Friday, May 29, 2009

Fenders on my Downtube full suspension.

Wanted to post an upgrade I did on my Downtube. I installed full coverage fenders, which are better than those clip on fenders that are available everywhere. Take note of the back fender: It is shaped like a “C” which is great for stopping the rain from going up your back and messing up your drivetrain. The “C” shape covers up roughly 50% of the wheel. Rear clip-ons will usually do only 25%-30% of the wheel.

These are Planet Bike Hardcore recumbent 20” fenders. I believe they are also called “freddy fenders”. Planet bike sells them separately so you can’t buy them as a set. I guess it’s common for recumbent to have a different sized front and rear wheel (thus no sets). Including shipping both these cost me about $30.

It was a little challenging installing the rear fender. I criss-crossed some handi ties over the screw hole (the Downtube doesn’t have any place to fasten these). Still, the fender would slip down gradually while riding. I applied some duct tape around the screw hole area so that this wouldn’t happen. The duct tape went under the fender and around the frame. I could have made some holes instead of the duct tape, but I didn’t want to damage/modify the fenders as I may sell them later if I get rid of this bike.

The front fork of the Downtube doesn’t have a hole that neatly lines up with the wire holder of the fender. Thus, I fastened it using handi ties to the fork. I could have done p-clamps, but that would require me cutting the wire short. Again, I didn’t want to modify the original parts. I wish that planet bike would make their wires long and with an adjustable fastener to go up and down the fender. I’ve seen these fenders on some bikes. Longer adjustable wires would allow you to reach further or shorter depending on the holes on the frame. Another option is to use the holes that the Downtube has for disc brakes, but I wanted to keep those clear for now.

Injury update: I’m riding more, but still taking it easy. Lifting the front part of the bike hurts my left hand slightly. Some slight pain when separating thumb and index finger on my left hand and resting on handlebar. Squeezing the left brake is almost pain free.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Took a tumble. Sprained/forearm wrist.

Update 5-12-09 Did a short ride this morning on the Brommie. About 3 miles. Stuck generally to neighborhood streets. I ended up pawing the left handlebar to squeeze the brakes. Gripping the handlebar by separating the thumb and forefinger is painful. Thus, pawing and squeezing is the way to go. Pulling on the handlebar causes slight pain. I do this when going up an incline. I didn’t realize I did this until this injury. I guess I won’t be bombing down streets and jumping curbs for a while. I’ll ride this way until I feel well enough. Felt good to ride again :).

Update 5-9-09. 7 days since fall. Slow and incremental recovery. I am gradually regaining my motor skills on my left hand. Let me rephrase: I can do some motor skills with not as much pain. I tried to ride my Fuji 2 days ago and it was too painful on my left wrist to rest on the handlebars. I rode the Brommie yesterday (test ride on my front street) and that was slightly better. I had to use my lower palm on the left handlebar. The Brommie may be less painful since you don’t rest your upper body as much on the handlebars. Still pain when I squeeze the brakes, though. No real riding yet. I did some jogging yesterday (about 2.5 miles). That felt good, but today my right knee hurts. I hope that’s just because that knee took the harder hit rather than some other serious knee problem. Probably the former since my knee hadn’t been hurting in the aftermath of the fall. Another observation: My left hand/wrist hurts more when I wake up in the morning than during the day when I’m at work or loafing around the house. Sigh.

This has been my second fall since I got into biking again. My first was a sideways topple when I was testing some toe clips. Nothing serious there other than a scraped knee. This was more painful and we’ll see how long this keeps me down.

This happened on a Saturday afternoon. I was riding around the back of a heavily trafficked shopping center. I sometimes do this to avoid crazy drivers backing out of their parking spaces. Anyway, there was an elevated (about 1”) sewer drain in the middle of the back of this shopping center. Sort of like an elevated rectangle with a sewer in the middle. I guess I thought it wasn’t that high or maybe I wasn’t thinking about it so I went over it. I rode parallel and very close to one of its edges and the front wheel slipped off it and my bike went sideways. I went forward and landed on all fours.

I scraped my palms slightly and my right knee pretty good. My left wrist took the worst of the impact (although I didn’t scrape my left palm as bad as the right). My left wrist and lower forearm got slightly puffy and today (Monday) it is bruised purple. I didn’t go to the clinic because 1) it was a weekend and I didn’t want to wait 3 hours to get seen and 2) we’ve been having an outbreak of the swine flu in my area. I figured that sick people were there (or had been there) and I would most certainly catch something esp. if I had to wait 3 hours.

I do have a dull pain there, but it is not throbbing. Obviously, I can’t rest my left hand on handlebars so I’m not riding. Also, some motor skills like turning a doorknob are painful. I felt better yesterday (Sunday) and about the same today. I know I’m getting better since I had a hard time taking off my T-shirt Saturday night and I was able to do it a lot better on Sunday. I’ve been putting ice on it a couple of times a day and that makes it feel better. Advil really does a great job of making it feel better, but my stomach doesn’t get along with Advil so I don’t like to take it.

I googled wrist injuries and all recommend resting it and let time heal it. Ice it for the first 24-48 hours then heat treatments afterwards. We’ll see.