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09 Aug 2013, 07:42

F-40 First road ride

Well, I could not stand it any longer, this morning I got up early and took the F-40 in the minivan out to a remote section of smooth, wide road to see what it could do!

Without even trying hard, and riding the brakes a lot, I got a personal best on a Strava segment and became number 7 on the KOM for a 5.2 mile segment at 23.3 mph.

Still learning how to ride this thing. Winds were a steady at 13 mph so I just had to watch for breaks in the trees where the wind would accelerate through. Kept hitting the brakes every time the speed went above 25 mph - which was often.

I did not like the windshield - it is coming off. I did not like the helmet mounted mirror - time to mount one to the fairing.

With the fairing on the bike is BIG. I have not yet found a quick, convenient method of getting it into and out of the minivan.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/355930593

http://app.strava.com/activities/73356528


F-40 First road ride


F-40 First road ride

07 Aug 2013, 07:42

F-40 Another training day

Fully enclosed on the F-40

Another F-40 training day in the neighborhood. Winds 14 mph gusting to 19 mph. Finally got the boom length dialed in. Camelbak installed and hydration is good. Now I need to get some rear view mirrors installed.

Switched from bicycle shorts to running shorts - much more comfortable and cooler.

Garmin Connect http://connect.garmin.com/activity/354943083

06 Aug 2013, 07:42

F-40 First training ride

Learning to ride F-40

How do you learn to ride a bike where you cannot see the peddles or the road right in front of you? Clip the spandex fairing partially open so that you can see your feet. Rode this way today for the first couple of miles around the neighborhood. Starting, stopping, clipping and unclipping.

After a couple of miles I zipped up the sides and rode with just the top open so that I could still see my feet. A couple of more miles and then I buttoned it completely up and rode the last four miles streamlined.

Pretty challenging today: Winds 16 mph gusting to 22 mph. Really glad I read the F-40 User’s Manual and now I understand what they mean when they say ‘stick your elbow out on the windward side when a gust hits’. When going through the neighborhood I’d be going slightly downhill riding the brakes around 26-29 mph with houses hiding the wind then POW, open area and the wind would gust me from the side pushing the bike 4 to 8 inches sideways. Once I could anticipate when the wind could possibly hit I’d already have my elbow out pretty much negating any wind gust.

There is no sensation of speed. On the straight and level, easy peddling, the bike is doing 15-17 mph. With the least little bit of decline the bike quickly accelerates to mid 20s. There is no wind noise. I kept riding the brakes every downhill and downwind because of the wind gusting.

People stop and stare. Not two minutes riding and I hear: “Wow, that is awesome looking!”. People take their earbuds out and start talking to me as soon as I get close. Lots of attention.

I’m going to need a few more training rides in the gusting wind before I’m ready for the open road.

Garmin Connect http://connect.garmin.com/activity/354469174

04 Aug 2013, 07:42

F-40 Tour de Jalapeno - Ride Report

Well, today was my first, and maybe my last, charity ride on the Lightning P-38 (because tomorrow it’ll be an F-40 streamliner)!

Start of Tour de Jalapeno

I was a little nervous because I had only ridden the P-38 10 miles yesterday on an around the neighborhood shakedown/familiarization cruise.

Three hours and twelve minutes later I felt very comfortable after the 50 miles Tour de Jalapeño.

Although the rides starts relatively close to San Marcos TX it is actually in the middle of nowhere and the ride itself is very nice on little traveled roads making for a very scenic and relaxing ride. There were about 350 riders and I was the only recumbent. My speed was not all that great ,but out of about 70 people that rode the 50 miler (the longest route for the ride), I’d say only about 5 to 10 finished ahead of me. A lot of cars were still in the parking lot when I finished.

Lots of questions about the bike. It seems like the P-38 looks closer to an upright bike (than the Musashi or Baron) so there were more questions.

After I had finished the race (and used the facilities) a medium aged guy rides up on his high-end racing bike decked out in his full racing kit and says “How fast is that thing” with a little bit of attitude. I reply: “Well I just finished the 50 miler a few moments ago, did you do the 50 miler?”. He said “Yes”. I reply: “Well I guess it is just a little bit faster than your bike then.”

The P-38 (F-40) came with 175 mm cranks on the front. I mean, they’re huge. It is like having a windmill on the front of the bike. You have to be pretty careful of heal strike when turning. Fortunately riding the Musashi and Baron the last couple of years has ingrained in me to extend the inside leg when turning and I have not had any problems with the P-38 and turning. The 175 mm cranks however came in real handy today.

I was approaching a stop sign from about 40 yards away. In front of me were about 15 uprights. A policeman was stopping traffic allowing for a blow through at the right hand turn at the stop sign. The last 20 yards to the stop sign were extremely uphill and then again another 2-3 feet extreme rise to make the right hand turn up onto a freshly paved road. Having done this scenario on many rides before I’m edging towards the middle/left side of the road to take the corner very wide were the grade is the least steep. I’d built up some speed so that I could easily coast through the corner. Suddenly the lead upright rider can’t peddle any more, clipped in they fall over taking out another 3 riders before the other riders and come to a stop. The hill is so steep two more people can’t get unclipped and stable enough before they also end up on the ground. By this time I’m only a few feet away and I’ve slowed way down to a near stop to not plow into the back of them. I’m still clipped in, I’m probably going to join the road rash party going on. The P-38 turns on a dime and I cut over to the left hand lane of on coming traffic (remember the police have stopped all on coming traffic and the lane is open). I’m still in the middle front chainring because I had built up some speed and was not expecting the upright bikes to come to a stop. Like doing a leg press I stomp on that large 175mm front crank and my butt presses against the seat back. From a near track stand the bike actually starts moving forward up the extreme incline and I swing out to the left, around the pile up and then onto the road leaving to the right. I hear everybody behind me getting up with people saying they are ok. I know they are going to hurt later.

Around the 25 mile marker I started to get cramps in my calfs. Because of my recent traveling this is the longest ride I’ve done in the last 7 weeks. I get off the bike and walk a small hill to loosen up my cramps. The rest of the ride I’m just freewheeling it to try and finish without cramping again.

I’d definitely do this ride again.

Next ride - (probably) 10 August Thrall of a Pop - Georgetown A short brevet (populaire)

Garmin Connect http://connect.garmin.com/activity/353544432

03 Aug 2013, 07:42

F-40 Picked up the P-38 from Easy Street Recumbents

Pick up P-38 from ESR

Before having the bike shop up on the fairing I decided to ride the bare F-40 as a P-38 for a couple of days to get a feel for the bike.

The P-38 is a very compact bike - fit easily into the back of the minivan.

I just cruised around the neighborhood for about 40 minutes getting used to starting, stopping, clipping and unclipping.

Very comfortable bike. So far I’m liking it better than my Musashi.

Garmin Connect http://connect.garmin.com/activity/352836085