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Archive for category Recumbent Bicycling

Excavator Family

We’re accustomed to seeing geese with goslings and turkeys with chicks around this time of year, but we didn’t realize excavators have a similar breeding season (clicky for more dots):

Excavator Family - Vassar College

Excavator Family – Vassar College

The adult seems very protective …

Spotted on the Vassar College campus, in front of the dining hall.

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Vulture Liftoff

A yummy  carcass on New Hackensack Rd near Wappinger Falls attracted a pair of vultures, one barely visible on the right just beyond Mary (clicky for more dots):

Vultures - New Hackensack Rd - 2018-08-27 - 0159

Vultures – New Hackensack Rd – 2018-08-27 – 0159

Half a second later, they’re both airborne and flapping in unison:

Vultures - New Hackensack Rd - 2018-08-27 - 0190

Vultures – New Hackensack Rd – 2018-08-27 – 0190

The one on the left swooped around the bushes and we both anticipated a collision, but it decided against returning to the carcass until we passed.

Bon appétit!

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Dutchess Rail Trail: Maloney Rd Trailhead vs. SUV

The driver gave us plenty of room, which is always nice:

Tire tracks at Maloney Trailhead - DCWWA SUV on Maloney 2018-08-20

Tire tracks at Maloney Trailhead – DCWWA SUV on Maloney 2018-08-20

But then the SUV turned into the Maloney Rd entrance to the Dutchess Rail Trail:

Tire tracks at Maloney Trailhead - DCWWA SUV entering - 2018-08-20

Tire tracks at Maloney Trailhead – DCWWA SUV entering – 2018-08-20

Which was specifically designed to exclude motor vehicles:

Tire tracks at Maloney Trailhead - DCWWA SUV tracks - 2018-08-20

Tire tracks at Maloney Trailhead – DCWWA SUV tracks – 2018-08-20

Later, I was told it’s an “allowable access” for Water Authority vehicles and, in any event, because their SUV didn’t leave the biggest ruts and tracks, they think it’s all good:

Tire tracks at Maloney Trailhead - 2018-08-20

Tire tracks at Maloney Trailhead – 2018-08-20

The ramp joins the trail at an acute angle, so the SUV required some backing & filling to get around:

Tire tracks at Maloney Trailhead - Tight Turn onto DCRT - 2018-08-20

Tire tracks at Maloney Trailhead – Tight Turn onto DCRT – 2018-08-20

Then it’s an easy drive to the water meter about 2500 feet down the trail:

Tire tracks at Maloney Trailhead - Dutchess Water Authority SUV - 2018-08-20

Tire tracks at Maloney Trailhead – Dutchess Water Authority SUV – 2018-08-20

There’s an Official Vehicle Access gate one mile south of the Maloney ramp that’s about 3800 feet from the water meter. I’m told they use the Maloney ramp to reduce the distance they drive on the rail trail; evidently, destroying the entrance Just Doesn’t Matter.

I’m trying to develop an attitude between Zen and apathy, with just enough indifference to not care when somebody tells me how wonderful things will be in the future.

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New York State Bike Route 9: Maintenance Thereof

One might expect the NYS Department of Transportation to maintain New York State Bike Route 9, a.k.a. NYS Rt 376 from Poughkeepsie to Red Oaks Mill, in a bicycle-aware manner.

One would be mistaken.

The most recent patch strip very carefully avoids the deteriorated shoulder, all the way around the curve:

Rt 376 SB patch - shoulder deterioration - marker 1111 - 2018-08-23

Rt 376 SB patch – shoulder deterioration – marker 1111 – 2018-08-23

The weeds growing in the serrated shoulder add a decorative counterpoint to the black asphalt patch in the travel lane:

Rt 376 SB patch - shoulder grass - marker 1110 - 2018-08-23

Rt 376 SB patch – shoulder grass – marker 1110 – 2018-08-23

It was a rather large repair crew:

Rt 376 Road Repair Crew - marker 1110 - 2018-08-23

Rt 376 Road Repair Crew – marker 1110 – 2018-08-23

The crew chief said they were there because “somebody wrote a letter” describing the conditions. I suppose that would be me, although after half a year it’s hard to establish causation, let alone correlation.

He also says no details of the letter reached him, which explains why they laid the patches in the travel lane, rather than repairing the conditions I described. He was adamant they were doing the best they could with the inadequate manpower, materials, and time available for the projects.

There are absolutely no requirements to consider bicyclist safety in their repairs, so laying asphalt over the shoulder never happens.

NYS DOT’s Bicycling FAQ says I should “take the lane” around that curve, due to the deteriorated shoulder, to ensure motorists pass only when it’s safe.

Whenever I offer to take a NYS DOT bureaucrat on an inspection ride along their roads, they never have the time. Of course, they don’t “work” on weekends, so they’re unwilling to join me on a pleasant ride around the area some Saturday or Sunday morning.

Just another day of bicycling along NYS DOT’s “complete streets” …

 

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Bike Helmet Mirror Mount Tightening

Almost exactly three years later, it’s time to tighten the helmet mirror mount screws:

Helmet mirror mount - bottom view - setscrew

Helmet mirror mount – bottom view – setscrew

That’s a 0.035 inch = 35 mil hex wrench, of which Eks reminds me “Any time your design requires a tiny [obscene gerund] wrench, you’re doing it wrong”.

The sequence goes like this:

  • Loosen that tiny setscrew
  • Unscrew & remove the mirror boom
  • Remove brass screw & azimuth pivot
  • Tighten screw in elevation pivot
  • Tighten tiny setscrew on elevation arc
  • Reinstall & tighten azimuth pivot
  • Reinstall mirror boom
  • Tighten tiny setscrew

Going strong after seven years!

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Gulfstream V on Final to KPOU

This corner on Maloney Rd is almost exactly one mile from the end of Hudson Valley Regional Airport Runway 24:

Maloney to KPOU map

Maloney to KPOU map

So it’s not unusual to ride under a small plane on final approach. Having a Gulfstream V fly directly overhead, however, is a real attention-getter:

Gulfstream V on final - Maloney Rd - 2018-08-26

Gulfstream V on final – Maloney Rd – 2018-08-26

What’s not at all obvious from the picture is how big a GV looks when seen directly overhead through those trees just ahead on the corner where our paths crossed. There’s a 360 ft (above sea level) hill directly on the flight path, so it’s at maybe 600 ft ASL and 400-ish ft AGL.

Thrust-reversal thunder rolled over us 50 seconds later, as we rode up the rail trail access ramp. Figuring we’re 15 sound-seconds from the strip, the GV was 30 seconds from touchdown.

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Tour Easy Daytime Running Light: First Fracture

A wind gust pushed Mary’s bike over with the daytime running light on the downward side:

Fairing Flashlight Mount - Fracture

Fairing Flashlight Mount – Fracture

Frankly, it’s better to have a cheap and easily replaceable plastic widget break, instead of something expensive and hard to find.

Because we live in the future, a replacement part was just a few hours away:

M2 - Nozzle Z Offset Recal - DRL Clamp

M2 – Nozzle Z Offset Recal – DRL Clamp

Well, a few hours after installing a replacement thermistor and recalibrating the M2, but nested repairs happen every now and again.

To the road!

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