Tuesday, November 13

Glen Canyon Trails

I've been meaning to make the trek out to Glen Canyon Park for a while now and last week I finally made it.  Fun, but too tiny to warrant the trip.

Monday, November 12

Ruffy Tuffy

Great skinwall tires from Rivendell. So round, so supple, so Ruffy Tuffy.


Solo single speed sub-24hr overnight to Hawk Camp in Marin Headlands. 
Backpack, and sleeping bag strapped to the saddle.

Slept in the hammock, watched X-Files on the iPhone; oh what a world.

Viva human powered camping!

Nice Bike! Dutch Bike at the DMV

I spotted this neat old utility bike from Amsterdam at the DMV.

Cottered cranks and a cool chainguard. 
A festive spoke treatment.

Saturday, August 11

Marin Cross

More from the Miwok/Bobcat/Old Springs/Marincello continuum, also known as Gerbode and Tennessee Valleys.
Riding the cross bike is totally different than my usual rigid SS Monocog flight, the uphills are great, but the downhills get sketchy rather soon. There is only so much a mediocre 32c 'cross tire can handle before a pinch flat or a wipeout.  Old Springs Trail got especially hairy during the stair section.
This ride and it's wipeouts were a definite factor in my decision to purchase some smoother tires for further on road pursuits (My thoughts, feelings, and emotions regarding the Ruffy Tuffy tires by Rivendell and Panaracer to follow.)  For now I'll leave the trail to the trail bike (mostly) and the road to the cross/adventure bike (mostly.)

Friday, August 10

Ultra Tiny Townie Bars

Spotted at Church and 15th, shown here with normal sized human hands:

Even the Oury grips have been miniaturized.  I can only imagine these are the townie version of those tiny flat bars on fixies, for the dutch mom who needs to squeeze through in tight traffic situations.

Pinarello in the Mist

An otherwise warm and sunny ride abruptly consumed by a vicious costal fog.

Still loving this ride, especially through such a Middle Earth-like landscape.

The Microclimates of Mount Sutro

Dry on the east side.  Mud on the west side.  Clogged.

Thanks for the stickers Matt, they look good with mud.

Thursday, August 9

A Tumble in the Bramble

It's Blackberry season, perfect time to stop for a trailside snack on mother nature.

Try not to summersault into thorny patch.  Getting in is easy, getting out's the hard part.

A Few from Sunday Streets

With all the kids, dogs, pedestrians, etc. I don't really like to ride my bike on Valencia during Sunday Streets.  I did, however, take the opportunity to snap a few cool pics of other people's bikes. Like these old Schwinns.

...And this fabric wrapped burner bike.

Urban MTB: John McLaren Park

Last week I decided to seek out the trails in yet another of San Francisco's many urban parks.  John McLaren park is one of theCity's larger and least developed green spaces, and one with a somewhat  sordid reputation.  It also has some sweet trails and great potential!

The terrain at McLaren was varied and some of the trails have some decent flow, especially those towards the south side of the park's 317 acres.

I spent a few minutes with the seat down low tricking around on this super cool empty stage

The park seemed almost empty during most of my two or so hours of exploring, save the multitudes of dog walkers that seemed to congregate at one particular spot.

If you live within a mile of this park I would definitely check it out.  My ride to McLaren's trails is rather brutal, making  return visit an arduous prospect.  I will most likely come back to test the park's trails again, but the proximity and flow will keep me riding Sutro when I look for singletrack in theCity.

Ride safe!

Wednesday, July 25

Pinarello. Steel. Cyclocross.

I'm loving my new bike.

I picked up this classic downtube shifting Pinarello cyclocross frame a few months ago from Aubrey at his shop Refried Cycles (a great shop deserving of a post all it's own).  When I got the frame it was a sad sight indeed; sprayed (maybe brushed?) with a thick and gloppy coat of flat red paint.  I proceeded to chemically strip and sand the frame down to bare metal in preparation for powder coating or spray bombing.


In the end I decided to spray paint the Pin' myself; I figured the way I go through bicycles there was a good chance I might be selling off the frame sooner than later so why spend the money on a pro job now?  After a few days of priming and sanding smooth I sprayed on the colonial red.  After a few days of drying, sanding, and re-coating I used some Testors model paint to embellish the lug cutouts and Pinarello logos.


Even though I know spray paint chips much more readily than a professional paint, I did my best to do the paint job by the book.  Multiple clear coats were applied to protect the paint from the abuse I plan to dish out on this thing. After a month or so of riding the paint job is really suffering, and I look forward to getting a better one soon.

I built up the bike with a mix of new and used, vintage and modern parts with an emphasis on durability and an eye towards bargains.  Specs:
Vintage Pinarello Cyclocross Frame
New Shimano 105 hubs laced to Mavic Open Sport 32h rims, 11-28t 8spd Deore XT cassette (eBay)
Vintage Deore XT front derailer, XTR rear (eBay)
Rivendell Silver friction bar end shifters (Refried Cycles)
Vintage Shimano Deore XT Crankset, 44/34 gearing (scored off an old Ibis I recently flipped)
Vintage Deore XT cantilever brakes with the preferred Koolstop salmon compound pads  (Ibis)
Dura Ace seatpost, Selle Italia Flite saddle (Refried, Craigslist)
Nitto 90 degree quill stem and SOMA Hwy One compact road bars (Refried, American Cyclery)
Ritchey Cross Comp Tires ( I had one, so I only had to buy one more!)

Accidental Photography

McLaren Park, SF CA.

Saturday, July 21

Happy Hydrant

Some street art from the residential "suburbia" (by SF standards) that is Twin Peaks.

He's happy to see you!

Wednesday, July 4

Mt. Davidson

It's the highest point in theCity.  A cool spot to check out, not the greatest for a mountain bike ride.

Neat tree!

Thursday, June 7

Bike Camping: It Happened

I finally got her to join me on a little impromptu bike camping trip.
It's great to live in a city where you can ride fourteen miles and camp in relative solitude away from the hustle and bustle.  With full cell reception.  Hawk Camp is a great little campground nestled in Gerbode Valley in the Marin Headlands.  You get occasional views of the tip tops of Sutro Tower and the Golden Gate.

Oh yeah, and that is a new bike.

Nice Bike! Rocking Chair Bike

Interesting cargo (human cargo) bike. The rocking chair sure seems like it could make things squirrelly for the rider... spotted at 16th and Guerrero.

Monday, March 19


From the True Temper tubing display at NAHBS in Sacramento.  It was definitely cool to see the other people who make handmade bikes possible (the tubing manufacturers, component, and accessory suppliers) out showing their wares.

Nice Bike: Crazy Angles Fixie

Spotted outside Gestalt bar here in SF.

Looks dangerous..

Thursday, February 23

More Marin (And Some Mill Valley)

I spent some time co-housestitting in Mill Valley last week and thus had a chance to to explore the Marin trail system further north than I have before.

Grueling climbs, fast switchbacks, miles and miles of available trails: this was some real mountain biking.

I feel like my bike handling skills have grown by leaps and bounds in the last few months of riding, which is great since I'll be racing this year.  I've been practicing a lot of what I learned from this video  I found recommended on a MTBR forum thread.  The skills really translate to any type of riding, and practicing them has helped me to be more conscious of my body positioning while riding, which has made me a lot more confident going faster.

After chasing a bobcat on the descent into Muir Beach I found this great old barn at the bottom of the trail.

The beach was beautiful, the southward climb out was torturous.