05 Apr 2014, 17:40

TiAero - Liberty Hill Spokes 'n Spurs

Can you spot the lonely recumbent at the start of the Libery Hill Spokes ’n Spurs? The only other recumbent at the ride (Robyn’s trike) is behind the camera.

The Libery Hill Spokes ’n Spurs ride had about 600 riders. Only two recumbents.


Here in the picture I’m talking to a couple on a Co-Motion tandem. They had S & S couplers on the tandem so that it can be taken apart for traveling on airlines. They have been all over the world traveling and riding their tandem. France, Italy, etc. I asked them if they where going to be at the GASP ride beginning of May and they said they were going to be in Little Rock AR for a big tandem rally - somewhere close to 100 tandems.

They said last week they were at the Salado ride (Salado Smoke’n Spokes) and there was a guy, totally wrapped up in a recumbent, to where the only thing you could see was his head sticking out the top. They said he was fast and that they paced him for about 25 miles and then he just took off like the turbo kicked in and they never saw him again.

I said - hey, that was me! I remember riding with you guys for a long ways until we turned into a pretty good headwind and then everyone else slowed down pretty significantly.

Fourteen miles for Robyn on the Expedition and 43.5 miles for me on the Bacchetta Ti-Aero. Here we are at the 8:30am start looking pretty chipper. The post ride picture for me is probably not very consumable.


The ride was gorgeous! The wild flowers were blooming all over. It was a little overcast for most of the morning but never rained. The route wound through the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge.

A lot more climbing than I thought there would be - and definitely a lot more climbing than I’m currently used to.


Bacchetta TiAero

This was only my second ride (ever) on the Bacchetta TiAero. It is a really nice, solid, bike. Light weight and mechanically simple (compared to my other recumbents) I’ll probably use this as my travel bike.

The front of the TiAero has a Schlumpf high-speed-drive on the front. I don’t even use the front derailleur. (I guess one day I should try the front derailleur to make sure it actually works?)

With the Schlumpf high-speed-drive you just tap the center pin with your heal on one side and now you have a whole new higher gear range. Tap the other side with your heel and you are back to the lower range gears.


Ride Strategy

Well I’m definitely having some issues. Because the bike is new to me, I started at the very back of the first pack. It took me about 10 minutes of riding to become accustomed to the feel of the bike and then I was able to ‘put the hammer down’. Unfortunately, because of all the climbing I burned out pretty quickly. I caught the tandem by the second second rest stop, but by the third rest stop (mile marker 22) I was already pretty burned out. I decided to change from the 62.6 mile route to the 44 mile route and after stretching some at the 22 mile rest stop I immediately started heading back on the 44 mile route.

It was tough heading back. Headwind most of the way and my legs semi-cramping for a long ways. I easy peddled as much as possible and walked a couple of step hills. Finally, two miles from the finish my right leg totally cramped up. I did manage to get unclipped just before it happened but could not get off the bike. I must have sat there on the bike with my right leg sticking straight out for about ten minutes before I could message the leg enough to loosen it such that I could get off the bike without falling over. I walked off the cramp in around 300 yards and then got back on the bike and easy peddled the last two miles of the ride.


Bike Fit

I think the cramping issues are caused by being overweight (again) and bike fit. I’m going to have to work on both.

Next Week

I’m probably going to do the Prude Ranch ride on the F-40 in west Texas with Carl Murdock. Should be a blast - A 36 miles one way ride downhill about 2,000 feet. Carl says on the F-40 we should be averaging 30+ mph the whole way.