Friday, September 25, 2009

Choose Your Destructor

Oh heck no! I'll take my chances in the middle of the road.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Terra Trike Experience

Last night I had a little fun be-bopping around town with a Terra Trike 3.4, which is similar to what is now the Terra Trike Touring model. Going around town was fun and quick, but I decided a much bigger test was needed before a purchasing decision could be made. Today’s 30 miler to Elk Point with CDV gave me that opportunity.

There were only light headwinds when we left Vermillion but it fast became evident that a little over 17 mph was about all I was going to be able to muster and 15.5-17 was probably more the norm on the way down. The comfort of the bike was very acceptable as the newly chip sealed road did not seem too bad to ride on. I still noticed a bit of vibrato in my voice from being bounced around, but it was bearable. Pulling into the BP station in Elk Point, I was ready to get up for a stretch. The legs felt a little rubbery, I’m sure from a different style of riding. The feeling went away fast and after a Gatorade we were on our way home.

I was able to hold around 18 with a tail wind push most of the way home. For fun, I pushed my back against the back of the seat and pedaled hard and mustered a little over 22 mph but that was about all I had in me. I could tell towards the end that my legs, and quads in particular, had partook in enough of this fun for one day. Coming up University hill back into Vermillion proved to be entertaining as well. I shifted incorrectly and went into the large front sprocket and almost instantly came to a stop. Hmm…now what? I released the breaks lightly and started rolling backwards. Grab breaks again and think about it. Hold onto one brake, let go of other and do a rolling backwards turn. SWEET! Roll back down the hill and start over making sure NOT to repeat the previous performance.

I have an email off to the fine people at Terra Trike about the 26 inch back wheel along with asking about a bigger high end chain ring. I have the need for speed. 16-17 mph isn’t cutting it for me.

Ten point rating system of the Terra Trike Experience:
Comfort: 8.5
Handling: 9
Speed: 6.5
Hills: to be determined
Headwinds: to be determined
Probability I’ll buy: 75%

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

South Dakota Bicycle Maps

Since our recent Warm Showers hosting, I've had something that keeps popping into my thoughts so I need to get it out here: We South Dakotans need to pool together to build an network of bike maps. I've tried to accomplish this to a degree by starting a second blog named "South Dakota By Bike" and begged some of you to pitch in and help me with some local routes. Your enthusiasm for my little project, for lack of a better term, sucks.

More than just loop rides, I'd really like to get are various "how to best get across state" maps. I was helping our Warm Showers guests try to figure out a way to cross the state and once I hit near Winner, I was at a loss. I actually ended up sending them down into Nebraska because I know those roads better from years of BRAN. As an advocate of bicycling in South Dakota that makes me a little sick to my stomach. I want to show off MY state, but I don't know the roads West River very well.

So, my plea is to get some help with the best routes to get all the way across the state East to West, and even some South to North routes. I know it's not possible in all cases, but I'd love to see the nice quiet back country roads as well. So, in no particular order, I'd like:

* East to West routes (maybe a bottom, middle, and top of the state)
* South to North routes (maybe five - six routes)
* A list of places to stay in various towns along the routes, including camping, hotels, and potential host families for a touring cyclist.
* A list of any historical facts along each of the routes that people could potentially visit as a break from biking.

My long term goal would be the creation of all these routes and facts in a foldable map similar to any other state map to be given out at to all interested bicyclists. I think I may have to approach the Department of Tourism and get the South Dakota Bicycle Coalition on board with this.