Thursday, March 12, 2009

Eagle HiWheel meets Recumbent Kingpin

Hit the road for twenty on Wednesday at 1:45. Instead of hills, I headed for the San Francisco Bay. I had wanted to see what the industrial park near Gold's Gym, where I used to work out in the days before riding my HiWheel bike so thoroughly wasted me, looked like in the presence of the present economic downturn. 

I figured the traffic would be light. Boy was I wrong. While the cars were tolerable, there were a whole lot more of them. Everywhere. In what I remembered to be a much under utilized network of office space, was an alive and jumping business park. The many buildings that had been vacant when five years ago I used to roll through here were almost all  adorned with full parking lots as they bustled with activity! And almost every one of them had a colorful little sign at each of the driveway entrances. All the ones I saw read "Google".

From Golds Gym which is located not far from Google head quarters and the marshlands of the Bay, I rode Shoreline Rd across Mountain View and the Silicon Valley all the way to Foothill Expwy. Before I got to  Foothill, at El Camino Real, the mission road of centuries ago, the road changed its name to Miramonte. Once I reached Foothill, I headed back to Palo Alto and watched all the cars coming my way since it was now about 3 in the afternoon. 

Back in Palo Alto, after working my way through the very bike friendly Stanford campus, I went to my Post Office in Palo Alto's other downtown, the California Ave business district. Jim Spillane from back in Connecticut was there waiting for me in the form of a triangle shaped box that was four feet long. I pulled my little back pak out of my fanny pak and put the light weight package in it and rode off. Very carefully. And much hunched over.

When I got it home, I found a replacement seat, a couple of  stainless steel cotter pins for the crank arm, new cage assemblies for my pedals (which I wont' be using as I will explain later) and a spoke. Not just any spoke. Shaped like a V, it is really two spokes in one as it anchors in the hub at the bend. WoW!

I didn't ride much today because I futzed with the bike and took care  of some business matters. Last night I created what I  hope is a new HiWheel Cyclist. Gary Bell came down from his bike shop in Lake Tahoe called Sierra Ski and Cycle Works and bought one of the HiWheel bikes I used to ride. He excitedly purchased it when he did because he knew I needed help getting some of the 4/4 Ines Brunn exhibition   paid for. So before I got to work on the bike today, I had to make a deposit. 

And instead of changing  the pedal plates, after the bank,  I had an idea. Shoes! Matt Christy had suggested I  try racing shoes and I didn't really think I would have to go that route. However, after seeing the difficulty of the hardware options available to me, I was now open to it. I went over to Cardinal bike shop and Manny got me a pair of Sidis I could match up against my pedals. And they fit into them quite nicely!! 

It is here that my recumbent bicycle past came into my HiWheel present. A few years ago, Kelvin Clark, pictured at right,  of Angle Tech Cycles (who I interviewed HERE), had supplied me with a pair of Carnac cycling shoes in exchange for advertising presence at our site. He did so because, on a recumbent, which is all I used to ride, the way your feet usually hang off the back of the pedal, clipless pedals and shoes are a requirement for efficacious cycling.  And since Kelvin only carries what he feels is the best equipment at his shop, all stuff that he personally uses and tests,  he outfitted me with the footwear he found to be the best 

So when I got home, I took the cleats off of them and tried them with my pedals. Eureka! Yet another breakthrough. They wedge perfectly inside of the two stainless steel risers on both sides of the pedal. I did some out of the saddle sprints  on it and whoo hooo,  I am all over it. Hills  tomorrow!! 

All tempered with legendary  Steve Stevens sage advice, "You don't want the the bike breaking on your ride. If you want to be first person in the 20th or 21st Century to ride an Eagle across the US, you will have to go easy on it". He told me he can't ride an Eagle  because at 200 pounds the bike  just would  not hold up...... 

I can't wait to tell U what happens in the hills tomorrow!!

          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 in active use west of the Mississippi ...

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