Do good.

Today I was the recipient of the good that random people can be capable of in this world.  Lately, I am guilty of looking at things in a jaded light.  Compassion has been less than prominent in my day to day life.  Sad isn’t it?  Until today. I’m truly moved by what may seem to be a small and insignificant gesture.

I went riding today out on the Kennedy trail in Los Gatos.  For those that don’t know, it’s a grueling climb to the 2700′ peak. The valley is socked in with low clouds and fog in places.  The trail head is no exception.



Dew Catchers




After about 50 minutes of climbing and about 2200′ of elevation the fog gave way to the sun from above.



Looking back down at the valley.



Panoramic shot near the top.


So after making it to the top and snapping a few photos, I let gravity take over and do it’s thing.  Midway down there are a set of two good sized water bar jumps where one can boost a few feet of air.  Somehow my camera decided to do a little flying of it’s own.  It store it in the side pocket of my riding pack.  This pocket is open and doesn’t have a zipper for easy and quick access.  Too easy.

I made it home and then realized the camera was missing.  Curse words and explicatives rolled off my tongue.  I wasn’t sure if I was more pissed about losing it or the impending climb up the hill just to fetch the piece of crap.

I drove back to the trailhead after lunch, readying myself for another ride (ok, so that’s not a bad thing).  What did I find when I arrived at the trailhead?  Someone had found my camera, and brought it down the hill.  They left it at the signage at the start of the trail. Amazing. They cold have scored a free camera, but they did the right thing.  Knowing, that no one was around to see their good deed.  Knowing that they would probably never be thanked or rewarded for their good deed.  It was a profound reminder to me that people do good.

I left a nice note, where my camera stood.  I decided that since I couldn’t pay this person back, I will pay it forward.  Such a small deed, yet such a profound effect.




Above it all


Written by Mike in: Mike | Tags: , ,

Socal Bike tour day 5

Today started out early for me.  I woke about 530.  Slept pretty good last night.  Wonder why.  Anyway, we packed up and headed out for a breakfast.  Down the road was a diner that fit the bill.  When we pulled up the waiter came up in a frantic look and said, ” I’m the only one here so it’ll be ten minutes before I can seat you.”  No problem we thought and we began to wait. 15 minutes later, he’s still running around.  A couple of us decide to try to sit down at an empty table.  They told the waiter that we were just going to sit inside and wait because it was cold out.

The waiter told us we could not sit inside.  So off we went back North to find another restaurant.  We ate in Gorda Springs about 2 miles away.  There is where we sat for the next 2 hours trying to find a one way rental van, truck, car, hot air balloon, biplane, anything that could get us home that same day.  (No we wouldn’t make it home in one day by pedaling.)  We searched Santa Maria, San Luis, Pismo, and surrounding areas.  We couldn’t find a single vehicle.  So we opted for catching the train in San Luis to San Jose.  But we had 3 hours till it left and 12 miles to cover.

After the morning scramble, we rode in to San Luis and waited.  The Amtrak attendant advised us that the train was 1.5 hours late and there was a bus coming in 30 minutes that would go direct to San Jose.  She wasn’t sure if it could take six bikes though…  In fact she was fairly adamant that the bus wouldn’t fit six bikes.  We kept our reserved tickets on the train and decided to wait and see when the bus came to see if the driver would take any of us. I was prepared to take the train and come home late (after 2230).

The bus arrived and told us that he would take all of us, but that we had to hurry cuz he was running late.  We did a mad rush and jammed all the bikes into buses cargo hull.

It would take us 4 hours to get into San Jose.  Two of those four hours the two Chris’s giggled like school girls…  It’s great to be home…

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Big Basin S24O ver. 2.0

This was a shake down ride for Jeff, Chris and I for our Santa Barbara tour in June. My new friend Adam came with us and rode my LHT. Jeff didn’t camp and had to return after nearly making it to the top of Hwy 9 before running out of time.

We pulled into camp well past sun down. We were all hungry and tired. We had looked forward to buying some firewood and having a big fire to warm up by but we were disheartened when we found the camp store closed and no one around able to spare any wood.

We rode around to various camp sites asking if anyone had extra wood to spare but that proved to be an exercise in disappointment. We selected a camp next to a couple that was having a large fire.

The thought had crossed my mind to buddy up with them and warm our cold tired bodies using their fire, but somehow a part of me thought they might not appreciate their romantic camping get away in the woods being ruined by 3 sweaty stinky bikers. So I refrained from asking.

About an half an hour after setting up camp they came over and offered to pick up some firewood for us down in Boulder Creek some many miles away. They had ran out of their own wood and would be heading out to replenish their stock! Lucky break #1.

So after about an hour they returned with four bundles of wood for us. We lite a huge inferno and cooked pasta and chili over my homemade alcohol stoves. Oh and drank other forms of alcohol that wasn’t flammable enough for the stove.

That night we pretty much crashed out as soon as we finished dinner around 10 pm. The food was all put away but the pots and pans were still coated with chili residue. No worries I thought. The raccoons should be that much of a bother once they lick the pans clean.

Around midnight the whole family of coons came out and tried to clean out pans. I say tried because they made so much noise that I had to scare them away each time to try to go back to sleep. After about the 4th time I put the dishes away where they couldn’t get to them.

This same family of coons had coordinated an attack on our neighbors that bought us firewood earlier. They made off with the couple’s bag of marshmallows.

The next day we woke, had a light breakfast and rode back home by noon. The last time I did this same trip solo. I can say that s24o’s are much more fun with friends. As long as you have enough boos.

Written by Mike in: Mike | Tags: , , , , ,

Sonoma Coast Ride Report

60 miler today on the trucker, 6600 vertical feet of climbing in just over 4 hours.  Started from my father in-laws house.

Started out along a bike path to Sebastopol, flat and safe.  Then I rode on the Bodega Hwy to the Bohemian Hwy.  There isn’t much of a shoulder on those two hwys.  No fun.

From there I descended into the town of Occidental.  The road and traffic was much better from that point on to the coast.  Cars were infrequent and generally gave me lots of room.

The Bohemian Hwy then leads to Monte Rio where I saw the Russian River.  The river runs very wide at this area.  From here I travel on River Rd down to the coast just south of the town of Jenner.

Hwy 1 was also very narrow but the traffic on a weekday was light, and generally provided lots of space.

Down the coast I spotted an area that had been eroded away by the sea.  There once stood a house but it fell into the ocean.  All that was left was part of the foundation and some piers that used to hold part of the house up.

I then rode past my turn off into the town of Bodega where I had some really good pizza at Dickmann’s Bay Store.  Then it was back to my ride.

Bay Hill Rd is the road that takes me back inland.  That road  and Joy Rd are roads that traverse the mountain range that separates Santa Rosa and the ocean.  The climb was long and tough.  Once into Occidental it was downhill back.

A great ride.

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