Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 year end totals

7912 miles
For the record
Commuter bike starting odo: 5818, ending: 7815, total: 1997 commuter miles
Road bike starting odo: 8457, ending: 13791, total: 5334 roadie miles
Fixed gear bike 247 (normal ODO) 234 (garmin) 100 (est unrecorded commuting miles) 581 miles

I sometimes ride the commuter as a mountain bike, or on errands, so those miles are not strictly "going to work" miles.
I ride the fixed gear/single speed for fun, and commuting. The light I use interfeared with wireless odometer, so I guessed 100 miles unrecorded. I'm sure there were really more.

I'm a bit disappointed. Had I known I was so close to 8000 I could have made it by just adding a few a day, or taking one good ride. Of course, I find I'm also thinking "Perhaps I really did 180 unrecorded miles on the single speed." But that would be cheating, wouldn't it?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I want this... or this.

Specialized Roubaix Expert Triple 2009

Specialized Roubaix Expert Triple 2010

I know it isn't about the bike. I don't care. Bike lust has no rational component. So here, I publicly announce my bicycle desires. Ever since Tricia got her Ruby I have looked upon it with a greedy eye. It's light, it's pretty, and it seems to work really well. I have therefore determined that a Robaiux would work just fine for me.

Part of it is that, even though I like my Kestrel RT-700 a bunch, I am getting a might older. I'm starting to think a triple might be a good idea. I'm planning to attempt a few really long rides with a bunch of climbing and perhaps some really low gears will make it more likely that I finish.

The Specialized Roubaix Expert has an all-Ultegra drive train and seems like a reasonable level to shoot for. I'd take an 09 or 10, new or used. I'm picky about the color — black white or black gray, and I need a 52 cm version.

If you know of a great deal on this bike, new or used, please post a reply or email me!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Winter Solstice lights

Here on the west coast in California the 2009 Winter Solstice will occur at 9:47 a.m. on Monday, December 21, 2009. Even though that's the shortest day the sunrise will get later and later here until about Jan 7. The good news is that sunset is already getting later.

In any event, we are ready for Solstice with celebratory lights on the commuter bikes. Here's Tricia with hers.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Now famous in the USA too

Our Adventure Cycling 2010 tour catalog came in the mail. I knew they were using a couple of photos, but I didn't know exactly how. I was excited to see Tricia on the back cover, looking all tough and fine. The inside photo of me might not have the marketing appeal they were hoping for , but I'm still happy to have them use it.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Almost famous in Europe

I recently got email from the German "Endorphinum" magazine asking if they could use a photo they saw on my Flickr page. "Sure" I wrote back. It seems they actually did it! I'm on page 30 and 31 of the 9/12 issue (zipped PDF).

Velo Wonderland and Art Murmur

Velo Wonderland was a wonderful cycling event put on by EBBC at — of all places — the Uptown Body and Fender shop, that in addition to being a body shop is also a very nice art and preformance space. It was part of Oakland's Art Murmur first Friday art walk. I have no idea why it exists, or what it all means, but it is without doubt way cool. The Velo Wonderland part had handmade cycling clothes, bicycle arts and such, as well as indoor bike parking. The Art Murmur part included lots of open studio and gallery events complete with a blocked off street, wild projected videos, and all sorts of fun. We walked about and basked in the glow of creative people making fun stuff without boundaries. Coming from the distant burbs I was amazed to see so many bicycles. We kept thinking we must live in the wrong place.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Solvang Double signup

Yep. I've done it. I'm all signed up for this monster, the Solvang Double Century. I know it's early, but I'm hoping that signing up, and knowing I've got to be ready, will provide me with even more motivation. There's a rough of the route on Bikley. I've at least got months to decide the larger question: What jersey should I wear?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

California Triple Crown 2010

I've envied my friend Ron's California Triple Crown jersey (awarded by the folks over at for a long time now. I want one, but apparently you have to actually ride the three double centuries in one year to get one.

I'm thinking about going for it in 2010. I guess I think posting the possibility may be a first step in making it a reality. I'm pretty much a non-athlete, and my biological clock it ticking loudly. If I'm going to ever do this stuff I better do it soon, as in next year.

I've done the Davis Double the last two years, which I'm proud of. Over 130 DNFed this year, so I'm not at complete bottom of the pack. Just close. I think if I focus maybe I can pull this off.

Here's what I'm looking at:
Solvang Double in March
Davis Double in May

After that I'm not sure. I don't want to drive to LA for the weekend, though there are rides that look do-able there. And I freely admit I'm trying to pick rides I might be able to actually finish. That leaves out the Devil Mountain Double, as well as many others.

So I'm thinking number 3 should be
Eastern Sierra (though this year the weather was brutal) in June
Bass Lake Power House, in October.
UPDATE 10.10.09:
I'm adding the possibility of Knoxville to the list. It seems like a lot of climbing, but you do get 19 hours to complete it. I do like that it's close to home. If the weather isn't a problem it sounds possible!

The questions at hand:
1: Good idea?
2. Right ride picks?
3: Any one else thinking doubles next year?
4. Any one else thinking Triple Crown?
5. Thoughts, snarky comments or cheap shots?

Kenitic Road Machine fluid trainer

Tricia had been talking about getting a trainer. I thought I'd get her one for Christmas and started researching them. I'd decieded on fluid rather than wind or magnetic, and the Kinetic got the the best reviews. It also appears to have earned the "least likely to leak" award.

Then I found an ad on Craigslist for this Road Machine at a reasonable price. Heck with waiting for Christmas. I bought it.

It set up easily, and we just finished installing Tricia's first road bike (her Trek 1500) on it.

I haven't tried it with my Kestrel yet. I don't know if I'll turn out to be much of an indoor cycling guy, but I'll give it a shot. Rumor has it that indoor riding can be good for short suffer-fests that result in increased strength on the road, so it may be worth it.

The geek in me is looking forward to trying out Coach Troy, Chris Carmichael and Graham Street DVDs.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Obsessive Compulsive Poseur

I know it's wrong, yet I couldn't stop myself. Let's be honest; I didn't even try to stop myself.

When I saw water bottles that matched my Kestrel RT700 I bought them. What color can you put on a copper-colored bike? Blue? Yellow? Green? Red? Nope. White is OK, but stands out too much. Black heats up the water, and is impossible to find anyway. Copper bottles are really the only option, so when I saw these I knew I would be buying them.

Polar has had orange bottles for a while, but they didn't really match. Then I saw these. They are just enough darker that they work.

Yes, I know they won't make me faster, or more cool. They won't make the water taste better. My old bottles were still functional. Still, I now have bottles that look better on my bike, and when I take a good long look at the crazy world I can't help but think it's a better place because I have copper-color water bottles on my copper-color bike.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Foxy's Fall Century

Foxy's Fall Century, put on by the Davis Bike Club, is a beautiful ride through Solano and Napa counties. Tricia and I joined a group form NorCal for the one hundred mile ride and had a ball.

The ride starts out meandering through the very very flat farmlands of California's Central Valley. Some find it dull, but I loved the early morning light and drafting behind Chris and Deborah's tandem.

After we'd ridden under the just-launched hot air balloons and past a large whimsical bicycle sculpture we finely got to some hills, though nothing too hard. We rode through the aromas of California laurel, sage and tar weed.

After lunch there's a bit of a climb near Lake Berryessa. It's called "The Wall," but mostly it's an optical illusion. It looked intimidatingly steep, but when we rode up it, it wasn't nearly as tough as it looked from a distance. From there it's a long, ever so slight downhill back to Davis. There's nothing like an invisible downhill and a drafting a tandem to make you feel really fast. A grand time was had by all. Here's a short Flickr slideshow. I had a reasonably good day with my point & shoot.

By the way, I'm very happy with the photo at the top of this story. I'm thinking of making a poster from it. Click it to see the large version.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Smack! New helmet time

I was actually looking forward to my first rain commute of the season. Despite dire warnings from the fear-mongering weather folks I started out with a wet but delightful tail wind, and was feeling pretty good in my rain clothes.

Then, riding through an area I ride every day, I caught my front wheel on a cement lip running parallel to my path. I'm guessing that because it was so wet, and it was the first rain of the season, the road was extra slippery. I didn't do a slow fall like in the movies, I just went boom. i smacked right into the pavement and whipped my head onto the ground.

As crashes go, it wasn't that bad. I got a bloody elbow, a big headache, and I'm sure I'll have impressive bruises. But nothing on the bike broke.

When I got to work I ordered a new helmet. I'm upgrading my Bell Sweep to a Bell Volt. The Sweep isn't cracked or anything, but I'm being a proper cyclist and replacing it anyway.

UPDATE: The Volt is here, and I like it even more than the Sweep! It has a nice adjustment for the back that let's me dial in the fit better than any helmet I've ever had.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Official: I am old

I am old. It's been coming for a while, but on this day it is official. I have a compact crankset. I have a gray goatee and wrinkles. But the thing that makes it official: I now have a Grateful Dead inspired jersey, like the ones that all those beer-belly riders have. I worry I am but one step away from a recumbent. Heck, I've seriously contemplated a triple, even though I know it's just a gateway drug toward becoming a 'bent rider. I know there is no reprieve from the steady tick of the clock and turn of the calendar page. But I hope I won't sink further.
If I start talking hybrid, recumbent, or breakfast cereal jersey please come and stop me.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

WTF Cyclists?

Indeed, WTF cyclists?
I thought we were better than this. After all, we enjoy being outside, and I thought we all had some common understanding that trashing the environment is a bad thing. We rail enough about broken glass that we should be able to make the leap and realize that we shouldn't be contributing to road side garbage piles.

But I guess not.

I ride Empire Mine Road as part of my short local loop. It's a sweet road that's closed to automobiles that runs through some ranch land. Lots of cyclists use it, either as an out and back, or a back road between Antioch and Brentwood.

Last week I picked up two 700c inner tubes and two C02 cartridges. (I guess the mountain bikers are off the hook on this.) This week there were several gel packs at the top of the hill. Yech.

Just as a side note: If you need to stop at this little rise to power gel up, you are too much of a wimp and poseur to be out in the world on a bike without training wheels.

I don't think those litter-cyclists will read this because I don't think they know how to read. But if you see those jerk wads littering, feel free to stick a frame pump in their spokes, or snap a quick photo of them for me to post.

If, by some chance I'm writing about you, cut it out. Put that stuff in your pocket and stop being such a wiener.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Castelli, where for art thou?

I sent a letter to Castilli on April 12, 2009 . I never heard back. I'm still disappointed. Perhaps the mighty power of my the internet and my magic blog (read by millions) will prod them into acknowledging my letter.

Please listen to my sad tale, for as sad as it may by, it is filled with Castelli love.
I purchased a pair of your Dome Due Bibshorts and it was love at first ride. They became my new favorites. As you might imagine, I wanted another pair. But I made an error. Perhaps I made two errors.

You may not realize this, but Ergo Due Bibshort reads a lot like Dome Due Bibshort. When I saw “Ergo Due Bibshort” on ebay, new with tags, I was a happy cyclist. It seemed like a good deal, and I ordered them.

When they came, they weren’t the same as my favorites, but I thought, what the heck, they are, after all, Castelli. Though I didn’t love the elastic leg grippers, they worked well holding up my knee warmers. I was OK with them.

Alas, and here is where the sad part starts, I hadn’t had them but a couple of weeks when the shorts developed a problem. The elastic leg band just sort of exploded. Now, I am absolutely a fanatic when I was my cycling clothes. I use gentle powder soap and hand them dry. I didn’t wreck them in the washer, or snag them on something.

I realize you’d like me to go through the dealer, but the dealer is long gone. That isn’t a option for me.
Here’s what I think it would be really swell, and enlarge my already passionate Castelli love:

You should consider giving me some Castelli credit. I would like to return these problem bibs for credit toward my true love bibs, the Dome Due. Or, if that just seems like way too much, you might at least replace them with your Ergo Due Bibshort.
In any event, I shall continue my affair with my Dome Due bibs, and continue to buy my wife more Castelli than even I have.

Thanks for thinking about it.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Benicia Bridge Pedestrian/Bicycle Path

Tricia and I joined hundreds of cyclists and pedestrians (and her fellow teacher and Kestrel rider, Lars) for the opening of the Benicia Bridge Pedestrian/Bicycle Path. It's about time. And it only cost $50 million! There were festivities that we skipped, but we did score a 15% Sports Basement coupon and a very nice commemorative water bottle.

The bridge path is wonderful. It's plenty wide, and will be fun to ride on normal days when it's less crowded. It does, however, dump you into a rather ugly industrial area of Martinez, but it doesn't take long to get out of the refinery zone and into the hills near Martinez. The Benicia side can take you into Benicia, or into another industrial zone with signs that say "Danger. Remote control rail cars." Still, I'll be riding it, and trying to find a loop that will take me to the Carquinez bridge into Crockett and back to Martinez. (Click the map to see a large readable version)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bike forum Nor Cal gang

I love Not only have a learned a lot about parts and pieces, but I've made some nice real-world friends. Though the forum is an online community, the people in the NorCal section, being local, regularly organize rides. I've been pleased and amazed to discover that my favorite folks to cycle with are my friends from the virtual world of BF. The only problem I have is that we all get two names, our real names, and our online names. When you are as name challenged as I am, that can be rather rough.

I've been on BigBossMan's "Slowpoke" ride, Beaker's 1st BF NorCal Diablo KOM Challenge, Joel's NorCal Century, and rides in the Delta, around Diablo, through Marin, and along the coast that were just a delight.

Sunday was no exception. Tricia and I met Pete (Taxi777) for an excursion from SF, across the Golden Gate, out to Tiburon and back. It was a blast. We enjoyed the ride and fine company of Spingineer, Kontty and Ramon. It was grand. Thanks Bikeforums!

Maybe this internet thing will catch on.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Mid year stats

Our friends on keep mileage and climbing stats, but really, what the heck kinda stats are those?
Tricia and keep I stats, but we keep team stats for the two of us (because we're a team, darnit) and we only keep stats on important things, not the junk reported on BF.
Here are our totals for the year:
  • Flats per 100 miles (CA only) 2.5
  • Flats per 100 miles (not CA) 0
  • Caffeine consumption: 1 mg per 10 feet of climbing
  • Suicide squirrels: 10 squirrels per 7 miles (rural road only stat)
  • Liquid disposal stops per mile: .05
  • Hammer and Cliff products used: $.39 per flat tire
  • Floor pump strokes per month: 1376
  • Sunscreen: $2.32 per appendage per month
  • Glass shards sparkling like diamonds, per meter (Antioch): 1,765
  • Glass shards sparkling like broken crack pipes, per meter (Pittsburg): 1,764
  • Distance sprinting from dogs: .23 furlongs per fortnight
  • Ratio of money spent on commuter bikes and accessories vs money saved on gasoline: 8:1
  • Percent of in focus photos taken on bike: 21
  • Time spent riding vs time spent on BF (daylight only): 12.4:1
  • Chamois butter per mile: Ewwwwh. That's just gross

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Adventure Cycling Cycle Washington 2009 tour

Here's my belated report on the Cycle Washington trip Tricia and I took in July.
Executive summary:
Wow, and double wow.The report:
We drove to Ashland, Oregon, intending to camp. We ended up at Jackson's Wellsprings, a funky campground with hippies and, of course, hot springs. It was much nicer, and a good deal more fun and relaxing, than we expected. The next morning we took our bikes on a 30 mile jaunt through the nearby hills, soaked in the springs, packed our gear and headed to Salem. There, we camped at a depressing KOA in the shade of a freeway.Our Cycle Washington tour, run by Adventure Cycling, started Saturday evening at a school in Redmond, where the leader Tom introduced the crew and gave us a rundown of what we would be doing. The set up is that Adventure Cycling will transport our tent, bags and such and feed us breakfast lunch and dinner. They mark the road and give out maps, have daily briefings on the route and even provide support on the road. As we prepared our baggage for the bus we suspected we had perhaps over prepared...
Sunday morning we were bussed from Redmond to the top of Stevens Pass. We emerged from the bus into a foggy, cold drizzle. Everyone began digging through their luggage, searching for warmth. Properly attired, we began our long, sweeping descent. Wide shoulders and breathtaking vistas made up for the chilly start to the ride, and by the time we descended 20 miles, we were peeling off those extra layers. After about 50 miles, a short steep climb and a rousing downhill that was a blast, we landed us in Leavenworth. We pitched our tent at the KOA and wisely put on the rain fly. Around 2:00 AM, we were awakened to thunder, flashes of lightening, and the syncopated beat of rain on the tent. Yikes.
Monday, Day three, dawned on a misty morning. Our bikes were a bit wet from last night's rain, but none the worse for wear. After a hearty, hot breakfast we headed east along US route 2. To get us off the main highway, we were routed on to Deadman's Hill Road, a violation of Tricia's strict policy to never ski or ride anything with "Death" in the name.
In this case, it turned out to be a fun little hill. The route took us through some beautiful farmland back roads, and then along the Columbia River where we spotted a sign to "Watch for bighorn sheep." I didn't see any, but some riders claimed they saw one. I thought they were like unicorns, or some never see-able endangered critter, but apparently they sometimes hang out by busy roads.

There's a tradition on amoung the fifty-plus group to ride your age on your birthday. Since this was Tricia's birthday, she rode her age, plus her grandchild's and assorted nieces' and nephews' ages that day. We did mark the spot that she rode her actual age, but discretion requires we withhold the precise numeral.
Fighting a fickle headwind, we continued toward our camp by beautiful Lake Chelan. Five miles from our destination,Tricia and I stopped at a winery and I, to much amusement from the other wine tasters, loaded two bottles into my jersey pockets to carry back to camp.
When we rolled into Chelan, Tricia was all ready for her birthday massage. Yes indeed, there was an actual masseuse that traveled with the group-- this isn't exactly bare-bones camping. We followed that up with a glass of wine and watched "Revolutionary Road" in our tent on the iPod Touch using a headphone splitter. Life on the road can be rough, and isn't for the faint of heart.
After these first few days, Tricia and I were almost getting the hang of setting up a tent every night, then tearing it down in the morning to load on the truck. Well, she was anyway. I had a lot of trouble not losing stuff, and packing what I'd need that day, then having to unpack and find it. Every morning was an adventure for me.

Tuesday was our fourth day, or, as Tricia calls it "Day of the Dogs" in honor of being chased, in three separate incidents, by a German Shepherd, a Golden Retriever and a Black Lab. She's gotten pretty good at using her big Mom/teacher/crazy voice and shouting "No!" at them, which causes them to hit the ground like they've been shot.

The day started with another wonderful breakfast, this time down by the lake. As we chased our food-laden paper plates across the lawn, we grew pretty nervous about the day's ride, but it had calmed by the time we hit the road. The ride from Chelan to Winthrop, 62 miles, had a nice climb past lots of vineyards and rolling farmlands. We pedaled first along the Columbia and then the Methow River, ending at our camp on a river at what must be the nicest KOA in existence.

Wednesday was the jewel in the crown. And, the map directions were awesome. "Turn left out of campgrounds. Ride 98 miles. Stop at Rockport campgrounds." We rode 32 miles uphill to the top of Washington Pass. Elevation 5477'. What a great road. The story is that it's closed in winter, so it never gets plowed, leaving it smooth as a ... well, something really smooth. The road goes up and up, and provides postcard views. If it was in a movie you'd think it was overdone and that nothing could really look that magnificent. It was well worth the work it took to get there.

From the top there is a delightful downhill that isn't at all technical, just down. We were a little leery of this descent after noticing the permanent signs cautioning us about "Severe Crosswinds Next 27 Miles." The downhill would have been nicer without the wind, but still , it was a blast. There were waterfalls flowing right by the road, and stunning views of Diablo Lake. Tricia discovered they were serious about the severe crosswinds as she rode the bridge near the bottom and was blown in 4 directions at once for about 100 yards. Even I, though being a bit more...weighty... rider, found the crossing... interesting.

We followed that by zooming through a dark tunnel. Sunglasses did not help. It was very exciting, like braille riding at 20 mph.

Tricia had spent the day focused on her goal, a berry smoothie at Cascadian Berry Farm at mile 92. She thought the ride was worth it -- what a delicious, satisfying blueberry smoothie they make. Six more miles along a shaded country road and we were at our campground. Both of us had massages after this day's ride!

Thursday, from Rockport, we rode 70 miles toward Deception Pass. We stopped briefly in the town of Concrete where, looking for a restroom, we spotted a bar open at 8am with a sign reading "Bikers always welcome." They may not have meant us, but they were very nice, and offered us "rest" as well as making sure our water bottles were filled.

Later in the day we were treated to a long flat run with a big tail wind for many miles that made us think, for a while, we were actually fast.

After a short ice cream break we got to ride across the stunning bridge at Deception Pass to our campground in a state park almost on the beach.

I'm used to overcooked pasta dinners following a century ride, and that's what I expected on this tour. I couldn't have been more wrong. We ate like royalty the entire trip, but Thursday was hardly believable. We started with local mussels and oysters. I'd have been happy to end it there, but it was followed by caught-that-day Washington salmon, local corn, and a salad featuring local berries that were bursting with yummy goodness. I just can't say enough for Kathy, our caterer. She made every meal a delight. Her meals deserve a blog all their own.

After dinner we watched a beautiful sunset from the beach. As beautiful as it was, the long days -- it's light until almost 10 -- were a little exhausting when we knew we had to be awake at 5:30 to ride again. That night, we were lulled to sleep by jet plane fly overs from the local naval air base.

On Friday we rolled from Deception Pass to the lovely town of Langley. We had beautiful vistas of water, as we did most days, but a lot of the rest is just a blur. We stopped at the very interesting Fort Casey State Park where guns were mounted during WWII to stop an invasion that never came. Tricia and I stopped for some wine tasting, and ended up toting back a couple of bottles by bike. Later, we bought more wine and some cheese in Langley. We lounged on the lawn at the County fairgrounds where we camped and enjoyed our booty with our fellow cyclists and tent neighbors.

Our last day included a ferry ride, which was a nice break after a bunch of up and down grunt hills that were too long for rollers and too short to call climbs. Though the elevation profile looked flat, with no big climbs, the constant up and down of 9% grades was pretty tiring. We eventually ended up on a bike path in Redmond and made our way to our car. Some of the riders rode to the school where we started, some to a hotel. The only disappointment was that there wasn't a big goodbye party to send off our new friends and wish them well.

We drove to Port Orchard to see Tricia's son Jason, daughter-in-law Lea and grandbaby Bishop, then spent another night camping in Ashland at a geodesic-dome-building, hippie new age festival. When we got home the kids hadn't burned the house down, and most of the plants and all of the birds were still alive, so all in all it was a very good two weeks. The house was suspiciously clean and tidy, but we figured "don't ask, don't tell" applied in this situation, so we didn't ask, and (according to protocol) they didn't tell.

If you find words spelled correctly, or an interesting turn of phrase in this post, it's Tricia doing a bit of editing and writing. I'm pretty sure any mistakes you find are mine.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tricia tells 'em

Tricia (MyLilPony) is not a sprinter. She's a metronome. No matter how far the ride she ends at the speed she starts, and rarely coasts or hammers. So I was a bit surprised -- even shocked -- when, on our morning ride, she hit the drops and blasted away from me.

Fine, I thought, and started working to close the gap, which wasn't closing nearly as quickly as I thought it should be. Then she hit a rise, stood up and applied more power. Jeezel Pete I thought as I did the same, breathing hard and not catching up.

Then suddenly at the top of a small rise she almost stopped, and, doing a near track stand, stood tall, and surveyed the area like a bird of prey. She suddenly swooped down on a woman and young child standing behind a car on a suburban driveway.

"Excuse me, but did you know how close you came to me back there?" she asked in a completely sweet and innocent tone.

"No." said the woman. "I'm sorry."

"I didn't think so." said Tricia, who went on to ask her to be careful out there.

What made it even more perfect was that the woman just happened to be unloading a child's bike, presumably for the child with her, from her trunk.

"You'll have a cyclist of your own soon. Do you have a helmet?"


Turning to the child she asked the little boy "Are you always going to wear it?" When he nodded, Tricia gave him a thumbs up and rolled off, without even calling out the "Ho Ho Silver" I was just about expecting.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Ruby in 50+ jersey

Ruby in 50+ jersey
Originally uploaded by ccorlew
Yep, that's her name, same as Tricia's new bike.
I had jerseys made for 50+ forum (despite the fast that I'm swear I'm not a day over 29.) When they came the manufacutuer had included this mini-jersey. So she got photographed with Tricia's Ruby.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Government bicycle plans, oh joy!

Does this sound sexy or what?
The Contra Costa Transportation Authority 2009 Countywide Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan Public Review draft meeting.
And yet Tricia and I went with our friend Joyce to the bus station office to check it out.

If you ever wondered why government has so much trouble doing anything right, this meeting would have confirmed your concerns, but not provided a lot of hope for the future. What with overlapping state/county/city jurisdictions, agencies with conflicting concerns wrestling over limited funds and a general lack of interest in many communities, it may be the most amazing thing is that anything happens at all. Ever.

The big bottom line for us in Antioch is that the report shows that our city has spent zero money on bike or ped projects in the past five years. That's right. Nothing. Our neighboring cities, Brentwood and Pittsburg have some work going on, but Antioch has nothing. They've even removed some bike lanes.

Antioch doesn't even have have a bicycle/pedestrian advisory committee.

Though the CCTA does get some funding, it turns out cities have to apply for it. My guess: Antioch won't. Let's see what happens.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Morgan Territory Road

What a beautiful California Saturday. Tricia and I met Joyce at a Peets in Concord near Clayton and we rode Morgan Territory Road, then up the Diablo Southgate, down the North, and back to the cars. It was wonderful. Not too hot, not to cold, not too windy (though I could do with just a touch less during the screaming decent toward Livermore.)

They repaved the road a year or two ago and what a difference it makes. Whoever did that: Thanks!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Really, it's all about Zertz.

Zertz, of course, is the new miracle elasto polymer made with meteorite dust and the molecular essence of hybrid rubber plants grown in secret silos miles beneath the surface of the Earth.

While Zertz has shown potential for curing both Attention Deficit Disorder and warts, it also has applications in underwater welding and bowling ball construction. But where it really shines is in vibration absorption on really pretty bicycles (RPB.) It apparently can work it's magic on any bike, but does best on women specific red and white varieties.

Naturally, being of such high scientific and artistic sensitivity, this appealed to Tricia. Or maybe it was that she had a Ruby Red Giro Helmet and matching Sedi shoes already. It gets a bit fuzzy here for me. Anyway, she saved up her allowance from the local middle school, did some extra chores there, and the next thing I knew I was standing there saying stuff like "Of course you should buy yourself a new bike. With Zertz. It's not just on the frame you know, it's in the seat post too. You'd be crazy, double crazy, to not get it." and "White bar tape! White seat! What could be more practical than that!"

She often listens to my experienced wisdom when it comes to important matters like this, and she did this time too.

So, here we are, announcing the latest addition to the Tricia stable: Ruby.

I've been annoying Tricia by singing Ruby songs all day (Ruby, don't take your bike to town, Ruby Ruby, Ruby baby, etc...) And pointing out I don't have love handles, I have.... Zertz inserts.