Gearing up!

•March 31, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Oh, what’s that you say, universe? I had 2 possessions that really mattered, in the sense of dependence mattered, and you took 1 away from me on one of my most triumphant days? Wait a minute … I don’t need to fictionalize this and tell (admittedly excellent) stories like “The Book of Job” to understand: the universe sucks sometimes.

But here we are, 7 months later, and as if by design I am completely absorbed in a reading + writing career (of sorts). I did replace my bike (with a little help) back in October to help facilitate this ‘career,’ but my general work schedule (nonstop) combined with the weather to prevent me from taking the bike out on longer sojourns.

Until this past Sunday! I went with roommates Ben + Chris to Muir Woods and, although there was no wine drinking (for me), I decided I should welcome myself back and start maintaining this site again. After all, the season is here, and it’s time for that much-needed perspective. Thanks, city, for keeping me busy during the winter. But goodbye!

Stay tuned for more adventures. I bet it’s pretty ripe up there in the North North Bay! Maybe it’s about time to put together another press tour …


point reyes (wine and sleep and bike and bike and bike and wine and bike and wine and bike and wine and bike and bike and bike and bike and sleep and wake and cry)

•August 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Yesterday was epic. First, I more than doubled my all-time single-day distance record with 120 miles. Second, my bike was stolen. Yesterday was a long, grueling, pre-sunup to post-sundown affair in which I took my beloved paddy wagon for a final ride. I didn’t know this, but I don’t think I would have done anything differently. I pushed almost the whole way, only staying at Point Reyes for about 2 hours before turning around so I could make it back to Polk St. to see Grass Widow play. Going uphill at one point I addressed pain in words I cannot repeat here for the sake of professionalism – yet in an endearing way. I egged her on, whipped her, if you will. When I was tired I continued. Thirsty? Push on til the next town. I did. I rode that bike with passion and thanks. I did not take it for granted, like so many things that fall in the cracks – our own cracks, that we create through neglect – I cared for it deeply, and maintained it in ways I have never maintained anything. I was granted such freedoms when I bought that bike I never dreamed to possess… and now they’re gone. The following is a record of this last journey with my Kona, and probably what will be the last journey in a while (there are other things I need money for besides a new bike).

Nope, can’t do it yet.

Here are the pictures:

muir woods, part 2 (bike and hike and bike and wine and sleep)

•August 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I couldn’t wait. I had to go back before the weekend.

I won’t post many pictures because I didn’t take many. What I did take was a nap. The holiest most righteous nap of all time. When I went to sleep on the side of the trail, feet against a redwood, the whole forest was silent. Imagine leaves drifting slowly down without any sounds whatsoever and how magical that is. There were not even floating leaves. Perfectly still. When I awoke it was the same, and my eyes opened to the canopy, between two and three hundred feet above, of redwoods and giant sequoias.

I did take a video, and hopefully this will give you an idea.

Also, I remembered my odometer yesterday. It was exactly 17.49 miles from my apartment to the national monument, and since we returned the same route it is right at 35 miles, round-trip. We didn’t do much hiking yesterday, but here’s the sequence:

bike and hike and bike and wine and sleep!

muir woods (bike and hike and bike)

•August 10, 2009 • 1 Comment

Rode the Sausalito bikeway to HWY 1 to Muir Woods today. I was so incredibly excited when I got there I did not even try to contain it. I was like a little boy in his first forest but without the fear. This forest was just about the right size.

Most of the way there was uphill, and a few times I had to walk. It was pretty tough, actually. My legs were cramping on the way back (it probably didn’t help that I hiked five or six miles too), but it was alright because, well, most of the way back was downhill.

Because I left right about 5PM there was a lot of traffic. Zipping down the continual steep curves of HWY 1 and moving at the speed of a car was really fun and seemed to last forever. Twisting! Leaning! I took up the whole lane, and the car behind me wasn’t pushy at all. I was only part of the best traffic EVER.

NOTE: leaving the Woods, there are two ways to get back to San Francisco. Sign points right. I came down from the left so returned that way, but it was so steep for the last stretch entering (leaving) the park I walked up almost all the way to the curves. Would be inclined to check out the other way next time, but going down those curves was so much fun I don’t know if I’ll be able to pass them up.

I forgot my odometer, but Muir Woods (National Monument) was surprisingly not very far away. I thought it was past Stinson Beach but it isn’t. In fact, one of the trails I followed would take you all the way to Stinson, if you stayed on it long enough, about 5.7 miles, I think (mostly to the West). I cut back EastNorth to hit the Van Wyck Meadow instead,  populated with Pine at the perimeters and cool thanks to Redwood Creek – a nice companion for the hike back down to the bike.

I covered a decent bit of land today and looking at the map right now is rather astonishing. There is so much of it! I almost can’t wait to to get back out there and further explore – and utilize – the park. I would even consider doing it again tomorrow despite my sore legs.

I got a pretty quality video of a woodpecker and a bunch of pretty good pictures. I also recorded an hour-long audio track of my hike. It’s incredible because I feel like I’m going somewhere when I’m sitting around (blogging, right now) and it’s not distracting like music. Good reminder too!

Woodpecker coming soon!

bike and wine and bike and sleep and bike and wine and bike and wine and wine and wine and sleep and bike and wine and bike and ferry and bike and sleep

•July 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Press Tour 1 was amazing! The subject of this post was our very first pattern. More to come, and we invite you to send yours in – however long or short. I don’t want a whole lifetime sequence tho, yawl. Mine might even have some combos / lack prepositions. Bikesleep, for instance, has never actually happened, but winebike certainly has.

Our first stop was at Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyard, where we were given a private tour. Cindy Friedman, Consumer Marketing Manager and all-around go-to guru,  treated us like Kings, and the rest of the staff followed lead. Celosia Mae Arcadia, Retail Saleswoman and Wine Educator, was a gorgeous help: I mentioned that I couldn’t find my bungee cords at 5AM and she rounded some up for me! The trip would have been a lot harder otherwise. Thank you, Celosia! Thank you everyone at Gloira Ferrer!

From there we rode over to MacArthur Place, a 64 Room luxury hotel and spa tucked away just South of the city of Sonoma. We tried to take advantage before giving in to the luxury of bath and bedding, and managed to get some video in. The grounds were lovely, the staff was very accommodating, and the food was excellent. My only regret about MacArthur Place was that we were too tired to enjoy all its amenities. Isn’t that really the best part of a good vacation, though? There are so many great things to do you just can’t do them all. Reminder: feel this way in your own city! It’s amazing out there!

In the morning we woke and biked about 8 miles on over to Domaine Carneros. This place is massive, stately, and a bit elite. The entire grounds were manicured as though every bush produced grapes (they didn’t, and this set them apart). I couldn’t stop taking pictures. The tour of their large faux chateau was public and therefore less intimate, but just as informative. It was here that I plucked my first grape! Thanks, Domaine!

After about 2.5 more miles of biking we scaled the large hill leading up to Artesa, a winery just as impressive for its architecture and artwork as for its plentiful wines. Because we got there later in the afternoon we did not take the tour – only tried the samples of their reserve wines (poor us!). Not a disagreeable fellow in the lot. Not to fear, though: we went back Sunday morning for a full vineyard tour.

Leaving Artesa, Ben and I were in extremely high spirits. First of all, the view is breathtaking, and we were coming down from the mountain, so to speak. And going down a mountain on your bike is a lot more fun than going up. But our spirits did not dampen. When we got to The Carneros Inn, a Plumpjack Resort just down the street, we pretty much lost all grip on reality. After we checked in, one of the probably five employees who greeted us led the way in his golf cart. Ben and I shared a smile. The employee was holding a glass of red I was given at check-in. It was an accurate sign of things to come.

We partied Saturday night. There are no pictures of this, sorry. Except for the ones with the fire. We didn’t start it, the resort did!

In the morning we did not want to leave. Bike and Wine seemed like a much better idea on Friday and Saturday than it did on Sunday morning, let me tell you. We faced the prospect of missing the last Vallejo ferry, which left at 5:45. Vallejo was about 20 miles away and we still had to see two wineries! Fortunately, after a stellar, extremely pleasant vineyard tour, we found no one at Etude, which was our last destination. I say fortunately only because had we not left immediately after Artesa we would most surely have missed the ferry. That would have forced us either to bike home (about 70 more miles) or stay the night in Vallejo and pay for a motel — after staying at MacArthur Place and The Carneros Inn with compliments!

As it was, we made it to the ferry terminal with an hour to spare, and looked out on the bay with a couple of oyster shots, beers, and snacks. Our stats for the weekend are as follows: 105 total miles, 12 mph. My top speed was 32.5 mph, in case you’re curious. Oh, and like 3 popped tubes!

Everyone was so gracious and kind. Thank you each and all for making my first press tour absolutely incredible. Hope to see you soon!



PS: I’ve given each of our destinations it’s own page, so to check them out in more detail click on the appropriate name to the right.


Not Yet Ready for Wine

Not Yet Ready for Wine

Our First Destination

Our First Destination



First Bike and Wine Video! HWY 37 @ Sonoma line.

Bike and Film, Take 1:

Bike and Film, Take 2:


•July 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Hello everyone, and thanks for navigating over to my biking blog. The purpose of this page will be to document my travels (primarily) North up the coast to Sonoma and Napa Counties, although sometimes I will make an extra trip and post pictures and information here too.

This summer I am working as Editor (or Gatekeeper) of Jet Set Extra, an online magazine I helped create, and as part of my contribution to that site I will be spending every weekend in Wine Country, sampling, comparing, and generally enjoying their creations. I will post my exact bike routes thanks to a little GPS unit I picked up. So far I’ve been as far North as San Rafael and South as Palo Alto. The pics below are from the latter. We (my friend and roommate Ben Berger and I) took the Google employees’ Bayway route.

See you next week,