I haven’t exactly been able to get out on the open road lately to go riding which is kind of a bummer for me because I love riding on the open road, guess that is why I decided to try this ‘On The Road’ adventure. There’s also another reason for me not getting out on the road. My nephew has had some vehicle problems and so he has borrowed his father’s truck which means that I have to ride locally because I still need to spend big $$$ to get my truck repaired (remember need to replace front bushings and everything that goes with it). Under normal circumstances I might have had money to do the repair but I decided that it was high time that I got my other vehicle up and running instead of paying for it to be sitting in my driveway taking up space.
So vehicle #2 is now in the shop and I was told that it would be a minimum of $400 to get it fixed, only when I called after a couple of weeks of not hearing from them, the mechanic said it would be $1,600 because I didn’t tell him it wasn’t running. Hm-mm, I guess he didn’t understand that it has been sitting dead and not moving in my driveway for 3 years must mean something different to him. So I told him to forget it and to just get the vehicle running so it could pass inspection and then I can register it for the year. Once I get my car running I will try to start making the longer drives out with my trike.
So I’m still doing my miles in a local city, Castroville, TX which is nice but boring because although it is one of my favorite routes because of the lack of traffic it is also one of the most boring routes because there are a lot of fields and some homes along the way. Not a lot of interesting views to see but I have at least noticed a few changes to the homes in the area as I have been riding this route for several years.
Now that I’ve finished, I’ve racked up over 31 miles which I can add onto my course map. I really hate that I’m not able to get out there and ride on the open road but I’m not anxious to rent a vehicle for at least 2 days, carefully place a bike rack on it so that I can secure Serenity onto the back and then rush on the drive out there and rush back on the drive. Now that I think about it, I really should rent it for 3 days, so when I leave work on a Friday I can get to the location, get some sleep at my starting point and then get up and ride my trike for the day. Either drive back or else stay there another night which means spending more money and since I’m not made of money I really have to pinch the pennies.
There is another big reason that I have to watch my expenses and that is because I have DragonCon coming up and that is where and when I spend the majority of my vacation time for the year. But that’s a dragon of a different color and I’ll talk about it later.
I have been trying to come up with a cheap cover for my tricycle because each time that I have done rides that last more than 2 hours, which is almost all of my rides, I come away sunburn. Not just mildly sunburned on my face either. I come home so darn sunburned in the face that I have started peeling and it is not usual for me to sunburn much less peel which means that the sun is no longer my friend and I do not have solar batteries under my skin which was what my parents used to believe when I was a kid because I seemed so full of energy when I would play in the sun. But that was then and now I burn faster than a piece of bacon on a hot griddle. M-m-m-m, bacon!!!!
So while I’m waiting to get the use of my brother’s truck I decided to do something about how easily I’ve been sun burning my face. So I’ve been toying around with the idea of making a Bimini cover for my trike because when I wrote to some fellow trike riders about needing a cover and of course they all recommended Da Brim but one of my fellow riders from my former riding group said that the hat really didn’t work very well for his wife or for him. So then a rider put me in contact with a guy who makes these covers and I was told that they weren’t cheap; they weren’t kidding. This guy wanted $400 for a cover and I really don’t have that much money to spare for a cover to keep me from getting sunburned. So I searched the Internet and found a couple of suggestions about how to make a cover for myself.
Yet I was only in the early stages of trying to make the cover and was doing too much work which only frustrated me so I put it aside and decided to try something so simple that I can’t believe that I didn’t try it before this time. I have a skull that has the band that diverts the sweat from my forehead area but I wear it so low that I had a sunburn where it didn’t cover a part of my forehead. It looked like I had a baseball cap on and that I was playing softball or in a tournament and then it hit me. Why don’t I try putting a ball cap on underneath my helmet and try to use that to divert the sun, it would be cheaper and easier to wear rather than trying to make a cover for my trike.
So this ride which was done in Castroville was the perfect opportunity for me to test things out and it partially worked. I say only partially works because I wasn’t wearing it when I first started the ride but had to stop after about 5 miles and put the cap on and then I had to sit it just right on my head and under my helmet which took some time. I only did an okay job because I had to pull it so low down on my forehead that it felt a little weird but it kept most of the sun out of my eyes and I could go on riding.
I got a little better on my time and it finally was under 3 hours for the 31 mile ride but I should be doing it in a faster time. Putting time factors aside, I found that I was dying from the heat and I had even gotten on the road before 8 in the morning. It was so hot that I was having problems breathing correctly and I started thinking of how bad out of shape I had gotten and felt horrible. But the bad feeling came in the last 6 miles of the ride and with the exception of the last 3/4 mile the ride was a pain to do.
Having finished my ride and got across the busy streets, thank you pedestrian cross walk, and managed to ride over to my truck. I practically burnt my hands as I tried to lower the tailgate of my truck, basically every place I touched on my truck burned me, so this didn’t help. I was still struggling to catch my breath and felt as if the heat was about to do me in and it was only in the mid 90’s so this was very confusing to me. I’ve had extreme heat frustration and don’t remember much about it but thankfully the guy I was supposed to have gone out with that night was a paramedic so he spent the night taking care of me. I couldn’t think straight and I was beginning to think that I was having another heat frustration episode and then I did something really smart, I started peeling off items, gloves, cap, hat, helmet, rolling up my sunblock leggings and then I took off my sunblock sleeves. Once I removed the sleeves that was when I realized that this was what was making me feel out of sorts.
I quickly put the cool water from my CamelBak over my wrists and bend of my elbow and was able to cool down quickly. I learned a very important lesson and that was that I needed to do something different concerning the sun coming down on my arms because the sunblock sleeves were also holding in the heat. Not a good situation.
So now I need to do something to keep my temperature cooler so I’m not looking for another way to protect my arms from the sun. I have some Magellan shirts with SPF 30 in the material but I don’t want to wear a long sleeve shirt over another shirt because I know that I will overheat so finding an alternative to keep the sun from beating down on me is something I need to start working on a bit more.
Right now in the works I’m trying to DIY my own Bimini cover for my trike but I keep on coming across some problems. I’ve got ideas running through my head and I’ve started buying things to make the cover but I come across some problems with it comes to how to secure the top onto my trike, but that is just one of the problems I’m working on.
Ideas to work on:
DIY Bimini Cover
Looser fitting sunblock sleeves
Order side mount kit so I can more readily get to sunblock lotion
Wake up earlier to ride earlier
The last idea is probably going to be the hardest one for me to follow up on because working the evening shift, I’ve gotten used to sleeping in but with this Texas heat really warming things up I need to get out sooner so I can get off of the road.
My goal is to get stronger and build up some endurance to the heat as I ride so soon I can say:
“I’m a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar.” Only unlike Wash I don’t plan to end up splattered on a windshield or by something pointy. Sorry Wash, but I still love ya.