Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Goodnight Irene

Fallen tree with down power line in my neighborhood

Another view

What my streets look like

What the rural roads look like
Hurricane Irene came and went leaving reminders that she had been here.  Because of the expected devastation I had to spend the night at work in case there was a need of evacuation.  I slept on the floor on a mattress with 3 other colleagues.  It reminded me of a cheap Budget motel.  All in all we laughed and had fun like kids in camp.  My wife called me at 3 am Sunday to let me know we lost power.  I anticipated that and was fortunate enough to hook up the generator from my RV to my basement sump pump.  My wife transferred our food to the RV refrigerator.  When I got home Sunday at 8 pm all was well but still no power.  Monday was a beautiful day for riding but there was major cleanup that needed to be done.  Monday night about midnight the power was restored.  I got up early to do more maintenance and then it was time for a ride on this gorgeous day.  As things would have it 2 miles from home I got a flat.  Fortunately, it was the front right tire on my trike.  So much for Schwalbe's puncture resistant tires.  It was a quick repair and I finished the ride with 36 miles.  From the above pictures you can get some idea of what Irene left behind.  Fenders came in handy on some still semi flooded roads.  I gave directions to 3 motorists detoured due to closed flooded roads.  I am very grateful that we had minimal damage and my heart goes out to those less fortunate.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Adventure Cycling


Today was one of those days I wanted to get out and explore.   In my earlier years I use to ride with a friend and it seemed like all roads led to Allentown. I new a round trip ride would be approximately 50 miles.  I took a direct but scenic route and thought I would explore different roads on the return trip.  The weather was just too fine and I decided why not go to Bordentown. It is a very old, quaint and most importantly a revitalized town, with modern restaurants, shops and renovated town houses.  It had been many years since I road out there and I was not 100% sure how to get there.  I found some event markings on the road and followed them eventually getting me into town.  I continued to follow those markings for the ride back when I found myself back on the route that took me there.  I turned off on some vaguely familiar road.  Things were starting to come back to me and I was feeling the adventure in cycling I remembered.  I came across another cyclist who waved me down.  He was curious about my trike and was amazed at my intended mileage.  We talked for a while and as he road off on his nice Trek road bike, I noticed he was wearing regular hiking shorts, sneakers and regular pedals.  He was just out enjoying this beautiful day on his bike.  I smiled and continued on my way through back roads I almost forgot.  50 miles into the ride I saw a familiar wave.  It was my wife on her way to Allentown to see a client.  The last 20 miles were on very familiar roads as I was getting tired.  70 miles total for what was an outstanding cycling day.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nice Day

Doe and her 2 fawns

Another life saved
I didn't even get out of my development and there on someones lawn was a doe and her 2 fawns.  I new this was the beginning of a great ride.  I continued on my way a met up with a nice road rider.  He also preferred to ride by himself and enjoy the scenery.  We rode and talked for a few miles and then went our separate ways.  The day just go more beautiful.  A few miles later I saved another turtles life.  Another Rocket recumbent rider sped past me as he said hello.  Motorcycles where giving me the 2 finger friend sign.  The last 10 miles home I encountered many casual cyclists enjoying this great day.


ROAM Velomobiles
A friend of mine sent me this email.
"The June Adventure Cycling magazine had an article about ROAM- or ROll Across America. A group of Europeans riding across the USA on "bikes." But these were not bikes, but Velomobiles. These are 3 wheeled trikes- not completely unusual, but these are completely enclosed with a wrap around fairing. The wind advantage is so great, and allows them to go so fast, these guys are doing over 100 miles a day to go across the country in 30 days.
I didn't think too much of the article until yesterday, on our club ride they passed right in front of us going east as we were headed north! And they were zooming faster than I thought possible on a trike! (sorry Marty!)
The video is from a club member, JJ Johnson. He is stricken with a form of arthritis, debilitating his hands, but rides a different type of trike with the help of special shifters.
Enough story- the video of these guys is fun. (for me anyway...)
Here is another link to the website of the group for the more adventurous of you...."
Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-L3fzqOHxM

The truth of the matter is I have been following these guys since the start.  Many Americans have dropped out, probably due to the excessive daily mileage.  I have met one participant Merrill Gay on 2 occasions with his home built square tubed bolted together aluminum trike.  He added a Alleweder velo kit and is still on the ride, now somewhere in PA

Outstanding adventure.
Good luck to all.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Week of DT'S

Because of life's demands, I was not able to get any cycling in for 1 week.  Yesterday I managed to ride 31 miles catching up on all my errands.  It was sunny, but hot and humid.  Still happy to get out and ride.  Today family fun day.  Worth the sacrifice and Priceless.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Things Are A Little Slow

I worked the last weekend and then it has been raining.  Tomorrow, the weather promises to be good, but, I am working.  I am hoping for fair skies on Thursday.  Friday I am hoping to get in a small ride before the Grandkids get here.  Saturday family fun day and Sunday we will see.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Double Play

Another Great August Day
Back to back gorgeous August days.  My legs were not ready for another 71 miles, but I did mange to get in 38 miles.  I also visited my favorite LBS which is always fun.  I picked up some spare tubes and repaired my neighbors flat.  Now, do I commute to work tomorrow?.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Racking Up The Miles

Sandy Hook Bay

Belmar Beach
 It was one of those rare and great August days that you just have to pack on the miles.  Temps low 80's, low humidity and light winds.  I needed something different and long to enjoy this day.  I decided back to the shore for a 71 miler.  This time I checked wind direction and found light winds from the NNW.  It was decided, out to Matawan, then Aberdeen, down the Henry Hudson Trail across the Atlantic Highlands Bridge and south from Sea Bright on down to Manasquan and eventually home.
There is no rushing this long ride.  I chatted with a guy Dan on the trail.  I stopped at the Windmill in Long Branch for a super large tasty hot dog with all the fixings and a large root beer.  Very tasty and hit the spot.  The nice thing about the shore it is very bike friendly with dedicated bike lanes.  There are a great many interesting sites to see.  The bad thing is there is no shade unless you want to stop under a pavilion.  Although a beautiful day, I hit the shore at the height of the heat and it was no cooler.  Once you leave the protection of the shore it is back to cycling on major roads not so bike friendly.
It is a great ride, but something best done in the spring or fall.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Days Gone By

I did my typical ride today of 32 miles.  10 miles out the same direction and then decide if I want to do 25-60 miles.  The reason for this is that I like to ride from my home and this area provides the best cycling area around.  I miss the days when I would head in any direction and follow roads I have never been on.  Sometimes it was a great find with winding, rolling hills and shade trees.  Sometimes it was right into a head wind up a steep hill with traffic.  In either case it was an adventure, never knowing what was around the next bend.  I miss those rides.  Since getting reacquainted with cycling over the past 25 years, I have come to know most roads within a 40 mile radius of my home.
I was talking to an associate of mine the other day.  He said what he like most about biking, was you see things you miss by car, but also have the ability to quickly change scenery that you can't do with walking.  That was one of my hooks that brought me back into cycling.  I remember in the early 80's, buying my blue and white Mongoose mt bike at my LBS for $220.  It was a 18 or 21 speed with thumb shifters. I quickly learned I was not for mt biking.  I replaced the knobby tires with no name slick street tires.  I changed the flat handle bars with ones with a vertical bend for a more upright seating position.  I added fenders, no name rack and panniers and I was feeling the love.  I took that bike everywhere.  I commuted, went to the store, the beach and took it camping.  I don't think in the 15+ years I ever changed the drive chain.  I just aired up the tires and greased the chain and off I went.  It was then that I joined a cycling club and learned proper cycling habits.  I also bought a couple of road bikes, but nothing was like my Mongoose.  I eventually found recumbents and so it goes, but nothing brings a greater smile than the days of exploring untraveled roads.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Just Another Day

I had to run a few errands this morning.  It was a nice enough morning so I did them by bike.  When I finished I decided to continue on for a nice relaxing ride.  Temps in the upper 80's with high humidity and 8-10 mph winds.  With the wind and scattered clouds it turned out to be a pretty nice cycling day.  I manged 29 easy miles and was feeling myself again. I caught up on some much needed rest and was back in the groove.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

3,000 Mile Mark

Lunch Stop
Today, in spite of being tired from my last 3 busy days, I managed to get out for a 50 miler.  The weather was warm and sunny with a light breeze.  It was a slow start and my leg muscles were hurting.  I only needed about 20 miles to reach my annual goal of 3k miles.  I was hoping to do more miles and decided to use the wait and see method.  15 miles into the ride I was beginning to feel myself again.  Slow and steady was the attitude of the day.
Last year was an all time best for annual mileage.  I far exceeded my 3k goal and finished with over 5300 miles.  I decided to compare my mileage and number of rides to date with last year.  Last year on August 6th I had 3039 miles with 112 days of riding.  This year I have 3027 miles with 100 days of riding.  It's amazingly close.  It will be interesting to see how the year pans out.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Prince Of A Day

Make A Wish Foundation Castle

Shopping after
Today was like a Fairy Tale Day.  I went out early expecting it to get really hot and humid.  Instead the weather was quite delightful.  It was in the 80's with low humidity and a mild northerly breeze.  Still waiting for the other shoe to drop, I was expecting things to quickly heat up.  That did not happen and I managed a 37 miler wanting more.  Passing that castle being built by The Make A Wish Foundation made me feel more like a kid.  When I got home I had a Honey-Do-List.  I decided to continue my enjoyment by taking my bike another 6.5 miles for the much needed shopping.  I have just come off a great shore weekend with my wife and have a busy next 3 days a head.  I am very grateful for this super cycling day.