Friday, February 16, 2018

Sundown Test Ride Without Flats

Today's tracking via GPS and Ham Radio

After my rescue yesterday and subsequent replacement of rear tire and tube, I was out of time so far as testing it out.  I broke out the hand pump and topped off all 6 trike tires (3 each on Jacque's trike and mine) but didn't get anything out on the road for even a short test ride.
I've gotten such good performance and reliability from these small (35 X 406 mm) tires that I'm buffaloed by the failures I've been having now.  Now I'm getting afraid to even ride unless the tires are super pumped up and hard, hoping to avoid ruining any more.
So this evening I just rode a couple miles around a couple blocks just to make sure all things are again working OK.  The front shifter cable has been rather stiff and cranky since the rains a few days ago so I sprayed both graphite dust and WD-40 lube into the control cable housings in hope of freeing it up again.
It must have done the trick since all shifting was without complaint.  All systems go.  Maybe I can get in a decently long ride ...... manana maybe.

Riding around the neighborhoods, we occasionally find something we cannot resist photographing.
I owned a 1959 Ford Pickup like this in the early 1970's..... not as pretty, of course.

Ride Started:  5:57 PM    Ride Ended:  6:19 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.8   Ending Voltage: 13.0  Lowest:  13.0  (Solar charging only)
Lowest Temp  64 F      Highest Temp: 67 F   
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  2.44
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed   

7.9 MPH                                 8.4 MPH                     15.3 MPH 
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time  

19  minutes                            17 minutes                  1 minute

It's Only Flat on the Bottom..

Today's Half-Tracking

Thursday, yesterday, Jacque took the Exploder to the local fresh food field market and I just had to take another wonderful trike ride.
Since I've been having so much tire trouble recently, I checked the tires prior to this ride by had-squeezing them.  They seemed puffed up enough, so I saddled up and took off.
I enjoyed the trip greatly until I had about reached the halfway point.  I suddenly noticed a weird light scraping sound in the rear and the trike was wobbling ever so slightly.  Grumpily I pulled to the edge of the pavement and looked at my rear tire.  It still had air, but the bead on one side had pooched out and, try as I might, I could not get it to re-seal and re-seat inside the wheel rim.
What made this even a bit more frustrating was a couple of less-than-friendly cars that passed.  One was a fellow in a large pickup who snarled at me as he stopped:  "You need to get out of the road!  You're going to get RUN OVER!   I thanked him for his advice, but ignored him and kept working on my decrepit wheel, and in a few more minutes a car passed by the other direction and a shrill female voice called out "GET OFF THE ROAD!!"
All this while I was parked on the outer edge of the rather wide pavement, where I normally ride unmolested and unchallenged much farther into the road, where there is still enough room for cars to pass each other whilst still avoiding clipping my little horseless and motorless carriage.
This is the first time I've experienced negative reactions here in southwest Arizona and it makes me wonder how people get so offended at non motorized cycle riders.  Are we cyclists, as a group, so snarky that it bleeds over and offends others?  It surely can't be jealosy over our lowering pressure on gas prices, improved health, better hearts and waistlines, better sex etc, right?
Back to the Crippled Trike Problem.  I needed to elevate the rear wheel so I could undo the gears, chain, derailleur, and all that rot, so I could work on the tire rim.  No big enough rocks were available, very unusual in these parts, nothing but small rocks and gravel.  I wandered farther out into the rocks and discovered some broken bricks that had been discarded.  Gathering several of these, I carried them back to the Catrike and moved the trike WAY off the road, into the rocky gravel, and jacked up the trike using the bricks.  I got the wheel removed, again, and tried over and over to get the tire's bead to seat properly, but nothing doing.  I was about to give up and call Jacque to come rescue me, again, when a nice fellow in a big black Ford pickup stopped and offered assistance.  We chatted about his lack of 20 inch trike tires and he offered to give me a ride back to the RV, trike and all.  His pickup had a nice lid on the back but it turned out there was nothing inside and he had lots of room.  We loaded up the basket case stuff:  Trike, wheel, tube, tools, panniers, and whatnot that had been scattered around the wounded trike.  It was at least several miles out of his way but he was happy to deliver me safely to my door and drove off with a smile.
Nice Guy.  I need to copy his behavior sometime.
This was all very handy since I'd just visited Johnny Yuma's Bike Shoppe and purchased a new tire and tube to refill my spare stock from the last disaster.  Now I gotta order some MORE spares and hope they get here before I lose another tire....

Ride Started:  12:22 PM    Ride Ended:  2:13 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   14.4   Ending Voltage: 13.0  Lowest:  12.5  (Solar charging only)
Lowest Temp  60 F      Highest Temp: 67 F   

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Dirty Laundry

Today's Tracking

We generally can make it a week between laundry runs - Living in the RV full time.
We waited almost a day too long this time, as we used up the last of our clean underwear this morning.  We had planned on laundry yesterday, Monday, but ran out of time before we got busy with other things, like dancing.
Side note:  We have been amazed at the amount of dancing going on out here in white and silver-hair land.  Back in Albuquerque the Caravan East and Cowboys dance halls  both closed years ago and its been hard to find anywhere to dance except for such nightclubs like the Caravan and Cowboys, and now even those have gone out of business.  Yet out here where few are under the age of 60 and the average age must be somewhere north of 75, there are dance clubs and parties all around.
In Quartzsite, we only spent a little over a week but went to at least 4 dances.  The senior center has dances every Thursday and we learned (at the last minute) there were also weekly dances every Friday night at the Gold Star RV Co-op.  One Thursday night we were hungry and decided to dine at Silly Al's Pizza.  Of course, since this is the BUSY season, we had to wait over half an hour to get a table.  Just as we were being seated, a 3-piece band materialized and began pounding out snappy old Rock 'N Roll and Country/Western tunes.  The dancing area was small, but the toe-tapping got us on our feet and we danced until the waitress appeared at our table and danced some more while we waited for our meal and - by the time we were served, it was almost too late to make it to the Senior Center before THAT dance ended, so we stayed and danced some more at Silly Al's.  It was a BLAST, and both young and old were keeping the dance floor crowded.  Why can't there be more of this kind of action "back in the real world" where retirees don't outnumber workers by 10 or more to 1 ?
Down here in Yuma, farther south, we only know of a couple dances per week but have no doubt there are others we don't know about.
Anyhow, today we didn't dance, though we did last evening (Monday).  We loaded one big bag of laundry again on Jacque's trike and the other on mine and rode 3.5 miles over to the closest laundromat.  Jacque did the laundry and I sat and read my smarty-phone until she was done (about an hour or so).  Then we loaded up the spun (still wet) laundry in the same baskets and rode back to the RV and hung the laundry on ropes strung across the awning bars on the entry-side of the RV.  A few hours later and they were nice and dry in spite of the partly cloudy day.

Ride Started:  11:51 AM    Ride Ended:  1:47 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.5   Ending Voltage: 12.9  Lowest:  12.9  (Solar charging only)
Lowest Temp  60 F      Highest Temp: 67 F   
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  6.96
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed   

5.4 MPH                                 6.2 MPH                     18.0 MPH 
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time 
1 hour 17  mins                       1 hour 7 mins           10 minutes

(The GPS was shut off during the laundry stop, so laundry time is not accounted for)

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Another Flat? Come On -

Thursday's Desert Yuma Tracking via GPS and Ham Radio

I'm getting a bit lazy about prompt blogging/reporting my thrilling bike and other adventures lately.
I'm at least riding more often than blogging, which is probably a good thing.
Thursday I wanted to get in a more decent mileage ride so I rode the outer perimeter of the Foothills Golf Course and Estates wherein we are currently parked at the home of a very generous and affable fellow Church member.
I rode the first couple of miles without incident.  As you approach closer to the I-8 intersection of Foothills Drive the shoulder disappears and the traffic multiplies exponentially.  So I turned off Foothills and rode a couple of the inner side streets to get me up to the Frontage Road paralleling I-8 which dead-ends just west of the Border Patrol Interstate Stop on I-8 and turns back south returning towards our current home (as in "Home is Where you Park It").
I thought I was enjoying the ride when a faint rumble and gaggle jiggled the back of my brain, so I stopped to make sure no tires were flat.  I had just replaced the right front tire and tube a couple days prior, and both front wheels this time were fine..... Not so the rear tire.  RATS.  BAH.
Of course, the rear wheel is the drive wheel, with the 9-gear cassette and chain and derailleur and all that rot.... I had stopped near a low brick decorative wall which actually gave me both a place to sit and a place to elevate the frame of the trike allowing difficult access to the rear wheel assembly.
I still had a little CO2 in my handy-dandy tire inflator from the last tire disaster, and of course it went to waste when I used it to re-inflate the low tire only to feel it rather quickly go soft again.  So I dug out the toolkit and removed the axle, wheel, tire and tube, from the trike.
I had a new tube in the pannier but wanted to make sure the tire wasn't hiding a nail or thorn or other puncture-inducing device.  The tire felt smooth and ouch-less as I carefully felt its insides throughout its circumference.  New tube installed, used another CO2 cartridge to inflate the assembly, started to re-mount the wheel.  As usual, the tire bead had not seated on one side and was protruding out in ungainly fashion.  Let out the precious store-bought CO2 to re-seat the tire and thankfully this time it held.  I had not ridden it sufficiently to destroy the tire like the last one.
Thus all this unplanned delay added to the length of an already longer ride.  The rest of the trip was uneventful, and all tires are currently tight and inflated and holding air.

Ride Started:  1:52 PM    Ride Ended:  3:55 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.9   Ending Voltage: 13.0  Lowest:  12.5  (Solar charging only)
Lowest Temp  75 F      Highest Temp: 82 F   
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  9.4 
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed  
6.5 MPH                                 7.8 MPH                     16.5 MPH 
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time 
1 hour 26  mins                       1 hour 11 mins           15 minutes

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Super Bowl Sunday Sunset Ride

Super Bowl Trike Tracking

Shortly after the last blog entry I realized it was almost sundown.  I also had consumed too many carbs today and needed to burn at least a few of them.
So I took off for a relatively intense 3-mile ride around our lovely neighborhood.
Again, I note unusual fatigue and overheat, meaning I really really need to do this more often.

Ride Started: 6:01 PM    Ride Ended:  6:23 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.9   Ending Voltage: 13.0  Lowest:  13.0 (Solar charging only)
Lowest Temp  71 F      Highest Temp: 71 F   
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  2.98
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed  
7.5 MPH                                 8.6 MPH                     17.9 MPH 
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time 
24  minutes                             21 minutes                 3 minutes

Riding on Air

Saturday's Uneventful Ride Tracking

Justification for Saturday's Title:  We both rode on properly inflated tires.  No flats or breakdowns.
So, yesterday, Saturday, we decided to ride our trikes on a very important mission:  Ice Cream.
These mostly flat and wide streets in Yuma are a delight to ride.  Again we took back streets to get to the business clusters around Foothills and Frontage Road on the eastern end of Yuma.
When we got to our planned first stop we immediately noticed a big sign that read: "CHOCOLATE"
Which, for some reason, attracted our interest.  Unfortunately for me, my appetite was cooled by the high prices for their gourmet homemade chocolate treats.  We then entered a small pizzeria only to find a too-limited selection, so we investigated the shopping strip further.
Jacque spotted a place labeled "MR. FISH" offering fish & chips, so we took a gander at their menu and decided to alight and partake.
Jacque settled for fried Zucchini and a fish taco.  I spotted a greasy treat that looked good:  Rolled Beef Tacos.  My tacos weren't bad but I could only hold 2 of the 4 served, so I wrapped up the leftovers and put them in the bag on the rack on the back of my trike for later consumption.
Returning home, we rode in various streets just to enjoy the neighborhood, and I rode on around various other blocks to add mileage.  We're not at all sure about the zoning here, but there are million dollar homes stacked in alongside RV's, 5th Wheels, Lots with rental RV's parked inside, and even an occasional warehouse-looking building.  A huge golf course surrounds the area which of course adds to the asking price of all associated properties.  For Rent and For Sale signs abound, along with odds and ends of RV hardware and bicycles, jeeps, etc, also advertised on the streets.  Fun Stuff.
Our feet were getting numb (a common symptom of riding recumbents) by the time we got "home" and my legs were talking to me.
We obviously need to ride more often and get into some sort of shape besides "out".....

Ride Started: 11:46 AM    Ride Ended:  3:54 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.0   Ending Voltage: 13.0  Lowest:  12.9
Beginning Blood Glucose:  ???      Ending BG: 117
Lowest Temp  67 F      Highest Temp: 78 F   
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  11.64
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed  
4.0 MPH                                 5.5 MPH                     15.4 MPH 
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time 
2 hours 56 mins                      2 hours 7 mins           48 minutes

Friday, February 2, 2018

And Then the Breakdowns

Today's Urban Desert Tracking

Jacque and I have been riding the trikes on and off, but I have been very lax in making blog entries about it.
We met a nice couple in Church last Monday at a music & dance affair who generously invited us to move out of the desert at Senators Wash near Imperial Dam and into their yard next to their home in Yuma, where we would have free electric, sewer,  and water hookups.
We actually enjoy dry camping and relying on solar power, batteries, and spotty generator use on the BLM campsites, but this offer was too good to refuse.
Yesterday I needed a  haircut, badly, and Jacque had been encouraging me to get a store-bought version instead of waiting for her to do it.  Our lovely camp host is only 4 or so miles away from a local barbershop, so I decided to ride over on my trike instead of driving.  The streets here are mostly wide and allow lots of room for cyclists on the side and cars and trucks to coexist.  AND the traffic here is quite used to bikes and pedestrians - and what traffic there is is fairly slow and well behaved.
Jacque wanted to ride her Catrike too, and left shortly after I did to ride to the same shopping center where my barber awaited.
The weather here has been in the upper 80's during the day and upper 50's and lower 60's overnight.
This ride was after the day was well warmed up but I didn't get close to overheated.   I was able to ride side streets until about the last half mile, when I had to approach Foothills Drive.  Since it is a very heavy traffic street, I violated bike policy and rode on the concrete sidewalk the rest of the way.  Crossing 4 lanes of heavy traffic to get across the street when I found the barber necessitated several minutes of waiting for a sufficient opening but it was not that problematical.
The shop had a line inside and I had been sitting and waiting for my turn under the scissors when I heard a very familiar sound of small dogs barking and carrying on, which turned out to be Jacque and our two marvelous mutts just arriving.
I got my haircut, done just right, ate a small lunch at a small cafe next door in the shopping strip, and started back to our temporary home.
I poked along with Jacque for a mile or two.  She encouraged me to go on ahead since I ride faster, so I took off.  Rather than just leave her so far behind, I turned a corner and rode around a several-block loop, coming out again on the same street as Jacque and behind her.  As I almost caught up with her, she took off from a stop sign.  As I stopped to take my turn at the stop, I noticed my right front tire was extremely low.  As I rolled forward a few more feet, hoping I could make it home without having to pump it up, it went totally flat.  Frustrated and hot, I pulled over and brought out my tool-bag containing my CO2 tire inflator.  The tire inflated almost immediately but as  tried to get started again one bead of the tire popped off the rim. After several attempts to get the tire to seat properly on the rim, I noticed a steel wire poking out of the tube and tire works and realized:  The tire was ruined.  I had ridden it too long too low in pressure, and the tire beads were popped out of the rubber, meaning there was no way for the tire to stay on the rim when inflated with any pressure at all.
Digging through my pannier full of tools and parts, I found the new 20" tube I have been carrying around for several years was NOT the correct tube.  It was a 20 X 1.95 tube, which will fit Jacque's fat tires but no way would it fit my narrow 1" tires.
So, I had to give it up and call for help.  Jacque answered her cell phone.  She was not home yet, and had a bit of a ride left to get there and drive the Ford Exploder back to rescue me.
Back at the RV, I had a spare tire AND a spare tube of the correct size, so I was back in business in about half an hour.
Tonight I took it for a 3-mile ride around the neighborhood to make sure it indeed is back in working order and it did fine.  Now to just find another spare tire and tube for future disasters....

Ride Started: 11:59 AM    Ride Ended:  2:53 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.3   Ending Voltage: 13.0  Lowest:  12.2
Beginning Blood Glucose:  157      Ending BG: 70 
Lowest Temp  67F      Highest Temp:  84F   
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  7.7 
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed  
4.0 MPH                                 5.9 MPH                     16.7 MPH 
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time 
2 hours 51 mins                      1 hour 45 mins          1 hour 6 minutes