So, you ask, what am I planning now that Spring 2013 is here and it’s time to get out and get riding again? Is there a new tour in the works?

The answer is, at this point, I don’t know. There are many ideas running around that I’d like to try. I hope to settle on one or two soon.

These are just ideas at this point.

I planned out a trip last year to Dayton OH to coincide with the Dayton Hamvention. It would be nice to get there by bike and meet up with the BMHA group for their ride. I wanted to do it last year, but didn’t. When I saw the weather, I was glad I decided not to go. It poured rain the entire week and it would have been miserable.

The Hamvention is May 17-19 this year. My rough estimate of a leisurely route to Dayton would take 9 days, so I’d be leaving home around the 6th. Three days at the hamfest and another week or more to get home. That would make quite an ambitious first trip out.

I’ve wanted to take a trip from home to Washington DC. I’ve done a lot of research (reading) about trails and routes on the way. The GAP Trail and C&O Trail from Pittsburgh to Washington are something I want to do.

Once again, that’s quite an ambitious trip. I do have an opportunity to join a group on a short, 4 day trip on part of the GAP Trail. Unfortunately, it’s the same timeframe as the Dayton Hamvention.

I do like the idea, though, as it would be a good starter trip. Not too long and among a group of touring cyclists. The group wants to organize tours kind of at a grass-roots level with groups of riders organizing their own tours and riding them themselves. This appeals to me over some of the organized tours, which have a high pricetag.

Still on the back burner is the trip east to Maine following the Erie Canal and ACA Northern Tier Route.

And every time I turn around, I read about another touring cyclist and enjoy their adventure. Heidi Domeisen, whose first two accounts of tours on a trike, posted a new trip on CGOAB about a tour last fall/winter/spring that took her through much of the eastern seaboard in a figure-eight loop. I was surprised, when reading her account, saw photos she had taken of herself right here in Lockport at the canal. I wish I had known she was coming through. I would have loved to meet her.

I haven’t actually ridden my trike yet this year. With the robotics competitions my thoughts have been elsewhere until recently, when the weather turned warmer. I got the trike out yesterday and cleaned and adjusted things in preparation, though. I did take a short spin in the street to check it out.

Some things have been ordered to upgrade or replace worn items. Supplementing the normal consumable items like tubes and patch kits, chain lube, etc. has been ordered. I ordered a new rear wheel that is supposed to be a stronger wheel than the stock one. I’m thinking again of a brake upgrade to Avid BB-7s, but haven’t decided fully on that. I still have a slight shifting problem with the rear derailleur ever since I jammed the chain and bent it. Not sure of which way to go with it. Replace the derailleur or have a pro look at it at a shop. It may just be able to be straightened.

I took the seat off and washed it in the washing machine. I’ve rinsed it out before, but over the winter, the salt in it had really dried out and crystals were all over it. The washing machine did a great job and it looks like brand new.

The lights were all checked out and made sure they were working. I need to get new batteries for the cycle computer. It’s still reading last years mileage, but the transmitter isn’t sending to the display.

The battery in the trailer needs to be reinstalled after spending the winter indoors. The solar panel looks good. I hope it still functions. I’d hate to have to open it up and repair a cell or something. The seal with the Plastidip on the back seems to have stood up well over the winter.

I pulled the stem right out of one of the tires on the trailer when I was pumping it up. I put the spare in, but found I have to be really careful with them as the schrader valves fit tightly into my floor pump. I can’t just yank it off. I ordered new 16″ tubes for it with presta valves which should solve that. My concern is that out on the road, finding 16″ tubes with presta valves will be hard. Kids bikes with that size wheel all have schrader valves and will be readily available. At least the rims are drilled for the schrader stem and with an adapter, can use either type. My rims on the trike are set up the same way, using presta valves with the reducing adapter so that any tube will work.

Weather should continue to improve and I hope to get out to a few club rides soon and work out the cobwebs from winter. The local bike club has been riding weekends for a month already and daily rides started up April 1.