Thursday, October 23, 2014

Just Me and My Shadow(s)

Tracking via Ham Radio, GPS, and APRS

I asked Jacque if she wanted to do a trike ride today and she mentioned, pointedly, that she hadn't been able to play with her sewing produuction facility for too long, AND she was in the midst of making me a couple more of her famous fabulous shirts.  So I let her stay home and saddled up  for a solo ride. 
Jazzy came to life immediately from her early-morning nap and dashed back and forth between my legs, begging to be taken  along.  The doggies are much too smart and observant, of course, and notice such things as bike clothing, suitcases packing, Dad with his hat on, and any other sign of GOING OUTSIDE.  I told Jacque I was taking the "Junior Princess" (Jazzy) with me and this woke TINK up, who now began frantically following me across the house, wanting to "go" too.  I got to the door and told Tink "Bye, Tink!" and she SMOKED right past me and out on the deck, obviously not accepting the idea SHE was to be left behind.  So, laughing, I went back and told Jacque I was going to take both of them with me, even though it means more weight and a rearrangement of my pannier on the rear.  Instead of carrying it IN the rear basket, I have to mount it to the SIDE of the basket and carry the Tinkerbell inside.  Jazzy almost always rides in the belly-pack papoose-looking harness on my front, adding to the double-takes of passersby and motorists.
We finally got all arranged and took off, first riding up the long slow killer hill to the Post Office and then back east to get in a few miles  before returning home. 
This fall weather is really great;  nice and sunny and mild and just cool enough to be pleasant.  If I rode earlier in the morning I'd likely have to start out wearing a windbreaker to hold in a little more body heat.  As it was, today, I left my irritatingly-yellow biking shirt velcroed up to the top instead of opening it up all the way for the additional cooling.
I started to "run out of gas" fairly early, and when I checked my blood glucose at the Post Office it was 62 (it was over 100 when we left the house 2.75 miles earlier).  I snarfed my energy cookies and resumed riding, noticing again only a few miles further that I was running low on energy again but toughed it out for a few more miles before stopping for a break and testing again:  This time the BG was 47, uncomfortably low.  I realized I had forgotten to set my pump's basal rate to 25% for the duration of the ride in ADVANCE of the ride, which my doc always warns me to remember to do before riding.
Thankfully I've not yet experienced any fainting spells in my 30 years of diabetes and insulin, and I don't want to start now.
Another snack, this time a store boughten choc-chip oatmeal bar, and a few hundred more cranks of the pedals found us home safe and sound.
Ride Started: 11:31 AM    Ride Ended:  2:13 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:  13.6       Ending Voltage: 13.1
Lowest Temp  67 F      Highest Temp:  78 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  14.44
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  6.0 MPH                               8.8 MPH                    33.1 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
2 hours 24 mins                     1 hour 38 mins           45 minutes

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Old Geezer on the Loose

Today's Excellent Tracking via Ham Radio and APRS
Jacque went to Albuquerque today whilst I determined to get on the bike and eat up some miles no matter what.... as long as it didn't rain all day like it did yesterday.
It didn't.  Today started out a bit gloomy and cloudy but the sun was providing large blue-sky gaps so it looked good.  Since my front shifter on the 2-wheel was not working sufficiently to access my highest gear, I had to work on that first.  After a couple adjustments in the control cable length, it started shifting between all 3 rings on the front crank.  I started to saddle it up with all my riding junk, water bottles, pannier with battery and supplies, etc, and was almost ready to embark on today's wonderful adventure.  The cell phone rang  and it was my sweetie Jacque sweetly suggesting I load up the tandem Terratrike instead and meet her in town for  a joint ride on our favorite avenue.... The Bosque Trail.  This did not require much arm twisting, so I parked the 2-wheel recumbent and hitched up the trike trailer and loaded the Terratrike aboard and headed for town.  I had to stop twice:  The first time I noticed a black strap on the trike flapping dangerously in the breeze.  Turned out to be a loose foam wrapping on Jacque's rear seat stoker handlebar.  About 10 minutes later as I was roaring down I-40 at about 65 MPH, I saw a faint flutter of yellow in the rear mirror and then was horrified to see Jacque's overhead shade assembly sail completely off the trailer - out from underneath the trike - and flutter like a wounded kite off to the side of the freeway.  Thankfully this meant it was not going to be run over and shredded, though I was a couple hundred yards beyond it and dared not to back up on the shoulder with all the oncoming traffic to retrieve it.  I had to hot-foot it back on foot to get it picked up and back in the trailer, where I secured it with a weight to keep it held down in the trailer, which I had neglected at first.
We just hauled this same rigging and trailer about 1500 miles behind the RV on our recent trip, so it was a bit puzzling to suddenly encounter such difficulties.
Jazzy and I finally arrived in Albuquerque, picked up Jacque and Tink, and whizzed down to Tingley Beach to begin our ride.
Jacque in the Shaded Stoker Seat

This fall weather is just downright enjoyable.  It was a bit cloudy at times but the temperature was just cool enough to be wonderful and likewise with the fitful breezes we encountered.
We rode the southern leg of the Bosque Trail today.  Normally we encounter a scraggly coyote about 2 miles south of the Hispano Cultural Center along the trail and have been within a few dozen feet of him a couple times, which of course worries us about his intentions though he's never acted aggressive towards us or our doggies.  Today we saw him not at all, either coming or going.  Which is a wonderful thing, after all.
We did encounter -of course- the usual dogs inside their fenced properties which fiercely chase us along the perimeter of the fence barking ferociously.  Our pups were controlled enough today that they barely growled back at them.  Another walker with an unrestrained largish brown dog was encountered but he failed to threaten us too.  Great riding.  We encountered only a few other cyclists, including one who stopped alongside us during a break and asked bunches of questions about the trike since he and his wife have been considering buying one for themselves.
Jacque does not enjoy this southern loop of the trail, as it goes through part of the South Valley with lots of graffiti in some places and I-25 and South Broadway traffic coming close in others.  The return loop on the southern end is surrounded by junkyards and heavy-industrial buildings with less than enjoyable views.  I guess I enjoy it more since it reminds me so much of Grants NM in the days when I was living there as a young pup.
Stopping at the Tingley Beach park area is always a treat both for the relatively clean bathrooms, ducks swimming and quacking all over the waterway, and the ever present little toddler kiddos who ooh and ahhh over the doggies and the trike, in that order.  And, of course, the occasional ice cream snack.
Ride Started: 1:38 PM    Ride Ended:  4:44 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:  13.2       Ending Voltage: 12.8
Lowest Temp  67 F      Highest Temp:  78 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  16.04
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  5.3 MPH                               7.4 MPH                    24.1 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
3 hours 2 mins                       2 hours 9 mins           52 minutes

Friday, October 17, 2014

Why Do So Many Stare? Is it the Dogs?

Today's Tracking, Briefly

Or is it just because I'm such a ridiculous sight on my weird looking bike, dressed oddly so as to attract maximum attention from inattentive drivers?  The doggie in my belly pack and the doggie behind me in the basket may add to the oddness, but whatever.
Jacque went to a sewing party in Albuquerque today and left me to my own devices.  Since I didn't burn the house down or electrocute myself or anything else interesting I decided I needed to go for at least a short bike ride, considering our recent RV trip caused such things to be intermittent and short term to say the least.
Since I was NOT home alone, but had both dogs and a cat to attend to my every whim (HAH!), I figured I had to take at least the dogs with me.  The cat does well unattended (so long as no food is left on any table tops anywhere in the house) so I left HER to her own devices.
With the weather coming up cold mornings and evenings as the fall season commences, riding later in the day is no big deal now.  It still gets warm on fair days but nothing close to the 90's or 100's as was the case only a few weeks ago.  Still sunny, however, so I did the usual slather-on-the-sunscreen thing, loaded food, water, pannier, radios, and dogs, and took off.
The roads seemed a bit steeper than I remembered.  Can it be I've already lost my bike-legs and have to re-condition them?  Perish the thought....
My bike also would not shift into the highest gear, leaving my average speed lower than normal due to not being able to crank it up while going on level pavement, or better yet, downhill.
The bike had blown over on its side while we were away RV'ing so maybe the bracket has been whacked.  We'll see if it can be readjusted or if it needs to be REPLACED.

Ride Started: 2:31 PM    Ride Ended:  4:04 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:  13.0       Ending Voltage: 12.5
Lowest Temp  64 F      Highest Temp:  78 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  5.52
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  3.5 MPH                               7.1 MPH                    22.5 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 33 mins                      46 minutes                  45 minutes 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Off Road Triking

Friday night we stopped and stayed the night at Gooseneck State Park in southern Utah.
What's "Gooseneck State Park"? You might ask?  I never heard of it  either until Jacque was told of it while stopped in the bustling metropolis of Bluff, Utah.  It  turned out to be one of those lesser-known wonders of the world:  Supposedly the longest "River Meander"  in North America, where the San Juan Rivers flows in oxbow-fashion or gooseneck-fashion for 6 miles while progressing only 2 actual miles south towards its eventual confluence with the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon.  The cliffs and walls of this stretch of river almost equal the Grand Canyon in their size and awesomeness.
Friday evening we walked almost a half mile or more around some of the bends in the  canyon-tops but Saturday morning we unloaded the trike and rode IT around the rocky paths.  In spite of its extremely low clearance,  only a couple inches in the middle, we managed to steer around most of the larger crags and rocks and ridges in the goat-path and, though very slow, made better time and exerted less effort than walking the same distance.  AND, thankfully, avoided any noticeable damage to the trike..... not even any shredded tires or flats.

Later on as we approached Mexican Hat on Route 191,  we were awestruck when we spotted the source for the  name "Mexican Hat" -- a very tall rock formation with what looks almost exactly like a sombrero, upside down, on the tippy-top.   The side road leading to it was dirt and gravel, and not being familiar with it,  we did NOT want to take the huge lumbering RV and trailer down that-a-way.  So we pulled into a gravel pull-out across the roadway and unlimbered our trusty trike, already off-road-proven, and rode IT down the gravel road to a nearby position where we took the inevitable selfies with the Stone Sombrero in the background.  Will post picture(s) when we get to an area with decent wifi and cell coverage  so we can transfer pictures more easily between smartphones.
Also we got no tracking coverage either place today.  Either no ham radio coverage is in these areas or my antenna's broke again or something...
Ride Started:  11:45 AM    Ride Ended:  1:00 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:  13.1       Ending Voltage: 12.8
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  2.77
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  3.6 MPH                               5.0 MPH                     16.7 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
42 minutes                              25 minutes               10 minutes

Friday, October 10, 2014

Mo Moab

Today's Repeat-of-Yesterday Tracking

We enjoyed our short ride yesterday afternoon we decided to try it again, this morning, before our checkout time for our RV expired.
We only went about a half mile farther than yesterday but enjoyed it still.  We especially enjoy riding through the tunnel underneath Highway 191, with its resounding echo when I scream aloud.  Yes, some people never grow out of making loud noises in places with echoes.....
We might actually have to come back and spend a real day here sometime... threats we have made before.

Ride Started:  8:45 AM    Ride Ended:  10:00 AM
Beginning Battery Voltage:  13.1       Ending Voltage: 12.8
Lowest Temp  61 F      Highest Temp:  67 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  7.77
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  3.3 MPH                               7.1 MPH                     23.4 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
2 hours 22 mins                     1 hour 5 mins            1 hour 10 mins

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sunset Ridin' Above Moab

Today's Tracking in the Boonies

On our way back to NM from our RV vacation we decided to stop just north of Moab.  Jacque hates to travel after - or even close to - dark.   We stopped today about 4:30 or so and the Lovely One suggested a trike ride.  This IS Moab, after all, mountain biking capital and all, and there is a nice paved bike trail running parallel to Utah Route 191 all the way from our RV camp into Moab itself, 10 miles down the hill into town.  Jacque had an emergency tooth extraction in Ogden and has been a bit too sore to joyride on the trike until today so we both jumped at the chance.
First off the bat going down the trail we encountered an Artiste painting the gorgeous landscape.


Then, a few more miles down the road towards Moab, some speed racers came up rapidly behind us and slowed down as they realized what a unique spectacle they had encountered, expressing interest in the trike.  So we all stopped and they took off for a short trial ride on our Tandem Terratrike .
When they returned we had a nice visit with them before they remounted their 12-pound Carbon Fiber bikes and sped away. 

We got back to the RV just before dark, safe and sound.
Roughing it with Mobile Bed and Flush Toilet

Ride Started:  5:21 PM    Ride Ended:  6:17 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:  13.0       Ending Voltage: 12.9
Lowest Temp  67 F      Highest Temp:  71 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  7.13
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  4.7 MPH                               7.5 MPH                     22.0 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
1 hour 30 mins                      56 minutes                  31 minutes

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Shopping Utah by Trike

Today's Quality Tracking via APRS and Ham Radio

We're parked in the RV up here in Utah visiting relatives and enjoying  very balmy and/or  rainy October weather.
My sis went for  a trike ride with me after church on Sunday, and rainy weather has eaten up much of the available time for cycling  around the countryside since.  Jacque  has stayed busy sewing up a storm, of course, with her battery/inverter powered Brother sewing machine.
Today  is Wednesday and mostly sunny and...... Jacque ran out of sewing thread.  We could have waited for our brother-in-law Bill to get home so we could borrow his car, but it was too ripe an excuse to go for a trike ride.
The ride was only a few miles but fraught with cars and construction.  Fortunately, it seems Utah drivers are even friendlier and more tolerant than our New Mexican variety.... and  most Utah streets, even in the smaller towns, are nice and wide with more than enough room for bikes even with no stripes or labeled lanes.  We find riding on the roadways  thus much easier than trying to navigate the complex curb-laden crossbar-blocked so-called  bike paths.
Riding the almost car-less side streets was quite pleasant, until we had to get up on Main Street and ride across the construction zone over I-15 - with no shoulder whatsoever.   Crossing was made easier for us this trip because for some odd reason the traffic stopped behind us and left  about a third of  a mile of clear road behind us.  Then when we arrived at our  Joann's Fabric Store destination, there  was shade to park in AND a huge swath of lush green grass for the dogs to pee in.  Which is a Wonderful Thing.
Both doggies are wonderful ice-breakers with little kids and adults  alike.  Jazzy is especially endearing what with her penchant for running left and right, leaping with joy as she bounds about like a happy-go-lucky jackrabbit with wings.
Before we knew it jacque was done with her threadbare shopping and we rode across the street to another shopping plaza and then returned to my sister's place.
The construction's yellow cones had  this side of the roadway blocked off, forcing normally 4-lane traffic into 2 lanes.... leaving us a clear path about 20 yards wide all the way across the freeway. Which was great as long as it lasted. Which was quite a while.
With streets and boulevards as wide as these we're surprised so few other cyclists are on the road.

Ride Started: 10:26 AM    Ride Ended:  12:37 PM
Beginning Battery Voltage:  13.2       Ending Voltage: 13.1
Lowest Temp  53 F      Highest Temp:  78 F 
Stats from the GPS:    Total Miles:  6.92
Overall average speed            Moving Avg               Max Speed
  3.2 MPH                               5.6 MPH                  25.9 MPH
Total Trip time                       Moving Time             Stopped Time
2 hours 10 mins                     1 hour 14 mins          55 minutes