Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My stoker and I had a great ride at Memorial Park on the Picnic Loop this afternoon after work. The rain has kept us from riding for the last few days so it was good to be back in the saddle. We saw the usual wedgie riders, skaters, and walkers. We rode a few miles alongside a Houston policeman on his mountan bike. He wasted no time in telling us what great duty it was to be a bicycle cop in Memorial Park. This is his beat two days a week.

At our break we spotted a beautiful Tour Easy Gold Rush and visited with it's owner Marco. He's been a member of our newsgroup but has never ridden with us out in Fulshear. I've encouraged him to join us one of these Saturdays. Nice to meet you, Marco!

Miles Ridden Today: 21.1
Total Miles for the Year: 1696

Sunday, July 22, 2007

My First Tandem

I had been into recumbents a couple of years when I decided to look at tandems. Both of my daughters had wedgie hybrids but never rode them because they was just too uncomfortable on rides of more than a few miles (I knew this to be true from my own experience). So in 2002 I bought the Screamer. I had no experience on tandems at all. This bike quickly introduced me to the fun of tandem riding. All of the comfort issues the girls had disappeared on the Screamer. The seats were soft and comfortable. The best thing about this tandem was our ability to talk while riding. On single bikes it's necessary to pull up along side someone to talk and then only while conditions permit. On the Screamer it was possible to easily converse at will in a normal voice.

The Screamer was fairly fast, stable and reliable. There were a couple of minor issues, like the timing chain derailing, but as I followed the Rans website and their suggested fixes, these issues disappeared one by one. Over time I added other features that made riding more fun (and safe) such as captain and stoker mirrors, a compass, stoker map case, bipod kickstand and the fairing. Riding into a stiff headwind on the Screamer we would often pull lines of wedgie riders behind us for miles.

Because tandem recumbents are fairly rare, the Screamer would always draw smiles and waves from the people we passed on the bike trails we usually ride in town.

The bike was long and transport presented some challenges which I will cover in a future post.

I sold the Screamer in April 2007 to help finance the purchase of my current tandem.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


I thought we'd be rained out in Fulshear this morning, but for once the weather cooperated. It was a bit muggy, but the cloud cover kept the temps within tolerable limits. We didn't have much of a turn out (just three of us) but those who came were great company. I love riding in Fulshear because there is very little traffic and the scenery is so beautiful. We rode down quiet country lanes and saw cattle, horses, llamas, turtles, guinea fowl, donkeys, mules, hawks and one giant owl lying dead in the rode. Sad.

You just can't beat scenery like this. It's mostly flat with a couple of very gentle hills thrown in along the way. We had a new rider with us this morning so we rode two different loops, Pecan Hill and Bois D'Arc, each one swinging back by the parking lot in case anyone decided not to continue. It proved unnecessary.

The Chicken Man had a flat. This is probably my fault since at an earlier break I made the unfortunate comment that recumbents seem to have fewer flats than wedgies. Bad Mojo for sure.

We saw several large groups of wedgies, though not as many upright riders as usual.
This was a great ride.
Miles Ridden Today: 36 miles
Total Miles for the Year: 1676

Monday, July 16, 2007

Memorial Park Loop

Aimee and I rode the Memorial Park Loop tonight after work. We need some miles because the weather crimped our riding over the weekend. The Park Loop is a 1.2 mile loop closed to vehicular traffic. I like it because there are no street crossings so you can cruise without interruption. Since it's under the trees it's usually much cooler than a ride in the open. There are also plenty of things to see while riding. Lots of wedgies, a few runners and walkers and a good sprinkling of roller bladers. I've only ridden out here three times and I've yet to see another recumbent.

Miles Ridden Today: 25.6
Total Miles for the Year: 1619

Katy Flatland 2007

Aimee and I had high hopes for this ride yesterday. Even though the weather looked a bit ominous we loaded the bike on the rack and headed out to Katy for the ride. We pulled out of the driveway at 5:45am. About 2 miles from Katy Mills Mall where the ride was to begin, we got a call from Ken who was a mile or so ahead of us. He reported he was in the midst of a downpour and was turning around for home. Before I had a chance to hang up the phone we were in the middle of dense rain. We too headed for home, but not before finding some shelter so we could strip the bike of seats and seat covers to keep them dry. Going back to bed once we got home was glorious.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Today was something of a landmark. As David noted before the ride, this was the first time the trikes have out numbered the bikes. Personally, I have no desire for a trike since they seem slower and my budget does not allow for any more new bikes this year.

Tomorrow morning is the Katy Flatland. Let's hope for good weather and a great ride. The forecast is for rain.