Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Few Miles on a Butt Buster

I saddled up the tandem Terratrike Pro this evening for a preplanned ride from work to the Loma Del Norte Park where we enjoy letting the dogs play in the dog park and do their business.When I started to ride away, however, the trike seemed extremely sluggish and noisy. As I glanced around to see what was the problem, I noted the left  front tire was  almost entirely FLAT.  I tried to air it up but it would not hold air..
So, I borrowed one of  the used mission bikes in our facility and rode the route with an unfamiliar upright Diamond Frame (DF) bike.
It got me there and back but it was not a pleasant ride.  The bike had recently been worked on and the seat adjustment screw was loose, allowing the seat to tilt back when I tried to find a comfortable spot to sit and pedal.  I tried tightening the screw with my Gerber pocket plier-multitool. but it only improved things slightly. The reason for the ride was to try out a Google mapped bike route  to  the dog park from our office.
This route was not too bad, though it pointed up several undesirable aspects of Albuquerque's sputtering bike-friendly attempts:
-Jefferson now has a mostly decent bike lane, although it has bollards so close together it is dangerous and sometimes impossible (for a trike) to enter the bike path off Jefferson without blocking vehicular Jefferson traffic, endangering all involved.
-Anyway, this ride took me from Jefferson to the Ellison intersection, which wasn't bad at all.
-Ellison has NO bike lane, but it was not terrible due to less traffic....
-Then, at the intersection of the East Frontage Road, Ellison, and San Antonio, the cyclist must divert off the pavement up onto the SIDEWALK at the SE corner of this intersection, which gets you started on the bike path that leads about 100 yards parallel to the Cracker Barrel parking lot, then hard-lefts to the east running parallel to San Antonio.  There was a homeless guy flopped at this left-hand right-angle bend, who was still squatted there when I came back when it was almost dark.
-Like most bike paths in Albuquerque, this one is seldom maintained and has lots of rough bumps and potholes as you pedal merrily along.
-This route had me ride all the way up to Louisiana, then turn North.  Louisiana has a mostly rideable bike lane, with the occasional stretch of rocks, trash, and gravel.
-Coming back the other way involved quite a set of risks.  At Louisiana the bike path is right on the corner, with pavement, sidewalk, and bike path all conglomerated into a small space difficult to find and navigate.  I made that with only one failed attempt, but at the bottom of the hill at the intersection of San Antonio and the dead-end of the bike path, one is forced to stop, wait for no traffic (HAH!), and carefully walk the bike ACROSS the traffic lanes so you can be found waiting in the left turn lane to get back on Ellison.  I did not manage that one so well, and likely in future will ride up into the Cracker Barrel lot and turn around and cross Ellison there with a bit of a gap away from the derned crowded intersection lower down.  The City seems to have non-cyclists designing and laying out such avenues.  I wish such officials had to ride bikes on their own creations and see just what it's like instead of bragging about how many more miles of bike paths and lanes they've accomplished.
It was only 2.8 miles each way, which won't be a bad shortie bike ride in the future on my OWN  bike  with  a  comfortable seat.
On the way back, a young lady called out to me from her car "Love your HAT!!"  - Which no doubt was  sarcasm, seeing how silly my helmet looks with  faded neck curtain, homemade plastic oil-can long front visor, headlamp and tail-lamp, GoPro camera mount on top, and not to mention the radio boom microphone and earpiece.
My adoring public.....
Since I was riding a featureless bike with no electronics,  I have no GPS speed  or distance or tracking data tonight.   BAH

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

FINALLY Got in a 10-Mile Ride

 Today's Ride Tracked via GPS and Ham Radio (APRS)

I've been struggling, what with our busy full time volunteer jobs, when and how to schedule a (preferably) daily bike ride again.
We stay in the RV at work during the week and don't commute by car, so I can't just have Jacque drop me and the bike off a few miles from work and let me ride the rest of the way like I used to a couple years ago, before I got involuntarily retired.
I actually also rode my upright beater-bike over to the Doctor's office yesterday, so I can (coff) brag about riding somewhere  2 days in a row. Trouble is, yesterday was only like a mile each way, not enough to even register on the  exercise  scale.  I must confess my  legs, long out of  shape again, complained anyway.
Today I saddled up the Terratrike Tandem Recumbent and was determined to  go out at least 5 miles and come back, making an actual  10-miler.  And, even though I did the full ten miles, my legs found the pedaling much easier on the recumbent than on the old Diamond Back upright.
It got almost  totally dark by the time I  got  back,  so in future I need to leave early enough to both get in a decent few miles AND get back before dark.

Ride Started: 5:28 PM    Ride Ended:  7:29 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.5   Ending Voltage: 12.8  Lowest:  12.6
Lowest Temp  64 F      Highest Temp:  75 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  10.47
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   4.0 MPH                            6.5 MPH                   19.1 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
 1 hour 55 mins                     1 Hour  36 mins           19  minutes

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

NEW TIRES on the Bounder RV today

Just a journal entry to help my fading memory powers:
6 new Goodyear high dollar Truck Tires, $309 each
Total bill 2280 bucks, ouch.
RV current mileage 78000 and change

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Ugly March Riding Weather

Today's WINDY APRS/GPS/Ham Radio Tracking

I'm tired of never getting around to riding the people-powered machines, and even alarmed at the gradually increasing spare tire around my belt line.  Today was a bit cold and breezy but I decided I just had to get out and do a few miles at least.
When I rolled off our mile of rocky goat-path onto Frost Road, and turned east to do my favorite 10-mile loop, I found a stiff cold wind at my back.  This is always a treat for cyclists, EXCEPT for the nagging fact in the back of the brain while pedaling effortlessly:  When you turn around you PAY for the previous tailwind.
And PAY I did indeed.  As soon as I turned left at Mountain Valley Road and the wind was no longer mostly at my back, it was left, right, head on, and gusting in various directions..... leading me to ride like a drunken sailor, all over the road, this way and that, gearing down, trying to stay upright, and getting colder by the second.  I made almost 3-4 more miles with such scattered wanderings and wobblings until I finally had enough.  I pulled over and called Jacque on the cell phone and asked very politely if she wouldn't mind coming to rescue me with the pickup.  She met me 15 minutes later and I gladly threw the rig in the back and rode back to the house with considerably more comfort.
It was great indeed to finally get off my butt and get a bike ride going, in spite of the bitter weather.
Maybe now I'll be more motivated to take advantage of the other 300+ sunny days we normally enjoy in New Mexico.

Ride Started: 4:10 PM    Ride Ended:  5:45 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.4   Ending Voltage: 13.0  Lowest:  12.9
Lowest Temp  46 F      Highest Temp:  60 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  7.97
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   2.0 MPH                            6.7 MPH                   29.6 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 45 mins                       1 Hour11 mins           34  minutes

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Beautiful February Riding Weather

Today's Short-Track Tracking

Just another short ride on Monday afternoon.  This time Tink  and I got maybe 1/2 mile west along the parallel Paseo del Norte trail before running out of time and turning back.
There seem to be a lot more cyclists out as the weather warms up, more than I remember encountering back when I was riding more regularly last year.  Of course there's the usual mix of friendlies and too-high-class-to-care types, but it's great to encounter any and all of them.

Ride Started: 3:21 PM    Ride Ended:  4:49 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.2   Ending Voltage: 13.1  Lowest:  12.4
Lowest Temp  55 F      Highest Temp:  64 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  6.65
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   4.5 MPH                            6.7 MPH                   18.7 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 29 mins                        59 minutes                  30  minutes

Friday, February 5, 2016

And Wowzers, Second Frigid Day in a Row

Tracking via GPS, Ham Radio, and APRS

All the LDS missionaries from Taos to El Paso send me their monthly mileage and expense reports.
Occasionally I get a nice note inside thanking me for whatever help I've been able to give them.
Yesterday I got no note, but a very nice sketch on the back of the expense envelope.....
Cute.  Very cute.

Tinkerbell and I went for another short trike trip this afternoon, hoping the weather would be a tad warmer.
It  didn't FEEL warm, even with the extra layer of a windbreaker.  However, I'm already noticing lower blood glucose readings even after only 2 days of mild riding.
This time we turned north on the North Diversion Trail and rode up to the fork in the trail just shy of Paseo del Norte and turned around.
I even wore my GoPro video camera today, but left it at the office so I'm unable to post any clips from it.
About the only exciting thing on it was me passing a good looker jogger - just barely - as we climbed the hill coming up from the bike underpass at Osuna.  I was able to put some distance between us once we topped the climb, but my pedal powered machine is no speedster even on level ground, and not at all on any degree of uphill grade.
The distance is still far short of what I hope to get back to soon, as I get the legs warmed up again.
Had we not been running a bit late, almost 5 PM, we could certainly have made another few miles.
I see from the temperature log it was already starting to cool down approaching the 5:00 PM hour.
Manana, Manana....

Ride Started: 3:57 PM    Ride Ended:  4:52 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.2   Ending Voltage: 12.9  Lowest:  12.7
Lowest Temp  43 F      Highest Temp:  50 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  5.44
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   5.8 MPH                            6.5 MPH                   18.2 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
56 minutes                             50 minutes                  6  minutes

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Actually Got Out and RODE Today

Today's Exploratory Pathway via APRS

Well, I finally did what I've  been threatening to do for weeks.  The tandem Terratrike has been repaired, parked, and ready for at least a couple weeks.  Our busy schedule has seemingly been too crowded to allow breaks during the day for riding, but I never seem to get caught up in spite of long hours.  Realizing if I didn't just take off and DO it I'd NEVER do it, I got out my stuff after lunch today, saddled up, and rode away with Tinkerbell in the back basket.
Having not ridden this end of Jefferson before (the closest street with a bike-lane), I was motivated to see how easy it might be to ride down to the closest entry to an actual Albuquerque bike path and get away from the motorized traffic.
My legs are, of course, woefully out of shape from this long stretch of non riding, but it was OK, and it naturally felt GREAT to be out of doors again with the wind in my face.
Riding the tandem with an empty back seat might seem dorky, but keeping just the tandem at work in ABQ and my 2-wheel recumbent at home means if Jacque is in the mood to ride with me around town, she can do so, and if not, riding the tandem is fun even without her occupying the back seat.  I could have also taken both doggies for the ride instead of just Tinkerbell,  and probably should have.  Lilly gave Jacque unlimited grief while we were gone and had to be banished "to the crate" out in the front vestibule to allow the mission office staff some relief from her puppy whining and griping.
Tinkerbell, of course, was the perfect trike-passenger, royally surveying her boundless kingdom as we rode along, enjoying the odd glances of passing joggers, motorists, and walkers.
The new bike overpass over I-25  is now completely done and open for traffic.  We rode up the the ramp entry but decided to save that trip for another day to see how or if the city extended the other end of the overpass other than what it used to be..... fading out in TD's girlie club parking lot and feeding into a non-bike-laned street.  I think it now feeds into a usable bike pathway but will soon find out.
On the other  end of this short run across Jefferson and I-25, the path splits left at an above-ground water viaduct passing over the city's diversion canal.  I unfortunately took the right path split and wound up dead-ending at the sidewalk alongside Osuna, with the narrow sidewalk barely wide enough for the trike to get west enough on Osuna to get back  on the "North Diversion" trail. 
From this trail you can ride south down to UNM and Central, or north to Balloon Fiesta Park, or north and west along the Paseo parallel bike path to the world famous Bosque Trail which of course is a fun and easy ride up and down it's 16 mile length along the Rio Grande.
Me, and Tink too, decided to not push ourselves with my outa-shape legs, and turned around to go back and ride farther another day (hopefully almost every day).
Not very much distance today, but a vast improvement over sitting in a chair in front of a computer and file cabinets all day.....

Ride Started: 1:56 PM    Ride Ended:  2:43 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.2   Ending Voltage: 13.1  Lowest:  12.7
Lowest Temp  40 F      Highest Temp:  51 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  6.79
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
   4.1 MPH                            5.2 MPH                   13.6 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
47 minutes                             45 minutes                  2  minutes