New Look

This is the new look for all of Indian Bend Solutions websites. Using the Weaver II Pro theme a custom theme was built to be plain, monochrome, simple, fluid design.

Main bicycle touring site is now TWACA where all touring related posting are being migrated to.

Fall is here

Being the last day of October fall is certainly here with a bang, 54 degrees and the triples should be behind us!

During the downtime a lot of work on the WordPress plugins. Complete re-engineering of the mapping program. New features for the calendar plugin.

A new website dedicated to the mapping code. a website for those using Adventure Cycling Associations paper maps.

Some Downtime

This website will be in hibernation until sometime in the Fall of 2015. Certainly after the current monsoon season which has just began in full force this week.


When to ride?

I have been going out to ride after 9:00 am to be out of the commute traffic. That has been fine but with the warmer weather coming on I thought I should start out earlier. This morning left about 6:30 am and what a mistake! School buses, school crossing guards, parents parked in the bike lane waiting for the school bus to pickup their kid. No car pooling here either.

Crossing guards think they should just step out and stop traffic so the kids don’t have to wait a second or so. Never mind the bike coming down on them in ten feet.

School bus drivers that think the bike lane is theirs to drive in.

Interesting to think about all of the parents driving and dropping their kids off at school. Think of the gas, time and the missed opportunity for the kid to gain a bit of independence and exercise. We need to make schools car free zones.

So I am going to move up departure a bit. Maybe I can avoid the worst.

Interesting how the ebb and flow of life changes during the day.

The coffee shop stop is always interesting. Today was the new employee meeting with his new bosses discussing his new “commission only” sales job. And he really needed a “draw” to make his mortgage and car payments. The poor guy is screwed and doesn’t know it. I wanted to scream “get out now, they are not going to do anything for you”. Here you  are dressed to the nines meeting your boss at a coffee shop sidewalk table and he is wearing jeans and flip flops and needs a shave and a bit of clean up … are dead meat.



PortaPow Experience

Have been riding with a Shimano hub generator and the B&M Luxos U charging 3 X AA eneloop batteries. At the end of a 35 mile ride the batteries are charged and then I can recharge the Garmin 500 using the PortaPow.

The Garmin 500 will only charge to 99%.

While touring will take 5 X AA , 2 in the GPS, 3 in charger. Also 3 X AAA in the the head lamp along with three AAA to AA adapters. Will also take a USB A to micro USB and USB A to mini USB cords. Will not be taking the Garmin 500.

While riding I will probably keep the Garmin Vista turned off.

Portable Electrical Power Source

On the touring bike I have a Shimano dynamo hub and a B&M Luxos U Headlight with an USB output port. These are the devices needing power;

  • Garmin Vista HCx which is powered by 2 X AA batteries. It also the bike computer.
  • Black Diamond headlamp using 3XAAA
  • Canon camera using 2 X AA.
  • Cell phone
  • Rear bicycle light 2 X AAA

So what I need is a device that can charge AA/AAA eneLoop batteries and  in turn charge my cell phone. What I found was

I chose the PortaPow 3XAAA using  AA to AAA adapters as it is a new device this year and looks to have a better packaging and electronics than the older 4 X AA/AAA device. Additional it has a LED flashlight built in to it.

The Goal Zero appears to have superior packaging along with its superior price. But it needs to charge 4 batteries at a time.

So during the day I will run the Garmin Vista off of batteries and charge the PortaPow battery pack off of the hub dynamo. If A/C power is available I can use an USB charger to fill up the batteries and cell phone.

March Summary

17 rides for 520 miles. Alternated riding all three bikes. Longest ride 45 miles X 2

1 Birthday party at Hiro Sushi. Great meal.

Drove Rubicon to South Rim and dined at El Tovar and visited air museum in Valle.

Drove Rubicon to Tucson stayed at the El Conquistador for dinner. Tried to get a “bone yard” tour. Maybe next year. Marana should be open too.

First 90 degree day

Summer is coming on fast.

Sunday we started the ride at 6:30 am with plenty of light and less traffic than later in the day on Sundays. The MUPS are insane with Snowbirds, Spring Training, and fair weather people all out and about. April things will get better tourist wise and the Snowbirds fly home.

Tuesday rode 45 miles doing the Hidden Valley climb on the Bruce Gordon. Had put on the Da Brim on the helmet and was happy to have it.

I have laid out a 50 mile route that includes the Hidden Valley climb and another 6-7% hill. Will try it out later in the week.

UPDATE Friday March 20

Rode just 45 miles again today. I’m breaking in a new bike rider and it was stretching things to go 40 miles so cut the 50 mile route short today.


Monday March 16 we had our first 90 degree day.

Turning the heat up

Weather is turning hot fast now. Next week in the 80’s. Probably a bit windy too.

I started the year out doing a 24 mile ride 2-4 times a week but recently have stepped it up to a 34 mile circuit. Next month I’ll step it to 40 miles and by June will be pressing a 50 mile circuit, all urban riding on the street. Will keep it at 2- 4 times a week.

Down the road in a month or two I’ll start throwing a 65 miler into the mix at least once a month.

By fall I should be ready to do a series of sponsored centuries. May take a shot at the Cochise County Cycling Classic ride too.