Saturday, December 30, 2006

Battery Point Lighthouse. Crescent City. 12.30.06


This is your basic tourist shot.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Holiday hiatus (Ho! Ho! Ho!)

Holiday hiatus

My weekly bicycle wrap is on holiday hiatus for several reasons and won’t return until Jan. 5, 2007.

I’m on some super-crazy early deadlines. Typically I work and play during the week, both of which give me some cycling opportunities. Then, when the weekend comes, I get into serious deadline mode. I crank out the paper and, if all goes as planned, the pages are uploaded to the printer at about 2 a.m. Monday and the paper goes to press that morning around 9 a.m.

Because of the holidays, my deadline is 5 p.m. Friday (Dec. 22 & Dec. 29). That means last week I put out a paper as usual early Monday, and as soon as it hit the streets Tuesday, I went right back into deadline mode.

This limited my bicycle riding. I pedaled into town, checked the mail, checked the office, got coffee and came home and sat behind the computer – for hours upon hours upon hours. Then I got a nasty case of the Humboldt crud, which resulted in coughing, fever and a general feeling of crappiness.

I got all my pages uploaded to the printer and a backup CD burned last Friday with 10 minutes to spare before the deadline. Despite all my deficiences, that made me feel like a pro.

When it comes to bicycling, I put in about 25 miles last week, including some interesting “fever” rides.

The Hiller Road overpass felt like climbing Mt. Everest. At one point I fantasized about falling over and curling up in the pine needles covering the bike lanes near the McKinleyville Shopping Center, but worried that if I did so I might get run over by the Redwood Transit Authority. (I wasn’t concerned about the street sweeper, being that it only comes four times a year.)

I was in no condition to ride a bike.

After that I started using the car. Oh, the luxury! It was cold and rainy outside, but I was warm inside my car. So I reverted to my old ways and guzzled lots of gas. The best parts of an automobile are the heater and radio. Sweet!

So I nursed my illness and kept warm. At first I considered the Christmas chocolates and crab enchiladas as medicinal. Now I fear they’re making me fat and lazy (make that fatter and lazier.)

Tomorrow I plan to get back on the bike. In the coming days and weeks I will need to drastically increase my mileage to make up for the past week. Seven days between bike rides is the most I’ve gone since July. Pure slovenliness. Sinful.

I think I’ll take a cue from the albino monk in “The Da Vinci Code” and engage in some self-flagelation. But I’ll skip the Mother Theresa-style mortification of the flesh and opt for my own form of punishment – I will seek out steep hills, and I will climb them on my bike.

So if you live within the vicinity of the Hewitt Ranch subdivision, look out. I may be pedalling through your neighborhood in the next couple weeks.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Trillium Falls, Redwood National Park. 12.23.06

Trillium Falls

Friday, December 15, 2006

Weekly Bicycle Wrap 12.15.06

This week’s total mileage: 33.5 miles

This week’s mileage on e-bike: 0

This week’s mileage on a regular bike: 33.5

Total mileage since July 10, 2006: 1,038

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

Total regular bike mileage since July 10, 2006: 508.5

Gas savings this week: 1.5 gallons

Gallons saved since July 10, 2006: 40.20

Price of gas today: $2.60

Gas savings since July 10, 2006: $174.11

Flat tires since July 10, 2006: 4

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

Schwinn Suburban

Today I decided to conduct business on the Schwinn Suburban, a bike I purchased this summer at a thrift store. I had planned to fully refurbish it, but about halfway through the job I thought to myself "Screw it. I'm wasting valuable time that could be spent riding."

So I just greased it up, sanded off some (but not all) of the rust, applied a little spray paint, pumped up the tires and adjusted the brakes. That’s pretty much it. Not bad for $11.

As a bonus it came with tires that looked like they had never been ridden on.

It’s a sweet ride and all the bike you need to get around a town like McKinleyville.

The Suburban has five speeds, with a nice low gear and a more-than-adequate high gear. It has stock fenders – something which new bikes rarely come with.

It has a rigid, durable steel frame, a cushy seat with springs and old-fashion handlebars.


I wonder why new bikes don’t come with seats and handlebars like the Suburban’s? They make a lot of sense for someone who wants a comfortable commuter bike.

In fact, the Suburban makes more sense than most of the cheap mountain bikes and beach cruisers that they sell at the big box outlets.

How many of those bikes will still be on the road in 35 to 40 years?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

View from Hiller Loop Trail.12.13.06


Rain. Rain. Rain.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Virtual Shopping Part I

In a recent comment on my blog, Bob the Humblogger asked if the term “e-bike” means “virtual bike.” That gave me an idea: I should go shopping for a virtual bike.

But why limit myself to a bike? I might as well go on a virtual spending spree with my virtual savings account. So here it goes.

The first item on my list is a “new” car. My Corolla is sensible, but it lacks sex appeal. On the internet I found a fully restored 1965 Aston Martin DB5. The asking price is $420,000. The car is nearly indentical to James Bond’s, below, in “Goldfinger.”

The only problem is that I’d have to pick the car up in England. Fortunately, I found his “ro-ro” ship for sale in Paraguay. It’s 275.5 feet long and can carry 220 to 300 cars. Built in Germany in 1970, the ship is a steal at $1.6 million.

It will be chilly crossing the Atlantic, so I’ll need a warm hat. The one below is $199 at Cabela’s. It’s very stylish and would also keep my head warm when I visit the Arcata Co-op to stock up on jasmine rice and jalapeno jelly. (I wonder if this model ever poses for Calvin Klein?)

I may want to leave the ship and visit some ports, so I’ll need some sort of aircraft. Given my lack of flight skills, I’ll play it “safe” and get a Sundog Powerchute. It seats two and cost about $25,000. Take offs and landings will be a little dicey, but it should work.

For shipboard entertainment, I’ll hire Shakira. I’ll pay her extra if she agrees to only sing in Spanish. She'll be of great assistance in improving my Spanish skills.

After I grow tired of Shakira, I’ll want to kick back and watch some TV. For $199, I can get the newly released “Get Smart” DVDs. The set includes every episode!

After all this, I still have a virtual balance in my virtual bank account. I also have all sorts of other items on my virtual list, including some virtual vacations, virtual homes and virtual toys. More to come...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Bridge over Prairie Creek

Bridge over Prairie Creek

If I was a troll I'd live under this bridge.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Weekly Bicycle Wrap 12.8.06

This week’s total mileage: 71 miles

This week’s mileage on e-bike: 0

This week’s mileage on a regular bike: 71

Total mileage since July 10, 2006: 1,004.5

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

Total regular bike mileage since July 10, 2006: 475

Gas savings this week: 3 gallons

Gallons saved since July 10, 2006: 48.70

Price of gas today: $2.60

Gas savings since July 10, 2006: $170.21

Flat tires since July 10, 2006: 4

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


I’ve bicycled more than 1,000 miles since starting this experiment in July.

Along the way I’ve learned a few things and faced some challenges.

For example, how do you transport a hot cuppa joe or a double latte home on a bicycle? This may seem like a trivial matter, but I take my morning caffeine ritual seriously.

My criteria are simple: The container should be bicycle friendly and the coffee it contains should be nearly as hot when I get home as it is when it’s served at Sutters Mudd.

I’ve tried different methods and different containers, but they all had their drawbacks. Most lacked proper insulation. A thermos worked well, but it didn’t hold enough coffee. I considered getting a larger thermos, but those are too bulky. Space is limited, obviously.

Early this week I found what I consider the perfect “bicycle coffee canteen.” Here’s a picture of it.


It (the canteen, not the cat) cost $4 at a thrift store. Almost as important as the fancy, insulated metal container is the insulated bag that it slips into.

The cooling effect on a bicycle is enough that without the extra insulation of the bag, the coffee would still cool down a bit. Some people might find that acceptable, but I like my coffee blazing hot.

This container fits snugly in the bicycle water bottle cage. Today’s double non-fat latte and yesterday’s black coffee were both piping hot when I got home. Problem solved. Muy bueno.

Now, if they could just make a decent bicycle tire that never goes flat.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse

Monday, December 04, 2006

Mr. Bunyan, Lady's Man

Mr. Bunyan

Crisp morning. Big Lagoon. 12.4.06


Friday, December 01, 2006

Weekly Bicycle Wrap 12.1.06

This week’s total mileage: 41.5 miles

This week’s mileage on e-bike: 0

This week’s mileage on a regular bike: 41.5

Total mileage since July 10, 2006: 933.5

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

Total regular bike mileage since July 10, 2006: 404

Gas savings this week: 2.5 gallons

Gallons saved since July 10, 2006: 45.70

Price of gas today: $2.60

Gas savings since July 10, 2006: $162.41

Flat tires since July 10, 2006: 4

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

Notes: Due to holiday travel, I logged only 4.5 miles last week, so I skipped the weekly wrap.

This week I’m back. I went to use the e-bike on Tuesday and discovered a flat rear tire. Bummer. That meant I was on the regular road bike all week.

Nothing special to note other than the fact that I dug through an old bag of ski wear in the garage and pulled out a nice pair of wool gloves. It’s getting chilly.

Also, the road bike is a mess. It need to set aside about an hour next week for some serious maintenance work.

Luddite Revival?

The revolution is underway – at least under the Hammond Bridge. Hey, you gotta start somewhere.

Viva la resistence

This is on the Arcata side. The sewer pipe is a work of art in its own right. Those are some big ass nuts.

luddite revival

Luddites are alive and well in Humboldt County. Check out the guy with a pitchfork on the bicycle. The message at the bottom should be changed to "don't follow leaders, watch your parking meters."

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