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:||9030 feet|
|Avg. Speed (moving):||19.1 mph|
|Max. Speed:||38.3 mph|
|Nominal System Voltage:||48|
|Battery energy available:||2300 wh|
|Battery energy consumed:||1876 wh|
|Net battery energy consumed:||1113 wh|
|Battery Amps-Hour Used:||38.5|
|Regen Amps-Hour Recovered:||15.6|
|Peak Forward Current:||23.0 Amps|
|Peak Regen Current:||-31.1 Amps|
|Peak Motor Temperature:||96 C|
|Average Motor Temperature:||46 C|
South Lake Tahoe to Angels Camp, August 9, 2023 - Since we had a somewhat late evening the night before I wasn't interested in getting out of bed until about 0600. Even that felt early, but at this point the rest of the hotel was stirring, and I knew that I wouldn't get any more sleep anyways. Might as well make use of the daylight. I stepped out my door to knock on Zach's to check if he was awake. He was, although he had been dozing. Once awake we prepared our breakfasts and made ready to depart.
Before starting I checked that all of my batteries were at the same voltage, although I hadn't fully-charged them since we would have a big descent early in the ride. I wanted to enjoy regeneration all the way to the bottom if I could, so I only charged to about 90%. With all the flurry of activity the evening before repairing our bikes, eating dinner, and cleaning up, I had forgotten to advise Zach to leave some capacity in one of his batteries.
Shortly after 0800 we departed the Budget Inn at the Heavenly Gondola, "Affordable Luxury". Our route took us toward the shore of Lake Tahoe, but we never actually gazed upon its waters on this trip. Next time I will try to route us along its shore at some point, even if we only enjoy a quick look before heading home.
We zig-zagged past more budget hotels then passed into Nevada before rejoining US50 east of the big casinos.
Our first climb was NV207, Kingsbury Grade, and we both used maximum power on this 1000 foot climb. We stopped at the summit to take some photos before starting the long descent into Carson Valley far below.
I had enough regeneration capacity to hold my speed to 32kph and relax a bit on the descent while I snapped photos. Then below about 6000 feet elevation the batteries ran out of capacity to absorb more energy, and my speed drifted higher. I was still able to regenerate, but no longer at a rate that would hold my desired speed. I maxed out around 62 kph and continued down the hill.
At the bottom of the descent stands a wide park 'n' ride with a bus stop. It was here I realized my front wheel brakes didn't work well, requiring great effort and extra distance to bring the bike to a stop.
Before the tour I injected new grease into my front hub, but I didn't have time to spin out the excess grease that invariably weeps out between the axle and the seals, then runs down the spokes and onto the rim. Greasing a braking surface is not a way to increase brake effectiveness!
Soon Zach pulled up behind me. He seemed agitated and slightly upset, then informed me that his heart rate monitor was showing an abnormally high number and wanted to stop until it returned to normal range. It was then I recalled that last night as we were settling in we compared notes on how much each of us drank during the day. Zach had consumed about two liters of water all day while I drank three.
"Maybe you're a little dehydrated after yesterday's ride", I offered.
Zach took some electrolytes and drank water from his spare bottle while I spent some time cleaning the grease from my front rim and brake pads.
When I was ready to resume, Zach's heart still hadn't calmed down. But, he agreed to start, admitting that sometimes resuming exercise snaps his heart back to normal. And, sure enough, as soon as we started he informed me gleefully that his heart rate was back to normal. I was happy that he was feeling better. Having suffered from Afib until 2008 when I underwent a successful cardiac ablation, I know from experience that it's a great feeling when one's heart returns to beating in normal sinus rhythm, although it is at that moment that stroke risk is highest as any clots that may have formed in the upper chamber of the heart are then flushed into the rest of the circulatory system. So as not to spoil the moment I didn't volunteer that last bit of information.
We agreed to dial up the power and cruise the flat to rolling roads along Carson Valley at maximum speed, 45 kph. We started south on Foothill Boulevard, then Fredericksburg Road. Zach was leading when he missed the turn onto Emigrant Trail, so we ended up riding a few extra miles on CA88. But, traffic was light this morning, and the shoulder was clean and smooth, so neither of us minded being on the busier highway.
We stopped briefly at Woodfords before starting south on CA89 toward Markleeville, having now completed the northern loop on our tour. The remainder of today's route was a re-tracement of our outbound route from yesterday.
As we were climbing the hill toward Turtle Rock Park I noticed that my battery energy level was lower than I expected. Moreover I could see that the dynamic internal resistance of the battery was unexpectedly high. Shortly after we passed through Markleeville Zach parked by the road to do a battery swap. While he was doing that I decided to check my batteries.
I discovered that I had been running most of the morning on only one series string, the other string was still nearly full. I remember while descending about a quarter of the way down the long descent of NV207 into Carson Valley I had noticed a short glitch in the regeneration performance as if the regen brake released for a second, the system cut out completely, then resumed. I suspect this may have occurred when one of the batteries in the problem string shut down due to overvoltage while regenerating, cutting off that string from providing power.
When I connected what I thought was the problem string as the sole source of power, everything worked normally. In fact, I rode all the way from Markleeville to Angels Camp using only that single string and experienced no further glitches. Later when performing some diagnostics on the batteries I could find no abnormal behavior or condition of any battery or cell in any battery. I suspect a BMS glitch, but I cannot duplicate the problem.
As we resumed riding we climbed using maximum or near-maximum power all the way up the east side of Ebbetts Pass where we stopped to chat with another cyclist who had arrived just before us and would be heading back to Markleeville.
Zach led the way on the descent into Hermit Valley. Like yesterday we continued through the valley, crossed the bridge over Mokelumne River and started the steep climb up Pacific Grade Summit.
About half-way up Zach stopped in front of a boarded-up cabin to swap a battery. It was here that I got slightly impatient with his slow-motion method of swapping the battery as mosquitos and biting flies began to land on my arms and legs. This was the only spot on the route where flies were a nuisance.
When we resumed we continued steeply up through the switchbacks, then to the Summit itself. This time we stopped for summit photos before continuing on. Again Zach led the way down to Lake Alpine where again we left the road and took the Lakeshore Path to a similar spot next to the lake where we ate lunch and Zach ate his second tin of sardines.
After starting again we climbed to Mount Reba summit before dropping into Bear Valley. At this point I saw Zach for the last time until I finished the ride. Zach wanted to discharge his fourth battery so it would not be stored fully-charged, and I wanted to see if I could return all the way on the single battery string. That meant Zach would be riding as fast as he could, using maximum power, and I would be holding 32kph to get maximum regeneration on the downhills.
For a while I kept him in occasional sight until somewhere near Tamarack, but then I decided I'd let him ride his ride, and I would ride mine. The descent into Camp Connell from Cottage Springs ought to be enjoyed at least once at higher speed, and this was Zach's first time down this long hill.
I maintained my sedate pace until I got into Arnold at which point I checked life360 to make sure Zach was still ahead of me, that I didn't somehow pass him by broken down by the road or off of it a short distance. When I checked the app showed his last location at Cottage Springs, about 11 miles behind me. I sent him a text message asking him to confirm his location. Just after I sent the message, his location updated to downtown Murphys and moving. So, he was about 7 miles in front of me. All was well.
I continued while increasing my maximum speed to 45 kph so that I would finish not too long after him, keeping him from waiting at the finish unnecessarily. It would also make it easier for me to ride with increasingly heavy traffic heading downhill on this weekday afternoon. Drivers were mostly polite, but there were a few who couldn't abide losing a few seconds behind a bike. I would say drivers in the area are less accustomed to cyclists than Bay Area drivers.
At about 1630 I rolled up the driveway while Zach snapped a photo of me finishing. He had tracked my progress after he finished.
We chatted for several minutes while I packed my things and bike in the van. Zach had already packed most of his things by now. I planned to stop at a Subway or Togo's for some quick food so that I wouldn't have to wait to eat dinner at home at 2000, but Zach planned to drive directly home.
On the road I made pretty good time without having to violate the speed limit as just about every other driver on my tail expected me to do. By the time I reached where I planned to stop for dinner in Lathrop I could see a long queue of cars exiting the freeway and decided I was no longer hungry enough to want to get myself into that mess, so I continued on, enjoying reverse commute traffic through Tracy and Livermore, arriving home at 1940. After unpacking I prepared dinner, showered, then went to bed and slept soundly until the next morning, another trans-Sierra tour completed.
|Bike Ridden:||Power Gold Rush|
|Cumulative climbing:||13230 feet|
|Avg. Speed (moving):||16.9 mph|
|Max. Speed:||24.7 mph|
|Nominal System Voltage:||48|
|Battery energy available:||2300 wh|
|Battery energy consumed:||2403 wh|
|Net battery energy consumed:||1851 wh|
|Battery Amps-Hour Used:||48.1|
|Regen Amps-Hour Recovered:||11.0|
|Peak Forward Current:||22.7 Amps|
|Peak Regen Current:||-23.3 Amps|
|Peak Motor Temperature:||92 C|
|Average Motor Temperature:||48 C|
Angels Camp to South Lake Tahoe, August 8, 2023 - After riding a number of two- and three-day bike tours that crossed the Sierra Crest over the last several years, I promised my aging parents that I wouldn't do these trips solo again. I had already covered the territory at least once in each direction over the years and didn't feel the need to repeat the routes, at least not on my own.
Although these trips usually went well, they weren't without their problems. A trip in 2016 had me suffering a gradually disintegrating rear wheel. After I broke the third spoke in the Dorrington area I called the hotel in Markleeville to cancel my room, canceled the rest of my trip, returned to the start, and drove home with my tail between my legs.
On another three-day trip in 2017 I picked up a cold virus that set in on the last and longest day of my tour, leaving me sick and exhausted for a week afterward.
Then in 2019 my rear freewheel began intermittently to lose engagement as I rode through Yosemite's west entrance on CA120. Probably a broken pawl, but there was no way I could repair or replace it on the road. On that occasion I decided to continue since I was able to get the freewheel to engage at certain positions, and I calculated that as long as I could make it into Lee Vining that evening using pedal and human power and could charge the batteries overnight, I could afford to suffer a complete failure on the return trip as I had enough battery energy available to get myself "home" without pedaling a stroke. The decision to continue was perhaps unwise, but I was determined not to forfeit my hotel reservation in Lee Vining and to enjoy the benefits of my annual Yosemite Pass that was to expire at the end of the month. I had planned a three-day trip, but I hadn't reserved a hotel room for the second night as I hadn't decided where to stay. With the freewheel problem my decision was easy: I cut the trip short to just an overnight in Lee Vining, returning home through Yosemite the next day and fortunately I suffered no further breakdowns.
With memory of the aforementioned incidents in mind noticed this morning as I was packing up to leave home that one of my four batteries was still sitting at half-charge even though all four of them had been charging through one-way diodes all night. The other three were fully-charged. Sigh. What could be the problem?
Without debugging the issue I quickly put the half-charged battery on the charger at 8 Amps, and the battery began charging normally. I examined the cell-level state of charge, and all looked normal. It would take about two hours to fully charge the battery, but I could get around 80% in an hour and the hour delay would still allow enough time to complete the planned course for Day One. I contacted Zach to inform him of the situation.
Zach Kaplan and I had been planning a trans-Sierra tour for a couple of years, but something always seemed to get in the way: pandemic, wildfire smoke, weather too hot, weather too wet, too close to other planned trips or events, Zach expecting an important shipment, visit from customer, or not being in possession of quite the right bike for the trip. After some discussion and a little cajoling, Zach and I finally settled on a two-day tour on a course that minimized steep uphill grades as much as possible so that he could ride his HPV Speedmachine with Neodrives rear hub motor and not suffer too often dreaded power rollbacks due to motor or battery overheating. This would be Zach's first overnight tour on an e-bike, and he admitted he was apprehensive that everything would go according to plan. I reassured him that chances were we'd get ourselves back as expected but if something went wrong, then neither of us would be stranded for long as the other would return and perform a rescue. We had each other's backs.
Our plan was for each of us to drive from home and either meet along the way or at the cabin near Angels Camp owned by one of Zach's customers. We had been granted permission to leave our vans there for the two days we would be out on our bikes. With our late departure, we encountered a little more traffic along the way than we would have otherwise, and we'd miss starting out at the lowest elevations in the cool morning air. Fortunately, the weather was not forecast to be hot, merely warm, and with the long evenings of summer we had some slack in the schedule. Today we used some of that slack.
We rode alternately together and separately on our first day, but for the first several miles up Murhpys Grade Road we rode together, climbing into the quaint town of Murphys that reminded me of several other tourist towns in California that attract wine-tasting tourists. Then we started up CA4, first enduring the narrow section uphill from Murphys, then through Avery and Arnold. I pointed out the spot off Golden Torch Drive where I had stopped to assess my rear wheel with its breaking spokes in 2016.
After we passed Camp Connell the shoulder on the roadway widened comfortably while traffic thinned considerably, making for a more mentally relaxing ride. Zach stopped to swap a battery, and I noticed that we'd get several minutes of peace and quiet on the road, followed by a short platoon of autos or trucks.
As we had been riding I noticed another problem developing on my bike. My rear shifting was sticky, especially in the direction of releasing cable tension. I had noticed this problem to a lesser degree over the preceding weeks, but after checking my shift cable--the usual culprit is a fraying cable--I found nothing wrong. At the time I figured the shifter itself was getting worn but not yet ready for replacement. But, today shifting was particularly bad. I discussed this with Zach, and we agreed that I'd examine it again when we got to the hotel, and if the cable was fraying, I could buy Zach's spare cable that he carried with him.
We continued up the long hill past Cabbage Springs, Big Meadow, and Tamarack before dropping into Bear Valley. We did not stop at the resort but continued over Mount Reba summit and down to Lake Alpine. We shifted to the Lakeshore Trail and found a nice spot with a view of the lake while we ate our lunches.
East of Lake Alpine CA4 becomes narrow and steep in places. Zach almost made it all the way to Pacific Grade Summit before his second battery was exhausted.
We didn't stop for a summit photo but continued down the east side into Hermit Valley. Zach got ahead of me as he had no regenerative capacity in his battery after swapping in a fully-charged battery. We continued through Hermit Valley and started the long climb to Ebbetts Pass. We climbed quickly at first, then slowed down as Zach's motor system reduced power to keep the motor temperature from climbing too high.
I noticed as we had been riding today that the air temperature stayed pretty constant, almost always between 26 and 28C as they day wore on and as we climbed. While moving the air felt cool, but when we stopped the air felt warm, especially in the sun.
We stopped for a few minutes at Ebbetts Pass for obligatory summit photos before proceeding down the east side. I let Zach ride on ahead while I held my speed to 32 kph to maximize regeneration. We met up again just before we entered Markleeville, but we didn't stop there. As we climbed out of Markleeville and passed the top of the climb near Turtle Rock Park I felt that the surrounding land was looked more like desert than I remember from my first visit to the area in the early 1990s. The burnt trees that stood like dark sentinels on either side of the road lent a wasteland feel to the countryside. Although the forest here was never thick, it still felt like a forest. Today I missed that.
At Woodfords we turned left and started up Carson Canyon on CA88. Traffic was busier, but the shoulder was decently wide most of the way. I noticed that Sorensen's Resort had been renamed Desolation Hotel, with the original name only applied to the cafe.
At Picketts Junction in Hope Valley we turned right and continued north on CA89 toward Luther Pass, although we didn't stop at the summit sign for another photo, there being not much space to stop next to the sign.
As we continued north on CA89 into Meyers Zach got ahead of me again, then on the far side of the broad curve at Big Meadow Creek he came to a stop by the road and appeared to be inspecting something on his bike. He had discovered that his rear fender had been knocked out of position and the stay was rubbing lightly on his rear wheel. The friction fit at the end of the stay allowed him to make an adjustment, but when he looked for his 2.5mm Allen key to tighten it so that it wouldn't get jarred loose again he realized to his horror that he had left his tool kit at home. Fortunately, the fender remained in place until we arrived at the hotel in South Lake Tahoe.
We continued down the hill into Meyers, then turned right onto US50, then shortly onto Pioneer Trail that we took into the Heavenly Village area of South Lake Tahoe, where we had lodging for the night at the Budget Inn at the Heavenly Gondola, "Affordable Luxury".
As I rode up to the office, the Indian family that runs the place spilled out into the parking lot, cameras in hand. They wanted photos of us and our bikes. They had been expecting us. I made the reservation through travlu.com but put in a "modification" to request ground-floor rooms so that we wouldn't have to lug our bikes up and down stairs, and that, we were told, had generated at least a few annoyingly redundant reminder calls from the agency to the hotel. Never before had I enjoyed such a welcoming committee at the end of a day while on tour.
After checking in I set to work debugging my shifting problem. The cable had indeed started to fray at the barrel end inside the shifter, probably due to the extra friction on the system today, so a new cable was in order. While replacing the cable I saw that I had made an installation error when re-mounting my pannier rack months ago. I had placed a strap around the rack and the frame to keep it rigid, but I had erroneously captured the un-housed cable against my frame. This caused extra friction on the cable that was manageable when using a lightweight pannier, but when I was loaded with extra batteries and overnight supplies for a tour, the force on the strap was much increased, leading to the poor shifting I suffered all day today. Now I knew the cause of the poor shifting.
I cut the old cable and pulled it out, but when I tried to put in the new cable I saw that Zach's spare had a cut end with loose strands rather than the easier welded end. I tried a few times to slide it into the shifter (a cheap SRAM MRX 7sp grip shifter for Shimano derailleurs), but each time it would catch and become frayed. It was at this point I expected to have to visit a bike shop the next morning, but I checked with the hotel to see if they had a wire cutter (to cut back the frayed end) and a 2.5mm Allen key so that I could remove and disassemble my grip shifter and thereby thread the cable through the mechanism.
In a stroke of good luck, the hotel had a pair of wire cutters and a small Allen key set that included a 2.5mm key they were willing to loan me to make repairs, so I was able to properly install the new derailleur cable, and Zach got his fender stays tightened, too. Kudos to the Budget Inn hosts! All was now well with our bikes as we walked across the street to the Village to get dinner.
The Village was surprisingly crowded at 1930 on a Tuesday evening when we ordered dinner at Heaven's Little Cafe. The air was still warm, so we ate outside next to the gondola station.
After dinner we returned to our rooms to clean ourselves and to get on with charging our batteries. Because two of my series-connected batteries were not balanced, I set to getting them to within 0.2 volts so that I could wire them in parallel to continue charging them overnight along with the other already-balanced pair for the next day. I didn't want to have any further battery troubles this trip!
Because my rear shifter had been so balky today I found myself more often using my front ring to shift and suffering with pedaling uncomfortably high or low RPM all day. This left my legs feeling sore that night, especially my hamstrings. Before I went to bed I took an ibuprofen and a low dose of melatonin. I slept well for the first four hours but thereafter fitfully which is usual for me on the first night out.
|Bike Ridden:||Power Pursuit F2|
|Cumulative climbing:||9755 feet|
|Avg. Speed (moving):||17.5 mph|
|Max. Speed:||30.6 mph|
|Nominal System Voltage:||48|
|Battery energy available:||2700 wh|
|Battery energy consumed:||2729 wh|
|Net battery energy consumed:||2155 wh|
|Battery Amps-Hour Used:||53.3|
|Regen Amps-Hour Recovered:||11.2|
|Peak Forward Current:||23.0 Amps|
|Peak Regen Current:||-29.0 Amps|
|Peak Motor Temperature:||92 C|
|Average Motor Temperature:||37 C|
Mount Hamilton Big Loop North CW, April 23, 2023 - Zach Kaplan and I had planned to do this ride together two weeks prior. I set up a route that would have us both starting and finishing at our respective homes, which would avoid one of us having to travel the night before (or after) the ride.
I created a route that had me passing through Hayward where Zach and I would meet up. My route would head north into Menlo Park before crossing the Dumbarton Bridge, then taking direct roads into Hayward. At the end of the day, I would pass through downtown San Jose while Zach would head north through Fremont, Union City, Hayward, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, a corner of Oakland, and then into Alameda. It would be a long day for both of us.
Highlights: Beautiful weather, favorable winds (most of the day), beautiful green/colorful scenery, malfunctioning tracking app, two angry beasts, and one cranky headlamp that refused to shine where directed.
Our first snafu occurred when my life360 app appeared not to provide Zach with my current location so he could more effectively time his meet-up. As I was getting ready to cross the Dumbarton I received a phone call from him. I stopped and took his call, then after he informed me of the problem I spent some time rebooting my phone and attempting to get the app working to no avail.
As I had been trying to convince Zach to use a tracking app for these occasions, this was not an auspicious demonstration of its utility. Later after I had wifi access during our lunch stop, I was able to re-install the app and get it working properly, but by then we had already decided to abandon the idea of using it again on this ride. Further investigation revealed that my 4G network connection was broken during the first half of my ride--I received no email nor map updates as I progressed along my route--and that problem I can lay at the feet of my carrier. So, the life360 app for whatever its detractors might say was probably not to blame for this snafu.
The first part of my ride enjoyed quiet roads under partially-overcast skies. As I rode through Palo Alto and Menlo Park the sun made an appearance, but as I headed east through Newark, the overcast returned. Closer to the hills along Mission Boulevard the overcast became so heavy that a fine drizzle fell and coated my glasses. I found myself frequently reaching for my handkerchief so that I could wipe my glasses and see properly.
Zach and I had discussed meeting near Foothill Boulevard and C Street in Hayward, but when I arrived there I did not see him. He had downloaded the route, so I did not wait and continued on. I looked for a good spot to pull over to check my text messages in case he sent me an update about his location, and as I was about to do that I saw him turning onto B Street one block ahead of me.
After I caught up to him, we exchanged pleasantries then continued over Dubin Grade where the drizzle came down more thickly on Dublin Canyon Road, then down into Pleasanton where the drizzle quickly reverted to overcast then to sunshine. We took the most direct route through north Pleasanton and Livermore and onto Patterson Pass Road, finding ourselves in the midst of riders on the Primavera Century on the lower half of the climb to the pass.
A steady cold wind was blowing east over Patterson Pass, so we did not stop for long to enjoy the view. When we got to I-580 at the bottom we stopped briefly at the Mobile station rest rooms while I tried in vain to get a working 4G connection (and hence a working life360 app).
As we continued through Tracy I altered our route on the fly to avoid an unpleasant segment of Valpico Road and instead detoured to West Linne Road that I had taken along the southern edge of Tracy on most of my other trips through the area.
We quickly cruised east to Ahern Road and then onto CA33 where we began our cruise south into Patterson, a trip that took us just under an hour, including a brief stop for Zach to swap batteries, while cruising near the maximum legal e-bike speed of 45 kph.
We stopped for lunch at Blue's Cafe. The place still has a funky charm, friendly service, and working WiFi that I recall from my last visit at least five years ago, but the food is not a good value compared to the chains like Togo's or Subway. I like to patronize the "mom and pop" eateries when I can, but if food were my primary criterion I'd look elsewhere.
After lunch we started west toward Del Puerto Canyon Road on Sperry Avenue, hitting almost all of the red lights just as they started the red cycle. Once we got past I-5 traffic thinned out nicely. Zach missed the turn onto Del Puerto Canyon Road itself and continued pedaling enthusiastically up toward Diablo Grande. I've thought of making this detour myself just to discover what is at the end of this road, but Google Maps shows a gated residential community and golf course. The road itself looks decent enough, but I'm not sure it's worth the trouble of exploring it. It does not later connect to Del Puerto Canyon further up-canyon, so it would be an out-and-back trip.
The short-lived cherry orchard at the bottom of Del Puerto Canyon is looking even more dead than it was last year in spite of all the rain. Most of the trees could never survive without irrigation, and those that do, cling to life in the gullies and washes, only to maintain limited greenery and no fruit.
We started with a headwind, but as the canyon closed around the winds died down, and we were able to sustain a decent pace (32 kph) on the gradual climb up through the lower canyon.
As we started into the upper canyon I came upon a rattlesnake stretched out across the uphill lane of the road. I stopped to try to shoo it off to the side. Traffic was very light, yet the chance of the snake being run over at the pace it was moving was high.
After I turned around, two cars sped up the hill, but miraculously the snake was still intact. It had moved to the center of the lane, the autos' tires missing it. I tried to use my extended mini-pump as a poker, but that wasn't long enough for me when Mr. Snake coiled himself and started rattling angrily at me. I looked nearby for a longer stick and found the perfect snake-wrangling tool that kept my hands beyond the creature's striking distance. The stick had a small crook at its end that was perfect for scooping a snake off the road quickly and without risk. I snapped a photo of Mr. Snake on stick before tossing him (and later the stick) down the embankment.
We continued past Frank Raines Park before stopping at Adobe Springs to top off our water supplies. Del Puerto Creek was flowing swiftly over the ford, but the water did not appear to be too high to ride through. Zach didn't want to risk his bike slipping and sending him + bike into the water, so he walked across getting his feet wet. I took a chance and rode through but did not find the ford slippery. Had I fallen into the water I would have been quite unhappy.
Del Puerto Canyon Road climbs gradually through it's short upper canyon before starting its final steep climb to the summit. This last mile is particularly steep at the bottom. At the top Zach's second battery was nearly depleted, but he continued onto the descent toward the junction so he'd get some regeneration. The descent is short, and with the few short uphills before the junction again his battery was depleted.
After I told him that heading south there is mostly descending and only a few short rolling uphills, he again continued and managed to regenerate before running flat as we got to the low point in San Antonio Valley, where the road crosses San Antonio Creek.
We stopped near a gate to a nearby ranch while Zach set to work on swapping his battery. As he started working we encountered our second angry beast. A man's angry voice from inside the ranch at whose gate we had stopped yelled in our direction. We couldn't make out all the words, but the tone was unfriendly, and we gathered that the speaker didn't want us stopped there--"You can't park there!", we managed to hear. We agreed that we were stopped beside the road within the Caltrans/county easement, and that there was nothing illegal about our presence.
I looked in the direction of the speaker who had momentarily turned his attention to throwing an object for his dog to catch. A minute later his hospitality decreased a few notches with, "Banana Boat, get the f___ out of there!", followed a minute after that, "I'll give you five minutes!" We ignored him, not wanting to egg him on or to rile him further.
We were stopped just off the asphalt next to the road as one might anywhere along this road for whatever reason. We were not blocking access to his gate, and there was no traffic through it. We were not even touching his fence or gate. In short we were doing nothing illegal. Perhaps he was irritated that our conversation interrupted his solitude for a few minutes.
The harangue was at once both comedic in its unreasonableness yet unsettling. I have visited this area for many years, perhaps as many as the man had been alive--he looked to be in his 30's--and have ridden my "Banana Boat" bike on most of my visits in the last 20 of those years. I have heard tales of crazy "mountain people" and "survivalists" living in the hills, but expected most of the tales were exaggerations and embellishments added for the re-telling. I have also met some of the people who live in the area on occasions when I stopped for a meal at The Junction Cafe when it was open, finding them decent people. This was the first occasion I had experienced of outright intentional hostility.
I'll admit the passive-aggressive in me wanted to learn what legal consequences the speaker had in mind should we find ourselves waylaid beyond his deadline. It was the possibility of illegal consequences that concerned me.
For better or worse we missed the opportunity to call the angry man's bluff. Zach finished his battery swap with a couple of minutes to spare by my count. We were running late at this point so we saw little to be gained by lingering. As we continued south through San Antonio and Upper San Antonio Valley I confess I checked my mirror more often than usual for the next ten miles in case the angry man might have troubled himself to trouble us further. I had made a mental note of the color and age of the pickup truck I saw parked in front of his house. We had few escape options if worse came to worst.
We stopped briefly again in Upper San Antonio Valley Road to admire the carpet of mostly buttercups covering the meadow. I've noticed that in recent years wildflower displays are mostly yellow while 20 years ago the colors were more varied.
On the final climb to the summit of Mount Hamilton Zach's motor system rolled back power as the motor was starting to overheat. We considered stopping to let it cool, but in my experience unless the stable speed is too slow to maintain balance, it is faster overall to continue at whatever pace the motor system allows than to stop to let it cool before continuing at a faster pace only to have the motor overheat again, forcing a second stop.
We finally arrived at the top of the climb at 1800, but we found the gate across the road to observatory had been closed for the day. cutting off access to the rest rooms. We stopped for a few minutes while I donned my longs top and bottom, then we proceeded to descend into San Jose.
The road down was busier than I would have expected at this late hour. Although we weren't poking on the descent, we were riding slow enough to gain from regeneration. Several cars overtook us. Down at Grandview Restaurant, the place looked packed with cars spilling out onto the side of the road. Then below that several groups of kids in cars were parked to enjoy the sunset. I also saw lots of empties and hoped they'd continue to enjoy the sunset by the road until we could reach the bottom of the hill.
Zach and I parted ways at Berryessa Road and Morrill Avenue with Zach heading north on Morrill while I continued into downtown San Jose, then onto Guadalupe River Trail to return home on the same route I use when returning from The Studio.
Near the north end of SJC I stopped on the empty road (here closed to motor traffic) to adjust my Edelux II headlamp that had annoyingly come out of adjustment several times already today. Since the beam of this lamp is shaped it is critical that its aim be held in proper height for the light to be usable. I was unable to get any adjustment to stay put in the presence of road vibration and will be reworking my mounting to find a more stable attachment for the lamp.
I got onto Central Expressway and zipped the remaining miles home, arriving after 2030 in full darkness, the first time I've ridden a significant distance in the dark in several years. My eyes haven't improved their night vision during the intervening years, and tonight was a reminder of why I prefer to get home by dark these days. But, I got home in one piece.
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