Saturday, August 20, 2016

Devin Skelton Remembered

I learned Devin Skelton, a prolific Facebooker and pilot of the "Batmobile", has passed on. I never met Devin although I felt like I knew him through his fun and crazy Facebook posts and our shared passion for three wheels.  I always enjoyed his posts and his excitement at sharing his velomobile adventures with others, especially kids.

Devin Skelton and his Batmobile 
Devin was a worthy ambassador for the three wheeled human powered world and will be missed. His passing hits close to home as I understand he passed away from a sudden heart attack while riding at the young age of 55.


Devin's Facebook page.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Human Nature

This is a silly little post about human nature. Yesterday I stopped to take a break, have a snack and enjoy the view while sitting on a rock next to my trike. I was all alone in a vast parking area. So why is it that within a few minutes a car pulls in the empty parking area and decides that parking right next to me is the best place to park? I think the parking area is big enough to accommodate a little space between those who want to sit quietly and enjoy the ocean view and those who wish to make a noisy spectacle out of their arrival. Oh well...human nature.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Keep Riding

As I sit here drinking my morning tea and nursing sore hips after doing do much lifting and assorted other chores associated with moving to Cambria I'm thankful more then ever for my Catrike 700. Riding my 700 and riding fast is pretty much all I got that keeps me active and physical. It's the only thing that keeps me tolerable for my beautiful wife. 

I need to be active or dead. When my time comes to check out, whether it's tomorrow or thirty years from now, those fools who love me know that I have no intention of slowly fading away lying down in a bed. Living a physical life has taken it's toll but it's the way I choose to live regardless. Hip replacements, back repair, shoulder repair, knee repairs and assorted other shit is all forgotten as I ride. As long as I can hit the road on three fast wheels I know I'm still alive. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Speed, Comfort and Tires

I have to admit, I was spoiled by well maintained roads back in my old town of Agoura Hills. Since I've moved to the Central Coast almost three months I've come to expect road conditions that go from smooth to rough to rotten. Sometimes all on one ride. The beauty of the area makes up for the varied road conditions.  I'm not ready to go suspended (although I've toyed around with the idea). I'm trying to find a balance between speed and comfort on my 700. I've been experimenting with different tire options in an effort to dial in the best ride given the roads that I now ride.

On smooth roads I use my fast wheelset. For a little comfort I'll pump up all three tires to a low 90psi (85psi being the minimum). This set includes a Schwalbe One 28/622 on the rear and Schwalbe One 23/406s on the front.

For the rougher roads I use a Kojak 35/622 (with DT Swiss rim and hub) on the rear pumped up to 60psi (55psi is the minimum). Changing out only the rear wheelset makes for an increase in comfort. with minimal effect on speed. BUT sometimes it's not enough for my old bones. I can manage short runs on rough roads but mile after mile of chatter from the front wheels is too much. Even worst is an unexpected abrupt transition from smooth to rough pavement when taking a downhill run at 40mph plus. If your not paying attention the skinny front tires can take on a life of their own and remind you to wake up. And then there's the potential pinch flat with the 23/406's at low pressure when running over road debris which is not uncommon along the roads of the Central Coast.

Next, with the Kojak still on the rear I tried adding Kojak 35/402s to the front.  I pump them up to 60psi (recommended pressure is 55 to 95psi). With the Kojaks all around the ride is more comfortable but the loss of speed is apparent and the handling is a bit sluggish.

Speed. With the Kojak 35/622 at on the rear my milage records show minimal change in average speed over the Schwalbe One 28/622. On smooth roads I venture to say that this probably wouldn't be the case. But when the Kojak 35/406s are added to the front my records show a 5% to 8% drop in average speed.

Bottom line. Whenever I can I'll use the Schwalbe Ones. When I know the going will get a little rough I'll use the Kojak wheel on the rear. Using the Kojaks up front makes for a bit of a dull ride. I''ll leave them at home for now.

Someday I'd like to try out the suspended ICE Sprint X Spec with Schwalbe Ones. I'm interested in seeing what the ride is like when the rotating mass of the wheels is at a minimum and the mechanics of a minimally suspended trike (rather then larger tires) takes the edge off the rough roads.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Pinch Flats

I've been running with 23/406 Schwalbe One's on the front wheels for some time now. I keep the pressure at 90psi (85psi being the minimum). It makes for a fast and reasonably comfortable ride. But these skinny tires when run at low pressure are susceptible to pinch flats (tire compressing against the rim pinching and cutting the tube).  On the smooth roads of my old home town this wasn't a problem. Up here along the Central Coast abrupt road condition changes and the occasional unseen debris on the road is a bit of a problem when trying to avoid a hard hit on the wheel. Time to rethink tire options. Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Harmony and Ice Cream

Finished my ride today in Harmony (Population 18) with a meet up with Carrie and the Ice Cream truck.

 But first a ride into Cayucos

Looking out towards Morro Bay. Cayucos is to the left.

Taking a break at the beach in Cayucos before heading back up the coast to Harmony.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Riding Central Coast Roads

There's some beautiful country along the Central Coast BUT the roads can be rough. And not just a patch of rough road but miles of unrelenting chip sealed and ignored roads. Not too long ago chip seal was the answer to repaving the roads. When HWY 1 was chip sealed North of Cambria the cycling community raised hell and now Caltrans claims the problem has been mitigated. They also claim cows can fly.  The Lighthouse Century, an event ride along HWY 1, would sell out within a couple of hours. Then came the chip seal and... need I say more?  

I've been living along the Central coast for nearly two months now and I've had a chance to get to know the some of roads along the coast. I've started using my Kojak rear wheelset on my northerly rides to ease the steady barrage of the "mitigated" chip seal on HWY 1. Not only HWY 1 but the country roads that branch off of  HWY 1 have been chip sealed. In some cases it's chip over ruts. I may have to go a step further and revisit buying a suspended ICE Sprint x Spec

The roads I discuss in this post are north of Cambria. HWY 1 south of Cambria is in good condition. I have yet to check out some of the southerly routes off of HWY 1 south of Cambria as well as the roads and mountain passes on the other side of the Santa Lucia Mountains which separates the coast from the inland communities of Paso Robles, Templeton and Atascadero. So no decisions about a new trike will made until I can ride around a little more.

Cruising on San Simeon Creek Rd.

A close up look at the chip seal. This is a good section of the road with no ruts, just chip seal (lucky me).

My average speeds are way down but the scenery is beautiful 

This road would be perfect for the minimalist suspension of a suspended ICE Sprint.