Tuesday, December 16, 2014

6010

I left early to get 31 miles before it rained. That's how many I needed to hit 6K for the year. It was a bit cloudy to start but otherwise nice and I was able to shed some clothes early in the ride. 10 miles out the sun was peaking through so I changed course to add 5 miles. The weather continued to cooperate and got down right beautiful so I added another 5. I finished with 41 miles and no rain in sight. So much for forecasting the weather.
I am 900 miles short of last year, which was my best ever. It's been a fun year especially with my trip to Florida. 3K miles has always been my goal so anything over that is gravy. I can't imagine doing much more without taking time away from family and life's obligations and besides it's all about keeping it fun.











Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Candy Store

As some of you know I have been in the market for a new trike. Catrike has an end of year sale with $200 off so I wasted little time in visiting my friend Laurence at JerseyBents. He has quite the assortment of recumbents from major manufacturers as ICE, HP Velotechnik, Terratrike, Azube, Trident, Rans and Bacchetta. I was a kid in a candy store. Initially, I was looking for a folding trike and had my eye on Catrike's New Trail. Then I got this need for speed and started looking towards the Expedition and even the 700. If those didn't work I would bite the bullet on an ICE.
Why only these 2 manufacturers?
1)Catrike offers great "bang for the buck" and is Made In America.
2) I have an ICE and I know first hand it's comfort, quality and handling.
I have owned other brands, some good, some not so good. These are expensive machines and I cannot afford more lessons.
My first trike to try was the New Folding Trail. I loved the new seat cushion but I immediately dismissed it as it was not reclined enough. I next tried the 700 which was an extreme, unfamiliar design for the "tourer" in me. It had a surprisingly nice ride and not as harsh as I anticipated even with those high pressure "Hammerhead" wheels. The recline is extreme and you have to rely on the neck rest which did not sit well with me. Then I was off on the Expedition and like Goldilocks, it was just right.  Unfortunately, test rides are confined to a neighborhood with no hills. It is difficult to get a true feeling of performance and comfort without getting out for some serious miles. I was initially concerned about "Direct Steering" as my ICE is "Indirect and works great. It does seem stiffer requiring more effort but I had no doubt it would handle well at speeds. My other big concern was aluminum frame and no suspension. I tried to find patches of rough road and also pedaled onto the sidewalk. It was not bone shattering and for the brief time seemed more than manageable and plenty comfortable. The Expedition and the whole Catrike line is very well engineered and a true value in the recumbent trike market. I will have to decide soon if I want to take advantage of the discount. Laurence is a great dealer and I highly recommend JerseyBents.
Now all I have to do is make a decision.
Laurence and The Trail

Black Beauty 700

Expedition




Laurence

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sun?

This is my first day out in 5 days. It's been cold, windy, rain and snow. Forecaster's promised above freezing temps and sunshine and I was excited to get out. Well they got it half right with mid 30's and grey skies. The sun did manage to come out but my ride was near over.
Tomorrow I have an appointment with JerseyBents to test ride some new trikes. I sold my Stratus and Greenway with plans on buying a utilitarian trike that folds for travel. For some unknown reason I have developed a need for speed and now am looking at some faster trikes. Fortunately, Laurence stocks all the trikes I'm interested in and more. I will be concentrating on Catrike as they fill all my needs, are made in America and are a great bang for the buck. Tomorrow promises more sunshine and mid 30 temps, not the best climate to test ride, but it will have to do. I already cancelled once due to inclement weather and Catrike is running an end of year sale. They are offering my favorite color and $200 off. Can't beat that!


Sun finally coming out.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Calm After The Storm

Another 40 miler on this unusually warm December 1st. Partly cloudy, tolerable 10 mph winds and 60 degrees. What made this ride even better was the calm after the Holiday long weekend. I hope I will be as fortunate next month when I do my "Birthday Ride". It seems Winter rides are made up of 2 categories, 20 miles, can't wait till it's over and 40 miles, gotta enjoy the day when I can. It will be awhile when the warm days say, I'll just see where the ride takes me.




Sunday, November 30, 2014

24 Little Hours

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday 32 degrees, I could hardly ride 22 miles and my toes were frozen even with the fairing. Today 55 and I easily double that. Tomorrow promises 60 so I expect another 40 miler. After that it looks like seasonal temps in the 40's. I can handle the 40's it's those freezing temps that get me down. It's just not fun anymore and feels more like work but hibernating in the house depresses the shit out of me. This is just the beginning of what is a very difficult season for me. Unfortunately, my wife is not ready to be a "Snowbird" so I will have to suck it up.
Time to plan a trip south or maybe a new bike, hmm...

Monday, November 24, 2014

Wacky Weather

It's been a strange week in November. We've had below average, average and above average temps, If you don't believe in Global Warming put your head back in the sand. Today's ride was into the 70's with warm gusty winds in excess of 25 mph.  Felt more like Easter than Thanksgiving. About 15 miles into the ride I met up with my friend Bob and as usual an hour of chit chat had passed. I continued on enjoying every minute of this warm and now sunny day. Even those few miles of hard pushing wind didn't bother me. The last 10 miles with wind at my back made for an easy coast home. A great end to a beautiful day.




Selfie

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fair Thee Well

Another 22 mile ride, 2 degrees warmer but much more windy.  Nothing will keep you warm and toasty, but, the fairing does help and yes it's worth it.