Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

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Kingfish
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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by Kingfish » Aug 30, 2011 9:02 pm

Backfill #7
Part 3: Fresno to Hollister - Night Bread Road


Panoche: They say that it is an unincorporated area and not a town per se; the only thing that I saw was the Schoolhouse; I never saw the Panoche Inn which must be on the other approach to this rural confederation of farms. I say other approach because there are two ways to get to this place: County Highway “J1” via Belmont and Shields Avenues, or Panoche Road via the um… “Rancher’s Road” made of hard compacted dirt for at least 15 miles; the way I came. No doubt J1 is paved, and this is certainly the way my pal came through, whereas my brother came across on the Rancher’s Road. I can tell you that within one mile of leaving the I-5 rest stop that I was regretting the choice to which new adjectives popped into my head to describe the experience every mile after cursed mile. Much of the road could be taken at 20-25 mph though and that wasn’t so terrible. However there were two uniquely nasty parts which I’ll describe in a moment. But first, allow me to explain the geology of what is unfolding at every turn on this strange road:

Except for the dry arid parts at the bottom of the Big Valley, farming is rigorous and prodigious all the way to the very edges of the foothills, east to west, from one side to the other. On the west side, there is very little hillside used; the ground is possibly used only for grazing range cattle. The physical features look to be heavily washed out at some period in the distant past with large alluvial aprons initiating higher up as ledges of former shores that had cut and eroded mountainsides. A great inland sea stood here more than once and in various shapes and forms, the most recent of which drained about ½ million years ago through what is now called the Carquinez Straits between the cities of Benicia and Martinez that separate Suisun Bay from San Francisco Bay. Before that time when the sea drained, water stood 750-1200 feet higher than my present position at the edge of the foothills. Today this is a nearly treeless expanse of grassland with occasional rocky outcroppings dotting where rare flash-flooding has exposed the tectonically active strata. There is no life here, not to the disconcerting eye, no cattle, no birds, and no trees. Yet in this stark reality, a picture of perfect desolation paints a beautiful landscape of amber, ocher, sandy-yellow hues against the backdrop of a nearly cloudless blue sky. My pal told me it reminded him of the backside of the Moon; I am in awe! :D

It doesn’t stay this way for long. The road follows the margins of the sinuous valley as it is opening to the southwest and is careful to avoid the bottom completely. The first nasty spot caught me off-guard as the road finished trending southward to the lowest latitude of the entire journey before turning northward and up a steady incline. However, within the space of a few hundred feet and a couple of tight twisty corners the road became cobbled washboard and very steep. Regardless of 2WD, my urban-assault Hookworms couldn’t grip in the crud and so I had to straddle-walk the bike up the last 100 feet of the hill. This is when the rear hub decided to cut out (Gawd I thought I had fixed that f@#ker!) I have the Brooke’s Saddle poking me just above the sacrum each time I pulse the throttle (a bruise that lingered for days afterwards) as I inch my way forward, cursing the lack of rear hub drive. At one point it crossed my mind to turn around; it was nearly impossible to continue forward in this heat and dust as any sort of powered-drive had me heading for the edge of the road! I stopped to rest and catch my breath; looking to my left I noticed an array of snake holes bored into the side of the road not one foot away: OFM!! Yeah, that’s it: I’m going to become night bread for snakes on this road! Git ye away from here! Push push push push push push… Come on you beast: Go!!!! :shock:

Did I say that I hates dirt roads? :x

Reaching the top of this local hill, I could see more – but none came near as close in steepness. The view now completely changed and out of that snaky gorge I had climbed onto a large triangular plain bounded by coastal inland mountains, the drain of which was now behind me. I wasn’t out of the woods yet though as there were some more sharply-cut washes to cross. The rocky firmness of the road slowly gave way to talc-like powdery margins that I deftly avoided. But the scenery though was remarkable: a broad open valley bordered by steep mountains, still grassy, yet the mountains to the west had their upper portions lightly forested with Oak and Pine; the visual transition between desert foothills and coastal forest in a few short miles. Off in the distance I could see the dots of settlement in the middle of the valley.

This was a large expanse to cross, and out in the middle of it - with no shade under the full heat of the sun, the mind begins to bake in the lone solitude. Other than driving, there just isn’t a whole lot for the mind to do if the scenery isn’t changing that fast or there’s no traffic to dodge, for not a single car had passed me. On stretches like this, I often recollect. Sometimes I’ll play a song in my head, or parts of a movie, maybe even a conversation. I wuz recalling them thar snake holes now, and how they could have come out and got me! ‘Night Bread Road’, that’s what my buddy called it. I certainly don’t want to break down here: What if that happened, how would I survive? Well, let’s see… I am trained in the ways of a Boy Scout, so surviving till sunrise might not be difficult as long as I can make shelter. I gots food and drink, that’s not a problem. Really the only worry then is from being et by some critter, although most critters in these parts won’t eat me, but then… the evil ones could! Hmmm, let’s review my protection against evil creatures: I gots my trusty oak stake; everyone should carry one. Where is it? Oh yeah, it’s very close; maybe take me a minute to fetch it. Wud my pal say about wooden stakes? Good for vampires, yeah – that’s right; I’m all set if I comes across vampires – that’s important. :wink: But wud about zombies!?! Oh shite – I don’t have anything to protect me from zombies! :shock: Ahh, but wait – my pal says that I could use the oak stake and jam it into the zombie’s eye socket and stir up the brains. :twisted: Ahh – good, that’ll work. OK, I gots protection against zombies too. Snakes, vampires, zombies… Night Bread Road; I don’t want to break down here… :roll: :lol:

This mantra runs in my pointy lil’ head for a while, mostly out of amusement and self-entertainment. And I am looking for snake holes just in case… when all of a sudden I drove past a monstrously large hole dug right into the side of the road! What sort of creature digs a hole the size… why it’s the size of a fat man’s thigh! I kid you not: The size of a fat man’s thigh!! :shock: Could it be a wolverine? No, wolverines don’t live in these parts. Wild boar then; nope – wild boar don’t like this kind of turf. Well, there’s no snake that I know of that makes a hole that big. :? And as I am contemplating what could possibly or even accidentally create a hole that large… when I spotted another one, right there on the side of the road into the embankment – as large as a fat man’s thigh!! My gawd! It’s not a fluke ~ there are creatures boring holes as big as a fat man’s thigh into the road!! I can think of only one creature, one evil sinister nasty-arse perversely powerful creature able to dig holes like that: It has to be the Chupacabra! OFM ~ I’m dead if I break down here! Night Bread Road! :shock: :cry:



And as I am thinking this, I drive past another hole the size of a fat man’s thigh on the other side of the road, and then another on the right, and another, and OFM – there’s one in the middle of the F@#king road – right in the middle of the F@#king road as big as a fat man’s thigh! :shock: I’ve driven into a nesting area, a brood of Chupacabras right here in the middle of this gawd-aweful lunar scabland filled with holes as big as a fat man’s thigh; no wooden stake is gonna save my tender sore arse; Mo’ power! WOT WOT Git ye outta here! Yikes! Yikes! Night Bread Road! Chupacabra! Yikes! :shock: :cry: :lol:

The second nasty spot came not very long after this when the road became profoundly softer, powdery, and more difficult to steer. I came around a corner and here the road dropped down tightly to a low-water crossing of the only stream of water flowing within 20 miles - at maybe flowing at a gallon/second. It was one of those steep U-shaped down and outs where the bottom had been lined by brick & concrete of all things. Where the water flowed the brick was stained brown and green with slimy algae about 3-4 feet wide covered by depth of water less than a fingernail thick. Doe-eyed cows stood on the other side quietly observing my approach. Yeah, I could see the danger there – but right before that, and too late to correct for it was a patch of thick powdery dirt across the whole width of the road… and I couldn’t slow down fast enough. The bike plowed straight into 5 inches deep of this fluff and the front-end spilled out and the bike flopped straight onto the right side: POOF! A large cloud of dusty talc settles. :x What a mess: So much for having a spiffy-clean ebike. No cows mooed, no scores were given. :oops: Frustrated, I re-evaluated my crossing with the bike still in the dirt. Test the footing of the stream… very slimy. :( Yeah, this could easily turn into a second crash if I’m not careful and I could wind up as a desiccated snack for the Chupacabra: Back up, give it some room. I get the bike picked up, brushed off the worst of the dust, and pulled it around for a better shot. One chance; do it right: The front hub is barely touching the bricks and providing about 5 feet of traction before the slimy ooze. Mount the steed, take a deep breath, and I hit the f@#king throttle – but let off as I hit the water – allowing momentum to carry me forward and steering straight ahead…

:?: Will I make it :?:
~KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by Kingfish » Aug 30, 2011 9:18 pm

Backfill #7
Part 4: Fresno to Hollister - Don, the Mustang Ranger


I am across! :D Steep incline to climb out: Punch it! Up and out and over the hill – the road straightens out, becomes more firm – and I see pavement! At last, blessed pavement! Hmmm, on second thought: Crappy pavement! :x Looks like this road has been patched over but never resurfaced since they laid down the first asphalt back whenever that wuz. Oh my, I don’t know which is worse: being beat by dirt washboard or beat by pot-hole-filled cracked pavement. It is still hot though and now I am in search of shade. I see some in the far distance; maybe the road will go right by it.

After about 3 miles of pavement I began to pass farm houses off to the left and right, and then I spotted my first human being in what seemed likely the last two hours: He was a farmer riding high upon his old tractor; front loader – empty, with rear-hauling fork carrying a large poly-box-crate. He was slow-enough going in the opposite direction and I ambled over to his side of the road waiting for him to pull up. Correction: Not a farmer, but a Mustang Ranger named Don Douglas. :)

We had a great fun chat about my trek and his local issues. Don told me that the reason the west side of the Valley was so desolate was because the farmer’s had drilled too deep and had pulled up seawater from the ocean onto the land and had ruined it. He also said that this here Panoche Valley is the best farmland around if they could only get to the water. Up until the 1970’s this whole valley was in production, but then the OPEC crisis hit and the cost of electricity shot through the roof – making pumped water too expensive, then one by one each farm collapsed and failed. Don bought the last of the farms and changed the business model to raising mustangs.

He then told me how the rangers are fighting to prevent cheap Chinese solar farms from moving in: These companies are flush with capital; they go out and buy out farms, then put their cheap crappy solar technology – not the high-quality stuff, and cover the land with panels. I asked what happens to the ground when they do that, and Don says they already did it on one area and it ruined the ground; no grass will grow, thus there is nothing to hold the dirt down, and this leads to dust storms and the precious topsoil floats away. He says he’d rather have Nuclear Power come in and set up before they’d accept solar. His thinking – and I could tell it was well-researched, is that a Nuclear plant would have to drill deep to get to water. What kind of water is plentiful? Seawater. The plant would desalinate the seawater, producing fresh water which could be used for irrigation, whilst the brine could dry out in the heat, and sent off for refinement; salts and mineral extraction. My only problem with the plan was how to dispose of the spent fissile material – which really bespeaks the challenges of the global problem at large.

We talked about the road and he told me that Panoche Road was meant to be an extension of Hwy 180 but they never came up with the money. He was surprised to learn that I came over the Rancher’s Road; most people he says come through the slot canyon to the north over Shotgun Pass – whereas I had come over Jackass Pass. I sure felt like a jackass for taking it. :oops: Snakes, Zombies, Chupacabras – oh my!

Don gave me the short story of creating champion mustangs; when he first started talking about mustangs instead of farming I had figured he meant horses and not cars. I like both; farms, mustangs, horses… Heck I was happy to just find some shade and then I run across a very interesting and enterprising individual! Our conversation actually began as “Is this the road to Hollister?”
  • He says “Yeah; you’re real close now”.
    Then I says “How close is close?"
    He says “Oh, about 48 miles”.
I bet he was thinking ‘close for cars’. Then I got to thinking about Albert, the cyclist I met north of Truckee; I wondered how far he’d think ‘close’ was? My Pa would like to say “Close only counts with hand-grenades and depth-charges”, and I would counter with “Yeah, and it’s not too bad with nuclear weapons either”. ‘Close’ was still a long ways off for me though – and it was farther than I wanted. :|

Don said he could put me up for the night, feed me steak, whatever I want, no problem. Heck – if I had left for my holiday on time, I would have taken him up on it. As it was, I didn’t have time to spare. Definitely an interesting person! A car came from the west; first time I saw a car since leaving I-5. That broke up our conversation as we both moved to the opposite sides of the road; he told me to keep an eye out for the Schoolhouse as there’s shade. I said my good-bye and thanked him for the intel. Three miles later I came around a corner and there was the schoolhouse; the angle of the sun provided just enough shade for a break and I took my 5 minutes to water-up good and long.

Leaving the schoolhouse the road trended northwest and up through a shallow incline between two mountains and in doing so the heat began to decline some, but in exchange a headwind developed. I stopped one more time to water-up under a tree next to a pair of horses which took an interest in my passing; for once I wished I had two apples to share. The summit, aptly named Panoche Pass, was reached about 4:15 PM, and I took a parting shot in the direction that I had come. Don said it was a steep downhill. It would have been fun I am sure except for the headwind which prevented any serious speed buildup. On the backside of the pass the evidence of tectonic folding was hugely evident by the radical erosion and unstable hillsides. The road was complete shite on this side of the pass too. I have a new acronym for you: It’s called BtFS. Two points on who can translate it first. As I neared the Pass, the weather did turn cooler and progressed more so as I descended. The forest increased in thickness and variety changing from oak and pine to that of more shrubbery with larger variety. Life existed here in plethora. The steep winding road gave way to washed out valley floors and undulating margins until I had finally reach Paicines at the junction of Hwy 25 at 4:45 PM. Here I paused for 15 minutes or so to eat and water-up. The sun was closing down behind mountains and the wind was picking up.

Image
EDIT: Panoche Pass - looking east back over the region that I had crossed. Added on 9/1/2011

Image
EDIT: Paicines - This is a view from the intersection of Panoche Road and Hwy 25 looking NE; the rest of the panorama is missing :cry: Added on 9/1/2011

Heading north on Hwy 25 towards Hollister, now less than 20 miles away was a little frightful after having so much solitude; no margin to speak up until I was able to clear the mountainous portion nearing Tres Pinos where the highway finally opened up to provide ample margins. Entering Hollister at 6:15 PM was like riding into a mecca of consumerism; big huge wide roads with massive malls on both sides. Where is the old town? I pulled off at Sunnyslope Road to find my bearings. By this time I didn’t care about Santa Cruz; it’s windy, I am fatigued, the sun is in my eyes, and all I want is a hot shower, food, and bed. It takes me ½ hour to sort out my motel options and convince myself that I am here to stay. I followed Sunnyslope west then took a right onto San Benito Street – through the Old Town (yea!) which changes names to San Felipe Road after crossing the railroad tracks exiting the town to the north. My first shot was the Best Western, having some Internet discount offered, but when I pulled up the sign in the window said it was booked out.

OK, no problem – I saw at least two candidates on the way here; backtrack to the first alternate: The Cinderella Motel. Now – I had to laugh cos the reviews on Google just cracked me right up. One reviewer says “It should be renamed the Witch Motel; horrible service”, while another said “Should be renamed the Bates Motel”, and still another exclaimed “BEDBUGS!” RotFLoL! :lol: OK – now I am intrigued; how could this place remain in business if it had bedbugs? I have got to check it out, and I did: The manager was extremely friendly and most helpful in selecting a room fitting my needs. Each room is themed; mine was “The Pines Room”, and inside I had a carved wood bed – right out of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, or Little Red Ridinghood. It was absolutely charming! :D The hanging lights were made to look like lanterns, and the bedspread was quilted. The towels were rich and vibrant in color; not washed out or bleached stale white. And the cost: $48.60. :wink: Setup the charger, got my shower and went across the street to Pizza the Hut and ordered up a medium pie and salad with a single Widmer Hefe, then set out to scribe the days’ incredible story until the place began to close. Retiring, I moved back to the room and kept writing until my eyes were sore and I fell asleep with pen in hand. The rest of the details came from memory. It was a pretty hard day of riding despite the short apparent distance.

Starting V = 63.1, Ending V = 56.1; possibly enough to get to Watsonville had I not been so beat.
Distance = 122 miles
Regen = 2.7%; Vmin = 54.7
MaxS = 35.8 mph; AveS = 26.9
Trip Time = 4:31:33
Total Odometer = 1370 miles.

Note: I will backfill as I can in the coming days now that I am at a desk. Pictures will be posted as well when I get to it :)
Cheers, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by Kingfish » Sep 01, 2011 2:13 pm

Photos

My sincere apologies. Today I was reviewing my photos and discovered that ½ to 2/3s are missing prior to 8/20 and there is not another backup. :oops: :cry: I swear I am not going to rely on this dumbphone for photos anymore; I’m taking my dedicated camera on my trips from now on. This is really quite frustrating. I recommend people pick another phone; don’t purchase the Samsung Droid Charge. That’s it: Grade C- for reliability. :x

Regardless, more photos have been appended beginning with Lassen Park image #3. I will include photos with all the new backfills.
~KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by amberwolf » Sep 01, 2011 2:28 pm

Dang....well, FWIW, a quick google on Samsung Droid Charge and Missing Photos (and variations) finds a number of similar events, where pics just disappear from the Gallery, and don't appear to be on the phone anymore--not just on that phone, but on various android phones, including other Samsung models.

I suspect it's a bug in the photo app or company "skin" on the phone itself, rather than the OS, but it could be a root OS problem.

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by Kingfish » Sep 01, 2011 2:30 pm

Backfill #8 – Part 1: Sunday, August 14th Morning
Hollister to San Francisco-Presidio


I slept lightly through the night mainly because the charger keeps me on my toes. I had wanted to get up 4:30 AM but my muscles were still a bit sore and it was slow going getting started. One thing that I absolutely had to do though was to wash & wipe down the bike and trailer again, and that chore took some time. About quarter after 6 AM I exited the Cinderella Motel and made my way directly across the street to Jerry’s (Shari’s equivalent) for breakfast. Topped myself off and headed out about 6:45 AM – late start. There was no wind, it was just after sun-up (giving to mountains) and bright; I was wearing the fleece though it wasn’t really required then and there. I took the San Felipe Road/Business Hwy 25 & 156 south about ½ mile to San Juan Road and headed west with the sun behind me; no one was on the road as I exited the old town district.

Not long after the merge with Union Road and on the straightaway heading towards San Juan Batista I ran straight into fog. It was a lot wetter than I had expected. The fleece was off-white and I knew this would be a big problem for drivers coming up behind me so I pulled over and put on my Seattle Jacket. The humidity of the fog immediately became a serious issue as the inside and outside of my visor steamed/wetted up to the point of uselessness. If I flipped the visor up then my glasses would fog, though not as severe. This is the way I drove for the next 3 miles with about 100 feet of visibility; I was stymied on speed right out of the gate. The fog lifted a bit as I approach San Juan Batista. I took a right onto the Alameda but was quickly diverted to 4th Street due to the Sunday public market; not a problem as I had the town layout memorized. Within a few blocks I had reached Monterey Street, turned right, then a left onto 1st Street/Old San Juan Hwy and headed more or less northward, crossing over US 101 at which point the road became Hwy 129. The humidity and fog continued to play a role in limited my speed as I couldn’t make use of my visor, although the sun was doing its’ best to burn away the overcast.

Between here and Watsonville the terrain is for the most part ancient inland estuary (now used for farming) and severely heaved coastal hills. The highway meanders through this as an old county road with minimal margins and low-speed corners. There was a lot of slumping as well. Still – it is a pretty drive – even when partly overcast and fogged. I went past migrants picking in the fields; some looked up and I waved and smiled, catching a few in return. My spirits were too high to call it gloomy, though it was nearly so as I reached the city center of Watsonville at 8 AM. Took a right turn onto Main Street and had to check the map a couple of times to be sure I was headed in the correct direction and down to the wye where Main went left and Freedom Blvd went right; I took the right again which immediately begins a long hill climb and pasted a couple of cyclists that didn’t know what I wuz. There may have been a bike lane demarcated but I am here to tell you that between here and the other side of Santa Cruz – the whole link is just plain horrible to ride in. I am not a radical fringe kind of guy – but this sort of afterthought treatment of trying to be bike-friendly then provide this shite-story to ride in just upsets me and I feel compelled to blow it all off and ride in the lane which isn’t in much better condition. :(

Freedom Blvd reminds me that it once was likely the main route or main alternate to Santa Cruz; it is lined with worn-out strip malls and beat-up commercial development and not a visually stimulating sight heading north. Eventually it trends west and down a long path towards the Cabrillo Hwy 1 Freeway interchange called Rob Roy Junction of all things. Just before the intersection I pulled up next to a cyclist named “Trin” (short for Trinidad) and he provided me with some quick intel on Soquel Drive and how to navigate to the other side of Santa Cruz; thanks friend – I’ve got it burned into my brain. :) Soquel Drive parallels the highway going north and west and is another testament to overdevelopment followed by poor maintenance with a joke of a bike lane. Up and down and up and down over the humps and bumps and cracks and sunken drainage covers… bollocks! :(

I pulled off at the Chevron Station at (I believe) Park Avenue for a rest/water break. Hearing the choir singing in a nearby church urged me on to keep it brief and get back on the saddle. Traffic was still light but I knew it wouldn’t last, I didn’t waste time, and kept going hard – but still hitting a few red lights. At Dominican Hospital the route passed over the freeway and formally had me in Santa Cruz. This must be a part that I never went through; pretty well beat-up old section of town as Soquel went left and Water Street went right; I stayed right, blasted fast over the river and onto Mission Street. Crossing Laurel Street, I found a quick-mart to pull over and rest/feed/water-up. It was after 9 AM and I was seriously beginning to worry that I wouldn’t make it to the Presidio by Noon because I really wanted to be on the other side of Santa Cruz by 8 AM. :(

Time to pour it on: Within a mile or so I was free of the town. The fog never came back, though the damp overcast sky hung in there and prevented me from using the visor to shield my eyes. Margins and road greatly improved and that was a good sign. The battery pack took a beating going through all that metro but I still had good capacity left. I remained optimistic – that is until I reached Scott Creek where the clouds lifted higher and the headwinds began to blow. And they blew even harder yet. The Cabrillo Highway in this section isn’t level either; big long climbs with equally long descents – but you can’t make regen due to the wind. Before I had reached Pescadero State Beach I had burned off 2 volts right out of the fat of the pack since leaving Santa Cruz. And although the clouds had pulled back to reveal the ocean, this wind just plain blew hard. :(

I pulled off at Bean Hollow Beach for a much needed rest and just to stare at the waves breaking, feel the heat of the sun on my back, take a couple of pictures – possibly the only pictures of surf on the entire trip (Note: Photos missing :cry: ). I wasn’t going to make Noon; I needed a new plan if I was going to make it at all. I got back on the bike and dropped my speed down to a poverty-pedal rate of22-25 mph which I knew would extend the pack about 25-30%, and it felt like going backwards. I kept this up all the way to Half Moon Bay where I took my next break about quarter after 11 AM. Definitely some incredible scenery – and I so wanted to stop and enjoy the vistas. The Monterey Cypress is spectacular; I miss it! :) But as the morning advanced, so did the traffic and the scary drivers. The day though was turning out to be a great one – except for the wind. Only 30 more miles to go; fuel-up and get on it!

I practically dreaded this next segment as my body was fighting muscle fatigue and the big unknown that lay before me: How to get from Pacifica to Golden Gate Park. At least with traffic I was a little fortunate that much of the northbound stuff went east on Hwy 92, but then I hit Montara: Oh big time scary shite! Going through that construction zone, nasty arse drivers thinking they could just cut me off next to a rock wall – it only took one to really piss me off – and I took over and dominated the lane after that. Screw these rude people; they can damn well stay behind me whilst I climb through this nasty trap. I found a paved pullout and let the mass pass by as I catch my breath and recompose my nerve: Character-building shite for sure. A break in the flow, and I dodge back out WOT and heading down a steep decline into Pacifica. Another break to breathe; I pull to the side at the intersection of Reina Del Mar Avenue and consult the Google Maps oracle. The path is not clear to me, and the hill that awaits is pretty scary. Another cyclist consults his and thinks we can continue for another ½ mile – and we do, but there we are forced off by the freeway.

This is where we pick up the Bike Path! :) Actually it is just a well-designated route over surface streets, and I was completely grateful for it while it lasted: Palmetto Avenue from Fairway Drive to Fairmont. Unfortunately this dumped me right at the southern fringe of Daly City at Palmetto and Westline Drive. Checking the map, I could jump over and take the steeply inclined Skyline Drive to Westmoor Avenue, pass under the freeway then left onto South Mayfair Avenue and follow that north and east to Lake Merced Blvd north to Sunrise Blvd north, the last of which I nailed every green light all the way to Golden Gate Park. As soon as I was inside the boundary I posted on ES that I was near (about 1 PM). OK – milestone achieved; now on to the Presidio! 8)

I took MLK right to Transverse Drive north and onto 25th Avenue north to El Camino Del Mar/Lincoln Blvd up to about Storey Avenue; from there I brailled my way to Chrissy Field – and eventually figured out that the Sports Basement was a retail store at the other end. Where’s the entrance?!? Enter the parking lot… and I heard someone call out my name! :D

Arrived at 1:40 PM, nearly two hours late.
Start V = 63.3, End V = 55.4; pretty dang low :(
Distance to this point = 127.1 miles

…more, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by Kingfish » Sep 01, 2011 2:51 pm

Backfill #8 – Part 2: Sunday, August 14th Afternoon
San Francisco: Hanging with the eCrowd


Before I had could take my helmet off I was surrounded by a group of kindred efolks – numbering close to 20 by rough count and instantly plunged into a Q&A before I could really compose myself after 7 arduous hours on the bike. And I mean this as an apology if people were put out by my desire to get to the heart of the matter and figure out what the actual plan for the day was: Are we going to San Rafael or not? If so – I must recharge now. Are we going to ride around in the city? If so – I must recharge now. Within 10 minutes this was sorted and I quickly my bike up for charging thanks to the great willingness of the locals to assist. 8) (San Rafael was bagged and instead we stayed to ride around the City by the Bay.)

The Q&A continued nonstop – filming, picture-taking, more questions while I am changing my shirt or repacking. It was a little awkward… :? I would have been happy to have 5 minutes to myself; splash water on my face – that sort of thing, though there wasn’t much letup to the attention and – it is with great hope that I did not offend anyone. I can relate and understand that people had to leave; my fault for arriving late. For the most part – I am a very structured and organized individual; I like process and formality to my functions owing to many years of organizing public events and giving presentations. My personal habit is to drive when in the vacuum of leadership, however – I am a guest and this is your town, and I am most pleased to be here and meet with each of you personally and professionally! 8)

After about 30 minutes of charging we packed it up; I managed to pick up 0.8 volts that raised me to 56.2V. A solid core of 7-10 ebikers remained, each of them riding their own unique creations and formats, from the fast recumbent, to outriggers, and hub motors galore – such as myself. Together we blasted around the Presidio. No real plan existed; just cruise around the hill. At some point though we took a short break in a wooded section and the guys took turns testing Green Machine’s incredibly speedy recumbent. This meeting however was broken up by some park maintenance joe in a white truck who seemed to take a serious glare at me as he motored by; I just waved and smiled… Then a joke popped into my pointy lil’ head:
  • “Hey - what do you call 3 guys in a CalTrans truck parked on the side of the road?”
    Generally: “Hmmm, I dunno. What?”
    “Sleeping!”
Image
EDITED: The Electric Amigos! L to R: Stingray17 (Ivan) from Berkeley CA, Snowranger (Kelvin), Chroot (Trevor), KF (Alan). and Green Machine (Eric). (Edward) Lyen took the picture :)

With that great laugh we blasted on through the City maneuvering our way towards Golden Gate Park. It was great to cut loose like that – but there is one artifact about San Francisco that I was completely unaware of, unprepared for, and downright surprized: The general lack of respect for traffic law by cyclists. :? Evidently cyclists just plain flaunt the Law when it comes to stop signs, signal lights, lane monopoly, cutting in and out of traffic… I mean literally – no control. This explains the strangeness of my experiences as I entered the metro area; I’d stop and allow the person to the right to proceed – and yet most just waved me through anyway. It really begs a larger question, and I know that the guys in the group probably do not share my sane desire for respect of traffic laws.
  • It is after all a personal choice that I made to put taillights, stop lights, turn indicators, and red-flashing blinkies on my electric bike, the one that weighs 300 lbs. when fully loaded before I get on and able to travel faster than a moped. For myself – I have this survival gene that kicks in and says: “You know - it would be very wise to let the driver behind me know when I am braking so he doesn’t cruise right up my arse and flatten me, especially those logging trucks hauling 80 tons of lumber.” But that’s just me. The fact is – I am an advocate of public safety for drivers of all sorts. I want them to know when I am going left or right, especially when I can’t lift my hands to signal as I am heading down a steep stretch which requires my utmost serious attention. It is the same reason why I have both left and right mirrors: To see what is behind me, to find an exit route should an unexpected event unfold before me. I look forward to breathing each breath, to rising each day and having a fresh cup of coffee, reading the news, being able to use my hands and my feet, to use tools, to type, to see and hear and smell, and to be able to think cognitively and with reason, without handicap from injury. I cannot afford to be careless; I am self-employed and I must take care of myself and be safe – and encourage others to be safe as well. This is my opinion. I understand that cyclists can flaunt the traffic laws in San Francisco; I just don’t accept it of myself. My $0.02 :)
As a group we entered Golden Gate Park (GGP) which was sealed off to road traffic during some 3-day festival. It was perhaps too much disunion for my tastes as there were knots of people milling around, lots of police on foot and on horses, perhaps not a great place for a bunch of electric-augmented cycling enthusiasts. And – I was quite hungry. After a bit of squirreling around we finally made our way to the Park Chalet at Great Hwy & JFK Drive beside GGP; the guys ordered up pitchers and food and we ate and celebrated our day together! :D Here I could finally speak frankly and privately about technical issues with Edward Lyen about my machine; Edward is full of insight and knowledge, and I am glad he is my friend. 8) After describing the traits of the rear hub as it was cutting out, he suggested wisely that perhaps I should manage my throttle more effectively; in essence ~ go easy when under load because it’s the signal voltage of one controller driving two and there could be more going on with the system as a whole. A novel approach; I shall try it! :wink:

Afterwards we motored a bit more through the park, but then eventually parted ways. My evening was hosted at Green Machine’s pad not far from Seal Rock Inn and The Cliff House. There we set my bike up for recharge, with the voltage now down to 55.4 – this would take all night.

Zzz, KF
Last edited by Kingfish on Sep 02, 2011 11:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by Kingfish » Sep 01, 2011 3:06 pm

Backfill #8 – Part 3: Monday, August 15th Morning
San Francisco: On my Own


GM was asleep when I woke so I put myself together and tried to exit quiet as a church mouse to find some morning grub. It crossed my mind to go all the way to the Cliff House – but I desired coffee more than my ambition; the Seal Rock Inn would have to do. GM called just after I had ordered, and I convinced him to join me and glad that he did; a good chance to share electric thoughts over fresh roasty brew and food. I decided to go ahead and pack up and make ready for an afternoon departure to San Rafael. From the fallout of yesterday we had left stranded two or three people over there that were not aware of the change in plans due to my late arrival. Today, with Lyen and GM it was hoped we could meet up with Richard Fechter in the afternoon. I needed to sort out my bike issues anyways and this was a good time to do it.
  • First things first – I found a Whole Foods and stocked up on Cliff Bars and Gatorade.
  • Next was the American Cyclery. Here I had a gentleman check out my fork suspension. Rocking the fork back and forth, he said that the headset cup bearings were not the issue, but that he thought the fork bearings were worn out. Thus he proposed I replace the entire fork. Hmmm, that’s going to be at least $500 if not $1000 depending on how much gold-plated bling I have to have. No, I thanked him just the same; I just needed to know if it was the cup bearings – and it wasn’t, so this repair can wait.
  • Next I called Edward’s friend Ilia who runs eBikes SF on the other side of the City in hopes that he could take a look at my ebike rear axle. Alas – I didn’t think we’d have time to hook up and be productive with the short time remaining, although Ilia certainly wanted to help. The problem I had been having is that the rear axle seemed to be rotating or moving; part of the on-going and annoying struggle with things scraping or getting jammed up.
By this time I was getting peckish – and I made my way back to the Whole Foods to pick up a sandwich and milk. The Plan with regrouping solidified to meeting up at the Conservatory of Flowers in GGP at about 3 PM. Eventually I made my way there, found a nice spot to park the bike, and laid out on my back in the rich green grass and took a dozed off while my cellphone recharged off the bike’s battery pack. For once – I could just relax without an agenda, and I did it here in GGP under a cracking day for nap-taking beside a field of flowers.

Image
Conservatory of Flowers in SF. I took a snooze off to the right under a tree (Note: Photos missing).

Eventually I was summoned to join up with the guys and there we were – right in front of the white Conservatory: GM, Edward Lyen, Richard Fechter, and myself. I finally get to meet the legend behind ES; actually there were three rightful legends before me and I was completely honored and humbled. 8) I think we chatted away for the better part of an hour. Then – we struck out for a ride around the park; one last loop if you will before parting ways. Edward volunteered to show me the way across the Golden Gate Bridge and onward to Sausalito, and so we set out dang near 30th at Fulton, heading east. The Plan was to take 15th Avenue north to Wedemeyer to Washington Blvd through the Presidio, however there was a problem with reaching Wedemeyer through the gate with local access only, so we took a right onto Lake Street and headed east all the way to Arguello Blvd, and turned left up and through the park. No sooner had we begun winding north than there was a stunning vista off to the right; pulled over and Edward took a shot for me against the backdrop of the San Francisco Bay (Note: Photos missing). Eventually we made it to the Sports Basement as I needed to see if they had a pair of special clasps which were helpful in securing stuff on my trailer. I was quick about it: Found the section but not the type I needed. The guy in the area knew exactly what I wanted but only had one left – and it was not tagged, so he gave it to me for free! 8) Rushed back out and installed it onto the trailer; it’ll have to do. :wink:

Image
Arguello Blvd Vista looking NE across the Bay; Angel Island is center-left, Alcatraz and Palace of Fine Arts are center-right. The rest of the panorama is missing :cry:

...more, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by Kingfish » Sep 01, 2011 3:20 pm

Backfill #8 – Part 4: Monday, August 15th Afternoon
San Francisco to San Rafael


It’s now 4:50 PM and I have 62.2V left on the pack. The total distance then from Hollister to SF – including running around came to 149.6 miles. Let’s roll! With Edward leading the way we made our way to the Bridge. I guess that normally the public walks on one side and the cyclists have the other side. But today, the other side was shut – possibly due to repairs or painting, and everyone was forced to traverse on one side. I could not believe how packed and busy with people milling around aimlessly. I mean this was just plain crazy! :shock: People stopped in the middle of the route standing there in the way of obvious flow; imagine if you’re driving on a busy street and the person in front of you decides to stop – blocking all traffic – to do what? Take a picture? Call their friend? Search their bag? Scratch their arse? And it was like that for the entire crossing. People walking on the wrong side, people riding their bike on the wrong side, people people people – and this wasn’t the weekend; I could only imagine how impossible it might have been to try and get to San Rafael at Noon the day before! What a struggle, and I felt very stressed trying not to flop the bike in the middle of it; you might say there wasn’t much of an opportunity to sight-see going across. On the other side of the Bridge, again the same pile-up of aimless people standing in the middle of traffic flowing both ways! Plow ahead – the road turns steeply down; it is hugely gusting here as well. Fast we go down and around Horseshoe Bay with more stupid cyclists riding while taking pictures with their cellphones instead of looking forward. Eventually we make it into Sausalito and to the Ferry Dock, giving us a place to pull off. I give my absolute thanks to Edward for his sincere hospitality and helping to guide me to this point. :D Now – he turns and goes back to cross the Bridge; man what guts! 8)

I pull out the Google Maps oracle and research my route forward. Stoking the fire beneath my twin gerbil drives, we sped off into the setting sun down Bridgeway to the Mill Valley-Sausalito Path; not much cycle traffic so I blast it WOT while taking care not to be too scary as I pass. Eventually this dumps me at the intersection of Blithedale Avenue and Lormita Drive. Unsure, I continue forward on the bike trail where I passed a couple of cyclists; I slowed to ask for directions north and in a roundabout chatterbox way (I must be a magnet for chatty people) he tells me to take the next right and follow it to the end, and so I do – exiting the path onto Lormita Drive as it turns east, runs smack up against 101 Redwood Hwy, and becomes another bike path heading north. I think the cyclist struggling up that incline crapped his pants as I motored past… pulling onto Meadowsweet Drive at the other end and took that to Tamalpais Drive in Corte Madera. Here I studied the map again, and although today I could see an easier route, in my hungry and heat – I didn’t see the bike paths; only roads and freeways and limited options. I went west onto Tamalpais and up the hill and right onto Magnolia Avenue, up and around keeping up with traffic turning right onto Bon Air Road up over to Sir Francis Drake Blvd (we’ll be seeing you again shortly) heading west in the lane for a few hundred feet, then right again up over Wolfe Grade WOT – though doing it with a softer and kinder gentle feathering – and that rear hub just kicked arse climbing up over that stubby monster, then bombed onto the flats of D-Street. :twisted: Right onto 2nd, under the freeway, right onto Grand/Francisco and down to where the Motel 6 awaits. <whew!> :lol:

Pulled in at 6:30 PM after only 19 miles from the Sports Basement. It was a no-nuttin’ room for $66.63; I liked the Cinderella Motel better. The attendant was going to charge me more but I claimed that my dumbphone couldn’t connect to their website to make the reservation (which is true), so he gave me the Internet discount anyway; it pays to ask. :wink: The sad part is that this place is out in the Industrial backwater next to the tide flats – yuk! :roll:

In summation, this short ride was designed to get me across the Golden Gate and shorten the distance to my next destination - Fort Bragg. If I had left SF proper, the distance would have been close to 180 miles; now I am 20 miles and 90 minutes closer with a whole lot of fatigue behind me. So in essence – this is the beginning of the end of the final leg on this journey.

Stats:
End V = 60.8; easy peasy. This finishes charging before I am asleep.
Distance = 19 miles. Regen = 12.2%
MaxS = 34.0; AveS = 18.5
Time: 1:00:36

I am here early enough that I decide to wash all my sweaty clothes in the sink and let them air dry in the room; it’s very warm in San Rafael. After my shower I walked about a mile to the Seafood Peddler for a pleasant meal; seems I was underdressed for this yacht-club restaurant but they were polite and found me corner where I could hide and chronicle. Good food at a reasonable price. :)

Tomorrow, a new journey begins. KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by Green Machine » Sep 01, 2011 5:48 pm

Kingfish,

It was nice reading about your journey to SF...and it was nice meeting you in SF.

Your right we do have no respect for traffic laws here on bicycles.. THats because its practically impossible to get pulled over on a bicycle unless your riding and waving around a hand gun or something oh and the gun is still smoking. The bicycle coalition here in the city is as powerful as the national rifle associatoin in some other US city. Where in other places your allowed to brandish assault rifles..here we are allowed to ride our bicycles aggressively with no regard for stop signs or drunk driving laws. On a bicycle here you can be an outlaw and not get in trouble. Its quite liberating. The idea is since you are on a bicycle you are only endangering yourself. Unless your going to make the super thin argument some wreckless lawless bicycler is going to slam into some pedestrian pushing a baby carriage. Actually San Francisco in general is a lawless city. You wont believe how often you see people doing drugs in public, how prevalent drunk driving is etc. IF they did DUI checkpoings on a weekend night in SF they would probably nab one in 4 drivers. Its that bad. But they generally do not give dui's or any citations here in the city. Thus one of the problems in the city is how many bicyclists are killed each year to drunken or wreckless motorists. I know we average like 25 bicyclist deaths a year. And i dont think thats from running stop signs or disobeying laws.

Oh and i am working on a city law to make turn signals and horns illegal on bicycles... :P Although even if it passes i am sure it wont be enforced. SF cops are lazy wankers.

I was curious about how that ride across the GG bridge went. Although i normally crosss the bridge on ebike atleast once a week because of summer time crowds and the bike lane closure i have not crossed a single time all summer.

Reading your account makes me think we did the right thing by not crossing as a group on Sunday when there is twice the foot traffic on the bridge as there is on Monday when you finally did cross it on route to san rafael.

I think everything worked out for the best not cruising to San Rafael on Sunday..maybe someone would have gotten hurt..maybe a plane crash... who knows. :mrgreen:

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by chroot » Sep 01, 2011 6:22 pm

Hi Kingfish,

Yeah, We were reckless on the street and I was riding on Green Machine's MTB bike with the HS35 motor and it was way fly FAST! :lol: I didn't have chance meet Fechter and Lyen told me that Fechter was waiting for Green Machine to pick him up at small airport near San Rafael. It seem didn't have time get him that day while you were in SF.

Although, It was nice meet you in SF and your tour ebike was super awesome. You made everyone inspiration very much. 8)

I sure will meet anybody e bikers from somewhere and welcome to SF or any events. :)
Thank you Justin Lemire-Elmore - You are a HERO!

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English is my secondary language - ASL (American Sign Language) is my primary.

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by Kingfish » Sep 01, 2011 11:13 pm

amberwolf wrote:Dang....well, FWIW, a quick google on Samsung Droid Charge and Missing Photos (and variations) finds a number of similar events, where pics just disappear from the Gallery, and don't appear to be on the phone anymore--not just on that phone, but on various android phones, including other Samsung models.

I suspect it's a bug in the photo app or company "skin" on the phone itself, rather than the OS, but it could be a root OS problem.
I did some research based upon your lead - and evidently it is as you say - a larger problem with many phone devices.

I downloaded the Pandora Recovery application from CNet and it found the deleted file entries - all 37 deleted images between 8/7 and 8/19 - but they have already been overwritten :evil:

The people that make this shite are pure evil! I've owned a digital camera for 8 years and never - not once ever has it deleted a file. But this hokey crap that is being shoved at us is garbage; where is the QC? I am taking this phone back to Verizon tomorrow. :x

Unhappy with the phone, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by Kingfish » Sep 01, 2011 11:35 pm

Green Machine wrote:Kingfish,

It was nice reading about your journey to SF...and it was nice meeting you in SF.

Your right we do have no respect for traffic laws here on bicycles.. THats because its practically impossible to get pulled over on a bicycle unless your riding and waving around a hand gun or something oh and the gun is still smoking. The bicycle coalition here in the city is as powerful as the national rifle associatoin in some other US city. Where in other places your allowed to brandish assault rifles..here we are allowed to ride our bicycles aggressively with no regard for stop signs or drunk driving laws. On a bicycle here you can be an outlaw and not get in trouble. Its quite liberating. The idea is since you are on a bicycle you are only endangering yourself. Unless your going to make the super thin argument some wreckless lawless bicycler is going to slam into some pedestrian pushing a baby carriage. Actually San Francisco in general is a lawless city. You wont believe how often you see people doing drugs in public, how prevalent drunk driving is etc. IF they did DUI checkpoings on a weekend night in SF they would probably nab one in 4 drivers. Its that bad. But they generally do not give dui's or any citations here in the city. Thus one of the problems in the city is how many bicyclists are killed each year to drunken or wreckless motorists. I know we average like 25 bicyclist deaths a year. And i dont think thats from running stop signs or disobeying laws.

Oh and i am working on a city law to make turn signals and horns illegal on bicycles... :P Although even if it passes i am sure it wont be enforced. SF cops are lazy wankers.

I was curious about how that ride across the GG bridge went. Although i normally crosss the bridge on ebike atleast once a week because of summer time crowds and the bike lane closure i have not crossed a single time all summer.

Reading your account makes me think we did the right thing by not crossing as a group on Sunday when there is twice the foot traffic on the bridge as there is on Monday when you finally did cross it on route to san rafael.

I think everything worked out for the best not cruising to San Rafael on Sunday..maybe someone would have gotten hurt..maybe a plane crash... who knows. :mrgreen:
I too am glad we stayed in the City; it was a blast :)

I think that an annual meeting of Regional ES peoples is in order; plan it out way in advance, have games/track events, rides, presentations, BBQ... invite the families... It could be lots of fun and a way to get lurkers interested. It just needs a strong personality to drive it :idea:

Don't bother with making a silly bike law that forbades the things you hate; that's pretty fringe nonsense. :) Focus on the positive aspects, public welfare, and awareness of electric vehicles in general: Support the hobby by making yourself extremely visible so people don't run you over like that one driver almost did to you (yes - he was a jerk in the way he came off at you, but he had a point). I nearly ran into you couple of times cos you and others don't have brake lights; it's the reason I hung back so far - for my own safety. But you know all of this already. Focus on the positive, focus on having headlights and mirrors and reflectors; basic bicycle safety as advocated by mayors across this country. Think about it: Don't you want to live to see tomorrow? I want to see you next year and shake your hand! :D

Thank you for hosting me! KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by Kingfish » Sep 01, 2011 11:41 pm

chroot wrote:Hi Kingfish,

Yeah, We were reckless on the street and I was riding on Green Machine's MTB bike with the HS35 motor and it was way fly FAST! :lol: I didn't have chance meet Fechter and Lyen told me that Fechter was waiting for Green Machine to pick him up at small airport near San Rafael. It seem didn't have time get him that day while you were in SF.

Although, It was nice meet you in SF and your tour ebike was super awesome. You made everyone inspiration very much. 8)

I sure will meet anybody e bikers from somewhere and welcome to SF or any events. :)
Thank you my friend! It was an honor and pleasure to meet and ride with you :D I would like very much to do this again next year, although perhaps with a different machine... of which I am already planning... I don't think it will be the same bicycle though :wink: as I've been bitten by the thrill-of-adventure bug :lol:

All the best to you and yours, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by amberwolf » Sep 02, 2011 1:44 am

Green Machine wrote:Oh and i am working on a city law to make turn signals and horns illegal on bicycles... :P Although even if it passes i am sure it wont be enforced.
If it does pass I can guarantee that neither I nor anyone I know that will listen will ever visit the city.

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by jonathanm » Sep 02, 2011 3:24 am

This thread just gets better, thanks for sharing.

Gonna go and dig out dub side of the moon, perfect sounds for riding or reading for that matter.....

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by dbaker » Sep 02, 2011 4:24 am

Kingfish wrote:
chroot wrote:Hi Kingfish,

Yeah, We were reckless on the street and I was riding on Green Machine's MTB bike with the HS35 motor and it was way fly FAST! :lol: I didn't have chance meet Fechter and Lyen told me that Fechter was waiting for Green Machine to pick him up at small airport near San Rafael. It seem didn't have time get him that day while you were in SF.

Although, It was nice meet you in SF and your tour ebike was super awesome. You made everyone inspiration very much. 8)

I sure will meet anybody e bikers from somewhere and welcome to SF or any events. :)
Thank you my friend! It was an honor and pleasure to meet and ride with you :D I would like very much to do this again next year, although perhaps with a different machine... of which I am already planning... I don't think it will be the same bicycle though :wink: as I've been bitten by the thrill-of-adventure bug :lol:

All the best to you and yours, KF
KF,

What are your observations on a different bike for next year? I have the travel bug as well and have been thinking about the best long distance vehicle. You got the speed up this year. How much farther per day did you average this year compared to last? How much more weight were you carrying this year? The limiting factor each day seemed to be the physical demand on your body. When Justin did his cross Canada trip he used a "lawn chair" style seat for a while. Would that have helped you? Did the stability issue you experienced with the trailer have a significant effect this year?

Envious,

Dave

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by Lyen » Sep 02, 2011 9:02 am

Here are more San Francisco meet up backfill pictures:

Kingfish and Fechter:
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Kingfish, Lyen, and Fechter:
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Chroot and Kingfish:
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Lyen and Kingfish:
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Green Machine's awesome Astro motors equipped e-trike:
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Green Machine on his e-trike:
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Left to right > HTBTerry, Green Machiine, Snowranger, Stingray17:
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Left to right > HTBTerry, Snowranger, Green Machiine, Chroot, Stingray17:
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Left to right > Snowranger, HTBTerry, Green Machiine, Chroot:
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Snowranger:
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Snowranger & HTBTerry:
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Snowranger's Xtracycle on BMC geared motor:
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Acuteaero and his DIY CNC machined Kollmorgan motor setup (interesting build):
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Stingray17 and his Dahon Mu SL (Superlight) with Ezee geared motor (I love folding bikes) :P:
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Edcastrovalley (he got there on motorcycle) :wink: :
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Left to right: Lyen's 2nd day meet up BMC gear/chain/sprocket ebike and Kingfish's dual 9C ebike:
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Another group of non-motorized cruiser type bicycle guys came and got hooked into electric bikes:
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Last edited by Lyen on Sep 06, 2011 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by Lyen » Sep 02, 2011 9:47 am

Here are more San Francisco meet up backfill videos:

Checking out Green Machine's E-trike:


Witness 0-30mph in one second on Green Machine's E-trike being tested by him:


Snowranger was help on the motor assembly adjustment:


Kingfish just got to Sports Basement in San Francisco:


Green Machine and Stingray17 were chatting with the non-motorized cruiser type bicycle guy:


Green Machine was test riding the cruiser bicycle:


Going towards Golden Gate from Presideo (notice the noise coming from my steel geared motor? :lol:) We could hardly keep up with Green Machine on his e-trike :evil: :


Some people went too fast that me and Kingfish could not kept and we had to call them to find out where they were.


Inside Golden Gate Park taking break and tested out Green Machine's awesome e-trike:



We continued and figured there was a protest in the central area in the park. We then headed to a restaurant.


Second day SF meet up. We got the chance to meet Fechter finally:
Last edited by Lyen on Sep 06, 2011 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by Kingfish » Sep 02, 2011 1:55 pm

dbaker wrote: <snip>

What are your observations on a different bike for next year? I have the travel bug as well and have been thinking about the best long distance vehicle. You got the speed up this year. How much farther per day did you average this year compared to last? How much more weight were you carrying this year? The limiting factor each day seemed to be the physical demand on your body. When Justin did his cross Canada trip he used a "lawn chair" style seat for a while. Would that have helped you? Did the stability issue you experienced with the trailer have a significant effect this year?

Envious,

Dave
Hi Dave

I am tempted to flag this and answer it at the end of the backfills – but then it is a good question and I could answer part of it now without losing steam… Actually – I developed a spreadsheet on the attributes of what I had last year, comparing with this year, and what I am proposing for next year. First, we need to identify the features and goals; this is a long discussion, so let’s table that until The End, or possibly fork the thread at The End as it relates to a lot of what I have been involved with, but I will drop two clues: Custom Motors and Controllers. I also want a stronger frame.

Back to the attributes, let’s compare and contrast:
  • Year 2010: Distance = 547 miles over 4 trip days (2 weeks total holiday); Averages to 137/day
  • Year 2011: Distance = 2515.7 miles over 18.5 trip days (28 days total holiday); Averages to 136/day
  • Year 2012: Distance = Propose “Coast to Coast”.
Last year I had a front-suspension FWD and struggled to climb hills with lots of poverty-pedaling. This year I had full-suspension 2WD, climbed just about any hill at a good 25+ mph clip with a faster top-end carrying 100 more pounds with a trailer. Next year will likely be a similar configuration, although I intend to have much better performance with increased comfort and capacity. :)

The biggest physical issues – and they were no different than last year – was the wrist/hand numbness and general seat discomfort after x-miles which was dependent upon the heat of the day. The one issue that did go away completely was overall body ache, and that I owe to having full-suspension and large-width tires. General ligament/tendonitis behind both knees disappeared about midway through the trip as well. I also became tired of eating Cliff Bars and drinking Gatorade. :roll:

Trailer Stability: I took a giant risk. After the general failure to recognize that Aluminum Frames flex much more than Steel, the only saving grace that I had left was to apply the foam-fix and redistribute the weight. I leapt out the door without a net, without doing a full-on rigorous test, and just having a lot of faith that I could overcome the handling and fix what may come On the Road. Generally, I would have preferred better stability, but I learned how to deal with it – just as how I had to un-learn it when the trailer was disconnected and the bike returned to the commuter-weight: That to me was much more shocking; how much stronger I became physically – especially the upper body – to force the steering of a massively heavy bike and trailer and then learn how to drive it with feather-light control. The bike taught me! :wink: The trailer, once I listened to it, showed me the fantastic handling that could be achieved at high-speed or even with severe wind shear. 8)

I should probably tell you now that next year I don’t intend to pedal. This will change the dynamic of the challenge quite a bit, though I think that there is not a lot more that can be accomplished with a bicycle frame; I’ve pushed it about as far as the stock equipment will go and I was very lucky that for all the rough terrain covered – with exception to the flat tire - the framework survived. :D . I can’t tell you how many times I imagined a major failure with me doing a face-plant or ending up tumbling over the side of the hill thinking about my next Life:shock: but these were little imaginative distractions that I was able to assuage pretty easily as "entertainment" rather than "worry". :lol:

With that in mind, I am thinking of a much stronger bike with greater range and speed. The only way to make that happen is with custom parts. I like to use the “cake” analogy:
  • You can buy a cake from a retailer, the quality of which depends upon mastery of the baker and the the depth your pocketbook.
  • You can buy a cake mix and bake it at home, again the quality of which is dependent upon how much you want to spend on the mix and the ingredients – although you have more control over the process as well as more risk of failure.
  • You can bake a cake from scratch and have complete control over the process, success, and the failure. Experience teaches us to be great bakers – if we’re lucky, but that likely includes a lot of missteps and flops and expense. Still – there’s nothing like an exquisite cake that can rival any mass-produced mix or retail baker. This is the path that I am on; to “roll my own” as we say in software parlance. :wink:
Best, KF
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* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by dbaker » Sep 02, 2011 2:31 pm

Bravo :D So now the questions roll out........Conventional frame? What speed will you target? Will all the weight go in the frame? Cargo bike style? Recumbent seating? :mrgreen:

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by Kingfish » Sep 02, 2011 3:17 pm

dbaker wrote:Bravo :D So now the questions roll out........Conventional frame? What speed will you target? Will all the weight go in the frame? Cargo bike style? Recumbent seating? :mrgreen:
Well, this really does spawn another thought and I want to hold off going into detail when I don't have all the answers for myself. Wishfully, DOT-compliant motorcycle with a 200 mph range and freeway capable. I have already started looking at ICE motorcycles to get an idea of the class and models available. My first thought was an Enduro-style, but I'm not going to do that much off-road, so it will need to be more street-friendly and not as tall. If we talk about freeway speeds - averaging 60 mph, then it's 3-4 hours on the bike.

Granted a motorcycle can carry more weight, however as we already comprehend that with greater speed, even greater power is required - hence more weight. The present hub motors can't cut what I want out of them so it's going to be a custom-motor of some sort, whether it's a standalone bolt-on replacement, or custom hub; I simply do not know at this time.

The other limitation is charging. Overnight is fine for my present rig and it worked out well enough. However if we take opportunity charging seriously then the options have to open up for faster and/or more flexible roles.

Then there is the controller: I think that will have to map with the motor, so that too is likely custom. What we need to do here is fire up the Building the Best Controller thread and get assets back into the loop so we can "roll our own" and customize it the way we want. If I stayed with the 5S1P Zippy FlightMax LiPos, then I have to double the voltage, so now we're into the 150V limit on switching devices - and that's a pretty rarefied position to work in.

I also want to build or acquire a dynamometer to test motor development in situ. Also fixtures and tools will be required for assembly. The whole vehicle also has to fit through the doorway. In addition, support for trailers would be most beneficial for extending the capacity and distance.

But – there is much to do between now and then. Mainly, I need to finish the present story, so let me get back at it :wink:

All the best, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by Kingfish » Sep 03, 2011 6:50 pm

Backfill #9: Tuesday, August 16th
San Rafael to Fort Bragg


Went to bed earlier than usual the night before, and I woke up likewise early to get a good start on down the road. By 6 AM – I was out the door and dropping off the keys through the night slot. It was cool, and overcast; I had the fleece on. It crossed my mind to get some breakfast as I was heading out but I didn’t catch anything open other than those fast-stop minimarts, so I just kept going. Taking 3rd Street west, it merges onto 4th Street before running into Sir Frances Drake Blvd. Although I was a bit confused cos right here there is a truck route to the right and then there’s the other route down Central to the left. The truck route wound up being hilly; nuttin’ wuz open, I kept going. Eventually at Fairfax the two forks come back together. There’s not much traffic at all; you’d think it was Sunday. Up and down and around this road went winding its’ way through the hills and woods; all very rural. I think it was between Oak Manor and Lagunitas that I came up to a ridge and people were parked off to the side waiting for sunrise (cue The Doors). The fog-clouds hung in close here and changed rapidly; wet one minute, then clear as a bell the next.



And then I entered Samuel P. Taylor State Park: Good grief this road is horrible! :x I think that it was made back in the 20’s and that I am riding over the original concrete. They sure didn’t figure on bicycles taking this route back then cos there is no margin; just a steep drop off to death! When not looking at the road – I did catch some of the beauty of the park. Thankfully traffic was still very light. Finally I reached the other end of the park and the road returned to something resembling this century. At Olema, SFD Blvd tees up with Hwy 1 and I stop here for just a bit, peel myself off the bike, warm my frozen figures, and wipe my nose <sniff> cos it is very cold, damp, and overcast over on this side of the hill. Venturing north, I continue on Hwy 1 for the rest of today’s journey.

Passing through Point Reyes on this Shoreline Highway I smelled a peculiar odor… hmmm, smells like – Mercaptan:
  • The scent is most commonly associated with the 12 varieties of striped American Skunk, namely the odiferous secretions. From Wikipedia: [The odor has] “…a highly offensive smell that can be described as a combination of the odors of rotten eggs, garlic and burnt rubber. The odor of the fluid is strong enough to ward off bears and other potential attackers and can be difficult to remove from clothing.” This same odor is also produced by “skunked” beer, particularly beer in green glass, when beer is exposed to UV light - although more specifically it is actually caused by a recombination of a very specific component of hops within the beer. Certain beers, such as Miller and Samuel Smith which are bottled in clear glass do not have this problem because they use a hop extract that has the reactive hop component chemically removed. Being a retired beer judge I know full and well about mercaptans because they are commonly seen as defects. In Britain and other places across the globe where skunks do not thrive, the offensive odor is termed “catty” as it also appears as a component of the female cat pheromone within their spray. And yet some enterprising cretin has created a hop variety called Simcoe that strongly enhances mercaptans - now commercially available to brewers around the world. So it’s not enough that we should be forced to drink skunky green-glassed beer, but now we have microbreweries deliberately infecting their beers with skunky-squirt flavor! Alas – but there is yet one other way that mercaptan manifests, and that is within the buds of a particular pedigree of ganja grown in the Pacific northwest corner of California (3 points to the person that can name it first)!
So… I am traveling through Point Reyes early on a Tuesday morning just after 7 AM. Do I smell polecat? Most odiferous – keep moving. Then I smell another polecat, and then another, and another! My gawds – there must be people running over skunks left and right here, or perhaps it’s a slew of polecats communing with the bears, or… maybe it’s just a lot of shiny happy people in Point Reyes… at least – I prefer to think of it that way, rather than of bears. :mrgreen:

Somewhere just past Millerton and across from Seahaven there was a pullout on the left, so I inched the bike over to the ledge and took a beautiful early morning shot across Tomales Bay towards Inverness; picture-perfect and lovely! (Note: Photo missing). The road here is in good repair and has modest margins; it meanders towards and away from the shore – each time offering a slightly different enchanting view across the most active fault in California. On April 18, 1906, the ground heaved roughly 28 feet right here, causing the famous San Francisco earthquake. Gazing across the shallow Bay, the tranquility of the moment transcends all violence of that late reflection; it is impossible to imagine that the great rifting of two massive tectonic plates is the cause of this unusual setting. Backing up after the photo, I continue on north, past Macaroni and Marshall.

Breakfast
Soon I reach Nick’s Cove; there was a sign on the road ½ mile before suggesting drivers to join them for breakfast; I know the time; it’s 8 AM sharp - could they be open? After 35 miles, I am starving! The man coming out the kitchen door says so; I park the bike. Wow what a great picture this would make: There is no wind; it is overcast and damp. The old café extends out over the water, low tide, a finger of gray fog ladled in behind that, quiet waters with old mooring stumps poking through the mud, a couple of sand dabs milling about - plotting the next meal. I took two just in case… (Note: Photos missing). In I went, the only customer, and I took a seat at the table with a protected view over the water. It is so peaceful that you don’t want to leave. Ordered up some stone-cut oatmeal, fresh-squeeze OJ, ham steak… bring it on! Had time to chronicle briefly before the food:
  • ‘It took me the better part of an hour (20 miles) to go from San Rafael to Point Reyes. The production is slow due to the winding road and the constant grinding which I cannot locate; this happens when I’m on the throttle, pedaling hard, and going around a corner with a dip. I can’t see how the front-part of the split rear fender is rubbing but I am prepared to remove it if the abrading noise persists.’
Food arrives. My server asks if that’s my bike out there which I affirmed, and we begin a pleasant discourse. He is a summer hire, though a student over at UCSB (Santa Barbara) which is where my brother went; I know the area well. After my breakfast, I move underneath the overhead radiant heater to warm my bones… when the server returns and presents the bill. We talk a bit more and I relate my travels and direction. Here is when I learn that I am doing this route backwards: He says that due to the prevailing winds out of the north during the summer, people ride their bikes north to south along the coast. There’s not a lot I can do about that now, but he continues and says last year he and his pals caught a ride from L.A. up north to about here and rode all the way back on Hwy 1; it took 4 days as they covered 100 miles per. Impressive!

Time to go. Paid up and remounted, the Shoreline Highway turns inland just north of here following a small stream, then up a pleasant grade to reveal the town of Tomalas. Within the space of say 2 miles the scenery changes radically from wooded inland estuary and shore to county rural plain and grass scant of trees. The road passes by many farm houses and fields before it tees into Valley Ford Road; I turn left to continue on towards Bodega Bay.

The rudest of drivers converge here in their over-pregnant pearl-white Lexus SUVs. Don’t these people have any taste or originality at all? Sorry if I am taking up too much of this ratty margin for you to pass; I am busy trying to get around a bevy of cyclists heading up and down the coast. These cyclists don’t look like the normal sort: They are all wearing a bright luminescent yellow triangle on their backsides, and they look older – as if part of an organized tour. Fingers of fog and twisty roads don’t help matters much for the gilded nouveau drivers; don’t honk! Have patience; what’s their damned hurry? Oh, I see it now: Links at Bodega Harbor, Duck Club, Bodega Harbor Yacht Club, Gourmét Au Bay… goodness, we cain’t hold you up for that now can we? Pigs! :evil:

Traffic is heavy here passing through, and I keep on going to get away from it all. The fog right beside the shore prevents any views, and indeed, for much of this section I had no idea it was there at all for several miles. Quack drivers rushing about had me pretty busy too. Once I got passed Jenner though, much of the screwy traffic diminished, returning the road over to locals. I stopped here to water-up and rest my bum, observing the collage of vacation rentals hocking their activities and competing for touristas’ attention. Hmmm… :|

Heading north, production is slow mainly due to it being a slow twisty road. There are parts where the road was recently restored by CalTrans where the heavy rains washed it away. There were steep twisting inclines. There was some wind buffeting from time to time. Occasionally the road would pop up and out of the coastal fog and award the eyes with a feast of inland pastoral beauty. Climbing up to Fort Ross was disappointing though, at least from the highway it was just a simple road to cross and not much more. Although Timber and Stillwater Coves were more interesting with some rural development; here the coast forest returned to cover the shoreline with thick canopy, adding a visual treat to the eyes – and here too the clouds pulled away to reveal the warming sun. My sunny disposition returned.

Lunch
Though the forest and out onto the bordering plains, long swathes of grass etched a narrow bead with rugged escarpments on the left, and hemmed in by the forest on the right, dodging and weaving in and around Ocean Cove, Gerstle Cove, Fisk Mill Cove, and Horseshoe Cove, threading through knots of groves before popping out at a visually-compelling and historic site of Stewarts Point. I forgot to note the time, though I am sure it was close to Noon when I pulled over and decided to lunch here in front of the canary yellow Stewarts Point Store. (Note: Photos missing). Inside, it feels like stepping back in time to 1868, when the Store was the center of mercantile activity for a town, complete with all the little things you’d need for day-to-day existence, and sporting a modest deli in the back; absolutely charming. The proprietor allowed me to exchange my acquired poundage (it seemed) of coinage for paper. Rested here for a good half-hour I suppose. A finger of fog would roll in and out to reveal the narrow Fisherman Bay which is too craggy to support any sort of wharf. You could wager the surf makes good hammering here when a storm is up.

Image
Borrowed picture of the current façade.

Heading north, full belly, sunny and warm enough, the road continues on through knots of development, ragged shore, and timber, past Sea Ranch, Gaulala, Anchor Bay, and Gallaway. I was looking forward to entering Point Arena. When I was a kid, maybe 12 years old, we came and spent I think a week here while my folks went snorkeling for abalone. I never in my life became so tire of eating abalone. First, you have to cut the foot out of the shell – and it doesn’t want to come out easy either. Then you have to pound it with one of those spikey mallets, to tenderize it into submission cos it doesn’t want to be et. It tastes like leather unless you baste it with salt pepper garlic hot sauce tartar sauce – all the implements to cover up that it tastes like leather. The texture reminds me that rubber bands are a more enjoyable chewing experience. But we were here for a week, it was cold and damp and foggy. I don’t know why I wanted so badly to come here again. But here I wuz, and there it went. Not a single café or minimart on the main drag. Down the hill into the heart, then back up a steep incline and out – just like that. I stopped to scratch: What wuz that? Is that all there is? I couldn’t find a place to lean the bike, but I was dying of thirst. Hmmm. :|

The next townnette is Flumeville. After that the road drops into a large inland estuary before passing through another townette of Stronetta before climbing out and onto a plain where I come through a visually interesting town of Manchester – at least I think it was Manchester. I pulled up next to an auto repair beside a general store; I am pretty sure it said “Garcia’s Auto Repair”. Anyways – I had to stop and water-up and take a much needed break. No sooner had I stopped than a young nice couple came over to inquire about my rig, and this soon turned into a small gathering. Well now, give me a captive audience and… Pretty soon I forgot all about my fatigue. The afternoon was turning quite warm. The gal was eating an ice cream and that me thinking I wanted one too. But then I could easily become camped out here and stop for the day. Rested, it was time to go.

Again, sandwiched between cresting shore and forest, the tread forward is mostly narrow grassy plains with nice long straights where I could develop some speed. Just before Elk, the road takes a serious switchback decline down and then a long climb back out. There was one other switchback earlier in the day as scenic as this just after leaving Jenner: Shortly after the Muniz Ranch Road peels off to the right, the highway takes a long nearly straight drop down to cross a small stream in this slot canyon; there’s a pullout on the left where beachcombers can park. The grade climbing out sports two switchbacks. On the first switchback is a glimpse of thick forest as the sun is breaking through the clouds, and off to the right high up on the side of the hill, someone built a chalet with turrets! This captures my attention; what a view they must have up there! My mind wanders and I think less about the road in front, and more about just getting to the next town.

After a bit, Hwy 1 crosses the Navarro River and tees into Hwy 128 coming from Cloverdale. Not long is the town of Albion. Crossing the river of the same name is a bit scary cos of the additional inland traffic – it is a mad dash to get across and then pull off for a quick sanity check. This is definitely going to be more wooly going forward: More golf courses and more irrational development. The one bit of humor that I take is a road called “Brewery Gulch Road”; wouldn’t that be fun to check out? And there’s a Brewery Gulch Inn as well. Well, I’m in the right spot! :D

Crossing the Big River, the sky has clouded again. The Shoreline Highway bisects Mendocino. It won’t be long now before I reach Fort Bragg. I am certain I stopped here somewhere to rest but I don’t remember precisely where that wuz. Mainly I wanted to keep going as traffic was getting heavier and I just wanted my room and a shower. Drove past Caspar and Jug Handle State Reserve, long straight stretches of road heading in towards Fort Bragg. Just after crossing the city line the highway opens up and becomes divided. It was overcast and gloomy.

With my back teeth floating I pull into a Chevron minimart having a public bathroom. I didn’t waste time and was in and out in a jiffy; when returned, there was an Orange Person at my bike touching it, and I put myself in-between. Then he decides to inquire about the bike; it is very obvious he hasn’t the marbles to comprehend how ebike works, though he says he wants one, and I try to be short and brief to answer so he’ll go away. Just a few more short miles to go… Leading up to Noyo Bay and the high bridge that crosses it, I espied Orange People climbing up from the shore; there’s a knot of them that will pass close to me; I give them a little bit more clearance – but a particularly grizzled one sees me eyeballing them, perhaps he thinks in fear. Then he jumps at me as I pass and cries out loudly trying to scare me: What a maroon; I didn’t even flinch… enjoy my dust.
  • Orange People: A type of humanoid, at least – I think they are human underneath all that fur and garb. These are people, or more accurately a social cast that exists off the margins of the coastland, possibly having gypsy-like traits, such as roaming from beach to river to campsite foraging where they can, or for that matter from the can. Bathing is optional. Their clothes are layers of autumn colored, chiefly ochre and orangey; never bright or flowery. They do not wear sunscreen, thus their skin is always sunburnt-red or “orange”, with their matted black hair bleached to brown. Often they are seen hitchhiking, or accompanied by a dog tied to a rope, one end at the dog, the other around their waste (it’s presumed the dog is not a future meal). The female of the cast is a bit more difficult to identify if using the facial hair standard, although I know them to exist as I passed one thumbing a ride in my direction and she smiled at me, whereas the males are more standoffish. Being unpredictable, I pretty much steer clear of Orange People.
Fort Bragg
After crossing the bridge I pulled off onto South Street to get my bearings; it’s now about 5 PM. There’s a group of motels at this end of town, but the North Coast Brewery is 1.2 miles away; too far for me, so I scan for something closer: a Travelodge that’s 3 blocks away and I make my way there. Spotted a Napa Auto Supply; I wanted to pick up a pair of hose clamps to secure the right-side torque-arm and prevent the axle from moving (one theory on why the rubbing sound). By the time I get the room set and I am showered it’s after 6 PM and the Napa is closed. This particular motel had strange room arrangements and I had to settle on a large king bed suite so the bike could fit; $93.47 for the night. The place was booked out quickly and filled up before I left for my dinner.

EDIT: Removed inaccurate statement.

Off to the North Coast Tap Room and Grill across the street from the Brewery. On the way was a brewer working next to the side entrance and I inquired about the size of the brewery: 50 bbls – impressive! At the Tap Room, my dinner selection was a tasty Flat Iron Steak along with a 12-pour sampler. I enjoy tasting beer; the sampler was a perfect way to accomplish this without drinking a pile of beer. Took notes too; would you be interested in seeing my beer evaluations? :)

Image
My Dinner with a sampler; the only photo I have of this whole incredible day :cry:

Stats:
End v = 54.3; very low!
Distance = 165.3 miles
Regen = 3.8%; Vmin = 53.0
MaxS = Buggered; says “461.”
AveS = 23.8 – yes, that is correct :(
Time: 6:55:23
Total Odometer = 1702.8 (corrected*)

*Last night I recalculated all the mileage in a spreadsheet and determined that I had misread a 2 as a 7 in my notes between SF and San Rafael, placing my total figure 50 miles over the actual. The Backfills going forward will have the corrected running total Odometers.

Up next is the trip through the Redwoods to Eureka, and the freeway! :)
Cheers, KF
Last edited by Kingfish on Sep 04, 2011 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by dbaker » Sep 03, 2011 7:48 pm

I have pried abalone from the rocks at Timber Cove and other spots there near Sea Ranch! Numbingly cold water! The trick is to pound them just enough. Beautiful area :mrgreen: Great reading, KF :D

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by Kingfish » Sep 04, 2011 6:39 pm

Backfill #10: Wednesday, August 17th
Fort Bragg to Eureka


The Tap Room did last call at 9:30 PM; I was finished with my meal by that time and opted to exit for an early rise. The next morning I woke up at 4 AM when the charger had stopped, and got up ½ hour later to prep the bike. Before the light of dawn when it was still foggy, I departed from the motel and stopped for breakfast two blocks north at Denny’s, seating myself squarely between a couple of locals at the bar. Within a few minutes two more joined up. I enjoy hearing local gossip and carry-on; it’s a great way to learn about the lore of the town. The guy to the right of me bent my ear good and hard relating the economic woes of this once thriving lumber town. Without the mills though – there wasn’t much option for work, and many had left.

There was one other quirky individual that came in; he looked a bit out of place and a little disheveled. Apparently he made his living washing windows and was quite curious about the specifications of my ebike – thinking possibly that it could help him with his business. I guess his issues was the penalty of hauling his own water around; I’ve heard that California has some odd laws concerning water use, and possibly one of the reasons why the complimentary glass of water is no longer offered as freely when sitting down for a meal. Strange times. This guy though was going on a bit stranger yet; after having a frustrated conversation with our waitress over the topic of coffee fills, he decides to inspect my ebike a bit closer. I can’t see what he’s doing cos I’m inside eating. The guy next to me tells me he’s a transplant from San Francisco and been here for maybe 3 years: He says the guy has made claims to being a Vietnam Vet, and suffering from Agent Orange (I suspect he is suffering from more than that). When the weirdo returns, he starts going off about how someone could steal my bike, how someone could cut right through my wimpy ½-inch diameter steel rope securing it, and looking pretty hard at me as if to announce his intentions. Without effort I could see the gerbils spinning pot-metal gears in the void between his ears and said “That rope is for keeping the honest people honest… and the stupid from making a mistake.” :P And then I told him that the weight of the whole bike assembly is enough deterrent alone (never indicating my hidden security features). That got him flustered and he left. Big eye rolls all around. The conversations return to normal and casual.

Afterwards, I thanked my new associations for sharing and bade them farewell. The bike was unmolested. At 7:15 AM, the fog had lifted; the light of the new day was trying to burn through the gray pall of overcast with a clear road ahead. There was no wind or traffic; I headed north and into the unknown ~ as I have never been north of Point Arena on Hwy 1 before yesterday. Immediately the road dips and crosses over a small estuary before climbing back up again, and the city of Fort Bragg is behind me; this section north is more or less unorganized rural and commercial development all the way to Inglenook. Except for some tight corners to cross over small streams – the road is fairly straight and fast. I pass through Westport without incident; too early for traffic, still damp and foggy in parts, with a breeze beginning to pick up. The sun is trying to peak over the hills and burn off the clouds. Not too much later, the road turns inland.

Checking the map, this is the beginning of the slow migration towards Leggett/Highway 101. The first of two false starts after some steep twisty winding switchbacks announces the hamlet of Rockport before the long slow methodical hill up and over to the second tease where Usal Road peels off to follow the ragged shoreline north to Wheeler. My road however takes a sharp turn into the sun and begins the true hill climb in earnest up and out of the clinging coastal dampness; it’s already warming up to be a crackin’ day! :) Up and up, an easy leisurely grade with hardly any traffic; I pretty much have the road to myself, though I keep an eagle-eye on the rearview mirrors constantly checking my rearguard. Miles go by. Occasionally I am offered a stellar view back towards the coast; the fog is pulling back and out to sea. Marvelous! 8)

Not long after reaching Hales Grove I spot a road crew; it’s not hard cos they have warning signs placed fore and aft some miles either way of where they are working. This group looks like they are waiting for something; I pull off to rest and chat with the guys – my first real break since breakfast. They are just a road crew out trimming the sides of the road and waiting on others to show up, someone with the sobriquet of “Asshole”. I ask if that is the supervisor, and they humorously reply that no, he’s just a dude with an attitude, and with grins we leave it at that. :lol: They asked about my bike and I relate the saga. Big trucks go by. They told me that I shouldn’t have any issues going forward, but that this is not the road to be on after Noon cos of the timber trucks; they’re mindful this route is used by cyclists – but best not to tempt fate. Roger that loud and clear; I shouldn’t have any problems (aside from the occasional grinding that plagues my machine). Time to motor on, and so I bade them too farewell. :)

Soon I was traveling along the ridge-top following it up and up. It surprised me how much more hill there was, but then – this is the highest summit that I shall cross on the entire leg going north. There’s a lot more hill to go. It weaves as it goes, though sadly I never do get a nice opening on the left where I could pull off and take a shot back towards the ocean. The road crests the ridge, switches back again, then once more at the summit with a pullout right at the top; I’ll take that and free my bladder. I could hear heavy machinery climbing up from the canyon below heading west and decide to wait. Ahh, it is part of the road crew no doubt, and I wondered privately if that is “Asshole”; he’s pretty late if he is. Time to motor. No sooner had I started than I spot a cyclist coming up from below; smile wave hello – the obligatory gesture of universal friendship. It’s pretty steep going down so I regen as I go and try not to brake. More cyclists – this time women; h-e-l-l-o. :) Another road-crew truck steams up the hill; maybe is that “Asshole”. More women cyclists pedaling up the hill. Then some old fart struggling and wheezing on his bike; he shouts at me: “It’s tough, but you’ll make it!” With certainty, for sure. :wink:

Down one last steep decent and onto the flats, then that disappears to reveal the South Fork of the Eel River on the right; careful – it’s a steep dropoff! I cross the bridge and in quick time I am at the junction of Hwy 101 when the rear wheel makes a gawd-aweful racket and freezes up solid! :shock: Oh, this is not good. I can hold the brakes, pull the throttle and hear grinding inside the hub. My mind is racing as I am imagining that the stator must be spinning inside the hub (sic). It has to be a hub problem; crap! I try again and the sound is absolutely horrible. Then I decide to rotate the wheel; roll the bike forward cos maybe it’s the Hall Sensors miscommunicating. The racket stops and the wheel spins fine. I decide to take a closer inspection: The cabling exiting the axle is pinched between the bike frame and the Ortlieb Pannier. The cable insulation around the phase and signal wires is partly melted in several spots to reveal the wiring! Oh crap; the front hub phase wiring was upgraded, but I didn’t have time to do the rear. But it looks like only the external sheath is melted and not the actual wire insulation, so that is good. But – where the cable was being pinched, there the sheath was worn away. Is it possible this is the cause of the horrible grinding (shorting of the Halls)? I gingerly reroute the cabling and tie it off so it won’t get pinched again. Retest the throttle; seems fine. OK – so maybe that was it: Bullet-dodged. <whew!> :roll:

Water-up, eat a Cliff Bar, wait for traffic to clear, WOT to cross and head north on the Redwood (101) Highway. I had picked up about 0.2 volts from regen on that last downgrade and although I had barely ventured 60 miles, there was still more than half the pack left. The good news is that it’s pretty much downhill to the ocean from here – baring some minor ridge cuts. For the next 10 miles I blast as fast as I can go and stay right in the narrow margins on this very fast and moderately busy 2-lane highway. On one of the down-dips, just after crossing a stream and far too late to do anything about it, I pass a CHiP parked on the side of the road at 32 mph WOT and climbing. I bet he didn’t believe his radar cos he never pulled out or indicated. Oh well – motor on. :roll: More women cyclists touring on the other side of the road; they’re going the wrong way! <pouts> :cry: :) :lol: And that’s the way it went until the road turned to divided freeway and I took the first exit at #625 where Hwy 271 peels off. I had to pee and shed clothing anyways. Checking the map, Hwy 271 parallels Hwy 101 until Exit 627. Unsure if I can take the freeway – I elect the alternate route and follow 271 north, a quiet little road with a single hill climb affording a nice scenic view of Hwy 101 below. Hmmm. At Exit 627 I inspect the signage: It says “No pedestrians” and nothing else, not like other freeway signs I’ve seen where the warnings are explicit. Well – it doesn’t say “No Bicycles” so I decide to take the freeway; worst that could happen is that I get a ticket. The margins are wide and I have lots of room. No one honks at me; great! WOT. The hamlet of Cooks Valley comes and goes; there are no issues as the road returns to 2-lane highway. This is real pretty here! And then I pass the turnout for the “Legend of Big Foot” and I had to stop and take pictures! (Note: Photos missing) :cry:

After this the road divides again into freeway and as I cross the South Fork of the Eel River on a long sweeping arch bridge when the rear tire makes another nasty racket like it’s going to lock up again; shite – not here on the freeway dammit! Bounce the frame, wiggle the frame, try anything to get it to stop; tail-wagging wiggling worked – motor on! :wink: Passed through Benbow, then onward to Garberville and pulled off at Exit 639A, and parked briefly near the Hemp Connection 8) to get my bearings. A nice lady came out helped me sort it out: Continue north for 6 miles to catch the Avenue of the Giants; great! I move on down the street and park near the Napa Auto Parts to water-up and eat a Cliff Bar. More Orange People are migrating through the town here; spotted one dumpster-diving for cans or food – I couldn’t really tell and I didn’t want to stare. Inspected the rear fender for like the 100th time; I still cannot figure out what the problem is. Obviously there are several issues conspiring to create havoc for this wheel. It’s quite warm here; one more sip of Gatorade and it’s back on the road.

I retake the freeway at Exit 639B; it’s very fast, quite safe, and scenic. Itching the whole way, finally at Exit 645 – the 31-mile long Avenue of the Giants! Right about here is when I finally had enough of the rear fender and I decide to snip it off the bike and stow it in the trailer. :x A mile later – I ran into a resurfacing crew who were laying down tar and pea-gravel for the next 8 miles; just my luck! :( But – gone was that nasty scraping noise (or at least – that particular version). :) It was slow-going through Phillipsville and Miranda, but picked up shortly thereafter. A long lovely afternoon under the Redwood canopy with not too much traffic; some I could keep pace with, and others… I don’t know why they bothered to come this way if they’re just going to blast through here at high-speed. Somewhere here a butthead decides to hate me and nearly clips my front tire as he passes; right coward, how about you pull over so we can have a conversation about your intent on vehicular manslaughter. :x Myer’s Flat came and went; so did most of that traffic. Between here and Weott I stopped and pulled over along a straight path next to a tall sibling and took a few photos. (Note: Half the photos are missing)

Image
Can you see my bike and trailer? This is a “little” tree compared to some. :mrgreen:

I was in the process of walking back to the bike when a couple went jogging past. As they did the gal says to the guy “That’s dangerous to park so close [to the road]”. Dangerous?!? ‘Honey’ – I says to myself privately, ’you don’t know what Danger is! I know Danger! Lemme show you what danger is!’ :twisted: There was hardly a soul on the road after this; maybe three cars passed me between here and the north entrance – I had the park to myself, doing the speed limit at just about WOT. Redcrest flew by; here they say the elk cross. Then Pepperwood, and soon the north entrance; I took a couple more parting shots before leaving this beautiful island of old growth. In short – this was an awesome ride for an ebike! My problem though, still existed occasional grinding on a few of those dips: This has me thinking that the tire is hitting the controllers on either side, possibly from the axle moving up and down on the right side. I need to get those hose clamps affixed to the right torque-arm.

Image
North Entrance to the park; I came up from the south.

Back on the freeway heading north, either just before or right after Stafford – a maroon-red pickup truck pulls off about a ¼ mile in front of me at a turnout; the man is flagging me down to pull over. I know what he wants, so I oblige. I think he said his name was “Steve” so let’s call him that: He wants to know where he could buy my bike; he was completely blown away at how fast I was going up that last incline. I am relating the details when a CHiP pulls up behind; my gosh she is a petit beautiful blond asking if we need help <big sigh> If only I could meet them some other way… Steve just says we’re chatting, which was true, and so she motors on wishing us well. <sigh> Probably not my type; I’d bet she’d bust me and throw away the key… :roll: Soon Steve has the dope he needs, possibly an ES-convert, we shake hands, and it’s good-bye. :)

Scotia, Rio Dell, Belleview: These towns peel away without much notice. Although as soon as I cross the Eel River after Belleview the headwinds begin to pick up and grow ever stronger as the temps begin to cool down. Going through Fortuna, between that, the wind, and traffic had me pretty frazzled and I pull off onto Fernbridge Drive at Exit 691, found a tree to park under, and water-up, rest, feed my face. :? Not much farther to go – maybe 15 miles. Got back on the freeway at Exit 692 heading north; let’s do this! :wink:

The next time I pulled off was just after the freeway returned to 2-way road after crossing Pound Road at Exit 702, about a mile north into the parking lot of a Kragen/O’Reilly Auto Parts. Snagged a pair of 1.5” hose clamps for about $3, watered-up, and got my bearings. It’s now about 3 PM. Heading into the center of town, I checked out three different motels before going back to the Travelodge with hesitations. The room is $87.99 and is a royal pain in the arse to navigate; a small double queen with a stupid planter box right in front of the doorway. :x The only way I can snake the bike in is to park it backwards into the room; what a nightmare! The motel attendant said the reason that there are so few rooms available was because this is the busiest week of the season with the county fair and families moving their kids back into school (college). Figures. Anyways – I got the room secured by 4 PM, Started recharge at 4:15 PM, S, S, & S. I’m off to the brewery! 8)

Lost Coast Brewery that is. Here methinks my publican took smitten on me as we hit it off just perfectly! :D In fact – this place is loaded with ladies! No sooner than I am setup with another fine taster than three nice ladies from Susanville take a sit/stand beside me. The conversation starts up somehow… I forget, but soon we are talking about where we came from and where we’re going. They like my story, so let’s hear theirs:
  • “We’re here for training”.
    “Oh really; what kind of training?”
    Probation Department, regulations, that sort of thing”

    Yikes! :shock: And so I spill:
    “Listen ladies, honest – I don’t drive to the pub anymore, no… I WALK, honest injun, I’ve been r e a l good!:wink:
And that had them in stiches; the truth is always more fun. Soon they get their table and we – sadly – have to say good bye.

Bubbly barmaid returns with my meal: Steak and Fries. She hands me an error-pour on the house; can’t beat a deal like that! :D Guy next to me is about to get his steak and I pass over the fixins. He scarfs his down PDQ and is away, only to be replaced by another lovely lass; what a pretty thing! She and the barmaid are pals and we have a right good chat. Two, maybe three pints later – it’s time to say good-bye to this charming heartbreaker. Back to the motel for the Sandman cometh early.

Stats:
Start V = 63.4; End V = 55.2
Distance = 141.8; Total Odometer = 1844.6 miles
Regen = 3.9%; Vmin = 53.5
MaxS = Buggered – says “360.”; AveS = 25.7
Trip Time = 5:30:24

Corrections:
I incorrectly stated that the first Travelodge told me they were booked up cos of students returning to college, but checking my notes – this was the explanation given here in Eureka and not in Fort Bragg.

Tomorrow I cross into Oregon Country to visit Rassy!
Cheers, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Post by Kingfish » Sep 06, 2011 5:54 pm

Backfill #11 – Part 1: Thursday, August 18th
Eureka to Gold Beach, Oregon


Power Management
I would like to take a moment here to address a process that I developed over the past two days of coastal riding. The battery pack has a functional personality:
  • Typically I start out at 63.3 to 63.4 volts. I call this the “bloom” of the pack for it is quickly blown off below 62.5V within the first couple-three to five of miles which reinforces that it’s kinda pointless to charge it any higher – even with my large capacity. It would be lucky if I was able to get 25 miles down the road and still have 61.5 volts left – which often was a private goal.
  • The next range I liked to call as being the “top of the fat” between 61.5 to 59.0 volts. Here is the first useful segment of production where again if I am lucky I can pick up another 40 miles. Between 58.0 and 59.0 is privately referred to as the “happy-side” of the first half of the pack :) , whereas 57.0 to 57.9 volts is the “unhappy-side” :( . I coined this phrase when beginning the ascent up Mount Hood and quickly discovered I’d reach the unhappy side before the summit unless a place could be found for opportunity-charging (which is true if you recall the two girls selling lemonade). Happy-side/unhappy-side: A dichotomy at the halfway point of any journey, and if the unhappy side was reached before going halfway then I became very sensitive about power management, often dropping the cruising speed to extend the range. :|
  • The actual miles produced between 57.0 and 57.9 is rather large – and probably the fattest of the single-volt ranges. In truth I think the middle of the pack is probably closer to 57.2 V. The 56 volt range is no slouch either; even when the running voltage is pulled well below 55.5 volts, the pack will recover when given a small 5 minute rest and pop back up to middle 56 volts through what I call “bounce”.
  • Worry enters my brain when I am well into the 55-volt range and I still have 25-35 miles to go. The 54-volt range is for the last hurrah; guaranteed to provide 20 solid miles in nearly all conditions (privately I call it "head to the barn!" :shock: cos yer almost out of dependable power). I do not trust 53-volts and below; based on last years’ experience the voltage sage will be too close to the LVC and inhibit hill climbing.
Thus – the mantra during the day of any ride is to try and get to the hallway point before the happy-side is burned off. Problem: I was optimistic in my planning for the return route and did not account for headwind, or possibly other factors – like the thick marine air or the twisty-winding roads. Both were a factor in the previous two days, though it has generally remained unmentioned. On both days I started out strong, only to drop speed and try to squeeze 100 miles out with only 57.8 volts left; both days also had significant hill climbs in the first half of the day – resulting in a bit of skewing on the interpretation of production. This is part of my process, to weigh out in my head how far I can go, and if I can make it.

Thursday Morning
The night before I left the pub about 9 PM plenty bushed and hit the sack immediately. I had developed a habit since Hollister of putting on the earbuds and listening to music of the dumbphone if the charging was in the same room; can hardly hear a thing that way. I was out like a light before the first song had finished – though in my subconscious, the whole album had been saved for recall the next day for enjoyment when On the Road. I slept right on through the night hard and didn’t rise until 6 AM; guess I needed the rest. Got the bike prepped and walked around the corner to Denny’s for breakfast. I changed up my normal and decided on French Toast, eggs and bacon, with a large OJ. Locals gossiped and gushed about their pugs (dog breed) and even shared their images with me; I surmised that it a local patron thing to own the same breed. Fueled up and fed, wrote down Rassy’s information to paper in case I wouldn’t have connectivity (having a history of unreliability when needed most). Before leaving I added the two hose clamps to the right-side torque-arm to prevent that side of the rear axle from sliding up and down. This resolved part of the grinding with the rear tire engaging the controllers.

Left Eureka at 9 AM with 63.4V and headed out northeast on US 101 which quickly turned to freeway. Plainly I am grateful the law allows me to ride in the margins, especially here after fretting for weeks how to get around Humboldt Bay to Arcata if using the side roads. Traffic was heavy, the sky overcast though quickly burning off, it was cool, and there was hardly more than a breeze; good riding weather.

Just before reaching the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Refuge there was a pedestrian walking smack-dab in the middle of the margin. I saw him from a distance, but I also espied a long series of rigs in the right lane coming up coincident, meaning I had no room to move over, nor was there room to pass right; squeeze-play. He was wearing the oddest garb: The red-and-black striped trousers and boots reminding me of a buccaneer or better yet – a rogue, especially his dark coat, and the manner of his pack with a bedroll horizontal across the top. Long bushy sun-bleached brownish hair topped with an undistinguished cap (not a ball cap), he had this jangly kind of walk… oblivious and probably stoned. I was reminded somewhat that perhaps he was hitchhiking from one Renascence Faire to another. Above the roar of traffic – there was no way he could hear my “people-bell” and I was upon him nearly equal at the shoulder when he exclaimed “JEESU…!” not hearing the full word as I passed. Well – maybe he should walk a bit more to the side. Unfortunately, I could relate cos often the edge of the margin is not the safest, and there just isn’t a lot of room if there is a margin at all. In a remote way though, part of me snickered in a delightfully-sinister way as he probably pissed his pants. :twisted:

In McKinleyville, I took the Central Avenue exit which is the Business 101 route; I forget the reason why I did this, although possibly it might have been to rest and review the path forward or possibly to remove my Seattle Jacket. Maybe I just needed a break from the freeway. Regardless I stopped around the intersection of Railroad Drive briefly. The road continues forward, up a low grade past the airport on the left and then merges back to the freeway a couple of miles later. Crossed over the Little River and it reminded me of the easy-rock band of the same name; one of their tunes pops into my pointy lil’ head and kept me entertained for a few miles as the Redwood Highway makes it way north through the coastal woods.

Image
Borrowed image of Arcata Bay looking north with Arcata in the foreground and McKinleyville along the north beach before the mountains. The lagoons are on the other side.

Some miles north of Trinidad I pull off at a rest stop for a break, probably around 10:30 AM as rest for a good 20 minutes. Weather was kinda funky here; can’t decide to be sun or damp and cloudy, but I am sweating heavily; do I risk it and pack away the fleece? Here too had I continued to modify how the trailer was packed, where I could stow or retrieve items much more quickly without extensive effort. The fleece I could stuff on one side and the jacket on the other, and beneath each of them I could reach my shaving kit (First Aid, sunscreen), or the knapsack (journal, quick tools). Quick access without effort.

Back on the road and over this small mountain pass, the sun had reeled back the clouds to expose the Big Lagoon; exquisite! I often waved at cyclists heading the other way whenever possible. Most were touring, but a few looked like they were on a speed-run or had a sag-wagon (I came across one not far from here); most of these folks barely acknowledged. Though I think overall the percentage was tilted towards women more than men, sometimes traveling in knots separated by a ¼ or ½ mile which had me thinking they were part of group rides. I also waved at pedestrians off to the side, possibly waiting for a ride. One such was a youthful dark-haired gal with dark sun glasses and she gave me one of those surfer-hang-5 kinda gestures which I presumed meant that “I was cool”. She was dressed contemporary for her generation, possibly a student at Humboldt, who’s to say. A least I got a smile and that’s enough.

Image
Borrowed image of Big Lagoon in the foreground, with Stone and Freshwater Lagoons over the next ridge. The arc of the shoreline ends at Crescent City, although you can see into Oregon farther north.

Winding around Stone and then Freshwater Lagoon, the 2-way undivided highway crosses Redwood Creek at Orick and widens out to support local traffic; a long strip of local businesses on either side of the road. And as I am passing through this section, with whom do I see – but the rogue, walking north too close to the road again, back facing me, heads-down, maybe twisting up another spleef? It crosses my mind to dive-bomb him… :twisted: but – I have plenty of room to move left into the lane and decide to pass by widely and play nice. <ding-ding> I never saw his face. Not long after I pull off at next to a “Community Center” abutting a farm. Actually I drove past it – but was struck by the sheer beauty of the landscape and returned to stop, rest and take a picture. Quite fatigued; I needed to rest. Imagine a 2-lane country road; long well-aged farmhouse structure with split-wood fencing on the left, vineyard on the right, and straight ahead the road goes a short distance towards the thick woods before turning left up some mountain grade. Picture postcard perfect with the indirect light of overcast and few shadows. I took a second one with four small children crossing over towards the farmhouse on the way to a music lesson. Alas – all photos of this day are missing. :cry:

Scenic Parkway detour
As with the previous day, I elect to take a side trip parallel to the highway and take the Newton B. Drury (Redwood) Scenic Parkway through the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. This 10-mile bypass bisects an elk prairie crossing before diving deep into unspoiled old growth forest. I have the road nearly to myself! There is one slight grade to climb and the road is a little narrow and becomes twisty near the north end, though still worth the adventure! :wink:

Rejoining the Redwood Highway, a short time later I cross over the Klamath River over a long bridge. Somewhere between here and the Del Norte Coast Redwoods Park I stopped to rest, though the map does not give the name of the place where there is roadside development; north of Requa near Redwood Drive. I just needed 5-10 minutes. Regroup, and head onward, past the Trees of Mystery, past False Klamath Cove, on and up begins the first serious hill climb of the day through Del Norte. There is a lot of traffic and I had to pull over once to let them by. At the top I peeled off and watered; we’re above the clouds here and it’s quite warm. Then the descent begins and it is long, winding, narrow, and steep! Blast as fast as I dare can, yet traffic is passing to get around me faster still! A couple of hair-raising tight turns near the bottom, regen all the way! Then bomb out onto the long straightaway and enter Crescent City under slightly gloomy skies about 1:30 PM.

...more, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

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