Thanks Mr. Presidents

Today’s a holiday for me. I really enjoy 3-day weekends and I have one the first three months of the year. My Jan. holiday I spent visiting with my mom in Camarillo. This holiday I relaxed, celebrated my partner’s birthday and took a couple bike rides.

Yesterday was beautiful; the warmest it’s been in awhile. I intended to ride but didn’t and even took a nap (I rarely nap). I enjoyed the day tremendously, and we capped it off with discovering a new Chinese restaurant with organic beef, chicken and seasonal vegetables. It was delicious.

So, I had to ride today as I’ve decided to try a populaire scheduled the end of this June. That means I want to have more base miles before I really start a training schedule. For part of the training I’ll participate in a couple of orgainized rides, starting with a 37 miler in April, and then a metric century in May. Hopefully I’ll be prepared to do a 115K populaire in late June; my first.

Today’s ride was cold, windy and cloudy. I really wanted to just turn around and go home. Yesterday was in the upper 60’s˚, and today’s ride was 42˚. But I’ve actually registered for the race in April; so being unprepared or having to quit due to improper training is always good motivation for me to first, get out the door, and second to keep going. I rode half the route on the SF Bay Trail. It seems no matter what direction I was going it was a head wind. Here’s a picture from Saturday’s ride, but I passed this area today too. It didn’t look like this though. Off in the distance, you can see the San Francisco skyline.

albanybulbInto about half of my ride, I cut under the highway to try to get out of the wind and rode on city streets. It wasn’t too bad as far as traffic and the buildings blocked some of the wind. I wound my way through Emeryville and Berkeley and connected up again with the trail (at Buchanan) with about 5 miles to home.


Meet Sam

I should have had this post completed before I posted the last one, but I wanted to take the time to get some good pictures and I tell you about the wonderful ride I had the first time out with my Sam Hillborne. Now she’s been in my possession for a week and-a-half. I commuted 2 days to work last week (one very foul morning with misty fog blowing horizontal) and took a ride yesterday where I stopped and finally took some pix.


Lucky for me Rivendell is close to where I live so I was able to ride different sizes before I ordered. Some have complained about the “boring” blue (compared to the previous orange and green) frame color, but with the cream accents of the frame, which also highlight the nice lug work, IMHO, it’s quite lovely. If you’re not aware of how Rivendell works I’ll give you the low down. You first buy a frame (steel CroMo) which includes the fork, headset and BB; not cheap but not as expensive as others for a really nice lugged frame with superb paint quality. Definitely less expensive than custom. You can build your frame up yourself, take it to the LBS, or customize all you want and have Rivendell build it for you. Another choice is to have Rivendell build your bike with one of their recommended build kits. I went with a build kit.

  • Nitto moustache bar
  • Nitto stem (1″ threaded quill)
  • bar-end shifters
  • Shimano brake levers
  • Sugino triple crank
  • Shimano XT dérailleurs
  • Tektro side-pull brakes
  • Deore hubs on Velocity rims (36 hole) 650b
  • Continental Tour Ride Tires

I also had them add the fenders, which by the way, match the cream color on the  frame. For whatever reason, the build kit does not include a saddle or pedals. When I got home I added a WTB Deva saddle and Crank Brothers pedals.

shiftersbrakeleversI’m sure you noticed the Carradice bag; a first for me. I must be getting more traditional as I get older. It’s a Barley bag; one of the originals. I obsessed about how to attach it to the saddle. Most modern saddles do not have bag loops. The choices were, adding bag loops, a clamp attached to the saddle rails, the Bagman rack, and the SQR uplift rack. All options are Carradice accessories. I went with the SQR for theses reasons: for both the bag loops and clamp I worried the bag would rest on the fenders. Also they changed the Bagman rack; it’s new evolution has additional struts that attach to the rack mounts of the frame. Though I have no intention of adding a rear rack, I really did not like the looks of the new Bagman. The SQR rack attaches to the seat post and has a quick release mechanism making it easy to take your bag with you if you leave your bike locked somewhere. The quick release was appealing. Most importantly though, was that the rack lifted the bag up and away from both the seat and the fender. In addition, if I ever wanted to get a bigger saddlebag, any model (Carradice) would fit on the uplift rack.

barleySo, that’s my Sam in a nutshell. Tomorrow’s another long ride on the San Francisco Bay Trail which looks a lot like this.



I am so glad I waited for nice weather and a non-commute day for my maiden voyage with the Sam (Sam Hillborne).  Though cold for daytime hours in the Bay Area (48˚), both the ride and the weather were glorious. I rode a little more than 17 miles on the San Francisco Bay Trail; a dedicated path for bikes and pedestrians. There’s lots more dirt on the trail on the peninsula and southern portions of the trail than here in the East Bay. Here it was all paved; perfect for a road bike though I’m told the Sam is fine on fire trails too.

The fit is perfect; the seat spot on and handlebars the correct height. I was a little worried at how high the handlebars were set. Generally the top of my drops and seat are level. On the Sam, the top of the moustache bars are higher than my seat but when you’re in the cockpit you realize with the sweep of the bars your hands are almost level with your seat. Also, I really like the varied positions (at least 3) you have with your hands on these bars. I’ve always really liked the “look” of moustache bars since way back on the Bridgestone bikes. Kind of a coincidence Grant Peterson was involved with Bridgestone back then and is also the proprietor of Rivendell (I didn’t know until recently the connection).

The Day

I’m so excited I can barely contain myself.  Yesterday I picked up my new road bike; a Sam Hillborne by Rivendell bikes.  I headed out to their headquarters right after work  and was hoping tomorrow the rain would hold off so I could commute with her (Samantha) to work. But, alas, even though she has fenders I’m not at all sure I want to really dirty her up on the first ride. Maybe it’ll be the Vaya’s (Salsa) call.

The Rivendell fits perfectly into my scheme this year to try some longer road rides and be comfortable with it’s relaxed geometry. I’m thinking on  a century or maybe some populaires. So as you’ll see, she’s dressed with some randonneur accessories. A beautiful Carradice Barley bag and bar end shifters on a Nitto Moustache bar. I know drops are more traditional but Samantha’s slated for a commuter/city bike too and comfort is a major goal. I have a WTB saddle with no loops so I have to wait until I can get a saddlebag clamp to attach the Barley, but I have a handlebar bag I can use in the meantime. I’m sure some will ask about not having a Brooks saddle, but until someone can talk me into it’s benefits other than tradition, I’m sticking with a saddle I know works for me. I’m also using clipless pedals, Crank Brothers; I have them on all my bikes.

So without further ado; a teaser………



I’m old fashioned in some ways, but pretty much embrace new technology. I did a huge side job this year which netted some discretionary money. Lots put away for savings. But I did buy myself a present recently.

Garmin Edge 800

Most of you are probably familiar with this unit, and I love it! I’d used the Forerunner 310 for kayak training and racing, but once out of my boat I didn’t like it much on my bikes. I sold it on craigslist this last summer for what I’d paid for it. This gadget lets me use the same microSD cards for both street navigation and my topo maps I use on my GPSMaps 60csx for backpacking. So, good to go for both road and mtb riding (and that epic trip I’m planning). Plus I got a great price on fleabay.

Then to top it off, my mom sent me birthday money and I splurged for this……….

Contour Roam

Thanks Mom. Also a great buy on fleabay; I paid no where near the listed price. The Roam is the newest entry level HD POV. As is, it’s waterproof 1 meter for 1/2 hour. I’ve been getting more into photography (even taking some classes); which has increased my pleasure factor in bike riding. I figured taking video, creating small movies with music would create exponential pleasure.

Hopefully I’ll remember to give a follow-up review after their use. Oh, and someone suggested I change my username to “gadgetgrrl.”