Still catching up with ride reports:
4/2 – 66 miles Party Pardee is a ride I paid for. Starts in Ione and rides past three reservoirs: Comanche, New Hogan, and Pardee. Lots of rollers on the ride but nothing of consequence. I enjoyed the ride and the people, however, I was surprised that we had to stand in line to get food at the rest stops. The meal at the end of the ride had potential but failed.
4/3 – 64 miles with Bay Area bike buddies, Al R., Phil and Kevin. Started at El Cerrito del Norte BART station and ended at Bothe-Napa State Park near Calistoga. Spent the night camping at the park.
I will digress at this point to tell my BART story. Concerned that I wouldn’t be on time, I left early and arrived at the Union City station in plenty of time – they hadn’t even opened the station. Several other folks were waiting too. Once we got inside, an employees told us the ‘usual’ platform wasn’t open so we needed to go to the other one. I asked about the elevator – it was out of order. So I had to haul my FULLY LOADED bike up the stairs. That must have been a sight, me leaning against the railing to keep my balance while pulling the bike up the stairs one step at a time. OK – I’m on the platform and moved down to where I think the last car will stop so I can get on to that one. The electronic sign says “TRAIN WILL NOT STOP” and it didn’t but then I realized all the people were over on the OTHER platform (the one we were told not to use) and the train came through, stopped and picked up all the riders. So, I realized I missed the announcement that the regular platform was now open and I missed the train I was supposed to take. I reversed my procedure and got the bike down the stairs, went over to the other set of stairs and must have looked forlorn because two of the construction workers (the ones who were causing the elevator to be unavailable and the platform problem) took pity on me and hauled the bike up the stairs for me. So – now I’m on the usual platform for catching the train to go north. Only they’ve switched back and now I need to be back on the first platform! Again, one of the construction workers took pity and carried my bike down the stairs with me providing some support so he didn’t have the full weight of the load. Now, I’m looking up those stairs about ready to give up but the BART worker was there and he was willing to help support the bike as we took it up the escalator. Home free, I think. As I’m standing there waiting for the next train, the electronic sign says “TRAIN WILL NOT STOP” – nooooo, Groundhog Day. Fortunately, the sign was wrong, the train did stop and I finally got a ride up to the El Cerrito del Norte station.
4/4 – 62 miles back from Bothe-Napa to El Cerrito del Norte BART. Crossed over the Carquinez Straight too.
This was The Day of the Flat Tire. As we leave camp, glibly I comment, “Everyone have air in their tires?” As we headed down to the highway, I thought the bike was handling a bit funny but ignored it until I couldn’t any longer. By then we were on the highway so I hollered out the obligatory, “Flat.” Kevin was with me so he stopped. Since it was the back tire and the back of the bike was carrying all my stuff, I chose to try the ‘pump it up and ride fast’ trick. That got me into St. Helena where we were stopping for breakfast. As I came out the front door of the Gillwood Café, there it was…totally flat back tire. Three of us started working on it. Phil held the bike while Al released the center-pull brake. I took the wheel off the bike. After we changed the tire and filled it, we put the wheel back on the bike, and then tried to close the brake. Couldn’t do it. Everyone tried. Decided the rim was in the way. Had to let some air out of the tire. Then we could maneuver the wheel so the brake could close and then had to re-fill the tire. Whew! It was a good fix and we were on our way.
4/6 – 13 miles with Dan T. from Moccasin to Priest Station and back. This ride includes a five mile climb.
Today’s story is about Dan’s flat…There were CalTrans workers on the new Priest Grade cleaning out the drainage ditches alongside the road. So, they were stopping traffic and then having a lead truck take the traffic through. Dan and I stopped to wait our turn and when we started following, his bike was sounding strange. Turns out he had a flat. So, he stopped to fix it and I continued on to find some of the crew to let them know why we weren’t coming through. I did and then waited, took some photos, and waited some more. Finally decided to go back. Found Dan flicking his tire off the rim using an Exacto knife! Someone had stopped to help and that was all he had. Dan had forgotten to put his tire iron in his seat bag and was trying various ways to get the tire off until the knife showed up. It worked so he went ahead and put a new tube in. Then I offered to fill it so I could try out my bike pump, which I’ve been wanted to do, and was pleased that it still works. I’ve never seen someone use a knife to get a tire off and don’t think I’d recommend it but…any port in a storm.
The boys and I at Carquinez Straight overlook:
Tomorrow, the Cinderella story.