Saturday, September 26, 2009

Thursday Was a Hoot

The last few days have been extra busy, but I finally rode to work on Thursday.

As I suspected, there was a road closure on 20th Street for about an eighth of a mile. I was very happy I rode The Roadley because there were a couple of times I had to angle up a pretty steep curb. The new butterfly handlebars and the Serfas Drifter tires worked very well. I doubled back at one point and found a path through a parking lot which will work great for the EZ Sport recumbent.

I had the best times ever for going to work and coming home on The Roadley. This next Tuesday is going to be a little warm, but I think I'll be able to do it on the recumbent as long as I take it easy.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ready to Ride

The Roadley is all packed up with my work clothes. All I have to do is put my camera bag into the rack bag tomorrow morning and I'm on my way riding to work for the first time in over two months.

I would take the EZ Sport, for a fast dash into the office, but I saw some closure signs on 20th Street earlier this week and road work in progress is never easy to negotiate with the road tires.

I'm jazzed.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Busy Day, Busy Rides

Ran around like a crazy man all day, catching up on things which needed to be done in the main office.

The bike rides were no less frenetic. On the EZ Sport in the morning, I have never seen so much traffic at 5:15 AM. It was all I could do to stay out of the way. Several times I had to stay behind cars, spinning in a very low gear, until the way was clear and could crank faster.

In one of the regular neighborhoods I ride through, the irrigation had overflowed the yards and created a river running down the street, carrying all sorts of leaves and other trash into the roadway. The road tires on the recumbent inspire zero confidence in such low traction environments, so I darted around in the road picking the least flooded spots with the cleanest water.

In the evening, a wind had kicked up blowing out of the northeast. I had taken The Roadley, and did not know how gusty it was until it caught the side of the bike while I was in the middle of an intersection. On the recumbent, I would have hardly felt it, but on the mountain bike I had to lean into the wind. The grip of the Serfas tires was pretty reassuring, along with being able to put my forearms down on the Trekking handlebars to get a little more aerodynamic.

On the way home, I sat up as tall as I could and caught the wind at my back. I averaged over 20 miles per hour for the first time in seven years of riding the Giant.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Back in the Saddle (sort of)

Got out on the EZ Sport for a super ride this morning, will be making a Tour de Starbucks this evening in a little while.

AND it looks like Thursday will be below 100 degrees so just maybe I'll be back to bike commuting!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Work Overrides Riding

I had to run around like crazy this last week; carting hardware out to the other office, moving things around in the main office.

Worked 12 hours on Friday, 13 hours on Saturday, was all tuckered out so I haven't ridden any at all for about 36 hours.

Definitely going to take an extended Tour de Starbucks trip this evening. If the heat lets up, I hope to commute on Tuesday and Thursday of this upcoming week.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Nite Light Show

Made a Tour de Starbucks this evening on the Roadley. There were dark clouds all around the Valley, the heat islands of concrete and asphalt were keeping them at bay, so we probably won't get any rain.

The clouds were filled with lightning, from big bursts of it behind the clouds to steamers of it walking down the sky. All the way home, I caught a tail wind which must have been around 20 mph.

Great ride.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


This morning, just as I was at the end of my ride and approaching the last intersection, I hit a rock with the front wheel of the Sun. The thing was about an inch and a half in diameter, and I didn't see it in the road, until the very last second, since I was busy looking both ways, clipping out, etc.

As usual, the little 20" front tire just climbed up the edge of it and spit it out to the right like an overgrown Tiddly Wink. The unusual part was the fact that the front wheel popped up about three inches off the ground and a little sideways to the left.

I was only about a block from the house, so I rode in carefully, listening for the telltale sound of air escaping from the tire. I heard none, and when I checked out the tire I found where the tire had hit the rock by the dirt and gravel and a very slight mark on the tire. That is one tough little tire!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

In the Drivethru

Was just about ready for my morning exercise ride, and realized I hadn't filled two prescriptions last night.

So rather than speeding around on the Sun, I popped the empty bottles into the handlebar bag of the Roadley and headed up to the Walgreens. As I approached, I saw that the drivethru was open. I figured I would save some time so I pulled up there and hit the call button.

I have heard that in some corners of the country bicycles are not welcome in the drivethru lanes, but I didn't see any signs prohibiting me from using this one. The pharmacist didn't even bat an eye, but smiled and told me "20 minutes." I took the long route home, took off my helmet, brushed my teeth, washed my face and shaved. I was back in the drivethru lane in about 25 minutes. The pharmacist saw me pull up, waved, brought out the scripts and I was back home about five minutes later.

I may make this a regular, fun monthly errand.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Birth of a Nut

Well, it's official: I've become a true recumbent nut.

One of the little college age baristas at the Starbucks this morning pointed at my Sun parked outside and said "You mind if I ask you a question about your bike?"

"Not at all, what would you like to know?"

"Why does it have a smaller front wheel?"

So, I launch into a whole sermon about how the smaller front wheel has lower rolling resistance and is also therefore more maneuverable on the long wheelbase bikes and how some people actually modify my bike by getting an after-market fork for a 26" front wheel and I'm just starting to get into the whole "smaller front wheel makes the whole bike more aerodynamic" spiel and I look at her face and realize that I'm giving her WAY too much information so ...

"Anyway, it works well."

She smiled, said "That makes sense," gave me my drink and I beat feet out of there.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


It must have been the rain.

Last evening I went out on the Roadley for a Tour de Starbucks. It had cooled down quite a bit so I left the house about an hour earlier than I usually do.

Coming back home, I was banking around some lame pedestrians walking right down the middle of my lane when something smacked me in the mouth. At first I thought one of the punks had thrown something at me, but then in the dual headlights of the Roadley I saw all kinds of flying critters.

They were all over the place, they started bouncing off my face, my bare arms and legs, and I could hear them banging into my helmet and the bike. For the rest of the ride home, there were pockets of them which were so thick I had to make sure I kept my lips closed tightly to keep them from crashing into my teeth. They were swarming around my porch light when I got home.

This morning I made a morning jaunt back to the same Starbucks, and ran into a Sunday morning regular there who knows something about insects. I described them to him and he said "Sounds like termites."

"Termites?" I asked, "Not ants?"

"Termites," he explained, "Have wings about twice the size of their bodies, like you described, and their two-pair wings are all the same length while ants have a smaller wing and a larger wing on each side."

He added that after rain storms the termite drones and queens will take off to mate and then the queens will find new, drier wood places for new nests.

Interesting, it makes me happy I spent the money to have the house treated for termites just a week ago!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Morning Errands

Usually I run my Saturday morning errands on the Roadley.  It is much more maneuverable than the long wheelbase Sun recumbent, and a much more comfortable cruiser than the Batavus.  Sometimes, though, I have a To-Do list with a route which makes a pretty nice ride to take on the Sun:  no sharp turns, lots of long straightaways, etc.  This morning was that kind of ride. My first stop was at the Starbucks, which is right in the shadow of the Talley building. This picture was taken about a half a mile away:

  The folks at the Starbucks know me and always ask how my ride is going:

I have to apologize for the picture quality, I forgot my camera at home and these were taken with my Moto Q.  That green Starbucks cup you see on the planter bench fits perfectly into the insulated bottle cage on the left rear seat strut of the recumbent.

Looking to the east this morning I see a storm approaching:

There is a Chase bank back behind the trees in the picture above.  It was one of my errand destinations.

I finished the trip and got back to the house just in time.  The rain has been steady since I pulled into the driveway.  Hopefully, it will quit in time for my evening ride back to Starbucks.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Busy Week

Tremendously busy week around the office.  I had to go in early today so I had to skip my morning ride.  And I REALLY missed it!  Spinning myself awake has become almost a necessity.

Again, I realize how antsy I'm getting about riding to work.  The weather looks good for next week.  Maybe ... maybe ... maybe.  (sigh)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Bicycle Cellar

There was a great article in this morning's Arizona Republic about a bike hub which opened up in Tempe last week:

The Bike Cellar

I hope this is wildly successful, and spawns a bunch of others around the Valley