Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Not Much Time To Ride

Won't be posting much until Carrie and I can make a move...AGAIN. 

We have come full circle in the last two and a half years. From our home of 16 years in Agoura Hills (next to Thousand Oaks) where we raised or two kids to Cambria to Paso Robles and now back to Thousand Oaks. Where in Thousand Oaks is to be determined. We've had a great adventure along the Central Coast of California but family is calling to us. We plan on staying put once we make, what I hope is, a final move.

Leili is now a Company apprentice with the San Francisco Ballet. We want to live closer to an airport so we can more easily visit her. 

Byron is now moved into his new apartment in Thousand Oaks. He is an editor for a reality based TV show. Another reason to move back to Thousand Oaks.



And my three older kids who have blessed me nine grandkids (pics to follow) are all living in the Thousand Oaks and Agoura area. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

11- 42t 10 Speed Cassette

Unlike my Catrike 700 which is set up for speed my Expedition serves a more utilitarian purpose where the ability to climb is important. With this in mind I'm installing a 11-42t cassette on my Expedition. I didn't want to make a big investment so I found an 11-42t that I could use with my existing 10 speed drive train. Most 11-42t cassettes are designed for 11 speed (and more recently 12 speed) drive trains. So there are many more 11-42t cassette and rear derailleur options in the 11 speed world. To change over to a 11 speed system would require forking out more money for a new 11 speed derailleur, indexed shifters, chain and possibly new chainrings.

I installed a  JGbike Sunrise 11-42t 10 speed CSMX3 cassette. Besides being functional it also looks good. The Cassette also comes with an rear derailleur extender to accommodate the larger 42t cog.  It was easy to install and seems to be solid. You can also try adjusting the derailleur back with the B-screw to make room for the 11-42t without using the extender. I tried this but found that I had to crank the B-screw all the way down to barely clear the new cassette. With the derailleur all the way back the chain coverage on the 11t was reduced by nearly 20%.

A 10 speed 11-42t cassette has a wide gear range which may be uncomfortable for some but I welcome the extra low gear on the steep grades. Going with a 11 speed cassette would bring the gear range back down to a more normal range. However your other drivetrain components would have to be 11 speed compatible.

Once the 11-42t is installed and the derailleur is adjusted then the next next step is to figure out the crankset configuration. After toying around with a couple of different crankset ideas I'll have more to say.

Existing 11-36t with Sram GX derailleur.

11-42t with the GX derailleur on the provided extender

11-42t with the GX derailleur on the provided extender

Sunday, November 4, 2018

My Instagram 11/4/18 - No Speed Records Today

Today's pics on my Instagram

No speed records today. Haha. Getting there one pedal stroke at a time.
At least I manage to keep my rusty bones lubricated.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Catrike Headrest

I posted about my new Finer Recliner headrest back on Sept 24th.  After putting a few miles on the Finer Recliner I'm now posting that I'm back to using the Catrike headrest modified with the addition of an extra 3/4'' dense foam pad.

The medium density memory foam of the Finer Recliner is very comfortable. Maybe too much so for the way I like to ride. Most of the time while riding my Expedition I don't use the headrest but when I do use it I want firm support without my head sinking to deeply into the headrest. In that regard the Finer Recliner had to much give and my head would be further back then I like. 

In the end I went back to the factory Catrike headrest. With the addition of the extra foam the factory headrest works fine.

Friday, October 5, 2018

16 Inch Wheel for Transporting My Trikes

Big thank you to Dana at Bent Up Cycles for the 16" rear wheel that he had laying around his shop. Makes it soooo much easier to transport my non-folding Catrikes inside of my car.




Monday, September 24, 2018

Finer Recliner for Catrike

A new Finer Recliner headrest on my Catrike Expedition from T-Cycle. I use the medium density memory foam version. Super comfortable for use on my Expedition. 

The Finer Recliner with it's Catrike specific brackets (silver) on the existing Catrike headrest mount. The Catrike brackets are a nice T-Cycle upgrade.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

New Records from Battle Mountain 2018

IHPVA Arm Powered World Speed Record 2018-University of Liverpool's Arion 4
 Ken Talbot - Men's Arm Powered 51.58mph (83.02kph)
Karen Darke - Women's Arm Powered 46.54mph (74.91kph)

IHPVA Junior Multi-Track World Speed Record 2018 - 60.94mph (98.08kph)
Ishtey Amminger

All WHPSC results from Battle Mountain here.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Friday, August 17, 2018

My Instagram 8/17/18 - Today's Wine Country Pics

Today's pics on my Instagram
More Central Coast Wine Country
Willow Creek area

Las Tablas Willow Creek Rd

Las Tablas Willow Creek Rd

Las Tablas Willow Creek Rd

Las Tablas Willow Creek Rd

Thursday, August 16, 2018

24t on My 700

I now use a 52t/39t/24t chainring combo with a 36/11 cassette. Running this setup on a road crankset requires a little more thought and care then a traditional combination of gears. It's common for trikes to put on a 26t small chainring with a 50t large chaining. This allows the long derailleur cage to maintain good tension on the chain throughout the range of gears. But when you want to get the lowest gear possible from your 36/11 cassette by using a 24t chainring while still using a 52t large chainring for high speeds requires a little more effort. Of course you can use internally geared hubs and cranksets but I prefer the simplicity, weight and ease of maintenance of the traditional derailleur systems.

In regards to chain tension you'll find that going small/small (using the small chainring and small cog on the cassette) leaves you with a sloppy chain. Not recommended. To avoid this problem simply avoid shifting the chain to the last 4 smallest cogs on the cassette when using the 24t chainring. You'll find the gear ratios that you sacrifice (highlighted in yellow) while using the 24t are duplicated when shifting to the 39t chainring. Just a different combination of cassette cogs when using the 39t chainring (see chart).

Chain on 6th largest cog and the 24t chainring. Chain tension is still good.

Chain on the smallest 11t cog and the 24t chainring. Chain tension is very loose.

Setting up the 24t chainring on the crankset takes a little thought. Going from the 39t to the 24t is a big drop. First I always use a granny guard to keep the chain from bouncing off the chainring and ending up on the bottom bracket when shifting down while riding on rough roads. Also when shifting down you don't want the chain ending up jammed between the 39t and the small 24t chainrings. With the 24t there is more room for the chain to find it's way between these two chainrings. There is little room for error when adjusting the spacing between the 24t and 39t chainrings. I keep a 6 inch piece of chain on my work bench to check the spacing between the granny guard and the 24t and also between the 24t and the 39t chainrings before reinstalling the crankset.

The granny guard provides peace of mind that the chain will not bounce off when shifting.

Different angle looking at the spacing between chainrings.

On my Catrike 700 another issue comes up. The return tube is offset just enough that once the 24t chainring is installed the return chain slightly rubs on the edge of the ramps on the 39t FSA chainring. The rubbing is so slight it would probably not cause a problem but knowing that anything is doing what it's not suppose to do is enough of a reason for me to correct it. Luckily it was easily resolved, I ground down the top edge of the ramps without compromising shifting.

Offset of the chain tube. 

Edge of the ramp on the 39t chainring ground down just enough to keep the chain from rubbing.

Now climbing the Central Coast Wine Country should be a little easier while not sacrificing downhill speed.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

My Instagram 8/12/18 - Central Coast Wine Country

Today's pics on my Instagram
Cruising the Central Coast Wine Country
Jack Creek area

The weather cooperated today and stayed under 90 degrees during my wine country ride. I chose to take the 700 instead of the Expedition today. I put the larger Kojak tire on the rear and put some extra padding on the headrest to soften the harsh backcountry rides. I also slowed down the pace on the rough roads and all was good.

Oakdale Rd

Oakdale Rd 

Oakdale Rd

Jack Creek Rd

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Where to Live and Ride?

I've always considered the proximity to quality roads that inspire me to ride to be an important factor in choosing a place to live. I've come to realize that it's the most important factor along with family. Who am I kidding, no matter where I live in California I'll always be able to drive or fly to be with family. Riding my trike is what keeps me alive. I ride not to live long but to live strong. After all what good are you to family if you live a long life as a couch potato slowly fading away. Triking comes first. It's better to burn out giving it your all then to fade away.

Carrie and I have been empty nesters for more then three years now. This has given us the opportunity to explore different places to live in California. Our long time home near Los Angeles where we raised our kids had many wide streets with good shoulders and bike lanes. Although not picturesque there were plenty of parks and public open spaces to stop at and take a break. Just over a couple of years ago, being only the two of us, we moved to the Central Coast of California and lived for two years in a beach town along HWY 1. The local routes were limited but my rides along the Pacific coast never grew old. Then we decided to move into a smaller home a bit inland from the coast. 

We stayed in the Central Coast area but this time we moved inland to the wine country. This is where my riding hits a snag. There are few parks and virtually no public open space. In general the roads are not bike friendly around town. So I turn to the wineries for places to explore. The wineries are fun to explore...when open. On weekends it's best to stay off the wine country roads during the tourist season which is most of the year. Even on weekdays it's best to be extra alert to the occasional car or truck. Other than the surrounding wine country overall I am uninspired by the local routes around town. I've started to haul my trike over the hills to ride along coast where the air is cool, the shoulders wide and the scenery is breathtaking. 

My time on the trike has taken a hit. I'm just not inspired to ride. I ride but not nearly as much as I would normally ride and in turn not having as much to blog about. Maybe it's time to move again. I'll give it a year to search out routes and then decide if it's time to find another home. Although moving is a pain it's fun to have the freedom to move around and check out new areas to live. Maybe we'll even look at our old home town in a different light. Regardless of where we end up we'll always stay in California close to family.

The coastline of California's Central Coast

The wine country of the Central Coast

Sunday, July 8, 2018

PicNick App

I like to bring lunch with me on a ride rather then rely on restaurant food. The new PicNick app is a picnic table locating tool which requires input from users. Yesterday I marked three picnic areas along the Central Coast in the area of Cambria and San Simeon. With more input from users PicNick may become a useful app for picnickers like me.

Marked picnic location at San Simeon Pier.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Finally Back on the Trike - Wine Country Style

Moving to a new home takes it's toll. Totally out of shape from not riding I finally hit the road. First ride in a month and a half was a cruise through Central Coast wine country. A meet up with Carrie at Villa San Juliette for lunch and a couple classes of wine.

Saturday, May 5, 2018


Moving to a new home takes time and effort. In addition we're getting work done on the new house before moving in. No time right now for trike'n. Hopefully in a couple weeks we'll be settled in to our new home and I can get back out on the road.

It's a short move from the coast of the Central Coast to the Central Coast wine country. But it's a whole new world of riding opportunities.

Can't wait to get this over with.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Ride to Piedras Blancas Motel

One of my regular rides is a 31 mile out and back to the old abandoned Piedras Blancas Motel whose namesake is the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse.

 Nice start to a ride spotting a Blue Heron along HWY 1.

Traffic eases up after passing Hearst Castle. My failed attempt to point to the Castle doesn't make it any easier to see it sitting on the hilltop in a direct vertical line with my left pedal.

 Now a stop to check out the Elephant Seals. From here on traffic is minimal. A good thing too because most the HWY between the Seals and the old motel lacks a shoulder to ride on.

This is the best time of year to see the Elephant Seals. It gets busy with visitors on weekends and holidays.

 The realigned segment of HWY 1 north of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse. Wide open road with great shoulders. 

 Same location as the above picture but looking inland.

 Plenty of opportunities to talk to the cattle that craze along HWY 1. These curious creatures always stare at me as I talk to them. They must feel safe around me since I'm a vegetarian. Haha.

Ah, the Piedras Blancas Motel now abandoned. Recently it served as the office quarters for the road construction operations. Now one room seems to be a HWY Patrol office.

 Accommodations include two portable toilets. Beats finding bushes tall enough to allow for privacy along HWY 1.

The old HWY 1 alignment in front of the Motel.

A quick stop to look at another group Elephant Seals off in the distance. These blubbering mammals have opted for a private spot away from tourists.

 Another stop on my return trip to look back at the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse. Way,way in the distance.

The last couple miles of climbing to get home.