Sunday, September 28, 2014

Kissing my Sister

Well, I didn't really kiss my sister, I just took her for a ride on our Terratrike while visiting up here in Utah.
Her knees are in terrible shape and she endures a lot of  pain when walking and standing. We've been encouraging her to try a trike for therapy - as so many people have found to be helpful.
We only went 4 miles but she seemed to enjoy it a lot, without  getting crippled up from the short joyride - and even though we had to pedal strenuously up several mild grades.
We were quite disappointed with this area's "Rail-toTrail" route, as there are uncut curbs cyclists  are forced to cross while dismounted, and the crossings of streets are blocked on both sides by gates designed to keep out 4-wheelers and motorcycles.... and unfortunately work quite well at obstructing tandems and 3-wheeler trikes also.
We managed to shoe-horn ourselves and the rig through several such  blockages but often having to clip the edges of several goat-head patches on the edge of the pavement at such crossings.  We finally tired of such nonsense and turned onto the vehicle-populated streets and rode back to her house without incident.
It's been raining on  and off regularly these last few days but it  mostly dried up today so we enjoyed  our after-church ride.
Ride Started: 3:51 PM    Ride Ended:  5:30 PM
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  3.99
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  2.1 MPH                               5.0 MPH                    16.3 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 53 mins                       48 mins                    1 hour 5 minutes 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Road Dirt and Grasshopper Guts

Today's Admittedly Brief Tracking

Today's entry title came to me while I was scrubbing my face with a warm wet washcloth just moments ago after coming home from our Saturday ride.
Today is Jacque's birthday, which means we celebrated yesterday by going to the State Fair and attending Jacque's favorite fair activity:  The Draft Horse Pulls.  Sometimes her birthday falls on the exact day of the horse-pulls and sometimes not. 
Horse-Pulling meant we did not go for a ride yesterday.  We did walk around a lot, looking at our favorite fair displays, such as Robert Duck's Racing Ducks , and of course eating our mandatory Navajo Taco at the Navajo Cafe in the so-called Indian Village.  The Navajo Taco was by far the healthiest thing we ate while there.  Also ice cream at the dairy barn, Texas Taters, the deadly bag of miniature fresh-fried donuts.....
We decided, yesterday, while ingesting all this illegal food, that we should go for a ride today to burn some of the carbs off.  So we did.
We had lots needing doing the rest of the day so we planned just a short ride 5 miles or so out and 5 or so miles back.
This summer has been an unusually wet summer for us, with lots of too-tall weeds ..... and probably related to all the weeds, kazillions of grasshoppers seemingly covering the ground and filling the skies.  Not that big of a plague, of course, but every few feet on the pavement are mating and crawling hoppers, and they are fleet on their feet and wings.  Several times one splatted its way inside my shirt and sleeves, and of course we splatted a few of them as we rolled down the road.  We notice that even at 30 MPH downhill with a screaming tailwind it's not fast enough to outrun the little (AND Big) buggers.  Matter of fact, at speed, they positively hurt as they smack against you like pebbles of various sizes.
We spotted a moving sale in a yard we passed so Jacque had to go shopping.  After all, it was HER birthday.  What could  be more fitting than garage sale-ing by bike?  Or Trike?
AND - we (Yeah, I went inside and bought a couple items too) bought some stuff, and had to run the cycle back to the SUV so we could go back with a motorized vehicle to retrieve our purchased treasures. 
Had we known we would be adding to our stocks of worldly goods, we could have towed the bike trailer with the trike and foregone the ignominy of using the gas-powered vehicle.  Oh Well.

Ride Started: 11:52 AM    Ride Ended:  1:49 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:  13.2       Ending Voltage: 12.9
Lowest Temp  71 F      Highest Temp:  84 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  9.30
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  3.8 MPH                               7.3 MPH                    34 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
2 hours 27 mins                     1 hour 16 mins          1 hour 10 minutes

Thursday, September 18, 2014

You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Odile

 Today's Very Very Short Tracking
Where in the world did someone find a name like "Odile" with which  to name a hurricane?  Just Curious.
Yesterday - Wednesday - It rained and drizzled and misted all day.  So we didn't do anything interesting or go anywhere.
About 5:00 PM, when we had to get ready for a meeting, we were aghast to notice the skies had cleared, only the mildest haze was still visible, and things were drying up.  In short, great weather for a bike/trike ride in the country.  Except we had a meeting we couldn't get out of.  BAH
The weather-guessers had forecast such soupy weather for the next several days, including today, as Hurricane Odile, or the sloppy remnants thereof, swooshed over our state on its way away from drowning southern Arizona this last week.
Such was our surprise to awaken this morning to blue clear skies, as George Strait would sing.  Sunshine a-plenty and hardly a cloud in the sky.  We talked about doing a together ride on the tandem trike until Jacque received a screaming phone call that her buddy Phyllis had just won the "Best of Show" and blue ribbon awards for her Navajo Code Talker Quilt at the New Mexico State Fair.  So Jacque was suddenly in a fever, and she and Phyllis took off for the Fair and pictures and another Navajo Taco without yours truly.
ME?  I took off on a ride all by myself....... with the 2 micro doggies Jazzy and Tink.
Tink rode in the basket behind my seat and Jazzy rode in the belly-hanger papoose-carrier harness strapped to me in front.  The added weight wasn't as bad as feared but I DID notice it climbing the steep hills a bit more sluggish than usual.
Since Jacque and Phyllis were whooping it up at the State Fair I though we had plenty of time to do at least a 20-miler and I had considered earlier doing the 30+ miles around the South Mountain loop but it was not to be.  I had driven Jacque down to Tijeras to meet Phyllis so they could scram to Albuquerque together so when I got the cell phone call at 12:47 PM, barely 3 miles into my ride, I had to turn around and go get the carrito again to go pick her up..... except it turned out she didn't need picking up, just a delivery boy service to Phyllis's casita so Jacque and she could continue working on their projects together.
It was still a beautiful day for a ride.  As usual, leaving late cost me in available time FOR the ride.
Ride Started: 12:10 PM    Ride Ended:  1:17 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:  13.9       Ending Voltage: 13.1
Lowest Temp  71 F      Highest Temp:  84 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  4.95
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  4.2 MPH                               7.3 MPH                    29.4 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 10 mins                       41 mins                     29 minutes

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Night Riders

Surprisingly Good East Mountain Tracking Today

Jacque and I had planned to do an Albuquerque Bosque Trail Evening Ride yesterday but as we started into town we ran into rain and got reports over the ham radio that it was raining and sparking lightning in Albuquerque.  So we regretfully turned around and came home and put the trike under the deck to shelter it from the rain.
What was even more frustrating was the wonderful sunny day that had preceded the later afternoon thunderstorm.  We missed some perfect riding weather earlier in the day for a storm that gathered later to wipe out our riding ambitions.
Today I was determined to get in a decent ride before any storms could wipe out such plans.  Unfortunately, we awoke to very cloudy and gloomy skies.... but thankfully it cleared up somewhat later in the morning, without rain.  I decided to chance a ride after looking around the skies and deciding I might be able to get in a ride between the surrounding cloudiness.  (Jacque had gone into town for several shopping items.)
The clouds were mostly a blessing, providing coolness and shade.... until I got closer to Edgewood along County Line Road and Dinkle.  I felt several splatters from tentative raindrops and worried I might get soaked.  I put the steam into the pedals and got to the Mountain Valley Church at the corner of Dinkle and Mountain Valley, hoping their front overhang over their entry doors might provide shelter from the impending rain.
No such luck.....

Those front pillars on the church are just decorative and have no roof or cover whatever.
However, after walking around back of the church I discovered there is a nice carport shelter there.  Handy to know for future reference, so I saved the location in my GPS as "Church Rain Shelter".  I did not get rained on - after all - so I dallied in the parking lot for a bit eating my snack and guzzling my water bottles.
As seen in the photo, it was a bit threatening, so I considered several times the idea to cut short the ride to minimize the risk of getting soaked.  Happy I am that I foolishly continued the entire route, since I never got splatted by any raindrops again.
As I approached the last couple of miles to home, I was surprised to see the weather toward Albuquerque, over the Sandias, had cleared up, unlike yesterday.  I thought maybe Jacque might be interested in trying again for an evening Bosque ride, and sure enough, she was.
So here's the data from my first ride today on my recumbent 2-wheeler:
Ride Started: 1:14 PM    Ride Ended:  4:12 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:  13.8       Ending Voltage: 13.1
Lowest Temp  71 F      Highest Temp:  78 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  22.49
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  7.6 MPH                               9.5 MPH                    32.7 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
2 hours 58 mins                     2 hours 21 mins          36 minutes

THEN we loaded the trailer up with the tandem terratrike and fought the 5:00 westbound I-40 rush to get to Rio Grande and the Bosque Trail.  We knew it would be a late ride but we have become fond of riding this area at sundown and even after dark.
Not Quite Dark, but Close
 As we unloaded the trike and started setting it up, I was horrified to realize I had left my pannier at home, plugged in for recharging the battery that powers the GPS and radios and whatnot.  Not only that, but my bike gloves were safely home inside that pannier, as was my snack kit and blood glucose test kit.  AND riding goggles.  As you can see, I rode with naked eyes, relying heavily on the homemade yellow plastic oil-can visor to block oncoming bugs and dust.  It turned out to be pretty much OK... as far as I know I only got one bug in my eye, and considering after dark the headlamp on my helmet is a great bug-attractor, I got off lightly for my forgetfulness.  The Garmin 350 has an internal battery so I let it run on that by itself, in hopes it would record the mileage and such long enough to complete the trip.  It did, fortunately.
Jacque and I were surprised at the number of cyclists we encountered well after it got totally dark.... and they ALL had red flashing tail lights and bright headlamps.  In our hundreds of prior rides in the dusk or dark, we've encountered riders smoking along with NO lights or even reflective clothing.  Tonight everyone we encountered had lights, even the walkers.  Good Stuff for safety and lack of stress and all that.
One small problem also encountered:  My pannier had my extra carb-snacks, and I only had a ziplok baggie with 3 homebrew chocolate chip cookies and ONE 29-carb power bar with me on my person.  About 5 miles up the Bosque Trail, I had no way to check my glucose but I was feeling very wobbly.  So I ate my cookies.... and still felt even more wobbly, so I also ate my sole power bar.  That got me out of the doldrums and we were able to resume honking along, but on the return leg I got awfully low on energy again and really struggled making the last several miles.  Was I ever happy to see the lights of Central and Tingley Beach as we rolled up to resume travel home in the petroleum-burner.
Since I had no battery pack to run the radios, I got no tracking.  All I have for the second leg of my day's self-powered miles is the GPS data.
Trike Ride Started: 7:15 PM    Ride Ended:  9:20 PM
Stats from the GPS:               Total Miles:  15.83
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  6.5 MPH                               8.2 MPH                    18.6 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
2 hours 25 mins                     1 hour 55 mins           29 minutes

So Hey.   I rode a total of 38.29 miles today.  Not a personal best but certainly something I don't accomplish every day.  Should sleep well tonight if I can find a non-sore side to lie on.....

Thursday, September 11, 2014

It Was a Dark and Storm-Free Night

Today's Thorough Tracking via APRS and Ham Radio

I didn't get much done today.  I first started up the new engine in the RV and checked the refrigerant pressure in the air conditioner system.  It checked out fine and blew good cold air.  I also let it idle sitting still for about an hour to see if it would overheat or if the radiator might drip.  All seemed to check OK.  Then I got sidetracked uploading family photos and stories to .  I planned to just spend a half hour or so, but as always when  getting into family history, time got away from me.
All this time, Jacque was in Albuquerque at the NM State Fair checking out the quilts on display (her friend Phyllis got a Blue Ribbon for her Navajo Code Talker Quilt).  They also checked out the Indian Village and the Navajo Tacos.  I was jealous to find out they had dipped into the Navajo Tacos without me.  If you've never eaten a Navajo Taco I feel sorry for you..... Google it or get to the State Fair and try one.  I'll pay your money back if you don't like it.
Back to Business.  I'd planned to do a bike ride in the morning, then early afternoon, and then of a sudden Jacque arrived home about 2:30 PM and I still hadn't gone anywhere.  Which turned out to be a good thing.  Jacque is on the South Beach Diet and feeling stuffed and guilty after eating a whole plateful of Navajo Taco and wanting to go for a ride to help burn off carbs and guilt. 
So I loaded up the tandem terratrike on the trailer and we went to town.  We have become quasi addicted to riding the Bosque Trail as the sun goes down and the shadows get cooler and longer.
Tonight was no exception, except that we rode longer and got back to the petro-powered vehicle well after dark this time.  Thankfully we have lights front and back.
Tonight there were quite a few more walkers and riders of all shapes and sizes.  Jacque is convinced passers-by are friendlier in the dusk and the dark.  I think no matter day or night everyone is smitten with our doggies, myself.
It was sunny and bright when we started riding and got really dark on the return leg of the ride.  I was starting to feel a bit off kilter as we neared the end of the ride.  As we pedaled the last half mile I noticed a weird thumping and Jacque noticed my right front tire was almost totally flat.  BAH
After we arrived and got the trike loaded back up I was shocked when I checked my blood glucose and it was 21.  Mercy.  I was surprised I was still conscious, though I have seen it as low as 16 and have never lost consciousness.  I ate my emergency snack and  let Jacque drive.  I was feeling OK but  didn't want to take any chances.

Ride Started: 5:18 PM    Ride Ended:  7:57 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:  13.2       Ending Voltage: 12.5
Lowest Temp  67 F      Highest Temp:  84 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  18.02
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  6.4 MPH                               8.8 MPH                    16.9 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
2 hours 49 mins                     2 hours 3 mins           45 minutes

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Ho-Hum, Another 10 Miles

Very Unsatisfactory Tracking Today

I finally scrounged up enough money to bail our RV out of hock at the repair shop today.  What with a rebuilt Factory Ford engine and the labor costing more than the engine and associated parts, it made a big dent in our piggy bank, let me tell you.
The new engine runs great and runs about half as high on the temperature guage as the cooked engine just replaced.  I drove into Albuquerque to fill up the fuel tank and see how it would run, and everything seemed OK.  The mechanic told me the radiator seemed to have a minor leak and that I should keep a close watch on it.  This radiator was cleaned and refurbished with new tank gaskets a couple weeks prior to the engine being replaced.  It appears I will have to remove it again, take it back to the radiator shoppe, and if they cannot find or fix the problem, I'll have to throw another few hundred into this bottomless money-pit for a new radiator.  BAH
By the time the RV was safely home again time was running short, as usual.  We had a meeting to attend at 7 PM, meaning we had to leave the house around 6 PM, and it was a little after 3 PM when I quickly saddled up the bike for a quick pulse-elevating ride.  I just did our currently favorite route: East on Frost Road to Mountain Valley, north to Entranosa Road, west to Tumbleweed, back south to Frost Road, and then back home.  Just enough hills to keep it interesting.

Ride Started: 3:23 PM    Ride Ended:  5:19 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:  13.2       Ending Voltage: 13.1
Lowest Temp  78 F      Highest Temp:  84 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  10.35
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  7.7 MPH                               8.8 MPH                    31.1 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 20 mins                      1 hour 10 mins           11 minutes

Monday, September 8, 2014

Rock Around the Block

Today's Fractured Track

Today was a busy day, and I almost ran out of daylight within which to sneak a bicycle ride.
First I hitched up the ever-handy flatbed trailer and jacked up my Ford 2000 tractor with my one and a half-ton floor jack, which I worried would not have the guts to do the job.  It worked nicely, even though I had to put a couple 2 X 6 planks under the jack to keep it from sinking into the dirt:
Then I was surprised I could rassle the wheel off the tractor, but had to use a chain and a come-along to get it up on the trailer.
I'd called a local mobile tire service - twice - but they never showed up nor returned my call.  So I was forced to assume they didn't want my business or were too busy to bother with me, thus the effort to do it my dernself.  The trailer delivered it nicely to  Cedar Crest Tire & Auto , who unloaded it for me lickety-split and promised to get to work on it.
Then - since the trailer was already saddled up - I drove out to Edgewood to retrieve the dead 460 Ford engine recently removed from our money-sucking RV.  The core exchange for the engine was 1100 bucks so it was well worth the trip to Albuquerque to drop off the defunct engine at Rich Ford.
Then, about an hour after I got home, Cedar Crest Tire called and said sure enough, they had my tractor tire repaired and ready to go, and at a reasonable price too.
Jacque had spent much of HER day fabricating a new shade structure for her CaTrike , and by the time I got back with the repaired tractor tire, she was ready for a test ride.  She took off and I said I'd saddle up MY bike and catch up to her.  Well, it took me another half hour or more to get going, which I could still have overcome and caught up with her, but our cutest-but-most-mischievous doggie Jazzie had eaten half a large chocolate bar she had somehow stolen off the kitchen table a couple hours earlier.  She acted innocently and showed no exterior signs of guilt, although she is the only critter that ever does such mercenary deeds.  About 4 miles down the road with Jacque, her guilt overcame her, as she began puking chocolate barf all over her basket, the chain and derailleur on Jacque's trike, and everything within range.  So Jacque had to turn around early and beat a hasty retreat back towards the house, meeting me before I had gotten the first mile from home.  We visited for a few minutes across the busy roadway, and she continued her retreat to the house and I continued a basic 10-mile loop just to get in a few miles myself.
It was late in the afternoon but the breezes were refreshingly cool enough to make it pleasant.
I was a bit low on blood glucose by the time I pushed the bike up the last couple of hills on our goat-path toward our house but all in all very glad to have done a few miles.

Ride Started: 5:19 PM    Ride Ended:  6:44 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:  13.6       Ending Voltage: 13.1
Lowest Temp  71 F      Highest Temp:  84 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  10.59
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  5.3 MPH                              6.6 MPH                    26.7 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 36 mins                      1 hour 16 mins           17 minutes