Morro Bay Lighthouse Century

A summer of hard bicycle training finally paid off! I had done several metric century (65 mile) rides over the past decade, but both of my previous full century attempts had been thwarted. Two years ago, I overtrained and developed a tendon problem behind the knee that could have resulted in serious/permanent damage if I had pressed on. Then the next year, an illness in the family resulted in a logistical problem that forced me to do yet another metric.

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This year, I wasn’t going to be stopped. Started serious training in the spring, ramping up slowly from 25 miles to 40, then 65, then a couple of 75 mile days toward the end of summer. Also focused on elevation, tackling both Mt. Tam and Mt. Diablo in August and September.

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Started to learn more about the importance of sodium and electrolyte replacement too, trying half of the ride supplement packets on the market. And I introduced a weekly time trial into the mix, doing exactly the same 8-mile, 1000-ft sprint after work twice a week.

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Mountain Biking the Coastal Trail, Marin Headlands

Decided to take a mountain bike out to one of my favorite hiking trails in the Marin Headlands yesterday – the Coastal Trail from Alexander Drive down to the Headlands Center for the Arts. Recorded the trip with a helmet-mount GoPro and edited it down to 9 minutes (probably still too long, but I didn’t have time to make it shorter. Hopefully catches a bit of the feeling of being out there on a perfect November afternoon.

Rider creates massive bike on Strava

I’ve seen some of these done by hiking geocachers, but this is the first I’ve encountered at this scale (done by a cyclist, not a geocacher): Completely astonishing – from Cycling Weekly:

Salisbury rider David Taylor has created a stunning piece of Strava Artwork – a massive bicycle mapped out around the New Forest, Bournemouth and surrounding area. Taylor carefully plotted out a route in the shape of the bike and then undertook the mammoth 212-mile (341 kilometre) ride on September 20 that also took in 7,201 feet (2,195 metres) of climbing.

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On that note, I’m a big user of MapMyRide, but am curious – do you prefer MMR or Strava? What are their comparative advantages? Likes/dislikes? I hear Strava is more conservative with battery usage, but that may just be anecdotal.

Tour de Fat

Just back from Tour de Fat 2014 @ Golden Gate Park, SF.

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New Belgium (who make Fat Tire Ale) is an eco-friendly brewery that gets all their power from the wind, and who issue free commuting bicycles to all of their employees.

And they’re famous for throwing these huge annual bicycle parties all over the country. Starting with an anything-goes bike parade, followed by a full day of great food, music, stage performances, and bike stuff.

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Hand-painted tent wall.

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Me gazing out on the festivities through a steampunk periscope.

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More images in this Flickr Set

Nimitz Way / Conlon Trail Loop

New favorite mountain bike trek in the east bay – our usual 4-mile section from Inspiration Point to the old concrete overlooks, then beyond on dirt along “Old Nimitz Way.” Bumping on down the Belgum Trail till my wrists ached all the way down to Wildcat. Heading back, branch off on Conlon for the insane diagonal back up from 400 to 1100 feet (I admit to walking the bike through part of that one). I’m spent! And blissed.

Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyRide

Tilden Loop – GoPro

Wonderful three-mile loop through the heart of Tilden Park in the Berkeley Hills. Up Meadows Canyon, down on Curran Trail, then back along the Gorge trail. Mountain biked with a helmet-mount GoPro.

The actual ride was around 20 minutes. The first two minutes of this are edited down from the uphill – I left the downhill mostly intact.

The complexity of the foliage and the fast motion make the video codecs really struggle – wish I could show you the uncompressed original.

Levi’s GranFondo, 2013

Feel so blessed to have found a family activity we can all enjoy together. Spent the weekend in Santa Rosa with Amy and Miles, and rode the Piccolo route of the Levi’s GranFondo – a ride first through the rolling hills of Santa Rosa wine country and then out along the coastal cliffs. Since our son has just turned 11, we did the shortest ride (the Piccolo). It was definitely a challenge for him, but he applied all his willpower and muscle and made it the entire way – his longest ride yet. So proud of him!

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Absolutely gorgeous countryside, with a solid 1-mile climb at the end that sapped every ounce of M’s strength. Recharged on watermelon, PBJs, and nuts, then the return voyage. I bolted the GoPro onto the handlebars and set it to capture one image every 60 seconds. So photos are not as “intentional” as they might be, but I did end up with a really nice random sampling. Unfortunately, I left the wifi feature enabled, which chewed up the battery. Camera went dead about halfway through, so you don’t get any of the high-speed downhill or the traipse over the Greenway toward the end – corn fields on one side and a babbling brook on the other.

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One of the highlights of the day: Barreling down hill at 35mph into the 2nd half, guy whizzes past us yelling at the top of his lungs JESUS CHRIST I’M HAPPY!!!!

Truly incredible day. A few of the keeper images:

View the Flickr Set

or see the slideshow (go full-screen please!)

Old San Pablo Dam Road – GoPro

Not the main road you’re used to, but the old / abandoned one that runs down near the water. Not exactly easy to access, but blissful once you do. Combination paved/unpaved (you’ll want a mountain bike), and extends the entire length of San Pablo Dam, around 4 miles each way.

Doing a father/son ride with Miles on his 11th birthday.

Old San Pablo Dam Road – GoPro Mountain Bike from Scot Hacker on Vimeo.

Music: Emahoy Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou :: The Homeless Wanderer

Schmidt Lane Descent

Five-minute descent through the Hillside Nature Area in El Cerrito CA (our family affectionately calls the area “Schmidt Lane” for the name of the street you enter from).

Shot with GoPro Hero3 Black + helmet mount, edited in the new GoPro Studio software. Sorry about the abrupt music ending – Studio currently has no audio envelope controls.

Ironically, I wiped out on the way going up and wracked my knee, though managed to stay upright on the descent :).

Music: Can – One More Night (Ege Bamyasi)