Thursday, January 30, 2014

The first real day of skiing / parking lot camping!

I shouldn't be able to write that title at the end of January....but it's true.  We had one storm system in December, but this one was the first real system since then.  I couldn't help myself....last night at about 9pm I threw my gear in the truck and headed up.  Hoping to crash out in the Rose parking lot and catch first chair.  It was raining in the valley when I left, but there were a few inches of snow in the parking lot.

I wasn't the only one.  At least one other chump was car camping up in the parking lot.  My sleeping arrangements were slightly nicer than his Volvo!  I turned on the heater, played some tunes, and watched the snow fall until about 11pm.  Then I headed to bed.  This all played out well, until they started plowing the parking lot about 3:45am.  Needless to say 3 front end loaders make some serious noise and sleeping wasn't happening.  I managed to get back to sleep around 6am when they wrapped up for another hour or so. 

Upon rousting myself out of bed and brewing up some coffee.  I was delighted to still see the snow falling.  I dutifully lined up early to catch first chair.  It was total worth the rough sleep and waiting in the cold.  Two feet (+/-) of cushy powder.....meaning over the knees in places and spraying you in the face.  Now that's a way to wake up!

The view when I wrapped up around 10:30am.

Anyway by about 10:30 work had to be addressed, so it was back to the office.  Hope your morning started out nearly this good!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Backcountry ride to the Brewing Lair.

Ok, I've been mentioning this on and off for a while now.  I intend to get out on a backcountry / bikepacking tour.  My intention in the long run is to have a route that gets me up to Klamath Falls where I can link in with the newly established Oregon Outback route (360 miles from Klamath Falls to Deschutes).  This is a preliminary "imagined" route that gets me up to Blairsden and the Brewing Lair.

It's probably 75% gravel, forest service road, or fire road and there is some climbing but I think it looks like a doable first leg.  It also doesn't hurt that it ends at a brewery!  If I do the next leg correctly I think I'll have it end at Lassen Ale Works.  Then not only will this be a touring gravel grinder, but a brewery tour to boot!  Anyway, have a look or check it out over at map my ride....I made it public so you can get a look at the details.  If you're really bored you can watch it on the google earth flyby below:

Just a heads a about 4 minutes in you'll be on the Verdi ride....just turning on Bridge St.  Then you hit gravel and the fun begins!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sarcastically, walking safely!

This little safety video is based completely on written guidelines (in subtitle) produced by the New York Police Department (yep, someone actually wrote them) on how to walk safely in NY.  Now of course this is a completely sarcastic take on the whole thing....but how can you not be a little sarcastic when the police themselves place sole responsibility with the vulnerable party!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Backroads touring and beer!

This is an excerpt from a Tour Divide ride.....

I'd love to have a month to do the ride, but it might not happen soon.  In the mean time, I've almost got a gravel / trail route planned from Reno to Blairsden, CA (home of the Brewing Lair of the lost Sierras).  It should be a nice day ride, resulting in beer and a test of a bike setup for this type of riding.

If you haven't already checked out the Brewing Lair, it's worth the visit!  See more about them below (click it):

Friday, January 24, 2014

Sunset Cycling.

So far I've been pretty good at following through on riding home and not just hitch-hiking my way home with wifey.  What's even better, is that lately it hasn't just been the ride home.  It was Great Basin Brewery one night and Wild Garlic last night.  A bit gluttonous on the eating out, but sometimes that just the way it is.  Anyway, last night was some pretty nice riding, complete with a Sierra Sunset!

Sunset views from Vasser.

Wild fricking pizza in town, decent beer list, great atmosphere, and excellent staff.  By the way....they're expanding into the space next door, so it should be even better in the near future.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Do you like Bicycles, Portland, Good Food, and Midtown....then this is for you!

Reno is getting in on a little Portland food action!  Look for the Laughing Planet Cafe to open this May.  More below from the Reno Rebirth Blog.

Reno Rebirth: Healion readies new restaurant in Midtown Reno

"Midtown's on fire": Tim Healion talks about busin...: Tim Healion is aiming for a spring opening for Laughing Planet Cafe in Reno's Midtown district. Here, he talks about the location.
Tim Healion is turning this former law office on Tahoe Street into a Laughing Planet Cafe, with a planned opening of May 1. With Healion are Fenway, front, and Omar Little.
Tim Healion is turning this former law office on Tahoe Street into a Laughing Planet Cafe, with a planned opening of May 1. With Healion are Fenway, front, and Omar Little. / Tim Dunn / RGJ
When Portland's Laughing Planet Café opens a Midtown Reno location this spring, a seasoned Reno restaurateur and organizer will be at the helm.  Tim Healion aims to open the eatery in May at 650 Tahoe Street, in the same neighborhood as Sup and the Reno Public House.

The onetime owner of the Deux Gros Nez café, which closed in 2006, also ran the Tour de Nez bicycle race for 20 years.  The café menu includes burritos, salads, soups and smoothies with a focus on locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.

"The stuff they're doing is the stuff we did years ago at the Deux, as much as we could. Locally sourced food was carrots and potatoes back then but now there's all kinds of stuff being grown," Healion said Tuesday.

Interior construction is starting nearly from scratch in the small brick building, which once housed legal offices.

“Today we busted concrete to bring new electrical service to the building,” Healion said.
Word-of-mouth momentum ramped up just hours after Healion changed his Facebook employment status Monday to “Started working at Laughing Planet Café.”

Facebook commenters cheered "yahooooooooooo- finally!!!!!" and "Back in the saddle!" at his announcement.  Healion isn't worried about joining a busy restaurant district in Midtown.

"What's cool about this neighborhood is there's a lot of stuff that's already going on," he said. "The more you have, the more people come here and the more there's opportunities."

The Laughing Planet chain is owned by Franz Spielvogel, who once worked for Healion at Deux Gros Nez.

"I was Tim's employee for three and a half years and a customer for almost eight," Spielvogel said from Portland on Tuesday.

Both Healion and Spielvogel say they're happy to get together again.

"It's kind of like a homecoming to me," Spielvogel, a UNR graduate, said.

Laughing Planet touts its community involvement, with active participation in a composting program for Portland restaurants.

"Hopefully we can influence the waste management system in Reno, increasing recycling and composting," Spielvogel said.

The chain also won a 2013 "favorite green restaurants" contest run by The Nature Conservancy, which described Laughing Planet as "a quick-service restaurant that offers fresh, healthy and affordable food, using locally sourced organic ingredients and globally inspired flavors."
The Reno location will be one of six new spots planned for Laughing Planet this year. Others are Salt Lake City and, possibly, Boise according to a Portland Business Journal report.
Spielvogel said his eventual goal is for two to four Laughing Planet locations in Reno.

Bicycle news in Reno!

Hey kids, BPAC (Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee) met last night and there are some exciting things in the works around Reno.

First up....say goodbye to your car!  If you want to use the Booth St. bridge in the future that is.

That's right, due to some of the new flood control projects on the Truckee river, the Booth St. bridge is being closed to auto traffic and will be a pedestrian and bicycle only bridge in the fairly near future!  While some people may not like it, it will make riding the river path route substantially more car light through downtown Reno.  This also means the so called bicycle blvd. (Riverside Dr.) may get a more serious bike flavored overhaul!

In other news, since most of the people who used the Booth St. bridge will now be riding (hopefully) to access downtown.  We are going to need some more bike racks and a convienient way to locate where they are!  This will be made easy with a new App being launched by RTC in the near future.  Basically, if you see a bike rack, take a picture with your smart phone and you'll be able to upload it and it's location to the database.  You can also mark and request a location for a new bike rack!  Twenty (yep, 20) bike racks per year will be installed in the most sought after locations, so we can build up some really good bike parking options around Reno in places that cyclist frequent!  I'll let you know the status as it rolls out.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The reason for good bike lights!

I've been lazy as of late.  I admit it and I'd even call it cheating, but I've been catching a ride home with wifey and throwing the bicycle on the rack.  In the mean time she is putting in massive morning treadmill miles and I've started to feel like a bit of a loser.  So yesterday I decided it was time to get back in the saddle (such as it were) and ride home. 

This was immediately interrupted by friends planning to hit Great Basin for beer after work.  I responded by raising my game....riding for beers and then home.  So it was fully dark when I finally hit the river path from the trip from Sparks back to Reno.  Fortunately, I have good lights on the bike.....because the lights on the path either seem to be out or not on a correct timer.

Nothing new I suppose, they were this way last year until I found the right person to get them working.  I guess it's going to be a yearly thing on the to do list.

This is what it looked like last night.

At least ONE light was working under the Sutro underpass.

No such luck at the East 2nd St. underpass.  They seem to keep the street lights running up on the road...just not the ones on the path!

Not a great scenario when the homeless already frequent the area.

Basically everywhere highlighted in red the majority of lighting was out or turned off.  Hence the need for good bike lights!
Once you get into Reno proper it seems to not be an issue.  The lights were burning bright at the ice rink and at Wingfield island too.
 So anyway, if you are doing the evening commute be sure to keep these lights charged or the dynohub turning!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Car vs. Pedestrian on Virginia St.

From the local press:

Sadly, I believe the pedestrian was killed in this one.  Just another warning to keep an eye out for cars....because they really aren't looking for bikes or peds! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

New Legal Strategy!?

Yes, this is a giant picture of my head.  It is meant to show my newest legal-safety strategy.....basically, I now have a jacket that is the brightest most obnoxious color known to man.  It is also the color of all safety and warning signs for cars.  So if you hit me while I'm riding and even try to say you didn't see me, all I have to do is show the officer (or judge) this coat and I will win the argument.  And yes, I do realize that if you hit me and I'm dead this is a mute point.

In all seriousness, I just like orange.  No surprise if you know me (since my car is orange too).  So everything above is just written because I don't have anything else to write about this morning. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

More travel...Seattle.

Ok, I'm back again.  The only interesting thing that I can show you is Seattle pictures, so here you go!  And yes, some of the pictures suck because it was dark out or infinitely grey....but you'll get the idea.

Elysian brewery's public house.

A cool piece of artwork sculpted out of the rock under a bridge.  And that's a real VW Bug under his hand.

Sweet bike rack art!

The Utilikilt store!

If you don't own a should!

Cool keg table at the Freemont Brewery.

The beer list at Freemont....and in the very left of the pic is their 10 gallon homebrewer type test system.
Ok, that's good for a starter.  As you might imagine there are space needle pictures too....but they're on wifey's camera.

All in all it's a cool city.  We walked pretty much everywhere.  It was pretty much always gray and rainy (but not prohibitively so).  These things I expected.

The only thing I didn't expect....they park cars everywhere.  The on street parking is so dense and on such small streets that the roads literally become one way.  Like you couldn't pass a car coming at you if you needed to.  I didn't get a pic of it but it made me feel almost claustrophobic when we did drive around town.  Thankfully, our host has mad driving and parallel parking skills!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Keystone Complete Streets Meeting!

Another big meeting to help get complete streets pushed through on Keystone.  Come give your two cents if you don't want the status-quot for 4 lane roads through small neighborhoods!

Here's the details:

Finally....a St. Georege report.

Over Christmas, wifey and I met up with my folks in St. George, Utah.  I think this is our third trip there but the last one was more than 5 years ago, so it was definitely time.  If you've never been to the area here are a few things you should know.

One.  It's south of here so normally it's pretty warm and inviting.


It is home to Snow Canyon State Park.....and beautiful red rocks with tons of running trails, climbing, mountain biking, etc.  Basically, an outdoor playground.


They deck the place out with lights for it's fun to hang out.


It's only an hour to Zion National Park....and the Narrows (and many other trails)....which make great trail runs.

Even when they are frozen solid and completely treacherous.  

Hidden Canyon Trail was supper slippery.

You can find the ice covered trail below if you look....

The view from the top was worth it!

Despite the rumors....there is beer in Utah.  Ummm....well, yeah it is 3.2% unless you can find some bottled versions.  However, in general this can be solved by driving down with a large cooler!


Mountain biking is just as good as it is in Moab!  Ok, on most trails most of the time.  We did happen to be there after some pretty big the trails were a bit wet in some of the classic riding areas.  This didn't mean I didn't have good rides.....just that I didn't take enough pictures.

Here's some of the messy ones....which were still totally fun!


More great hiking/running to petroglyphs!  No fences or can just walk around in them.


Quality time with the family over the holidays!

So that was St. George in a nut shell.  So if you need a vacation destination for all your family, trail running, and biking needs you definitely should add it to your to do list!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

An "instant" tandem with double the pedal power!

Of course there's a tube involved.....why wouldn't there be!?

Warm weather in winter!

Well, the skies may be a bit grey this morning but it sure holds in the heat!  I think it was 42 when I got up this morning.  And since my in office clients are gone, I had a most enjoyable ride in this morning.

Nothing special....just pictures of the ride and the grey skies.

Mount Rose....where the snow is supposed to be.  Right now it's more fun to bike and run than ski, which is a bummer.

Apparently the geese like the warm weather as well...along with an all you can eat buffet.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cluttered and busy....

Yeah, I know nothing has been happening on the blog.  It's a combo of holiday travel and a busy schedule in the office.  Kinda like the bike room....just cluttered.  But hey, who complains about too many bikes in life!

Anyway, I'll get to a St. George post eventually.  Until then there has only been runnning.  Wifey is back in marathon training mode and the weekend contain miles and miles of fun.  Including a 13 miler for wifey!

Here's part of a hike/run up Peavine.....there might not be any snow this year, but the trails are in great shape!  Yeah, sorry....I have to figure out how to the the arm band/camera phone not to take pics of the arm band!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

St. George Bicycle Art.

More real stuff about this trip soon.  Until then, here is some evidence that St. George knows who it's  tourists are!