Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Gotta Have Music

I gotta have music while cruising on my trike and towing Betzi with nothing but sky above my head.

Music and being outdoors has always been an important part of my much so that in 2008 I created and published a CD of my own music that expresses my love of the natural world. 

Music provided an escape from an unpleasant childhood. Discovering hiking and the great outdoors in the 1970's got me through stupid choices I made in my early adulthood. Music, the outdoors and my first three kids helped me maintain my sanity...or at least some remnants of it. The true joy of life didn't really kick in until I met my beautiful wife Carrie in 1993 followed by two more kids, Byron and Leili. 

Recumbent cycling has replaced long hikes but I still have nothing but sky over my head. When taking a cruise on my laid back trike I crank up the tunes and take a subliminal journey back in time with some classic rock including a  hair band or two in the mix. It also helps to mitigate the unnatural street sounds. When I come across a quiet path the tunes are shut down and I enjoy natures symphony.

My baby boomer playlist pretty much consists of classic rock, new rock by aging classic rockers, "new age" from the likes of Peter Kater and Carlos Nakai and whatever live music is playing in the local pub.

PS;  When I made my cd Touch the Earth back in 2008 I had no intention of making money...only music. I get pleasure out of giving my cd away. I've even given them away in bulk so other friends could sell them and help supplement their income. I don't need the money, I just want to share the music. Drop me an email at with an address or send me a PM on my Facebook and I'll send you a cd at no cost. All sales are final  : )

Monday, March 26, 2012

New Speakers

I ordered a speaker for my new iPad from Logitech (Logitech Tablet Speaker). After getting it I decided to give it a try on trike instead. I hooked it up to my iPhone and the sound quality was superior to the Biologic speaker that I've been using. I kept it on my trike and opted to use earphones with my iPad for now.

Pros and cons of the new Logitech.
- 8 hour battery life compared to 40 hours with Biologic running on 2 AA batteries.
- Not weather resistant. In bad weather I won't be listening to music anyway.
- Internal rechargeable battery.
- Better overall sound with no breakup at high volume as with the Biologic.
- Easily fits behind the headrest of my trike. Lower volume required to hear good sound.
- Easy to remove.Same with the Biologic.

I would much rather have the better sound quality then long battery life and weather proofing. I'll just recharge the battery after each ride just like I recharge my light batteries after each ride. It's a luxury item anyway so if the battery goes dead on a long ride I'll live. Only time will tell how it holds up.

Gotta have some tunes to ride with on a clear and sunny spring day.

The old Biologic speaker hooked up to my iPhone.
The old Biologic speaker.

The new Logitech speaker set up behind my seat.

The Logitech speaker secured with small DiNotte O-rings.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Same Ole Same Ole

I have my moments...I want to ride but sometimes I can't imagine seeing the same scenery consisting of tract houses, concrete and shopping centers. Then there's the cars going past at 40 to 50 miles per hour.

I want beautiful tree lined roads with no traffic, a quiet path to cruise with Betzi, a small town where you don't have to battle major intersections or the raw beauty of the desert.

I see other bloggers post pictures from other parts of the country and I want to be there.

I slowly put on my cycling clothes and shoes. I load up my trusty three wheeled chariot and push myself out of the garage. A few strokes of the crank and I'm once again connected to the pavement.

I see and pass all the same ole stuff but in my pre-ride melancholy state how did I forget about the fantastic mountains beyond the roof tops and some of the open spaces I pass where the critters still show up to entertain me. I didn't even consider the new folks I always seem to come across that smile and wave at me. I have to slow down sometimes so we can exchange a few fun words. Of all could I have forget how good it feels to have nothing but sky over my head, sweet breeze in my face and the great feeling of knowing that I can propel myself forward with nothing else but that which the creator has seen fit to grace me with.

I'll be damned if I'm going to let some ugly streets stop me. There's still beauty where cities have just gotta look a little harder and a little closer to see it.

There's what I'm looking space to my left and beyond the tract house are the  Simi Hills.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Busted Chain

My first ride after two weeks of not riding ended with a broken chain haft way through the ride. Not just a link but about 8" of chain got mangled. With the chain shorten I ended up limping home with 8 usable gears. My lowest granny gear was not one of them. I had an extra short section of chain but I only had five miles to go so I opted for the quick fix.

I've been off the trike for two weeks. The first few days I had to take it easy because of a sore hip. That was followed by 10 days dealing with a nasty chest cold. I decided that today was the day to get my butt back in the saddle and do an easy and short 12 mile ride with Betzi. The short ride ended up taking a little longer as my chain let go while starting up a steep incline from a stand still. I think that my derailluer was between gears when I chopped down on the pedals. So I'll take the blame. I could blame it on 80 pounds of dog and trailer but that wouldn't be fair to Betzi.

Good part of the story is that I was in the park when it happened and not on a busy street. I took out the mangled part of the chain and installed a quick link, straighten out the chain tube and idler bottom bar.

But...I forgot to take a couple of pictures of my mashed up chain. I was having so much fun getting my fingers all greasy that I just didn't think of pictures.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Blogging From an iPhone/iPad

While I sit here with a cold I have time to test the Blogpress app for the iPhone and iPad. I ordered the new iPad and I want to be able to blog using it. So I'll start figuring out the Blogpress app using my iPhone with it small keyboard and my big thumbs.

Blogging from an iPhone and iPad has it's limitations especially with posting pictures. What's a blog without some pictures? After doing some research it seemed that a $2.99 investment in the Blogpress app was justified. So far the app is really easy to navigate.

So here's an older picture of Leili in Ojai from my iPhone media library.

Here's a new picture of Leili cruising Facebook taken from my iPhone and put directly on this post.

-Posted from my iPhone using Blogpress

Saturday, March 10, 2012

How Not to Lose Your Flag

I've lost a couple of flags in the past. About one year ago I tried this simple idea to secure the flag on my trikes. It worked and I haven't lost a flag since. 

The Purple Sky flag comes in two sections. I epoxied the two pole sections into the coupling that connects the two sections.  Being able to take the flag apart is less of a concern then losing the flag.
Good ole DiNotte O rings. The base of the quick release prevents the Catrike flag holder from swinging any further back. 
The same bolt that secures the flag holder is long enough  to  provide a point to attach the DiNotte O ring to the trike.  On the side that the O ring attaches I use a washer, nut (covered by O ring), another washer and finally a locking nut.
I used a small piece of an old tire tube around the flag post and secured it with zip ties to provide a non-slip  point of attachment for the DiNotte O ring.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pictures of the 700

These are the latest pictures of my 700 after putting it on a diet (Taking Weight Off the 700).

I cut the top of the boom mast off. I never used the horizontal mounting bar at the top of the mast.

400L front light with 2 cell lithium battery on the boom. I reduced a little weight by going from a 4 cell to a 2 cell battery.  I'm comfortable running the front light on medium during the day.

400L DiNotte light with 4 cell lithium battery that I have on high whenever I ride. The elastic band on the red bottle cage is an O ring from  DiNotte lights. I put two together and use them to secure my water bottom while riding. No more going back for dropped bottles!1

With the iPhone mounted for GPS.

Without the iPhone for most of the rides where GPS is not needed.

Taking Weight Off the 700

I admit it...I lost sight of why I bought my Catrike 700 in the first place. I intended for it to be light and fast, an occasional break from my overloaded Catrike Expedition. A stock 700 specs out at 33 pounds. With a couple of component changes it came closer to 32 pounds (even with the longer boom) when I took delivery of it back in June of 2010 from Bent Up Cycles. Over time I managed to get it up to 42.62 pounds including a tool kit with extra parts, first aid and spare tubes. I decided to have some fun and strip it down to the bear necessities...for me at least.

This what I took off the 700: 
-The rack that I recently put on.
-Over sized tool kit in the orange bag.
-Over sized first aid kit in the green bag.
-Four cell lithium battery for the front light.
-Two of 4 spare tubes (two for each tire size).
-One of two accessory stems mounted on the steering.
-A few odds and ends.

This is what I ended up putting back on:
-Small tool kit in the black bag.
-Small first aid in the gray bag.
-Two cell lithium battery for the front light. The rear light still has the four cell battery so I can run it on high.
-Light weight mirror mounts.

So what have I gained you ask. The 700 now hits the scale at 35.97 pounds.  This includes the frame bags, one accessory bar with a Cateye computer, flag, lights and batteries. With the scaled down tool kit, first aid and tubes added on the total comes out to 38.32 pounds, a 4. 3 pound reduction in weight. Will it allow me to go faster? Yeah in my own head. At least it stopped me from getting carried away with stuff. There is also less stuff to rattle around and fall off. The 700 is light, fast and feels every bump on the road. the less stuff on the trike the less to bounce off. Things have fallen off on some of the fast downhills. I also have room now for a few goodies to be stuffed into the frame bags.

When necessary the rear rack is now set up so it can easily be put back on in under 10 minutes.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Riding the Wind

Why did I ride today? I always opt out of riding when the wind is doing everything it can to push me backwards. Part of the answer is that I may not be able to ride over the weekend so I better get a ride in now. Probably the real answer is that I won't be able to be so picky when I start touring this year. I might as well get use to less then ideal conditions. My small chainring got a lot of use today.