So what happened to 2012 and how is 2013 going?

After creating posts regularly for two and a half years, I seemed to stall out somehow around mid-year of 2012.  I still cycled, I still sailed and I sure as heck survived so … well it is pretty simple.  I fell into the habit of just posting stuff on Facebook rather than going to the trouble of writing a blog post. 

For a variety of reasons, I made no great new rides in 2012, but I rode my favorite routes around the Llano and Burnet County areas adding in adventures into San Saba, Blanco, Gillespie and Kendall Counties.  All of this took place on familiar routes.   After going to Shreveport for the Holiday in Dixie Regatta in early May, most of my sailing was of the much more important variety.  The high point was when our 6 year old granddaughter asked if she could sail the Minifish solo. 

The wind was light and I was so proud that I could have almost walked on water as Anna untied from the mooring bouy, then climbed on the boat and trimmed the sail just right,  as she got into deeper water she  lowered her daggerboard (without a word from anyone) and sailed all around the cove in front of our house for about an hour.  Peggy was on her Sunfish with Anna’s little sister, Chase, nearby.  I fired up the little Seadoo and followed Anna at a respectful distance, showing my confidence that she was perfectly able to handle the boat after a couple of years of sailing with me, Peggy and her dad, Brad, on the slightly larger Sunfish.

On the cycling front, I achieved my 3,600 mile goal for the year with a bit to spare at 3,644 miles.  Garmin thinks I burned a bit over 237,000 calories in the course of those rides.  In late September my trusty Catrike Road broke.  Though I rode it nowhere that my fellow (mostly) over 65 friends did not go on their up-right prostate crusher bikes, the frame on the Catrike just broke.  In classic great service, Catrike and the dealer I work with, Easy Street Recumbents, worked with me to ease the financial blow of replacing the mortally wounded Catrike Road with a much snazzier Catrike 700.  They did this though the trike was WAY out of warranty.  For that I am very thankful to be dealing with such committed capitalists who did things the way capitalism is supposed to work (and generally does so long as government keeps its corrupting snozz out of the way.) 

I was only off the trike for about two weeks while Catrike built me an almost University of Texas burnt metallic orange Catrike 700 rig, got it to Austin and then Easy Street Recumbents assembled it adding some upgraded components and a few goodies they moved over from the dearly departed Catrike Road.

Earlier in the year my old high school classmate and frequent cycling companion Gil Jones decided that there was wisdom in “The Catrike Way” and bought himself a shiny new Catrike Expedition to replace his 18 month old Scattante road bike.  At the same time his wife Jen decided she needed to get out with us as well and they got her a Catrike Trail.  Catrikes are proliferating in them thar hills… for good reason.  Though it takes more effort to drive them up hills, they give a great workout without the many repetitive motion injury issues of upright bikes with their up-the-chute seating, hunkered over riding position and tingling hands effects.   Added benefit… very few people have ever gone over the handlebars of a catrike, to smear their lipstick all over the chipseal pavement. The few who have done that on a Catrike seem almost as likely to require medical attention as those who did it from a two-wheeled machine, but the attention does not seem as likely to involve a helicopter ride.

In early July, our Son Russell, his wife Lisa and the Granddude (Steven) came for a week.  Lisa borrowed Peggy’s Catrike Trail and we logged about 80 miles in 5 rides.  She is hooked, but Russell is too cheap to let her get her own trike.  Gotta work on that.  

So that brings me to 2013.  Having put over 1,000 miles on the new Catrike in the last 2-1/2 months of 2012, I had quickly become comfortable with it.  The 700 does not corner as well as the road did, but suffers from less drag as speeds go up in a straight line.  My average speeds are now running 2+ mph faster on the 700 than I was able to do on the old Road on the same routes.  It is a little faster up hill and usually a lot quicker on the flats, then a little faster downhill.   In January I got in 322 miles in spite of some weather that was not cycling-friendly unless one enjoys cycling in one’s ski wear.  February was a bust with many distractions and I only got in 143 miles.  This has put me WAY behind my plan of doing 4250 miles this year (averaging 350/month).  It has also contributed to an 8 pound weight gain! 

Ah but it gets better.  In mid February our son Brad, his wife Jessica and the two grandchicks (Anna and Chase) came down and while they were here I took Jessica out for a short Catrike ride, with her on Peggy’s Catrike Trail, in the neighborhood on Saturday then took her for a 6+miler on Sunday morning.  She was hooked.  As her birthday was coming up, Peggy, my mother and I conspired to find a lightly used Catrike 700 as a birthday present, which Peggy and I picked up and delivered last Friday evening.  Today Jessica posted that she and Brad had logged a 12.5 mile initial ride (he rode his prostate crusher).

Maybe I will have the motivation to get back to blogging regularly.  As convenient as a quick post on Facebook is, I hate the overall banality of what I find on Facebook and enjoy reading blog posts, far more than Facebook posts, by friends, because they usually paint a richer, more interesting word picture… often with actual pictures and videos to boot.  I guess I should do unto others as I most enjoy them doing unto me.  So watch for more regular blog posts.   

When someone does something really irritating, don’t just smile to play with their head.  Grin… then they also have to wonder if you are grinning or actually baring your fangs and THAT really plays with their head.

Don

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6 responses to “So what happened to 2012 and how is 2013 going?

  1. Hi, Don. I was wondering what had happened to your blog.

    The seat on the Catrike 700 is much more reclined than the one on the Road, isn’t it? Did it take some time to get used to the new position?

    • Rafael,

      Yes, the 700 seat is reclined a good bit farther. That was easy to get used to, especially since I had a Steve Sussman headrest on the old Road and moved it over,

      What “took some getting used to” was the less stable cornering and the low ground clearance.

      I have had to abandon a few of my favorite routes because of horribly maintained cattle guards with big lips on the approach and departure edges due to concern that I might bang the spinal frame and/or idler pully at the low point.

      The 700 is just less sure-footed about the roll axis, perhaps due to the slightly narrower track on the front wheels and perhaps due to sensitivity to added weight up high in the back on the luggage rack. I just replaced a rack-top bag in which I hauled spare tires/tubes, pump, a few tools some nutritional goodies and a couple of 700ml bottles of extra water. All that is now down in Arkel lock-on panniers. Today will be my first outing with those installed and one of them will even be empty! They have much more capacity (important on hot summer rides out through the c-storeless boonies) than the one little rack-top bag which actually sat above my head with lots of levage on that twitchy roll axis.

      Lighting was a challenge on the 700 also. Due to the low angle of the frame members on the rear I had some challenges finding a way to mount lights that are also bright… dim ones seemed to not have such challenges in their design but what would be the point.

      I think I will do a post about the light tree and associated issues soon.

      Bottom line is that the 700 is an amazing road-eater, given shorter cranks, which shorten the leg stroke and therefore let the leg produce power MUCH more efficiently. The gained efficiency far overshadows the slight loss in lever-arm length on the cranks. A 26 tooth inner ring also helps on the 20%+ grades that are part of cycling life in the hill country.

  2. Glad you’re back here. Have always liked to read your posts.
    Safe bicycling,
    Pit

  3. WOW! Paragraphs! Punctuation! Yet, Facebook nurtured you through that off year asking nothing in return. Just be glad you rediscovered those extra keys on your keyboard; you don’t have to beat up on the app designed for a different purpose for not doing what the blog does.

    Was this comment long enough? I have to go walk Meli now. :o)

  4. Glad to hear that y’all are still having fun! I always think of you two when I see orange roses!

  5. Phyllis Terry

    Good to see you are still out on the road! I enjoyed your story again. A good buddy of mine in San Antonio bought a cat trike recently and he loves it also. I think his is orange also!

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