Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Urban Assault

I just picked up this Raleigh Redux 3.
She's a real beauty!!!

Specs can be found here.
As much as I love recumbent bikes/trikes they just don't work well while travelling.
I spent the last 12 months riding my Xootr Swift folder which has proved itself in over 5600 miles.
The only real problem has been the harsh ride on those 20 inch wheels. I wanted a bike with large volume tires, simple drivetrain, nimble handling and no front shock. My ideal ride was one of those 80's rigid mountain bikes made from Chromoloy steel. Unfortunately it would require new drivetrain and wheels and the expense seemed prohibitive. I also felt a new bike was in order. I was looking at 1x 10/11 mountain bikes but it meant a front shock and better road tires as I didn't plan on doing much trail riding and the cost was greater than my $1k budget. I finally came across the Redux 3 which had most of my requirements. My concern was all aluminum and Promax hydraulic disk breaks. I do most of my own wrenching and have no knowledge of hydraulics and know that Promax is pretty bad. As far as the aluminum it's hard to escape as that's what manufacturers seem to be producing. I new the 2.0 tires would soak up the bumps and aluminum will survive the elements. This bike will spend it's life outside on the back of my car. Another reason not to over invest. 
I finally bit the bullet and purchased this $900 bike off eBay for $557. The bike was easy enough to assemble except when it came time to attach the front disk brake. Being the guy that I am I saw no reason to read the directions. The front brake did not go on and I took it apart to make it fit. I broke the hydraulic seal and oil went everywhere including the caliper. I finally went to my teacher, YouTube, and learned it was beyond my capabilities and expertise. The next morning with tail between my legs I brought the bike to a shop. I was told the brake and rotor were toast and the repair/replacement would be $150. The only good from this was I replaced with a quality brake by Shimano. I was fortunate and got the bike back the next day and proceeded to make the final adjustments. I took the bike for a 10 mile trial run and so far am quite pleased. It's plenty fast, has a nice smooth and nimble ride, the 1x9 11/40 cassette with a 40 chainring offers all the gears I need and the brakes work perfectly. I am awaiting a rear rack and kickstand. The seat is comfortable enough at present. The Schwalbe Big Ben 2.0 tires smooth out the chipseal nicely. It does have a more aggressive riding position than I'm used too. I ordered a shorter stem and will see how that works or maybe a 2 inch riser handlebar might be in order. I also had to order a bike rack for car transport.
It's always fun to get a new ride and look forward to all the new miles of smiles.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 STATS

Year                     2017  2016   2015   2014    2013    2012     2011      2010    

Total miles           5636   6493   6560    6305   6900    6169     4714      5354     
Total rides             249     254     199      181     220     199        159       183           
Average speed        11      10       10        9.5      10.4      11         11          10           
Av.miles per ride      23     26      33         35        31        31         30          30             
Bkjournal standing 270      X     205      275      254      460         829        655        
Bentrider standing    7       X        7          9        10        13           24          17          
I am very pleased with these results, 5636 miles over 249 days on my fold-up bike an Xootr Swift. All this while travelling full-time in a Motor-home.
Better than I had hoped.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

On The Road

It's been quite some time since I posted. We sold our house in New Jersey, packed 26 years into a small box and headed out as Full Time Rver's on October 4, 2016.  It has been 10 months and we are currently in Oregon. We have traveled through approximately 19 states  and I have pedaled in most. In preparation of this journey we had to purge much stuff, including some beloved bikes. The 2 keepers where my ICE T trike and my Xootr Swift folder. The trike took up much room and did not always work in areas visited. In November of 2014 I sold it in Lake Worth, Florida. It was a said day for I had that trike 12 years and 35k miles. Be that as it may I have thoroughly enjoyed my Xootr Swift and it currently has 4k miles for the year. It sits in the back of my CRV with room to spare.
We Wintered in Florida for 5 months and it was great for bike trails. Wherever we went there seemed to be a designated bike path nearby. Alabama, Gulf Shores was another fine area to cycle. Other states where hit or miss but I always managed to find something. Ohio is not my most scenic state but the people are the friendliest and it has many designated paved bike trails. Iowa and Illinois had some great trails along the Mississippi and rural roads with little traffic. Although I did not pedal in Nappanee, Indian it would have been a great place to ride. It has flat scenic roads with friendly Amish. The locals are accustomed to Buggy's and cyclist. One of my favorite places to date is La Grande, Oregon. It is situated in a flat valley surrounded by beautiful foothills. It has miles and miles of scenic bikeways. Another week here in Oregon and off for new adventures. I'm looking forward to Utah and Colorado for more miles of smiles.
See you on the road!!!

La Grande, Oregon

Old RV

New RV


Gulf Shores Alabama Trail


Birthday ride.
Alligator sighting.



Rural Georgia




That's not good, Iowa

Took up too much room
Sadly had to go

Not my best look

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January Mileage

Pedaled all 31 days this month.
755 miles
Gotta love SW Florida in the Winter.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Annual Birthday Ride

Since age 50 I have been riding my age annually in the month of my birthday, January. This year I finally got the opportunity to do it in warm sunny Florida. We are now "Snowbirding" in Ft Myers and thankfully there are many cycling routes available. With the help of the local bike club, Caloosa Riders, I was able to obtain cue sheets for a 40 mile ride onto which I was easily able to add another 25 miles. It was a perfect sunny day with temps in the upper 70's and winds under 10 mph. Wind is the issue in Florida. You would thing that pedaling flat Florida would be easy but it is not. You must constantly pedal without any relief from coasting downhill. With that, there is still little to complain as Florida invests in it's parks and biking/walking paths.
Being on the road made it difficult to store multiple bikes, so all are gone except for my Xootr Swift folder which I have become quite fond of. My daily rides have not been more than 28 miles and I was a bit concerned about 65 miles. In the past few years my high mileage day has been my birthday ride.
Be that as it may, I managed to do the ride and with an additional 3 unplanned miles. I am happy to accomplish this milestone at Medicare eligibility. I suspect this will be my last time. I have accomplished more personal cycling goals than I could have imagined. I will continue to go about pedaling and enjoy everyday I get to ride.


Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 Stats and Year in Review

It has been an interesting and exceptional year. My total mileage was 6493 with 254 riding days. Surprisingly my rides have been for the most part, evenly divided between my Fuji, Xootr Swift and my ICE T. My wife and I decided to live our dream of living on the road and sold our house of more than 26 years.  October 4 we loaded up our then RV and headed south for the Winter. Living in a 240 sf box has it limitations and one sacrifice I had to make was to downsize my bike collection. I decided my must haves would be my forever trike, my ICE T and my newly purchased folding Xootr Swift. After 2 months I found myself riding the Swift and the trike was taking up precious cargo room in the back of my Honda CRV. After careful consideration, I decided to simplify things and sold my trike. I thought it would be a difficult breakup but as it turns out I am really enjoying the Swift and don't at present miss my trike. We have since bought a new larger RV with large basement storage so it is possible to stow a folding trike.
My goal for the road was to average 100 miles/wk and I am pleased to say in the last 3 months I have accomplished that. We are currently Wintering Snowbirds in Ft Myers, Fl and surprising it is a great cycling area. It seems Florida invests in it's parks and bike paths. Almost every major road is accompanied by a bike lane, bike path or cycling friendly sidewalk. You can pretty much cycle anywhere in SW Florida. Florida is flat and you would think it is easy pedaling but you actually never have the ability to coast. Also it is made up of right angles and lots of wind making for some monotonous rides. I do miss the rolling, winding, back roads of Jersey. All in all we are blessed to start this next chapter in our lives and I look forward to exploring new roads.

Don't miss the snow

Grandson first big ride

New RV