Wednesday, November 23

Bruce Gordon and CHP

Tuesday went past Bruce Gordons' on way back to car. Showed him problems with bike and he showed me fixes. He saw I had bent the handle and offered a new bar at cost. He also GAVE me a new set of toe clips and toe straps as he was impressed that I regularly rode on the 101 shoulder. Wednesday I took him up on it. He was confident I could take care of all of the fixes. (go to his web site. Bruce is one of the top bike builders in the country and possible the preeminent touring bike builder in the World.) Northbound Wednesday I waved over my shoulder at a CHiP car stopped to investigate an abandoned car. Later I waved again as he drove past, and HE WAVED BACK!

To outsiders HWY 101 between Novato and Petaluma is a busy 4 lane freeway that is still an open road with many driveways and side roads opening onto it. It should have been upgraded decades ago but it overlaps Marin and Sonoma counties and it may be politics that prevents an up-grade. I first rode it in 1983 and backed down a CHP sergeant who didn't want me there. Tough. I had a Caltrans map that said it was open. Since then they have been friendly. It has been said that I have a certain amount of Bravado to ride there. Perhaps, but I have so much fun blowing past hundreds of cars during occasional jams.

Sunday, November 20

Bravado and Nice CHP

I have a temp job at the Novato Costco. Too far to bike the whole way. A tidy run from the south Petaluma Park-and-Ride lot to Novato and back. 90% along the HWY 101 shoulder; hee, hee, hee! I will get seven days of thrills at about 18 miles a day. The computer is still flacky.

South-bound today I saw a big motorcycle and rider pulled over in a driveway along this section of open highway. I waved even before I saw it was a CHP officer. I didn't notice him wave back. I know he knew I was there though. Seconds later he waved over a motor-cycle. The putt-putt pulled onto the shoulder where I would have been forced into traffic to go around the stop. The officer waved the rider forward another quarter mile to where they could pull completely off of the shoulder, allowing me to pass safely. This was at the construction site for the Marin landfill interchange.

North-bound I checked out the construction. There is a possible bike tunnel through an overpass ramp. More likely it is a passage for the local farmers' cows as I saw a bikeable path on only one end of the tunnel. North-bound barricades forced me right to the edge of the traffic lane. Al;most as dicey as the south-bound San Antonio Creek bridge at the county line.

Thursday, November 3

Soggy is as soggy does

No headlight needed on way to CSJ; normal Paciific Standard Time. Wet forecast for PM wife said to wait for her at winery. She had to go back to work, dropped me off near BiCentennial.

Monday, October 17

Black and Black with Stripes

Dark to work and dark back. Full lights 3/4 of the time. Stripes on the road and stripes on the otherwise all black critter I passed in Annadel. It had its tail at full extension on the other side of the narrow road. Fortunately it did not feel too threatened and did not fire on me.

Three riders with lights to work and three back. One coming back had good lights.

Tuesday, October 4

Wines within Wines

Another cold dark ride to work. 47 degrees F and headlights for the first 8 miles. Thumbs cold but better than yesterday. Few grapes at work, cool weather delays ripening. Maybe even without more sugars in the grapes the acid levels will drop to the point where they must be harvested. Special meeting this AM. One announcement: No one has had a "reportable" accident so everyone was handed a bottle of wine. I swapped my 2000 Pinot Noir for a 2003 Joberg Reisling with the man who got the job my wife tried for. I am a professional and can keep my feeling under control. He is pleasant.

I wish I had a base line to see if more people are commuting. Certainly there are several regulars who do not have good lighting.

Sunday, October 2

Double Fun

I rode the creek trails loop ride to check it out for the official SRCC group ride next weekend. The Wendell Creek crossing was a bit slippery. I'll think about a portable way to make it safer, like a roll of wire mesh.

Heading upstream on the south side of Santa Rosa creek I first met a single lady then two couples all together on mountain bikes. Both times they asked me for information about that trail, then other rides in the area. Maybe non to rare riders ARE getting back on their bikes. Perhaps gas prices are getting more people to cycle. I have no real choice but to ride.

Saturday, September 24

Save Money on Wine

A rarely used or abused secret about wine is that winery employees get extreme discounts on wine. I've gotten 40% and 50% discounts. AND the company usually does not care how much you buy. Well, 500 cases of fume' blanc might upset them but 2 to 5 cases wouldn't. When I asked if I could buy a batch of wine for a national charity having a local event I gathered the impression I could roll up with my 3/4 ton pickup, a certified bank check, and fill the truck. Pity that most of the wines I lick that they make are sold out.

Bike wise the saddle loosened again on the way home. In fiddling with it I was finally able to really adjust the position. My old leather saddle is not too compatible with the modern seat clamp. The rebuilt light harness worked well. I will still make an all new one soon.

I may still help out at the MS Wine to Waves tour tomorrow.


Last night rode home in the dark. Well the sun had JUST set at the wineries I had light to see half way home. A grassy field in the WhiteOak area of Oakmont had some 12 to 14 deer grazing. I haven't seen such crowds in quite a while. Almost every morning I see a few deer going to work thru Annadale.

Monday, September 19


I use a bicycle-specific mileage and maintenance logging program called VELOLOGGER. I keep working deeper and deeper into the system. As I wear out or damage my bikes I find out how to record that new problem. Latest thing is the original front BLT wheel 700 mm with 36 14gauge spokes has been going out of true. I handled the left/right wobble but the out-of-round is more than I am familiar with. Still 0ver 5000 miles before the first adjustments says good things about Bruce Gordons' wheel building. I am described as a horse and tend to break parts easily. I will replace the original front wheel with the one from my older commute bike. That wheel was made for me by Hugh Freed who crewed with me in RAAM 1988

Saturday, September 17

Phishing trip

12+ to 13+ miles to work, a hard day at the winery, and 13 to 20 miles home since the last post has left me too tired to do much blogging. Also the system has so many defenses built in now that it not as fun to list updates. Needed tho, the spouse is a leader on a high level web service and needs these professional level defenses on the home system.

Cycling is a steady 600+ miles a month, most of it commuting. Some sundays I have a fun ride. Once a week I go home thru Annadale State Park, an off-road paradise. The saddle is working loose and the front wheel needs truing as a result

Saturday, August 27

Visually Challenged tandem party

Each August the local bike club (SRCC) assembles at the Earl Baum Center for the Blind for a tandem rally. This year I took the COUNTERPOINT OPUS 2 down there. Gave several rides in the parking lot before and after the ride. Larry learned the hard way how fast he needed to put his feet down when I lost control of the bike. I was out of practice and had forgotten how fast the bike tips when a large stoker is more than an inch or two off of center. Forgiven, forgotten tho' I later saw a 2" sq. patch on his elbow where the outer keratin had peeled off. No blood though.

We, three other tandems, and a single did the 4.2 miles down the path to near Sebasopol and back. Five or six tandems when on the 24+ miler to Windsor and back. The Ruggles of NorCal Bikesport provided snacks, fruit, drinks, and hotdogs/vegeburgers.

The Center had 7 or 8 tandems in a nice shed. I could have been giving rides for years. I need to call and see what the rules are. I doubt if a total stranger would be trusted with one of their machines and a visually challenged stoker sight unseen. I wouldn't. I would like to try one of their regular 2bikes with a lighter, more coordinated stoker than Larry. Easier is safer. If an A level ride starts near the Baum center it would help.

Friday, July 8

Graduation Exercise

29.74 miles 3 hours ^250 feet^

Still unemployed so went of the clubs' Friday AM ride. Was repeatedly frustrated by the 12-13 MPH pace of the A level ride. After 8 miles I started sprinting down each rollie and up the other side, waiting for the group at the top/next turn/bend. The snack stop in Larkfield was at a new coffee shop offering $2.65 muffins. Eesh! The chat lasted what seemed like 1/2 hour and had more politics then I cared to hear. Time was even spent discussing the quickest route back after voting against the Reibli Road hill route back. Sigh. As the group got moving I pulled up to the ride leader thanked her for a nice ride but "I need to get back quickly so I am taking off now." The route they were going to take had multiple stop lights and many stop signs. My route resembled a straight line with two kinks to avoid lights. As I got back to the start some of the B or C riders were getting back from their longer, harder rides.