Life Is Crazy!

OK, not sure where to start, other than to say after my vacation (a month ago) I’ve been working some crazy hours. Just about when I thought all was settling down and I could get into my routine again, all h*%l breaks out with buying a new house and moving to the other side of the bay. For those who’ve participated in selling one house and buying another at the same time; it’s crazy! 

Suffice to say, no extracurricular activities (biking) for me for about another month. Before this all happened I did get a ride in at the beach; the Pugsley and my dog. A foggy weekday, and the tide was too high to get much more than a few miles on the sand.

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Funk

Still in a funk, but I got my sorry a&$ out on the bike yesterday for a short ride. Just local gravel on the baylands. It was beautiful, still, and even though I didn’t even start riding until shortly after 4:30 PM, too many people. I just can’t get myself to drive where I might find more solitude. I didn’t event take my camera(s).

Anyways, keeping the fingers crossed yesterday’s ride will create some momentum and I’ll get out today; longer. Here’s a photo submitted this week in my photography class. The assignment was playing with depth of field. I guess if I’m not riding bikes I can take pictures of them.

12daysofriding: Four

Today I headed for one of my all-time favorite rides here in the Bay Area; China Camp, in Marin County. To tell you the truth, I can’t remember the last time I rode there. More than a few years to be sure. I’ve been missing the Pugsley, so that was also the first time I’ve ridden the Pugs there. It’s also the first time I’ve ridden so much technical rock on the Pugs; there’s definitely a learning curve as compared to my experience on this trail with a FS bike.

at the top of the switchback

I was sucking air here, so it was convenient to pull out the camera and take a picture. I still had to go uphill from here with a lot of rock sections before I hit some downhill. Here’s a shot of the Richmond Bridge; you can see the SF skyline way in the back.

SF Bay Area

Most of the trail is on the shady side of the mountain. Something you appreciate in the summer months.

the trail

Sunday Snapshots

I didn’t get a Friday Photo; so here ‘ya go with a couple pics from my ride today. I have to be honest, before last weekend I was unable to ride for a month because of an injury. So, I’m happy to say I went for more miles this weekend than the last, most off-road, 4 or so on the tarmac to get to the trails. Out on the Pugs again; Vaya just needs the steer tube cut and then I’ll wrap the handlebars and it’ll be good to go. Pics soon (I hope).

                                                                                 lots of white pelicans
                                                                          a trail through the wetlands

The above trail circles out and around the small airport in Palo Alto. This is a new section of trail for me. Another part I’m scouting for the development of a gravel race here in the Bay Area. Keep checking in if you’re interested in visiting California and riding a beautiful route around the southern portion of the bay.

Sunday’s Ride

Doing reconnaissance for a gravel grinder race I’m thinking of  creating here in the Bay Area. We took a ride this afternoon; it was pretty easy. Really nice weather here; they say +15˚ above normal. My Vaya’s not done yet so I took off on the Pugs. Here’s an egret in the creek.

 We took a rest stop, not because we were tired, we just wanted to delay the return to civilization. Here’s K checking out the creek and the Pugs takin’ a rest.

Building…….

I’ve been riding bikes, well, for my whole life. I have a little wisdom so that’s a pretty long time now. I’ve been tinkering with bikes for a long time too. I remember wanting one of my bikes to have a custom paint job. I was probably 8 when I tried that. I finally completed a custom paint job on the first bike I built, a SS, last Fall. Let me clarify. I didn’t build the frame, but I did build the wheels and assembled all the components with a little help from my friend Bern.

My second build was a Pugsley. Again I assembled all the components, but this time I had the Large Marge wheels built. I was also adding an Alfine 11. I love my Puglsey, and haven’t been on my old mtb since.

I’ve begun my third build, something between a road bike and a mountain bike, I guess. I don’t cyclocross but maybe a montercross bike.  It’s for long gravel and dirt roads. I’m planning for that gravel grinder I’m going to do one day. Have you guessed the frame yet? Yes, a Salsa Vaya.  I’m really excited by this bike.  Everyone seems to love theirs, and remarks on how comfortable they are even after hours in the saddle.  Here it is in “Super Orange!”

But now, here’s the crux of this post.  When the frames leave the factory they still need to be chased and faced by the consumer. I just think that’s wrong! I’ve invested in the tools and equipment to transform a frame into a complete bike. How much harder would it be to fully prep these frames for the end user; a token of customer service to the loyal cyclist? Now maybe this is just Salsa, I’m not sure. When I purchased my Surly frame, the bike store said it was all prepped. OK, ranting done.