Saturday, April 26, 2008

Watch and learn...

Holy crap! Tour of the Unknown Coast is two weeks from today

Last year I completed my first Tour of the Unknown Coast, riding 100 miles in almost exactly 11 hours. It was a real challenge, but I trained hard in advance.

When 2008 started, I had grand plans. I was going train my ass off all winter long and take hours off last year’s TUC time. The hot-shot lycra people do the course in under six hours, so I was shooting for eight hours. That seemed like a realistic goal if I devoted myself to the cause.

The training never happened. There was rain, two bouts of Humboldt crud, more rain, some laziness and – most off all – the demands of my business. This newspaper is a cruel mistress.

My rides over the last couple months – not counting my commute miles – have consisted of mad dashes to the Trinidad area and back. Most rides have been about 20 miles, with a few 30 mile rides here and there. Most of these rides are relatively flat – not good considering that the TUC has nearly 10,000 feet in elevation gain.

So on May 10 – two weeks from today – I’ll be slowly huffing it over the 100 mile course with one simple goal – finish without using the sag wagon.

I plan to take a bunch of photos and enjoy the company of fellow bike nuts. Oh, and there's the food. Lots of food. Last year the food was delicious.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The bike version of a dorky driver safety film

Actually, it's not a bad little video. That said, I've tried getting into the left-hand turn lanes at stoplights in McKinleyville only to find that the lights don't change. Apparently they're triggered by sensors in the road that don't recognize bikes. So there you sit, in the middle of the road, looking like an idiot and waiting for a light to change, even though it never will unless a car pulls up behind you.

Eventually, you have no choice but to violate every traffic rule in the book in an effort to extricate yourself from the awkward situation.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

To Patrick's Point and back.4.1.08

After a week of coughing it was time for some physical therapy. So after work on Tuesday I hit the road and headed north. After a short time on the bike I suddenly felt... normal. That little spark came back and I was feeling good.

surfers at Camel Rock

The surfers were out in force at Camel Rock. Is one of those black dots Jennifer Savage?

view of trinidad from scenic

When I say we live in paradise, I mean it. Seriously.


I made my way to my favorite park – Patrick's Point. People travel hundreds of miles to visit this park, but we can bicycle to it after work.

making tea

The coughing resumed at Patrick's Point, which was fine because it gave me an excuse to fire up my little 3.5 ounce Esbit stove and make a quick cup of tea. That solved the problem.

agate beach

Here's Agate Beach. In the distance is Big Lagoon.

sumeg house

I visited Sumeg Village.


This is a perfectly sensible way to make a roof. Check out how the wood slabs have a slight curve. There's no reason such a roof couldn't keep the inhabitants nice and dry.

inside sumeg lodge

I set my camera to an insanely long exposure and stuck it inside one of the Sumeg buildings. Then I proceeded to drop the camera. The flash went off and this was the result. It's the best photo I've taken in months. Consider it modern art.

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