Our Rides in Words, Photos, Videos & Maps

Baco Noir

Member
Congrats on your new ride!

What is the white stuff in the background?.. you guys look like you have full ski gear! ;)

View attachment 45764
My wife said it was below 20F when we started, so yeah, the goggles help to keep the eyes from watering and the face warm in those temps.

Today was much better - in the mid 50’s - so I took a spin around a local park in normal riding gear after doing some adjustments to the controls and adding on a Spurcycle bell - that R&M horn sounds like a sick VW Bug.
 

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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I've had enough!

It was to be my regular weekly commute to see my daughter that I usually take with the Vado for speed. The route is well known for me and whatever variation I take it is never more than 45 km (28 mi) round trip. Usually, riding in the Sport mode I come back home with some 14% battery level. Not today.

The temperature was ridiculously high: Over 11 C (52 F). The reported winds were to be "fresh breeze". Just after setting off I found out I had to take the winter jacket off and hide it in the pannier. Effectively my torso and arms were covered with a thin thermo-active undershirt and a windbreaker. The wind was blowing from such directions it only helped on short segments but was annoying for the whole ride out. At some point I had to turn South and it blew! Since I had to make a very short stop by the road-side, I noticed a cyclist approaching me from behind in the mirror. I started riding, Turbo Mode on against massive headwind and the guy just disappeared at distance :) It was only a 600 m segment. There was 56% battery left at the destination.

The return way was hard. I was pedalling to Błonie vigorously, riding by-the-wind. So tired there, I dropped in McDonald's for some food to invigorate me. It was only 12 km left and it turned to be a nightmare. The wind was getting stronger and stronger and it was mostly the headwind. The figures at the battery % display were dropping down at alarming rate. I realised I wouldn't make it home on the battery! Well, I switched to Eco mode and downshifted very much. Sometimes it was in the granny gear I think. The bike slowed down to 17 km/h (10.5 mph); I don't even want to think how an acoustic cyclist would have felt there. And negotiate the flyover! (That was where I was in the granny gear, come think to that).

The wind was hitting my face with the sand (good to wear goggles). Some 5 km from home I stopped again for a rest by the fire-brigade in Biskupice. Once I found myself in my town of Brwinów, I put the Sport mode on. Reaching home with 6% of the battery. (At 5%, my Vado switches the assistance off).

Never ever will I ride out if the wind exceeds 6 m/s! It is as bad as a heavy rain.
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At the last stop, desperate.

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Wind now.
 
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Cowlitz

Well-Known Member
It was 47 degrees and partly sunny so I took off on a ride from my house. I was dogless today. There are some well travelled roads that must be ridden, so a dog running along was not an option. I left the sad demon dog indoors.

Up on "the flats" I saw the resident wild turkey group hanging out. They are hard to get photos of with a point and shoot camera. They'll stay put if you stay on your bike and keep riding, but if you stop, they flee. I ended up turning my camera on and moving along on my bike like I was on a scooter--pushing along on one foot, which was very awkward, but it worked good enough to get this result. They seem bigger this year.
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Then it was onward. I was riding a roundabout way from Omak to Okanogan, and then back to Omak in a loop. I stopped in the sun after riding through a very cold and shady stretch of road. This is looking up Salmon Creek kind of towards Conconully. I went the opposite direction.
45836 By the time I got to Okanogan, my bum was protesting. I walked the bike a bit and considered stopping for a beer, but did not. 6 miles to go and I made it up Battery Sucker Hill and was home.

This is a ride I really like to do. Much of it is on barely travelled roads and about a quarter of it is on unpaved road. Plus, there is The Club to stop at for a beer and burger should you be hungry and thirsty. It don't get much better.
 

David Berry

Well-Known Member
Share the road (Brisbane-style) …
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The North Brisbane Bikeway is nearing completion but in some sections cyclists have to share the suburban streets with cars.

Simple solution: half each with the cyclists' half (on our left) catering for traffic in both directions and the motorists' half (on their left) being single lane in one direction plus parking.

To me it looks like the council's workers, after digging up the centre of the street, resurfaced the cyclists' side but left the motorists' half for a later date! Different funding sources, perhaps? The minuscule symbols and arrows (in the speckled shade just in front of my Homage) surely indicate that there is more work to be done.

If you look down the cycleway, you'll see a section painted green indicating a motor vehicle crossing which is there to alert rail commuters exiting the Queensland Rail carpark just visible amongst the trees.

Also, note the classic Queenslander house (near power pole) which is raised two metres above the ground and has a shaded veranda running around the lounge and bedrooms.

I cannot help but wonder whether the drive to get more city workers onto bikes will lead to greater acceptance of ebikes.
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
July/August. No winters at all?
P.S. You have already answered. Is it practical for you to ride the bike in the June-August months?
 

David Berry

Well-Known Member
The youngsters …
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Leschkes Road, Wanora, Queensland
I spotted this inquisitive mob on my late afternoon ride around our local area. Their paddock is the grassy one on the right of the country road photo (previous page of this thread) taken last week.

The genuine country folk amongst us might assist in identifying the breed. Brahman cross of some sort? I haven't a clue; I don't even know whether my youngsters/young steers quip is appropriate!

Time: 6.00 pm, about 30 minutes before sunset.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Werdun (not Verdun) /read: Ver-doon/

I didn't want to ride out today. The Nature decided against me. The completely unusual temperature for February, 16-17 C (62 F) and sunshine convinced me losing a ride opportunity would be a mortal sin. Mind you, the Polish name for the month "Luty" means "harsh, severe". Yes, the winds would be over 6 m/s but I made a promise to myself to ride solely in the Eco mode, so given higher outside temperature the battery might do for the 50 km (31 mi) ride with my Vado.

Where to go? I was choosing the general ride direction to be such that the wind would possible be blowing from the "beam reach" direction (to use a nautical term), the side-wind. Precisely, the southward ride direction. I checked the route planner for the total range of 50 kilometres and I found a strange name on the map: Werdun. Like the French Verdun, the place of numerous battles but why Werdun? I set my sights on that strange little village.

The Nature fooled me again. The sunshine disappeared, the temperature dropped, the wind was not only quite strong but also blowing in my face on most of the outward ride. So what? I was prepared. Warmer clothes in the pannier were ready. I actually rode in the Eco mode with short bursts of Sport or Turbo mode where absolutely necessary. Like, a large truck unable to overtake me due to a narrow road; the Turbo mode on, hard push on the pedals and the driver could easily get onto the expressway behind my back.

The inward route was a pure pleasure, as the wind was "running", the tail-wind.

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A typical small village in Central Poland. (A large village must have a church!) Potato, rye, oats, wheat-rye, milk, eggs, hay and straw for sale.

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The Winnie-The-Pooh Rd. in the Hundred Acre Wood :D I rode more unpaved and gravel roads that day than I usually do.

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Entering Werdun. The explanation of the name is simple. In 1795, Poland lost her last territories to Russia, Prussia and Austria. During Napoleonic Wars, Warsaw belonged to Prussia. The Prussian governor of Warsaw, Friedrich von Tilly became the owner of the landed estate here (since 1806). He gave the small village the name of Werdun to commemorate the Prussian victory over the French in the Battle of Verdun (1792).

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This East German Trabant is an advertisement for a used car buyer.

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Another No-Go trail. If I wanted riding such roads, I would have bought an e-MTB! I made a dramatic U-turn here. (A hunting weapon store is behind the fence),


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The empty space is a parking lot for people willing to make some walk in the neighbouring forest. Picking edible fungi and berries is a popular pastime in Poland. Only 12 km to go, half an hour downwind! 26% battery left.

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Route stats.
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I'm curious and I've searched...
Stefan does this View attachment 45888 cost you 12.50 PLN a year? Is it just paperwork or is there also some type of inspection?
Oh, it costs more. 60-220 PLN yearly. I should look up my insurance policy for my "moped" but it was something like PLN100 (USD25/y). 3 years after the purchase, I shall do the first MOT. Quite interesting how the ICE guys could do the MOT of an e-bike... The benefit of a Class 3 e-bike here is you can travel at speed on normal roads and ignore dedicated e-bike lanes, which often means faster speeds (of course, you cannot ignore bike ban if it exists). It was a big pleasure for me to be able to do a very fast ride downhill from Warsaw City Center over the Poniatowski Bridge, George Washington Avenue all the way to Grochów on one of recent Saturdays. I hit 47 km/h reaching the National Stadium. It is the safest to do Warsaw rides on Sundays when the traffic is almost non-existent there.

Some anecdote from my youth! I got the first real bicycle, a heavy steel folder bike Romet Flaming when I was 10. At that time, kids were not controlled in their spare time as long as the school grades were good. That let me learn Warsaw by riding her streets and roads, and the traffic was very low back there in 1970s. Once, I rode on the side-walk down Tamka and was stopped by a policeman (they were called "Citizen Militia" at those times). The guy asked "Is riding a side-walk allowed?" -- "No, I don't think so" -- "Do you want me to remove the valves from your tyres to teach you a lesson?" -- "Please don't" -- "Hit the road, then!" :D He taught me the lesson. I got used to the city traffic from that time. The only nasty situation was when I was 18 and rode on the side-walk with my moped, policemen actually removed the valves; that hurt!

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8 km (5 mi) in 20 minutes (including stops at the traffic lights). (32 mins is predicted for an acoustic bike). There are hardly any bike lanes on that route.

Climbed Maisie's Peak this afternoon for an outstanding panoramic view of the SF Bay Area.
Thank you for sharing the photos @FlatSix911! I love to navigate Google Maps to see where Forum members do their rides.
 
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Readytoride

Well-Known Member
A serene, unplanned midafternoon ride yesterday that was preceded by an unprecedented rise in the temps to 52°f (11°c). The temperature rise came as a pleasant surprise, and the siren call of my bike in the garage was loud enough for me to hear throughout the house.

I did have to promise to be back in time for dinner, this being hubby's 73 birthday to which he had plans to grill a nice steak, and already had his favorite recipe for crabcakes made and ready to bake. I left him to play with his newest Kindle Fire (his sole requested present to replace his older Kindle), while I hopped on the bike and took off down the gravel roads.

This was the first time I've been back on my bike since I got dual flats a week ago 11 miles into my ride. My poor husband, still ensconced on the couch with a cold, had been pressed into service as my SAG (Support and Gear) to come pick up both me and my crippled bike roadside - which he graciously did with alacrity and sympathy. Later, at the bike shop, where it was found that both tubes had suffered several fatal pinprick punctures (of a source still unfathomable) I was told that I was quite fortunate that, for the miles I've ridden all these many years, these were the first flats I've ever had.

Yes, tell that to the annoyed me standing roadside, looking down in helpless disgust at two pancake tires that had even prevented me from walking said bike the short 4 miles it would have taken to get home. No, I had to call for a ride and be rescued. How embarrassing.

Now with two new tubes, my fully vetted bike was ready to roll.

This was my scenery for the next 10 miles.

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I deliberately took my time, not hurrying. My intent was to see what my preferred cadence was (turns out it is anywhere from 49 to 59, depending upon whether I was riding on the flat or on the hills). Other than that, it was simply nice to be on the bike, quietly pedaling along, easily slaloming around the inevitable and varying groups of winter grown potholes, watching for signs of wildlife, and admiring the long view of the many, many old wealthy and land rich estates along the way that only show their distant faces in the nakedness of winter.

I watched with interest my varied cadence, waved happily at the three adventuresome motocylists who had passed me along the way on the gravel roads, waved happily at three other "out to enjoy the peaceful roads" cyclists that I passed as well, and in between the rare encounters with my own species, I let the solitude of the road fill my mind and dictate my relaxed, slow speed.

It is funny to realize how up close and personal one's surroundings become when one is riding on a bike. Everything is so close, filling one's view, near enough almost to touch in passing. A closeness that one doesn't experience in the isolation of a car. The air, the sounds, the smells - all are so intimate and enveloping. It sets the mind to musing and self reflection, building a cathartic mood in symphony with the landscape.

In short, it fills every sense with unparelled calm and peace.

As the slow gentle and exceptionally lovely 10 mile gravel road journey came to an end, it was time to follow the loop swinging back towards home via the paved roads. The views now moved by at a quicker, more modern pace, and a colorful collection of cars and trucks ducked around and past me and my slower bike, politely giving me wide berth so as to not leave me bobbing in the wake of their rushing air. Several times I swung into the mouth of a convenient driveway to yield the road to a much larger, always appreciative, vehicle that I felt deserved to have the lane for the few seconds it would take to pass me. It was never a problem for me - I had no agenda other than to take my time and enjoy the ride.

I was still studying my cadence, watching how the road skillfully found the sweet spot that offered both rhythm and speed in a pleasing configuration, and then, at the most inopportune moments, rudely interrupting the synchronous flow by abruptly stopping to pick up road litter

Still, those moments of interrupting my cadence study netted a clean roadway in my rear view mirror, and the admiration of one young motorist who stopped his handsome debadged superturbo older Mustang to personally thank me for my anti-litter efforts as I emptied the collected contents of my panniers into one of the several official VDOT orange litter bags I had strategically placed enroute for just such a reason. I thought the motorist's admiration of my efforts was very sweet, and told him so. He made my day, and I certainly hope I made his as well. It is so welcoming to share a road with people who enjoy seeing nature uncluttered by random discarded reminders of passing and past humanity.

There were no current potholes on the paved road as the road crews had been out a week or so prior to fill any tire damaging obstructions with fresh asphalt. But as I cruised along I did notice the lesser, more insidious assault of both Mother Nature's unpredictable weather, and the volume of heavy vehicles, on the roadbed - a widespread spiderweb of heavy cracks in the older blacktop that signaled a soon-to-be expansive rise in the number of potholes waiting to appear. And all those prebirth potholes were right in my travel side of the road. This did not bode well for the coming springtime traffic. Especially for me as I was already dodging those preemptive potholes more frequently than I had expected. Ah,well. My bike is nimble enough to scoot around any craters that would give a motorist pause.

And thus I rolled along, mile after mile faithfully following the undulating road as it weaved its way through the countryside on a ribbon of black. I noticed the warm afternoon was now a thing of the past. The temperature in the final miles had stuttered, stumbled and taken a free fall from 52°f back down into the more approprite 40°f daytime wintertime cold. It was not a problem for me, snuggled warmly in my thick winter ski jacket. A smart clothing decision I had made at the warm start of the ride that was greatly appreciated by the cold end.

I turned down my street and cruised the final mile home. I had just received a call from hubby who was already grilling his birthday steak and ready to put the crab cakes in the oven as soon as I returned, so my imminent homecoming was about to kick off the evening's celebration with a good dinner and conversation.

No better way to end a lovely afternoon's 21 mile bike ride. And no flats, either!

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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
t is funny to realize how up close and personal one's surroundings become when one is riding on a bike. Everything is so close, filling one's view, near enough almost to touch in passing. A closeness that one doesn't experience in the isolation of a car. The air, the sounds, the smells - all are so intimate and enveloping. It sets the mind to musing and self reflection, building a cathartic mood in symphony with the landscape.

In short, it fills every sense with unparelled calm and peace.
I love reading your short stories, @Readytoride!

When visiting my daughter on Sundays, I might drive a car. A banal 20 km distance takes 30 minutes one way and is terribly boring. The same 2 x 20 km ride takes two hours but it is so enjoyable!