Dream rides that will never be…Part II

November 16, 2022

Somewhere in the Santa Cruz Mountains in 1989.

In 2018, I posted an article about dream rides, which are rides that are not legal but should be. I barely scratched the surface. Of course, these routes will remain a dream, but that’s okay. One day, in the metaverse, we’ll do these rides from the comfort of home. Just kidding.

Butano Ridge Trail. The hiking trail runs along the spine of hills separating Pescadero Creek from the coast. It’s a roller coaster ride. It continues, on private land past Dearborn Park Road to Cloverdale Road. There’s a gate here, and you are not welcome.

Star Hill Road. San Mateo County abandoned most of the road in the late 1800s. There went another fantastic ride to the Pacific Coast from Tunitas Creek Road/Kings Mountain Road at Skyline Boulevard. It’s a cattle ranch now, but the road is still there.

Native Sons Road. This road has always been private for some distance beyond the public section. It used to connect to a logging road at Mitchell Creek and Tunitas Creek Road. There was another bridge farther down from Mitchell Creek that spanned Tunitas Creek and accessed Native Sons, but it collapsed at least 25 years ago.

Harry Road. Moving to South San Jose, how about opening this paved road through IBM Research – Almaden Labs. It connects Camden Avenue and Santa Teresa County Park via Bernal Road.

Cathermola Road. Most cyclists have no idea there’s a road extending from Loma Prieta Road past Lake Elsman to Aldercroft Heights Road. But if you do, you must also know there’s a nudist camp nearby. San Jose Water Department owns some of the road. Unless you buy a controlling interest in this publicly held company, there will be no legal rides.

Coast Trail. I haven’t forgotten Marin County, which has more than its share of illegal trails. The Coast Trail for one. It runs from Bear Valley Visitor Center, Pt. Reyes National Seashore, to the coast, and then south all the way to Bolinas.

Ormsby Cutoff. This unpaved road is part of a network extending from Summit Road. It goes from Buzzard Lagoon Road/Eureka Canyon Road to Summit Road. The natives are not friendly.

Haul Road. It runs from Memorial Park at Pescadero Creek Road over to Old Mill Road, which connects to Hwy 236 at Hwy 9. There’s a gate near the southeast boundary of Portola State Park. The gated road should become public. It might, 50-100 years from now.

That’s it for now. There are many more roads.

Almaden Bridge close to completion

November 14, 2022

Our tax dollars will soon bring us a completed bridge over Alamitos Creek near Almaden Reservoir.

The old bridge had an off-camber slope and a sharp corner.

The new bridge is a big improvement.

As usual, Almaden Reservoir has the most water, at 49 percent capacity.

Cleaning and adjusting a Chris King headset

November 11, 2022

Around 2004, I purchased and installed a fancy Chris King GripNut headset. My intent was to support U.S. made products and machinists. Not to save money.

It has been on the Saso the entire time and has a good many miles. I never thought to do maintenance on it because it’s a sealed-bearing headset.

It’s not far from the truth to say sealed-bearing headsets never need maintenance.

I decided to have a look anyway.

After unthreading the lock nut/adjusting ring, I pried off the metal ring covering the bearings and took out the rubber gasket to reveal the bearings (see YouTube video).

Sure enough they had plenty of grease, although after so many years it was starting to show its age.

I followed the YouTube recommendation for cleaning and lubricating.

Assembling the headset is a bit tricky because it uses a steel collet. A collet is a neat way of ensuring a solid clamp onto the steer tube.

The collet needs to be threaded onto the adjusting ring before installation onto the steer tube. There’s a notch in the collet that matches up with an indent on the adjusting ring.

Next you thread on the lock ring over the adjusting ring and THEN thread this single unit onto the steer tube.

Don’t tighten the lock ring too much, just enough so the threads catch.

This process is key for a successful installation.

Be sure the steer tube is greased and spotless, with no grit. While the collet has a steel thread, the rest of the threads on the King headset are aluminum. They can be stripped without much force.

Tighten down the assembly and adjust/tighten the lockring/adjusting rings with spanners for a smooth fit (see Brompton YouTube video).

Collet (above)

What I call trash talk

November 6, 2022

Nothing bothers me more than picking up empty liquor containers on my “trash rides.”

I found a bunch of beer and vodka bottles at the summit of Mt. Eden Road today.

Modolo, Corona, and Coors found favor with this crowd.

It comes as no surprise that I saw fresh donuts at the intersection of Mt. Eden Road and Stevens Canyon Road.

There must have been a sideshow, and then drinking, or the other way around.

Drinking and driving take their toll in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I see makeshift roadside tributes to lost loved ones all the time on nearby roads.

I don’t recommend riding at night, especially Friday and Saturday.

2023 Santa Cruz Mountains bike calendar

November 1, 2022

The new year is just around the corner, so time for a new calendar.

I compiled my best bike photos taken in the Santa Cruz Mountains over the decades, starting in 1980.

All calendar proceeds go to the Sempervirens Fund for preservation and expansion of Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

On Magcloud now, and printed in the USA.

Win a book of your choice

October 22, 2022

ALWAYS wear a helmet.

In the spirit of Halloween, I’m offering one free book I’ve written. Just add a comment below to be considered.

Qualifiers: My books are listed on Amazon. 2023 Santa Cruz Mountains bike calendar (Magcloud), paperback, or Kindle, $15.95 maximum value. Ones still in print.

I’ll decide on the winner after Halloween. No need to tell me what book you want. I’ll ask the winner directly. Book will be shipped direct from Amazon or Magcloud.

Your comment can be on any subject, serious, funny, you decide.

Jobst Brandt book on Kickstarter

October 21, 2022

Be sure to sign up for the definitive book on the life of Jobst Brandt, coming soon.

Kickstarter will have the details.

Skeletons on steroids

October 9, 2022

At least 10 feet tall.

I’m not sure what planet these guys lived on, but it wasn’t earth. The one with the cape, located in Los Altos Hills, is ready for Halloween.

The one below we call The Terminator. It used to be on Stage Road, but moved to an undisclosed location nearby.

The Terminator. Loved the movie.

Continental Gatorskin 6000+ miles

October 7, 2022

Continental Gatorskin lasts a long time.

Once again, the Continental Gatorskin 700 x 28 tire lives a long life — 6,000 miles, from March 15, 2019 to today.

This time they didn’t see much dirt, so they lasted a bit longer than my last one at 5,400 miles.

This one was rotated once to the front.

The Continental Ultra Sport II, which I put on at the same time, gave out in September 2021.

The Ultra Sport II is not to be confused with the Grand Sport, which lasted an amazing 7,500 miles.

The tire shows signs of unraveling, literally. Gatorskin tires exhibit this behavior with age. Loose cords are a good indication you should change your tire.

I thought I heard the sound of cords snapping before my ride. I wasn’t taking any chances, even though there’s still rubber.

I’ve seen tires ridden down to the cord.

Skidders reimagined…coming soon

October 2, 2022

Skidders due out soon on Amazon.

Some years ago I published my first novel, Skidders. I’ve been meaning to make improvements and expand on the story.

It won’t be long now before I re-release the novel.

At its core there’s cycling, but I’ve expanded the topic to include other elements. The Day of Discord, as I call it, will be explosive.

Self-driving cars, here we come.