Saturday, August 11, 2007

Back in the saddle. Again!

Thanks to the wonderful weather we've had here in the south my attempts to get back to riding have faltered. That combined with trying to find a house have given me another excuse not to ride. This morning however I got up off my lazy but and rode. It was a short ride and a hot ride. I've been out of the saddle way too long. I felt that familiar burn just above my knees and that tightness in my gut from constantly lifting my legs. It felt good though.

The steering dampener Kenny helped me weld worked great. The new rear derailluer from the LBS is smooth as glass. No problems down shifting nor constant clicking from the alignment problems. Still need to do a little bit of adjusting on the derailluer to get the shift numbers aligned but no major problem there. I did however run into a problem again with the main chain. It jumped at least 5 times. The tensioner is all the way down but if I remove a link from the chain it's too tight. I think it's time I finally installed the partial derailluer on the main chain to adjust tension. This will put me one step closer to setting up front so I can chain gears which means I might can go to a larger sprocket on the intermediate to get some better top end.

After riding today I definitely need to install the water bottle I picked up from that kit I got for christmas. I put the computer on but the battery didn't last long and the mount didn't work. I'll figure out a place to mount the water bottle and get one on Ty's bike to if we're going to start riding in this heat. Once I have a few rides under my belt I'm going to jump into extending the rides much sooner. I rode too long before on the same route not really getting much out of the ride. Yes, I'm out of shape. Yes, I need to start out slow. But, and this is a big but (no jokes, please) I need to extend the rides to get the heart rate elevated longer for better cardio. The longer I'm riding the more it will help me loose weight.

In our house hunting one of the first things I was looking for after a garage was a good area to ride. Some of the houses we were interested in were great others...not so great. A couple I would need to either push my bike or load it up to go ride. The loading it up would be a problem. The pushing not so much of a problem. A few places have had some really huge hills and that could be a problem but it's something I would have to work through. I haven't given up on a two wheel recumbent ride. I have some ideas based on a few production models and a few from Atomic Zombie. Those guys have some fantastic ideas. Hopefully after the trying to buy a house thing has calmed down and we find something I can get something going on that front. Until then we'll see. I apologize to anyone reading this about the length of this post but it's been awhile and I had a little bit to say. Hopefully in the next few weeks I can post more and expand on my progress riding. Until then.....Keep Pedaling!!!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Axle Woes!

Axle broke again last week. The case hardened bolt I used was sheared off. Picked up another and only lasted one ride. Decided to go with something bigger but that was going to work since I had destroyed the coupler ( sawed off end of 3pc crank). Cut off the last remaining 3pc crank arm I had to set it back up but realized I still was having a problem keeping it together.
After several days of helping dad with the porch. Well we poured the sidewalk today then went to work on the bike this afternoon. We first were going to try and sleeve the coupler and try that. Dad to the rescue. Dad saw an old steering sector off an old truck under a bench. We tried to find the other piece to the steering coupler but no luck. Luckily for me we have a frame from an old International Traveler that still had the sector on with the complete coupler. I'm going to get a buddy of mine to Tig weld the steering coupler to the crank arm end. I've cleaned out the inside so that the nut can go in with a socket to secure it to the bottom bracket on that side. The other side I'm going to try and grind down the axle enough to fit it in the other half of the steering coupler. I'll have to cut the axle to fit but if this works it may take care of a lot of my problem in this area. I'll try to get some pictures up soon of this adaptation.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Riding again

Have been trying to ride more this week but haven't had much luck. Between some weather and a stomach thing. I have been getting some exercise. Have been helping dad with extending his front porch. Last weekend I didn't do much riding but I did work all day Saturday cutting grass and building the porch. Still having problem with shifting. The right side jumped inside the first gear so I have to adjust that. The left side has seemed to stop moving correctly. I need to break down and replace the rear derailuers. That will probably be the only way to correct any of this.

Something I have noticed with this bike is that I'm getting a constant sit up action going. I've noticed that I can feel it in my stomach. This is great. I'll have to check with other recumbent riders in the bike forum to see if they get this too.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Rode some this week. Felt good. Last weekend I didn't have much of a chance since Sarah and I were at the races all weekend. Three days of NASCAR. Did get a fair amount of exercise Saturday and Sunday sitting in turn three and walking back to the truck around at turn 1. Took Monday off to recover.

Problems again this week with chain management. Dropped off the right rear wheel on the inside of 1st gear. Dropped the main chain a couple of times. I've got to mount that derailuer assembly to act as my chain tensioner.

No rides this weekend. Helped dad with the front porch construction. Sealed the porch and dug up mom's azailas. Today knocked out a spot in the driveway for one of the 4x4's. Twelve inches deep concrete to go through. They don't make driveways like that anymore. Later.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Riding Again!!

Got my lazy %@* out and started riding this week. Its staying lighter longer now so it makes it a little easier. I bought another toggle switch for my new headlights so I can separate them but haven't installed it yet. This was the third night I've rode this week. My left-hand brake lever popped the cable out so I had to fix that. Unfortunately my axle repair from before hasn't held. I don't know what I'm going to do yet but have a few ideas. My one thought is to make a new axle and reposition everything so it won't pull back.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Long time no blog

Howdy! Its been a while but I'm back. With the time change, mechanical problems and a busy holiday season I'm ready to start riding again. I've rode a few times some with problems some without. One of my biggest problems since the time change was by the time I get home and get my bike out it's pretty dark when Tyler and I get home. Thanks to this website I was able to construct two lights for around $20. I'm using two MR11 35watt spot bulbs for illumination. I painted the housings with black bumper paint to make them blend in. Once connected I found that with the two 35watt bulbs it's quite bright. I may have to put a flood bulb in one and the spot in the other. This will mean two switches for the lights but thats not a problem. I may have to drop back to a 20watt spot if I can find one. Compared to my VW backup lights these are really bright. This could be what I have been looking for. The coming days will determine how well this will work. I didn't get pictures with the lights on but I'll try when I go riding again.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ride again

Got the chain fixed saturday and adjusted some on my derailuers. Didn't ride saturday or sunday but finally got to ride tonight. I felt great to ride and my riding buddy was with me. We are definately going to have to do something about lights on both our bikes. I don't think even with another 24W bulb it will help enough. I think I'm going to try building a light that I found that uses a MR11 or MR16 Halogen bulb. It's design was better than the first one I found. The first one the bulb was glued in. This one uses a rubber groment to hold the bulb in. We'll see how it goes this week. Here's some pictures of the light setup.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Haven't posted in a while. Rode last Friday and then Sunday morning. The new axle fix is great. Was coming up the hill in front of the house and down shifted then heard a pop and the bike swung to the left. At first I thought the chain had jumped but then I heard something behind me. I quickly realized the sound behind me was the chain. I snapped a link right off. I believe the problem is in the warped rear derailuer. I wasn't able to work on it yesterday due to a power steering leak on my truck. I'm going to try and get up there and correct the problem tomorrow night.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Axle repair

Made repairs to the main axle. PIcked up a cobalt drill bit to drill through the case hardened bottom bracket. My first attempt I only drilled into the tip. I hand to clean the old axle adapter (cutoff crank piece) then put back together. Did not get the two pieces to join together correctly so I pulled the two together then drilled hole for tension pin. Reconnected everything and looks good. Will try to get some pictures in the next couple of days. Had the Thanksgiving turkey in the shop smoking so wasn't able to work in there. I'm still looking for some led replacement lights for the front. The light is good but doesn't provide enough narrow beam but has wide path visibility. Have found a better version of the MR11 halogen setup. If led's don't work I'll look into that.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Drivetrain problems

Got my second front light in this week and after the downpour we had on thursday I finally got the light mounted and wiring ran. I had a problem with my axle slipping on Wed. and thought I had it back together. Unfortunately yesterday on my ride I learned that wasn't the case. When I got to the elementary school I noticed that the axle was about to pull out. The carrier bearing and sprocket on the other side of the bike kept it from sliding out but this still presents a problem. I going to try and correct this by repositioning the axle and drill a whole through the collar (former crank mount hole) and the bottom bracket piece. This will be fun due to the nature of the material making up the bottom bracket, case hardend steel.

With that aside the new light is tremendously brighter and will help a great deal but I still might have to change the bulbs in the old light and possibly both to an led setup. I 've also looked at Luxeon bulbs as a possible solution. We'll see. Today I hope to get the axle problem resolved and get another ride in. I didn't realize how much I really enjoyed riding until I didn't do it for a few days.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Remounted seat

The seat is mount back on the bike. The base was a little farther forward than I expected but it looks good. There is room for adjustment on the rear post so it can be tilted back. The extrended left handle bar is painted and looks good. I went ahead and pulled the right side off and clean it up and painted it. I finally received my strobe light for the rear. Fed-Ex thoughtfully delivered in across the street at my granddad's sitting on the front step. The light is bright and will provide the visual alert I'm looking for. I made the mount for the strobe and battery. I ran some of the wire and tried to test but may have a blown bulb in my front light. My time was eaten up some today due to work. I rotate being on-call for work and had some drawn out calls today. It's kind of fun sometimes being on the phone talking with one of our customers and having my welding hood on welding. I'll get the wires run tomorrow and hopefully go for a ride. Today's weather was nasty so it was ok. I'll try to get pictures tomorrow of the mounted strobe.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Completed seat mount

The new seat mount is complete. The new mount and the increased area beneath the seat for possible storage. Still haven't received any of my lights yet. I expected my strobe to come in today but nothing. I painted the seat mount areas. The pictures don't show it but I also painted the lower seat mount and some of the struts. I just wanted to get something on some of this to keep the rust down. I know at some point I will need to paint the rest of the bare metal but that's for another day.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Seat mount change

Made the move to move the seat mount forward. Cut out the old mount and fabbed up the new mount. Have everything but the vertical support tied in. Still have to mount the rear supports for the seat but its marked off and ready. The seat will be slightly higher and show allow more clearance when leaning forward. Also I spread the front runners apart allowing more area under the seat. If I have to add a second battery for the lights I'll have the room. If not I should be about to use the unused area for storage (ie., tools & etc.). Will try to have pictures tomorrow.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Lights and modification

Got the first light mounted and temporarily ran some wiring. Mounted one switch and placed a battery for a test fit. I'm planning on moving the seat forward slightly and will modify the frame struts. I'm going to make a new seat mount and cut out the current seat struts from the back and make longer ones. I plan to move the seat forward by 2-3 inches. This will give me more area under the seat to mount the battery or possibly (I hope not) a second battery.