Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ride Day 72

Fort Bragg to Leggett 46 miles 5000’ climbing.  Today was a hard ride for an old man like me.  I had rolling hills for thirty miles then a 500’ climb followed shortly after by an 1800’ climb.  I had to work on my tempo to get through the day.  At first I was pushing too hard on the pedals and getting winded then I would have to stop and rest a bit to let my heart slow down and my breath to catch up.  Then I let up on the pedal power, put it in grandpa gear and just started to spin with as little effort as I could to maintain motion going up the hill.  That worked out much better and I spun my way to the top of all the big grades today.  I am also getting into shape for riding long distances up and down lots of grades.  My first day out of SF I was too gungho remembering how I rode at the end of my last long ride and assuming I could ride like that again right off the bat.  I paid for it with cramps that day but have not had cramps since I eased up on the gas pedaling. 
The coast was once again gorgeous to ride along.   There was just beautiful views lined up one after the other.  I finally stopped taking pics of so many because there are just so many.  Then I turned into the redwoods.  I had just gone through the lumber company museum in Fort Bragg so I was thinking about how they raped this forest only a bit over a hundred years ago.  As I rode through the new young trees, I saw lots of stumps left over from those heydays of logging and clear cutting huge swaths of 1500 plus year old trees.  We are lucky the species survived.  The old stumps of redwood resprout and usually as many as five or six new trees start growing from the stump and for a big tree even more.  So eventually the redwoods will again tower if people don’t let the corporations hack em down again.
I got my tent rifled through at the last campground.  The only thing missing were some of my prescription meds.  The rangers seem to think they know who did it and are going to try to get them back but I doubt if I will ever see them again.  That was irritating because now I am going to be thinking about theft all the time.  Such is life though and I am over it already.
An abalone fisherman also died in the camp that same morning.  Tourists saw him floating facedown and by the time he was pulled to shore he was already gone.  The news today said three ab divers died last weekend.  The divers need to be more careful in the rough weather that was pounding the coast yesterday.  The salmon season here is open but the boats have nor been able to get out except for a few hardcore fools.  They are getting less than a fish per rod.  Rockfish opens up here on May 15th and com salmon on the first of May.
More later.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg has been a rest weekend for me.  There is just too much traffic on the narrow twisting winding uphill road going north from here to ride on the weekend.  I will leave Monday morning again and hope for a safe ride over the big grade at Leggett.  Fort Bragg has been a great rest spot.  I have been going to Zappa'a Coffee in the Company Store for good coffee and snacks while I use their high speed internet.  Yesterday I watched harbor seals pupping on the beach.  The day before there was an orca that took a seal right close to shore here.  I missed catching that action on camera.  I have been riding around enjoying the sights and things like the Skunk Train, the bike trail along the beach and all the beautiful coastline with so many nature sights to see. 

The Abalone fisherman are all limiting with big abs.  They shared with me so I got my taste of ab in.  Easy pickings is what they are all saying with big abs.  I am enjoying the hiker biker camp site in the state park.  Lots of friendly people about.  My health has been up and down good and not so good.  I hope I am well enough to hit the road tomorrow.  Today the sun finally came out for the first time.  I was starting to think that is wasn't fog but rather smoke from all the stoners living here in Mendocino County.  I am having trouble getting my pics to loas but I will try.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Ride Day 71

I rode from Salt Point to Fort Bragg yesterday 46 miles with 2500 feet of climbing.  I took my time and enjoyed the ride.  The coast is just so beautiful from a bike.  I wish I could climb down into all the deserted coves and stuff just to explore.  I get tired from all the hills but such is the life of a wandering old man.  It is good for me getting all this workout.  This weekend I am taking off because the road is a narrow twisting winding road with several thousand feet of climbing ahead of me and the traffic is just too heavy on the weekend.  The locals tell me Monday will be a better day to ride on.  Fort Bragg is a great little town.  The people have all been very friendly and helpful.  I finally got some good high speed internet to catch up with all my stuff.  The only problem is I don't feel like sitting here writing.  There are lots of pics to see on my jimfrogs.picasawebalbums.com site.  I will post a few here also.  The campground MacKerricher State Park is a hiker biker friendly one with lots of abalone fisherman in camp.  I had an abalone burrito last night that was delicious.  They saw orcas along the beach here yesterday.  One fisherman watched one kill a seal in the water while he was abbing.  I am going to go out and look for them later today.  Maybe I will get lucky.  Yesterday at Salt Point I saw a cougar so I have already had some luck seeing wildlife.  My health is still a problem.  I can't sleep at night from high pain.  Tonight I am going to take a sleeping pill to get caught up a bit.  The weather is still foggy and cool.  Or maybe it is all smoke from the stoners here in Mendocino County how am I to know. 

While I was riding yesterday there was a sign and a cardboard box along the highway and the sign said free weed.  I looked in the box and it was full of mostly shake but I cracked up to see it just sitting on the road there.  This is the weed capital of California though so I wasn't that surprised to see it.  I forgot to take a pic cause I was laughing to hard.   I am at the Company Store in the center of Fort Bragg using their free wifi and drinking coffee.  I have had a real problem finding wifi to use that is even close to high speed.  My plans to post my Garmin everyday have gone up in smoke so to speak since it requires high speed wifi.  I am kind of pissed off with my Garmin 800 Edge unit.  It has been nothing but a problem so far.  It uses up its battery power too quickly and the worst thing is it has turned itself off twice and erased my ride records which is irritating as hell for such an expensive unit.  When I tested it out before this ride it seemed to work ok but I am having trouble finding places to charge it and good enough wifi to upload with.  If it doesn't get working better I am going to just turn it off and not spend time worrying over it.  I will still have it for navigation if I need it but I will give up on trying to record my rides with it.  More later...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ride Day 70

Today is a ride from Salt Point to Manchester a ride of about 42 miles along the coast on coastal highway  I with rolling hills and not any large grades involved.  I took my time and leisurely crawled along looking at the coast as I went and taking lots of pics.  I have no way of uploading the pics right now but I will later. 

I do feel better today.  I felt so bad in Bodega Bay that I was thinking about giving up on my planned ride  but now I think I will be able to continue if I take it easy until I get into the swing of riding a bike all day everyday.  It takes this text but won 't let me do pics.  I also have limited charge on my computer and a slow wifi that I am trying to work with so this is just a short note.

I met some interesting people in a couple of coffee shops I stopped in.  It was good to get in a bit of time with humans after my lonely night at Salt Point.  I am sitting in Point Arena right now 7 miles from my campsite at Manchester.  I wish I had enough wifi to get my stuff done.  My Garmin would not work at all.  I hope I did not lose the data from the last two days trying to upload it.  I got a fail message.  Garmin has pissed me off to no end.  I have an 800 dollar piece of high tech bs that turned itself off for no reason yesterday and I think it deleted the data but I won't know until I get a good internet hookup.  The unit comes with no manual and the downloadable one is worthless.  It is a list of features with no help as to how to use those fancy features.  The battery also goes down way too fast.  To upload the data I need highspeed internet and out here in the back woods people just aren't very concerned about that.  Frustrating to say the least.  I am going to stop now and come back at a later date to upload pics and finish my blog.  Right now I am going to go finish the last seven miles.  Enjoy life.

Ride Day 69

Yesterday I took the day off after my brutal ride from the Bay Area to Bodega Bay I was beat up.  I know it was my first day back on the road after a long break but still I was shocked by how tired I got.  Karen stayed at Bodega Bay with me and we explored the small town and surrounding area.  I enjoyed it even though I still felt very punk all day long.  The Doran Park campground was nice and quiet to boot, with lots of wildlife around.

The next morning I packed my bags and Karen gave me a ride to the edge of town and I started off again.  I took my time and rested often to make sure I would not have the cramp problems again that I had on my ride from the Bay Area to Bodega Bay.  I made it to Salt Point state park after a very enjoyable ride along the coast.  It seemed like I was climbing hills all day with the headwind combined with the rolling hills.  There was only one serious grade that I managed to get over by just resting often and enjoying the views instead of pushing myself to exhaustion again like I did earlier. 

The coastline is beautiful.  There are so many nice coves and lookouts with killer views that it gets old after a while.  I took a lot of pics which is just as indicative of how relaxed of a pace I was going for as because I wanted to take a lot of pics.  I tried to upload the pics and my Garmin profile but this internet connection will not allow me to crunch that much data so pics will have to come later.  I could shrink the pics down maybe and get them up but I just do not feel like bothering with it.  All my pics get uploaded to jimfrogs.picasawebalbums.com so you can go there to view them all.

At the campground there was no shower just a primitive camp site with water and the campground was empty except for me.  I put up my tent and rested for a while then I found a tick on me and I stripped down to look and found two more ticks.  Did I say I hate ticks yet?  They came off rather easily but I will be more careful in the future.  I did not sleep well due to pain problems but that is just part of life for me.  In the morning I saw a movement outside my tent and I raised my head up to look and a small cougar was turning tail and running away.  It put it's tail up in the air and did a quick spin and it was gone.  I wanted to go over and try to get pics of the footprints but then I thought about the ticks and I rolled back over and tried to get some more rest.  I felt much better by around 7 am.  I will ride to Manchester now.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ride Day 68

Bay Area to Bodega Bay today 62 miles 4200' of climbing with a head wind.  Arduous day to ride but beautiful.  The sun was out and the breeze kept me cool but did slow me down and make it more work.  The first fifty miles went well even though it was way more rolling hlls than I had expected today.  I am 210 pounds to restart my ride and I guess a bit out of shape despite traing hard in Bakersfield for the last few months. 

I had allergy problems for the first time today.  I was sneezing and had thick mucus coming up all day which seems to have made me more tired since I couldn't breathe right.  It hit 80 and I covered myself a few times with sunscreen and pedaled on.  I was enjoying being back on the road.  I missed the sense of adventure.  I toyed with the idea of riding out to the Point Reyes lighthouse just for a side trip but quickly changed my mind and turned around to get back on route for Bodega Bay.  The lighthouse would have added 35 miles to the daily total putting me closer to 100.  Glad I turned around too.  When I was only 10 miles from Bodega I started to seriously cramp up.  I had to stop often and rest and a couple of times walk off cramps.  I would have stopped for the day right there but I was meeting Karen in Bodega Bay so I had to push on because there was no way to contact her and she would have worried about me.  It took me a couple hours to crawl the last 9 miles.  I made it to Bodega Bay and then had a hard time finding Karen.  We are so used to having cell phones that when they do not work we screw up.  It worked out but I had to sit on the side of the road for an hour just hoping that she would drive by and luckily she did.  I couldn't pedal another foot at that point.  We went down to the campsite and I was seriously in bad shape.  I considered going for medical care but I hate doctors so much that I just crawled into the tent in the hopes that I would recover by morning.  All night long the cramps bothered me.  By morning they had subsided but I felt like I was beat up.  So today I am not riding but instead Karen and I are enjoying Bodega Bay.  If I don't feel better by tomorrow I may have to cancel this trip for now and go back to the bay and try to get healthier.  The allergies were a big problem draining my energy which an old man like me needs to do these grueling rides like this.  There are a lot of tough days ahead I can't fool myself and feeling this bad at day one is scary.  I will decide in the morning whether to abort now or try one more time to keep going.