Monday, January 17, 2011

East Bay Ride

I start a new job soon, but I still have a little time off. Why not take a trip? I know, I'll visit Chris and Karen in Oakland!

Beware of Dog

I don't often see Velocipaptor sculptures in front yards. Or stretch WVs. Or little girls swinging from the living room ceiling on a rope. That's why I kind of like the vibe when I go visit these friends. It's a refreshing change of pace. Probably the result of too much Burning Man, but hey, I don't judge.

Beethoven and Savanah

But not everything is crazy at Chris and Karen's place. Little kids still like to play in cardboard boxes.

I feel like a little kid too, when I find that it's only a block to the trail. The picture below is not even a real trail. It's running down the central median of Skyline Blvd. 

North bound lanes on the left

When I follow that trail all the way south, to Grass Valley Rd,  I can turn right down into the city, or left into Chabot Regional Park. The park is huge and beautiful, but it's mostly fireroad. Some parts of it are prone to mud and littered with cattle, which makes riding really fun in a strange way. Go towards Bort Meadows if you're into that kind of thing.

As always, steeper than it looks...

Remember the role Eucalyptus played in the Oakland Hills fire of 1991?

Finally I find the singletrack, and it's got stop signs!
 All in all, I think East Bay riding is really fun. I only interacted with a dozen people at most on the pictured ride, and one (a hiker) asked me what gear-ratio I was running. That never happens back home.

Besides the dirt, the nearby roads were littered with roadies. The gentle grades (6%, I think), shade, and relative lack of cars conspire to make it easy to throw down some miles.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Laundry Day

Let's see what I took out of that back jersey pocket:

Looks like some Ibuprofin and Naproxen, sunscreen, directions, and SPF15 lip balm.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Highway 39

I met my buddy Mannuel at Encanto Park in Duarte and we promptly started up San Gabriel Canyon Road aka Highway 39. I have developed this bad habit of riding and riding. As opposed to riding and taking photos. It would be a good habit, were I not a blogger. But since we had stopped anyway, at the waterfall I use to cool off on hot days, I snapped this photo:

Manny in his Thin Kit by Spongebath Falls

I don't think I need to explain why I stopped to take the next photo. It was just too good. It was the first large patch of snow we came upon. We had been seeing big chunks next to the road since 4,000 feet or so, but this was different. The road is going east and the hill to our right is of the north-facing non-snow-melting variety. This is still before we hit 5k.

I don't know which way to position a bicycle for a photo.
Mountain Biker scum...

We took no more photos till we hit the end of the line. The road keeps going, but with the snow, we did not.

Look at those toasty warm knees!

My outfit looks almost the same as Manny's. But with the simple addition of fleece knee-warmers, I was comfortable all the way up. Manny was getting cold in the shadows. Just imagine the descent! For once, I was able to keep up with him.

Sweet ride!
I think I won the clothing contest, but the bike competition goes to the red, green and gold!