Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Morgan Territory Road — Both sides

Mr. Lance Oldstrong sent me a text inviting me to climb Morgan Territory Road with him, Steve and Glenn. Then, after we climbed it, to turn around and climb back. Morgan Territory Road is a classic East Bay ride, but is generally done as a loop, climbing from the North side, descending the "plunge" and circling back through Danville or climbing Diablo.

Coming back over it is not unheard of, but not as much of a "thing." And there's a good reason. The road up is silly steep, and one lane. The descent is a really crappy road that you don't notice climbing, but really do on the way down.  On the plus side, at least it was also very windy and the sun disappeared behind the clouds.  Still, a delightful time was had, though I'm not completely sure why. Must have been the company.

We ended up with 4882 feet of climbing and 62 miles. I ended up with my highest Strava "suffer score" in ages.
I wore my very-swell East Bay Regional Parks jersey because we'd be getting water at the Morgan Territory Regional Preserve, an East Bay Parks site.

I'm a member of a Facebook group — Look at my bike leaning on stuff — where recently someone asked for photos of the car your bike leans on. I managed to stop on the way to this ride to shoot this. Yep. That's a car photo on my bike blog. At least there's a bike too.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Great ride except for one jerk

Tricia and I had a wonderful ride up Pig Farm and out the Three Bears. We had great weather and a delightful day. We even discovered a new-to-us bike shop with a great jersey and swell folks in Pleasant Hill: Frame Up Bikes.

But there was a pimple on the day: A jerkwad driver near the Lafayette BART station who apparently doesn't need to yield on his right turns. At least Tricia was on it and managed to swing left. Didn't bother him at all. He did at least pause long enough to respond to Tricia's shout of "You're supposed to yield!" with a loud "F*#K off." For those keeping score at home, that's black Jeep Grand Cherokee plate 6 SQY 228.



Saturday, January 27, 2018

Artisanal small batch Diablo ride

What with Tricia out of town I figured I should get good and tired so I'd stay out of trouble. To that end I got together with Steve M, Glenn W and Dan (who named the ride) for a jaunt up Diablo.


I rode to BART in Bay Point, (a bonus 14 miles before the ride) then took the train to Walnut Creek where I met Dan and we headed for our favorite mountain, meeting Glenn and Steve along the way.

It was a great day to ride, and I managed to make my Strava Challenge goal of climbing 7500 meters (24,606 feet) in January.


Most of the time this blog is full of photos I made, and they're of Tricia. Today I had no Tricia, and was wearing gloves because I'm a cold-hand wimp. Fortunately Steve isn't, so there are a few photos of me he shot.
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Monday, January 22, 2018

Fun on Mt. Diablo

Tricia managed to find time after the Womens March on January 20 to ride Mt. Diablo. It was the first not foggy day in what feels like forever.

The day was so beautiful I was inspired to try making a few photos. This isn't a team shot, it's a lot of Tricias.
Tricia on Diablo
Here's just one Tricia a bunch of times.

Monday, January 01, 2018

2017 wrap up, 2018 Diablo kickoff

A few hiccups in 2017 kept my mileage lower than I would have liked, and what it's been in the past. But my wife and riding partner broke her wrist roller skating and was off the bike quite a while, which cut into my riding as well. It wouldn't have been as much fun, and "See you later, I'm off to ride" just seemed cruel.
We did manage to kick off 2018 with a ride up to the Diablo Summit. It was slow (at least for me) which is a wake up call if I hope to do any serious riding summer '18. But it was fun!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Another rare mountain bike ride

Well, a mountain bike ride for me, but for Tricia, a chance to try her Salsa Vaya on gravel. Gravel that turned to bumpy dirt and cow pies for a while, but generally gravel. She and her Salsa did well, and looked sharp.
We rode with a Delta Pedalers group who claimed they were roadies just dipping their toes and old mountain bikes into the trails at Contra Loma.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Lights ride

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It's Christmas Eve and really cold, so of course Tricia wanted to go for a bike ride in the dark. So we did. Just far enough to check out the local Christmas lights.

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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Hillcrest Highway 4 BART onramp improvements


Apparently sometimes a little person can make a difference. In September I posted a video to Facebook and this blog pointing out the dangerous nature of the bike lane and onramp at Highway 4 and Hillcrest.  I had little hope any thing would change, but at a recent meeting of the Contra Costa Transit Authority they showed plans for phase 1 improvements at the on ramp that include new paint, signage and a promise that Antioch will enforce the no-right-turn from the center lane. They told me they'd be painting today if it wasn't too cold for the paint to stick. 

They even say that in a later phase they say they'll move the bike lane to a safer zone as well. Perhaps out from between lanes of auto traffic.

Apparently my video, and help from Bike East Bay, an East Bay Times story, a receptive Transit board and some local official involvement worked together to make this happen. I look forward to seeing it, and more forward for a further improved plan.

I hope they'll do something like what I propose in the video below.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Tricia's Salsa Vaya first ride

This can't really be a review because I didn't ride it, she did. But she seems happy. She likes the feel, the 40mm tires, and the gearing. It feels like it fits, though a minor tweak may be in order. She'll get a different saddle eventually. And water bottle cages. And lights. And a rack. And panniers.

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Salsa Vaya. Orange you glad she got a new bike

Tricia and her new Salsa Vaya

I'd been wondering why a middle school teacher would volunteer to take on an extra class. When Tricia announced she was getting herself an early Christmas present I knew why.

It's a swell Salsa Vaya. She'll use it for commuting, light touring and maybe a bit of playing on dirt roads first.

The bike comes with 40mm tires and has sane gearing with 48-32 and 11-36.

Like all new bikes, it's pretty now. But soon it will have water bottle cages, lights, a rack and panniers, a Garmin and a tail light. Maybe a front facing camera. We should enjoy it as it is, for a moment, standing as a work of art before it becomes a work horse.

I'm also placing partial blame (or credit) on Russ Roca from Path Less Pedaled, who wrote glowingly about this bike, and Adventure Cycling's Jim Sayer who toured on one last summer and wrote about it.

Tip o' the hat to Huckleberry Bicycles in Berkeley for having a timely sale and being pretty darn pleasant to deal with.

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Friday, November 10, 2017

A good commute. Rainbow!

Giro D' Vino 2017

What's my blog without a yearly Giro D' Vino post? I'm not about to find out

Weather was cool, but no rain and no fog and not much wind worked for me. As always we bougght more wine than we'd planned for. Oh well.

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

October light, October clouds

I hate that the days are getting shorter, but I love the beautiful light that slips in sideways instead of blasting down.  Plus: Clouds. They're just better.

So we did our usual ride out along the river and then up to the damn at Los Vaquerous.

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Foxy's Fall Century 2017

Foxy's Fall Century is one of Tricia's favorite rides, so we signed up. Alas her favorite part of her favorite ride was affected by the horrible fires in Sonoma, so the Davis Bicycle Club had to reroute elsewhere.

The Davis club did a great job, as always. Even with their last moment changes it felt like they been practicing for years. These folks know how to run a ride.

We got to ride with old friends Chris and Deborah for most of the way. Riding behind a tandem is truly an enjoyable experience. It's like to vacuumed along. Thanks ya'all!


Sunday, October 15, 2017

We find the strangest things on our bike rides

There's so much weird stuff left on the bike paths and roads in Antioch. I Instagram them, but there have been so many lately it seems like a blog post is in order. So here they are.

I find more all the time, so here's a link to my Instagram with my #ccbiketrailoffering tag in case the photos below aren't enough

Someone is leaving these small offering along the trail. Who? Why? No idea. 
Really. Right on the bike path. It was cracked, so I left it.
We often find evidence of gun fire. 
Another mystery offering.
Rabbit funeral?  
Another offering
Offering on a pedestal. 
Batman is dead.

Tricia shot this on her ride out on Empire Mine Road, a closed road. So how did it get there?




Saturday, October 07, 2017

Dogs on the bike path

Fifteen seconds of my bike commute in Antioch made less enjoyable by my irresponsible fellow citizens. More fun (or maybe less) with sound.

I had three encounters like this yesterday. The next was a large off-lease dog that charged me. I got off and put the bike between us until the owner grabbed it. The third was a little yip yip dog at the end of an overly long leash trying to get caught in my spokes. What's with dog owners here?

These creatures are going to hurt themselves or me. I've had two people lose control of their small dogs that ended up under my wheels, nearly taking me down and not making the poor dogs feel any better.

Tip o' the hat to the folks on the trail with who have sweet animals under their control. I'm talking to you, guy with five friendly hounds, and you, old guy with the well behaved sitter.

 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Bicycle advocacy in local paper


My local paper did a story on my bicycle advocacy efforts. Maybe their story will help get something done. Read it online here. They even used my video! Thanks East County Times.