Thursday, December 31, 2015

End of Year Thoughts

Another fantastic riding year, 6,560 miles, WOW!  I wasn't sure I was going to break 6k but retiring early helped. More time means I don't feel the need to get long rides in when I can. I suspect the new year will bring more days to pedal but less daily averages. I've cleaned house and only have 2 bikes of which my ICE T gets 99.9% of my time. It is my forever bike and if something should happen, it will be replaced.  There are times when the trike doesn't work and I am looking into getting a non-recumbent Mt or Hybrid bike. The new bike will have to fold for easy storage when we travel. I don't want it hanging off the back or on top of my car. For that reason I am looking at Montague folding bikes. They are full size and ride like real bikes. I am looking forward to changing things up by doing some light trail riding and my new bike should be just the ticket. My passion for cycling is still strong but I sometimes push myself more for health than for fun. As much as I enjoy using my bike for errands those areas are highly congested and as I age, I become more fearful. I understand more now why people only ride trails. I still prefer road riding and the ability to ride loops over out and back on trails. My plan is to still ride my age in the upcoming weeks and my mileage to be more than respectable for the year. I'm not sure what tours lie ahead, might even try a bikepacking trip in the woods. I will probably do GOBA as it's always easy, fun and economical. I'm hoping to spice things up just not sure how exactly. For now I'll just keep pedaling and look forward to what 2016 brings.

2015 SATS

Year                   2015      2014      2013     2012     2011      2010      2009      2008     

Total miles          6560      6305      6900    6169      4714      5354      3185     2861 

Total rides            199        181       220       199        159       183        126        108       
Average speed      10         9.5      10.4        11          11          10          11          11      
Av.miles per ride    33         35        31         31          30           30          25          27         
Bkjournal standing  205      275      254      460         829        655       1643     1968     
Bentrider standing     7          9        10        13           24          17           49          76        

Mileage Breakdown                  
ICE T                      6123
Catrike                     394
Fuji                             43

Friday, December 25, 2015

Technical Difficulties

Sometimes I just can't leave well enough alone. Such was the case yesterday when I decided to adjust a tic in my rear derailer. Well 4 hours later after changing out my whole drive train a number of times, I finally gave up after making things worse. My trike is now unrideable and I will have to take it to my LBS for his expertise. Being Christmas Holiday it will have to wait a couple of days.
The weather has been unusually warm, yesterday high 72 and today, Christmas 66. Although quite cloudy there was no forecast of rain until late and winds were under 5 mph. Since I don't celebrate Christmas and my wife was working I was not going to let this balmy December day go without a good ride.  Shorts and a light long sleeve shirt was all that was needed. I aired up the tires on my Fuji, lubed the chain, attached my Tailrider bag with an extra tube and pump and off I went.
I wasn't sure how many miles I would or could do but 25 was to be my minimum. It was light traffic due to the holiday and I was moving along pretty good. I made a few stops to rest my butt, take pics and post to FB. After all was said and done it was 38 pleasant miles.
Quick stop at atm

18 mile rest stop

Helmet hair!
Update, After an hour at LBS it was determined the rear cable housing was bad. Closer examination showed it was worn through and cracked, compressing the cable. All is good again.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Minor Alterations

Many trike and recumbent riders detest chain tubes and opt to replace them with idlers. They say not only are they noisy but increase drag on the chain. Manufactures put chain tubes on to manage the 2 1/2 lengths of unruly chain. To be honest for the last 10 years they never bothered me on my ICE T. So why with my increased age related hearing loss do they bother me now, I don't know. I decided to remove the top front tube on the power side. There was an immediate quiet and a smoother pedal stroke. I didn't want to think this was mind over matter so I decided to ride a few weeks to verify the benefit. After all I had no problem with them for 10 years. I was also concerned about getting grease on my pants but that seemed to be a non issue. With the noticeable difference with just the top tube gone I decided to cut and remove the front lower return tube.  The rear 2 tubes will have to stay as they keep the chain from hitting the frame. After a couple of days of rain I was finally able to get out for a test ride.  Today's ride was cold, mid 30's and windy. I had to darn all my Winter gear. After only 22 miles I was ready to get back to my warm home.
Homemade trike stand for maintenance

New cassette and chain

Very cold!

Sunny and beautiful but cold!

Front tubes gone

Rear tubes remain

The verdict, I like it!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Into The Wind

November was record breaking weather and it appears December is too. The past few days you could ride with shorts, t-shirt and sandals(my favorite outfit). I rode 13 consecutive days and enjoyed them all. With so many days of riding I was not enthusiastic about getting out on this very windy day. With sustained 20 mph winds and forecasters predicting gusts up to 35 I took serious thought in leaving my bike in the garage. What helped motivate me was the bright sunshine and promise of 60 degree temps. I decided on 20 miles as no matter how bad, it is easily doable for me. There is no battling wind, just gear down and take your time. The nice thing about riding a trike is you don't have to worry about falling over.  In addition, I was riding slow enough to post to my FB buddies and share the ride. It was with their encouragement and company that made today's ride very enjoyable.


Look what I found

1/2 way

Very Windy!!!

Need more of these

The End.

Monday, November 30, 2015

November Numbers

I just completed my 11th consecutive day of riding. I have 23 days riding and a total of 702 miles for the month of November. It is the most days of riding in one month. I only had 2 other months with more miles, June and July. Thanks to El Nino and Global Warming it was one of the warmest Novembers in 100 years. We had a few cold 30's and a few warm 70's but most often it was in the upper 50's. In addition we had little rain. I am just shy of 6K miles for the year.
Here are some pics from the month.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

So Shall I

I caught wind of a group ride along the Henry Hudson Trail in Monmouth County. The organizers were from the Princeton Ski Club who apparently do other activities. It was open to all and rumor had it there might be some recumbent riders also, so I thought why not. It was set for an 11 am start in Freehold and would be an out and back of 10-20 miles. Normally I don't do out and back but I needed a change and thought it could be fun. Of course my plan was to pedal to and from the start to add miles. I arrived 1/2 before the start and was greeted by Charlie another triker.  He drove up from South Jersey. The ride leader Steve, was pedaling a recumbent. The rest of the folks were riding an array of mostly comfort bikes. They were quite friendly and looked forward to an easy ride and a long lunch stop. Things finally got rolling and at the 5 mile mark they took a group conscious to see who wanted to continue further. It was decided to go the extra miles. Again it was asked who wanted to continue another few miles to the end. Half continued on and the rest stayed back. At this point I was losing interest and decided to stop at my old job to say hi which was at the end of the trail.  I thanked those around me for letting me be part of their group and road on. After my short visit with friends I pedaled the 10 miles home for an interesting 30 mile day.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Hard Times

These are tough times for me. Short daylight hours and cold northwest winds make getting out and enjoying the ride more challenging. Fist thing I do most mornings is check the weather especially wind velocity . Since weather forecasters don't always get it right I go outside and check for myself. Then it's decision time as to what clothes to wear. When I finally do make it out I have a certain amount of miles in mind and rarely add to that. Not like the Summer months when I might add 20 miles to my ride. It also makes it difficult to jump on my bike for a quick trip to the store. One of my favorite spots to take a break is Rising Sun Lake. It's a beautiful hidden gem and most times I meetup with friendly fisherman and kayakers but as Winter approaches I find myself alone.
The other issue is the decreased activity on my social media cycling groups and forums. Few are diehards like myself and many hang up their bikes till Spring leaving little to talk about.
I am hoping that this years El Nino keeps things on the milder side(so far so good).
I so want to be a "Snowbird", but until then, I have to keep my spirits high and be grateful for any day I can ride.

Today was my typical ride through Millstone with temps in the low 50's, winds up to 20 and bright blue skies.
Surprisingly I added 3 extra miles.

Rising Sun Lake

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Why No Posts

I was feeling a bit guilty about not posting lately. A couple reasons come to mind, the first being there is nothing new. We are in the process of downsizing and I have sold all my bikes except my trike. What more can I say about this bike that hasn't been said before. My cycling habits are unchanged. I continue to ride as often as possible and I am just as excited as I was more than 3 decades ago when I rediscovered cycling and later recumbents. Again what more can I say. The only added thought is as I age, cycling for health, not just fun, has become another driving force. I have no trips planned but that can always change. I am considering purchasing some sort of folding bike but I will leave that for another time when it is closer to a reality.
The other reason is I have fallen victim to social media especially Facebook. If you noticed most of my latest posts were short pieces with pics. FB is a great venue to easily express myself and communicate with other like minded cycling enthusiasts in real time. Not only can I share my thoughts and feelings but I get to experience others who share my passion. I belong to more than 7 cycling groups but my favorite is The Recumbent Trike Group. It has a lot of new trike riders who recently experienced that recumbent grin, like the feeling you got when you first learned to ride a 2 wheeler. Not too many know it alls or people telling how it should be done. Just regular folk enjoying the ride. I get to experience new areas and rides through the eyes of others. In addition, riding a trike gives me the ability to post as I pedal. I can share as it happens. Just the other week I posted at a rest stop, got an immediate reply, and for the next 5 miles I was chatting with another recumbent rider in England. How cool is that! Sometimes on long climbs, I find myself surfing or posting and before I know it the hill is over. This might be blasphemy from hard core cyclists but for me it just adds to the enjoyment.
So if you want to know more just follow me on FB or better yet find your favorite group.
Until next time,

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


With promising weather and some free time I made a last minute decision to ride the GAP.  I purchased the Trailbook in advance which gives you valuable information and history about the trail along with a separate vinyl map. It is worth $16 with shipping.  The logistics and being a linear route has made it difficult to ride the entire 150 mile trail so I decided to do an out and back from Cumberland, Md. I arrived at the Ramada Inn around dinner time on Saturday leaving me time to explore this quaint town.  The trail head provides free overnight parking and after a bountiful complimentary breakfast I was on my way at 7:30 on Sunday.  The first 24 miles is uphill to the Eastern Continental Divide and then a gradual downhill to Pittsburgh. It was a constant grind to the top and took me a little over 4 hours. There was just a few scenic overlooks but for the most part it was like riding the never ending Pennsylvania Turnpike. Crossing the Mason-Dixon Line and riding through the 3300 ft Big Savage Tunnel was a treat but reaching the Eastern Continental Divide was a relief. There is a map on the wall showing mileage and elevation.

Nice room at the Ramada
Ready to go

Only 20 more miles of climbing

Mason Dixon Line

Big Savage Tunnel

The top, relief!

 My plan was to stay at The Husky Haven Campground in Rockwood just 43 miles from the start. It was a  relatively easy 20 mile pedal to the campground but remember this is hard packed gravel which is not always so packed. Having 3 tracks of a trike makes things more challenging at times. I arrived about 2:30 with mixed feelings. It was $10 to camp but I was offered an entire house for just $50 so I took it. Unfortunately it's a tinny town with few services and being Sunday in Pa didn't help.
My stay at Rockwood
I originally planned to pedal 50 miles the next day to one of the free shelters at mile 90 but the thought of pedaling back uphill, over the same terrain was not appealing. I decided in the morning to just pedal back to Cumberland. I must point out I have never been a fan of bike trails, especially non-paved. They are fine for people who want to pedal car-free but I find them boring.
The ride back was an easier uphill but it was still uphill for 20 miles. I always wanted to know how it felt pedaling 24 miles down hill. Being on packed gravel slowed the decent and with light pedaling I was only able to manage 15 mph, still, very nice. After breaking down the trike and a quick chicken sandwich I was off for the 4 hour trek home.

The trail has some interesting sites including long tunnels, high trestles, winding rivers, wildlife, quaint towns and history. It is well managed and maintained and is a great asset to the cycling community. There are many trail heads in the middle with parking that have a much smaller grade variant for easier out and backs. There are many B&B and Hostels if you choose not to camp. For me I would have enjoyed it more had I started in Cumberland and finished the 150 mile trek in Pittsburgh, but that would have required an expensive shuttle and more planning. The C&O Canal and GAP were on my "Bucket List" but being a trike only guy the C&O is out and as far as the GAP I can cross that off with just what little I've done.

Enjoy the photos.

Notice the windmills

That little boy passed me uphill on his single speed BMX

Meyersdale bike repair station

Ride down into Cumberland