5 Aug 2014

5th August 2014


Tuesday 5th 72F, 22C, warm, still and sunny. I decided to change the gear cable rather than go for a walk. Easily said. Less easily done. It had frayed in every possible position where it was bent in use. Which meant that the Ergo lever was full of frayed strands! I had to remove the lever and gently lift the cable from its guides before I could finally get the nipple free of the mechanism. Cutting the inner cable into bits along its length helped to free it from the outers. This gave me the option of pulling one end or the other.

The first replacement cable proved to be an inch short! So I had to remove that too. Then began the search for a suitably thin replacement from my rapidly dwindling stock. I also needed to replace the rear run of outer which had been cut short to make use of the ShiftMate mechanism.

Finally I had a functioning cable installed and a much better gear change than with the ShiftMate. This was with the trike up on the stand so I haven't tested it on the road yet. That will occur after coffee and rolls. The rear wheels seem much more free to spin than before the bearing seal removal. I'm wondering if there are further options to reduce axle friction without total loss of bearing protection.

It's a really beautiful day with comfortable temperatures to work on the trike outside in just a pair of shorts. The very light winds forecast strongly suggests I need a longer ride despite the rather late start time. I'll also need to plaster myself in suntan cream!

I left at 11am to ride through Odense to a garden centre on the other side.  Going well so I pushed myself all the way. I was averaging 18-20 mph for the first few miles.  I can't be certain but the trike did feel quicker all day after the bearing seal removal. Even if it was psychological it was an effect well worth having.

The pretend cycle lane between Odense and Langeskov is absolutely appalling! Avoid at all costs! I pulled off the road several times to let tractors pass with their loaded trailers of grain or hay bales. By comparison the road surface beyond the cracked and worn white segregating line is perfectly smooth and flawless.  Odense Kommune obviously hopes to wrest the Extreme Mountain Biking Championships from less deserving, third world countries without having to invest in a circuit! Just release the daring but unfortunate MTB riders onto the Odense cycle path!

From Langeskov to Ullerslev the cycle path becomes a properly segregated track with a fairly smooth surface. Apart from the raised ridges from tree roots burrowing underneath and all the crevasses and potholes.

A  headwind picked up as I approached Odense and it kept up until I reached my goal at 33 miles. I was caught in a sudden, torrential cloudburst on the way back to Odense. So I sheltered under a big beech tree right beside the road for a while. A fellow cyclist joined me but became impatient before I did due to the heavy traffic spray. Once I got going again I was quickly soaked from head to toe but dried off slowly in the warm sunshine. I soon hit dry roads so the downpour was very localised. My socks and shoes stayed wet until I reached home though I certainly wasn't aware of it.

I should have enjoyed a tailwind home but it had shifted 180 degrees beyond Odense. Lots of harvesting going on in the fields. 6 hours riding for 11mph average. With four shops visited in half an hour according to the GPS logger. 66 miles. Best distance this year. Two cheese rolls, two small cartons of apple juice, about a litre and half of tap water and a banana. It can't be enough. I'd have eaten more than that for lunch if I 'd stayed at home! My wrists seemed to resent my weight on my arms but my legs were okay. I just kept shifting my grip on the bars and it seemed to help.

I have also modified my stance on the trike when climbing out of the saddle. [i.e. Standing up on the pedals.]  By leaning further forwards I find I can take some of my weight on the bars. This improves my for and aft balance and my legs don't tire so soon on a longer climb. I am also leaning forwards more which reduces air resistance into a headwind.

A quiet rural corner where I stopped for lunch beside an empty house which was for sale. One bicycle passed in quarter of an hour but no motor vehicles at all. Lunch was consumed while standing up. 

My quadriceps muscles have changed dramatically since I started getting out of the saddle so often. Not only are they bulking up but the muscle definition is quite remarkable. Best seen when I lift my feet by extending my legs while sitting on a chair. Some experts suggest one should remain seated on a trike when climbing as this is more efficient. I find the variation valuable and enjoy the extra speed attainable. It is often useful to attack the crest of smaller hills to maintain speed. The change in the muscle groups can stave off tiredness when one is trying to go faster in hilly terrain.

The next task is to replace the central spacer between the Trykit 2WD, pawl carriers with a thinner one. Just to see if the reduced end loading frees up the bearings further. The wheels spin far longer as a pair than individually. This suggests to me that the oversized, central spacer is causing some friction between the inner ends of the axles. I may also research the possibility of new bearings with single sided, metal seals. Cleaning and re-lubricating the more exposed bearings more often, than an annual inspection, is hardly a burdensome chore.

Click on any image for an enlargement. 

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