Red Hills Time Travel…

We went all the way back to the 1800s today, on the time travel trail. I had a great time with Darin and a good sized group of guys from the Dry Creek Trail Riders. It was a squeeze getting all six of us into the Delorean, but we made it to the past and made a side trip all the way forward to 2015!

Getting Stronger

Been a good few months, I’ve been riding like mad and things are really coming together. On one of my favorite technical climbs today, I only dabbed a couple times and made it with no breaks.

The ride itself was a blast, it was a super foggy night ride with Mark R. we kept a good pace and wound up getting 9 miles in just about 2 hours. (For Red Hills 9 miles is a solid day. Enough chatter, here’s some pics.

Smashed Red Hills Today

I’ve been building up my endurance and strength lately so I figured I’d try to push my limits and see how far I could go at Red Hills. It didn’t quite work out that way though. It was such a great day I was a bit of a shutter bug, snapping a bunch of shots of the fog rolling in and the sunset… Eventually running out of daylight and having to skip out in the dark. Even so I cranked out a respectable 18 miles at Red Hills including a fair bit of old school trails which are much steeper and tougher. Very little duplicate trails and only crossed my path in one spot. Touched most every major trail out there including the grindy Parts of Red Hills road trail.
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Chasing Daylight at Red Hills

I had an Amazing Ride Today at Red Hills. I spent the last half of the ride fighting to urge to stop for photographs and the other half chasing the fading light and trying to get back to the car quick enough. The result was just an absolutely amazing sunset ride. Glad I got out there!

Wildlife Crossings

Recently there’s been an effort near Santa Cruz to add a wildlife crossing and protected adjacent property near highway 17. Often highways split animal ranges and cross areas with critical food and water sources which all animals need access to. These highway crossings are particularly important for species with large ranges like mountain lions but they help almost all species living near the highway. The Laurel curve crossing will increase wildlife mobility and decrease dangerous vehicle-animal collisions which kill animals, damage vehicles, and injure or even kill people.

For a good idea of how these work, here’s a video of which talks about the effects of a similar program in Wyoming which added 41 crossings on a section of highway which significantly reduced the amount of road kill and increases human safety in the region.

Post Ride Recovery Drink

My favorite post-ride recovery drink ->

2 shots worth of espresso strength coffee (I use the AeroPress).
2 scoops of chocolate whey protein powder. (or from Trader Joes)
About 4 ounces of whole milk.

Just add it all together and shake it up, keep it cold (not hard this time of year). It’s almost like thick mocha milk and slides right down. The whole milk and whey powder give your body plenty of fat and protein which it craves after a ride. In a pinch, it also serves as a decent breakfast drink. If you don’t like coffee, I’ve found orange juice mixed with vanilla whey protein powder works nearly as well, but the orange juice has simple sugars rather than fats.

Reboot

I changed the theme to a more modern/ iPhone friendly theme for the site. In addition to changing the theme, I’ve cleaned up a lot of broken links and just general cruft. Things are still under construction so expect to see more changes and a bit more active posting as I’ve been riding more lately.

2014 – Rebuilding

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Looking back at 2014, it was a good year for riding. Not my best ever, but the last couple years I’ve been off the bike a lot so I feel like I’m getting back into the swing of things. Compared to 2013, I rode 30 more days, 250 more miles, and was on the bike 33% longer. Total distance ridden in 2014 was over 1,587 miles (versus a bit of 1250 in 2013) including rides in California, Oregon, and Washington. Highlights included some amazing rides in Bend, a really fun day revisiting the Iron Horse trail and the 2+ mile Snoqualami tunnel with Fiona, and an amazing day climbing up Ape Canyon Trail to the Plains of Abraham on the back side of Mt. St Helens.

Not my strongest year ever, but a big step up after a couple years of slacking off. For 2015, I plan on riding even more and seeing more new amazing places.