Bike Items for Sale - Here's a photo journal of bike parts that I'm trying to clear out of my workshop.
Shipping is $10 or (actual shipping charges + (optional) insurance charges + delivery confirmation fee), whichever is greater. I will try to find cheapest shipping option (e.g. USPS for US Domestic delivery) or will ship according to your carrier of preference.
Some of the parts are new, some are used. If you think my item pricing is off or you're buying multiple items, please make me an offer.
I am selling everything "as is". But, if you buy an item that is dead on arrival, damaged in shipment, or you believe you got a raw deal, please contact me as soon as possible so we can work out a solution. Given the time involved in selling these items I am not making a profit on this and am more interested in seeing components and parts I no longer use but that have remaining useful life to find a home with other bicycle enthusiasts, where they will be used instead of collecting dust in my workshop.
Contact me at the following . It will help if you include the links to photos of the items that interest you. All prices are in US Dollars.
Entire Blog - Display the entire Blog for all years. This is a large file!
|Bike Ridden:||Power Gold Rush|
|Cumulative climbing:||13010 feet|
|Avg. Speed (moving):||18.2 mph|
|Max. Speed:||21.5 mph|
|Nominal System Voltage:||48|
|Battery energy available:||2400 wh|
|Battery energy consumed:||2372 wh|
|Net battery energy consumed:||1171 wh|
|Battery Amps-Hour Used:||44.9|
|Regen Amps-Hour Recovered:||22.8|
|Peak Forward Current:||22.5 Amps|
|Peak Regen Current:||19.1 Amps|
|Peak Motor Temperature:||81.0 C|
|Average Motor Temperature:||41.9 C|
Lee Vining to Tuolumne, October 23, 2019 - My plan for a multi-day bike tour had been to ride for three days, making a triangle with points at Tuolumne, Lee Vining, and Coleville. But, the freewheel problem, fatigue after pedaling too hard on the first day, as well as forecast high winds on the last day of a three-day tour along with a PSPS along my return route had me reconsidering.
Although I was confident I could arrive at my planned destination on each day even if I didn't contribute a pedal stroke, I didn't want to test the theory. Air pedaling the bike is tedious and can lead to pulled tendons in the groin area if one is not making a conscious effort to pedal smoothly, and I didn't have enough clothing to stay warm at the cooler moments if I couldn't generate my own heat by pedaling the bike. That assumes the freewheel fails by never engaging.
If the freewheel were to fail by jamming from internal debris while I'm in motion, the chain could get drawn up into the wheel causing a crash or a secondary failure on the bike. I really didn't want to inconvenience friends and family with a rescue should my bike fail completely, nor did I want to be delayed should that occur. The longer I rode the more likely the freewheel could further misbehave.
Lastly, my Yosemite pass was expiring at the end of the month, and I wanted to get my money's worth, having used it now four times, soon to be the fifth.
So, I decided to return to Tuolumne via Yosemite on the second day. If my freewheel's misbehavior grew no worse on the second day I'd take the route past Cherry Lake that I had attempted in 2017 when Cottonwood Road was closed due to a washout the prior winter. At least some of the route through Cherry Valley would cover new ground, and the quiet ride through the national forest was always quiet and beautiful if isolated.
As difficult as the route is when ridden west to east, it is comparatively relaxing when ridden east to west. The major climb of the day up the east side of Tioga Pass is out of the way early. Anyone wishing to ride over Tioga Pass and not sure of their ability would be advised to arrange to ride west on their first attempt.
The first few miles toward Tioga Pass are relatively flat, offering a dramatic view of the Dana Plateau. Then after making a gradual right bend the road tilts up, and one sees most of the rest of the climb ahead on the wall of Lee Vining Canyon.
I dialed in 1000 watts (maximum power) for the climb, discovered my freewheel was still engaging, and pedaled hard on 80% fresh legs.
About halfway up the climb I encountered the only cyclist I would see riding his bike on the road. (I saw many presumed cyclists transporting bikes in/on their cars.) This guy was fully-loaded and had just resuming his climb after taking on water from a roadside spring just below the rockslide area. I thought of stopping to chat or say "Hi.", but I had too much momentum. So, I settled for snapping a couple of photos.
The queue at the Tioga Pass Yosemite entrance station was short, and soon I found myself starting the long gradual descent to the west. I donned my longs but not my shell. The air temperature was again a chilly 11C, but the sun felt warm. When pedaling against the regen brake, I stayed just warm enough to keep me from reaching for my shell.
Near Dana Meadow I saw a coyote cross the road in front of me. Unfortunately, it had disappeared before I could prepare my camera. Not much further down the road a ground squirrel started to cross in front of me by a few feet. It darted back off the road just before I would have run over it.
I continued past Tuolumne Meadows, through the cold dip at Cathedral Creek, and then down to Tenaya Lake where tourists were already staking out spots on the beaches. Along the rest of the way to the Big Oak Flat exit station I stopped only to heed the call of nature.
At the exit station I spent some time off the bike eating a sandwich, refilling my water bladder, and emptying my other bladder.
Upon resuming my ride I continued out of Yosemite and down CA120 to Cherry Lake Road where I turned right, then stopped. I had noted the Summit Ranger Station phone number before I left home so that I could inquire about road conditions out to Cherry Lake and from there into to Tuolumne. I was about to make that phone call when a road crew truck pulled up to the nearby stop sign.
I asked the driver if he knew whether the road was open to Cherry Lake and on to Tuolumne, but I did not get the impression that the driver or any of the other workers in the truck understood me. None spoke English. I think they thought I was asking for a recommendation, not making an inquiry about a road closure. But, I could not be sure that they misunderstood my question.
When they heard I was heading for Tuolumne, they pointed back to CA120 and nodded.
At this point I wished I had just started up Cherry Lake Road without stopping to make inquiries. I doubted that the road was closed. There was no sign warning of a closure. But, I also recalled my ride in 2017 when I rode all 37km out to Cherry Lake before encountering a road sign warning of the closure on Cottonwood Road, forcing me to return to CA120.
After they drove off I called the forest service number and spoke to Sally, who thought the roads were all open, but could not be certain. She asked for my number and told me she'd call me back with a definite answer after checking with the county and the Groveland ranger station.
So, I waited in the shade, watching the minutes tick by. I doubted I'd hear back from Sally before too much time had elapsed. But, I decided I'd give her until 1330 to call me back, then I'd make a decision. I was about to get ready to return via Wards Ferry Road at 1329 when my phone rang.
Sally had done her research and confirmed for me that the roads were all open. Only next week would there be construction near Buchanan Mine Road that might close Cottonwood Road for an interval. Kudos to Sally for getting back to me promptly.
With that I started up Cherry Lake Road, climbing first into the Gravel Range. At the rim of the Tuolumne River Gorge the road traverses around a low hill before arriving at its junction with Mather Road. I had taken Mather Road last year when I was riding a similar route eastbound. I turned left, staying on Cherry Lake Road that continued steeply down into the Canyon.
There was a one-way control near the bottom of the descent, but I could see no construction activity upon the road itself.
After crossing the Tuolumne River at the bottom I continued up the other side of the canyon, then steeply above Cherry Creek, crossing Cherry Creek, then up the Granite Creek drainage, all of which were in the burn zone for the Rim Fire of 2013.
The climb continued for several miles, and I watched the mile numbers painted on the road tick off. The asphalt had been newly resurfaced, making for a pleasant climb in the warm sun and still air.
Somewhere after leaving the Rim Fire burn zone the road leveled off as it contoured through the forest above Cherry Creek, finally arriving at its junction with Cottonwood Road.
I didn't ride the short distance downhill to the right to see the Cherry Lake dam as I had done that in 2017, so I turned left and started up Cottonwood Road, covering some new ground. I had planned to stop at Cherry Valley Campground to check out the availability of water that I had read about elsewhere, but when I got to the turn-off, the road had been gated and the campground closed. I continued on, climbing for some time, then continuing on rolling terrain past Crane Creek before emerging again into the Rim Fire burn zone near Jawbone Creek.
In some ways I enjoyed more the road where it passed through the burn zone. The air was just a little too cold for shorts and short sleeves in the forest, but the warm sun in the open burn zone compensated, making for comfortable riding. Also, the views were better.
I continued past Skunk, Bear, and Reed Creeks before leaving the burn zone for the last time near the Clavey River. Following the bridge over the Clavey River, the road climbs steeply and for longer than expected alongside Cottonwood Creek. It always seemed that the top of the climb was just ahead as I could see no higher terrain against the sky, yet the road found a way to keep climbing.
Eventually I reached the top of the last long climb on the shoulder of Duckwall Mountain. I stopped to tighten my fairing bolts that had started to loosen and rattle, then began the long descent into The Basin and down alongside Basin Creek.
In several spots near Basin Creek aspens and other similar-colored vines were in full color. On the descent a red-tailed hawk glided above me for a while, long enough to give me the impression that it was checking me out.
The climb out of the North Fork Tuolumne River gorge on Buchanan Road was short, and to pull my battery state of charge below 50%, I decided to ride this final climb without pedaling even though my freewheel was still engaging.
Although riding west was the easier direction, the day's temperature varied more, starting at 11C, dipping briefly below 10C, then climbing to a high of 30C. While I used most of a 93% charge riding east, I used about half of a 100% charge riding west over a longer course with less pedaling effort overall.
Soon I was in Tuolumne, and about five minutes later I was back at the Black Oak Hotel.
|Bike Ridden:||Power Gold Rush|
|Cumulative climbing:||13630 feet|
|Avg. Speed (moving):||15.4 mph|
|Max. Speed:||27.5 mph|
|Nominal System Voltage:||48|
|Battery energy available:||2232 wh|
|Battery energy consumed:||2245 wh|
|Net battery energy consumed:||1625 wh|
|Battery Amps-Hour Used:||44.2|
|Regen Amps-Hour Recovered:||12.2|
|Peak Forward Current:||26.7 Amps|
|Peak Regen Current:||18.8 Amps|
|Peak Motor Temperature:||71.2 C|
|Average Motor Temperature:||39.2 C|
Tuolumne to Lee Vining, October 22, 2019 - I tried three times to organize a fall Sierras bike tour. The first try was canceled a couple weeks ago when the weather forecast turned cold and likely wet and/or snowy. The second try last week was postponed when SCE planned a PSPS for my overnight city due to windy conditions. Since I must charge the battery overnight to get home, I couldn't plan to stay somewhere the power might be shut off during the night, never mind the minor discomforts associated with visiting a city without electric power.
Like last year I planned to climb to Tioga Pass from the west, and that requires a full day, even on an e-bike. So instead of rising early and driving out to Toulumne in the dark, I stayed the night before at the very nice hotel at the Black Oak Casino Resort and enjoyed a tasty but overpriced dinner and breakfast the next morning in the Black Oak Cafe. If they don't get you at the slots or the tables, they get you at the restaurants. Unfortunately, there was no dinner buffet on Monday evening, so I had to order off the menu.
The casino claims to be smoke-free, but it still smelled of smoke, sometimes not so faintly. Although I saw no one smoking, I did occasionally see people puffing outside near the entrances. Fortunately, the adjoining Cafe was relatively free of tobacco smoke odor.
I awoke a half-hour later than I did last year since my planned route was the shortest approach via Wards Ferry Road. After getting breakfast and packing my overnight gear in the extra space available in my bike's battery bags, I managed to be on the road before 0800. The temperature was a crisp 10C, and since I had to start with some downhill, I dressed warmly.
Starting a long ride with a significant downhill is problematic on an e-bike designed to do most of its (regenerative) braking using the motor. Starting with a full-charge in the battery won't leave any capacity to absorb energy from the descent. But, with the large amount of climbing on the route I needed most of the battery's capacity to get to Tioga Pass from wherever I start.
Even a "95%" charge to 4.10 volts/cell would not leave enough free capacity in the battery for a 600 meter descent. I decided to compromise and charge to 4.06 volts/cell or about 92%. It turns out that this was low enough that in conjunction with energy used on a few short climbs along the way, I could use regenerative braking all the way to the Wards Ferry bridge over the Tuolumne River. Near the bottom of the descent I had to slow to 16 kph to keep the current sufficiently low so as not to push the battery voltage above its limit.
The problem was that by the time I got to the bridge, I had only gained 0.50 Ah more than I started with, even with the 600m descent. That left me with something around a 93% charge to get me to Tioga Pass.
Would it be enough? I had hoped that unlike last year when I discovered I had mis-wired the batteries and effectively reduced their overall capacity, I could enjoy the climb without working too hard to avoid running short of battery energy before I got to the pass.
As I climbed through Yosemite I saw my energy gauge dip ominously near Porcupine Flat. I knew the gauge can be conservative in the 25% SoC region, but it still prompted me to use less power, dialing back to about 400 watts, and to pedal harder for the remainder of the climbs. That left me more fatigued that evening.
Fortunately, I did arrive at Tioga Pass without running the battery flat. I was relieved I didn't have to haul the loaded bike under human power only up the last climb to the pass, where I would be most tired and the altitude highest. I was left with a reinforced impression that the west side approach really is a long tough slog on a bike, E- or otherwise.
My route, the easiest approach to Tioga Pass from Tuolumne, took me south through the town of Tuolumne and down into the deep gorge of the Tuolumne River Canyon where a narrow finger of Don Pedro Reservoir extends to meet the wild river some distance upstream from the graffiti-covered Wards Ferry bridge. Wards Ferry Road is one-lane on both the north and south walls of the gorge. I encountered only a few cars and one fallen tree that had nearly blocked the road on the south wall of Deer Creek canyon. A prescribed burn was being conducted a short distance upstream in the Deer Creek area.
Near the top of the climb I turned left onto Deer Flat Road, then found myself shortly in Groveland. From here I remained on CA120 until a mile from Lee Vining.
Traffic on CA120 was light in the morning but became busier later in the day when I was on narrow Tioga Road through Yosemite. All but one incompetent driver, who was concerned only with not being discomforted by crossing the centerline rumble strip, passed with enough space.
Although motor traffic was with that one exception polite, I found the frequent passing platoons tiresome. I had hoped that riding mid-week would avoid crowds. But, I should not have been surprised that like me, others would want to be out enjoying excellent fall weather in the mountains.
Winds were still to slight and the air temperature warmed to about 20C and remained within a couple degrees of that all day as I climbed through Yosemite. On the east side descent of Tioga Pass I donned my windbreaker but did not feel compelled to pedal against the regen brake to stay warm as I had last year.
Most of the facilities along Tioga Road were closed, and overnight parking along Tioga Road had been forbidden since October 15. But the scenery remains open year-round, and this year as ever it did not disappoint.
In the end the bike's power system worked flawlessly the entire day and did not let me down. The same could not be said for the human-powered side of the drivetrain.
After I crossed into Yosemite I discovered that my freewheel was starting to skip, sometimes missing engagement entirely when pedaling forward. I noted that this occurred after I had stopped and let the bike roll backwards, then tried to pedal forward. If I rolled the bike forward first, then the freewheel would usually but not always engage.
I certainly needed a working human-powered drivetrain to complete the ride east as the battery was insufficient on its own to get me all the way up the west side of Tioga Pass. Starting with a fully-charged battery I figured I could return westbound on battery alone, if necessary, including the eastside climb of Tioga Pass. Since I had already paid for my hotel room in Lee Vining and since the freewheel problem was intermittent, I made the call to continue to Lee Vining in spite of this. If I had been using a mid-drive or crank-drive on my bike, where both motor and human power pass through the rear freewheel, I would have had to cancel the rest of my trip and return immediately. Score one for hub motor drives.
I arrived at Murphey's Motel at 1530, earlier than I had expected. I had time to check into my single-occupancy room where there was just enough free space for me to wheel in my bike, take a hot shower, then walk up the street for a hearty dinner at the Epic Cafe.
On my way back to my room after dinner I ran into a couple who were cyclists and had seen me ride in earlier. They were heading out for dinner at the Epic Cafe. I warned them that the place was busy and that they might have to wait for a table. The sun had just set behind the Sierra Crest a few hours ago, and the air temperature had dropped into the zone where eating outdoors would have been uncomfortable.
That evening I had trouble relaxing, a symptom of having worked out too hard during the day. At about 2030 I took a 5mg melatonin tablet, and I was asleep before 2100, sleeping solidly until 0300 the next morning, whereupon I dozed on and off until 0630. I call that a decent sleep on the first night away from home.
|Bike Ridden:||Power Gold Rush|
|Cumulative climbing:||16230 feet|
|Avg. Speed (moving):||17.3 mph|
|Max. Speed:||21.5 mph|
|Nominal System Voltage:||48|
|Battery energy available:||2800 wh|
|Battery energy consumed:||2819 wh|
|Net battery energy consumed:||1581 wh|
|Battery Amps-Hour Used:||53.6|
|Regen Amps-Hour Recovered:||23.4|
|Peak Forward Current:||21.2 Amps|
|Peak Regen Current:||20.2 Amps|
|Peak Motor Temperature:||81.6 C|
|Average Motor Temperature:||46.4 C|
Lee Vining to Columbia, July 16, 2019 - Day Two of this year's trans-Sierra tour had me up around 0530. I got about 4 hours of good sleep and 3 hours of lousy sleep. I thought of trying for another hour of sleep but just doing the calculations in my head woke me up too much to feel I could capture anything approaching a quality sleep at that point. Besides that, today was to be long, and I saw no point in delaying its start.
After getting up I set to heating my breakfast that I had taken the trouble to pack with me and carry from Columbia the day before. At least my pack wouldn't be stuffed as tightly on the second day.
I was carrying four batteries on this trip, two 7s9p and two 7s12p. In each battery pannier I carried one of each size to balance the load, but when wired up I had to run the two smaller batteries in series with each other and the two larger in series with each other, then wire each of those series strings in parallel to the controller for an effective 14s21p battery, or about 2800 Wh altogether.
I charged the system overnight as it had been wired for discharging. This meant I wouldn't get the utmost energy into the batteries as one of the batteries in series would hit top of charge before the other, leaving the other battery slightly below maximum. This was OK as I expected to have more than enough to get me back to Columbia. Although the route was longer than yesterday, the course had about 4000 feet more downhill.
The sun had been up for almost two hours by the time I got back on the road. Because of my short sleep I stopped at the local market to buy a Mountain Dew that I might need later in the day if I got sleepy. While stopped in front of the market with the sun beating down on me I decided to remove my longs as I was already feeling hot, even though my on-bike thermometer read only 15C.
Two years ago I had ridden a similar route starting in smoky air due to the Detwiler Fire that was burning in the Mariposa area. As I climbed toward Tioga Pass I rose above the smoke to see beautiful clear skies. This morning I enjoyed bright clear air from the very bottom of the climb. Traffic was light, and although the road was narrow at some spots on the climb, passing vehicles gave me ample clearance. Water flowed in nearly all streams and rivulets near the road, and much snow covered the ground above about 9000 feet. On fresh legs, fully-charged batteries, and power dialed up to 1000 watts on the main climb up Lee Vining Canyon, it was an enjoyable start for the day.
It did not appear that much work had been done at the Tioga Pass Resort since my last visit to the area last October, and the main building was still closed and under renovation. But, a work crew appeared to be arriving as I passed by.
Soon I was at Tioga Pass. I stopped in the median to take the obligatory photo before slipping into the queue before the entrance kiosk. Although the air was cold and still, the sun was bright and warm. After passing into Yosemite I pulled off the road to put on my longs. I almost felt too warm, but I knew that I had more descending than climbing for the next few hours, and I also expected to ride through some cold pockets of air. As I started the descent past the green Dana Meadow and entered the forest below, I was glad I had put on more clothing.
Riding Tioga Road from east to west is almost too relaxing. The scenery is magnificent, mid-week traffic in the early morning is sparse, and the air is still and clear.
As I descended past the Mono Pass trailhead I observed my coldest temperature of the trip at 10C. I was glad I had donned my longs. I continued through Tuolumne Meadows, enjoying the greenery that I usually don't see in September when I take my annual hiking trip to the area. Water stood in the meadow in several places, yet I saw few people out enjoying this scenery. Perhaps the mosquitos were too aggressive.
The only thing I didn't enjoy were the several stops I had to make for one-way controls due to road construction. Most of these controls were at around 8000-8500 feet elevation, the heart of the mosquito zone for this time of year. With the still air the mosquitos found me after only a few minutes being stopped. I hadn't brought any repellent as I didn't expect to spend much time stopped as I passed through the mosquito zone. I could see that the road crews directing traffic were also busy slapping themselves and brushing off the little vampires.
I hit my first one-way control just before Tenaya Lake, and it was here that I was kept busy slapping mosquitos. Another reason to wear more clothing was that it made the little demons work harder to find a good spot to strike. It was a good reminder why I prefer to take my annual hiking trip in the fall.
Once traffic was allowed to pass, I continued past Tenaya Lake. The nice thing about the one-way controls is that it kept motor traffic moving in dense platoons. Once a platoon passed I'd have 10-15 minutes of the road to myself.
As I made the descent to Crane Flat I could see at one point the distant coast range across the Central Valley. Although I have seen the Sierras from high points on the Coast Range, I had never seen the opposite view, and never during the peak of summer. The haze, smoke, and smog have always been too thick. This year the air has been especially clear, and I was glad there were no significant wildfires fouling the air.
I continued past Crane Flat and descended to the Hodgdon Meadow entrance station where I stopped to eat a sandwich, top off my water supply, and clean a bit of front hub grease that had been expelled onto the spokes past the seals. My front hub has a grease injection port, and I had just injected new grease before my trip. I find it usually takes three to four trips to expel all of the excess grease in these hubs before they stop "bleeding" at the seals.
Shortly after leaving Yosemite I turned right on Evergreen Road and started my trip out to Hetch Hetchy. Evergreen Road was the roughest of the roads I would ride today. One might think there should not be much traffic on this road given its condition, but several cars, a tour bus, and a panel truck passed me between CA120 and Evergreen Lodge.
The Lodge itself, spared from the Rim Fire in an island of greenery surrounded by burnt but recovering desolation, was a bustling hub of activity. A short distance beyond the Lodge Camp Mather was busy during its high season. The place seemed to be popular with families with small children. A few folks were tooling about on bikes.
I turned right onto Hetch Hetchy Road and began the out-and-back portion of my trip to see the valley and its water works. Hetch Hetchy Road is a narrow two-lane road made from older but smooth asphalt built on gentle grades and with comfortable bank angles. Traffic is light enough that a bicyclist can feel he has the road to himself most of the time.
At first the road climbs gently past the Hetch Hetchy entrance station nestled in a dark oasis of fir trees and ferns. Past the entrance station the road continues to climb for a short distance to a high point before descending over a longer distance to O'Shaughnessy Dam. At this point a sweeping view of Poopenaut Valley and the more distant Hetch Hetchy Valley can be seen. Wapama Falls could be seen in the distance dropping at full flow into the reservoir.
The gradual descent continued for a number of miles while the temperature continued to climb. In places the road had been carved into the granite cliff. The road itself and the associated stonework had clearly been made during the WPA years and were designed to last for many years.
The loop road at the end of the out-and-back portion passes by a few residences, the Reservoir, O'Shaughnessy Dam, and then a backpacker's campground. I stopped at the Dam to take a number of photos, including a panorama of O'Shaughnessy Dam. If I had had more time I would have walked across the dam to get a better view of the Reservoir and Kolana Rock. The temperature had risen to a toasty 33C.
After my visit I returned up the road and back to Mather, dialing in 750 watts for the climb, which kept me moving fast enough to enjoy a slight cooling breeze. As I passed through Mather I thought of stopping to top off my water as it would be the last of roadside services until I reached Tuolumne, but I saw that I still had plenty. So I kept moving.
I continued mostly downhill on Mather Road as it hugged the top of the southern rim of the Tuolumne River Canyon. Traffic was light as expected, but I did see a couple of semi-trucks (!) and a convoy of vans associated with Camp Tawonga located off Mather Road near Cherry Lake Road (Forest Route 1N07).
At Cherry Lake Road I turned right and headed steeply down into the depths of the Canyon. This was the steepest road on my route today, and I was happy not to be climbing it in the heat, something I had done in 2017 when I discovered belatedly that the way to Tuolumne was closed. The air temperature at the bridge over the Tuolumne River was 35C.
I continued up the opposite side as the road passed around Joes Point then down again to cross Cherry Creek. Finally the road started to climb in earnest toward Cherry Lake. I continued about half-way up this climb before turning left onto Forest Route 3N01, a two-lane, well-graded road that cuts off several miles that I'd otherwise have to ride all the way out to Cherry Lake before connecting to Cottonwood Road (Forest Route 1N04). I was retracing the opposite of my outbound route from last October.
Nothing much had changed since my last ride on Forest Route 3N01. This road passes through what appears to be the center of the Rim Fire burn area. Much of the land is desolate, only a few burnt sticks of trees continued to stand. Yet, there were also pockets of trees whose upper branches only were singed or completely unburnt.
I made good progress on Forest Route 3N01, and I could see that I had intermittent 3G cell service and once or twice, 4G service, good enough to refresh my online map. Soon I arrived at the stop sign with Cottonwood Road (Forest Route 1N04). I turned left and began the trip toward Tuolumne.
Near Reed Creek Cottonwood Road was closed a couple of years ago due to damage. The road had now been completely repaved through the damage area.
I descended for some distance, leaving the burn zone and entering the forest. At the bridge over Clavey River where a number of cars were parked and people milling about. Although I did not stop to investigate, I suspect by the way some were dressed that they were enjoying a dip in a nearby swimming hole on the River. It was the largest gathering of people I had seen since Mather.
From Clavey River the road climbs in an unrelenting fashion for several miles along Cottonwood Creek before topping out to cooler temperatures on the shoulder of Duckwall Mountain before starting its long descent into The Basin, the watershed of Basin Creek, leading eventually to the North Fork Tuolumne River. On this long descent I set my speed to 20 mph and enjoyed a quiet, scenic and relaxing descent through the forest, barely pedaling a stroke the entire time.
But the fun ends at Old Buchanan Road, the junction that had confused me on last October's trip when traveling in the opposite direction I had turned right at the bridge over the river and soon found myself on a rough dirt road that I did not expect. Today I knew the way home, so I continued straight and up new asphalt to the top of the ridge and into the outskirts of the town of Tuolumne.
I continued left on Carter Street then right on Tuolumne Road and pressed on toward Sonora. As I drew closer to Sonora I began to miss the isolation of the forest roads. Traffic was heavy: mostly pickups, SUVs, and rude or indifferent drivers. Where drivers in Yosemite and in the National Forest were polite and un-rushed, passing with overly-generous clearance, drivers between Tuolumne and Columbia were destination oriented and lizard-brained, cutting around me closely and impatiently then jamming their brakes when they found that traffic or signals prevented further progress. The temperature had also risen again to 33C.
I was ready for a break, so I decided to stop at Frank P's favorite sandwich shop in downtown Sonora for an early dinner and an off-bike break in an air-conditioned space. I brought in my warm Mountain Dew and drank it over ice while I enjoyed my spicy and salty sandwich and some baked potato chips, just what my body craved.
After dinner I returned to the still-busy streets of Sonora, taking the back way on Stewart Street. Rush hour was still in full swing. Unfortunately, some impatient motorists also had the same idea to avoid the bottleneck through downtown. I took back roads as much as I could between Sonora and Columbia, yet I had to ride for some distance on CA49 and Parrotts Ferry Road where motorists again swerved impatiently and closely around me without losing a second of their precious time. Although I wasn't honked at or a recipient of rude gestures, I can't remember the last time I had encountered so many impatient drivers. One might conclude that people who get around by bike in Sonora are those deserving of disrespect.
When I noticed that a good number of them were turning right on Sawmill Flat Road that leads past Columbia Community College, the direction I had intended to take, I continued straight on Parrotts Ferry Road, the only time I deviated from my planned route for the day. It was with some relief that I turned right onto Yankee Hill Road, yet even on this quiet road I was followed by a motorist until I turned right into Marble Quarry RV Park, where my van awaited me.
|Bike Ridden:||Power Gold Rush|
|Cumulative climbing:||14260 feet|
|Avg. Speed (moving):||17.1 mph|
|Max. Speed:||27.2 mph|
|Nominal System Voltage:||48|
|Battery energy available:||2800 wh|
|Battery energy consumed:||2709 wh|
|Net battery energy consumed:||2096 wh|
|Battery Amps-Hour Used:||52.2|
|Regen Amps-Hour Recovered:||11.9|
|Peak Forward Current:||22.0 Amps|
|Peak Regen Current:||27.4 Amps|
|Peak Motor Temperature:||114.3 C|
|Average Motor Temperature:||49.9 C|
Columbia to Lee Vining, July 15, 2019 - The window for good weather in the Sierras was open last week when I had planned to start this two-day tour, but an inopportune sinus infection got in the way. Fortunately, the good weather held into the subsequent week, and I was feeling well enough to go then.
I did this tour on the cheap by sleeping in my own bed at home Sunday night, then awakening early to drive up the morning of my first day's ride. This year I parked the car at the Marble Quarry RV Park ($5/night overnight parking) as I've done on several prior occasions. I called ahead to check that they had space and were willing to let me park there overnight. If I had had company or were I riding late in the season I would have headed up to the Sonora area the day before so that an earlier start could be made. But traveling solo during the long days of summer I was comfortable completing the route before sunset if I started as late as 1000.
I arrived at Marble Quarry RV Park at quarter to eight and managed to be packed and ready to go by quarter after. I had managed to stuff everything I needed for my overnight into one pannier, with a few things tucked into extra space inside the battery panniers. But, in hindsight I would have rather carried two half-full panniers than one overstuffed pannier. The zipper on the latter will not last as long with overstuffing.
I started by heading up Yankee Hill Road, then climbing Big Hill Road, the first major climb of the day. Big Hill Road connects Columbia to the Twain Harte area, climbing from the lower elevation foothills to the mid-level hills of mixed oak and conifer. The climb is exposed and is best ridden up before the sun has had too much time to bake the road.
After turning onto Longway, then continuing on Middle Camp I rode on sometimes rough asphalt and occasional steep upgrades through rural subdivisions of what are most likely vacation homes, eventually emerging onto CA108 in Sugarpine. From Sugarpine I remained on CA108 as I crossed the Sierras.
Traffic on CA108 was moderate through Mi-Wuk Village, Long Barn, Cold Springs, and Pinecrest. A number of loaded logging trucks passed opposite, salvaging timber in the area burned by the Donnell Fire last summer.
I stopped at the USFS Summit Ranger Station at Pinecrest Lake Road, but not before overshooting it some distance before I figured I could stop and top off my water and ask about road conditions on the next day's route while making only one stop. I had originally planned to stop at the Strawberry Store for water as I could not be sure the water spigot at the Dardanelle Ranger Station was functioning. It was turned off last October.
One might have thought the entire ranger staff for the Stanislaus National Forest was inside behind the counter—I counted seven uniformed rangers. After being reassured that my planned route was open, I thanked them and resumed my ride.
CA108 between Strawberry and Kennedy Meadow spends most of its time near 6000 feet elevation, with only short gradual climbs or descents. The road surface is only a few years old, although already it is showing some rippling due to too much heavy truck traffic. When I rode it in the opposite direction in 2016 the new asphalt was mirror smooth. Major fire suppression efforts tend to chew up roads faster. In spite of that I still found this section of the ride very relaxing. Traffic was light. I would have a small platoon of motorists pass, then I'd have the road to myself for 5-10 minutes before the next group of autos came by, each of them passing with generous clearance. I almost found myself napping on the bike.
After Donnell Vista the highway descends to the Middle Fork Stanislaus River where it splits, the Clark Fork heading northeast and the Middle Fork continuing east and slightly south toward Sonora Pass.
The nice gradual descent ends at Clark Fork Road. CA108 now rolls up Eureka Valley past Dardanelle as far as Kennedy Meadow. The Dardanelles Resort appears to be open for business using temporary buildings, and the water spigot at the ranger station now has flowing water. Dardanelles is a good place to top off water and/or buy a snack in preparation for climbing the Pass itself and to see one through to Bridgeport as between the two there are no services.
Since I had topped off water in Pinecrest I pressed on and up the west side of Sonora Pass. The going was slow, and I had to pedal with maximal effort to keep the bike moving. But, I made it without stopping other than a brief nature break and a one-way control for road work near Chipmunk Flat. The motor began to overheat near the top of the "Golden Staircase" section of the climb just above the 9000 foot elevation marker. But, it merely rolled back power to about 750 watts to keep the temperature from increasing, and I did not have to stop until I arrived at the Pass.
At Sonora Pass I spoke at some length with a scruffy PCT hiker who was attempting to thumb a ride down to Kennedy Meadow to take a one-day break from the Trail. He had started 100 miles north of the Mexican border and was not planning to hike the entire trail this season, stopping somewhere in Oregon or skipping Oregon to finish the hike in Washington State where he had heard the trail is more scenic. He reported that mosquitos in Yosemite were pretty aggressive. I hadn't noticed any mosquitos on my ride thus far. But I had kept moving most of the time, and at the pass a steady breeze was blowing, keeping them at bay.
After taking a couple photos I started down the east side, glad that I had a robust regenerative brake to hold me to 20 mph while recovering about 4.5 Ah by the time I got to Sonora Junction at US395.
At Sonora Junction another one-way control was holding traffic for construction on US395. After I passed through the control I had the highway (southbound) to myself almost as far as Devils Gate.
This section of US395 has only two lanes and only a narrow shoulder, rather bike un-friendly. So, I was happy to have the lane to myself. When the platoon of autos from the next batch overtook me some drivers were probably in a bad mood having had to wait. A couple passed me closely, and one spitefully sat on the horn as he drove by even though he had plenty of space to pass and was not slowed a bit by my presence. Fortunately, my earplugs dull the effect of this abuse. The truckers were all courteous, passing with as much space as they could spare. And when they couldn't pass in the opposite lane, they slowed down significantly while passing.
From Devil's Gate Summit into Bridgeport US395 has a decent shoulder. During the quiet moments I enjoyed the ride almost as much as I had on the quiet portions of CA108 earlier in the day. I had also been enjoying a light tailwind most of the time since I crossed Sonora Pass
Bridgeport Valley was green and wet. The temperature was a warm 30C, but I did not feel hot as long as I kept moving. South of Bridgeport the shoulder disappeared for some distance in the valley until the highway started up alongside Virginia Creek where a decent shoulder reappeared. Winds were now from the west, but they did not slow me down too much.
After crossing over Conway Summit and descending toward Lee Vining, I was treated to the sweeping view of Mono Lake and the entire Mono Basin ahead. Winds were still light but constantly blowing from the west. The windsock warning truckers of strong side winds was unfurled weakly. Traffic was light and courteous all the way into Lee Vining. On the short section of two-lane road without shoulder nearest Mono Lake I managed to ride through without being overtaken.
Except for the short steep pitches early in the day and climbing over Sonora Pass I pedaled without working too hard, letting the motor do much of the work while getting enough but not too much exercise. I needed to save my legs for the next day. I dialed in 750 watts or less on most of the climbs except for Sonora Pass where I dialed the maximum 1000 watts.
Murpheys Motel have raised their prices since last year. I decided to try their single-occupancy room with a full-size bed for $85 instead of my usual double-occupancy large Queen bedroom for $130 that easily accommodates me and my bike. Although the bed was a bit small for me, I found this single-occupancy room to be just large enough to accommodate my bike while allowing me to move about the room in a cramped fashion. I was fortunate that no one had parked their car parallel to my door when I had to enter or exit the room with my bike. If someone had parked in front of my door I would have had to remove all bags and tilt the bike up on its rear wheel to get it inside.
For dinner I went up the street to Epic Cafe and enjoyed a hearty ginger rice and tofu stir-fry, salad, and peach and blueberry pie topped with homemade whipped cream, a fitting end to a full day.
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