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