Monday, November 27, 2006

Lost Man Creek.11.27.06

Lost Man Creek

Monday, November 20, 2006

Color play


Corkscrew Tree

Corkscrew Tree

I couldn't figure out how to photograph this tree and do it justice. So this will have to do the job – for now.

Mossy trees.RNSP.11.20.06

More moss

The two trees in the distance are in a wrestling death match as the trees in the foreground watch in awe.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Weekly Bicycle Wrap 11.17.06

This week’s total mileage: 65.5 miles

This week’s mileage on e-bike: 11

This week’s mileage on a regular bike: 54.5

Total mileage since July 10, 2006: 892

Total e-bike mileage since July 10, 2006: 529.5

Total regular bike mileage since July 10, 2006: 362.5

Gas savings this week: 1.5 gallons

Gallons saved since July 10, 2006: 43.20

Price of gas today: $2.62

Gas savings since July 10, 2006: $155.91

Flat tires since July 10, 2006: 3

Found items on the roadway: One nice pair of tin snips (11/8/06)

Notes: About 25 miles this week were purely "recreational."

Thursday's ride

the start

I took the afternoon off, drove to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and parked the car. From there I pedaled north on the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway. My destination: The old World War II radar station on Coastal Drive.

Big Logwithbike

Here's a rare photo of my $15 Panasonic road bike.

Newton B. Drury

I cycled through the giants. Spectacular, to say the least.

WWII radar station 2

By the time I got to the World War II radar station, I thought my legs were going to fall off. There are a lot of ups and downs on Coastal Drive and portions of the roadway are gravel. It was pretty rough on my skinny tires. Above is the one of two buildings at the old radar station. They were built after the attack on Pearl Harbor to watch for Japanese subs and suspicious shipping activity. Japan actually launched an aircraft from a submarine and conducted a minor bombing run about 30 miles north of this location, according to a sign near the radar station.

WW II radar station 1

This building contained the generator for the radar station. The dormers are fake. Check out the "window." From the sky, the sea and the road above, they look like regular ranch buildings.


I felt kind of silly packing a campstove for a short bike ride, but my Swedish Optimus 99 is lightweight and packs down to 5"x5"x3". I fired it up and made a hot cup of Earl Gray at the High Bluff Overlook. I consumed a PB&J and a mandarin. Food never tasted better. With a hot cup of tea, it was like dining at a four-star restaurant with a million-dollar view.

High Bluff Overlook hazy

This is the view from the High Bluff Overlook. It was hazy, but it didn't rain as forecast. It was a long climb back to Coastal Drive. From there, the trip home was pretty much uphill to the Newton B. Drury Parkway. Then, after going uphill, I got to climb more hills. Finally, near the Ah-Pah trailhead, it was almost all downhill to the Elk Prairie Campground. I cruised back to the car in high gear. I fired up the campstove again and within about three minutes I had a cup of hot chocolate to sip on during the drive home. All was well in the world.

I plan to return to Coastal Drive in the near future. There's a lot more to see.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mossy tree. RNSP. 11.13.06


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Arcata Whacko

Welcome to the Humboldt blogosphere Bobby Harris!

His new blog can be viewed at:

He just started, so it will take awhile to get the ball rolling. I suspect once Bobby gets going there will be lots of material and issues to debate. He's a prolific writer.

I've known Bobby since I lived in Woodland in the early 1990s. Bobby raised holy hell at Woodland City Council meetings and kept things entertaining.

He once proposed that the police patrol the city on bikes. The council looked at him like he was nuts. Cops on bikes? What are you stoned?

Of course, a few years after that the cops got bikes in Woodland. I wasn't there at the time, but I guarantee they held a press conference and talked about how smart they were for doing so.

I thought the most interesting idea Harris proposed during his recent campaign for Arcata City Council was the creation of a small manufacturing business that would produce bicycle trailers with lockable trunks.

A person who uses a bike for shopping – like Bobby – could go from store to store and lock their valuables in a secure compartment.

Sounds like a simple idea, but I’ve yet to see anything like it.

There’s probably a niche market out there for such a product. Maybe some HSU grads should create a business plan and tap into some of that Arkley “Economic Fuel” money.

Friday, November 10, 2006

A trip to the city

A trip to the city
Originally uploaded by jackselectricbike.
In anticipation of eating a some pub fare this weekend, I decided to take a detour and add a couple miles to my trip. So I visited the city – Tyee City.

What you see is pretty much the entire "city." Look out Metropolitan!

Weekly Bicycle Wrap 11.10.06

This week’s total mileage: 54.5 miles

This week’s mileage on e-bike: 11

This week’s mileage on a regular bike: 43.5

Total mileage since July 10, 2006: 826.5

Total e-bike mileage since July 10, 2006: 518.5

Total regular bike mileage since July 10, 2006: 308

Gas savings this week: 3.5 gallons

Gallons saved since July 10, 2006: 41.70

Price of gas today: $2.60

Gas savings since July 10, 2006: $151.98

Flat tires since July 10, 2006: 3

Found items on the roadway: One nice pair of tin snips (11/8/06)

Notes: I’m consolidating my blogs. That means my bicycle mileage log will now be posted here. In the off chance that anyone actually cares what this stuff means, check out my old electric bike blog. There’s a detailed explanation.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

More Rambling....

“Today is NOT a good day for riding a bicycle” I was told Tuesday by a lady at the airport.

She was correct. It was the first time this year that I wished I had used the car instead.

About an inch of rain fell during the 11-mile trip and my rain gear completely failed. For some reason, my “waterproof” rain jacket leaked. And my “waterproof” rain pants leaked. My shoes filled with water. I was soaking wet from top to bottom.

When I finally got home and changed into dry clothes, I had to drink a couple pots of Earl Gray just to get the body temperature back to normal.

Later I watched the election results on TV. It was nice to see a balance of power return to Washington, D.C., but the talking heads were unbearable. Wolf Blitzer is a drone and I can’t stand Anderson Cooper. Jeff Greenfield is torture.

Then there’s Bill O’Reilly. I heard him on the radio the other day. He has boiled everything down to SPs (secular progressives) and “Culture Warriors.” You can determine which one you are by visiting his website and taking a test. Oddly enough, Ted Haggard would qualify as a “Culture Warrior,” even though he enjoys snorting meth and engaging in forbidden man sex and cheating on his wife. Go figure.

Of course, O’Reilly’s entire premise is simplistic, ridiculous and patently false. It’s a little make believe world that he lives in. What’s next? You’re either a Hamburglar or Mayor McCheese? You can be one, or the other. That’s it.

Look around at your friends and neighbors. Are their views black and white? Do they all fit into neat little categories? Do you? Probably not. Most of us believe in a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, and we're full of contradictions. And we change our minds. We flip and flop, and flip again. We're all over the map.

There are a lot of extremely intelligent and articulate conservatives out there who have interesting and illuminating things to say. Why waste the airwaves with dipshits like O’Reilly, Hannity et al?

But I digress.

The mindless blathering got to me so I did something I haven’t done since last winter – I played Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. I rarely play video games, but it was my day off and I had about 90 minutes to “kill” before we planned to watch a movie.

For those not familiar with the Vice City, it’s a game in which you play a bad ass thug named Tommy Vercetti. He goes to Vice City to transact a cocaine deal, but it’s a setup and he loses everything.

Now he must get the money back. To do so, he has to interact with all sorts of low-life gangsters. But that’s not a problem, because Tony is a low-life gangster himself. He’s cool. He doesn’t take shit from anybody.

You go on missions – jury intimidation, executions, building demolition. You start riots, destroy things and kill people. Lots of car-jacking.

It’s non-stop fun and action, with a rockin’ 1980s soundtrack. It’s a great game. It’s like you become a character in your favorite gangster movie. Rated M for mature.

After chasing a fat guy down the streets of Vice City and cutting him in half with a chainsaw, I get hungry, which brings up my favorite topic – food.

Fall is the time to eat squash. I’ve been making a lot of zucchini pancakes. That’s a pretty boneheadedly simple thing to make. Grate, add an egg, some salt and spice. Fry. Eat.

I recently stopped by the Grace Good Shepherd garden on Hiller Road to chat with Stan. Next thing I knew I had a backpack filled with different types of squash. This was in addition to the zucchini I had already purchased at the store.

Spaghetti squash lived up to its name. After cutting it and cleaning out the seeds, you bake the hell out of it and then use a fork to scrape out the meat. It looks like spaghetti. Being that it looks like spaghetti, a logical thing to do is serve it like spaghetti with sauce. Pretty good stuff. And healthy.

Every morning I inspect the new roof on the garage and hope to hell that I don’t find any leaks. I put a lot of time, effort and money into that roof this summer and, if it were to leak, there’s a good chance I would crawl into the fetal position and start sobbing. Well, maybe not. I’d probably try to figure out how to fix it.

The good news is that I’ve yet to find a single leak. The real test will come after some serious windstorms.

Speaking of roofing, I found a sweet pair of tin snips today while biking to work. They were in the roadway at Sutter and Central. They probably fell off a construction rig leaving Thomas Home Center. Tin snips are a handy tool.

I’m hoping that this becomes a trend – free tools in the roadway. I’ll keep my eyes open.

Monday, November 06, 2006

RNSP trailhead

RNSP Trailhead
Originally uploaded by jackselectricbike.
If I wasn't on deadline today, I would have hiked this trail. Makes me want to load up a backpack and go exploring.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Blog changes

Originally uploaded by jackselectricbike.
I'm now cross-posting something from my bike blog to my personal blog.

It's a sign.

My little brain, in conjunction with my limited free time, is simply incapable of maintaining two separate blogs.

But there's more to it than that.

It recenty occurred to me that my bicycle bullshit is precisly the kind of material that I intended to post on "Rambling Jack's Laboratory" when it was created about a year ago.

This is, after all, a place for me to ramble, post random thoughts and write about life's little experiments. (Hence the name of this blog.)

Using a bicycle instead of a car is a kind of experiment – like crabbing from a kayak, or digging for clams at Clam Beach (see early archives).

I thought my bike blog would be worthwhile because it might appeal to a nitch audience – people who either own or may purchase a Wilderness Energy BD 36 electric bicycle conversion kit. That's an extreme niche and very focused.

Very, very focused.

I enjoy focused blogs, especially when I'm interested in specific subject. If I want to know about the performance of a Catalina 27 sailboat, I want to read a blog about a Catalina 27 sailboat, not a blog about sailboats, in general, from 25 to 30 feet in length. Better yet, if I'm interested in such a sailboat, I would prefer a blog that not only focuses on the make and model, but the specific year.

Focus, focus, focus.

There are a gazillion places on the internet to learn about the pros and cons of electric bicycles. But if you want to learn about the pros and cons of the Wilderness Energry BD 36, good luck. The number of sites is limited. Most sites are commercial in nature and trying to sell you on the product.

So Jack's Electric Bicycle blog was created for folks interested in an honest review of a very, very specific product. The intent was NOT to attract a large audience, but to attract an extremely specialized audience.

It was a solid plan, and an honest one. But something happened along the way.

I became less interested in my Wilderness Energery BD 36 electric bicycle converson kit and more interested in bicycling in general. I discovered that I like to pedal. I like to pedal and feel the burn in my legs. I like to break a sweat – sometimes

I like riding a regular bike more than I like a motorized bike.

I like to pedal towards my destination and then suddenly swerve off the roadway, take a detour and explore a new part of town just because I feel like it. I like to stop and take photos of stuff I have no logical reason to photograph.

I have fun once or twice a week on my electric bike, but it doesn't get my heart beating in the same way as my regular bikes.

So a blog "consolidation" will soon begin. Changes are underway, for better or worse.

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