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PEDALING AROUND OUR NEIGHBORHOOD

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Kayak Jack, May 7, 2017.

  1. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Although today offered up some good flying weather, we chose to ride bikes. A couple of (fairly) easy miles away, is a Subway Sandwich Shop. Recently, we've been enjoying riding over there, sharing a "Sub of the Day" ($6 for a 12" sub!), a drink, and usually some chips. Darn! These are good.

    Today, rather than return straight home, we diverted a couple of miles to get a cup of coffee. With outside temps at 50, and with a full, bright sun, I'd worn just a vest over my shirt. So, as we sat to enjoy the coffee, we were next to the gas log fireplace. Felt pretty good - for the first 20 minutes or so.

    On the way home, several black squirrels were runnung around a tree, and up and down it. The story is that, about 25-30 years ago, a fellow brought a breeding pair of these black squirrels down to the East Lansing area from the Deadstream Swamp. Now, they are all over for about a 50 mile radius. They look to be about 80-90% as big as a standard fox squirrel.

    The Deadstream is the first part of the Muskegon River, where it exits Houghton Lake's NW'ly corner. It's one of those big swamps with plenty of bears - and a few legends. Some of those legends include stories about hunters who went in, and never came out. Now, Michigan has a fair number of swamps, mucky areas, swales, bogs, etc. but only a couple are so big that you can get lost in them.

    Further on, as we got closer to home, folks were walking dogs. The big Lab was pretty anxious to walk, run, and gambol about. After about 6-7 miles, we arrived back home, and relaxed a bit. According to my Fitbit, I'd just about ridden off the sandwich!
     
  2. Wannabe

    Wannabe Well-Known Member

    I am thrilled that ya'll had a glorious day. We had a beautiful 80 F. day. My youngest granddaughter had her first piano recital this afternoon.
    Jack, I look at you then look at me and I am ashamed. You are as old as Lewis and Clark put together and you go bi-cycling to Hell and Back and I barely can make a two block ride. But I am working on it. For the last month I have been going to the County Fitness Center and walking on a treadmill at 5:30 in the morning, though I have not been there or the coffee shop aster since last Thur.
    I am tickled that you two had another Grand Adventure. Enjoy the spring. It will be over here pretty quick.
    Bob
     
  3. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Well, Bob, you're a lot more man than I am, to do a treadmill at all, but especially at 05:30!!! I hate to sneak up on that kinda stuff in the dark.

    I want to be hearing your gardenibg reports. Fingers in the dirt is one of God's best tonics. Talk to those plants! Not the okra, of course. It's a foreign plant, and won't understand you. Grow some gree-itz; isn't there a gritz plant? Aye god there oughta be! ;-). And a gritz box plant too, so you have something into which you can put all those gritz you grow.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
  4. grandpa paddler

    grandpa paddler Well-Known Member

    I'm envious Jack! Our day was dreary, wet and cold - never hit 40 degrees (actually wore my ski jacket). At least we got to spend some time with family celebrating #2 son's 46 birthday.
     
  5. oldsparkey

    oldsparkey Well-Known Member

    Your area with the 50's for a high and calling it Spring.........Around here we call that Winter.

    We went from Winter straight over to Summer in a matter of a couple ( 2) days. Spring has sprung and Summer arrived early as usual around here.
    Nice day today , 90 for a high with it going to 97 by Wednesday. No idea what the heat index will be but you can bet it will be higher then the predicted temperature. We like to refer to the weather around here as being a Roller Coaster , it is always up or down , mostly up. :roll:
     
  6. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    AN INTERURBAN BIKE TRAIL

    It all started with needing a couple gallons of milk. "Hey, Punkin, wanna ride over to get a couple gallons of milk in the morning?", I asked Julie last night. A noncommital, "We'll see." Was her reply.

    From our home over to the mall areas, we can bike using 10-15 various "routes". We can interchange various short legs, tack on appendices, go one of two "long ways" with no sneaky little short cuts, etc. One of our favorites traverses an interurban trail.

    A century ago, when my Mom was a little girl, her and her Mom rode the interurban rails from Lansing to Howell to visit Aunt Somebody-or-other. Part of that route was within a half mile of where we now live. A few years ago, the Rails to Trails program transformed 2 miles of the old interurban right of way (ROW) to a biking-hiking trail.

    As we entered the Interurban portion, a Mom was pushing a stroller, and walking a young lad with a cast on an arm, and a dog. Nearby, a Grandmother and grandaughter strolled along. Then, a young woman came along on her bike. And, of course, we two septogenarians were riding along. A half mile later, another Grandmother, a teen, and her dog were out. THIS is what these trails are all about! And, all of that was inside of the first mile!

    Now, the average bike, when well tuned, is very efficient at converting human energy into motion. You normally have to ride about 6 miles to equal the energy expenditure of walking only 1 mile. But, feeling a bit sorry for myself, I suggested that we just possibly maybe oughta could should stop in at Wendy's, and share a small frosty. It didn't take an anvil on Julie's head for her to see the wisdom there!

    It just so happens that, the Wendy's parking lot connects to the next door lot of Gordon Food Service (GFS) where I could get the 2 gallons of milk . Julie stayed with the bikes whilst I spent all of 4 minutes buying milk. Having completed the complex and dangerous mission upon which we had originally set out - we decided to sashay over to Schuler's book store for a cuppa coffee before starting home. Is the pattern beginning to emerge here?

    After coffee, I browsed some books. And bought a magazine with an article in about starting a fire with rolling friction. A cotton ball, some wood ashes, and two blocks of wood. More on this project later.

    As I rolled into our driveway, I noticed the bike was riding squirrelly. Back tire was flat - with a self-sealing inner tube!!! Drat, and double drat. sigh. Another project. And I've had such a stressful morning! ;-)
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
  7. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    SUBWAY - DIVE DIVE DIVE!

    We enjoy sandwiches, and Subway sandwiches in particular. Their locations are handy for us, and their food is pretty good. So, today we rode over for lunch. A 2 mile ride (one way) surely isn't any marathon, but it gets our heart rate up, and it gets us off of our duffs.

    We have luggage racks and saddle bags (called "panniers") on our bikes. Take a look at panniers on LL Bean. They are really handy for carrying gear, water, snacks, and even a few groceries. As I recall, about $100.

    Earlier this week, I rode to a dental appointment, about 6.5 miles round trip. Kind of a surprise to them. Next appointment is on 10 January. I'm not planning to ride a bike that day. ;-)
     
  8. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    COUPLE OF RIDES

    Yesterday, Julie and I started out to ride around Lake Lansing, near here. It's about 2 1/4 miles from home to the lake, about 3 1/4 around the lake, for about 7 3/4 miles minimum. We usually wobble around pathwise and end up adding another 1/4 - 1/2 miles of mindless meandering. BUT - about 2 1/2 miles into the ride, my self sealing innertube in my rear tire was flatter than a flitter! What the heck??!!
    Fortunately, one of the best features of my bike is a tire pump built into the seat post. Many, many strokes later, the tire was 60-65psi. It was OK all the way home, minus riding around the lake. And today it is still OK. A mystery tube.

    Today, a ride to the barnershop and back, and the tire is still up. More mystery of the innertube.
     
  9. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    INDIAN SUMMER
    The absolute best time of every year.


    Today is bright and sunny, low humidity, 63 degrees - a perfect football Saturday! Not being football players, we chose to unlimber our bikes again. Air up the tires; fasten on the rear view mirrors, pull on our goatskin gloves; and launch.

    Right next to one of those Subway sandwich shops that we like so well, is a bagel and coffeeshop. Alas! We got there a bit late, and it had closed a few minutes befkre. Drat!! DRAT!! And double drat! Well, we're nothing if not resourceful. Subway is open.

    After a cool drink, we meandered our ways home. Blessedly, our neighborhoods are safe and pleasant to ride in. Wide avenues, large shade trees, wide lawns, friendly drivers, parks, other cyclists, and good sidewalks are all there. Those good sidewalks are important.

    In Michigan, probably some other states too, we have a "share the road" law, and it is legal for bikers to ride our roads. They are supposed to remain far to the right, single file, and out of the way. Unfortunately, many of the bikers think it is their right to plug the road, hinder the flow of traffic, and be unsafe hinderances. Every year, their ranks get thinned by a few. Not only are they rude and inconsiderate, they are slow learners.

    We ride the sidewalks. A car weighs, say, 1,000 - 2,500 pounds. Our bikes, with accessories, weigh about 40 pounds. Here's something from the For What It's Worth Department - Frankly, anybody who can't figure that out should not be riding a bike outside of their own yard.
     
  10. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Another day, another ride, another cuppa coffee. Bike-friendly neighborhoods line our routes here, to and from our favorite coffeeshop nearby. Wind was too breezy for flying, and furnished cooling for bikers. Our choice was easy.

    Making our rides easier and more pleasant, are three of the basic techniques for bikers. High tire pressure, proper seat position, and well kept machines. Bikes haven't changed all that much since my first, full sized Columbia in about '46 or 47. Multi sprocket derailler systems are the largest change/advancement. Other changes that come to mind include
    (1) replacing fat tires (2 1/2") with skinnier tires.
    (2) replacing comfortable seats that had springs, with expensive torture devices resembling an ax head, sharp side up.
    (3) better alloys for frames.
    (4) poorer inner tubes that leak, previous tubes lasted years - not months.
    Three of the four changes are not necessarily viewed as improvements by this slightly prejuduced observer/user.

    Actually, there is another change that I do see as an improvement - saddle bags. THESE ARE A GOOD ITEM FOR RIDERS TO HAVE. We carry all kinds of things along for one reason or another: water bottles, iced tea, hot tea, sandwiches, rain jackets, library books, gloves (we ride wearing leather gloves), purse, groceries, etc. using Google, look for "bike saddlebags".

    All in all, we enjoy our bikes a lot.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
    grandpa paddler likes this.
  11. oldsparkey

    oldsparkey Well-Known Member

    I believe the proper term for the saddlebags are Bike Panniers and a person can add a Bike Trunk on the rear rack holding the Panniers. I specified Rear Racks because you can do the same on the front if you are a serious Bike Packer. Heck you can even hang a bag on the cross member from the froth fork to the seat support and even off the handlebars.
    Anyway the panniers and bike trunk are what I have on the back of my Mountain Bike. I can also use it on the rack I have on the Recumbent Trike. The rear racks on both bikes are the same.
    I'm not one of the guys peddling and camping across the USA from coast to coast or from Canada to Key West. Just around locally here in Florida.
     
  12. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    I also have another rack (same as rear ack)that I can attach to the front, and add the saddle bags. Might do some bike camping, and that would make it easy.
     
  13. oldsparkey

    oldsparkey Well-Known Member

    It's about the same as Canoe camping except you can go anywhere and are not restricted to the main channel. The bike is the mule carrying everything and it does open a lot of new territory.
     
  14. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    I'm anxious to do it. There are bike trails all over the state, most of them are paved. Julie and I take day trips, but no camping on the bikes. Our bikes fold, and we take them along on vacations and trips.
     
  15. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    BICYCLE REPAIR STAND

    Googleize "bicycle repair stand". Several stands will appear. Previously, all the stands that I saw cost in the $250-375 range. OUCH!

    In the old days, we turned our bikes upside down and worked on them. That still works. But - oh - it is so much more comfortable for geezers to sit on, say, a cushion atop a 5 gallon pail. I bought the "portable bicycle maintenance stand" from Walmart, for $54.95. That is the total cost, free shipping and no tax!

    Frankly, I expected something that would be a bit shaky, and require stabilization to keep upright. Wow, was I surprised. This is a high quality, well designed piece of equipment. Now it will be much easier to do stuff like replace an inner tube, oil the chain, replace lube in wheels and ledal crank. Not really fun - but a lot easier.
     
  16. oldsparkey

    oldsparkey Well-Known Member

    I do it the easy way with the wife's recumbent or mine , the shop where I purchased them , service them. I'd rather have the dealer do the servicing then myself , Cable Disk brakes , shiftier and steering adjustments , a extra long chain , cables and synchronizing 24 speeds I don't even want to touch.

    The mountain bike I clean the chain and minor stuff after each off trail riding experience. I can turn it upside down to work on it. Nice thing about good quality mountain bikes , the manufacture expects them to get wet , dirty and muddy and are made to handle that.
    Even the mountain bike goes to the dealer for a yearly servicing. Hydraulic Disk brakes , shiftier adjustments , cables and synchronizing 27 speeds.

    One handy tool to have is a chain checker ( there are several types ) which measures the wear of the chain. A worn chain will destroy the sprocket or in case of multiple speed bikes the sprockets and even the chain ring ( the crank and pedals are attached to it)
     

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