Other articles

  1. Cycling

    2013 05 23 cycling


    A page about cycling in the East Bay (and the San Francisco Bay Area in general).

    This started off as the sort of resource that I wish I had when visiting a new town: so hi there, out-of-towner, welcome to our corner of the world. Hope you enjoy your stay and find these resources helpful.

    You need a bike, a water bottle, a jersey or a saddle bag (to store your snack, phone, patch kit). Everything else is optional.

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  2. Just Ride

    2013 05 17 books


    This is a pretty good book - though it's more of a set of short little blog posts combined into a book. It's nice to read the very opinionated thoughts of someone who's been dealing with bicycles for a very long time.

    The whole time I was reading this, I felt like this is the type of stuff that my pal Jon G would have said, and in a similar style to the way he would have said it. I look forward to reading Jon's treatises on cycling in the future.

    Reading this book made me proud to and convinced me to continue to never wear clipless pedals and cycling shoes (I have toe clips), and having a kickstand on my roadie. I'm an unracer - and to quote the title of one of the little chapters: "Racing ruins the breed".

    I also learned how to corner and turn properly - which has been invaluable in my windy descents lately. Finally, I was reminded to not just count miles, because every ride counts ("No ride too short"). Also it makes as much sense to count time spent on the bike, and the amount of elevation gain, and the number of days biked, period. Thanks to my commute, this means my days biked per week stays above 5 during the most of the year in California.

    I also learned a new word: Beausage (byoo-sidj). My current bike doesn't have any, but my last laptop certainly does.

    It also felt kind of cool that the author is local. Grant Petersen founded and still runs Rivendell Bicycle Works in Walnut Creek, CA.

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  3. Cycling log

    2013 04 17 cycling


    Why do I keep a log? Read here. This log is terse, if you want longer descriptions of the rides, read my advice for cycling in the East Bay.

    2018-06-17 Bay Trail to Mountain View I <3 the Bay Trail - especially the gravel portions which Jon had introduced me to almost two years ago (2016-08-07). Had a coffee and waffle at Blue Bottle in Jack London Square near the beginning, and took an eggs benedict breakfast in Newark before crossing via Dumbarton Bridge.

    88.4 km +127 m

    2018-06-09 Treasure Bica loop - I've sort of lost my cadance of logging these rides. I guess the ones I do alone all end up blending together, unless they're particularly long.

    60.6 km +771 m

    2018-05-19 Fort Bragg 600k - Wow. What an adventure. We started at 6am and I made it to Fort Bragg (mile ~180) at 10pm after riding along the coast to beautiful fog filtered sunset. Stayed there for an hour, then finally headed back to a campground at mile 225, because Kaley was leaving (otherwise I don't know how long I would have stayed there). Again, couldn't keep up with her the whole time, but didn't fall too far behind. At the camp, I slept in a chair in front of a fire pit from 3:15am to about 5:15, when I woke up to fresh eggs, bacon, and coffee being made for riders faster than me who were getting ready to head out. Left the campground at 6:15am, and needed to be at Pt Reyes Station by 6pm to make time cut off. Rode with Juliayn and Tom for a while - from Cloverdale to Healdsburg. Then took a longer break as they continued on and hooked up with Pierre - having a pleasant chat and good company almost all the way back to Freestone, where Pierre got a flat and insisted I keep going on my own. After figuring out that I wasn't as tired as much as I was cold - especially through the headwinds at Keys Creek - I proceeded to layer back up. I got to Point Reyes Station at 4:23pm (plenty ahead of the 6 something cutoff time), and then proceeded to ride more leisurely, taking a nap in a bus stop booth on Sir Francis Drake, getting tea and a morning bun at a cafe in Fairfax, and finally finishing at 8:20pm at Chrissy Field back in SF. Pierre ended up catching up right at the end of the last climb out of Sausalito and we rode in together. So that's 38 hours and 19 minutes elapsed time for this 600k. You can read more about this annual ride from Rob Hawks.

    600 km +5900 m 38 hours 19 minutes

    Hopland 400k - the beer and hard cider in Hopland seemed like a good idea at the time... Rode a big chunk of this with Phillip again - but had to let him go shortly after Petaluma safeway - I was too slow and nauseous after throwing up.

    400 km +3921 m 24 hours 10 minutes

    2018-05-07 Treasure Bica loop - The building that was in the median at the stop sign as you enter treasure island is gone. Saw a coyote near the top of South Park Dr.

    60.6 km +771 m

    2018-04-14 Treasure Bica + Wildcat 72.5 km +979 m 4 hours

    2018-04-11 - Hawk Hill and Sausalito. Mario and Shawn joined me to brave the rain.

    2018-03-30 A local 100k Treasure island, Bica, Papa Bear, Orinda. I should make something like this into a RUSA perm and ride it for a P-12

    97.2 km, 1846m gain

    2018-03-10 Healdsburg 300k - Yet another wonderful day on the bike. I stayed at my brother's in the city to make the 6am start, but as a result my breakfast was a banana just before the store. So after I got to the first control quickly, 9:10 - I decided to have a nice breakfast and stayed till about 9:45. Rode with Eri[ck]a, Matt and Mike for a while to the second control. Caught up with Jack in Samuel P Taylor Park and paired up for a bit. He let me go on the last climb on Sir Francis Drake.

    My legs felt good - I was able to power through Marin .

    Here's Brian Chun's video of the ride.

    300.2 km +2549 m 15 hours 34 min

    2018-03-04 Treasure Bica loop - The building that was in the median at the stop sign as you enter treasure island is gone. Saw a coyote near the top of South Park Dr.

    59.2 km +758 m

    2018-02-26 - Mt Hamilton 200k - amazing ride - we rode through the snow in the Bay Area (the peak had a good bunch of it, including some on the road) - lucked out into a paceline through most of Mines Rd to beat the wind. Rode a chunk of this with Phillip. Saw a fox riding through the dark on Pinehurst.

    see Eric Walstad's photos, or Greg Merrit's video

    201.9 km +2869 m

    2018-02-17 - Treasure Bica, with more Bay Trail - got rained out so decided to skip the tunnel road climb. 55.4 km +400 m

    2018-02-10 - Treasure Bica loop - 59.2 km +758 m

    2018-02-03 - Treasure Bica loop - fell off the wagon there in keeping these updated.. missed a few rides - Sara and Kayvon, and Greg, too. 59.2 km +758 m

    2017-08-12 Another coffee run - took a more creative descent. [48km, 1000m gain, 3 hours]

    2017-08-05 Coffee run - the descent on Tunnel Road is the worst it's been in many years - way too many potholes and broken asphalt 53km, 1000m gain, 3 hours)

    I rode several times between May and July, but somehow neglected to document any of thos rides

    2017-05-07 Grizzly Peak Century - Rode to the start to add an extra 20k and 300m of climbing. (140km, 2100m gain)

    2017-04-30 Treasure Island - rode with Sara and Kayvon - so good to see them both again.

    2017-04-01 Tunnel Road + Orinda dash - A reasonably short ride with Greg

    2017-02-25 SF Tri Club in the East Bay - Kilian invited me and it was great ride. I had to take easy since I haven't ridden any significant amount lately. (113km, 1710m gain, 7 hours)

    -- 2017-03-22 Direct to Orinda and back - left my water bottle there the weekend prior

    -- 2017-03-15 Happy Valley loop

    -- 2017-02-25 Pt Richmond

    2017-02-18 Pt Richmond

    2017-02-11 Pt Richmond

    2017-01-29 Ciba and back - a lovely weather ride with Greg. I stuck around for a Hawk Hill loop before heading home. First time at Ciba - great coffee!

    2017-01-16 Happy valley loop - saw Gabi hiking in Tilden.

    2017-01-13 Friday morning ride - it's been a long time since I did one of these. This time I went alone, fueling up at Bica before heading up the last bit of Broadway.

    2017-01-02 Tour the Flats - Greg and I decided to start the year off right by going all the way across the Bay Bridge. It was cold. The flats gods tried to deter our plans, and halted our progress only 1.3 miles into the ride from our rendez-vous point. But Greg fixed it with grace, and we were on our way. Only to get another flat as soon as we made it to Yerba Buena Island. Once he patched that up, we decided to reward ourselves with cinnamon rolls from Ikea for our heroism.

    2016-10-23 Happy valley loop - didn't take any snacks with me, was OK.

    2016-10-18 Social ride - With Sara and Kayvon.

    2016-10-09 Russian River 200k (modified) - Stork and I had a great day on our bikes. On the way back, we decided to get off Highway 1 and instead backtracked our morning rollout (for calmer road conditions, and at the cost of some extra climbing. This was my first ride in 2 months and it showed - I had to go painfully slow from Bodega Bay to Valley Ford, spinning in low gear without being able to provide any power.

    2016-08-13 El Cerrito - Davis 200k - a my 5 consecutive monthly 200k. Left El Cerrito at 7am and got to St Helena at noon, which is 45 faster than usual for me - but it was so hot that, despite the extra time cushion, I ended up rolling into Davis at 6pm - which is an hour longer than last time. (213km, 2472m climbing, 11 hours total)

    2016-08-12 Friday morning social ride - Danny and Jon, over Grizzly Peak (42 km, 759m gain, 1.5 hours)

    2016-08-07 Bay Trail - Oakland to Fremont with Jon - beautiful day, the mixed terrain was very welcome. (90km, 137m gain, 5 hours)

    2016-08-05 Friday morning social ride - just Danny and I, took Claremont. (40km, 678m gain, 1.5 hours)

    2016-07-23 Happy valley loop - good to be back on the bike, it was a hot one. (57km, 1062m gain, 2.5 hours of saddle time)

    2016-07-10 Cloverdale to SF 200k - Stayed up front at the beggining and got a chance to ride with some fast riders through the first two controls, and then from just before Sir Francis Drake climb. (202km, 1694 gain, 8 hours 40 minutes)

    2016-07-09 Boonville Lollipop 300k - My first 300k! (310km, 3188m gain, 14 hours 56 minutes)

    2016-07-07 Hawk Hill with Janet! We saw whales when we stopped part way down the descent.

    2016-07-03 Return to Reliez - haven't ridden on Reliez Valley Rd for over a year, maybe two... Decided to correct that today. (73km, 1463m gain, 3 hours 40 minutes)

    2016-07-01 Friday with Jon - had a good conversation about 3D modeling tools, and a possible stealth project... (52km, 860m gain)

    2016-06-25 Russian River 200k - what a lovely ride! (205km, 2026m gain, 9 hours 25 minutes)

    2016-06-24 Friday with Danny and Jon - good thing I did this ride, because the only water I had at the start of the 200k the next day was a single mostly full bottle from this outing.

    2016-06-11 Happy valley loop - Saw a gorgeous Stellar's Jay in the woods, and two young deer on the Wildcat on the way back. (57km, 1062m gain, 2.5 hours of saddle time)

    2016-05-22 El Cerrito - Davis 200k - a solo ride, the second in my quest for my first R-12. Took a bunch of photos. (213km, 2472m climbing, 10 hours total)

    2016-05-12 Bike to Work day! A sweet leisurely ride from the office to Hawk Hill (my first time there) with Danny and Janet. Danny and I rode the ferry from Oakland, so I had another 13km before the SF portion of the ride. Danny has a few photos on his Strava (56km, 650m gain, 3 hours)

    2016-05-08 Bear-y Happy Nice and foggy morning ride, fueled by Doughnut Dolly! (75km, 1174 m gain, 3 hours)

    2016-05-01 Grizzly Peak Century - Spontaneously ended up riding with Mark within the first few miles, and after meeting at the first rest stop, we rode most of the 110 mile version of the ride together at a brisk pace. The conversation sure made the miles go by a lot faster. Also bumped into randonneurs Rob Hawks and Barb who volunteered separate rest stops - nice to see familiar faces. (190km, 3101 m gain, ~ 10.5 hours total)

    2016-04-30 The ride of two Pauls - I took Paul The Elder on his first ride in the East Bay. It was a beautiful morning, which we started at Semifreddi's. I had to ditch Paul at the top of Happy Valley to head home, but he was a good sport about it. (56km, 1062m gain, 3.5 hours of saddle time)

    2016-04-29 Another Friday with Danny - Danny and I took on Grizzly Peak - I returned home the more direct way, opting out of the extra climbing. (33km, 579m gain, 2 hours)

    2016-04-16 El Cerrito - Davis 200k - a wonderful day for a ride (213km, 2472m climbing, 9 hours of saddle time, 10 hours total)

    2016-04-10 Happy LaMo return via Arlington again - the weather kept me from leaving earlier in the morning in trying for Mt Diablo. Climbed around Albany Hill when I got back just to add a little extra. (57km, 1062m gain, 3 hours of saddle time)

    2016-04-03 Longer training ride, the 200k is only two weeks away, so I extended my usual loop by going through Moraga. Pleasant sounds of bubbling creeks on Redwood Road: delightful. (88 km, 1720m gain, 4.5 hours)

    2016-04-01 (Anti) Social ride - Danny slept in, so I took on Grizzly Peak by myself. (42 km, 759m gain, 2.5 hours)

    2016-03-26 Happy LaMo return via Arlington - trying to get ready for the El Cerrito-Davis 200k (57km, 1062m gain, 3 hours of saddle time)

    2016-03-25 Friday with Dmatt - Danny and I decided to take on Grizzly Peak. (42 km, 759m gain, 2.5 hours)

    Wildcat Only - wow, not

    -- Friday with Dmatt

    -- 2016-01-23 A run - ran to El Cerrito BART station, then the North Berkeley one, once around UC Berkeley campus and back. 16.7km, 222m gain

    -- 2016-01-15 Tunnel Road to Claremont - Danny was freezing, Jon's back tire had a slow leak, but we still got out there! I wore a jacket and was much warmer. (40km, 678m gain, 1.5 hours)

    2016-01-08 Tunnel Road to Claremont - with Jon, I was very cold, was shivering at Fourne for quite a while after the Claremont descent. Jon and I came up with and idea for an electronics project. (40km, 678m gain, 1.5 hours) 2016-01-01 Wildcat Only - wow, not cycling for two months really made me weak... The cold temperature (5-7°C / 41-45° F) didn't help. (31km, 560m gain, 2 hours)

    2015-10-25 Happy LaMo return via Arlington - saw one turkey doing a pretty dance for another turkey... in the middle of the road... Turkey's aren't very smart, it turns out. (57km, 1062m gain, 3 hours of saddle time)

    2015-10-30 Tunnel Road to Claremont - Jon, Danny, and I. Saw some turkeys, one of whom had beef with us and took it out on the car behind us.

    2015-10-25 Happy LaMo return via Arlington (2.5 hours of saddle time)

    2015-10-16 Tunnel Road to Claremont - Just Danny and I today.

    2015-10-10 Winters 200k - continuing my tradition of forgetting to put water in my bottles before rolling out - rode 'dry' and ended up filling them at the first control (38km into the ride). For the first half of the ride, I somehow ended up in a group with 2 anciens and 2 anciennes (Robert, Barry, Kris, and Renee). Having done only two 200k rides before this, I was actually surprised to keep up with them for as long as I did. We got to the Winters control (93km) at 10:10 - I was aiming for 10 hours which would have only put me there a bit before noon. The cardiac hill climb is where I couldn't keep up anymore, though our paths still crossed at the next control (124km) - but I decided to sit and cool off for a bit as they rolled out from there (and finished exactly an hour before me). I was pretty much alone for the second part of the ride, which is too bad, because the headwind was quite strong and took a lot out of me, but I'm happy with my performance. (Photos from an SFR member) (200km, 2266m gain, 9 hours, 28 minutes)

    2015-10-04 Willow Ave Park and Ride Scoped out the Winters 200K start control for next week. (51 km, 460 m gain, 2 hours)

    2015-10-02 Tunnel Road to Claremont - All of us again (Sara, Kayvon, Danny and Jon) - met up at Blue Bottle this time. Fournée post-ride stop again! (40km, 678m gain, 1.5 hours)

    2015-09-27 Pt Reyes Station loop with Danny and Stork! Danny's longest ride ever - but he paid for it with two flats. I played with staying in the big gear for several of the climbs, and the new-to-me segments of the Cross Marin Trail were delightful. (150km, 8 hours)

    2015-09-25 Tunnel Road to Claremont - Our biggest turnout! Sara, Kayvon, Danny and Jon all showed up. Jon got a flat halfway up Tunnel Road. Our first time at Fournee bakery afterwards, yummy! (40km, 678m gain, 1.5 hours)

    2015-09-18 Tunnel Road to Centennial - A ride with Jon and "Hawkeye" Danny! (40km, 678m gain, 1.5 hours)

    2013-09-14 Lucas Valley Populaire: Danny's first randonneuring event, it was a really nice, overcast day. (113km, 1417m gain, 6 hours)

    2015-09-06 Happy Valley First weekend ride with Danny! (56km, 1057m gain, 3 hours)

    2015-09-04 Tunnel Road to Claremont - With Danny and Jonathan! Rode up Euclid for good measure afterwards. (40km, 678m gain, 1.5 hours)

    2015-09-01 Tunnel Road to Centennial - Sara, Kayvon, and Danny! (37km, 600m gain, 1.5 hours)

    2015-08-27 Wildcat and South Park - went for a run with Stéfan afterwards (1.5 hours)

    2015-08-21 Tunnel Road to Centennial - Just DMatt and I this time, we split off with Danny taking Centennial down, whereas I stayed on Grizzly and came down Spruce. (37km, 600m gain, 1.5 hours)

    2015-08-09 Wildcat Moraga Redwood - a good weekend ride. (80km, 1.5km gain, 3.5 hours saddle time)

    2015-08-07 Tunnel Road to Centennial - another Friday morning with Sara and Danny. Danny's first time up to Grizzly Peak. (37km, 600m gain, 2 hours)

    2015-08-03 Freestone Bread Run 200K - Awesome ride with SF Randonneurs, - here's an album where I can be seen holding a coffee at the beginning of the ride. (205km, 3km of climbing, 11 hours 45 minutes of saddle time, 3 wild blackberry pickings on the side of the road)

    2015-07-31 Tunnel Road to Claremont with Sara and Danny (DMatt's first time!). Sadly, found out that Nobolom is closing after 40 years this Sunday, glad to have gotten a chance to go there one last time.

    2015-07-13 Biked to Oakland for coffee and bacon at Sara and Kayvon's place, followed by a ride to Concord for a long lunch with Kenji. Took BART from Pleasant Hill to Rockridge, and then biked home from Rockridge. (3 hour of saddle time)

    2015-07-10 Tunnel Road up and down with Sara and Kayvon. We persevered, despite the rain, and it mostly cleared up and dried out by mid-ride. (1 hour of saddle time)

    2015-07-04 Happy LaMo return via Arlington (2.5 hours of saddle time)

    2015-06-26 Tunnel Road to Claremont - another Friday morning ride with Sara and Kayvon. Ascended on Kavon's single speeder. (1.5 hours of saddle time)

    2015-06-14 Happy LaMo return via Arlington (2.5 hours saddle time)

    2015-06-12 Tunnel Road to Claremont - joined by Sara and Kayvon again (1.5 hours of saddle time)

    2015-06-07 Morgan Territory and Mount Diablo (junction only). A ride with Jeff and his team (Team Roaring Mouse) - it was waaayy too hot - but the company was good. (66.6 miles, 5 hours altogether with waits / regroups)

    2015-06-05 Tunnel Road to Claremont - joined by Sara and Kayvon (1.5 hours of saddle time)

    2015-05-30 Happy LaMo return via Redwood Wow! First ride on my new Surly Long Haul Trucker - and it rolls like a dream. I was able to push myself the entire ride, thanks to the higher gears, as well as the wide handle bars that allowed for easier breathing during recovery. (4 hours of saddle time)

    2015-05-25 Went up Centennial after checking out a Surly Long Haul Trucker at The Missing Link. Was cold at Grizzly peak, only had enough time to go down to Wagner Ranch and come back (1.5 hours of saddle time)

    2015-05-23 Happy LaMo return via Redwood. Inaugural ride in my brand new SF Randonneurs jersey! (4 hours of saddle time)

    2015-05-10 Happy LaMo return via Kensington (2.5 hours of saddle time)

    2015-05-02 Happy LaMo - yay! (2.5 hours of saddle time)

    2015-04-18 El Cerrito - Davis 200k with SF Randonneurs. (213 km, 9.5 hours of saddle time, 11 total)

    2015-04-05 Happy LaMo return via Redwood. Downhill portion of tunnel road is seriously messed up now. (5 hours of saddle time)

    2015-03-29 Wildcat only. Was sick last week, still not fully recovered, but figured I'd get at least a short ride in. (35.5 km, 665 m gain, 1.5 hours of saddle time)

    2015-03-15 Happy LaMo return via Pinehurst, then Euclid and return via Kensington. Glad I had the time to push myself a bit, to get back into shape for the El Cerrito 200 km. (4.25 hours of saddle time)

    2015-03-08 Happy LaMo return via Kensington (2.5 hours of saddle time)

    2015-03-01 Wildcat only, return through Kensington. First ride of the year? Yikes. I did go on a few runs though. Need to make this a regular morning ride before work a few times per week. (1.5 hours of saddle time)

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