Thursday, July 18, 2013

Chris and Ebony riding in San Diego

Look at that recumbent grin on Chris.  That is Ebony in the pouch.

I met Chris and Ebony while riding my trike in San Diego on the multi-use path along Mission Bay.  Ebony was trotting along with the trike.  We stopped and chatted for awhile and Chris gave me a lot of information about riding around San Diego.  I told him about the Loop and he plans to come and check it out. 

Ebony is a real cutie!  When she tires of trotting along she just scampers up with ease and hops into her pouch on her own! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

GABA General Meeting: Across the USA in 30 Days or Less with Susan Reed

Meet Susan Reed.  She rides a two-wheel recumbent.  You can read more about her experiences on her wonderful blog Bent Wanderings:  A Spiritual Journey of A Recumbent Rider.  In fact, it was Susan and reading her blog that encouraged me to go forward with the purchase of my trike.

 I was on the fence because of the expense and then during my research on the Internet I came across Susan.  She is also a member of a local recumbent Yahoo group.  I e-mailed her and the Yahoo group for advice.  I got a lot of encouragement.  I just want to say that it is my experience that recumbent bike and trike riders are some of the best people you will ever want to meet.

Susan and another member of the Yahoo group joined me on my inaugural ride.  They didn't even know each other at the time, they just both showed up to give me guidance.  We met on the Loop and they guided me on how to shift my gears.  Amazing patience.  Both are long-distance riders and they did not seem phased to be rolling at 5 - 10 mph (if we even got to 10). 

As I wrote that both were long-distance riders and I realize about all of the recumbent riders I know are long distance riders.  It just turns out that way. 

They probably don't think of themselves as long distance riders they are too busy having fun.  When you discover how comfortable and FUN it is riding a recumbent whether it be bike or trike, that is all you want to do is ride.  50 miles is probably an average, certainly 10 to 20 no big deal even when you are a beginner.  They are also some of the most interesting wonderful down-to-earth people you would ever want to meet.  Some travel with their dogs!  Maybe I can feature some of them on my blog in the future.

If you are in the Tucson area on August 5th, come to the GABA general meeting on Monday, August 5, 2013 at 7 pm in the Pima County Medical Society building at 5199 E Farness Dr. where Susan will be giving a talk on how she celebrated her 60th birthday in 2006 with a trip across the country: San Diego to Tybee Island, Georgia in 3000 miles over 26 days.  See you there!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Riding the Rillito Bike Path to the Sunday St. Phillips Farmers Market

I am heading to the St. Phillip's farmer's market on the Rillito bike path (The Loop) on my Gekko FX trike.  I love farmer's markets and I love riding my trike and I love the Loop.  Perfect morning.
Here is one of the new fix it stations along the Rillito portion of the Loop.  A dad was pumping air in his daughter's Schwinn bike, her first ride on the path, he and his wife had ridden once before.  These are great self-service stations, you can not only air your tires, but you they have tools available for repairs and there is a QR code on the front of the stand to get detailed information onto your Smart phone to do those repairs.  Unfortunately many were vandalized shortly after they were installed.
Here is my Gekko FX - and for those of you not familiar with this model, it folds!
There are bike racks in front of Arizona Cyclist to park your ride.
 I love going to Farmer's markets.
Roasting chilies.
 Crowd gathers to listen to music.
 What a great way to spend the morning.
If you go, stop by my favorite booth:  Tucson Tamale!  They won't disappoint!

 I didn't get a photo of the Peddler on the Path mobile cafe.  Next time!!  He parks his mobile cafĂ© on the path next to St. Phillip's plaza Saturday and Sunday mornings as well as going to bike events.
Here is a little video of my ride home.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Taking the Gekko FX on to the Coronado Ferry, San Diego, CA

I am in San Diego heading to Coronado to ride the Bayshore Bikeway.  If you click on the link it will give you detailed instructions how to ride the San Diego Bay route from the Broadway Pier at the intersection of Broadway and Harbor Drive, downtown San Diego.  You can ride it around to Coronado and take a one way ferry ride back to your starting point.  Today I am doing a round trip ferry ride because I am not going to ride the whole bikeway.

 I parked in an ACE parking lot next to the Midway for $10 (prices as of June, 2013).  It was worth it to me.  It is located at 910 N. Harbor Drive (Phone (619) 233-6624).
The ferry is $8.00 and bikes (and trikes) are free.  You can check their schedule online.

Here I am at the San Diego Harbor, Broadway Pier first in line to board the ferry with my Gekko FX trike and hoping that she will fit through the gate, down the ramp and on to the ferry.

Video of the ferry ramp.

 This is a great back pack from WalMart with a water bladder inside and reflective tape, lots and lots of pockets.  Holds a lot!  Before I got my basket, I attached it to the rack.  The basket has a quick release so it is easy to take off and put on, plus it has a handle to carry it around.
I think it is a perfect fit.
It fit!  These are the bike racks on the first deck.
This is a popular destination for cyclists.  Take the ferry to Coronado to ride the Strand.
Video of the upper deck of the ferry.
I rode on the top deck to enjoy the view, trike is stored safely down on the first deck.  Here we are pulling in to the ferry landing at Coronado.  I think it is approximately a 15-minute ride.  There is also a water taxi available which you can get a bike on, but not sure about the trike.  Too much hassle.
Video of the ferry.
This is the view as we pull away from the Broadway pier.  You can also see the parking lot right next door to the ferry landing in this video.

Gorgeous day to ride the ferry, a lot of the times it is overcast. 
In the photo below you can get a glimpse of Seaport Village.

In the video below you get to see the Midway as well as a glimpse of Seaport Village.
In the video below shows our arrival to Coronado.
There are restaurants, shopping, bike racks and public restrooms available as soon as you land. Off of the ferry bear to the left onto the bike path.  I mention the public restrooms because there are not a lot of facilities when you get to the Strand portion of your ride.
There are plenty of bike racks available.  If you didn't bring a bike, you can rent one as soon as you depart the ferry.
Enjoy your ride!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Nayla's First Ride in the basket on my Gekko FX Trike

I let Nayla "sit" in the basket a couple of times to get the feel.  I lined the bottom of the basket with a wonderful kitty bed that fits perfectly.  She has a halter attached to the basket as well as the frame of the trike.  She rode in it as if she has been doing it all her life.  Of course, she is a rescue dog and I don't know much about her past, so maybe she did!
 Just unloaded the trike from my car and setting everything up in the parking lot.  Nayla is calm so far.  She is used to riding in my car and loves it, so hoping for the best.
 Well, looks like she is totally loving it.  It is over 100 degrees back in Tucson right now and the temperatures in San Diego, especially at the bay are much lower!  Over 30 degrees lower.  Thought it would be less stressful to try this out here at DeAnza Cove along Mission Bay with her and get her used to it.  I will reward her with a romp on Fiesta Island afterwards.  Something else she has never done.
 I think she enjoys the water as much as I do.  I know she loved watching the seagulls.
Just getting out on to the sidewalk for the ride. 

I think she looks so cute in the side mirror.
Okay, this is not the most flattering pose, bad angle the way I am slouched!!! lol lol  Below are some videos of the ride.

More videos.....

Bike the Bay San Diego

I signed up for Bike the Bay in San Diego August, 2013.  I took this photo in June when I rode the strand.  The Bike the Bay event is the only time you can ride your bike (or trike) on the Coronado Bridge (in background).

Monday, July 08, 2013


I found my bliss.  I was not looking for it and maybe that is why I found it.  Or maybe I was looking for it but in all the wrong places.  I knew when I had found it though because I felt like a light deep inside had been turned on.

Breaking my shoulder was not the most earth-shattering thing in the world and certainly others have gone through much more painful events or crisis.  This was at the very least, a big life changer for me and for the better. 

As I have posted, the injury brought me happily back to my art table, creating.  It was my art therapy to coincide with my physical therapy.  My creative juices really got flowing which lead to my first published magazine article (coming out in August), sales of my work, posting on my blog again and making new friends. 

It changed my career.  Although I wonder if you can even call it a career at this later stage in my life?  I am now self-employed - happily (see my previous post and my "squirrely" co-workers) and have more free time and less stress and I love the heck out of my boss!  What a sweet heart.

The injury was in August 2012. My right arm was basically useless except for being able to draw.  I could not lift my arm and I struggled through physical therapy thinking that I would never get the full use of it back.  When I was told to try and touch my nose, a simple act, I thought the doctor had to be kidding.  No way.  But eventually, awkwardly I reported back and touched my nose.  So of course he said, now, touch your head.  WHA-A-AT?  My head?  That is not going to happen.  I went home, did my own therapy because without health insurance my options were limited.  I could not WAIT for the day that I could touch my head and start being allowed to lift any weight.  I eventually could touch the top of my head.  I still can't do much as far as reaching behind my back or reaching behind.  Finally the big day came.  Six months later, on Valentine's 2013, I got the best gift ever.  I was allowed to start lifting weights!  I excitedly asked Dr. Wang, how much.  Two pounds.  Two pounds?????  Only two pounds?  Six months and I get to now lift only two pounds.  I was deeply discouraged. 

When I first injured myself my job situation was my main concern.  How in fact, was I going to keep it?  Well, I didn't.  Friends reassured me that the most important thing was not my job but my recovery - THAT was my new job.  They were right.  Whatever progress I made in physical therapy was going to be the end result of how my arm would function the rest of  my life.  I was scared.  Losing my job was scary but losing the use of my arm was a lot scarier. 

Little did I know, but what was behind this screen in the corner of my living room in my townhouse was in fact, my true bliss just sitting there, waiting for me.  Who knew?  

Other signs of recognizing your true bliss:
  • You feel totally alive!  You feel as if a fog has finally lifted.
  • Days you follow your bliss start feel Christmas morning, making you want to jump out of bed and see what the day holds.
  • Time ceases to exist when you follow your bliss.
  • You feel totally at home within your skin and comfortable within yourself.  In my case, also accepting completely my situation and truly living in the moment.
Behind the screen was my HP Velotechnik Gekko FX which weighs 36 pounds.  Getting to lift 2 pounds after six months was a far cry from getting to even consider lifting my Gekko (which is a folding trike by the way making it even more amazing) an impossible goal.  I was afraid I was going to have to sell it.

All of that changed April 28, 2013 when I participated with my daughter on her new Terra Trike and granddaughter (three generations!) at the Cyclovia event in Tucson.  I wanted to ride and I figured my daughter could assist me getting it out of my Rav4.  Surprisingly I was able to get it out myself. 36 pounds!  Whoo whoo!

From there I started exploring the Loop, miles and miles of multi-use paths throughout Tucson along the river beds.

I met new friends on the Loop to ride with and joined groups and clubs.  Here I am on the Rillito path with Diane on her Catrike.

Speaking of clubs, my friend Susan Reed is going to be the guest speaker at the August GABA meeting talking about Across the USA in 30 Days (Or Less)Monday, August 5, 2013 at 7pm in the Pima County Medical Society building at 5199 E Farness Dr.   Check her out.  You can attend for free and they have refreshments.  Check out her blog:

So, I rode and rode some more and can't seem to get enough. 

I headed to San Diego for cooler weather and more bike paths.  I introduced my dog, Nala, to my trike and we rode around the bay at DeAnza Cove, Mission Bay, San Diego.
I just wanna ride ride ride all day long!
And now..........for the elephant in the room.

As my art therapy I committed to making a "bookmark a day for 365 days".  Noah Scanlin encouraged me and featured me on his blog Make Something 365 &; Become Unstuck.

Well, I definitely got unstuck!  Am I making a bookmark a day still?  No.  Do I feel as if I failed?  No.  Life is fluid and I have learned to go with the flow.  I am glad that I made that commitment because everything I did was a stepping stone to today and finding my bliss.

Note:  Dr. Wang retired before I did the Cyclovia ride.  I will always be grateful for is kindness and encouragement. 

Life is like a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving and it is easier on a trike!

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Summer time in Tucson - Staying cool at "work"

Currently it is over 100 degrees most days in Tucson.  I try to keep cool any way that I can.  I am fortunate that my work is portable.
Here is my "office" I set up on Mt. Lemmon at Marshall Gulch.
My co-worker is a little late this morning.
My co-worker keeping an eye on me while I work.
Bye!  See you tomorrow.