Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Eagle Easy 16

Rolled only 16 today for three different reasons. First of all, I got a late start as I was working the Ines Brunn exhibition. Second I wanted to use the afternoon sun and warmth to wrench on the Eagle. And third,  I got carried away sending chapter PDFs to those people who are in my book. So by the time I did get  going, it was the warmest the Eagle has ever experienced the local roads here with me to date, and yet there was a different level of traffic I had overlooked. The schools.

One more gotcha. Hmm, I can't leave early to beat traffic because there isn't any light as yet. The morning commute goes until 9 am. My prime time to work the administration of this ride runs from 9-12. Then there is the lunch crowds that occupy the roads from 11:30 to 1:30, So the only window I have to escape the local traffic is between 1:30 and 2:15 or so because it takes me half an hour to get free of the the city. And yet there again, I am not free upon my return because a couple hours worth of riding puts me in the afternoon commute. More hmmm ......

On my way to the foothills, another Eagle advantage came into play. I was able to climb out of the saddle and sprint fast enough to catch the tail end of a green light. I had never been  able to catch the light at Alma after  a train had made it green unless I was pretty close to it. Today, I caught it  from a block and half away no problem. While on a tall HiWheel, many Ordinaries run 54 and 56 inches tall giving the rider a higher speed potential, on the Eagle, mine is only 50 inches, a rider can climb out of  hole and accelerate much quicker. Yahoo!!

I talk about Hillview a lot in here. For me it is the doorway to the foothills and that is why I am so excited I can get up it now so well. Today a bus passed me as I ascended. It was then that I knew I was making genuine progress. Because I am now able to make a beeline straight up the hill, he only gave me a few feet when going by!       

Rode Foothill Expwy until  it changed to Alamdea de las Pulgas, The traffic got thicker and thicker. Once again, I turned  on Atherton Road and took it all the way to El Camino Real. Kind of a boring thoroughfare now that I've been on it a few times, it is still one of  the longest roads anywhere around where there are almost no stoplights or stop signs.  I think there is one for all of the entire two miles it runs . There are no bike lanes but they  don't seem  too crucial as the cars move pretty slow on this road .

I also practiced some no hands riding, a handy skill  to posses if you want to take off a jacket and wrap it around your waist or even  just fasten your helmet buckle. I must admit, I am not making much progress with this as yet, but I will.  I just have to focus on that ability instead of on rolling the miles.

As you can see from my route noted below, I wrapped up my ride on California Ave where I did a  few errands. And that is where Palo  Alto Eyeworks that opens this blog is located.   An  NBG sponsor,  their two  two principals are what cycling should be all about. They both ride to work on performance road bikes.     Unsung heroes, they, respectively, ride eight and 20 miles to and eight and 20 miles from each and every work day of the week. Rain or shine!! Indeed, if you support cycling and have any eye wear needs, they deserve your support..

Once I got home, I went to tighten spokes that have become loose and found out from Jim Spillane that the nipples do not fit a spoke wrench; that I have to go under the tire and tighten them with a socket wrench. And not just any socket wrench, he told me. It has to be a 5/16 high quality Snap On tool. Well I did, at least, get one of the cotter pins replaced. However, the other side looks about ready to go too. Ugfh.......
Good ride. Only 45 days until our ride Kick OFF - who else is going to join in?

THX 4 all of U!!  


Note: This ride is not about me but it is a celebration of all the people who have helped me get back to wholeness physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. This as I stand on the shoulders of giants to enjoy the privilege of riding this bike, the only Eagle (backwards HiWheel) in active use in all the world...

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