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21 Feb 2017, 04:51

DF-XL - First ride this year

Got the new front boom clamps installed and adjusted. Replaced the Vector power meter batteries and went for a short ride. Easily got up to 30 mph on the neighborhood streets.

This photo was taken facing West on Tuesday, February 21st 2017 at 10:45am CST. bordered


Where the picture(s) were taken:

27 Oct 2015, 09:38

DFXL - 66 miles @ 20.7 mph

Beautiful day for a ride today! 66 miles @ 20.7 mph. Although, I did stop for a nice leisurely breakfast.

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On my bike ride today, just south of Salado, I saw an Osprey! Huge bird. Stopped and took as good a picture as I could with my cell phone. Saw it fly away and chase / pester some buzzards!

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bordered http://www.strava.com/activities/421397606

26 Oct 2015, 09:38

DFXL - Hard fought KOM

Early spring 2014, with a wicked tailwind, Ron Swift rode his Carbent recumbent the 70 miles from Waco (Lorena), along the IH35 access road, to the Round Rock Outlet malls averaging 23.3 mph and capturing pretty much every Strava KOM along the way.

For the last year and a half I’ve been trying to retake the one Strava KOM close to Georgetown that Ron set - 1.6 miles at 31.1 mph - I’ve never even come close.

Well, today the perfect storm happened.

Within the last couple of weeks the access road has been repaved and is now glass smooth for the 1.6 mile segment, I have the latest, fastest, velomobile the IntercityBikes DF-XL, my legs are starting to get in pretty good shape and, finally, today, there was a forecasted 16 mph tailwind. Warming up with a 20 mile route to the start, I quickly accelerated to the segment, and with the slight downhill, and the wind pushing the velo, my speed varied from the low 30s to the low 40s.

Success - new KOM - 1.6 miles at 35.4 mph. Gonna be awhile before I lose that one.

bordered http://www.strava.com/activities/420783235

20 Oct 2015, 09:25

DFXL - 50 miles @ 20.5 mph!

Beautiful day for a ride this morning.

Accomplished one of my goals I’ve had for the last couple of years - Ride 50 miles at greater than 20 mph average!


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17 Oct 2015, 08:46

DFXL - RUSA 300k Ride Report (DNF)

Well, today was not my day. Throughly enjoyed the ride, but about mile 80 I started getting very weary and decided to shorten the ride to “just over 100 miles.


I knew that 300k (200 miles) was going to be quite a stretch for me so I easy peddled the first 50 miles all the way to Rockdale. Coast as much as possible, easy peddle up hills, try to never touch the brakes.

Here we are getting ready to ride again after stopping at the Rockdale control.

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Lots of wild live leaving Rockdale.

First, a Bobcat. Big, but not very pretty being fresh road kill. Don’t usually see Bobcats on the side of the road.

Next was this huge hawk. Flying right next to me about 20 feet in the air and just pacing my speed - about 18 mph. Beautiful to see one close up flying along side the velo.


Then a little while later, at 20 mph a tarantula came flying up and into the opening of the velo and landed on my right shoulder.

It was huge. All I could see out of the corner of my eye was lots of legs and hair.

No matter how big my eyes widen, or how much I tried to tilt my head to the left to lengthen my neck, that big o’tarantula stayed right there on the front of my shoulder right next to my face.

As fast as I could I reached across my body with my left hand and flicked it off my right shoulder towards the rear. I never saw it again. It could still be in the back of the velo as far as I know.

Later, texting Robyn after the ride she texts: “We want to see the film!” (from the video camera I usually have on).

I respond, “The only film is a brown spot on the bottom of my shorts. Damn that thing was big.”.


It was a very fast group today. Even though I pushed it some between mile 50 to mile 80 (Rockdale to Bartlett) the group was always right on my tail. I stopped to take a picture of the country side and the group quickly caught me.

This rider, Julie, was in Austin for a convention and decided to rent a bike from Performance Sports Shop and ride the 300k with us. She is a member with the Davis rando club in CA and said they have thousands of members. Hill Country Rando have about 12 riders that usually show up.

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I always like riding through downtown Bartlett. Very picturesque.

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When getting back into the velo after the Bartlett rest stop I notice that my left foot is caddywonked and when peddling my left knee is slanted inwards quite a bit.

Of course I scrap up my ankle trying to straighten out shoe. I finally get it good enough to ride with but it is still an irritant.

After the ride, back at the minivan, I finally decide to take a look at my cleats. Hmmm, missing a screw, and definitely twisted to the side.

You know, the screw has been missing for awhile. A few days ago I found the rectangle shaped cleat washer on the garage floor next to the velo. Did not know what it was and just picked it up and set it aside. I’ll pay more attention next time to lose random parts. I’ll also start using medium lock-tight on the cleat screws.

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Had a great time with a good group of people on the ride. The weather was great and the scenery was incredible.

I probably need to do a few more RUSA 200Ks and build up my endurance before trying a 300k again.


Strava:

bordered http://www.strava.com/activities/415300047


Garmin:

bordered http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/930962276

03 Oct 2015, 08:39

DFXL - RUSA 200k Ride Report

Bright and early Satuday morning at 6:45 am I arrive at the starting location for my third RUSA ride. The 200k Rock Dale and Ice route. That’s 129 miles. My longest ride to day was a 105 mile ride a couple of years ago.

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We start at Oh-dark-thirty (ie 7am). Since I’ve ridden a couple of rides at night before I have most of the night riding challenges solved. Clear riding glasses, night riding lights, headlamp in case of flat tire or mechanical, etc..

The DFXL came with a tiny little battery which I have since upgrade to four times the size. This one should last the whole ride (which it did at 10 hours for the whole ride).

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I’m riding with a new group so hang out at the rear of the pack riding the brakes most of the time.

Soon the sun is peaking over the horizon. It is going to be a beautiful day!

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Pretty quickly we get to the first control stop in Granger. Everybody gets their RUSA cards stamped and refills all their water bottles because the next control is 30 some miles on down the road.

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Jeff says “Hey, it is pretty downhill towards Rockdale, go on ahead if you want to.” I stay with the group for a little while until we hit a big downhill run. Then I stop ridding the brakes and quickly coast out of site in front of the group.


Sky’s were clear and the morning beautiful. What scenery.

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After leaving Rockday (50 mile down) Jeff takes some great pictures of the group riding. Me bringing up the rear as usual.

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A good picture of me in the DF.

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Mechanical Problems

Leaving Jarrell heading towards Florence there is a section of road that is tore up and just really rough gravel / caliche. What a mess. I is a little down hill so I’m just coasting along about 20 mph for the whole mile long section trying not to get my teeth shaken out. Once I get back out of the construction section and back on the road for awhile I’m just getting up to cruising speed when my peddles lock up.

Can’t peddle forward or backward. I’m on a bad section of road with no shoulder at all. If I pull off the road I know I’ll roll the velo so I stop as close to the edge of the road as I dare and get out of the velo.

Everyone else in the group slows down and asks if I need any help. I tell them to keep going it is probably just a thrown chain, I’ll put it back on and catch with them shortly.

Well it turned out to be much more than just a thrown chain.

The rough road had bounce the two things (head lamps) I did not put into the neoprene lunch bags into the rear of the velo and got one of them wrapped up into the derailleur. Crammed in there wrapped tighter than you could ever imagine. I pulled, I yanked, I cussed, I tried everything I could think of. Finally I’m looking at my phone contemplating calling my son to come rescue me. 100 miles already done and only 29 more miles to go and I’m going to have to DNF (Did-Not-Finish).

Well, I decided that if I’m going to DNF and get a ride anyway it would not hurt to really pull so hard that I might break the derailleur. I grab the head lamp strap and just gradually pull harder and harder until BOOM it comes loose. A little more gentler pulling the the strap is un-wound from the derailleur and the chain and cassette is running freely again.

I leave the rear cover off the velo and start easy peddling. Everything seems to be working fine. It is 15 miles to the next control, wonder if I can catch the group again?

While when I arrive at the next control in Andice the group is still there and resting. I have enough time to get my card stamped, use the rest room and refill by water bottle.

Then we are off again for the last 15 miles of the 200k.


Everybody finishes up pretty much at the same time.

Here is a great picture of us all at the finish.

Thanks Peter for organizing and putting this ride on!

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Strava:

bordered http://www.strava.com/activities/405698706


Garmin:

bordered http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/917510749

30 Sep 2015, 03:34

DFXL - No road noise!

The DF is all carbon fiber. After several rides I’ve come to the conclusion that it is best to try and make the ride as quiet as possible.

Without any extra items in the DF (like sun screen, tool pouch, water bottle, etc.) riding in the DF is really quiet. If you have anything loose in the DF it will bounce around on the carbon fiber with a musical drum like effect creating a tremendous amount of noise.

So today under took an effort to sound proof anything I want to carry in the DF.

I wrapped the air pump in the yoga mat I put on the ground when rolling the DF on it’s side. After several mechanicals I have yet to use the yoga mat, I guess I’ll only need it if I have to change the rear tire.


I bought a couple of neoprene Built lunch pouches to put small things into. The neoprene cushions the objects and absorbers any noise.

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Finally my DF is quite again - even on rough chip-seal roads.

29 Sep 2015, 22:29

DFXL - Another training ride at 21.6 mph (video)

Got the gearing mostly fixed the other day. Went out for a nice training ride today.

Beautiful day, clear, sunny, mild temps.

Felt pretty good to pushed pretty hard. 41.53 miles at 21.6 mph.

Nice video of a long coasting downhill 30+ mph in the DF.


Strava:

bordered http://www.strava.com/activities/402769528


Garmin:

bordered http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/913537417

26 Sep 2015, 22:28

DFXL - Liberty Hill Rip Roaring Ride Report

Decided this weekend to do the Liberty Hill Rip Roaring Ride with my friends Brian and Susan Buckmaster.

Start of the ride:

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Just wanted an easy day so opted for the 50 mile route. Beautiful day, not much climbing but a couple of really steep hills. One steep hill I got out and pushed the velo up. Wasn’t very long.

About three miles from the finish, flying downhill towards a stop sign and right hand turn, I down shift too fast at 30+ mph and throw the chain of the front chainring, front idler and back cassette. Of course I discover these one at a time getting in and out of the velo several times to discover the cause of the hard peddling and all the grinding noise.

After about 15 minutes I can’t seem to get things corrected so I’m sitting next to the rode and Brian and Susan catch up with me and ask if I’m ok. I give Brian my minivan keys and tell him to please come rescue me when he finishes the ride.

After sitting there a couple of more minutes I decide to give it one more try and put the velo into a lower gear and crawl to the finish. Before starting back I texted Brian and indicated that I could probably make it back on my own.

About 15 minutes later I roll into the finish glad to be done.

Tomorrow I’ll have to figure out what is happening with the gearing.


Afterwards Robyn and her sister Liz meet Brian, Susan and I at Dalia’s in Liberty Hill for lunch. Nice time, good company, good conversation and good food. All in all a great day!


Strava:

bordered http://www.strava.com/activities/400788193


Garmin:

bordered http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/910644191

23 Sep 2015, 20:02

DFXL - First training ride. Fast. Fast. Fast.

Did my normal training route this morning for the first time in the DF-XL.

My fastest time ever on this route which I have done many times - 26.4 miles at 22.7 mph, no wind, mild 73 degrees temps.

Three Strava KOMs - I already had two of them prior with the Quest. Garmin Vector 2 Power peddles so the power required for this run.

I really like this KOM. Most of the prior runs were with the Quest. The very last one was my first try in the DF-XL. Of course I really pushed it hard today.

Almost three minutes at 35 mph.

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Strava:

bordered http://www.strava.com/activities/397807838


Garmin:

bordered http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/906614156