Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cycling in Copenhagen

We're in Copenhagen for the Velomobile Seminar (posts to follow), but also spending a few days biking around the city. Here's where we rode on Sunday, October 18:

Bike route 338766 - powered by Bikemap

The tour took us from our hotel, the Quality Airport Hotel Dan across the island of Amanger, where the Copenhagen Airport is located, to the Vestvolden bike path, then down through the city center and back to the hotel, a 30-mile loop.

We had rented a Winther trike, which weighs almost 100 pounds but carries just about anything you might want to transport. It's meant for carrying two children; we easily brought along a picnic lunch, camera gear, rain clothing, and some tools. The trike came from Copenhagen Bike-Rental, which supports bike-building and repair projects in Africa. We had a small-wheeled folding bike with us, but for this ride on mixed surfaces, we rented a conventional three-speed bike from the hotel.

The Vestvolden bike route follows an old line of fortifications from the 1800's. When advances in warfare made them useless, the system was abandoned, and it has been turned into a park. Much of the bike route is asphalt, but there are unpaved sections, and one bridge is accessible only for 2-wheelers. The small photo shows the trike and bike in front of one of the old forts.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hundred-mile rides have a special allure. I've done eight of them now:
9/11/04 - 100 miles in a Cab-Bike, around 16 hours
9/11/05 - 100 miles on a combination of bikes, including 7 on a 1959 Raleigh 3-speed
9/10/06 - 100 miles mostly in the rain, on a Greenspeed GTO trike. Again, around 16 hours
9/9/07 - 50.8 miles on a double-delta Greenspeed Anura / Hase Kettwiesel trike tandem, then 40.2 miles on my old LWB (long-wheelbase recumbent) Osell; another 15-hour ride.
7/4/08 - tandem century on the Anura / Kettwiesel tandem.
8/8/08 - 105 miles on the Anura / Kettwiesel tandem as the third day of a 250-mile ride; this one took a bit over 12 hours.
9/7/08 - 100 miles on my Osell LWB.
9/11/09 - 104 miles, with the first fifty on the Anura and 54 on my Osell LWB.

My time was under 10 hours for the 100 miles, for an average speed (including rest stops) of 10.4 mph.

Most people who post reports of their century rides have completed them in less than 9 hours, and a lot of riders finish in less than half of my best time. I choose flat routes on local bike paths, loop back to home to change bikes and/or clothes, and -- until this year -- take generous rest breaks.

The century rides started with the realization that my September 11 birthday had lost a lot of its fun value after the terrorist attacks, and I needed to find a different way to celebrate.

Even with the slow times and the easy routes, the accomplishment feels good. And there's always the hope of finishing with a better time next year.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Fourth of July

We're just back from a 534-mile ride on a 2-trike tandem. We started in northeastern Wisconsin, up by the Michigan border, and rode with the GRABAAWR group along the Wisconsin River as far as Baraboo. At that point, we broke off and followed the 400, Elroy-Sparta, and LaCrosse River trails to LaCrosse, on the Minnesota border.

Today was the Fourth of July, and I rode a 5-trike tandem in the Edina Fourth of July Parade. Two of the other riders couldn't have participated without an option like this -- one was blind, and the other is in her 80's. The other rider carried a puppy on his lap -- not something you could do on a regular bike!

The title bar links to a video clip of several kids taking a ride after the parade.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ice Bike Racing - 2009 version

The Minnesota Human-Powered Vehicle Association's 18th Annual Ice Bike Races drew a small enough crowd that I was able to win my class. (No other women showed up -- the only way I ever win these things.) Temperatures hovered just below zero Fahrenheit (minus 18 C), and the ice was rough. It had rained a few times early in the season, ruining the surfaces of most area lakes. Nonetheless, we had a little group of loyal ice bikers and a few spectators when we met on Medicine Lake, just west of Minneapolis. I rode a Greenspeed GTO recumbent trike this year, but the overall winning times were put in by riders on conventional 2-wheelers.