Back in October, some friends and I went on a sweet overnighter via bicycle – Here’s a recount:
The Sacramento River delta area nestled between the bay area and Sacramento are a maze of sloughs, levies, farms and vineyards. John Boyer, the owner of Edible Pedal,and I decided it would be a blast to take a couple of days in October and ride down to Brannon Island.
It’s a leisure cruise through a myriad of riverways, country roads, and both native and non-native history.
Relics of old farm trucks turned food delivery vehicles, migrant farm workers feasting on Sunday barbecue, harvest festivals, pumpkins and children.
It’s about 50 miles to Brannon Island from Sacramento.
My friend John Lucas builds custom steel and aluminum cycle trucks that scream “Sell Your Car”. Lucas showed up for the ride with his single speed cycle truck wearing jeans, flip flops and an old brim hat. After 40 miles or so, he said his feet hurt a bit, but other than that, he managed the round trip total of 100 miles without incident.
Although paying for camping is not my usual routine, since we had a group of 6 or 7, it seemed best. The campground on Brannon is a state run outfit.
A casual ride with friends and great October weather.
I’d rather be riding my bike today.. but, well, it’s raining. I know what you’re thinking; how can someone who raves endlessly about all matters northern, about how riding in the rain does not bother, about the “glorious” weather of SE Alaska, simply whine about a simple California drizzle. Well, for starters, the trails I had in mind to ride today are going to be muddy. In fact, the trails I was going to ride today are in fact illegal. By riding on muddy and illegal trails, I set the stage for prosecution and closure by creating said muddy tracks.
Also, part of the reason for going on a ride today was to test out the new, famously good looking Rivet Pearl saddle, that was graciously given to me for such purposes by the fine folks at Rivet Cycle Works. As soon as I get the chance to do some vigorous thrashing on this beauty, I will be posting a review, so keep Yer eyes peeled.
So, my time spent in the hours before heading to the bike shop to work will be filled with coffee and hopefully something interesting to say to you all.
I struggle as a writer, struggle as photographer, struggle as an adventurer, insofar as creating the means to do so. I fear not the “talent”, or the creative processes that are required for my sanity, or to paint a beautiful picture of the natural elements of this splendid planet.. I feel soo lucky to have been born here. This globe is beautiful beyond wordly description; that is why I must do what I do. The far reaches of this planet’s wilderness are my calling. This can cost a lot. Financially, yes, but this not what my voice speaks. These places come as a cost in regards to how one can handle the pressures of our given society and how one perceives self and how, not to behold, the “values” that we have been so engrained in believing. Why must we live the way most do? Can it be “acceptable”, by one’s family and peers, to embrace the beauty of the planet before us, to, perhaps, live as our ancestors did, to love all creatures, wether or not they are located in the food chain above us or not. To see and to feel the wind; to be there at that moment in time?
These are the questions and reasonings I behold, not to stroke an ego of self in regards to media or self promotion, but to truly empower one’s self as a Human; a human lost on a planet ruled by a species gone mad.
On certain terms, the living in a city has been good for me. It has re-shown me the path that we ALL are on and the one that I must follow. To recognize the destructiveness of our behavior.
I tend to “think” with my heart; my brain merely functions as a overseer to what needs to happen at a given moment in order to accomplish a task at hand, and nothing more. Heart is what guides.
What gets you off most: the thought of the new iphone 5 coming out, or what your heart might feel sitting or walking or riding a bicycle through hours of the most torrential rain storm in recent memory? Can you smell the odor of the trees coming alive with quench of the moisture, or do you merely quander at the thought of what your peers may think of your latest achievement? These are genuine questions that beckon the prose: Am I here to fully realize and experience the whole of what we really have to offer one another and the planet as a whole, or are we here to simply entertain ourselves through the current form of technology?
Every so often, well, quite often actually, a really interesting bicycle makes it’s way into Edible Pedal. Generally, the most interesting ones, to me, come in the form of touring bikes and bikes built for some type of off pavement use. Sometimes these machines come only as frames.. of which Edible Pedal has quite a few. Doing custom builds from this frame selection is really what we do there. One day, while sifting through all of the frames, I came across one that had been there for a while, but had some how escaped my notice; ironic, since it’s day-glow, mid-eighties, yellow and purple paint job stuck out like a monkey in Alaska. It was a Bottecchia Cyclocross in 57cm; my size. Now, I really don’t have a thing for cyclocross, to me there are far better ways to pedal along dirt trails, many better ways. However, I was looking to build something up for a commuter and to possibly hit up some of the dirt trails down by the river.
The Bottecchia’s paint had to go, however.. I had John Boyer send the frame up to our powder coaters’ for a nice, light blue treatment that was easy on the eyes. For the wheels, I chose a matching pair of Shimano 600 hubs, laced to Mavic hoops. I had parts left over from the Ogre build from earlier in the year.. a Phil Wood BB, a set of IRD Cranks, A VO stem, and a Cardiff saddle that was far to stiff for my rump. For the brakes, I decided to go all the way, and purchased a set of Avid’s top cyclocross offerings and pair of Campy style Cane Creek levers. I threw on a set of drop bars and a pair of Suntour Barcon shifters, a non descript seatpost, a pair of 80’s Dura Ace changers, and some Schwalbe Marathons for contact with the world, and I suddenly had one helluva great ride!
I only had the bike for a few short months, but it served as a commuter, and a weekend rider quite nicely. I finally sold it to a customer of the shop in order to help finance my upcoming trip to Alaska and the Yukon/NWT’s. At least I’ve got a few photos!
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