Friday, December 17, 2010

LA area folks: Please help find Christine's stolen Batavus!

STOLEN!! Batavus Breukelen 56cm Step-Through Bike By josef | December 15, 2010

We have some sad news that we’re hoping someone out there in internet land can help us make into happy news: one of our customers had her bike stolen from the porch of her house on Manzanita Street in Silver Lake between 6pm on December 14th and 11am on December 15th. If you have any info, see anyone riding it, etc. please contact the Flying Pigeon LA bike shop at 213-909-8986 or The owner, Christine Louise Berry, had a very deep and personal relationship to her bike (as do we all, I find), but it was also her primary means of transportation. She was profiled by Velo Vogue on June 22, 2010, describing the bike: “[I] chose a bike that replaces a car: it’s sturdy, visible, beautiful. The line of it is sweeping. It’s got this long stride. And the way the top bar slopes down — it’s so f-ing elegant. It has a skirt guard and a hub-generated light that never needs batteries – everything is made to last. Ultimately, it’s just springy, really fun, and I never have to think twice about riding.” We know the bike is floating around somewhere in LA right now. If you see someone riding it – snap a photo and post it online. We’ve got the serial number for the bike on file and have some more detailed information about the bike to identify it. In the meantime, we’ve loaned Christine a Flying Pigeon 3-speed, a lock, and a set of lights. We’re hoping that in the next few days someone will help us find this beautiful machine and get it returned to its rightful owner! Send any information to the Flying Pigeon LA bike shop at 213-909-8986 or

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

double b-day weekend rides 12.11,12.10

Dave M. called a fixed gear ride in Woodside on Saturday. We met him and Brad S. at the school and rolled out on our usual route. Zeus, Bianchi, Torpado and Frejus were the chosen machines for this refreshing ride in the trees. It was the usual route: Woodside, Portola Valley, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Woodside. Dave told fun stories of riding the Sunol back roads with an older gentleman that had a cycling history of the golden age in the early 50's in England. We lost track of Brad and Dave near the end of the ride but had lunch behind the school and connected by phone later to make sure we were all OK. Thanks for the great ride Dave & Brad!

Sunday saw me riding alone on a route that I've been itching to try: the Big Basin Loop. Left Boulder Creek late morning and rode up Hwy 236 (Big Basin Way). Nice to see some holiday decorative cheer out in the woods. Never noticed it before in a car but Taungpulu Monastery is on the left a few miles out of town. Pretty cool seeing the pagoda & shrine poking up through the Redwood forest while climbing on the bike. I stopped to check it out, the driveway up is very steep! After a few pics I rode down, Italian brakes squealing, disturbing the peaceful atmosphere - sorry Taungpulu Tawya Kaba-Aye Sayadaw of Upper Burma. Back on the road I continued to climb and after the BC country club it became a bit steeper, not too bad but kinda long to the top and Sempervirens school. From the school into the park was a nice downhill, cool, in the trees cruise. Stopped for some sun and my 2nd sandwich at the snack bar/store but it was closed today. After a little break it was time for the big climb of the day. The one lane road out of the park back to Hwy 9 is truly beautiful with amazingly huge redwood trees. A great percentage of the road surface was still wet from rain and kept the temps down. A few miles into the climb the landscape abruptly changed from wet Redwood forest and green lichen to dry scrub oak and Spanish moss then a couple miles later back again! When the climbing part of this section is over there is a nice loooong downhill (mostly) to Hwy 9 but the road surface is less than ideal here - since I rode the Masi 3V stopping at least once to relieve numb hands was necessary. I really wished I'd ridden a more touring oriented frame at that point. After thinking this part would never end the stop sign at Hwy 9 suddenly appeared. It seemed like the 8 miles back to Boulder Creek took about 10 - 15 mins! The road was so smooth with banked sweeper turns and mostly downhill through more redwoods and hardly any cars - what a pleasure! To sum it up I think this was a great training ride: some long medium climbing in the beginning, a sweet stop in a great park, more climbing then a super fun smooth cruise - all in beautiful Redwoods and almost all shade. Hard to beat! I'll be doing this again soon and hoping you can join me...

more pics here:

'til next time, "Have a Nice Ride"...

Monday, November 15, 2010

11.14.10 CR "refinery ride"

3 hardy souls in attendance: Jason Stone, Bob Freitas and myself. dubbed the 1st CR "refinery ride" by Bob the title didn't disappoint. we started out at the orinda bart station around 10am and admired the cioccs, coopers and masis for a bit then headed north on camino pablo riding alongside san pablo reservoir - this was the traditional scenic part of the ride and was quite nice in the late morning sun. just warming up then we would marvel later at the summer-like temps and lack of water on the route. we hit the bay around rodeo and went through the conoco refinery property - seems like a better use of this land nowadays would be upscale mcmansions with an incredible bay view. after a decent climb down the hill we went trying to pay attention to the road surface but mostly checking out the interesting scenery along the way. we stopped at the vista point overlooking the carquinez straight and learned about the native carquin indians and the 1st bridge built there in 1927. just before rolling into crockett i spied a restaurant named "the dead fish" - gotta keep that in mind for the next time out that way - love a place with a sense of humor... we had a bite at a deli in the thriving metropolis of downtown crockett then were on our way toward the more interesting scenic part of the route: Carquinez Scenic Dr. - this was very different but seemed a lot like the paradise loop ride without the pretense. we found port costa not intentionally, a tiny town with a few closed shops and what looked like the post office and a bar in one hosting several harley riders taking it easy on a sunday afternoon. backtracking a bit we found the closed to car traffic part of the road which was beautiful in it's own way. The section through martinez was pretty nice and i would've liked to check out the downtown area but we were way behind schedule so kept up a brisk pace back to orinda through lafayette partially on the lamorinda trail.

this was the route we took (as far as i could tell):

my pics here:

Bob's pics here:

Jason's pics here:

'til next time, "Have a Nice Ride"...

Monday, October 4, 2010

L'Eroica 2010

finish of L'Eroica 2010
Originally uploaded by ericm
this is the finish of L'Eroica 2010. I rode the 38km route and experienced all weather types, muddy strada bianca, nice paved roads, nothing much that was flat, a beautiful country and many wonderful people. the ride was amazing in so many ways it is hard to know where to start. my 1972 torpado gt8000 was held in new york's jfk airport for an extra day and delivered to varenna the next evening - thanks american airlines. after assembly it was time for a ride to madonna del ghisallo from bellagio - this was a great all uphill steep and twisty ride with a sense of accomplishment at the end. make sure you have a beer & potato chips at la panorama on your way back down, it has an incredible view of the "crotch" of lago di como. after doing a few short rides around lake como coupled with ferry rides and headset bearing cage repair i rode in verona for a day and covered much ground and discovered you can have any gin you want in italy as long as it's gordons - sometimes you don't need vermouth or a martini glass but lemon rind IS essential... fast forward to gaiole in chianti and checking in at the fantastic cavarchino b&b just a few minutes walk to the center of town but removed enough to be quiet and peaceful in the countryside - the rooms are only 3 yrs. old and look brand new & ultra clean, the breakfast is way more elaborate than any b&b in italy i've ever seen. andrea is the consumate jolly host and extremely helpful in suggesting places of interest and making dinner reservations if you like. he even let me store the bikes in his garage and used his power washer to clean the mud from my bike after the race. i cannot say enough good things about the cavarchino and also vanessa ballerio of bike italia rando - she made all the arrangements for accommodations, race entry and logistics, race support on the course - you name it she did it, with some help from enrico to teach us a little of the italian language. met a few new people: john and sally pergolizzi now living in turin, steve and alan bernstein from ny, mark winikoff from santa barbara and rode the 38km course with dave and linda martinez.

the ride started with a small, cool downhill from the cavarchino into town to sign in around 9am - there was a small queue then off to bormio castle in the cool gray morning. flat for a few km then a slight uphill grade twisty for several km. at madonna di brolio we head up the gray pavement past a wonderful restaurant to the castle where the strada bianca begins. i rode a test of this section to get used to the white roads the day before for about 22 km so confidence was decent if not high. a few kms on the white roads it started to rain and kept up for about 8 km turning the strada bianca to mud - hey, at least it wasn't dusty! the rain stopped and my jacket dried out a few km later actually warming up to short sleeve wool jersey weather. rain, sun or clouds, the scenery and riders were amazing on the 38km course as historic character and utility bikes were only allowed on this short ride. we broke off the main all distance course for a short twisty downhill on pavement to the 38k ristoro where prosciutto, salame, french bread, olive oil, water, melon, pastries, grapes, etc. were being served by folks in historic dress... (to be continued...)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

R.I.P. Laurent Fignon

It has been announced that Laurent Fignon, winner of the Tour de France in 1983 and 1984, but perhaps best remembered for finishing second by eight seconds to Greg LeMond in 1989 in the closest ever edition in the race, has lost his battle with cancer. The 50-year-old, nicknamed the Professeur for his studious looks and glasses, who died at 1230 local time today, revealed he was suffering from cancer in his 2009 book, We Were Young and Carefree.

R.I.P. Bob Maitland

From John Crump of the CR list:

Bob Maitland. Rode for the Concorde CC, Solihull CC and as a pro for BSA. Hercules etc rode the Tour of Britian many times and also the TDF. At one time he was a mate and competitor. Passed on at age 86yrs in France a few days ago. John Crump OldbutstllatitBrit. Parker, Co USA

more info:

Monday, August 23, 2010

cupertino to san carlos ride 8.22.10

what a beautiful day! i'm thinkin' the best weather so far this summer. made for a nice hard-as-i-could-go ride about 34 miles. started in cupertino then made it to foothill expy. and flew on the masi 3v to los altos for the vette show. those corvettes filled the entire length of main st. must've been every vette in the state was there - ok, maybe only 1/2 of them... after the show it was more hard cranking back on foothill heading north then left on alpine and right on portola valley rd. very nice riding and i notice the stone house is for sale again. wonder how much it is now? oh, listed for 2.3 - shoulda bought it 10 yrs. ago for 1 mil... continuing on i took mtn. home rd. to roberts mkt. since i was starving but didn't see anyone i knew to watch my bike while i got one of those long prosciutto sandwiches. saw reesie heading south on cañada rd. about a mile later but guess i didn't yell loud enough for her to notice - probably hard to hear anything when you're riding eleventy-seven mph. just about the 280 junction i ran into a couple young ladies and their dad selling lemonade at their stand - that was a life saver and got the masi and me the rest of the way home. thx masi and lemonade and a fantastic weather day!

'til next time, "Have a Nice Ride"

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

local music in august

August 5: San Francisco Bay Guardian Best of the Bay Party w/Chuck Prophet, Mezzanine

August 8: KFOG Local Scene House Concert w/Jethro Jeremiah and HYIM, San Francisco

August 14-15: Outside Lands with Furthur featuring Phil Lesh & Bob Weir and more

August 20: DWDM @ Wente Vineyards w/Megan Slankard and Pine + Battery

August 21: KFOG Day @ Art & Soul Oakland w/Cake, The Bittersweets and more TBA

August 28: Napa Blues, Brews & BBQ w/Reckless In Vegas, Elliot Randall & The Deadmen, OONA

August 28: KFOG Local Scene House Concert w/Cyndi Harvell and The Family Crest, Oakland

September 4: DWDM Day of Discovery Festival w/Luce, The Ferocious Few, Heather Combs and more, Wente Vineyards

September 19: KFOG Local Scene House Concert w/Megan Slankard and Tiny Television, Saratoga

Saturday, July 31, 2010

7.31.10 noodling around Half Moon Bay on the coastal bike trail

feeling like something different today caused me to hit the coast, specifically Half Moon Bay. drove cino to the beach parking at the end of poplar ave. and started to ride north on the coastal bike trail. couple of things i noticed, 1) there are plenty of restrooms available and 2) i should've had a bell on my bike. this trail is well used by hikers and cyclists in a very casual way but was still a lot of fun blasting through nature on a cliff overlooking the pacific ocean. late morning and the fog was hangin' in - made for a nice cool refreshing ride. got to princeton and explored that area & pillar point for awhile before heading a bit more north on hwy1 to moss beach. rolling through the small neighborhood around the distillery it felt like one of the ends of the earth here. heading back on 1 checking out the surfers then hit the coastal bike trail again this time heading south - sun was starting to come out a bit. lot's of wood decked bridges on this trail made for interesting varied surfaces. drafted in behind a gentleman who i think rode a few miles with no hands & was clipping along quite well ringing his bell at everyone. after hitting a horse worn trail at the south far south end of the bike trail we went a few hundred feet but cino needed to turn back for pavement having forgotten his pompe. back on hwy1 and continuing south to miramonte i ran into a gate so had to turn back north on 1 then ran around HMB town a bit trying to get into the flying fish for lunch but again no dice. back to poplar and ride's end i will definitely be doing this one again...

more pics here:

'til next time, "Have a Nice Ride"...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

got curly stays? Hetchins Weekend 2010

Looks like a fun time across the pond. Here's a link to many more pics and info:

'til next time, "Have a Nice Ride"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rough Stuff ride 7.24.10

I wasn't able to make this ride but here is a great ride report from Bob:

Since someone has mentioned my bike I thought I would relate a little of my Saturday adventure.

We met up at Mt Tam Bikes at 8AM for our staggered starts at 8:30 AM. The route would take us up Mt Tamalpias on Rail Road Grade then over to the coast on a ridge top trail before dropping down to a vista point over looking a nice section of coast line at Muir Beach. From there we would ride thru the Green Gulch Farms (Zen Center) then up a trail to the coast road which would take us to the Marin Headlands overlooking the Golden Gate. We would return over another set of hills back into Mill Valley. The ride was laid out 90% Fire road, Dirt track and as it turned out Goat Path.

Off we went thru the unsuspecting quiet streets of Mill Valley towards the Rail Road Grade (named for, you guessed it , a long defunct Tourist train which had once run up to the top of the mountain) Steep paved streets with the last being named 'Summit' (they lied as the top was still almost 2000 feet up)

The grade was not as steep as the approaching streets. The surface was packed dirt with some rock and gravel. Technical in just a few spots where the roadway was chipped out of the underlying rock.. After a fairly long climb we arrived at the West Point Inn, this was the terminus of the old train line and features a panoramic view of the bay, the City and the ocean. Tourists would return via the 'Gravity Train' basically open cars without power that would coast back down the mountain (this must have been quite something in the horse and buggy pre liability insurance days)

We hung out at the top waiting for stragglers though I would thought everyone had certainly passed me on the way up (including a lady pushing a baby stroller and a Sailor with a peg leg ...there is a theme emerging here)

Off we went towards the Pan Toll Ranger Station , the road was a nice down hill run over dirt and gravel until we reached the paved section that took us to Pan Toll.

We stopped to top up our water bottles (I filled an extra just in case) Chris Kostman walked by me and looking at my rickety front bag mount says something about the trail ahead being 'Knarley'......

The trail started out nicely paved and then decended into broken pavement, gravel, dirt and mud , the view from up here is stunning if you have time to look. I was to busy dodging from side to side trying to avoid holes, rocks , water, errant hikers and fellow bikers. In spots the trail returned to the chipped from bedrock format which made steering difficult. Having ridden the 'Strada Bianchi' in Italy the lesson you learn is your wheels must be in contact with the ground for the brakes to work. At this point I broke a key rule and tried to stop after sliding off the saddle , I performed a forward cartwheel and found myself sitting on the ground. I looked around and there was no one holding up any score cards (wheres the Wide World of Sports when you need them?)

Nothing was damaged except for my dignity. Off we went again til we paused before crossing Route 1 and heading towards the Overlook. Our wheels were on pavement for a short stretch as we rode up to the Overlook (this was once part of the coastal Defenses around San Francisco as the cement bunkers show.) Though it is cloudy there is still a nice coastal view.

Again we are on our bikes ,this time heading south towards Green Gulch , a produce farm belonging to the Zen Center. We make a quick turn at the Pelican Inn and we are in the Vegetable fields heading down a path towards a gate at the rear.

Single track is a narrow trail that will only accommodate single file riding , this single track is heavily worn by Horse traffic as well as bikes so the path is now a trench and a trench that is rapidly becoming very steep. The turns are more switch back than curve and it is very difficult to ride around them.

I put a foot down and cannot get moving again. Pushing the bike forward I look for a less steep spot to remount. Remounting I peddle ahead again coming to a sharp switchback, again putting a foot down and pushing the bike ahead. Looking up I see the riders ahead of me disappearing around a bend and reappearing on the side of the next hill and then disappearing . I would not see any of them again until I arrive in Fort Cronkite with a flat front tire hours later.

At the top of the single track I take the Coast trail (Fire road) heading south east .Here the road rolls up and down til finally putting me on a long downhill run into the valley that heads towards the Golden Gate. I have to stop a couple of times to reinflate a front tire that is slowly leaking air. At Cronkite I encounter fellow riders one of whom loans me a pair of pliers to snug the valve down on the tube. As I finish putting the tire back on the wheel they ride away ,heading home, I still have a loop to do first through Battery Townsley then up the the headlands over looking the Golden Gate.

After Townsley I look out towards the Headlands and decide I have seen it before and head back towards Mill Valley , glancing at the route sheet I see almost 2000 feet of climbing between me and home, it will be a longer afternoon. The climb is long but not as steep as I have seen earlier. Arriving at the top I wonder what became of the climbing(was the route sheet incorrect at this point) the route shows 3 climbs but I can only point out 2.

The surface going back down into Tennessee valley is very loose, it looks recently plowed but I make it down easily and head for home. I had fallen a number of times on my right hip(always a slow fall) and it needed ice.

I would like to return to some of these headland trails but with an MTB ,something vintage of course


Red Lejune Rider in MILL VALLEY, CA USA

here are some pics courtesy of the adventure corps:

more from

'til next time, "Have a Nice Ride"

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Populaire Brevet 7.17.10

Early 7am start for this one, we rolled across the foggy Golden Gate bridge on wet surfaces. Hardly any cars at this hour and as we rode through Sausalito, Mill Valley and ascended Camino Alto I could begin to see the magic of starting this early. We stuck to the road in Larkspur and weaved into the San Anselmo street fair that was just setting up - we needed coffee! After a nice break it was on to Fairfax and that hill, grrr. No one waited at the top but I did have a nice conversation with a sweaty gentleman across the road, it was starting to get hot already. Across the valley and heading for the trees we took Cross Marin Trail through Samuel P. Taylor park. The trees and creek were awesome and a welcoming shady lane from the sun. Pt. Reyes Station welcomed our hungry crew with many choices and then always coffee at the Cowgirl Creamery. Ramona almost abandoned her bike for a vintage Benelli motorcycle but we managed to talk her out of it. We rode out the same way we came in but took the Nicasio Valley route past the reservoir then took a break in town. It was really starting to heat up in the middle of the afternoon so a couple of us had popsicles to cool down. Climbing out of Nicasio Valley is always a challenge and today was no exception. What really got to me though was the climb up Fairfax hill and then the fast descent - I was super hungry and shaking by the time I got to the bottom and raided the Carridice for all it was worth. Cherries, grapes, cheese, brownies? All gone in an instant. This gave us the strength to continue into town and well, wouldn't you know it - it was beer:30 already! A couple pints were consumed by thirsty cyclists and we lingered for awhile since the bikes looked so comfortable hanging from the wall. Rolling on home we could feel the weather change to the SF variety we like so much and in Larkspur a cyclist we met directed us a new route to Camino Alto summit - very picturesque and NO CARS. Sweet... We absolutely all bombed down Camino Alto then hit the flats thru Mill Valley. By the time we got to Alexander Ave. in Sausalito the fog/wind machine had kicked in big time and thank god - kept me awake to the bridge. Over the bridge & to the statue for final pics and goodbyes I was sad for this great day to end. I must say that the Populaire went from 35 last year to about 125 this year and the folks I rode with this time were all extremely strong riders, it was tough to keep up. Hope to see you all again next year...

more pics here:

Kelley's pics here:

Meli's pics here:

Adrienne's pics here:

'til next time, "Have a Nice Ride"

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bob Freeman is the Man!

Are you thinking of maybe wanting to ride a classic 10 speed bike? Bob's articles describe the lust, curiosity & nostalgia to a "T".

more here:

'til next time, "Have a Nice Ride"...

R.I.P. Nino Defilippis

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

City's bike plan may fully roll out

By: Mike Aldax June 22, 2010 Room to roam: S.F. is planning to add 34 miles of bike lanes to the existing 45. (Cindy Chew/The Examiner)

SAN FRANCISCO — The green light to vastly expand the number of bike lanes in The City may finally come this summer.

Today, Superior Court Judge Peter Busch, who imposed an injunction on San Francisco’s long-awaited bike plan in 2006, will hear the city attorney’s final arguments about why he should lift the ban.

The bike plan would add 34 miles to The City’s current 45 miles of on-street bicycle lanes during the next several years, along with parking spots and traffic signals for cyclists and colored lanes on some streets.

The plan was ultimately stifled by a 2005 lawsuit demanding an environmental review that would adequately address traffic issues and other impacts. That review has been completed.

In November, Busch lifted the injunction on a conditional basis, prompting The City to embark on 10 of the 45 projects that received approval from city lawmakers. The judge’s lifting of the ban would allow The City to move forward with the remaining projects.

After the hearing today, the court will have up to 90 days to issue a ruling. Advocates hope the injunction will be lifted this summer.

"By the end of the year, we hope to see at least 20 new bike lanes and innovations like colored bike lanes that will make our city an easier and safer place to live, shop, do business, work," said Renée Rivera, acting executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, in a statement.

Bicycle ridership in The City has increased 53 percent during the past four years, the organization said. Read more at the San Francisco Examiner:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

3rd annual ride around lake tahoe 6.19.10

yes, finally - the 3rd annual ride around tahoe! we arrived pretty late friday night & had a couple chores in the morning (bell mounting, pedal swaps and tire pumping) but managed to start the ride just before 10am Saturday. greg rode his 1973 schwinn paramount factory custom piss yellow colored extra braced bicycle sculpture and i rode a 1971 raleigh super course w/custom drivetrain and "hammered into submission" rear rim. from lakeshore blvd. at incline village to hwy 28 1st thing in the morning might be my favorite part except for that incredible long descent from the hwy 50/28 junction - so cool. makes the extended climb almost worth it. ;>)... but before we could do that long, fun downhill Greg needed something and he needed it badly. i arrived at the hwy 50/28 boat inspection station to find all the car hoods up and Greg checking everyone's oil. i figured he was applying for a new job and demonstrating the extra service he could provide the inspectees vehicles but i should've known better - he was actually wiping the dipstick oil off onto his bike chain because the chain squeak was driving him batty. this took awhile, then we had a blast racing downhill and into south lake tahoe where there was (naturally) a car show going on. we checked out everything and most received thumbs up - good selection and polish this year. The sound of that old Mercury idling was music to my ears...

car show behind us we raced through south lake asap, not much to see there. arriving at our usual lunch spot in camp richardson about 1pm it was time for some bike fuel - club sandwich and sobe green tea, please. ahh, perfect. always take it easy after lunch on the bike path but there is that emerald bay road to climb, grr. this is about the hardest climb of the ride & it seems to get easier each time - interesting because i thought i was in about the worst physical shape of the 3 rides so far but the '71 super course must've been set up just right and made it the easiest of the 3. a 180mm length TA triple crankset and old broken in brooks b15 saddle are great for touring i guess... the downhill run past bliss park after the emerald bay climb was pretty epic - not much wind, clouded over & cool mid afternoon with about 3 cars behind me at the run-out. one gave a short honk & smile as he passed :>). we skipped the tahoma stop as we both felt well fed & hydrated, rolled through homewood and stopped in tahoe city for a break. it was funny seeing the fish jumping for bread crumbs thrown by the tourists at fanny bridge.

the rest of the ride was pleasurable and uneventful and we rolled back to incline together about 6pm. Greg typically has "head for the barn" syndrome after tahoe city and beats me by about 15 mins. but that 42-24 gear combo kept him down to my pace this year. ok, what's for dinner? salmon, sauteed zucinni w/onions in olive oil, wild rice combo and martinis! a just reward for the days efforts.

more pics here:

pics from the '09 ride:

pics from the '08 ride:

'til next time, "Have a Nice Ride"...

Jour De Fete Jacques Tati 1949

Monday, June 14, 2010

6/13/2010 Route

a bit hot for me to ride in the mid 80's but was itchin' to get out so the pink bike got to run for a few miles. and run she did - that straight stretch into ivanhoe (ave 328?) was so smooth and with a slight tail wind it seemed i was jet powered. damn! that was fun blastin' into town with dogs barkin' at my heels with no way to keep up...

'til next time, "Have a Nice Ride"...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

summer in the city

love our natural summer air conditioning...

fun ride today in sf after deciding it was too hot on the peninsula. drove to & parked at log cabin at the presidio then checked out the "green" street fair on union st. headed back to explore ft. point by bike and got chased out by park ranger. then it was up and over the golden gate and through sausalito heading for mill valley bike swap. guess i was a bit late since the place was empty. thought about doing a paradise loop but it was too hot for me at the end of the bike trail so turned around to head back and ran into Omar - he'd just finished a loop & was heading back so we chatted and rode back through mill valley & sausalito then over the bridge again. Omar peeled off and i went to delarosa for a pizza & beer & martini. great food, drink & people watching on chestnut st. i needed the antifreeze for the windy/cool ride back to the log cabin. finally getting comfortable on the torpado - might be because i massaged a 1/2 pint of olive oil into that rock hard saddle...

'til next time, "Have a Nice Ride"...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Paradise Loop ride 5.8.10

Ramona, Johann and I started out from the Log Cabin at the Presidio and headed over to the statue to meet Adrienne and we all cruised Golden Gate bridge starting just after 10am. Was glad I brought the jacket as it was brisk and a bit windy already. We met Bob, Dave, the O'Chan clan and a couple of new riders, Stan and Victor, at the Heliport in Mill Valley. Victor brought a very nice custom fitted Rock Lobster and Stan was riding his 1950's Healing track bike - both were riding fixed gear! I thought Stan's Healing was very cool as that is my favorite era in cycling, just after the war in Britain. Although the Healing is Australian you could tell the British influence straight away. after Ramona was done using Dave's banana phone and a few more laughs and pics we were off across the flats and grinding up Camino Alto. Laurie B. and her son Dylan surprised us at the top of the hill and hung with us for the main leg to Tiburon - great seeing you Laurie, it's been too long! We all chatted for a bit then headed down the hill at a brisk pace and then onto the bike trail and back under the freeway onto Paradise Dr. I stopped with the O'Chans for a snack about 1/2 way around - Una & Declan were doing very well on this ride but were starting to bonk slightly and it was time to fuel up with some energy bars. The ride from there into Tiburon is always my favorite area, very scenic with a couple fun rollers to get up some good speed. Lunch at Caffe Acri was delicious and leisurely. It was too nice of a day not to enjoy so we did lollygag a bit and enjoy the sights and sunshine. Laurie and Dylan had a full schedule so peeled off here while the rest of us cruised the back streets and neighborhoods of Tiburon on our way out to the bike trail on the water. Still a beautiful day but the wind had kicked in more and did make riding more challenging. Over 101 we went across the pedestrian bridge, through the Ferrari & Lambo dealer to check out this years models and also our expertise riding "cobblestones" then through more watery neighborhoods and a green field we were back on the flats heading for the Heliport. Victor, Stan and the O'Chan clan peeled off and Ramona, Johann and I kept riding back through Sausalito, up Alexander Ave. and across the Golden Gate once again. After ending back at the Log Cabin we said our goodbyes and I loaded up while Johann and Ramona rode back home. Thanks for the wonderful day and great ride everyone, I had a blast and hope you did too! More pics here:

Ramona's pics here:

Bob's pics here:

Adrienne's pics here:

'til next time, "Have a Nice Ride!"...

butter it up 5.5.10

my 1st buttery smooth night time bike ride through sf. shh, don't tell anyone. about 50 - 60 riders left the ferry bldg. ~7pm wed. night and cruised all the roads near the water until just below the cliff house at ocean beach where we turned into the park near the windmill. the route after that is pretty much a mystery to me but, hey, no prob - just follow someone. the end of the ride is at bender's bar where you can park your bike inside - it's sort of a caltrain-ish stacking arrangement but at least it's indoors. after too much fun & beer consumption Ramona guided me back to the train station where i made the last train down the peninsula that night. thanks everyone for being so nice to this noobie. more pics here:

'til next time, "Have a Nice Ride"...

Monday, May 3, 2010

may day ride 2010

the pink bike got a stroll in the country today - the usual training ride up rocky hill and yokohl valley. weather was so nice it just wanted to keep going. took a couple breaks on the hill but they were very short due to the overwhelming sound of BEES! never heard so MANY all at once. reached for my "energy" bar but thought better about opening it around all the buzzing, didn't seem to be bothering the cows much tho. so i scooted on down and cruised the canal back among the intoxicating orange groves - that smell is amazing. stopped in exeter on the way back for a couple peanut butter cookies to fuel me home. made great time back since the pink bike was all warmed up and completely functional this time. thanks for the ride! more pics here:

'til next time, "Have a Nice Ride"...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

4.25.10 woodside - los altos ride

fun ride on the '72 torpado, it's a new build. started in woodside and did the usual out to palo alto but went into los altos this time and stopped for lunch at pompeii - it was decent but nothing to write home about. today was to test the new wheel build and tires - wheels pass, tires fail. front flat near the end of the ride but fortunately met Gary W. who rode with me for a while and also had a pump to give me enough air to get me back to the car. thank you, sir! Gary was riding his custom handmade Steelman bike - what a sweet machine. Someday...

more pics here:

'til next time, "Have a Nice Ride"!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Just received GREAT NEWS from Jon via the CR list: HIS BIKE HAS BEEN RECOVERED on May 1st!! Woo hoo! Thanks everyone for passing the word around so quickly...


Dear Listers,

My beloved white Peugeot UO-18 mixte was stolen from outside of our apartment this evening between 6 and 10 PM. It was not locked--I left it outside "just for a minute" and then forgot to put it away and lock it up.

It is highly customized--Campi and Phil Wood, faded red Tailwind panniers, extra-long extensions on the toeclips, and much more.

$200 reward for the return of this bike, no questions asked. I especially appreciate the help and cooperation of Bay Area CR list members and friends in this less-than-likely task...

2008 photos available here:


Jon Spangler Alameda, CA USA, where my heart is broken and I feel dumber by the minute...

Jon Spangler


Linda Hudson Writing

TEL 510-864-2144

CEL 510-846-5356

Sunday, March 28, 2010

3.28.10 woodside ride

Guy called the 1st ride of the season today in Woodside and certainly hit the mark - beautiful weather, great friends, fine vintage machines. We all met at Woodside school @ 9:30am for a 10am roll out and cruised down Cañada Rd. then down Hwy 92 for a few hundred yards and up 35 to upper Crystal Springs reservoir, over to Polhemus, up hill then over the Hwy 280 pedestrian overpass back to Cañada Rd. with a stop at Robert's Market for take away deli lunches for the Woodside school benches out back by the astroturf soccer field. How many grammer schools do you know that have an astroturf playing field AND tennis courts? They really should install a pool for the poor tykes. Lunch was great as usual and Bradley, Johann, Jan and Peter kept our table laughing the whole time with some great stories. Thought I had taken a pic of Greg eating his salad with a cone wrench but you'll just have to take my word for it. After lunch the bike admiration begins and it's time for goodbyes and the load out. Always hard to say goodbye to such a great crew. Thanks everyone - and thanks, Guy for calling a great ride!

Bob's pics here:!/album.php?aid=157030&id=661332033

my pics here:

'til next time, "Have a Nice Ride"...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

torpado build

praise the lord and pass the ammunition - the torpado is finally done! after fighting multiple flats and procuring the proper stepped cable ferrules this bike is finally road worthy. i'm thinkin' i may have crossed the line with this one. please let me know what you think. here are a few more preliminary pics - more tomorrow:

seller's pics of frame and fork:

auction description of the frame & fork:

Torpado c.1972 GT8000 Frame, Forks and Headset ONLY – 61.5cm c-c

Vintage, very early 1970s Torpado road frameset. This one is old enough to still have a beautiful brass headbadge. Seat tube is 61.5cm c-c, or 63cm c-top of seat cluster lug, and top tube is 60cm. Italian threaded bottom bracket shell and 1” steer tube. Original and VERY nice condition steel chromed headset is included, along with the front center-pull cable stop hanger (see last photo). Races are clean, and pit-free. Rear end is spaced at 123mm … a perfect halfway between five and six speed spacing. Original silver paint with GORGEOUS burgandy seat tube panels, and gold lug lining, shows some light marks from the years, but is still in really fine condition overall. Structurally 100%, although I have not ridden this (way too big for me), or checked it for straightness. Lots of chrome, still in super nice condition, with no obvious bad areas or haze, but a couple of very small marks here and there, and one tiny pit area on top of the non-drive side fork crown. Stamped dropouts have fender eyelets, and no doubt the “GT” in the model name refers to Gran Turismo, or the like, and this could be considered a touring frame. Indeed, it is a perfect candidate for a fixed gear, single speed conversion, given the minimal braze-ons. This probably originally came with a Gian Robert, or Campagnolo Valentino, Velox, Gran Turismo, or similar gruppo. This is not suitable for track / pista use. Not perfect paint anymore, but still very fine, in excellent mechanical condition, very well cleaned and ready to go!

NOTE: There are two pair of top tube brake cable guides, and the back piece of the front pair is attached slightly out of true.

Serial numbers under the bottom bracket are * 211319 *, which after years of collecting these sequences for Torpados and Italvegas, I believe means it was made in 11 of 1972, perhaps the 319th unit. The single exception to this rule happens to have been listed on Ebay recently, but I was unable to actually see those numbers to confirm that they are out of sequence. Even so, I will think that one was an anomaly / mis-stamp, until I see some others like it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

took the gitane TdF direct drive (seen above in the yokohl valley) on this route yesterday - a beautiful, cool, clear spring day perfect for riding:

big pic here:

'til next time. "Have a Nice Ride"...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Jim Merz & Mark Dinucci

From an email to CR list from Jim Merz today:

"I connected with a friend of mine from the old days, James Mason. He is a Portland born bicycle nut who used to hang out at my shop when he was not on some photo assignment for Newsweek or other newpaper. He has been cleaning up a storage unit and found some negitives he took of my shop. I think it is 1978, and the other guy working is Mark Dinucci. These are the only photos I have of the shop, hope you enjoy them. It's a slide show, click the arrows to see them.

2115 NW Everett St. Portland Oregon

Jim Merz Big Sur CA"

'til next time, "Have a Nice Ride"...

Monday, March 8, 2010

3.7.10 ride - woodside, portola valley, stanford, palo alto

cino took me on a ride today: woodside to portola valley to palo alto and back. rode thru stanford and a couple blocks of university ave. then scooted down el camino to check out california ave. - brad told me they cut down all the trees and he was right! but they did replant so i guess it'll only take one or two generations to get it back the way it was...

pics here:

'til next time, "Have a Nice Ride"

Monday, March 1, 2010

italvega - latest build

my latest build for a friend's son. he liked my taste in bikes so I started from scratch. think this came in under $400. the frame is an ebay find for $50! old wheelset from a peugeot (ebay). derailluers are shimano 600 "arabesque" i got a while ago. crankset is sugino mighty. only hot rod part is BB spindle - a campy because the original ofmega was the wrong taper for the crankset. some builds go together amazingly easy but this one fought me every step of the way. still need to complete the back brake and step-ferrule all the cable housings and cone wrench the front axle slightly. but rode it 15 miles yesterday and it was extremely comfortable and not too slow or heavy. it's gonna be a commuter so maybe throw fenders on it...

more pics here:

rest of my bikes here:

'til next time, "have a nice ride"...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tour de Taco 2.20.2010

what can i say about the tour de taco? not much riding, lot's of fun and tasty treats along the way. i caught the 1st caltrain headed north and met Adrienne, James and Declan at Four Barrel coffee on Valencia in SF. after an americano i was almost awake and the friendly barista actually had me taste a couple coffees of the single bean style - i guess this is akin to single malt scotch. let me tell you, the Kenya Gaturiri Reserve kicked the Sumatra Blue Batak's ass! thank you for the unsolicited tasting mr. generous barista - you taught this guy a thing or 2 about coffee... Meli arrived and had a shot and a cup to catch up and we were off to catch bart to cross the bay. getting off at the fruitvale station in oakland there were already about 100 riders hungry for tacos listening to the announcements. from what i could gather 1/2 of us were to go one way and the other 1/2 the opposite way around the tour. oh, did i mention this was a tour of several taco trucks in oakland? pretty cool, i had never eaten at a taco truck before. hard to believe, i know. the 1st stop was pretty crowded with about 40 people in line so i just watched some local dude on a scraper do some tricks for us in the parking lot. on to the next truck. i was getting really hungry so had to get in da line for some AWESOME chix quesadillas here. wow, good stuff, yum. Meli got the last of the green sauce but thankfully shared. Adrienne shared some of her sauteed plantains, pretty damn skippy. Declan found a buddy to play with so all was well at this spot. On to the next truck, here I had a couple carne asada tacos w/fresh chopped onions and cilantro, a taste sensation - so good. met Dara riding a very nice early 90's blue lugged steel mondonico and also Stan riding his custom handmade bernie mikkelsen. was just getting used to the pattern of riding, tacos, riding when we rode back to fruitvale for ice cream. had a sample of some unidentifiable fruit sorbet, got to taste Meli's ice cream with rose petals. must say that my palate was jingly with new tastes all day long, more please! all too soon it was time to board bart for the trip back to sf, which greeted us with better (if only temporarily) weather. of course no ride is really complete without beer/coffee so Stan and the crew stopped at taylor's refresher for some, well, refreshment. a horse sounding human, spinning quarters and a guy yelling "taxi?" at us on our way out was the entertainment at the ferry bldg. after goodbyes i raced to caltrain with minutes to spare and dozed on the way home to find it just starting to rain lightly...

Meli's pics here:

Adrienne's pics here:

my pics here:

'til next time, "have a nice ride"...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

flying with your bike...


The Best and Worst Airlines for Cyclists Airlines generally allow a bike case that measures no more than 62 dimensional inches (length plus width plus height) and weighs less than 50 pounds to fly as regular checked baggage. Beyond that, you'll pay extra. All figures quoted are for one-way travel....


Weight/size limits: 99.9 pounds/109 linear inches
Cost: $50
Notes: All bicycles are transported by hand, from ticket counter to aircraft hold.

Weight/size limits: Any bag over 100 pounds must be shipped as cargo
Cost: $50
Notes: Without exorbitant fees, this airline has managed to turn a profit for 36 years straight.

Weight/size limits: 99 pounds
Cost: $50 domestic, $80 international
Notes: Bikes are cheaper to fly than pets ($100)-but Fido earns you frequent flyer points.


US Airways
Weight/size limits: 100 pounds
Cost: $100
Notes: Liability waiver required

Weight/size limits: 70 pounds
Cost: $100
Notes: no liability for soft-side cases


Delta (and its subsidiary, Northwest)
Weight/size limits: 100 lb
Cost: $175 domestic, $300 international
Notes: Need a laugh while you're weeping over this surcharge? Read the rules for checking Christmas trees.

Weight/size limits: 50 lb
Cost: $175 domestic and Central America, up to $250 international
Notes: Weight allowance all but rules out hard cases, which weigh 30-plus pounds on their own

Weight/size limits: 70lb/115 inches
Cost: $100
Notes: You also must pay the regular checked-bag fee ($20-$30).

Pack Smart
*Don't use the bike bag as your suitcase. Some carriers assess both oversize and overweight charges.

*Read your airline's policy carefully. United, for example, will not take packed bikes over 50 pounds, period. They also charge extra on flights to Japan and Brazil.

*We hesitate to say this, but with increasingly stringent dimensional and weight restrictions, hard-shell cases are looking like a poor idea. While their protection is superb, most weigh more than 30 pounds-empty. That said, some carriers require liability release forms for soft-side cases.

*Airlines don't accept liability for improperly packed items, so use pipe insulation on frame tubes. Remove quick releases and pedals, wrap separately, and get plastic axle guards from a bike shop. For mountain bikes, remove brake rotors. Remove your rear derailleur hanger if possible. Use axle blocks, especially with soft-side cases.

*CO2 cartridges are prohibited in all checked bags and carry-ons.

*Checked bag liability usually tops out at $3,300 for domestic flights. Damage must be proved. Check your homeowner's policy to see if it covers items damaged in travel.

*Finally, it's an urban myth that your tires will burst in the cargo hold-there's no need to deflate them.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

L'Eroica 2009

it's the 1st sunday in october. see you there this year 2010!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

thought for the day...

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

Monday, January 25, 2010

sf ride 1.24.10

sunday, sunday, sunday! folks, this is a good day of the week to ride in the city - especially on a day that has threat of rain. a lot of cars stayed home making it an extremely pleasant situation for us 2 wheelers. i took caltrain from san carlos to sf and got to peet's in the marina about 10am. met meli and anthony for a cup of the good stuff and we couldn't convince anthony to tear himself away from the football playoffs so meli & i headed out to a lbs called citizen chain. sasha, the owner, seemed pretty cool and had some nice vintage lugged steel on hand for us to drool over. he is starting to specialize in building up old mixte frames since no one else seems to be filling the demand. we could've stayed all day and talked bikes and added much of his inventory to our wish lists but we were itching to glide again. heading south on the embarcadero it started to rain a bit and then a bit more - no wind though. had to pull over and don the jacket but to be honest it felt more refreshing than annoying to me - i was just happy to finally be outside after too many days in a row of heavy rain and wind. we crossed a draw bridge or 2 while heading out hunters point to piccino for lunch. parking t & c under the awning outside the windows we watched them carefully as we didn't know if 2 italians would get along or not. they made friends while we had bianca and white (w/nettles) pizzas, beer and cafe on a copper topped table. the rain stopped during lunch so the jacket came off before we headed to flora grubb gardens - what a great atmosphere - to say this is a unique nursery is a huge understatement. it's definitely worth going out of your way for a visit. we wandered around and i couldn't stop taking pictures of this awesome space. heading back through some industrial storage and under freeway spaces we cruised down valencia (what a blast, btw!) and stopped at four barrel coffee for a little pick me up. another place i have no problem recommending, it's obvious meligrosa has good taste in all things sf. now if only i can stop sliding on the tilted floor next to the door! ;>) back on the bikes we wound up at a bookstore in the ferry building where meli showed me her latest magazine spread. Yup, she's in there! So cool... Buy the latest copy of bust magazine and check it out. we said our goodbyes and headed for home in opposite directions on the embarcadero. i had exactly 13 mins. to make the next train and made it with 2 mins. to spare - thank you, c!

meli's pics here:

my pics here:

'til next time, "have a nice ride"...