Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Oh Melo Velo and how to flip a Turtle - Ouch!

Most Wednesdays I have dinner with my Dad which means I am not available to make this ride but he was not around this week so I decided to do the Oh Melo Velo ride. I had heard about it for a long time but somehow had gotten the idea it was just for very fast riders and if you were not very fast the cyclist who did this ride wanted nothing to do with you. Well I was right and wrong. These folks do ride very fast at least most do but there were a few I could just about keep up with most of the time. What I was wrong about was that these folks were very friendly and supportive, now they were riding their own speed but did not mind that I was slower. On the way out, it is an out and back ride, I keep pretty much to the back knowing everyone would have to past me if I was near the front at the start. Those that did pass me were pleasant and most said something friendly or supportive when they passed. Not what I had expected but very nice. I do not know where I got my ideas about this ride but I was wrong. When I am able I will do it again. I of course did not know the route or most of the roads. There was a cue sheet which is fine. One very steep down hill was almost disastrous. It was steep and was an S curve. The trike would not change direction for some reason it just did not want to steer the other way than it was going, I think this was do to the front wheels losing traction at high speed when trying to turn or at least that is what it felt like. I did manage to get it to turn but I came very close to hitting a car head on. I was going about 40 miles per hour. Guess I will need to limit my down hill speed to 35 mph or less. That caused me to slow down a bit for a while. The roads were pretty good with some but not a lot of traffic. On the way back the same hill gave me trouble but this time it was climbing it. I could not get the trike to shift to the smallest chain ring and even through I was still climbing it I got really worried about how much torque I was putting into the drive train. I was climbing in the middle chain ring and am sure I could have climbed it in the small but I stopped worried about breaking something again. To date I have broken the chain seven times, bent three chain rings and broken the boom. So I pushed it half way up that hill. A number of the cyclist came by while I was doing this and again I got words of support and compassion for having to walk up the hill. Stopping the trike on the hill and then getting off of it on that hill was not easy. Pushing it up the hill was not hard, While on my way back I missed the turn from something Farm road to something Olive road but figured that out and got back on route. Later the GPS disagreed with the cue sheet or seemed to and I made another wrong turn but this one I caught at once. About this time Ed "Crash Eddie" drove up looking for me and told me I had just made a wrong turn. I told him I had figured that out and was about to turn around. I was going down a slight hill and went to make a u turn around the island in the middle of this road and I was going too fast and the road was banked the wrong way and I turned to sharp and the next thing I knew me the Turtle were on our sides sliding into the curb across the road. Ed saw the whole thing and said he was surprised how fast it happened. I must admit I was surprised also - I have made turns that shape and at that speed before - it had to do with the speed , sharpness of the turn and the bank of the road. As far as I could tell Turtle was just scratched a little and I rode her back to the car with Ed following me - it was dark now and he was concerned for me - Thanks Ed. As for me I am hurting. My elbow it bruised and cut, my leg is cut and has road rash, my shoulder and palm are sore but not cut but the worse is a hand size road rash on the side of my hip. My biggest lose was my one week old wore twice cycling shorts they were totaled. I will take a closer look at Turtle when I have some daylight but she seemed fine during the ride back. I sure am glad I had my cycling gloves on or my hand surely would have been cut. Some trike riders do not wear gloves and some not even helmets. I did not hit my head or helmet but do not wish to take a chance of it. Will I do this ride and route again - sure - once I get the Schlumpf High Speed Drive back I will not have these climbing problems.

My GPS data is HERE

OK well after getting the data from my Edge 500 seems my max speed was 54 mph - it had to be on that down hill and explains why I was having trouble with the handling on the trike. IT is a new top speed for Turtle and I will not be trying to beat it or even repeat it. I like going fast but it has to be safe too.


wolfhoundgirl said...

Wow! I'm glad you are ok (mostly) and that the Turtle seems to be ok too. I hope that you feel better soon. Will you be at the Thursday ride? You will be in my thoughts.

Brian in AZ said...

Wow! What a strange chain of events. I'm getting the High Speed Drive on my new trike and I'm looking forward to tackling some hills ASAP. I'll learn from what happened to you and take it easy on those turns.