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TdMIL 2021

Old 12-31-21, 04:58 PM
  #76  
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Day 2:

After checking the weather forecast to ensure that the rain wouldn't come in until later afternoon, we met at the Bike Tinker's place in Santa Rosa and set off early and almost immediately ran into...RAIN. Our harbor pilot Joseph provided local knowledge to point us in the right direction and @SwimmerMike drove all the way up from San Jose to ride along with us for the day. Both Joseph and Mike accompanied us to Guerneville and then returned to Santa Rosa.


The gang stopped to regroup atop a hill on Mays Canyon Road, south of Guerneville on the Russian River (Gugie, Joseph, Swimmermike, Boltbreaker, Thor):



Joseph and Mike departed, leaving us to cruise along River Road alongside the mighty Russian River:


Accommodations were quite cushy along the way:


Heading north from Cazadero, the traffic became extremely light. We decided that since there was no frozen water anywhere we couldn't say that it was freezing cold. We settled on "butt cold".


Fortunately, there was much steep climbing to be had which made the butt cold temperatures and precipitation much more bearable:


Andy demonstrating precision paperboy technique:


While Gugie prefers the more conventional straight grind method:



The author's bike near the top:



Sadly, no pictures of the death-defying wet descent down a muddy, rocky track to Thor's ranch. Our forearm muscles were quivering from the non-stop hard braking needed to avert careening into the adjacent canyon and I dare say that our saddles might have been slimmed up by some reflex butt-clenching action. Fortunately, we reached Thor's off-grid ranch in one piece, the wood stove was soon pumping off heat, and a neighbor showed up with a bunch of freshly cooked prime rib and several bottles of wine. All's well that ends well.

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Old 12-31-21, 05:18 PM
  #77  
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Day 3


In the morning, Gugie and I decided to utilized the more civilized method of ascending Thor's entrance road...walking. We were only slightly slower than the two riders:



We continued on our way up King Ridge Road (and I had foolishly thought that we had almost reached the top on Day 2). The official weather forecast indicated no rain this morning but since we were riding in a cloud bank we got soaked anyway:




Finally getting over the top, we headed south towards Jenner. The sun came out and our temperatures and dispositions rose accordingly:



Andy (bolt breaker) just about to go off the precipice onto the Meyers Grade descent, with the cliffs south of Jenner in the background.



I had the world's best avocado toast + poached egg at Cafe Aquatica in Jenner.


Alas, no photos of our rush south to beat the oncoming darkness (which we failed to do). We rode the last hour to Tomales in complete darkness. Fortunately, most of that was on a road less travelled.
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Old 12-31-21, 05:26 PM
  #78  
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Day 4:

Not so many photos today. Here's a shot taken just south of Tomales as we're coming alongside Tomales Bay:


Tomales Bay, with Point Reyes to the right:


Four old guys at Platform Bridge at the west end of the Cross Marin Trail, a nice, mostly paved, rails-to-trails path through the redwoods.



We dropped off Thor at Larkspur so then there were three left to cross the San Rafael-Richmond Bridge on the way back to Berkeley.


San Francisco vista with bike:


This was a pretty tough tour, what with inclement weather and some pretty long and brutal climbs. It was also my first long ride after crashing and breaking my clavicle on Cino, so I was definitely suffering a bit. However, good company always always trumps suffering and a good time was had by all.
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Old 12-31-21, 06:06 PM
  #79  
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Good job guys; well done on coming through unscathed. All sunshine and daffodils makes for nice pictures, but you get better stories out of a ride like this one.
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Old 12-31-21, 07:09 PM
  #80  
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Thanks for sharing the stories and the photos, everybody. I'm sorry that the whole work thing got in the way of my being able to join you all for this - I think. Of course, at the speed I climb, I'd probably still be on King Ridge somewhere.
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Old 12-31-21, 07:11 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
Good job guys; well done on coming through unscathed. All sunshine and daffodils makes for nice pictures, but you get better stories out of a ride like this one.
This year I've toured in Virginia heat and NorCal cold. I think I prefer cold. I can put on more clothing, but there's a limit to how little I can wear.
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Old 12-31-21, 08:08 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
a neighbor showed up with a bunch of freshly cooked prime rib and several bottles of wine
best neighbor ever.
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Old 12-31-21, 08:50 PM
  #83  
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Home, and after a chit, chower, and chave... plus sleeping until 11:00, I feel fine. As the designated FNG on this ride, my thanks to the older and younger guys who rode with us. It was a tough route for me, woefully out of shape for the climbs we faced... my legs turned to rubber somewhere on that climb up from Hauser Bridge, between my two flats, and never quite recovered. But we made it home, without injuries, and that completed the ride. Just a few pictures...

Thor, expertly cooking filet mignon in the rain...



gugie and davester discussing fine details of, something. Was this before the wine? After the wine? I forget... we were just damn happy to be dry and warm.



The fourth flat fell to davester and we wondered who would be next?



And all the bikes (plus one), hidden in plain view, as we enjoyed afternoon coffee at the Roastery In Fairfax, with all climbing now solidly behind us.



All in all, a brief but spectacular ride.

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Old 12-31-21, 08:56 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by BoltBreaker View Post
as we enjoyed afternoon coffee at the Roastery In Fairfax, with all climbing now solidly behind us.
I beg to differ. All climbing solidly behind YOU. I still had the biggest climb of the day ahead of me, the 1200' ascent up to my house over the last couple of miles. That hurt!
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Old 12-31-21, 09:13 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
This year I've toured in Virginia heat and NorCal cold. I think I prefer cold. I can put on more clothing, but there's a limit to how little I can wear.
And I think weíre all glad about that.
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Old 01-01-22, 07:38 AM
  #86  
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Looks like a great trip you all had, I may be in the area in Mar and wanted to ask for recommendations on route guide books or an online map source ideally reaching Big Sur from the Bay Area - if it can be done on quiet roads - not sure that's possible
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Old 01-01-22, 01:13 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by narwhale100 View Post
Looks like a great trip you all had, I may be in the area in Mar and wanted to ask for recommendations on route guide books or an online map source ideally reaching Big Sur from the Bay Area - if it can be done on quiet roads - not sure that's possible
Good timing. We did just that back in September.

I lived in Redwood City for 13 years, and have ridden every route to get over Skyline to the coast. Kings Mountain to Tunitas Creek is my favorite. It gets you on those quiet roads quickest. Ridewithgps downloadable maps here. Getting from Santa Cruz to Monterey efficiently and on quiet roads takes some planning, but can be done.
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Old 01-01-22, 01:19 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
Itís not rain. Itís the bike gods crying as they watch you climb.
Mere mortals cry when they watch me climb. You would too if you weren't so far ahead of me.
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Old 01-01-22, 01:29 PM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Two of those 3 bikes do not have fenders?
Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
I noted that with interest. In particular, I was surprised that one of those two is the Fearless Event Leader's, as he's often suggested I need to add a fendered bike to the stable for wet-weather fun and games
Hey, at least that gigantic saddle bag will keep most of the water from spraying up the crack in his backside!
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
Fenders? Gugie doesn’t need any steenking fenders!
Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
The picture suggests otherwise.
I'd like to give him a pass because he's riding his zero bike, but I can attest that @gugie has been riding without fenders on the wet roads in Oregon recently too. Alas, I fear he has fallen away from the true faith.
I was mislead in my youth. I kept hearing over and over on FM radio that it doesn't rain in California. The last 2 TdMIL's included substantial rain.

In reality, 2 years ago I brought a pair of fenders down for the Pro Tour, but quickly realized I could have wider tires or fenders, but not both, and chose the comfort of wider tires. It's really an excellent credit card tourer except for this one fault. I had plenty of time while climbing Kings Ridge to think of splitting the fender and McGivering a solution that had part of the fender behind the fork crown and the other in front - there's just not adequate clearance there. For a good fenderline I could certainly do the same in the rear.


It would be nice not to have this happen
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Old 01-01-22, 01:34 PM
  #90  
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Well, I’m glad no one got hypothermia and wished I could have joined you. But the key question, @gugie, is that given this is your zero bike and lives at @BoltBreaker’s home, will he be the one to do the detail cleaning?
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Old 01-01-22, 01:48 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Well, Iím glad no one got hypothermia and wished I could have joined you. But the key question, @gugie, is that given this is your zero bike and lives at @BoltBreakerís home, will he be the one to do the detail cleaning?
We feed him, and give him a bed to sleep on... but that's it. Actually, I think he rather likes the patina of mud mixed with cow manure and sheep dung covering the frame and cranks, reminds him of those long-ago days of yore on the farm.

Some componentry revelations for me from the ride... the Rohloff shifter mounted to the 22.2 mm stem is a neat and tidy look, but doesn't work well in practice, especially when pedaling uphill when I want both hands outboard on the bars. Would be fine across the flats of Iowa, but these are California hills. I'll be moving to a bar-end shifter placement once I machine up a stub to fit in my Nitto bars. The other was that the Surly Singelator isn't really need to keep the chain in tension... After patching the second flat, and providing entertainment to the gang, the tensioner refused to do its thing, maybe got muddy with crud, not sure. So I took it off and the chain was slack but but not too slack. It rode the last day and half without any complaint at all. And the MAFAC RAID brakes are strong, indeed, but better pads are needed for truly wet conditions.
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Old 01-01-22, 06:11 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Getting from Santa Cruz to Monterey efficiently and on quiet roads takes some planning, but can be done.
I am on a RV trip out here today at the Watsonville KOA. We were at Manresa beach today and the tide was going out. We saw quite a few people riding their bikes at the water line. It looks like a clear shot from New Brighton to Moss Landing. I donít know if you would consider that dull, as itís all completely level. But it certainly seems doable on a MTB. I guess you might run afoul of some private beaches to the south? I was thinking of riding from here to Aptos and Nisene Marks and I didnít see any obstacles to that, anyhow.

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Old 01-01-22, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
I am on a RV trip out here today at the Watsonville KOA. We were at Manresa beach today and the tide was going out. We saw quite a few people riding their bikes at the water line. It looks like a clear shot from New Brighton to Moss Landing. I donít know if you would consider that dull, as itís all completely level. But it certainly seems doable on a MTB. I guess you might run afoul of some private beaches to the south? I was thinking of riding from here to Aptos and Nisene Marks and I didnít see any obstacles to that, anyhow.
There are no private beaches in California to stop you from riding along the beach, but I think you'd need one of those super fatty tired bikes to not get bogged down in the sand. There's also the Pajaro River to cross, as well as the opening to Elkhorn Slough.

I'd say try it and report back!
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Old 01-01-22, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
There are no private beaches in California to stop you from riding along the beach, but I think you'd need one of those super fatty tired bikes to not get bogged down in the sand. There's also the Pajaro River to cross, as well as the opening to Elkhorn Slough.

I'd say try it and report back!
I only just realized panning around on the map that we are a stones throw from Calfee Design, behind the Monterey Bay Academy.

I saw some fat tire eBikes but there were also a lot of balloon tire bikes, 2 inch beach cruiser things. True I did not see anybody on Whicheverly Pass tires.
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Old 01-01-22, 07:46 PM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
I was mislead in my youth. I kept hearing over and over on FM radio that it doesn't rain in California. The last 2 TdMIL's included substantial rain.

In reality, 2 years ago I brought a pair of fenders down for the Pro Tour, but quickly realized I could have wider tires or fenders, but not both, and chose the comfort of wider tires. It's really an excellent credit card tourer except for this one fault. I had plenty of time while climbing Kings Ridge to think of splitting the fender and McGivering a solution that had part of the fender behind the fork crown and the other in front - there's just not adequate clearance there. For a good fenderline I could certainly do the same in the rear.
It would be nice not to have this happen
We need a much less crude, more elegant "reach around" set up for these.

I have a set of reach around brackets that I have never installed for them being too bulky, have meant to attempt to streamline them but it hasn't happened yet.
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Old 01-02-22, 08:17 AM
  #96  
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Many thanks, will look thru this carefully - you've saved me a lot of time on research so it's much appreciated
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Old 01-02-22, 11:11 AM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Well, Iím glad no one got hypothermia and wished I could have joined you. But the key question, @gugie, is that given this is your zero bike and lives at @BoltBreakerís home, will he be the one to do the detail cleaning?
Passing around the TdMIL 2022 signup sheet, Boxing Day start. What could possibly go wrong?
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Old 01-02-22, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by narwhale100 View Post
Many thanks, will look thru this carefully - you've saved me a lot of time on research so it's much appreciated
I charge for information like this. The payment is a thread on Bike Forums C&V with your plans and actual ride, with lots of pictures!

Feel free to PM me or post here with any questions. The section from Santa Cruz to La Selva Beach requires you to hop back and forth over Hwy 1. While riding we noticed bike route signs even out in the country and mostly followed them. Another "pro" tip: if you post here and give your route, dates and times, you can pick up "harbor pilots" from Bike Forums along the way. It's nice to ride along with someone who has local knowledge and can optimize your route. The companionship is great, people here are friendly, and it's nice to just follow someone else rather than a cue sheet, maps, or GPS device for awhile.
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Old 01-02-22, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
We need a much less crude, more elegant "reach around" set up for these.

I have a set of reach around brackets that I have never installed for them being too bulky, have meant to attempt to streamline them but it hasn't happened yet.
I've been thinking about this. Raw material in the Atelier is speaking to me...
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Old 01-02-22, 02:10 PM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
I've been thinking about this. Raw material in the Atelier is speaking to me...
Sounds good, I'm in if you get there, let me know if you want to have a hands on look at the klunky ones.
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