Monday, December 1, 2008

COMPLAIN, COMPLAIN, COMPLAIN: A bit of sunshine.

As I review my blogs of recent weeks the most constant theme is "Oh! My aching back". What can I say. It still is a struggle. I start therapy Wednesday and am optimistic of rapid improvement.

As if the back ache wasn't enough, I managed to catch Julie's cold which cost her a week of work and a trip to the doctor. Agreeing with the opinion that with a doctor you can get over a cold in a week, otherwise it takes seven days, I so far have not gone to the doctor. Still have a few days to go but am improving.

Although I am unable to ride my trike, I am still excited about making my cross country trip starting two months from today. Today was a great day! I ordered a lot of new toys.

The most important new toy was the axel for the trainer. That will allow me to ride the trike inside during this terrible weather. It is such a simple, and at only $7.95 including shipping, a most inexpensive item. Mark assures me that I can install it myself. We'll find out later in the week. It would, of course, be better to actually ride up hills but with the trainer I can simulate doing just that. (Thanks Mark)

The most fun to order was my two new panniers. My son recommended Arkel panniers. He owns two complete sets. Arkel makes a T60 pannier specifically for recumbent trikes. Against Todd's advice, I did not order that pannier. I ordered the slightly smaller (3,660 vs 3,300) T54 panniers. From lessons learned in back packing, I will probably carry a bit less weight than Todd does so the size will not be important. The panniers he recommended, for the most part, are big, open bags while the bags I ordered has no less than 16 separate pockets. I like that.

Crossing the southwest deserts will probably be hot and dry but Texas, the coastal states and Florida will have it's share of rainy days. Therefore, I ordered rain covers for both bags. In addition to when it is raining they will keep my bags clean on the wet roads following the rains. No small thing is their bright, yellow color. Being seen by traffic is very important.

On the T54 panniers are two tube shapped bags. One is for my sleeping mattress. They make a small, water proof bag specifically for the mattress. With the mattress in this bag it will make it easy to put the matress in the tube and give me a dry bed. An important consideration.

Utah Recumbent Bike Shoppe makes a small commuter bag specifically for a Terra Trike. It fits neatly in the unused space under and right behind the seat. It has holders for two water bottles and I'll probably use it for my pump, tools and spare tubes. Duh, I may have a few flats! I hope it is a few. HaHa.

Last, but most exciting of all, I ordered my maps from the Adventure Cycling Association. I have wanted those maps so badly. I have put off ordering them hoping that they will be fully updated with all the many changes. Don't know that this will be true. Although it wasn't quite due yet, I also paid my dues and renewed my ACA membership.Boaters always whine that "A boat is a hole in the water into which you pour money" and as a man who owns four boats, I agree that's the truth. A boat by no stretch of the imagination, however, compares to the cost of a bicycle. Julie and I once took an $8,000 cruise. The cost of that cruise and this crossing will be comparable. Of course it was only a ten day cruise and this will be nearly a three month event. The luxury level "may" also be a bit different!

If one thinks, however, that a person just gets on a bike and spins the pedals for free: Stinking Thinking! Doesn't use any gasoline but there are costs. Julie makes my phone calls and I tallied up the costs as she placed the orders today. The bottom line on just this one of many orders was $651.20. That figure will not be a suprise to any bikers. And, while this total may seem insignificant to someone still working, coming from retirement income it represents real money. Thanks to the Good Lord, and 43 years of dedicated work, it is doable.

An old Irish Blessing:

Sure and,
May you have the joy that's due you,
May the years be gracious to you,
May a blue sky smile above you,
and may the Lord have mercy on you.


God Bless!

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