Friday, April 6, 2018

Old Geezer Riding Old Route 66

Today's straight-along-66 Tracking

Finally.  I got in a decent ride consisting of more than a couple miles or so today.
I decided I could ride old Route 66 from here at Sedillo Hill to Edgewood to pick up a couple minor items at Walgreens.  I got going fairly early and got home fairly late.  Nothing new here....
All cyclists, including yours truly, are continually amazed at the oddball trash, junk, and whatnot scattered in the shoulders and weeds and trees alongside all roads.  It's as though humans are just fundamentally reluctant to put their trash in proper containers or stop, go back, and retrieve something that fell off the back of the truck, so to speak.  There's always, of course, "normal" items such as beer cans, hubcaps, bits and pieces of tires.... but lumber?  Odd bits of building materials?  Lampshades in seemingly usable condition?  I do realize that we sometimes lose items from speeding vehicles without realizing it.  I recall many years ago finding an upside down wooden chair, with only minor scratches, lying in the middle of a country road.  We took it home and used it for many years, with no possible way of tracking down the owner.
One thing I've developed a habit of is - since I'm so low to the ground and can reach the ground underneath me without bending over - picking up rocks and other detritus in the roads and shoulders and throwing them way off the roadside so neither myself nor others have to dodge them in the future.  In the rocky roads of SW Arizona, it's a hopeless task throwing offending rocks out of the roadway, but I cannot resist the temptation to heave as many as I can off the roadway, often without slowing down, and often resulting in minor scrapes and damaged fingernails.  Jacque despairs that I will ever develop good sense.....
About halfway to Edgewood I departed the pavement of 66 and rode over to my daughter Sarah's house both for a break and a visit.  Enjoyed a few minutes visiting with my eldest son John and only a few moments visiting with Sarah's hubby and my grandson Jonathan as they pulled in just as I was saddling up  to go along my way.
So, most of my Friday is shot but at least I got in some decent aerobic huffing and puffing.

Ride Started: 11:16 AM    Ride Ended:  2:28 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   12.9   Ending Voltage: 12.9  Lowest:  12.9
Beginning Blood Glucose:  130      Ending BG: 58 (Kinda spacey at this point) 
Lowest Temp  61 F      Highest Temp: 71 F   
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  12.86 
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed  
5.6 MPH                                 6.6 MPH                     34.5 MPH 
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time 
2 hours 18 mins                     1 hour 56 mins           22 minutes

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Another Mile With Tired Legs

Tracking via Ham Radio and GPS

I again prioritized doing at least a short trike ride today in my continuing attempts to get my elderly legs limbered up again.  I've never been a strong rider, even when I was riding almost every day, but my recent slacking off has alarmed me.  I'm already starting to notice less "instant fatigue" when riding, even after only these few days.
I again rode to the Post Office in Sandia Park.  This time instead of riding straight back to the parked Exploder, I rode the additional distance to the Shell Station at the intersection of N-14 and Frost Road so I could (a) work in a bit of additional distance and (b) top off my tires' air pressure.
When I got to the station and whizzed over to the free air outlet, a nice fellow in a 1967 Jeep who was wanting to air up his own tires.  He had just purchased the Jeep from someone nearby and - though there was free air available - the pump had no air gauge with which to tell how much pressure he was actually putting in.  As I started to open my Zip-lock tool pouch to retrieve my air gauge, he asked me "You don't happen to have an air gauge, do you?"  Since I was in the midst of pulling it out of the bag, I handed it to him so he could both inflate AND check his tires.  It didn't take long for me to get my gauge back and have full access to the air hose and do my own tiny tires.  One thing about bike tires:  They don't take long to inflate... unless they're leaking.  Mine thankfully took 50-60 PSI in short order, and I was back on my way again.
As always, having struggled up the long gradual hill to get there, it was coasting at breathtaking speed most of the way back to the Exploder.  I had only lost an hour riding and was able to get back to my backbreaking work of ripping up flooring and walls and getting ready for the rebuild.  BAH

Ride Started:  11:41 AM    Ride Ended:  12:41 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.0   Ending Voltage: 12.9   Lowest Voltage:  12.9 (Hasn't been charged all this week)
Lowest Temp  67 F      Highest Temp: 71 F   
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  4.19 
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed   

3.9 MPH                                 7.0 MPH                     31.4 MPH 
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time  

1 hour 3  mins                         36 minutes                  27 minutes

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Double the Distance, Double the Fun

Today's Unimpressive Tracking

I forfeited some valuable work time by taking time for a second day of trike riding for at least a few minutes.  3 1/2 miles today is not impressive but it was climbing the gradual but frustrating grade toward the post office at the terminus of Frost Road.  Getting the legs back in good circulation undoubtedly will take more time than I like, but as a diabetic, even short rides like this increase my metabolism for the rest of the day and lower my required insulin dosage. 
The VA now has me taking my own blood pressure daily for a couple weeks to see if I need to start blood pressure pills, which I hope I can avoid by getting more cycle-active again.  My blood pressure today when I got home to the RV turned out to be 120/46 which is a tad lower than recent measurements.  We'll see how all that turns out. My right front tire is getting a bit soft, so I need to break out the Huff'n Puff'n manual tire pump.  I learned in Yuma not to ride on soft tires...  these little ones don't have much volume to start with and a bit of low pressure can ruin the dern things.

Ride Started:  3:10 PM    Ride Ended:  3:56 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.0   Ending Voltage: 13.0   Lowest Voltage:  12.9
Lowest Temp  67 F      Highest Temp: 75 F   
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  3.55 
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed   

5.7 MPH                                 7.6 MPH                     26.7 MPH 
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time  

37  minutes                            28 minutes                  9 minutes

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

One and 1/2 Mile Marathon

For the first time in at least a couple weeks, I saddled up the trike for a ride yesterday (Monday 2 April).
The wind was howling and it was not a very pretty day, but the sluggishness in my legs was hard to deal with.
My latest A1C reading was 7.8 +- which is the lowest in several years for me, but my exercising needs to be restored to  more of a daily variety and not every other week or so....
I rode very slightly uphill on Steeplechase Drive and turned around when I got to the uppermost level, not wanting to go downhill only to have to climb back up again, already being uncomfortably tired.
Today, Tuesday, I racked the trike on top of my Ford Exploder, intending to do a mid day ride after working on our now-empty house for sale.  As usual, I let time get away from me and was not able to get in any riding.  Bending and twisting doing house construction repairs is tiring but not the good kind of exercise that improves my metabolism and circulation.
Maybe Manana.....

Ride Started:  2:45 PM    Ride Ended:  3:12 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   12.9   Ending Voltage: 12.9  
Lowest Temp  67 F      Highest Temp: 71 F   
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  1.57 
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed   

3.2 MPH                                 5.4 MPH                     20.7 MPH 
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time  

29  minutes                            17 minutes                  12 minutes

Friday, March 9, 2018

Desert Donkey Dung

My frustrations with living so independently on BLM land in the boondocks include the lack of good cell phone, internet, and ham radio coverage.
We get weak and spotty cell and internet coverage, and several good ham radio repeaters reach out here.... but I rarely if ever get any positions reported from my trike rides,  Even the higher power radio in the RV and Explorer do not get coverage from our Senator Wash area, adjacent to Imperial Dam north of Yuma.
I rode a good seven miles of nasty rough roads both yesterday and today, and it is not fun riding.  The dirt roads are barely bulldozed out of the eternally scattered volcanic desert rocks and gravel, still full of oversized rocks and potholes -- but the paved roads are WORSE.
The pavement must have been laid back in the 1930's or 1940's and barely, if ever, maintained since. What little asphalt exists has wasted away next to nothing, leaving up to 2" rocks standing up glued to the weathered asphalt remaining underneath.  It rattles the cars and RV's traversing it something awful.  It's not quite as bad riding a bike on it since the speed hitting these rough surfaces is lower, but it is NOT fun pedaling along with your teeth rattling along with everything else on the bike or trike, watching for the even worse potholes and gaps as well as watching for stuff on the bike to fall off and bounce off into the cacti and dust.
What's a bit funny is that the awful pavement belongs to California, along whose border this BLM area lies.  When the roads cross into AZ property, they are much better maintained.  What the cat-hair does CA do with all those high taxes they impose on everyone?
There are places closer to Yuma and civilization that cost more money, but we're beginning to think it might be worth it.  Long term BLM visitor permits  cost $180 for a 3-month pass, which is next to free since the pass includes permission to get fresh water, dump USED gray and black water as well as trash.  But what paved roads exist are terrible and it's really a pain to ride or drive anywhere to get mail, go visit RV Heaven (Walmart), etc.
The silly reason for today's silly title is that there are actually feral donkeys (burros, actually) that forage out here, and they occasionally wander through the camping areas willy-nilly.  Most visitors have seen them, but we have yet to encounter any, except for an unfortunate one lying along highway 95 between here and Yuma that was busted open for the birds and buzzards to enjoy.  Supposedly it was shot by some unthoughtful passerby and left there for several weeks.  It is long gone, obviously cleaned up by BLM or maybe even highway workers.  We KNOW live ones exist by their piles of poop scattered all over creation, some fresh, much of it ancient.
The weather locally is suddenly and dramatically getting warmer and even HOT, with forecast temperatures in the high 80's today, and upper fifties and low sixties overnight.  Thus the crowds of winter sojourners are thinning out, we in the next couple weeks as well.
As I walk the dogs around I am unable to resist visiting vacated campsites.  About half of the RV'ers leave a bit of trash behind, some leave a few scraps of firewood, and some leave behind what must be termed RV Rock Art.... One nearby place has what appears to be a large iron cross outlined in the ground with arranged rocks.  Another has a cartoon man character outlined in rock:
As I view this photo now,  I'm thinking it resembles Santa Claus.  Oh Well.
Ride Started:  11:15 AM    Ride Ended:  12:32 PM
Ending Battery Voltage:   13.3  
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  7.07 
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed   

4.2 MPH                                 5.7 MPH                     21.6 MPH 
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time  

1 hour 41  mins                     1 hour 14 mins            26 minutes

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Riding without Recording

I've been riding several days a week out here in Desert-RV-Land, but for some odd reason I have trouble finding time to blog about it.
I suppose with such short rides lately I have trouble being enthused about sharing them with anybody.
We'll be back in NM for a couple weeks or so in another couple weeks.  I'll see if blogging can again be accomplished.
For now I'll post a couple screenshots from the bicycle GPS.

See what I mean?  Less than 2 miles for itty bitty trash runs isn't much.  I'll get fat and die if I don't repent soon.
Another factor is the lack of radio relays for the GPS/APRS tracking.  North of Yuma there isn't much in the way of infrastructure, cell phone  coverage included.

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