Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ride report from San Francisco

Over the holidays I got out of Vic for a family vacation in San Francisco. Being an old crotchety bastard I figured I'd need some excuse to leave the company of my family from time to time. So what better excuse than to bring a bike?

If you get a chance to go visit the Bay area I highly recommend bringing a bike. I only got out on the bike 5 times in the two weeks I was there, but it was more than worth it.


Mash rides every Tuesday morning. We rode cross bikes at Golden gate park for about two hours. Lots of good singletrack in there. Ramon and Andres were representing for Mash and they can rip.

more after the jump



 Malcolm is a guy I met at the Mash ride, he's got a penchant for Merckx bicycles, gravel epics and physics. We rode Mount Tamalpais together (he did it on 39x23 gearing on his vintage Merckx). I felt equally stupid on that mountain on a road bike as I did on Grouse Mountain in Vancouver. The mountain biker in me did not approve. Nevertheless it was awesome. We did a roughly 110km loop from SF, up Mt. Tam down into Stinson Beach and up the mountain again from the other side and then back. One of the great rides of 2012.

 There is no lack of turns and switchbacks on the Bay area mountains. The gradient is perfect for long climbs. Very doable on a fixed gear should it strike your fancy. It struck mine.
I met a guy who said he rode up Mt. Tam on a fixed gear, except he rode up the Railway grade which is a gravel trail to the top. Respect.

 Dan Leonard is a gentleman, an Ironman (5 times!) and a general baddass who does the Stuckylife crew proud wherever he goes. He guided me up Mt. Diablo which is literally a 20min ride from his door. We started in sunshine, rode into some pretty chilly clouds on the climb and got soaked on the way back after a thrilling and mostly dry descent. Mt. Diablo is a fantastic climb with stunning views and hardly any traffic. Highly recommended.

 There's an evil ramp at the top which goes up to 17% grade. Dan told it who was boss.
After doing this climb it will be fun to see the Tour of California pros do it next summer.

  I forgot the Stuckylife stickers so I slapped on a Mash one instead.  


 Dan's beer card from the local bar in Danville (Yes, Dan lives in Danville). He gets one mark for each new beer he tries. He's well into the 200's which is considered moderate at that particular establishment. My kind of joint.
 Rainy day ride up Twin Peaks.

On the 30th of December Dan and I traveled to Seaside and took part in the CCCX/USA Cycling/NCNCA District Championships. I signed up for the Open A's which may or may not have been a mistake. Saying the pace was unrelenting is an understatement. These guys know how to go fast.
The course was fun although not very technical and therefore not suited to Icelanders on a holiday food and beer binge. On the third corner I was third from last, on the ropes, gasping for air and thinking: "what the hell have I gotten myself into." I have never been as close to puking in a race as I was in this one and I came close at least a half a dozen times.
Dan did awesome however, logging a 9th place finish with a smile. He loves cyclocross, he just does not really love other people telling him that he loves it, while he's doing it:

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