Saturday, December 29, 2018

Biking Angel Island


We set off from Tiberon Dock on the Ferry to Angel Island around 11am, the weather was perfectO ! Note: it is Dec 29th. Goal to ride around the perimeter road of Angel Island and stop at the touristy spots. (We missed the bell)

Light offshore breeze this day, so clear views. From and around the Island. Golden Gate Bridge to the south.


looking over at Richmod and the San Pablo Bay.
The old abandoned buildings at Fort McDowel.

Quarry point beach and future fishing spot for Jeff.

Hey Sand !

Rick n' Rena with us in front of S.F. and the bay bridge to Treasure Island.

Hey Steps ! (different level of appreciation here)

That's the last climb (I'm pretty sure). That's Berkley behind.


Taking in the view of SF (Ghirardelli Square if you look closely) over Alcatraz. Golden Gate bridge and the Marin Headlands.

It's a pretty quiet trail, today at least.

Coasting back down to Ayala cove and dock. 

Mostly coasting. I mean it's on the coast, right?

It's cool there's a bar here :) Have a beer while we wait for the ferry.

Pretty good dining view from Tiberon. Exceptionally pleasant day :)


Saturday, October 20, 2018

Tahoe Rim Trail

Back to Tahoe! what's not to love ? The goal of this trip was to ride the Tahoe Rim Trail. I had done a section of it before, on the previous trip I learned there was a shuttle up to the trail head, which makes it doable for the family.


Always a bit of an adventure, taking a trailer bike on a trail I haven't ridden myself before, but the length and reviews made it sound doable, but with a challenge factor.

The scenery is outstanding and worth it alone. Check the video, and ride along with us for a sample.


Washoe Lake on the east side of the Carson range. McClellan directly across the lake.

Maddy is getting bored of the ride to school and is ready to got back, even though it's now under about 24 feet of snow (at time of writing this).

Always good to end a ride with a hot tub :) Aaaaaaaaahhh

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Maddy Rides the Marlette flume trail.

Tahoe is one of the first places I visited when I moved to the US. The first impression of WOW hasn't faded one bit.

The water clarity is stunning, and there is so much more. Saturdays plan was to ride the famous flume trail.


We started the trail after riding the shuttle up to Spooner lake from flumetrailtahoe.com . Max provides an excellent and friendly service there.

From Spooner there is about a 2.5 Mile climb ~1000ft to the saddle, and back down to Marlette Lake.  

I don't think there is an ugly lake in the vicinity of Tahoe... 

Even in the hail and sleet it was still beautiful.


The old log flume started right here.

And this is where the trail gets absolutely spectacular.

There might be better views of the lake :)

The trail itself is surprisingly smooth, and almost perfectly flat.

The rock formations are dramatic too.

The view does not get old.


Moss in the trees.

Changing Aspen.

And just like that we were done and next to Tunnel Creek cafe with lots of yummy food.

Time to relax.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Santa Cruz Flats 2018


Back to Santa Cruz Flats after 8 years. A good turn out from the SF Bay Area. 6 flying tasks over 7 days. And just to show how times have changed, pilots are taxiing on segways and scoring is live on the internet.


it would be a hot week, with the exception of Wednesday, where I happily would have worn a sweater and some shoes.


Wednesday was monsoonal and fairly obviously unflyable, so Wayne and I took off to Biosphere 2. Something I remember learning about on Blue Peter when I was 13 years old. It is now open to the public (guided tours), and continues to run environmental experiments.

The two experiments that caught my attention were : seeing what happened when a rainforest ecosystem had much higher levels of CO2. The thinking was the trees and foliage would photo-synthesize the CO2 back to near normal levels, and while perhaps growing a bit taller. The latter happened, but the trees them selves did not convert any more CO2 than normal. A surprise to all. 

The other was the ocean reef tank which also had increased levels of CO2 and heat, the corals had bleached and algae taken over. The current state of the experiment is seeing if certain types of crabs and snails could consume the algae and return the reef to a healthy state once CO2 and temperatures return to normal.  

The architecture and engineering is worth a visit just by itself. Climate control is so much more on this scale. Light is controlled along with heat and cooling. But the water and humidity and even wind is a closed system. The experiments would be ruined with mold, insects, seeds etc from the local environment if exposed. It is all sealed (somewhat) and 2 giant lung buildings supply the air circulation.

While on our visit the monsoon was in full swing and returning to our hotel we found the very flat town flooded, especially in our parking lot !

Here is the task on the last day. Each day was quite different from any other in the week (from a weather perspective). The area confounds me - trying to read the weather by looking at the sky. How a place can be so hot and be void of thermals? and then seem the exact same the following day and be totally different. Patience and gaggle flying is key.

We had to keep an eye out for rattle snakes after the rains. Wouldn't want to launch with one of those diamondbacks hitching a ride. The last days flight is interesting to replay, in fact a few of them are. But this is the link to do just that, you can fast forward and replay up to 10x the speed


Great to see some friends I haven't seen in 8 years, and make some new ones too.

Ollie Chitty made some cool videos of the event also, check them out.

practice day day1 day2 day3 task4 task5 task6 Dave Aldrich also has a nice intro to the place too.