Saturday, November 27, 2010

Next Stop, Christmas!

The next couple of months will prove to you and others how much you love cycling. Riding every day will be more of a consideration.
Bundling up in warm clothing takes time and makes movement difficult. Cold winds have you in shock during the first moments as you "Hit the Road" and get your "Winter Head" on straight.
Holiday riding as we start into the colder months,with the Holiday lights are like a gift and assure you that we are doing the right thing. Speeding by in a car, looking out the window. although warm, doesn't give you the full view.
The Recumbent is easy on the neck and the perfect tool for looking up to see the tops of the trees where a crane was needed to trim the crown. A view otherwise only seen while walking.
Leafless trees and big sky's! Views missed over the green months. Like being in another part of the world!
Colder days mean shorter rides. The neighborhood stroll to find that home that went overboard with lights is like finding treasure! The type of family that gets a Christmas card and a Thank You from the Electric Company!
Destination riding come back into play. Head out to find something new.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Holiday Ride

For Years, any holiday would not be complete without the "Holiday Ride."
Wether it be long or short, just to get out and experience the outdoors make the special day, better.
On road or off, the adventure of being away from the house and gather memories to bring back to the Holiday diner table makes the ride an important part of the day.
Friends recognize the importance of the Holiday Ride and gather for the adventure.
The Recumbent is the perfect tool for the job. Heads up riding allow the pilot to see and enjoy the view that could be otherwise missed with any other style of bicycle.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Chris!

Cooper is an avid reader of the Blog. We always get great comments from him about the postings and look forward to his clever wit. Things would not be the same without him.
Today is Chris's Birthday.
Hey Chris! Thanks for Being Born!

Suiting Up for the Cold

Getting set to ride on a cold day take a couple of things. Not just a closet of warm clothing.
Thirty eight years ago I would put my bicycle away for the winter months. Having no car to get around, it meant traveling by thumb to go anywhere. I made a folding cardboard sign that had all the destinations that I would ever need to travel to, lettered with reflector tape for early Winter sunsets and dark streets. I would have people pick me up just because they loved the sign idea, It worked well! It was a differnt time of life here in New England and drivers would stop just to have a chat and company with their drive to work or home.
Walking was big with me and a good pair of winter boots were as important as my now winter bike. Fabiano made a beautiful pair of blue suede boots called Fabiano Blues. They sold at EMS for about $25.00 and lasted for the season.
It wasn't until I was confronted by an older fellow by the name of Ted Faller at Windslows Greenhouses in Needham,the place I worked with the question of, Where is your bike. It was followed with the question of "What the hell is wrong with you? That's why they make warm clothing!"
That man changed my life and ever since I have ridden through the Winter.
It didn't take long to figure out that it is a real good Idea to not take your good bike out on salty streets. I'm not one for cleaning my bike and being a dump picker at heart found the perfect bike for the job. The nice thing about shopping for a bike at the dump is that if it doesn't work out, at anytime you can return it!
The bicycle of choice was the Raleigh Sports 3 Speed. They became our 'Mobile Units" and what we used for camping and riding into the woods around Southern New England. On any weekend one could find a good 3 speed being thrown away because of the new 10 speed fad. Lighter faster bikes were popular and the old black Raleigh were being left at the dump.
Riding in the cold is a mind set. A Life Style of sorts and a great way to go. You always get a good parking spot and with the right clothing, a rider can be comfortable on a cold winter day. Of course we have days when its just best to stay inside, but for the most part winter riding can be enjoyable as long as you are well suited for the job.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Stupidity Defined

posted by Danni

I am a firm believer that the anniversary of one's arrival on this planet should not be restricted to a single day but should, instead, be at least a week long celebration. So, despite the fact that my birthday was this past Wednesday, the powers of the universe gave me my birthday present yesterday - a gorgeous, warm, sunny November day on which to enjoy a beautiful bike ride.

Susie and I set out yesterday afternoon from Maynard Center to take a 23 mile ride that I had done previously with the Sudbury upright cyclists. The ride took us through Maynard, Acton, Carlisle, Concord, and Littleton. It was a lovely ride through some nice neighborhoods, by some orchards and rolling farmland, and past Nagog Pond (where I believe I saw a mated pair of Buffleheads swimming in the pond - a new bird species for me which is yet another birthday gift from the gods!) While watching the Buffleheads, the helicopter I flew a couple of weeks ago flew overhead. It was fun to turn to Susie and say, “Hey, I flew that helicopter!” We had a great ride!!

And amazingly, despite my extreme talent for getting lost and the fact that my GPS kept crashing, we actually navigated the ride successfully. I went out of my way to ensure that we didn’t get lost this time. My guess is that the reason we got off track on the Concord ride was because I was so preoccupied chatting with Susie (I know, go figure ;-), that I wasn't paying attention to the GPS when it was telling me to take a turn and I missed it. To that end, I programmed my GPS to beep when a turn was coming up this time and, although it was quite annoying, it was definitely effective. I also printed the directions on paper and had Susie tape them to her handlebars so she could verify that we were following the route accurately.

During the ride Susie and I had a discussion about the new navigation precautions. She told me that her definition of stupidity was making the same mistake twice. She was extremely happy that I had learned from my previous navigational errors. So I am excited to say that, at least by Susie's definition, I can state with confidence that I am not stupid. However, I know that there are many out there that would definitely debate that assessment;-)

I hope you, too, had the opportunity to get out and ride yesterday on such a beautiful November day.


Monday, November 8, 2010

15,000 Hits!

Thanks for reading BOSRUG!

Only 1 year old and we have had 15,000 hits! WOW!

Actually its one year and two days old!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Insatiable Curiosity

posted by Danni

In the spring when I was considering what type of bike to purchase, I was directed to a series of articles on recumbents to aid in my decision-making process. One such article had an extremely unique yet, for most people, completely useless comparison. The author compared the touch on a Bacchetta's handlebars to the touch on the controls of a helicopter. This comparison really bugged me. I mean how many people actually know how to fly a helicopter? Then take that small number and factor in how many of those helicopter pilots are interested in riding a recumbent and the percentage must be extremely low. So why would somebody use this as a comparison on a recumbent review? This is just the sort of thing that piques my curiosity to unbearable measures. I just had to know!! So what did I do? I signed up for helicopter flying lessons, of course.

Introductory helicopter lessons start with four hours of ground school. During these four hours you learn a fair deal about aerodynamics and how lift is created as well as the three main types of energy a helicopter uses in flight; potential energy (height), kinetic energy (speed), and rotational kinetic energy (blade rotation/power). Given that the amount of energy used in flight is a constant divided between these three types of energy, you learn how to balance these in flight by using the three helicopter flight controls. The three controls are the collective which controls the altitude of the craft, the cyclic that controls the attitude (or direction) of the craft, and the anti-torque pedals which control the heading of the craft by countering the blade rotation. You spend the majority of time in class learning how to use the controls in relation to each other to perform lift, turns and descent. On paper the operations seem extremely complex.

On Monday I had my first flight. I am happy to report that with a strong grasp of the theory on how the controls work together, if you just relax and keep your eye on the horizon, working the controls isn't anywhere near as complex as it seems on paper. You can easily see and feel what needs to be done while flying - even when the wind is playing with you and pushing you around any which way it chooses. The key is to just relax and work the controls gently while using the horizon as a visual cue.

So once the flight concluded, I started thinking about how flying a helicopter relates to steering a Bacchetta. It is true that using the cyclic control, the directional control of the helicopter, requires a light touch (as do the handlebars on the Bacchetta) which is the point the author makes in his review. I agree completely. However, that is where the comparison ends for me. In a helicopter, you control the direction of the craft by making small, gentle movements with the cyclic control on a horizontal plane by using hand/arm movements. When I ride my bike, I keep a light touch on the handle bars to keep the front wheel aligned with the frame of the bike, but most of the actual steering is done by leaning my body into the turns - very little, if any, is done by moving the handlebars with my hands. And from my limited experience, leaning into the turns in a helicopter, as I do on my bike, just doesn't seem like a wise idea!!

Since this revelation, I've been racking my brain to find a better analogy for the gentle touch needed on the handlebars of a Bacchetta. Alas, much to my chagrin, I have yet to come up with a better description than the light touch required on the helicopter controls that the author describes in his review. This is now bugging me even more. Now, not only is there one person using an obscure analogy for the light touch needed on the handlebars of a Bacchetta, there are two! There must be a more mainstream way to describe the feel of steering a Bacchetta! I look to you, dear reader, to help me out on this one. How would you describe the feel of steering a Bacchetta? And PLEASE give me less expensive analogies than the touch on the controls of a helicopter. If I need to go test a number of theories equally as expensive as helicopter lessons, I'm going to go broke!!

In the meantime, when I was asked in class why I was taking helicopter lessons I responded that, "I wanted to see if a Bacchetta really did steer like a helicopter." My fellow classmates decided that after they learned how to fly the helicopter, they would need to see if a helicopter really did steer like a Bacchetta. To that end, I hope Scott is going to be very busy in the next several weeks teaching my fellow flight students how to ride a recumbent!

Smooth-flying-(oops,-I-mean-riding!)'ly yours,

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