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)

Tour de Cure – Riding Against Diabetes

Growing up, I watched as my grandmother struggled to keep her insulin levels under control. As an adult, I watched as my father-in-law did the same. Ultimately, diabetes was a contributing factor in both of their deaths. It runs in the family.

Next weekend, our family will ride 25 miles in the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure to help raise money for diabetes research (I wanted to ride 75 miles but it was more important to be able to stay with Miles on his longest ride yet). We are riding because it is an opportunity to change the future and to make a positive impact in the lives of those who are affected by diabetes.

Rest stop in the vineyards

I just signed up to ride in the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure. I’d like to invite you to support me in my efforts to Stop Diabetes!

Tour de Cure is an opportunity to change the future and make a positive impact in the lives of all those affected by diabetes. And it’s a great ride!

Chances are, you also know someone who has been affected by diabetes and you already know how important it is to stop this disease. My goal is to raise . Will you join me by visiting my personal page and making a donation?

By supporting me, you will help the American Diabetes Association provide community-based education programs, protect the rights of people with diabetes and fund critical research for a cure.

The power we have together far outweighs what I can do alone. Please join me by donating to this great cause – it would mean so much to me!

Thank you!

Scot Hacker

P.S. Thank you for considering making a donation to my efforts! Also, if you’re interested in riding, I’d love the company! Visit my personal page or the Tour website for more information.

Update: The ride was fantastic, and all of us completed 25 miles, no sweat. Together, we ended up raising more than $700, strengthened our bodies, and had a great time. Some pics from the day in this Flickr Set.


Team Lanesplitter!

Little Farm –> Alvarado

A while ago, Miles and I discovered that the fire road leading from Little Farm in the Berkeley Hills led all the way to Alvarado Park (a wonderful old WPA park) in Richmond, near his school – around seven miles through winding, rolling hills. After working out a detour for the section that doesn’t allow bikes, invited a bunch of parents and their kids to gather for a multi-family ride, which happened yesterday in absolutely gorgeous post-Thanskgiving weather.

Generally downhill on the way there, generally uphill on the way back, kids only had to get off and push a couple of times – was so proud of them for having the gumption to go for it and complete the 14-mile RT. Wildcat Canyon Trail still a bit muddy from recent rains, but getting mud stripes up our backs just added to the fun. Such a fantastic way to start the day, and way more fun than fighting crowds in the Black Friday scene.

None of my photos came out that great, but did manage to capture a usable GPS track. Here’s the live version.

Group photo by Rachel Hollowgrass:

Real World “Like” Button

Note left on my bike by an anonymous admirer (OK, “Nick”) this evening. Apparently Facebook idioms have suffused our lives so thoroughly that we now need to get creative with post-its when Real Life is absent a “Like” button.

Like bamboo bike

Chico Wildflower / Mildflower

My introduction to distance biking happened Sunday on the 31st annual Chico Wildflower Ride, though I actually did the 65-mile “Mildflower” loop rather than the full 100-mile Wildflower. But given that my previous longest ride had been 40 miles around Wildcat Canyon, it was vigorous enough for starters (though not as intense as I had imagined it would be). I had blown it up in my head, thinking it would be one of the most physically challenging experiences of my life – but once you get into a rhythm, the miles fly by quickly.

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Wildcat Canyon Fail

Attempt to find a 25-mile route all the way around Wildcat Canyon pretty much failed. Turned from San Pablo Dam Road onto 24 West, then signs said I had to exit the freeway. No where to go, totally stuck. So ventured onto EBMUD land and ended up hiking with the bike three miles up a muddy path, pushing the bike. Road bike brakes got totally clogged with mud, had to take the wheel off and clean them out by hand at home. Has anyone done this? How the heck are you supposed to complete the circuit cleanly?

Metric Century

Less talk, more action! Just signed up to do a 65-mile (metric century) bike tour of Chico’s wildflower wilderness this April, with +Chris Tweney and whoever else wants to join. Could be up to 4,000 riders on the run.

Though I bicycle commute daily, have never done a ride this long before. Time to start training, but my commuter bike is too heavy, and wrong riding position. Hit up a friend for advice, scoured the craigslist boards, and ended up with a 2005 LeMond Tourmalet – tightly tuned and ready to go! Got what I consider a very good deal.

Next weekend will probably see what I can do on a 20-miler.

How to Talk About Cycling to a Conservative

Excellent piece at How to Talk About Cycling to a Conservative, making the case that it’s actually quite easy to make the case for bicycle commuting to a conservative, if you frame it right. What conservatives don’t want to hear: Knee-jerk blanket statements like “Oil corporations are evil” and “Cars are stupid.” Points to make instead: “Bicycling reduces dependence on foreign oil” and “Bicycling builds self-reliance” and “Bicycling reduces traffic congestion.” Worth a read. xxx

This response at the LinkedIn bicycle commuters’ group by Joshua Putnam sums it up well:

The conservative arguments for cycling are really quite strong — it’s an exercise in self-reliance, it builds character and physical fitness in a society where a majority of young adults are unfit for military service, it reduces consumption of foreign oil, it reduces public expense for roads and health care, it extends the productive working lives of bicycle commuters, and it increases the workplace productivity of bicycle commuters while reducing absenteeism. Those are all valid, documented benefits that make bicycle commuting beneficial to the health of the republic, as well as to individual cyclists.

Bicycle Commuters per Region

Just had a fascinating 2-hour session on working with, which lets you create all kinds of amazing map/data mashups, using publicly uploaded and shared data sets and shape files. The data behind this map of Male bicycle commuters per region is very old (from the 2000 census) – would love to do the mashup again when the 2010 data comes out in March, to see how it compares.

Takes some tweaking to get the population distributions to tell the story, but here you can see how dramatically bicycle usage increases in urban centers, i.e. where bicycle commuting is feasible, then drops precipitously as you head out toward the ‘burbs.

Be sure to enabled the Legend at lower right to make sense of the shaded regions. My only complaint is that the map has to load all of its data before it can draw shaded regions for the current viewport. But otherwise, wow – this was incredibly easy to do.

View full map

Bamboo Bike – Renovo Pandurban

Back in January 2010, I donated my old Gary Fisher mountain bike to the Peace Corps in Africa and took a leap for my next ride – decided to buy a custom-built bike from a small shop in Portland called Renovo, who specialize in wooden and bamboo bikes (laminated, not raw bamboo stalk like some other bike makers do). Renovo sent me a body measurement chart and the wife diligently took to me with a tape measure, so the resulting frame and parts would be dialed in perfectly for my dimensions.

Renovo builds some incredible stuff – every one of their bikes, from road bikes to mountain bikes to commuters, is a work of art, made with love and incredible craftsmanship. These guys know what they’re doing – in a former life, the Renovo guys were building wooden airplanes.
Continue reading “Bamboo Bike – Renovo Pandurban”