Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Water Bag And Thoughts About 2012....

First things first, here is my new Camelbak Unbottle that my dear wife gave me for Christmas:
 I love this thing!! It fits perfectly on the side of my seat, as you can see, and the sipper hose is long enough to reach - seriously, the perfect gift from a perfect wife!! Thank you Shmoopie!!

The year started out pretty crazy for us with the challenges of dealing with my W/C case; in the Spring we started riding again, but riding on my TR 101 became such an adventure in agony for me, that the rides became sporadic at best. That all changed when I got 'Rose' in August!! Man, what a difference riding the trike has issues with elbow pain and I can ride it one handed when needed...woohoo!!

2012 will bring some new challenges and some changes to our lifestyle - I start classes January 3rd as I take the journey toward a 2 year AOS degree in Sustainable Energy Technology. It will also bring some challenges in the way of 2 organized rides I am planning on doing. The first is the ADA Tour de Cure Ship to Shore charity ride in Long Beach, CA. in April. I have joined a team of other trike riders to ride the full 100 mile ride, should be a fun and exciting time - my first 'century' ride!! Then in August I am planning on riding the Cool Breeze Century in Ventura - this is just a fun ride organized by a cycling club. So, with those goals in mind, my fitness level has to get raised - about time to make some diet and exercise changes, definitely. And, of course I have my ongoing physical therapy treatments to get my right wrist and elbow back to 100% after the surgery and then they will work on the left side.

2012 looks to be an exciting time for us, I'll keep everyone updated - Happy New Year to you all!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

About Being Car Free...A Quick Update

Well, since my surgery authorization has taken so long to get here and I start class just a few weeks after my surgeries, we realized the reality of my commuting to class on Rose was not going to happen - not my first semester at any rate. We did manage to get an automatic transmission SUV,  so, driving to class and therapy appointments while in rehab will be very manageable.

I Have My Date With The Surgeon Set.!!

Well, after 16 months in the California Workers Compensation System, I have a surgery date to have my Carpal Tunnel and Cubital Tunnel injuries fixed. If you remember, the pain I suffer from when trying to ride an upright (DF) bike is the reason I switched to a recumbent style bike. The surgery and impending extended rehab of the surgeries needed, is the reason I went with a 'bent trike. I have been practicing riding with my right arm in my lap while we do our almost daily rides to the Post Office. This has been my way of learning to ride while having my arm in a sling and unusable on the trike, so, one armed riding will not be a problem!! (of course, I have not been practicing daily chores one handed - I'm right handed and that is the one first up for surgery). So, on December 1st, I will travel  to here for my surgery  4 procedures will be done - 2 each on my right elbow and on my right hand/wrist. My suture removal will be on 12/12, presumably.

I plan on posting  about my day at the center and getting some pics snapped by the staff before they wrap me up to send me home, so, you all can look forward to that next exciting post - of course, that may take some time to type one handed !!

Rose has A New Look...

Well, I have stripped Rose of all the external add-ons - rack and fenders and I added her first flag! Here's a pic of her with the new flag:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My thoughts On Riding A Recumbent Trike...

 Well, it has been two months since I was lucky enough to get my first recumbent trike - Rose.  I had never ridden a recumbent before, be it a 'bent two wheeler or a three wheeled trike, so it was to be an experience for sure. I had read all the stories about the "trike grin" on this recumbent cycling forum , yet I did not know what to expect. My needs for getting a trike differed greatly from the majority of the bentrider forum members it seemed, however I was sure I would find the much lauded "trike grin". I took to riding Rose as I rode my utility beast two wheeled upright bike - I rode Rose as a matter of transportation need - not for fun and enjoyment although I do get that from riding a bike in general. I still ride as a matter of need and have yet to find the trike grin on my face - although I do smile when riding but, that is primarily because I am out riding with my dear wife, Wanda!
So, the differences in riding a low 'bent trike - well the most noticeable difference is the line of sight you have for traffic. Those corners that I could see around for oncoming traffic became a challenge because I was now at the same height as the bushes that bordered the road - now, I have experienced riding a bike on busy streets back when I was doing long training rides so, riding the trike on the streets was not an issue, nor was being at fender level to cars. My only issue is the same that many others find themselves facing, particularly those that are experienced riding road bikes and then move to a 'bent for whatever reason - that issue is a matter of strength and endurance when you first start out on a 'bent bike or trike. It's called "getting your 'bent legs" and everyone goes through the process regardless of fitness level.  An additional fun learning curve on a trike is the matter that you need to "spin" a lot, trikes are very much susceptible to minor/moderate grade changes in the road and in order to keep a nice moderate pace you need to shift regularly and keep spinning at a pretty substantial cadence (it helps to have the correct cycling shoes in order to spin as needed, btw). The bottom line is - I am very happy with my transition to the recumbent trike world and very happy with my trike Rose!!

On the other hand there is an event going on this weekend Oct 21, 22 and 23. This Sunday is the day the public gets to run around at the first recumbent convention.
I will be going and with any luck I will be meeting other members from the bentrider forum - I'll have my trike with me just in case we have an impromptu trike gathering and ride while we are all there! I will report on the convention in my next post!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Well, We Could Actually Be "Car Free"....

We have been practicing to go car free since '09 I suppose, although neither of us ever expected us to BE car free. That may in fact become the case. With my elbow and wrist issues our current vehicle "Crabby" is undrivable with her 5 speed transmission and no power steering. She has given us her best years for the short time we have had her, but, alas it is time to part ways. Her registration is due this month and I am sending her in as PNO (Planned Non Operation) - most assuredly no one will be driving her and we may be able to part her out. That being said, our son may be relocating and thereby leaving us indeed, car free. I am looking forward to this scenario, although it truly depends on how my rehab goes (my first surgery is scheduled this month) as to how far I can ride Rose one handed. If in fact it is too much of an effort, then public transportation will be called upon. I for one am hoping that the way I sit on Rose and the fact that there is no balancing involved while riding on a recumbent trike, that I will be able to happily pedal along with my right arm in a sling as we do our errands....hmmm, stay tuned indeed!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Week And A Half Later...

Well, just made the third run to the recycler guy this morning! We have it worked out that on recycling days we can get the other needed chores done then start our ride to the Post Office and recycle center a little later, that gets us to the recycle guy when he opens at 9:00am!! Pulling the trailer with Rose is definitely an eye opener as to the nuances of drag and resistance and how a recumbent trike reacts. It is truly a workout for me to pull the trailer to the center, very minor grade all the way for 5 miles, and with me just on my second week of recumbent trike riding, I do "huff and puff" a bit!! The recumbent trike is such an amazing machine, I am so happy to be back riding without any pressure on my elbows at all - it has brought the joy and fun back to being out riding again with Wanda! I can hardly wait as we build our strength back up to do our Stater Bros. runs - don't know if that will happen this winter, but we will see!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back To Utility Runs!!

Well, I made my first utility run on 'Rose', it was a run to the recycler dude - very good to be back able to do errands by bike, well trike. I look forward to the day Wanda and I set out for a food/grocery run to Stater Bros. like we used to!! The trike is a completely different animal to ride...I have to learn to relax my shoulders and just lean back and pedal. It pulled the trailer just fine, of course the plastic is a very light load, nonetheless it handled very well. Here's a shot of trike and trailer in the recycling lot:

The Newest Addition...

Well, everything worked out and I was able to pick up the ABT1X...her name is 'Rose'... This is from my first ride to the P.O. - 11.3 miles roundtrip - that's Wanda's Trek Allant behind her.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Everything Is For A Reason...

Well, here we are several weeks past my one year anniversary of filing my Workers Compensation claim and still nothing has been done. There is however light at the end of the tunnel and it isn't a train! My surgery should be scheduled soon and my benefits will be starting again. That being said, the 8 months of back pay is not going to be in the bank anytime soon, so, the Catrike Expedition is on hold - indefinitely. However, I do have a good chance at getting the suspended version of the original trike I was looking at - the Actionbent T1X - for a mere pittance of the Cat Expedition...everything happens for a reason!! As soon as I have the T1X safely home, I'll post some pictures!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Closer, Ever So Closer....

Well, after passing the one year anniversary mark of my Workers Compensation claim, the Insurance Company that represents my former employer, has authorized my surgeries! Yay!! There is light at the end of the tunnel, and it isn't a train!! So, the next hurdle will be for my Attorney to get the retro benefits paid to us - the Insurance Company stopped paying last Dec because no treatment was approved and they said I was fine. OOPS, on their part. It all depends on when the surgery is and when the retro benefits are paid whether the  Expedition is here in time to ride it while I rehab, stay tuned for that.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Cat 2 Climb...

Well, when my wife put our mini tour ( home to Tehachapi and back) on mapmyride we discovered that we will get to enjoy a 5.77 mile long Category 2 climb as we head into Tehachapi from the south east side of the mountains... Now, I haven't voluntarily ridden/climbed a Cat2 since my roadie/MTB days, so, today we are doing the route via automobile and making an 'outing' out of it. Should be fun, and umm, exciting, to drive the route and experience the grade from the car while visualizing spinning up it with trailer in tow - yep, a dog trailer. Hmmm, definitely gonna have to have our touring legs for this outing next year!! I'll have pics to post after we do the car trip to show the climb, if the pics come out!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Excitement Builds!!

Well, I just passed another one of those birthday milestones "yay"... more importantly, I have made my clear choice on the trike that will carry me through rehab and beyond... This badboy will be my ride and the nice folks at will be the online store of choice for my purchase of said machine!

As far as cycling goes, the pain while riding my KHS TR 101 is borderline unbearable. I cannot wait for the proverbial dollars to be in the bank so I can order my new ride. Wanda has been having fun on plotting out both training rides out here and our first 'mini-tour' to Tehachapi that hopefully will take place this time next year - provided all my surgeries have been completed and my rehab is going well. We are blessed with having a whole lot of roads out here in the desert to ride on, not too difficult to acrue mileage without going too far out of the way...a lot of loops out in the boonies - lol!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Some Not Really New, News...

Well, here it is April and I have an update on my Workers Comp case. I went to my AME (Agreed Medical Evaluator) this morning and he is moving my case forward to get my benefits back and get my elbows/wrists fixed. This is good news! My previous PTP (Primary Treating Physician) stopped his treatment of me without actually doing anything and thus my benefits were cut off back in December. So funding our existence has been interesting at best since I haven't had an actual pay check since Nov '10.

Our touring plans are still on, and we are still looking to see which 'trike will be the one for me...I can't wait to get back out spinning - saw Stage 4 of 'Tour of the Basque Country' on Universal Sports, made me wish I was out there. Oh well, all in due time. Once we know my surgery schedule and figure out the finances we will be able to look real hard at a 'trike. I'll keep ya posted!