Bike It
Apr 06

Dumpling Scouting Ride…

Scouting potential locations and routes for the Third Annual Dumpling Bike Tour on May 10th (see last year)… and it was a beautiful, sunny, relaxing day with a few friends. 

Apr 05

1st Annual San Diego Bike & Beer: recap

A while back I heard about the 1st Annual San Diego Bike & Beer (I think via the citymaus tumblr), and just had to plan a trip down from SF for the weekend. And by lucky chance, two friends were already going to be in Southern California that weekend and drove down to join. In pictures:

image

The 29-mile route visited four breweries (Hess, Modern Times, Stone, and Mission), taking a roundabout path to circle the city and include scenic ocean-side riding:

image

Riding was a mix of rough roads, parks with spring wildflowers in bloom, and dedicated bike paths:  

image

image

image

image

My favorite brewery was Modern Times (great saison and imperial stout, unusual monkey mural made entirely of post-its), though all four were interesting (Stone Liberty Station had great beers as well as a full restaurant):

image

image

image

image

The ride was mostly flat, punctuated by one steep hill. At least the view back from the top was great:

image

Overall it was a really great day— everyone I talked to was cheerful, the weather was phenomenal (warm and sunny with a friendly breeze), it was well organized (impressively so for a first year and 600+ riders!), and the breweries along the route were doing half-size pours instead of full beers (probably a wise idea).

Alas, all good things must come to an end… the next morning found me disassembling my bike and packing it away (13 minutes from bike to nondescript zippered case) before a day of additional beer tasting and a flight back.

image

Mar 22

Packing up my bike for next weekend’s 1st Annual San Diego Bikes & Beer.

Mar 09

Biking dirt roads (Old Railroad Grade) up Mt Tam

Five of us set off to ride dirt roads up to the top of Mt Tam, along the former route of the ‘Crookest Railroad in the World’.

Starting with a little dirt warm-up on paths through the Presidio:

image

New off-road dirt shortcut to the bridge, past old concrete batteries (involved some flights of stairs):

image

Stop at the new Sol Food in Mill Valley (quite possibly my favorite place to eat on a ride) for a plantain-and-hot-sauce-heavy lunch:

image

And after a scenic ride past Mill Valley and into the dark, shadowy woods, we branched off onto Old Railroad Grade, the remarkably consistent 6% grade dirt path that switchbacks all the way up Mt Tam:

image

It was rough and rocky at points, with attention needed to plan a line and stay alert (especially for the bold among us doing it on narrow-tires road bikes), but rewarding. Stopping earlier to bleed some pressure off our tires helped smooth the ride, and we only had one flat all day.

image

A short snack break at the historic West Point Inn:

image

And after a few more miles, we were at East Peak, with no-picture-can-capture amazing panoramic views of the Bay Area. We could see Benicia and Carquinez Strait, the Bay and the ocean, downtown SF and Sutro tower, the Richmond and Martinez refineries, all the major bridges, and the winding dirt trail we’d taken up the mountain:

image

image

Back down:

image

Crossing the golden gate bridge in good light before sunset, tired and happy:

image

And the GPS recording of the route, switchbacks, steady grade, and all. About 50 miles round trip and 4000’ feet of elevation gain (about 2500’ in that one Mt Tam ascent):

image

Mar 03

citymaus:

A barnacled Motebecane found at low tide in Mission Creek and rebuilt as a fixed gear with the help of the bike mechanics at Pedal Revolution

—Chris Sollars, 37, artist/professor

Cyclists show off their San Francisco bike style. sfgate, 28.02.14.

(Reblogged from citymaus)
Mar 02

New Bike: Bridgestone XO-1

I “collect” very few things, but I’ve been on an idle (wishful) lookout for a Bridgestone XO-1 for years.

And then within the span of a month I found one online, bought it, reassembled it, fixed a few issues, and took it on its first test ride.

image

image

image

From the side-pull brakes and the “Tusk” (cream) color, I’d say this is the original 1991 model (it was made for three years, ‘91-‘93).  

Almost all components are original, but I want to figure out good dual-sided pedals and maybe a minimal rack (and may make a concession to a different saddle depending how I like the original 1990s Avocet), and will probably switch in smaller tires so I can fit on fenders, but it rides…

Mar 01

Biking Arastradero in light rain

Feb 17

Tour de Biere 2014 photos

This photo sums up the day:

Sunday was the 4th annual Grand-Cru-organized Tour de Biere, visiting four East Bay breweries over the course of an all-day 29-mile scenic bike ride. Great weather (sunny but not too warm, an epic red-and-pink sunset that photos can’t convey), a friendly group of about 40, four friends along for the ride, and a lot of good beer.

A collection of photos, in no particular order:

10AM: Coffee and Beer at Pyramid:

A wide range of environments to ride in:

Puppy in pannier, along for the ride:

Some of the widest-open vistas were at the end of Alameda, as we approached Faction Brewing:

Roadside cookie stop:

The light as we headed into San Leandro:

And at the end of the night, my phone, apparently intoxicated, started turning every photo bright pink:

Quite a ride…

What a great, full day (followed up by a drink and dinner with friends). My personal favorites on the beer front were at Sierra and Drake’s:

  • Sierra Ovila Golden
  • Sierra Ovila Golden Barrel-Aged
  • Sierra Ovila Abbey Quad w/ Plums
  • Drake’s Barrel-Aged Drakonic (Imperial Stout)
  • Drake’s Bourbon Barrel Jolly Rodger 2012 (Barleywine)
  • Drake’s Father Maker- blend of Amber with Denogginizer aged in brandy barrels
  • Almanac Farmer’s Reserve #3 (sour Wild Ale aged in wine barrels with strawberries and nectarines)— post-ride treat.
Feb 16

Bike Route Signage, Berkeley

Feb 14

Happy Valentine’s Day from bikeit