SF Cyclotouring

Ride reports and other ramblings from a San Francisco cyclist.


Happiness is...

...when your wife emails you to tell you how funny she thinks a bike-snob-NY blog article is!



Bike Nashbar - FAIL!

Today I received Nashbar's letter, informing me of their data theft and the potential compromise of my personal and credit-card info.

This, of course, is by now old news. I'd heard about this issue over a month ago both on the iBOB list, and on various bike blogs I follow.

The letter states that "while the attack was confirmed on May 18, 2009, it appears that the unauthorized access began in December 2008."

So why am I only receiving their letter NOW, 3+ months after the problem occurred?!? That is unconscionable!

MEH! They just lost a long-time customer.


Bike Parts For Sale

Selling off some unused parts. Photos here. Prices below do not include shipping. Contact me with any questions.

Mavic Bits -- $130
821 7spd DT shifters, 840 rear derailleur, 862 front derailleur (braze on), 440 brake levers (w/replacement DiaCompe hoods)

Nitto Moustache Handlebars -- $45
Bridgestone classic! 25.4mm clamp diameter (will trade for Jitensha Flat Bar)

Dura Ace Freewheel -- $30
6spd , 15-23

Shimano 600 Freewheel -- $25
6spd, 13-24

Campagnolo Hubset -- $50
Unsure of the model -- Chorus maybe? 32-hole; front hub bearings need adjusting/repack; rear hub seems smooth and is 130mm OLD

Nashbar SPD-R Pedals -- $40
Brand new, never used, includes cleats
functionality; top jockey pulley is a bit rough

Dia Compe 287-V Brake Levers -- $30
Includes short cable noodles used inside lever bodies.


Useful iPhone Photo Tip

This is off topic, but a useful tip nonetheless. It's always bugged me that if I plug my iPhone into a PC (at work), Windows Camera Wizard starts and lets me download any photos I've taken directly to the computer -- but on a Mac (at home), I've been forced to use iPhoto, which I don't otherwise use. I just learned that if you open up OS X Image Capture, the iPhone appears under the Devices list, and this lets you download any photos directly to a folder of your choosing. Perfect!

Why No Cargo Motorcycles?

Here's a thought that's been ruminating in my head for the past few days...

We're all pretty familiar with the various cargo bike types out there: Bakfiets/Long Johns, Long Tails/Xtracycles, Porteurs, Butcher Bikes, and even various types of Trikes (Rickshaws, Tadpoles).

Why aren't there motorcycle or scooter equivalents? Our two-wheeled brethren are utilized by many folks as practical urban runabouts, but one of the biggest limitations of motorcycles and scooters seems to be that they can't easily carry the day's grocery shopping or a piece of luggage. I've seen many a scooter-rider precariously balancing a couple shopping bags between their legs on the footboards, or "delivery scooters" with a huge box mounted at the back where a second passenger would otherwise sit -- that seems like it'd create a too-high/rearward center of gravity and ruin the vehicle's handling.

I'm envisioning something like a Bakfiets/Long John front-end mated to a scooter's rear end, which might result in a very practical urban runabout with useful cargo capacity.

Why doesn't something like this exist already?


KOG Mixter Ride

Climbing Conselman
Originally uploaded by jimgskoop
Met up with a few folks from the KOG list for a little intro mixter action in the Marin Headlands. Most folks were on 650B P/Rs, but there was a 700C Model P, and I rode my 700C P/R. We covered about 36 miles total.



When it comes to bikes, I over-project. That is, I get mentally sidetracked on new projects before I finish previous ones.

Here's my bike to-do list thus far, with the few things I've completed:

1) Fuji brake lever upgrade
2) Triple LED dyno light
3) Bonty Race Lite refurb and build (in progress)
4) RB-1 back to 700C from 650B
5) Trek 400
6) Sell parts, frames, and a bike
7) Nishiki wheel replacement + porteur config
8) Rack building

I must have bike-ADD, because I'm already pondering and plotting #7 & #8 when I'm barely into #3. This is bad, because it means I'm losing motivation on and/or becoming distracted from the current project.


La Ruta Loca Randonnee -- The Aftermath

So. Tired.
Originally uploaded by jimgskoop
I had an OK ride overall, no real problems, even my knee was mostly OK -- although the seat on my Fuji is not the best for more than about 75 miles.

Rode with Greg for much of the ride (THANKS Greg!), but between Nicasio and White's Hill on the return just utterly ran out of gas and let him go on ahead...at that point, I was planning on bailing on the rest of the route and just heading home. I stopped at the 7-11 in Fairfax (next to Red Boy Pizza) and got a much-needed choco milk and ate my 2nd sandwich, which seemed to improve things somewhat, so I decided then to solder on. I started the Paradise Valley loop, stopped at the restrooms in Pixley Ave Park, and ended up taking a long break there to eat my 2nd orange. Back on Paradise, I came to the T-intersection with the "yield" sign, noted that it was 4pm and getting windy and cold, and just made the decision then to cut it short and head home -- I made the right turn and dropped straight down to Blackie's Pasture, bypassing downtown Tiburon. I had no gas nor desire left. I crawled through Sausalito and up to the bridge, passing through the Visitor's Center then because I'd assumed that everyone else would've finished by then and I might find some riders there. Finding no-one else there, I just rolled on home, getting back inside at about 6pm, nearly a perfect 12 hours later, with 108 miles on the clock.

I was/am pretty disappointed in myself that I just gave up. However, knowing that Carlos finished at around 8pm, I think I made the smart/safe choice, otherwise I think I'd have still been out in the Marin Headlands at 9-10pm at night (which I was originally prepared to do, since I did bring lights). I didn't make a single control cutoff, in fact I just kept getting slower throughout the day, missing Pantoll by 5 minutes, then the next by 30 minutes, and after than by an hour. I stopped keeping track after that.

I am also amazed that the 3 other riders -- some of whom had never ridden these trails before, I think -- did as well as they apparently did. It's encouraging to note that anyone in good shape can perform strongly in this ride, however at the same time discouraging because I'd assumed that having "home court advantage" would be a major asset, when in fact it wasn't. The engine is still 99% of the equation, and clearly mine is like that from a clapped-out Yugo, in comparison.


T Minus Fifteen and Counting...

There's less than fifteen hours until LRLR....are you in?!?!?


Local Framebuilders?

I thought I'd heard of all the framebuilders in the SF Bay Area, but occasionally more pop out of the woodwork. Here's one I just stumbled upon: El Camino -- apparently they focus more on prototyping and limited runs for other bike brands. In retrospect, I think I've seen a frame or two around labeled with their decals. Hmmm.

I think I'm going to create a page on my website listing SF Bay Area builders. Help me get started -- who do you think should be included?


Are you Sane Enough?

Are you sane enough for The Crazy Route?!? It's only FIVE DAYS AWAY!!!

La Ruta Loca Randonnee (LRLR)
When: Saturday, July, 11th, 2009 at 6:00am
Where: Marina Safeway Start (15 Marina Blvd, San Francisco)

Description: 2009 edition of the original NorCal mixed-terrain event, La Ruta Loca Randonnee! ~15000 ft. in 124 miles of fireroads and pavement. No cheating no excuses. This is NOT a race but a self-flagellation ordeal.

Full details here. Cue sheet here.

Last year's ride report and some details on the origins of this route.

18th & Valencia Hit and Run