Palo Alto to Pescadero

I was thinking about putting a ride on the calendar for the Monday of the Fourth of July weekend, but had not gotten around to it, when David asked if I’d be interested in co-leading a Palo Alto-Pescadero loop. Heck yes, no route sheet to prepare for a change!

The gorgeous weather continued (was this weekend in July our summer?) Jerome, David and I enjoyed a wonderful ride, up Old La Honda and then over and down the west side of OLH to Highway 84, then Pescadero Road and Haskins Hill (David suggested this alternate route since the winds were predicted to be the opposite of normal). I have never riden Stage Road that quickly, great having a tail wind! When we got back up to the west Old La Honda turn off of Highway 84, I opted to just continue on 84 because my mind thought going up OLH would be tough and we already had a good day of climbing. It may not have been any worse. Maybe next time.

Jerome, David & David at the top of Old LaHonda, guess who was last…

Rulli Gran Caffe

I had an ulterior motive for posting this ride, an AIDS/LifeCycle training ride leader BBQ in San Anselmo, so David graciously accepted my request for a co-leader, knowing I would be continuing on to San Anselmo for the BBQ and riding back to the city later. Joining me for this was Rick McJenkin and his friend Conrad Corpus.

Conrad and Rick at Rullie Gran Caffe, Larkspur

Rick, Conrad and I were riding on to San Anselmo from Larkspur for a BBQ. I heard from many training ride leaders (all were invited to join the ride), that the traffic getting there was horrendous, over an hour just on 19th Avenue, so my idea (purely just to get some miles in), was a good one!

40 & Fabulous! Pride Ride

What a great turn out, 17 riders enjoyed a mostly sunny day as circled the City, counter-clockwise from the Ferry Building, many of us wearing our DSSF rainbow jerseys, to the cheers of many through out the city (and in areas where one might think the response might not be so positive, too!) A great time was had, and a new DSSF Pride tradition is born. Maybe next years route might be different, one suggestion was doing it the opposite direction to avoid the headwinds on Geneva in the afternoon, ideas?

The ones who live the closest are bound to be the last to arrive...The ones who live the closest are bound to be the last to arrive…

At Candlestick Point State parkSal and David G x 2

AIDS/LifeCycle 9 is here!

Tomorrow we head to the Cow Palace for orientation (Day 0), dropping off our bikes to be ready for ride out Sunday morning at 6;30am. We’ll watch the safety video (I heard it is new this year), and perhaps stand in a few other lines; pledge medical and tent, before check-in.

There are 25 current members riding this year, and as of this morning, Different Spokes members have raised over $119,000.00!

Riding this year are:

Adam Fritzler
Ben Marks
Chris Thomas
Dale Leininger
David Gaus
David Stouffer
Don Dodge
Eric Shangle
Frank Stelter
James Betbeze
James DeVinny
Janine Swanepoel
Jon Manzo
Joseph Collins
Joseph Pulice
Kevin Barden
Mitch Wood
Peter Graney
Roger Sayre
Scott Ciliberti
Serge Huard
Susan Fish
Thomas Nixon
Wanderson Carlos
William Bir

Six of us raised over $5k qualifying for the incentive jersey. Several others are close.

Six of us have been training ride leaders this year also: Chris Thomas, Janine Swanepoel, Joseph Collins, Joseph Pulice, Susan Fish, and myself.

Should have lots of pictures and stories to share. And if the iPad and WordPress app work in camp, perhaps even daily blog updates from the Ride.

Wildflowers & Sunshine & Raptors, Oh Mines!

Steph suggested this ride up Mines Road from Livermore to David Goldsmith, Nancy Levin and myself, to ride out and enjoy the wildflowers on in the San Antonion Valley on the way to the backside of Mt. Hamilton. We got a date together hoping that the recent rains would have kept the wildflowers blooming just a bit longer. It was a gorgeous day for it, after the rains we have had through the month of May, a 100 degree day would have been acceptable perhaps, though not preferred. It was comfortable in the 70s and 80s.

We were joined by Tony Moy and Roger Hoyer, on single bikes, not the tandem; Doug Sabo, back on the bike after several months of traveling; Doug O’Neill, Jerome Thomere, Roger Sayre and new member, David Rickabaugh, and Heather Gilmour who recently moved to the Bay Area (and thanks to Lorri with VeloGirls sharing notice of this ride, Heather found us!)

The description mentioned a “challenging climb at the beginning”, it started just a mile into it and continued for about eight miles with a 1300 foot gain. There was a race of some sort going on, and we had packs racing down Mines Road as we headed up, lending a bit of excitement to the day too! At a wildflower photo op, Tony and Roger caught up and as he saw Jerome with the camera, he immediately threw both arms up in air, winning the race (unfortunately the shot wasn’t captured, and you had to be there to appreciate it.)

Tony, for the win!

While the climbing didn’t stop there, we had a chance to get some miles in and a gentler climb. The last two climbs on the way out, Eylar Mountain (2,800′) and Red Mountain (2,700′), are relatively short, before the final descent in to the Junction at Del Puerto Canyon Road, San Antonio Valley and Mines Road. The “Junction”, a bar/restaurant recently re-opened, after changing management this spring. It’s kind of a funky place in the middle of nowhere, mostly cylists and bikers, or lost motorists.

After a lengthy lunch break (service for our food orders was a bit slow) some headed back immediately, and the rest of us took a brief jog out San Antonio Valley Road, hoping that the wild flower field were still green and gorgeous as they would be in April, with all the rains. Things were a bit dry and so we headed back. Good thing we were treated to lots of wildflowers on Mines Road, even the Arroyo Mocho still had water running in it. The return back down Mines Road was challenging as the headwinds were strong. A few of us tried to get a paceline going, but just Jerome and Steph jumped on my tail, and I, and we took a few turns till the final descent back to the ride start. I think we found a new annual spring ride! Thank for suggesting it Steph and for putting it together.

Monticello Solano Century

The first 2010 Different Spokes Organized Ride had a great turn out, out of 130 riders for the century route, we were almost 10% of that, and with nearly every rider in rainbow jersey, DSSF rode in style! I have to say I was worried about the weather on Saturday, on the drive to Vacaville in the afternoon it poured and poured. I guess it rained so much that the Chamber of Commerce moved the pre-registration pasta feed to a different location (were they having it outdoors?).

Steph Clarke, Jerome Thomere, Scott Steffens, Jeff Pekrul, David Goldsmith, William Bir, Evan Kavanagh and I all completed the Monticello Solano Century, a ride from Solano to Napa county and back in pretty good time too! David G was 4 minutes shy of a sub-6 hour century. And congratulations to Evan, who has now completed his first century! The overall vote, “this is a keeper”; even the headwinds we had for most of the day did not dampen out enjoyment. From the morning climb out of Fairfield on Wooden Valley and Monticello Roads (SR-121) to Napa, and the afternoon climbs up Sage Canyon Road past Lake Hennessey to Lower Chiles Valley Road, with a few more climbs on SR-128 out of the lunch stop at Moss Creek Winery, it was a great route with near perfect weather. We did hear stories of the previous year where it was in the 100s, so no complaints as it was in the 70s when we arrived back in Vacaville.

The only regret of the day, Evan started so early (6:15am he was on the road before most of us even arrived at the high school) and rode so strong, we never saw him all day till we were done!

May Meet-N-Greet Ride

Following in the tradition of the Tuesday Night After Work ride, the monthly Meet-N-Greet ride kicked off in May to a cold windy evening (is May the new March?) But that didn’t stop fifteen of us from getting an after-work ride in out to Lake Merced and back, and eight of us opted for dinner at Tangerine’s afterwards. Please join us in June, check the Ride Calendar!

Ellen and Evan

Wine Country Century

This years weather made up for last years rainy Wine Country, with nearly twenty members on one route or another: 5 on the metric, 11 on the century and 2 on the double metric. Winds proved to be a bit of a challenge, more so for Doug and Will on the double-metric once they got to the coast, but on way north to Lake Sonoma also. But all agreed, that it was one of the best Wine Country Centuries ever, with the fields still green from the spring rains, wild flowers still in bloom, and a gorgeous blue sky, made for a perfect day of riding.

Congratulations to Evan Kavanagh, completing his first metric.; on the way to the first century!

Roger, Ben and Eric




Doug and David

Michael and Dave

Double Espresso Ride to Rulli’s

It was a beautiful day for a ride yesterday, and so 12 of us met up at Peet’s at the utterly civilized hour of 10 AM for a jaunt up to Marin, lunch at Cafe Rulli, and the ride back.

Because of the distance and pace, the ride was attractive to all levels of riders. We had a smattering of fast and experienced folks, some mid-level riders, and several new or almost new friends with us today. Jeff joined us on his recumbent and kept up admirably. Howard and Gene rejoined DSSF for their first ride after a number of years of being away from the club. Andrew, a strong rider who recently moved here from Chicago, made it to his first club ride. And Mark, a newer rider, braved our pace to join us, and did well.

Rico and Andrew joined the group at the Bridge. I’m pretty sure most club members know this, but in case it never occurred to you – on most rides, it’s not necessary to meet the group at the starting point – if there’s a convenient place mid-route you’d like to join, that’s a possibility. Before the ride, check with the ride leader about the appropriate time to meet up with the rest of the group at your desired meeting point.


I did not bill the ride as such, but I decided that NRLB – No Rider Left Behind – would be a good policy to follow today, since so many of the riders were new to the club and not 100% sure of the route. So I swept for the group and had the pleasure of getting to know some of the newer riders. I think in the future I will bill such rides as NRLB if I’m leading, since I think this is an attractive thing for newer riders or people who don’t ride with us that often. Nothing sucks quite as much as going on a ride with the club for the first or second time, getting dropped, maybe getting lost, and then having to ride alone the rest of the day. I probably wouldn’t want to advertise a faster, longer ride as NRLB, but for a 37-miler with relatively few hills, definitely. There is a need for this kind of ride and I would encourage others of you to post similar rides if you’re up for it.

You all know this route, so there’s not a whole lot to say about it. Lunch, coffee, and dessert at Rulli’s was superb as always. The guy behind the bar was as cute as ever, and he had a big ol’ hickey to boot.




Pizzeria Pico, which is about a block south of Rulli’s, looked empty. This place is supposed to be great. Please post a comment if you might be interested in a ride that stopped at Pico for pizza some time and if there’s enough interest, I’ll organize something.

The group split into 3 after lunch, with several riders taking the ferry from Larkspur home, several others going off to do the Tiburon Loop, and the rest of us turning around and climbing Camino Alto as we headed back across the Bridge. Nice long stop at Bicycle Odyssey (a DSSF sponsor) for a bathroom break and toy shopping. It was a particularly nice ride back today – so gorgeous, I did something I haven’t done in a couple of years, which was to stop in Sausalito and take pictures of the City across the Bay.



(All photos courtesy of Eric S.)

Half Moon Bay-Gazos Creek-Canyons loop

The annual, and last minute, return to Half Moon Bay for a club favorite. I posted this ride during the week, instead of the route I had been working on (which proved to have a lot of challenges on, so I went with a “classic” not sure if I would even get any takers. Scott, Steph, Nancy and Doug joined me for this abbreviated route (by majority vote, we ran short of time so the Lobitas Creek cut-off saved a couple miles.)

More pictures here!