Sunday, June 30, 2013

Mileage for June

Not as many rides as I would've liked to take. Sometimes the little nuances of life get in the way.

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Climb...The Thrill...The 700

I suffer the climb so...

...I can get the thrill!!!

Actually I enjoy the meditative quality of climbing the hills. Wisely choose the tunes to play on my mini sound system, set my brain on cruise control, adjust my mirrors and I'm good to climb. I've accumulated 980 miles so far this year and 85,000 feet of elevation gain. I could easily ride south on my rides and accumulate more miles with much less climbing but where's the thrill??!! This old fart still needs a thrill!!! Gotta live!!!

Side Note: I must say it again the Catrike 700 / 20 is an awesome ride!! The only limits on this machine when taking a downhill run are road conditions otherwise it just wants GO!! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Endura Hummvee Shorts

Here is a short (pun intended) review of the Endura Hummvee Lite Short from a bent up perspective. I've been wanting to take a closer look at these shorts but laying down $80 plus bucks online without knowing what to expect put me off. I stopped in to say hey to Vincent at JRA Bikes & Brew (my post) and while he was on the phone I was wondering around his shop and came across the Hummvees. I bought a pair of the Hummvvee  Lite Short.

Both Hummvee regular and lite hanging on the rack ready for me to inspect.
Here's what I have to say about Endura Hummvee Lite Shorts...they're exactly what I've been looking for with one minor adjustment required. As bent riders know regular shorts sometimes end up looking like booty  shorts as the wind on fast downhills does it's magic. My first requirement on a pair of shorts is hem adjusters. These shorts have them but on my leg they don't take up enough slack so Carrie shorten the velcro strap and now they do the job. They keep the legs from righting up and do a nice job of keeping the wind from ballooning the shorts. The Hummvvee is advertised as baggie MTB shorts but they fit like normal shorts so any ballooning is minimal. Keep in mind they run big so a medium size fits me perfect. Otherwise everything else I own is large.

They come with a padded liner that snaps onto the shorts. Who needs padding when you're bent? Thus my other concern that held me back from buying online, the snaps. Would the unused snap poke me in the side while riding? No problem, the receiving end of the snap that's on the shorts is flush and minds it's own business. 

The Hummvee Lite is made of lite rip stop nylon.  The rear and inner thigh area is made with a sturdy nylon material. Overall I'm really happy with threads. They're a keeper. 

Velcro at the leg hem to tighten around leg (before being shortened)

Back end with sturdy nylon seat

Built in belt that goes all the way around with elastic on the sides to keep the fit snug

Mesh panels towards the back for air flow

Flush plastic snaps to attach a padded inner lining to shorts for those who prefer to ride with a saddle up their rear 

Monday, June 24, 2013


JRA Bikes & Brew in Agoura Hills is the newest bike shop in my town of Agoura Hills serving coffee, smoothies and more while getting your bike fixed and looking at bikey merchandise. I have it on good authority that they welcome all, including those who dwell on the dark side...recumbent riders.

Looking at the repair shop and coffee area.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Minimizing Risk

I'm back on the road again with the 700. A little boring health issue which deserves no mention here kept me sidelined for a week. Then it took a couple of  extra days more to clear my head after Maria Parker's accident with her support van during the RAAM. 

Cycling incidents always give me reason to pause and examine how safely am I cycling. Under what circumstances should I not compete with a ton of fast moving steel being driven by someone who's driving skill is unknown? When should I opt to take a different route, ride at a different time or change up my routine entirely? Every cyclist should ask themselves "what risk am I willing to take to enjoy a ride, competition or a tour?".  

Unless one has a death wish the goal with any activity is to minimize risk. The perception of risk lies with the individual, and the level of risk that individual is willing accept in any given activity is a personal choice. The first thing I do before I put foot to pedal is to make sure my head is screwed on right. Unlike when I take a hike daydreaming is not an option when cycling on the road. My head has to be in the game. If I'm not visually communicating with drivers then at the least I'm watching them. Any driver that I can't make eye contact with I assume they don't see me. As for safety equipment that is a topic onto it's own and the subject of much debate. I have confidence in the choices I've made regarding safety equipment. Let it suffice to say they I don't compromise with my choice of safety devices to save a few dollars.

I feel I have done everything I reasonably can to be as save as possible when cycling on the road. I have good reason to be around for awhile and it's not all selfish. 

Ride safe and demand it of those you ride with. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

No Buzzing Cars - Hike Today

With the vision of Mari Parker's RAAM support van trashed I decided to go on hike today. I'll be back on the road again over the weekend.

On a ridge at Cheeseboro Canyon NP

A well placed picnic table a mile into the Canyon.

Monday, June 10, 2013

RAAM 2013 - Maria Parker

At the live RAAM press conference today Maria Parker had to put up with ignorant comments (lawn chair on wheels) from the moderator regarding recumbent bicycles. She handled it very well and nicely corrected him as needed. The video may still be available here. Maria Parker's portion of the interview starts at 15:15 minutes and again at 29:29 minutes.

Race starts tomorrow - support Maria!

RAAM Live tracking all racers

- Maria's personal live tracking at 3000 Miles to the Cure - Where's Maria?

RAAM Leader Board

- Maria Parker's Website 3000 Miles to the Cure


From Maria Parker's 3000 Miles to a Cure Facebook page.

6/13 "Every one is fine, but the van and two bikes are totaled. Will update as we can. Outside tuba city"

6/14 "WE ARE GOING TO DO THIS! Maria wants to get back on the bike and finish what we've started. In the next couple of hours, the crew will meet and outline exactly what we need to make this happen!

Due to damage to the vehicle and destruction of equipment, we can no longer officially participate in RAAM but we are still going to do what we set out to do. We are all so overwhelmed by the incredible outpouring of love and support from all of you. This is the power of WE. And WE have the power to end brain cancer."

6/14 (later in the day) "Against all the odds, Maria and the 3k team have been allowed back into Race Across America as a full competitor! That's right, Maria can still finish RAAM!" 

6/17 Post from Dan Fallon on his Training Blog regarding the incident. Dan Fallon was Maria Parker's crew chief prior to the incident and withdrew from the race, along with two other crew members.  (Read Dan's post here)

By Vic Armijo
Athens, Ohio
June 18, 2013

In the inspirational story of the year Maria Parker is now the overall leader of all the women solos, having come back from having her follow car rear-ended... (read more)

RAAM Facebook post
Maria Parker rolls on in first - what a comeback!

RAAM Facebook


Official, first place overall women's solo - 11days 24hours 54minutes

RAAM 2013 - Maria Parker's Amazing Comeback Victory from Jim Parkers blog at Part 1 of Maria Parkers RAAM story.

Roadbike Review's article on Maria. Race Across America's Near Death Experience

RAAM 2013 - The Rockies and the Plains from Jim Parkers blog at Part 2 of Maria Parkers RAAM story.

- Maria Parker's 3000 Miles to a Cure Facebook

RAAM Facebook 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Solvang Prelude-No Pre Ride Beer Permitted

I emailed the organizers of the November 1st Solvang Prelude a question about trikes. I've heard of some cycling events claiming they are not prepared to provide SAG support for us three wheeled crazies. The Solvang Prelude folks are fine with three wheels, however I must share the response to my question about trikes. 
No disrespect intended towards Randy and the organizers of what I hear is a great event. It's the well-intentioned comments from traditional cyclists (that out number us  a zillion to one) that provide fodder for our triker humor. It's all in good fun that I post the following:
My Question
You okay with recumbent trikes riding the Prelude.

Response from Solvang Prelude
Hi Mark
No problem as long as your vehicle does not sway side-to-side.
If pedals like any bike............fine.
My Reply
Hey Randy,
Does that mean no pre-ride beer?   
Thank's for getting back to me, see ya.
My sway.
,Inline image 1
Randy's Response
Hi Mark:
Your bike is fine.
You...........I'm not so sure about!
See you in November
I agree!!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Schwalbe Presta Values

Schwalbe Presta Valves have removal cores, make sure these suckers are tight. Three times in as many years I've found a wheel sitting on it's rim with a flat tire. Last weekend when it happened I went through the bother of replacing the tube so I could ride without worry. When I returned from the ride I tested the tube in a bowl of water and watched one little bubble at a time slowly trickle out of the stem. I tighten the core and put the tube back in my vast inventory of tubes.