27 July, 2009

Butler Valley Loop

Seeking summer heat I headed into the mountains.

My stats were on par despite and because of my lack of riding. My legs weren't ripped, but they were fresh.

46 miles in 3 hours 15 minutes with a max speed of 46.7 mph.

I thought about mixing up my routine. But there are reasons why this loop is the best. The climbs are long and steep. The descents send me flying over everything from buttery fresh blacktop, to pot-hole ridden tarmac, to straight up gravel. Oh yeah, the views are grand. It's always exciting, and always a challenge.

Leif donated an older molder digital camera, but I can't find a cable to get the photos on my computer!

from Calvin & Hobbes


18 July, 2009

Deutschland 2011

Start 'em young!

We've been dreaming up another trip to Germany & Holland in 2011.

What makes this region so appealing to me?

Cycling has been seamlessly integrated into every aspect of traveling. It is easy to ride right out of the airport, between towns, or onto a train.

Bike touring is very popular. The province of Saarland (our next destination) has bicycle touring bags as a promotional item.

Made in Germany by Ortlieb, maker of the finest cycling bags.
To read about our 2007 tour, click here.

Active Transportation

The United States rides 25 miles per person/per year; walks 88.*

Germany rides 181 miles per person/per year; walks 231.

The Netherlands rides 527 miles per person/per year; walks 234.

A staggering 1out of 3 trips from home are made by bike in Holland. Germany also stands out for their recent dedication to bike paths and high rates of riding.

* Source:

Walking, Cycling, and Obesity Rates in Europe, North America, and Australia.
A sweet 20 page research paper.

16 July, 2009

Snow Camp Road

I was craving temperatures above 65 so I headed out into the mountains.

Unfortunately Green Diamond Resource Company was also in the mountains today with a fleet of logging trucks. On numerous occasions I stopped to let the behemoths pass.

The dirt roads get very dusty in the 90+ heat. It was difficult to ride the dust & gravel w/my skinny tires. The only benefit of the swirling dust clouds is that they announce the presence of trucks miles away when seen from vista points.

40 miles in 3 hours w/5,000 feet of climbing.

I rode out-and-back to the furthest point on the south road (avoiding HWY).

-- --

13 July, 2009

Lassen Volcanic National Park

We just got back from a 3 day trip to Lassen NP

Burney Falls S.P. en route

If you can wade through the crowds, this waterfall was a beauty!

Cinder Cone

A height of 700 feet and less than 400 years of age,
this volcanic wonder leaves a lasting impression.

The cone was impossibly steep & loose.

The view: Snag Lake, Fantastic Lava Beds, & Painted Dunes from Cinder Cone

Sunday we spent 8.5 hours hiking from our camp at Butte Lake around Snag Lake and back via the cinder cone. The surrounding 30 sq miles are covered in gray volcanic ash. This, combined with the high altitude, made the 11 mile hike more difficult than a regular 22 mile hike.

Although we did hike through some old growth forest & aspen groves, mosquitoes prevented photography.

Taking a break w/snags at Snag Lake.

Even with 1.5 hours of breaks, we were relieved at the end of the day to soak our beaten legs in the cold lake.

Cinder Cone & Fantastic Lava Beds article: Wikipedia
-- --

Monday we drove over the summit of Mount Lassen.

Scenery like this gave me a new respect for Lassen!

Giddy with anxiousness, we followed our noses 1.5 miles to Bumpass Hell

Sulphuric steam rises at 200 F. Nearby rock turns into boiling mud,

The vents create magical turquoise ponds.
This jewel featured blooming "Mountain Heather"

We saw a bald eagle, a single deer, and bear cub near Snag Lake.
Close to home I spotted another black bear & cub on HWY 299.

This park was truly unique & beautiful beyond my expectations.

09 July, 2009

SB Trail video

I wanted to put these clips back-to-back with music .
Unfortunately, this old computer isn't up to the challenge.

-- --

06 July, 2009

Lance Armstrong: back on the bike!

Lance Armstrong is an amazing person.

After defeating a death sentence of brain and testicular cancer, he returned to pro-racing to win 7 consecutive Tour de France's. No one had ever won more than 5 in a lifetime.

He retired. Missed the last 3 tours. Now he's back to raise awareness for LIVESTRONG, his foundation to inspire people fighting cancer.

Lance in his custom black & yellow LIVESTRONG kit.

Today the 37 year old jumped from 10th to 3rd place in the 96th Tour de France.

Story here.

Although few people in his home country even know he's racing, millions of fans turn out for the races from all over Europe. In fact, the Tour is

Go Lance!

05 July, 2009

7 lucky ducks

After watching Ice Age 3 in McKinleyville we decided to ride to the beach. We didn't get far on the Hammond Trail before noticing 7 ducklings alone on the path.

We followed them for 30 minutes before they turned into a residential area and quickly drew the interest of a number of cats.

I acted quickly and got a cardboard box from a nearby house.

40 minutes of phone calls later, these lucky ducks got a ride on my bike to meet some wildlife rescue people. These ducks wouldn't have lasted 5 minutes with those cats!

The main plot of Ice Age 3 follows Sid the Sloth as he tries to rescue 3 T-Rex babies. A strange coincidence indeed.

02 July, 2009

Kneeland & Fickle Hill

37 miles in 2 hours 38 minutes with a top speed of 44.6 mph.

It was so nice and warm at the top of Kneeland (elevation 2,750 ft).

The grass smelled like summer.

I lost the photo at the top of my page while trying to improve the layout, I'm working to bring it back...