Mar 232012
 

Jeff and I have had the plan and tick­ets to see the Thurs­day, 3/22 Bru­ins Sharks game for a cou­ple of months so it was very excit­ing when the date drew near. After check­ing the weath­er I decid­ed to ride up on the Suzu­ki, leav­ing Tues­day around 2:00. I rode up to SLO on 101 then turned onto Hwy 1 stop­ping in Cam­bria for two small pies at Lin­n’s (one olal­lieber­ry for imme­di­ate con­sump­tion, one rasp­ber­ry lemon meringue for lat­er — see above) along with need­ed petrol for the bike. It was almost 6:00 as I left Cam­bria, my ener­gy ebbing so anoth­er four miles had me stop­ping for the night with­in the San Sime­on line of motels.

The next day held per­fect weath­er for a ride up the Big Sur coast­line into Carmel and Mon­terey then on to San­ta Cruz for a late Thai noo­dle lunch. After lunch I con­tin­ued north on Hwy 1 anoth­er 35 miles to Pescadero then turned inland and climbed through the inter­est­ing towns of La Hon­da and Wood­side to get to Sky­line Boule­vard for the scenic, ridge­crest cruise back south to San Jose. I had time for a renew­ing show­er and the rasp­ber­ry lemon meringue pie before meet­ing Jeff at 4:30. His and Carey’s high rise, “The 88” con­do com­plex, is only three blocks from my motel so we eas­i­ly joined, had a nice vis­it with Carey in their home then a tour of the build­ing, a walk around down­town San Jose get­ting to see some of Jef­f’s favorite haunts, favorite bike stores, and favorite bur­ri­to places with one each of same for din­ner.

Game day I spent explor­ing more of the down­town area includ­ing vis­its to the “San Jose Muse­um of Quilts and Tex­tiles”, “The San Jose Muse­um of Art”, and “The Tech Muse­um of Inno­va­tion”. Jeff and I met around five, he wear­ing his #88 Sharks jer­sey. Then it was off to “Hen­ry’s World Famous Hi-Life” for din­ner and a start on the evening’s and jour­ney’s focus, The Shark-Bru­in ice hock­ey game.

Lots more images and expla­na­tions are in the slideshow.
Click on the mon­tage above to jump to its start.

Or click on this line to jump straight to the evening’s start at the famous Hi-Life


[slideshow­pro type=“video” url=“http://ashecoutts.info/ssp_director/albums/album-48/lg/MVI_0033__640-360__AndroidPhone-360p-Widescreen_29-97.mp4” preview=“http://ashecoutts.info/ssp_director/albums/album-48/lg/2012–03-21__PiedrasBlacasElephantSeals_Video-Image__640-360.jpg” width=“600” height=“337” controls=“true” autostart=“false” ]                A lit­tle video of the Ele­phant Seals fool­ing around at Piedras Bla­cas

 Posted by at 1:30 pm
Mar 112012
 

Cyn­thia, Tom, and I drove up togeth­er to Vista de Las Cruces School, very near the junc­ture of 101 and Hwy 1, to meet some of Tom’s Fast­Track­er fast rid­ing bud­dies. We arrived first. Get­ting all our stuff togeth­er tor­toise’s Cyn­thia and Ashe rode off, around 9:30 PST.

It was quite misty ear­ly on and evi­dent from the wet roads that it had been rain­ing ear­li­er in the night. Cyn­thia and I had a nice vis­it as we cruised up High­way 1 and on to Jala­ma Road. About half way out to the ocean Tom and the oth­er Fast­Track­ers came steam­ing by. 90 min­utes lat­er we were with them at the “Home of the Famous Jala­ma Ham­burg­er” and had a fun vis­it as they were fin­ish­ing their burg­ers.

The day was increas­ing­ly clear­ing on the return ride with many miles of sun. Cyn­thia and I were both pooped when we got back to the school and car but very hap­py campers for hav­ing such a won­der­ful out­ing in such beau­ti­ful coun­try. Tom had left a note in the Vol­vo say­ing he was rid­ing on. Cyn­thia and I loaded up and drove down 101 about 10 miles where we spot­ted our hero and pulled over to load him in. 56 miles for the Tor­tois­es and oth­er Fast­Track­ers, 66 for Tom. Of course there’s more! Click­ing on the mon­tage will start the show. Tom also has a blog entry for today on his Aid­sLife­Cy­cle 11 site. Click here to go there.

 Posted by at 5:38 pm
Mar 102012
 

In fact I will be lucky if Park Tool does not send out a rep­re­sen­ta­tive to reclaim all the won­der­ful tools I own of theirs.

On Jan­u­ary 11th I put a new chain and gear clus­ter on the Ram­bouil­let. 856 miles lat­er I final­ly took the time to fig­ure out the annoy­ing tick­ing, click­ing sound I was expe­ri­enc­ing most of the time. I thought it might have been a poor match between chain and cogs. But no! It was a dis­en­gaged brain at the time of instal­la­tion. I’d thread­ed the chain out­side the met­al exten­sion between the two derailleur pul­leys such that every ped­al stroke was grind­ing it away. The image shows what’s left after 856 miles of grind­ing. Click­ing on the image will show bet­ter details of my mis­take. In the right, 2005, image the red arrow points out the chain mis­aligned over the then undam­aged exten­sion. You can also note in the right image how I was able to catch my mis­take in less than 856 miles 🙂

 Posted by at 3:15 pm
Mar 092012
 

A glo­ri­ous warm morn­ing prompt­ed me to get on the Suzu­ki and start off on the Carp, Ojai, Cuya­ma, San­ta Maria, Los Olivos, San­ta Bar­bara loop. Near­ing Ojai I stopped to check the iPhone’s brows­er for “Ojai Val­ley Taxi­dermy” then plugged the result into the gps and rode on over. Own­er Chuck Tes­ta, upper left above, came out for a nice vis­it. If you don’t yet know about his viral YouTube stuff click here to see my favorite of many vari­a­tions (it’s had 730,000 view­ings).

After my vis­it with Chuck it was an 80 degree spin up beau­ti­ful High­way 33 pass­ing the orchards of the San­ta Bar­bara Pis­ta­chio Com­pa­ny which are just bare­ly with­in San­ta Bar­bara Coun­ty on the far north­east cor­ner. A few more miles on High­way 33 then a left turn west onto High­way 166 where I was ready for lunch. Alas my lunch goal was the “Ran­cho Nipo­mo” restau­rant rec­om­mend­ed by friend Car­ol Carter, cur­rent­ly 65 miles on down the road. So I motored on, final­ly arrived, and ordered the deli­cious house spe­cial­ty; a pulled pork sand­wich with the cole slaw right in there with the 18 ingre­di­ent sauced pork, YUM.

Sati­at­ed and hap­py I remount­ed the Suzu­ki, for­tu­nate­ly still there since I’d left the key in the igni­tion in my hur­ry to quell my hunger. The weath­er and traf­fic con­tin­ued ide­al as I head­ed south on 101 to Bet­ter­avia, Fox­en Canyon Road, and High­way 150, on over the pass and home. Arriv­ing home I care­ful­ly pulled the Suzu­ki up onto its cen­ter stand and lubed the chain while it idled in first gear. A com­plete day. Click on the four shot mon­tage above for some more images of the day pre­sent­ed in groups of four. Click on the left or right side of the four­somes to move to more shots.

 Posted by at 4:35 pm
Mar 062012
 

I had a won­der­ful lunch bike ride to Sum­mer­land. It was VERY windy out. Grate­ful­ly it was blow­ing my hun­gry self straight to Stack­y’s for a Fies­ta Wrap. After­ward, now well fed, the return ride was a chal­lenge at sev­er­al points; notably by the Bilt­more where sev­er­al hardy types were amaz­ing­ly able to kitesurf, along the beach bike­way and out onto the wharf. Post wharf up and along Shore­line, over the fun foot bridge onto El Camino De La Luz. There I stopped to take these two images of inter­est­ing yet very dif­fer­ent hous­es. I capped off my ride at Ian’s Tires where the new­ly reshod Vol­vo await­ed me.

 Posted by at 3:00 pm
Mar 062012
 

I have loved these dual com­pound brake pads for decades so when I noticed the orig­i­nal pads on the Ram look­ing thin I imme­di­ate­ly thought of find­ing some of these. Lo and Behold yes­ter­day morn­ing when I walked from the Whole Foods park­ing lot over to Bob’s Bicy­cles they were right there on the wall, lucky me.

Click on the pack­age to see the instal­la­tion on the Ram. It was very easy/breezy. Just take out the lit­tle screw that holds in the pad (by screw­ing into the lit­tle notch you see in the blown up images), slide out the worn pad, slide in the new pad, and replace the lit­tle screw. Read­just the cable and all is well and ready for some enhanced stop­ping, very enhanced in the rain.

 Posted by at 10:30 am
Mar 022012
 

   A won­der­ful day today.
   Phyl­lis and I went to the doc­tors this morn­ing and had our usu­al fun time in the process.
   Arriv­ing home I jumped on the Ram and rode out to the Kahu­na Grill in the Camino Real Mar­ket­place for lunch.
   Feel­ing refreshed I mean­dered down to Coal Oil Point to check on the whale count. Wow, six already past for the day with two more cur­rent­ly sight­ed, far to the south. As I could not yet see them I start­ed rid­ing down the bluffs for a bet­ter view when my sis­ter called. We had a great 15/20 minute chat that end­ed with the whales, now three, right off the point. I was very excit­ed to see num­ber 7, 8, and 9 rolling by and spout­ing, what a treat.
   I then rode over for a won­der­ful chat with Cyn­thia, she in her office and me stand­ing out­side, before head­ing on home.

 Posted by at 3:00 pm