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...