Friday, November 10, 2006

See my other blog

I'm now posting at my other blog. See bike stuff there.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Weekly Wrap 11.3.06

Originally uploaded by jackselectricbike.
Weekly wrap 11.3.06

This week’s total mileage: 67 miles

This week’s mileage on e-bike: 11

This week’s mileage on a regular bike: 56

Total mileage since July 10, 2006: 772

Total e-bike mileage since July 10, 2006: 507.5

Total regular bike mileage since July 10, 2006: 264.5

Gas savings this week: 4 gallons

Gallons saved since July 10, 2006: 38.2

Price of gas today: $2.57

Gas savings since July 10, 2006: $142.80

Flat tires since July 10, 2006: 3


When I woke up this morning the rain was pouring down. The electronic rain gauge measured about an inch since midnight and the forecast called for more of the same.

I briefly considered using the automobile, but I didn’t want to be a pussy just because of a little rain. So I put on the appropriate cycling attire – rain pants, light-weight rain jacket and my LL Bean StormChaser shoes.

Being that the road bike doesn’t have fenders, I used the red 10-speed Peugoet. It’s a smooth ride.

So it’s pouring down rain and I’m out riding my bike on the streets of McKinleyvile like a silly fool and guess what? It didn’t really matter. I was plenty dry – at least on the outside.

It turns out that the real moisture menace is not from the rain, but from the sweat that comes from being wrapped in clothing that doesn’t breath. When I’m wearing regular cotton clothing the sweat evaporates before I even notice I’m sweating. But with my rain gear it’s like I’m covered in Saran Wrap. There’s moisture buildup.

The solution, from what I can tell, is to make sure I only wear the rain jacket when it’s actually raining. And when it’s raining and I’m wearing the jacket, I need to simply slow down my pedaling cadence.

Or maybe Santa Claus will bring me some rain gear with lots of flaps and vents.

Either way, it’s not a big deal. I traveled 11.5 miles today, visited some folks, conducted business, took photos and did so in the rain.


I was crossing the Hammond Trail Bridge today and smelled paint. Time to investigate the graffiti art underneath.

The “mural,” shown in a previous post, was recently re-painted. At the top of this post is a photo (with my bike, of course) of the new mural.

They put a lot of time and effort into it. I suspect they also spent a lot on paint.

I give the new mural two thumbs up. Nice job.

That said, I would like to give them a bit of free advice: Although the urban graffiti style art is interesting and colorful, why not break out of the genre and paint something revolutionary and different? There’s a certain lock-step conformity to this graffiti style. Break the rules.

Better yet, they should paint a mural of my bike!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Luffenholtz ride Part III

Little River
Originally uploaded by jackselectricbike.
Because my ride was cut short, I decided to explore a different part of McKinleyville on the way home. I took Little River Drive to Dow's Prairie Road. In the distance beyond the trees is Crannel. Then it was back down to Clam Beach via Clam Beach Road. The route home was mostly the Hammond Trail.

Luffenholtz ride Part II

Camel Rock
Originally uploaded by jackselectricbike.
Surprise, surprise. Another photo of the bike. That's Camel Rock in the background. I made it as far as Luffenholtz Creek and had to turn back due to road construction. On the way back, it started to sprinkle.

Luffenholtz ride, Part I

Originally uploaded by jackselectricbike.
I set aside a couple hours this afternoon to ride the road bike. My destination was going to be Trinidad. I took this photo at the McKinleyville Vista Point. The arrow points to the City of Trinidad.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Weekly wrap 10.27.06

This week’s total mileage: 65.5 miles

This week’s mileage on e-bike: 12

This week’s mileage on a regular bike: 53.5

Total mileage since July 10, 2006: 705

Total e-bike mileage since July 10, 2006: 496.5

Total regular bike mileage since July 10, 2006: 208.5

Gas savings this week: 3.5 gallons

Gallons saved since July 10, 2006: 34.2

Price of gas today: $2.66

Gas savings since July 10, 2006: $132.52

Flat tires since July 10, 2006: 3

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Mustache handlebars

Originally uploaded by jackselectricbike.
I don't like handlebar mustaches, but I like mustache handlebars. They're very comfortable and I like the classic look.

Moonstone Beach

Moonstone Beach
Originally uploaded by jackselectricbike.
I stopped at Moonstone Beach. Gee whiz, there seems to be a theme to these photos! The hill from Moonstone Beach to U.S. Highway 101 is a real bitch. Even with my lowest granny gear I was in agony.

Walk your bike downhill?

walk your bike
Originally uploaded by jackselectricbike.
Here's a sign that everyone ignores. But I did take it slow. The tires on the road bike are skinny. At the bottom of the hill pavement returns.


Vista Point
Originally uploaded by jackselectricbike.
After my second trip to the office today, I decided to take a short detour on the way home. I pedalled north on the Hammond Trail. At some point I unplugged my brain. Next thing I knew, I was at the McKinleyville Vista Point. That's Clam Beach. The land mass in the distance is Trinidad/Westhaven.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Pump it up

Ever since getting a flat tire a few weeks ago on Murray Road I’ve been concerned about the inadequacy of my mini bike pump. It just doesn’t put enough pressure in a tire.

If I got a flat in town, I might be able to pump the tire up just enough to ride to a gas station – maybe. If the flat occurred in the Arcata Bottoms or Scenic Drive near Trinidad, I would be royally screwed.

So on Monday, after dropping newspapers at the Arcata Post Office, I stopped by two bike shops in search of a solution. (I have to shop in Arcata because my town – McKinleyville – doesn’t have a bike store.)

The first stop was Adventure’s Edge. It’s a really nice store. On one side they stock all sorts of cool camping gear, kayaks and paddle accessories. (This is where I bought my kayak. You can visit my other blog and check out the archives to learn about crabbing on a kayak.) On the other side of Adventure’s Edge are bikes and related doo-dads.

The staff was extremely helpful, but most of their pumps were out of stock. I drove past Revolution Bicycles. It’s a nice store, but I made my last purchase there and felt that I owed the staff up the street at Life Cycle some money after asking a lot of stupid questions a month ago without making a purchase.

I perused the selection of bicycle pumps and found one that would probably do the job. It was bigger than my pump and had a flexible “hose” that could be pulled out and connected to the tire valve. It also featured a metal piece that could be folded down to make it a mini floor pump. It was pretty fancy, but I didn’t like the price – $39.

I then picked up a little valve/CO2 cartridge package that allows you to automatically fill your tire without a pump. I had seen these before and always felt a visceral reaction against them, as if there is something inherently wrong with using a pre-filled metal cartridge of air to pump up a tire.

But that’s a really stupid way to think, so I decided to pepper the clerk with questions. He was extremely helpful, knowledgeable and darn-right enthusiastic about the topic.

He whole heartedly recommended the product. That’s what he uses and it works great, he basically said. He told me how to use it, explained the pros and cons and sold me on the whole idea. I paid about $12 for the contraption and had them toss in an extra CO2 cartridge. The owner also gave me a smaller cartridge that I could use for “practice.”

The device is light weight and tiny. Now I’ll carry a mini bike pump, CO2 cartridge doo-dad, extra cartridge, extra tube, patch kit and assorted tools. I just hope I don’t need to test them out anytime soon.

While at the shop, I also purchased new handlebar tape for the road bike. This evening I wrapped the handlebars with an old bicycle tube for cushion and then applied the new tape. Looks nice.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Under Hammond Bridge

Originally uploaded by jackselectricbike.

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