Life By Bicycle @ Wordpress

Bicycling & Alternative Transportation Collection.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Continued Exploration of iCommute by Human Powered Vehicle

More updates on the iCommute by Human Powered Vehicle Project, some current resources are:
  1. iCommute By Human Powered Vehicle Page
  2. Discussion Forum (Coming Soon)
  3. iCommute by HPV via
  4. More is Coming Soon
Do you have any thoughts on bicycling as a vehicle? For that matter what is your interpretation of what the primary purpose of a bicycle is supposed to be? I am curious to hear your views on that. All you need to do is leave me a comment here on the blog. I am looking forward to your responses.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Advocacy & Safety Today - Explored

A Journey By Bicycle & Lessons Learned

My Story of one Experience after a momentary lapse of concentration that nearly resulted in a much worst circumstance. That otherwise would of occurred, had I not done all I could after the fact to save what ever may also occur. It is true that no matter what you do, there is still a chance the result can be devastating. Though in preparing, and keeping in mind that Vehicular Cycling, is in itself multi-pronged, often reliant on the previous to the current, each flowing into the other. In Cycling there is more then one thing reliant on another. It is a system, similar to any other system with multiple levels. To put it simply consider that a house is built on a solid foundation, but it is still not a house until you add the walls the doors and windows. Each piece becoming part of the whole. Like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle each offering it's bit to the overall picture.

Like the jigsaw the fact that it takes a piece by piece process, of keeping each part of the process in order. So in even more basic terms, forgive me if this is faltering it is about One Am in the morning here and wanted to get this out there for anyone who is interested in becoming more aware of the what "The Journey By Bicycle" entails. For now I will just say, this topic will require further explanation and to find that you should check out either of the two areas below:

  1. iCommute By Human Powered Vehicle
  2. iDiscuss Biking in the Forums to share your view.

Take the few minutes it requires to register and offer your thoughts. More is coming soon.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Governor Of California formerly Known As Terminator Signs Bill without Budget.

SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has decided to make an exception to his pledge that he would veto or avoid signing bills before lawmakers reach agreement on a state budget.
From KSBW TwitterFeed

Although this is a blog for bicycling I figured I would share something I was just made aware of today, that even without a budget the Governor of California signed a bill. Maybe not that exciting but it is what the bill is in reference to that relates to Bicycling or at the very least Alternative Transportation. This bill is the first step in putting the first leg down of a 700 mile transit system that would link Californias major cities at speeds in excess of 199 mph. A high speed rail system designed to decrease the cars on the road. That in itself can be a very important part of the entire process don't you think? As those who bicycle regularly can say, that less cars means a better experience when cycle commuting. In commuting by Human Powered Vehicle, to get from point A to point Z.

Though on the other hand, if more are using a high speed train system would that mean less would ride a bike or more in line with what usually occurs according to the many bicycle commuters who play an active role in BikeForums who often speak of using a combination of Public Transit and there own Human Powered System can get anywhere they need to go without the cost of driving a car. In that sense an improvement on the Public Transit system can be a great addition to the repertoire of using Alternative Transport to travel point to point while saving the environment.

What are some of your thoughts, how do you feel about that and your own views on improvements of Public Transit to increase usage of Alternative Transportation?

Share Your Views @:
I look forward to hearing your comments and views on this matter.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

New Video up @ Youtube Check it Out

Updates can be found:

And more is coming soon to a place near you.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Cycling in the City - What an Experience

To venture a view on the reality of the challenges of the individual growth of persons, cyclist who travel on the highways and byways, even those who just make it a point to cycle commute, this is often the challenge to overcome the article down below should shed some light on it.

Cycling in the City - It can be Done!

What do you think? Offer your responses in either: or in the comments below.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Bicycle Tourers Diet - An Introduction

This morning as I was messing with my brother about a tour we should take, first to test out google maps new walking directions and second to get him some experience in bicycle touring the conversation took a turn in wondering what to eat, when you are on a bicycle tour and on a very tight budget, for the protein. As a result of to many years of that being presented as the only solution to workouts to get the most of it. Though all that promotion never did explore the alternatives to eating meat, such as vegetables, or any product or item, that is both light weight and provides the protein without having to carry meat bought from the store for it's tendency to defrost and spoil when sitting in panniers for a long distance.

On that point I offered some examples, of ways to save money on the tour, by checking your pantry and the nutrition information on some of the lighter products and easiest to prepare. Items such as Ramen Noodle Soup, powdered milk, tuna in the small can to cut down on weight, and something as simple as bread. The common theme being non-perishable goods with the lower prices, and easy to carry or compact as needed.

Let us go back for a moment, the examples I offer here are simply, items that can be used and carried and offer the needed vitamins and minerals that are likely to burn while riding. Initially the time frame is about a couple days to at the most a week of bicycle touring with an emphasis on weight and ease of preparation.


Many people
believe that there is great danger of not getting enough protein.
Actually, protein shortage is pretty rare, and the human body needs
only a small amount; the USDA says we need only 50 grams per day.
Excess protein is not stored but is turned into fat, the process
creating a strain on the liver and kidneys. Protein is found not only
in red meat, chicken, fish, milk, and eggs, but also in legumes, nuts,
seeds, grains, and some green vegetables. Strict vegetarians do need to
plan their diets, as most non-animal sources have reduced amounts of
some of the essential amino acids and must be combined with
complimentary protein sources. An excellent source of information for
that purpose is Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappé.
However, I will add briefly that many traditional complimentary
combinations occur around the world, such as peanut butter and bread
(USA), bread and cheese (Italy and France), beans and corn (Mexico),
lentils and rice (India), rice and beans (Caribbean), and soy with rice

Following that line of thought I put together a list of lightweight, and cost effective options for those needs of protein when on a bike tour.
  • Powdered Milk: 8g per 1/3 cup.
  • Top Ramen: 10g / pkg
  • White Tuna: 14g / 4
  • Oatmeal: 10g / 2 servings
  • Raisin Bran: 8g / Bowl
  • Old Fashioned Peanut Butter: 8g / tsp
  • Jif Peanut Butter: 7g / 2 Tbsp
The amazing thing is, though it has long been promoted that we as the public at large should eat meat it is not wholly necessary, there are alternative sources of protein that is better for you besides the waste that one piece of beef costs with a ration 1:8

Amazing how easily you can end up on a tangent don't you think? The idea behind this article was simply to prove that alternatives to meat, that may spoil on a bike tour, could be complemented with other types that are easy to carry and do well for being in the heat all day. Now unless you have insulated panniers and they can stay cold all day, it appears we have reached an impasse. On a bike tour you consider so many other things weight becomes an issue, or at least space efficency, on a tour, you do not need to eat to heavily, and it is perhaps better you do not as it makes sense to grow from there.

More Coming Soon ...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Alternative Transportation - To save gas and money

In existence today, in this economy, we in the United States are dealing with, where gas prices have broken records. Good or bad is up for interpretation but let us consider this, that with the increase in gas prices there has been further research in other options, in alternatives to driving the gas guzzling car that seemed so wonderful at the time when gas was almost affordable, and was promoted in that way. Then things changed, the cycle came full circle and the price of petroleum was inflated far beyond affordability, and then what? People drive less because it costs less, car trips are canceled because it would be to expensive to cover the mileage. The inflated price of gas flew through the transportation ideas of today, planes, buses and cars. Suddenly it became more difficult to use any of the favorite modes of point to point travel. The focus changed it was now on Alternatives to Transportation ...

Alternative Transportation is Explored here.

Read More ... There are ways to break from the cage.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

92 Years old and Riding a 50 Year Old Schwinn

92 years old and riding a 50 year old Schwinn
After this mornings walk I check up on a bicycling advocacy group there was a great story about an individual at 92 years old who still rides a bike and enjoys life with humor and experience. It is a great story and it can be found at:

More Information can be found: Bicycling with Avidcyclist_Ray

And the Storie Shall Continue.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Life without a car and on two wheels

Life without a car and via Human Powered Vehicle.

Gas prices so high, insurance through the roof all the while paying off a car at it's retail value, even though once you drive it off the dealers lot the car loses value and yet you are paying it off at the price of a new vehicle. Just gonna have to work extra, sweat equity while trying to keep pace in a failing economy, sound familiar?

For most individuals who have followed that route have started a vicious cycle, one in which like the rat race also known as a job, is difficult to change. It can be changed by taking some steps in the right direction, it will most certainly be a difficult challenge. Every challenge can be overcome with consistent effort.

One of the simplest steps is to first take the time to look at the full picture examining your budget closely to realize where your money is going. It is likely you will see that a majority of money you make is directed towards this machine, this car, that you probably use to much. Now consider the approximate distances to some of your favorite grocery stores, the places you travel on a regular basis even if only a few blocks away. You know the ones, where you have a great rapport with each of the cashiers, that started with a hello in talking with strangers who in time became friends. Look at these stores, it is likely you find yourself there often, being in close proximity to the place you call home. The same ones that are also along the route you follow nearly every day in the wonderful world of the job. Looking at that, would you agree they are within walking distance, possibly riding distance? These places have a great location, you like it because it is near your home, they also seem to have the products you like and just easier to stop by on the way home from work.

Okay then lets take a moment, you know society today is one of obesity, due to lack of exercise, things are convenient, nearby usually only a few blocks from your home right? Beyond just the lack of exercise there are many reasons why society is becoming overweight. The reason, is pretty straight forward, things are so easy to get to, jump in the car and drive over, get the stuff you need and drive back, the only exercise Accelerator to Brake and back again. Convenience has become a standard part of life in today's society, so to make a difference we each need to do something different and that is really what this article is about as you will see later.

Lets go back now, those storefronts you like, the ones where you know just about everyone on a first name basis, they are usually within a few blocks from your home particularly in the city, suburbia may be a different story. Though the building were built in that particular location for the convenience of the people in that neighborhood. Even the newer housing developments I see around town, one in particular is a great example. In the area that is called creek bridge there is an apartment complex that is across the street from Safeway, and other convenient places to shop and buy all those basic necessities that are an integral part of existence today.

The constant pattern is similar throughout most residential areas, most things are a very short distance from home, walking distance most of them. For those that may be farther away, then jump on a bike and you get there without the cost of gas, you breathe fresh air and you get what you need. The benefits are numerous, whether walking or biking. Being that the case then why not try this, take a walk over to the closest grocery store, pickup something small and walk back. In putting one foot in front of the other, you just saved some gas, and put a bit more money in your pocket besides saving some wear and tear on that gas burning machine. Pretty simple right? We learned to walk at a very young age, and once that ability was found we wanted to walk everywhere, get into trouble in just be a kid. Certainly you remember that, I definitely do, as a child when you became aware of one more ability you wanted to go everywhere and do everything the same way. When you teach a baby to walk you take it a step at a time, when you start the journey towards change the same idea follows suit don't you agree? That short walk was easy, simple, and to top it off you end up with a treat for when you get home easy right? It may not make a big dent in that budget of yours but in beginning that journey you can gain some short term benefits as well as long term in continuing that same one foot in front of the other ideal, right? Of course it does and in that short jaunt to the store and back the action you took is a first step and it is just that. In doing the same consistently, you are establishing a great habit, one which will afford you further benefits through consistency. To understand that in that exercise in that walk, you just extended your life just a bit, you did not have to deal with other cars, or watch in horror as that needle goes from Full to Empty far to quickly. To dread that gas bill, that will be so high, that further cuts into your budget besides stress in and of itself can lessen life expectancy. Instead in that simple action, putting one foot in front of the other you do not have to deal with most of that.

Through that consistent effort you are making strides in the right direction of improving the environment we live in, as well as the environment your children will grow up in. Beyond that point generations later, what we do today will even affect them. To improve this great action habit, take the next step, why not pick up some environmentally friendly grocery bags. You know the ones, they usually sell for something like Ninety Nine Cents, usually made of burlap with some stability improvements, they make great grocery bags. Instead of asking for the plastic ones, that under load can break, besides they are not so good for the environment. I am sure each of us come up with quite a collection of those plastic bags, no one really needs the extra mess right? Instead pickup a couple of those environmentally friendly bags and reuse time and again. They last longer, they are stronger then plastic and can be easily folded to fit in your hand on the walk up, or carry a back pack, dependent on what you are buying there are many options. The best is the reusable bag, or a cloth backpack, something you bring from home. To make them even more appealing most can be washed just as any laundry would be, so if something spills in the bag you run it through the washer or just clean it out with some paper towels and you are set for the next walk. Besides even if you accidentally drop one of those bags they are better about decomposing following a better environmental policy. I could go on, as just as with walking, biking, or using alternate transport, has it's own interesting list of the many benefits. A few I will mention in following such a simple action habit, you can breathe fresh air, instead of using the air conditioner in a car which basically uses recycled air, besides burning fuel just as it is used.

In walking, at your own pace, you have an opportunity to relax, to enjoy the sunlight without the stress that driving a car in today's society becomes, anger, road rage, you know the stuff. To even go beyond that, in walking there is less risk, of someones impatience to get out of hand to try and force the cars to speed up, for some reason wanting to be the first at the stop light, in hurrying up then waiting. To get out of the steel cage, accelerator to brake and back again, road rage, the rushed idea of things because you are in a car. In that walking, you use more muscles, breathe the fresh air and increase your life by being healthy and exercising consistently everyday. Establishing a great habit on the healthy route to a better future for you and for the generations to come.

Let us now take this experience to a new and exciting level, consider once more the state of the world today, this civilization, where it is generally accepted as a necessity to work two jobs, life on caffeine, at a faster pace then it has ever been before. As technology improves, it is expected to increase efficiency with everything we do, speeding along. The advent of the new mobile workspace, the mobile cubicle, with smart phones available to the common person. Everything mobile, a world that is at such a pace that you can no longer really sit in an office and work. Your employer figuring you should be able to be communicated no matter where you are or what you are doing to a point that the distinction between work and home becomes blurred to a point of confusion. A leash holding you back, not being able to just take that time away that is so important to a balanced existence you understand what I am saying? Let's stretch the mind just a bit, surely it is difficult in today's workplace, mobile workers dependent on the job. It is surely a part of life today, though fill that glass half full, a mobile workspace can be a great benefit, and since jobs go where you go, how about getting there a bit quicker?

A paradigm shift it surely is, flexibility increased two fold, a community wifi becoming more and more of a reality, not the kind of check that bounces, but one that can offer you a new opportunity. To ride a bike, to get where you need to go or to just take the work you need to do with you on a laptop, or palmtop whatever the case may be. Adding a new aspect to the option that a bike provides, with solar panels on the back of this bike, you can power your laptop, phone or what have you enough to get things done with a pleasant variation. A commuter bike, can be fixed up quite nicely to offer you that opportunity this new mobile world has become. To improve upon this vision, consider what the car costs, then look at the situation as it stands with the walking you have been doing, or the alternate transport you have been exploring suddenly there is more money to work with, that money can be used to take the next step in getting a bike, preparing it for your commute along with whatever equipment may be needed, though that in itself is a separate article which will be explored later. It is going to start with finding the bike used or new, whatever direction you choose to go with it. Let us begin in exploring each, with it's pros and cons.

First I will start with a new bike, because in my own opinion it is better to get the right bike, that is properly fitted to insure a pleasant first couple of weeks for the new cycle commuter. Thereby offering some pleasant experiences on a bike that is meant for the rider not meant for the market at large as we each are different so should the bike be your own. With a new bike, you will have a proper fit, the kind of bike you were looking for, and besides the additional benefits of getting to know your Local Bike Shop, which it is likely where you will spend more time in personalization. In beginning the shopping for your new bike, I would suggest a few things that will make you an informed consumer as opposed to just a walk in who knows little and can be easily persuaded to get something more expensive or that is not really what you are looking for. Going back to this mobile workspace again, I would offer a few simple recommendations. Even before you leave for the shop, do some shopping around online, get an idea of what you are looking for considering what your commute is likely to be whether primarily road, or some dirt, back roads and what have you. There are numerous places to find this information, some of my favorites: Further information and exploration of a bicycle as a primary mode of transportation and errand running. which is a great forum to explore with good people willing to offer unbiased views on cycling and all aspects of it. speaks more about the possibilities of using a bike as a primary transport along with Alternative Power more of the basics in preparing and maintaining a bike and many others not listed yet.

Take the time to read up on some of the information, there is much knowledge to gain through each of the previously mentioned sites. It is not necessary to read through it all just to give you an idea about things, when I started as a new cycle commuter, I was confused and lost as I am sure we each can be when doing something new and different. In taking the time to read some of this information it helped me be better prepared for what I was looking for and offered a bit of insight on some of the simpler options in keeping this bike on the road. It was also found through these sites, a bike that is properly fitted is truly the right back, so there is no pain and ease of pedaling. If a bike is to small and uncomfortable it is likely it will find a place in the garage and not leave because it is just not comfortable. Those early weeks can make or break the possibilitie, the hope is that each will explore these options in preparing for your first purchase in following those first steps in the right direction.

I am sure for each of you who are reading this or exploring the possibilities of becoming a cycle commuter, it will be tempting to buy a cheap bike because the price seems right. Really though, if you remember that a bike that is to small will end up in a garage and never be seen again and will be forgotten about it makes little sense as the investment offers little or no return. If instead you take the time in becoming informed I am sure you will find it to be far more pleasant then trying to fit something that just will not do it. Also consider that a cheap bike, particularly a bike you may find at Walmart or similar companies will be far more inferior and since the builders are paid on how many bikes they produce in one day, quality drops, and proper testing does not take place. As a result, there can be accidents or something failing that will need to be replaced to make that worth it. I had an experience in the first bike I bought from, Target if I recall, the price was only sixty dollars or so before taxes. Being uninformed, I went ahead and purchased it. Seemed fine when I took it out and rode it home, which being in the Valley was pretty simple as most roads are flat. It was when I took it out to Monterey, where there are more hills and more areas to test the capability of the bike that I found out why it was so cheap. As I climbed, I believe it was Franklin in Monterey, being a pretty good grade suddenely as I am climbing the front drive train popped off the bike rendering tbe bike useless albeit very dangerous. I was fortunate though since I was not to far up the hill when it happened and had a co worker who gave me a ride home it worked well.

The saying goes "You get what you pay for." and that holds very true in purchasing a bike as well. Just as the previous story tells it, I went with a cheap bike and uninformed and the end result was a failure on the bike that fortunately was not at the worst location. The point being is you need to be careful about what you purchase and what you do with it. Which continues onto the next point, the difference in interpretation. When you are dealing with a used bicycle you have a new experience. More issues to deal with then with a new bike, because a used bike is just that, used. When you find a used bike the first thing you should do is bring it over to your local bike shop and have them take a good look at it. Better to have a trained eye or hand, then to just jump on and start pedaling. It can work either way, the challenge is simply to make sure this great buy that may of been a used bike will still be manageable. Though when you deal with it, and the possible mechanical failures of a bike that was not well taken care of. So the initial savings may only be short term. Which is why it is best to have the Local Bike Shop take a good look at it and do a complete overhaul to make sure this bike will run well for your purpose and will not put you at risk because of jury rigged options. Looking through a car lot you can find a similarity in when you are looking at a used bike, there are going to be some lemons. These lemons may just be the thing that puts you over the top as far as expense goes. That is one risk you would not have to associate with a new bike. Though as time progresses even a new bike will need repairs but it will take some time when you pickup a new bike. Though I would interject, that when you buy a new bike, it may take a couple of weeks through standard stretching and simple wear and tear to get some simple adjustments to keep that new bike rolling smooth.

When you start exploring the options on used bicycles remember that it is necessary to get a used bike checked out by a certified mechanic at your local bike shop long before it's first ride. It is important to make sure a used bike is close to the right size and the components are operational and ready for a ride...

Further Exploration - More Coming Soon

Feedback Is Appreciated, Leave it in the comments.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Story Today - Advocacy Now

As I was doing some research for an up and coming ride to the bay area, I found out some rather disturbing information, on some of the reasons the alternative transport infrastructure has fallen back from the Automobile majority.

Read More ...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A two Day Ride and An Unexpected End

The story following, is over a two day period, just for your
information, it is a journey that the first day I took solo and the
second day I rode with my brother Paul, which ended up being a bit more
difficult then expected, regardless it was a great ride both days and I
felt it after that point for at least a couple days. It is a good
feeling knowing you took on a two day challenge consisting of
remarkable climbs up difficult ascents with a rather technical
downhill. Cruising on semi slicks, made it a bit more difficult as you
will learn more about later.

Read More Below:

The Weekends Journey June 15 & 16 2008

The Route:

Main to Russel Road via San Juan Grade Road connecting to Old
Stage Road followed down to the end up to a gate that is locked for the
Old San Juan Grade Entrance, closed to cars a double wide dirt mountain

The story following, is over a two day period, just for your
information, it is a journey that the first day I took solo and the
second day I rode with my brother Paul, which ended up being a bit more
difficult then expected, regardless it was a great ride both days and I
felt it after that point for at least a couple days. It is a good
feeling knowing you took on a two day challenge consisting of
remarkable climbs up difficult ascents with a rather technical
downhill. Cruising on semi slicks, made it a bit more difficult as you
will learn more about later.

To start on the first day, being the 15th of June
2008, I had been wanting to climb Old San Juan Grade Road and the
weekly commute has to much flat spaces, so I decided I was going to do
it, setting a goal to get there in good time and climb directly to the
top of the Mountain, without stopping pedaling. For me that was going
to be a first time, as usually I would take breaks as the percentage
grade is considerable, the actual number escapes me and I will solve
that as soon as I have the information available. For now we will just
say it is a difficult climb, best handled with a Mountain Bike, though
not so much as a hill that may require the granny gear or in simpler
terms the smallest gear in the front cog set.

In riding you truly exist, in the journey you grow!

The ride there as expected was uneventful, there is a few
climbs along Old Stage Road that offer an opportunity for preparation
as there are some good climbs along the route, though it is primarily
cement, or more like granite along that stretch. Along the route there
is not to many cars which is nice, not to say you should only ride
roads with little or no traffic, just that it is nice when you just
want to cruise and enjoy the ride which is really the whole objective
right? Back to the story at hand, so the ride along Old Stage was
relaxing, the weather was great, the skies were blue and it just felt
good to be pumping the pedals and traveling at your own chosen pace,
having the control over speed and the fresh air and sights to see, just
add to the experience. Continuing onward climbing a hill here and there
and a nice cruise down a hill or two I came to the beginning of the
road, whereby you go from cement to gravel, at which point you are
about a couple miles or so from the gate. That gate that opens up once
you get past it, to pristine wilderness area, with no houses and a two
lane dirt road only thing you see around you is the trees and the hills
and the route ahead. It is at this point you really get in the mode,
the climb up ahead is not to difficult, with a consistent and
persistent effort. For a first time Mountain Climber on a Mountain Bike
it may seem daunting, the key here is to realize you just keep pedaling
drop the gears and just keep spinning, you will be amazed how this
simple effort makes it so easy to climb to the top and up and over. One
other trick I use to keep my mind focused on the objective is to take
the moment to visualize the downhill that is inevitably up ahead, and
the climb you are doing now is the action that will lead to the reward
of a fast, yet technical downhill ride so look ahead even if only in
your minds eye and keep spinning you will reach the top before you know

I would suggest once you reach the top to take some time to
relax, have a drink of water or just chill, because really the
objective of the ride is to enjoy it, not necessary to see it as a
competition although certainly that would make it more interesting just
as a ride you are doing for the fun of it. To extend your life, to
breathe the fresh air and to be outside feeling the sun on your body
and the warmth of muscles that are working becoming stronger with every
rotation. To also realize you are making a difference in the
environment that is so necessary with all the previous damage that has
occurred if even unintentionally. Surely in that simple action of
getting your bike out and riding that instead of driving the car the
glass is very much half full if you get my point. Besides once you are
at the top you have a phenomenal view of what is around, clear of any
developmental signs, along the climb to the top though make sure you
look down in the canyon you will see some cars that went down there
many years ago. A testimony of the times when this road, before it was
closed to through traffic, used to be a party area of times of drinking
beer and having a good time. It is to bad, that those cars dropped into
that canyon but on the other hand, it is interesting to consider there
is definitely a history to this route you are riding here and now. In
respecting it, by riding safe, not skidding you keep the trail in good
condition for the many individuals who will follow that route in the
future. There has also been immense improvement since the last time I
rode that same route close to a couple years back, at that time the
downhill was more rough because of ruts, from erosion and probably to
much skidding. Though it made it more interesting this time on the
downhill it was smooth, still a few ruts but otherwise in very good
condition. My guess is they had done a lot of improvements in that time
period, and was good to see such difference in a route once rode
before. Of course the last time that two years ago I had also rode with
my brother and he did well even with the ruts, this time was a
different story though which will be explored further later in this
article. In the simplest terms, enjoy the ride just consider that the
environment is still susceptible to damage from skidding or other
operational error.

The route itself is historically called Juan Bautista de Anza,
officially the first overland route in the Spanish Colonization of Alta
California, even if it was not necessary. In simpler terms although it
has great historical significance, when you explore it further it was
just another step in the eradication of the Indians from their lands
because they were not considered to be civilized and only seen as
savages. The actual story is a sad story, it was part in partial of a
turmoil history we each have had a part of becoming aware of through
history, even if it is slightly skewed. On a brighter note, it is
interesting to consider that you can explore the same route on a human
powered vehicle and so much more official in comparison to those who
have traveled before.

A historical route without a doubt, a part of an ever
improving journey, it is to bad that it is a history that was full of
so much pain and so much loss, in changing the people of the land to
people of the church, to force forgetting what the generations before
the church had done, to say they are each so full of sins, that unless
they convert they will burn in a never ending abyss that is this place
they call hell. The other option to reach a point where you go to a
place they call heaven where for eternity you sit and look upon this
lord. Anytime another civilization wants to change what a culture is
and has been for so many generations, the end result is rarely
pleasant. Let us continue the story, there is much to say of the
history and what has occurred but will save that for another article on

The journey is a pleasant one the climb a bit difficult unless
you just keep on pedaling all the way to the top, it is the downhill
that presented the challenge in the next day of riding when my brother
had joined me. For this day, Saturday the downhill was faster then I
remember because they had cleaned it up quite nicely. In a previous
ride along this same route, the downhill was made more difficult as a
result of overuse and not using proper technique, so it made it a bit
more rough which can add to the difficulty of a ride. The point being
as I visualized the downhill, I expected a different experience, so to
be on the safe side as I began the descent I pumped the brakes a bit
keeping my speed manageable. As I was traveling down the hill I found
that it was much cleaner making it also much faster, so I continued the
process down to the bottom of the hill. You must understand, that the
downhill itself is not straight down in actuality it is a series of
switchbacks and snake turns. Running semi slicks in such a
circumstance, is really looking for trouble so found it was better to
be safe then sorry, so I continued working the brakes down the hill.
Once I reached the last turn I nearly lost it but kept the bike under
control which was certainly for the better. At that time I did not
expect to have Paul along for the ride the next day though when I look
back I realize I should of informed him of the difference in the trail
in that it may of prevented what occurred the next day.

Reaching the bottom of the hill, I cruised on down the gravel
road that continues from the end of the hill, at this point I had not
eaten anything just drank a lot. Once I got down in San Juan Bautista,
decided to cruise a bit around the mission, as I saw mention of a
reenactment event going on so chose to take a look. It was an example
of what may have been the way this mission once was in the early days,
made it interesting so I took some time there. Traveled over near the
sanctuary and there was an overlook that mentioned about what may have
been the Highway 101 of the day that took them cross the country in
this objective of civilizing a culture that was different, that was not
them. Again I digress but it bothers me how these people were treated
when the parishioners first arrived. It was unique to realize, that the
highway we know today, was once simply a dirt road going north through
Alta California or so it was called according to the information there.
Relaxed there for a bit, pondering how it would be if I rode that route
myself, via bike, if it even went all the way in this day and age.
Seems it certainly would be an amazing excursion, though it will
require further research before I can say that definitively, although
my current research does mention that as a possibilitie.It is a worthy
journey of any traveler.

After relaxing there for a bit, I was about to head back home
following the same route that got me there when I came across a turn
off that headed towards Fremont Peak Park, adding an additional 22
miles to the route had I followed it all the way down. I wish I would
of now but I did cover seven or eight miles worth, cruising through
some nice areas with some straight forward descents and ascents, past a
quarter horse ranch and saw some of the houses following that down
further. Eventually my stomach reminded me that I was getting hungry,
so decided to turn back and climb the hill from the other side and
descend the other angle. Did a lot more stopping the second time up,
though I probably could of done the same and pedaled to the top, at
least then I would have the opportunity to reach the descent faster.
Things fall how they will and I enjoyed the ride back up quite
immensely and the downhill was a nice change, though it seemed the
winds objective was to slow me down particularly in the downhill, this
was later in the afternoon, so that could have been a big part of that.
I rode on, fought hard, and beat the wind on the downhill. Once I
reached the bottom of the hill, the wind continued it's relentless
assault on my forward progress, but I just kept pedaling as that often
seems to be the main thing when riding, against a head wind. Thinking
about it sometimes that is the best kind of workout, because to get
through it and to keep pace requires, you keep your rotations up,
keeping that constant you continue moving forward even if slower then
you would like.

Old Stage Road, is always a lot of fun, through ranch land and
past many farms, considering Salinas is the salad bowl, you can just
about count on that. So up and over some hills along some flatland and
the journey progressed. It truly can be amazing sometimes, how fast
things go by, before I knew it I was already pulling up to the gate
that entered into the complex I live in, feeling good and being proud
of fulfilling the goals of the day, dropped the gears and just pedaled
it out slow. I have found that often it is good to have a cool down
lap, so dropping the gears is one way to make that happen, and it makes
for a nice variation of a journey. Upon arrival at home I brought my
bike inside it was time to eat. After dinner started speaking with my
brother about the ride that day, and messing around as he always does
he starts saying that ride was weak. So instead of taking offense, I
said “If it is that weak, then why don't you join me in the same ride
tomorrow, and we will see how weak it is.” He Agreed and that ended the
first day.

The next day begin early, one thing I found out about the day
previous that it was better to get going early, less likely to hit to
much wind when you start out early. Even after some grumbling and
stumbling, a good breakfast we prepared for the trail. I was just going
to carry my rack pack, as I was not carrying much, while my brother,
has a rack but no bags. So to solve that I hooked him up with one of my
panniers, as I figured may as well test it on a rougher trail, and he
could carry some of his crap in it. Hooked him up and secured it, we
made lunch, I learned from the day before that it was probably better
to have some kind of food to keep the blood flowing strong. Seeing as
you are the engine when you are on a bike, you want to make sure there
enough fuel and it doesn't cost five dollars to the gallon. :) Prepped
the fuel and packed it all up and the ride began.

In the start, I could feel the muscles recovering from the day
before, definitely was a great workout, and here I was doing it all
again, for the experience for the proof of the falsity of his comment,
cruising right along. First part of the journey was really pretty
straightforward, down North Main to Boronda Road, to San Juan Grade
Road, that part of the stretch is a pretty long one, but it's a nice
warm up lap for sure. San Juan Grade Road is really the way to the
truly rural areas of Salinas depending on which direction you follow,
the one we were following was the most direct connection to Old Stage
Road, following that route can be difficult unless you know where you
are going. Fortunately I did, but I do not think he knew it to well, so
it worked out. Following Old Stage Road and taking the turn that was
necessary, we ended up at the gate that was the access point to Old San
Juan Grade Road, the hill that would climb at least 7 or so miles and
then down the other side into San Juan Bautista the climb up was
uneventful I was able to repeat my performance from the day before,
climbing to the top of the hill without stopping, though I felt the
burn in my legs when I got to the top a bit later then my brother had,
only minutes really, at the summit we both decided to dismount and take
sometime. Was definitely not to easy even for him though he would not
admit it early, he eventually admitted the facts.

The most interesting thing about reaching that point, was when I looked
at my shirt it looked like I had poured water on my shirt around the
abdomen area, it was soaked. Proved that the climb was really a
workout. Instead of going directly for the downhill right after the
climb we both figured we would take some more time to recoup the
initial expenditure of energy. So we both sat awhile and talked it up,
shortly thereafter we see a hiker climbing up to the summit from the
other side and we started chatting it up, seemed to be a good guy, he
was walking his dog, and he shared some of his stories with us about
the cars in the canyon. Apparently this road was quite the party place
for sometime before they locked it out to through traffic. The only
problem here was, that so much partying eventually resulted in at least
a few cars finding there way into the canyon, not by choice. As you
walk, ride or hike up there take a look you will see at least a couple
cars readily identifiable. The fun times of the 50's and 60's along
with part of the 70's, the result of drinking and driving and just
having to much fun. Adds to the experience though of the ride in and of
itself constantly cruising and experiencing life at your own pace makes
it worthwhile.

After taking the time recouping the breath and talking with a
couple of individual hikers, we began the downhill journey, all seemed
to be going well, my speed had increased, but I kept pumping the
brakes, to be sure that I did not lose it on this fast downhill with
it's switchbacks and loose dirt, at one point I nearly lost it but
recovered quite well, did not reach any extreme of fishtailing, which
could of resulted in some meetings with the dirt that was unplanned.
That is likely to result with some, road rash and some blood loss but
not much. Once I recovered I continued the downhill, I lost sight of my
brother because I was so far ahead at this point. Once I came out the
gate, I realized he was taking a bit to long and I was beginning the
ascent when I see him riding on down, once he reached me I could tell
he had that meeting I mentioned earlier, albeit unplanned. Apparently
up the hill a bit on or about the last switchback to the straight ride
to the gate,he had lost it. From his story he explained it to me, that
the momentum went the wrong way and he was trying to go another way.
The end result, was he went down on his left side and got a bit tore

Road Rash Hurts

Overall View

Just One Hand


To damn High to Mention

He came out well enough to ride with me into San Juan Bautista
where we stopped at the Windmill Market, pulling out my Medical Kit,
had a chance to clean him up and took a look at his bike to make sure
he was doing good. The worst damage I saw, was the seat looked like it
got tweaked out as the nose was angled down, not to exciting in that
sense but a relatively easy fix. It was pretty straightforward, and to
make it more interesting upon arrival two Sheriff's were just taking
lunch, and being a friendly sort, I initiated some conversation,
talking more about the trip and the trail as well as the crash. Paul
went inside and looked for some medical stuff, apparently they did not
have any, so I ended up going in myself and talking with one of the
clerks, a cute little latina, and just asked if they had some
Anti-Bacterial Cleaning wipes they did not though she asked me to “Wait
her just a minute.” While I waited I stretched out some and looked
around. I did find they had, a wall of medical stuff, none of which I
needed at that moment. A few minutes later she came out with a handful
of wipes and information I was quite appreciative although I did not
expect such kindness, it is amazing to see people who really care about
cyclists, and they do all they can to insure a good experience.

To make things even more interesting when I got outside, my
brother had been speaking with the Sheriffs, and had asked about a
place nearby to get patched up. When I came out they were calling over
the radio for a medical team and an ambulance if needed, later the
ambulance was canceled as it was not necessary. A short time later, a
fire team pulled up in what looked like a CDF truck. Both came out and
moments later they were cleaning him up and patching him up. The whole
proceeding maybe took all of a few minutes, and by the time they were
done they had done an outstanding job, though I would have to say, he
was patched up so well it made it near impossible to make the ride back
with all the bandages and things they put on him. At that point we
decided to chill and have a bite to eat, on the wonderful standby that
is Peanut Butter& Jelly Sandwiches, and Paul had picked up some
drinks so that made it a bit nicer. Being a rather frugal person
sometimes I had brought tea bags and was sipping on water and added
some tea over lunch. We sat there and chatted it up for a bit,
exploring what may of happened and how it happened and just regular
every day stuff. After a good meal we sat and relaxed some more before
we took the trip to the Mission San Juan enjoy a bit of

The day before they had a Old Days Of San Juan Bautista, kind
of like a trip back in time to the way the mission was in the early
days, they had folks in full costume of a bygone Victorian era. They
had a actual Old Stage, Wagon that was once the main mode of transport
from the East to the West following the Oregon Trail and who knows how
many other experiences. At the time I did not take much time just rode
about the place and looked at the sights, there was also a benefit
going on so at a local barbecue pit, had a line going out the door and
nearly around the back. Besides the extensive collection of motorcycles
along the downtown area, so added a bit more to the experience. All in
all I did not take much time exploring what was setup but had hoped to
see it going through Sunday, though apparently it was only Friday &
Saturday because the next day we arrived, only saw a few things that
were just packing up and heading out. Really did not take to much time,
around there. Partly because he was feeling some pain from his surface
wounds and the initial plan of traveling from the Mission down along
the road towards Fremont Peak, ended up being delayed to another time.
After checking out a few sights we ended up going a back route around
and back to the main road, as San Juan
is just right across Highway 156 and the road that
connects back to the Juan Bautista De Anza Historical Trail, and the
hill we had just climbed early that day and descended before the

It was definitely a
nice ride with some great climbing and growth focus which made the day
even more interesting. The route itself is pretty straightforward,
simple process of getting where you need to go, and by bike, to use the
Human Powered Vehicle For the Ride. It works on so many levels it is
amazing, you know an ongoing process and a definite journey by bike.It is in
the simpleness of it, you truly find out how much more enjoyable it can
be by doing not just watching others do.

Short as it may of been, at the very least the ride there was
enjoyable and on a brighter side, Paul learned a valuable lesson, in
technique, and fast downhill. I also learned more then a few things for
example I should probably stock up my first aid kits with more then
just thoughts. Preparing for the worst while expecting the best, it
goes something like that. The good thing is also that it did not stop
him riding, he took it as a lesson and is back on his regular cycle
commute. He rides just as a vehicle would and I am glad to hear
that he has received more then a few appreciative thoughts, of drivers
because he was predictable and made the experience of driving safer for
all those users of the road. On the downhill he pumped the brakes and
came out well, caught up with me and we chatted a bit as the journey
itself of that day, and the life experience gained from both the action
and the opportunity to speak with people outside of the home to see
another persepective and learning something new, as each person has
different experience and a unique perspective on life as we each live

Monday, May 5, 2008

Bike For Peace Summer Fundraiser

As I was perusing some youtube videos, I came across marywinmusic's channel and found that it was quite good, and original offering insight and musical variation. As I continued to explore the page I noted she had mentioned a Bike For Peace Summer Fundraiser in Washington on July 20, 2008. It is good to see someone promoting a worthwhile event even if it not specific to cycling advocacy.

and there is more to come in the near future.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sanity, What is it?

Essays: Sanity - Essays - Helium - by Ray Marr

You ever take the time to think what is sanity, what it entails, what it means to each person? The attached essay is one view what is yours?


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Saturday, April 26, 2008

To Cycle Commute - No Matter the Challenge

Haha A true die hard cycle commuter, that is awesome! Even with a flood ride on:

Just looking for the best, and so far I keep finding them.

The Choice in Life - To Ride and to exist - What choice will you make?

As I was looking for possible options to prove that beyond, the videos that are apparent in the sense, they offer a view of a cyclist who commutes who makes it a point to act as a car because we each are exactly that. I was so fortunate to find this video:

Quite remarkable the song and the fact that he was acting just as a vehicle should act.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sea Otter Classic And More

Another day has come and gone, and I stand in this moment pondering what is next. Thus far so much has been going on I have not really had much time to do what I would like to do. So as far as it goes I continue working on what needs to be done as each day comes and goes. The Domain is looking many times better now though it still needs some work and that is what I am working on most of the time.

Far as the videos go, well I have some in the works, patience is a virtue in that matter. More To Come sooner then you might think. Besides Sea Otter Classic Is Coming into town in only a matter of days. I expect to be there nearly every day for the experience and the time to write and reflect.

In that sense Monterey is an exciting venue for the cyclist and for the common visitor. Monterey in and of itself is a prime destination for tourists and enthusiasts alike. With the Monterey Bay Aquarium in close vicinity and a wonderful Multiple Use Path from Castroville to Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach. That is only the beginning, besides the Hotels, The Resort and the unique Farmers Market that takes place every Tuesday in the historical downtown district. Giving the local farmers and individuals an opportunity to offer a fresh assortment of Flowers, Fruits, and plenty of food, besides the wonderful weather that is often year round.

Within about thirty minutes drive from Monterey, you have Salinas, the place I have called my home for close to thirty years. Alot has changed in what was once a small town, the downtown being revitalized and the Steinbeck Center recently renovated on the immortal writer John Steinbeck who had called Salinas his home for most of his natural life.

Come take a look and enjoy all that Monterey County has to offer. Keep Riding, and enjoy life fully, because it makes sense to do.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sea Otter Classic 2008

certainly time does fly by quickly. Every day another hour passes and another event comes to fruition as Sea Otter Class 2008 has come together and is beginning in a matter of 2 days from now. The Countdown begins: how much time is left?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My New Commuter

I finally got my new commuter and even added some photos. Still a Giant Rincon 21" but the color is different, slightly modified for my own preference. And as each day passes it only gets better from here.

So more stories to come as I continue to progress through this journey. The excitement of the times surely.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Remarkeable How Time Flies

Amazing how fast time flies ... so many things going on ... Still I ride though my focus has been on the domain still I am out there cruising the streets. It has been found that a good ride, after a day of writing or creating whatever is the flavor of the day at that moment.

Seems simple right, to ride and to experience life, well of course it is simple, life is not all that involved and when you made that first decision to grow and decided to ride instead of drive that gas guzzling car you made an awesome quality decision.

Give yourself a pat on the back, you made the right choice. And if you have not made that decision to ride, well look at your current situation. Perhaps you have a monthly budget, in that monthly budget look at the most expensive things. It is likely in that list you will find the car as one of the top. By law you need the car insured and sure you need gas if all you do is drive the car, why not cut back on the driving and increase riding instead, it couldn't hurt to bad right?

Of course not, so put the keys away except for the key to the bike lock and ride. The weather is nice as the season changes and Spring is a time of growth, of change. Make the decision to decrease your carbon footprint, and get some exercise. You want to live a long time right? To do so requires an exercise routine like riding a bike.

You start with the exercise and as you continue change the diet. You will be amazed how things come together after that.

Thanks for reading. Ride On Into The Future.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Amgen ToC long concluded

Tour Of California, Long past now such an experience a great variation. Still I see so many sites with photos, die hard fans who withstood the rain and balmy weather to share a few great photos. There are so many it is hard to decide what to share. For an album or two three or twenty still may not be sufficient. I will only say it is great to see so many dedicated fans taking the time to share and it is appreciated more then can be said. How many watched Tour Of California Live, And what did you think about Adobe Tour Tracker.

For now I will close, photos will be added soon once I find some worthy of sharing.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Amgen ToC 2008 - Stage 7

Amgen Stage 7 begins, concern about the weather and a diminishing field due to sickness or the weather was just to tough. Hard to say thus far it is a good race, the weather holds out, could be a good day. Not near as many hills here just a long climb and a few smaller climbs and some downhill. This should be a faster race, due that it is near a flat route.

Other updates are available Biking Site or you can leave some of your comments below in regard to the ToC 2008.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Amgen Tour Of California Stage4

Stage 4 started out tough and continued to get rougher. Rain Falling, Cross winds, and some great climbs with exciting descents. Worthy of the experience, we shall see who the winners will be, as the battle continues and more riders drop out whether it be because of the flu or just the weather who knows. It is a great race nonetheless.

Updates At End of Day.
Additional updates can be found by clicking here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Amgen - Tour Of California Stage 3

As I observed stage three of the Amgen Tour Of California using the Adobe Tour Tracker. Things seem to have been going well and the race was exciting besides the cutouts and other errors. I figured before the day was out I would be able to watch it all the way through on tour tracker. Apparently I was mistaken, because from 1300 till even now ... there has been a series of failures, whether it be the chat not functioning and then trying to reset to get the picture back only to be told the server is overloaded and unavailable. As I think back on it, I should of just gone and went and saw it myself. That is going to have to be the plan next year. As far as it goes tour tracker was good until the higher traffic levels took there toll over lunch. I was able to see most of it and the highlights, were available by going to the amgentourofcalifornia site and smaller video with other highlights was apparent. Sorry to say that most of the problems seemed to come up as they were climbing the second class 1 hill to sierra road and the descent after, last I had a chance to see Levi Leppenheimer was in the lead and from the looks of it he was the winner though there is still about 20 miles to the end of the race in San Jose. Perhaps by the evening the final results will be available.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Sheldon Brown RIP

And so I have heard only this day that a man who has done so much died of a heart attack at 63. Sheldon Brown, had offered his knowledge and his experience, to many the new cyclist, he will reside in the location whereby men such as Ken Kifer have long resided. It is a sad story how Ken Kifer was lost to a drunk driver. Also sad that Sheldon Brown passed this day. His articles and information have been a great inspiration to the masses of cyclist in this world today. I can only hope that someone will keep it alive as Riin Gill had done for Ken Kifer seemingly so long ago. When you really think of it great information will span generations. To a point like many the great writer who has passed, his stories legendary and remembered long after the physical body leaves this world.

How do you remember Sheldon Brown? Leave a comment.

I can only say that as Ken Kifer will be missed so shall Sheldon Brown, let us hope the year gets better as time passes.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A cycle blender hah

Thats pretty slick for sure, but I wonder how safe is that? And could you take it on a singletrack? Let me know what you think, leave a comment, prove there is life out there huh. :)

Cycle In the Rain

To cruise the boulevards as the rain pours from the sky, to venture that journey for the sake of the ride, to do is not wait. So I ride, whether rain is falling or the sun is shining. I made a choice long ago to cycle, for whatever I needed. I will admit I have had some interesting experiences, as diverse as you can imagine. At one point in time I rode from Salinas, to Hollister via bike for a job in a storage facility and rode back that same day.

A time previous, I had a job interview, and figured I would cycle there, no problem right? Well it would not of been had it not rained previously and the downhill as exciting as it was full of puddles. So I cruised along highway 68 up and over Laureles Grade and by the time I arrived at the winery, I was all different colors. As far as that went I did not get the job but what a great way to arrive don't you think? :) Well still I ride, hopefully wiser then previously, and prepared if I need to go to an interview to have an extra set of clothes just for the ride. The wonders of panniers huh.

Well that is the story for today hope you enjoyed it.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A bike Centered Society

A great video on information about a truly bike centered community. It is an exciting prospect for sure. And it can only get better from here.

If only we had the same views stateside what a difference it would make. Not only on the obesity but on the overall community by community.

So take the first step join a group or a possible advocacy group and take the steps now, not later.

Monday, January 14, 2008

On Helmets and The Yes or No Debate

So the story keeps getting interesting. As far as it goes, I will wear a helmet if I am up singletracking it on the retired Fort Ord Public Lands, where the worst experience thus far was when my brother lost it over a series of jumps on a downhill and ended up with a bit of road rash though otherwise ok. He was wearing a helmet at the time, and when he saw the doctor and took a good look at his helmet it was cracked on the left side, so certainly that serves as an example of certainly why they are beneficial. The story goes though he is also a bike commuter attending a local community college which is about a thirty minute ride from home. He has not worn a helmet since we last rode Fort Ord, though the plan is to ride again in the coming season. And it is likely, at that point the helmet will either be purchased or an undamaged one will be dusted off to ride again. Otherwise the helmet I have will remain waiting for the day when it is necessary to bring out again. In commuting, I just cruise without the helmet, certainly safe cycling is an integral part of a safe commute all in all I must admit the fact that I agree with what Ken Kifer has said, may he rest in peace. I will continue to ride as I always have but being careful is the key.

Ride On...Safely. And welcome 2008.