Archives for the month of: July, 2014
4 sale

photo credit mme. velocia

Wisconsin made Pelican 58cm frame/fork/headset (a9) only, $1200. No paypal. shipping on you.

Custom aspects of frame: 7/4/7 tubes with 8/5/8 downtube (not sure what brand, maybe OX platinum), columbus sl fork blades and columbus rear dropouts, no idea what crown is.

Fender eyelets, no rack eyelets front or rear. Chainstays are 43cm.

Offers for entire bike considered.



This is it! The ride I have in a half-hearted and half-assed way prepared for by doing the standard SFR brevet series and a few other less regimented rides in the Marin Headlands. I want to do this ride because it will take me where I have never been, to those roads I see off to the side of the standard randonnees and wonder where they will take me, what will I see.

I develop a formal final bit of ‘training’ and even make a calendar of it to follow. I follow little of it, but at least I had some good intentions paving my way.

my road to Orr Springs was paved with these intentions

my road to Orr Springs was paved with these intentions

At the start I see a few of the usual SFR riders for this sort of thing, plus a bunch of strangers attracted to the adventure from far away. Max gives me my brevet card along with an admonishment for being almost late to the start.

I do my usual thing at the start of a randonnee by getting to the front so as to miss any mishaps around bridge uprights, random bollards and other obstacles that I know of but that can panic or take out another until we get to the turn off the bike path to highway 1. On highway 1 I get to chat with Bryan and Greg, and to offer a spare tail light to Ernesto. Aaron is long gone, my having lost sight of him in Sausalito before the little bump on the way out of town.

The rest of the bunch catches me near the top of the descent to Muir Beach but I want a little more control over my space on the downhill so I get to the front once more. The group catches me after on the way up and then quickly disappears before I get to Stinson. I am relieved to be able to set my own pace and think my own thoughts.

The morning is breezy and I enjoy the cooling slight headwind all the way to Occidental where I catch up with Roland. I do my thing at the control and leave slightly before he does, but I do not see Roland again until we are near the top of King Ridge. I am stopped for a short rest and a bit of water when he arrives – that first pitch is a bit of a climb. I leave the flat spot I am perched on and continue climbing on to the pretty part of King Ridge with the brown grass and the switchbacks. In the switchbacks a bunch of yahoos on Harleys come at me at speed, the first two almost take me out, the third almost panic crashes, the fourth passes safely and the last one shakes a finger at me as if I am the problem out there.

Harley riders are so pathetic. I have no need for a mechanical contraption to haul me up steep grades or to make loud noises that set off car alarms and strikes terror into the hearts of passersby, just give me a couple bottles of ensure and 50 miles as any of my riding partners can attest to! I too can gain the attention of the ladies with a blip and a pop as easily as any Harley rider.

Roland soon passes me after the Harley yahoos and I see him again at Tin Barn Road and I assist him with the answer of the info question. Roland leaves me while I drink water and look around.

There are a lot of cattle grates in this region and they are very smooth to ride on, except the next one I encounter at speed. This one looks like all the trailer hitches hit the pavement in front and it looks bad as there is a group of cyclists changing flats on the far side of it. I smack it pretty good but get off without any damage. This grate ended the ride for one of our group, I heard.

The day had been breezy, but getting to the coast the day has turned windy. After that bit of climbing on King Ridge what might have been a bit easier stretch turns out to be nearly as much work too. I get to Gualala and force myself to eat a tasty burrito and drink an ensure. I try to relax and rest but nothing is making me feel better, so I figure I better leave and see how things go.

Climbing Pacific Woods is the longest sustained steep pitch of the ride, and then there is more climbing before I get to descend to Fish Rock. The climb is hot and not even a little bit of that strong wind is present to cool me as I head up. I get to the top, rest, and keep moving, keep climbing, and things are getting worse, digging that hole that I fear I cannot climb out of, that hole of exhaustion.

I halt in a shady spot and Roland rides up and I explain how where I am right now is the last place to bail on the ride. To go any further is to be committed to the whole ride, the unofficial sag wagon is sure to be full in Ukiah if there were even any chance of that. Roland heads off to the heat and dust of Fish Rock and I turn back home. Too tired to cry either for the joy of heading home or the humiliation of defeat.

Roland leaves me behind. Sob. photo swiped from Roland without asking

Roland leaves me behind. Sob. photo swiped from Roland without asking

The coast is gorgeous, and the traffic picks up a bit so I decide to take a side trip up Kruse Ranch, a quiet dirt road to the top of the coast hill. This road is featured on another of Max’s adventure rides and is beautiful, bumpy and not at all hard a climb except for a couple of spots. I string together a few more of Max’s quiet steepish roads on the way home and get back about 330am, having completed what turns out to be a Gualala 400k.

The next day I return to the Golden Gate Bridge at 7pm to see the finishers and get my drop bag of food. On the way to the bridge I get to chat with Angela who worked the Ukiah control and at the bridge congratulate the finishers and see Roy’s broken bike.

Will I be back? Maybe. We will see.