Monday, August 31, 2009

New Grandchild / New Pedals

All of Friday we waited for the phone call.  Finally, at around 7:30 PM MST, my son called me:  little Keira was born at 7:22 PM MST:

We went down to see her Saturday morning.  I told my son I guess devastating good looks skip a generation, because Keira obviously got hers from her mom and her Grandpa.

I was sitting outside at Starbucks on Friday night, talking to another customer about being grandparents, and I reached over to just idly spin the right pedal on the Giant.  It didn't spin, but turned in a very jerky manner that said "bearings."  Sunday I stopped by The Bike Barn and got a new set of platform pedals for it.

New baby, new pedals, all in all a pretty good weekend.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nashbar Butterflies

Nashbar emailed me yesterday, and said the Trekking ATB/Hybrid "Butterfly" Handlebars will be back in stock in October.  No details, but it is certainly great news.  If they are the same price I paid ($22 USD) for the ones on the Yukon "Roadley," I may buy two more:  one for my son and one for "backup."

I have to (continue to) rave about these bars.  If you grab the front loop of the Trekking bars, and rest your forearms on grip portion at the back, you are down every bit as low as you would be on a drop handlebar.  Plus the fact that, unlike a drop handlebar, you are expending virtually no energy holding yourself up.  A bonus is the fact that the Trekking bars are aluminum and much lighter than the original, flat handlebar of the Giant.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I See More and More Bents

This morning, on the MUP which parallels 48th Street between McDowell Road and Indian School Road in Phoenix, I saw a fellow on a handcycle walking his yellow lab.  They were making pretty good time.

Yesterday morning, on Dreamy Draw Drive just north of Glendale Avenue, I saw a pair of tadpole trikes, their riders in full spandex gear.

Four recumbents, including mine, in just two days; that is definitely some sort of record.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Hate Speedbumps

Not only for the car, but also for the bike.  I could probably average a couple of MPH faster if I didn't have to slow down for them on the recumbent.

Yeah, yeah, I know, they keep the kids from speeding, but couldn't they make a hole in the middle big enough to get the bike through?  They do in the parking lots, and I can keep the speed up.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Giant Morning

For a change of pace this morning, I rode the Giant Roadley rather than the EZ Sport.  Although it was interesting, there is no substitute for the feeling of "flying low" through the pre-dawn streets on the recumbent.  I noticed that the maximum and average speeds I made, even pushing it by dropping down on the butterfly bars, were two miles-per-hour slower on the Giant than on the Sun.

Speaking of the butterfly bars, there was no contact from Nashbar today about the future availability of the Trekking bars.  We'll see if there is something tomorrow.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

No American Butterflies

I noticed that the Nashbar Trekking ATB/Hybrid "Butterfly" handlebars, the type I have on the Giant Yukon "Roadley," are no longer listed on the Nashbar site.  I sent a chat message to them, asking if they were going to be coming back, and received a response that they would get back to me this coming Monday.

I was thinking of getting those bars for my son for his Specialized Hardrock.  He is living in southern Arizona and is using his bike more now to save money. If the bars are no longer available from Nashbar, it means I will have to go overseas to get them.  I cannot find another American manufacturer, so I'll have to get them from either Modolo, BBB or Raleigh; a much more expensive proposition.

I'm really curious about the Nashbar's being taken off the market, since there were several reviews on the site which gave them high marks.  Hopefully, it is just a glitch in production and we will see them back soon.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Stormy Weather

We had some decent winds, lightning and rain last evening, right about the time I usually go for my Tour de Starbucks, so I stayed in and tried to convince my twelve-year-old yellow labrador that everything was going to be okay.

This morning it was a nice, cool 76 degrees.  A little rain spitting every so often, but not enough to dampen my shirt completely.  Starbucks was pretty busy, and that was surprising for early on a Saturday morning.

I took the Giant Roadley rather than the EZ Sport, the new Serfas Drifters tires did not slide around at all when I purposely changed direction very quickly on clumps of damp leaves and pine needles on the wet road.  I think I'm going to like these tires.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Kids are ... Alright??

I took the day off today to get some chores done around the house. But first I hopped onto the recumbent this morning to do a casual, Tour de Starbucks run.

At 7:15 AM there is much more traffic than at the time of my usual, hard pedaling morning exercise run at around 5:00 AM. This includes pedestrian traffic as well as motorists and fellow bicyclists. I will usually ride on the sidewalks on busy thoroughfares for this reason. (Riding on the sidewalk is not illegal in Arizona.)

I had gotten my drink, stowed it in the insulated bottle cage mounted on the back, left seat strut, sat down in the 'bent and worked my way out of the busy parking lot. Immediately I came up behind a college-age gal in jogging shorts and top, walking and fiddling with something in her right hand.

My usual procedure has always been to first call out "On your left" in an elevated, but friendly voice. If I get no response, I say it again in a louder, more forceful manner: "On your LEFT!" This has almost always worked in the past, but if it doesn't ... I have "Plan B."

I called out "On your left" and then noticed she had the earbuds of either an iPod or an MP3 player crammed into her ears and probably didn't hear me so I shouted "On your LEFT!" with even more vigor than I usually do. She still showed no sign of being aware of my presence, so I initiated "Plan B."

"Plan B" always happens when I am right up behind an obvious individual blocking the path. I simply let out a primal "AHHHHHH!" at the most blood curdling volume I can muster. I was particularly satisfied with this "Plan B" because I saw some brake lights of passing cars go on in response to it.

But she didn't ... even ... hear ... THAT!

It wasn't until we got to a driveway a few yards further on, which had a wheelchair ramp for the sidewalk wide enough for me to safely pass her, that she became aware of me and started as I scooted by.

Now, I am 59 years old, and I have listened to loud music all of my life (I even played bass in a rock band in my late teens and twenties), and I still put on the Boneyard on my Sirius satellite radio to listen to hard rock, but it astounds me that some young people seem to get so into whatever little electronic gadget they have that they can become totally unaware of what is going on around them.

For the rest of the morning ride, I studied the pedestrians, motorists and other bicyclists I came across. It seemed like everyone in the age range of 40 and above were busy with the task at hand: driving, riding or looking both ways before crossing the street. Everyone under the age of 40 seemed to have a cell phone or some music player stuck to the side of their head, which meant they could be a danger to themselves and other people on the roads.

I worry that the kids truly are NOT alright!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Excessive Heat Watch

The Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Watch for tomorrow, so it appears I won't be able to commute on the bike after all.

Looks like, in order to get some miles in, I'll have to stick with an early morning run and a late evening Tour de Starbucks adventure.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bike Gloves Work

My good old Specialized bike gloves started falling apart. I was in the local Target store over the weekend and noticed they had the Bell Pro Gel cycling gloves on sale. Since I had a gift card in my wallet, it wasn't going to cost me anything to try a pair of them.

Been using them since Saturday, and they are definitely more comfortable than my worn out Specialized. I discovered an added bonus, too: I had developed a pain in the wrist of my left hand, almost like an ever-present cramp. As of this morning the pain is gone ... it's gotta be the gloves!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Weather to turn cooler

It is supposed to get a little cooler this week. I may be able to get back to riding the bike.

The 110ยบ+ F temperatures made it really brutal to ride through July and the first half of August. I'm looking forward to getting back in the saddle.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

725 Miles on the EZ Sport

This is something of a record for me. I don't think I have ever put 700 miles on bike in less than a year, even when I was a kid.