Sunday, November 11, 2012

Me, a Bentider?

"A fellow bentrider!" 

She looked at a bit awkwardly but smiled as did I when I yelled it. I forgot the term, "bentrider" isn't that well known even amongst recumbent riders. It was her 3rd ride in three weeks. Her recumbent grin said it all. She was having a blast. So who is she? 

I don't even know. 

She was a stranger we met on a ride through the City. She and her road bike entourage were asking about trikes and their comparisons with a two-wheeler. Perhaps it doesn't occur to most riders that three wheels is an option. 

As I rode earlier in the day, I yelled out to some parents and their kids sitting on a curb, "Three wheels are better!" A bit of an expected delayed reaction as they finally laughed at the irony that  I was actually complimenting their son who was also riding a trike.

This is my first published picture taken with my very first smart phone! Macs are beautiful. Photostream feature allows photos taken by iphone to be automatically pushed to my laptop. No need to even press a button. It just does it automatically. This means I don't have to pull out the SD card from my camera, insert it into my card reader, put the card reader into my laptop, hope it loads and drag the photo to some place on my computer for uploading later. I open up the folder and a few seconds later, it's loaded! I don't even have to press an "Import" button.

I'm always late to the party. I get Walkmans when people are buying CD players. I start listening to CD players when friends are sporting MP3 players. Finally, I got the iphone 5 about a month after its release and am almost all caught up with the technology that my counterparts have already been enjoying  for years.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sitting Stag

The trike's been sitting lonely for quite awhile. Can't wait to get back on it now that the weather's been improving. 

On my recent trip to Los Angeles, I saw that they had closed one of their major arteries, Figueroa street to cars and it was pretty much translated to "bike day," with a few roller bladers and skateboards in the group. 

How I wish I had the trike. Hadn't seen a single one and the estimate of the crowd is said to be just shy of 100,000 people! The density looked far from it. Maybe 2,000 would be my guess but maybe there were more present earlier in the day. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Recumbent Delta Utility Trike!

I've recently had some interest in utility trikes and bikes and stumbled upon this the other day.

It sorta makes me want to have a family of 4. Two kids and the wife in back?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Bonk Bonk Bonk!

I finally got my remote alarm! My original Ebay purchase went south and I ended up buying a new one from another seller.  $7.15 and 12 days later it was in my hands and it works perfectly! Batteries are included. It's pretty basic. Engage the alarm using a remote similar to ones for cars. When the alarm itself moves, it goes off and sounds like wild fire.

The thing's pretty sensitive so I'll definitely only be arming it outdoors. No arming my escoot in the library I guess.

Payment for a remote bike alarm went to the ebay seller back on 5/23/12 and even today more than a quarter of a year later as of 9/21/12, I have yet to receive a working item. Don't buy remote alarms from a seller named bestnbestonline. You'll get an alarm and a remote that don't talk to each other. The numbers on the back won't match. The seller will be nice about it and send you not one, but two replacements which of course also don't work (despite warning them to test it first before shipping). 

So with three duds, I finally make my final ultimatum: Refund me immediately or you get negative feedback. Looks like the joke's on me though b/c after 45 days, you can't leave feedback for sellers. The selling history is pretty much wiped out unless you look it up by ebay item number and even then, you still can't leave feedback. 

I was surprised to learn that ebay now makes their customer service number public! I called it and they can't refund me right away b/c it's been more than 45 days. Luckily there's record that I've been having ongoing correspondence with the seller. Ebay's going to contact them to see if they can get me my refund. No case number yet.

The last time I opened a case for an ebay transaction? 5 years ago. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

One Love

I wrote about this awhile back. It's the Go-One velomobile. In all of the United States of America, there are 13. Yup, only thirteen in the entire country!

What are two things the Go-One and the Smart car have in common?
1. Same designer.
2. Same price tag of $15,000. Ouch.
3. I wonder if they're the same size?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mini Ride + BBQ

A little ride is coming up on 8/18. The trike's gears are still a bit messed up, so I gotta fix that smooth before the ride. Got two weeks left to prep. It should be no big deal.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

18 Miler

I think I got about 18 miles in today. Speedometer might still be off but I rode for about 2 hours with some stops. Gears are skipping since I changed to the e-brake levers. Love the e-brakes by the way. I can brake one handed and it's much more integrated and OEM-looking than the rubberband brake it replaced. 

With a sloped garage and hills all over the City, the e-brake definitely comes in handy. The skipping gears though needs to be fixed ASAP. Annoying at best. I think this is the first time I rode the trike in about 2 months! Ugh. Felt good though.

Feel less guilty about not going to the gym to get my workouts. I definitely need to rebuild my endurance. Going up the hills today wasn't easy and the skipped gear didn't make it any better. Every time I take a break (took one in Golden Gate Park and succumbed to my guilty pleasure - root beer), I get reminded how good a 10 minute break feels. Getting on the trike after that feels better than when I first started. Good stuff.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

E-brakes Installed!

I bought the Promax locking brake levers a few weeks ago but never looked into how to install it. The levers aren't a big deal. It's the bar end shifters I was unfamiliar with. Those had to be taken off before replacing the brake lever would be possible. 

One of the best parts about having e-brakes rigged up is so that I can use the trainer much more easily. I don't have to engage the brake everytime I want to pedal. What finally got me to buy these brake levers with the locking button was that my rubber "Brake Band" broke. Yup, it completely snapped. For the cost, I was hoping it'd last forever. Didn't quite work out that way, but I guess it's good that its breakage acted as an excuse for me to buy the new levers.
  • It takes two squirts of WD-40 to remove the handlebar grips.
    • I was having a hell of a time trying to get these off. One minute of research taught me to use that bottle of WD-40. It works like a charm.
  • The brake cable does have to be removed from the caliper.
    • This means the cable ends have to be removed b/c the cable has to slip through the housing. That's the only way the cable can be removed from the old brake lever.
  • The shift cable does not have to be removed. 
    • In order to be able to leave the shift cable alone, the whole handlebar assembly needs to be removed from the arm. It provides enough slack. 
  • Removing the bar end shifters:
    • That was a bit of a pain because if you're avoiding messing with the cable, there's not a whole lot of slack available to play around with. In hindsight, I should have shifted down to the lowest gear first to maximize the slack. A quick search on Youtube taught me how the assembly is put together. It was a lot easier to remove than I thought!

      When putting everything back together, I didn't quite do it correctly. The trike no longer shifts to the smallest chainring. Ugh! Gotta figure that out soon in time for my Sunday ride through Golden Gate Park. I haven't ridden a trike in almost forever! Forever = 1 month.
UPDATE: 7/5/12
The shifting didn't work in the front chainring after the installation. Turns out it was just a coincidence. It took me about 20 minutes to figure it out, but the problem wasn't due to the ebrakes at all! It wasn't working b/c the derailleur wasn't able to move down to the smaller chainring b/c my new camera mount was in the way!

I hadn't ridden to trike since installing the mount and hadn't realized it wasn't shifting down since. Ooops. I tweaked the cables and only made it worse. After messing with it for 30 minutes, it works, but doesn't shift as smoothly as it did before. I'll tune it sometime, but not tonight.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Pump It Up

This might be the most expensive thing I ever bought on Ebay - not really, but close enough. The usual prices of stuff I get there are about $2-8. This one was $16! Ouch! The photo on the listing showed this unit to be of pretty good quality and I was expecting the same when it arrived in the mail.

Can you guess what it is?

It's something I never thought I'd get b/c I don't really care too much for music. I don't follow the celebs and I don't really own much of it but hopefully that'll change. It'll be nice to get some music going on especially since I typically ride solo.

For $16 shipped, quite a bit of stuff came with it. Starting from the top left and making our way around clockwise are two straps, the rubber handlebar mounting bracket, the MP3 speaker player itself, the USB charger, white earphones, connection cable, carrying lanyard and bag!

Not that I'd be 'em separately, but the headphones are worth at least a couple bucks and the mounting bracket can be had for $3. So $10 for the speaker? Not bad at all! All the buttons are on one side for easy access. The charging port is on here too.

The speaker's on this side. I have yet to test it b/c according to what I got out of the Chinglish instructions, I'm supposed to charge it up fully before using it the first time. For stuff like this, it usually takes a few hours, so I won't be touching it until tonight.

Like I had mentioned earlier, the quality of this thing is good. It's superb actually and I'm talking now about the build quality. It's no wonder I see it for $25 on some sites and even up to $40 on others. It's nuts how different the prices can be on the same stuff. Looks like there's a pretty large markup on these MP3 players.

I'm thinking it's good quality b/c this thing's got some good weight to it! Feels nice in the hands, but I'm not so excited about the extra weigh I'd have to lug around on a HPV. Maybe I'll use this more on my electric rides than the recumbents.

Wow, I just tested it and this thing is amazing!!! OMG! The sound quality is so good. After turning the thing on, the sound quality so worth it. $16 is a steal! The thing accepts micro SD cards, so you can put music all on there and it slips right into the player. I used a 2gb card and it's excellent.

Navigating through Youtube trying to figure out the radio function on here. Once I get that going, you won't be able to snatch this away from me. I'm loving it.

Ebrake Me

The only thing other than not having rear brakes that bothers me on the Catrike Speed is not having emergency brakes. There's nothing keeping the trike from literally rolling away or worse, into one of my other rides in the garage. The last thing I want is a chainring jamming into some fender.

This may be one of the first times that I was glad that the package that came in the mail didn't look like the photo I saw online. The Amazon photos showed the handles to be chrome which I wasn't so fond of. There isn't much chrome on the trike and I like it looking as stock as possible.

I started a thread on BROL to get some feedback on who people think of the different brands of locking brakes. Promax won and it was cheaper than some of the others, so choosing it wasn't too difficult. $21.13 - not bad for a shipped price for the pair.

I'm still not sure how the shifters come off and I'll need to remove those before clamping these puppies on. I'll figure it out next weekend or so.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

ALC 11!

ALC 11 was this morning! Yup, that means I got up at 5:15am to get ready to leave the house to get to the Cow Palace by 6am to see Paul off for the ride. I made it! One of my work colleagues is a volunteer there too and I met up with her to say hello. She does a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff.

I had asked someone how to get to her area where she was working. As the volunteer was telling me how to get there another guy next to him interrupted him and pointed me in the opposite direction. Figuring he knows what he's talking about, I talked off and didn't arrive to the "Upload" area where the support equipment gets put into vans until 10-12 minutes later. Meanwhile the Starting Ceremonies for the riders had already begun. Not wanting to miss too much of it, I rushed over to say hello.

When I walked back to the Starting Ceremonies area, I took a different route and that route was about a 4 minute walk! What the hell? What's up with that guy telling me to take the super long route? Ugh.

I probably should've taken more photos of the riders, but didn't really think much to do it at the time. I met up with Paul's mom and a friend of a friend of his to see off the riders. We had cow bells in hand and everything!

This is the caboose I luckily never saw last year on the ride. It follows the very last rider to make sure they know everyone is accounted for and receives the support they need on the ride. From what I hear, people hop out throughout the route and go into coffee shops to be sure they're indeed following the very last person. Must be a tough job trying figure out who's really the last rider.

A group of us had cheered on in support of whom we thought was the last rider. He turns his head towards us smiling and says, 

"I'm not part of them. I'm just riding to breakfast." 

Hahha. It wasn't until 10 minutes later that we probably saw the last rider. Not sure why so many people are lagging. These look like veterans though who've done this before so no need to feel sorry for them in struggling to catch up with the rest of the group. They'll meet them soon enough at the rest stop a few miles up.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Say Cheese!

Yup, it's the camera mount. I finally got it. 

During the ALC ride, I wanted to take some shots of me going down the Quadbuster hill. Moving the handlebars even a couple degrees in one direction or the other at high speeds would've landed me in a bad situation. Needless to say, I didn't get much good footage on that decent. Ever since then, I wanted to rig something up for the trike to hold the camera. The Shark adapter on the KMX boom that hold the front derailleur wasn't exactly the easiest thing to mount a camera to. 

The boom on the Catrike Speed is much more standard and easier to mount something to. So finally, logged onto ebay and ordered myself a handlebar mounting bracket. Of course I had to do a bit of research to find one that would secure well and fit the size of the reflector holder bar that sticks out of the front of the boom. 

15 minutes later, I had it in my Paypal basket. 

A few days later, it arrived in the mail and it looks like this! I had to move the light down in order for the new camera mount to clear the movement of the derailleur. I still haven't tested it out yet, but I'm crossing my fingers hoping it'll work out. Let's see how it looks. 

From the cockpit, we got this view. After I take my test drive, I'll know how much of my view it blocks out - hopefully not much.

If I didn't have the computer mounted here on this horizontal bar, I was thinking of mounting the camera bracket there. But after looking at it, i'm glad I didn't mount it so high b/c it would definitely block my view and probably look awkward being so high up.

It only just occurred to me as I'm writing this that the camera matches the color of the trike!

And the front side matches the color scheme of how I wanted my Catrike Speed. I actually posted this whole set of photos a few days ago, but didn't want to post it live until after I gave the second bracket to Paul for his ALC ride. Surprise!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bike Thief

I'm being completely prejudice and have no proof that this guy was transporting a stolen bike, but it damn sure looked like he was in possession of a road bike that didn't belong to him. 

As I'm driving on Balboa, I see a heavy built Mexican guy in his late 30's or early 40's riding a bicycling while holding the stem of a road bike alongside him. I pulled out my cell phone camera and took a video and a still photo, but the quality sucks way too much to be worth anything. I got the guy's face, but barely. I didn't really give a hoot that he saw me videotaping him. 

I got home and reviewed the footage and it's all pretty useless. My phone's video quality of horrible. No purpose in posting anything and I didn't even get a good look at the bike's brand name. 

It wasn't until today that I realized how hard it is to follow someone on a bicycle when you're driving a car. It's not that I minded being completely obvious to him that I was watching and following him. It's that the other cars on the road would give me crap for driving 7mph on a one lane public road in a big City. 

This was the one time I wish I had a bike with me rather than my car - all so I could follow the guy to see where he goes. He turned from Balboa to Fulton at about 10th Avenue or so, but that's the last I saw of him.

Head Up

The Catrike's headrest does suck. After getting a better look at how Mike rigged up the Catrike headrest on his KMX, I just came back from the hardware store an hour or so ago to pick up the screws and bolts to hopefully secure it like he did. Thanks Mike. I'm totally copying how you rigged yours. I just hope I got the correct parts and things work out.

Lately (actually, ever since I got the trike), the headrest has been loose and sorta useless. I'm hoping after I rig this thing on, it'll be much better. Pics and review to come.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

3rd Place

The only question that really matters is, "How many trikes were there?"

Well, boys and girls. There were this many. Can you count 9 trikes. No? HINT: Two of them are in the background and they're velomobile versions. The one with the clear tinted cover in the way back facing us and the white one on the far right.

Could it be that the color scheme just doesn't look as good? And that's why the Catrike Speed doesn't pop off the screen like the KMX does? The Speed's got some smoothness to it that the KMX'll never have, but it's definitely not as photogenic. There's something about the KMX that I adore that can never be achieved by the Catrike. 

Mike, I hope it's okay that I use your pic and name here. If you're bothered by it, then this photo here is a picture of Bartholomew on a KMX Tornado fully modded! This is the first time I've seen it in real life since the upgrade. Those are 18" fronts and I believe a 24" rear. The proportion on this bad boy looks perfect! Reminds me of a Catrike 700! The proportions look much better than my Catrike and I still miss the white base color of the frame. The white lettering on the sidewalls definitely give it that sports look. Loving it Mike, I mean Bartholomew. 

Paul's warming up on the inside track. He kicked but with the both rides he brought to the race that day. Actually, that's an understatement. He hauled ass and kicked all our butts. You can almost see his calves of steel here in the pick. Very impressive.

Pick your jaw up off the ground as you continue gawking at this masterpiece. Yup, that's a carbon fiber cockpit cover. So awesome. My favorite color scheme of course - white with some red accents and enough carbon to make anyone drool. 

Don't laugh. The guys who brought these bikes take their races seriously. No joke. They ride like they're in the Olympics. I would've taken a video if it wasn't for me having to recover from one of my races. I got up for a second to take this and stumbled back to the concrete for a nap.

For the remaining photos, check them all out here.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Race Prep

They call it HPV (Human Powered Vehicle) Funday, but it's actually a race. How seriously do people take it? Well, not that seriously. Competing though can always be fun. They have ribbons for the winners and this year I'm hoping to get one, but I'm not expecting anything. I haven't ridden for quite some time since the TARTAR event last month - or was it the month before?

What do I need to do to prep for the ride this afternoon?

Like everyone else, I get lazy about cleaning the trike. When I come home from a ride, the last thing I want to do is clean the thing. I can't wait to hit the showers! Took some degreaser and a rag to wipe down all the dirt. 5 minutes later, it looks good as new.

The new ones have been sitting in the garage delivered from Amazon for months. Since discovering the hole from last time, I finally replaced both tires. I always wondered how I could tell when a slick tire with no tread would need to be replaced.

Turns out the curvature of the profile becomes flat over time! Notice the old wheel on the left. you can tell the tire was cambered a bit b/c the flat part isn't perpendicular to the height of the wheel. The new one's on the right. The curvature is much more pronounced.

The Speed's never been lubed since I got it. I cleaned it with some degreaser and took a tool to the chain rings to clear out the crud and put some of that lube stuff on it. I put a drop on every single part of the chain! How nuts am I?

I only just noticed today when I accidentally knocked on the chain guard with the back of my hand that it was loose. Way loose! The thing was probably what contributed to all the rattling I've been hearing on the trike. It was ridiculously dangerously loose. I swear it would've fallen off by the end of the year if I didn't tighten it up - or maybe even sooner.

Speaking of sounds, there were some annoying sounds coming out the back of the drivetrain. I wasn't sure what it was and never bothered to really look carefully b/c I hadn't noticed any contact from the chain on any part of the trike when I first looked. Turns out I didn't look carefully enough b/c I found that the idler guard was loose and moved to a different angle which interfered with the movement of the chain. Turns out there was contact!

I loosened the screw, turned the guard back to the angle it's supposed to be (perpendicular to the ground) and retightened the screw. Everything should be good to go. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Catrike with Suspension!

I pretty much never blog about anything on here other than personal experiences, but what blew me away a moment ago was seeing what I knew would eventually happen, but didn't think would happen so soon. 

Yup, that's the new Catrike Road! I used to hate it b/c it was so high up off the ground that it looked goofy. Low is cool and sleek. It comes at ground clearance that's practically nill, but I think it's worth it. 

 The remake of the road has rear suspension! Weight penalty? 6lbs. It's heavier than the last non-suspension one, but Catrike was able to execute suspension in a really elegant way. Looks awesome. If the rear wheel was bigger than the front and it was $1,300 I'd have it in my garage by now. No such luck. This thing's over $3k by the time it gets to you door. But man, is that thing a beauty. 

I'm envious of anyone who orders one. I hope to see it live one day but that's fairly rare here in the Bay Area. I think I've only seen 4 other Catrikes besides my own and two of them I hadn't seen until just this past weekend! 

Another beautiful thing to aim for. Wonder if they're introduce a Speed-based version with suspension. That'd be awesome. What would be more awesome? If someone bought it, 2 years passed and they sold it to me for a discount. What's better than that? If it was white!

Monday, April 23, 2012


 A fellow KMX! This is Dan's ride and yes, that's a monster of a rear wheel - a 26"er. First I've seen live on a KMX. Looks like it can take on any terrain. I didn't get to see much of him on the ride. Wonder where he went.
The owner of this one let me take it for a spin. My test ride helped me determine one question I had on my mind during this hot afternoon, "Is it hotter or colder in there compared to on a naked trike?" Cooler. It's much cooler. The shade is great and the back of your head is covered. I learned that up to 10-12mph, naked trikes are faster. Once these velos reach the teens, the aerodynamic advantage offsets the weight drawback.

 At first I thought it was the Tandem KMX because of the square frame, but in fact it's a Rover - much higher up off the ground than a KMX would be. Doesn't look particularly styling, but it "does what it's suppose to do," according to Zack, the dealer who took this for his 2nd test run of this demo trike.
Lunch time at Subway sandwich. It was one of the few places that had outdoor parking and seating where we could watch our stuff.  This is less than half the group in this quick overhead shot.

 Not everyone wanted to be in the photo, but this is the first shot of 3.
 Second shot of 3.
 Final shot. Not everyone wanted to be in the photo and some people showed up late. This gives you an idea of how many people showed up. Some came from as far as Canada! We had some Oregon riders too!
 This is another thing I've never seen in person before. Apparently they never swap places. The wife always faces the rear and the husband takes the front. Guess they like it but I'd hate to be rear facing ride. Guess the advantage is you both get a decent view and the configuration offers tons of storage space you see in red btw them.
 Not quite a velo. It's home-built fully faired trike. The guy raced me (and beat me) last year at the Velodrome in his Expedition. Nice fella. He's the one that led us to lunch today.

What on Earth is Tartar? Not sure what it stands for or where it came from. All I know is that it's an annual bent ride vent where people come from all over. Yes, that means it wasn't just Bay Area folks. Lads from Oregon and even Canada came for a weekend of riding. Yup, they stayed in hotels and met up in Sacramento. 

I made the trek that morning excited to ride, only to find that my tire had a fat hole in it! A bit disappointed b/c it was 9:55am and I didn't think I could fix it in  the 5 minutes I had before the group would come by. Part of me was a bit excited though b/c I'd never used a tire boot before. (Tire boot = big fat sticker used to cover holes in tires). 

Just as I noticed the hole, I looked up and saw about 30 trikes come up. Ugh, I was going to hold everyone up! The public apology came next, but not before a fellow named Wayne came by to lend a hand. 10 minutes later, we were up and running. 

I was expecting a 35 mile ride, but that's the distance we rode one-way! Yup, we pretty much doubled that coming back. Luckily there weren't many hills. A bit of rolling, but nothing major. No flats from any riders as far as I saw.

The good news is that I started and ended the ride with both of my water bottles intact. Didn't lose any this time. Also wasn't going very fast either. I probably only topped out at 14-17 mph.

 I cannot say the same for this guy. This is one of 4 velomobiles that showed up and these things were cruising quick! In my opinion, this is the second nicest of the group. I wish I got shot of my favorite, but he ended up leaving early. I'll never forget this screen name though - Bendover.

UPDATE: 5/16/12

 I was looking back at BROL and a couple of the guys loaded some shots of guess who?
 Can you see that guy in the way back?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Shameles Plug

To get extra cloud storage space for the both of us, sign up for the free Dropbox account here. This service gives you a special folder on each of your computers/devices that are accessible by the rest. Super easy seamless transferring of files. No more emailing yourself files.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

1.5 Month Break

Wow, it's been a long time since I've ridden. I almost felt like the trike was starting to get rusty.

Not really, but I'm sure the Speed felt a bit neglected. Glad I took her out for a spin this past weekend. Isn't it still called a fleet when there's only two trikes? The wind was ridiculous, but I kept the flag on there anyway.

There hasn't been this much sun in quite awhile. After a month long hiatus, I was getting a bit nervous getting back on the trike knowing that the trek would be over 30 miles. My body wasn't ready. I hadn't run on a treadmill or done any physical activity in a long time and here I was about to embark on a long ride.

I always here about Skyline College, but I've never been - until today! We rode quite a bit. To get there, we took none other than Skyline Blvd and for those who know it, it's more of a freeway than anything else.

Lots of it was uphill and from the looks of it, it's not exactly the safest area to be riding. Cars traveling at 50 + mph easy. Apparently not everyone made it. This was the second area of flowers we saw on the shoulder. There were times were merging was a bit worrisome and even moreso when my mirror became loose.

I lost complete use of the left (the most important one) mirror. I literally had it hold it with my hand to position it in order to see vehicles coming up. I've been too cheap to buy a replacement, but I think tonight might be the time. A mirror is so valuable especially at times like this.

Although I made it back in one piece and probably 1,800 calories lighter (actually shows when I look in the mirror). I really have no way of counting, but my buddy here in the green trike lost about that much. Good stuff! I was working hard this ride. I felt like 70% of it was uphill. In terms of time, it was definitely at least that. Distance-wise, I'm sure it was 50/50.

Unfortunately, both my water bottles never made it back home. I haven't read of any other reports of it, but both Paul and I experienced our water bottles flying out of its cage when mounted on the rear frame. It happened to me three times as I was riding through high speed turns. The last time, I didn't even notice it was gone until I reached back an attempt to hold it in place. To my surprise, I had already lost it! Ugh, those things aren't cheap.

Looks like I'm buying three things tonight:

1. Mirror.
2. Emergency brake lever.
3. Replacement water bottle.

Paul's Expedition has the emergency brake levers I want. That rubberband thing I've been using isn't cutting it. I hate having to reach over with the other hand to engage it.

This is my first time posting using my Macbook Air! Loving it. It's nice to be able to use a full size keyboard. All the keys are spaced out perfectly like they should be. The 9 year old Dell 700m had to retire (although I still use it on occasion - not all the files have been transferred over).

If you want a cool convenient way to transfer files remotely from one computer to another and keep everything in synch, use the link below to get your own Dropbox. Basically you get a folder that appears on all your computers that are accessible from each. Click here and both of us will get free additional space! It's a Free cloud service.

Yup, here's my shameless plug:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Rain rain go away

It's that time of the year again. I can't believe I haven't ridden my trike in over a month! That's nuts. For a guy who used to ride 5-6x a day and was willing to wake up at 4:30am just to get a ride in, shower, have breakfast and still make it to work 1 hour away by 8am, that's seriously crazy. I miss the Catrike and it's not helping that the weather report shows 100% chance rain tomorrow, Saturday and the next. Ugh.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Keeping up with the Roadies

Both the roadies were stopped on the Great Highway at the intersection waiting for the light to turn. A second later, one of them takes off running the red light leaving his buddy behind. As always, I wait my turn and then follow. The pace was decent. I was far from running out of breath and could have passed them up if it wasn't for the narrow bike path we were on. It's a smart idea to hold back b/c I'll need my energy when we hit the hills.

We turned the corner at JFK Drive and off we went. I stayed back at about 5-6 bike lengths. Every 30 or so seconds the second rider would look back to see where I was. Looks like he was worried I was catching up. As we continued through the park, the pace got a bit faster. I matched each of their increases in speed. It wasn't until we hit the first hill that I wondered if I'd be able to keep up. DF'ers are usually pretty quick on the elevations relative to the trike.

This was the first time I really attempted to keep up with bicyclists outside ALC, so I was curious how I'd perform with the regular folks. The guys were too proud to wear spandex head to toe, so it was only their jerseys that were skin tight above their baggier trunks.

My heart continued to race higher as the pedal strokes increased in speed. If it weren't for the semi cold weather, I'd be sweating into my eyes. My breathing got louder, but I couldn't hear a peep from the guys in front of me. I kept pace. The distance btw us changed a bit by bit getting shorter, longer, shorter, longer. The straggler continued to check back to see if I was there.

As we reached the top where Golden Gate Park closes its road to pedestrians, cyclists and joggers, the three of us I'm sure were relieved that the hill was starting to flatten. Taking it easy for a bit to catch my breath, I anticipated when I'd make my move. I'd wait for the down hill before pedaling like a mad man.

A couple minutes later we started to descend and already I was pedaling insanely. I love that hill! I passed them, came to a flat and slowed my pedaling to the pace of an oldie. The two were too far back for me to see, but it wasn't long before they caught up and leap frogged ahead of me. The unspoken race was over. Time to rest.

It's definitely more than possible to keep up with these guys on the Catrike Speed. As I've always suspected, it's a matter of endurance. It takes that much more of it to keep up with an upright bike. We pedal faster to go the same speed and uphills will always be more of a drag. Being fit gives us that extra edge to maintain a match.

Speaking of which, that's what I'm lacking. I need to hit the gym again and run more miles on the treadmill to build more endurance. Pedal when they're not pedaling. That's the secret. I felt like throwing up by the time I finished the length of the park and returned to my rest stop at the De Young Museum. This time, it wasn't b/c of a lack of food. I had my breakfast that morning. I just need to build up some ENDURANCE!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I Know These Guys!

Out of curiosity, I was looking up some pics on Google with the search terms "Aids Life Cycle Recumbent" hoping to see some people from ALC 10 last year. I can't believe it's been that long already! I came across these guys whom I rode with briefly on a stretch during the Aids Life Cycle.

They're riding a Greenspeed GGT Tandem with an internal gear hub in the back. They've been riding that thing forever. The fellow in the back? He donated all the chips for the entire ride last year! Yup, that's like a billion bags. Actually, let's do the math. Chips every day for 7 days for 3,000 people? That's 21,000 bags! Wow, that's nuts.

These guys were really nice on the ride and shared a few things with me to let me know what I was up for. They were the first trike riders I saw at my first day's rest stop. In the next 6 days, I only saw them a couple times. When we finally arrived in LA, the guys treated me for some beer as a congratulations gift. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Alas, the Lights Have Arrived

This is Accessory #3 from a few days ago. It's arrived in the mail exactly as expected! I decided on a new location for mounting it however. I'm open to feedback on alternative locations but it looks to be that this is the cleanest.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

ROTEB (Recumbents of the East Bay) - 1/15/12

This group meets every 3rd Sunday of the month. Found it through Yahoo and have gone a handful of times.

Maybe I should've have rushed so much to get to the Recumbents of the East Bay meet b/c by the time I got there, no one was there! It was 9:50am and the meeting spot was empty. Did everyone forget we moved the meet time from 9am to 10am? Were they gone? Did people just not show up? What's the deal?

As I was unloading, I saw a fellow on his bright green two wheeler waiting. I waved but probably at the wrong time b/c he didn't see me. As I crossed the street towards him, he greeted me by name!

Hi Brian!

Do I know this guy? It was Zack! He sold me an elliptical chain ring back in the day through the BROL forum. Great price and it came quick. It's always nice to put a face to a screen name. Zack runs a shop in Alameda and that's where Paul got his Expedition. Zack later shared with me that he's got over 20 bikes/trikes in his showroom! That'll be a sight to see! Never seen more than 5 trikes together at any one time before.

We really gotta set up some sort of bent trike meet where we can get a turnout of at least 10. That would be cool.

I didn't get a chance to ask for permission from Zack to post his pic, so here's a shot at a distance. He and his wife were the only ones that showed up for the Recumbents of the East Bay Ride! This was after a vote to decide on a new meeting time. With all that, we all figured the turnout would be a lot better than just 3!

We stopped by the usual Starbucks when I took a few shots of their rides. This is the HP Velotechnik Grasshopper, a folding bent with full adjustable suspension! By the time we took some rough roads to test it out, I had already put my camera away. Headlight and rear light are both hardwired and powered by the front hub! The thing's got an internal gear hub in the back too! Fully decked out. The rear's wrapped with a carbon fiber mudflap.

How fast does this thing go? Zack topped out at 43mph coming down the hill on the way back! That's nuts. I was prepared to catch up to him as he zipped down uber quick. Weight on this bad boy is in the low 30's - very light for a foldable full suspension bike! And that weight takes into account the rack and both hubs!

Lightning. Not sure what model this is but its weight is impressive. 24 lbs! That's ridiculously light - probably thanks to the carbon fiber seat. She was taking off up the hill like none other.

I brought the KMX today since I was worried about having to go across heavy gravel again like we did last month during this same ride.