Thursday, July 12, 2018

BOB Mods for Poochie

What you see above are some tests I ran to see how I might connect some closed cell foam sections to serve as a liner for the BOB trailer.  Patchy will need some protection from the steel mesh of the base, not to mention debris, dirt and dust from the road.  I researched having a custom liner built, but the $400 tag was too rich for this hound--and Patchy can't earn any scratch on his own.  So I suspected some Gorilla Tape might be useful.  With only the adhesive to hold the two pieces, I pulled until failure.  Impressive grip.  But I needed to engineer a right angle connection where the sides would meet the base. Enter a man's two favorite things:  Duct tape AND zip ties.  Ah, the possibilities.  With a layer of Gorilla Tape, a punch, and some ties, I figured I could make a pretty tough connection.  I was right.  Below are some pics of the process.  Jodi had the idea of clips to hold the sides on, although I might go with zip ties there, too.  We'll see how it holds up during the training runs.

Torn connection is with zip tie alone.  Add the tape = bomber.

The finished product.  Two zippered pockets will be attached on either side of the wheel to fully enclose "the chariot."  I'll need to configure some tie-downs for Patchy.  We're fairly certain he's too ADHD to simply sit on his own as we go flying down the road.

In other news, I've received the frame extensions from Utah Trikes and ordered a new wheel for Jodi's Catrike Road.  On considering the width of the tire I've purchased for my Expedition (2.7 in.), I realized that my existing rim would not do the trick.  So I added an extra wheel to that order from the awesome recumbent shop Bent Up Cycles.  Dana, the owner, has been my main drug--er--bike dealer since I first got into recumbents.  He also builds top-notch, high performance carbon fiber recumbents, too.  Thanks, Dana!  I'm gonna need cassettes and, almost certainly, new racks for both trikes.  Prep for this trek is not coming cheap.  Thank goodness Jodi is working.  These will be some killer off-road Catrikes when we're done.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Extended Training Ride

Took the hound and the Expedition back up to the training area, determined this time to gain some more altitude.  I was encouraged.  We hit the road early and were riding by about 6:30AM, 30+ pounds in the panniers, a couple of tents lashed to the BOB.  I climbed steadily and pulled through one extended patch of soft sand, but only for a hundred yards or so, then it was back in the saddle and cranking.  This is a generally rough track and so provides a steady challenge.  I knew from my previous outing that the climbing was steep, but that gentle graph above doesn't do the riding justice.  Except for a few early patches, most of the riding is 9% or better, the last mile about 10% or better.  Ugh!  Ugh!  However, with the ultra-low gearing of the Schlumpf Mtn. Drive, I was able to keep cranking and make steady progress.  I made it to the turn-around point in an hour and fifteen minutes with what amounted to a touring load--or at least pretty close to it.  I could see having another ten pounds or so, especially when hauling extra water.  If I can gain over 1,000 ft. in just over an hour, the Continental Divide is in trouble, that's all I'm saying. 

Only about 400 ft. or so of gain beyond my turnaround point is a very nice camping spot next to a creek, and the road along that stretch is good, unlike the initial climb.  On the menu then is an overnight, although I may wait until it cools off so I can start later in the day.  I could make it pretty easily now, but that would mean arriving in camp at about 8AM, so an afternoon start, camp, and morning run back down makes more sense.  Lovely country up there.

Patchy, of course, was a maniac, covering more than twice my distance and twice my speed.  What a hound.