Thursday, January 31, 2008

Jack likes hotties?

Well, who doesn't?

But that doesn't mean that I'm the same "Jack" that's commenting on local blogs about how Emily Wilson of the Eureka Reporter is a "real babe." Not that she isn't. She might be. I just don't recall ever meeting her, so I'm really not in a position to make such a judgement. And even if she is a babe, I don't think I would comment about her looks on local blogs.

For what it's worth...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Riding when it's -36.4F

Jerome is like Ernest Shackleton on a bike. Check out his recent blog entry at Jermone's Bikes & Other Stuff.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Images from trip to Smith River.1.28.08

Big Lagoon.Looking east at sunrise.1.28.08

Here's looking east at Big Lagoon. There's almost always an interesting light display, courtesy Mother Nature.

Prairie Creek Redwoods.1.28.08

Here's Prairie Creek Redwoods.

RNSP Bypass with snow.1.28.08

It wasn't safe to stop on the bypass, so I kept my eyes on the road, stuck the camera out the window and blindly shot some stills. Here's one of them.

Footprints in snow.Prairie Creek.1.28.08

Someone was roaming around out here.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Snow!!! 1.27.08


Please note that I have the most exclamation points of any blogger so far on this subject. Rose didn't use any. Greg and Carol only used one. I used three. That makes this posting three times more exciting, right?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Old Shacks.Mad River Rd. 1.23.08

Shacks on Mad River Road.1.23.08

This really isn't worth posting, but since I went to the trouble of uploading it to my flickr site, why not?

Fischer Ranch.McKinleyville. 1.24.08

Fischer Ranch.McKinleyville.1.23.08

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I bought a British gentleman's bike today

Blimey! A bloke in Fieldbrook sold me a 1963 Hawthorne 3-speed bicycle today for $40. Hawthornes were made by Hercules, which were made by Raleigh at its Nottingham, England factory. Back in the day, the factory employed 7,000 workers and built gobs of Raleighs, which were designed for people to use for actual transportation.

It doesn't look like much, but trust me – this will be a real beauty in short order. I feel downright jammy. God save the queen.


Bollocks! This neat decal is bloody rusty. I'll take a bunch of photos of it and find a way to make a new decal.


This will keep me trousers from getting all higgledy-piggledy. I'll show you wankers the restored bike in a month or two.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dry Lagoon Beach.1.21.08

Dry Lagoon Beach.1.21.08

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fickle Hill

You may recall the scene in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” in which Steve Carell gets his chest waxed. Each time the waxing lady pulls his hair off, he can’t help but shout out a litany of profanities due to the pain.

One’s internal dialogue is similar when climbing Fickle Hill, as I learned today. I’ve pedalled up longer hills and to higher elevations. But Fickle Hill is special.

The grade is brutal, with long stretches that seem like they’re at 18 percent. It’s the kind of steepness that makes you consider getting off the bike and walking. But that wouldn’t be right, so you trudge ahead and hope that the words going through your head aren’t actually coming out of your mouth.

It’s really beautiful up there and you’re treated to views like the one below.

fickle hill

For all the difficulty, it’s a great ride. My plan is to return to Fickle Hill many times until it becomes much easier and my internal dialogue is suitable for the public airwaves.

Friday, January 11, 2008

One more for the scrap heap...

Schwinn Suburban

I knew it would happen sooner or later – the derailleur cable on my Schwinn Suburban would break. Normally, that wouldn't be a big deal. You visit the bike shop, buy a new one for a couple bucks and you're good to go. But with the Suburban, there's a catch – it has something called a "Positron" shifting cable that, from what I can tell, was only manufactured for a short time in the late 1970s. It has little springs and mysterious parts at each end.

That means that this bike is stuck in one gear. Sure, there's probably some nutjob in North Dakota who collects Positron cables and sells them on eBay, but is it really worth it? I think not. Time to move on.

Move on to what? Well, I'm rather embarrased to admit it, but I have another Suburban to replace the one that just died.

bike at Mad River Bluffs

Here it is today at the Mad River Bluffs property. It has a modern derailleur and is built like a Mack Truck. Why ride this bike rather than one of my nicer, lighter ones? Simple reason: It has a chain guard that keeps the grease off my pants when I get around town and visit clients.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Changes at the Mad River mouth

These aren't pretty photos, but they show what's happening at the Mad River mouth.


This was taken Friday, Jan. 4. Use the old tree as a reference point and take notice of the north and south sides of the mouth. The river was flowing strong that day and was filled with logs and debris.

Mad Mouth.north side.1.9.08

This is the north side of the mouth today, Jan. 9.

Mad Mouth.south end.1.9.08

Here's the south side. Around 1 p.m. Thursday there will be a high tide. Add all the rain we've had, along with high surf, and things could get interesting.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

New Year’s Resolutions, 2008

In my head I have a long list of personal and professional goals that are updated and revised throughout the year. For New Year’s resolutions, I cull that list down to just the fun stuff. As you can see, many of them are bicycle related. (The day I take up basket weaving, they’ll be basket related.) Here they are in no particular order:

• Complete the Tour of the Unknown Coast in less than 8 hours. This is a tall order, being that last year it took me 11 hours.

• Go camping.

• Ride at least three century rides (100 miles in one day) and compete in as many bike races/time trials as possible.

• Build a birdhouse.

• Read up on at least one or two belief systems or philosophies that don’t make any sense to me. (That includes nearly all of them.)

• Complete a 10- or 11-mile time trial (formal or informal) with an average speed of at least 23 mph.

• Gamble more often. Seriously. I live near two big casinos and I enjoy gambling, but I rarely go.

• Convert my old Panasonic into one of those hipster-doofus fixed gear bikes, just for the hell of it.

• Travel more often to see family and friends.

• Catch a fish, or at least a clam or crab.

• Spend less time listening to those fucking idiots on cable news and spend more time reading interesting articles and columns written by people who have brains.

• Enjoy a wide variety of cocktails, including the kind that are served with tiny umbrellas.

• Write a simple song, play it on my trombone and record it. After I listen to it, I reserve the right to delete it.

• Scrounge a couple bikes, fix them up and donate them to a good cause. HumWORKS comes to mind. The agency helps women get off drugs. They’re given bikes to help them get to work. Sounds cool to me.

• Buy some crap on eBay.

• Sell some crap on eBay.

• Complete at least one construction project that makes people say “That’s nice. I didn’t know you could do that,” with me responding “neither did I.”

• Watch as much of the Summer Olympics as possible.

• Cook a mind-blowing, decadent meat dish that’s beyond anything I’ve ever made before and rivals the best meal you’ve ever had. Then, make something equally good that’s vegetarian.

• Attend some live concerts. Listen to more music, be it recorded, on the radio or live. Appreciate the full range of musical genres, from classical to punk.

• Ride my bike long distances to nowhere in particular and enjoy happy thoughts as much as possible regardless of the worldwide ecological meltdown and collapse of our global empire!

• Wear more wool when it’s cool.

Redwoods in fog

Trees in morning fog.lowrezjpg

View from Moonstone Beach at sunrise.1.7.08

View from Moonstone Beach at sunrise.1.7.08LOW REZjpg

Sunday, January 06, 2008

High Life

Check out this commercial. I was thinking about it today when I biked in the drizzle to get a latte.

Friday, January 04, 2008



Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Heads Up

I just want to warn the 9 people who read this blog that my postings may become more sporadic in the coming days and months due to the likelihood that I am now a multi-millionaire.

Well, not quite a millionaire. But I did receive a red envelope in the mail today from Publisher’s Clearinghouse which states that I’ve probably won $5,000 a month for life! It looks very official and includes a claim ticket carefully pasted on the outside of the envelope.

I still need to jump through some hoops, but it looks like it’s as good as money in the bank. So tonight I’m going to max out all our credit cards on eBay and I’ll buy lots of books and bikes and electronic gizmos. Then it’s off the Vegas. If you need to find me, I’ll be at Glitter Gulch. Just ask one of the dancers for Jack; they’ll know me by name.

Hope your new year is going as good as mine, but I doubt it.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Annual New Year’s Day Kneeland Hill Climb

I decided to start off 2008 by participating in the Annual New Year’s Day Kneeland Hill Climb. This is an informal event – you just show up and ride. I awoke at 7:45 a.m., slammed a cup of coffee and was out the door and on my bike by 8 a.m.


The photo above, taken from the Arcata Bottoms, shows my destination. Well, I’m pretty sure the arrow is pointing at Kneeland. Or is it?

It was as cold as a witch’s tit outside. Fortunately, the day before I purchased a nice scarf and a snazzy wool Pendleton cowboy shirt (with snaps!) at a thrift store. Yee-hah! The ride was supposed to start at 9 a.m. near the Three Corners Market. I thought I was making good time, but when I arrived I was two minutes late. Everyone had already left. I later learned that most riders had started a tad early. None of this really mattered because this wasn’t really a group ride anyway.

As I started pedalling up Kneeland, sans the wool, I found it difficult. I was huffing and puffing. I felt like I was making pretty good time, but I was hurting. Part way up I came across Mike Cent and rode with him for awhile. I think my breakfast kicked in a little later, because suddenly I was full of energy and feeling good. I was in the groove. I pulled ahead and continued up and up.

View from Kneeland

Here’s a view of the bay from Kneeland. Last time I pedalled to Kneeland, I got as far as the post office. This time I decided to shoot for the airport.

kneeland countryside

Last year I made some derogatory comments about Kneeland, but that's before I saw the countryside on the way to the airport. It's spectacular. I hereby retract my negative comments.

Bicyclists near Kneeland Airport

Most of the cyclists I encountered were heading back from where I was going. This is on the way to the airport.

Kneeland Airport

This is my trophy shot.

bike in snow

I thought there might be a lot of snow up there, but there were only small patches.


This fellow flew over my head.

fickle hill.butler intersection

Mike told me that I could connect to Fickle Hill Road off of Butler Valley Road. The advantage was that I could avoid the unpleasantness of Old Arcata Road on my way home. So I went for it. It starts off as a gravel road.

Fickle Hill timber

You go through some serious timber areas. I imagine that during a regular weekday there are lots of logging trucks. It's a pretty tough climb.

Fickle Hill Road, paved

Further up the road is paved. It feels more like the Hammond Trail than a road.


When I got to HSU I was out of food and water. I pedalled back to McKinleyville. Total miles: 58.

This was a great way to start the year.

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