I GOT TO RIDE TODAY–A Fifty Miler

Actually, almost 55 miles. I now need about 77 more miles to reach my 5K goal by the end of the calendar year. Depending on weather, I may do 22 DF miles tomorrow. After today’s ride, the legs feel different than I have experienced in years–they ache. It was not too bad on the bike, although I felt symptoms of cramping. I never quite got there (cramped). I think I can tell I have not been getting the miles I need for the legs to remain conditioned. I’m glad the heart did not ache. I could use a massage. A DF ride should be a good recovery ride.

Anyway, the ride was a good one.

Dot Race comparing this ride [red dot] with my DF ride [blue dot] of the 31st.

Here is the route (I’ve ridden this one before):

The bike checked out well–no minor adjustments needed after this ride. I listened to music from the XM radio and then about 2 hours of CNN. I returned to Fayetteville after dark and during rush-hour traffic on one of our busiest streets. I stayed calm. I’d say some of the drivers were not. I arrived home safely–thank goodness!

Although the temperature was comfortable, I rode with the full-face shield. It worked very well. I think I’d like to be able to flip it up. I may make that modification later. At the end of the ride, as I climbed that last hill back to the house, the shield did fog up. I need to get the anti-fogging wipe and see if it works. If it had been colder, I think the fog would have dissipated. Well, tomorrow I will have the opportunity to check out the shield in the rain.

P.S. The aching muscles have stopped aching. THANKS!

Increased AirZound Capacity

My AirZound Horn has served me well. I have used it more to deter dogs than in traffic situations.

Occasionally, I’ll return a friendly toot. On a recent tour, it took several long blasts to turn back a dog. Needless to say, had I been pursued by other dogs, I would have been reliant on speed–I’m not carrying water bottles. This week, I finally got around to installing a 2-liter bottle to replace my original AirZound bottle. Since I use this bike for long-distance riding, the additional air capacity extends my air-fill frequency. I covered the clear bottle with cloth (part of the sleeve of an arm warmer) because I think it looks better. I moved the bottle from my left-rear pannier to the left beneath-the-seat pannier [which is adjacent to the horn]. I did this to make more room for my sports drink in the left-rear pannier.

Let’s Stay As Warm As We Can!

OK! I have the fairing and it blocks some cold air, particularly when it was more upright. But, I am suppose to ride looking over the fairing, not through it. Well, that means the face catches more cold air. What to do? Check this BROL thread.

A full-face shield in addition to a fairing helps.

Skymax, a BROL Member, uses this setup.
Given my previously modified helmet for night riding and my reading of the thread above, I further modified my helmet to add a full-face shield. There is a bit of air the comes in from the chin area. This helps dissipate fogging, which is not too bad. That is, fogging did not obscure my vision. The thread above gives a solution to fogging. Over all I am pleased. As is always the case, I need a much longer ride to fully know that it does what I installed it to do and that I can ride safely.
Helmet pictures before the face shield is added.
The device on top of the helmet is a hand-cranked light to be used
for emergency lighting, i.e., changing a tire at night.

Full-face shield added

A few more shots–the background shot (above) is a view through the shield.

The images above are indoor shots. Note the reflective decals
(they are black, but reflects as white).
Image #6 [R2C3] is a view through the full-face shield.

Installation: The shield came wider that I expected. Pictures do not always reveal the dimension that you will be working with. I used my Dremel to remove just over an inch from the left and right side of the shield. There is a line where I cut the shield. You can clearly see the lines I used to cut in this link. Be careful with your Dremel speed to not melt the polycarbonate. If you get melt, it is more difficult to remove. As you see in my before pictures above, I already had a visor for shade and rain protection on the helmet. Well I do not need if for rain now, but I still wanted to retain the look I had and have shading from the sun. To my knowledge, I achieved that. I’ll have to ride in the rain and see how this works. I’ll report back.

Setup Update

The RANS Stratus XP as of 12/09/2006. This picture shows a more laid back fairing position. This is the basic position of the fairing for my return trip from Richmond, Virginia. Since return, I’ve made a few minor tweaks. I ride seeing over the faring. My knees just clear the devices on the handlebar. I still would like to straighten (raise) the handle bar just a bit. The panniers beneath the seat are about 1.5-2″ further forward & the tail-light assembly has been shortened by 2.5 inches. It now sits at the very end of the Angletech Aerotrunk. The B&M DIWA tail-light is mounted differently in the neck rest. As reported earlier, the XM Radio in now on the handlebar, versus the top tube. I also moved the seat a inch or two forward & placed the safety flag on the right side of the bike instead of to the left and within the seat back. I’ll see if this eliminates knee cap pain after riding over 50 miles. I think I have finished moving things around. My check ride confirmed the positioning is OK. Maybe tomorrow I can get in a ride of 30 miles or so.

A collage showing photographs from different angles.