Thursday, August 28, 2014

New Triker Added

A new triker has been added to my Trikes and Trikers page.

Ken Tripp prepares for his 500 mile charity ride with his Catrike Expedition starting Labor day 2014.
Visit his blog Cycling for Parkinsons here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Battle Mountain 2014

September 8th through September 13th.

The existing record set last year and held by Delft/Amsterdam is 
83.13 MPH (133.78 km/h).

Saturday, August 23, 2014

My Boy Has Fledged the Nest

Byron is moving into an apartment today in Santa Monica. Happily it's only an hour drive from home but  it seems so far away. He'll be doing his first two years of college at Santa Monica College and then transfer to a University of California to study the media arts. His blog Entertain An Idea  demonstrates his skill with the written word. Hey Byron, don't forget to come home on weekends with your dirty laundry.

Carrie helping Byron pack up.

My older boys giving Byron a hand.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Physical Therapy for New Hips

"Just walk" is the only physical therapy I need after hip replacement. At least that's what the doctor said. DON"T BELIEVE IT!!! I did and now I'm going through intense physical therapy many months later after my hip replacements in September and December of last year.

At first recovery seemed to be going fast and on a positive track. Over the the last few months I started getting tingling and numbness in my feet and eventually up my calf. My legs and hips started feeling stiff and sore. Then the pain of sciatica started down my butt and legs. I'm  able to comfortably ride but walking and standing around became uncomfortable and painful.

I went to a neurologist last month and he sent me to a physical therapist. Finally after four weeks (with many more weeks to come) of poking, and pushing and pulling I'm starting to feel normal again. The sciatica is a fraction of what it use to me and the tingling and numbness is substantially reduced. No amount of stretching and exercise on my own could get me where I am today.

Piriformis syndrome is the cause of all the sciatica, tingling and numbness. Some recumbent riders suffer from this syndrome because of the over development of the muscles in our rear ends. For me it was exacerbated because of the big hit my hips and legs took from hip replacement.

The overall stiffness in my hips and legs is primarily due to the trauma my  fascia  underwent from hip replacement. For lack of better words it's as if my muscles are not sliding around very well and are stuck together.

Mike Burns at Custom Physical Therapy has taken me long way towards recovery. Three sessions a week and plenty of stretching before and after rides as well as in between is the key to getting my life back.

Hip replacement is a major surgery and takes it toll on the entire body. To maintain a healthy and active life after hip replacement surgery physical therapy is essential. Don't learn the hard way like I did.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

26t For Black

My Catrike 700 Black gets Red's crankset and Red will get a ???. The FSA SL K Carbon crank with a 26t granny gear and guard worked so well on Red that I put it on Black to get a lower granny gear so I can take a few more hills riding Black. The change added less then 2ozs. I rode 18 miles today and gained over 1,100 feet. The lower gear on my light Black worked great and effectively extended the riding range of Black. 
Maybe a Schlumpf Mountain Drive on trucker?  More on that later.

Gear Inches
                                           Tire    Cassette      Crank

Friday, August 8, 2014

Big Head..Big Helmet

Update 12/14. I went back to using the Lazer Helium. The Bell adjustment system broke and it wasn't comfortable on long rides.
I bought a new helmet less the pointy projection on the rear that doesn't always work well on a recumbent trike. There are a number of good helmets that spare the rider the point at the back. The challenge is to find a helmet without the point and big enough for an over sized brain. My head size (with buzzed hair) is a sizable 23 and  3/4" (60.3cm). Most large size helmets can be made to work for me but are snug and kinda sit on top of my head. Add a cycling hat or bandanna underneath the helmet and an extra large bucket is the only option. The recumbent friendly XL helmet that works for me is the newer Bell XLP. It's about $40 so you get a lot of helmet at a fair cost. For more information Helmets.Org has a good summary of helmets that fit us head challenged.

 Top: My new Bell XLP. Bottom: My old Lazer Helium. 
The point at the back of a typical road helmet doesn't always work well on a recumbent trike. On my Catrike 700 "Red" the point on the back of the Lazer helmet would hit the front of the rear rack. On "Black" it would rub on the rear tire if I lean my head to stretch my neck.

I had to make a minor adjustment to the headrest. The Bell XLP has a lower rear retention strap then my old Lazer Helium helmet so the headrest had to be lowered a bit.

Friday, August 1, 2014

My Catrike 700 vs My Catrike 700

Catrike 700 "Red"

Catrike 700 "Black"

It didn't take long to get to know my new Catrike 700 known as "Red". I built it for touring and general laid back cruising. I've been riding "Red" along the same routes and in the same manner (aggressively) as I ride my other lighter performance dedicated Catrike 700 "Black". 

How Red differs from Black
- Redis about 25% heaver with it's Schwalbe Marathon Plus 1.35" tires, touring rear wheel, rack and a few more odds and ends.
- The Schwalbe Marathon Plus 1.35" tires put more rubber on the road but it makes up for the extra rolling resistance with serious puncture protection.
- With the Schwalbe Marathon Plus 1.35" tires the ride is considerably smoother and the steering is less twitchy. The narrow hard Ultremo tires on Black react to every pebble it comes in contact with. Finally, the turns are a bit more sluggish 
- As for speed... I was surprised to see my average speed on Red was only about 8% slower then Black. I had expected it to be at least 15% slower. Acceleration was slower but not to the point of making much of a difference. My max speed on a long downhill run was not noticeably different. It just took a little longer to get there.

Bottom line...both 700s perform equally well for their intended purpose and are a kick in the pants to ride. 

I've come to appreciate that both trikes have the same ergonomics. Switching from one trike to the other is seamless with no orientation time required when choosing which trike to ride. 

Now that I'm done comparing the two trikes I can ride Red the way I intended to ride it...slow and easy and taking time to smell the roses.