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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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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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.

Monday, April 30, 2018

#30DaysofBiking 2018

We always aim for 30 days of biking and usually make it, even if it's just a short ride to the store for milk. This year I did actual rides every day. Michael is holding Tricia's spoke card to help celebrate. I myself am not cool enough for such a card, yet I still rode every day.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Bonus new jersey photo

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We managed to get in a nice ride along the East Bay Regional Parks Carquinez Regional Shoreline (say that in one breath...)

Tricia wore her newest jersey from the Primavera Century. I made her stop long enough to photograph her with the Carquinez Bridge peeking out in the background.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Primavera Century 2018

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Tricia looks better than I felt at the end our our 100 mile Primavera Century. But then she always does.

We had to leave the house at 5 a.m. which is a tough thing to do. But the ride was an hour away and we didn't want to hotel it, so that's what we did.  Once we arrive at events like this I'm always amazed how long it takes to sign in, suit up and get rolling. I should know by now... This time it took almost an hour, but we were able to get out just as the ride officially stared at 7.

This is one well run ride. Along with rest rest stops and markings it had wonderful signs in several spots. My favorite: One letting me know that I was was 1/2 mile from the summit of a tough climb.

The organizers somehow had enough political juice to get the currently-closed Calavaras Road open for the ride. No cars! And what a beautiful part of California it is. Such a deal.

At lunch we elected to add on the extra miles a get a full century. There was some real climbing, but the hills were so beautiful and auto traffic so light it was worth it. Plus riding past the windmills and thinking of Don Quixote is always fun. They're sooooo big!

The last climb at mile 90 or so would always be entertaining with it's 13% section, but coming when it does makes it even more interesting. Tricia and I may be slow, but at least we didn't walk it as we saw a number of (younger!) cyclists doing.

All in all it was a great day with only one oddity: I'd planned to wear my new Davis club kit and be a matchy-matchy with Tricia and thought I had until mile 85 when she said "I thought you were wearing your Davis jersey." Somehow the night before I'd set out an old Waves to Wine jersey with the same white/blue/orange color scheme and we'd both not even noticed until the late afternoon. Great job visual education teacher.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Party Pardee in the rain 2018

We woke up the morning of the 2018 Party Pardee ride to see a dark windy morning with rain.  Tricia looked at me and said "I didn't sleep well, I think I'm getting a cold, and my stomach doesn't feel good. Let's go!"

So we drove to Ione to start our 100K in the rain. We wore our most geeky bike clothes with rain pants and rain jackets and even super-bright booties Monroadie gave us. We rode under dark skies and through puddles. Check the thirty-second long video.

Eventually, much to my surprise, not only did the rain stop, but the clouds broke up and we finished with a sunny warm day.
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Hillcrest BART Entrance in Antioch: Still Dangerous for cyclists

I'm posting this on Youtube, Facebook and here hoping the Contra Costa Transit Authority will fix this mess.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Empire Mine Road near Sand Creek: Antioch jewel

I'm working on a longer video about our favorite three miles in Antioch: Empire Mine Road near Sand Creek. If we don't act this beautiful area will be covered in houses that won't have adequate police, fire, roads or schools. That's Tricia, riding it while it's still there.

e-BART Antioch and the parking problem

I've been reading and thinking about their ideas. One is that there's just too much parking that isn't utilized at malls, schools, churches and businesses. Why can't one lot serve many purposes? With a little planning, maybe it can.

Plus, I needed an excuse to but a quadcopter, and doing some advocacy videos seemed like a perfect idea.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Spring break

Descending to end our ride. 
Curtis: We have 2999 feet of climbing. I need to find one more foot.
Tricia: Just leave the Garmin on the bike when you lift it to the bike rack.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Cambria with hill and headwind

Our good friend Glenn (at least he was...) suggested the during our trip to Cambria we ride up Santa Rosa Creek road. It was beautiful, and away from auto traffic. But Glenn failed to mention that there are sections over 20%. Holy smokes. It was so uphill that in spots I didn't think I could get another pedal crank in. But Tricia and I made it, and it was wonderful.

I'm about 50 yards ahead of Tricia, and look how far below me she is.
That little sliver of blue on the left is the ocean!

The downhill afterward was wonderful. We ended up in descending into Cayucos and looked forward to riding up Highway 1 along the ocean back to Camberia. Alas, there was a huge headwind that made our 14 mile-ish ride back take forever. Maybe even longer. But at least it was cold as well.

For me, one exciting feature is that I made my Strava Climbing Challenge or 7500 meters.  Yep, a website made up a random number and then awarded me pixels Yet I'm thrilled. Pavlov in action I guess.


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Monday, February 19, 2018

Tiny bicycle planet, tiny bike lane

I gave my  photo class a panorama assignment, and just for fun we used them to make "tiny planets." I figured I should make one too, so here's Tricia on her own tiny planet.
Ad long as we're talking tiny, how about a bike lane so tine that the word "bike" doesn't fit. It's a "lan" Go Antioch!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Old La Honda Road Tunitas Creek loop

Thanks to Glenn, Dan and Steve, Tricia and I got to ride a classic Bay Area loop this weekend. Not only was there an ocean view, there were redwoods, narrow roads and climbing. Lots of climbing. 5800 feet in 52 miles, which is pretty epic for us this early in the year.

I have video, but I realized after I shot it that a front mounted camera gives good butt shots of my fellow riders and not much else. So, no video.

I also had reinforced the idea that the more climbing there is the fewer photos I shoot. Plus, gloves and my iPhone don't play well together. Hence, guest photographers are saving the day.

Once again, Glenn was too fast to show up in any photos. Except when he hung back to climb the steep parts of Tunitas Creek with us. But then I was too busy not falling over to drag out my camera and shoot him. Next time, I promise. I'm going to have to make some special device to capture him.

Dan, suitably heroic. Photo by Steve.

Steve at the Bicycle hut on Tunitas Creek before the climb.
Tricia and Curtis slog up Tunitas Creek Road. Photo by Glenn

Curtis and Dan roll toward Pescadero and the Ocean. Photo by Glenn