Friday, September 30, 2011

Ride with Byron in Ventura

My son Byron and I drove out to Ventura to catch the beginning of the Ventura River Trail and head up to Ojai along the Ojai Valley Trail. The marine layer cleared just as we began our ride and it made for a great day. The ride didn't go as planned but...just look at the pictures.

Although the Ventura River Trail (VRT) parallels the Ventura River the predominant view is of an industrial nature. At one time this area was home to a substantial oil field. Old straight drilled pumps dot the area. Some are still pumping but slowly. Riding along on this old rail road bed next to worn out tanks, oil pumps, trucking, industrial fabricaters and so on provide an interesting glimpse into the past history of this area. The ride along this area in the cool ocean air can at times seem surreal. Why does Mad Max come to mind?

The Ojai Valley Trail was closed. Come on folks you didn't post this on your Ventura County Parks Facebook page. With the VRT behind us I was ready for  a nice ride under the trees to Ojai. Think, think...let's go to the beach and have a picnic.

Making our way back down the VRT to the beach.

Wow!! This ain't so bad. A day at the beach with my son, a picnic lunch...

...and a Long Board competition to entertain us.

Beautiful day.

Time to pack up and head home. Some of the best times in life are a result of a detour.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

iPhone GPS Update

After 6 rides the Motion X app on my iPhone (iPhone GPS) works very well providing the tracking information I want. The next problem to tackle was battery life. For $59 I purchased a Brunton Inspire power pack. It claims to be able to fully charge a smartphone 2 to 3 times. Brunton makes larger power packs as well if you like spending money. On my first ride with the iPhone/Brunton setup it kept my iPhone at 100% battery life while using the Motion X GPS for 2 1/2 hours of riding. A the end of the ride all four blue lights on the Brunton were still shining indicating between 75% and 100% battery life remaining on the Brunton. 

My iPhone hooked up to the Brunton Inspire power pack using a 6 foot charger cord.
iPhone mounted on my Expedition and connected to the 6 foot charger cord.
I ran the charger cord from my phone back to the Catrike frame bag where the Brunton is happily tucked away. The charger is zip tied to my derailleur cable.

With GPS going, making calls and doing useless stuff on my phone I figure I should have two full days of riding before having to charge everything up again. When it comes time to tour this should work out just fine. Time will tell.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Catrike Seats

My old style padded Catrike seats were all twisted up and it made my trikes look cheap. Even though they performed well, for what I spent on my rides I at least expect the seats to fit properly. The seats on my Expedition and 700 twisted in opposite directions thus eliminating the thought that I have a twisted riding style. Furthermore the twisting issue was not exclusive to my trikes. After doing a little research I discovered that the first generation padded seats were having a problem with twisting. I contacted Catrike and they asked me to first try to make some adjustments...which I did. It didn't work and in addition some of the adjustment buckles on the back of the seats were maxed more strap to tighten. In the end Catrike sent me new second generation padded seats for both my Expedition and 700. THANK YOU CATRIKE!

The Old Seats

The New Seats. No Twisting After One Ride. 
Good Start!

UPDATE 9/26/11 - On my Expedition I've taken the new seat for four rides already and it's holding it's shape. Yea! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

iPhone GPS

I may have been down and out for awhile but my brain didn't stop working...uuuhhhhh. During the time that I wasn't able to ride I did some mapping for a Pacific Coast tour that I want to take in May of next year. I'm old school and I like to have a map in hand as my primary guide, no batteries required. However I'm not from the Paleolithic age so having a little technology along on the ride is welcomed. What's hard for me to stomach is the high cost of dedicated GPS/tracking devices with all the bells and whistles costing hundreds of dollars. All I want is a device that can track and it's already in my iPhone. I read good reviews for Motion X a GPS tracking app for $3.99 (a little cheaper then a Garmin). I tried it yesterday for a 12 mile ride ( I'm Back ) and it worked well. I'll keep trying it until I'm confident that it is dependable for a longer tour. There is still a chance that I might fork over some big bucks for a dedicated GPS if the Motion X app doesn't measure up.

Motion X GPS app on iPhone

The Basics:
I start off by mapping out a ride on Ride With GPS ( ). I then load the GPX track file from Ride With GPS to the Motion X app on my iPhone via iTunes. When I ride I simply turn it on and pick the right menu choices and then follow my pre-mapped track. You can also record a track while riding with the Motion X. Battery life is short with the Motion X running. I calculate that you use up to 75% of my battery in less then 4 hours. I'm now researching auxiliary batteries and charging systems. 

It is not my goal to end up with a load of electric equipment so I'll figure out what works for me over the next month or two.

The Mount:

RAM bicycle mount for iPhone mounted on my Catrike 700.  The band at the top of the phone is an O ring for a DiNotte light. I use it to secure the iPhone in the cradle. The cradle itself is tight but I'm afraid a good size pot hole might encourage the phone to pop out. I bought a bunch of small and large O rings from DiNotte. They are strong, flexible and have a ton of uses.

A view from underneath. The cradle can be removed from it's base when it's not used.
One last look from a different angle. The stub that holds the iPhone and Computer is an add on I purchased at Bent Up Cycles when I bought my trike.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I'm Back Riding Again

Being 10 days out from hip surgery I took my first real ride since August 7th (I'm not counting my token ride at the Cool Breeze Century). I took a short 12 mile /899 foot gain ride with Betzi in tow.

Looking good in my Bent Up Cycles jersey! 

All systems go:
1. Cardiovascular system surprisingly in good working condition.
2. Strength is better then I anticipated after sitting on my duff for the last few weeks.
3. No pain during the ride and minimal pain after the ride. Nothing a couple of ibuprofen can't take care of.
4. A little rusty on putting my water bottle in it's holder behind my head. Oh well...who's watching anyways.
5. The endorphin rush is still alive and waiting for a downhill on my 700.
6. I gained a couple of pounds sitting around but that won't last long.

It was a great morning for a ride and it was good to feel the breeze on my face again.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cool Breeze Century - Picture of Yours Truly

This picture of ME was taken at the start of the Cool Breeze.
Thanks Joel for sending the pic.

My picture of the photographers.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Another Hip Surgery

I had my hip sliced and diced yesterday and today I hooked my CycleOps up to my Expedition and did a little spinning. I should be taking easy rides within a week. YEAH! I heed my doctors words, he told me that I can't do any damage by exercising, I'll only feel pain. Pain I'm okay with if I'm headed in a positive direction. 

I can't end a post without a picture so here's one of my hip...from the inside.
The fuzzy stuff is the torn cartilage in my hip.