Mileage Report 15: Half-Century and Various Issues

Yesterday I rode 51.30 miles — a “half-century”.  That’s a huge milestone, especially since I’d set riding 50 miles as a goal I’d hoped to reach by October; it’s rather amazing and wonderful to realize it in July.  The trip was not without its tribulations, though.  More about those later.  In the meantime, a few photos.

Here’s a shot, from the nearest intersection, of a local inn and restaurant which offers fine dining in an historic building.  The range of meats served almost harks back to colonial days (think boar, among other things), but I’ve eaten there, and as a non-meat-eater, was extremely surprised when my vegetarian entrée turned out to be delicious.  (Admittedly, the menu does not make pleasant reading for vegetarians, though.  You’ve been warned.)

Further on, the signpost for a Quaker school (Pre-K through 12):

And another educational institution, with a rather different religious affiliation.  This one used to be a college, but it seems as if everything is a “university” these days:

The trip, however, was marred by a couple of other issues.  First, Pegasus lost a fender to, of all things, metal fatigue, when the support strut broke off at 19.5 miles, and the fender began slapping the tire.  Here he is, by the side of the road, after I’d removed the fender entirely:

The fender is inside an insulated Trader Joe’s bag I normally carry at the bottom of Pegasus’s basket, and the protruding bits are wrapped in a microfiber towel so that they won’t be scratched by the basket (or vice-versa).  A sad sight, indeed.  Fortunately, after the man-made fender debacle of my Ann Arbor trip last fall, when I now carry a couple of wrenches in the front pack, just for occasions like this one.  This time, the bolts held perfectly:

The strut was so flimsy that it vibrated itself apart.  I’m not feeling optimistic about the other fender.  This is very much too bad.  I’d love to lose the weight of the fenders, but I regard them as a serious part of my safety gear:  it’s hard to miss all that red in the rear with those large reflectors.  Motorists seem far more inclined to see Pegasus, and smile, than to have the usual hostile reactions to cyclists.  Since I’m slow-moving, that’s a definite advantage on our narrow roads.

My milestone ride was also marred with difficulties with the chain; it popped off four times during the trip, beginning at mile 12.5.  Getting it back on the gear is a bit tedious, as is kneeling in gravel, which the process required twice, but it’s possible.  Pegasus is now on his way back into the shop.

This ride would have been impossible without Pegasus’s new switch, which extended my previous range by 15-20 miles.  On this hot day, in my present physical condition, the battery was nearly completely run down.  (The manufacturer gives the maximum battery range as 30 miles, presumably in optimum situations, which would not include the substantial hills and inclines of my county, however frequently the battery was turned off.)

The switch allows me to flip the battery on and off with no effort; I’m able to use it only when absolutely necessary.  I use it as little as possible – my goal is good health, not an easy ride —  but I could not pull what is now a 70 pound trike — a vehicle significantly more than half my own weight — up some of our hills without pedal-assist.

Today I’m walking a lot like someone who has spent too much time on a horse, which, I suppose, is pretty much what I did.  My legs weren’t particularly sore while I was actually riding, but ohh, did I feel each and every muscle once I stopped.  I have a feeling that today is going to progress in slow-motion.

51.30 miles, winds about 5.8 mph, 86 degrees, city, “rural suburban”

Total recorded mileage for season: 373.23

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