Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Blowing Through a Speed Trap!

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

I had a big plan today.  I had a document needing fax'ing and a bill payment needing posting, so I would use that for an excuse for a fairly long ride for my standards... all the way up to the Post Office, all the way down to Tijeras, east on Rt. 66 to Gutierrez Canyon Road, and then mostly north back home, for maybe 20+ miles total.
 Methought I had plenty of time for this sojourn, and arrived safe and sound at the Post Office.  I then rode on up to the Shell Station and by now it was close to 3:30 PM and I thought I ought to call the One Stop Office store and make sure they didn't close before I got there, all hot and sweaty and all that.  They said sure enough, they didn't close until 5:30, but then I cogitated in my mind and realized - best case - it would be almost dark by the time I got home.  I don't dig riding the roadways close to dark.  Been there, done that before several times, but I prefer daylight riding unless it's along the Bosque Trail in ABQ where there's no cars to worry about.  So we (Jazzy and I) decided to turn around and ride back around my "normal" short 10-mile loop, which in addition to the miles already done would result in 15 or so miles.
I actually remembered to take the GoPro today, but nothing of note happened.  The only slightly unusual thing I saw  was a County Sheriff Deputy manning a speed trap:
This was with me going uphill, didn't seem to trigger his speed detector-

I suppose I shoulda stopped and asked him what his radar said I was doing, to see if it was close to what my GPS there on the handlebars was reporting.  He could have been just napping, but this is at the bottom of a hill close to an intersection, and vehicles coming from behind him normally would not see him until too late.
It was also suspiciously close to coming-home time, a little after 5 PM, with lots of traffic providing a target-rich environment.
So, Yeah, he was clocking people.
He didn't even seem to look up as I passed slowly as I went up the hill, so I came home without a ticket.
No license plate, no insurance, that sort of thing.  Thankfully neither New Mexico nor Bernalillo County have sunk so low as to require such things for bicycles yet.

Ride Started: 2:11 PM    Ride Ended:  5:12 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.4   Ending Voltage: 13.1  Lowest:  12.7
Lowest Temp  71 F      Highest Temp:  84 F 
Stats from the GPS:      Total Miles:  16.3
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  5.4 MPH                               8.5 MPH                  32.1 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
3 hours                                  1 hour 54 mins           1 hour 6 minutes

Monday, March 30, 2015

Riding the Trike Through the Forest

Today's Short-Trip Tracking

Today was a very short trip mileage-wise, but notably longer in effort and time-wise.
Our LDS Church Children's Organization (aka the Primary) is sponsoring a morning Easter celebration in the next couple weeks at a forest service picinic area that is not very far away from us.  It's a route we have ridden before, and I had no illusions about the distressingly long demanding demoralizing climb, but Jacque and I decided we want to ride our Tandem Recumbent trike to this Easter festivity.  However, it's been years since we rode up that way. 
Thus the effort to do a preliminary "Dry Run" to make sure we could do it and see how long it would take. 
It's only about 5-something miles from our place, but first we have to climb the dreaded short but serious uphill to the Post Office, and then cross North-14, a very busy highway, and then resume even steeper climbing for the last 2+ miles to the picnic area.
my blood glucose was too high when we took off, which is almost as bad as low  blood sugar, and I had trouble getting any energy going to my legs, so it was even slower going than normal for the first mile or so.  We had to stop for repeated breaks for water and oxygen, but we slowly made our way up the mountain.
It took so long we had to stop and give the girlie dogs some "relief" as well.  At one point the GPS indicated we were averaging 2 - something miles per hour, meaning we could have walked faster...... of course we had additional water, food, radios, and short-stroke-legged doggies so walking would doubtlessly have NOT gotten us there any quicker.  Eventually I burned off enough of my high blood glucose that I felt better and was able to pedal stronger, but it was still a very long slow climb.  The BUGS are taking advantage of early spring warm weather and were TERRIBLE today.  Swatting them took up too much precious oxygen and energy that could have been better applied to the pedals.  Passing motorists doubtless thought I was having seizures, with my arms flailing left and right  trying to kill the little buggers.  Thankfully, this is a TRIKE, meaning I can actually turn loose of the hand-grips for short bursts of murderous bug-smacking without veering head over heels into the ditch.
Visually this is a lovely area to ride, but since I again left the GoPro safely at home, I am unable to share ay pictures or video today.  As Usual.
We finally arrived  at our designated picnic ground, 1.5 hours for less than a 3 mile ride.  You may well guess our tiredness and gladness to finally arrive, get into an unused Group Shelter with tables and lots of welcome shade.  Jacque had constructed a couple of egg salad sandwiches just for this trip and stowed a couple of diet Root Beers in a thermal pack, and everything was still wonderfully cold.  That is, except for us overheated humans.  A fine feast for the weary.
This was no speed run and we had nothing pressing upon our time at home so we ate our lunch and people-watched and walked the dogs around a bit before saddling up for the return ride.
Going steadily down hill for almost 3 miles can be quite thrilling....... IF:
-You're still young and bullet-proof
-You're NOT riding a long trike that gets unstable and twisty over 25 MPH
Since the above did not apply to us, we gently rode the brakes much of the way down.  As far as we know we didn't lose anything, and we did not encounter any asphalt turbulence during re-entry.
I'm sure this is the fastest we've ever coasted with this beast.  The uphill trip consumed 1.5 hours and the mostly-coasting return took about TEN MINUTES.
Of course since we had a good excuse we had trouble bypassing the Shell Station Snack Break, so we forced ourselves to eat a couple of ice cream treats.

Ride Started: 10:51 PM    Ride Ended:  1:37 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.2   Ending Voltage: 13.2  Lowest:  12.8 (Need to check this battery again)
Lowest Temp  64 F      Highest Temp:  78 F 
Stats from the GPS:      Total Miles:  4.96
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  2.5 MPH                               4.2 MPH                  35.9 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 58 mins                       1 hour 10 mins              47 minutes

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Riding the Trike to Lunch


 Lots of Fellow Travelers Today
Nice Footage of Some of the Bosque Trail

We planned to take an earlier trip across Albuquerque to ride the famed Bosque Trail this morning but Jacque had some last minute Easter sewing projects that couldn't be put off.
We got to the Bosque right close to noon, which might have left us plenty of time for a lengthy ride up and down the river and ditch-banks trails.  Trouble is, Jacque had a date to meet one of her Church chums at her home to watch LDS Women's Conference tonight, so we were not able to ride until sunset or even close to it, since she had to get home and  cleaned up so she could get over to Sandye's house by 5:30-ish.
Since it was so close to Noon when we started and my stomach was acting like my throat had been cut, we decided to just do a lazy ride over to Old Town and do lunch there.
We have eaten at Tio Chava's Cantina before, and since they allow us to seat our doggies at the outdoor patio tables, we ate there again.  Mercy, their food is great. Highly recommended, even for teetotalers like us.
The weather was absolutely perfect today, not even a hint of wind.  Just warm enough  to be wonderful, and I fearlessly left my windbreaker and other layers in the car.  Foolishly, likely, too, since this IS New Mexico, Land of Unpredictable Weather.  Nope, it was great.
We spent more time at the restaurant than riding the trike, eating our gourmet hamburger with scalding-hot guacamole sauce for dressing (YUM!)
We also had to deal with the adoring public which always materializes around our cute pooches.  They dealt fairly well with the adoring masses, putting on good behavior, until another couple walked into the  patio with a  couple of fluffy Pomeranians, at which Jazzy took immense offense.  After nearly strangling her trying to get her to shut up and sit down, things calmed down and we could rest long enough for our red faces to fade.
After getting underway again, we looked at our clocks and decided we'd better boogie straight back to the trike-hauler Subaru and trailer combination so we could get Jacque back in time.  This leg involved meeting all kinds of walkers and cyclists, many pulling kid-carrier trailers, which we show just a few of in today's thrilling videos.
Here's a backwards view showing Jacque stoking 
And a couple shots of us passing both Tingley Fun-Trains
( http://www.cabq.gov/culturalservices/biopark/trains )
-All these Train Passengers Always Wave and holler HI-

Ride Started: 12:11 PM    Ride Ended:  2:58 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.5   Ending Voltage: 13.2  Lowest:  12.8
Lowest Temp  75 F      Highest Temp:  82 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  6.51
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  6.0 MPH                                7.4 MPH                  15.4 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 59 mins                       59 minutes                 1 hour

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Whispering Wind Wednesday

Today's GPS/APRS/Ham Radio Tracking

Yesterday was blown with me working on my old Ford Exploder.  The thermostat had stuck in the open position a couple weeks ago, resulting in the temperature guage not coming off zero no matter how long the vehicle was driven.  This upsets the monster's computer, too, resulting in lower gas mileage, etc, as the temperature is one of the parameters that help the computer regulate fuel flow and whatever.
I had purchased a new thermostat and gasket many days ago and had kept putting off taking the time to install it, even though it's not a terribly time-consuming job.  I also purchased a serpentine belt for it to replace while I was under the hood.  Jacque and I used it yesterday morning to deliver a family-heirloom dresser drawer cabinet and matching night-stand that my Dad built when I was a baby, which was in the late 1940's, since I was born in 1947.  Anyway, the vehicle was unduly warm from sitting in the bright sunlight and the air conditioner did NOT work, meaning it had been unused too long over the winter months.  So now I had another irritating thing to work on:  Recharging the A/C with R134 refrigerant.  Yesterday afternoon I decided to actually dig into it, after we returned home all hot and bothered with nothing but outside air to  cool us, which wasn't that helpful.  First I dug out my A/C recharging gear and that worked out OK, resulting in cold air coming out the vents after about 20 minutes.  Since I had the hood up I figgered I should go ahead and do the rest of the immediately needed repairs.  I got the thermostat installed without too much groaning and moaning on my part, but when I started on the serpentine belt, things got a bit more aggravating. 
When I popped off the old belt I checked all the related idler pullies that should - without a belt attached - spin freely and without noise.  Of course, the lowest (and hardest to remove) idler pulley had a bit of a rattle and grind to it when I spun it, so we made a high speed Albuquerque run to purchase a new one.  When we returned, I still had over a half hour of daylight left so I installed the new idler and began a fruitless effort to install the new belt.  After a few false starts I finally got the belt routed properly, following the diagram label on top of the radiator....
I grunted, busted knuckles, griped, stressed, and strained until it got dark, and still could not rotate the spring loaded idler far enough out of the way to get the belt on the last pulley.  Exhausted, low on blood sugar, and grumpy, I gave up for the night and left tools and everything as they were, scattered around the vehicle.  It looked fairly dry in the sky so I hoped it would not rain on anything.
This morning I finally got started again on it and still made no progress until I finally enlisted Jacque's help to come pull the belt into place from the top of the engine compartment while I laid underneath and pulled on the long arm wrench to release the spring-loaded idler tension, with everything I had.  It was still a struggle but Jacque finally succeeded in popping the dern belt into proper position and everything seemed to work fine after that.
Thus most of today, as well, had been shot working on the petrol-burner.  It doesn't get driven very much at all, but when you rely solely on used cars without payments, as we do, we need a spare vehicle "just in case".  
It was almost 5 PM and I was thinking there wasn't sufficient daylight left for a bike ride when we suddenly realized no one had yet gone anywhere at all, meaning the MAIL had not yet been retrieved.  A perfect excuse to do a short but strenous ride.... so off I go.

 Today's Thrilling Video (Snort)
Helmet-Cam showing clips from our Goat-Path to Pavement, Etc.

Since Jacque was home I left both doggies with her and rode alone, thought the girls were mightily disappointed when I rode off without them, according to Mama Jacque.
The wind was howling today, as the weather guessers had predicted, but not as badly as I have experienced with many rides in the past.  It was in my face all the way west to the Post Office and I assumed it would be a good strong tail wind on the way back.  As other cyclists well know, often the wind doesn't feel the same when approaching from another direction, and the wind was mostly sideways and partially in my face on the way home too.  Still, as usual, a great day for a last minute ride.

Ride Started: 4:51 PM    Ride Ended:  5:51 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.8   Ending Voltage: 13.0  Lowest:  13.0
Lowest Temp  57 F      Highest Temp:  67 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  5.49
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  5.5 MPH                                7.2 MPH                  27.6 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
  59 minutes                            45 minutes                 14  minutes

Monday, March 23, 2015

Double-Dog Dare You...

Today's Boring Tracking

Today again started out a bit cool, windy, and cloudy, with only a faint sun shining through the overhead haze ceiling.  After looking out at it several times  I decided I could probably get in a short ride IF I got my butt in gear and got going before the usual afternoon rain/snow/sleet baloney.
By the time I got rolling it was right at noonish.  The clouds actually opened up a lot and allowed great sunshine to hit us, in addition to the wind which seemingly continued to increase.
Jacque was in Albuquerque doing some work which precluded her taking any of the doggies with her.
I had 3 theoretical options:
-Take both dogs with me on a ride
-Take only one dog, leaving a disappointed one behind
-Leave Both brokenhearted dogs at home
You may well guess, dear reader, which choice I took - as IF I even HAD a choice.
As soon as I started getting my day-glo shirts and windbreaker on, both dogs (as usual) went absolutely BERSERK with joy, jumping on my legs, circling and bouncing around me like madness.  Who, I ask you, could bear to leave either one behind?  'Twasn't me, that's for sure.
I mounted my GoPro camera on my helmet today instead of the back-and-forth PVC pipe-arm.  The camera is still slowly uploading to my video editing system so I'm not sure if anything interesting or visible got recorded or not.  If so, it will pop in  here as a short video clip.

We passed a young lady walking her large Doberman right along the edge of the pavement, of course on the same side as we were approaching, and the dog almost got away from her in his excitement of seeing Tink and Jazzy on board.  Thankfully she was able to keep him in tow and out from  under our wheels as we passed.  Not far past this near-incident, I noticed another rider coming up fast behind me.  Unlike most riders, he slowed, rode parallel to us, and visited for a while as we climbed the next low hill.  At the top of the hiil I ws getting a tad warmish and we pulled over so I could peel a layer or two.  Mark stopped with me and continued our visiting.  He seemed to be a sort of tree-hugger, unlike me, a tree-burner, but we agreed on many aspects of Earth  life, including:
-Bikes are FUN
-Bikes are HEALTHY
-Bikes are THERAPEUTIC
..... Amongst other things.  Turns out Mark is a bike blogger too and we exchanged links, while he presented me with his card.  He had ridden out all the way from  Albuquerque, unlike me less than 10 miles from home, and his obvious superior speed was such that by the time I got home and checked HIS blog he had already updated it and included his close encounter with me: Mark's BikeYogi Blog .
AND; Here our thrilling video is: 
This just depicts the relative safety I experience from passing cars.

Ride Started: 11:41 AM    Ride Ended:  1:45 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.9   Ending Voltage: 13.2  Lowest:  12.6
Lowest Temp  42 F      Highest Temp:  60 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  10:51
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  5.0 MPH                                8.0 MPH                  29.6 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
 2 hours 5 mins                     1 hour 18 minutes       47  minutes

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saturday Sundowner

Today's Spotty Tracking

I had a busy schedule today, for a Saturday, and I didn't expect to find time to get a ride in.
I got home from my running around about 3 PM and wasted time putzing around the house. Realizing later than I should have that it was still quite sunny out at 5-ish, and with our newfound so-called extra hour of sunshine in the evenings, I thought I'd better get in at least a ten-miler.  Jacque thought I was nuts but that's not too uncommon.....
I was glad to have taken a windbreaker layer.  It started cooling off almost as soon as I left, and by the time I was close to my half-way turnaround mark, some clouds began obscuring the sun, effectively darkening my bright sky and robbing me of som 20 minutes of remaining sunshine before the sun was actually supposed to disappear over the Sandias to our west.
It was also a bit breezy but again, not objectionably so.
I took the GoPro camera again today but the ride was entirely boring..... so no video today, lucky readers.

Ride Started: 5:40 PM    Ride Ended:  7:11 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.8   Ending Voltage: 13.1  Lowest:  13.0
Lowest Temp  46 F      Highest Temp:  53 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  10:48
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  7.1 MPH                                8.0 MPH                  28.3 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
  1 hour 28 mins                     1 hour 18 minutes      9.5  minutes

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Abort due to Thunder and....

Today's Suspenseful Tracking of One Mile
I spent yesterday out of the biking saddle, er, lawn-chair reclining seat, that is.  First thing I reported to my local expensive dental office for a crown on a bum tooth that's been giving me trouble.  Came home with a numb jaw..... and brain.  The rest of the day I resigned myself to working on the blasted income tax returns.  What an infernal hassle.  I was mildly shocked to actually get it done and sent off by late evening - the same day I started.  Usually it takes several short-tempered frustrating days to get it all slapped together.
Look, I'm Pregnant... No, it's a Belly Doggie

Today, I found myself still in a state of mild disbelief that I actually am through with the blasted tax filing... for another year, anyway.
Today, IF I had started out a couple hours earlier, I could have gotten in a decent ride, though colder of course.
In today's short and thrilling video the thunderheads approaching quickly are clearly visible.
Jazzy and I had left the house just moments earlier, and I was already running out of steam before we even got off our "Goat-Path" to the paved road.  I stopped to check my blood sugar - it was a bit lower than desired - so I ate one of my stashes of 3 choc chip cookies.  The sky hadn't looked all that threatening when we'd left the house but as I munched on my snack I heard the unmistakable rumble of thunder overhead.  
Looking up, I noticed the gathering darkness of rain clouds, and looking both ways showed plain evidence that we were surrounded by quickly gathering clouds.  We were just shy of a mile away from the house, and I momentarily thought of trying to continue and get in at least a few miles, but the repetitious thunder -booms convinced me to turn around and high-tail it back home.
Even that short trip elevated my pulse rate and incurred some heavy breathing, so I got in a little aerobic exercise.....
And I was happy to arrive back at the house.  I left the bike parked out in the open just for a few minutes and Behold:  It started raining.  It took me several minutes to remember my bike, with electronics still exposed, was still out in the open rain.  So I put on a jacket and unsaddled everything and put the bike back in the storage shed.  Rained all blessed day afterwards.... sigh

Ride Started: 12:26 PM    Ride Ended:  1:44 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:   13.6   Ending Voltage: 13.1  Lowest:  13.1
Lowest Temp  46 F      Highest Temp:  67 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  1:15
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  .8 MPH                                3.4 MPH                  10.2 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
  30 minutes                           20 minutes                10  minutes