Saturday, November 17, 2007
It turned out that the new place is only 5 minutes' walk from my home - saves me a lot of travelling time, but now I can't trike to work! I no longer have a reason to get Beaatrice out daily! There's certainly no point getting her out, just to go 300 metres to the office!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
From mid-July on we were at our summer cottage, and I took Beaatrice (my Trice) to the farm and parked her there, safely locked up and indoors (plenty of room in one of the outbuildings).
Partly because of the weather, partly the painting which needed to be done on the cottage, and also because of a short trip to Estonia, I didn't get time for more than two rides during the 3 weeks we were there.
The first was on a typical warm and sunny summer's day, and my son and I went to the town centre 14 kms away. Our Italian baker friend in the local bakery there was very impressed with Beaatrice, especially after doing a circuit with her himself in the car park.
It was a very pleasant ride to town and back, though my knees were a bit sore on the way back, owing to lack of exercise in the weeks leading up to our holiday.
I didn't get another chance to do a ride until almost the end of our three weeks there, when I decided that "It's now or never" and set off on a round trip that covered about 48 kms. The first 20 kms or so were on dirt roads, and my knees were starting to feel sore before I reached an asphalt surface and a country village after those 20 kms, and made a stop at the village shop. It's a dying institution here, and there aren't many left. It's amazing the variety of things they sell, catering for all the summer visitors to the region, staying in their own or rented summer cottages.
I pressed on after an ice cream, and felt a few spots of rain before reaching a major road, but it didn't last long. The next 15 kms or so were rather uneventful. I must admit it wasn't a very pleasant feeling to have traffic roaring past at over 80 kph (50 mph)!
Gradually my knees were feeling worse with every kilometre I pedalled. It crossed my mind that I could have called my brother-in-law to come with his van to pick me up, but that would have felt like cheating. I decided to push on to the bitter end, and determined not to attempt such a long ride again after a long break without riding.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
I've been on a couple of longer rides after work. Earlier in June, shortly after my last entry, I went round the south coast of the city, and in the west harbour I spotted these stainless steel spheres.
Later on my way home, disaster struck once again!
For some reason the chain parted, and I was pedalling fresh air briefly, till I realised what had happened. About 10 yards back down the road I found the one part and managed to hook the chain back together, but without the other plate it was too risky to ride. I wheeled the trike back down the road about half a mile, looking for the plate, but it was a bit like the old needle in a haystack. Fortunately I had spare ones at home, and soon got it fixed.
On a more recent ride to the eastern shopping centre I took a new route, and found myself on a bridge I didn't know of before.
The trains sometimes run overhead as you're walking or cycling underneath! One went over while I was there.
An even more recent ride took me round the main park north of the centre. I went clockwise, and found routes I hadn't been on before. I ended up at the old town, where the river gently pours itself over a weir.
This is the same place as in my March post Missed a day - but made up for it the next! but from the opposite direction.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Here's the result.
Pity the camera can't handle the change of light, from the darker part under the trees to the bright sun by the road. The bend before leaving the park was tricky, one-handed and at speed!
Monday, May 28, 2007
In less than an hour the rain stopped, and the sun started to show itself. I began checking the route to some friends' house (K&K), about 19 kms away. Then I rang them, and though they were home, K said they were busy cleaning their windows. So then I considered plan B.
Plan B was to head west and see how far the weather and my legs would allow me to go, bearing in mind that I had to get back too. Eventually I got out into the countryside, which was nice at first, but the traffic was just roaring by, in both directions. So I turned off up a gravel road, and found a nice quiet spot, and there on the hill was this semi-detached house, looking all peaceful.
I went a bit further, but the road turned into a mere forest track, so I thought I'd head back, I'd come far enough.
The ride back was uneventful - except for one event: a thunderstorm up ahead produced a nice rainbow! I felt no more than a few spots, but I could see how much rain I'd missed as I progressed towards the centre. There were large pools at road junctions, which I had to drive through, or in fact I was able to go round the edge and avoid the deepest parts.
On this trip I made several firsts: it was the first time it was warm enough to wear shorts, and thus the first time my knees got a bit sunburnt; I broke my speed record: 55.5 kph (34.5 mph)! I did my longest trip so far: 61 kms (38 miles).
Sunday, May 27, 2007
I immediately had visions of me pushing it all the way home, but I got out my toolkit, tipped her on her side and managed to get the chain free from the tube. I was wishing I'd taken the chain link tool with me! Luckily I had a pair of pliers, and with some effort I managed to get the plate back in place sufficiently to enable me to ride. I decided it'd be safer to head for home than continue to where I'd planned to ride, in case it happened again with worse consequences.
When I got back I found the same link, and put the link tool on it and tightened it up, or made sure it was securely in place. Now I think I'm ready for a longer ride tomorrow (taking a winter holiday day off, if the weather is favourable), but I'll certainly be taking the link tool with me!
Saturday, May 26, 2007
It'll now be much easier for me to carry Beaatrice downstairs half a flight, through the cellar doors and straight into that almost empty space. It also frees up the balcony for us to use as normal during the summer months, which my dear lady is pleased about!
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Yesterday being May Day, almost the whole country was partying. Thousands of people were out picnicking in the parks in the main cities and towns! There must have been tens of thousands of people in the park we went to!
So I didn't get round to doing a ride, although I considered returning by trike to that park later in the afternoon, to see what it was like, if the party mood still lingered. But I didn't; if I had done, I would have noticed the puncture then and would have fixed it, instead of it causing me a delay in getting to work this morning.
The good thing about repairing punctures in the front tyres of a trike is that the inner tube is easy to remove, unlike on a normal bike because of the front fork.
We also saw a couple of promobikes in town!
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Since acquiring Beaatrice (my Trice) at the beginning of last October, I've kept her on our balcony (we live on the third floor of a four-storey block of flats), as I feel it's too risky to keep her locked up outside, or in our bike shed where others have access. Keeping Beaatrice on our balcony during the winter months, while not the best solution, is a satisfactory temporary arrangement, despite having to carry her through our flat twice a day, and up and down the stairs. I know she’s safe there.
We have storage space in the cellar, and some occupants of apartments in B house also have their storage space in our cellar. They're wooden frames with chicken wire, which can be locked. Of course ours is pretty full, no room for a trike there! But a neighbour upstairs has his cellar space empty, but with a lock on it:
Long before I decided to get a trike, I asked him if he would rent his storage space to us, but he said no. Earlier this year, when I bumped into him on the stairs, I explained our problem with storage space for the trike, and asked him to reconsider, to rent the space to me for the summer months, promising I’d be ready to move her out the minute he requested. He said he’d think about it. Meanwhile in conversation with several other neighbours, they told me similar stories (no, they don’t have trikes!). They also asked him if they could rent his space in the cellar, and had been told no.
A few weeks went by, Easter came and went, and one afternoon last week I met him again on the stairs. He said to me:
‘Uh, it’s no go I’m afraid.’
I said ‘you mean the cellar?’
‘Yes, no go. Thanks’ (odd, but they sometimes say that, not ‘sorry’, but ‘thanks’!)
What could I say? ‘Well, you rotten #&%/&?€, it’d only be for 4 months!’? (And I’d keep it clean, and I’d vacate it immediately you say!) No, no point bothering. I couldn’t even ask him why he’d decided not to rent it to me – that’s his business, not mine. But if it’s because he’s said no to the other neighbours, I’d counter that with the fact that I’d be storing just one item, and it’s easier to get someone to remove one item, than a storage space full of stuff. Plus the fact that I’d put it in writing and sign it for him, promising to keep my side of the deal.
Ah well, our hopes for an easy solution are dashed, and for now we’re stuck with the problem. We’ll just have to hope something will come up.
It was on the last but one Saturday of March that I pointed Beaatrice in the direction of the airport for light aircraft, and had a very pleasant trip there, although it was still a bit cold on the toes. This time I was able to rest indoors and enjoy a cup of coffee and something good with it. The girl behind the counter remembered me from the first time I was there last October, and as we then talked about E, who often visits there, she could tell me he was there just the day before! So I missed him by one day!
I was disappointed to hear from the girl that they don’t do skydiving on a regular basis any more at that airport. They’ve gone elsewhere. Pity, ’cos it was always nice to see them drifting slowly down. Having tried it myself (at that very same airport) I know what they’re experiencing. But one thing we are planning to do is to have a gliding trip at another small airport just an hour’s drive north from here. Something new and exciting to look forward to this summer!
Friday, March 23, 2007
Most of the snow has gone, but there was still a ski track circuit passing close to the café there, obviously maintained by the local authorities, and quite a number of skiers still making the most of it (I'd already hung my skis up long ago!).
The paths in the park on my way home were mostly snow-free, if a bit soft in places where there was run-off from snow melting beside the path, and once or twice a patch of rough snow to plough through. Apart from that it was a very enjoyable ride!
Sunday, March 18, 2007
This morning (Monday) it didn't look like it would be too much trouble with the trike, so I got going early and ploughed my way through puddles and patches of slush. I made it to the office without any problems.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Tuesday was a normal day, just the usual trip to work, which is getting easier and easier daily as they sweep up more grit (it really does slow you down!) But what surprises me is that I haven't had a single puncture since fitting those chunky tread tyres on the front and the studded one on the back. In November I had four punctures in three days!
I thought I'd head northeast first, on the same route as to the airport for light aircraft, where I've triked a couple of times in the autumn. Then I'd take the road east, to a suburb where my friends M and K live (names changed to protect identity).
The going was good in places, but there's still some grit on some pavements from when we had ice and snow, and they haven't got round to clearing it all away. Where it had been cleared, it was a refreshing change from the constant noise it makes as it rattles round with the tyres, under the mudguards. It even flies in all directions, so it's a good thing I've got goggles!
When I reached my destination, M and K weren't home! M was visiting friends just up the road, and K was on afternoon shift. Some other time, then. I could have rung first before I left home, but it made a nice round trip anyway, as I made my way home on the main eastern artery leading into town. Well, not literally on it, as bikes aren't allowed (unless they have a motor!) but on smaller roads and streets, however I could find my way in the general direction of the centre.
It was quite a long trip, almost all in one go (without a decent break for a rest and regain some energy, which I would have got if M and K had been home), and by the time I got home my legs felt like they'd had enough!
Saturday, March 10, 2007
I did my stuff in the gym, keeping it short for this first time after almost 3 weeks' break, mounted my rusty steed and headed for home. I feel I could never go back full time to what feels like such an unnatural riding position.
I think it was Tuesday afternoon, I'd just started down the street from work when I passed a somewhat familiar-looking pedestrian heading for the train. He thought I looked familiar too, as he stopped and turned, just as I had. (I don't know how he recognised me in my disguise, goggles and all!) Sure enough it was J, whom I hadn't seen for going on for 3 years! We had a brief chat, and I invited him to try the trike, which he found fun, and he took my picture with his mobile (must have been a good one, as the picture turned out quite good).
As you can see, we still have some snow about, but it's unlikely to stay for much longer. I'm just looking forward to when the temperature no longer drops below freezing, so I can switch back to 'summer tyres', and hopefully by then all the grit will have been swept up off the pavements. (Yes, that's an old dish-washing brush on the back, handy for removing excess snow in rougher weather!)
I decided to avoid the paths in the park, as the snow on them would probably be softening, and would make the going very heavy. Instead I took to the pavements of our local streets, past the ice rink and headed north. I took a diagonal left turn, thinking I'd that way do one side of a triangle instead of two. I didn't exactly get lost, but probably ended up doing more than three sides of a triangle after all, as I tried to find my way through to the road I needed to be on!
Despite a gentle snowfall, I kept going and eventually made it to my destination, a well-known sports centre on the edge of the park about 6 kilometres from home. I like that trip because there's a café where I can rest and have something to eat with tea or coffee, and watch the skiers making the best of a bad job on the wet ski tracks.
The next day I again couldn't resist going out for a ride, although a day's rest might have done me good! In the afternoon I rode over to T's place, about three kilometres away. Again it was trying to snow, but it was wet stuff, and didn't amount to anything of any consequence. He asked me in for a cup of tea, after he and his daughter had a short test ride and he took a couple of pictures.
Sunday, March 4, 2007
The zero Celsius temperatures we had later in the week meant that the going was rather wet, and I had to make detours of large puddles, or slow down enough not to splash when going through them if I couldn't go round them.
The great thing is that at last when I leave home in the mornings it's daylight, and it's still daylight when I leave work! Great that the days are getting longer!
At one point on my way home there's a busy intersection, and after crossing it there's a gentle uphill. As I make my way up it, there's often a queue of traffic waiting at those lights, and I get curious looks and smiles from drivers and passengers, and even bus drivers wave to me! Trikes are still such a rare sight here. It's amazing how traffic will stop for me at pedestrian crossings, most likely because of their curiosity (if I were on a DF bike they wouldn't, they'd make me wait!).
Monday, February 26, 2007
I'm still catching up with past events (as it's still a bit cold for pleasure rides), but I'm hoping to add more stories here soon!
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
As I mentioned earlier, I first tried a short ride on a 2-wheeler recumbent over two years ago. I was on my way home on my DF, and caught up with a guy on a recumbent on his way to work, got talking to him about his bent, when he said 'Wanna try it?' So I did, for about 300 yards of pavement to his works entrance. I was hooked from that first moment! Since then the idea of one day owning one myself had remained dormant, until the summer of 2006. I don't remember what caused it to resurface. I somehow found my way to lots of websites of manufacturers, riders' archives and blogs, and eventually decided I'd get a recumbent trike. I remember deciding on three wheels, because of the icy conditions here in autumn and spring (not to mention winter, because I hadn't seriously considered riding in winter before - now I know that I'm much safer on 3 wheels than on 2). Another criterion was that it had to be foldable, so that I could get it in the car and take with me.
That's what I did a couple of weeks after building it. I took the trike to my brother-in-law's, where they all tried it and liked it. The three daughters enjoyed riding it too - almost couldn't stop the youngest! My mother-in-law even tried it, and she's in her 80s!
I’ve been riding my trike to work since it was ready to ride (early October). The only time I've used my old bike was when I went on a ride with my son, so that we could swap machines for him to enjoy the recumbent ride too!
Lunch used to be the highlight of the day (at work). Not any more! My two daily rides put lunch in third place!
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Drop by here any time, to see how I'm getting on with Beaatrice, as I christened my new Trice QNT, shortly after she was delivered. I intend this blog to reflect the fun and adventures that my new hobby rewards me with. Cycling had never been as much fun before! (I may from time to time describe other events, or discuss other topics I feel strongly about, anything I feel I'd like to share with others.)
To put things into perspective:
It was maybe a little over 2 years ago that I tried a recumbent (bent) bike when I met a guy on his way to work in our neighbourhood. I was surprised how easy it was to ride (e.g. balance was no problem) and I found it to be a most enjoyable and satisfying way to ride a bike. One feels very 'laid back' in the seat of a bent!
Beaatrice was given production number 6344. She was the 344th trike to be manufactured in 2006. She gets her name from those numbers, which look like letters in certain fonts (similar to car registration numbers), with the word 'TRICE' added on, appropriately, that being the name of this model.
She arrived at the beginning of October, 2006, and after a couple of evenings putting her together, I've ridden her to work almost daily ever since.