Sunday, February 17, 2019

Almond Blossom Century and a crash

Post crash Almond Blossom Century Tricia in kaiser
How do you talk or write about a crash? Everyone wants to know "Is she OK?" But what does that mean? There's such a wide range that includes "OK." So, is Tricia OK? Well, she's alive. And she should recover from her injuries. No bones were broken. So, considering the alternative, yeah, "OK" covers it. And if you aren't involved, if you don't know her, it may be a good enough answer. Do I insert that old "Injuries that happen to other people are minor. Injuries that happen to me aren't." line here?

 If you're friend or family, OK is harder. She's hurt. Parts of left hand are unbelievably swollen.  There are colors involved that I hope to never see again. The ER doc wrapped it up in a lot of padding and such to protect it from bumps, which kind of works. Her ribs, though not broken, sure behave like they are. Laying on her side is impossible and trying to get out of bed is excruciating. She does it, but I almost cry watching her do it.

So, is she "OK?" Kinda sorta? It could have been worse. A lot worse. That's a good thing. But she still hurts and will be limited in what she does for... Well, we don't know. And pain, well, it's painful.

Here's the story

Before Almond Blossom Century
We arrived happy and ready
Tricia heard the Almond Blossom Century in Ripon was a benefit for music education, and that it was a metric century she signed us up. It's a super flat ride that seemed perfect for an early season tuneup. When the forecast was for rain she said "what the heck" and off we went, fenders attached to our road bikes and stuffed inside the Subaru.

While we didn't have a wet start, it was pretty darn windy. Plus, we had morning winds from the South as we rode South that changed to winds from the North when we turned to ride North.  Then the skies opened on us. But we were doing OK.

At mile 45, just as we crossed a bridge over the San Joaquin bad things happened.

We’ve replayed her crash over and over in our minds. Plus, my photojournalist background had me photograph her as she was doing her injury inventory right after we moved her off the road.

Here’s what we think occurred — see the  diagram at the end.

Just after the bridge there is a lot of room to the right of the fog line. It looks like a bike lane or break down lane. But then the rumble strip appears and quickly the road to the right of the rubble strip disappears so there you are off the road, which isn’t awful except the road lip is right there. We think Tricia get her wheel against that lip and that’s what caused her crash.

A kind fellow cyclist (Thanks Roger) who wasn't on the ride stopped his car and ended up giving Tricia a ride back to the start. I waited for SAG and brought the bikes back.

We went to the Kaiser Modesto ER where she was treated. X-rays showed no broken bones in her hand, elbow or ribs.

She has severe bruising along with minor cuts on her left hand. They splinted it. It’s the worst of her injuries, and will take some time to heal.

If you're reading this I bet you're a cyclist and what you want to know is: How's the bike? It seems OK. The bar ends and tape may need some attention, but I think she protected it with her body. I haven't given it a full going over yet.

Post crash Almond Blossom Century
Tricia performs a body parts check while Curtis, who photographs everything, makes photos.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Ice in the California Bay Area? Yep.

I'm in the far reaches of the California Bay Area where really cold is 40 degrees. Sure, it sometimes gets close to freezing, or even freezing, but it's usually really dry.

I've been riding the same commute for many, many years. For the first time a short wooden bridge I ride over all the time had ice. Invisible ice, which is still as slippery as regular old visible ice. It was cold and wet, but the roads just had puddles.

I turned onto the bridge, and still in the process of turning had my front wheel slide out from under me. Not slowly, just boom.

I got away with a bunch of pain and bruises. And my ever so nice Showers Pass jacket can no longer be worn to formal events.

But there's no climate change, right?

Friday, December 28, 2018

English Channel to the Mediterranean, Peak Tours, 2018

I don't have stories, and I should. But I do have a bunch of cycling photos from our 2018 Peak Tours two-week ride across France, from the English Channel to the Mediterranean. Here they are. Click the image.
Peak Tours Channel to Mediterranean cycling

Monday, December 17, 2018

Antioch auto drivers. Yech

What's up with all teh crazy driving in Antioch? Sunday we had some jerk spin doughnuts in an intersection right in front of us. With a small child in the back seat. One tiny slip and that car would have taken me out.

 Then there's Tricia's bike commute on what should be sleepy suburban streets. But no. Check this video.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Kids. Bikes. Old guys.

It felt like I'd been waiting forever. At last I got to go on a bike ride with young Michael. He's 3, and awesome. I just wish he was around more so we could do this more often What a delight!
Grandchildren. Who knew?

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Tricia speaks at the Antioch City Council meeting

Tricia is concerned about the new configuration of a major street in Antioch, and about the way the city handles bicycle infrastructure. She spoke at the City Council meeting on November 26.

Friday, November 02, 2018

Drivers in Antioch

My morning commute. Not my closest pass or biggest jerk, just the one I happened to catch on camera.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Foxy's Fall Century 2018

Foxy's Fall Century by the Davis CA bike club is one of Tricia's favorites. Last year fires forced them to alter the route, and we on did the 100K ride. This year we took on the full 100 miler.

The route was different than it has been. I liked it a lot. It was still beautiful, but the front loaded the climbing. There's a lot of flat, so even though it's only 3,471 feet of climbing, it came in short sections.

We had perfect weather and not one issue. Thanks Davis support crew!

We were beat at the end, but still went to a concert in Auburn to see Chuck Prophet, who was wonderful.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Curtis the bike Commuter bonus photo

Just so my millions of loyal readers don't think I've lost my love for them, here's a photo of my daily bike commute, and a movie as well.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

New Mavic commuter wheel and tires

I thought I just had a broken spoke on my commuter bike. But alas on closer inspection I also had one the destroyed its eyelet.
I'd never loved these wheels. They came on the bike and needed truing out of the box. So instead of replacing just the rear wheel I got a set of nice Mavic gravel-oriented wheels from The Bike Shop that were take-offs from a bike they'd sold.
I also replaced the indestructible  but slow rolling Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires with Gatorskins. They roll a lot better. Now I'll find out how they do in the land of broken glass and thorns that is my commute.
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Mavic Aksium. The new wheels on my commuter bike.

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Friday, July 27, 2018

Crater lake in the smoke

I know, I know... Where are the France photos. It's a bunch of work and I've been lazy. But I will. In the meantime, here's a token photo from Crater Lake.

We went to Shady Grove for a week-long family vacation. Unfortunately we picked a week where the state is on fire and apparently the smoke collects here of all places. We have the worst air quality in the USA right now. Plus, it's super hot. Oh well.

We did manage to get to Crater Lake during a short window of minimal smoke there. We were lucky in that the smoke rolled in just as we finished our ride. If you haven't been there, do it.
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A post shared by curtis corlew (@cccorlew) on

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

We have a plan. It involves France and bicycles

Years ago I got a fortune cookie that read "You need a change of environment. Try France." So we think we will. It will involve bicycles. And lots of riding. There will be blog posts someday, perhaps.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Hauling my bike on my bike with a Travoy trailer

Getting the bike home commute

When you bike commute in then get a ride home after an offsite gathering you end up with a bike at work and yourself at home. If you bike commute in the next day you end up with two bikes at work and find you need some way to get both bikes home. Enter Travoy trailer. I'm  hauling my 70s Gitane-turned-fixed gear on my titanium gravel-bike-turned-commuter bike with my Travoy.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Tour de Vigne 2018

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Once again we found ourselves rolling out of bed at oh-dark-stupid to head out for Lodi and the Tour de Vigne ride. What sounds like a great plan days before sure doesn't seem as clever that early.

The ride starts with so much flat land and straight roads it's actually hard. At least for me. I like hills, rollers, changes. The ability to just sit and crank consistently is not a skill I have. Tricia, on the other hand, is more of a metronome.  But even though she can lay down a solid cadence she also found herself looking forward to leaving the flatlands.

After leaving the farm and grazing lands of the Central Valley the ride heads up around Lake Camanche Reservoir and then to Pardee Reservoir. We even got to ride across the dam.

We had great weather until the last 15 miles of crazy headwind where staying in double digit speeds became a major effort.

Still, a good ride!
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A post shared by curtis corlew (@cccorlew) on

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Wine Country Century 2018

What a beautiful day for a bike ride. A little cool, but pretty much just right. And the Santa Rosa Cycling Club sure knows how to organize a ride. From the wonderful night-before check in to the free beer —FREE BEER —  at the end it was a wonderful experience. I'm a huge fan of drop bags, where you can leave your warm clothes at a rest stop and have them delivered to you at the ride end. Even though this time I created my own problem using that wonderful service.

Tricia gave me her warm jacket to bag up and send back. I did. Then, right after the rest stop I realized I was missing my left glove. I hadn't noticed because I still had a glove liner on. Bummer for me. I took my jacket out of my pocket to look for it, then stuffed it back in. Later I realized that I not only didn't have a glove, I had no jacket. When Tricia went to a lost and found at a rest stop to check on my glove a rider walked up with my jacket. Tricia claimed it, to some teasing about "Is that really yours?" But I had it again. Later, at the ride end (free beer!) I unwrapped her drop bag jacket and discovered my glove. Nothing lost after all. What a day.
We couldn't resist stopping for a photo at our favorite winery.