Sunday, June 1, 2014

I Ride to Montauk on a Trike. My First Century Ride with my Catrike Expedition

From my first recumbent trike ride in 2007, I had wanted to do a century ride on one of these fantastic machines. With the purchase of Catrike Expedition CTE3385 in November of 2013, a goal was to do my yearly Ride to Montauk on a trike. With 1,250 practice miles under my belt, I felt confident for the May 31, 2014 annual ride. I had swapped out the stock Marathon Racers for Duranos, and that brought some needed extra speed. The Rotor chainrings that I installed smoothed out my pedaling stroke and went a long way towards virtual elimination of the pedal steer that is characteristic of recumbents.
Although the power output is about the same as riding on a regular two wheeled bike, there is a great increase in comfort, making this an excellent long distance machine.
In fact, this is the ride that almost wasn't. The governing executives of both Southampton and Easthampton towns tried to legally cancel the ride, leaving the 1500 registered riders out in the cold. Thank heavens that a compromise was worked out, but it left the 30 and 70 mile riders cancelled, although my 112.76mile ride from Babylon to Montauk Point was preserved. SHAME ON YOU TOWNS OF SOUTHAMPTON AND EASTHAMPTON!!. Fortunately, I got off on time for my 12th ride to Montauk, and my 52nd century ride overall. The weather cooperated, going from the upper 50's to the low 60's in Montauk. The threatened scattered showers never materialized, and lots of fun was had by all.
As usual, the crowd at the rest stops was a mix of people, with a significant showing from residents of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Thanks to Helen who left me off at Babylon train station and picked me up at Camp Hero, the end of the ride. Funny thing, but I feel that my love of fixed gear cycling on my 1984 Pinarello has helped my recumbent cycling. Although it seems paradoxical, but the fixed gear cycling technique which is known to develop " soupless, " or suppleness in the legs, translates well to recumbent cycling, especially while sprinting and climbing. I had no trouble climbing the major hills to Montauk Point of my recumbent trike. My 112.76 total miles did not exhaust me, and only caused some mild soreness the next morning. Not bad for 63 next week!
The above photo is my Catrike in front of the Windmill in Watermill, the third of four scheduled rest stops. It is on a green in the middle of town, and is quite picturesque. I skipped the last rest stop for a quick bite at the Napeague Clam Bar before tackling the hills to Montauk Point. 
All in all, I would say that it was a terrific day. The trike did its job admirably under the circumstances. The condition of the roads in Suffolk County is currently deplorable. Potholes, rough roads, patches, sand, perpetual construction abound. I would not do this ride again on Duranos, as they do not have the shock absorbing capacity to prevent significant jarring to the body in this situation. If I did this ride again on a trike, Big Apples might be a better choice, although they would slow me down some. Next time, I just may do this ride again on fixed gear, utilizing my 28mm Continental GP 4 season tires. In any event, being in Montauk is always special. Not even the evil town politicians can take that away from me.