Peachy Keene 200K permanent

7 riders left out of southwest Arlington at 7:00 am to ride the Peachy Keene 200k permanent. The three recumbent riders were Nelson, Greg, and me. Considering my present state of riding fitness, I expected this ride to be a struggle, and it was.

This route’s 4,500 feet of climbing doesn’t compare to the truly hilly 200k permanents, but it’s enough to let you know you’ve been climbing, and felt a lot hillier to me today.

Winds were light as we headed south to start the route, but before we reached the end of the southbound part of the route at mile 66, the south winds were howling, making the ride very tough for the last 20 miles or so of that southbound leg.

After fighting all that wind, we were treated to a climb up Orphan Hill, then the route gets considerably easier the rest of the way. Of course, I was pretty much toast by the time I crested Orphan Hill. I really had no issues other than fatigue, and that was to be expected, considering I rode 225 miles this week, after riding less than that the rest of February.

The lead riders dropped me quickly, but Greg and Nelson hung back with me the entire ride, and I really enjoyed myself, even while I was suffering. Greg had done a hillier 200k on Saturday and Nelson claimed to need an easy pace from being a bit out of shape like me, but whatever reason they rode my pace, I appreciate it and really enjoyed their company.

Like usual, traffic was very light on this route, but there seemed to be a disproportionate number of crazy drivers about, I’m guessing because of today’s full moon.

It was my first 200k on the 559 HED wheels I rebuilt. I was really pleased with how they performed, and they still run true after the ride. Running 559×25 Conti Grand Prix tires, they handled rough road well and were plenty fast on the downhills so, with 25mm wide tires at least, the aerodynamics is very good. I do feel a strong crosswind a bit more with these wheels, but they handle pretty well, even with the wind. I need to find some 28mm wide tires that I like, to try on them, as well.

Thanks for riding with me, Nelson and Greg! I had a great time.

Peachy Keene route

Work commute

Riding to work always seems to be interesting. I’ve only missed riding to work once this week, and I should have ridden then. It didn’t end up snowing much Tuesday, but with all the dire forecasts, I decided to drive.

Today was a nice ride to work, but I was fighting 30 mph wind gusts coming home. Then a train stopped in front of me and I ended up turning around and taking another route.

In the dark, riding against the strong north wind yesterday morning, as I turned onto Oak Street in Crowley, all the street lights went out. Down the block at the corner of Pecan Street, where I turn, I could see power lines arcing. As I got closer, some large sparks fell all the way to the ground in a yard. I stopped for a moment to make sure they weren’t going to start a fire. There was no further arcing, it was dark and cold, so I pedaled on.

Riding home in the afternoon, I noticed those power lines were redirected a bit by several limbs of a pine tree. I called TXU after I got home, and reported the arcing. This morning, I noticed the street lights were still out, and this afternoon, it looked like the limbs hadn’t been trimmed yet.

If it isn’t raining in the morning, I think I’ll ride to work tomorrow, too. The Pogues are riding my Peachy Keene permanent again Sunday. I’m thinking maybe I should join them. My mileage has been awful lately and I haven’t ridden a 200k in a couple of months. It might take me 12 hours to ride it.

My New Recumbent

Like my other recumbents, it has pedals and a reclining seat. I haven’t found the wheels, though.

It’s a Native Watercraft Ultimate 14.5 Propel. The Propel pedal drive is actually built by Shimano. It is, of course, single speed. You can also pedal backwards for reverse.

Should I go with Bebops or SPD’s? Do you suppose this model is already on bikejournal’s list of recumbents to choose from?

It transports on a different rack than my other recumbents.

I bought it used from a guy who lives near Austin. It was a blast researching in the kayak forums. Can you believe a lot of these idiots end up with half a dozen kayaks, one for every purpose, and parts everywhere, cluttering their house and garage? I’m glad we recumbent riders never do anything like that.

Work commute

Between the rain and the cold, I hadn’t ridden since last Wednesday, so 27 degrees and freezing fog didn’t stop me from riding to work this morning. It had warmed to the low 40′s by the time I headed home.

It’s February already. A quick look at my journal reminds me of how cold January was, and that I don’t like riding in the cold. I rode just 322 miles in January. That’s my lowest total for a calendar month since April, 2008. I had a better excuse then; I was finishing up three rounds of chemo.

Did I mention that I don’t like riding in the cold?