Saturday, July 23, 2016

Flat Coke, Yuck

Today's Trip Tracking via APRS, GPS, and Ham Radio

Our Swamp Cooler on our house roof got new pads last week but has been performing quite poorly in the cool air department.
Jacque set to making me a couple of short sleeve white dress shirts today and the heat and stuffiness in her sewing room was making for slow progress.
So, I alighted upon the roof and set to myself, seeing what might be the problem.
Turns out the several-year-old V-shaped water trays on top of each pad assembly were all plugged.  They have slots to allow water to spread out on each pad, and they were plugged with both shards of aspen fibers as well as sediment gunk from our hard water.  I cleaned them as best I could, shook the gunk out of them, and enlarged each slot so more water could soak through.
Almost immediate improvement was the result.  Jacque cooled off and was much happier in the sewing cave, so I saddled up and went for a bike ride, of course.
By then it was eleven-ish and the sun up very high so it was NOT cool outside, but it was a fun ride anyhow.
Days like this make you glad there's breeze and wind, to help keep the arm-pits from overflowing too much.
This was the first ride on my newly installed Terratrike seat fabric, and it was very nice, thank you.
The new corners are double reinforced and don't scare me every time I hit a bump, worrying the fabric might rip and dump me.
A friend's family is building a  new house right on the corner of the loop I take for most of these rides so I stopped to critique their progress.  They are doing a great deal of work themselves, adults and kids, and they are making great progress. 

I snatched this picture of them all dirty and sweaty from their labors, but The Grime did NOT interfere with their good looks.
On the way home I encountered a non furry friend.
As you can see, since he was just a large Bull snake and not a rattler, I didn't try to kill OR relocate him.
I wish he lived in our storage shed so he could keep the blasted rats and mice killed off.
Since my sweet wife has a phobia about snakes of ANY sort, and this guy was just outside the property line, I just watched him for a few minutes before he woke up and noticed me and departed off the road into the tree line.  I rode on up to the house without further disturbing him.
Oh, Yeah, I almost forgot the reason for today's title "Flat Coke".  When I got home I was a bit loopy and checked my blood sugar.  I had [again] forgotten to back off my insulin pump's basal level while riding and my blood glucose clocked in at 43.  So, being thirsty and dry in addition to being low on sugar, I dragged out a 2-year old plastic 12-oz. bottle of Real Coke (we normally drink only diet stuff around here).  I poured it into my ice mug without a trace of fizz or bubble and forced it down.  For those who have experienced it, Coke with no Fizz isn't much of ANYTHING.  It's kinda nasty and blah, but at least it did elevate my blood glucose back into the human level... Then I was able to pour in a nice diet A&W Root beer with LOTS of fizz and enjoyed a good burp.  Or three

Ride Started: 11:19 AM    Ride Ended:  1:04 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   11.8   Ending Voltage: 11.1  Lowest:  11.1 (Left my GOOD battery pack in Town, this is an AA nicad pack Solar-charging during the ride)
Lowest Temp  87 F      Highest Temp:  100 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles: 10.68
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   6.1 MPH                             8.2 MPH                   30.3 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 44 mins                       1 hour 17 mins            26  minutes

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Don't She look Great On a Bicycle Built for Two

The Evening Ride's Tracking

Jacque took her Catrike to the Therapy Center Wednesday to show her therapist what she wanted to ride and see if she could get "official approval" for riding such things.  The therapist was duly impressed and told her she could ride recumbent trikes "As Much as She Wanted to".  So she was torqued about taking a tandem ride all afternoon.  I've gotten addicted to riding in the morning before the sun gets up while it's coolest so I talked her into waiting at least until the sun started to go down for a LITTLE bit of cooling from the hot afternoon.
I'm very impressed and proud of her - Knee Replacement 5 weeks ago and now riding Pedal-Powered machines without complaint.  5-plus miles, including some mild hill climbing.
The weather was warm at this time of day but not terribly hot. In other words we survived.
I got some video, will see if any of it is fit to post.

Ride Started: 6:36 PM    Ride Ended:  7:44 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.0   Ending Voltage: 12.9  Lowest:  12.9 (Solar-charging Still during the day)
Lowest Temp  82 F      Highest Temp:  86 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles: 5.53
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   4.8 MPH                             6.2 MPH                   20.2 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 9 mins                         53  minutes                16  minutes

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

How About a Half-Hour Ride?

Today's Tracking Actually Worked

Yesterday I noticed my GPS/Ham Radio tracker reported NOTHING at all during the Monday Morning Ride, and found the antenna connection had separated.  I repaired it and today it seems to be back to working the way it's supposed to.
This morning I wanted to get back in a more timely fashion so I decided to see how far I could get in a HALF hour before returning to base.  Which really translates to a one hour ride; the half hour applies to coming and going.
Except coming back is a bit messier and slower.  But I made it almost 5 miles, which makes for almost a ten-miler for the day, haw haw.
Jacque brought her single seat Catrike Pocket back from home to the office and has been riding it around the parking lot in the evenings after work.  It likely will not be long before she's back in the back seat of this tandem trike I've been riding by myself so much recently.  Cycling again seems to be helping her knee replacement to heal and build strength.
I rode off forgetting my GoPro again this morning so no video again, lucky reader(s).

Ride Started: 5:22 AM    Ride Ended:  6:44 AM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.2   Ending Voltage: 12.9  Lowest:  12.9 (Solar-charging Still during the day)
Lowest Temp  67 F      Highest Temp:  71 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles: 8.53
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   6.4 MPH                             7.0 MPH                   20.5 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 19 mins                      1 hour 12 minutes         7  minutes

Monday, July 18, 2016

Can't Go Far in 1 Hour but Need to Go Anyways

No Tracking from this morning.  I didn't realize until just now when I went to look at the link to track the trike there was NOTHING this morning, in spite of more than an hour's ride.  I just got back in the air conditioned RV after repairing another broken antenna connection at the feedpoint, a common failure with J pole antennsa.  Oh Well.  Maybe Manana.....
I awoke promptly at 5 AM this morning and loafed only a few minutes before saddling up to ride but, again, was aghast at how much time I'd wasted getting READY to roll:  It was a quarter to 6 before I actually pedaled away into the short lived darkness.
I actually remembered the GoPro vid-cam today but will have to see about processing it down enough to squeeze in a few clips into this blog entry. VOILA:  Actually got a mini-video of this morning's ride...

Just a few minutes later starting out meant a noticeable increase in early morning traffic, but it still was quiet enough I only had to wait less than a minute to get across Jefferson into the southbound bike lane and get the quarter mile or so southward to the diversion channel bike-path entry.
The construction crews have had the bike trail underpass for Osuna blocked off for months now, and I've been fighting my way up to the dangerously busy intersection of Chappel and Osuna to take the longish detou7r across Osuna.  Today  I decided to widen the gap in the barriers by hand, if necessary, to allow my trike to get through and thus avoid the Osuna vehicular cross traffic.  With careful jockeying I found I could get through the barriers without any "barrier adjustment" at all, thus increasing the enjoyment of this stretch of riding immensely.
I thought to myself that I'd just ride as far as I could until 6:30 and then turn around, which actually worked out well today.  I was able to get all the way alongside Paseo Del Norte to the Bosque Trail entrance, and then down almost 3 or so miles before the 6:30 return-to-earth dictum.
It was 7:40-ish or so by the  time I got back for my shave & shower, and almost exactly 9 AM by the time I appeared in the doorway for work.

Ride Started: 5:36 AM    Ride Ended:  7:40 AM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.2   Ending Voltage: 12.5  Lowest:  12.5
Lowest Temp  64 F      Highest Temp:  67 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles: 12.96
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   .6.1 MPH                             7.2 MPH                   20.1 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
2 hours 7 mins                      1 hour 48 minutes         18  minutes

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Things Done Today

I did not get any bike riding done today, Saturday, though I had sorta planned for one around noonish.
Instead, I put a new fabric seat on my recumbent 2-wheeler bike, which is a nice change.
It was so warm out that I drug the bike up on the deck under the shade of the deck roof, which was still uncomfortably warm but not as bad as out in the sunshine.
I should have taken "Before" pictures of the old seat, but here are 2 pictures of the new seat:

This bike is home built - by someone else I bought it from - but the seat may well be a Terratrike seat since this Terratrike replacement fabric fit it even better than the job I recently did on the Terratrike storebought trike.  It was so hot and stuffy today by the time I got through with the seat I was in no mood to ride anywhere, though of course I did sit in the seat to see how it felt, and it felt great.  Well worth the 60-something bucks it cost for the fabric from Terratrike.  The previous seat I stitched myself from sail mesh, and it took a lot of cutting, lacing, and all kinds of grief.  THIS seat cover clips on with multiple snap-together straps, which are then pulled tight to fit the seat.  Maybe a 20-minute job, once the old seat was removed, which took a lot longer.
About the middle of this project it was getting so hot I decided to interrupt it and replace the pads in our swamp cooler on the roof.  I was glad I did, since the old ones were full of scale and gunk.  After I got them all replaced, I immediately turned on the water pump and the swamp blower motor and wondered why the house wasn't cooling off.  After about an hour I decided to check the temperature difference inside vs. outside the house.  I was mildly shocked to find the outside temp was 97 degrees on one side of the house, 99 on the other.  The inside temperature?  77 degrees, which didn't feel all that cool, UNLESS I just came in from outside.   There's only so much a swamp cooler can do, and a 20 degree drop ain't that bad.
It was a scorcher today, and I have to be glad we didn't spend the entire day in Albuquerque where it's normally at least 10 degrees hotter than our 6800 foot altitude at the casa.
I also did all the laundry today since Jacque was in town all day for an embroidery hoo-hah.
Then I pulled weeds in the front yard and moved several wheelbarrows of wood chips over to a patch of weeds sprouting up in the middle of our so-called xeriscaped yard section.  Then I buried a bucket of slop in the compost pile down the hill from the house.  I replaced the missing yellow bug lamp out on the front porch, plus cleaned up the firewood still piled helter-skelter on the front deck.
No wonder I'm pooped.  Although it pains me to remember back when I was a young punk such a low level of exertion would not have fazed me at all.  Oh Well. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016


Today's Tracking via Ham Radio & GPS
I managed to wake up at 4:55 AM today so I was able to find time for another short ride.
In spite of being repetitive, I again found it very satisfying to be out cruising around under my own steam.
Jacque's knee surgery recovery is coming along well, so we expect to be riding together again (of course, even shorter rides for the immediate future) in another week or so.
I encountered quite a few other riders this morning.  They're probably more regular than I am.
I have to laugh at our human sense of "caste" amongst cyclists.  As with automobiles, it often seems the more expensive the ride, the snootier the owner.  About 1 out of 3 or 4 fellow cyclists will wave or pass a greeting of any sort, and the upper crusts of we pedalers don't even look at passersby, nor waste the breath for a greeting.  Oh Well.  Even if no other cyclist was ever friendly, it doesn't hurt ME to wave and say HI to EVERYbody.  It's fun and invigorating to ride so that's the focus for this old fart.
As I went through the stoplight at Edith I noticed the bike trail forked onto a sidewalk leading into the RailRunner station.  I foolishly took the detour "just to see how far and where it went".  It "went" maybe 100 yards and stopped dead at the edge of the parking lot.  Stop, pick up the rear of the trike, turn it around so I could ride back out..... BAH.
Spotted only one hot air balloon in the air this morning, but it was a special shape balloon.... I think it's supposed to be Humpty Dumpty flying upside down with his feet in the air.

Ride Started: 5:26 AM    Ride Ended:  6:42 AM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.2   Ending Voltage: 12.5  Lowest:  12.5 (Solar-charging the battery during the day doesn't seem to be keeping  it as charged as I  prefer)
Lowest Temp  64 F      Highest Temp:  67 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles: 7.19
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   .65 MPH                             6.7 MPH                   16.7 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 17 mins                      1 hour 4 minutes         12  minutes

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Tuesday Travel Track

Another thrilling day out on the early morning trail
I decided to try riding north on Jefferson up to Balloon Fiesta Park and then around to the diversion trail back down to the office.
There is a nice bike lane at Jefferson and Osuna so all was well -- at first.  When I got maybe a mile north, the bike lane abruptly ended with one of Albuquerque's famous abrupt endings, pointing the hapless cyclist first up on the stupid sidewalk, then across the intersection at Journal Center to take oneself around the loop back west across to the diversion channel trail.  Traffic was still fairly light so I just continued riding in the slow inside lane on Jefferson, humping like crazy around the more dangerous curves when I could see headlights approaching from the reat.  Still very few cars and none came dangerously close to me, and most changed lanes when passing to allow me "ownership" of the lane I was in.
Finally got up to Balloon Fiesta Park at the north end of Jefferson, where I was rudely reminded of facts I used to know years ago when I commuted this route daily: The city, in its ever-infinite wisdom, keeps the street blocked that directly connects Jefferson to Balloon Fiesta Parkway.  So I only had to ride another hundred yards or so around Honeywell and make a sharp left turn.   Again, the entry to Balloon Fiesta Park and its bike trail was blocked, but this time the gates had just enough gap that I could ride carefully between them.  Then all I had to do was the usual jackknife operation getting across the intersection at Chappel and Osuna to get back on the bike trail.  Albuquerque bike trails are designed for bikes only, not different varieties of people powered vehicles like trikes and recumbents.

Ride Started: 5:28 AM    Ride Ended:  6:39 AM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.2   Ending Voltage: 12.9  Lowest:  13.2 (This results from solar-charging the battery during the day, we'll see if it's enough to keep it charged)
Lowest Temp  63 F      Highest Temp:  66 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  8.14
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   6.5 MPH                            7.1 MPH                   18.2 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 15 mins                      1 hour 8 minutes         7  minutes