27 September, 2009

Redwood Valley & Snow Camp Rd

I hit the road early to avoid traffic on HWY 299. I don't get passed often but they're going 65mph. The abandoned old 299 is a car free relief for much of the climb.
Old HWY 299

When I reach Lord Ellis Summit (elevation 2,263 ft) I drop the backside to Redwood Valley. Redwood Creek begins here and provides water for the world's tallest trees (JBG: 8.08).

The riding in this valley is a welcome change of pace and scenery. The road surface predictable and the grade leaves me tapping my brakes instead riding them hard. The surroundings feature idyllic grassy hills, a small vineyard, trees other than redwoods, and the creek. Instead of the cool coastal climate, the air is dry and smelling of sun baked dirt and plant.

Redwood Creek
This road knows no end, but my legs are drained from previous rides this week. I turn around at the far end of the valley and climb back to Lord Ellis Summit.

I don't like riding HWY 299, especially the spots with no shoulder. Instead I climb higher on the loose dust/gravel of Snow Camp Road. The minutes pass and I question my ability to continue. My legs feel weak and I'm rationing food and drink.

As I started to curse myself for biting off more than I could chew, a spectacular vista lifted my spirits. From Bald Mountain (3,000+ ft) I could see the distant rocky tops of larger mountains inland. To the west the ocean glimmered beneath the hazy fog 10 miles away.


View from Bald Mountain West

The last hour of the ride my legs opened up and felt solid. Knowing I was about to feast and hydrate also helped. After icing my knees at home I jumped back on a bike to the grocery store.

60 grueling mountain miles with 5,600 feet of climbing in 4 hours and 30 minutes.


View Larger Map

24 September, 2009

Fear of Cycling

Copenhagenize.com is featuring a five part essay from a guest writer on "Fear of Cycling."
Are bicycles dangerous? This first aid kit thinks so.
Many bicycle advocates argue the hype surrounding bicycle safety creates a "fear of cycling." Instead we should focus on positive marketing that tout the overwhelming benefits.

These bike nerds know that the research shows helmets do not decrease injuries amongst a general population over time. I'm still wearing my brain bucket, but after my recent injuries I've realized the limitations of the modern helmet.

Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation



Car Free Day Arcata
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20 September, 2009

Reverse Butler Valley

Today Vince & I rode the Butler Valley Loop in reverse. After 50 miles, 3 hours 38 minutes, and 5,600 vertical feet of chatting it up, I needed a hamburger stat!

I haven't had meat in weeks, and I haven't missed it till today. Following a killer ride with red meat has become some sort of tradition.
Check out my so fresh & clean Lemond, its even color coordinated!

The riding was damn near perfect today. The presence of a dozen pickup trucks could be my only complaint. Many portions of the ride have smooth new blacktop. The weather was sunny 70's and clear skies. No wildlife sightings, but the scenery... awesome.

At times the view up a valley reveals a sea of trees covering all but the jagged crags of buttes and meandering meadows near the Mad River.

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Later I walked to the North Country Fair while talking to my brother about preseason NHL.
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16 September, 2009

Back in the Saddle: ACF

Today was my first ride back on my Mt.Bike. I've been riding the Monocog at the Marsh and hitting some jumps in the forest, but today was a proper ride.

I don't know if it's the hours of watching New World Disorder 8 or the time off the bike, but I'm on point right now. My jumps in particular are better than ever.

NWD 8 clip on YouTube

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seeing shades of green
my gears turn remembering
"live simply so that others may simply live"
-Mahatma Gandhi

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15 September, 2009

Lemond Makeover

My Lemond Poprad has new parts and needs a new look.
time to remove that reflective tape-

After two full afternoons of scrubbing the adhesive residue, the bike is looking good. Since I'm giving this bike a mini make-over it occurs to me that it needs a worthy head badge.

Gorgeous Badges from Rivendell Bikes, hand made in the East Bay.


I wanted to do a German theme with the bike since our '07 tour. I tried a vinyl flag sticker and considered hand painting, but inspiration finally struck!

As a child in Germany I remember collecting metallic badges (stocknagel) for our hiking sticks. Every place we visited sold little souvenir badges.

my new head badge

The village of Boppard brings back happy, ice cream filled memories. The black eagle is the coat of arms of Germany, originating with Charlemagne 1,000 years ago. And, naturally, grapes were incorporated to represent this region's famous wines.
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13 September, 2009

Trinidad Celebration

We had a mellow five days taking in the best of Humboldt county; eating, enjoying the coast, and napping.

Trinidad has been continuously inhabited 2-5,000 years.

We saw a killer whale's dorsal fin and a wounded seal.

Another day we hiked Patrick's Point

We feasted with locally grown food & locally owned restaurants.

Carmela's Mexican
Hole in the Wall Sandwiches

Arcata Pizza & Deli
Hue's Southeast Asian
Crosswinds: free champagne before 2 pm


My b-day came a few weeks early, thanks Bob, Judy, and Heather!

Thanks for another year baby!
Link to our '08 celebration here.

The entire Cali coastline photographed courtesy California Coastal Records Project.
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06 September, 2009

Ashland trails, Ashland Hospital

I went mountain biking in Ashland, Oregon this weekend.

Unfortunately I wrecked my face into a large sharp-edged rock.


Ashland is a beautiful town, this weekend I uglied it up. How did it go down?
I went over the bars in a rock garden.

a rock garden in Slovenia

The trail I crashed on is a short hellish spur that can easily be avoided.
Only an hour earlier I cleared the same section during my first run.


Good news:
CAT scan shows no skull fracture
X-ray of elbow negative for broken bones
I still have all my teeth
Lessons learned about equipment choices


can you tell my nose is broken?Bad news:
9 stitches forehead, 3 lip, 4 elbow
broken nose
cuts and bruises top to bottom
only 2 hours of riding for a 3 day vacation
broken Rx sunglasses & helmet
my next shuttle was free
hurt ego


Ashland's awesome riding

Mount Ashland to downtown Ashland: 5,000+ ft in 12 miles

01 September, 2009

Bicycle Rap

Fuss Vom Gas, translated "Foot of Gas" or maybe "Foot for Gas"?

click to watch the music video

Reminds me of Fight of the Conchords.

Straight out of Austria & New Zealand yo!