I was riding my trike the other day when another cyclist rode up beside me. He was riding a fully suspended mountain bike with big fat knobby tires. I could hear the whirl of the tires as he approached. He said "recumbents are big in Florida because there are no hills. Here in Jersey we have a lot of hills". I said "I have no problem climbing hills, I just gear down and go slow". He said "I like to go fast". I said "Not with that bike". He road off and the only one left smiling was me. Don't you just love when people, who never rode a recumbent, tell you what a recumbent can and cannot do.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Today's ride song was "Feeling Hot Hot Hot" by Buster Piondexter. Left the house about 10 and new I was in for a Triple H Therapy Ride. Temps already approaching 90 with increased humidity and winds over 12mph. The first third of the ride was slow going as the sun was strong and hot and the winds were in my face. Slow and steady was my motto. After that the clouds came out and things were not so bad. I made it back 0.4 mph slower than yesterday on the same loop, not that I cared. Had a quick snack and drinks. Being the bikeaholic I am, I attached my trailer for a trip to the gas station to get my propane tanks filled for the grill.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Today I had to run out at 7:30 for an errand. Got back at 8:30 had coffee and breakfast, read the paper, then checked my email, Ecovelo, The Recumbentblog, and Bentrideronline in that order. I new the day was going to get toasty with increased humidity so I decided to head out early for a 31 miler. It was gorgeous with temps in the low 80's, mild winds, and an abundance of beautiful sunshine. Half way through the ride I decided to turn on my Ipod with my powered external speakers. Scrolling through I decided to listen to John Denver and the song that most expressed my feelings was Sunshine On My Shoulders. John and I harmonized beautifully together. I got back just after noon and before the day got too hot. After some cool drinks and a snack I was about to head out food shopping. My wife stopped me and said "I left the reusable grocery bags in your car". I said "I'm going by bike". She said "Didn't you have enough biking"? After almost 33 years of marriage I was stunned by the comment, but calmly replied "No".
I guess I'm a bikeaholic.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
I have not added any cycling gear. My trike remains unchanged. My clothes are simple everyday summer wear (shorts tee shirt and sandals). For the past few months I have been relatively car free and have spent more hours in the saddle using my trike for both utility and pleasure rides. Yesterday was one of those 10 best days of the year. Temps starting in the upper 70's with low winds and humidity. I started the day running some errands, by bike of course, and returned home about 11. The day was glorious so I ventured out for a lazy summer afternoon ride. New Jersey is not the most bike friendly state, but it does offer some of the most beautiful rural countryside. I am fortunate that just a few miles from home puts me in that surrounding. Yesterday I passed horses with their young, cows, deer, turkey vultures, hawks and some of the most beautiful pastures. We are called the Garden State. It turned out to be a 51 miler day of pure cycling bliss.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
This is an excerpt of an email I received from my good friend and recumbent enthusiast, Steve M who I met on GOBA a few years past.
Here is the Email.
"Usually I am not the guy who goes off without checking + double checking everything. Which I did, wanting to not forget to take anything "mission critical" on my first self supported tour. The one thing I did not do was make Reservations with the campground on Memorial Day Weekend. Why, I said to myself, do THAT. Most certainly there will be a small piece of land I can pitch my tent on. It's a Big State Park! It's an adventure after all!
So, naturally the nice lady at the ranger station asked me, after seeing a fully loaded bicycle tourist ride up. "which direction are you headed?" "Why?", I asked. "I am going to find you another campground, we are full up!' "No other direction", I say, "My destination is right here! You must have a tiny piece of grass for my skinny little...tent."
She thinks and speculates out loud what can be done...call her boss..try to find a site that would share(fine by me)...put me next to the basketball courts(whatever-any port in the storm)..then she says, "Wait, I have an idea. Go to the group camping area and talk to Nab. He is the president of the North Coast Mountain Bikers Association, and they are up here this weekend working on the Trail. MAYBE they will let you camp with them!" "Mountain Bikers? OK-any old port..."I say to myself "Thanks" to Nice Lady.
A fully loaded recumbent does NOT want to go off-roading, but up the trail and back into the woods i went, in search of Unknown Adventure. Coming upon the clearing, I saw two guys and a bunch of bikes.
"Are one of you guys Nab?'
"Nope, he's gone to pick up his wife"
"Well, Nice Lady at the gate said I might be able to camp here with you guys?"
"What! A Rodie camp with US??!! Nab will Eat You for breakfast!"
"Uh, er, well... "I stammer.
Then I get grilled: "You aren't one of Obama's henchmen, are you? he asked.
"Nope, not me."
"Were you a Marine? Nab was a Marine in Nam."
"No...But I have my flag socks on!!"
"Well...OK. Here I'll help you clear a spot for your tent."
And so it went. These guys turned out to be the best bunch of characters I could have hoped to run into. Nab finally showed up and (after my grilling-all of which very good natured like the first guys) he took me under his wing to try to convert me from being an Evil Rodie to the Dark Side of Mountain Biking. Nab built the 9 mile trail at Findlay State Park, and spends many weekends(along with his buddies)maintaining it. Clearing fallen trees, filling muddy sections, building bridges, etc. This weekend he had worked with bike shops and manufactures to procure "test bikes" for his group to take out for evaluation. He made it his Mission to get ME on one of those test bikes. Even loaned me padded gloves for my soft roadie hands.
Since converting to a recumbent years ago due to shoulder and wrist issues, I always thought it might be fun to try my hand at trail riding on a real mountain bike. I did a tiny bit when I had an upright, but not on a Real Trail. So while politely declining, not wanting to abuse his hospitality, I finally gave in and took one out on the trail.
Walt(the first guyI had to woo for a small parcel of land) rode behind me coaching me all the way: "stay to the left around this corner or you'll hit the big rock and wipe out", "Keep off the front brake or you'll go over the handlebars an the big downhill"(that I new)"watch the tree at the bottom of the big hill-it's were Frank busted his skull last week!"
"Thanks, Walt- I already passed the tree!'
It was the most fun I ever had on an upright bike. What a blast! Of course, everything that used to hurt, hurts, but it was still a good time.
At night we swapped stories by the campfire, fed the Ranger hot dogs(good to be friends with Mr Ranger) and went on slow rides with lights around the organized campground to see how the other half lives. Very congested, tightly packed camping. Not "getting away from it all" like we were camped! Did I luck out or what!!
And because Nab built and maintains the trail, he stays at the park for free! So do his buddies! My Adventure Cost $0!! Did I luck out or what??!!"