2014 Seasons in the Sun

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

IbisDay: Riding that Thin Line

I really like the view to the mountains from Powerline on the Cross Town Loop. When I ride it in the evening the colors are more vibrant, the sky more blue, the mountains more sharp. I will often stop and take a peek behind me to see what is happening in that direction; the rocks are not going anywhere, and I can get back to dodging around them at any time. The tower kind of blocked the view this particular evening, but it did make for an interesting bike stand for the model.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

From the Archives: Chris Boardman's World Hour Record Corima, 1995

September means it is nearly time for Interbike, so why not post a photo from the very first show I attended, a way back in 1995.

The Corima ridden by Chris Boardman to the World Hour Record in Bordeaux, France on 23 July 1993. The bike is a monocoque frame weighing 7.1 kilos, the four-spoke carbon rims (also by Corima) are paired with Continental tubulars. With 53 x 13 gearing and 170mm cranks Boardman spun at an average of 100.1 rpms.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Dirty Legs Sure, But Crazy?

Somewhere, sometime, not long ago I promised (or threatened depending on your perspective) a legs photo. Maybe you were hoping for some other legs but, no, these ones will have to do. This was following the Dirty Chain Gang ride of two weeks ago, and proves that you don't need a lot of water to arrive back home dirty and muddy. Good thing too, because there is not a lot to go around during the long dry season. Sometimes the mixture of dust and sweat is all that is required. 

Head on out to the hills and mix up some of your own. Reminder: There will be another beginners mountain bike ride for the women, at Bonelli Park, Wednesday evening, 8 September. Dig up all the relevant information here.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sergeant Wagner

Move it, move it. That bike is meant to be ridden, princess, so get on it and pedal. And don't tell me it's hot, it's only ten o'clock in the morning. You want to see hot, come back in three hours, then maybe you can complain.

A lot of folks riding Bonelli dirt this morning. For a second consecutive weekend they were checking out the 2015 Turn and Burn, Six Hour Race course. Some were taking their time about it, while others had ramped up to a race pace. Race is set for late October this year so, hopefully, that will mean some cooler temps.

i just throw this one in because the clear sky made for a nice reflection at the reservoir

Friday, August 28, 2015

Abandoned Places

My road bike takes me places. My mountain bike takes me other places. My cyclocross bike, I have discovered, is adept at taking me places in between those other two. I would not be as comfortable, nor as confident if I let the road bike attempt to take me to these places; the mountain bike could do it, but these places also, and often, involve some pavement miles, the type of miles that something a little less mountain bikey are better at.

Some of the places, once useful now abandoned, carry a weight of historical interest, places like the folly of Shoemaker Canyon, while others are more utilitarian in nature and, well, not so interesting. Like this old piece of road in the channel of the San Gabriel River. 

Its surface is buckled and pocked, its edges crumbled and undercut. Floods have washed over it, rushed along its foundations. Piles of dried brush, carried downriver have washed up against its sharp edges, pushed over the top by the current and look like outsized rats' nests overflowing from the surrounding brush. Yet it remains (such as the remains are). Considering some other, more modern roads I frequently travel, I feel I must say it: They just don't build them like they used to.

Archaeologists and engineers both, would note the exposed layers - hard and sun-baked surface, aggregate base, larger aggregate sub-base, compacted native soil. Along a river course - not an especially great place to build a road in Southern California - but, and without studying early maps, my guess is it followed along the river up to the canyon. Until someone wised up, built the levee, and other roads on higher ground. Maybe it was travelled by outdoor enthusiasts during the Great Hiking Era of the 1930s, maybe by urbanites heading to one of the old East Fork resorts for a weekend retreat during the 40s and 50s.

By Sunday Mother Nature is supposed to lift the lid off the broiler we have been cooking in the past few days, and blow a little cooling wind our way, so get out and discover something new, something you haven't seen before, maybe something abandoned that you have been wanting to "discover".

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Cycling Claremont: The Knoll Tree

I was riding the Cross Town Loop last night after the flat mishap forced me to call Tuesday nights (the usual night for the Cross Town Loop) ride short. Heading through the Pomona College woodland I noticed this oak. It had no id tag so, for obvious reasons I decided to call it the Knoll Tree. 

notice the yellow-painted spigot

The Knoll Tree may be the most determined tree I have ever come across. Picture it: Growing from a seedling, a spout just poking through the leaf litter. The concrete water hydrant with some sort of concrete dog bowl, must have dwarfed it at first. The seedling gradually grew, neither slower, nor faster than others of its generation in the woodland and somehow the human caretakers of this land missed this little one growing where it shouldn't. The little tree continued to grow, eventually (maybe) even more quickly than the others nearby. In fact it with such gusto that it quickly grew around the hydrant, enveloping it completely within the rough, broadening trunk.

I had to check both a second and third time to be sure of what I was seeing. I noticed the bowl with the name "Knoll" etched into it first. I walked around the tree and saw the large concrete post (hydrant) in the middle, then back around to the bowl where I noticed the spigot protruding above it. There are big gaping wounds, rends in the trunk where the concrete is exposed; spiders live in one, a bee hive is in another. At this time I had to check again - yes the tree is real, yes it is alive. Green leaves, gnarly branches like any oak worthy of the name. Determined to live against all odds.

Next time you are in the woodland look for the Knoll Tree, you can get there by foot, or bike.

hard to tell, but that is the tip of a huge piece of concrete with a swarm of bees above it

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Mid-Week C&V: 1987 Panasonic Team Europe II

Campagnolo Victory everywhere you look

spotless shine

I can't be sure if this is an '86 or an '87; from what I can decipher, the Team Europe II was offered in the blue / white color scheme both those years, as well as the Campagnolo Victory groupset. See it, while you can, at the Velo in Claremont.
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