.  We'll see.

Ride Started: 6:04 AM    Ride Ended:  6:54 AM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.2   Ending Voltage: 13.2  Lowest:  12.2 
Lowest Temp  53 F      Highest Temp:  57 F  
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  5:30
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   6.6 MPH                             7.0 MPH                   17.2 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
48 minutes                             45 minutes              3 minutes

Sunday, September 25, 2016

All that Glitters is not Gold

Saturday's tracking in the East Mountains

Yesterday I got in a decent ride, even though it was several hours later than I had planned for.
For one thing, when I arose, there was almost a quarter of an inch of FROST on the car windshields.  The house's outside thermometer had registered 35 degrees for a low but obviously it was several degrees colder a few dozen feet farther away from the house's residual warmth.
As noted in the listings below, my lowest temperature was 60 degrees today but it was mostly feeling chilly all during the ride, even when I was working up a sweat climbing the hills.
I wanted to ride my new Catrike today but I still didn't have electronics mounted on it so I took out the good ol' 2-wheel recumbent and rode it instead.
Everything made for a lovely ride today, and I certainly was in no danger of overheating.  A couple times, however, the chain got stuck when shifting into the highest gear, and the third time it happened, I pulled over to see if anything was out of whack, and mercy, what a mess.  The middle idler pulley had somehow gotten tangled in the chain and bent sideways and upside down to where the upper and lower chains were crossed and fighting each other.   It took several twists and turns with both sets of Gerber Multi-Tools to get them straightened enough to get going again.  So far it's working fine but I fear there will be some welding required in the near future.
Today's Title came to mind as I was bouncing along our primitive goat-path of a road between our house and Frost Road, the nearest pavement about a mile hence.
My eyes seem to "Snap" to anything that's shiny, and it occasionally pays off.  However, glittering rocks in the road often appear to resemble shiny coins or hardware, but turn out to be just a shiny speck of quartz or whatever in a very small stone or rock fragment instead, when I get up close enough to really view it.  On very rare occasions I DO find something of value.
This time, as I was pushing the bike up the steepest part of the hill the last mile toward home,  I noticed a dark form in the rocks in the roadway that at first looked like cheap plastic of some kind, but after a closer look it turned out to be a 6 inch piece of 1/4" thick iron strap about 2" wide.  A very valuable piece of scrap iron to have since I have set of acetylene torches at home with which I occasionally weld or repair something.  It was a danger lying out in the middle of the road , so I stuck it in the back basket and took it home for the iron pile, which isn't very large.
Shortly after finding this strap, I parked the bike in the shade of a tree at the top of the hill for a short break, and when I turned around I heard the sickening crash of the bike falling over.  I had taken care to park it carefully where the dual kickstand was solidly planted in the gravel, but the dirt shifted and down went the bike.
With all the junk I carry, letting the bike fall over is no trivial thing.  I have broken mirrors, antennas, and handlebars doing so.  This time I could find no damage so I was able to get it upright again and on its slow way up the hill.  The left hand rear view mirror had bounced loose so I had to dig out the Allen wrenches and re-tighten it.

Ride Started: 12:16 PM    Ride Ended:  2:56 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   14.2   Ending Voltage: 13.  Lowest:  12.5
Lowest Temp  60 F      Highest Temp:  75 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  11.22
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   5.0 MPH                             6.9 MPH                   27.9 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
2 hours 15 mins                     1 hour 37 mins              37 minutes

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Two Rides in One Day, Two Kewl

Ride #1 Tracking

I had a perfect excuse for a short ride this morning.... We were dangerously low on Peanut M&M's and since Sam's Club is only a couple miles distant I valiantly volunteered to ride instead of drive for resupply of such  critical materials.
The weather has been cooler lately so even though the sun was bright it wasn't overly warm.  The ride was short and sweet.  I park my trike inside the store's entry right next to the electric wheelchairs and so far no one has bothered it.

Ride #2 Tracking
After work, it was just cloudy enough to be cooler without much anticipation of rain, so we decided to ride the tandem Terratrike Pro up to the dog park and let the girls do their thing with other goofy doggies, almost as spoiled as ours.
This trip, as usual, was a bit of a struggle in Grandma Gear for the first mile or so up the mild hill toward Louisiana & San Antonio.  After that the route is more flat until the last little climb up the grade to the dog park in the direction of Wyoming.
We arrived in good style and the dogs enjoyed a short fellowship and poopie session.  We didn't have all the time in the world and Jacque hates riding after dark so we departed early and enjoyed the now-mostly-downhill ride back to the RV.  As we rolled into the lot, it was almost dark and thus  we barely made it.
Even with a bit of gusty winds tonight it was just delightful and a dandy workout for the evening.

Ride Started: 4:41 PM    Ride Ended:  6:20 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.2   Ending Voltage: 13.0  Lowest:  12.8
Lowest Temp  77 F      Highest Temp:  77 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  7.99
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   4.9 MPH                             6.4 MPH                   19.0 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 38 mins                     1 hour 14 mins              23 minutes 

We had a chance to spoil Justin and Sarah Jo's fantastic boy Jonathan on Sunday.  I could fill all space with pictures of this cute kid but a couple will do for now:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Stretching the Trike Chain

TTT (Today's Trike Tracking
My recently-purchased Catrike had one glaring shortcoming:  It was set up for the original owner who was much shorter than I am.  The front boom is extendable and easily extends to a length sufficient to accommodate my long spindly legs.  However, since the front sprocket and cranks are out on the end, the chain stretched to its limit and - though still ridable - it was only able to access the smaller of the chainrings and, in the second or middle chainring, the rear derailleur was only able to be shifted to its smallest 2 or 3 gears or the chain would lock up.  The largest chain riing could not be engaged safely at all, meaning I was limited in cruising speedonn level paths.  All I had to do was break the chain and add a few inches so the chain could reach all possible gearing combinations, but for some reason our volunteer Church mission work eats up so much time, and though I could easily just take a couple hours off to do it, the phone keeps ringing and ..... well, last Friday I finally stole enough of my free donated time back to work on the chain.
As noted previously, as soon as I tried out the new chain and shifter possibilities, the front chain shifter froze up from too much fraying of the cable and sleeve housing.  Yesterday, Monday, I was finally able to do the "Manana" thing and got the cable adjusted and tightened so it could now engage all 3 front chainrings.
Then the phone started ringing again and I had to put out a few small fires, so to speak, and it was late afternoon before I was able to actually take it for a spin.
It's pretty cool to actually get into the tallest gears and crank along at a decent speed, and the little trike does well, except for the tendency to oversteer as common with lightweight trikes.
I only rode out a couple miles and back, since I didn't even change into my bike shirt nor remove my tie.
Still a fun ride and looking forward to getting the electronics installed for more gadgetry.
My temporary tracker used on the last few rides provides only spotty information and so it doesn't show max speeds and such for bragging (or complaining, in my case).
Ride Started: 1:25 PM    Ride Ended:  2:20 PM
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  5.8
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  6.3 MPH                             8.0 MPH                    18 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
  55 minutes                          51 minutes                 3 minutes

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Just Cruisin' Across Town

Today's Tracking
Again, I've done more actual bike/trike riding than blogging about it - Which isn't to say that I've been doing a whole lot of either.
Today presented the perfect excuse for a ride:  DUTY and HONOR.
Well, maybe a little of duty and nothing to do with honor, but it sounded righteous.
I had a mission truck in the body shop for a bumper repair (The Teenage Missionary Driver called and told me "I was driving along a narrow dirt road and somehow hit a post...." So, the current office joke is the old gag about how a Post Jumped Out Into The Middle of the Road.
Anyway, Lyle Wagy's crew at "A Dent Express" did a 2-day turnaround on a front bumper repair, about average for  their speedy service philosophy.  If you have hail damage or a fender bender, you should check with them first for repairs.
Commercial over.  They called and told me this pickup was repaired and ready so I decided to ride my "new" Catrike up there and throw it in the back of the truck for the return trip.  I stuck a temporary ham radio tracker on the trike and took off.
Even though it was a bit warmish today, it was a great 3-something miles.
Then, when I got it back to the office, I finally broke my trike-chain and added about 6 inches to it so I could access all 27 speeds (27 or 21?  I'll have to count the cassette gears to make sure sometime). 
Of course, in spite of careful sizing and measuring, I couldn't get the chain done in one operation.  I found it was now a bit too long, allowing chain drag, in the largest gears on each end of the chain, so I had to take one pair of links out and now it seems to work just fine.
Of course, on my trial ride, I realized the front shifter cable was frayed down to one or two strands, almost snapped in two, and until I get THAT fixed, I still can't access all my gears.
No biggie, I carry various lengths of shifter and brake cable in my pannier tool bag.  I'll do it tomorrow or maybe over the weekend.  I worked on it until well after dark and I'm tired.  Maybe Manana.

Ride Started: 3:41 PM    Ride Ended:  4:33 PM
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  3.8
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  6.3 MPH                             8.0 MPH                    19 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
  47 minutes                          47 minutes                 0 minutes