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Where'd You Ride Today? (New & Improved)

Old 10-19-09, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by onetwentyeight

sometimes you have to grab a few friends, a fancy bottle of bourbon, and climb a big hill.
Nice choice on the Woodford Reserve have you tried Bulleit?
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Old 10-19-09, 07:59 AM
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of course. good stuff. my current favorite is templeton rye whiskey but its awfully spendy.
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Old 10-19-09, 04:59 PM
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I will have to look in to it.
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Old 10-21-09, 09:58 PM
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I rode my 80s Somec on Sunday on Glendora Mountain/Ridge Road to Mount Baldy Village, shooting headcam video with several other fellows on steel bikes. Take a peep https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfe0IpW-g9M
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Old 10-25-09, 05:01 PM
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India!





Ok, so I didn't ride in it, but a very close friend did! I thought it was cool and had to share

Oh yeah, this is wicked:

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Old 10-25-09, 05:22 PM
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I took my Viscount out for a spin this afternoon. It was a mostly cloudy day with temps in around 50f. The wind was quite light so it wasn't too cool out.

The autumn colors are peaking about now so it is quite pretty. I only had my camera phone with me so the pics aren't the best.

Many people don't know that there is a lot of fruit grown in S/W Michigan. Lake Michigan helps keep the temps moderate enough for fruit to thrive. There are many apple and peach orchards plus a lot of grape vineyards around here. Welch's buys up many of the grapes for their jam and grape juice but there is a lot of wine made here, too.


My Viscount with a vineyard in the background.


There is a nice stretch of about 4 miles that the state has designated a Natural Beauty Road. It is pretty much non-stop rollers for most of that 4 miles, too.


Natural Beauty Road


Like riding in a tunnel of trees. Nice rollers, too.


More of the Natural Beauty Road. With so much tree cover much of this road was still wet.


One more shot from the Natural Beauty Road. The woods in the distance just blazed with color. I wished my camera had picked it up better.

Thanks for looking at my pics of this little corner of the C&V world.
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Old 10-25-09, 08:17 PM
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Awesome ride cb400.
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Old 10-25-09, 08:20 PM
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+1 nice pics. Thanks!

-Jake
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Old 10-25-09, 09:46 PM
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Took the Masi for a spin down to Chinatown to get groceries.

Parked my bike about 50 feet from this intersection.

https://tinyurl.com/ykr9grw
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Old 10-26-09, 10:24 AM
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Old 10-27-09, 05:27 PM
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I finally got home last night from Death Valley, and all during the 10 hour road trip I was mulling over exactly how to write up the experience I had riding there.

Death Valley is one of my favorite spots on earth, and I'm no stranger to its' environs. I'm familiar the geologic and human history of the place, and have spent countless days and hours, both on foot and in a 4x4, exploring the park and surrounding area. It is a geologic wonder, and the historic accounts of personal adventure and suffering are at once astounding and fascinating.

Ever since re-discovering cycling in 2005 I've been wanting to go for a bike ride in Death Valley, and I finally got my chance this past weekend. Now, while I greatly admire those of you that can do a double century, I am smart enough to realize that doing so is not in the cards for me. So, I signed up for just the century. I mean - I've done lots and lots of centuries, and this one was mostly contained in a relatively flat valley after all...... how hard could it be? Turns out, pretty damn difficult - at least for me.

Ok - let's start from the beginning. As I mentioned earlier, it is a 10 hour drive from my house to Death Valley, some 500 or so miles distant. So, I was desirous of company. To that end, I decided to take a few days off, bring the family, and make a vacation out of it. We took off Friday morning, and pulled into Furnace Creek before sundown. Registration was disorganized and took way longer than it should have and the only restaurant was jammed, but we managed to get our room, get me registered, and get everyone fed eventually. Picked up a pretty cool looking jersey, too.

The next morning dawned clear and sort of cool, with just a light rustling breeze. Temperatures were predicted to be in the 90's, which isn't too hot for Death Valley. The only caveat is that the air is so dry there that you lose a lot of water just breathing. No matter - I had two full water bottles, and this was a supported ride so I wasn't concerned. It turns out, carrying and drinking enough water was an on-going concern for me, and most likely contributed significantly to the difficultly of the ride.

If you've never been to Death Valley, the scale of the landscape is hard to imagine. But the one thing that I quickly found out was that it was not flat. Ever. On either side of the valley, there are large, steep mountain ranges - The Amargosa Range and Funeral Mountains on the east side, and the Panamints on the west side. Because of this, both sides of the valley have gigantic alluvial fans created by eons of extreme weather erosion. They are debris fields that are literally thousands of feet thick, spilling out of every canyon. All of this matters because, as I rode from south to north along the east side of the valley, the route was continually traversing one gigantic pile of rubble or another. In addition, the valley is tilted down north to south, so that as I rode north I was more or less constantly climbing as I went. As the route started at -200' and climbed up to 3,000' before returning, it was effectively 50 or so miles of climbing large, inclined rollers. Sweet.

The first rest stop was 18 miles from the start. The route up to this point was relatively flat but still inclined, and by the time I arrived at the stop my bottles were almost empty. No problem - a refill and a handful of calories, and I was off again. After a while, it seemed I was struggling to keep my speed up for no apparent reason, and the sun was getting ever stronger. As I pressed on, my struggling seemed to intensify, and it was here that I discovered two facts - 1) the incline was much steeper than it appeared to the eye, and 2) my back wheel was out of true and rubbing hard on the left brake pad. The vastness of the landscape had served to hide rather well the tilt of the route, and the rear wheel had conspired with it to wear me down. By about the 32 mile mark, I was pretty fatigued, down one bottle of water, and the rear wheel had become unridable. Fortunately, a SAG vehicle overtook me at this juncture, and exchanged my bad wheel for a spare he was carrying. As he advised me that the next water stop was "just ahead", I pressed on.

"Just ahead" turned out to be misleading - the next rest stop wasn't until the 40 mile mark, and by then the sun had come out in full force and I was completely out of water as I climbed the last couple of miles. I was really behind the eight ball by this time, and I seriously considered turning back. I have no real problem SAG'ing on an organized ride, but I do not like to quit, either. Especially so on a ride I have never done, and one that I'll likely not attempt again for a long time. So, I pressed on. The turn around point, Scotty's Castle, was only 14 miles ahead, and lunch sounded good. Besides, I was told by a volunteer that the next water stop was at the Grapevine Ranger Station, only 10 miles ahead.

By the time I reached the ranger station, I was down to the last few mouthfuls of water and, what was worse, there was no water to be had at the ranger station. No ride personnel, no rangers, no nothing. All buttoned down and no one in sight - except the group of riders taking refuge from the sun under the overhang. At this point I was getting aggravated about the constant lack of water on the ride, but I only had three miles to go to get to lunch. Midway up the 3 mile climb, I came across a SAG wagon parked on the shoulder, idling. He seemed surprised when I asked for water, but he did have some so shortly thereafter I did, too. I finally heaved myself into the rest stop and onto the grass, and took a break. Now, after 54 miles, I was totally shot. As I rested in the shade, I saw many people loading up into the SAG wagons and leaving the course.

I ate a bit, drank a lot, and lay still for 30 minutes or so. Feeling somewhat refreshed, I decided to make the run back. After all, it was all downhill, right? Well - yes....... and no. In aggregate it was all downhill, but there were those big rollers to contend with. Normally no big deal, but in my diminished state they were formidable obstacles. Nevertheless, off I went. It was during the return trip that I learned another fact about riding in the desert - nothing ever seems to get closer, and the vista goes on forever. The return trip was almost like riding on a conveyor belt for 3-4 hours. I could see sand dunes shimmering and dancing 40 miles distant that never seemed to draw near, until eventually I was passing to their left. At mile 93 I suffered a front flat, but that was a welcome relief as it meant I could stop riding for a little bit.

All told, I was on the road sun up to sun down, with about 8:30 of saddle time. 108 miles in the bag, and just over 4,000' of climbing. I was one whipped puppy at the end of it, but at least I earned my jersey.

Sunday I took the family on some back country road trips, and Monday we came home.

Random pics taken during the ride (except the first one!):

Cody experiences the desert for the first time. He does not wander too far:


Morning:


The road:


More road - some rollers:


It never ends. See it, to the left?:


Hey - what's that behind me? Oh, yeah. The road:


Big desert sky - see the road way off in the distance, in front of the two tiny peaks?:


Sand dunes, way in the distance:


Headed for home:


Sunset, as I finish:
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Old 10-27-09, 05:32 PM
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very nice BBM
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Old 10-27-09, 06:50 PM
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Just two pics from my daily commute.


^If I can figure out who owns the house on the other side of the street from this (behind camera) I want this to be my front porch view. It's so pretty mid-summer.
-Gene-
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Old 10-28-09, 09:19 PM
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I don't have mountain scenery, or national or state parks on my bicycle route to work. But...I do have a little bit of fall color to share. This is Dearborn, Michigan. I live in the Ford Homes Historic District.

My front yard:




My street:



Sugar maple three doors down:



Around the corner:


Black maple




Westborn Fruit Market:



Ford Motor Company WHQ:




Maple on Ford grounds:



Black oak, Ford grounds:



The maple and oak above, juxtaposed:




I also ride past the outer wall of Greenfield Village, and during the construction on Michigan Avenue last summer, I had to detour through the Henry Ford Fairlane Estate and the campus of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. I'll add photos from these places if it ever stops raining for a day.

Last edited by DavidW56; 10-28-09 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 10-28-09, 10:28 PM
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BBM -- those are great photos and that's a fine story. A good warning for the rest of us. A few comments:

- I have never biked more than a few miles at a time, and never in a climate other than the mild temperate zone here between the Great Lakes, so I have no idea what it's like to bike even 10 miles in a desert, not to speak of 100 miles. I bet it's 'way more strenuous than anything we have here in mostly flat southeastern Michigan.

- But I have done some very easy day hiking at elevation in Zion, Bryce, Glen Canyon (Lake Powell), Yosemite, and Grand Canyon. The first three were in August with daily high temps of 105. Every park office posted warnings about the dangers of not carrying enough water. Each of us carried at least a quart. Our group made sure to begin our hikes as soon as the buses could take us there, and ended them by noon -- and we were still wiped out. I'll never forget the long, unhappy faces of the other tourists just beginning their climb in Bryce Canyon in the heat of high noon while we were just leaving, heading back to the motel for a nice, cool swim.

- Despite apparently doubling and tripling my water intake, like the smart guy I thought I was, I still (ahem) peed seldom, and it was very dark yellow, indicating still not enough water in my system. That's something I won't soon forget, either. An extra quart of water over 2-4 hours was not enough for just "walking" up and down a trail.

- But the Grand Canyon warning signs were the most memorable (also, I was there just last spring break, when I visited Scottsdale and almost got to meet OFG there). They say people DIE there just by hiking to the bottom of the canyon and back to the top again in one day -- too quickly. It's due to the dehydration and heat exhaustion. They say you can lose up to two QUARTS of water every hour while hiking the hottest part of the day -- but your body can absorb only one quart of fluid every hour. So you're supposed to drink small amounts often, half a quart to a quart every hour to compensate.

- My teenaged son, the state-class swimmer, persuaded me to hike down from the rim that day. I knew we were unprepared for a real hike and did not have the time, anyway; so we went down about a quarter to a half mile, then turned back. That hike back uphill was almost like the stair-training I once did in my 15-story office building. Only it was steeper, there were no handrails, and a sheer drop. I could barely keep up with him.

- The largest water bottle I own that fits in a bottle cage holds 3 cups, or 24 ounces. You had two of these, assuming you carry that size. So you had perhaps a quart and a half to last you over each stage while pedalling uphill in 90 degree heat in Death Valley over eight hours. You could have possibly lost up to 16 quarts of water in that period, but you didn't have enough fluids available to replace them. Not surprisingly, you were worn out much more quickly than you expected.

Frankly, I thought all you California guys know all about how to handle yourselves in the desert, and while I think that's true, you might just have allowed your enthusiasm for the trip to get the better of you on this one. If someone talks me into riding in the desert, by golly, I'm having a tanker follow me. I bet the next story you post about biking through the desert will end on a higher note.

Last edited by DavidW56; 10-28-09 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 10-28-09, 11:07 PM
  #541  
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cb400Bill, thanks for posting some rural western Michigan shots. We've been vacationing in West Michigan for nearly my entire life, especially the Lake Michigan lakeshore. And yes, at least one member here (me) knows about the fruit belt. Every summer, if we were visiting my grandparents in Hesperia in late July/early August, my dad would stop at a peach orchard and buy a bushel. Those were and are the best peaches ever.
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Old 10-28-09, 11:22 PM
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When I used to ride dirt bikes through the desert, I used to take 1 1/2 gallons for the day. REI sells large flat, storable containers. They look huge in the store. They are terribly heavy in the morning. But by the end of every ride they are empty and you are saying, "Jeez, I sure wish we had more water."
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Old 10-29-09, 12:14 AM
  #543  
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Way to hang in there BBM. I can only imagine the temptation to hop into the SAG wagon. It has to be very satisfying when you look back on it, like you said, you earned your jersey.
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Old 10-29-09, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by DavidW56
. Every summer, if we were visiting my grandparents in Hesperia in late July/early August, my dad would stop at a peach orchard and buy a bushel. Those were and are the best peaches ever.
I grew up in Grant, which is about 30 minutes from Hesperia.
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Old 10-29-09, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill
I grew up in Grant, which is about 30 minutes from Hesperia.
The world gets smaller every day. We would pass through Grant on our way to their house, because M-37runs through it. My uncle ran track for the Hesperia high school, competed against Grant, IIRC. When they moved up there in 1966, it was the first year of the Hesperia Consolidated Schools; prior to that, there were these one-room schoolhouses and such, scattered around the township. Or so he told me.
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Old 10-29-09, 03:06 PM
  #546  
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I took this a few weeks ago out by the Rondout Reservoir.

It was a great fall day!

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Old 10-29-09, 04:16 PM
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That looks like my ride yesterday, wet leaves everywhere! There was a steep climb with so many wet leaves that we had to walk our bikes up.
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Old 10-29-09, 06:28 PM
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We went to lunch today on our Santana Tandem. When we got home we decided to take in some fall color, while riding a couple of our vintage Schwinns.

Mine: '82 World Tourist
Hers: '77 Suburban (in the rare Flamingo color)

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Old 10-29-09, 06:39 PM
  #549  
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Originally Posted by TeamTi700


We went to lunch today on our Santana Tandem. When we got home we decided to take in some fall color, while riding a couple of our vintage Schwinns.

Mine: '82 World Tourist
Hers; '77 Suburban (in the rare Flamingo color)
gorgeous shot! Schwinn could have used it in one of their catalogs
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Old 10-30-09, 01:45 PM
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I decided to ride the nearby Wupatki National Monument/Sunset Crater National Monument loop. The entire ride turned out to be 52 miles. That didn't seem like too much, especially since the first part of the ride, north on Highway 89 to the Wupatiki NM turnoff, is 14 miles of mostly downhill and then 1 uphill mile. The ride begins at 7200' in ponderosa pine and goes down in pinyon pine/juniper and finally into grassland at around 4500'. Oh yeah, you have to ride back up to 7200' to complete the loop.


The route from Highway 89 to the Wupatki Visitor Center is 13 miles of rolling terrain with some short but very steep downhill sections. There was virturally no traffic but I did see a few other cyclist out enjoying the perfect weather. I decided to take my 1997 Cannondale mtn. bike that I recently coverted into a tourer. I can only carry 2 water bottles on my road bike and I wanted to take four for the trip even though I knew I could refill at the Visitors Center. I also had a jacket and a good bit of snacks. I took this same bike, fully loaded, on a ride to the Grand Canyon a few weeks ago and I really wanted to ride it again as it is super smooth and comfortable.



There are many prehistoric ruins at Wupatki that were inhabited until ~1300. I didn't take the time to visit all the ruins open to the public (I've seen them in the past) but I did check out a couple of them.

There are truly hundreds of ruins in the Flagstaff area on Forest Service land that I've checked out but most have been illegally dug in and heavily disturbed. It is neat seeing these protected ruins. Some have been rebuilt and/or stabilized. Luckily I didn't spend too much time at the Monument because the next 13 miles were all uphill with some of it being quite steep. I worked in this area much of the summer so I should have realized how difficult it was going to be but i didn't..... It was a good bit harder than I anticipated but it turned out to be a lot fun.

This is the beginning of the climb. The worst part was that I was staring into the sun for the entire time and the sun was coming over the top of my sunglasses into my eyes.

I eventually made it to Sunset Crater NM and then to Bonito Park where my wife picked me up just as the sun went behind the San Francisco Peaks and the temperature immediately plummeted a good 15 degrees or so.


This is an excellent ride and a great introduction to both the geologic and prehistoric occupation history of the area.
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