Wednesday, June 20, 2012

All Right! Alt Ride! 2012

WOW!  What an awesome ride.  The organizers did amazing work, acquiring some amazing sponsors, gathering up great support, and recruiting riders with really positive attitudes.

128 miles, 12K ft of elevation, 3 peaks, 2 trains, 1 ferry, 1 day...

Such a great idea... I'm actually disappointed that I didn't think of this myself.

The route in one sentence:  Starting at Joseph Grant campground about half way up Mt. Hamilton, we ascended Mt. Hamilton, hopped on CalTrain up to San Francisco, rode across the Golden Gate Bridge to Mt.Tam, hopped on the Sausalito Ferry back to SF, then got on BART out to Pleasant Hill, and finally rode up Mt Diablo in record heat.

The route on a map:

Brekky in the dark.  4 am...

Our first morning visitor... we actually saw quite a lot of critters on this ride.  A few bullfrogs, a coyote, mule deer, rabbits, lots of cows, etc...  

Self portrait w/Silicon Valley waking up below, and Lick observatory behind...

Top of Mt. Hamilton... 4200 ft.  The highest climb of the day, but probably the easiest as we: 1) started at 1300 ft; 2) the grade to the top never gets above 6.5% so that mule-drawn wagons could make it; and 3) it was still early so it wasn't nearly as hot as the next two peaks... 

The first snack stop in front of the San Jose CalTrain station. 

The bike car on CalTrain.  My first time on CalTrain.  Can't take your shoes off, but you can drink all you want at 8 am...

Two of the strongest riders on the Alt Ride at the top of Tam.  Brian (the one in the SF Rando jersey) rode back home after this event... and Alejo is just a super strong athlete.  Told me this was his longest ride, and he absolutely crushed it!

After a fun descent and helping Marcie fix her flat, we rolled in to Larkspur to board the ferry.  A fresh scoop of ice cream provided by Sigman was key.  Also the 3 popsicles I had on board.

Cheering on the other riders on their way to the top of Diablo! The temp was 102 F when we started... I guess it read 106 earlier that day... 

Back at the Pleasant Hill BART, the Alt Ride provided us with refreshments and food.  Here is Jeff getting his medal!


And Kai Bear eating it soon after...

You can check out the live tweets (with pics) here:
Lech was the photographer for the ride, and his awesome pics are here:
Transit & Trails blog:
Bay Nature blog post:

And here's a vid of me going down Diablo.  Thank you Transit & Trails, Alt Ride, Annie & Ryan for organizing this awesome ride.


Are pretty cool... the females are tough to ID.

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Hey!  What's Kai bear doing in here?

More of this guy

Black-chinned Hummingbird

 Anna's Hummingbird

Sketchy man sighting...

Taken with my Canon SD800 using CHDK using the motion detection script.

Some links to bay area hummingbird page.

How to ID... just remember Gorget... that should be your word of the day.

Gorget on a Hummingbird...
Gorget from joan of arc.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Weekly Pano: Mt. Hamilton @ 6 am

Yup... we were done with the first leg of the Alt Ride at 6 am.  We left camp at 4:30 am... and finished at 8:45 pm.  That was a great day.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Weekly Pano: Steep Ravine

Check out this awesome tree growing above a creek on the Steep Ravine trail!  Not a bad shot considering I had Kai bear asleep on me.