west seattle


I’m slowly trying to get back into the posting mood – for a while I didn’t have much desire.  Here are some shots from a lovely day in West Seattle.  Sunshine and beautiful autumn leaves.





Bioluminescent waves at Wright’s Beach in Sonoma Coast State Park

We spent a night with friends at Wright’s Beach in the Sonoma Coast State Park over Labor Day weekend

In the expensive, but grudgingly useful Zipcar on the way up






We missed a turn and ended up near Jenner.  Things were pretty in the fog.  We stopped off by the Jenner ‘C’ Store to look at the map and then turned around.





we made it to the campsite and settled in a bit.  the color of the light got crazy around sunset.. though you couldn’t see the sun through the fog.





The beach





We had a wonderful dinner with salad and grilled salmon.  At one point, I noticed that I could see the crests of the waves despite the darkness.  At first I thought it was the moon reflecting onto the water, but then I remembered that the moon would have been completely obscured by fog.  We talked about it and figured it might be bio-luminescent plankton (since then, I’ve found a few great photos and information here)

I was amazed.





so we ventured in for a closer look.  but we didn’t go near the water as we were scared off by the scary warning signs posted by the bathroom proclaiming, “DANGER THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST DEADLY BEACHES IN CALIFORNIA” and “ALWAYS WATCH FOR SLEEPER WAVES”.  I didn’t have my tripod, but took some handheld shots of the glowing blue waves.





beach partially lit by a headlamp.  holy bioluminescence!





After watching the waves for quite some time, we returned to the fire and made s’mores and toasted marshmallows.  yum.






At the Medlock Ames tasting room with Angry Christina mustard

I spent some time at the Medlock Ames winery tasting room (which includes the Alexander Valley Bar) photographing and enjoy a pickling seminar given by my friend Eric, founder of Angry Christina.


Here are some photos from the event.

produce for the picnic.  Watermelons, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes and carrots.






bread in a basket.  The lighting in the bar was wonderful.





Crocks and jars with pickles and pickled carrots.  The stoneware crocks have a little “moat” around the rim that is designed to seal the pickling contents from outside air when filled with water.





Ringo watches carefully





Colorful potatoes





angry christina mustard









The Alexander Valley Bar has some pretty sweet decorations.





There’s a large garden outside of the Medlock Ames tasting room and a few sunflower fields just in front of the grape vines.





Pears ready to be sliced for salad.





Heirloom tomatoes for the salad





Pear slicing





Onion slicing





The dried and crushed sumac berries added a lemony taste to the onions





The picnic table outside had a custom trough that could be filled with ice to keep the wine cool.  The ice trough was very well done and was perfect for the day.





Potatoes, tossed in salt, angry christina mustard, and olive oil and then roasted in the wood oven.





Adding a little more seasoning to the potatoes





Pickling demonstration





Lunch is served





waiting for table scraps…






wandering manhattan in the rain


here are some shots from wandering manhattan on a rainy day.  I was feeling kind of ill so I kept it mellow.




moustache man” strikes again.  love it.

(since then he has been arrested .. sadface)






yarnbombing a trike.  that did not look easy.





chairs outside of the adidas store in soho





running from the thunderstorm

I happened to be on the high line when a thunderstorm hit.  scary clouds loomed over hoboken until suddenly the temperature dropped 20 degrees and the full-on thunderstorm hit.





I wandered chelsea a bit.





I saw this sad spectacle of a bike.  everything had been stripped except for the crankset, saddle, and brake posts.  is this proof that using an old chain to secure your saddle works?





 I hopped back on the high line.




drinking hearts





loved the lighting here






Union City to Mountain view, Grand Cru, and back

A few weeks ago, I decided to ride from the East Bay to Mountain View to meet up for a Grand Cru ride.  I checked out the maps and decided that I could start a ride from Union City BART and ride a manageable distance (with ALC training in mind) including the round trip from Union City to Mountain View and the Grand Cru ride itself.


The Learning Tree, a preschool located on Paseo Padre Parkway at Fremont Blvd


I used Map my Ride to do the route.  It’s a little ad-heavy but has been generally improving.  I think I prefer bikemap but for some reason Map my Ride worked better this time.




Riding on the overpass over Thornton Ave


It was around this point that I ran into some bike trouble.  My pannier, though built very nicely, doesn’t have a hook at the bottom to keep the base in place.  And it’s a rather long (tall) pannier.  As I was standing and swaying around a bit to get up the incline of one of these overpasses, the pannier got caught on a spoke and made a pretty horrible-sounding crunching sound.  I stopped and discovered that the wheel reflector had broken off (no big deal), a few spokes were bent (sorta big deal) and a fairly large hole had been ripped in the bag (a sorta big deal).  Luckily I had one of those delta cargo nets and a spoke wrench.  I put the cargo net on the outside of the pannier and then trued the wheel enough so that it was ride-able  and finally set off again.  It didn’t seem like a good start to the ride, though.




Marshlands Rd


By this point, it looked like the wheel and pannier were holding up, so I continued.  This photo is from Marshlands Rd, which travels along the marshes and leads to the Dumbarton bridge.  The road kind of sucks for cycling – the asphalt is super bumpy.. but at least it’s isolated from most vehicular traffic.






the pannier with the netting was not very pretty.




dumbarton bridge bike lane


I’m glad that the Dumbarton bridge has a separate bike lane.  But it’s not very much fun to ride over.  Traffic is fairly loud as the cars are traveling highway speeds and it’s quite dusty.  The lane is decently wide though and I appreciate that there’s a large barrier between bikes and vehicular traffic.  On the east side of the bridge on the south side of the bay, there looks to be remnants of a pedestrian walkway that is no longer in use.




I rode through East Palo Alto en route to Mountain View.




A bridge to Ravenswood open space preserve


Here’s where the map (based on google maps) got a little sketchy.




The bike trail from Bay rd to Weeks St


Google maps has this trail marked as dark green.  It was okay for me to ride over since I have 27 and 32-sized tires but it was a bit uncomfortable and I was a worried that the rest of the ride along the shore would turn out to be like this.  It’d be fine for a mountain bike though.




pumping station


The bumpy trail eventually led to a paved trail and all was good again.




I think this is from Palo Alto Baylands Park.




It’s a super flat area but a bit windy and doesn’t have too much variety.  Some of the riding was along the San Francisco Bay Trail.




After a short ride on the Stevens Creek Trail, which was pretty nice, I arrived at the meeting point for the start of the grand cru ride: The Tied House Brewery & Cafe.




we rode up moody rd, which was a bit of a climb.  I’ll post more pictures from that portion of the ride on the grand cru website.




after the ride and a burger and beer, I headed back for Union City.

I had just turned off of Stevens Creek Trail at this point.




google bike

I decided to take a tour through the Googleplex.  These little bikes were everywhere.  They’re apparently free to borrow for getting around the campus.




a google chrome bike




more google bikes near the main lobby




marshmallow and spaghetti pyramids!  I was a little excited to see this.




at the end of Marhlands Rd, a bit before sundown


The rest of the ride wasn’t that interesting.  I was feeling a bit uncomfortable from riding such a long distance on my commuter, and between back fatigue, leg fatigue and the headwinds, I was ready to be home.  I put my head down and pushed through the rest of the ride.  I made it back to Union City BART before the sun went down and all in all did about 80 miles.  It was definitely an interesting ride but not one of my best.




stumptown coffee at thinking cup

stumptown coffee espresso at thinking cup at 165 tremont st, boston.


I stopped by here soon after they opened one morning and had a nice, quick shot of espresso to wake me up.  They’re the first coffee shop in downtown boston to serve stumptown exclusively, according to their website.  It was a nice little walk to get the coffee – I love seeing the city wake up and it’s pretty nice being near the boston common.




thinking cup, early in the morning.


I also had a nice bacon cheddar and chive scone here.  Just a hint of bacon and a yummy scone-y texture.  it was just about a perfect savory scone.  They also have an affogato on their menu, which I would have gotten had it not been morning.