Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Steintrike in My Future?

My Catrikes are awesome rides but there is one thing they can't do for me...take me into the back country of the Santa Monica Mountains on the many fire roads and trails virtually steps away from my home. Starting in the late 70"s I logged many long miles hiking the Santa Monica Mountains. As my body and joints started to let me down I tried mountain biking in 2000. It was a bit easier on the joints but not on the mind. I'm an avid day dreamer, day dreaming and hiking are meant for each other, day dreaming and cycling on two wheels in the mountains...not good. A couple of broken ribs and a torn shoulder and my year long mountain biking experiment was over. Plus it wasn't that comfortable. So I accepted that three to four mile hikes would be my future. Let the younger folk do the 15 to 20 mile hikes to the more isolated and cool places in the Santa Monica Mountains. 

In 2009 I was introduced to recumbent trikes and that took my mind off the mountains. I was getting physical again, going far and enjoying the ride. HOLD ON...why can't I do it all? Why not an occasional MTT (Moutain Trike) ride? Maybe the Steintrike with it's beefy suspension can get me back on the trails in the Santa Monica Mountains. Veeery interesting...must give this some more thought. Stay tuned.

BROLer "willspower3" new Steintrike...NICE looking ride!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Time to Get Away

From last year's Central Coast vacation
It's time to get away and take the family and trike up the Central Coast to Cambria. By no means is it too soon coming...I want a break from riding around my home where the noise of traffic is not an option but a constant reality. Riding the Central Coast during the Spring offers great scenery and minimal traffic.

A quiet street

At home there are quiet stretches of riding and nice rest stops along my normal routes where the din of the traffic can be left behind for awhile but only for awhile. The rest of the time it's the buzz of cars accented every now and then with some character who feels it's funny to gun their engine right beside me and race off. Yesterday my speakers weren't charged so I wasn't able to white wash the traffic noise with my usual tunes, instead I was serenaded with the sound off buzzing engines and altered mufflers on oversize cartoon cars.

A quiet place for a rest

Next week I'll load up the family and my Catrike 700/20 and head up the coast to Cambria just south of Hearst Castle. I'll take a couple of day rides up and down the coast from Cambria while Carrie and the kids take advantage of my absence. 
Central Coast 2012

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Red Shouldered Hawk

Some things you won't see riding a traditional bike. Sometimes you have to be laid back to see the world.

Red Shouldered Hawk 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

California Bike Safety

Metro press release on its new bike safety campaign; cyclists have legal right to take a full lane     (click here for full press release)

FROM THE PRESS RELEASE: (good summary)
  • Are entitled to share the road with motor vehicles.
  • Have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle and motorcycle drivers.
  • Must obey all traffic signals and stop signs.
  • Are lawfully permitted to ride on certain sections of roadway in rural areas where there is no alternate route.
  • Must ride in the same direction as other traffic, not against it.
  • Shall ride as near to the right curb or edge of the roadway as practical– not on the sidewalk.
  • Are legally allowed to ride in the center of the lane when moving at the same speed as other traffic.
  • May move left to pass a parked or moving vehicle, bicycle, animal, or avoid debris or other hazards.
  • May choose to ride near the left curb or edge of a one-way street.
  • Should ride single file on a busy or narrow street.
  • Must make left and right turns in the same way drivers do, using the same turn lanes. If the bicyclist is traveling straight ahead, he or she should use a through traffic lane rather than ride next to the curb and block traffic making right turns.
  • Must signal all their intentions to motorists and bicyclists near them.
  • Must wear a helmet if under the age of 18.
  • Should carry identification.
  • Shall not operate a bicycle on a roadway unless the bicycle is equipped with:
    • A brake which will enable the operator to make one braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

The California Vehicle Code Section 21200 stipulates that bicycle riders may use any lane in the street since they have the same rights and must follow the same laws as car drivers. Bicyclists may need the full lane to safely navigate specific road and traffic conditions. In addition, the state vehicle code sets out several situations in which bicyclists are specifically permitted to leave their usual position on the far right of the street:
  • To avoid obstacles and unsafe conditions (including the door zone along parallel-parked vehicles)
  • To pass another bicyclist, car or bus
  • To prepare for a left turn
  • To avoid an area where right turns are made
  • When traveling as fast or faster than other traffic at that time and place
  • When the lane is too narrow to share with a vehicle

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Betzi vs Snake

No rides for the next few days for Betzi, the ole girl is recovering from a rattle snake bite. She stepped on a baby rattler Friday night. She backs off when she sees a snake but this little venom shooter was right outside our back door and Betzi was in a rush to bark at the howling coyotes and she didn't see the pint sized rattle snake  and she ended up getting tagged on the bottom of her paw.

This how Betzi spend most of the day yesterday Saturday after picking her up at the animal hospital.

Finally she moved outside under the lounge I was resting on.

Swollen right paw and Betzi licking the shaved area on her left paw where the IV was inserted.
Betzi is ready to play today.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Uneventful Week

The last week has been relatively uneventful, so I took some pictures of my uneventful ride with Betzi today. Uneventful can be very relaxing.

Byron getting Betzi warmed up for a ride.

Ready to go.

Pushing off from home and headed down our hill.

Lindero Canyon, very little traffic on Sundays.

Photo op at the school pull out.

View from Lindero and Kanan. Time to get over in the left lane and head up Kanan

Back on Lindero in the residential area with nice wide bike lanes.
The view from the seat of a trike...nothing but butt.

MUP through Oak Canyon Park.

Our picnic table awaits us down the path.

Taking it easy.

It's good to know where the bathrooms are, people don't take kindly to a friendly triker watering the shrubs.

Betzi in the mirror.

Almost home, time to take the last 1/3 mile up hill. What a way to finish every ride

At home...I hand off Betzi to Byron while Leili sits on top of Carrie's car and gives it a wash.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Back to Topeak

Arkel TailRider
I've been using the Arkel TailRider Truck Bag for a long while now and I've decided to switch back to the Topeak MTX Trunk Bag DXP. It is a heaver bag but has more space. It's a taller bag and shorter then the Arkel. Unlike the Arkel it's a rigid bag that holds it shape.

They're both good bags but the Topeak has a few features that I was missing in the Arkel bag.
1. The fold out panniers on the Topeak bag are nice to have available when I'm riding without my Ortlieb panniers.
2. More space and easy to store bulky items in the truck like main compartment.
3. Super easy to slide the bag off the rack and carry it with me. 
4. There's a mesh top that provides a perfect place to put my Spot Messenger.
5. The bag has a bottle holder at the rear that I use for a 4 cell battery for my DiNotte light.

Topeak MTX Trunk Bag DXP

Fold down pannier.

The yellow clip holds the bag firmly to the Topeak rack.

Push the clip down and the bag slides easily off the rack.

There's room for odds and ends in the compartment that holds the folding pannier.

Topeak MTX - Capacity 1,380 cubic inches. Weight 2.53 lbs.

Arkel TailRider - Capacity 944 cubic. inches. Weight 1.46 lbs.

After saying all the above I'm back with Arkel and Ortlieb...for now. I'll probably switch again later, oh well. The Ortliebs are great for throwing in clothes, food, dog paraphernalia and other assorted unnecessary stuff and you don't have to be neat about it.

Friday, March 1, 2013

New Tires...Again

I replaced the new Schwalbe Marathon Plus 20 x 1.75 (47/406) (click for post on the 20 x 1.75's)  on my Expedition with new Marathon Plus 20 x 1.35 (35/406). The 1.75's are heavy and they put a lot on rubber on the ground. Steering was sluggish and I felt like I was putting to much effort into just getting them to turn. The riding conditions in my area don't call for over sized monster tires on the front of my Expedition. Lesson learned. I still wanted the protection that the Plus's offer but I didn't want the size so I replaced the 1.75's with the 1.35's and the difference is obvious. 
At first I tended to over steer but it didn't take long to appreciate the nimble quality of these smaller tires compared to the beefy 1.75's. All together it was a more enjoyable ride having smaller tires up front. I'll keep the big 26 x 1.75 (47/599) Marathon Plus Tour on the rear to handle the load of the trailer and for traction on the occasional gravel path.
As for the 20 x 1.75's they ended up replacing the worn tires on Betzi's trailer.

The next issue was the front fenders. With the 1.35's the Green Speed fenders (click here for my post on the fenders) were over sized. No problem, I cut back the front supporting bracket that supported the front of the fender. I then replaced the fender itself with the smaller Catrike front fender that I already had and was hanging on the wall in my garage. The Green Speed fender support bracket paired with the Catrike fender is still rock solid.

You can see where the front bracket use to be. Now there is only a small section of it protruding out. I closed the end up with a small bolt. The flame is a little bling I added.