Friday, March 23, 2007

Taking the long way home

Tuesday was such a nice day that after work I decided to make a detour instead of going home by the shortest route. Heading roughly northeast, I reached the park, and turned in a more northerly direction, arriving at the same destination as on my No day off.

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

Restful weekend and wet start to the week

The sleet banished all thoughts of a pleasure trip with Beaatrice Saturday morning, but Sunday began with bright sunshine. Unfortunately time was a bit tight for a ride, as we were planning on making it to a noon lecture at the "bike, health and hike" exhibition. The sunshine didn't last however; at some point after midday it started snowing again, with quite big wet flakes. By late evening we had a couple of inches of wet blanket. It looked pretty, on the trees and all, but very wet underfoot, as I found out when I went to the local gym.

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


Monday brought good weather, favourable temperatures, and an excuse to make a longer trip than normal (the ride to work): I needed to visit a customer's premises for one job, which was as far again from home as it is to the office. I triked back after lunch, stopped by the office to finish off a couple of things, then headed for home. R had been away from school all day with flu, and had finished the library book I'd borrowed for him, so as it was overdue, I decided to jump back in the driving seat and head for the nearest library to return it. Maybe my legs still haven't got used to it again after my break because of the colder weather and my sick leave, 'cos by the time I got home for the second time, they were telling me "No more!" I really wouldn't like to overdo it and do serious damage to my knees or something.

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!

Missed a day - but made up for it the next!

I had a day of rest on Saturday (10th), but when during Sunday morning the weather brightened up and the clouds cleared away, I couldn't resist the thought of a ride with Beaatrice.

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

It just ain't natural!

Thursday evening, being well recovered from my flu, I decided to resume visits to the local gym. With the gym being only half a km away, it was too short a ride to do on the trike (and anyway I wouldn't want to risk leaving it parked outside the place for any length of time), I decided to go on my old DF (diamond frame) bike. I hadn't ridden it for over 3 months, and as I set off, it felt really awkward, sitting so high up in that upright position, leaning over to the handlebars and trying to steer in a straight line. I wasn't used to having to keep my balance. I almost felt clumsy!

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.

Hola hombre!

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!)

No day off for Triker!

Saturday 3rd brought temperatures hovering just above freezing, and it being so mild compared to earler, I was very tempted to get out on the trike for pleasure, for a change (as opposed to using it for commuting to work). (So much for taking a break from it!)

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 snowfall we had earlier in the week didn't amount to much, but it was enough to create the effect of cobblestones on the pavements where hundreds of pedestrians had walked, so riding the trike over that was a bit rough, to say the least. Where suitable, I switched to the road/street, and let the traffic sort itself out around me.

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!).