Thursday, October 23, 2014

Day 1 Second Half....

Sorry, things have been busy and I didn't get back to this....anyway here's what happened between Genoa and Carson Pass.

Ahh, yes....confidence reigns supreme.  Only noon and we've made 50 miles out of a planned 112.  Have that beer, enjoy life, you're on a bicycle tour for crying out loud!

Departing from Genoa you head out on rural two lane roads.  There were bike lanes in some places and not in all cases drivers gave us plenty of room while passing.

We spread out a bit as our own personal paces dictated, enjoyed the pastures, and the perfect weather.

After picking up route 88 (to Kirkwood), we noticed two changes...pasture land replaced with beautiful mountains and streams, and that previously flat road had a distinct upward angle!

After 20 miles of climbing a break was called....more cold pizza and some jerky was washed down with freshly filtered stream water.  **It's amazing how much water you can go through on a warm climb!**
 I had my own little adventure on this climb....I intercepted a bee with my face.  It lodged perfectly between my helmet line and sunglasses.  After processing what had happened amidst the angry buzzing, I frantically tried to get my sunglasses off while not crashing in the same motion.  I wasn't quick enough however, and the bee decided to sting the crap out of the bridge of my nose.  This does not feel good!  My riding partner Chia found it exceedingly amusing however.  I think he was just glad it made me stop and he could catch up.

This was the path that still awaited us after our break.

Unfortunately, this isn't my picture and by the time we were here the light was beginning to fade.  One does tend to forget the effect of an 80 lb loaded bike and average speed when climbing!  To make a long story short, there were a few more breaks....and some groaning about the continued climb.  I found the summit around 7 pm. 

It was fully dark for the last 40 minutes of my climb.  Luckily we both had adequate lights for some night riding.

Passive reflective surfaces are also a good idea if you get caught out late.

Chia joined me at the top about a 1/2 hour later.  A few minutes of map consultation relieved that there was still more climbing to come (like two 8000 ft did we not know that).  Mental images of a cold beer at Cooks Station were pretty quickly snuffed out

A stock photo of Cooks Station.....a location we would fall short of.
Anyway, after collecting our wits at the summit. We reevaluated our plan and decided that we would acquire century mileage and then duck off the road for some stealth camping.  Twenty(ish) miles later with some high speed night time descents (which is kinda nerve wracking) and a few more climbs we hit 102 miles and called it a night.  I don't have any pictures....but it took about 10 minutes to pitch camp, throw down a slug of bourbon, and both of us were snoring happily away.

We'll pick it up in the morning in the next post.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Reno to San Francisco Tour. First 1/2 of Day 1.

Ok, I'll do this by the day I guess.  Here's the overall route as recommended by Adventure cycling.

We were planning on making it in to Cook's Station.  A little gas station / restaurant / cabin rental / camping location.  By our calculations it would have been about 112 miles and ~8,000 feet of climbing.  Turns out this this was a little ambitious!

Everything started out as you might imagine.  I was up freaking early and got down to Chia's house about 6am.  He was less concerned about time....meaning he finished up packing, loading the bike, we had a couple cups of coffee and left his house a little before 8.  Just to make things interesting...we road a whopping 10 miles to south Reno and had a huge breakfast at the Squeeze In. 

We then hit the road in earnest and made it in to Genoa around noon.  He's a few pics of the morning.

Who frickin' knew there was a designated Bicycle 395!!

A gas station stop in Carson City....Gatorade refill.

Lunchtime in Genoa at the corner store.  Chia was smart enough to have brought enough cold pizza for both of us!

In a complete lack of coincidence we were also right across the street from the oldest bar in Nevada.

And lord knows you must make an effort to make yourself part of history!

If you haven't had a beer's worth a trip just for the nostalgia.
 A little note on the riding to this point.  There aren't any real hills (ok...there's one) and the wind was pleasantly non-existent.  You also discover that there are really nice bike lanes and shoulders for most of the trip....and even some excellent bike paths worked into the mix through some cute subdivisions I never even know existed along the northwest side of Carson City.

All and all we had 50 miles in by noon and were feeling quite confident of our plans.....

Ok, that's all I have time for right now.....tune back in this afternoon.  I'll try to have the "fun" second half of the day written up.

Monday, October 20, 2014

IMBA trail building at Keystone Canyon November 1,2!!

Come on people...let's get involved with this.  Click the links to get to the poedunks page and / or the IMBA page to sign up!!!  Please note the Trail building school and work is on Sunday, November 2nd.  There is a costume night ride / contest on Saturday, November 1st.

A quick preview of my weekend ride to San Francisco.

Ok, I'm behind at work due to this trip, but here's the dump of our tour to San Francisco.  Basically 300 miles over 3 days of riding with 13,000 feet of climbing. 

I'll do a real write up at some point shortly with pictures.  There are of course some good stories to tell. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

A little bike counting for inspiration.

Counting Bicyclists on NYC's Manhattan Bridge! (October 2014) from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.

This one isn't even from Portland (land of counting bikes and talking about it)'s from New York.  Just imagine if we could get these kind of numbers through an area like Mid-town!?  Of course there isn't any (!!!???) bike infrastructure to get you to mid-town directly (e.g. Virginia St.).  However, the roads that lead there, Arlington Ave. and California Ave. do have good bike lanes and get you to low traffic volume neighborhood roads that lead to mid-town.  So think about a route that might bring you to mid-town for some food and fun and plan a group ride.  See if you can't help bring the Reno bike numbers up by a few!

Biking to San Francisco this weekend.

I have a buddy over at Patagonia that I've know for years.  He's into biking as well (shocking I know) and has been bugging me to ride to San Francisco with him for as long as I can remember.  Like many cyclists we talk a good game, but have never ridden to San Francisco.  Thursday morning that will be changing.

So, that leaves me with a problem.  My do everything bike (Salsa Fargo) is currently in cyclocross configuration.  Meaning, big knobby tires, no fenders, no racks, and after the two races last weekend....exceedingly dirty.  So Saturday morning it was time to make the transition.  I didn't take pictures early on so you'll have to believe me when I say I hosed everything down and scrubbed until my bike looked as close to new as possible. 

Here we are cleaned up and beginning the transition into touring mode....meaning I did one simple thing....added a rear rack.

Next up....tire change out.

Old slicks.

Small problem with a tire quick change....the stupid things are full of stan's sealant and in a tubeless configuration.  For this trip I'm switching back to tubes.  Long story short...Stan's sealant is fucking messy stuff. 

Updated to touring configuration and as clean as it's been in years!

Rear panniers, frame bag, and handlebar bags added.  

So ~5 hours later (and a couple beers in) the process was finished.  We have the Adventure cycling maps in hand (the last stage of the Western Express Route) and a rough game plan of far we'll ride each day, how much climbing it entails, where we'll camp, and how much food to bring.  Now all that remains is getting all the gear together that needs to be in these bags.  No small task, but definitely material for a post tomorrow or Wednesday.