25 June, 2012

Freedom Park

Freedom Park has some wicked mountain bike trails!

Located in James City County, Virginia.  The Eastern Virginia Mountain Bike Association made these trails right.  Whether you want wooden features or natural terrain, they'll keep you smiling.

small, medium, large, or just go around

riding the Logness Monster

Colby Swamp

There are some big jumps/drops and 20 emergency access points along the trails.

unlike Bay Area land managers, they embrace the mountain bike

I'll be back, next time with a proper bike!

Freedom Park:  20+ miles of trails with 30 technical features, history, and a rope course.

22 June, 2012

Just Ride

Articles on biking for beginners appear everywhere, but I rarely see a good one.

Americans seem intent on reinventing the wheel when it comes to biking.  The authors pull random and often misguided tips from a hat.  Look to countries where everyone rides!

The Dutch, normal people riding normal bikes. 

Yes those are high heel shoes. Yes she's carrying 100 pounds of "cargo".

The bad articles load you with "necessary" accessories.  You only need a city-bike.

I convert old mountain bikes to city-bikes, not ideal but cheaper than a new bike.

Find a single bike accessory, I dare you!

An East Bay bike maker recently published  "Just Ride" to try and put people straight.

On jerseys

BM: Made of lightweight, fast-drying materials that stay cool, this shirt includes back pockets to hold snacks, keys, and other essentials.

GP: If you don't race, loose is better. Loose clothing ventilates better and stays off your skin. Untuck your shirt, so it flaps a little and keeps the air moving around your skin.  

On shoes

BM: Invest in a clipless system, which increases power and efficiency and smooths out pedal strokes by connecting cleats on your shoes to the pedals.

GP: As long as your pedals aren't dinky, any shoe does the job without flexing because the shoe is supported by the pedal. The benefits of pedaling free far outweigh any real or imagined benefits of being locked in.  

On gloves

BM: They prevent blisters and pressure pain from the handlebar and protect your hands in case of a fall.

 GP: I can see gloves (or mittens) in cold weather, but they're far from essential in fair weather.

On helmets

BM: That's your only brain up there. Strap this on to help keep it safe.

GP: Are you safer wearing a helmet and overestimating its protection, or going helmetless and riding more carefully?

On buying bikes

BM: Buy the highest quality bike you can afford. For $500-700, expect entry-level components; a frame made of no-frills steel or aluminum; basic wheels. For $1,000 to 1,500, expect mid or entry level parts; a midquality steel or aluminum frame, maybe with carbon fiber mixed in; lighter, stronger wheels. For $1,500 to 3,000, expect upper-level components; a frame made of some high-quality aluminum or steel or midlevel carbon; lighter wheels.

GP: The lighter bike is good for maybe five years before it breaks or you just don't trust it anymore. The heavier one may easily last twenty or thirty years because it can withstand scratches and minor gouges. The more useful steel bike let's you ride tires up to 38 mm so you can ride it over any paved surface with remarkable comfort, because you can lower the pressure in the wide tires. It fits fenders, so it's a year-round, all-weather bike, not a part of the year, good weather one. A weight difference of a few pounds is hard to get worked up over, especially when the "extra" weight makes the bike better.  

19 June, 2012

New Quarter Park

New Quarter Park has some fine trails built for and by mountain bikers.

Purpose built trails have the advantage of being more sustainable, ending trail user conflict, and they are downright fun!

double black diamond stunts

18 June, 2012

William & Mary

I hit up the trails behind the College of William and Mary, the 2nd oldest American university.

The woods are alive with deer (far too many), squirels, birds, turtles and snakes.

a big turtle was next to this snake, but ran off before the picture

I love seeing improvements for walking and biking, like this new path connecting campus.

Why bother with the stress and isolation of driving cross-campus?

trails of roots, sand, and leaves

16 June, 2012


I'm in Williamsburg, Virginia visiting my parents this week.

I got in a short spin through one of America's largest car-free street areas.

colonial Williamsburg is still old-timey

12 June, 2012

St. Paul

I'm visiting family in Stillwater, Minnesota.  Today I rode to St. Paul on beautiful bike paths!

bike paths don't get much nicer

a highway for bikes and cars

farms outside Stillwater

09 June, 2012

Coast View Trail

My school year has ended and tomorrow I will be on vacay in MN & VA!

I would like to thank all the school staff, volunteers, parents, and my coworkers that make my work possible!  We bring the joy of biking to thousands of kids each year.

A perfect ride on Coast View Trail.  I've got my bike and body dialed-in and it feels great!

Leopard Lily? on Old Stagecoach Road

mandatory ocean shot

I stopped for a family of quail on Dias Ridge (stock photo)

07 June, 2012


Now this is bicycle promotion!

I've been riding to north Novato and that means a 41 mile round-trip commute with hills.

Eucalyptus Ave is a pleasant surprise.  This could be a problem road with hurried drivers cutting through the residential neighborhood, but instead the street is great!

Added curves and narrow lanes calm traffic, making room for plants and sidewalks.

05 June, 2012


Recent rain washed all the dust off the trail, a great time to ride.

Tamarancho miles are earned, the trail is not smooth or flat.

02 June, 2012

Shell Ridge

I was aiming for Mount Diablo but I only made it to Shell Ridge.

A mechanical problem shortened the ride, but at least I could pedal home.

Shell Ridge

My spirits were lifted when I saw the Clayton Bike Stunt Team bust out some back-flips at the Walnut Creek Art and Wine Festival.

When I got back I swam with the dogs in the pool.  Summer!