Friday, August 4, 2017

Central Coast Pics

Along HWY 1 north of Cambria in the area of Hearst Castle you'll find some of the best Central Coast riding around. You're riding close to the coast line and there's many opportunities to pull off the road and take it all in. As us bent riders know it's so easy to see it all from the comfort of a laid back seat.







Sunday, July 23, 2017

Nerve Damage from Hip Replacement

If you're considering a hip replacement please read.

Back in 2013 both my hips were replaced. The left one is okay but the right hip was botched. To begin with the right hip has suffered calcification of the soft tissue. It hasn't gotten any worse after the first year and I've learned to mitigate the stiffness it causes through exercise, cycling and an occasional deep tissue message. 

The other problem caused by the replacement of my right hip is the atrophy of the medial head of the Gastrocnemius of my right calf muscle. It took a long time to recognize the problem. I've concluded that there is nothing I can do on my own to build up the muscle. I can't get that part of the Gastrocnemius to fire up. I'm assuming that the nerves were damaged (or blood supply was damaged) to that part of muscle. It might been caused by the torture table that was used to rotate the hips open as part of the anterior hip replacement procedure. Severe twisting of the lower leg to open the hip joint is my guess as to what caused the damage. 

Next week my visit to a neurologist for a complete scan will help me figure out what's wrong and if there is anything I can do to recover the lost muscle.

For now I've become used to the situation and it has no pronounced effect on cycling. The   Gastrocnemius attaches to the back base of the Femur. Along with the less powerful Soleus muscle which attaches to the top and back of the Fibular the Gastrocnemius and Soleus comprise the primary muscles of the calf. So I still have enough strength to stabilize the lower leg and angle. However walking is a little funky. For now a good trekking pole for long walks helps me maintain a more normal walking gait.

I would think twice about doing the Anterior hip replacement again if I had more hips to replace.




Thursday, June 29, 2017

W R Hearst State Beach

A ride up the Coast to William Randolph Hearst Memorial State Beach. The beach and the pier are opposite the entrance to the Hearst Castle. The cove was used for trade as well as to harbor ships full of guests to Hearst's little get togethers.






Thursday, June 22, 2017

An Extra Pound for Longer Rides

0.9 pounds (408grams) to be exact.
For longer rides or rides on isolated roads I take some extra gear that adds up to 0.9 pounds (408 grams). Well worth the peace of mind

All the extra gear is stowed in an titanium cup covered with an old cut off sock.

The extra stuff fits in nice and neat.

A brake cable, derailleur cable, one brake pad set and a chain repair kit stuffed into old 1.5" (40mm) tube sections. Also included is a second spare rear tire tube (I always carry 1 rear and 2 front spare tubes) and a spare DiNotte O ring I use to secure my flag. The titanium cup is used for filling water bottles at drinking fountains. 

Cables, brake pads and chain kit stuffed in tubes.

Brake pads and chain kid unstuffed. Included in my chain kit is a Park Master Link plier with a cut down handle.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

When Cycling Meets Sailing

Cyclists powering New Zealands hydraulics that control the wing, foils and other systems in the 35th Americas Cup Challenge now under way for the next few weeks. All the other boats are using the traditional hand cranks.



Sunday, May 28, 2017

Cruising the Central Coast

Recumbent cycling gives us laid back riders a unique perspective of our surroundings. And when your surroundings are the Central Coast it's not hard to want to slow down and take it all in. 
Taking a break along HWY 46


I've finally given in to the slower pace of living on the Central Coast. With Tubus rack and Small Ortlieb Panniers mounted I'm now in cruising mode. I'm now able to carry extra clothes and lunch for longer relaxing rides along the coast and valleys. The extra weight with all my stuff loaded in the panniers (including a pair of walking shoes) adds up to under 8 pounds (4.5 Kg). I plan on spending more time meandering through wine country where the extra storage space will come in handy. Wine bottles take up a lot of room. 

My Catrike 700 is still fast and nibble as the extra weight is kept low and the Tubus rack is cambered in towards the top of the rack bringing the weight of the panniers towards the centerline of the trike. Now I'm better prepared for time off the 700 when I may want to take a break and go down to the beach or simply explore a bit on foot before continuing my ride.

Before moving to the Central Coast most of my rides were on busy suburban roads with an occasional break at a park. Back then my focus was on speed and challenging myself. There wasn't much to see back in suburbia but concrete, asphalt and track houses. That all changed for Carrie and me when we moved to the Central Coast. 








Friday, May 19, 2017

Thule Roof Rack, Seasucker and Trike

I sold my trike carrying Ford Escape and we're down to only one car. I wanted a way to carry the 700 on top of our Ford C-Max. It's not always practical to stuff it inside the C-Max. Here's pics of what I came up with.

The flush mount Thule Roof Rack is installed so my front tires fit nicely in between the racks. A SeaSucker suction cup holds the rear tire in place. Note that I put my rear rack on my 700 in preparation for rides through wine country. You never know what you'll end up coming back with after a visit to the Central Coast wineries. More on that later.

A closer look.

Hook and loop straps (the same DiNotte straps that hold my batteries) hold the tires to the Thule Rack. For long trips I use heavy duty straps with buckles.

SeaSucker rear tire holder. I don't have enough faith in suction cups to do the entire job, front and back, of holding my trike down. No harm will be done, other then a little bouncing around, if the rear cup looses suction. 

Enough room for two trikes. Just need an extra rear suction cup.


By old Ford Escape with my old Catrike Expedition on top.



Monday, April 24, 2017

Harmony

Taking a break in Harmony on the Central Coast

Old Post Office

Harmony Cellars Winery

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I Don't Like Guardrails

I'm always scanning for places to bail out in the event of an errant car or truck. If there is ever a time I might feel a bit uncomfortable it's when riding next to a guardrail. Fortunately where I ride there are few guardrails and wide shoulders. Also cyclists are a common sight along the Central Coast. Safety in numbers.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

By the Bay

Hanging in San Fransisco. I would not ride a trike or bike in the heart of this City. Riding a trike on the downtown streets of SF would be a real challenge to say the least.


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Down to One Car

Down to one car. At least for now.

I'm getting good at stuffing the 700 into our Ford C-Max plug in. The plug in C-Max has a rather large battery tucked away in the trunk. It would be easier without the battery taking up so much room but I've managed to make it work. After becoming confident in my "stuffing the trike into a small car skills" I sold the Ford Escape that has severed me well for 10 years.

I'm considering an all small electric vehicle (or possibly a e-assist trike) for myself for getting around town. For now we'll just give it a go with one car. 



Goodbye old beast of burden.
Picture from January 2011
Byron's been living on his own for the last three years while studying film. And Leili, now 17, has been living in San Francisco for the last 2 years and dancing with the SF Ballet. So it's just Carrie and me and no need for 2 cars.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

New Low Gear

After a year of cycling on the Central Coast it has become clear that I need at least one more low gear for some of the steeper roads of the Central Coast. I replaced my small 28t ring with a 26t small ring. This required a change in the large chainring from a 52t to a 50t and taking two links off the chain to maintain good chain tension. Even with that done and using a 36/11 cassette the rear derailleur is maxed out. Going small (small chainring)/small (small cassette cog) leaves the chain sagging a bit. But since there is no reason to go small/small it's not a concern.

I added a inner chainring guard to keep the chain in line when dropping down from the 39t to the 26t. Under normal riding conditions with a well tuned derailleur dropping the chain from the 39t to the 26t works fine. However experience has taught me that when rattling around on rough roads the chain can drop off the small chainring while shifting. Therefore the addition of the inner chainring guard. The extra weight is minimal.

The outer guard is to protect me from poking myself and Carrie when the boom and chainring is between the front seats when the trike is loaded in the car. It also serves a second purpose-it shuts down the roadies who like to complain about the dangers of getting impaled on the exposed chainring.

The sacrifice I make on the high end will be made up on the low end with happier legs on the climbs.

Inner chain guard (Volae Granny Guard), 26t, 39t, 50t and Outer chain guard (Driveline)

The small Salsa (on left) and Blackspire (in middle) chainrings have an asymmetrical offset of the teeth. It's just enough to cause the chain to drop or get wedged between chainrings depending on the way you install them. The Vuelta (on right) chainring teeth are centered on the chainring and allow for smooth shifting on the FSA crank.



Crank mounted, two chain links removed, derailleur lowered, cable adjusted and chain lubed. Ready to ride.


Using a 35/622  rear tire (for rougher roads)


Using a 28/622  rear tire





Sunday, March 12, 2017

Kojak and Chip Seal

In my last post from March 10th I stated that I usually avoid riding north of Cambria on Highway 1 because of the chip seal. Well I rode north for the the second time in a row. I wanted to try the ride using the Kojak on the rear at 60psi on the rough road (see Speed, Comfort and Tires 8/3/16). Using the Kojak on the rear smoothed out the chip seal a bit. But chip seal (even though mitigated by CalTrans) is still chip seal. There's no doubt it wears you out faster. But the Central Coast is beautiful and worth an occasional ride North of Cambria.


Kojak 35/622 on the rear while keeping the Durano 28/406s on the front.

Destination ahead, San Simeon Pier.

San Simeon Pier, Time for a snack.

Friday, March 10, 2017

San Simeon


I headed North of Cambria on Highway 1 for a change. The chip seal north of Cambria, even though mitigated, is still a bit rough. It's not so much the rough ride as it is the constant vibration, especially at higher speeds. After awhile you get used to it. At least it's not nearly as bad as when some brain dead engineers at CalTrans back in 2013 decided chip seal on a popular bicycle route was a good idea. 

Using 28mm tires at low pressure on my 700 makes the ride enjoyable and still reasonably fast.