Back To Bear Creek

What a weird morning it was. I’ve been trying to get over to San Francisco to begin a ride over the Golden Gate Bridge to Fairfax and back. It was planned 2 Sun.’s ago, and I woke up not wanting to drive to ride my bike. I still went for a 25 mile ride, but just started out of my garage. OK, so this Sun. (the one that just passed), I set the alarm for 6:30 AM, and proclaimed we were leaving at 7:30 for the bridge. Well we didn’t get out by 7:30, but we did get to San Francisco. We pulled off 101 North, the last exit before crossing the bridge looking for a parking lot I’d heard about somewhere on Lincoln, near Storey. As we exited the highway we were met by a line of red cones and police officers blocking our desired route and told all the roads were closed nearby due to the Nike Marathon. We headed back to 101 south and pulled off on a side street to figure out what we were going to do.

Well, let’s go over the bridge and start our ride from somewhere over there. Then I realized I’d forgotten the cue sheet for the ride. Now what? I suggested we head back across the Bay Bridge and go ride around San Pablo Dam, a 25 mile ride beginning and ending in Orinda. Ok off we set. If you know anything about the micro-climates in the Bay Area, you know a change of 10˚is nothing simply by changing which side of the Berkeley hills you’re on. Anyways, kind of a late start by the time we got there and hotter than we’d planned for; off we went.

We hadn’t done this ride since before the Tierra Bella, way back in March. Funny how you forget how hard certain climbs can be. We knew the first ascent up Bear Creek Rd. was tough, but it seemed harder than ever. I’ve set my GPS to show the gradient, so I was surprised when sections were reading 9%. That first climb is about 2.5 miles. There are other steep sections but shorter, so Bear Creek always seems to be the section one has to get through. I don’t know if it was the heat or not eating enough food, but by the time we hit the last 9 miles, my legs were mush. Actually, I think the last time I wrote about this ride I said the same thing!

To complete my fifth coffeneuring ride, we completed the day with a tea cooler. Yes, from another Peets!

Peet's Coffee Orinda, CA
Peet’s Coffee Orinda, CA

Not anyone I know, just random people.

peace, ks



“We fear taking risks, unaware that the biggest risk we run in playing it safe is in fact living as long as we hope and never doing the things we dreamed of. And then it’s too late. We watched our favourite TV shows, we fought a losing battle with our weight, we picked
up the guitar once in a while and never quite finished the French language courses we wanted to do. We managed to get a large flat-screen TV and new cars once in a while, but the list of things we’d have done if we could really, truly could have done anything, kept growing. And we never did them.”
-David DuChemin

Some things I’d like to do. Looking for the strength to step out of the box. I invite you to share a dream with me in the comments section.

peace, ks


New Bridge (not Newbridge)

The new east bay span of the Bay Bridge in the San Francisco Bay Area has been opened since the beginning of Sept.  Apparently there was quite the fanfare while I was in Ireland. I’ve heard good things about the bridge, best is the fact there is now a bike/pedestrian pathway from the east bay to Treasure Island. The bad news, no access to the island until the summer of 2015. The old bridge is still there and demolition needs to occur on parts before the bike/pedestrian portion can be completed. Here’s a photo  of the new bridge at the terminus of the path.


Today’s ride was from Marina Bay to the end of the new pedestrian/bike path; almost 26 miles out and back. Here’s another view where we stopped to eat sandwiches showing new and old with Yerba Buena Island in the background.


old bridge, set for demolition
old bridge, slated for demolition

I also completed the 4th day of coffeeneuring. Only 3 more trips required. Unfortunately the coffee shop we stopped at was in a really cruddy shopping mall, a Starbucks in Emeryville. I promise my remaining coffeeneuring stops will be in much more pleasant environs.

A picture of my riding buddy taking a picture and a view of the path on the east side of the bridge!


peace, ks

Easin’ Back In

The Coffeeneuring Challenge allows me to ease back in to riding after being off the bike for about a month. I went out last weekend once; I felt terrible. I tried to remember I had my “walking” legs primed from vacation in Ireland, but I wanted my “cycling” legs back soon. Anyways, the challenge makes for an easy 2 days of riding on the weekend. My regular riding partner is off at a workshop, so I suppose we’ll be back next weekend with another longer ride.

Even though the challenge only requires a 2 mile jaunt, I did 15 today and forced myself up one of  the the steeper neighborhood streets in Berkeley, Marin Ave.  Not the upper portion near Grizzly Peak where my car barely makes it up, but a lower portion that does have a section of 9% grade, but mostly averages about 5%.

I started out in pretty cool weather, not too much wind, but I did wear a light jacket. Mostly on the SF Bay Trail, over the hill near Golden Gate Fields, and crossed Hwy 80 on the Berkeley bike/pedestrian bridge as I wound my way over to 4th St. This area has become pretty “yuppified,” even touristy. I use to live a few blocks away in the late 90’s; the neighborhood really started to change a few years before we moved away. But. for coffeeneuring it can’t be beat, I know of at least 3 coffee stops within a few hundred feet of each other. So, I suspect even though I’m not crazy about the area, I’ll use it a couple more times if I’m passing through.

Bette's To Go
Bette’s To Go

I stopped at Bette’s To Go, right next to the regular restaurant. They have great food, but the wait is intolerably long. Got out earlier today without breakfast, so I ordered a toasted baguette with butter and jam and a cup of tea. Lots going on, too much really.  Three different people knocked my bike over and didn’t even stop to pick it up. Sam was chained to a street light; the block had no bike racks.


Oh well, in the spirit of coffeeneuring I’ll probably be in this neighborhood again.

peace, ks


Today is the beginning of the Coffeeneuring Challenge sponsored by Chasing Mailboxes DC.  I had a bit of a longer ride planned for the day, but it’s windy, warm and dry. Only 16% humidity;  the area is covered with fire warnings.  I hope everyone in the Bay Area and surroundings is careful. I got so hot I had to stop for a cold drink; an iced berry, pomegranite tea cooler. First time I’ve tried one of those. Tasty! I probably could accomplish all 7 rides required for the challenge by hitting 7 different Peet’s.


Went out on the Hillborne today. Actually I haven’t ridden any of my other bikes since I brought her home. And yesterday I listed my Salsa Vaya for sale to finance the changes for the Dummy. If anyone’s interested in the Vaya, email me:       I was siting enjoying my iced beverage when I saw a fellow cyclist pull up and lock up his bike. Funny because I noticed the moustache bars on his bike; they’re not that common. He came up to me inquiring if the Hillborne was mine. He hadn’t been able to find bar end shifters for his bars. That’s easy, contact Rivendell.

peace, ks