Monday, November 14, 2016

Two Monday Riders, With Guide Dogs

Today's track courtesy of Ham Radio and the GPS

Finally took a decent photo of my new fairing on the Catrike :

I wouldn't mind the fairing being a bit taller on top, so as to deflect more air away from the eyes and face, but for the price I paid this one is FABULOUS.
I cut up a small load of firewood today and stopped about 1 PM and asked Jacque if she wanted to go for a trike ride too, and she did indeed, so we loaded up both Catrikes into the junk trailer and took them down to the paved road for a non-destructive  ride.  Tinkerbell rode with Jacque and Lilly rode in the belly-pack papoose carrier with me.
We again fully realize trying to ride the road-shoulder after 3 or 4 PM is an exercise in frustration.  The traffic was horrible with unending lines of cars rushing around us to get home from work.  Many out here in the East Mountains work at Sandia Labs and other government related jobs meaning the "Rush Hour" starts early compared to a typical 9 to 5 crowd.  No one endangered us at any time but it's still unnerving to have such a huge number of cars roaring by.
Temperature-wise it was a bit cool outside, and as the sun began to set about 4:30 it of course got noticeably cooler.  By the time we got back to the Exploder and trailer I was rather chilled, in spite of having Lilly tucked up close to me on my chest while we rode.  I should have stopped and put on the wind-breaker, which would have improved life for both Lilly and me.  I was in too much of a hurry to stop and dig it out of the pannier.

Ride Started: 3:41 PM    Ride Ended:  4:47 PM
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  9.31
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
8.6 MPH                               7.6 MPH                   32.0 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 6 mins                       1 hour 1 mins             5 minutes

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Me, Myself, and a Dog Named ... Lilly

Today's East Mountain Tracking

I thought I had me a title to a song there for a minute, but it didn't play out.
Today involved a Ham Radio Swapmeet at the Intel Parking lot in Rio Rancho.  I didn't have anything to sell or buy but the main reason I went was to meet up with the fellow who sold me my Catrike back in August: He had found a fairing for the trike he had never installed and wanted to give it to me! Whoo-Hooo....
It turned out to be surprisingly small but it's cute.
I found it had only a simple bracket and a couple hose clamps to tie it down with, and surprisingly enough, it actually fit the bike without modification.  It looks too tight to allow feet to clear while pedaling but it works fine, although I think I will add some extenders eventually to increase clearance for my big feet and different size shoes I occasionally wear.
It only took maybe half an hour to get it satisfactorily mounted.  Of course I had to take it for a ride to see how it felt.  I didn't really notice a whole lot of difference, but it does seem to deflect some of the headwind out of my face & feet, though I didn't notice any radical improvement in average (or otherwise) speeds.
I note from the GPS speeds that I may have picked up a wee bit of speed with this widget.  Time and future rides will tell.

I've often wanted to try a fairing or windshield on my other bikes but they are normally super expensive, unless you buy your own plexiglass sheet and fab your own.  This is a real treat to get this one.  Such a Deal.
Lilly seemed to like it too, since she rides strapped to my chest in a papoose-liked harness.  Going down hills with a stiff breeze in the face normally overrides her doggie enjoyment of wind-in-the-face, and now with the fairing in place she tends to duck her head ever so slightly to hide below the slipstream off the fairing.

Ride Started: 2:17 PM    Ride Ended:  3:39 PM
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  9.42
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
 6.28 MPH                               7.6 MPH                   30.25 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 22 mins                      1 hour 11 mins            11 minutes

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thursday's Cool Ridings

Today's Cool Track

The only progress I made on my full-cord wood crib was to sort and stack the wood already thrown inside.  I want the wood tightly stacked so I can claim it as an accurate cord of wood.

By the time I got that organized it was getting on into the afternoon.  I wanted to get in a trike ride before exhausting myself chainsawing up more wood, so I layered up and loaded up the Catrike into the trailer and hauled it down to the pavement.
It had been sunny most of the day and not bitterly cold but it wasn't very warm either.  When I got saddled up and riding I was glad I had put on the long sleeved wicking body-shirt since I never got overheated at all and actually got cold  in a few areas, especially my feet.  I wore leather shoes today to help ward off the cold feet and thankfully so.
I decided to try a route up hill and down dale that I haven't ridden in quite a while, around Vallecitos to old Route 66 and then at Zuzax getting on the north side of the frontage road - over to Gutierrez Canyon road and back north on that less-traveled road to Frost, not far from whence I started from.
The hills are much steeper on this route, and I was soon reminded why I don't ride it much.  The road surfaces for a few miles are extremely rough with either narrow or NO shoulders, making it frustrating for passing motorists.  Since I had started so late, too close to 5 PM, there was considerable going-home traffic to dodge.  But, as usual, it was a fun ride anyway.
I ran low on blood glucose about halfway around the mountain, and had to dig into my stash of chocolate chip oatmeal bars.  They were so old they were barely edible.  The first one was easily digested but the second one I dug out of my pannier was so old and hard and dry it was like chewing  a stick of wood.  I was finally able to get it chewed up and down the hatch, but I'm going to dig through my bags and panniers and throw 'em out if they are more than a couple months old.  The wrapper keeps them safe but too many months really takes the appeal out of 'em.
By the time I got back to the exploder and trailer, it was close to dark-thirty and even colder.  Maybe I'll finish filling the wood crib sometime next week.  Hopefully the snow won't be too deep by then :O)

Ride Started: 2:32 PM    Ride Ended:  4:29 PM
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  12.17
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
 5.8 MPH                               6.8 MPH                   33.3 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 57 mins                      1 hour 47 mins            10 minutes

A Non Political Bike Ride

Tracking courtesy of GPS, APRS, and Ham Radio

Jacque and I again did the 2-trike ride on Wednesday, yesterday.
We enjoy riding the big heavy Terratrike Tandem Pro but it's slow and hard going up hills.
We love our individual Catrikes which allow us to zip around, turn tight corners, etc, but we get separated while riding since Jacque is a slower pedaler and she insists on me going on ahead and "Not wait for her".
Then, after getting too far ahead and losing sight of her, I start to worry and usually turn around and ride back to intercept her to make sure she's not broke down or stopped for anything unusual.
We rode the short-but-intense ride to the Post Office and thence on up to the Shell Station for the usual soda & snack.
The weather is starting to feel closer to winter conditions, but BEAUTIFUL sunny days in spite of cool breezes.  I didn't wear anything but the disgusting baby-barf-incandescent yellow/green eyecatcher tee shirt, and the only time I got a bit too cool was coasting the mile or so downhill coming back from the Post Office.
At almost 30 MPH the cool air had a bit of a bite to it.
It is cold enough in the evenings and mornings that we are burning at least small fires in the wood stove AM and PM, so I still feel the imperative to bust up as much firewood as possible before snow flies.  My 1-cord wood crib is now about a third full, and as soon as we returned from our ride I changed into even grubbier clothes, mashed the earplugs into my ears, put on the steel toed boots, and drove over to a deadfall just past our house that I cut out of the roadway a couple years ago and is now well seasoned enough to put through the stove for heat.  There was more wood there than I had time to finish, since the sun started going down about 5 PM (Thank you, Congress, for playing with our Clocks!).  I plan to get out there again today to finish cutting that pile up to stove length and then go looking for more deadfalls I can cut up.
Lots of dead Pinon trees all over the place.  I wonder if Pinon will survive as a tree species out here in the Southwest since the bark beetles seem to show no sign of dying off or even slowing down their slaughter.
Oh, yeah.  I just noticed in my last entry about us going to the Hacksaw Ridge movie.
The verdict:  We LOVED the movie and its portrayal of a man believing in God and refusing to fight in WWII, yet becoming a war hero without firing a shot.
Caveat:  It is an intensely bloody gory film, but you will still need some Kleenex to get through it.  We highly recommend it.

Ride Started: 1:32 PM    Ride Ended:  3:14 PM
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  6.14
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
 5.7 MPH                               7.5 MPH                   31.2 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hours 42 mins                    1 hour 4 mins            40 minutes

Monday, November 7, 2016

Monday is a Good Day to Start the Week

Today's Track of Familiar Paths

Instead of exhausting myself cutting firewood today, I thought I'd do me a trike ride first.  Especially since it was such a beautiful sunny day after several days of soggy clouds and intermittent rain.
I rode close to 13 miles, and now that I'm cooled off I feel like I have enough energy left to whack up some more firewood.
We've been burning wood in the stove to take the morning chill off the house for several days.  It hasn't been cool enough to burn up any substantial amount of wood but I'm still convinced we will soon have some down home real life nasty winter weather, and I'm trying to make hay (Firewood, that is) while the sun shines and the weather is wonderful.
My Catrike exhibits a low grumbling  noise at speed, and I haven't yet tracked it down.  I'm becoming convinced the rear cassette may be running dry and in need of a fresh lube.  Taking the rear drive wheel apart is not a definition of fun, but my plan is to actually DO IT today.  The right disk brake howls at certain speeds, too, also needing adjustment.  That is, if there is sufficient daylight left after we get back from Albuquerque watching the movie Hacksaw Ridge .
Stay tuned for a review....
Ride Started: 10:29 AM    Ride Ended:  12:36 PM
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  12.88
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
 7.5 MPH                               8.5 MPH                   31.7 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
2 hours 7 mins                      1 hour 52 mins           15 minutes

Saturday, October 29, 2016

TORA TORA TORA (Trike On Road Again)

Today's 12-Mile Tracking

I started the day's publicly acceptable activities by splitting a large log section with my sore-back-generating hand maul splitter.  Then I ran the chainsaw cutting down some more juniper trees for next year's wood stockpile, and after a bit of this I was bushed.  I hauled the split wood up to my full-cord wood crib next to the front porch and then had to sit down and rest and drink unleaded root beer, meaning diet.
I was still bushed after resting a while  but - having skipped riding yesterday - wanted to ride at least a few miles in futile attempts to keep my belly back behind my belt where it belongs.  My back was really talking to me after swinging that maul but I thought perhaps the reclining seat of the recumbent trike would help the old backbone and butt to relax.
I loaded the new-used Catrike into the trailer and hauled it down to the pavement and took off.  First I rode west up the hill to the Post Office, figuring if I was too worn out from woodcutting I would call it quits after that short ride.  This Catrike is much lighter than any other 2- or 3- wheeler I've previously ridden and, coupled with its easy-shifting 27 gear combinations, it's much easier to pull long hills and such.  It's a little squirrely at speed since it has very touchy steering with lots of oversteer but that's supposedly very common with short trikes.  I'm getting better at the "lighter touch" on the steering handles and really like the ride.
My back didn't get any better on the ride to the PO and back, but it didn't hurt any worse either, and I decided to keep on riding farther east to do my "normal loop" of about 10 miles in addition to the Post Office trip.  The wind was kicking up a bit but it wasn't terrible and did not interfere with a very enjoyable ride.

Ride Started: 12:22 PM    Ride Ended:  2:36 PM
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  13.0
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
 7.6 MPH                               8.0 MPH                   32.1 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
2 hours 14 mins                    1 hour 42 mins           31 minutes

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

10 Miles with 2 Trikes

Today's Tracking via GPS and Ham Radio

I finally got my GPS, ham radio, and wiring harness for battery supply, antenna feedline, and helmet earphone and microphone installed on my "New" used Catrike Road this morning.  I thought I had it finished yesterday but got rained out  before Lilly and I got even halfway to the pavement of Frost Road.  When I first went out this morning, thinking to make a quick getaway, I realized I had not yet installed the wiring harness for the transmit switch to mount on the right handlebar nor the connection for the helmet harness.  That didn't take long to remedy, though, and I was ready to go in less than an hour.  Jacque decided she was in the mood for a ride as well, so we loaded up both trikes, hers and mine, on the junk trailer and loaded every other necessity for a ride.  Water, snacks, harnesses and seat-pads for the doggies, etc; the basic necessities of life on a bike.
Jacque  could have easily hauled both doggies in her side-by-side saddle-baskets, she's done it before, but I wanted to try Lilly again in the belly harness. 
All worked fairly well and 'twas a lovely day for a ride in the country, por cierto.
Lilly is a whiner and a crybaby, though.  If she's not being petted and spoiled while traveling she tends to whine and beg and drive everyone within earshot absolutely bonkers.  So today she drove ME bonkers for about half the ride, after which her whining mechanism seemed to dwindle in strength and she was calm and quiet most of the ride back towards  home, not even getting excited when the inevitable snarling dog came running up to the fences in full alarm-cry.
We were all fairly tuckered by the time we got back to the Exploder and trailer, but we realized we still had time to hurriedly  clean up and make it to the movie "I'm Not Ashamed" in Albuquerque.  This was a film based on a true story of one of the first victims of the Columbine High School shootings.  We loved the film and highly recommend it, with one caveat:  Make sure you have Kleenex handy.
It does NOT go into the gory details of the carnage, but it gets a wonderful message across:  Heavenly Father loves us all.
As usual, no close encounters or dangerous incidents occurred.  Great riding weather, and it ain't gonna last forever.....
The geek-stuff on the trike worked fine, as seen by the path reported by its GPS and radio transmitter.  I have a few small parts on order to duplicate the setup on the other bikes, but for now this one will do.  The trike is much lighter, has more gears, and cruises faster on top end and zips up hills much faster than my other bikes:  It's very low slung and LIGHT.

Ride Started: 1:05 PM    Ride Ended:  2:56 PM
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  10.05
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
 6.28 MPH                             8.0 MPH                   28.5 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 51 mins                      1 hour 38 mins           13 minutes