26 October, 2008

Weaverville Basin Trail System

Today Ryan, Mike, Wes, and I made the long 2hr drive to Weaverville looking for single-track.

stock photo
The La Grange Ditch Trail was awesome. It followed the path of an old flume. On the right is a ditch where the water was. On the left a sharp drop down a hill. Pin it or down you go! The trail was complete with rock obstacles, whoops, stream crossings and sharp steep switchbacks. Although I would rank these trails as intermediate difficulty, it got interesting/fun at high speeds. The downhill grade was minimal along the flume and made for great pedaling.

We rode along the blue dots.
Definitely the best trails I've ridden in Northern NorCal.

The conditions were perfect, sunny and 80 with fall colors on the trees (not the trail).
A perfect end of season epic.

23 October, 2008

Two Tales, Two Cities: Clam Beach

I had an interesting ride today. There are two tales to tell. Two people from one city riding from one city to another with a fella from another city. One tale tells that tale, another tale talks of tedious mechanical transgressions.

On my way to Trinidad I got a flat tire on Clam Beach.
These tires are amazingly flat resistant, and I found this incident surprising. I became even more confused when I could not locate the source of the puncture in the tire. I was frustrated. I ate a Cliff bar and took this picture.

It turns out that these tires are shot. After so many miles of riding , the inside wire-casing of the tire had come loose. The tire itself caused the flat.

This did not put me in a better mood. This bike needs new tires, chain, and grip tape. I just spent hundreds of dollars upgrading the wheels/fork/brake last week! My commuter bike at home needs new parts as well. I felt like perpetual riding was a quest I could not afford.

bummed. turned around.

Shortly after that I bumped into Nancy and Ryan.
These wonderful Canucks are traveling to San Fran from Portland. They're considering riding the rugged stretch of highway referred to as the Unknown Coast south of Eureka. The beautiful scenery and demanding climbs have attracted riders such as Tinker Juarez and Lance Armstrong.

Chatting with these two as we rode to Arcata reaffirmed my belief that we should all move to Canada. I hope they have a great ride. It appears they timed the trip perfectly to catch our late coastal summer.

When I got home I needed a burrito. I jumped on my trusty commute bike and snap! Oh, what's that? A broken spoke. C’est la vie!

20 October, 2008

Ode to every bicycle-

The bicycle stands alone as a triumph of engineering. The combination of wheels and gears, sprinkled with a few well placed levers, is the most efficient mechanism of transportation ever devised for humans over land.

Regardless of whether you ride for fun, fitness, or to get the groceries, the bike extends its benefits to recreational and utilitarian riders alike.

Lance Armstrong

Riding a bicycle improves your health. The bike is such a great form of exercise that they made a stationary version for the gym!

This ultra-efficient machine minimizes your transportation footprint.
Pollution free, the bike burns calories for fuel.

No paving paradise to put up a parking lot and no smashing people to bits.
How could such a machine be overlooked?

There is inherent good in riding a bicycle for any reason.
Every rider helps raise public awareness of this brilliant machine.

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19 October, 2008

Drive 25

I urge you to share this information with other drivers.

Hit someone at 20mph? Bruises and scratches.
Hit someone at 30mph? 50% chance of death.
Hit someone at 40mph? 85% fatality rate.

Look on the bright side, driving slow saves lives.

13 October, 2008

riding Autumn: Thornton MUT

Leaves are changing colors and the days are getting shorter.
Clear cool skies have given us dry trails and reasons to ride.

Rode Thornton MUT in Redwood State Park with a posse on Sunday.
Good times and great riding conditions, only 1hour south of Arcata.

Geeking Out on the benefits of disc brakes

My darling Lemond Poprad (USA-made-beefy-steel-road-bike) just got a makeover.

By replacing the fork I can now run a front disc-brake. The wheel-set was hard to find, even more so because the rear wheel is still a rim brake. The wheels are Full Seed Ahead or FSA. I haven't used their products before, but I am excited to see cartridge bearings and a traditional spoke lacing pattern on these hoops.

On most bicycles the brake surface is the rim of the wheel. Using your brakes is slowly, or not so slowly in bad weather, destroying your wheels. Though a little heavier, disc brakes have much better stopping power and cause no damage to the wheel since it brakes on a hub mounted "disc" and not your rim.

Old Poprad: white fork and rim brakes.
New Poprad: black fork,
a "disc" brake at the center of wheel.
I highly recommend disc brakes to any one who rides on a regular basis or in sloppy conditions.
My beautiful Poprad is ready for winter!

Today I did a mini-triathlon. I went mtn biking, then ran, and then did some single-speed mtn biking.
That's a triathlon, right?

The trails are in the best shape I've seen in 5 years.
The weather is sunny and low 60's.
Its hard not to ride.

07 October, 2008

05 October, 2008

Ride to Patrick's Point

Neither Ryan nor I have been riding road since the trails dried up.
Now that they have returned to mud we're riding road again.

Ride stats 48.7miles, 2hrs45mins, avg 17.7mph, max 43mph.

Scenic Drive in Trinidad has been closed to traffic for a few years. A section of the road slid out, and was promptly turned into gravel. Recently construction has cleared the road down to dirt and the rains turned this portion into a muddy mess...

So much for avoiding the mud!
I made it past the 2nd hay bale before going over the bars.
After I regained my senses we doubled back to Westhaven.
I don't know what came over me, too much mountain biking I guess.

The fist rains have made nasturtiums flower and cows run wildly in green fields.