Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Ride of the Year

After hearing my friend Crawford talk about his rides in River Oaks on the way home from work, I decided to go out and try the route a couple of days ago. With Crawford's emailed map in hand I parked at the intersection of Lazy lane and Kirby Drive. I expected to see "No Parking" signs here, but there were none so I pulled over on Lazy lane and unlimbered the bike. I took the Seavo for this trip since it has 1.50 tires and can handle rough pavement a bit better than my other tandems. We shoved off and it seemed that we made the first 5 mile loop in no time at all. There are speed bumps along the route but the Seavo handled them with ease. On this particular day, the Saturday after Christmas, the neighborhood was full of huge garbage trucks and power company trucks so we had to slow frequently. Nevertheless, we quickly made three loops and then reluctantly racked the bike since I had errands to run. This route is safe for the Flevo and I'll use it next time I ride here. I liked this route and will use it next year to add miles on the way home from work.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Check out Jeff and Sherry Spahn's tandem website "Tandem-Bicycle-Central" . It promises to be a great resource.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Short Ride in Fulshear

Liz and I pulled ourselves out of bed Saturday morning and drove out to Fulshear for our usual Saturday ride. It was a pretty close call between that and staying in bed, but I wanted the mileage. After I broke my femur in January I set a goal of 2500 miles this year. I don't know if I'll get there, but I'm fairly close so far and decided to keep it going. Danny, George, Jim and the two of us on the Flevo decided on the neighborhood ride. The winds were forecast to be fairly strong and this out and back ride provides some cover and a nice tailwind finish.

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I've had consistent rubbing noise from the rear fender on the Flevo ever since I bought it about a year ago. There is no bolt or screw solidly attaching it to the frame. Consequently it can slide 2-3 inches around the wheel in either direction. I can adjust it at home but somehow it always ends up moving again. Danny had a look at it at our 16 mile break point and confirmed what I already knew: no amount of adjusting is going to fix the problem without a hard attachment to the frame. So I took the fender off.

On any other bike, storing the fender for the trip home might be a problem. Not so on the Flevo. The space between the back to back seats provides plenty of storage space. It was no trouble at all to sling the fender and be on our way.

The skies were overcast for the whole ride and we had a sprinkling of rain, but nothing serious. We saw plenty of DF riders along the way. The ride was followed by another great lunch at Blake's.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Tandem Link

Liz and I along with one of our bikes recently showed up in The Tandem Link, a helpful compendium of tandem links and frequent blog posts by TandemGeek who is also a poster at Bike Forums. I put up a couple of pictures of the Flevo on Bike Forums and TandemGeek picked us up in his recent update to the Tandem Link:

"Back-to-back recumbent tandems - OK, let me confess that I'm not the most open-minded guy when it comes to everything cycling. I'm something of a traditionalist who eschews things like "Critical Mass" as well as the transient cults and fads that seem to comprise a small segment of the cycling community. Recumbents have always been something that I've had more or less a passing curiosity in as they do appear to have their merits, particularly for folks who might not not otherwise be able or have any desire to ride a "wedgie" (aka, an upright bicycle with a saddle wedged into your tweeners). However, someone's going to have to help me out with the back-to-back recumbents. I think the first one I ever saw was a variation of the Opus Counterpoint called the "Waltz" that added a third rider facing backwards in a recumbent posture and, well, Ok that really was weird. Of late, I've seen several others including one couple from Texas who has a Barcroft and a Flavo and more recently a home-built showed up in the news that you can see HERE. I recently joked to the Flavo owners... so, are you coming or going when they posted this photo to one of the forums I frequent. Hey, as long as you're riding together, that's all that matters since it really doesn't matter what you're riding so long as you ride!!"

I think the last sentence sums up my philosophy nicely. If the only bike available to me was a wedgie I'm sure I'd ride it. The fact is, however, that Liz I are fortunate enough to have a choice and we choose to ride in perfect comfort on a fast back to back machine, drafting almost perfectly on each other, each enjoying a wide angle unobstructed view. At the end of every ride we've made lots of new friends and, best of all, we feel great. We may be tired, but we aren't numb, sore or aching. How can you beat that?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Brazos Bend State Park Ride

Liz and I thought about dropping out of the Saturday ride out of Brazos Bend Park Saturday and staying in our warm beds instead. We're glad we didn't as it turned out to be the best ride we've had this year. The temperature was forecast to be in the low 40's so we dressed warmly. The Flevo back to back tandem was already on the trailer in the garage, so that's what we decided to ride. It has the biggest cargo carrying capacity of my three tandems and I figured we'd need somewhere to stow all our cold weather clothing if it warmed up as we rode.

Brazos Bend State Park is about 30 miles southwest of Houston and covers 5000 acres. Three miles of the Park front on the Brazos River.

We formed up at 8am just inside the western entrance to the Park. There is a $5 admission fee per person to enter the park. Liz and I were joined by David, Debbie, Patrick, Robert along with Jim and Lena and three of their friends.

It was pretty chilly when we pushed off from the Park, but after an hour or so it began to warm up rapidly.

Robert planned our route well. From the Park entrance we headed south on 762 a mile or so to 1462. This took us to Damon, Texas, population 647. From Damon we cruised south on back roads paralleling the west side of the Brazos river all the way to West Columbia. From there it's a short jog east on highway 35 to the Bar X Ranch. For all but the short stretch on 35 there was virtually no traffic. There were wide paved shoulders for 95% of the trip.

Here's Robert, our ride captain. Robert has joined us on several of the Fulshear rides and did Oklahoma Freewheel with me and Aimee last year. He did an excellent of leading the ride yesterday. He kept us well informed of each leg of the trip and took care to see that everyone was following.

At our first real rest stop Liz and I shed most of our clothes.

Debbie and Pat generously volunteered to furnish food for a picnic at the end of the trail. Why does food always taste better at the end of a good ride?

In addition to leading the ride Robert brought a keg of his home brew for us to enjoy. Here's David filling a bottle.
We need to do this ride again soon.