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