Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Stats

Although my mileage for 2007 is 140 short, my overall stats remain consistent.

2008 2007
Total Miles 2861 3328
Total Rides 108 109
Average Speed 11 11
Average Miles per Ride 26.5 30.5
Bikejournal Ranking 1968/8082 1516/7524
Bikejournal ranking percentage 24% 20%
Bentrider Ranking 76/213 76/284
Bentrider percentage 35% 25%

After comparing my stats with 2007 and I am quite happy.
Looking forward to a new and great year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Years End

I was hoping to get more miles in for 2008. As it turned out I missed my annual goal of 3000 miles. This is the 1st in over 10 yrs I missed by 140 mi. I started off like a gang buster and would easily have passed my goal, but as life would have it, things change.
All is not lost. I am contemplating new ways to further enjoy my cycling for the new year.
Gone is the annual week long cycling events, like BikeVa, BikeFL and GOBA. Although I would like to try to get time for BikeVa. I know longer ride with my local club. My old cycling buddies have gone their ways. I have become focused on my trike which does not easily fit in with these circles of cyclists. This might sound depressing, but I am actually happy. Life is evolving and so is my cycling. I continue to use my bike for utility miles. My Streamer fairing has made winter riding much more enjoyable and has increased the wow factor 10 times. I am looking at new bikes and new ways to incorporate them into my life. I still love to ride and am looking forward to what new adventures 2009 holds.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Streamer Fairing Update

I have had the Streamer fairing for awhile. It seems the rear strut mount to the boom is not a secure design. I have had much unwanted movement and at 1 time the hose clamp broke, leaving me a very slow 5 mile ride back home. I decided the mount needed more support. I pushed the strut as forward as possible till it touched the derailer tube. I then added a hose clamp around the derailer tube and the front strut. Of course, I protected all parts with rubber tubing, so as not to scratch my paint. The fairing is now rock solid. What I did loose is the ability to easily remove it. I can remove it, but requires removing a bolt. No big deal as I intend to keep it on all winter. In fact I am considering keeping it on all year. What I did gain. It's easier to swing my legs over and the cool factor has increased 10 fold.
Another thing happened. I found the trike was shimmying or oscillating, when I hit a bump and did not have my hands on the bars. This became so annoying I was ready to scrap the fairing. I recently read on the BROL news group another T owner having the same problem with his T only no fairing. It was advised to check all bolts and toe in.
As it turned out my headsets on both sides were very loose. I tightened the headsets, secured everything and went for a 16mi spin. The fairing was tight as a drum, no shimmy or oscillating over bumps and I was able to pedal in a straight line hands off, which I could never do before.
Fixing one problem lead to fixing a potentially dangerous other problem.
In conclusion the weight of the fairing is unnoticeable, helps in head winds, keeps me warmer for winter riding and has increased the cool factor.
Loving the ride!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

1st Fall Ride of 2008

It has been a hectic second half of the year for me. My available cycling time has decreased to the point, I will probably not reach my annual goal of 3K mi. I am not upset as I am trying to incorporate more commuting time for the new year.
I was off this last Friday and proclaimed it Marty's Bike Day. The weather cooperated in the mid 40-50 range with minimal winds. I had not been out on my bike for a nearly a week. I new I would be out of condition for my routine 50 miler, so I decided to cut back. I waited till the frost had dissipated and left about 9:30 am. With my new Streamer fairing in place I decided to start my favorite ride and then deviate and blow caution to the wind.
For the past 6 months I have had to take a detour from my usual return due to construction. I decided today I would check to see if construction was completed. It was not, so I ventured out searching for a new way home. It was a beautiful fall day and I was up for it. My day completed 37 mi and I could have done more. My attached videos do not do justice to the awesome feeling of my day.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Streamer Fairing

I just got back from a 25 mi ride to test my new Streamer Fairing from HP Velotechnik. I am quite pleased. I sold my other 2 bikes and have been holding on to the money deciding on my next bike purchase. I was trying to decide between another bike, Velokit for winter riding or adding just a fairing to my trike. The Velokit seemed great. At $1000 I could fully enclose my trike and ride all winter except on snow days. I liked the idea, but, I new polycarbonate fairings tend to scratch and in time it would be difficult to see through. I then decided a fairing alone would be better as you look over it, not through it and I prefer feeling more open and outdoors. I looked into the Mueller Windrap with the swing arm for easy on and off, but, at $709 plus shipping it seemed ridiculous. For $300 more I could get the Velokit, which would give all that and much more. What I really wanted was a fairing for winter riding to protect my feet as they seem to be the most vulnerable in winter riding for me. I then remembered the Streamer Fairing. I checked the dealer list and called around for price and availability. Rob at Recumbent Bike Riders had stock, the best price and knowledge of the product. I ordered it on Tuesday, shipped on Wednesday and received on Thursday. Can't beat that.
It took me a couple of hours for 3 days to finally tweak things out. The Fairing, as Rob described it, is large, which offers great coverage. It's shape is perfect for trikes. The new mounting system is OK and takes some time to adjust. Remember this Fairing is not bike specific, so tinkering is a must as are most recumbent parts. I am not fond of the Velcro and found I had to add nylon bolts and wing nuts to secure the fairing to the front strut to keep it from moving. The rear fairng Velcro mount seemed to hold fine. Mounts to the front and rear struts seemed OK. It's obviously designed for versatility and simplicity. I replaced the rear clamp which was much too large with a smaller one and used an old tube to protect the frame. Worked fine.
He is my conclusion. The fairing itself is 1st rate in quality workmanship and design. The mounting system is OK for it's universal design. Price for comparable products is not to be beat. Great Bang for the Buck. Here is the kicker, which I new. You have to be somewhat of a contortionists to get in and out. You have to sit on the side of the seat, then swing 1 leg over the handle bar and then the other. Then swing 1 leg over the front strut and then the other. Sounds complicated. Not all that bad if you are reasonably slim and agile. I am 56 and have no problem.
I rode 25mi with 15mph winds.  The fairing is quite light. I didn't notice any difference in climbing, due to weight. Head Winds, Tailwinds seemed unchanged. Side winds are still the worst. The fairing didn't seem to change my performance much and I didn't expect it too. I just want some added protection for my feet and this seemed to do the job well.
At about $400, I believe this a good bang for the buck for winter riding.
One last thing. You can't be shy riding a recumbent and riding a trike is even more outlandish. Adding this fairing has given me more thumbs up than ever.
If asthetics is what you crave, there is no finer looking fairing than this one.
Works for me.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hilton Head, SC

I just got back from vacationing on Hilton Head. It is known for its great weather and cycling friendly paths. The Island is 12 X 5 miles and everything can be accessed by bicycle. We stayed in a RV Park 1/2 mile into the Island. It was an extremely beautiful and friendly place. I spoke with the manager of the park and asked where the cycling paths were. He gave me a compact map of the cycling trails and off I went. I started my ride on a major rode with little to no shoulder for 6 miles, only to be honked and yelled at on my trike. I said what kind of friendly bike place is this? I would do better on 6th Ave in NYC. Not being a happy camper I reached my goal of a local beach. I realized the bike bath ran on 1 side of the road. Not the side I was on. No wonder every one was yelling at me. After that day I got the hang of things and found different trails. There was a great loop that took me 16 miles into marsh lands were trailer homes were 10 ft of the ground. I also went over a bridge that said please Don't Feed the Alligators. Like watch out for Moose Crossing. To my amazement there was an alligator swimming about. My 1st sighting and a very cool experience.

You can get anywhere by bike on Hilton Head from beaches to restaurants and all by using a single speed beach cruiser.

All in all a great vacation, a wonderful place to cycle and a mayor retirement consideration.

Enjoy the video.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Commuting with Planet Bike Lights

I just started a new job requiring me to work 5 , 8 hr+ days a week instead of 3 12 hr days. I feared this would cut into my cycling time, so I decided to purchase some lights for hopeful commuting. My commute is 16mi each way in a fairly rural area. In hopes of commuting I purchased some inexpensive lights. Instead of spending a lot of money on intensity lights. I decided to try economical Planet Bike lights. I started with the Beamer 3 headlight. Not much better than my old Cateye. The biggest advantage to the Beamer is it's small size and long battery life. I also added the Blaze 1/2 watt tail light. Tiny, also only 2 AA batteries and is extremely visible. I then added the Blaze 1/2 watt front light and another 1/2 watt blaze tail light.
With this setup I did my 1st commute to work on my ICE T Trike. I left at 5am for a 6:30 start. I had to carry my work clothes and work paraphernalia. I decided to also stop for bagels for the staff. My Pod bags weighted 30lbs. I must say I was very impressed with the lights. Being a slow rider at 11mph, the lights provided plenty of visibility. As the day broke I changed over the front lights to flashing mode. I was amazed how far they flashed at signs. There was a person from work who passed me and commented how visible I was.
All in all I am happy with this set up.
On another note, people at work asked me if I was tired and how I would fair on the way back. 16 miles is a walk in the park and the ride back is even easier. It's a time to reflect on the day and take your time getting home. I have done work commutes before, but not as pleasurable as this. Not sure how often I will do this, as I am mgt and require to stay as needed.

All in all a great experience with lots of potential.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cycling Glasses

For those of you that are not overtly sight impaired, I highly recommend Smith and Wesson Magnum Safety glasses. I bought a pair a few years back from Walmart for under $10. I loved them so much I purchased 2 more pair. Since then, due to my abuse they have scratched severely and I have decided to get a new pair. With much dismay, they were no where to be found. I checked safety glasses at all my local hardware stores and non had that same comfortable fit. After searching the web I found my loved Smith & Wesson glasses at at a reasonable price and shipping with a great variety of lenses.
I purchased 3 pair. Clear for night riding, Orange Blue Blocker for cloudy days, and Smoked with anti fog lenses for sunny days. I am very excited they did not change the design.
Smith & Wesson Magnum Features precision cut to shape 7 base spherical lens for increased distortion-free peripheral protection. Adjustable temples with four settings for a precise fit. Ribbed, non-slip rubber nose piece for all day comfort. Maximum UV protection. Exceeds ANSI Z87.1-2003 performance standards.
Please note these are not for people who need prescription sun glasses. These are regular sunglasses at a reasonable price with a great fit. If you can survive without prescription riding glasses, I highly recommend the Smith & Wesson Magnums.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


I know this must sound sacrilegious, but I am contemplating going Diamond Frame. I recently sold my Rans Rocket and have considered selling my Stratus in lieu of getting a DF Surly LHT. I will be starting a new job which is 5-8 hr days a week instead of 3-12hrs. It will cut into my cycling time unless I commute. It is 16 miles from home which is not that long but I hate to get sweaty before work. I am considering driving 1/2 way and commuting by bike the other 1/2. Fortunately or unfortunately it is in a rural, but, unfriendly bike area. My trike, which is a keeper will fit in my Hyundai Accent. It does require me to remove the seat and rack. I would like to keep my down time to a minimal.
Alan Barnard of of the Recumbent Blog and now ECOVELO has always been inspirational to me. For the past 20 yrs I have used my bikes for utility miles as well as recreational. I have become more ECO conscious. After reading his posts it seems a DF might suit my utility miles better. It still would not be a traditional bike, but more along the lines of an upright Dutch Bike. I remember as a kid how I would add high handle bars and sit straight up and tall and enjoy the ride. I am hoping I can find this combination which will not overtly effect my butt. Hunched over on a racer does not work for me. Sore wrists, back and butt converted me to recumbents. I am hoping an upright position and a broken in Brooks saddle will work. If not my recumbents work well for me.
After riding my Stratus again, I decided it is too comfortable and too much a classic to sell. I hope to go to my LBS which has many used bikes and try some DF out to see if they will work.
Like Alan change can be good and increase my cycling enthusiasm.

Friday, June 20, 2008

$0.00 9/10

I just got back from a 40 miler. Winds light and not too hot. I ran into this charming couple from 8 months back who was looking into trikes. She had just learned how to ride a 2 wheeler, but was not comfortable. She purchased her GS GT3 and is having a ball. It's great to see people getting back to cycling.

Riding a recumbent, in this neck of the woods, makes you an odd ball. On club rides even the hybrid bikers get more respect than me. Riding my trike on club rides is like riding by myself. Fortunately or unfortunately I love riding my trike to the point my other 2 wheeled bents are just gathering dust. Unless I am riding with my son on his new trike, I ride by myself. To tell you the truth I love the serenity and time to myself to reflect on life and it's gift.

Getting to the topic, I use my trike for most errands. For example, 2 days prior to Fathers day, I took my trike to Walmart to pick up some inexpensive wicking tank tops for my son. Then I went to Home Depot and purchased a table vise for my son's 1st Fathers Day. It weighed 10-15lbs. I strapped it to my rack. I then went to the liquor store and bought 2-1.5lts of wine and 2 sixpacks for Sunday's celebration. On my way back home I realized I forgot the new water filter for the refrigerator ice machine so I stopped again at a different Home Depot. Other than the vise all things were stored in my PODS, which are basically 2 duffel bags strapped together. The trike weighed a ton but didn't seem to mind the load. I did about 25 mi, ran my errands, and enjoyed a beautiful day without spending any gas. How cool is that?

My favorite and 1st site to visit is Alan Barnard's ECOVELO. He has always been an inspiration to me. His Recumbent Blog is fantastic and now his new site is filled with ways to utilize bicycles and cut down our dependence on fossil fuels. I have no idea how he acquires so much info, but I am glad he does.
I have been bike riding for 20 years now and before I joined a club I have come to learn that most of my miles were termed utility miles. I had a Mongoose hybrid that I equipped with inexpensive day panniers and fenders. I even added a Zzipper fairing. (Quite a site in those days) Working off shift I had many opportunities to ride. I would go to the mall, run errands and if I bought something I had room to carry it. Today it has become a way of life for me. All my bikes are equipped with rear rack, fenders and panniers. People often ask me what do you carry in those bags. My answer, you would be surprised.

I have become quite well known in this area. Not by name, but by that guy on that crazy bike.


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Saved Another Turtle

Today I got off to a late start. It was already 80+ degrees at 10am. I decided not to kill myself and just do 25 miles with just a few major climbs. I did see other cyclists but not as many as normal for a Saturday.
It must be turtle season because, again I found a big Boxer in the middle of the road. This guy was not as friendly as the other and quickly closed up tight. While I was trying to get it, a car came up and almost ran it over. I picked up the turtle and placed it on the grass in the direction it looked like it was going.
This was a Hotter than Hell Day, but still better than not riding at all.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Another Great Day

It was another beautiful day in NJ. My son on his new WW and me on my T. Great father, son bonding. We did 38.5 miles of beautiful country roads. Found and saved a turtle crossing the road. We got home just as the day was heating up. It was then Miller time by the pool.
The day was a gift.
Keep Riding!!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

1ST Trike Group Ride

My son just purchased on 05 WW3.6 and I decided to join the TTOG group. There was a 25 mi ride listed in my area for today. My son and I were game, so at 9 am we all met in Cranbury. Me on my ICE T, my son, Justin on his WW 3.6, Joel on his Black Widow Action bent, Ben on his WW Race with speed drive and Suzanne on her WW path. Dave was there on is EZ 1 bent and a few other road bikers.

This was Suzanne 1st group ride and her longest distance. I must say she fared well. My son at 26 kicks butt. It was a beautiful day and the ride was most fun. Just a group of recumbent enthusiasts having fun.

Thinking of starting our own club.

Enjoy the video in spite of some shaking.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A New Trike to the Family

My son just purchased an 05 Wizwheel 3.6 Tour. After 4 hrs of riding and tweaking I must say how impressed I am over the improvements made since my purchase of a 3.4. Brake steer is minimal. Pedal steer is gone. Handling in general is far superior. The ride is soooo comfortable even with the stock tires and no seat pad. That front idler drag that bothered me so much seems non existent, although I expect he will change it out for a Terracycle idler. The paint, welds, decals and general workmanship are 1st rate.
I don't know why WW chooses to mount their barend shifters to the rear. We moved them to face forward as it is much more natural for shifting.
The trike came with many accessories, such as seat bag, accessory mount, computer and rear rack and flag. The flag is very cool.
I own an ICE T which I love very much, but bang for the buck WW is great. It's like comparing a Honda to a Mercedes. Both do the job well.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Next Recumbent Enthusiast

I am the Happy Grandfather of the next Recumbent Enthusiast. Welcome Jesse James, 7lbs 8oz born on 5/5/08 at 6:45pm.

5 BoroBikeNY

This part of what I call my cycling weekend. It starts with my clubs annual event called the Farmlands. It is held the 1st Saturday in May and hosts nearly 1000 cyclists. This year I road to the start at Brookdale college and finished with a whopping 76mi. The most I have done all yr. The next part of my cycling weekend is the 5 Boro Bike NY, held the 1st Suday in May. 30,000 cyclist ride through all 5 Boros of NYC. Traffic is closed to cars. It starts at Battery Park and ends at the foot of the Staten Island bridge, totalling 45 miles. This is just a fun ride that should be experienced at least once in your life.

The following are some raw footage of the 5 Boro. Unfortunately video quality is lost when down loading to Blog spot, but you will get the idea. Please, no jokes on my singing. I tend to get over exuberant on this event.

Enjoy and KEEP RIDING!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

New Flag added

Here are photos of a new Flag I just received from Devil Women Flags. I am very impressed with her work. Flags are $20 and are embroidered on heavy duty silk type material. They also have a very ingenious type of clamp mechanism to keep from flying off without being glued.
Just in time for my Bike Weekend. Saturday is my Central Jersey Bike Club main annual event. The Farmlands. I should do a metric century. Sunday is the 5 Boro NY Bike Tour. 30,000 cyclist riding thru the 5 boros of NYC. A very cool event and roads are closed to Cars. Videos to follow.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Clipless Pedals or Not

For me NOT. I prefer the ease of using regular shoes or sandals that I find comfortable. My favorite cycling shoes are Sketcher sneakers and now their sandals. They have a very hard long wearing sole that sticks like Gorilla Glue to the pedals and the shoes are light. I had a pair of Lake sandals and with the cleats were surprisingly heavy. I suffer from numb foot especially on high BB bikes and like to be able to move my foot around. Being locked in makes the situation worse. It seems that most cycling shoes are made for very narrow feet. I guess to fit the pedal better. My favorite clipless pedals were Look with it's wide platform, but not suitable for walking. I do many utility miles like to the store and such. With gas prices what they are and being more Eco conscious I find myself using my car less and less when possible.
Now for the pedals. My 1st bent was a Bikee in 1999 and I was not comfortable using my Look pedals for that type of ride. My LBS showed me Odyssey pedals with their big wide platform and not ultra sharp but gripping teeth and they matched the bike. For $25 I was sold. I have not looked back and have those same pedals on my Stratus now 8 yrs old. I bought 2 more pair. One for my SWB Rocket and one for my trike. I have never had leg suck or had my feet accidentally slip off. The 4X3.5 in platform works for flip flops and hiking boots and durability is outstanding.
As I get older, I find myself doing shorter distances(no more than 66 mi), but riding more days in the yr. The ability to jump on my bike without specific cycling wear prompts me to use my bike more for local errands and visits.
With that,

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Marty Day

For those of you who do not know me, A Marty Day is an endearing term used by my close cycling friends. I suffer from SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and tend to get over exuberant over a great ride in great weather to the point my cycling friends now refer to a great cycling day as A Marty Day. Today was such a day. It will probably be one of the ten best Marty Days of the year. Temps in the 70's to low 80's, almost no wind, no humidity and pure sunshine. Shorts, T shirt and sandles. My favorite cycling outfit.

I set out to do 50 miles and decided to make it an adventure and let the roads lead me as they may. As it turned out I found myself in Allentown. It is a quaint town with antique and quilt shops and a great small town coffee shop called Woody's. They make great inexpensive sandwiches and have outside tables and chairs, so you can keep an eye on your bike. Also up the road is a great small park overlooking a beautiful pond with benches. Another great place to stop and relax. Allentown is a hub for motorcyclists and bicyclists as it is surounded by rural roads.

The day was so beautifull I decided to put on a few extra miles, by taking the long way home. It was 56 miles. Taking a short break, I later went to the store making my total for the day 61 mi.

Truly A Marty Day

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Beautiful Spring Day

I was finally able to get out and do a 50 miler on this beautiful spring day. Temps in the mid to upper 50's and light winds. New computer, wife, kids, and work set on the back burner. Just me and my bike to enjoy life's splendor and beauty. A gift.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

My New Flag

I just finalized the proof for my new personalized flag. I purchased it from Gettysburg Flag Works. I did it online. It was an unusual request so it took them 2 weeks to get back to me with price and proof. Minor changes where made and finalized in less than 24 hrs. Lead time is 2-3 weeks. I should have it in time for the 5 Boro BikeNY ride.

Loving everything about the ride!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Dog and his best friend Donald

I 1st met these guys on my 1st self contained tour in 2003 with my son. Both dog and duck ran to the fence barking and quaking. It was obvious the duck thought it was a dog. My son and I just laughed. 5 years later they are still best friends only more sedate. I hope you enjoy this short video.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Biking in New Jersey

As a member the The Central Jersey Bike Club I receive a monthly news letter called the HUB. It lists all rides for the month and has various stories and articles. In the February Hub it listed a link to NJ State Transportation on Biking which was offering free cycling maps. The maps were for various rides in the state and The NJ East Coast Greenway portion. This is part of a multi use Trail in progress from Maine to Florida. Also included is a route from High Point to Cape May. CJBC sponsors this ride and is called the Longest Day as it is a 200 mile ride.

I received the route maps and was quite impressed. The High Point Cape May and ECG are larger map books that are made with a light plastic type lamination and quite durable. They also are the size that will fit in a standard map case. All maps come with a road map overview and easy to follow cycling Q sheets.

Just click on the above link and go to free information. Fill out the the required information and maps you would like and in less than 2 weeks you will receive this great guide.

Have fun and Keep Riding

Thursday, February 28, 2008

New Sleeping Bag

I just purchased a Northface Allegany Rectangular sleeping bag for touring. It is a synthetic bag that compacts down to 7"X13" and weights just 2 lbs 8 oz and is good down to 40 deg. I just can't do those mummy bags. I have a North Face Kazoo down mummy bag which weights about the same but is good to 20 deg, and stuffs to the same size. I used it once on BikeVa with temps at night in the 70's and I just sweltered all night long. Later, on other bike trips, I decided to try a Fleece rectangular sleeping bag. If the temps were warm (60 or above) it was fine and the fleece was way more comfortable. If it was chillier the fleece just couldn't cut it and I was forced to dress to the max and freeze. Having a full sided zipper that opens up the bag to a quilt is perfect for me. I can move around and squish the bag to conform to my sleeping habits. Those mummy bags may be warm, but, I feel like I'm in a coffin. The coldest night trips I have taken, believe it or not, was on BikeFl in March. The night temps got down to freezing with frost on my tent. All of my other tent touring rides have been in warmer weather. This new bag seems just what the doctor ordered. Light weight, stuffs into a small sack and is good to 40 deg. I purchased this bag at Campmor in northern NJ. I found this to be the best camping type store in the country for price and variety. If you are fortunate to be close enough their in house sales staff is outstanding . If not, their online catalogue is fantastic.
I am not sure what if any organized tours I will be doing this yr. With my old and new Arkel panniers and pods my ICE T is begging to be toured.
Keep Riding!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Arkel Tail Rider

Instead of writing an article, I decided to post a video. I hope you like it.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Soon to Come

I just purchased the Arkel Tail Rider and the the new Arkel Cam Lock for my my old T42 panniers. Tail rider is a hit for sure. Cam Locks still to be tested. Reviews coming soon.

Update to Dura Ace Shifters

I finally was able to get out for a frigid 15 miler and check out my new shifters. Click, click, click no skipping, no missing. Shifting is, as it was, perfect. I am one happy camper again.

Monday, February 11, 2008

New Dura Ace Barend Shifters

I have been having problems with my right index shifting, since jamming over a month ago. For some reason it would not shift past 4th. It was a great day and I decided to make repairs on the road and continue the ride. I am not sure how I got things to work but I did . Since then I have not had good shifting and felt it was the Dura Ace shifter. I did spray some lubricant down the shifter and may have damaged the plastic spacers. Having become quite the mechanic, with the help of Park Tools, I decided to change the barcons myself. I ordered new Dura Ace Shifters off Ebay for $65 with shipping. Today being 16 deg and windy, I decided to sleep late and latter work on the trike. It was so cold I couldn't work in the garage and decided to bring my new PVC trike stand and trike in the house for repairs. An hour and a half later shifters and cables were replaced and major derailer adjustments made. All seemed great and I decided to venture out for a test ride around the block. Shifting seemed great with a slight need for anticipated stretching. I am still frostbitten but I think all is fixed. After only 4800 mi I didn't expect to have to replace shifters, especially after over 18k mi on my srams on my Stratus.
I am looking forward to a good ride to truly evaluate my repairs. If it shifts as good as before I will be one happy camper.
I love my trike.
An additional note, my home made trike stand worked beautifully.
It made repairs much easier.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Great Half Time View

Today was one of the best winter cycling days. Temps mid 40's with neglibable winds of 2-3mph. I started my ride at 10:30 am to allow for the morning thaw. The sky was clear blue and I was feeling great. I decided not to take a definitive route but rather play it by ear. It was amazingly quiet with few cars and fewer cyclists. I was surprised not to see more riders. I figured everyone was laying back for the game later. I was in the groove. Their loss was my gain. My half way mark at 17 miles, turned out to be Rising Sun Lake. A lake, I stumbled upon, while adventure cycling NJ. A beautiful small lake known mostly to locals for fishing and boating. A great scenic rest or lunch spot.
I finished up the ride at 35+ miles. I am looking foward to a Great Super Bowl Game and my wife's famous Chile and Wings, for which I have worked up a great appetite.
If the Giants win, it will be an end to a perfect day. If the Patriots win, it will be an end to a perfect day.
Keep Riding

Friday, February 1, 2008

2008 Rides

It's the end of January and I am starting to get ride brochures in the mail and online. Decisions, decisions. How do I want to spend my precious time off for event cycling. One easy decision I always make is the NY 5 Boro or BikeNewYork. It is the 1st Sunday in May. It is only 42 miles, but comprises more than 30,000 riders. It is unbelievably well organized and fun. A must if you are near NYC. Email me privately for tips on better enjoying the ride. My club, Central Jersey Bike Club also sponsors their annual event ride, The Farmlands, the day before BikeNY. Well organized and rides are 25- 100 miles with well spaced rest stops and sag support. This has become known as my bike weekend, so wife and work are hands off.My real decision is what week long event I want to do for the year. I have done BikeVirginia, BikeFlorida, GOBA and BROL. BikeVa has 2k riders and is the best organized ride I have done and is usually very challenging. BikeFl has about the same number of riders, but is held during March or April when school is out and northern Florida tends to still be cold. Run well but not BikeVa. GOBA in Ohio has 3k riders. Again run well, more family oriented, not that challenging. I find the local charity groups charge a bit extra for lunch and dinners. BROL, a fun recumbent weekend in the Finger Lakes region of beautiful NYS. I think this could be better if Bryan would promote it more.I have done most of these events a few times. With the exception of BROL, these are large events bringing thousands of cyclists and money to small towns. It does create waiting times for food and showers and locals can become overwhelmed. I have not done smaller events of 3-500 riders which some have expressed as better. For me I become a social butterfly after the ride and enjoy the local color. The more the merrier. There are many more ride events that cyclists rave about. The Granddaddy of all probably being RAGBRAI with 10k riders.
I chose the above mentioned events for the following reasons;

1. I prefer circular routes. I don't like wasting a day traveling on a bus and wondering how my bike is.
2. I like it to be reasonable.
3. I like to have the flexibility to eat where and when I want so I can enjoy the local color.
4. It has to fit into my schedule.

This year I think I am leaning towards GOBA. I will do this ride on my Trike and self contained. 50 mile days should not be over challenging with smaller hills than Va and I can get a feel for riding self contained. It may be selfish, but these week long events are all about me. I leave family friends and work at home. I ride, eat, and socialize with who and when I want. Everbody is there for one reason and that is to have fun cycling.
Sometimes I think this is what makes it so special.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Flip Video Review

I recently received the Flip Video Camcorder as a gift. I have been intrigued with posted videos on Blogs and web sites and thought what a great enhancement. I used to love watching Alan's videos on his Recombentblog. He would be riding some serene bike path on a beautiful day with some great background music. It would seem like a utopia. How can you not love cycling.

After some researching and my wife looking over my shoulder, I received the Flip Ultra as a birthday gift. I played with this thing all day and fell in love with it. I took it on my annual birthday mileage ride and just laughed at myself afterwards.

It holds 1/2 hr of video which is more than enough. You can combine videos to make a movie. You can condense for emailing. Picture quality is far better than I imagined. It takes 2 AA batteries which I have yet to replace. It weighs less than a pound with batteries and is about the size of a small digital camera. Internal software works great and there is a 24/7 live customer support. It will obviously be outdated within the yr, but for now it's great.

Keep Riding

Monday, January 14, 2008

56 Birthday ride

I have a yearly tradition to try and ride my age, This yr it's 56 miles. My birthday was a wash out weather wise but 1/12 was beautiful. My wife gave me a flip camcorder so I made some clips I hope you can enjoy

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Trike Stand and Repairs

My trike had been working and shifting flawlessly until a week ago. The right shifter jammed and would not go up 4 higher gears. I was hoping for a great ride, so instead of heading home I managed to repair on the road. It took about 1/2 hr. Don't know exactly what went wrong but it was working and I continued my 30 miler. Towards the end of the ride I noticed my lower gears missing at times and shifting up. Over the last yr I got tired of driving a 1/2 hr to my LBS and decided it was time to learn repairs. With the help of the Internet, BROL and Park tools, I managed to change my chain, cranks, BB, cassette and cables. I found things quite easy if you have the right tools. Unfortunately bikes have their own unique tools.

What I didn't have was a stand to work on the trike. I would put small pales under the rack to lift the rear wheel and then work on my hands and knees making adjustments. Too old for that. There has been a some talk on BROL about trike racks. UTAH Trikes and others have displayed various inexpensive PVC racks. Today I went to my local hardware store and for $19 made this PVC trike rack in a few hrs. I am still tweaking it as it has a tendency to sway a bit. It's light, the height is perfect and it makes working on the trike much easier . I have an old Workmate bench which my son has to return. I think I will use that to steady my stand better. I won't get into how I built this stand as it is obvious through the pics, and can be made in various configurations. It is great to use a bike stand for repairs and maintenance. When it comes to getting into those final adjustments, I find you have to add weight and torque to the bike. Another words ride the bike, stop, make adjustments and try again until all is right. For me learning repairs has more than saved me money, but, saved me time so I can continue to
Enjoy the ride

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

First ride of the year

Hearing rain last night, I didn't expect to get a ride in for the new yr. When I finally awoke the rain had stopped and the skies were clearing. As always, after reading the paper I check Alan's, The Recumbent blog, and Bryan's BROL. On BROL there was a posting by Bjorn, "First ride of the Year". He didn't like the idea of no rides for 08 on Bike Journal, so he did a short ride of 5 mi. I new how he felt. Unfortunately I had 2 unwanted guests from the party my neighbor had, Woozy and Queasy. I had hoped to shake them off with a 14 mi ride. They kept up with me the whole ride. Finally after a hot shower and writing this Blog, they got bored and left. It is nice having started my cycling yr on the right foot and still
Enjoying the ride