SF Cyclotouring

Ride reports and other ramblings from a San Francisco cyclist.



Via the iBOB list...

From the DesMoines Register:

A bicyclist killed by a speeding motorist Sunday will likely heat up the debate between cycling advocates and a group urging state lawmakers to ban bicyclists on Iowa county roads.


Mark Grgurich, 54, of Des Moines was killed instantly when a pickup truck hit him around 10:50 a.m. in the 2700 block of hilly County Road G14 east of Cumming, said Warren County Deputy Neil Gurwell. Grgurich was thrown nearly 130 feet, an indication that the truck was traveling at a very high rate of speed, Gurwell said.


The driver of the truck, a white Chevrolet with a black ladder rack in the back and a plastic logo on the side, has not been located. Witnesses said the male driver did not stop.

and finally

Gurwell and Hildreth both said it is common for cyclists to ride along that portion of G14, near the Great Western Bike Trail.

This just pisses me off: A guy recklessly driving a pickup truck, on a KNOWN BIKE ROUTE, hits a cyclist, kills him, and then flees the scene. So now in Iowa they're saying that cyclists are the problem?!?

That's akin to saying people who are victims of gunshot wounds shouldn't have been standing where they were in the first place.

SO glad I don't live in Iowa right now. Sheesh!

An End to Shimmy? Almost!

I think most people are sick of my harping on shimmy issues...if so, please skip this entry now.

The latest major change I've made to my "Sister Kate" bike was a tire swap: I replaced the 700x32 Panaracer Pasela TourGuard tires (Kevlar belt & folding bead) with their less-sophisticated non-Tourguard, steel-bead, non-folding, supposedly-slightly-lighter siblings.

It's been conjectured that the non-TG version of the Paselas are more supple and roll more smoothly than the heavy-duty version, and I think I can now attest to that, although we're definitely venturing into Princess-and-the-Pea territory here. At roughly the same inflation pressures, the non-TGs seem a little more spring-y, a little more grippy, and a little bit more stable during hard cornering.

The other noteworthy thing is that my shimmy problem has been further reduced. On this past weekend's ride, I found myself pedaling along for several minutes, almost effortlessly hands-free. During coasting moments, I discovered that if I plant my butt firmly on the saddle, shimmy ensues, but if I unweight the seat just slightly, it all but goes away. This phenomenon was readily repeatable, as well.

I'm curious to see how the bike rides once I mount some lowrider panniers on the fork...


Pt. Reyes Station/Nicasio Loop

Unofficial running of the upcoming SFR Populaire route (date got rescheduled to sometime in October). Carlos, Greg, plus a couple of Carlos' co-workers. Rode to Pt. Reyes, then Nicasio, then home. Really hot, ~94F in Nicasio, rode too hard and didn't hydrate enough, got a bit light-headed after Rancho Nicasio. 8am-5pm or thereabouts, 87 miles.


Steel is Real -- and it's Back!

It's nearly 2010, and I don't think hell's frozen over yet. Check out some of the bikes that will be hitting the sales floor next year...

Specialized has this sweet-looking reproduction of their classic 1980s 3Rensho-built Allez, dubbed the "Allez Double Steel". Note the steel frame (TIG'd), lugged steel fork, rack and fender eyelets, 1-inch threadless headset, and 8-speed downtube shifters! MSRP is a low $610, too! With a 67mm BB drop, this one seems ripe for a 650B conversion!

Raleigh continues their stately "Clubman" model next year, featuring a Reynolds 520 steel frame and 4130 fork.

Fuji has the fast-looking "Connoisseur" with a double-butted steel frame, 1-inch THREADED fork, 8-speed DT shifters, and swaged repro-look Fuji crank.

Even Trek is getting into the game with their new "Eco" line of urban bikes, featuring steel frames and forks, said to be better for the environment because steel is less energy-intensive to produce, recyclable, and long-lived.

What's old is new again!


Oakland Framebuilders Show and Swap

Just found this on Craiglist...apparently there's going to be a bike show and swap in Oakland on Sept. 13th. More info at back2swap.com...


Loma Alta Mixter Ride

Distance: 65miles
Bike: Fuji CX
Time: 8am-5pm

Explored the connector trail between Fairfax/White's Hill and Lucas Valley Road. Looped back through San Rafael, where we stopped for lunch (carnitas tortas!), and then circled back to Fairfax for coffee at Java Hut. 8am-5pm, about 65 miles.

GPS map from Carlos: SF-Fairfax-Loma Alta-San Rafael-Fairfax-SF at EveryTrail


Decal Fun

Lately I've been having fun with some adhesive vinyl decal material...

First project, black-on-black reflective decals for stealthy safety on the Kogswell P/R! Normal daylight view
Now you don't

And then when some light hits it
Now you see it

Next project, D-I-Y replacement top-tube decal for a Bontrager Race Lite frame. First cut out the pieces

Next locate them carefully
Placing the new decal

And the final result
Good as new!

I got the adhesive decal sheets from Tip Top Signs. Good stuff!


Solo Nicasio Loop

On Saturday I got a late start -- headed out around 2pm, itchin' for a longish road ride. I decided to ride out towards Nicasio, in the off chance I might run into Cyclofiend and Chico Gino during their Marin Century. While I encountered a number of riders enjoying that event, I didn't see those guys. However, I did bump into Carlos and his wife enjoying coffee at a Polk Street cafe, and also Patrick running errands in Sausalito. I've grown un-used to riding solo, so these social encounters were quite nice!

On this ride, I tried out my new-to-me, non-TourGuard 700x32 Panaracer Pasela tires. I found them quite nice, and they do seem to be somewhat more supple than their TG/kevlar-belted counterparts. Although I inflated them to my typical pressure, several times I had to check whether the rear tire was going flat -- it felt that cushy. It's not a night-and-day difference, but they seemed somewhat better. Shimmy seemed further reduced as well, presumably due to the slightly lighter weight of these tires, or perhaps their less-stiff casings -- whatever the reason, I was actually able to ride my bike no-handed for good stretches at a time, something I'm often not able to achieve.

At any rate, I was out from about 2pm-8:30pm. I stopped and chatted with Carlos and his wife for a good 30 minutes, but otherwise I only made two other brief stops -- once at Rancho Nicasio for a half-pint of choco-milk, and another in SP Taylor for a restroom break. I crossed the GGB just as the sun was setting, and made use of my bike's lights on the way back through the city towards home. I covered about 80 miles in around 6 hours, not bad for an afternoon's work....