Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cruzbike Quest: Flag? Seat Padding?

On Thursday, July 30, 2015, F--- M---- wrote:

Do you have a recommendation for a flag for the Quest?  I am feeling more confident and would like to venture out on the road.

Also I find the padding of the seat is not the greatest.  Any suggestions?  I have made a pad out of an old Yoga mat which has helped greatly.

Hi F---,

Flag: I personally don't ride with a flag, so I can't suggest a solution I believe in.  And I rarely sell flags except to trike riders.

Personally, I wear a high-viz lime green helmet (Bell and Lazer make models) and usually wear high-viz clothing -- a shirt or a highway worker's high-viz safety vest/jacket (avail. on-line) and/or a high-viz "buff" around my neck.  For high-viz gear, here's a link, though I don't know these guys.

Padding.  Again, it seems that different riders have different experiences with the seat padding.  For me, the standard padding is fine but I know others have wanted something softer or thicker.

Yours is actually one of the better solutions I've heard because it's probably closed-core foam rubber, which should be durable.  I'd maybe glue the old yoga mat together permanently and then cut it to shape, or search on-line for closed core foam sleeping pads that I could cut to shape.  If I was to do it properly, I'd also buy some velcro and attach it to the seat.  I have one customer who likes using computer packing foam under the back of his seat.  There's no "official" solution for this one, I'm afraid.

Have fun and stay healthy,
Robert Matson
copyright 2015 Robert Matson

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Counterfeit carbon fiber bike frames: NY Times article

Interesting article in the New York Times about counterfeit carbon fiber bike frames and components.

Keep it real,
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2015 Robert Matson

Monday, July 20, 2015

whales, dolphin and porpoise, oh my

This morning I got this note from Patricia Sener, Executive Director of CIBBOWS.  She's not biking, she's swimming. But that counts.

I quote....
Did you know there are humpback whales very close to where you swim?  The NY Bight, our backyard ocean, has the largest density of marine mammals and sea turtles in the US--twenty-one species of whales, dolphin and porpoise that come into these waters, frolicking just over yonder.
On July 22nd, I will be swimming 17 miles across the Western NY Bight to bring attention to the Clean Ocean Zone Initiative, which seeks to create the first-ever federally protectedClean Ocean Zone, or COZ. This COZ would be the nation's first-ever pollution-free ocean area where pollution sources such as raw sewage and oil/gas industries would be prohibited.
CIBBOWS is partnering with Clean Ocean Action, the creator of this initiative, in order to bring attention to the importance of keeping our local ocean clean and wild. Funds raised through CIBBOWS will go to two charities—Clean Ocean Action and Gotham Whale, a non-profit that tracks the local humpback whale population. 
This swim will start in Sandy Hook, NJ--the headquarters of COA--then into the wild blue open ocean, no land in sight--and finish around Atlantic Beach, LI, near the site of a proposed liquified natural gas storage facility that threatens to bring pollution to our waterways. 
I’m swimming where no person has swum before to raise awareness of the importance of keeping our backyard clean and swim-able for all.
Please join CIBBOWS and myself in supporting our local charities and consider making a donation for this event to help keep our backyard ocean wild, clean and swimmable.
Follow along on my adventures on Facebook this Wednesday for live updates. 
See you at the beach!
-Patricia SenerExecutive DirectorConey Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers

Eat, sleep, bike, swim,
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2015 Robert Matson

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Vege-Carb Trail Soup

I recently got back from a 7-day backpack trip in the Adirondacks.  He asked for my easy, nutritious, ultra-light and delicious soup recipe.  Great for fully loaded bike touring or backpacking.  This is it.

Robert's Vege-Carb Trail Soup
Serves one.

2 cups (16 fluid oz) water
1 pinch salt
1 tablespoon dry vegetable soup mix
1 bunch angle hair pasta (apx. 3 oz. dry)
1 tablespoon textured vegetable protein ("TVP")
1 tablespoon olive oil

Add salt to water and bring to boil.  Add soup mix and boil apx. 3 min.  Add pasta and TVP.  Then boil another apx. 5-8 min. (until noodles are soft).  Do NOT drain off the broth in which the pasta was boiled.  Serve with olive oil.


You may replace the TVP and olive oil with a can of sardines packed in olive oil.  To preserve the nutritional content of the sardines, I would not them.  Stir them in at the end or in your eating bowl.

TVP comes in various clump sizes.  Use the smallest clumps for this recipe.

If you're cooking for a group, just multiply all the quantities by the number of people (e.g., for 2 people, use 2 tablespoons of vegetable soup mix.).

To make dish cleaning easier, add the olive oil or sardines to individual serving dishes and not the cooking pot.

This recipe is for a vegetarian soup.  For a carne alternative, I'd serve, on the side, sardines, dry sausage or a hard cheese like cheddar.  I'd figure 2 oz. of sardines, sausage, or cheese per person if you use TVP or, if you leave out the TVP, figure 4 oz per person.

You can make an excellent variation on this by using fresh kale or other quick-cooking veggies in addition to the dried vegetable soup mix.  In my experience, kale lasts a one to three days, depending on the temperature, and can be slightly crushed in a pack without turning to green glop, though I try not to crush it.  I've used fresh veggies on the early days of trips or after stopping at a road- or trail-side grocery or vegetable stand.

For best taste, always use high quality, fresh ingredients.

I've used miso soup mix and ramen noodles with unbelievably satisfying results.  Strongly recommended.

This link is similar to the vegetable soup mix I buy.

For those doing cozy-cooking, this recipe almost works, but you'll need to change a few things.  One problem is that big chunks in the soup mix, like peas, must be boiled to rehydrate. Similarly, the pasta is better if it's boiled.
To ensure the soup rehydrates, put the soup mix in a bowl with a quarter cup of boiling water, seal the top, insulate it with your hat and jacket, and give it a few minutes to rehydrate and get a head start.  You could also pulverize the soup mix in a food processor before you start your trip.  This will help it reconstitute faster. (If you're cooking at elevation, this is even more important.)  For the pasta, either "quick" thin ramen noodles or cous cous will rehydrate faster and use less fuel.

I specify boiling the water several times.  The main reason for this is to kill anything in the water, on the dishes, or in the food that could make you sick.  Remember that if you're cooking at elevation, water boils at a lower temperature so merely boiling may not sterilize the water and food.

Stay well and eat well,

Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2015 Robert Matson