Thursday, June 30, 2011

To Sand Mountain

We went for coffee at Safeway supermarket. I had a Starbuck's. Since it was my first caffeine jolt on this trip, it revved me up and I decided to ride down the road to help our bike tour progress while Dick can't ride. It was a relatively cool day, there was wind from the west, and the road was mostly flat.

2 1/2 hours and 30.7 miles later, I finished at Sand Mountain.

This is a popular recreation area for people with quadrunners (aka ATVs). Justin comes here with friends several times a year.

No word from Cannondale today. And a long holiday weekend is just ahead.

Miles = 256

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rest Day

Time to rest, work on the blog, and do laundry, but I couldn't start those projects until I finished this book. I was riveted.Glenn, my cousin who lives in Regina Saskatchewan, sent me this book. It was written by his cousin (who is not my cousin) - a true account of a horrible event in her life. Her stalker shot her twice, then killed himself. Sharon survived only because she pretended to die.

No word from Cannondale today.

Quote of the day from a local woman: "I've lived in Nevada since 1934. I moved here when I was just 4 years old. It's a pretty state . . IF you know where to look."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

To Fallon

We each had fast rides today to get to Fallon. A nice tailwind helped. We were having lunch at Subway by 1 pm. We decided to stay at Sage Valley campground, about 4 miles west of town.
We were both happy about the upcoming rest day, talking and laughing as I backed away from the campground office . . . right into a pole. I stopped quickly, started to pull forward, whoa!

The handlebar on my bike had grabbed onto the pole. Nevertheless, my bike appeared to be ok, and the car was ok. However Dick's bike frame was cracked in two places near the back wheel making it unrideable. Dick was pretty sure the frame might have already been cracked because his riding today had felt "funny."

We spent the afternoon calling bike shops in Reno and City Bicycle Works in Sacto (where we bought the bikes). Cannondale frames are guaranteed for life so Peloton Bicycles (not knowing about the backing-into-a-pole part) suggested bringing the bike to them, they would take pictures of the cracks, contact Cannondale and order another frame, then transfer all the other pieces and parts from the old bike to the new frame. City Bicycle Works was able to finally locate our invoice (they'd reversed my first and last name and had misspelled Dick's last name) and sent a copy to Peloton. If approved by Cannondale, a frame will be sent from Massachusetts, but we're not sure when yet. We made a rushed 60-mile drive to Peloton, getting there just before they closed.

So, we're stalled and unsure how long this is going to take to solve. Sigh. As you can imagine, I felt really bad, although Dick was really cool about the whole thing. On the way home, we stopped for a few groceries. I stayed in the car and sulked. Dick came back with groceries and flowers to cheer me up.

It worked.
Total miles = 225

Monday, June 27, 2011

To Dayton Nevada

Leaving Crystal Springs, there was still some good downhill for me. There's a whole new look to the eastern side of the Sierra Nevadas:

We exchanged riding duties in Genoa. I went on to Carson City, and met Dick at a shopping center. We had lunch and shopped for a few necessities, including a new tent. We've been using the same 3-person tent since 2004. I've (we've) put it up hundreds of times and it's served us well on threee bike tours totaling 18 months. And with a car, who cares what it weighs? so we upgraded to a relatively inexpensive 4-person tent.

The squirrels who thought we might feed them would scamper back to this log which we thought would be perfect for a children's book:

This is our third night without a shower. =(

Total miles = 175

Sunday, June 26, 2011

To Crystal Springs Campground

I left at about 8 am and rode for 3 hours. I only went about 8 miles but gained 1000 feet. That's about 2.7 mph - hard work.
Dick, however, was able to ride uphill at about 7 mph. I think that's amazing in these mountains. Silver Lake:

Caples Lake:

Carson Pass, 8574 feet. Time for some good downhill!

Our USFS campground was Crystal Springs, just a couple mile west of Woodfords:

Total miles = 129

Saturday, June 25, 2011

To Cook's Station

Green Valley Road was still the way to get to Placerville, but too dangerous so we drove to Placerville. I rode this same route about 10 years ago with a couple of girfriends and there have been some great improvements to the route. Like the El Dorado Bike Trail: Crossing Highway 50, to get to Newtown Road:

At this point I've ridden uphill about 9 miles and think this bike tour was a really stupid idea. What makes me think I can climb any kind of a mountain after not riding my bike for 9 months. I may have climbed 500'. I sat on this front porch and waited for Dick, we had lunch and he took over.

Mt Aukum Road:

While I waited for Dick at the turn onto Fair Play Rd, I met Gabriel, a young man in his 20s and his girlfriend, Shenay. He was very friendly, I told him I like his shirt:

We talked about the prospect of legalization, when marijuana first entered main stream culture (for me, it was 1966, first year at UCR), crop-growing being popular in this part of the Sierras. I asked if I could take his picture. "No." How about I just take a picture of your shirt? No face showing. "No. . . but my girlfriend can take a picture with your camera." Soon a car came and picked them up.

I couldn't find my Adventure Cycling map this morning so I got bicycle directions from Google maps. They are not kind, let me tell you. They sent Dick to Slug Gulch Rd - a somewhat feared road with some STEEP climbs. I'm sure there were some 11% grades. But he did it climbing over 3000 feet. I was impressed.

Our AC maps said you could camp behind the store/restaurant.

Not the prettiest campsite we've ever seen, but not the worst either. We were asleep before the sun went down.

Total miles = 84

Friday, June 24, 2011

Half and Half Bike Tour: day 1

7 am: leaving Justin's house in East Nicolaus. I took the first leg while it was still cool. I know - I'm not wearing a helmet, but I promise by the end of the day, I will have a new one.
The rice crops in East Nicolaus have just started to show green above the waterline. By the time we get back, the harvest may have started.

I rode through Lincoln, Rocklin, and Roseville and ended my part of the ride at Sierra College Blvd and Douglas Blvd.

After we had lunch, it was Dick's turn and he would have the harder part of the ride, because the foothills of the Sierra Nevada begin here. I think I climbed about 250 easy feet, but Dick will end up climbing 1000' today.

After riding through Folsom, Dick took Green Valley Road until it became too dangerous. The road is narrow with no shoulder and lots of fast traffic. The curves were the worst when drivers would not slow down even with oncoming traffic. I picked him up in Rescue and we drove to my cousin's niece's house in Shingle Springs.

What a nice first night on the road. We got to visit with Sharon and David, plus two of their three children, Jake and Maddie. Thanks so much for hosting us!

Maddie drew me a picture and wrote a short story as a gift. Very sweet.

Total miles = 51

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Getting ready for the next bike tour

We've decided to do another bike tour, but this time we're going to add a huge luxury item: a car. I'm calling it the Half and Half Tour. Each of us will ride daily while the non-rider drives the car. All the miles will be ridden by bicycle by one of us (no cheating either). Our initial goal is to leave from East Nicolaus and take the Western Express Transamerica bicycle route almost to Pueblo Colorado before turning north for Boulder to visit Mike and Nicole. After that we'll head generally north and west until late September or whenever Dick feels like it's time to return to the boat in Mexico.

This is our fifth bike tour so we think it's pretty easy to get ready and we only gave ourselves today to do it. Some of the benefits of having the car will be an ice chest, two stacks of books, more clothes, and the bigger laptop. One of the best features is not having to ride "loaded". The car carries the gear, the bicycle rider carries one lightly-filled saddlebag.

Here are a couple of things that I get to leave behind! Hair products and the blow dryer. Only the comb goes on the trip.

Leave all the earrings and rings at home, just the small silver hoops.

Tomorrow we're off. I'm so excited, I'm sure I won't sleep well tonight.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Time to leave

Thank you so much Nicole and Greg (who's already gone to work) for letting us stay with you. We had a great time!It's back to Palo Alto for us so Dick can help Mark with either finishing the shed or working on the kitchen. Tomorrow the cabinets will be installed. It's crunch time.
Bring on the cabinet installers

Monday, June 20, 2011

Urban hike: Telegraph Hill, San Francisco

For two years, I've kept an article from the Explore section of the Sacramento Bee about an urban hike in San Francisco up and down Telegraph Hill. It turned out to be a rather strenuous hike of 2.5 miles, climbing about 400 steps then down about the same number. The starting point:
The Maybeck Building at 1736 Stockton, an Alpine chalet-type office building designed in 1907 by Berkeley-based Bernard Maybeck:

Greenwich Street - the climbing begins:

A little side trip to Gerke Alley and Coit Tower was nicely framed:

Flat sidewalk ends, time to climb stairs:

Coit Tower at the top of Telegraph Hill:

Walking around the tower provided some great views of the city. Bay Bridge:

Treasure Island:

Lombard Street:

Golden Gate Bridge:

On the far side, the Greenwich Steps begin:

The steps lead us past private gardens and entrances to houses:

At the bottom, a short walk along Sansome Street took us to the Filbert Steps. OK, I admit it, my legs by this time were aching. When I saw we had to start climbing again, I was dismayed but not ready to quit.

Still climbing, stopping to rest more often, time to turn around at enjoy the view. Levi's Plaza is below:

And down the other side. At this point, going down hurts worse than climbing up.

Off to the side of the steps was a small public garden with narrow pathways and a few benches:

Napier Lane: home to a feral flock of South American parrots, although we didn't see any of them.

Grace Marchant Gardens:

1360 Montgomery - this art moderne building was Lauren Bacall's apartment house in the 1947 movie "Dark Passage" co-starring Humphrey Bogart:

Just before turning right onto Green Street, the Transamerica Building:

Downhill to the end of the hike, but it's slow-going for me:

In North Beach, we found a place to sit down (hurray!) and have a snack - Nico's Tacos:

The proprietor checks to see if Dick's qualifies. It did - whew!

I'm so glad this little adventure is over and I'm wondering how sore my leg muscles will be tomorrow.