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:||11150 feet|
|Avg. Speed (moving):||16.5 mph|
|Max. Speed:||28.4 mph|
|Nominal System Voltage:||48|
|Battery energy available:||2400 wh|
|Battery energy consumed:||2192 wh|
|Net battery energy consumed:||1232 wh|
|Battery Amps-Hour Used:||41.5|
|Regen Amps-Hour Recovered:||18.1|
|Peak Forward Current:||21.6 Amps|
|Peak Regen Current:||21.9 Amps|
|Peak Motor Temperature:||113 C|
|Average Motor Temperature:||47 C|
|Time spent overheated (>100C):||9:54|
South Lake Tahoe to Angels Camp, October 21, 2020 - My second night in a motel room gave me a better sleep than the first. Gone was most of the antiseptic fumigant odor, and by now I was accustomed to the bed and the odd noises one hears in a shared lodging arrangement: appliances cycling on and off, nearby doors closing or slamming, muffled voices, shuffling chairs, footfalls, etc. Given all the noises that keep one awake in a stronge place, I managed to sleep reasonably well without wearing earplugs. I attribute this to the fact that the motel is a block off the main highway, so there is no constant din of passing traffic. I also took 6mg of melatonin, and I found this helped nicely for the first four to six hours, but after that the effect wore off.
Yesterday I slept in to get a beauty sleep after a long, hard first day riding up to South Lake Tahoe. My ride around the lake had been an "easy" day. This morning I awoke early and was ready to go by 0800. As I stepped outside I was happy to have carried my shell and gloves. The sun had not yet risen above the mountains to the east. The air was cold but not freezing.
I started on the direct route into Meyers on Pioneer Trail. I rode this in 1993 and found it a pleasant alternative to taking US-50. This morning despite the early hour traffic was moderately heavy. I seldom had the road to myself. I noticed that most of the vacation houses I passed were empty and wondered what traffic would be like on a busy weekend.
Coldest temperature recorded was at the Trout Creek crossing when I observed 4C on my thermometer. I found that wearing all the layers I had brought kept me just short of feeling chilled as I pedaled lightly, even on the downhill bits to stay warm. When I got to Meyers the sun had risen enough to provide some direct radiant warmth.
I rode past the rotary at the junction for CA89 and US-50 and continued to Upper Truckee Road where I turned left, south. Turning north would take me through another subdivision and eventually to Tahoe Mountain Road that I had descended yesterday near the end of my ride. At first I thought Truckee Road was an odd name for a road far from its namesake town, but then I considered that the river that both flows into and out of Lake Tahoe, the Truckee River, continues upstream of the Lake itself, through the valley I was about to ride through, even though I was many miles from the town.
Long and narrow Christmas Valley south of Meyers was mostly forest and meadow, but after some distance on new asphalt I went through an older neighborhood of houses and ranchettes. Beyond these residences the road deteriorated somewhat but was still easily ridden as it passed stands of colorful aspen and willow then started climbing steeply toward Luther Pass. Halfway up this climb I crossed CA89 and continued on the old road that was now closed to motor traffic, although I was able to ride around the gate.
The old road passes the now closed Luther Campground before rejoining CA89 at the Big Meadow Trailhead. At this point I continued south on CA89 toward Luther Pass. Traffic was light, although occasional hopper trucks passed.
I thought of taking the old road down to CA88 east of Luther Pass, but I could not find the access point near the pass itself. About a mile east of the pass an alternate road exists, but when I got to it I could see that it was at best half dirt, half asphalt, and by now it was too easy to stay on CA89 to Pickett Junction. I also didn't want to get bogged down on a rough road while I was carrying my full touring load.
At CA88 I turned right and started heading west again. Its surface was smooth and clean as I passed many stands of flaming aspens on my way up to Carson Pass. One unwelcome observation was that smoke from the Creek Fire had drifted north during the night and was at times thick enough to smell. I stopped to insert a PM2.5 filter into my mask and rode wearing my mask while I was in smoke. For the next few hours I was on the edge of the smoke. To the south the air was thick and hazy, but to the north air was clear. One can see in some of the photos the smoke boundary.
I stopped briefly at Carson Pass to snap a summit photo before heading down to Caples Lake and beyond. Traffic was light, but punctuated by occasional hopper trucks. As far as I could tell the westbound trucks were empty, and the eastbound were carrying mulch or something similar.
Carson Pass highway stays above 7000 feet elevation for a long distance west of the Crest before descending into the foothills. On this high altitude section the roadway was pleasant to ride. A decent shoulder was provided most of the way, and traffic was light, aside from the aforementioned trucks.
I passed Kirkwood Meadows, stopped again briefly for a photo at the last named summit on my route: Carson Spur, and continued past Silver Lake and along the ridge top, enjoying the sight of lodgepoles and whitebark pines near the road for some distance before starting down into the mostly red fir forest to the west. The descent rolled up and down as the road stayed near the ridge top, but the downhills were longer than the uphills. Unfortunately, the usable shoulder all but disappeared for this segment of the ride, making for somewhat more stress when passed by trucks, of which logging trucks had started to appear, or other large vehicles. At one spot a logging trucker pulled out to pass me as a camper was coming opposite, forcing the latter off the road while the truck pulled uncomfortably close in front of me.
Upon examining a satellite view of the area one can see that the forest surrounding CA88 features a patchwork of clearcuts. Logging is quite active in the area, and the forest near the highway appears to be "well-managed" in that its underbrush had been cleared, leaving only the larger trees
After passing Hams Station and Cook's Station I found myself descending through more thickly-settled areas near Barton, and traffic got heavier while the road still had no shoulder most of the time. By the time I arrived in Pioneer I was happy to be leaving the state highway to make my way south through the foothills and a corner of California that hasn't changed much in the last 70 years.
I turned left onto Defender Grade that ascended steeply but briefly over a low ridge then descended sharply to CA26. CA26 itself continued descending to the crossing of the North Fork Mokelumne River at just over 2000 feet elevation where I observed my highest regeneration figure of the day before climbing into West Point.
After descending to the Middle Fork Mokelumne River I started on Railroad Flat Road and climbed into Wilseyville. Most of the Sierra foothill towns I passed through are located atop ridges and not in valleys (except for ridge top plateaus) or canyons. From Wilseyville I avoided continuing on the new asphalt of the dead-end Blue Mountain Road and made the turn onto rough and bumpy Railroad Flat that was anything but flat as it descended and climbed multiple times and through communities such as Independence, Railroad Flat, Esperanza Valley, and El Rancho Loma Serena.
Near the Esperanza Fire Station I turned left onto Sheep Ranch Road and continued on new asphalt through countryside that reminded me of the arid oak, grass, and coyote bush lands east of Mount Hamilton near home. After I arrived in Sheep Ranch my road surface luck ran out as the road became a quilted patchwork for the final 9 miles into Murphys. To match the rough asphalt the grades became even more severe, descending and climbing in excess of 10%. Meanwhile the temperature had climbed to 30-31C. My motor started getting into the overheating zone, but the temperature rise stopped just short of where the controller rolls back power.
As I passed Fullen Road I was back on familiar roads. One more descent and climb to go before it was all downhill to Angels Camp. I rounded the bend at Mercer Caverns, popped over the summit to the south, and had started descending into Murphys when my phone rang. It was Mom (who had been following me on life360) and had not seen a recent update (because I was out of range of cellular service much of the time) and was calling me to check if I was alright. I stopped at a shady spot off the road to answer her call, trying to explain why I might appear "stuck" on the app in one place, and we enjoyed a lengthy conversation.
After my phone call I continued down into Murphys then turned right onto Main Street that becomes Murphys Grade and descended quickly on new asphalt into Angels Camp without further incident.
Weather started cold, became warm to hot near the end, but was always within my comfort zone. Traffic was a bit heavier than I would have liked on the lower part of CA88, especially truck traffic. Oddly, I saw only one other cyclist near Meyers.
|Bike Ridden:||Power Gold Rush|
|Cumulative climbing:||5260 feet|
|Avg. Speed (moving):||15.7 mph|
|Nominal System Voltage:||48|
|Battery energy available:||2400 wh|
|Battery energy consumed:||1202 wh|
|Net battery energy consumed:||897 wh|
|Battery Amps-Hour Used:||22.3|
|Regen Amps-Hour Recovered:||5.9|
|Peak Motor Temperature:||54 C|
|Average Motor Temperature:||34 C|
Lake Tahoe Circuit CCW, October 20, 2020 - After checking into my motel room the prior evening, I opened all the windows to air out the strong odor of the coronavirus fumigant they had used to disinfect my room—another reason to spend two nights in one motel room instead of each night in a different room—I took a shower, put on clean clothes, then walked a few blocks to a nearby food court to order a takeout dinner from California Burger that I then brought back to my room. Unfortunately, the odor was still strong in my room, and now the air outdoors was getting cold. I left the windows open for as long as I could before closing them and turning on the heat for the night. Although I slept on and off for about 10 hours that night, I awoke with a headache that I assume was from the strong odor that lingered in the room.
In the morning I ate less breakfast than usual, but I spent extra time stretching my IT band that was starting to complain in the last miles of yesterday's ride. I had not brought a bulky foam roll, but I spent extra time doing IT band stretches before I departed for the day. I had worked hard yesterday, but today's ride was easy in comparison. I resolved to soft-pedal most of my way around the Lake and to stop often and enjoy the scenery.
The air temperature was still a chilly 10C when I got the bike out the door around 1030. I wore long sleeves top and bottom, but no shell or gloves. The air was chilly but promised to warm rapidly under a clear sky.
Most cyclists will choose to ride around Lake Tahoe in the clockwise direction as this puts the Lake at one's right and means that most turns on the course are right turns not left. I had ridden the loop clockwise in 1993, so I decided to ride it counter-clockwise as I had not ridden it that way before. This meant I'd be starting on the Nevada side of the lake, heading eastbound on US-50 toward Carson City.
Traffic on this section of four-lane mostly undivided US-50 came in platoons. A shoulder came and went. Asphalt was decently clean most of the time, and passing motorists were mostly courteous. Only one truck towing a trailer and one empty logging truck passed within the three-foot buffer. Since the US-50 portion of the ride is not particularly scenic I rode at 20 mph and did not stop for scenery.
Soon I found myself at the junction for NV28 near Spooner Summit. I turned left and started down NV28 toward Incline Village. This two-lane highway was fairly busy, but there was no shoulder much of the time. I kept moving, only slowing for scenery as the road dipped closer to Lake level at Sand Harbor.
I did not realize it at the time, but I should have exited NV28 at Sand Harbor to pick up the Tahoe East Shore Trail that takes a scenic path along the Lake's shore. Some distance north of Sand Harbor I was able to move to the path from the highway. Although the path was quieter and allowed space to stop and take photos, the downside was that other trail users were mostly mask-less, and I would be passing within six feet of many of them. Physical distancing was easier on the road. Pick your poison. I decided to stick with the path for now as it was a smooth, well-graded path with many vista points, while the highway was increasingly busy and narrow.
I continued along the path as far as Lakeshore Drive. Instead of continuing on NV28 or on the path that became a sidewalk along Lakeshore Drive I moved to Lakeshore Drive itself as I rode through Incline Village, passing a number of large vacation homes nestled among established mountain landscaping and a Hyatt Regency. The beaches along Lakeshore Drive have all been closed to the public, open only to nearby property owners or residents of Incline Village.
Once back on NV28 I continued into Crystal Bay, climbing up over the narrow ridge that ends at Stateline Point, past the last casinos in Nevada and back into California, shifting to CA28, then into tiny Brockway, Kings Beach, Tahoe Vista, Carnelian Bay, Ridgewood, Dollar Point, and Lake Forest. By this time I was looking for a place to stop, get off the bike, eat lunch, and take a break from the busy highway. I saw a sign pointing to public access to the lakeshore, so I turned off at Lake Forest and found the public boat launch pier adjacent to the Coast Guard station. The attendant at the kiosk waved me through, and when I arrived at the boat launch I saw that the pier was open and displayed no sign forbidding bicycles on the pier. So I rode out to the railing and enjoyed a nice break on the Lake in the warmth of the sun and calm air. While stopped I ate lunch, stretched, and peeled down to shorts and short sleeves.
Refreshed after my break I returned to CA28 and continued a short distance on the adjacent path into Tahoe City, whereupon I regained the highway as I rode through the downtown area where traffic was relatively heavy.
With the brief moments of unpleasantness of riding US-50 a distant memory I found myself jarred back into the reality of the world and the hardscrabble lives of those who depend on driving from gig to gig for a living.
I turned left onto West Lake Boulevard, then joined the traffic lane to negotiate the rotary at Lake Boulevard. As best I can tell this action prompted one driver of a beaten-up SUV two places behind me to make the effort upon passing me to sit on his horn and scream a string of expletives in my direction out his passenger side window. The only thing I could gather from the tirade is that he thought I should not have joined motor traffic through the rotary. Had I slowed him down at all? No. I waved back at him.
Having biked on the roads for many years I am not new to abuse from motorists, but in the Bay Area I experience it maybe once a year at most, and lately I can't recall the last time someone yelled or even honked at me in anger from a passing motor vehicle.
As I continued south along West Lake Boulevard traffic continued heavily, roughly half tourists in shiny newer cars and half locals in pickups, work trucks, and beaten-up sedans and SUVs. The tourists were mostly courteous and cautious, but the locals had no patience, either passing too close, passing around blind corners (also a couple of tourists too timid to pass when it was safe then got impatient and passed when it wasn't), or passing in the face of oncoming traffic, forcing the latter to pull onto the shoulder or to slow down. I got coal rolled twice by two different diesel pickup trucks. Not in many years had I experienced so much driver impatience, poor judgment, and overall hostility to other road users. And this was all along the western shore of Lake Tahoe. I only mention it because of the extraordinary number of observations of poor driving I witnessed within about a one hour period on this Tuesday afternoon.
When I got to Tahoma I saw a low-speed bike path on my side of the road, and I decided to take it, even if it was bumpy and slow. I just needed a break from traffic and to recover my enjoyment of the ride. After shifting to the path it diverged from the road and entered the forest, becoming less smooth. Then a sign appeared warning that the path was not maintained in winter. Turns out I had just entered Sugar Pine State Park.
I continued for some time on this path that twisted its way among the sugar pines before pausing near General Creek for a nature break. Just as I was finishing up a maintenance cart came up the path behind me, and the two guys in the front jumped out and started asking me questions about my bike and where I had ridden. We talked for some time, and I asked them how far the path continued.
"It crosses the highway then descends to the Meeks Bay Resort. There are some rest rooms down there," one of them added, is if he had perceived what I was up to just before they stopped.
I continued down to the beach at Meeks Bay and took another short break to enjoy the solitude of the resort now closed for the season. As I was about to leave a maintenance guy drove up in another cart, but he paid no attention to me as I circled round to find the exit. The exit was blocked with a chain to keep out drivers, but I easily lifted the chain and rode out underneath it.
Soon I was back on CA89 heading south through Rubicon Bay and up the climb to D.L. Bliss State Park. The highway was getting busy again, but it was also becoming more scenic. The road hugged a steep hillside that rose sharply from the water at the Lake's edge. Higher peaks lay ahead and to my right. I began descending towards Emerald Bay.
I moved to the left-turn lane to exit at Emerald Bay State Park, but I could see the parking lot was full and cars were waiting for a spot. The viewing area was also packed with tourists, so I decided to skip the stop and continued on CA89 past Eagle Creek Trailhead and on up the slope on the south side of Emerald Bay, snapping what photos I could while riding.
After rounding Emerald Bay the highway does something interesting: it descends atop the ridge line, often called a "hogback", where the terrain slopes down on either side of the road, toward Eagle Point. I stopped at a spot to which I could comfortably maneuver off the tarmac to snap a photo of the S-bend near Upper Eagle Point Campground.
When a break appeared in the nearly continuous stream of cars on this part of my ride, I continued down to Cascade Creek and further to Tallac Creek before turning right onto Fallen Leaf Road.
For a couple of years in the early 1970s (and on a couple of long weekends in the 1990s) my parents had taken the whole family to spend time at the Stanford Sierra Camp, my introduction to the Sierras and hiking in the wilderness areas. I was curious to see if any memories would be revived by making a quick swing through the area.
Fallen Leaf Road was rough and pot-holed along the eastern shore of Fallen Leaf Lake. Just past the bridge over Glen Alpine Creek the road was closed off, the camp probably having been closed for the season. Most of the houses I had passed on the way in did not appear to be occupied. I rode west up the hill to the Glen Alpine Trailhead, the end of the paved road, but I did not recognize the area even though I'm sure I had hiked up this road long ago. I did recognize Lily Lake, Cathedral Peak and Mount Tallac that I had hiked up many years ago. But the area felt tame to me in comparison to some of the places I have visited since then. When I was younger my world was smaller. This corner of the outdoors seemed far removed from civilization. But, today I knew it was a short distance from the sprawl that South Lake Tahoe has become.
I snapped a photo of an "invisible" pothole, a dip in the asphalt that one cannot see due to the lack of a sharp edge around the hole, and then on the way down past this very same spot I rode right into it. Fortunately, someone had placed some rocks and pieces of asphalt at the bottom of the hole to reduce its depth.
The sun was already setting behind the Sierra Crest to the west, so I returned up Fallen Leaf Road, turning right at Tahoe Mountain Road to take a more direct route into South Lake Tahoe.
Tahoe Mountain Road climbs through a pretty stand of aspens before topping out in a small housing subdivision that I remember from the time I rode in the area in the early 1990s. The road then descends through an area burned by recent fire before arriving at Lake Tahoe Boulevard, a four-lane highway surrounded by empty fields. The area appears to have been planned for subdivision at one time, plans that have not yet been realized.
I descended east into South Lake Tahoe, and the remainder of the ride took a sour turn. Once I got onto US-50 eastbound traffic became heavy again as I passed one strip mall after another. Although a bike lane had been provided, it was allotted the worst of the road where the asphalt crumbles collected and where recessed sewer access points were in the center of the bike lane every few hundred feet. Heavy traffic, mostly pickup trucks, SUVs, and work trucks each roaring as if racing each other from one red light to the next, begrudged my swerving into the right-hand traffic lane to avoid these obstacles and other road debris. At this point I just wanted to get back to my room to get cleaned up and to eat dinner.
It had been 27 years since I had ridden a bike in South Lake Tahoe. What I recall from then was an experience more like that of riding through the center of Mammoth Lakes, a small resort town in the off-season, not a sprawling suburb featuring strip malls and subdivisions one after another, the roads packed with harried motorists scrambling like squirrels packing away nuts before the onset of winter. I have to wonder if those looking to escape from the pandemic lockdowns in the cities will find here what they seek.
|Bike Ridden:||Power Gold Rush|
|Cumulative climbing:||13690 feet|
|Avg. Speed (moving):||16.4 mph|
|Max. Speed:||25.1 mph|
|Nominal System Voltage:||48|
|Battery energy available:||2400 wh|
|Battery energy consumed:||2460 wh|
|Net battery energy consumed:||1911 wh|
|Battery Amps-Hour Used:||48.1|
|Regen Amps-Hour Recovered:||10.8|
|Peak Forward Current:||23.6 Amps|
|Peak Regen Current:||28.2 Amps|
|Peak Motor Temperature:||73 C|
|Average Motor Temperature:||59 C|
Angels Camp to South Lake Tahoe, October 19, 2020 - I had prepared for my three-day Sierras bike tour the week before by going through my packing list and had assembled everything I needed other than food and water. But still sore muscles from hiking the weekend before counseled waiting until my legs were fresh. By the time my legs were feeling ready for three long days on the bike the weekend was upon me and prices for my candidate hotels had jumped from $60/night to $150/night. The cheapskate in me advised waiting until the end of the weekend. Besides that I preferred to enjoy the roads without crowds of tourists.
Long-range weather forecasts showed cold nights but moderate days for the next week, so I had the luxury of time to postpone my plans. In the end I didn't get going until Monday of the following week as it was only the afternoon of the day before that I had secured a safe spot to park my van for the two nights I would be on the road. Thank you Angels Inn in Angels Camp, CA.
I had originally planned this tour to start and finish in Columbia, spending the first night in Gardnerville. But with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging I decided it would be safer (and, as it turned out, cheaper) if I spent two nights in South Lake Tahoe rather than one night each in a different hotel. To do that I would have to get to South Lake Tahoe in one day, and to start in Columbia would increase the risk of coming too close to the range limit of my bike with the batteries I planned to carry. But, moving the start/finish to Angels Camp would shorten the first day's route slightly, enough for me to feel I could comfortably complete the day without fear of running short on the last climb up Kingsbury Grade, just when I was most fatigued. Also, by spending two nights in South Lake Tahoe I could enjoy my ride around the Lake without hauling all of my supplies.
Although I had planned to leave home at 0500 I didn't get out the door until nearly 0530. Fortunately, my drive to Angels Camp was slightly shorter than the drive to Tuolumne or Columbia I had done on prior Sierra tours. I arrived at Angels Inn at 0810 and was on the bike and ready to go a half-hour later. By the time I set off from Angels Inn the air temperature in Murphys was already warm enough (about 20C) for me to start in shorts and short sleeves, and that is how I rode for the remainder of the day.
My route left Angels Camp by Murphys Grade, the lower part of which started over low grassy hills, and the upper part of which climbed gradually alongside Angels Creek. At no point was the road steep or difficult. Aside from a short construction zone near the bottom, the asphalt layer was new all the way into Murphys, and traffic was light. I had no complaints other than the temperature in the darkest part of the canyon dropped to about 16C, which was rather chilly in shorts and short sleeves. I pedaled harder to stay warm.
I rode down Main Street through Murphys past wine tasting rooms, inns, and restaurants whose seating had spilled out onto the narrow street, consuming most of the available curbside parking. The scene reminded me a bit of downtown Saratoga closer to home. Murphys appears to be cultivating a wine-tourism economy.
Soon I found myself at CA4 and onto a familiar part of the route. I climbed quickly through Hathaway Pines, Avery, and Arnold. Monday morning traffic was light, and even where the road narrowed passing traffic was occasional and uniformly courteous.
East of Camp Connell the road widens enough to offer a consistently-wide shoulder and traffic went from light to sparse. It felt like I only saw other cars, usually in small platoons, once every five minutes or so, but when I stopped to enjoy nature I found that the interval was closer to one minute. In fact it seemed like my stopping to enjoy nature would always occasion the passing of traffic in either or both directions.
From the start I had set my assist input power level to 600 watts or less (which translates to about 450-480 watts at the wheel), so I was not climbing much quicker than a strong un-assisted and un-loaded cyclist would have been. This also served to conserve my battery energy as the eastbound route with its net 4000 feet of climbing would require the most energy of the three days. The air was warming to a comfortable temperature in the mid-20s C, the air was still, and the sky was clear blue. I labored under no threat of foul afternoon weather as I might on a summertime tour, so I decided not to rush.
The descent westbound from Bear Valley is a wonderfully long and moderate down-grade that can be enjoyed mostly without pedaling. The ascent requires some effort, even with assist, and takes longer. But the combination of pleasant temperatures and a clean, quiet road was ideal for day-dreaming. I must have lost track of time for I soon found myself passing Tamarack Flat, and then entering Bear Valley itself. I continued up to Lake Alpine, passing the Lodge that was closed for the season. I did not search for a water source as I did not need to top off. The pleasant temperatures on the climb left me with a good supply yet in my bladder and bottles.
At Lake Alpine the road loses its center stripe, but the asphalt is relatively new and smooth all the way over Ebbetts Pass. I continued through the wilderness zone between Lake Alpine and Silver Creek on the east side, stopping only to snap photos of summit signs and to heed the call of nature.
East of Ebbetts Pass I passed many stands of flaming aspen trees. Some trees had already lost some of their leaves, and others held yet many green leaves, so the peak must have been near. If anything remarkable could be said about the day's transit from Angels Camp to South Lake Tahoe it was the beautiful stands of colorful aspens and sierra willow I passed along the way.
The last time I had descended Ebbetts Pass to the east in 2018 was in an afternoon summer thunderstorm under hail up high and cold rain further down. Today I could enjoy the views on the way down and had no need to don any rain gear or to steel myself against an onslaught. The show of colorful aspens continued all the way into Markleeville where I stopped at the General Store for a break and to procure a couple of bananas for my next two breakfasts. The store had none in stock today, but the break off the bike felt good.
I continued north on CA89 along a part of the route I had not ridden since the late 1990s. I decided not to stop at Woodfords Cafe and Store in my banana search but to press east on CA88 and then onto Emigrant Trail, Fredericksburg Road, and Foothill Road, dropping into Carson Valley and the state of Nevada. A light headwind had picked up, but since the terrain was mostly downhill I did not notice the wind until I had reached Foothill Road where the terrain leveled off.
Many of the houses featured Trump political signs, and some properties were decked with a sign at each fence post as well as large banners, including one I had seen at several other properties: a blue and white striped flag flying next to the USA flag. It's clear I was in Trump-land, but Biden/Harris supporters were not entirely invisible. A couple properties featured a modest show of signs, and one property in the center of Markleeville featured a Sanders sign that had been repurposed with a heavy black marker into a Biden sign.
When I turned left onto NV207 to begin my climb up Kingsbury Grade I dialed assist power to 1000 watts (750-800 watts at the wheel) as I could see that my modest power use on the ride thus far had left enough in my battery for me to enjoy a speedy climb over the high ridge to Lake Tahoe. I climbed to Daggett Summit, the final summit of the day, without stopping, passing a few cyclists also making the same climb. One called out asking how much power I was using, but I was too far up the road to reply.
Descending to the west put me immediately into the town of Kingsbury and then Stateline. Traffic was suddenly heavy. I stopped at a convenience store near the bottom of the hill to inquire about bananas, and found a few overpriced at $0.65/ea. But, they were what I was looking for. The mask-less clerk—the only time I encountered anyone indoors not wearing a mask on this trip—stood behind a plexiglass barrier as he rang me up
Back on the bike I continued down the hill to US50 then turned left and rode back into California past all the high-rise casino hotels and shortly found my motel for the night.
|Bike Ridden:||Power Gold Rush|
|Cumulative climbing:||11000 feet|
|Avg. Speed (moving):||19.5 mph|
|Max. Speed:||28.7 mph|
|Nominal System Voltage:||48|
|Battery energy available:||2400 wh|
|Battery energy consumed:||2155 wh|
|Net battery energy consumed:||1320 wh|
|Battery Amps-Hour Used:||41.4|
|Regen Amps-Hour Recovered:||16.1|
|Peak Forward Current:||23.5 Amps|
|Peak Regen Current:||30.3 Amps|
|Peak Motor Temperature:||88.1 C|
|Average Motor Temperature:||49.2 C|
Coleville to Columbia, August 14, 2020 - I never sleep well the first night on the road. I should probably restate that by saying I never sleep well the first night in a new place. I remember at the last minute thinking I might bring a melatonin tablet to help me get to sleep. I took it before turning out the light at 2020 the night before, and I remember nothing more until I woke up at 0030 the next morning to pee. Unfortunately, the effect of the melatonin must have worn off. For the rest of the night I tossed and turned, unable to go back into deep sleep. I hadn't even set an alarm, and I was thinking about how early I should rise to be back in Columbia by noon.
At 0415 I decided to get up and get ready to depart around 0600. My first task was to prepare a breakfast of oatmeal whose dry contents I had packed and carried last fall for a three-day trip that got shortened to two days. For some reason I didn't feel hungry, and I struggled to force it down. The mixture tasted too salty. Had I accidentally doubled the salt proportions? I couldn't remember. I had two more spoons full left in the bowl when I quit. One more would have sent me retching. What I had eaten would have to do.
I finished packing, and even though I had eaten some of the food I had brought with me, I had a hard time zipping up my packs. The eastern sky was starting to get light, and I could see that it was overcast. As quietly as I could manage, I wheeled my bike out the door, then rode down to the office to drop my key in the after-hours box. It was just after 0600 when I was back on the road, heading north on US395. Temperature was a cool 16C, cool enough that I started with a long top and shorts.
The highway was quiet. Only a few cars or trucks passed, and the asphalt was clean and smooth (except for the cursed rumble strip). The clouds above were displaying varying shades of red and orange from the sun rising in the east. I set my cruising speed to 27.5 mph.
It wasn't long before I arrived at the junction with CA89 and the start of the east-side climb up Monitor Pass. Without delay I started the climb. The road starts through a short deep canyon holding Slinkard Creek then comes out into Slinkard Valley. Vegetation is that of a high desert with few trees.
After I traversed the final switchback on the climb the sun broke through the clouds and cast a pleasing light on Slinkard Valley below. Far to the south I could also see some of the high peaks in northern Yosemite. Then just before I crossed from Mono to Alpine County I felt the sun for the first time today.
By this point the grade had eased somewhat, although I still had some distance to go yet to the pass itself. But it was not long before I made the final climb into the small grove of aspen trees that mark the location of Monitor Pass, where I stopped for an obligatory summit photo. Temperature was a chilly 13C at the pass, the coldest temperature on the ride. I was happy to be wearing a long upper, but avoided donning long lowers as I knew I'd just be taking them off again at the bottom of the descent.
To the west I could see Silver Peak (10772ft) rising in the distance. I continued across the plateau to the false pass on the western side, then started down. I stopped a couple of times to photograph the distant peaks as the light changed on the land. Seeing the sun rising on the eastern faces of the peaks made it worthwhile to start early.
The road levels off a bit at Sagehen Flat near Heenan Lake about half-way down the descent, then plunges down the canyon carved by Monitor Creek to the East Fork Carson River. At the bottom I turned left onto CA4, not even thinking twice about taking my original planned route that would have added 40 hot miles to my day.
I continued quickly up Silver Creek, past the campground, around the sharp bends on the road hugging a cliff, then up to Ebbetts Pass in step-wise fashion. I stopped briefly at Kinney Reservoir to photograph the reflection of Ebbetts Peak in its water.
After another obligatory summit photo at Ebbetts Pass, I started down into Hermit Valley. The skies were less overcast to the west, but still the air was cool but not cold.
As I continued west past Cape Horn, where I could see The Dardanelles from the north, and descended toward Lake Alpine, I encountered my first cyclists riding the other direction.
Although I did not need water, I wanted to top off my supplies to prepare for the heat at lower elevations. The tap at the east end of Lake Alpine had been shut off, and the fountain at the west end parking lot had been dismantled. Water in the lake was low, but I suspected the fountains had been shut off due to the pandemic. I continued into Bear Valley and was able to draw water from a hose bib at the sports goods store next to the fire station.
I then started the long descent from Bear Valley to Dorrington and beyond. For the first several miles the road undulates. Not until one passes Ganns does the road descend in earnest. The grade is such that one can coast comfortably for many miles without braking. I set my limit speed to 27.5 mph so that I could recapture some energy. The descent continued unbroken into Dorrington where the air temperature had risen into the high-20s C.
On the next 17 miles through Arnold, Avery, and Murhpys I kept moving at or near my cruising speed, pausing only a couple of times. Westbound traffic was light, but eastbound traffic consisted of long platoons. Many people were heading into the mountains to enjoy cooler air just as a heat wave was starting in the valley. It was only as I descended through the short canyon above Murphys that the air began to feel truly hot.
I continued through Murphys and toward Angels Camp, leaving CA4 at Parrotts Ferry Road. By now the temperature was in the high 30's C.
Parrotts Ferry Road climbs and descends a few times before plunging to its low point across New Melones Reservoir. I stopped at the far end of the bridge to note the temperature on my thermometer, 38C, the highest temperature on the ride.
At this point there was nothing more to do but climb up to Columbia and my waiting van. I pulled into the 49er RV Park a couple of minutes after noon, and I was happy not to be riding further.
In the end I felt hotter driving my van than I felt on the bike as I was sitting on the sunny side of the van, and the temperatures at lower elevations in the valley were even hotter than they were in the Sierra Foothills. I only felt the slightest relief as I crossed Sunol summit on I680 and descended into Fremont just after 1500.
|Bike Ridden:||Power Gold Rush|
|Cumulative climbing:||11910 feet|
|Avg. Speed (moving):||16.7 mph|
|Max. Speed:||30.9 mph|
|Nominal System Voltage:||48|
|Battery energy available:||2400 wh|
|Battery energy consumed:||2061 wh|
|Net battery energy consumed:||1537 wh|
|Battery Amps-Hour Used:||40.3|
|Regen Amps-Hour Recovered:||10.2|
|Peak Forward Current:||22.0 Amps|
|Peak Regen Current:||23.2 Amps|
|Peak Motor Temperature:||111.9 C|
|Average Motor Temperature:||51.0 C|
Columbia to Coleville, August 13, 2020 - The end of the second full week in August turned out to be my best window for enjoying a trans-Sierra bike tour. Weather was forecast to be clear, I managed to clear my recurring obligations that later in the month might be difficult for me to do.
Initially I had three days available, Wednesday 8/12 through Friday 8/14. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic I had trouble making contact with the owners of Marble Quarry RV Park to leave my car parked for a couple of nights, a location I have used a few times before. No one would answer their phone or return messages.
Due to the delay in finding a place to leave the car I ended up riding only two days, on Thursday and Friday, and I found parking at another RV park in Columbia, 49er RV Park. The 49er RV Park was in the same neighborhood as Marble Quarry, so there was no significant change in distance for my planned routes.
Just after I had committed myself to the trip, I learned that the weather forecast had added in a chance of thunderstorms on the afternoon of Friday. I could live with this as usually I am out of the high country by the time any weather builds. My main concern is the first day. But, also in the forecast were extremely high temperatures with a "heat advisory" being issued for Friday afternoon.
Since my planned route was to return west on CA88 then through the foothills along Railroad Flat and Sheep Ranch Roads, lying between 2000 and 3000 feet elevation, I knew that I'd be hitting these short, hot climbs late in the day when temperatures were expected to exceed 38C (100F). Even on an e-bike I'm not keen to be out on a long climbing-intensive ride in that kind of heat.
I decided to go anyways, since I'd already reserved a room at The Meadowcliff Lodge in Coleville. My first day's route would be from Columbia eastward over Sonora Pass, then north to Coleville. I could decide whether to continue the next day on my planned route or to cut it short by riding west over Ebbetts Pass and CA4, a route I've ridden a few times before and knew could be done comfortably even in extreme heat due to it being mostly downhill on the hot sections.
On Thursday I awoke at 0330 and was out the door before 0530 to make the drive east to Columbia, a trip that takes about three hours from home. I was ready to ride before 0900, and the air temperature was already warming noticeably. My on-bike thermometer read 26C, and that's pretty much where it stayed all day on the climb to Sonora Pass, varying only a couple degrees either way.
My route took me east out of Columbia on Big Hill Road, the first big climb of the day up the shoulder of Yankee Hill and through the various communities and subdivisions of Twain Harte. Many of the homes appeared to be unoccupied vacation homes, and traffic was light on Big Hill, Longeway, and Middle Camp Roads. In the town of Sugarpine I connected to CA108 and remained on the state highway the rest of the way over the Sierra Crest.
Traffic on CA108 was light in both directions on this weekday, and I continued east on the smooth asphalt at 20 mph, stopping only for the call of nature a few times. East of Strawberry traffic became infrequent, and I enjoyed the next 20 miles mostly in quiet solitude.
When I reached the water faucet at the shuttered Dardanelle forest service ranger station, I was ready for a short break while I refilled my bladder and bottles. I topped off my water as I knew I would be drinking often as I climbed up the west side of Sonora Pass.
On the steep part of the climb to the pass traffic seemed heavier, although no less courteous. This time I managed to ride without stopping all the way to the pass. Only on the golden staircase near the "elevation 9000 ft" sign did the motor temperature venture briefly into the overheat zone, causing the controller to reduce power about 10%. Although I used maximum power on the steep bits, I dialed it back on the less step sections, giving the motor a chance to cool off before tackling the next steep section.
Half-way up the west side climb a few downhill skateboarders passed me, no doubt enjoying the smooth asphalt that had been laid down last fall.
At the pass as I tried to take a selfie in front of the sign without getting out of the bike, a tourist offered to snap my photo. Before I could remember that I should not share items, I had already handed my camera to the gentleman. Oh well, at least I have the photo.
After snapping a selfie in view of the westbound sign, I started down the east side. At one of the bridges over Sardine Creek, traffic came to a halt at a one-way control due to road construction. As I waited the flagman pointed at me and beckoned. Maybe he'd let me pass through now, I hoped. I rode down to the front of the queue.
"We're going to have to transport you in the truck," he looked at me sharply, pulling up his mask as I drew near.
"Why can't I just follow the cars?", I asked trying to hide any hint of whining. I didn't want to interrupt my ride nor have grubby workmen's hands all over my bike.
"We can wait until my foreman gets here to ask him, but we're not allowed to let bicycles through the construction zone."
"Is the surface grooved, graveled, or oiled? Is there some special hazard?", I pressed further.
"It's our contract with Caltrans. We can't let you ride through," he replied.
A few minutes later the foreman driving the pilot truck arrived. The first thing he said when he jumped out of his truck was, "We'll have to load you in the back of the truck to take you through. We've got equipment all over the road down there, and our contract won't allow a bicyclist to ride through. It's either the truck, or you'll have to turn around." he added with an air that suggested he was not willing to entertain other options.
I couldn't imagine what hazard could exist in the construction zone that would allow passage of a car but not a bike. The bike was a narrower vehicle, so should be able to pass around any extra-wide equipment. The only explanation I could infer was that some bureaucrat somewhere, probably someone who doesn't ride a bicycle at Caltrans or the construction company's insurance carrier, had deemed it dangerous for a bicyclist to pass through, even in a guided queue of cars. My observation of the road surface in the zone and construction activity only confirmed my suspicion.
Turning around was not really an option at this point as I would not have enough battery capacity to climb back up the east side of Sonora Pass and ride the 70 miles back to Columbia without stopping and partially recharging somewhere, and that would make the day too long. Besides that, I would forfeit my $100 room reservation and miss my second day.
"My bike is quite heavy and awkward," I warned in vain.
"Here. The three of us can lift it onto the truck," the foreman offered.
I rode around to the rear of the pilot car, got out of the bike, and before I could warn them about not lifting the bike from the fairing, the foreman and the flagman had their hands all over the frame and other sturdy support members of the bike and hoisted it into the truck bed. I guided the front wheel, but spared myself the heavy lifting. With a bit of maneuvering my bike managed to fit perfectly along the diagonal of the truck's bed, allowing the truck's tailgate to close and lock behind it. That gave me some reassurance that my bike wouldn't slip out onto the road.
I grabbed my camera and took a couple photos. Meanwhile one of the drivers in the queue, likely one near the front who had observed our fussing with my bike, started honking.
"Hey! If you don't want to wait, turn around and go home!", yelled the foreman in the general direction of the honk. He was in no mood to be crossed.
"Go ahead and get into the passenger side," he pointed to his truck. I did as I was told.
He got in and started to turn his truck around to guide the eastbound traffic through the construction zone. I adjusted my mask as a subtle way of suggesting he should wear his, but he was too busy talking to notice. At least the truck's windows were wide open.
"We're widening the road two feet. That'll give more room for bicycles. We also widened parts of 395 over the last year."
I told him I appreciated the extra width but that there were still some narrow parts that were not pleasant to ride. I added that I appreciated the new asphalt on the west side of the pass after he mentioned he had worked on that project last year.
He asked me where I was headed, and other than my answers he talked either non-stop to me or into his radio to warn his workers to move their equipment out of the downhill lane to allow us to pass. He complained that traffic over Sonora Pass was heavier than usual since travelers could not drive through Yosemite on CA120 without holding a Yosemite reservation.
At the bottom of a sharp S-bend in the road near Leavitt Creek, not more than one mile down the hill we came to the end of the construction zone where a shorter queue of westbound cars had accumulated. We quickly got my bike off the truck, and it took me only a moment to check that I hadn't lost anything and to be ready to continue riding. The only thing out of adjustment was that one of the support hooks for right-side under-seat pack had come off the rack. This can be seen in one of the photos. It was trivially easy to place the hook back on the rack.
After the long queue of eastbound cars had been exhausted I followed them downhill, enjoying the road to myself all the way to the USMC Mountain Warfare Training Center. Even then only a few cars passed me.
I turned left onto US395 and enjoyed a nice wide shoulder for some distance. Unfortunately, the wide shoulder did not continue all the way through the canyon. Perhaps the shoulder-widening project is a long-term goal.
I set my cruising speed to 25mph to get through the canyon quickly. Most traffic passed when they could leave ample space, but a few campers/trailers passed a little too closely for comfort.
On some of the narrow sections I took it as a challenge to see if I could ride the narrow, 1-2 foot wide strip of shoulder to the right of the rumble strip when I could see that it was free of debris. Since there was a nice tailwind but no gusting cross-winds I did not find this difficult, although doing so encouraged more close passing by other motorists.
Before long I emerged into Antelope Valley and the town of Walker. I stopped at the General Store to buy a few pieces of fruit for breakfast, then rode over to Walker Burger to enjoy an early dinner of a garden burger, fries, and a 32-oz. root beer on their outdoor patio dining area, tables appropriately spaced. It was not the sort of meal I would prepare for myself at home, but, after a warm day on the bike the salty, deep-fried food and soft drink hit the spot. Temperature was a toasty 31C. Walker Burger was popular at 1530 when I arrived. But, by the time I left the early dinner/late lunch rush had abated.
After my meal I continued northbound on US395 until I reached The Meadowcliff Lodge nestled beneath the imposing Centennial Bluff. The resort's office was already busy helping two other customers, but after a few minutes I got the key to my room, a bag containing the toiletries that are normally left in the room for guests (new COVID-19 requirements), and an explanation of special rules and restrictions due to the pandemic. The woman behind the counter told me that business had been booming during the summer.
I was happy to arrive at a resting spot as the day's heat was starting to get to me. After getting my bike into the room, I cranked up the A/C, "yard-saled" my packs, took a shower, and settled down to relax until the sun set with the intention of getting to sleep shortly thereafter so I could start early the next morning to try to be done with my ride before tomorrow's heat advisory took effect.
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