Saturday, 30 November 2013

Retro ride

A short ride this morning (for my 50th birthday). 80km round trip from Sydney Olympic Park uphill through Ryde, onto the M2 out to Seven Hills and back to Parramatta Park for refreshments.

With a puncture or two, yours truly included.  ;-/  


Sunday, 24 November 2013

My new Trike, and years later, its afterlife

Finally after making all the necessary arrangements with Trisled, my trike was delivered.
I was now living in Perth, Western Australia.

                                                                    Trisled Cool Cruza  arrives circa. May, 2000.

The Cool Cruza was a great introduction to the world of Recumbent trikes. I used this a my commuting vehicle for all my time in Perth. Clocking up over 12,000 kms just in one year alone. Yes it is fun to ride!!

After returning to Sydney in 2003, triking was a big part of my recreation, and the occasional commute.
Every weekend involved a trike ride at some stage...just for fun.

The trike is very reliable, and with a bit of regular maintenance, is still going in 2013... although now a bit worse for wear cosmetically and mechanically. I am now wondering if I should do a major rebuild or invest in a new trike?

Whilst doing research into this, I cane across Velomobiles....  they looked interesting. A velomobile is still a recumbent trike but with an aerodynamic shell, hmmm. I wondered what they would be like compared to an "unfaired" trilke. Further research allowed me to find a Trisled Rotovelo that was up for sale, so I contacted the seller and arranged a test ride.

My first impression was that they are FAST, there's a lot to be said for aerodynamics!
The gearing was different in the Rotovelo compared to my Cool Cruza, which I suspect, was half the speed advantage I felt. There's plenty of room inside to carry quite a lot of "stuff" for commuting or touring. It looked like a viable option.

Decisions, decisions.....

The Rotovelo won out!


Whats that funny three wheeler...... part 2.

....... I'm in luck, I caught the "phantom trike rider" on one of the following days climbs and made an effort to stick with him. The more k's we did that day, the more comfortable he looked....the more "dishevelled" I did... he told me he didn't have any of the aches I described, no sore bum, no sore neck, no sore arms, back, or wrists.  Hmm, riding a trike sounded like a very good option.

At the end of the days ride, I asked him if I could possibly have a bit of a test-ride. He agreed, and I can recall, that the exact moment my bum hit that trike seat, I was SOLD!.  I had never had such a feeling of comfort on something you had to pedal. I did two laps of the campsite, and immediately made up my mind that I was going to get a trike.

I probably annoyed that guy for the final two days of the ride with my "20-Questions?" at any time I spotted him.
He actually let me have a ride whilst we were out on the road ..... that did it..... I want a trike!!

Armed with all the info he had given me, and with my very limited experience, I was a "man on a mission" for the next couple of months. I researched many different makes.... from all over the world.

I finally set up a plan:

1. It had to be Australian made... I wanted to help the local economy. A local product would be good for aftersales service, parts etc.,
2. I wanted "simple" mechanics.... So when I finally went touring, in the event of a mishap, I could do roadside repairs myself. No internal gears. I had no experience with disc/drum brakes on a bicycle.
3. A reasonable price.

The Answer:-  Trisled

Saturday, 23 November 2013

A Velonaut's view

A short video from the cockpit of the Rotovelo.

(same camera, MD80 mini-cam, firmer camera mount....less "bobble-head")

Monday, 18 November 2013

What's that funny three wheeler?

1999.....Cycling IS fun... 

Maybe I should try touring by bike.... hmmmm, how do I do that?

Reading through the "Australian Cyclist" magazine, I'd seen an advert and story about the Big Ride. A fully supported ride where your gear is carried in a truck, the campsite is set up daily, hot showers, catering for all meals, entertainment.....all I had to do was ride the distance each day as the Ride moved on from town to town. Seemed easy enough.

Its a 9 day riding holiday, Canowindra to Bega, 700+ kms. Should be an adventure.

So I get to Canowindra, first day is a short 45km ride for the day, easy enough, flattish terrain, no problem. Days 2 and 3 are a bit more challenging, 70-80km with a few hills.... there's a wide variety of riders from all walks of life and a variety of bikes as well. Road bikes, BMX, hybrids, tourers, tandems....eve a triple... Dad and two kids...Cool!!  there's a couple of those 'lie-down' bikes. Recumbents, they're called.... different, but they look comfortable.

Day 6... whilst riding through the day, I caught up with a guy riding one of those recumbent bikes, a three wheel set up, he called it a trike. I'd past him earlier whilst climbing a reasonably step hill, but he passed me on the downhill at a very high speed. I was travelling at about 50km/h, but he pulled away at a much higher speed.....Wow!, I was impressed.

At the very next climb, I passed him again.... on the downhill after, he passed me again.... not fair! I thought.  The lunch stop for the day was a few km up the road.... I wanted to find this guy and check out his trike.
I couldn't find him there, so I continued on with the day's ride.

On to the end of the day's ride, I never saw that trike rider again.  I wandered through the campsite at the end of the day but couldn't locate it, or him either....oh well, "thems the breaks"

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Commuting begins again

......Now kitted out in some half-decent cycling gear, I was ready to try bike commuting again.

I attempted my 10km ride to the rail station and return home.... all good, no aches or chafe. Righto!

Not to get ahead of myself, I just kept my cycling to rides close to home for a few days, just to settle the cycling muscles in a bit.  Soon I was ready to get real.

First day of the new commute consisted of a 5km ride to the rail station, then on the train to the station nearest work, then the 3km ride to work..... and in reverse for the return journey. That first afternoon ride back home, especially those 5km uphill were a definite challenge after a days work. I was sore and tired but felt good at what I had accomplished.

This became my routine for the next fortnight. I could feel myself getting fitter..........finally.

Soon I felt like a new challenge, so I attempted to ride to the next rail station on from home, and keep riding those last 3km.
My riding had extended to 8km plus 3km, making 22km per day, but more often I just did those last least for the days I was knackered after work.   Occasionally I'd do a weekend ride of 10-15km.

Eventually I was riding to the third station from home and getting off the train three stops from cycling had got to 30-40km a day.... I was hooked again.

Within six months of beginning my new commuting routine I was comfortably cycling over 80km  every day... rain, hail or shine....and doing another 40 on the weekends, for fun!

My first attempt at You Tube,  apologies for the rubbery helmet-cam.....