Monday, March 09, 2015

I'm too powerful for my shoes

A photo posted by curtis corlew (@cccorlew) on

I blew out my Sidi on Sunday's ride. Yep, that's the kind of power I create.

The good part is that Sidi offers replacement parts, so I went to the almost-local shop and picked up a new strap. Unfortunately when I got home I realized I had broken the other part of the strap, and not the replacement I'd gone out to buy. Oh well. It will all work out eventually. I ended up ordering a snappy white set online and on sale.

I also bought replacement outer heel pieces for Tricia's Sidi shoes. Pro tip: Don't let them wear too far or the screws will become so ground down they are almost impossible to take out. Pro top 2: Tri-flow at least loosens them enough that you may only wreck three screw drivers getting them out.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Diablo summit 2015 at last

Tricia and I normally ride up Diablo on New Years or at least soon after. This year we just didn't get it done. Between fog and cold, and then my getting sick it just didn't happen. Until today.

It was a glorious day, and despite the fact I can tell I haven't spent and time climbing this year and was very very slow, it was still fun.
A photo posted by curtis corlew (@cccorlew) on

Tricia, on the other hand, looked her usual wonderful self as she skipped and scampered up the mountain.

A photo posted by curtis corlew (@cccorlew) on

Here's hoping this bike riding for fun trend continues.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Instagram. And white bar tape.

I use Instagram. There, I said it.

Here's an Instagram photo of Tricia's new bar tape. Expect more. With filters. And special effects. Like borders and tilt shift.
A photo posted by curtis corlew (@cccorlew) on

Monday, February 16, 2015

I don't often get flats, but when I do...

Tricia's Instagram post says: I don't often get flats, but when I do, I get tire-ripping, heart-stopping, bike-wobbling, explosive flats. #antioch #crapfilledbikelanes

I like the part where she told me she flatted in front of a house where a man was working in the yard. He told her "I heard that!" then asked "what are you going to do?" She said "I'm going to fix it." "Here?" he asked. Yep. And she did.

 Tip o' the hat to Park emergency boots. They helped her limp home. Don't ride in Antioch without them.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Not riding is awful

Tricia brought me home remedies. 
Loyal readers of this blog (as if they are a common as unicorns) may have noted no activity lately. Strava followers have surely noticed the same. There's a reason: Illness.

And not just a cold, but a bonus ear infection that even put a stop to my daily bike commute. I missed eight days, which is the longest I can remember being off the bike in years.

My ears are still a mess, and I have trouble hearing. But the Doctor put me on meds that are supposed to help. After my layoff I rode to work today. At last.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Hey guys, let's get the band back together

With only the most minimal prompting from Richard, we put the band back together for a friendly slow poke ride through the Delta. The ride, due the excessive amount of climbing, (more than a stunning 300 feet for over 50 miles) included a lunch stop at Giusti's Place in Walnut Grove.

Tricia and I left Antioch with the thermometer at 34. It warmed up a bit by our 10AM launch from Brannon Island State Park, but never really got warm all day. That was fine as we just rode at a leisurely pace, chatted, complained about Dan's choice of a washboard gravel road, and stopped to admire the amazing flock of cranes honking and flying over the waterways.

Just because there was minimal climbing (actually none) doesn't mean there were no KOMs. We all got Strava yearly cups on the ferry across the river. Yep, some prankster actually made the 100 yard ferry ride a segment.

I've ridden over the Rio Vista Bridge several times and failed to love it. Steve pointed out there is actually a nearly-hidden narrow bike/ped path with a darn near secret entrance under the bridge. I felt a lot safer there, not having to pray cars wouldn't roll up and over me in the lanes.

A new member sat in with the band, standing in for John perhaps, to keep the music metaphor going. David joined us, and survived our bad humor and attempts to politically re-educate him.

The after ride gathering at our house featured even more food. Yep, it was a 50 mile weight gain ride. Mark brought some amazing cheese and paté with olives to share. Riders' families dropped in and we ate the special (and stunning) Slow Pokes World Championship Jersey cake Dan had created by the amazing Alpine Pastery and Cake of Concord

All in all it was a very civilized, non-epic 50 miles.

(Thanks Steve, for making the photos after I'd cleverly left my iPhone in the car.)

Bonus photo of my bike leaning on a bridge.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

2014 year end mileage

Tricia rides Rainer Washington Cascades_0283
The highlight of the year was our Washington Cascades bike trip and the ride up Mt. Rainer

Year end bicycle stats for 2014:
Road bike: 4178
Commuter bike 3077
Total: 7,255 miles 

322,087 feet of climbing (about 61 miles of climbing straight up)
593 hours in the saddle 
That's about 74 eight-hour days

Road bike: 4779 miles
Commuter bike: 1800ish (based on commute days and distance)
Total: 6579 miles

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Rudy Project classic shades

As 2014 winds down I'm trying to tidy up a few spots where items...collect. I came across my now-vintage Rudy Project cycling sunglasses. I haven't worn non-prescription glasses since the 80s, so these are pretty useless for me. I'm not sure why I kept them around so long. Well, maybe I do.

Greg had Oakley shades
I remember buying them. They were so very expensive for a highly price-sensitive youngish lad. I think they were $30, a large investment for a guy on a $200 used Gitane Tour de France. But they had such great facial coverage. And they were cool. Not as cool as Greg Lemond's Oakleys, but close. Now they're old and out of style.

I'd still wear them if I could. Maybe I should get Lasik just so I can. But no, I think I'll seek a new home for them. Perhaps they'll become retro-hip. Or maybe the white ones look Star Wars enough the my friend Kellie will wear them, even though they're older than she is.

Wait: eBay has them for 90 bucks! Maybe I should rethink this.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Adventure Cycling catalog photos

I've you've read any of this blog you've seen a lot about Adventure Cycling. Tricia and I have gone on many of their tours, and enjoyed them all. I'm pleased that they've used two of my photos in their most recent catalog. One from the Washington Cascades trip and the other from their Columbia River Gorge ride. The photos are also on their web pages (click the links) Now if they'd just have another ride that is on the west coast when we are able to go I'd be ever so happy. Maybe I'll win the lottery or find a large bag of cash on the road and we'll be able to retire and do one of their other swell trips.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cantilever Brake Pad install — winter is coming

Winter is coming. New cantilever pads may be required, but they are such a pain to install and adjust. #endlesswashers

With winter coming, Tricia thought she should give her Surly Cross Check commuter bike a good going over. One thing she thought it needed was new brake pads, so we spent some time installing them.

If you're a roadie you know that installing road pads is a five-minute job. Just unscrew a set screw, slide out the old, slide in the new and retighten. No big deal.

These cantilever pads are a different story. They are so hard to get just right I don't even have a metaphor or simile for it, and I always have one handy for almost everything.

There are just too many dished washers and angles to make it easy, and everything has to be held in place just so as you tighten it, as the tightening itself tries to rearrange the parts. If you came to this page looking for advice, sorry. I can only offer sympathy.

On the brighter side, the light install went better (see what I did there?) Tricia has a set of MonkeyLectric wheel lights, one of which stopped working last year. After cleaning it and trying several fixes the company recommended, I gave up and hung the wheel on the wall. I finally got a new light to install. When I took down the wheel and tried to figure out which light was broken, they both worked. Perhaps my fix worked, or some hidden moisture left the system. The great news is they work, they are installed, and I now have a light to toss on my own bike.

Here's our ten-second test video.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Carquinez Scenic Drive reopens

Carquinez Scenic repoens fence
I rode Carquinez Scenic Drive back in the 70s and 80s. Even after the road washed out and it was officially closed to traffic it was still bikeable, and fun. Eighteen months ago or so it closed so that East Bay Regional Parks could fix it up, and open it as a trail. Now it's open again to walkers and cyclists. Here's more information.

There's still some auto traffic at the ends, but the middle it closed to cars, and because it isn't a through road, the only auto traffic is people headed out to walk or ride. Once you get past the gate there are no cars at all.

Tricia and I enjoyed the views, as we always do, and were happy with the smooth pavement in the areas that used to have giant wheel-swallowing gaps. But be aware, the roads leading up to the gates still sport some large cracks.

As wonderful as the new pavement is, there are also new fences installed. I imagine this makes the trail more child-friendly, but it also makes the trail feel enclosed. I also miss the wonderful graffiti that used to cover the road.
Before the repairs it was more of an adventure
moon face on road
I miss the art that was "cleaned up."
Carquinez Scenic repoens sign
Still, it's great to have the trail open again. We rode it as a 20 mile loop, but tossing it into the classic "Two-Bridges" loop will make that ride even better too.

And as a bonus, though not actually on the scenic drive, there are gargoyles on the climb out of Port Costa.
Carquinez Scenic repoens gargoyles

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Vote the bike, or bike the vote

Tricia and I rode our bikes to our polling place.
Yep, the headline makes no sense. But Tricia and I did ride to our local polling place and cast or votes on Tuesday evening. As is usually the case, we are pleased, saddened, surprised, stunned, amazed, shocked, worried and hopeful about the outcomes. But we did get to ride our bikes to the fire station together, so there's that.

We're leaning slightly left. #election

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Giro D' Vino 2014

Pouring for Tricia Lodi wine ride 2014_0484
As always, this wine tasting/bike ride was a delight. No rain, just a little wind, not a hill to be found, and plenty of very tasty wine. What's not to like? Just my photo efforts this year.

I have several cameras I could have taken. I picked the wrong one. Not because my Panasonic Lumix LX-5 isn't a grand camera, it's just that it barely fits in my jersey pocket, and is hard to put back in that pocket while riding. With the cool weather and a vest it was too much of a pain, hence, few interesting photos.

But I did get one I liked. I'd love to have this fountain at Oak Farm Winery in my back yard.
bike lean fountain Lodi wine ride 2014_0512

I enjoyed the cool jerseys of the Reno Wheelmen women, and admire the commitment to safe drinking they exhibited in wearing their helmets in the tasting room.
Reno Wheelmen Lodi wine ride 2014_0514

Though there is a lack of bicycle photos and good stories in this post, rest assured that a grand time was had, much wine was purchased and we'll certainly be back next year. Maybe with a different camera.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Clouds and trash and what to do

In Antioch we litter our streets with everything but the kitchen sink. Oh... wait... never mind. It seems sometimes that this city has become a dumping ground. Not everywhere. On the same day as all the other photos on this post there are views like this
Diablo view
But there's entirely too much of this
Trash is so common that this is the photo I entered on the Facebook group "Look At My Bike Leaning Against Stuff"
Look At My Bike Leaning Against Stuff

Tricia doesn't like all this trash either, so she got the Antioch edition GORequest through the iPhone app store. It let's her report community issues to the city. And darned if if doesn't work. Trash gets hauled, graffiti gets cleaned up. It's pretty swell. Or perhaps I should say the city workers are pretty swell.

So maybe we'll get more of this
clouds over Antioch
and less of this
trash 2
eventually. I hope...

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Delta De Anza Trail resurfaced

Trail repaved
Look at this smooth piece of pavement. With no notice or warning several sections of my commute path, the Delta De Anza Trail that runs through Antioch, have been resurfaced. It's just like magic. It's such a pretty dark black, and better still has fewer large tire-grabbing cracks. This morning I could even see new dust footprints of the critters that scramble over it in the night. Skunks, squirrels and who knows what else have left their marks along with the growing number of bike tire tracks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Black and white challenge, with bicycles

Dark bike commute B&W 3
My old friend and fellow photographer Victoria Sheridan sent me a challenge to post a Black and White photograph every day for five days on Facebook. I took it on, but considering I teach weird hours, have no life, and commute in the dark it's pretty hard to be anywhere interesting. It turns out that if I squint just right, and look in very narrow directions, my daily bike commute can look almost not-so-bad. So two of my three #blackandwhitechallenge photos are from my commute.

The cyclist photo was made behind my college. The water photo is of the canal between the dump and a trailer park on my ride home.

Canal, bike commute in the dark, #blackandwhitechallenge

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Foxy's Fall, 2014

tricia, foxy's fall century 2014

My new aerodynamic vest is so tight that there wasn't room for my camera in my jersey pocket.  Really. It had nothing to do with my winter-is-coming weight gain. I was able to use my iPhone to make a few out-of-focus snapshots that were generally disappointing.

But the weather was wonderful, though it turns out that 100 miles is still a long way, even without a lot of climbing. I'm sure it didn't help that I hadn't trained a bit. Even though this year I have a double century under my belt, and spent two weeks cycle touring I haven't done much lately but commute.

So, this uninspiring post is just to note that Tricia and I did indeed ride Foxy's. Again.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

John Marsh stone house

Tricia and I rode the new Delta De Anza trail out to the newly-reopened Marsh Creek
Trail to get to a community fund-raising event at the Marsh Creek house. The home isn't open yet — it's still surrounded by chain link fence — but the restoration is well underway. If you don't know John Marsh, you owe it to yourself to at least read the Wikipedia entry.

The John Marsh Historic Trust is working hard, but slowly, on the stone house. I'm sure they'll put any money you send them to good use.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Delta De Anza bonus video

When the Delta De Anza Trail between Antioch and Oakley opened, and I made a few photos and posted them on here. Today Tricia and I rode the one-mile trail and I played movie dude with my new iPhone. I even edited my video on the phone. Here it is in all it's glorious 39 seconds.