Thursday, October 30, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Back to 1969

From my original post October 13th, 2009

Hitting the Road 1969 Style

Came across this picture of yours truly from 1969. I was 15 years old then. Yep, I was a big fella back then. Not much bigger today just less hair. Alot less hair.

Yes kids there was color film when I was a teenager.

Nice socks stud !

I'm standing next to my road bike that I proudly build up from cheap parts. It served me well. My mom insisted on taking this picture as I was preparing to take another overnight ride up the coast highway from Los Angeles. When you ride the coast highway in southern California today make sure you have life insurance.

A recumbent bike sure would have been nice back then. I remember that hard leather seat like it was yesterday. Ouch!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bearings for a TerraCycle Idler

TerraCycle idler torn down, cleaned and ready to rebuild with new bearings. The idler on both my trikes started acting up at about 1,500 to 2,000 miles. It starts as a soft rubbing noise that you can hear on those slow grinds up hills. Usually heard only on the power part of your stroke while pedaling. So you're listening to a rub...rub...rub...and so on. It drove me batty trying to figure out where the noise was coming from. I have come to find out that others have enjoyed the song of the idler but,  just like me, it took awhile to figure it out. It's not an "in your face" kinda noise and can easily be ignored if you don't do a lot of climbing. 

 The idler is now like new and ready to go. I still have six new sealed bearings ready to pop in when necessary. I'm sensitive to every noise on my trikes and I deal with the little gremlins without delay.

New stainless steel sealed bearings. I don't feel that ceramic bearings are worth the investment. It's makes more sense to me to replace the ABEC-7 stainless steel bearings every couple of thousand miles or less. An eight pack of bearings cost me only $14 on Ebay. You probably can find them for less if you're not as impatient as me. These bearings are not some high end single purpose bearings that TerraCycle makes. Basically they're just skateboard wheel bearings (thanks Scott for that bit of info). Make sure they're the right size for your idler and if you're going with stainless steel make sure they're rated at least ABEC-7. 

Evidence of a bearing going bad. The cup holds two sealed bearings. I'm guessing the wear on the cup shouldn't be like the picture. This is after less then 2,000 miles. I do a lot of climbing (if you don't climb you don't get the satisfaction of getting to the top or the rush of the downhill run) so I probably ask more of my idlers then most trikers.

Bearings are at the heart of an idler. It's not rocket science to maintain them properly.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Saturday, October 25, 2014


It really does make a difference to connect. I've been waving at drivers for years now. Laying back in the seat of a recumbent makes it seem only natural to wave or say a friendly "hey". It's good to see a video on the subject. Such a natural thing to do yet I rarely see cyclists wave at drivers. I'm a firm believer that a simple friendly connection makes a difference and keeps me saver. Maybe my wave will make a driver more aware of other cyclists. It can't do any harm so why not wave?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Spokes Fighting Strokes Tour

The adventure started June 29th in Anacortes, Washington. This group of adventurers collectively dubbed the Spokes Fighting Strokes Tour are now on their 117th day of their trek to Key West, Florida. Currently they're in Alabama, soon to cross over into Florida.
Check out their CGOAB journal "Spokes Fighting Strokes Tour" as they head for their final destination on their cross country journey. 
Here is the official website for Spokes Fighting Strokes,

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Kiffy Tricycle

It's not a recumbent but it is a trike. Put a big monster seat on it and it can probably be comfortable for quick trips to the market to pick a couple (or more) beers. I like the design, it seems like a great idea for urban cycling. It folds up and can be easily transported. 

I like.

And it tilts!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Riding with Scott Wayland

A group of laid back riders and wanabe adventurers (at least me) met up today with Scott Wayland at Bent Up Cycles to get some firsthand insight from his latest adventure transversing the United States from Canada to the Mexican border. It's all here in Scott's new book "Cracking the Spine". Available at

Scott entertains his devoted followers with a couple of passages from his book

 But first...a little ride

 At Bent Up Cycles getting ready to head out

 Meeting up along the way with more trikers

 Taking a break ot the Gene Autry Museum 

Headed back to Bent Up Cycles

Monday, October 13, 2014

Derailleur Cage with 20" Wheel

When it comes to the rear tire size on a trike everyone talks about rolling resistance and smoother ride with a larger tire. My first concern has always been how low the rear derailleur cage is to the ground when in the granny gear or there about when using a 20" tire. This is fine on pavement but don't let your rear tire get buried in soft dirt if you venture off the road. My son did this once some years ago and I spend the afternoon cleaning the grit out of the chain and the derailleur. 

The cage is 1 inch off the ground and close to the tire when in granny gear mode on my wife's Catrike Trail.

On my 700 the cage is 5 inches off the ground.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Scott Wayland at Bent Up Cycles

Available at
Scott will be hanging out at Bent Up Cycles in Burbank, Ca on Saturday October 18th to share slides and to read from his new book "Cracking the Spine". Books for sale and signing too.

Mark those calendars!!

* The day starts at 8 o'clock Saturday morning the 18th of October with a casual ride with Scott and Bent Up Cycles one and only Kate.

* Slideshow and book reading at 11:15AM.

A couple of pics from Scott's last book reading of his cross country tour "The Winky Eyed Jesus and Other Undescribables" at Bent Up cycles back in 2011.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Old and New Catrike 700

I was looking at some old pictures of my first Catrike 700. Here's a little visual comparison between the old and the new Catrike 700.

The new stretched out Catrike 700 with 20" wheels (post 2013)

The old Catrike 700 with 16" front wheels (pre 2013)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Rebuilt Crank for Black

I recently rebuilt the crank on Red and now it's time to tweak out the crank on Black. The last time I fiddled around with the crankset on Black was back in August when I tried a 26t granny ring. But now I really want more speed so I'm now using a 53t large chainring. The best I can do on the hills around here is 50mph. I'm hoping I can get a couple of more mphs on the hills by being able to pedal a little longer. Once you get the bug to go fast there's no turning back. The 700 is a stable machine and invites you to go fast.
The new crank is now 53/39/28 with a 32/11 ten speed cassette. I can't go any smaller on the granny gear (28t chainring) without loosing tension on the chain. The long cage on the rear derailleur does have it's limits. You can go smaller on the granny gear but then you have to be careful not to go small/small with the gears while riding. Unless you don't mind a loose return chain and extra chain clatter. 

Bottom Bracket - Mega Exo BB-8681 (68mm  English)
Crank and spider - FSA SL-X Carbon
53t Chainring - FSA Super Road Bike K Force, 130mmBCD outer (ramped and pinned), 10 speed
39t Chainring - FSA Road Pro, 130mmBCD middle (ramped and pinned), 10 speed
28t Chainring - Vuelta, 74mmBCD, 10 speed

On Order
Light Weight Outer Chain Guard - Teamssx Driveline Lightest for a 53t, 130mmBCD, 98g (3.4 oz)
I'm putting the chain guard on so I won't poke folks with my chainring (including myself). I usually put my helmet over the chainrings when parked at a bike shop or some other place where there's people gathered.