IONTW – February 18, 2018

Last weekend I saw and rode over the new Hauser Bridge for the first time. The project website has a nifty video rendering of the construction.

The Sonoma Ash Project made it onto the Atlas Obscura!

Life has so many edges

If you eat it with a fork, it’s a meal!

Friday February 23 and Saturday February 24 Vox Musica is presenting a super cool sounding collaborative project GOETHEANUM: Light, Space, Sound, Color.

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2018 SFR Pierce Point 200k

Somewhere between Bernal and the Toll Plaza, for no apparent reason, Dancing Queen came on the radio station in my head. oof. This might be a long day. Not to mention that little detail of not having been on a brevet, or any more than double-digit length rides since October – and not many of them. I’d even missed the Populaire the weekend before, so this was the start to my rando-ing for 2018.

Fortunately it was a beautiful day, albeit a bit chilly in the morning. There were some clouds here and there, but thankfully no precipitation. I’m not sure I would have had the fortitude for that bonus challenge.

There was a large crowd – 115! starters – with special guest appearance from Max, who had managed to time a work trip back from Switzerlandia to coincide with the brevet. Rob administered the oath, although sadly he had forgotten a critical piece of gear and so did not ride with us. Well, by us, I mean on the brevet. I’m sure he would have been far ahead pace wise, so I wouldn’t have gotten to ride with him anyway.

I’ve been liking the let everyone go/start after the pack approach, Eric agreed, and Nevada City Gary, who we’d merged paths with on the ride to the start, hung out with us too. With such a large group and variety of paces it wasn’t quite as clean as other times have been, or maybe I just didn’t wait long enough. Anyway, there was some picking through folks going over the bridge, but it sorted itself out pretty well.

The dawn that had been impending at the Toll Plaza broke in spectacular fashion as we were crossing the bridge, firing up the sky with pinks and oranges. I stopped at the top of the rise on the north side of the bridge for a photo, although it turned out to be not as clear of a shot as I’d been thinking/hoping it would be. and we’re never going to get anywhere if you keep stopping to take pictures!

Sausalito, bike path, new bridge to jump out onto Miller, Camino Alto… didn’t feel too bad, although with it being early in the day I wasn’t pushing at all. There was a rider stopped at the light at the bottom of the hill – Rob had warned us about the law enforcement in southern Marin – even after we rolled up the light did not trigger, and the other rider, who turned out to be Chuck, went over and pushed the button to request for crossing. Chuck rode through the wiggle with us, and we chatted about various rides. Sounded like he’s had lots of grand adventures both here and in various overseas locales, is planning on PBP again (third time, I think it will be?) next year, and, when he heard I’ve not been yet, encouraged me to go.

On White’s Hill we came across pizza power brother Irving. He’d also missed the Populaire the week before, although he’d been down with the plague, so it was great to see him back on the bike. There was a hint of mist dancing in the San Geronimo Valley, and beautiful morning light slicing through the redwoods as we neared Samuel P. Taylor Park. Eric, Gary and I pulled onto the Inkwells bridge and peered over the sides, but did not see any salmon. We continued on the path for a bit of bonus dirt, and then cut back on the road rather than continuing on the path over Sir Francis Drake. The internal radio station had moved on to Under Pressure. Go figure. Not sure it was any kind of improvement over the previous selection, but it was something different.

We were still encountering other outbound riders as we went over Olema hill and took the brevets-don’t-usually-go-this-way Bear Valley Road, which is quite lovely. We rejoined the main going-to-the-Lighthouse road and passed through the greater metropolitan Inverness area. At the fork we took the not-going-to-the-Lighthouse road.

A short section was familiar from Los Cabos Sueltos, but then I got to find out what was down the other tine of this fork, as this was the first time I’d done this route. In a word, bucolic AF. We rolled through green pastures with glimpses of the Pacific Ocean in the distance. Some of the fields sported a yellow cloak of mustard flowers.

We started to see riders on their way inbound from the turnaround at Pierce Point Ranch. We woohood and dinged bells, getting various responses. There was The Climb, which I’d heard about, up to a ridge with most excellent views of Tomales Bay. I’m On Top of the World came on the internal radio. (Yes, thank you the googles, that was the Carpenters.)

There was a descent to the turnaround, where Jon (trying to think of appropriate adverb) stamped our cards. He had a bit of water, which I didn’t feel in need of, so left for others, and some snacks, which I did take advantage of. Then it was time to head back up the hill, which was pretty fun coming down, so I wasn’t super looking forward to climbing, but it turned out to be not too bad.

Shortly after I started up the hill, Eric yelled to me. uh, did I drop something? No, it was a big herd of elk up to the left. Two were up on their back legs sparring. Wow! I’d been feeling a little disappointed, since that was another thing people who had done this route before always mentioned – the elk. If I hadn’t seen any I might have had to ask for my money back, so good thing Eric pointed them out!

There were still some outbound riders, again we woohood and dinged bells as we passed. We retraced our path through all the bucolic AFness, through greater metropolitan Inverness, and then turned to Pt. Reyes Station, where we stopped for beverages. From there it was the second out-and-back up to Nick’s Cove (for making up the required distance) which felt a bit gratuitous, but at least there wasn’t much wind to contend with.

Again, we had the fun of seeing inbound riders while we were headed out and outbound riders when we were headed in, including a reprise of Eric Marshall who totally won the best shirt category with a brightly colored Hawaiian number. There was also a largest beard category winner and best pants (galaxy print) although I did not know their names – two separate people for the beard and pants, that was.

On the way out to Nick’s Cove we picked up a bit of a group, which I wouldn’t have minded – I wasn’t to the I need to ride solo point – but a couple of folks were a bit chatty, and I was at the I need quiet point, so after I was done with my pull I faded off the back. Then with the shuffling at the control managed to thin the herd. Whew. And I didn’t tell anyone to shut up.

Back at Pt. Reyes Station Gary wanted to have a sit down food stop, but Eric and I wanted to keep moving, so we parted ways. I was feeling OK, but with the not so much riding I didn’t want to stop for too long.

From there it was unspooling the morning – back over Olema Hill, oh the entire bike path this direction – big crowd at the ink wells probably looking for fish, we did not stop – through the San Geronimo Valley, over White’s Hill, Fairfax, the wiggle through southern Marin – WHOA low tide! and fairly quiet getting through Sausalito and over the bridge.

There was a lovely welcome from the finish control volunteers and other riders, including – surprisingly – Max! who had finished hours before. There were yummy snacks, and I was glad to be finished while it was still light out. And that the internal radio had gone quiet. Not a bad start to my 2018 rando-ing!


Ride date: January 27, 2018

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Movie Night!

Er, I mean film… with music …uh score performed live by the San Francisco Symphony! I’m not sure who gets to decide what is shown or how they decide – since I found out about this series last year and started looking at going, the offerings have seemed fairly eclectic. Anyway, between the calendar and ticket availability we ended up going to West Side Story, which, it turns out, was one of the events celebrating the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth. <insert It’s the End of the World as We Know It here. you’re welcome.>

By the time we got tickets there wasn’t much selection – either very close or very far. We went with very close, which, in retrospect, maybe wasn’t the way to go. It was cool being so near the musicians and be reminded of the physicality of making music, but the big screen was almost TOO big. Reminded me of my parents’ story of sitting in the front row to see Lawrence of Arabia and getting sand in their eyes.

I know I’ve seen a stage production of West Side Story, maybe even more than one, but pretty sure I’d never seen the movie before. After seeing it I was curious how it came off in its original release era. Some things that might not have raised an eyebrow in 1961 seemed quaint at best here in 2018. Amazing how topical the subject of immigration is though. And the music and dancing were enjoyable as ever.

There was an intermission, I wondered if there had been when the movie was in theatres originally – looking it up in “only” clocks in at 2 hours 33 minutes, which is maybe a tad long by current standards, but I don’t know what movie length was back in the day. The story certainly kept moving though, and I didn’t feel my attention wandering. Fun concept, and of course the live music was very well done. A most entertaining evening!

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IONTW – February 11, 2018

Don’t get me started on how many ways of horrible the “holiday” is, but the card (above) was cute, and Liz Climo has some fun ones you can download.

Literary maps! Exhibit at Harvard’s Houghton Library, through April 14, 2018. Giant map from 1857!

Have a favorite mug? You’re not the only one. Wow! Nerikomi pottery!

Food as part of what makes home.


Funny, I was just wondering if the Library keeps track of what I’ve checked out – I wanted to see if I’d read something. Well, I suppose just because I’d checked it out doesn’t necessarily mean I’d read it, but whatever. Anyway, someone else had wondered the same thing – if there were records, not whether I’d read a particular book – but the FAQs said that no, for patron privacy no record is kept for books that are returned and have no unpaid fine on them. But, some libraries do/did keep a record, and at least if you’re famous, people are interested in what you borrowed.

Finally took the SMART train on Friday afternoon, from San Rafael to Santa Rosa. Much nicer than sitting in traffic, and you get to see some wetlands and different scenery from the 101 corridor. With bikes we were able to bridge the gap from the Larkspur Ferry to the San Rafael station, and it was nice to get on at the first stop and have a place to put the bikes and sit down. BYOB is not allowed, but they do have a snack bar that sells beer. The car we were in got pretty full along the way, and it seemed like there were folks who are regular riders, which was nice to see.

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New (Bike) Paint Day!

Well, not today, I actually picked it up from Color Wheel on January 1, which, now that I think about it, was a darn good way to start off the year! Thinking further back, it was around the same time of year that I first got the bike. Volagi had a Kickstarter campaign in the fall of 2012, but pick up was either the very end of the year or maybe the start of 2013. Anyway, the company was in Cotati at the time, so I got to go by and see the color schemes in person and try out a couple different sizes. I’d been thinking I’d go with the red and black, but after seeing them I chose the cream and black, which I think ended up being the most popular.

Although the Viaje was billed as an Adventure/Gravel bike, and I’d gotten it with an eye for mixed terrain events, I ended up riding it on all my road rides too. So there had been a fair number of miles put on it, and not all of them nice ones. The frame had picked up a few wear spots in the paint, and some gunk that I wasn’t able to clean off. Not that I’m that much into appearances, but there was also kicking around in my head that I’d heard somewhere it isn’t a bad idea to fully disassemble, clean, lubricate and reassemble your bicycle every now and again.

Then Color Wheel popped up on my radar, and one of the things they do is paint and rebuild, and plate-o-shrimp! Omar, one of the owners, had been mechanic at Volagi when I got my Viaje. The Universe Had Spoken!!! I checked out the paint colors online, and pretty much decided on the yellow, but he suggested stopping by their shop to see in person. I was briefly distracted by a couple different oranges, but, in the end, went with the original choice of yellow.

Which is so. good! It still sorta surprises me sometimes – HEY WHOA MY BIKE IS YELLOW!!! – in a good way! Also, something being a single color, rather than the two-tone, seems to make it look like a different bike, maybe it makes the curves more obvious, I’m not quite sure. I did lose the branding, but I’m fine with being stealth. Although someone did say bright yellow isn’t really stealth. Anyway, I’m super pleased with the result. It looks great and runs like new! WOOHOO!!!

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IONTW – February 4, 2018

well, now that we’re in to February with that New Year thing, how about some goals? (artistic – that you can set AND achieve!) As I’m ongoingly (pretending to) deal with allthepiles, Number 5 really hit a spot for me. I’m also thinking of it in terms of the stacks of yet-to-be-read books I have – maybe work on reading some of those before (OK, in addition to) getting more, even if it’s getting (borrowing) from the library.

and speaking of FeBREWary, come check out allthebeers in Santa Rosa!


Another use for cookies, er, biscuits. I’m doing research! Really!!!

How things are made always fascinates me. Would have loved to go along with David on his visit to the All-Clad Factory!

Last year I couldn’t resist some prints from Myrna Keliher at Expedition Press. She sent a nice New Year’s/Thank You postcard (below), a thoughtful gesture I don’t think I’ve ever gotten before. (Note to self) It didn’t seem like I’d bought much so it was an aww… wow, cool! moment and of course did get me to click over and check out her website again the next time I was on the computer.

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Milkbomb Ice Cream

I would have called it Sugarbomb, but then that’s probably why I don’t get paid to name things… so anyway, I didn’t see anything about where the name came from, and didn’t think to ask – I was more focused on getting some ice cream – big surprise there! There were lots of yummy sounding flavors, both traditional and no so much, and then a myriad of toppings and syrups, and then the Thing of the Donut Ice Cream Sandwich. I’m not really a Donut Person, but who can argue with “warm on the outside, cold on the inside, delicious all over” ?! The only choices left for the donut were glazed or sugar – I went with the sugar, and ginger ice cream, which I had tasted – super yummy – with forreals chunks of ginger. Eric went with the glazed, and espresso chip ice cream, plus gilding the lily with Lucky Charms and salted honey. I hadn’t thought of it, but – DUH! – coffee and donut – that was a really good combination. They were over the top, but how does that saying go – nothing succeeds like excess. The counter person was offering wet wipes, which we at first declined, but after eating realized he knew what he was talking about and went back in and got some.

Although I do have the pictures, it still seems a little hard to believe such a thing exists. And that I have partaken of it. Not sure that I need to do it again, but the ice cream was solid, and if I was in the neighborhood and had a hankering for something sweet and cold, I would go back. It will be interesting to see how long they last – Twirl and Dip was there for a while – it seems like a somewhat challenging location, not directly on the street. The Donut Ice Cream Sandwich seems more like something for Fisherman’s Wharf or somewhere with more foot traffic of people in the “why the hell not” mode – but they might be able to get a neighborhood clientele just with the ice cream. Anyway, if you’re in the mood for some sugar with your sugar, go check it out! 1717 17th Street Suite 105, San Francisco, CA

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