It followed me home

Can I keep it?




Fedex delivered box 1 yesterday, and box 2 today. It’s a Performer Roadster carbon fiber and aluminum lowracer. Actually, with a seat height of 15 1/2 inches, it’s too tall to really be called a lowracer. I guess quasi-lowracer would be more accurate. The seat and bottom bracket height are both over 1 1/2 inches taller than Performer’s specs show them to be. The bike is made with two different sets of wheel sizes (559 and 406 or 622 and 451), and the fact that mine has the bigger wheels may explain this discrepancy. The seat and bottom bracket are 2 1/2 inches taller than those on a Baron.

I bought mine from Steve Delaire at Rotator Recumbents. Like China Mascot, Performer builds excellent frames, but has been known to install componants that are poorly chosen, mismatched, or just plain wrong. I figured Steve rigging it would eliminate most of that, and he did a nice job. I asked him for an OC setup, and the riser and handlebars he installed work really well on the bike. The idler setup he used seems excellent, too. The only booby trap that escaped Steve’s eagle eye was the rapid rise rear derailleur paired with a Sram Rocket shifter. For those who haven’t used a rapid rise derailleur, they shift backwards from every other derailleur you’ve used. Paired with the Rocket shifter, 1 is the smallest cassette cog, 9 is the biggest. I might could get used to that except for the fact that I have the same Rocket shifter on my Corsa, and having the same shifter work backwards on one bike from the other isn’t going to work.

I did my first 25 mile test ride this afternoon. Slow speed handling on the bike is outstanding. On my first try, I did a turnaround on the narrow Joe Pool dam road, without unclipping and without sitting up. I have yet to wobble on the bike. It came with the standard heavy FRP seat that Performer and China Mascot use. The seat seems too large for me, and isn’t that comfortable. Still, even with the seat I’m not too fond of, the bike’s ride is surprisingly good. On the rough Joe Pool dam road, it was at least as good a ride as my Corsa. I have a carbon fiber seat ordered for it. I won’t be able to really fine tune everything until I receive that seat. With pedals and seat pad, the bike weighs 26 pounds (unofficial bathroom scale weight). The carbon seat should lower that by 2 pounds.

As tall as the bike is (relatively speaking), it may not be as fast on race day as I’d like. But, I can already tell it’s going to be a blast to ride.

More rides

Starting with that ride on the 5th, I’ve now ridden 10 days in a row. I pushed it a bit today, and averaged 17.2 mph in a 25 mile ride on Joe Pool dam. That’s pretty encouraging for me, considering the lung tissue I’ve lost, and the fact that it’s only been a little over 3 weeks since surgery.

But it isn’t all good news. The biopsy from the lung surgery found one cancerous lymph node. That makes my cancer stage 2 rather than the stage 1 it was thought to be, and drops my 5 year survival odds from 80-90 percent to 40 percent. I can raise that some by having adjuvant chemotherapy, and my surgeon has referred me to an oncologist. I won’t be able to start chemo until 6 weeks after surgery.

I also seem to have developed exercise induced asthma, whenever I ride. I never had it before, and my research finds no link between lung surgery and exercise induced asthma, but I found an old Albuterol inhaler and tried it, and it seems to help a lot, so I’m saying it’s asthma. I’m bringing it up to my primary care doctor next time I see him.

But for now, it feels good to be riding.

Neighborhood ride

This afternoon, starting from my driveway, I rode 9.8 miles in the neighborhood on the Nimbus, averaging a blistering 12.9 mph. Why bother blogging about such a short and slow ride, you ask? It was my first ride since losing the upper half of my left lung to surgery on December 20th. They removed 40 staples from my side yesterday, and after a few minutes trying out the stationary bike, I decided I could ride. It felt great to be back on the bike.

I’ll be going back to work on January 18th, but I’m not supposed to do any lifting until February 1st. I plan on just riding easy for a while, and not pushing it until I’m a lot further along in the healing process.