Saturday, September 19, 2015

Tricia on the Bears

We went out on the Bears for a bit of a ride. It's always fun coming down Papa Bear. I have no idea why some folks ride in the middle of the lane oblivious to people behind them.

If Tricia looks fast here, it's because she's pushing 40 mph.

Here's a bonus overdone Instagram photo of her on the way up.

A photo posted by curtis corlew (@cccorlew) on

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

East Bay Regional Parks Police and the Delta De Anza Trail

I was pretty darn thrilled last week to find East Bay Regional Parks Police Officer Josh Harrington patrolling the trail exactly where I was assaulted.  When I stopped to chat with him he said the department had only recently heard of my attack (thanks Antioch Police for not ever forwarding the report like you said you would) and that he was here just checking things out. He said he knew who I was right away by the wound on my knee that's still rather impressive.

It was so comforting to see him there. Here's hoping for an increased presence along that part of the trail. Who knows, it may even contribute to fewer broken bottles, and wouldn't that be nice.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Delta De Anza Trail and Los Medanos College connected at last

Ken Alexander commutes on the new connector between LMC and the Delta De Anza Trail
— Photo by Joey Delano
Los Medanos College now has a paved connector to the Delta De Anza Trail on the South East side of the campus. It's been a long time coming, but with a few student voices and the support of the college president it now exists.

Really, this announcement is a touch premature, but I'm so excited I want to post it anyway. It's early because there are still 10 feet left to pave — the space between the college fence and the trail is still dirt. East Bay Regional Parks gave their blessing, but the Contra Costa Water District owns the property and hasn't given it the green light yet. Apparently there is enough paperwork involved that building a sky scraper wouldn't take any more.

But I don't care. It will happen some day, and in the mean time the remaining trail is a delight.

I hope when it's finalized there is some appropriate entrance signage, but even if there isn't, it's wonderful.

Here's a link to my original advocacy video
Here's the story that appeared in the Los Medanos College Experience newspaper

Monday, September 07, 2015

Tarantellas, Retail Therapy, Recycling and More

Sometimes embedded Instagram images are painfully slow to appear. I have no idea why. But they're worth the wait. Have a coffee, come back.  Or try reloading.
A photo posted by curtis corlew (@cccorlew) on

It's Tarantella season on Mt. Diablo. Though I've ridden there for years this is my first sighting. I understand it's not unusual, but it's still exciting.

Tricia and I had decided to tackle the ride up to the junction and loop back through Danville to see how I was recovering and so I could try out my new retail therapy IAM Cycling kit.

A photo posted by curtis corlew (@cccorlew) on

I'd purchased this kit through the Chinese web site for about $40. Yep, $40. I wasn't expecting much, maybe just a "costume" quality kit I'd be willing to ride 5 miles in. Instead, I'm pleasantly surprised. I bought a large, with is ever so slightly too big, but if I slip and gain a couple of pounds it will be fine. The fabric seems first rate. The chamois a fine. There is a very small, odd triangle of white where I assume they made a printing error. How can this all be so inexpensive? I can guess they don't pay licensing fees, but still. Maybe I should be asking why nice bib shorts can cost well over $150. Though I don't see myself buying more of this stuff, it is a fun kit, even if it did take almost a month to arrive.
Why IAM Cycling? They're a Swiss-registered UCI WorldTour cycling team sponsored by IAM Independent Asset Management SA, a Swiss investment management company. I don't care about any of that, I just like the kit, and IAM Cycling sounds so cool.

Tricia, from a screen grab of my rear-facing Fly 6 video camera.

A photo posted by curtis corlew (@cccorlew) on

On our way home we stopped by Sports Basement to drop off some old tires for recycling.  I tried to tell the sales clerk we were returning them because every one wore out after only a few thousand miles. He was mildly amused.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Death of a Schwalbe Marathon Plus

The Schwalbe Marathon Plus tire is well known for being darn near bullet proof. Even though I live in the land of broken glass and thorns and get tons of road bike flats with "normal" tires, my Schwalbe Marathons have been flat free. Until now. Apparently there are limits after all.
I, thankfully, didn't have far to go on my commute to get home when my tire stopped holding air, but I wasn't happy about losing a pricy tire at all. Then I started wondering what the heck this pointy thing in the tire was.  It wasn't a nail, or much like anything I'd seen before. 

After being mugged while commuting by bike just a few weeks before, my paranoia level is pretty high. I started wondering if this was some sort of projectile, perhaps from a nail-gun like device, and wondering if someone had shot it at me. No one I asked knew what it was, which further fed my fears.

I eventually posted on AskMetafilter, asking what it was. The helpful folks there had the answer. It wasn't a projectile, it was a center punch tool, but missing the handle. Somehow I'd managed to flip it up riding over it just exactly wrong so it would puncture my tire. I'm rather relieved I wasn't a target. I have a new Marathon installed already (Thanks Amazon overnight shipping) and got to enjoy installing it. Read about how much fun that is.

Of course, the all-knowing Facebook thinks, based on my research, that I now want to buy a center punch. They've started putting ads for them on my feed. Yikes.