Even though it looks awesome...

Doesn't mean it is.

I thought I'd explore a little on the moto this weekend, find some new twists to wrap my head around. I'd heard a lot about Old La Honda Road, but had never (surprisingly) ridden on it, car, bike, or motorcycle. So after taking my regular route out to the beach and back up 84, I turned right on Skyline to take the east section of Old La Honda Road down the hill. On a map it looks like some awesome twisties, in reality, the road is so freaking narrow that it would be a suicide mission to take any of those turns with any speed whatsoever. I could see climbing from Portola Road to Skyline on a bicycle, but bleah on the moto. Don't bother.


Just testing out the latest HDR software I downloaded. This is nice cuz it doesn't look like a painting, etc. Still need to try some other things, but here's the first attempt:

Bagpipes Sound Across Crystal Springs

Just a little catchup on the weekend and the bicycle rides I took. Believe it or not, I did not take the moto into the hills this weekend. I think that is a first for a sunny weekend. I did, however, take the bicycle into the hills. It's crazy because I used to do this all the time and for some reason these rides seemed insurmountable to me lately. Yes, the hills were tough, but not even close to insurmountable... It was actually really fun exploring to find a nice circular route. Here's the route from Saturday:

Kind of rode across San Mateo from my apartment by the bay and up Crystal Springs Road to Sawyer Camp Trail and the reservoir. On Friday I actually got on Sawyer Camp Trail and headed north a while. It's a beautiful ride, but everyone and his bed-ridden (I'm not kidding) father knows it. Literally, there was a guy pushing what was close to a hospital bed down the trail with a man just barely meatier than a skeleton riding along with his fishing hat and iv drip. He had that tight-skinned, perma-grimace that the dying seem to wear. He was happy to be out, but maybe in pain as well? His skin was pale and looked scuffed right to the reddish, whitish bone in some places where a sore had developed. Don't get me wrong. It was great that he was out and getting sun and (maybe?) having fun. It's just a comment on how trafficked this trail is. I'm sure it's worse on a Saturday or, god forbid, Sunday. I've decided they either have to let me ride my moto on the Sawyer Camp Trail (nice twists) or depave (is that a word? I don't care, it sounds nice and is close to deprave) the trail so it's less appealing to the yuppie, stroller jogging, visor wearing, Burlingamed crowd. Here's the view of the reservoir from the trail:

I went north for a while on Friday, turned around and headed back down the trail with a new plan to take the bike bridge over 280 near 92. I got back to the trail head and thought I was going a bit crazy because I started to hear bagpipes coming from the trees along the side of the road. Yes, bagpipes. I found the guy standing just next to the dam that pretty much makes the reservoir. Here's the dam from a distance AND the bagpiper. I surreptitiously recorded him with my iPhone.


So, I went a little ways past the piper (haha), and then turned around scrapping my plan for the bike bridge as I realized I needed to start heading home because I was playing tennis at 4 and hadn't eaten anything all day. Woo hoo. The tennis was lackluster as I was a bit beat from the ride. I pulled off the first set, but had to stop in the second, too beat to continue. Bob (Newman, with whom I was playing tennis at Peninsula Tennis Club) was understanding. It was still fun. My back gets mad at me every time I have to go for a second serve. I'm determined to get an American twist serve as good as... hmm. I think his name was Jeff, but have no idea what his last name was. He was the number 1 on our tennis team in college. I would make him serve that serve to me over and over again and it baffled me each time how it seemed to defy the laws of physics. I can still see it in slow motion, the arc the ball was traveling along, I would pull back my racket, the ball headed to my forehand side and then it would kiss the ground and the crazy spin he had put on it sent it straight to my back hand. I felt like an idiot every time. I could only stand there and watch the ball jump in a completely "wrong" direction. I gotta get that serve whether I end up with snapped vertebrae or not...

After tennis I went to Japanese food with my roomies, chicken katsu, california rolls, oh man, it was good. And got to watch The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus as well. I will say nothing about it here as I don't know if you've seen it or not. Aw, Heath...

On Saturday I didn't even really plan to take a bike ride. I did go see Iron Man 2 at a morning, IMAX showing at the Metreon with Jimmy and Jon. Again I won't say anything about it, but the movie sure did make my motorcycle ride home an awesome little super-hero fantasy, the helmet, the dials and meters, whether speed or od, reflected in the visor... So fun.

The rest of the day was supposed to be for chores, laundry, etc. At about 2 I realized I was starving. I was just going to ride my bike over to Subway and ride home. I stuffed my face and decided to ride around a little to burn some of the sub off. Well, then I found myself climbing Crystal Springs road again. I'm not even sure when I decided I was going to complete what I had started on Friday, but if you look at the first picture of the map you'll see that I turned on my GPS app about halfway up Crystal Springs. No bagpipes this time but I did come pretty much face-to-face with a deer. She had moved farther away by the time I got my camera out:

And here are a few other photos from both under and over 280:

All in all some good rides and a good weekend. Since these are all paved rides I definitely don't NEED my mountain bike for them, but I still contend that, if a single, dirt track did present itself, I could have been all over it, while the road bikers would be left, not in the dust. See what I did there. Okay. Have good two-wheeling, whatever that may be.

Scenes From A Bicycle

Here are a few shots from different bicycle rides I took this week. First one of the kite-boarder I took today. Probably will have some more random images of the week tomorrow. Road my motorcycle just about every second of the weekend... well, with the exception of when I was on my bicycle.

Last Stagecoach Hold-Up

I was remembering the bicycle rides I used to take when I first moved out here, long, hill-filled, more on the western sides of the cities of the peninsula. Lately I've just been riding along the flats of the bay and feeling kind of trapped over here. It's gorgeous, don't get me wrong, but flat. So today I ventured west across San Mateo trying to get to the hills. Wasn't as difficult as I thought. And, the best thing, I found where the last stage coach was robbed in San Mateo. The following photos are from the last two days of bike rides, both down by the bay and today's ride toward the hills, and a random shot at a gas station at the end of my block.

My route yesterday. I went home the same way I went...

Read this! It's too funny.

Pier of Death

Went through a massive mud puddle on a bike ride today. I was speckled like a warbler's egg. And then found the dinner scene of a seabird. Looks like he stumbled along this pier-like structure that juts out into the coastal wetlands, cracked open the shell of whatever this was, oyster or clam, and sucked it right down to its mother-of-pearl inner walls. This is the same place I found a torn off wing. Seems like a lot of brutal nature goes on here.