Home?

 Berkeley (or, the East Bay), I called home for 40 years. As I parked on grizzle peak, gazing at what lay beneath me…

The whole Bay area looks peaceful from there. It look like very little has changed. But it couldn’t be further from the truth. In town, I barely recognize buildings​, most older ones were gone completely. Downtown Berkeley was my neighborhood. I’d walk out my door, skateboard in hand, and hang out practicing tricks. Shattuck Ave, up to campus, down to North Berkeley Bart. It’s just not the same any more. Busy streets, full of busy drivers. No seems to care…

And this is how I leave my home town.

Like a stranger in a familiar place.

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Memorial Day Weekend ’17

 Less and less, do I miss my old bike. I’m still super pissed that someone would steel from me ( or anyone!). But I’m realizing with every mile… That it was the wrong bike for me. 367 miles, 2 and half days…

  645cc’s, V-twin, a large gas tank​, 50+ mpg, can cruise at freeway speeds (2 up), and is still fun on twisties!! Yes I have a new Moto. An ’06 DL650. This bike is amazing! It’s like wearing the wrong shoes for months (years) and finally get the right shoes for the job.

  Saturday was spent cleaning the bike and doing minor serving.

 Then riding. And riding some more and riding some more!!!

The next morning was off to Sacramento, via the Delta.

 

The next morning I had Arlo Guthrie’s​ song stuck in my head, “…I don’t want a pickle”. So there was only one place to go! Alice’s restaurant.

 

After a great meal it was time for Chaya and I to rest. Road side lodging!

A quick hike right near by…

As we rode West on 34, we hit thick fog and some rain. Overcast skies as we continued north on 1, till just before the Golden Gate. A stop over in Sausalito and then across the San Rafael bridge back to the East Bay. 

A 3 bridge Monday! Such fun, And much needed. It’s really great having a motorcycle that carry two, and to be lucky enough to have such a great partner 😉

Yosemite

With about a day before departure, deciding on the right vehicle was upon me…

  My childhood friend invited me to Yosemite to do a quick backpacking trip. He wanted to take pictures with equipment he had. Never turning down a good adventure, I was in! I offered to drive. Thinking a pickup would be great to haul our bags in and then we’d hit the trail. But, Looking at the weather and seeing sub freezing temps, having no reservations, and a chance of snow. I rethought my vehicle choice. This sounded like a perfect situation for the RV!

  Friday morning in the East Bay was a beautiful blue sky day. Normal traffic and accidents. But I still showed up at my friend’s at the planed, 9am. After an hour of rounding up clothes, bags, camera equipment, and camping stuff, we were packed and out the door. A quick stop off at Trader Joe’s, 2 bags full of food and beer and we were set!

More accidents and traffic put us on side roads. Slow going but quite fun! I love twisties 😉

About 15:00, Yosemite park was ours (along with thousands of other people). The camera quickly came out. And with good reason. The Merced River was raging! All the rain this winter changed somethings​ there. Creeks were now rivers, waterfalls were spotted all over the canyon walls. Meadows were now marshes. Massive trees up rooted with 15 foot tall (wide) root systems. But vibes were all good. It seemed business as usual to the staff. I was told it was not that crowded, I’d hate to be there when it is! 

 We had are pick of trails, to get our Backcountry permit for.

 We decided to camp at Little Yosimite  Saturday night. In the office while we were deciding, we over heard a family asking the rangers, where the animals slept. As if, they were in a zoo…

Needless to say, I was looking forward to climbing out of the valley.

Having brought the Rv, we had a Base. We could arrange our belongings, make food, go to the bathroom, glamping!

With our bellies full and bag and bivi in hands, we bussed over to the Backpacker’s camp for the night. The bus driver told us the bridge that we need to cross is re-opened. It was underwater the night before. We found our way to camp and a nice tree to sleep under. With in minutes, I was out.

  There’s nothing like waking up and nature being the first thing you see. I walked around and saw in the day light, all the “damage” that the creek (now river) had caused.

  We walked back to the RV (getting to know our way around). Quickly gathered up our stuff and realized our one bear can wasn’t big enough for both our meals. We decided to just spend one night out, and off we went. Crowds and crowds of people and beach cruisers (the bike rental of choice) swormed the valley floor. It took a few miles before we had moments of just nature. Once we were on the last stretch, there was finally peace and quiet. 

  I was needing to find something to do while the Cannon was busy on tripods and belted carbon fiber trollys. That was done by looking for the perfect walking sticks. By the time we got to camp, I had exchanged a couple already.

  Little Yosimite Valley camp was along the Merced River (a calm part!). Downed trees had formed small boundries for camp sites. Other downed trees scattered the ground too. But still many were standing. I quickly sat down and started whittling the bark off of my new walking sticks. Once satisfied, it was time to eat.

  There was a communal fire ring and it was a pleasure to meet and talk to the other campers form all over the country and Europe too!

  Deep sleep came again quickly and in the morning I quickly found that I had a limit less choice of walking sticks!! By the time we left I had whittled at least 7 different sticks 🙂

  I had my favorites​ and left the rest. I realized that walking a technical down hill with two large sticks is no fun. We stopped again for the Cannon to do it’s thing. I was feeling cold and wanted to keep moving. So we said we’d meet back at base (Rv), and I was off. 

  On our way up we had noticed a guy running down the switch backs, yelling at people to move out of his way. At the time I thought he was rude and crazy. Now heading down there same trail, I learned he was just rude. It was way easier on the knees to move quickly. In no time at all, I was back at the RV. Sitting on my couch eating and drinking a cold beverage. It felt great! Around 3 hours later my friend showed up. Carrying all his camera equipment and feeling it! We took our sweet time and cought the last bus to Backpacker’s camp. There was no way i was putting shoes back on!! 

  The next morning we slowly rounded up our things. I was kinda bummed to be leaving. We had the option to have spent the third night in the backcountry. But with the forcast claiming snow, we probably made the right choice. 

  How to sum up such a quick trip? Well, I’m happy I packed light. Yosemite is, well, big! In the valley, everything looks huge. Towering rock walls surround you. Massive waterfalls can be seen hundreds of feet up. The only drawback is the crowds. They’re big too! 

  

Ride more. Think less

It was 2015 the last time I went bike camping (minus that tandem trip. Hoping ferries and islands!). A time when I couldn’t go 2 days without riding. Life was handle bars and tires. Saddles and gears. I was addicted pedaling…

Fast forward to 2017. I felt unrooted. Rushing down the river of life. Sadly focused on small unfortunate events. Not knowing what would happen next. I felt lost. I felt heavy. I’d go weeks without riding. Trying and trying to get back “into” bikes. But it seemed no use. The waters around me were moving too fast and I couldn’t grab hold. People like to give names to things these days. Being overwhelmed, stressed, anxiety, depression. All of the above I’ve felt. And sadly more then I’ve felt the joy of riding.  

But this past weekend a major change has happened. I felt it! The wind in the face. The weightlessness. The ease of travel. The community! Mind you I was in Marin county, bike capital of California. But nonetheless. Strangers ignoring what you look like, and acknowledging a fellow cyclist. Even people who weren’t on a bike smiled ( I’m thinking I should always ride with bags and a tent strapped to the back!). It’s like how it was, again. Life behind bars is good.  And for some, it’s like medicine. 

Ride more. Think less. 

Time n life

Stress and complications. I think it’s safe to say, is something we have experienced. Sadly I feel I’ve had more of it recently then anyone should have to deal with. But, such is life at times. If we can learn from those times, we become more knowledgeable and stronger. 

So keep your dreams on the forefront of your mind, and don’t let your troubles derail you. But. If they do. Remember, with a little help, you can get right back on those tracks!

Traveling to Mexico City?

Today I met Pablo Pichardo.when we rented some bikes for the Sunday street closures. He runs *Poráy bike tours and rentals in Mexico City. A Cyclist himself, Told me how he become car-free, Back when he lived in Washington DC. He also has more then a few 1st places in some local Alley Cats In DF! 

He was proud to show us his new location. It’s in the lobby of Fontán Reforma hotel. Which, allows bicyclists to bringing their bikes up into their rooms with them! Pablo also gladly shares bike routes all over the city. 

If you’re going to spend a night or more in DF, I recommend you stay at Fontán Reforma! …and bring your bike in 😉

*http://poray.bike/


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Los Padres….again :)

  A quick weekend. Lots of driving, because of traffic. But a great trade off. Me and the Kid-O. Beautiful pacific, scenic Nacimiento-Fergusson winding up above the fog. Camping on top off the world (so it seemed), watching the stars in a moonless sky. The Milky Way was awesome!Some light off-roading. Playing in the Nacimiento river, and seeing lots and lots of motorcycles this weekend!!!






Memorial Day weekend 

 Sometimes life’s crazy, and one would say, how am I going to have time for that?!  This Memorial Day weekend consisted of Major freeways,Two lane blacktops, dirt roads, pulling over at 2am to sleep (in the snow), driving after 3 hours sleep and having no control over my emotions as the sun rose over some of the most beautiful scenery I can remember! More dirt roads, walking paths, river crossing (where pants and boots are carried!), car (truck) camping, watching the high mountain weather change from clear skies, to light rain back to a beautiful sunset. Freezing river morning face washes, scenic roads with epic backdrops, snow, rushing rivers, the PCT (only for half a mile), and beauty, beauty, and more beauty!

Get outside! It’s worth it!











Spring Break 

  
  Spring break 2016. It will definitely go down in the books as a great one! Los Padres National Forest, camping with my son and friends, snakes, river jumping, beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, off roading…well, let me back up.
  With about 5 weeks till spring break. My good friend Eli shared interest in camping in Los Padres NF. With it still on my exploration list, I jumped at the opportunity. It would be his family, and my son and I. Our sons are good friends too, which is great! Knowing we couldn’t get to any of the “off road” spots. I looked at what was available to book…Arroyo Secco. The only place I could find. I’ve been seeing it on the map for months. But never checked it out. So I booked it and we were set. 
The next challenge I set for my self was to get a 4×4 so we could go explore all the roads out there. This proved to be not so easy. A neighbor was selling a K30 (CUCV m1031) for a price I couldn’t pass up. The only real challenge was getting it running and safe for travel. Which is really another story in it self. With help from a friend we tried up in till the last day, but couldn’t finish in time. 

  So with my dirt road dreams swept clean, I did what any budget minded person would do. I called my mother and asked to barrow her car. 
  Picking it up the night prior to leaving. I planed to pack in the morning. I didn’t plan to sleep in! I had the whole (small) car packed in 45min! And mind you, that was from nothing, no list, no piles!…come on! I have to pat myself on the back for that one. I grabbed my gps for kicks. I hadn’t used it since my trip down to Big Sur on my KLR. If you have the patients to learn a digital lay out (gps app). I have to recommend OsmAnd maps. It’s by far the best gps app I’ve used. And it’s free!! Though it’s worth buying it, just to show thanks. It’s really that good! But I digress.

  

  We were just about a 10 minutes from our camp, after a non adventurous trip down and I missed my turn. No worries. I looked on the gps, and we could connect up with the right road, just up a head. So I need to fill you in on a couple of things. I forgot to de-select “dirt roads” on my gps. And my moms car is a Toyota Yaris which has gotten stuck in our drive way with 10mm of snow. 

So with in 2 minutes we’re on dirt and 30 more seconds we’ve gone past the point of turning around. It was all or nothing. And when I say, nothing. I mean, one of the many tractors that were working in the fields around us, pulling the one wheel drive Yaris out of the mud. But, we had a tail wind! We passed field workers, trucks, tractors, mud, sand…it was really quite amazing! I still don’t know how we made it back to the tarmac. But I will never speak negatively about that car again.  

 
We pulled in to camp covered in mud. 

Eli and family had been there for a bit already. Both our boys were very excited to finally play! The weather was great too. I couldn’t wait till the next day to go jump in the river. That night I slept outside and fell asleep staring up at the stars.  

    
  
 
The next day we hiked down to the Arroyo Secco river (yes there was water in it). It was amazing! Rolling green hills, gravel roads, beautiful blue green waters. Which were perfect for jumping in. 

  

  

  

  
   
 
 It was like groundhogs day. Every day was the same, but we were loving it! Camp fires at night. Cooking outside. I figured out that If you forget to pack a cheese grater, or don’t want to carry one. If you open a can, say of beans, With a one piece opener. You can grate cheese on the metal top! 

  

 We were told to watch out for rattle snakes, but we only saw a 4 ft long snake without a rattle. 😉 

 It was really good times. We meet cool people too. If you ever want a fun car camping spot, (summer will probably be too hot) Arroyo Secco might be the place for you!