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On Being the Biggest Clown in the Parade

On the Dutchess Rail Trail, just north of Page Industrial Park:

Biggest Clown in the Parade - Photo Op - 2018-06-17

Biggest Clown in the Parade – Photo Op – 2018-06-17

Ya gotta admire the confidence of anyone manipulating a kilobuck of slippery glass while looking backward over his shoulder. I’ll take a helmet camera any day, if only because it’s really conspicuous.

He’s leading a group of four riders, all on spendy carbon-fiber bikes:

Biggest Clown in the Parade - Peloton - 2018-06-17

Biggest Clown in the Parade – Peloton – 2018-06-17

Presumably they’re all smiling at the sight of a recumbent towing a trailer of garden tools topped with two bags of just-picked lettuce. I’m definitely the biggest clown in this particular parade!

I wonder how they would have reacted to a propane tank in the trailer?

We’re┬áticking along at 18 mph and, as it turned out, drafting a quintet of upright bikes is surprisingly easy. If I weren’t towing the trailer with Mary just out of sight ahead, I’d have had some fun until they decided they’d had enough.

It’s good to bring such happiness into the world …

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  1. #1 by Jason Doege on 2018-06-25 - 07:50

    Are recumbents faster?

    • #2 by Jason Doege on 2018-06-26 - 13:26

      I guess they are! https://www.icebike.org/10-reasons-a-recumbent-road-bike-is-the-best-choice/ Seems like it could make a ride into work seem reasonable.

      • #3 by RCPete on 2018-06-26 - 22:25

        Not necessarily good hill climbers, but they are a lot of fun.

        Had an experience riding with a bunch of road bikers once. With a good chance to draft, I could keep up, even with my road-tired mountain bike and panniers. Age and treachery beats (or meets, YMMV) youth and vigor every time. [grin]

      • #4 by Ed on 2018-06-27 - 14:07

        A ‘bent has enough aero advantage to let an Olde Farte like me pace fancy-bike roadies without sweating nearly as much. They’ll drop me after a good ride near my maximum effort, although most don’t get much further ahead: they’re expended, too.

        They’d wipe the road with me, because I don’t have nearly the same hill-climbing speed. On the other side, though, I own the downhills.

        Good clean fun…

        • #5 by Jason Doege on 2018-06-27 - 17:24

          I wonder if energy storage for the serious up-hills would be useful. I live in a seriously hilly place. It’s even called, “The Hill Country”. Central Texas. Probably why Lance Armstrong did so well.

          • #6 by Ed on 2018-06-27 - 20:52

            Oozing downhill just so you can ooze uphill never seemed appealing!

            And, from what I read, dope helps a lot more than hillclimbing practice sessions …

            • #7 by RCPete on 2018-06-29 - 08:25

              Greg Lemond trained around Gardnerville in Nevada. Them’s some serious hills in the Sierras; didn’t need dope, it came naturally.

            • #8 by Jason Doege on 2018-06-29 - 09:40

              Yeah, dope. It’s kinda sad but I give Lance a pass for that. If I recall, something like 24 of the 25 top riders were all shown to be doping in the time period of his successes. It’s awfully hard to be competitive if everyone is doing it and you aren’t. My opinion is that it is intrinsic to the sport and since it is nearly undetectable they ought to just accept that. Also in my opinion, since everyone was doing it, his accomplishments stand, especially in light of him doing it after recovering from testicular cancer.

            • #9 by Ed on 2018-06-29 - 11:48

              Along those lines, the Olympics could have two classes: “stock” and “unlimited”. If you fail two drug tests, positive or negative (respectively), you’re stripped of any records and never compete again.

  2. #10 by Trudi on 2018-06-25 - 08:48

    all on spendy carbon-fiber bikes:

    Aren’t recumbents even more spendy as well as a bit more weird?

    • #11 by Ed on 2018-06-25 - 14:35

      If I’m reading the logos correctly, the two Cannondales run upwards of $2.5k; I think the lead bike is a shapely Synapse at $4k. The Felt bringing up the rear has F1 Team Garmin livery and ran around $10k a few years ago.

      I can’t disagree with weird, though.

  3. #12 by Mike on 2018-06-28 - 16:13

    Jason Doege said: “I wonder if energy storage for the serious up-hills would be useful.”

    I was wondering the same thing.
    I recently had a chance to handle and experiment with a pair of 12v 20ah LiFePO4 batteries (Lithium Iron Phosphate). They also come in 24, 36 and 48 volt packages from 3ah to 40ah. They are AMAZINGLY lightweight compared to the common gell-cell or AGM battery, but expensive. I had them in hand as we were experimenting with the idea of adding batteries to a portable ham radio station… something like this: http://www.novexcomm.com/images/wa6hxm.jpg
    …essentially a portable 2-way radio station built into a airline-qualified fiberglass and aluminum case.
    He travels a lot and at times is not near an AC outlet… he commented that adding 40ah of common gell cells more than doubles the weight of the entire case.

    But back to the topic…
    I was mentally picturing an electric motor assembly that could be added to the undercarriage of a ‘bent, with the batteries mounted near enough to the motor to minimize the IR voltage drop in the cables…
    The assembly would be de-cluched for level ground, operate as a motor for uphill and as a generator while downhill. A proof-of-concept prototype could be as simple as a rubber tire on the motor shaft, and that pushing against the tread of the rear tire.

    • #13 by RCPete on 2018-06-29 - 08:29

      I’ve seen motor assist systems advertised for conventional bikes. I don’t know what it would take to adapt to a ‘bent.

  4. #14 by Olli on 2018-06-29 - 09:40

    Smooth asphalt is for city slickers…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bI9D7TbMWQ0

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