Saturday, June 29, 2013

Life Is Good

Summer is finally hear, had a great week on GOBA, cut my work hours down and commute when I do, wife bought a new bike and we ride a bit together, and my grandson learned how to ride a 2 wheeler. Doesn't get much better than that. My biggest problem is deciding what bike to ride. I know this too shall pass but in the mean time I'm lovin' it.
Today's ride
Needs to work on his braking

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Back To Business

GOBA is gone and it's back to life as I know it. The past few days have been dog days of summer and I love it. I have been riding the Stratus since my return. It's a great bike to soak up those long endless country miles. I have been toying with the idea of selling my Greenway.  I had my Honey-Do-List and decided to take the Greenway for an extended ride and then to the store to fulfill the list. It was a beautiful day, not quite as hot. I took my time and enjoyed the scenery. The Greenway like all trikes has a relaxed ride with no concerns from approaching cars. I did 37 miles before reaching the stores. I picked up dog food, a case of club soda and other miscellaneous items for a total of 65 lbs. You can't carry that much weight on just any bike. I am always a big hit outside the store and have a lot of admirers. I must say I do like the attention. Another 4 miles home and I feel good. I have a GOBA friend who is interested in purchasing my bike. The Greenway is not an easy bike to replace. You will not find it on Craigslist. It's a special order and one of a kind. I tend to have sellers remorse and after today's ride I think I'll keep it. (sorry JJ).
Pretty as a picture

Rest stop


Monday, June 24, 2013

GOBA 2013

I just completed my 5 th GOBA and it was awesome. 398 miles in 7 days. I rode all days including the lay-over days. 50 flat miles didn't seem like much of a challenge so I opted to carry my own gear. There were a lot of recumbents this year. 50% of them were trikes. Although, I took my faired trike on GOBA the last 2 years, it seemed to be a bigger hit this year. People would ask how fast does it go and would constantly take pictures. I gave many test rides. The trike is a good venue for such a trip with it's built in mobile chair. When I walked to the port-a-jon, one boy said to me, "This is the first time I saw you off the bike". I had to be careful not to get a bedsore.
Our first day out was Urbana to Troy. It began to rain just as I finished packing up my tent. It rained hard for a good few hours. Fortunately, it stopped before setting up camp again. Those extra 35 lbs took their toll on me in the grinding straight 5 mile stretches of corn and wheat fields with there relentless winds. I was tired after setting up and was glad tomorrow was a lay-over day. That night the skies cleared and we enjoyed a great out door concert. The next day was an out and back to Dayton on paved bike paths. It was great not carrying my gear. Ohio has over 300 miles of connecting paved bike paths. We can thank Huffy. During the 1930s, Huffy participated in the revival of the American cycling industry and so began the creation of the first Ohio bike paths. The following day was another 50 miler to Greenville. I was concerned about hauling my gear as it was a one nighter with no recovery day. I did get some luggage tags in case things go too much for me. It was another day past long straight fields with what seemed to be endless head winds. I don't consider Ohio to be a pretty state for cycling (sorry Dave), but it has some of the nicest folks you want to meet. What makes GOBA such a nice ride is it's 50 mile gentle terrain. I love riding through small town America and stopping at some local place for breakfast or lunch. It's a great way to chat with the locals. The evening activities seem to blend together with bands playing in town and civic groups offering up inexpensive meals. The following day was my hump day to New Bremen. I knew if I could make it there loaded, I could finish the trip. It wasn't much of a town but the people had a lot of spirit and offered up some good home cooked food and music. I took a tour of the Bicycle Museum of America. There is a picture of me on a Penny-farthing. Very cool. The weather was great with cool mornings and evenings. Perfect for riding and sleeping. My layover ride was sweet and relaxed. You never know what you will find on GOBA. For dinner, a Assisted Living Facility sponsored a buffet meal. Salad bar with all the fixings, soup, cold cuts, fruit, delicious breads and pastry, fresh coffee and iced lemonade. All for a donation. It was the best meal all week and hard to leave. The next day was off to Sidney. It was the nicest ride all week. Gentle twisting roller's through the country side. I actually enjoyed some of the big climbs. The last nights song contest was a blast and draws a big crowd. Everybody says there good byes and hugs, thankful for another great week. For me it was my best GOBA ever. Seeing my old friends again and meeting new ones is what GOBA is all about. It's not just the ride but the adventure along the way.
My trike handled the 35 lb load without a hitch. Slow and steady was my motto. When people asked, I said my name is "Marty" but most call me "On Your Left". No mechanical breakdowns or flats, just smooth sailing.  I don't think I will go self supported on a tour like this again but now have a better feel for being self contained and know a trike is a perfect platform.
Enjoy the pics.

Opening ceremony parade ride into Urbana

Entrance to Dayton

Getting ready for evening entertainment

Heading into town for dinner

Typical long  stretch of road

Arriving in New Bremen


Beautiful bike path

My seat for the concert

Last day sunrise

Friday, June 14, 2013

Goin To GOBA

My bags are packed I'm ready to go. I decided to do it the hard way. That is I'll be doing the tour self-contained. I always felt GOBA was a good place to test the waters for self-contained bike touring. The days are not long and the terrain is gentle. I packed my panniers today and went out for a 22 mile test ride. 3 miles into the ride it began to rain. Not heavy but a steady rain non the less. The fairing was fantastic keeping my lower body dry. I was doing a steady pace and getting plenty of room from cars. The few major hills were no more challenging than without the added 35 lbs. 12 miles into the ride my rear derailer cable snapped. SHIT! To make matters worse my chain began to skip. I thought I had stretched the chain. I was fortunate to be able to limp the 10 miles home. I brought the bike to my mechanic. He replaced the cable and checked the chain. It was not stretched just a bad link. $21 dollars later and all is good. I'm glad I took that trial run. Don't want to break down on tour. In spite of the drama my average speed was not too far off. As always I am excited to meet up with my old friends and make some new ones. See ya in a week.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Made Up My Mind

I decided to take the trike to GOBA. It's 3 point stance makes it sure footed in bad weather. The fairing is great for windy days and offers excellent coverage in the rain. One thing for certain if you don't like Ohio's weather just wait a few minutes. In addition GOBA days are only 50-55 relatively flat miles. You can't help but get up early and start your ride before 8 am. Many riders are back by noon. The trike is a slower, more relaxed ride. I see no reason to hurry back. Having a comfortable place to sit after the ride in camp or town is another benefit of the trike. I am a bit of a celebrity riding the trike and in all honesty I kind of like being in the spot light. With all that in mind I have been trying to get some extra miles in on the trike.  I was hoping for a few hundred miles, but severe weather reduced it to just over 130. I just finished a 51 mile ride on this beautiful, breezy day. It was a walk in the park or should I say ride and I hardly noticed the wind. I worked on the trike last week and replaced the tires with new Schwalbe Tryker tires. Nice! All is good and I'm excited to go.

Commute to work

Today's ride

New Tryker tire next to old Marathon Racer

Thursday, June 6, 2013


I just hit 3,000 miles, 3 weeks earlier than last year. I still have another week of riding before heading out to GOBA. That should add another 4-500 miles. There will still be a week left in June when I return so who knows how many more miles. Last year at over 6,000 miles was outstanding. I am right on track with some cushion. I tend to lose momentum late Summer and early Fall so you never know. For now I am enjoying the ride.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

2013 National Bike Challenge

The National bike Challenge is more than fifty thousand riders logging over ten million miles, demonstrating the power of the bicycle to build healthy people, healthy communities, and a healthy planet as part of a national online community. The Challenge starts May 1 and runs through September.
Last year I finished in the top 10 each month in New jersey. I am happy to state that this May I finished in the number 2 spot with 19 rides and 727 miles.

National Bike Challenge


I love the smell of Honeysuckle flowers when I ride.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Cape May

I just came back from a long weekend in Cape May. What a great place to ride. We stayed in a campground 4 miles from Cape May Island beaches and Historic town. All is flat except for the West Cape Bridge onto the island. Biking in Cape May is a favorite pastime among visitors and locals, and one of the easiest ways to get around.  Cape May Is;land is only about 4.5 by 2.5 miles.  It is a great walking town and even better biking town. Bikes are everywhere with share the road signs, designated bike lanes and bike rentals . There are more bikes than cars and plenty of bike racks to lock things up. It's so flat and easy to ride even my wife enjoyed it. The main bike of choice are single speed beach cruisers. It's the easiest way to shop and dine. Add a trailer and toting beach supplies is a snap. If you want more scenic miles head north over the bridge and tour miles of the Delaware Bay or ride up the coast to Wildwood Beach and further. 

Village Bike Shop