Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Weak kneed Wednesday

Today's Short but Sweet Tracking

Last week when I rode my recumbent 2-wheeler I broke my front gear ring shifter cable, leaving it in granny gear for almost the entire ride.
Since then, I've been busily installing fake hardwood flooring in our RV amongst other honey-dew projects, and haven't found the time to fix the cable and ride the bike again.
Today dawned nice and sunny, so I decided to see if I could get the shifter cable replaced and get in at least a short but huff-puff ride to the Post Office and back.
When shifter cables break around here, they almost always break back at the farthest end, right where they flex back and forth as shifting is accomplished.  The tandem and the 2-wheel recumbent both use the longest super-long cable, and I keep a brand new one in a package in the pannier wherever and whenever I ride.  I always save the used cable for use in shorter cabling requirements, such as today when I needed a shortie for the front shift mechanism requiring maybe 2 feet of cable.  I mistakenly threw away the used FRONT cable thinking I'd not soon find a use for such a short one.  More on that later....
Just about the time I got the cable replaced and the tools put away, Jacque returned from her morning mission and we decided we'd take a tandem ride together instead of me doing the usual solo on the 2-wheeler.  We rode up towards the Post Office.  As we passed the newly-finished Eagle project (Bike trail shelter) I noticed someone had parked an official looking truck in front of it and the driver was sitting inside on the bench reading a paper.  I assumed he was some bureaucrat or another taking a noon rest break.
Just a bit further, huffing and puffing up the long hill in Grandma Gear, we were ashamed to be overtaken by a smart aleck on foot....

We finally got to the Post Office, got the junk mail and bills, and then rode up the next quarter-mile to the erstwhile Shell Bike-break station, used also by area motorists for a gas stop.  After a soda and popcorn break for Jacque and an Ice Cream Sandwich break for me, we spotted a weird looking antique car near a gas pump.  Not recognizing what kind of car it was, we turned toward them to ask about their ride.  The driver and passenger were dressed up in old time riding clothes, leather jackets, helmets, goggles, etc, and they proudly informed us their ride was a Bentley, a long good looking monster.

They wanted to know all about OUR ride, too, so we happily chatted about our respective unusual conveyances.  The Bentley was stock, with a 400 cubic inch straight-eight that purred like a kitten when they started it and drove away.  Our trike doesn't purr..... it clicks and rattles occasionally, especially when the chain needs oiling, and the wheeziing and gasping for air while climbing hills is nothing to brag about.
We planned to stop at the new Bike Path Shelter Eagle Project on the way back, but as we approached it, we saw the same official vehicle.  Two guys were DIGGING at the FOUNDATION posts, trying to remove the shelter!  I was ready to rant & rave by the time we rolled up.
These "guys" turned out to be part of the Eagle project crew, and they WERE removing the new shelter.... to move it a few feet farther back away from the path, so as to be out from under the overhead power lines.  So instead of complaining, we helped a bit, then rode on for home so we could come back with tools to help.

Ride Started: 12:57 PM    Ride Ended:  2:34 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.2   Ending Voltage: 13.1  Lowest:  12.1
Lowest Temp  67 F      Highest Temp:  82 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  4.29
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  2.8 MPH                              5.5 MPH                  28.9 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 33 minutes                  46 minutes                 46  minutes 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Cure for Sore Legs?

Today's Tracking via Ham Radio and APRS

Yesterday was cloudy and cold and threatening all day, leading me to stay home, avoid the bike, and work on installing our new flooring in our RV.  This involves removal of the 17-year -old carpet flooring and the nasty dirt collected underneath it and installing new vinyl flooring strips that are about 36" by 8".  While the total square footage is quite small, all the nooks and crannies and angles of cutting, yada, yada, means I was up and down on my sore knees much of the day, and in spite of frequent breaks, I was WHUPPED by the end of the day, seemingly more so than had I ridden  the bike a good long ways.
This morning arose cloudy and soupy looking, but cleared off about 10:00 AM.  I arose, however, stiff and sore;  my butt and legs and joints were really painful.  All that bending and kneeling and stooping was hard on this old man.  With the weather so sunny  I could not resist taking a ride though it meant trailering the bike down to the pavement to keep it out of the nasty mud left over from yesterday.
Jacque had abandoned both dogs home with me, so they got to come along too.
I again left the GoPro camera behind safely plugged into the charger so no thrilling videos today.  As is the case most days.....
Of course, once we got about halfway through our nine-ish mile ride, it got cloudy and a bit cool.  On the way back we even got hit with almost a dozen raindrops.  Nothing to complain about, it's only May and hardly out of the frost season yet.  It snowed up in the higher elevations yesterday, and has been cold and snowing all across the country.  Don't get me started on global warming.....
Also, just before it got cloudy and cooler, my front shifter cable broke.... leaving me stuck on the smallest chainring, meaning I could only max out at about 12 MPH, except when coasting downhill.  The winds hitting us in the face slowed us down sufficiently that I actually had to pedal a bit to maintain speed down the hills.
Hee.  Looking at my speeds from today might indicate I should stay stuck in the smallest front (Slowest) chainring......
And, believe it or not, the sore legs feel much  better after the bike ride.  Now, back to the RV and sore knees....

Ride Started: 1:15 PM    Ride Ended:  3:49 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   14.1   Ending Voltage: 13.1  Lowest:  13.1
Lowest Temp  57 F      Highest Temp:  64 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  9.25
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  6.2 MPH                              8.6 MPH                  28.1 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hours 28 minutes               1 hour 4 minutes         24  minutes 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Great Way to Start the Week

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

Today Jacque was home putzing around the house and quilting and what-not so I rode alone, with no doggie company.  I immediately noticed, that however faster and lighter I may have traveled with ~15 pounds less weight, neither passersby nor neighborhood dogs thought I was nearly so interesting without them.
The wind couldn't seem to make up its mind about whether to be gusty, slow, or howling, but it mostly just fluttered a bit and provided little resistance for me to complain about.  The house outside thermometer showed 72 (!) degrees when I left, in spite of near-freezing temperatures just after sunup requiring a wood fire in the stove, and this is the kind of weather cyclists dream about.
I first rode west up to the Post Office, picked up the junk mail, then rode back east again on my favorite tennish-mile ride down to Mountain Valley Road, north to Entranosa Road, west to Tumbleweed, and then back west towards home on Frost Road.
Today's Not-so-Thrilling Videos.
Passing the Suddenly-Halted Eagle Bike Shelter Project
(Scout Eagle Candidate Spencer started this shelter with  approval from the county but a complaining neighbor  got it suddenly stopped)

Nice Guy Passing with a Monster Load

Ride Started: 12:03 PM    Ride Ended:  1:15 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   14.0  Ending Voltage: 13.2  Lowest:  13.1
Lowest Temp  67 F      Highest Temp:  82 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  14.66
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  7.4 MPH                              8.4 MPH                  30.7 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 50 minutes                  1 hour 35 minutes       15  minutes

Friday ShortRide

Friday Tracking
I didn't get this ride recorded on Friday 8 May 2015 so I'm recording it late, just before taking off on another short ride before getting back to productive pursuits.
I ran out of time this time so I only got in a few miles, but it was enough to warm me up and get the blood circulating, which is important to this old fart.
Our neighbor and dear friend Spencer started building a shelter and rest stop along the bike trail near our house, and I helped him set the upright poles in concrete on Thursday, day before this entry.  To prevent vandalism of the budding project, we took turns standing guard nearby to ensure the concrete could set properly without anyone deciding to "wiggle" the poles and loosen them in the fresh concrete.
For this morning's ride I rode up there on the recumbent 2-wheeler, let Tink and Jazzy take a walk around the facility and do their business, and saddled up to ride  back east for a few miles.  Beautiful weather, and great riding conditions with little wind, but life has its conflicts and I had to be in Albuquerque by 2:30 PM to help out in the Temple Baptistry, which meant I needed to be ready to LEAVE home in  non stinky clothes by 1:30 PM.  Really cut it close....

Ride Started: 12:03 PM    Ride Ended:  1:15 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   14.0  Ending Voltage: 13.2  Lowest:  13.1
Lowest Temp  67 F      Highest Temp:  82 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  6.53
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  5.8 MPH                              7.6 MPH                  24.6 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hours 8 minutes                  51 minutes                 16  minutes

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Missed Yesterday, not Today

Today's Tracking via Ham Radio and APRS/GPS

Whew.  Another week shot without riding the bike.  Which may seem a trivial thing to all you healthy non-cyclists.  Trouble is, for me, it's almost survival strategy.  Unless someone finally runs me over violently enough to kill me, of course.  I have ALREADY been run over, but not crushed, just dragged underneath the "offenders" car a dozen or so feet across an intersection.  But I lived through that with only a mild spot of road rash to show for it, learned my lesson, and now never assume a driver is going to avoid hitting me if I get in front of him.  Cars are now always waved through;  I cross the street or intersection when and IF I have plenty of room and time to do so. 
Back to the healthy business.  What with my diabetes, low "good" cholesterol and slightly high "bad" cholesterol, and smoldering insanity, I need regular exercise to help things stay under control.  Since bike riding falls into the "FUN" category it's the perfect methodology for helping all the above minor shortcomings in my otherwise perfect personality.  Mercy.  Hard to type that last with my fingers crossed.....
Jacque was in Albuquerque for a doctor's appointment so I had both "Girls" with me, so Tink and Jazzy got to ride along today.  The World's most wonderful lap-dogs. 
The last few days have been cloudy and rainy, helping provide excuses for laziness.  Yesterday, however, I was frustrated because it was so cloudy and intermittently rain-looking that I didn't ride all day, expecting rain at any moment, but it stayed DRY all day and turned out sunny and beautiful just before the sun went down.  Good ole NM weather.  Today was beautiful UNTIL I got rolling on the bike, whereupon a few dark clouds gathered round to follow me.  I even thought I felt a drop hit me once, but nothing undesirable ever happened, just a great mostly-sunny ride with mild temperatures.
With all the recent early-monsoon rains we've had, I trailered the bike down to the pavement to avoid the mud.  Turned out the road had already dried pretty much, but hey.  At least I rode a little, only maybe a mile lessthan if I'd ridden all the way down the goat-path and back.
I ran the GoPro video camera on my helmet today, but nothing interesting happened, so no thrilling videos today.

Ride Started: 11:11 AM    Ride Ended:  12:49 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   14.2   Ending Voltage: 13.2  Lowest:  13.1
Lowest Temp  64 F      Highest Temp:  82 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  9.49
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  5.4 MPH                              8.1 MPH                  28.9 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hours 46 minutes               1 hour 12 minutes         34  minutes

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Oh, It's Tandem Time Again....

Today's Tandem Tracker Tracking

I haven't been on a people-powered cycle in a week or so, and the main excuse is the weeds roaring up out of the ground around our house, forcing me to take action NOW or have wste-high NASTY weeds to deal with in another couple weeks.  We got some recent rain and snow and now sudden sunny weather contributing to the mess.   My only exercise has been soveling wood chips, filling the wheelbarrow from the main pile on the wrond side of the house, wheeling them around the house and dumping them out and burying weeds alive, and raking the chips to smooth out their appearance to make it more aesthetically pleasing.
Our near neighbor is a professional tree trimmer and during the summer work season has tons of chips he has to dispose of somewhere.  We have found even fresh chips from live ground-up trees and limbs seem to kill weeds better than any other solution we've tried.  The chips immediately start decomposing and getting "hot" underneath the first inch or so and not only block the sun, mulch-like, from our noxious weeds, but "cook" them and kill them in large measure.  Anyway.  That's been taking up my time from people-powered travel.  I suppose I could stretch at straws, so to speak, and claim the wheelbarrow is definitely "people-powered".  Meaning tiring exercise but it doesn't make me feel supercharged after several hour:  Just exhausted.
Today I determined to get in a bike ride no matter what, and as I was about to go out the door with Jazzy (aka Belly-Mount Doggie), Jacque called and said she was on her way home from her sewing buddy and why don't we think about doing a trike ride?  So we did.
It was surprisingly warm by the time we got rolling, and on the way home the outside temperature on the car thermometer registered 82 degrees.  That might be considered cool to folks in Phoenix and Las Vegas, but around here, this early in the spring, it feels HOT.
Jacque thoughtfully made us a picnic lunch to take on the ride, and we found a rare shady spot along the road almost halfway through the ride and enjoyed something better than my usual biking food:  Cookies

Ride Started: 1:33 PM    Ride Ended:  4:37 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.2   Ending Voltage: 13.0  Lowest:  12.7
Lowest Temp  71 F      Highest Temp:  78 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  9.47
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  2.2 MPH                                5.5 MPH                  29.3 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
3 hours 4 minutes                 1 hour 42 minutes       1 hour 22  minutes

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Yeah, it was Windy but Who Cares

Today's Partial Tracking

The faithful travel-buddy Jazzy and I rode up to the Post Office today and then decided to add our usual 10-mile loop to the end since it was such a beautiful day.
Well, it was beautiful for a few miles, but then it got a bit breezy so to speak.  Going west it was hittiing  us pretty strong in our faces, then going east again from the Post Office it was again hitting us strongly in the face.  Then when we got to the easternmost end of the loop at Mountain Valley Road and Entranosa, the wind seemed to change direction AGAIN and hit us crosswise in our faces instead of just directly head on.
Sigh.  It really wasn't all that bad but it DOES suck when you have to pedal hard DOWNHILL to keep your speed up.
No thrilling video today to suffer through.  I recorded the entire trip, except for a mile or so where the battery went dead and I switched it out and forgot to turn the camera on again.  Howsomever, NOTHING interesting happened.  Well, except for the bike ride itself, which is interesting even when it's boring.
We only encountered one other cyclist headed the other way and I didn't recognize him.....

Ride Started: 12:01 PM    Ride Ended:  3:05 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   14.1   Ending Voltage: 13.2  Lowest:  12.7
Lowest Temp  67 F      Highest Temp:  78 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  14.49
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  4.7 MPH                                7.6 MPH                  26.1 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
3 hours 3 minutes                1 hour 53 minutes        1 hour 9  minutes