Provence Tour: Technical Glitches but Proof of Concept



A

Artemisia

Guest
Back since Friday from touring Provence on my recumbent trike, Widdershins.
Here's a non-exhaustive performance account.

I was able to prove that Widdershins, folded, bound and wrapped up in a
slipcover, can travel perfectly happily on French TGV lines and is
within regulations. Despite the fact that I was occupying a prodigious
amount of space, no one even commented. Many kind people offered to help
me with the luggage, and even the staff seemed perfectly at ease with
this cargo. The only recommendation is that Widders must always travel
First Class, where there is much more space. Luckily I had taken that
into account.

Widdershins also surprised me with his outstanding performances in
traffic, both on large roads (against my wishes, I ended up on the
Nationale 7 between Caumont and Avignon), and within towns. I bought him
as a touring bike, I return with a suspicion that he aspires to be a
city-bike. These are areas where Flyzipper fails me altogether. Widders
is impeccably polite at traffic lights, stopping and restarting on
command. He waits his turn to enter roundabouts, permits me to signal,
and then gets quickly out of the way of faster traffic. He can even inch
his way at 20 metres per hour through pedestrian quarters, respectful
and patient behind old ladies with their walking cages, who do not even
notice there's a metallic orange monster arachnid just behind them.

However, I'm not really finding him comfortable over distances, and here
we have some glitches to work out. The worst was the excruciatng pain
caused by the SPD pedals and clip-in shoes. This was torture after the
first few kilometers. A long discussion in the cycling newsgroups helped
somewhat, as I was able to adjust the position of the clip to hurt less,
but these still are not comfort shoes by a long way. The SPD shoes also
meant that I couldn't really walk anywhere.

I feel the road much more than on an upright bike. I especially hate the
configuration of a cambered road, cycling lane on one side, and ditch
just next to the lane. All my effort goes into keeping out of the ditch,
and however flat, such roads are always uphill.

The wireless bike computer (Sigma BC2006 - piece of shite) also conked
out after the first 6km. It was new, an essential navigation tool, and
this was infuriating. On the upside, I discovered what it would have
helped to know from the beginning - no need for a wireless, it is
perfectly possible to position a wired model on the mudguard mount. So
Widders now has a bog standard Sigma 1600, just like my other bikes,
courtesy of a very nice bike shop in Vaison la Romaine.

Travelling with Widdershins is a *****. I have to allow about an hour
and a half for the dismantling or reassembly - a VERY far cry from the
90 seconds folding time advertized on the Web site! "Quick release
levers" is a joke. The central lever, that permits the bike to fold or
holds it rigid, works or not, entirely on its own terms, and in its own
time. You might get lucky and compact the bike in half an hour - or you
could be there, struggling in a pool of sweat, until the train has left.
The wheels too, are very tricky to remove and replace, and every time
they have been out of the bike they get "voilées" - I don't know the
English expression - it means that they stick in the brakes and do not
turn fluidly. On the way into Vaison, the left wheel was so stuck that
the trike was drawing to a halt on downhill runs! When he delivered the
trike, my Darth told me that this is because the brakes must absolutely
not be touched, or the levers activated, when the wheels are not in
their axels. All very well, but it is pertty much impossible to edge
them in or out without touching the brakes, and you have no control over
what happens to the levers when the covered bike is being squeezed into
a train compartment or a taxi. The manual says that the brakes should be
blocked with the clips used in delivery - but I was given no such clips.
I tried bits of cardboard on the way back but they didn't stay in. This
is a big glitch to sort out because I cannot go to the Darth to get the
brakes readjusted every single time the bike has been folded.

Trike apart, the trip had its ups and downs. The base hotel in Avignon
was so far out of town that once you were there, you were its prisoner.
It had a restaurant, but this was pretentious and exorbitantly priced,
with portions so small as to be insulting. On the day of arrival I
hadn't eaten all day. The entrée was four little steamed asparagus tips
and four prawns with a dollop of pesto in the middle; the main course
arrived with an enormous papillote which proved, on unwrapping, to
contain about 3 tablespoons of overcooked fish. Plus despite
systematically starting at 7:30 they never could get me served in time
for the weather report at 8:45. Never has so little food taken so long
to serve. In compensation, this hotel had a lovely pool. But no sooner
in, than I destroyed my beloved Timex Ironman watch, which was supposed
to be waterproof and wasn't at all. So first day in Avignon was all
about getting a replacement watch and a real lunch. After a day of
trekking papal cobblestones in 30° heat, I still had the 6km walk back
(not confident enough yet to use Widders), and very sore feet. It
forced the realization that the most precious things in life are cool
water and shade.

Another big annoyance was that the maps and routes provided by the tour
company were impossible to follow. As usual, 50% of my time on the road
was spent being lost. The first day, I made a concerted effort to follow
the instuctions, which took on little paths through fields. There was an
ambiguous or outright wrong turning every km or so. This was so in the
middle of nowhere, that I could have disappeared from the earth and
they'd only find the body three years later. The worst was a gravel path
that was completely blocked with enormous puddles, about 15 inches deep.
Widders, all 25 kg of him, had to be _carried_ through the brush, and
this for over a kilometer. Moreover, although I had a GPS, it was
useless because the stupid thing (TomTom, not recommended) only knows
about routes for cars. After that, I stuck to Départementales - they may
not be so pretty but at least there is some hope of _signposting_, and
the dangers from passing traffic ultimately seemed to me much less than
those of facing uncharted wilderness alone and without instruments. In
retrospect I think this kind of route is only practicable on guided
tours. I suggested to the company that they provide customers with the
option to rent a GPS system for trekking - there is one made by the
company IGN which also makes trekking and ordinance maps. The wench
actually _laughed_ at this suggestion, because she "couldn't imagine"
people on _bikes_ using a GPS system. Shows you where they're at!

I never even saw the town of Orange apart from the hotel and a pizzeria
in the central plaza - the drama of that day was finding a shop to sell
me a new bike computer. Nothing open in Orange, since this was Monday
and any excuse to be closed is good in France. I headed off to Vaison
and had another foodless day. The only restaurant I passed refused to
serve me because it was _already_ 2pm.

Vaison la Romaine was my favorite stop of the trip. The hotel was right
in the central plaza and there was a cornucopia spread of eateries. Also
the town had an excellent, OPEN bike shop, beautiful Roman ruins, and on
Tuesday, a famous market. I visited a statue, a rather unflattering,
scowling one, of the Emperor Hadrian, one of my tutelary deities (not
having a nose never did much for anyone). And that day, I decided that I
would not even attempt the 65 km distance to the next stop, Isle sur
Sorgue, because my tortured feet could never bear it and because the
taxi that was transferring my luggage could transfer me as well. That
was great - a day of peace. And the hotel at Isle was extremely
luxurious. Same thing about being prisoner because it was too far out of
town, but at least this overpriced restaurant was reasonably good, and
had portions of normal size.

A 21 km stint around the Luberon the following day, up to Fontaine la
Vaucluse and back, was cool and pleasant. Finally, the trip back to
Avignon. Here I was faced with a decent Départementale as far as a town
called Caumont. Then, there were three choices: try to follow the
far-out-of-the-way route through tundra provided by the company (and
again risk getting lost or dying of heat exhaustion), try an
alternative, shorter route that visibly cut through some rather menacing
elevation lines, or do as the nice man in the news shop advised: just
follow the nice signs and take the nice straight road, marked in orange
on the map, straight to Avignon.

So that's how I ended up on the Nationale 7 on a trike!

Hey, it wasn't nearly so bad as you might think. The cars were very
courteous and there was plenty of room; indeed, most of the time there
was a navigable shoulder. I was able to cruise Widders at around 23 kph
for most of the trip - he even hit a high of 35 kph. The roundabouts
were orderly and the signs clear. The only part I didn't like was the
entry to Avignon where the traffic became much more congested and the
hideous industrial wasteland around seemed to go on forever. But I found
a delicious restaurant in the town center and had a nice rest before
proceding out into my wilderness hotel once more.

Now I'm back doing laundry. At Antony market this morning I bought
lovely fresh things with a Provençal slant - artichokes, tomatoes, lots
of herbs, some beef fillet for carpaccio, whiting fillets, asparagus and
gorgeous goat cheese. Gotta go cook!

EFR
Ile de France
 
D

DennisTheBald

Guest
On May 15, 12:52 pm, Artemisia <[email protected]> wrote:
> Back since Friday from touring Provence on my recumbent trike, Widdershins.
> Here's a non-exhaustive performance account.


Thanks for the briefing.

I suspect some of the temperamental behavior of your bike was due in
part to your referring to it by the wrong gender, such mechanical
contraptions, like ships, are generally considered to be feminine are
they not?

Anyway, the bit about the cycle computer... I would recommend a GPS
instead. These are not without their drawbacks; they suck down
batteries like there's no tomorrow, they won't work on a trainer, once
you get one you'll waste countless hours superimposing your
breadcrumbs over topo maps and so forth. The initial purchase is more
than even a wireless cyclo-computer and the cost of regular batteries
(if you use disposables) will out pace the watch batteries that the
computer uses very quickly(okay it will probably still cost more even
if you use rechargeables). But even the wired cyclo-computers only
seem to last about a year before I need a new wiring harness and the
GPSes that I use are all more than 5 years old w/ no failures. Well,
other than the aforementioned inability to work in a tunnel. And if
you get a fancy model you can download street maps of the places
you'll go to help when you are lost. I mean a map is good, but a map
with a blinking dot that shows you where you are on it F.N. rules!
 
M

mark

Guest
Artemisia wrote:
The worst was the excruciatng pain
> caused by the SPD pedals and clip-in shoes. This was torture after the
> first few kilometers. A long discussion in the cycling newsgroups helped
> somewhat, as I was able to adjust the position of the clip to hurt less,
> but these still are not comfort shoes by a long way. The SPD shoes also
> meant that I couldn't really walk anywhere.


Cleated (clipless) road bike shoes are difficult and/or unsafe to walk
in. Cleated/clipless mountain bike shoes have recessed cleats, designed
specifically for walking. I only tour and commute on mountain bike shoes
& pedals for this reason, although my road bike shoes have regular
cleats. You'll need to switch pedals, shoes and cleats to make this
change. While you're getting new shoes, spend a little extra for MTB
shoes with a good, stiff sole so the pedals don't dig into your feet.

> Travelling with Widdershins is a *****. I have to allow about an hour
> and a half for the dismantling or reassembly - a VERY far cry from the
> 90 seconds folding time advertized on the Web site! "Quick release
> levers" is a joke. The central lever, that permits the bike to fold or
> holds it rigid, works or not, entirely on its own terms, and in its own
> time. You might get lucky and compact the bike in half an hour - or you
> could be there, struggling in a pool of sweat, until the train has left.
> The wheels too, are very tricky to remove and replace, and every time
> they have been out of the bike they get "voilées" - I don't know the
> English expression - it means that they stick in the brakes and do not
> turn fluidly. On the way into Vaison, the left wheel was so stuck that
> the trike was drawing to a halt on downhill runs! When he delivered the
> trike, my Darth told me that this is because the brakes must absolutely
> not be touched, or the levers activated, when the wheels are not in
> their axels. All very well, but it is pertty much impossible to edge
> them in or out without touching the brakes, and you have no control over
> what happens to the levers when the covered bike is being squeezed into
> a train compartment or a taxi. The manual says that the brakes should be
> blocked with the clips used in delivery - but I was given no such clips.
> I tried bits of cardboard on the way back but they didn't stay in. This
> is a big glitch to sort out because I cannot go to the Darth to get the
> brakes readjusted every single time the bike has been folded.


What kind of brakes are these? Caliper brakes? V-brakes? Cantilevers?
With a better description of the brakes someone might have some idea of
how to resolve this issue.
>
> Trike apart, the trip had its ups and downs. The base hotel in Avignon
> was so far out of town that once you were there, you were its prisoner.
> It had a restaurant, but this was pretentious and exorbitantly priced,
> with portions so small as to be insulting. On the day of arrival I
> hadn't eaten all day. The entrée was four little steamed asparagus tips
> and four prawns with a dollop of pesto in the middle; the main course
> arrived with an enormous papillote which proved, on unwrapping, to
> contain about 3 tablespoons of overcooked fish. Plus despite
> systematically starting at 7:30 they never could get me served in time
> for the weather report at 8:45. Never has so little food taken so long
> to serve. In compensation, this hotel had a lovely pool. But no sooner
> in, than I destroyed my beloved Timex Ironman watch, which was supposed
> to be waterproof and wasn't at all. So first day in Avignon was all
> about getting a replacement watch and a real lunch. After a day of
> trekking papal cobblestones in 30° heat, I still had the 6km walk back
> (not confident enough yet to use Widders), and very sore feet. It
> forced the realization that the most precious things in life are cool
> water and shade.
>
> Another big annoyance was that the maps and routes provided by the tour
> company were impossible to follow. As usual, 50% of my time on the road
> was spent being lost. The first day, I made a concerted effort to follow
> the instuctions, which took on little paths through fields. There was an
> ambiguous or outright wrong turning every km or so. This was so in the
> middle of nowhere, that I could have disappeared from the earth and
> they'd only find the body three years later. The worst was a gravel path
> that was completely blocked with enormous puddles, about 15 inches deep.
> Widders, all 25 kg of him, had to be _carried_ through the brush, and
> this for over a kilometer. Moreover, although I had a GPS, it was
> useless because the stupid thing (TomTom, not recommended) only knows
> about routes for cars. After that, I stuck to Départementales - they may
> not be so pretty but at least there is some hope of _signposting_, and
> the dangers from passing traffic ultimately seemed to me much less than
> those of facing uncharted wilderness alone and without instruments. In
> retrospect I think this kind of route is only practicable on guided
> tours. I suggested to the company that they provide customers with the
> option to rent a GPS system for trekking - there is one made by the
> company IGN which also makes trekking and ordinance maps. The wench
> actually _laughed_ at this suggestion, because she "couldn't imagine"
> people on _bikes_ using a GPS system. Shows you where they're at!


Get some IGN maps, a Rough Guide to France (and/or the travel guide of
your choice) and plan your own itinerary. It doesn't sound like you'll
do any worse a job than the tour company, and you'll have a far more
satisfying tour. Google Earth and the various online mapping websites
are handy for figuring out just how far a prospective hotel is from
civilization. Get some lights and reflective tape for Widdershins and
you can cycle to and from a nice restaurant in town if you don't like
the hotel restaurant.

HTH,

mark
 
C

Clive George

Guest
"mark" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>> Travelling with Widdershins is a *****. I have to allow about an hour
>> and a half for the dismantling or reassembly - a VERY far cry from the
>> 90 seconds folding time advertized on the Web site! "Quick release
>> levers" is a joke. The central lever, that permits the bike to fold or
>> holds it rigid, works or not, entirely on its own terms, and in its own
>> time. You might get lucky and compact the bike in half an hour - or you
>> could be there, struggling in a pool of sweat, until the train has left.
>> The wheels too, are very tricky to remove and replace, and every time
>> they have been out of the bike they get "voilées" - I don't know the
>> English expression - it means that they stick in the brakes and do not
>> turn fluidly. On the way into Vaison, the left wheel was so stuck that
>> the trike was drawing to a halt on downhill runs! When he delivered the
>> trike, my Darth told me that this is because the brakes must absolutely
>> not be touched, or the levers activated, when the wheels are not in their
>> axels. All very well, but it is pertty much impossible to edge them in or
>> out without touching the brakes, and you have no control over what
>> happens to the levers when the covered bike is being squeezed into a
>> train compartment or a taxi. The manual says that the brakes should be
>> blocked with the clips used in delivery - but I was given no such clips.
>> I tried bits of cardboard on the way back but they didn't stay in. This
>> is a big glitch to sort out because I cannot go to the Darth to get the
>> brakes readjusted every single time the bike has been folded.

>
> What kind of brakes are these? Caliper brakes? V-brakes? Cantilevers? With
> a better description of the brakes someone might have some idea of how to
> resolve this issue.


It's a trike, so they're going to be disc brakes. (hub brakes wouldn't have
the problems described).

cheers,
clive
 
M

Mike Jacoubowsky

Guest
| Another big annoyance was that the maps and routes provided by the tour
| company were impossible to follow. As usual, 50% of my time on the road
| was spent being lost. The first day, I made a concerted effort to follow
| the instuctions, which took on little paths through fields. There was an
| ambiguous or outright wrong turning every km or so. This was so in the
| middle of nowhere, that I could have disappeared from the earth and
| they'd only find the body three years later. The worst was a gravel path
| that was completely blocked with enormous puddles, about 15 inches deep.
| Widders, all 25 kg of him, had to be _carried_ through the brush, and
| this for over a kilometer. Moreover, although I had a GPS, it was
| useless because the stupid thing (TomTom, not recommended) only knows
| about routes for cars.

Best bet is to get the departmental Michelin maps. The print is tiny, but if
you've got a digital camera, here's a trick that can help you out. Put it
into "macro" mode (for close ups) and take a photo of the relevant part of
the map. Then view it on the screen, zooming it in to see the details. Works
incredibly well.

| I was able to prove that Widdershins, folded, bound and wrapped up in a
| slipcover, can travel perfectly happily on French TGV lines and is
| within regulations. Despite the fact that I was occupying a prodigious
| amount of space, no one even commented. Many kind people offered to help
| me with the luggage, and even the staff seemed perfectly at ease with
| this cargo. The only recommendation is that Widders must always travel
| First Class, where there is much more space. Luckily I had taken that
| into account.

I never considered that there might be more space available in the
vestibules of the 1st class cars. That could be a compelling reason to
travel 1st class with a bike; the price differential isn't all that much.

| Vaison la Romaine was my favorite stop of the trip. The hotel was right
| in the central plaza and there was a cornucopia spread of eateries. Also
| the town had an excellent, OPEN bike shop, beautiful Roman ruins, and on
| Tuesday, a famous market. I visited a statue, a rather unflattering,
| scowling one, of the Emperor Hadrian, one of my tutelary deities (not
| having a nose never did much for anyone). And that day, I decided that I
| would not even attempt the 65 km distance to the next stop, Isle sur
| Sorgue, because my tortured feet could never bear it and because the
| taxi that was transferring my luggage could transfer me as well. That
| was great - a day of peace. And the hotel at Isle was extremely
| luxurious. Same thing about being prisoner because it was too far out of
| town, but at least this overpriced restaurant was reasonably good, and
| had portions of normal size.

I've ridden the same areas, and it is, indeed, a beautiful place to visit.
The old ruins are impressive.

| Now I'm back doing laundry. At Antony market this morning I bought
| lovely fresh things with a Provençal slant - artichokes, tomatoes, lots
| of herbs, some beef fillet for carpaccio, whiting fillets, asparagus and
| gorgeous goat cheese. Gotta go cook!

Sounds great! One practical question: Do you do laundry in the hotel sink,
or look for a local laudromat?

--Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
www.ChainReactionBicycles.com




"Artemisia" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
| Back since Friday from touring Provence on my recumbent trike,
Widdershins.
| Here's a non-exhaustive performance account.
|
| I was able to prove that Widdershins, folded, bound and wrapped up in a
| slipcover, can travel perfectly happily on French TGV lines and is
| within regulations. Despite the fact that I was occupying a prodigious
| amount of space, no one even commented. Many kind people offered to help
| me with the luggage, and even the staff seemed perfectly at ease with
| this cargo. The only recommendation is that Widders must always travel
| First Class, where there is much more space. Luckily I had taken that
| into account.
|
| Widdershins also surprised me with his outstanding performances in
| traffic, both on large roads (against my wishes, I ended up on the
| Nationale 7 between Caumont and Avignon), and within towns. I bought him
| as a touring bike, I return with a suspicion that he aspires to be a
| city-bike. These are areas where Flyzipper fails me altogether. Widders
| is impeccably polite at traffic lights, stopping and restarting on
| command. He waits his turn to enter roundabouts, permits me to signal,
| and then gets quickly out of the way of faster traffic. He can even inch
| his way at 20 metres per hour through pedestrian quarters, respectful
| and patient behind old ladies with their walking cages, who do not even
| notice there's a metallic orange monster arachnid just behind them.
|
| However, I'm not really finding him comfortable over distances, and here
| we have some glitches to work out. The worst was the excruciatng pain
| caused by the SPD pedals and clip-in shoes. This was torture after the
| first few kilometers. A long discussion in the cycling newsgroups helped
| somewhat, as I was able to adjust the position of the clip to hurt less,
| but these still are not comfort shoes by a long way. The SPD shoes also
| meant that I couldn't really walk anywhere.
|
| I feel the road much more than on an upright bike. I especially hate the
| configuration of a cambered road, cycling lane on one side, and ditch
| just next to the lane. All my effort goes into keeping out of the ditch,
| and however flat, such roads are always uphill.
|
| The wireless bike computer (Sigma BC2006 - piece of shite) also conked
| out after the first 6km. It was new, an essential navigation tool, and
| this was infuriating. On the upside, I discovered what it would have
| helped to know from the beginning - no need for a wireless, it is
| perfectly possible to position a wired model on the mudguard mount. So
| Widders now has a bog standard Sigma 1600, just like my other bikes,
| courtesy of a very nice bike shop in Vaison la Romaine.
|
| Travelling with Widdershins is a *****. I have to allow about an hour
| and a half for the dismantling or reassembly - a VERY far cry from the
| 90 seconds folding time advertized on the Web site! "Quick release
| levers" is a joke. The central lever, that permits the bike to fold or
| holds it rigid, works or not, entirely on its own terms, and in its own
| time. You might get lucky and compact the bike in half an hour - or you
| could be there, struggling in a pool of sweat, until the train has left.
| The wheels too, are very tricky to remove and replace, and every time
| they have been out of the bike they get "voilées" - I don't know the
| English expression - it means that they stick in the brakes and do not
| turn fluidly. On the way into Vaison, the left wheel was so stuck that
| the trike was drawing to a halt on downhill runs! When he delivered the
| trike, my Darth told me that this is because the brakes must absolutely
| not be touched, or the levers activated, when the wheels are not in
| their axels. All very well, but it is pertty much impossible to edge
| them in or out without touching the brakes, and you have no control over
| what happens to the levers when the covered bike is being squeezed into
| a train compartment or a taxi. The manual says that the brakes should be
| blocked with the clips used in delivery - but I was given no such clips.
| I tried bits of cardboard on the way back but they didn't stay in. This
| is a big glitch to sort out because I cannot go to the Darth to get the
| brakes readjusted every single time the bike has been folded.
|
| Trike apart, the trip had its ups and downs. The base hotel in Avignon
| was so far out of town that once you were there, you were its prisoner.
| It had a restaurant, but this was pretentious and exorbitantly priced,
| with portions so small as to be insulting. On the day of arrival I
| hadn't eaten all day. The entrée was four little steamed asparagus tips
| and four prawns with a dollop of pesto in the middle; the main course
| arrived with an enormous papillote which proved, on unwrapping, to
| contain about 3 tablespoons of overcooked fish. Plus despite
| systematically starting at 7:30 they never could get me served in time
| for the weather report at 8:45. Never has so little food taken so long
| to serve. In compensation, this hotel had a lovely pool. But no sooner
| in, than I destroyed my beloved Timex Ironman watch, which was supposed
| to be waterproof and wasn't at all. So first day in Avignon was all
| about getting a replacement watch and a real lunch. After a day of
| trekking papal cobblestones in 30° heat, I still had the 6km walk back
| (not confident enough yet to use Widders), and very sore feet. It
| forced the realization that the most precious things in life are cool
| water and shade.
|
| Another big annoyance was that the maps and routes provided by the tour
| company were impossible to follow. As usual, 50% of my time on the road
| was spent being lost. The first day, I made a concerted effort to follow
| the instuctions, which took on little paths through fields. There was an
| ambiguous or outright wrong turning every km or so. This was so in the
| middle of nowhere, that I could have disappeared from the earth and
| they'd only find the body three years later. The worst was a gravel path
| that was completely blocked with enormous puddles, about 15 inches deep.
| Widders, all 25 kg of him, had to be _carried_ through the brush, and
| this for over a kilometer. Moreover, although I had a GPS, it was
| useless because the stupid thing (TomTom, not recommended) only knows
| about routes for cars. After that, I stuck to Départementales - they may
| not be so pretty but at least there is some hope of _signposting_, and
| the dangers from passing traffic ultimately seemed to me much less than
| those of facing uncharted wilderness alone and without instruments. In
| retrospect I think this kind of route is only practicable on guided
| tours. I suggested to the company that they provide customers with the
| option to rent a GPS system for trekking - there is one made by the
| company IGN which also makes trekking and ordinance maps. The wench
| actually _laughed_ at this suggestion, because she "couldn't imagine"
| people on _bikes_ using a GPS system. Shows you where they're at!
|
| I never even saw the town of Orange apart from the hotel and a pizzeria
| in the central plaza - the drama of that day was finding a shop to sell
| me a new bike computer. Nothing open in Orange, since this was Monday
| and any excuse to be closed is good in France. I headed off to Vaison
| and had another foodless day. The only restaurant I passed refused to
| serve me because it was _already_ 2pm.
|
| Vaison la Romaine was my favorite stop of the trip. The hotel was right
| in the central plaza and there was a cornucopia spread of eateries. Also
| the town had an excellent, OPEN bike shop, beautiful Roman ruins, and on
| Tuesday, a famous market. I visited a statue, a rather unflattering,
| scowling one, of the Emperor Hadrian, one of my tutelary deities (not
| having a nose never did much for anyone). And that day, I decided that I
| would not even attempt the 65 km distance to the next stop, Isle sur
| Sorgue, because my tortured feet could never bear it and because the
| taxi that was transferring my luggage could transfer me as well. That
| was great - a day of peace. And the hotel at Isle was extremely
| luxurious. Same thing about being prisoner because it was too far out of
| town, but at least this overpriced restaurant was reasonably good, and
| had portions of normal size.
|
| A 21 km stint around the Luberon the following day, up to Fontaine la
| Vaucluse and back, was cool and pleasant. Finally, the trip back to
| Avignon. Here I was faced with a decent Départementale as far as a town
| called Caumont. Then, there were three choices: try to follow the
| far-out-of-the-way route through tundra provided by the company (and
| again risk getting lost or dying of heat exhaustion), try an
| alternative, shorter route that visibly cut through some rather menacing
| elevation lines, or do as the nice man in the news shop advised: just
| follow the nice signs and take the nice straight road, marked in orange
| on the map, straight to Avignon.
|
| So that's how I ended up on the Nationale 7 on a trike!
|
| Hey, it wasn't nearly so bad as you might think. The cars were very
| courteous and there was plenty of room; indeed, most of the time there
| was a navigable shoulder. I was able to cruise Widders at around 23 kph
| for most of the trip - he even hit a high of 35 kph. The roundabouts
| were orderly and the signs clear. The only part I didn't like was the
| entry to Avignon where the traffic became much more congested and the
| hideous industrial wasteland around seemed to go on forever. But I found
| a delicious restaurant in the town center and had a nice rest before
| proceding out into my wilderness hotel once more.
|
| Now I'm back doing laundry. At Antony market this morning I bought
| lovely fresh things with a Provençal slant - artichokes, tomatoes, lots
| of herbs, some beef fillet for carpaccio, whiting fillets, asparagus and
| gorgeous goat cheese. Gotta go cook!
|
| EFR
| Ile de France
 
V

vernon

Guest
"Clive George" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> "mark" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]


>> What kind of brakes are these? Caliper brakes? V-brakes? Cantilevers?
>> With a better description of the brakes someone might have some idea of
>> how to resolve this issue.

>
> It's a trike, so they're going to be disc brakes. (hub brakes wouldn't
> have the problems described).
>

Probably hydraulic disc brakes at that. The problem is that once the disc
is not between the pads and the brake lever is squeezed for any reason, the
gap closes between the pads and it's a sod to push the pads apart to
re-estabnlish the gap. The original poster's attempt to use card is
destined to fail be cause card is compressuible and something a bit more
incompressible like plastic spacers should do the trick. It should be
possible to bodge something together from any scraps of flat plastic and
glue in Blue Peter style.....
 
A

Artemisia

Guest
vernon wrote:

> Probably hydraulic disc brakes at that.


Yes, they are Magura Big hydraulic disk brakes.


> It should be
> possible to bodge something together from any scraps of flat plastic and
> glue in Blue Peter style.....


I contacted the Darth and he says to bring the bike in to have the
brakes readjusted, and that he can provide the clips which were not in
my support pack when I brought home the trike.

EFR
Ile de France
 
E

Ekul Namsob

Guest
DennisTheBald <[email protected]> wrote:

> On May 15, 12:52 pm, Artemisia <[email protected]> wrote:
> > Back since Friday from touring Provence on my recumbent trike, Widdershins.
> > Here's a non-exhaustive performance account.

>
> Thanks for the briefing.
>
> I suspect some of the temperamental behavior of your bike was due in
> part to your referring to it by the wrong gender, such mechanical
> contraptions, like ships, are generally considered to be feminine are
> they not?
>
> Anyway, the bit about the cycle computer... I would recommend a GPS
> instead. These are not without their drawbacks; they suck down
> batteries like there's no tomorrow, they won't work on a trainer,


If you buy the Speed / Cadence sensor, the Garmin Edge series works
nicely on a trainer. I believe that maps from OpenStreetMap can now be
used on the newest models.

Cheers,
Luke


--
Red Rose Ramblings, the diary of an Essex boy in
exile in Lancashire <http://www.shrimper.org.uk>
 
C

Craig Wallace

Guest
vernon wrote:

> Probably hydraulic disc brakes at that. The problem is that once the disc
> is not between the pads and the brake lever is squeezed for any reason, the
> gap closes between the pads and it's a sod to push the pads apart to
> re-estabnlish the gap. The original poster's attempt to use card is
> destined to fail be cause card is compressuible and something a bit more
> incompressible like plastic spacers should do the trick. It should be
> possible to bodge something together from any scraps of flat plastic and
> glue in Blue Peter style.....


I find a CD bent in half works quite well for the discs on my mountain
bike. Because its a bit springy it stays in place (though sometimes CDs
just snap when you bend them).
And everyone has a few old worthless CDs lying around, right?
 
A

Artemisia

Guest
Ekul Namsob wrote:

> If you buy the Speed / Cadence sensor, the Garmin Edge series works
> nicely on a trainer. I believe that maps from OpenStreetMap can now be
> used on the newest models.


It might work on a trainer, but has anyone ever tried it successfully on
a bent? The distance between pedal crank and receiver is going to be
much greater than on a normal bike or, indeed, a trainer (and my trainer
has a built-in cadence sensor anyway - but I find very little
correlation between conditions on the trainer and what actually happens
on a road in traffic...)

Besides which, is the Edge series the one to go for? I like the fact
that it can double as a bike computer and HRM - but will it be as
effective as a purely navigational GPS like the 60Csx, a dedicated wired
computer and an HRM? Plus I hate the idea of the non-removable battery
that only lasts 6 hours. I'd far sooner carry around rechargeable AAs,
of which I already have a solid collection.

Cheers,
EFR
Ile de France
 
A

Artemisia

Guest
Ekul Namsob wrote:

> If you buy the Speed / Cadence sensor, the Garmin Edge series works
> nicely on a trainer. I believe that maps from OpenStreetMap can now be
> used on the newest models.


It might work on a trainer, but has anyone ever tried it successfully on
a bent? The distance between pedal crank and receiver is going to be
much greater than on a normal bike or, indeed, a trainer (and my trainer
has a built-in cadence sensor anyway - but I find very little
correlation between conditions on the trainer and what actually happens
on a road in traffic...)

Besides which, is the Edge series the one to go for? I like the fact
that it can double as a bike computer and HRM - but will it be as
effective as a purely navigational GPS like the 60Csx, a dedicated wired
computer and an HRM? Plus I hate the idea of the non-removable battery
that only lasts 6 hours. I'd far sooner carry around rechargeable AAs,
of which I already have a solid collection.

Cheers,
EFR
Ile de France
 
D

Dennis P. Harris

Guest
On Thu, 15 May 2008 19:52:05 +0200 in rec.bicycles.misc,
Artemisia <[email protected]> wrote:

> A long discussion in the cycling newsgroups helped
> somewhat, as I was able to adjust the position of the clip to hurt less,
> but these still are not comfort shoes by a long way. The SPD shoes also
> meant that I couldn't really walk anywhere.


Once again, YOU HAVE THE WRONG SHOES. They are probably too
narrow. You don't need tight shoes with clipless pedals!
 
T

Tom Keats

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
[email protected] (Dennis P. Harris) writes:
> On Thu, 15 May 2008 19:52:05 +0200 in rec.bicycles.misc,
> Artemisia <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> A long discussion in the cycling newsgroups helped
>> somewhat, as I was able to adjust the position of the clip to hurt less,
>> but these still are not comfort shoes by a long way. The SPD shoes also
>> meant that I couldn't really walk anywhere.

>
> Once again, YOU HAVE THE WRONG SHOES. They are probably too
> narrow. You don't need tight shoes with clipless pedals!


"Shoen."

The plural of "shoe" is "shoen."
Phonetically pronounced: "shoon." More or less.

Anyways, too-tight shoen are a misery.
Especially when the uppers restrict
wider feet. Best to go with the appropriate
overall size, but with extra width.

Carnacs have always been good to me.

Go ahead and say "shoes." Everybody else does,
even me. Nobody knows what the h*** yer talkin'
about when you say: "shoen."


cheers, & it's not just about how long it is;
it's also about how wide it is,
Tom

--
Nothing is safe from me.
I'm really at:
tkeats curlicue vcn dot bc dot ca
 
N

none

Guest
Ekul Namsob wrote:
> DennisTheBald <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> On May 15, 12:52 pm, Artemisia <[email protected]> wrote:
>>> Back since Friday from touring Provence on my recumbent trike, Widdershins.
>>> Here's a non-exhaustive performance account.

>> Thanks for the briefing.
>>
>> I suspect some of the temperamental behavior of your bike was due in
>> part to your referring to it by the wrong gender, such mechanical
>> contraptions, like ships, are generally considered to be feminine are
>> they not?
>>
>> Anyway, the bit about the cycle computer... I would recommend a GPS
>> instead. These are not without their drawbacks; they suck down
>> batteries like there's no tomorrow, they won't work on a trainer,

>
> If you buy the Speed / Cadence sensor, the Garmin Edge series works
> nicely on a trainer. I believe that maps from OpenStreetMap can now be
> used on the newest models.
>
> Cheers,
> Luke
>
>

Although the speed/cadence sensor is of only limited use on teh majority
of recumbents as it is a combined unit for fixing to a chain stay. Most
recumbent chain rings / cranks do not pass their chain stays :(