Monday, December 26, 2011

Year                                                    2011      2010      2009      2008      2007

Total miles                                            4714     5354      3185      2861      3328

Total rides                                             159       183         126       108        109

Average speed                                      10.3      10.3        10.5        11          11

Average miles per ride                           29.6      29.3        25.3       26.5      30.5

Bikejournal rating                                   829       655        1643      1968     1516

Bentrider rating                                       24         17           49          76          76

Although I am 600 miles and 14 rides less than last year, I am still quite proud of my 4700 miles.
My goal is to use my bike as much as possible and keep it fun. I have done as many miles on my bike as in my car. It has been a fantastic year. I look forward to next years cycling adventures.
Happy New Year and Safe Cycling

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Somedays It Feels So Right

Thought it was a turtle

Emley's Hill

People who didn't make it up

Green grass

New trail

Round house

Today was one of those days. Not a care in the world. No place I had to be.
Today was a Gift.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December 17

I headed out this morning with temps in the mid 30's and winds under 10 mph.  It was the beginning of a beautiful December day.  I wore my Walz wool cap with ear-muffs, windbreaker jacket, hoodie, Sporthill winter shirt and pants, wool socks and wool mittens with liners.  It seemed just right.  I was hoping to shed some clothes but the clouds thickened and the wind picked up.  By the end of this 36 mile ride it looked more like snow.  It was still nice to get out on this brisk December day.  There were quit a few other cyclists out enjoying the day.  Deer were also abundant but, as usual, camera shy. My daily distance has diminished due to the season.  I hope to have more rides like this and keep that winter fur to a minimum.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Marathon Racer Review

I have about 4,000 miles on my Schwalbe Marathon Racer tires.  I thought a review at this time would be appropriate.  As you can see from the photos there is little wear for bicycle tires with this much milage.  This compares favorably to my old Kenda Kwest.  I believe I could get another year out of these tires.  I  had only 2 flats in the 8 months, which is on par with my track record.  The 2 flats were on the right front tire, where the most road debris is.  The holes were tinny in nature and centered on the tire.  Not sure of Schwalbe flat protection.  The ride is good, but not as good as my all time favorite Tioga Comp Pool tires(no longer manufactured).  I find 50-55psi offers the best comfort and rolling resistance on a trike.  Traction seems fine although I don't do much mud slinging.  I purchased these tires on sale from Utah Trikes at $25 each plus shipping.  I believe they are now $32.  These are very good tires and are serving me well.  I do prefer 1.75 tires with a tread-less design.  The only ones now made close in design is Greenspeed Scorchers, which are expensive and don't last long and Schwalbe's Durano and Kojak, also expensive and narrower.  Schwalbe does make 1.75 tires that are very durable but have a significant weight penalty.  In summary, I am pleased with my purchase and overwhelmingly happy with tread life.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Utility Day

Today I rode 7 miles to a meeting, 10 miles to work, 10 miles to the bank and then 3 miles home, for a total of 30 miles.  I love days like this especially when the weather cooperates.  I have got to the point were I only put about 10 gallons of gas in my car a month.  This year I think I put more miles on my bike than my car.  Not only does it make my footprint smaller, but my waste too.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December 1

It certainly was not as warm as my last November ride, but I still enjoyed it.
I have to stop saying "STUFF".

Monday, November 28, 2011

Shorts In November?

Short's in November?

Hard to imagine it's November 28th.  Feels more like May.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

West Windsor,NJ BFC by LAB

For all you Central Jersey folks.  The League of American Bicyclists announced that West Windsor,NJ is now a Bronze member of Bicycle Friendly Communities.
My favorite LBS is there.  Bicycle Rack

Another Great Fall Day

Today was even a better day than yesterday.  It was a bit warmer and there was no wind.  It felt more like Spring than Fall.  It's hard to believe we are at the end of November.

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's Been A While

Today, the day after Thanksgiving, was a beautiful but windy day.  With temps in the 30's,  I decided to bundle up for that morning chill.  I put on a warm long sleeve shirt, pants, wool socks, a fleece, my wool cap with ear-muffs and wool mittens.  Within an hour things warmed up quite nice and I shed most of my winter gear.  My wife was working so I was able to get in some extra miles without feeling guilty.  I finished the day at just over 50 miles.  To my surprise I have not done a ride over 40 miles since August.   

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Shifter

Micro Shift 3x9 Shifter
I recently had my 3rd failure with my Shimano shifter.  That is unacceptable to me.  According to one of the news groups Shimano barend shifter failures are common.  Unfortunately they are one of the only manufactures of a 3x9 barend shifter.  I heard some talk of another company called Micro Shift.  They have a 3x9 but it only comes in indexing and you cannot switch to friction if it breaks.  I decided to take a chance and purchased it off of EBay for $77 shipped.  Shimano's are $115 plus shipping.  They have no US distributors so the purchase was direct from Taiwan.  I received them in less than 2 weeks.  I put the right one on today.  They are very similar to the Shimano but have less loose parts and the accent color is black.  So far they seem to work fine.  It is nice to have the accurate shifting indexing allows.  It will be a test of time to see if they hold up better.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


It's hard to imagine that it is the second week in November.  Temps today a balmy 60+ with pure sunshine.  Strange to see Autumn leaves falling in spring weather.  If I had gone out a few hours later I could have worn a short sleeve shirt and shorts.  Makes me want to move to warmer climates.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Another Brisk Fall Day

I ordered more tubes, a fresh patch kit and am awaiting my new shifter.  In the mean time my patched tube held up and my broken right shifter is tolerable in friction mode only.  There was no excuse not to cycle on this beautiful day.  In fact I passed many cyclists enjoying this weather.  I just love the tunnel effect the trees make on these rural roads.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thank God For Patch Kits

3 miles from home today I got a flat.  Not a big issue as it was the front right tire.  Fortunately, on a trike you don't have to remove the wheel to repair the tire.  Being so close to home I was hoping to add air and make it back.  I was not that lucky.  I reached into my bag for my spare tube and tools only to realize I had no tube.  Panic set in as I realized I had to patch the tube.  I was on the side of a busy road which did not help.  I pulled the tube out placed it on the tire hoping to easily find the hole.  No such luck.  I looked listened and felt to no avail.  Fortunately, a few feet away, was a large puddle of water.  Placing the tube in the puddle I found the pin hole.  I opened the patch kit and was in luck that this old kit still had working glue.  I was soon on my way.  As soon as I got home I found a spare tube and placed it in my bike bag.  I will periodically check the tire pressure on my patched tube.  Tomorrow I will buy more spare tubes and another patch kit.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sh_tmano Barend Shifters

I just went through my 3rd pair of Sh_tmano barend shifters.  This time the black outer casing and inner ring cracked on the right shifter.  It can only be used in friction mode.  I have 18k miles on my trike and 3 pair of shifters is unacceptable.  I had over 20k on my Stratus with Sram x-9 and never missed a beat.  Shifting gears frequently on a recumbent is like banging gears on a tractor trailer but I expect them to last more than 5k miles.  I just ordered on eBay for $77 shipped, Microshift TT 3x9 shifters from Taiwan.  Hopefully they will be better. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall is Here

I left early today for my ride.  Temps in the low 30's with frost on my car windshield.  I dressed in my warm winter clothes, Sporthill Fusion shirt and pants, wool socks, boots, fleece top, windbreaker jacket and Waltz Ear-Flap cap and wool mittens.  My clothes were spot on and I was nice and comfy for this 42 miler.  Half way into the ride, as the temperatures slowly climbed, I removed my jacket.  The hat and gloves remained on as they have there own natural ventilation and wicking ability.  It was another beautiful Fall day tucked between a rainy yesterday and what promises to be a rainy tomorrow.  With the weather changing, I have to make the most of each day and today was just that.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

4,000 Miles


Today my 41 mile ride brought me to the 4,000 mile mark for the year.  It was a blustery day with winds at 15-20 mph.  I usually prefer hills to wind, although the Streamer Fairing has helped with that a great deal.  For me the bottom line is sunshine and today it was abundant.  I was surprised to see so many cyclists on this windy Tuesday.  The past Saturday had few cyclists and it was a calm sunny day.  Maybe they realize the season does not have to be over. 
My annual goal is 3,000 miles so you can see what an accomplishment this is. Last year I had a record breaking 5,340 miles for the year.  I don't think I will break last years record.  I am 200 miles and 15 rides short compared to last year at this time.   However the year pans out is fine.  It has been a fantastic and enjoyable cycling year.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Where Have All the Cyclists Gone

Today, my ride took me through Freehold and then beautiful, rural Millstone Twsp.  This 41 miler started with temps in the low 40's increasing to mid 50's and winds around 10 mph. As you can see by the picture, it was a great Fall day requiring only a long sleeve shirt, light fleece and long pants.  I was surprised to see only 3 other lone cyclists.  Could it be that many cyclists have hung up their bikes in hibernation for these colder months?  It would be a shame to miss some of the most spectacular, colorful scenery of the year that could best be appreciated by bike.  I for one, will be riding all year.  Each season brings a new and exciting perspective of what to behold while riding my bike.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Not as Planned

I left at 8 am for a meeting and then hoped to continue on for a 35 miler.  The morning temps were warm and it promised to be a clear day.  When I got out of the meeting it was cloudy and much cooler.  I did not dress accordingly and was quite cold.  I returned home for what was only a 14 mile day.  Tomorrow I hope to be better prepared.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Streamer Fairing Revisited

I purchased the Streamer fairing in October of 2008 and am now into my 4th season.  I bought the fairing to help with my cold feet during winter weather.  I also hoped it would offer some additional weather protection and help cut through the wind.  Having had a fairing on my Mongoose utility DF bike and my Rans Stratus, I new it would not add any speed to my ride.  According to studies done, fairings will increase speed over 15mph.  I am a slow rider so this benefit was only possible on descents.  It does offer some protection in the rain but a good bump will shoot the droplets onto my face.  On my trike I do get some protection for my cold feet, but not being fully enclosed, it still is quite cold.  It does help with head winds.  It is not that I am faster but it seems to make pushing into the wind less strenuous.  I decided to keep the fairing on when I went on Bikefl this year as I thought it might be windy.  It was not terribly windy, but quite rainy.  The fairing kept my lower half dry which was a nice plus.  When I returned home in late March I removed the fairing.  It is much easier to get on and off the trike without it.  It is also easier to transport.  I keep mileage logs with average speed on my rides.  I noticed this year that with the fairing my average speed increased by 1/2 mph consistently.  This is not earth shattering, but when you are a slow rider, this becomes a significant increase.  I have had the fairing on for the past 1 1/2 months.  The weather has been surprisingly warm, but we have had many gusty days.  The fairing has proved to be a nice asset.  It also adds quite a lot of "Bling" and I get more "Cool Bike" remarks.  Although  I much prefer warmer weather, the trike and fairing help me get through the winter months with it's stability and protection. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Take The Long Way Home

To Meeting

From Meeting

Nice Colors

I had a 9am meeting this morning and decided to take my bike.  The weather forecast was for sunny 50-60 degrees with winds over 10mph.  You know how weather forecasts are.  I awoke to light drizzle.  Looking out I could see that the clouds had some breaks in them.  I decided to do the 7 mile ride and hoped that the forecasters were right.  The light rain continued for most of the ride.  When the meeting was over, I came out to bright blue skies and plenty of sunshine.  I decided to add another 16 miles, making the total ride over 30 miles.  The air was fresh and the trees were colorful.  Makes you appreciate the changing seasons.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bye to Indian Summer

The past week has probably been the best cycling weather of the year.  Weather forcasters predict rain for the next 3 days and dropping temps.  Weekend looks good in the 60's with some blustery winds, but, you know how weather predictions go.  Today was a fantastic finish to this week with a 40 miler.  I took my time in order to savor every moment of what will probably be the last 70 degrees of the year.  This was the 3rd time I did the route this week and every day I saw something different.  Today I noticed how the leaves were changing and falling in spite of the warm temps.  I meet up with 3 women cyclists also enjoying this fine day. It was great to enjoy this day on mans most efficient machine.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Indian Summer

The weather has been fantastic the past few days.  It will continue to get warmer over the next couple of days.  I had some obligations to do today so I decided to get them done early so I could enjoy this great day.  I did the same 41 mile route as the other day.  I didn't think it could be better but it was.  I never thought the fairing added any speed, but I find I am about a 1/2 mph faster on average than without it.  It really doesn't matter as I am a slow rider and like to smell the roses as I go.