Monday, March 16, 2009

Recovery - Anderson Valley and Russian Gulch

I met Kristen in Ukiah and we spent a good 24 hours in Mendocino County. Went for a bike and hike in Russian Gulch State Park, tasted some Sharffen Berger sparkling wine in Anderson Valley, and finished the day off eating corned beef and cabbage at the annual Anderson Valley Senior Center fundraiser in Boonville. Good times.

A bike rack in the backcountry. How cool/weird is that?

Redwood Trillium.

Clear Lake to Ukiah - Day Four

Day Four took me from Clear Lake State Park, through the great little town of Finley, over the Hopland Grade to Old Hopland, then up the Old River Road through countless vineyards into Ukiah.

Looking back down at the Hopland Grade. Luckily there weren't too many of those big trucks...not much of a shoulder on this uphill.

At this point all the big climbs are behind me and it is mostly all downhill to the end of the ride in Ukiah.

Clear Lake - Day 3

Day Three was brutal. Big climbs and lots of traffic towards the end of the day.

Morning in the Knoxville Wildlife Area.

Looks like I wasn't the first one to feel the burn that is the hill climbs of the Knoxville Road. This message was at the top of the steepest hill.

Followed by this message.

Clear Lake is a weird place, but it has its charms. I stayed at the large empty campground...just me and the senior citizens in their RVs.

Tour de Berryessa - Day 2

Day 2 was spent mostly along the shores of Lake Berryessa. In the summer, Berryessa is a crowded, hot, and dry inferno, but in March it is desolate, green, and more than pleasant.

It might be a short drive from San Francisco, but this is not Pelosi's California out here:

Lake Berryessa.

The Knoxville-Berryessa Road north of Lake Berryessa is the reason I chose to bike this route to Ukiah. It is about as lonely and wild a road as you can find around here. In 24 hours I saw a total of three cars. I had the road to myself, the weather was cool, and the scenery .

I got to cross six or seven of these. Very nice.

I found a discreet campsite about a half mile up a dirt path off the Knoxville Road. I got to test the bike out in the dirt and mud (works great) and the camp spot was one of those camp spots I'll remember for awhile.

A couple shots taken from my bed at like midnight or so.

A Rookie Rides to Mendocino (County)

In a direct effort to combat cabin fever, I took off on a four day bike tour of Central California. Left home in Sacramento on Monday and arrived in Ukiah on Thursday. 185 miles. 22,000 vertical feet up and down (lots of up and down).

Day 1 took me about 45 miles from the morning traffic of Sacramento through the orchards of Davis and Winters to a stealth campsite at the top of Putah Creek near Lake Berryessa.

Spring is now in the Central Valley.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Steep Ravine.

The $500 Tour of San Francisco

If you too want to enjoy the $500 tour of San Francisco, just park your car on Bay Street near the Marina. Go on your bike ride. Come back to where you parked. Find that it has been towed. Call number. Bike across town to impound lot. Pay $430 fine plus $70 parking citation. Retrieve car. Go home to reminisce about carefree, beautiful San Francisco.