Monday, January 26, 2015

B-day Report: Sam P Taylor!

Dickson lookout at the top of Berabe Mountain.  
I reserved some camping cabins at Samuel P Taylor a while back, and as luck would have it, the June-uary weather pattern we have been experiencing the last 2 winters is back in full effect.  But it did get cold and dark, so we were very grateful of the heaters in our cabins.

Here's a quick tour of the cabins, which are located on the other side of the road across from the campground.  There are trails near by, leading up to Bernabe Mountain... and the landscape quickly changes from lush redwoods to open rolling hills on this side.

each cabin has it's own table and fire pit...
flush bathrooms near by... full of mosquitos for some reason

and showers adjacent to the bathrooms... but they were closed due to the drought.  
firepit, table, bbq, cabin
inside the cabin, there are bunkbeds on both sides, with a queen size bed on the bottom on the other side.  Also electricity, heat, and some shelf space.  

I wanted to run up to Stairsteps Falls, but the trail was closed...

We arrived at the park before our check in time (3 pm), so we decided to go on a bike ride on the nice paved Rails to Trails bike path.  Kai just kept on going although I brought my Xtracycle in case he got tired... he insisted and rode the whole 7 miles on his bike!
look FORWARD!!!
Family ride...

Kai's longest ride to date:

when we got back, it was time to go explore some big trees and mushrooms...

the Chases decided to go on a hike while our kiddos took a nap.
during Kai and Nikko's nap I went on a quick run up to Mt. Bernabe
and the trail I've been wanting to check out... leading to Stairstep Falls was closed... :(  

Last run as a 34 year young fella:

the next morning, we went on a short hike while the Chases drove up to Pt. Reyes station so their kids could nap in the car.  
Sigman came up for the day planning to go on a ride, but joined us for the hike
not enough pics of this dude!
Nikko learned how to wave on cue this week.  He's showing off.
Kai showing he can wave too...
After the hike we decided to join the Chases at Pt. Reyes station and enjoyed pizza outside on a beautiful day.  
The food monster consuming rockets...
the coolest bench/table in the west.
Since Jeff joined us for lunch, he didn't end up getting to ride.  So to make up for Jeff not being able to ride, we decided to do a night ride.  BART by BART for my B-day!
35 miles, from El Cerrito BART to San Leandro BART, through 8 regional parks, 2 creek crossing (one of which Sigman fell in), mostly dirt...
but we miscalculated a bit... and I forgot to charge my light (the plug wasn't working), so we had to ride on the roads for a bit... but it was still quite the successful adventure.  We had to hop a 12ft high fence... and we caught the last BART with seconds to spare.  
all in all, a great B-day.  Made it home safely and enjoyed an IPA from my B-day gift.  
Next time:
I'd like to do more mountain biking... this was a recommended trail:

Hopefully Kai will able to join me by then... or he can sit on the Weehoo trailer.

Also there a tons of LOOOONG runs possibilities from here... heading toward Pt. Reyes, Nicasio, Spirit Rock... in fact... in any direction.  Trails galore!  

Weekly Pano: Cycling Oakland to San Jose

After about 90 min of riding in the dark.  Some nice color in the clouds...
I try to take full advantage when the grandparents are in town.  So on this day... we had decided to go visit James & Courtney who just moved down too San Jose.  We were going to meet up with them around 11... so I decided to leave at 5 am and bike.  I've been wanting to check out Alum Rock park, and the surrounding trails for a possible Hamilton Gravel Ginder Century ride... with about 20 miles on dirt if you go through Del Valle too.  The weather forecast called for another beautiful clear day, and the ride was gorgeous... until I got into San Jose.  Riding on 8 lane roads with stop lights every 1/4 mile is not that fun....

some cool peaks near Calaveras Reservoir.
it actually didn't look that low...
wild turkey encounters...
at Alum Rock State Park... or might have been Sierra Vista Open Space.  BTW, Alum Rock is closed one day a week... which is stupid.  Why would trails ever be closed?  
you can see San Jose... 
Perfect trail for my X-bike... too bad I wasn't riding my X-bike...

successful creek crossing.
bovine-ly terraced hills

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Weekly Pano: GG Bridge

Next time you are tired, maybe feeling a bit like you drank a few too many IPAs last night to get up early to hop on your bike to pointlessly ride up a hill... think of this view.  Yeah, it's usually foggy, sometimes so foggy water starts dripping off your nose... but then there are days like this.  

And it's all worth it.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Diablo X-ride with Sigman

We got back to the bay after a few days up in Tahoe, staying at Donner Lake, and I had been missing doing a long ride... So I texted Sigman and coordinated a long ride with him to explore the dirt roads of Diablo.  Turns out those trails are perfect for our cross bikes.  They are a bit boring on mtn bike, and a bit too rough to enjoy on road bikes.  With the recent rains, the grass was quite green, there was very little wind, and all in all, a beautiful ride on a beautiful day... 

sunrise @ the start of Tunnel
rock city... looking at Sentinel Rock.  
typical fire road on Diablo.  Perfect gravel grinding workout.

We hopped on this trail for a bit... turned out to be a cow trail...
So we bailed and headed for the dirt
I've never seen Diablo so green and lush... really pretty ride on a perfect day.  
tires and hoofs
Crazy ridge line on diablo... it looks very fake, but must be natural...

my track from the day (missing the last 15 miles):