Monthly Archives: October 2016

Pictures of My Foot

Yeah, that’s what you’re getting from now on. At least for as long as I have to ride a recumbent.

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Rode 20 miles today. Key learnings:

  1. Recumbents, even nice ones like mine, are jury-rigged POSes. One clear reason why they are not more popular is that they require a full-time mechanic to fix all the bits. Today on a single ride my shifting went to shit, an accessory mount almost ended up in my spokes, and my taillight rattled off its mount.
  2. Recumbents can climb hills pretty easily. I didn’t end up climbing any slower except on the steepest of hills.
  3. Wow do cars ever avoid you! Any fears of being squashed as a result of being so low to the ground were alleviated. Oh, and nobody dares the “three-fold pass” — you know, when there’s an oncoming car and the asshole behind you decides he doesn’t want to wait 3 seconds to pass you, so you have three vehicles occupying two lanes. Or someone ends up in a ditch.

Definitely need to work on the recumbolegs.

John

The Bourne Recumbency

Hey, did you see that Jason Bourne movie where there’s a recumbent bike chase?

Yeah me neither.

After a few months off from riding because of my neck (yes, there was more than one attempt at riding a regular upright bike), I finally gave up and bought a recumbent. Oh, not just any recumbent. A recumbent tricycle. A 25-pound recumbent tricycle (not my picture, but almost precisely the same as my bike save the crank).

If you look at it objectively–without any of the prejudices of an upright-bicycle rider, it looks pretty cool, right?

Went for my first ride today. I wouldn’t say I’m a convert; I will always be first and foremost a “diamond frame” rider. Going up the massive hill just out my front door was a bitch. Of course I was in the middle ring and didn’t realize it. Once I got to the flats, it was pretty amazingly fun…I’m definitely as fast as I am on my upright bike–probably faster today as there was a terrible headwind. And downhill is like being on a rocket sled. I stopped at the bike shop and drew a serious crowd–not something that I am fond of but lots of positive feedback, and a couple people took test rides.

So, all in all, not a bad way to get back on a bike for a guy with a broken neck. Oh, by the way, no neck pain at all. Not that I’d expect any.

Already have plans for upgrades. First and foremost: A Compass Extra Leger on the back–probably can fit a 28 mm. Maybe I can talk Jan into some Compass 20″ tires? I’m guessing probably not. Second, I have some Enve SES 7.8 that I didn’t use extensively for my road bike, as I was getting blown around too much. Obviously I’ll just use the .8 wheel. Then maybe some 20″ disc covers. Oh, and a Clavicula crank to cut another pound off. I’m shooting for a sub-20 recumbent 🙂

Tomorrow: 48-mile ride up and over the ridge! I’ll try to take some pictures.

John

 

Lessons Learned (Personal)

Hey all,

In the spirit of being completely open, I’m going to admit that I did something stupid.

I’ve been setting up a fancy audio system in my office–after all, I listen to music 12 hours a day (at a minimum) so it’s a very worthwhile investment. I’m driving a Peachtree Nova from the digital coax output of my computer; I have the Peachtree set up as a preamp (even though it has an amplifier function because I’m using a McIntosh MC275 tube amp. All of this is going to Lipinski 707 studio monitors on my desk. Yes, they are enormous. I have a Y connector from the preamp outs so I can simultaneously run a sub. As nice as the Lipinskys are, they are a sealed-box design, so they have little bass.

 

The other day I decided to try the Toslink output (I had tried the USB output previously, but I can’t get the driver to work on my shitty Windows 7 computer. I had an optical cable still in the package because I was going to use it to drive the audio from my television, but I later found out that the optical out doesn’t work if you are using HDMI in. Why, I don’t know, but that’s what it says in the instruction.

I plugged in the cable to my computer, noting that they fit poorly, and then into my preamp and listened to some music. It sounded subtly crappy. The balance was off a little to the right, the bass was flabby. So I went on a hunt for the problem, switching around tubes, plugging and unplugging things.

Well, I FORGOT TO REMOVE THE LITTLE CLEAR RUBBER CONDOMS FROM THE END OF THE TOSLINK CABLE.

That is all. There goes a couple hours of my life (and 2 minutes of yours for reading this)!

Good news though: I managed a 9.5-mile hike up Gertrude’s Nose in the Shawangunks. A+ hike, a little hard climbing all those rocks with one fully functional and one partially functional arm, though.

John