Sunday, August 22, 2010

Third time’s the charm?

May be more like three strikes  your out.

Today was the Reston Bicycle Club’s annual century ride and once again I signed up for the metric half century, which sounds further than the 32 miles it actually was. The RBC Century was the first organized ride that we did after getting our first two trikes in 2008. It was just Nathan and myself riding but we managed to “grind it out”. Last year my wife joined us but our speed hadn’t improved much. I was determined that this year would be a big improvement and was looking forward to the ride. I almost missed the event altogether because it was next weekend. Luckily I stopped by the local bike shop and the topic came up in the conversation. Since it was this weekend I became a team of one: Nathan is off at college and my wife bailed on me to travel up to Williamsport, PA for the opening of the LLWS. Surely being 15 pounds lighter myself, with new gearing on my trike and "nobody holding me back" I could do better than “grind it out”.

I rode “warm up” rides on Friday and Saturday averaging about 10 miles each. So this morning I head out to the Century with high hopes, at least once I convinced myself that the rain would indeed pass quickly, which by the way it did.

So how did my lighter self, with a lighter trike and higher gears do? I was actually slower than the previous two years! We averaged 10.4 the previous years and I averaged 10.3 today. I went faster at times but the hills really did me in today.

Overall it was a fun outing. I met lots of new people and spent a lot of time answering questions about the trike, why I chose that to ride, etc. I even ran into a new trike rider during the event and a local rider just out for a Sunday stroll.

Maybe I can keep working on this “meat engine” to get it faster. But maybe, just maybe, I should stop chasing speed and enjoy the view.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Duffy Moon transforms into ...

Road Rocket!

Inaugural ride tonight of the new High Speed Drive on the Duffy Moon (Catrike Road). After a short 13 mile ride I have to declare the moon has set and the Road Rocket is born. With the old front end I was spinning out around 23 MPH, sometimes higher but not often. The trike would go faster downhill but my pedals were free wheeling. Tonight I hit 33 MPH downhill and still had room to go. I only slowed because of traffic. If this helps me get my average to the mid teens it will be great.

This is certainly the "honeymoon" period but it looks like a great investment so far.

Basically with the HSD you have two gears on the front - 27T on the low side and a 67.5T. Luckily this is a planetary (internal) gear system. A 67.5 tooth ring, if you could find one would be huge. So I dropped from a 3 ring cassette in the front to the equivalent of a 2 ring cassette. Basically I now have 18 gears - 9 low and 9 high. I still need to tweak the rear shifting a bit after shortening the chain but tonight she climbed like a billy goat and sprinted like a cheetah. Shifting is done by clicking a button with the heel of the foot and because it's internal gearing you can drop from the high end to the low end while stopped. That could be handy when I mess up my gear choice and stall on a hill.

For more information on the HSD and gearing for trikes visit this great article from Utah Trikes:

I shipped them my boom, they did the modifications on the same day and it was back out the door to me. Great service and competitive pricing.

HSD Installed - inaugural ride soon!

Last week while we were moving Nathan into college my Catrike Road boom came back with the new High Speed Drive (HSD) installed. I spent Saturday afternoon reinstalling the boom and adjusting the chain. The new high speed idlers will be in this week. Once installed I will be able to remove the chain tubes for an even quieter ride.

Initial tests on Saturday evening with the HSD were promising. I hope to be able to hit the road soon and actually log the results with a speedometer. Overall the goal was to get a few more MPH out of the top end and make it easier to ride close to the speed of DF bikes. If the engine can churn properly this should get me close.

More details to come!