Friday, May 30, 2008

SF Skyline at Night

Not many places you can take this photo...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bikes on a Ferry

The ferry left Angel Island at 12:15 Saturday and stopped off at Tiburon, where scores of cyclists boarded. Many were getting off at the Ferry Building in San Francisco, where we were headed. The bikes were stacked in two rows in no particular order. I expected it would take fully half an hour to sort out the people leaving from those staying, but I was wrong. In defiance of all odds, exiting the ferry with our bikes was straightforward and calm.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


View west from Angel Island State Park.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New Wheel

Ordered 294mm and 293mm spokes from CBO. They sent two sets of 294, but I went ahead and built it up anyway. Mavic Open Sport on Shimano 105 9-speed hub. 292 would have worked on the drive side fine too.

Monday, May 26, 2008

What's left of my wheel

Rebuilt this today.

Friday, May 23, 2008


This view of the Apple store in the Grove reminds me of Disneyland for some reason.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Westwood north

View from the third-floor bridge from Nordstrom to the movie theaters. There used to be a McDonalds located at the south end of the bridge, the coolest McDonalds location in all of L.A. You could pick up your happy meal and sit at a table on the bridge with a view of Westwood.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tired tubes

After 20 years of riding and repairing bicycles, I'd never seen a tube fail with a pattern like the one in the top photo. It turns out, this is how a tube will fail if you have a poor-quality nylon rim strip that is tearing imperceptibly.

The second photo shows the inner wall of a tire in pre-failure mode. I noticed that the sidewall felt a bit irregular when the tire was at full pressure. So I unmounted it, and lo! Not sure how it got that way, but I suspect the tire may have been manhandled a bit sometime in the past either during mounting or unmounting. It is good to inspect your equipment regularly!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Westside Pavilion

Photo from my recent trip to L.A. at the Westside Pavilon. The mall has shrunk a little; the section west of Westwood Blvd has been replaced by movie theatres. It was a little weird, anyway, to have the mall divided by a Nordstrom in the middle. The Barnes and Noble is the only other store west of Nordstroms.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Hi temps

A couple of heat-wave days at the end of last week, followed by a weekend of heat-wave days in LA, made me wonder, how do you capture an image of "heat?" Perspiration, flames, eggs cooking on the sidewalk....

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Lovely HDR shot of the Sunnyvale Auto Spa, in honor of Bike to Work Week.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Millionaires Mall

Panoramio had no pictures of Valley Fair before I put this one up. And it's not a particularly compelling shot, so there's room for lots more.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Decomposed Granite

One more leftover photo from the native garden tour. They used decomposed granite for a clearing on which they had some outdoor furniture. I thought it looked fine -- it is the same type of hardscape often seen in public parks for paths and whatnot. I did not think it looked like a litter box.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Sometimes you see buildings like this in the middle of a business park. Makes you wonder who was refusing to sell the family homestead when the developers came a-knocking. This shack is across the street from the corporate headquarters of world-famous Google, Inc.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

REI sale

Time for another REI sale...

Friday, May 09, 2008


Stevens Creek. I think it looks better with water in it.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Shark fin

Shark fin at Koi Palace in Daly City, available for $550 per pound. Went there for dim sum yesterday. Good chickens feet.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Krispy Treats

Marshmallows left over from making ambrosia salad...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Brake wear

Ride them hard for a winter, wear the pads down to nothing, then complain that "these brake suck."

On a slightly unrelated note, I notice on the cycling forums from time to time the topic of descending comes up. People think they want to descend faster, and they think there is some secret technique they are missing that would allow them to descend quickly and with confidence. Really, the only way to learn how to do this is by doing it. Like everything else in life.

The fastest descender I know is a woman I used to ride with in Berkeley. I remember the year she first got into cycling. She was a strong rider, and she enjoyed it; but that first year, she crashed a LOT. We were riding in the East Bay, so there were plenty of technical descents. She crashed on Tunnel Road a few times, Redwood Road, Pinehurst, Mount Diablo... People avoided following her downhill. We thought she was nuts.

But after that first year, she figured out where the limits were. Nobody could touch her on the descents any more -- we just didn't have the guts to keep up. If you never crash, you never know if you can go faster. She knew exactly where the line was.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Brake dust

One winter's worth. Good argument for getting the salmon-colored Kool-Stop pads: they wouldn't show up so much against the orange paint.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

New Stevens Creek Trail Underpass

The newest section of the Stevens Creek Trail extends the trail from Yuba Drive south to the south side of El Camino Real, just west of the entrance to Highway 85.

After some thought, I've concluded that this new section may be useful for pedestrians, but is nearly useless for bicyclists. Bicyclists heading east on El Camino are better off exiting the trail at Dana and riding down Bernardo; they would get a light at El Camino, and avoid the treacherous overpass over 85. If they were heading west on El Camino, or south on Grant, they'd be better off taking Yuba.

But the trail is not just for bicyclists.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Bridge over Stevens Creek

Just north of of the Central Expressway overpass.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Made in USA!

These blades were on sale at Long's for $3.79 per 10-pack. There is no information on the outer packaging regarding the country of origin. It was not until I had actually taken a blade out of the dispenser that I saw they are made in the USA.

My initial reaction was, my gosh, somewhere, someone in the United States is still manufacturing something!

My delayed reaction was, my gosh, there is so little demand for double-edge razors that Long's is still selling off backlog from the days when razor blades were still made in the U.S.