Changing of the Guard

Those who own recumbents know transporting a velo-couche is not an easy task.   Our requirement of hauling them inside a small sized vehicle makes it even harder.  Very few vehicles can meet our criteria of being compact and have the required inside storage space for two recumbent bicycles.

honda1
We’re gonna miss you!

These Recumbents are 72 inches from nose to tail.  Even the trusty Honda requires some  manipulation to get them safely anchored in the back.  Unfortunately, father time has taken its toll on the Element and we are forced to find a vehicle more reliable for cross country jaunts.  The plan was find another Element. Finding a low mileage Honda for sale was futile and of course buying a new one is not possible. Honda unwisely stopped production of the Element circa 2013.    So what to do? After searching far and wide we think we have it.  The Ram Promaster City Wagon appears to be the solution.  This five passenger compact wagon is just the ticket.

ramrear2

The three rear passenger seats in the raised position.

The US market is most familiar with the Ram Promaster City commercial mini-van.  Ram distinguishes  between the commercial and passenger vehicles by using the designation Promaster City Van and Promaster City Wagon.  In Europe the Wagon is a well known passenger vehicle called the Fiat Doblo.

ramrear

Bring seats into up position load/latch and ready to roll in under two minutes.  No fuss, no muss.

For those one-day outings we fold up the rear seats, roll the bikes in, and with two quick straps you and the two recumbent battleships are on their way.  All in under two minutes.  No wheel removal, no scratch mark worries, no fuss.  Just Stow and go, but don’t forget the shoes and helmet.  We like our bikes inside the vehicle as it provides more protection from the elements than outside bike racks.  This protects them from those summertime thunderstorms that send high pressure water into all the bikes sealed bearings and strips the lubrication from the chain. It also keeps them from the omni present road grime that is always swirling in the rear draft of vehicles or blocking turn signal indicators.

However, we are hoping the real benefit for the wagon will shine through during our much anticipated multi-day adventures.  This is when we completely remove the back seats allowing for even more space.  Enough space for the gear, bikes, and at the same time allow sleeping space for two.  Another option is to attach our Saris bike rack to the tow hitch.  This way when we get to our destination we can take the bikes out, lock them in the rack, and have enough room inside the Wagon for a suite.  What more could the avid cyclists wish for?  I don’t know but this is our plan and we are sticking to it.  We can only hope we get the reliability that our Honda Element gave us.  Only the future can tell.

roadram

Photo copied from Ram.com

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Seven

Just like that. Stage Seven and the the Tour of Watopia is over. Did Daisy crack the top ten in her category? We don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see how the rest of the field finishes in today’s’ events. Does it matter? No , not really. It only matters that she gave it a go, in which case she surely did. Our Tour ended yesterday and a fine yesterday it was. The boo-birds will remind us it isn’t real. A fake ride, in a fake place, on a fake mountain, with fake numbers they’ll sing. Our legs will not listen as they only know they were strapped to some modern day torture device and were then ripped apart. To the legs it was very , very real.tow

Stage Seven lived up to the hype. Daisy made it to the Goat with a personal best and proceeded to fly to the radio tower and back down to the islands. Now she had to turn around and do it one more time and the Tour of Watopia would be complete. This is when the magnitude of the task became evident. There were no longer large groups to hop a ride on. The event was now strung out with mostly individual riders left to go it alone. Over the top she went and the tour was spent. I came rolling in six and a half minutes later. I’ll get her next time. When is the next time? Oh boy, I can’t wait.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tour of Watopia, is it enough?

2017-10-27_10154811Here we are.  One more stage to go and Daisy and  I have completed Zwifts Tour of Watopia.  A seven stage multi day virtual event  175 mile long and 17,613 feet of climbing.  The event covers the most challenging Watopia courses and although not as intimidating as 750 miles from Paris to Brest and back it is done with a lot more intensity than a typical randonneur ride. 2018-04-02_1423052-1024x564 At least the intensity  Team Moose uses during randonneur rides.  These Zwift tours are ridden with thousands of other riders  while the stats and standing are provided for all to see.  Needless to say these rides are a lot of fun as well as a physical challenge.  But, the question comes , Will  these events and Zwift races provide the PBP conditioning needed when the plan is to  only ride outdoors for the RUSA qualifying series?  What do others think?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Race Day

Are you ready?  Are you really ready?  Is the old training route around town or watching blue lines on the trainer becoming a bit stale?   Are you looking for something new to grab you, rip your legs off, cause your heart rate to go through the roof and then spit you out like a wasted rag doll?  If yes, then Zwift Racing just might be what you’re looking for.  It may not be a replacement for racing outdoors but it will change the way you look at indoor  exercise and boost that FTP while you’re at it.

nathan

Nathan Guerra one of the top Commentators of Zwift Racing

Racing on Zwift is growing well beyond expectations.  Average everyday Joes and Janes to the hard core competitor are finding races to suit their abilities.  These races are only getting bigger and well beyond what this post can cover.  There are races going on every day and almost around the clock.  It is easy to get involved. Pick one of the four brackets of A, B, C, and D. you belong and find a race in the Zwift events site you like.  Check youtube under Zwift Racing for more details.  There are many videos to get you effortlessly into the game.

These races have matured to the point where leagues such as the Cyclogent Virtual Racing World Cup.  compete in zones around the world.  The zone winners advance to the finals where they complete live side by side for monetary prizes.  The CVR World Cup League spans eight zones across the globe with races every three hours on Tuesdays (UTC).  CVR weekly races can be seen here every Tuesday on live streams every 3 hours starting at 2 am EST. KISS broadcasts their Thursday races at 2 pm and 8 pm EST races. Broadcasts appear at Youtube Zwift Community Live .  Listen below as Nathan Guerra, a professional mountain bike racer and one the top announcers in the Zwift community calls a recent European Kiss Series Crit.

Meanwhile Virtual racing is well on the way to establishing its bonafides as a legitimate eSport.   Give ZR a try.  You say your’re not into racing.  This may be true but remember this isn’t real racing.  It’s Zwift Racing and many, many riders who never considered entering an outdoor race are finding Zwift Racing an absolute blast adding another fitness and funness level to their cycling  lifestyle.  Don’t be a grumpy bug give ZR a hug.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s been six months

Wow, This little experiment has been running for six months.  Very little to almost no outdoor riding while Team Moose spent most of our time in the Zwift world. So how is this Zwift thing going?  It is interesting to say the least.    We did do a few outdoor rides.

ctcflorida

Start of the Florida Coast to Coast

A RUSA 200K in January and a RUSA 300K in February.  In March we headed to Florida to explore their Coast to Coast bike trail.  But, after 50 miles we packed up and went home from sheer boredom.  Urban trails are nice if you live near one and are looking for a short jaunt.  For us they have way too much urban congestion to get those endorphins flowing.

We will be outdoors more this year, the RUSA 300K Georgia Summer Solstice in June, and still plan to do a self supported 400K along the Natchez Trace soonest.  Other than this , the rest of the year will be cycling time on Zwift as we have clearly become immersed into the Zwift World.  We plan a complete RUSA SR Series in 2019.  Those who know us are surprised we could have made the switch like we we have and honestly I’m am just as surprised until you take a good look at Zwift in its entirety.

zrace Zwift offers being able to ride any time safely and with anybody who happens to be part of the Zwift community.  Bob, a former riding buddy, now lives hundreds of miles away but we get together for rides on a regular basis through Zwift.  This week we joined Bob in a group ride that climbed the ominous  Alpe du Zwift.  This monster climb was a blast.  We chatted with Bob via Discord during the ride.  The you tube blurb below is Connie and I cheering Bob to the finish.  It was almost like the good old days.

The true value of Zwift is about connecting riders to other riders whether it be through racing, workouts, or leisurely cruising.  The social aspects of Zwift  allow riders to make new friends and keep the old.  Zwift is also convenient.  Those with young children or  an elderly parent can schedule their rides around family demands. Mommy flats need not terminate a ride, merely postpone it.

Zwift has  a variety of different communities.  You will find social groups based on age, ability, terrain, gender, etc. , riding at whatever pace you like. There are groups offering training programs or you can do your own.  And, of course,  there is formal racing.  Racing is the glitz and glamour of Zwift but it’s not the main attraction.  I’ll cover racing in a future blog.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Casa de Zwift

blog 2018

Zwifting and the PBP

Team Moose did it.   Our cycling hobby has moved from riding totally outside  to over 95 percent in the comfort of the indoors.  We are now officially Zwiftaholics.    Now the question becomes is it enough that we train exclusively indoors and enter only the outside PBP qualifiers to successfully complete the Paris Brest Paris?   Time will tell.

blue ice

Talk to friends around the globe.  No problem with Discord.

wall

Rise and shout the Mooses are out!

 

fans

The Moose playground open year round 24/7. Rain sleet or snow just don’t drop the connection.

_MG_5844-3

One and One. 2019 breaks the tie.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Drops me like a rock

hardysebringframedThe year 2016 was a very good year for Team Moose and 2017 is picking up right where 2016 left off.  The virtual training by Zwift is really paying off.  It has added some new paZaz into our cycling routine.  Not only has the fun factor jumped six notches it is definitely giving both of us a boost in performance. Sorry boys and girls but those of you disregarding the value of the Zwift community are really missing out.

This season started with the Sebring 12 hour race in sunny Sebring Florida.   Certainly, one of my favorites.   This is a well-done race. Not only does it have a strong showing of recumbents but the live car racing on the track adds an additional “go fast” atmosphere not found in other bike races.

Two weeks before Sebring Cruzbike diwindtunneld some wind tunnel testing on the  Vendetta and shared this data with their customers.  As a result, lots of Cruzbikes showed up with all kinds of weird looking attachments on their bikes.  We cyclists are a strange bunch. Heck, one guy showed up without any handlebars.  Sebring continues to be a Cruzbike reunion of sorts.    We saw many old friends and met new ones, and some we had only known through the internet.  I hope this Cruzbike tradition continues to flourish.  We plan on being back next year.  You can read the official Cruzbike Sebring report here and the wind tunnel testing here.

conie-lift-copy-600frameRegarding the personal side of the race, Team Moose set their Sebring goal for Ms. Daisy to get over 200 miles.   We pulled out all the stops to make this happen; and yes she did.  Perhaps the biggest ploy was switching bikes and letting her race on my Vendetta.  For all you skeptics out there, the Vendetta is truly a special bike and it is verifiably fast.  By changing bikes she was able to see an immediate increase in speed.  Oh, and now without an ounce of remorse, she can drop me like a rock.  It gets worse.  She has claimed the vendetta as hers!  I can’t even sit on it.  That is another story, so back to Sebring. Even with getting lost, crashing, and losing track of the time she crushed the 200-mile goal with 210 miles setting a course record in her age group.  Now she is talking 230three-on-threeframe+ miles for next year. Next year?  I thought this was a one time deal and then she would go back to quilting!  Two lessons learned.  One, “Sebring good.” Number two, be very, very careful to who you lend your Cruzbike out to because you might not see it again.

Moving along to this weekend. We participated in our local Biking Bleckley Metric Century along with good friend and Sebring racer Tiger Paw.  This was a fun ride and of course we were feeling  our oats and a bit froggy after Sebring so theTrio of Cruzbikes had a blast riding briskly around this years breezy course watching the diamond frame ridercruzbike3frames struggle in the wind. Even the dogs left us alone. Some days chickens; some days feathers says the fox.  So far it’s been chicken days for Team Moose.salute Keeping our fingers crossed.  In recumbentland we stand united. —-Go Cruzbike.—–

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments