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A Press Democrat Blog

Bicycling Sonoma

The spin on riding

The devil that is Mt Diablo

Mount Diablo hovers above the East Bay landscape as the 4,000 foot high menace promising to dish out some sort of bizarre torture to all those who intend to scale it on two wheels. It is also the most frequented long climb by bike riders on the entire west coast. I have pedaled up the mountain in every season of the year and Diablo never fails to disappoint in what it has to offer. Last year during the stage of… Read More »

Riding in June-uary

Levi titled his Strava ride in Annadel yesterday “June-uary.” Though we may have been teased last month that our water woes have been put to rest temporarily, the reality is that we are still knee deep mired in our three year drought. The benefit to these dry days that we are experiencing is the incredible weather for enjoying the outdoors. The difference this year to last, is that the early rains put our verdant seasonal grasses and wildflowers back on… Read More »

Looking forward to 2015 and taking a last glance at 2014

So the year of 2014 is nearly over. Was it a good or bad year for you? As I get older, the grading of my past year is put in this perspective: was I healthy, did I do the things that I enjoy and did I get to spend it with the people that I love? By my account, 2014 will go down as a pretty good one. Riding my bicycle is often a solo experience, but it allowed me… Read More »

Being happy in Whoville

A strange thing happened this morning. At 7:30, a bright glowing orb appeared on the horizon in the eastern sky. I am quite happy about that. I am in retail and I can tell you that after about two weeks of dreary December weather, people get their knickers in a snit over just about anything. The denizens of Whoville were smiling this morning. The weather really does keep people indoors instead of breathing fresh air that opens the senses and… Read More »

Pedaling between the raindrops @ Lake Shasta

Now that we seem to be back to our normal winter weather pattern, instead of the barrage of doom that our skin would soon boil off, getting out on the bike is becoming more of a challenge. I still am waiting for my invite to join Zwift , more on that later, so I have no option other than to ride between the rain drops. Visiting family in Redding over the weekend, I took advantage of the break and embarked… Read More »

Cycling amid the fall colors of Sonoma County

I had not planned on writing about the fall colors, until I made my monthly ride out to the Freestone Wildflower Bakery on Saturday. That is what happens here in Sonoma County. Sometimes the landscape just envelopes you and shouts “See, this is what I am talking about!” Reviewing the local Strava rides over the weekend, many were labeled “Fall Colors.” So, why not talk about the colors? First the weather was perfect. Cool mornings and warm afternoons. My ride… Read More »

Bicycling and not being afraid of the dark

Today starts the workweek with the clocks rolled back. Most of us will get home in the darkness of the five o’clock hour wondering what do with our lives frustratingly so, since it is still warm outside. Do we go to the gym and box in our world with a pudgy crowd spinning or treadmilling away watching Entertainment Tonight and Jeopardy? Fret not my little cycling warriors, I am here to rescue you! In the past couple of years, there… Read More »

Saving the world from Lance Armstrong

Some interesting news out of Greenville, South Carolina occurred this past week. It is the home of George Hincapie, who was a Lance Armstrong loyalist during the U.S. Postal glory days long before the crash and burn. George, with his brother, owns and operates a successful cycling sportswear company and a junior development cycling team in Greenville. This past Saturday, George hosted his annual Gran Fondo. An 80 mile pleasure ride through the fall colors of the Blue Ridge Mountains… Read More »

Saying farewell to Michael Torckler

Remember Michael Torckler? If his name does not jog your memory, he was the victim of a violent crash on Pine Flat Road on June 29, 2012. If you still need help, read about it here. The relevance of this story is that the Kiwi-born cyclist has been released from his professional team and on Oct. 28, he will be saying “Cheers” to Sonoma County as he departs permanently to his native New Zealand with his wife, Rowan, who is… Read More »

A beautifully, painful fall Shasta County day

After riding in Levi’s Gran Fondo, I had not planned on riding another big ride for some time. That changed quickly last week when several family members and friends encouraged me to participate in the Shasta Wheelman Jamboree Century held this past Saturday in Palo Cedro, which is just east of Redding. Lucky for me that I had a few days to convince myself that it would not be as hard the King Ridge Gran Fondo.  I obviously have lost… Read More »