Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Not quite 7k

Today was my last ride of the year. I needed 26 miles to make 6900 for another record breaking year. Normally this would be easy but today's temps were a blustery 25 degrees. To say it was cold would be an understatement. I dressed as warm as possible but keeping fingers and toes toasty is always a challenge. Even the fairing offered little protection on those fast downhill descents. My muscles never warmed and that cold thick air made riding feel like your pedaling through mud and molasses. My wife thinks I'm crazy riding today. Tomorrow promises even colder weather. Riding on New Year's Day, now that would be crazy!
Happy New Year!!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Balmy Day

Out of the Arctic for a welcomed 50 degree day.  It was still cold in the morning so I opted for a late start. Not trusting our illustrious forecasters, I decided to err on the side of caution and wear my warmest gear. It is better to take away than wish to receive. There was plenty of snow on the ground and I was reluctant to take the 2 wheeler. Fenders on all my bikes is a must and I was more than grateful today. A 30 mile ride seemed just right before a final stop at the store.  The next 2 days promise even warmer weather but unfortunately I have committed to work. My only regret was not adding another 10 miles for this weather might not appear again for some time.

Bike path not cleared

Rest stop

Last stop at the market

Friday, December 13, 2013

3 Wheelin in Winter

In this weather I prefer the stability of 3 wheels. Patches of ice and snow make for great concern of wheels sliding out from under. In addition the roads are more narrow with accumulations left on the shoulder. The Greenway with it's higher stance and road presence provide even greater security. It doesn't offer the weather protection as my rides with fairings, but long rides in sub-freezing temps are just too insane, even for me. It's open cock-pit and easy on/off allow me to bulk dress. This is a very difficult time for me so any way I can get out and ride is good. Today's 22 mile ride was just about right. Only issue, cold toes.

Love my Wool Walz Cap

Monday, December 2, 2013

Technical Difficulties

The other day I went out for a 30 mile ride. 20 miles into the ride I developed chain suck. Not being able to immediately diagnose the problem, I limped home slowly. I did not want to apply any more pedal pressure than absolutely necessary. The last thing I needed was a broken chain. It was a very cold day so I just put the bike away and headed inside. I am fortunate to have other rides so immediate repair was not necessary. I have a great mechanic, Van of Bicycle Rack in Hightstown, but he is a good 20 minute drive. Because of that and the added effort to load bikes on my car, I have learned to do most repairs. The internet, newsgroups and YouTube have proven quite valuable. Further investigation revealed a broken link. An easy fix. I did order some extra spare parts like chain, cassette, quick links and chain wear tool. Nice to have on-hand. Being holiday season I found great prices from JensonUsa.
Today's 30 mile ride proved all is good again.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Before The Storm

Got a ride in before the storm. Sanity and safety kept it to 12 miles.


Freezing Drizzle

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Only Cyclist

It was a cold start and only got colder.
The only cyclist I saw today.

I expect even less tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Winter Woe n Wear

One of the features I love most about recumbent riding is I can wear pretty much anything. No special clothes required. The best is Summer, shorts, t-shirt and sandals. Everyday attire and out the door. Unfortunately, Winter riding requires thought and preparation. It doesn't matter whether you darn Walmart put together or techie bike clothes. It still requires work. You have to check the weather and figure out what layers are best. Do I need the super heavy weight shirt? Wool cap, balaclava and which gloves to wear. No such thing as, I'll hop on the bike for a quick run to the store. Not a big deal for weekend warriors on a club ride, but is, if you use your bike for both sport and errands. Nothing like walking into the local market looking like some alien from outer space. It's a good thing I'm not too shy. The other issue is laundry and plenty of it. After all, I'm wearing two sets of clothes on each ride. It takes a lot to get out and ride but as my son says " it's better than being warm n toasty at work".

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What It Takes

It would have been insane to ride in yesterday's weather.
This is what it took to get out on this freezing wind-swept day.
Thermal fleece shirt, hoodie, scarf, windbreaker, balaclava, beanie, heavy fleece pants, wool socks and ski gloves with liners. Some people might call that insane. 

What made the ride reasonably enjoyable was scaling down the miles, bright sunshine and appropriate dress.
Ice patch

Why I ride

More ice

Monday, November 11, 2013

Rule #12

The correct number of bikes to own is N+1 (number of bikes = N + one new one). The minimum being three. Nice if you can do it but the grass is not always greener. I first have to decide which bike to ride. If I haven't ridden that bike for a while my legs are sore. Each bike has a different seating style using different muscles. Alternating bikes puts my muscles in a state of flux. I have to re-acclimate them. When it's been awhile, the first few miles are, What did I see in this bike? Then it's, That's what I'm talkin about.  The longer I stay with one bike the stronger, faster and easier it is to pedal. I can concentrate on the ride not the bike which is what it's all about. Don't get me wrong I am fortunate to own some high-end bikes but it was a lot easier when I had one bike at a time. Sometimes I want to sell off some of the herd but I go, No I need that for...  Then I start drooling over a new trike out and thinking, Wouldn't it be great to have. It starts to get insanely complicated. The simple fact is, it doesn't matter what I ride as long as I ride.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Cold and Windy

I'm not complaining, well maybe a little, but, today's ride was cold and windy. It started sunny but soon deteriorated. Patchy blue skies gave way to dark clouds and whipping winds from the north at more than 20 mph. There was even light rain for a few miles. I was prepared with my wool cap and earmuffs, winter gloves and adequate layering. For my own sanity and trying to keep Winter Fur at bay, I managed just under 40 miles. I even went a few extra miles to the store. As tough as it might get it's always better than not riding.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Only Mid Fall

It's still hectic around here and with less daylight getting cycling time can be quite the challenge. It's only mid Fall and I notice some Winter fur. I got home early today and the weather was perfect. Low 60's, sunshine and winds under 10 mph. Getting out for a ride after noon was not something I'm use to but I had to take advantage of what might be one of the last great days of the year. I decided on the trike but a few miles into the ride my legs let me know I had muscles not used in awhile. I managed 30 miles and realized, I got to get out more.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


I just hit an incredible 6k miles for the year.  Best ever!  I am quite pleased with myself, but, more importantly, I'm having fun. Would love to have more Autumn days like today. Temps reaching 70, sun, little wind and colors at their peak. The rest of the year is all down hill from here.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Got My Fix

You can see by the lack of posts that not much is happening on the cycling campaign trail. I have been inundated with work, both on the job and home, leaving little time for biking.  I promised I would not get obsessed but I found myself "Jonesing". I finally had a hole in my schedule and looked forward to today's ride. The weather called for a drastic drop in temperature and light rain. Not exactly the ideal day for riding. Forecasts being as they may I hoped for the best.  I stepped out early to check the environment. No rain and not as cold as I feared.  To be safe I took the ICE T for it's weather protection.  2 miles out, was that a drop I felt? Yep!  It didn't look that threatening so I kept going. A few more miles and things got a bit more steady. I wasn't feeling the love so I opted for a short cut back.  Fortunately, the God's were smiling and the rain stopped. No sun and still quite chilly but I managed to get my fix with 21 miles.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The last 3 gloomy days are thankfully over. Today low 60's, more clouds than sun and windy. The first half of the ride was relaxed with winds at my back. I was even able to remove my jacket after a few miles.  I was concerned with the second half heading into the wind, but, the aerodynamics of the ICE T fairing, a dry day and just being out riding, made that a non issue. There were a lot of cyclists enjoying today, but non, more than me.