"Freedom and responsibility we speak of easily, nearly always without recognition of the iron courage required to make them effective in our lives." j. glenn gray

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

6 Weeks Countdown

Still going strong here. Had a big week last week. The new TerraTrike came in on Thursday. Shout out to Toby Nunn at Soldiers' Angels! Thank you so much for the trike! It is really sweet! It's a limited edition TerraTrike called the Snake Skin. It has a really cool paint scheme of diamondback rattlesnake... even on the rims! I customized it a little to suit my needs and riding level by changing to the BB7 disc brakes, SRAM bar-end shifters, SRAM Force rear derailleur, SRAM OG990 11-28 cassette and in the front FSA K-Force triple with Shimano Ultegra triple front derailleur. I also swapped out the Schwalbe Marathon Supremes for Schwalbe Marathon Race folding tires as they have better rubber compound and are easy to store with a folding bead. I rode it around the block a couple of times and then Mick helped me fine tune it and mount the rack and headrest. The headrest does not work real great with the trunk bag but I can live with it.

Friday we picked up our new-to-us truck to replace the Jeep Grand Cherokee that was flooded in April. Shout out to Craig Durrett at Durrett Motor Company! The truck is really awesome! Craig did a great job and found us exactly what we were looking for: an '06 Chevy Colorado, crew cab, Z-71, 4x4 with 275hp 5 cylinder and an automatic. It has a 2.5" lift on it with brand new custom wheels and Pathfinder all terrain tires. It also has leather interior and full power, including heated seats, which are super nice when my back gets to hurting really bad. It is a pretty blue with taupe interior (nothing like having a dirt-colored interior to hide... the dirt!). It took several weeks to find but Craig did right by us. His people also did a great job of finding us the best financing in the business. This is the 3rd vehicle in 6 months that we have purchased from Durrett Motor Co. and Craig has been right on the money (literally) with each vehicle. Thanks, Craig and the hard working folks at Durrett Motor Co.

Saturday I jumped on the new trike for my maiden voyage. I spun up 55 miles in a little over 4.5 hours. The position on the trike causes me to use some different muscles than I usually do on my other bikes, obviously which I have very few of as I was a little sore on Sunday from the long initial run (my glutes and lower back were tight but a little stretching and some water and I was right back in the running). The trunk bag held my 2L camelbak bladder and 2 20oz insulated bottles. I hung an additional 1L camelbak around the seat. For the first time since January I had ice cold water for the entire ride, which is pretty spectacular considering it was 102 degrees Saturday with a heat index of around 108! My time was considerably longer on the trike as it is not nearly as fast as my SuperSix or even my t1, but it sure makes up for it in comfort. I had absolutely no problems with my butt, back, neck or arms. The ride was smooth and comfy. The components all worked together flawlessly even when the operator had trouble figuring things out once in a while.

I enjoyed the ride very much especially the looks, waves and smiles from motorists along the way. For the first time ever I saw motorists sit at an intersection and watch me pass. While not entirely for safety reasons I'm sure, it still worked in my benefit as motorists would sit and wait for me just to see what the heck I was riding. As I would go by they would smile and point and wave. I think I'm going to like riding this trike a whole bunch.

I've got some pictures, I just haven't had time to upload them. I'll try to get them up by the weekend. Thanks for coming by the site to check on me and the status of the Southwest Express Recumbent Bicycle Ride from Houston, TX to New York, NY. I'll keep training and we'll be ready by 11 August to tackle this mission for Wounded Warrior Project!