Archive for June, 2012

Mileage Report 13

June 30th, 2012 No comments

Rain was expected today, so I had planned to do my errands by car.  This morning, though, the forecast looked quite different, so I decided to take Pegasus instead.  I picked up a prescription at the vet’s; a package that had been left in town; bought a large roll of tracing paper at the stationer’s; and picked up some groceries for the weekend.

The trail was still wet this morning, from last night’s storm, and there were small bits of debris all over the the asphalt, including small twigs.

Today was as hot as it gets around here — 96 degrees.  When the temperature is that high, I can’t walk, no matter how much water I consume.  But, thanks to pedal-assist, I can cycle.  A helmet with good air flow helps, along with ducking into air-conditioning now and then.  But pedal-assist let me keep moving, and that helped keep the temperature bearable as I rode.

Last year, when I first stated riding my trike, I’d come back from a five or six mile ride, on a 70 degree day, feeling as if I were going to drop dead at any moment.  I loved the rides, but the aftermath wasn’t pretty.  What a difference a year makes!

Here’s Pegasus at the market before I loaded up with groceries:

The wonderful people at the vet’s office gave me an ice pack to keep the meds from spoiling.  Tucked inside an insulated tote, it worked perfectly.

24.17 miles, winds about 10 mph, 96 degrees, mixed suburban, city, some paved trail.

Total recorded mileage for season: 294.81

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Keen, Now with SPD

June 29th, 2012 No comments

Well, maybe it’s been Keen with SPD for years; I’m not sure.  But Keen, the sandal (and more) company, make a cycling sandal that takes an SPD cleat:

I love Keen sandals, but usually can’t wear them.  Something about the toe box just doesn’t work on my foot.  But wouldn’t these be great for summer recreational riding?  Or hey, in winter you could just tuck your wool-clad feet into these babies.  Oh yeah!

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Mileage Report 12

June 15th, 2012 No comments

There was a bit of a low ceiling today, but lots of blue sky now and then:

I didn’t want to stop riding, so I added an errand or two onto my run at the end., and just fiddled around a bit in general.

Took a brief turn past a local park.  Gotta love how even small parks in our area have enticing paths meandering over the grounds.  I didn’t ride on this particular one; it’s really best for pedestrians, but appreciated how inviting it looked:

Today was unusual because I encountered more hazards, of various types, than I usually do.  First up was was a mother on a trail who was pushing a huge empty double stroller, with at least five, and maybe more, young children with her.  More, anyway, than she was keeping track of.  I approached facing her and the kids, descending a steep slope from a curve.  Mama smiled benignly, moving the stroller to the edge of the trail, with the kids apparently moving aside with her.

Except that there was a very small child — probably about two years old —  who wandered away from the others, toward my side of the path from behind the adult.  Mama apparently had no clue where this child was.  (And I had no way of knowing the child was there, hidden as she was, behind Mama, several other kids, and the stroller!)

It goes without saying that a child that young should have been in front of Mama, doesn’t it?  I was alert; I saw the toddler, but if it had been my kid, I would have preferred not to trust my child’s fate to the cyclist.

Later, on another park trail, I rang my incredibly noisy bell over and over, but failed to attract the attention of a half-dozen 12 or 13 year old girls who were wandering on and off the asphalt trail  without paying any attention to where they were.  I finally screamed “Watch Out!” at the top of my voice, at which point several of the more alert kids pulled the oblivious ones off the path.  I’m going to go on record as believing that it’s a good thing when older kids have to notice what’s happening around them.  Adolescence is a tough time; learning that there are others in the world is a good survival skill.

Lessons for me Always be ready to stop.  Adults can be surprisingly stupid about their responsibilities, and kids are never responsible.

Also experienced a different kind of road hazard, due to a block of repair patches in town that were covered with small, even, bits of gravel which stuck in Pegasus’s tire treads.  I stopped and spun the tires, one by one, displacing the pebbles.  There weren’t too many in the rear tires, but a bunch had stuck in the front, and I could hear them clicking once we were back on smooth pavement.  It didn’t seem like a good idea to let them embed themselves permanently in the rubber.

30.81 miles, 14 mph wind, 77 degrees, mixed suburban, city, semi-rural.

Total recorded mileage for season: 270.64

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Family Transport, NYC Style

June 14th, 2012 No comments

It’s sad that I can’t take Pegasus to New York.  I’m not crazy enough to ride in traffic in Manhattan, but I would love to spend days cycling around Central Park.  When I’m there, then, I keep my eye out for cycling curiosities, since I’m not riding one myself.   On a recent trip, I spotted this in Chelsea:

There’s an upholstered bench seat, with a harness for the passengers:

And a small compartment behind the seat for parcels:

The rather charming seat pod was custom-made by the folks at HUB on a Worksman tricycle chassis.  The owner pointed out that hauling the weight of the vehicle, along with two kids, was quite a workout, but said that she loves her wheels.  She was beaming, and looked fit as can be.  Obviously, trikes have their place in New York City, too, even if mine won’t be visiting.

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Mileage Report 11

June 10th, 2012 No comments

Perfect morning; thunderstorms expected in the afternoon.  Veggie shopping at the West Chester Growers Market, coffee in town, and some exploring on the side.  It was a good day for geese:

27.70 miles, 14 mph wind, 87 degrees, mixed suburban, city, semi-rural.

Total recorded mileage for season:  239.83

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Shoes: Pearl Izumi Fuel

June 9th, 2012 No comments

. .  . and what I’ve learned so far.  First, “going clipless” was a great choice; it’s made a real difference in my cycling experience, even though I’m just a newbie recreational [trike] rider.  Here’s the shoe I’m using with the clipless pedals:

After trying quite a few, at several different stores, I bought these at REI.  The toe box was the deciding factor:  Foot comfort, for me, depends on a lot of room in the toe.  This shoe has a mesh top, so, additionally, there’s a lot of flex space, upward.  That’s excellent!  The mesh makes them light (and cool, I suspect), and the fit is very good for me.

They’ve got SPD cleats on the bottom.  I’m thrilled with these!

The shoes themselves are serving me well, but there are several things I don’t like about them that I’ll be keeping in mind when I get the next pair.

The serious issue is that the laces are too short to tie easily, and too short to secure well by tucking them into the lacing on the top of the shoe.  This is a real pain.  I realize that the lace length is probably intentional; it would be hard for the strings to catch in the chain.  But if they’re too short to tie well, or to secure, the purpose is somewhat defeated, no?

The picayune complaint is that they are white.  I hate the color.  Actually, I hate the aqua, too, but it’s the white that really irritates me.  Why would anyone want a white mesh cycling shoe?  It’s dirty out there, folks!  By the end of summer, the mesh on these shoes should be completely irredeemable.

Next time:  Velcro.  And black.  Or screaming yellow/green, or even dark pink, but never, never white, or yucky aqua.  Are these shoes something somebody would wear to a gym  if their first consideration was, say, making some kind of fashion statement?  That’s what they make me think of.  But gyms are pretty grubby, too, aren’t they?

Note:  although I normally  wear a European 36, or roughly a USA size 6 or  6.5; in these shoes, I took a 38.  These are only European-sized; there’s no indication inside the shoe to explain what USA size  Izumi considers these to be.

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Mileage Report 10

June 5th, 2012 No comments

I prefer to avoid road-riding on weekends;  too many distracted drivers around with too-vague travel plans.  “Sunday drivers” bother me, whether I’m in a car or on a cycle.  After a month of almost no cycling, though, I really wanted to get out once more before the week began, so I hit a local trail once more, last Sunday.

Sadly, this section of trail is only four miles long, so I looped it twice.  Riding a short length of trail over and over feels a whole lot like running inside a gerbil wheel, but, hey, I got me some cycling time, so I’m not complaining.  Much.

Route 202, a major highway, parallels the trail here, but you’d hardly know it. You can just barely see signs of the highway at the top of the image; it’s under construction here.

16.30 miles, 8 mph wind, 71 degrees, paved trail

Total recorded mileage for season:  212.13

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Not Impressed, EMS

June 4th, 2012 No comments

Fewer than a half-dozen wearings, and the pocket of one pair of my cycling shorts has pulled apart:

Why?  Since I sew, I can tell you exactly why:  Eastern Mountain Sports didn’t require that the raw edge of the fabric be properly finished.  These synthetics unravel like mad if not treated properly, and the person who sewed this pair cut the seam allowance too close.  Since the fabric was not treated to prevent raveling, the pocket lining just went to pieces.

Acceptable in a $25 pair of Target shorts?  Sure.  On a pair of $75  EMS cycling shorts?  Umm, no.

Otherwise, I love these shorts.  I sew; I’ll repair them.  But I’m not impressed.

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Mileage Report 9

June 3rd, 2012 No comments

The consequences of an over-scheduled May persist, but I managed to squeeze one more short ride under a threatening sky.  A small plane was in the air, trailing an advert banner, and, perhaps unwittingly, illustrating the wisdom of printing the ad on both sides.  The text was reversed when viewed from the trail, rendering it unreadable::

This section of the Chester Valley Trail crosses Route 29 and continues past a Target store, where it peters off into a parking lot, if the “Trail Ends” signs are set aside, that is, as they were today:

There’s a Wegman’s across from the Target, which might make this a convenient point to knock off a few errands.  For those who would really prefer to cycle, though, life will be better once the trail is completed.

11.02 miles, slight wind, 68 degrees, paved trail

Total recorded mileage for season:  196.0 (creeping ever-so-slowly toward 200)

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Hi-Vis Middy

June 2nd, 2012 No comments

I spotted this reflective vest in a post from 2009 on a website called {frolic!}, and loved the idea:

I couldn’t buy it, though, since the company that sells it is nowhere to be found.  Also, I’m a daytime rider, and need florescence more than reflectivity, so I carved up a couple of IKEA safety vests, and turned up with this:

Yes, it’s more eccentric than chic, but highly visible, and a lot of fun.  Also, I can cycle in summer in wearing only a sports bra underneath, yet still get a cup of coffee without looking undressed.  Mesh on the sides, and a long front zipper, keep the vest cool on really hot days.   It’s large enough to wear over jackets, too, thanks to the adjustable belt.

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