Saturday, November 10, 2007

Beta Volae!

When I felt the right edge of the Volae seat back ridging my spine bones, I thought it was me. I'm just not sitting straight. When my right leg kept swiping the steering column, I thought it was me, or maybe I had just not noticed that the steering column was a little off and just needed to be centered up.

But when I got home and dropped the kickstand and it wouldn't support the bike, I thought: "Well, it's not me. It's the bike! But what is it about the bike?? Then I saw. The rear half of the frame had rotated 15-20 degrees to the left! YIKES. How do you ride across the country on a trick bike??

Talked to the good folks at the Hostel Shoppe the next day. Neither they nor I knew I would be a beta tester, but twas true. So, a new frame is in the making for me with an added stop bolt, akin to something Vision had used successfully on some of their recumbents. The downside? Well, it will take 6 weeks to ready the new frame. The upside? That's easy. A problem solved (hopefully) and some cement to help hold my current frame solid while I wait for the new one.

The moral of this story? If you're planning some long distance cycling and you buy a new bike, make sure you have enough cush time in case your frame twists, or something akin to that. :)

Friday, November 02, 2007

Voila Volae

At long last! Joanne and I took our little road trip to Stevens Point, WI to the Hostel Shoppe the last weekend in October to pick up my Volae Century. It isn't coupled but can be taken apart and put in a traditional bike crate for shipping/transport. I actually bought the first such bike! That's kinda cool. I had known for about a year that Rolf Garthus had this bike in the design wing. When Bike Friday's recumbent called the Sat 'R Day didn't work out for me, I was hopeful that the "take apart" Volae would fill the bill for the semi-solo, semi-self-contained riding I have planned for 2008 to Georgia, Eugene, OR, and NH.

I test rode the bike at the Recumbent Rally last August and it seemed like it would be a winner. But, there was waiting to be done. Waiting for it to get manufactured, painted, and assembled by Waterford and the Hostel Shoppe, and I had to get back from the foiled Cochise Ride.

Joanne was curious if a recumbent trike might be a possibility for her. From the moment we walked into the Shoppe the Anura (the yellow trike above) seemed to have her name on it. We went out to dinner that night and tried to come up with a list of deal breakers and all we could come up with was a list of needed accessories for it.

I headed out in the early morning dark to test ride my new bike ( I call it Glimmer because its paint coat is called Iron Glimmer and to distinguish it from my P-38 which I call Green; you guessed it, because it is green) Joanne met me in Amherst for breakfast. We worked some more on reasons not to buy the Anura but our list of accessories just kept growing.

After brekfast Joanne headed back to the Shoppe, and I continued my ride. By the time I got back to the Shoppe the Anura was rigged with all the accessories and Joanne was ready to ride.

Now let me tell you how amazing my Nissan Quest is. It handedly got the 81" long Anura and my Volae (in its packing crate) in my van. There was room for another bike, two more passengers and all of our luggage. Pretty good rig, I'd say.