Tuesday, June 14, 2022

June 12, 2022-Southeast Community and Mayor's Ride, it was HOT!!! :O

6 times a year the southeastern Colorado Springs Community area puts on a "Community Ride". The ride is also sponsored by "Kids on Bikes", BikeCOS, Trails and Openspace Coalition, (TOSC), etc. Kids on Bikes has bikes/helmets, that kids of the local area can "borrow" for the ride BikeCOS has bike ambassadors that lead and sweep the ride from the Armed Forces YMCA-South to Wildflower Park on the Sand Creek Trail. TOSC brings music, snacks, drinks and Popsicles!! I am a new BikeCOS Ambassador and rode to the YMCA to volunteer to ride SWEEP, that's the last rider and we make sure the group arrives all together!

This ride was had a bit more fanfare as the Mayor of Colorado Springs and his wife also showed up to do the ride and talk to the folks and kids of the local community. We had a police escort on bicycles so it was a very safe ride! ;) The ride is only 2.5 miles each way but it was really HOT, 90F+ so we had to make sure everyone got enough to drink to stay hydrated. The ride went well, the kids enjoyed the popsicles at the park we took a group photo and headed back. 

I headed back home and about halfway back, wham, I got a "bonk", out in the HEAT a bit too long, stopped at Loaf n Jug store bought a gatoraid, (sugar free) and a small bottle of water and poured it over my head!! Ate my rice cake and rasin's snack and managed to make it the rest of the way home but I was totally tapped out for the rest of the day!!! :( Man I drank a LOT of water but I guess I needed more "electrolytes" in my system so I'm going to have to pick up some NUUN tablets I can add to the water bottle for anytime the temps get near 90F from now on!! Here are a few photos of the start at the YMCA and the group at Wildflower Park.


Sunday, June 12, 2022

June 11, 2022-Headed to the New Santa Fe Trail for a "tire test", Let's Get DIRTY!!

 We have been wanting to do a bit more riding on the "dirt/gravel" portions of the Pike Peak Greenway, we just didn't think our normal Schwalbe Marathon Plus street tires would have enough "traction" to get us up some of the short but steep slick gravel uphill grades on the trail! Didn't want a pure "knobby" tire so we are out testing the Schwalbe Marathon 365 GT all season tire!

It uses "block tread across the width of the tire"! This still gives you a smooth surface at the top of the tire so it's a decent concrete or asphalt tire but with the blocks it has much better traction. We decided to head up to Ice Lake on the USAF Academy grounds, which is also the "New Santa Fe Trail", between Woodmen Ave. in C. Springs and up to Palmer Lake, CO. It's all dirt/gravel double track and it has more of the steeper uphill grades than the other dirt/gravel part of the PPGW, known as the Fountain Regional Trail, which starts south of C. Springs in the town of Fountain, CO. up to C. Springs where through town it's mostly concrete/asphalt up to Woodmen Ave. 

 We stopped at Ice Lake to use the restroom, then headed up the trail just bit to a parking area that has a big oak shade tree and some flat top boulders and ate our brown bag lunch. Then we turned around and headed south back down the trail to the Criterium Bike Shop for water and a protein bar break! The mileage came out to 16 miles, it was HOT, 90 F+, which at over 6,000 ft. of altitude is really HOT! Still there is a lot of shade on the trail so it wasn't bad. From the bike shop we just headed home as the heat kept getting stronger. Sunny, easter egg blue skies made for a good ride and successful tire test! For me the tire was a B+ to A- for Jo a solid B, I am a more powerful rider than Jo so I could just drop a gear and power up the uphill grades, Jo has to come up slowly using her lowest gears and that gives the rear wheel more chances to find the slick spots, she didn get up all the hills on her own so to me the Schwalbe Marathon 365 GT is a winner!! We plan to "Get Dirty" heading down south on the PPGW, very soon! Here's a video of the return ride on the New Santa Fe Trail!

Thursday, June 9, 2022

June 8, 2022- A nothing special kinda ride!

As you know, we don't own a CAR, sadly just totally out of our MEAGER budget! So we usually do a weekly Food Run to 85% of the time a local Walmart Neighborhood  Marketplace store or 15% a even closer Safeway Store. We usually use our home built cargo trailer or if we are just getting a few items we ran short on, we have 2 hand pull carts. Well yesterday was our June SS retirement income pay day so we had to also go to the Bank, which is downtown. We also needed to drop off our Voting Ballots in one of the many drop boxes located thru-out the city and lucky for us there is one downtown at the County building! So we headed to downtown, dropped off our ballots and then headed to the bank. Jo had to get a new ATM card as her's has developed a problem and won't work anymore! 

There is just enough space to park the "RIG" and Jo's trike just off the wide sidewalk infront of the bank so I stand "GUARD" as Jo goes and pulls out the money we need. Lucky for us we have a nice downtown, not like Denver's "Concrete Canyon" of sky scrapers!! From there we head over to the Weber St. bike lane heading north to get back to the Rock Island Trail heading east over to the Neighborhood Marketplace Store. Got our shopping done, head back to the apartment, unload the food, etc. put away the frozen and cold items, then I pull the cargo trailer back up to the apartment. We then head out to have our brown bag lunch at Panera Bread off of the Pikes Peak Greenway and it's quite a bit later than we normally do this so we decided to order Dinner instead. We had a good peperoni pizza and unsweet iced tea, we are members of the Unlimited sip club so we can have as much iced or hot drinks as we want as long as we are at the cafe!! :) 

We then decided to head north on the Detour Trail to Criterium Bike Shop, pick up the PP Greenway and head back south to home! 21 miles RT, sunny, 80 F hardly a cloud, if your stuck doing errands for the day, this ain't too bad a way to do it!! :) 

Sunday, June 5, 2022

June 5, 2022-Headed out to Manitou Springs, ARRUGH got a rear flat tire!!

On a semi-sunny Sunday, 80F we headed out to Manitou Springs for a brown bag picnic lunch. RATS, we got as far as 21st. St. on the Midland Trail and I got a rear tire flat on my trike!! :( Of course, there was no shade close, it's a bit of a chore changing a rear flat on a "recumbent trike" but alas, my trike a Terra Trike Rover X8 is a RPITA to change! You see the TT Rover was never designed to use a "rear derailleur". It has to have a special "rear derailleur hanger/adapter that "slides into the rear chain stay slot on the right side of the trike. It's comes completely out with the rear derailleur when you have to pull off the rear wheel!!! :O Also, unlike a upright bicycle, where you just turn it upside down, on a trike you have to "hold up the rear end" and take out the wheel at the same time!!! 

Well I was lucky that I was riding with my wife, Jo at the time so she held up the rear end. The other problem is I have a Sturmery/Archer 3 speed rear hub that my 8 speed cassette attaches to so I can have 24 speeds. This set up has extra cable and adjustment nuts, etc. that have to be removed to get wheel off the trike!!! Then I went to use my air pump and BUMMER it wouldn't work, thank goodness Jo's old air pumped worked!! Well it took 1.5 hours just to change the tube then we headed over to the Colorado Springs Bike Shop and I bought a NEW air pump and we ate our lunch on a bench outside the shop! I used there floor pump and filled up the tire and we headed home via the Palmer/Mesa Greenway Path. LOL, we had to do a bit of "Cyclecross" riding on the very bumpy grass to turn to Fontanero St. due to the construction at Fontanero and Chestnut. 

Down the hill to the Pikes Peak Greenway and finally back home. Short ride today only 10.5 miles but we were tired, needed a shower and get out of the sun!! :) 

Saturday, June 4, 2022

June 2, 2022-Ride to the "Kickoff Party/Gathering" for Bike to Work Day, June 22nd.

 While most of the USA claims "National Bike Month" is in May, LOL, here in Colorado due to our "Bi-Polar" weather in the Spring uses "JUNE" as our official State Bike Month and there is usually a official "Bike to Work Day", which is June 22nd. for 2022. There are event's here and there throughout the month, on June 2nd. BikeCOS and SRAM (bicycle component company), hosted at "Bike to Work Day, Kickoff Party/Gathering" at 4 PM at the FH Beerworks Brewery! Yes, for some reason, most folks think Bikes And Beers are a natural pairing, LOL, for Jo and I we don't drink booze but we do enjoy the company of other riders sometimes so we decided to go. We found a "unofficial ride" hosted by our excellent friend Allen Beuchamp from TOSC (Trails and Open Space Coilition) set up a ride leaving from STIR coffee house up to the Kickoff Event. 

Alas we weren't in the photos due to we are "very slow riders" so we headed out on the Rock Island Trail heading east while they took a group photo and Allen told them about the addition of the "Rock Island connector trail" from the PP Greenway to Rock Island that's being built this summer! It's great for Jo and I as the trail will start right behind our apartment complex! :) So, as usual we rode our slow but steady pace and as we knew they would (most of the bikes were E-assist MTB's!!), catch us long before we got to FH Beerworks. 

We got there just as they ended another group photo at the Beer Tower in front of the Beerworks and joined them for a really nice celebration! 

We shared a Cheese Skirt Burrito, much different ingredients than our normal Taco Bell Bean with added Beef burrito but still quite good! BikeCOS (Bicycle Colorado Springs) is the city sponsored bike advocacy group, which I am a new "Bronze Level Ambassador", I help with local bicycling events, etc. Here is there link: Home - Bike Colorado Springs SRAM of course is a nationwide bicycle component company that is headquartered in Colorado Springs and they had drawings, stickers, etc. a very festive atmosphere indeed! :) We stayed till 7PM, then headed home again via the Rock Island Trail, one of only 3 actual "Rail Trails" here in the city. Got home just as the sun was going down behind Pikes Peak. A really great event, looking forward to "Bike to Work Day"! Here is a video of our ride up to the Bike to Work Day, Kickoff Event: 

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Memorial Day ride to honor the Fallen 2022

 We have a usual tradition if we are at home on Memorial Day, we ride to the "Veteran's Memorial" in Memorial Park in Colorado Springs. This year, it was a bit of a rough ride as it was extremely WINDY 45+mph gust's and quite chilly. The Special Forces Association holds a memorial service and lays wreathes of flowers at each of several different Military Service Memorials that surround the tower. We feel we must take a part of this day and remember, "All gave Some, Some gave ALL"! We have no problem with the gatherings and BBQ's but we should all take at least a few minutes of Silence and reflect on the sacrifices of those that fought in horrible places to give us our FREEDOM to enjoy the day, remember "FREEDOM IS NOT FREE"! 

From there we headed over to the Evergreen Cemetery to place flowers on my Grandpa's Grave Stone at the American Legion Plot. after that we fought the WINDS blasting sand in our faces over to a semi-secluded picnic are on the end of the Shooks Run Trail and ate our brown bag lunches, even as the WIND tried to blow our food to Kansas!!!! :O Headed north on the Shooks Run Trail to home and was really glad to get out of that WIND! With the Fallen Honored, we fired up the little, George Forman Grill (inside version), and grilled us some hotdogs added coleslaw, potato salad, baked green pea crips and 1/2 apple and had our Memorial Day feast "inside" watching the poor trees bend in the WIND! 12 miles RT, cloudy, very chilly and WINDY. Still a good day for a RIDE with a purpose! :)