Showing posts from February, 2012

Zip Up...Zip Down...Zip Up...

It was 35 degrees and sunny at 8:15 in the morning when I started my ride with Betzi. I put on leg warmers, arm warmers, heavy hiking vest and jacket and a buff around my neck. It never got warm enough to shed any of those layers.I spent my entire three hour ride with Betzi zipping and unzipping my vest and jacket to keep me comfortable. Zippers are great. That's all I gotta say.

Hills and Gravity

A quick scan of my Cateye computer tells me I'm doing over 50mph on my Catrike 700 and gravity is pulling me towards 60mph. I love climbing hills because I know that there is always a downhill to follow.
Where I live there are plenty of hills to choose from and I plan my rides accordingly. A couple of years ago the hills that required more then one rest stop are now a steady, and even welcomed, grind to the top. I know that grind to the top is keeping me alive. Now at the age of 58 it's a test of all the body parts that I've had repaired since I've turned 50. It's also a challenge to my mental well being since last year when I had a heart attack. Each ride...each climb...each downhill helps repair the mental scars that comes along with an aging body.
Once at the top of the hill there is of course the downhill. Would anyone really want to climb a hill without the reward of downhill "punker up" moment? As I reach the crest of one of my favorite hills I slo…

To Ride or Not To Ride

T-shirt, sweat shirt, another sweat shirt, down vest, jacket, wool blanket and a big mug of hot tea. It's 6 in the morning, 41 degrees and this is how I start my days sitting in my back yard looking out onto the hills above my home.

I usually don't know what's going to pop into my head while quietly sitting and watching the birds chow down on their morning ration of seed. Today I was thinking about riding even though I knew I had other chores to accomplish. Priorities...priorities...what to do?

Guess what I ended up doing. It wasn't a hard decision after all I planned it this way. Having the freedom to enjoy life was not some random throw of the dice.
After suffering a major financial setback (nice way to say I went broke) in the early 90's I set some very clear goals for myself. First I met by beautiful wife Carrie while I was broke so I knew she was the one for me. Every decision Carrie and I make is with the understanding that life is to be enjoyed. All my business…

To the Market

It's Sunday...I want to ride...and I have to go to the market. So I rode to the market. I don't know why I didn't ride to the market before today. It's only a 15 mile round trip. I stretched it out to 20 miles with 1,042 foot gain and an average 11+ mph. I also have planned out a route that will take me on a 25 mile ride with an 1,800 foot gain which makes for a better ride.
I'm guilty of not taking advantage of my love of cycling to get out of the car and do some errands. It seems like we get into such a routine that we go into auto drive when taking care of our regular chores. With the big cavernous Ortlieb panniers that I keep on my Expedition I can load up with a consider amount of groceries. I also put together two large stuff sacks that I can hang from the side of the trike when needed for extra stuff. 

Route Rut

I fell victim to taking the same ole route with Betzi time after time. It was time to change things up a bit and map out some route changes using Ride with GPS.
Yesterday while it was raining I figured out a new route to take Betzi on. What I ended up doing was generally following the same old route that I've been riding with Betzi for the last year but adding  a bunch of detours. I ended up adding on 4 miles for a nice 20 mile ride with a 2,000 gain. I've lived in the Conejo Valley for 17 years and I found neighborhoods and streets that I've never known about. It's interesting how we can get into a rut and not know what exists virtually around the corner.

This part of the new route included hills and some Lupines by the roadside. Climbing is gives you time to smell the flowers.

They're Looking at Me

The circus is coming to town or at least it must look that way as people stare at me as I ride my trike with Betzi in tow. Yep...that's what it looks like, flags, streamers, lights, funny looking trike and a crazy dog sticking her head out of her circus trailer. Does all the attention from passing motorists bother me? Not in the least. On the practical side attention translates into safety on the road. For some the public display of deviating from the norm might drive them to the medicine cabinet for their anti-anxiety meds. I am not asking for attention and I would prefer to not  have people looking at me and scratching their heads. But it is only human nature for people stare at the unusual and I simply ignore it. It happens, I can't blame them, I'm use to it and it doesn't bother me. I don't want life to pass me by because I care about how I look while riding my trike.
Riding a traditional bicycle is no longer comfortable for me. Actually riding a "normal&…

New Cycling Plan

Back on August 27th I scribbled out a post  (Three Year Cycling Plan) about my touring plans and declared that...

…since I’ve turned 50 which was seven years ago I’ve had knee, shoulder, back (2x), left hip and now right hip surgery. Nothing else can go wrong…right? Right. All the breathing and circulatory apparatus is in great working condition. " circulatory apparatus" turned out not to be "in great working condition" (Heart Attack 12/25/11). Just when you think all is going well shit happens and plans need to be re-thought. I'm physically in good health. I'm only taking one prescription med compared to the four that I was downing after leaving the hospital.  I'm ready to go. The only thing I'm still trying to wrap my head around is the lingering feeling of being vulnerable and how it plays into venturing out into the great unknown. I also don't feel like being away from Carrie and the kids for any extended time. 
I still have a burning…