Daily Archives: October 16, 2011

A slow trip camping, Wreck-Free Sunday

I’m back from my trip, a simple overnight on Blue, running the kitty-litter bucket panniers under load for the first time. The verdict on the panniers is when mounted properly they are very nice. Loose stuff inside the pannier will cause some drumming as expected, but there was no other noises from the converted kitty-litter buckets.

Now the trip, I had a little bit of a mix-up with the rally point in that I got there after the rally time but before everybody else, which had me worried a bit until the rest of the party showed up about a half-hour after the previously announced rally time because of a late start and slow average speeds. After lunch at the rally point I led to group through what was normally the calm back streets of Sachse and Wylie, well yesterday they weren’t so calm. I got passed by more cars yesterday than I normally get passed by in a week of trips through that area. It was insane the amount of traffic we had to deal with. It was actually more comfortable back out on TX78 with 3 lanes and all that traffic with the 50-55 MPH speed limits which meant the cars were passing at 60-70 MPH, but they all were moved over to the next lane.

About that average speed I mentioned earlier. It was SloOoOoOWwWwWwW! Basically I was the fastest rider in the group. My computer average at the end of the ride was 8.9 MPH, which included a 14 MPH average for the first 4 miles getting to the rally point. I spent the entire ride in the bottom 4 gears on my cassette and taking about 20 RPM off my normal 100 RPM cadence. The trikes I was riding with were heavy and had motor issues in that their riders were riding with one form of handicap or another, and I’m not talking about carrying extra weight, I’m talking a physical challenge. I’m not going to cause any embarrassment to the other riders by naming their physical challenges, I’ll just say that I was the healthiest rider on the ride with just the problems I have with my leg.

The camping was a slight disappointment as the flushies and showers were locked up except for one set of flushies about a half mile from where we were camped. So I had to do a cold-water washup at the camp site to stay clean. We ordered out for pizza because the park was still inside Wylie’s city limits, and it tasted much better than Domino’s usually tastes. I don’t know if riding made me hungry or if Domino’s media campaign about improving their pizza is actually true. I had some food of my own that I hauled in the panniers for breakfast, with coffee at a local fast-food outlet, then home.

I had one equipment failure that resulted in having to put my sleeping bag on the sag wagon out and everything that wouldn’t fit in my panniers on the way back. I use a rope to lash down my external cargo, that broke on the trip to the rally point and caused me to almost jettison my sleeping bag coming in to the rally point. I plan on getting more rope before the next trip and maybe building a extension on the back of the rack that will keep the stuff a little more under control and give me more lashing points to tie down the cargo.

I expect to be getting pictures from the ride in the next few days which I hope to be able to post in the blog so that Blue can get a little love like Gigi has.

Have a happy Sunday and a nice ride.

Opus