Monday, November 20, 2006

My Last BBB, for now

December BBB

My last issue of the bike club newsletter for now
Because we got our house burglarized this week and I had some of my equipment stolen this was an especially challenging issue to get this out. But, the old newspaperman in me could not miss an issue (especially my last one.) So, here it is! There was no time for corrections or edits due to my schedule. The final, finished and complete December 2006 newsletter is posted here in PDF.

This issue is done and it has been sent to the printer. This is the printer's version in PDF. This is how it has gone to the printer.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Last Whine and Dine Ride of the Season

It's the Bullwinkle Ride

This is the traditional first and last whine and dine ride of the regular season. It is a nice ride with some climbing both up and over Kennedy and Shannon. The climbs are not bad and it ends with a descent into Los Gatos. If you have lights, or a tail light, it wouldn't be a bad idea to bring them, but I don't think we will need them. Bring your appetites and maybe a bottle of wine for sharing after the ride!

See you there!


Monday, September 11, 2006

Sunday, September 10, 2006

October Newsletter Queue Is Here

Deadline has passed and I believe the stories for the October issue have been received and are posted to the Queue for the October BBB. By contributors submitting these stories it is assumed they are the last versions and the versions they desire printed and that each story is ready for processing for the newsletter. Stories are now being dispatched for editing and are soon to be out of my hands. Contributors are encouraged to double check the queue to be sure I did not make a mistake and miss posting any stories sent to me and that the queue is complete as posted.

The queue is here.

Thank you everyone for contributing to this newsletter:


Technorati Tags: ,

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Whine and Dine Ride August 23

Here are the rides for today. I am not going to be able to make it out of work:

M Ride

LM ride

Ride Sign Up Sheet

I will try to make it to Burritos!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Whine and Dine Birthday Bash

Camera Phone Post: Jolyce and Candy's birthday celebrated on bike ride
The whine and dine ride of August 16 was likely the last big evening whine and dine ride of the 2006 season and may be my last of the season as school is starting next week. We had a great ride up Hicks road and stayed out partying until after 10pm. It was Jolyce's birthday and next Sunday is Candy's. So we had a cake and both women blew out the candles. We also had fine wine as Pam brought a bottle of Silver Oak. We had so much fun!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Whine and Dine August 16

Let's do a Hicks Redux!
Both routes will do Hicks on Wednesday. The LM ride will do the turn around. The M ride will have the option to do the climb or not. Route sheets are here for you to download and have before the ride:

The road around Summit bikes is reportedly good. I called the bike shop. They confirmed that the road is good and that there is parking at the bike shop. So, we will be starting at the usual place/time (6pm at Summit Bikes in Los Gatos.) This may be the last Wednesday Whine and Dine for me this season. I am starting teaching on the 23rd. However, enrollments for this class are low. So, there is a good chance the class will be canceled. But, you can bet I will not be there the 23rd. I may be there a Wednesday or two after the 23rd.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Tom Maddox Memorial Bike Ride

On July 12, Tom Maddox was killed by a passing motorist while riding his bike on Skyline Blvd, 1/2 mile north of Hwy 84. His family and friends would like you to join them for a bike ride to commemorate Tom and all that he meant to us.

Sunday, 27 August, 9:30 am
Meet at Portola Valley Town Hall, 765 Portola Road.

There will be a 15 mile and a 30 mile route. We will ride together to the Pulgas Water Temple, and then those that  want to climb to Skyline can do so and the others can return to Portola Valley.  Pace to the water temple will be very easy.  For those that wish to ride to Skyline, the pace will still be very friendly, but riders should be fit and accustomed to extended climbing.


Heath Maddox
Associate Transportation Planner, Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs
City of Berkeley Public Works Department
Transportation Division
1947 Center Street, 3rd Floor
Berkeley, CA 94704

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Grete Johnson issue bike club newsletter

A salute to Grete
The final PDF version of September 2006 Almaden Cycle Touring Club newsletter is posted here. This is the entire issue. This is how it has gone to the printer. I appreciate very much all the help I have had with this issue. From beginning to end this has been a group effort. I think it is a fitting tribute to a very dear friend.

Finished: Sun Aug 13 17:26:51 PDT 2006

Technorati Tags: ,

Grete Johnson newsletter issue, Pre-release

Grete Johnson Memorial Issue In Production: Sun Aug 13 10:34:07 PDT 2006
The "beta version [ definition here ]" of the September 2006 newsletter is posted here. [PDF File Link] This is the entire issue. This is posted here for editing and final review, and this will be posted to the E-list as well. This is for correction of any errors before it goes to the printer. Please let me know if you see errors in these pages so that I can correct them. Thanks!

Special Thanks
I wish to give special thanks to all who contributed to this issue, especially to Paul Greene for the wonderful story about our dear friend. I have special thanks to Bob Thompson and Paul Greene, for all the help with the gathering the photos for me, Naomi Bloom for the wonderful editing and consultation and Jerry  Schonewille for going over the early versions of the newsletter when they were on the blog.

Technorati Tags: ,

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Last Alpha of September 06 BBB

Grete Johnson Memorial Issue In Production: Sat Aug 12 22:17:28 PDT 2006
The third and last "alpha version [ definition here ]" of the September 2006 newsletter is posted here. [PDF File Link] This is pages 1-19. Only one more page will follow. These early versions are posted here for editing. After the last page is entered the beta version will be posted for final review, and this will be posted to the E-list as well. As always I reserve the right to make substantial changes to the layout and design before final release. Please let me know if you see errors in these pages so that I can correct them. Thanks!

Technorati Tags: ,

Odocoilean Terrorists Operating In Los Gatos

By DAVID ROSSOW, Independent Correspondent
LOS GATOS, CA -- Terrorism has hit again within our own backyard. On Friday evening, August 11th, 2006, Odocoilean terrorists launched a second attack. Both attacks have been upon unsuspecting cyclists. The latest attack was against myself, author of this news release, while the first attack, one month ago, targeted cyclist Tim Gathercole. The group, Odocoileinae Virginianus, has claimed responsibility for both attacks, where the unfortunate victims were able to escape with only abrasive injuries and bruises. The attacks occurred in Los Gatos, CA along a stretch of Alma Bridge Road between Soda Springs and Aldercroft Heights, where the terrorists have a suspected hideout for their roadside assaults. Reports of a hidden training facility deep within the nearby Sierra Azul Open Space are unsubstantiated at this time.

Homeland Security has been notified of this terrorist activity; however there has been no official response from the Whitehouse regarding this second attack. George Bush, overheard on a microphone that was left on accidentally, has been quoted as saying, “I think these are the same terrorists that deployed high-tech mind control weaponry on Vice President Cheney and made him shoot his best friend in the face.” to which British Prime Minister Tony Blair was heard to respond, “No George, that was a bird.”

While it is widely accepted that these terrorists are home grown, it is not yet known whether they have any ties to foreign factions operating outside the U.S. Their method of attack, lurking in the cover of roadside shrubbery and leaping out in front of their victims, is similar to that of other terrorist organizations, leading many to suspect there may be a vast network of terrorists operating within our borders.

To date, there have been no public demands by Odocoileinae Virginianus, known commonly as “White-Tail Deer”. In a statement released after the first attack, a Whitehouse spokesman was quoted as saying “All attempts by this Administration to garner information from suspected terrorist detainee’s have failed. They simply will not talk, even though they have not been given the right to remain silent.”

At this time, the military has not been called into action, though an anonymous source with ties to the Pentagon has provided an email message from prominent Haliburton executes discussing a potential opportunity in the South Bay Area of Northern California.

Policy makers unanimously agree that we may never be able to rid ourselves of this terrorist threat. It is therefore advised that all cyclists exercise caution when traversing this patch of road that has already claimed at least two victims. A file photo of this group’s ringleader has been included with this story in the form of an external web link.


Undated file photo of the unnamed ringleader of Odocoileinae Virginianus.

Second Alpha of September 06 BBB

Grete Johnson Memorial Issue In Production: Sat Aug 12 17:53:15 PDT 2006
The second "alpha version [ definition here ]" of the September 2006 newsletter is posted here. [PDF File Link] This is pages 1-13. More pages will follow. The early version is posted here for editing of what is here and so you know what the look and feel of the newsletter will be. More will be posted as it becomes available. As always I reserve the right to make substantial changes to the layout and design before final release. Please let me know if you see errors in these pages so that I can correct them. Thanks!

Technorati Tags: ,

First Alpha of September 06 BBB

Grete Johnson Memorial Issue In Production: Sat Aug 12 15:17:54 PDT 2006
The first "alpha version [ definition here ]" of the September 2006 newsletter is posted here. [PDF File Link] This is just page one, but it will set tome of all the pages to follow. The early version is posted here for editing of what is here and so you know what the look and feel of the newsletter will be. More will be posted as it becomes available. As always I reserve the right to make substantial changes to the layout and design before final release.

Technorati Tags: ,

September Newsletter Starts Production

NEWSLETTER INFORMATION - Sat Aug 12 14:07:51 PDT 2006
This is a newsletter production weekend. The BBB Queue is closed and the newsletter is in production. If you wish to follow along, help and/or see pre-release versions of the newsletter I will be posting information as production progresses to this blog. If you wish to view the state of content of stories at the time the newsletter went into production, please check the newsletter queue:

Cyclist dies in Santa Cruz County

Cyclist killed on Felton Empire Road
On Friday morning, 8/11/06, Bob Hebeler was killed in a bike accident on Felton Empire Road in Santa Cruz County. Hebeler was a cyclist/tri-athlete.

The accident is still under investigation, but initial reports say Bob was
riding south on a corner when his bike crossed the double-yellow line and
hit the driver's side of a northbound vehicle. "Basically, he went through
a curve and the momentum pulled him to the outside of the lane," CHP
officer Grant Boles said. It is estimated Bob was traveling between
30 and 40 mph on the downhill stretch. The speed limit for the road is 35

Bob is survived by his wife & two kids. He was an incredible athlete, an
amazing father, and a wonderful husband. He will be greatly missed. Kain
Performance Team will be dedicating Folsom 2006
in Bob's honor.

To read the entire story, follow this link.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Ride ride party party

Whine and Dine Riders, 8-9-2006

Great day for a ride and evening for a party
On Wednesday August 09 we had a great evening ride. The weather was warm but not too hot. Thirty riders came on the evening ride and the party after went until after ten. It was a fun evening.

About the new blog

Sloan's Cycling Blog Banner

About my new cycling blog

About a year and a half ago, when I became the publisher of the Almaden Cycle Touring Club (ACTC) newsletter The Black and Blue Bottom, I started a cycling blog. I named the blog The Black and Blue Blog. My idea at the time was that the blog would become a place that folks in the club could get timely cycling news and information about the club and the newsletter. This blog was very closely associated with club and was branded similarly to the club newsletter even though it was my own personal blog. Over time I started using this blog to do other things, like list information about the series of Wednesday whine and dine bicycle rides.

Now I am planning to retire from my role as newsletter publisher and still want to have a place to list such ride information. I decided to start a new blog, not branded with the club, called Sloan's Cycling Blog. I will retire The Black and Blue Blog when my last issue comes out as publisher. Meanwhile, I will just double post for awhile. I am using Wordpress for this new blog so I can learn that tool. I really like it a lot!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I am creating a new cycling blog

Here is my new cycling blog
As I retire from the role of ACTC publisher I am going to be posting my new cycling content here on the BBBlog and my new cycling blog. When I finish with the last issue of the newsletter I will close this BBBlog blog for keeps and do not plan to post here. In the meantime both blogs will mirror one another to a large extent. Except, there will not be newsletter specific content on my new cycling blog.

My new cycling blog is here:

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

August 09 Whine and Dine Ride

Yes, the days are getting shorter!

M Option For Wednesday
Canon + Peach Hill Medium - PDF Route Sheet here.

LM Option
Canon + Peach Hill Short - PDF Route Sheet here.

As always riders in this evenings ride are invited to join us for food and liquid refreshments after the ride. Bringing a bottle of wine or some beer to share after the ride is encouraged.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

September 2006 BBB Queue Starting

The queue for the September BBB is under construction
The queue is being built. It is viewable here. There is a lot of missing content. Please do not ping me about it until I announce it is complete.

Friday, August 04, 2006

World class cycling here

Riders at Sanborn

Many great cycling destinations around here
There are many great places around our area to ride a bicycle. This is Sanborn Youth Hostle where we rode our bikes on last Wednesday's Whine and Dine ride.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

August 02 Whine and Dine

Welcome to August 2006
M Option For Today
Sanborn Medium

LM Option
Canon + Peach Hill Medium

As always riders in this evenings ride are invited to join us for food and liquid refreshments. Bringing a bottle of wine or some beer to share after the ride is encouraged.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Whine and Dine Today


Both LM and M rides share this route. This ride is mostly in the shade, so the heat should not be as much of a factor. 3LM or M, (5 and 6 M optional), a good ride with a very hard M option! Note the route sheet lists the climb to the top of Hicks. But this days ride turns around at the switchback where the hard climb starts with the rest of Hicks as an option. If you want to do the option be prepared for a harder, longer and a challenging ride. We may not be there for the option. LM riders are discouraged from doing all of Hicks. M riders also have the option to not do all Hicks. so plan to do it with a buddy! Bring water and ride safe.

PDF version of route sheet is here


This is from Barry Burr:
Do you know if anyone picked up an absent-mindedly forgotten waterbottle left on the table at the burrito place two wednesday night ago?  It is tall, 27oz., mustard yellow, from Sun Bike Shop.  Not majorly important but would like to recover it if possible.  Or if its appropriate use of your list, could you send a request out?


Some folks are coming by my house after dinner to pick up the wine that has been living there in air conditioned comfort since the Russian River Rally.

As always riders in this evenings ride are invited to join us for food and liquid refreshments. Bringing a bottle of wine or some beer to share after the ride is encouraged.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Foothill College teacher dies from Skyline crash

Foothill College teacher dies from Skyline crash
Confusion leads to delayed reporting

by David Boyce
Almanac Staff

Foothill College teacher Tom Colby Maddox, 65, of Portola Valley died of apparent head injuries July 15 three days after he was hit by a car while bicycling on Skyline Boulevard.

Maddox and longtime friend and fellow Foothill teacher Tom Strand of Los Altos, were biking in Woodside just north of Highway 84.

Police reports on the accident were delayed due to California Highway Patrol officers from the Redwood City office being at a service for an officer who recently died.

Maddox died at Stanford Hospital.

Reports from the CHP and San Mateo County Sheriff's Office differ in key respects, including the color, make and model of the vehicle that struck Maddox, the date of the accident and the extent of Maddox's injuries.

Strand said the accident happened between 11 and 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 12, on Skyline about a half mile north of Highway 84.

The two men were traveling south on the two-lane road in a section with a steep bank but no shoulder or bike lane, Strand said. They were just emerging from a series of S turns on a slight downhill grade and moving at the "speed of traffic," about 30 miles per hour, he said.

Strand said he was about 50 yards ahead of Maddox when he "heard a crash, like somebody dropping a tray full of dishes." He turned back to find Maddox splayed in the road, his helmet still on and two cars pulled over.

The vehicle that hit Maddox was a blue Subaru Forester driven by Redwood City resident Beverly Oaks, 81, CHP Officer Steve Perea said.

Stacy Binns, a resident of San Mateo who was driving about two car lengths behind Oaks, said Maddox was occupying about a third of the lane when the Subaru "sped up a bit and went to pass (him) on a curve with a double-yellow line." The Subaru "shot back in before she passed Tom, and she sideswiped him," Binns said.

"I don't think he knew she was coming," she said. There was no traffic coming from the other direction, she said.

"It was a horrible, horrible accident. It just didn't make any sense. It shouldn't have happened. I think about him every day. It's heart-rending."

Binns said she sent her daughter to find a resident with a land line to call 911 after attempts to use a cell phone failed due to poor reception.

Oaks and Binns waited at the scene for the CHP to arrive, Binns said.

Strand said an ambulance came after about 30 minutes and medics drove the unconscious Maddox to Stanford Hospital. Plans to use a helicopter fell through because the nearest one was too far away, Strand said he was told.

Damage to Maddox's helmet indicated an impact just behind his left ear, Strand said, adding that he was told by a physician at Stanford that Maddox died from head injuries.

The CHP and the Sheriff's Office split duties in patrolling Skyline, a state highway, with the CHP handling traffic and the Sheriff's Office handling general law enforcement.

Deputies from the Sheriff's Office arrived in minutes, Lt. Ken Jones said. Firefighters and medics responded quickly as well, Capt. Rob Lindner of the Woodside Fire Protection District reported.

But on July 12 the Redwood City CHP office of the CHP was on reduced duty to commemorate an officer who had recently died, with patrol duties being covered by the San Francisco and San Jose offices.

The nearest available CHP officer was about 30 miles away and took nearly an hour to get to the scene, Officer Perea of the San Jose office reported.

By the time the CHP officer arrived the scene had been cleared, Perea said.

"I was surprised about how little (the officers) asked me," Binns said. "It was a deadly accident."

The CHP initially reported that Oaks was driving a white Toyota and that the accident occurred on July 15.

The Sheriff's Office report had Oaks in a charcoal minivan, leaving the scene of the accident and driving over Maddox. The report also stated that his injuries indicated "some bleeding (but) nothing serious."

An obituary on Maddox is at

Monday, July 24, 2006

Memories of Grete

Grete and George on Mountain

We have been thinking a lot about Grete and George
Sue and I have been thinking a lot about the memorial service we went to yesterday. Grete's death was so tragic and sad and it has been very hard on her family and friends, us included. It was so touching to see the turnout and the support of so many of her family and friends, despite the extreme heat. Neither Sue nor I will ever forget it. The loving nature of Grete was remembered in so many ways by so many people. George spoke about their love, some of the favorite times he and his wife shared and about how they met. She is missed by so many of us who loved her.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

RRR Whine and Dine Adventure

Camera Phone post: Cyclists at winery
Our whine-and-dine ride on Saturday the 22nd started with 11 of us riding to Occidental from the campground at Casini Ranch. From there about six of us went to Freestone to visit Wildflour Bread, a great bakery there, while the remainder of us had second breakfast at Howard's Station in Occidental. We then rejoined on Graton Road as we descended into Sebastapol.

It got hot, I mean really hot! When we got to Pellegrini Winery they were very welcoming. We had liberal wine pourings and personal tour of the place. We had a great time and bought a lot of wine (to pick up later.) The ride back was an ordeal, with temps well into the triple digits. Despite the heat everybody seemed to have a great time.

Friday, July 21, 2006

RRR Whine and Dine Option

This is the route sheet for the 2006 Whine and Dine Option at the Russian River Rally.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Grete Johnson Remembered

Grete Riders at top of Kennedy

Whine and Dine Remembrance Ride for Grete Johnson
In 1975 Grete graduated from Los Gatos High School. Yesterday, just over 31 years later, a group of her friends gathered just down the street from that school for a bicycle ride in her memory. Before the ride all who were there who knew Grete shared memories about what a nice person she was. A friend and fellow cyclist who knew Grete from Toastmasters rode with us. We rode together as one group. We stopped at the top of Kennedy for a group photo. There were so many of us that folks on the side of the road stopped to watch us go by. After the ride we went to Una Mas to see more people there who did not go on the ride. We had a line out the door of the restaurant and out into the parking lot, somebody noted, "this is the largest number of people we had ever had here." There was easily 55 people attending between the ride and the dinner.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

About today's ride for Grete

If it is convenient, and you want to, I suggest riders who are in ACTC consider wearing a club jersey to the special Grete remembrance Whine and Dine ACTC ride that starts today at 6pm at Summit Bikes, at 111 E. Main Street in Los Gatos, CA. Non-riders are welcome to show up around seven or later to Una Mas. More information is in previous posts.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Wednesday's ride dedicated to Grete

Whine and Dine Friends:
We would like to dedicate Wednesday's Whine and Dine rides to Grete Johnson who died last week. Grete was a Whine and Dine rider, long term member of ACTC and a friend to many of us. In her memory we would like to combine all the rides together and to ride together as one group. The route will be an easy one and a link to it is provided below. This is not to be confused with the official ACTC memorial ride which will likely occur in September. After the ride we will come together at the usual place for fellowship, friendship, support and to share good memories of our friend and fellow whine and diner.

The ride starts Wednesday, at 6pm at Summit Bikes (408) 339-9142, at 111 E. Main Street in Los Gatos, CA. After the ride we will go to Burritos at the usual place, Una Mas, also in Los Gatos.

PDF of route sheet here

Grete Johnson passed away on Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Grete on a ride

All are welcome to join in a memorial service at 7:00 pm on Sunday, July 23, as detailed below.

A memorial ride will be held later, and will be listed in the Black and Blue Bottom.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

7:00 pm

Los Gatos United Methodist Church
111 Church Street
Los Gatos, CA 95030
phone - 408-354-4730


Following the service there will be an opportunity to continue sharing in the patio area. Please bring finger food to share.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to:
Alzheimer's Association
Northern California & Northern Nevada
2065 W. El Camino Real, Suite C
ountain View, CA 94040

The VMC Foundation - TurningWheels for Kids
2400 Moorpark Ave Suite 309
San Jose, CA 95128 

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Just last May

Grete at GWBR

Whine and Dine: Last Wednesday's M Ride

Cyclists at Sanborn

Cyclists at Sanborn
Last Wednesday evening we had a very pleasant ride up to the youth hostle outside of Saratoga. Steve Carney, Peter White, Colin Johnson, Brian Abbott, Deb Lefferts, Candy Elezy, and Chuck Shultz rode with Jeff and I.

Whine and Dine Warriors

Please read this in its entirety!
In years past we had a separate mail list for the whine and dine rides that was not part of the ACTC mail list. This worked well for several reasons:

  • Not all whine and diners were ACTC members
  • Not all whine and dine events (like private parties) were ACTC events
  • Not all whine and dine communications were deemed appropriate for the ACTC E-list (like info about whine and dine non-cycling social events or riders)

This year I got lazy and just started sending notices to the ACTC E-list while copying it to a few non-members. This has become more cumbersome than just maintaining a separate list and has run into some problems. So, I have decided to go back to the old way of doing things. I am sending this notice out to the 2005 list as well as the E-list (so some folks will get it twice.)

If you would like to be on the whine and dine 2006 list please send me an E-mail and let me know you want to be added. If you do not want to be on the list, but still want to get whine and dine information, you may do so at this blog. Note: this blog is not, and these E-mails are not, an official ACTC communication. This is on my own account and is "off the reservation."

I plan to post everything I send to the Whine and Dine list to this blog. So you can get the info here without even being on any mail list!

If you want to be on the whine and dine 2006 email list send me that email to and say "Sign Me Up!"

Friday, July 14, 2006

Great local cyclist

Bob McDermand

Bob McDermand is a local cyclist, a good friend and a uber rider. Recently Bob retired and so what is he doing to celebrate his retirement? He is riding across the US, and back again! His story is here.

In 2001 I wrote a story on Bob for Cycle California when he turned 60. That story is here.

Friends through many miles

Grete Johnson, 2003

Our bike club is like a family. When we ride together we talk and talk and talk. After the rides we socialize and talk more. Those of us who have been in the club for years share many miles together. We have been through many hills and many valleys together. We look out for each other. When we have problems we wait for and we help each other. That is what families do. There are folks in the club who are closer to me than some of my siblings. These folks, they are my family.

One Tough Cookie a story and great memories by Grete Johnson.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Friday, June 30, 2006

The big whine and dine ride

Bicycle Riders

Longest WnD Ride of the Year
Last Wednesday we did the longest Whine and Dine ride of the year. The bummer about summer is that it means the days are getting shorter again. It was a fun ride though. That is my son Jeff on the far right. Also on the ride were Peggggy Zagelow, Scott Riddle, Brad Brewer, Joe Armstrong and Tom Nguyen.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Reasons to ride

Why do we ride?
People ride for many reasons. Some ride for the physical challenge. Some ride for the pretty scenery. For me it is that and more. I ride for the nice people I get to ride with. Looking back on last week, it is the folks on the ride I think of most.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Sierra-to-the-Sea Blog Pictures

Here is a link to posts on my family blog taken on my camera phone and posted to the Internet as the tour happened. All these photos will be in my blog's June 2006 Archive located here.

Rest on ride to Ryde

Me at Woodbridge

My body is almost back to normal
It is amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it. Peggy Zagelow took this picture on a very hot day near Lodi. Lodi is not one of the most pleasant places to be on a very hot day. Thankfully the rest stop was in a nice shady location and I was able to rest. I even went wine tasting here and bought a bottle of Cabernet before I got back on the bike and continued the ride to Ryde. The SAG driver kept the wine. It was my contribution to the Thursday wine and cheese party at Casini Ranch.

Sierra-to-the-Sea Pictures Here

If you had a chance to join this year’s great Sierra to the Sea cycling tour, please photos your photos to the ACTC photo website. If you didn’t go, please read below for a recap.

There are a couple of albums up there now:

For those that didn’t get a chance to join, here is a short recap.

About 30 of us did a 3 day club ride to the new start at Bear Valley. Day 1 was to Patterson, Day 2 to the Columbia (the prior year start) and Day 3 to Bear Valley. The heat and long distances took its toll on some of the riders so it was fortunate that we had a couple of SAG vehicles along. One club member had to go to the hospital but is okay now. I think most everyone had a great time, I certainly did. I hope we have can do the 3 day ride again next year.

The Sierra to the Sea had a new start location at Bear Valley, which was magnificent. We started at over 7,000 feet. We biked to Jackson, same as in prior years but it was a difficult route and that coupled with the heat meant a good number of STTS participants needed to be sagged in. It was a bit of a rocky start for some of the riders. The 3rd night was a different location, at the Ryde Hotel, which I really enjoyed. As we approach the coast the weather turned from very hot to very cool. Wow, what a wonderful place California is. It was still cool for the fabulous finishing lunch at Golden Gate Park. A few of us finished by biking back to San Jose so we could redefine S2S to mean San Jose to San Jose.

We had one club member who had to abandon the tour and another who had an accident and could not ride for a couple of days, but I believe all is well with both. I am sure our publisher will have more information on his blog with regards to the tour. Personally I thought it was great and Miguel and staff did a super job.

Hopefully I am now caught up on all the webmaster stuff I didn’t do while riding but if not, please send me a reminder.

Franz Kelsch
ACTC Webmaster

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sierra-to-the-Sea Epilogue

I am done with my ride and I am recovering today. I slept until about mid-day and my body is still in recovery.

My Impressions?
I have another blog where I post my opinions and ratings on lots of things. Everything posted here is just my opinion and you are free (as always) to disagree. To read my opinion just follow this link.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The July Issue Is Posted

The final version of this newsletter is here. This is how it went to the printer! Due to the SttS there will be no editing or versioning. I now have to finish my bike and start packing.

Actually that is not true, the printer receives 11x17 printer spreads. If you are curious what they look like, this is how it looks in printer spreads.

There may be a delay while my system synchs with the server and these get posted.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Whine and Dine Wedding Celebration

Scott and Sarah Cut Cake

First Whine-n-Dine couple getting married
Sarah and Scott are regular riders on the spring and summertime Whine and Dine bicycle rides that Tyler, Jeff and I lead. Now Scott and Sarah are engaged and they are getting married next month. This is the last ride they are doing before they get married that we will be at. So, after last night's ride we celebrated with champagne, wine, confetti and a cake. We did a toast and wished them happiness. It was a wonderful fun evening.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Cats Hill 2006 Bike Race

Cat's Hill Racers

Still shooting after all these years
Yesterday I spent all day in Los Gatos at the Cat's Hill Crit Bicycle race. I took a couple hundred pictures. On of my favorite photos was this shot of pro racers hammering up the 23% grade of Cat's Hill. I shot this photo with my digital Nikon D2H, but I made it in PhotoShop. Using PhotoShop and my Wacom Tablet I created two layers with very different exposure and contrast settings. Then I masked off the high contrast layer and masked into it where the riders are. This is an image I could not have made with film, absolutely no way!

The Bike club newsletter
Today was production day of the ACTC newsletter which I publish. I made a black and white version of this image for the newsletter. This link shows how I cropped and used the image. The final version of this newsletter is here. This is how it went to the printer!

Actually that is not true, the printer receives 11x17 printer spreads. If you are curious what they look like, this is how it looks in printer spreads.

Friday, May 12, 2006

June 06 BBB Queue is posted

If you have contributed, please verify that your contribution is here:


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Editorial: A driver's perspective

Even cyclists can be jerks
I, as a cyclist, have had some bad encounters with car drivers who are jerks. I know many of the cyclists in this list have too. The other day I as a car driver had a bad encounter with a cyclist who was a jerk.

The other day I was driving up Kennedy and passed a cyclist well short of the summit. I gave him plenty of respect and clearance when I passed. I stopped at the summit and took a picture. Then drove down the hill, still well ahead of the cyclist. I am a cautious driver and drive the speed limit on curvy roads with limited lines of sight. The speed limit going down Kennedy is 20-25 mph with sharp turns, a double yellow line, few if any turnouts and limited lines of sight. The cyclist caught up with me on the downhill. He rode my bumper. I felt really pressured to speed up to a speed faster than legal, faster than I felt safe and not slow down for turns. I also was afraid to touch my brake pedal for fear of him not being able to react in time to avert a collision.

Once we came to a climb I, of course, pulled away from him. Had I not been a cyclist myself I may have taken hostility from that incident into my next encounter with a cyclist. Being a cyclist, and understanding that cyclists need to be safe on the road and not tail gate, I just told myself that even jerks can ride bicycles.


Technorati Tags: , ,

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Whine and Dine Rides for 2006

Whine and Dine party

April 19 was a cycling day
Yesterday evening was the first time I have ridden my bicycle in a long time. Even though I am still sick, I am well on my way to health. I lead a short and slow whine and dine ride, my first such ride for 2006! Jeff led a faster and further group. We had 23 riders on our ride. Tyler had a large turnout on his ride as well. These whine and dine rides go every Wednesday at 6pm from Summit Bikes [Link]. They are very social. We totaled around 40 riders. With the three rides we had we had about a ride for everyone. After the ride we had a great social gathering at Una Mas. This was the two-year anniversary of the bike crash in 2004 that ruined that season [Link]. On this year's ride we saw a coyote walking along Kennedy road and a herd of deer on Shannon. It was great to see the friends and meet the new folks who turned out for the ride.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Sunday, April 16, 2006

May Newsletter is Here

Thanks to all of you who contributed to this edition. Thanks to you we have another fun newsletter. All the reports, stats, stories, pictures and editing help is greatly appreciated.

The final version is here. This is how it went to the printer [Link].

Again, your contributions are appreciated!!!

Monday, April 10, 2006

May Newsletter Queue

Writers, please check that your input is posted and let me know if it isn't:


Sunday, April 09, 2006

Podcast Postscript

Podcasting on Tierra Bella

I am still recovering from doing the podcast yesterday [Link]. I have been sick for about a week. It has been very disappointing, I took two days of vacation last week with hopes of going to the Sea Otter Classic [Link] and covering that. The Sea Otter is one of my favorite events and Sue and I went last year and got some good shots [Blog Link.] I have been hating being sick and not being able to go. This year the Sea Otter and the Tierra Bella fell on the same weekend. I hoped to do both, but I barely did one. I totally lost my voice after the Tierra Bella. Today I am resting, no Sea Otter this year. At least the podcast rocked! I really enjoyed doing that. I did the podcast and did many more interviews while Jim Chaskin took pictures. We traveled as a reporter/photographer with me being the reporter. That was a lot of fun. I really like Jim, he is a very nice guy and a great conversationalist.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Podcast: Mutton Master, Bicycle for Sheep Herders

Podcast ten - Recorded Mar 5, North American Handbuilt Bike Show, part IV. Session length 6.5 minutes, 6.3 MB
To listen to audio click here --> MP3 File Here

Special bicycles for sheep herders? In this, part four of a series of podcasts recorded at the North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show, in San Jose California on March 5, 2006 you will be invited into a conversation with John Norstag of Thursday Bicycles. Norstag is from Pocatello Idaho and makes a bicycle called the Mutton Master. This is a serious working bike with a built in welded on rack made for hard work. I hope you enjoy this Almaden Cycle Touring Club Podcast. ACTC Podcast ten, 6.5 minutes, 6.3 MB MP3 File.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Podcast: Tierra Bella 2006

Tierra Bella Riders

Podcast eleven - Recorded April 8, The Tierra Bella, 2006. Session length 20.5 minutes, 6.3 MB
To listen to a High Fidelity audio (20.5 MB) click here: MP3 File Here
To listen to a Small File Size audio (5.13 MB) click here: MP3 File Here
Experience the Tierra Bella 2006 in the words of the folks who rode and put on the event. This podcast goes to various locations on this the annual century ride put on by the Almaden Cycle Touring Club. It is great to hear the folks tell in the own words what a great ride this was and how much fun was had on this lovely April 8, 2006. ACTC Podcast eleven, 22:22 minutes.

As an added bonus you can hear my voice progressively fade away!

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Recent Podcasts

Podcast nine - Recorded Mar 5, North American Handbuilt Bike Show, part III. Session length 10:49 minutes, 9.9 MB
To listen to audio click here --> MP3 File Here

This is part three of a series of podcasts recorded at the North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show, in San Jose California on March 5, 2006. In this show we are having a conversation with San Luis Obispo custom titanium bicycle frame builder Jim Kish. Jim Kish is the owner of Kish Fabrication. He is also an instructor at the United Bicycle Institute where Jim has been teaching the art of titanium frame building to hundreds of students from around the world. I hope you enjoy this Almaden Cycle Touring Club Podcast. ACTC Podcast nine, 10:49 minutes, 9.9 MB MP3 File.

Podcast eight - Recorded Mar 5, North American Handbuilt Bike Show, part II. Session length 8.15 minutes, 1.9 MB
To listen to audio click here --> MP3 File Here

This is the second of a series of podcasts recorded at the North American Handbuilt Bike Show, in San Jose California on March 5, 2006. In this show we are having a conversation with local San Jose steel bicycle frame builder Dale Saso and Texan Custom Carbon Fiber Composite Bicycle frame builder Nick Crumpton. Though Crumpton also builds with steel, the conversation focuses on carbon fiber as a frame material choice for building for all kinds of riders. I hope you enjoy this Almaden Cycle Touring Club Podcast. There are more shows coming. Podcast eight, 8.15 minutes, 1.9 MB MP3 File.

Podcast seven - Recorded Mar 5, North American Handbuilt Bike Show, part I. Session length 15.42 minutes, 3.6 MB
To listen to audio click here --> MP3 File Here

This is the first of a series of podcasts recorded at the North American Handbuilt Bike Show, in San Jose California on March 5, 2006. In this show Richard Schwinn of Waterford Precision Cycles and Hector Chavez of Winning Wheels Bike Shop on the Monterey Peninsula are interviewed for the Almaden Cycle Touring Club podcast. Podcast seven, 15.42 minutes, 3.6 MB MP3 File.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

About the Sierra-to-the-Sea ticket

A Personal Editorial
I voted the way I felt was the correct way to vote given the rules of the drawing. We did have a drawing, someone was selected, that person accepted the gift, then after accepting the gift, that person decided not to use it. Under the rules going into the drawing, the gift was not transferable. Under the rules going into the drawing, the gift is forfeited if not used. Under the rules going into the drawing, nobody but the person awarded the gift may use it. This was clearly communicated among the board before the drawing was held. In my opinion changing the rules after a drawing that involves a gift, opens the door to all sorts of allegations of corruption and/or favoritism.

About my role on the board. I was asked to run for publisher. I did not go out to seek the job.

Given the criticism I have received over this I will likely not run again. Perhaps someone else can do a better job at it. But, I can honestly say, I have served and voted the way I thought was right and that is the way I will always vote when serving in this or any similar capacity. When I was solicited for the job of publisher, the nominating committee focused on my capabilities as a newsletter publisher and not as a politician or member of the board. But, being elected to that position I have had to vote my conscience and do what I feel is right, even though others may disagree. In other non ACTC capacities I have voted my conscience many times even when I have been the sole dissenter. I will, and have had to, vote my conscience and do what I feel is right no matter how unpopular that is. I guess that makes me a lousy politician.

~Steve Sloan

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Let's get Mr. Rodeo

Bike vs. Truck: Let's Rodeo!

$1,000 Reward Offered
For information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver of the pickup truck involved in the following flagrant action of violence against a local bay area cyclist.

A Monte Vista Velo (MVV) club cyclist was injured after being run off of the road by a large Dodge Ram pickup truck while descending on Page Mill Rd. The incident happened on Saturday, March 25th around 11:00am and the driver of the truck tried to run many other club members off the road as they road single file down the hill. The altercation was a deliberate act by the driver of the truck to send a message to all bay area cyclist that they do not belong on the public roads.

Description of the Truck:

  1. Late model full sized black Dodge Ram Pickup with black bumpers
  2. Extended cab with dark tinted windows
  3. "Let's Rodeo" bumper sticker on left rear bumper. 12"x4" black letters on white background.
  4. Dark tool box behind the driver's window.
  5. License #6L6????

If you spot the truck matching this description, please get a full license plate # and report it to the Palo Alto Police Department at the number below.

The Injured Rider
The MVV rider suffered a class 1 AC separation of the left shoulder and two broken teeth. He is recovering quickly and has returned to riding with the club.

The injured rider is 51 years old, married and father of 4. He is an accomplished cyclist with over 25 years of competitive riding experience. He is also a successful businessman holding Vice President of Engineering positions at Sun, Kazeon and Oracle Corporation.

"The bay area is one of the most cycling friendly places I have ever lived in. I've never see anything that compares to this level of aggression and willingness to inflict harm. My hope is that we can find the person that did this before they hurt or kill someone else."

Contact Information
Kim Collet
Palo Alto Police Department
Case #: 06-084-0054

The bay area is one of the most cycling friendly spots in the entire US. Everyone must do their part to keep California roads safe for autos, motorcycles, cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians alike.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The ACTC Podcast

I have a bicycling podcast
This is a lot of fun for me. I really enjoy doing this. It is a great way to showcase a passion of mine, my great friends, and a great solution to some vexing problems our society has. Anything that helps resolve the energy, fitness and the obesity problems we have is a great thing to be involved with

My Bicycle Club podcast:

Oh yea, it is also on iTunes!

Los Gatos Creek Trail Closures

San Jose Water Company is planning to replace 2,000 feet of water mains located on and crossing Main Street in downtown Los Gatos.  The existing mains are almost 70 years old and their replacement is necessary in order to improve the reliability and performance of the water system.

The new mains will be located on the Los Gatos Creek Trail from the Forbes Mill Museum parking lot southward towards the company's Maple Lane Station.  The project is anticipated to begin on April 24, 2006 and must be completed prior to the start of the Town of Los Gatos street resurfacing project (anticipated start date July 5, 2006).

During construction, the Los Gatos Creek Trail will be closed to public access in order to ensure the safety of the trail users and that of the workers.  To minimize the impact of the trail closure, the project will be divided into three phases:

  1. Phase I will involve the northern limits starting from the Museum southward to the Main Street trail access road.  Trail users heading north from Lexington will be diverted up the Main Street access road and can regain access to the trail at Church Street.  Users heading south from points north of the Museum will be diverted onto Church Street and can regain access with the trail via Main Street.  This portion of the trail is anticipated to be closed for three weeks starting April 24 through May 12, 2006.
  2. Phase II will involve the southern limits starting from the Main Street access road south approximately 600 feet.  The trail will be closed from the access road to Lexington Reservoir since no alternate routes exist to divert users through the construction area.  Trail users at Alma Bridge Road will be diverted onto the Jones Trail to Jones Road and College Avenue where they can regain access to the trail at Main Street.  Users heading south will be diverted at Main Street and directed to the Jones Trail via College Avenue.  This portion of the trail is anticipated to be closed for three weeks starting May 15 through June 9, 2006.
  3. The final phase involves the installation of pipe on the trail access road adjacent to Main Street.  Users wishing access to the trail at Main Street will be detoured onto Church Street.  With the exception of the access road, the trail will be opened during this phase of work.  The access road is anticipated to be closed for two weeks starting June 12 through June 23, 2006.  Signs will be posted at the trail entrances to inform users of the trail closure and detours.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

ROMP Swap Meet April 30

Cupertino Bike Shop and ROMP (Responsible Organized Mountain Pedalers) present our annual bicycle swap meet. Sunday, April 30, back parking lot of the bike shop. 10:00 AM till about 4:00 PM. Located at 10493 S. DeAnza Blvd in Cupertino, CA (approx. 2 miles up from Steven Creek Blvd).

We ask you park at the Longs/Albertsons shopping center; staying OFF the streets in respect of the neighbors/neighborhood. Parking is free in the lot and plenty of food locally for snacks, lunch, etc. ATMS at the stores.

This is THE largest bicycle swap meet in the San Jose area, with over 50 vendors selling road, mountain (and now cruiser) bikes, parts, tools, clothing, etc. We've been told by many, we have the best bike swap meet in the Bay Area. Swap opens at 10:00 AM sharp (no early birds), and the line starts forming at 9:00. $2.00 admission. Spaces are still available and we often sell out, so reserve you space NOW if you wish to sell.

NEW PROCEDURE: This year there will be a LIMITED AMOUNT of wristbands given to vendors who pay for spaces. This is discourage 'early shopping' by non-vendors and give sellers time to set up their spaces. You will be given more info by the shop, but please note this new procedure and don't take it out on the staff/volunteers.

Space proceeds go directly to ROMP and our on-going advocacy aimed at working with local park staff and helping to keep off-road mountain bike trails open to cyclists.

Call the shop at: 408 255-2217 for info and to reserve your space in advance. Don't wait until the last minute. We will be charging an additional $20.00 'late fee' if you arrive 'day of' for a space. Notice:  All email and instant messages (including attachments) sent to or from Franklin Templeton Investments (FTI) personnel may be retained, monitored and/or reviewed by FTI and its agents, or authorized law enforcement personnel, without further notice or consent.

2006 STBikes Cat's Hill Classic Criterium

Something old and something new for 2006 STBikes Cat’s Hill Classic Criterium this year on Saturday, May 13, 2006. This annual cycling criterium in Los Gatos, California, is legendary for the merciless, leg-punishing climb on Nicholson Avenue. The short, but brutal, 23% grade of Cat’s Hill is daunting to elite riders as well as amateurs. How many laps can burning legs and lungs last?

For thirty-two years, contestants have valiantly challenged this formidable and intimidating race course. The Men’s Pro/1/2/Espoir category will race on the demanding one-mile course for an hour and a half, climbing the merciless Cat’s Hill  about forty times. The Women’s 1/2/3 category will challenge the Cat’s Hill for an hour of lung-searing laps.

The Los Gatos Bicycle Racing Club, recently named the number one amateur cycling club in the USA, has presented the Cat's Hill Classic Bicycle Race continuously since 1974. The Cat's Hill Criterium, totally a volunteer project of the Los Gatos Bicycle Racing Club, is one of the oldest grass roots cycling races in the US. The list of famous riders participating in this races reads like a Who’s-Who in the history of the cycling world.

Los Gatos cycling fans proudly saw local talent on the podium in 2005. Los Gatos resident Jackson Stewart of Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada won the Men’s Pro/1/2 Espoir, with Zach Walker of McGuire/Langdale Pro Cycling standing in the second spot. Zach Walker lives on the race course, and knows the Cat's Hill hurt very well.

New for 2006 STBikes Cat’s Hill Classic will be cycling action for very young cyclists. With their on-going commitment to promote cycling for Juniors, the Los Gatos Bicycle Racing Club is adding a Kid’s Race for the 5-9 age group. This is a fun ride with medals for all the kids who enter the 0.2 mile event, which starts at 12.30 pm. Two wheels or three wheels, helmets are required, and parents must sign a liability waiver before the ride begins.

Another new feature this year will encourage folks to ride their bikes to the race. The Cat’s Hill Classic committee has arranged for the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition to provide free, secure bicycle parking during the event.  The SVBC provides secure bike parking for many local events in the South Bay Area.

The Los Gatos Bicycle Racing Club has selected the new and local, non-profit Cycle ReCyclery program as the designated charity for 2006. Cycle ReCyclery is a non-profit bicycle repair and donation service founded by Derek Beck, a senior at Bellarmine College Preparatory. Cycle ReCyclery accepts donations of quality bicycles that are in need of reconditioning, restores the bicycles at the Cycle ReCyclery shop in downtown Los Gatos and donates them to local non-profit groups or individuals who qualify based on a needs assessment.

More than 700 amateur and professional riders are expected to compete on the demanding one-mile course that starts at the corner of Tait and Nicholson Avenues in Los Gatos. The route is a clockwise loop that includes the incredibly steep 23% Cat’s Hill climb, plus six brutal 90-degree turns along the race course. Race lengths range from three to forty laps, depending on age and ability classifications. For more information, go to the website

The Cat's Hill Classic is held under USA Cycling (USAC) permit and is part of both the prestigious Lance Armstrong Junior Olympic Race Series (LAJORS) and the Northern California Nevada Cycling Association (NCNCA) Premier Series.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Saturday ride to Croy

Croy waterfall

Saturday I led a bike club ride
Really it was kind of a mistake because I did not intend to list a ride during a production weekend. But, I did. It ended up being a really good ride. We rode to Croy Park. I rode 48 miles. There is a canyon there with about seven waterfalls. With all the rain there is water everywhere. It was sunny and clear, if a bit cold. It turned out to be a great day for a bike ride and I still got the newsletter done.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

April 2006 Bicycle Club Newsletter Here

The final version of the Almaden Cycle Touring Club's April newsletter. the Black and Blue Bottom, is posted here [Link]. This is as I sent it to the printer. I had no time for editing or Alpha or Beta versions this month.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

The American Hand Made Bicycle

Kellogg Spectrum Bicycle

A matter of craft
I think the difference between a custom hand made bike frame and an off-the-rack frame is like the difference between an off-the-rack suit and a tailored suit. Not only can a frame builder take into account your height, but also your proportions, inseam, weight, build and how you ride. Plus, of course, what you wish to spend is a major factor. We are all built different but off-the-rack bikes often offer generic off-the-rack sizings.

Plus, there is the art of it. With a custom bike you are riding a living, moving piece of hand crafted art. You are supporting real artisans. The personality of the builder is in the bike. He/she hopefully has expressed that. How he/she thinks you will use the bike is reflected in everything from the length of the tubes to the types of materials and the construction methods used in the bike.

Joe Starack built my first custom bicycle, a Rivendell, and Joe Bell painted it. Local builder Dale Saso built my other custom bike. That bike was the result of visits to Dale’s shop, of long conversations about types of tubes, materials and riding styles. I remember holding and looking at bare steel tubes and going through boxes of fork crowns and being able to specify the most small of details on that bike. It was a collaboration effort. I saw the bike evolve from metal. My Saso bike is the result of the many conversations Dale and I had. Does that make me faster? No. Does that enhance my own personal riding experience? Yes, very much.

You may be surprised to find the cost is not as high as you fear. Only you can decide what you want. That’s what makes’em so cool.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Advocate for Mountain Bike Trail in Huddart Letter

Dave Holland
Parks and Recreation Director
San Mateo County Parks and Recreation
455 County Center, 4th Floor
Redwood City CA 94063-1646

Dear Mr. Holland,

I attended the Huddart Wunderlich trail policy meeting of January 31. I was only able to audit the meeting by securing a place outside by a window. Most likely well above the safe and legal limit of occupancy, the building was over-crowded and there were many people outside who were unable to participate. I sympathize with the difficult task you had in facilitating this meeting. My letter intends to explain why I support the creation of a bike legal trail south of King Mtn Rd in Huddart Park.

Because of the acrimonious disposition of anti-bicycle people present, a reasonable and objective appraisal of the trail proposal was impossible. I heard too many rude remarks whispered. Even worse, occassional loud boorish jeering obstructed civil conduct. I was appalled by the large number of negative assumptions made. Only a few of the anti-bike folk had a proper understanding of the proposal. I am afraid that more moderate people were silenced by the prevailing bully attitudes. Many of their objections were not applicable. I will list the chief objections of the opponents to the trail in Squealer Gulch (that I heard at the meeting) and to bicyclists in general, explain my position on each one of them below, and also write in support of a multi-use policy on the Bay Area Ridge Trail and a proposed new alignment east of Hwy 35 in the vicinity.

  1. Mountain bikers on trails spook horses and pose an unacceptable risk to equestrians who use those trails.

    Sometimes bikes and riders spook horses, but most of the time they don’t. Sometimes horses and their riders spook hikers and bicyclists as well. The trail proposal does not call for sharing the trail with horses, so for this issue the point is moot. A proper attitude of the horseman combined with the correct training of the horse will minimize danger. Furthermore, combined with proper behavior from the cyclist, incidents of conflict will be rare. Getting all the folks on the trail to improve their habits is always going to be a challenge but it can be done. I volunteer intensely at Henry Coe State Park in Santa Clara County and frequently share trail work, events and the trails with equestrians. We get along well down there. I have friends who ride horses. The situation and attitude in San Mateo County is exceptional and probably has a lot to with the fact that equestrians and their horses are not conditioned to multi-use trails and ethics due to the fact that the County has granted them exclusive access to the trails.

  2. If mountainbikers want to ride up to Skyline they can/should buy cheap bike rack and drive to Alpine or Windy Hill.

    The reason mountain bikers want this trail is because we think it is proper to have access close to where people live to trails that are enjoyable to ride. People in the community deserve to have the option to ride from home on a variety of routes without having to get in the car. Sometimes a major reason for going out on a bike ride is to get away from the car. To avid cyclists the assertion above shows that the opinionator sees automotive transportation as a birthright and not the privelege that it is. Not everyone can simply afford at a whim to jump in a car and drive somewhere to ride, nor do they want to. Indeed the economy of this is changing, probably for the worse, and more people will find the costs of driving to recreational sites less attractive in the future. Perhaps the economic myopia of the affluent Portola Woodside community explains the origin of the comment. For these wealthiest of San Mateo residents $2.50/gallon gas and $300 bike racks may seem cheap, but for most of society these are not trivial expenses.

  3. We do not want mountainbikers in Woodside.

    This comment is outright and shameless segregation and has no bearing on the issue of the trail proposal. Those who do not welcome cyclists, anti-mountainbike equestrians, are elitists and class conscious. They express their values, and interpret their economic privelege, long standing tradition, western heritage, and local influence as entitlements to exclusive access of San Mateo County lands and roads whereas they are in fact a small minority in the county. The vast majority of tax paying San Mateo residents do not ride or own horses, nor could they afford to do so if they so desired. A sober appraisal must determine that many times more tax paying people own and ride bicycles than own and ride horses in San Mateo County. If the governing bodies of San Mateo would accept this comment by the equestrians and appease them they would do a great injustice to their constituents.

  4. Here are some reasons why cyclists (lumping all bike riding types together) are not welcome in Woodside or on the proposed trail in Huddart County Park:
    • Cyclists are rude.
    • Cyclists ride in large groups that impede traffic.
    • Cyclists are a nuisance.
    • Cyclists disobey traffic laws.
    • Cyclists change their clothes in public.
    • Cyclists urinate on private property.

    These objections are not directly applicable to the trail plan, but they are worth considering. This is because the opponents of cycling in San Mateo County Parks probably believe these negative behaviors will be repeated within County Parks. Furthermore there is an anticipated conflict between equestrians and cyclists as they both simultaneously attempt to access the parks.

    These are all gross generalizations. These complaints are drawn from observations concerning all cyclists, including road cyclists. All of these assertions are plausible and are derived from direct observations which I believe are true. However these displays of bad behavior are not the norm, nor are they condoned by the bicycling community at large. These assertions should be tempered by an analysis of the perspectives from which they may arise.

    Bicycles are vehicles. All vehicles must share the road. Signage has improved greatly over the years to alert both drivers and cyclists of the potential conflicts and rules of the road. However due to the popularity of the area congestion is sometimes a problem. Wherever there is congestion there will also be road rage. The roads are public. Cyclists, tourists, and residents are drawn to the area for the same reasons. It is beautiful in Woodside.

    Cyclists often ride in groups because they find more security and social value as a group. When a cyclist feels physically threatened sometimes the response is unfortunately a rude one. One of the reasons we want a bike path up to Skyline is to provide a car free alternative to access Skyline by bicycle in the area. Signs exist that implore cyclists to ride single-file, but they don’t always do so. Signs exist that post the speed limit, but motorists don’t always heed them. A dedicated bike path or wider street may improve the situation.

    The problems associated with large numbers of cyclists visiting the area do need to be addressed by the governing bodies in the area. While these are not the direct responsibility of the Parks and Recreation Department, it is proper to take these matters into consideration. These problems: scarcity of parking and toilet facilities, lack of respect for traffic laws, and public nudity are correctable by a combination of providing more facilities and code enforcement by the local municipality. Public restrooms should be made available by the city. The cost of these facilities can be offset by the patrona! ge of local businesses. Parking problems should be addressed by a special committee and may be best served by provided sattelite staging areas away from the town center. Perhaps the town is already working on this. Properly signed and citation enforced parking regulations will help.

    The well established system of bridal paths utilizing both public and private easements must probably remain accessible only by equestrians. A study followed by practical recommendations of how bicyclists will access the proposed trail through and from the town without impacting existing equestrian access needs to be further developed. This needs to be done both to assuage the suspicions of those against cyclists and also to provide a practical guide to cyclists. Normally this segregated approach is unneccessary, impractical and improper, however due to the polarized character of the trail community in the neighborhood this is appropriate.

    As for the problems of urination and nudity, these can be mitigated by peer pressure within the cycling community. The cyclists must elevate their standards and respect others. The combination of improved facilities, a conspicuous program of code enforcement, and peer pressure will solve this problem.

  5. Bay Area Ridge Trail.

    I am in support of the gathering interest in developing a new trail corridor for the Bay Area Ridge Trail in the vicinity east of Skyline in the area to bypass the current section alignment in the MROSD Purisima OSP along the Soda Gulch Trail. The current alignment is not practical or in keeping with Ridge Trail norms. This trail has been ruled unsuitable for multi-use by the MROSD in recent meetings. Horses and bicycles are not permitted. An upshot of this evaluation is that the MROSD and the trail community realize an appropriate opportunity exists to create a new alignment through County Park and other lands higher up and to the east of Hwy 35. Access to this reg! ional trail is directly implicated and one of the reasons for the trail proposal being discussed here. The proposed bicycle trail in Huddart Park should be constructed with the publicly disclosed intention of connecting to a possible future multi-use Ridge Trail alignment.

    I understand that there are very significant physical and political obstacles that must be overcome. For example, the summit end of the Squealer Gulch Trail (for a working name) is currently problematic. However, there are practical alternatives, and a soundly engineered trail is possible, no doubt about it. Similarly the political obstacles and the process itself require stamina and patience by advocates of the Ridge Trail. There is a good consortium of respected advocates in favor of the proposed east alignment of the Ridge Trail who will prevail. This eventuality must be anticipated in developing plans for Huddart and Wunderlich Parks and supported by San Mateo.

  6. Conclusion.

    I wish to add that San Mateo County needs to seriously reassess it’s interpretation of who the Department of Parks and Recreation serves. I recognize that there is no legal obligation for the County to observe or respect the philanthropic wishes of James Huddart who desired to serve the youth of San Mateo with the creation of Huddart Park. But if the County desires to honor the legacy of James Huddart they would allow this concession to the youth and young at heart cyclists of San Mateo and future residents and approve the creation of a bike trail, a peaceful alternative to a potentially dangerous road, and a multi-use Ridge Trail alignment, and properly serve the County of San Mateo.

Thank you for your consideration.
Paul Nam

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Too fast to blog about it

Bike racers in San Jose

Too fast to blog
Lately it seems life has been going too fast for me to get it down on the computer. My mother-in-law turned 80. We had a great get away to Healdsburg and Petaluma. We discovered some great new wineries and wines. I spent a day photographing and podcasting at a bike race. I did another edition of the bike club newsletter, 24 pages! Sue has been working like a demon. Kenneth came to visit. We bought a new digital camera. There has been no time to sit and think or collect my pictures and blog. Today was the Tour of California. What a great event! Too much fun. Must blog soon!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Podcast: Steve-n-Ray Show

Podcast three, The Steve-n-Ray Show, Friday, February 10, 2006, session length 34.16 minutes, 7.8 MB

To listen to audio click here:

Podcast Here

A conversation with Ray Rodriguez, a fellow ACTC member, describing podcasting, what the ACTC podcast is and how we can use this technology to tell people about ACTC and cycling in our area.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

We have a podcast!

ACTC Podcast

The Almaden Cycle Touring Club Podcast
Here is the link to my new podcast [Link]. This podcast is about the bicycle club I am the publisher for and it is a lot of fun. It is wonderful how this medium can be used, not only to tell people about an organization but also really put a human voice to the organization. The first contact we have with the world is sound. We hear the world through our mother's womb before we even see it. There is something really connecting and human about podcasting. I think they are just so human, and that is huge.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Podcast: Feb. 07 ACTC Club Meeting

Club Meeting Podcast
We had a great ACTC meeting this evening. Thank you to all the folks who made it happen. If you want to hear a few interviews from tonight's meeting please checkout the podcast. Here it is, Click on Podcast button to listen:

Podcast Here

This is almost live Internet radio and I think it really gives our club a human voice.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Sunday, February 05, 2006

ACTC Awards dinner podcast

Susie and Guy Dancing

Great awards dinner
We had a great time at the award dinner and even made a podcast:

Podcast Here

This is live Internet radio and is actually three conversations stitched together, 1.3MB, 6min, MP3 format file.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Last Apha of BBB, Feb. 2006 Newsletter here!

The third and final alpha version of the newsletter is here, [Link]

The last alpha version of the February newsletter is posted. This is pages one thru 17, which is the main body pages of the newsletter. It is still subject to change, but only if there is an overriding reason. This is all I am going to do today. Tomorrow I will finish the back pages and incorporate any changes I get. Thanks everybody for the help with this edition and the great corrections I have received. You have helped make this a better issue!

Technorati Tags: , , ,

The second alpha version of the Feb newsletter

Another alpha version of the February newsletter is posted here [Link]. This is pages one thru 12 and is subject to change. Again, of special importance here is the revised listings on page two. If you sent me any changes please double check to make sure I didn't screw up and that I got your changes in!

Please look here and let me know as soon as possible if you see any errors so I can fix them.

If you are new to the club, or have never paid much attention before, page two of the newsletter is a wonderful source of information and the place to get answers to many of the questions folks commonly ask about our great club. Looking here may save you from having to call our club president and asking him questions you can easily find the answers to.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The cover photo for the Feb. issue

David on Hamilton

This is the photo I chose for the cover of the February B&BB. I appreciate the photos folks submitted, it was a tough decision. Here are the reasons I chose this photo:

  • It is seasonal. The trees are bare and David has arm warmers. The message is, "you can have fun riding in the winter."
  • It has tension. The riders focus is solid on the road. He looks professional.
  • It is visually dynamic. The composition leads you into and through the photo and into the issue of the newsletter.
  • It has good production values. It is sharp and composed very well.

When I seek a photo for the cover I look for a photo that has what I call "curb appeal." I want the photo to grab a reader and make that reader want to read the newsletter. It also needs to relate to the newsletter and what we are as a club. I need to be able to tie it into a story or the time we are in and the places our club rides. I specifically avoid mug or group shots that are not dynamic. These types of photos have their places, but those places, in my opinion do not include the top half of the front of the newsletter, unless there is a very compelling reason.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Great place to ride

Me with bike

Yesterday and today I rode my bike
It has been crisp, cold and clear the last couple of days. The tender green shoots are coming up and yesterday I saw a herd of deer on my ride. This is such a great place to ride a bicycle, I love it here! California Spring is only about a month away in the bay area and already I can see the buds starting to appear on the trees. Soon, those buds will be blossoms!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Appreciation Night Reservations Closed

Thank you to everyone who has made a reservation to come to this years Appreciation Night!   We have 175 people attending and know we will have a good time.

If anyone was unable to get tickets and would still like to come to it, please send me your name and I will start a standby list.

Warm regards,

Sandy Lorber

Bill Bliss: Officer guilty of careless driving

From the Canon City Daily Record:


Publish Date: 1/6/2006

Officer guilty of careless driving

Alison Miller
Daily Record Staff Writer

Cañon City Police Officer Doug Havens was convicted Thursday night of careless driving in a June 2005 incident that killed cyclist Bill Bliss on Colo. 67, two miles north of Wetmore.

Havens was found innocent of the lesser charge of speeding.

Assistant District Attorney Cheyenne Ross built her case around Bliss’ advocacy for bicycling safety and expert accident reconstruction.

The victim’s longtime friend and fellow cyclist Russell Godfrey testified Bliss, a 69-year-old Californian, advocated and taught road safety to new cyclists. According to Godfrey, Bliss always wore a helmet and bright clothing, had triangle reflectors and followed traffic laws.

Godfrey had been on the cross country tour that began in Virginia and was to end in Oregon before Bliss was struck by Havens on June 24.

Havens, a rural Westcliffe resident, was off duty at the time.

Defense attorney Cindy Montgomery called Bliss’ safety into question during cross-examination. She said Bliss’ bike and physical condition contributed to the accident.

Testimony indicated the bike was loaded down with equipment and had perhaps been engineered to carry excess cargo. The bike was described by Godfrey as having smaller than average wheels and a rack carry-ing a tent, tools, sleeping bag and other supplies.

Godfrey also testified Bliss was blind in the left eye, which was later determined by the Fremont County Coroner Dorothy Twellman to most likely have affected Bliss’ peripheral vision and possibly affected his ability to see motorists.

The Bliss family, who came from California and Seattle to attend the trial, disputed claims he was unsafe and said Bliss was an extremely accomplished cyclist.

“Bill has been bicycling for 36 years,” said Bonnie Bliss, the victim’s widow. “He has over 300,000 bicy-cle miles. He’s a very proficient rider; he’s done most of those miles commuting in urban traffic in San Jose (Calif.).

“Of all the people in the nation, he is probably one of the people who have such a depth of understanding and depth of thinking in these types (road cycling) of situations,” Mrs. Bliss said.

The defense questioned whether Bliss actually had been following the rules of the road and claimed he was riding close to a foot from the center line instead of near the white line as required by law.

Montgomery supported the claim with testimony from rural postal carrier Amanda Withers who said she saw between 10 and 15 cyclists on the highway “far out in the road so that you had to get into the other lane to get past them.”

Montgomery outlined a series of events, arguing Havens came around a curve just south of mile marker 2 on Colo. 67 at legal speeds and his view was obstructed by a vehicle in front of him. She also said Bliss was riding where he should not have been and that Havens had no time to prevent the accident.

Jeffery Burke, an accident reconstruction specialist from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, testified Havens could not have been traveling more than 58 mph when he struck Bliss.

Burke said he personally drove Havens’ Ford truck around the curve attempting to reach 77 MPH and said the truck almost rolled. He said he was unable to reach the alleged speed Ross claimed Havens was travel-ing after coming out of the curve.

Burke also said at such high speeds it is impossible to see people when looking out the vehicle’s window, supporting the claim he was not speeding.

Rancher Chad Draper testified for the defense he was fixing a fence on his property and observed Havens driving. He said he and Havens waved to each other.

Draper also supported defense’s claims there had been another car ahead of Havens.

The prosecution’s expert witness gave a conflicting account of what he believed happened that day.

Mike Halpin, accident reconstruction specialist for the Colorado State Patrol, said he calculated Havens’ speed at 77 MPH in a 65 zone through calculations and measurements taken at the scene.

Halpin said skid marks, a scrape mark from the bicycle making impact with the road and Havens’ account of the accident gave him points of reference to reconstruct the accident.

According to Halpin, Havens probably came around the curve at high speeds, saw Bliss, had about 1.5 seconds reaction time, struck Bliss and applied the brakes.

The injuries sustained by Bliss were determined to be associated with Halpin’s account. Pictures of the deceased Bliss demonstrating such injuries were denied by Judge William Fox on grounds they were more inflammatory than probative.

Fox said the photos would evoke the sympathy that he himself admitted to having while viewing the pho-tos.

Evidence from the death certificate was admitted stating Bliss died from a substantial head injury caused by being struck by a motor vehicle.

Havens took the stand to give a personal account of the events and, upon cross-examination by Ross, a mistrial was almost granted after she asked Havens how many speeding tickets he has been issued. Havens admitted to one speeding ticket before Montgomery had the opportunity to object.

Prior acts are not allowed to be introduced into evidence, and Montgomery moved for a mistrial. Fox de-termined though Ross’ conduct was unacceptable, an instruction to the jury to not weigh the speeding ticket was more appropriate than to grant a mistrial.

The jury found that there was not enough evidence to convict Havens of speeding, but decided he was driving carelessly and caused Bliss’ death.

The misdemeanor carries a range of sentence options from fines and points on his license to jail time. A sentencing hearing was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. March 6.

According to CCPD Capt. Jim Cox, Havens is working and he knows of no plans to remove him from duty. Cox said the decision to keep or terminate Havens’ employment lies with City Administrator Steve Rabe, who had no comment.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Here are some pictures of Kenneth

Tomorrow is my youngest son Kenneth's birthday. He will be 19.

Kenneth and Cat

As Kenneth's birthday has been approaching I have been thinking a lot about it. It seems like he was just a little boy. Now, in 12 months he will be 20. Days go by so fast their passing seems trivial. But, each day is unique and never to be repeated again. Kids, they grow up so fast. It seems like yesterday, but just a little over a decade ago Kenneth was a little 8-year-old.

Kenneth building models

One of our favorite things to do was to go camping at a place called "camp." This is a place where my first wife Candy went since she was a little girl. After she died, this is where we buried her ashes. I hope we can go back there this year. 

Kenneth in tent

Here are some pictures of Kenneth.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Feb. 2006 Queue is here

The February 2006 queue is here. Contributors please check to see your contributions are here.