Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Road to nowhere

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

Last weekend was yet another excellent one, complete with mountain biking, road biking, swimming, and some photography.

Mountain Biking
I went mountain biking with Dave and the two Chrises on Saturday morning, but I was running late, so I met them up at Hesitation Point instead of at the lower lot. I rode Hesitation Point very well, clearing some obstacles I had never cleared before, including a drop-off followed almost immediately by some rocks and a log you have to hop. We also rode the Aynes Loop “backwards” (counter-clockwise), which I had never done. It was actually easier than going the other way, which involves at least 10 minutes of solid climbing. The climbing is more spread out this way, and the trail rides very differently.

Then, we rode the North Tower Loop backwards to complete the trifecta. I rode down to the lower parking lot with them, rested for a minute, and turned around and rode back. I lost the computer on my mountain bike (again!), and I think I just won’t replace it this time. I’ve bought two already, I don’t really want to buy another one. Incidentally, it was a Cateye Enduro 8. I can’t really recommend them, since I’ve had two of them fall off of my mountain bike. I haven’t had the same problem with the Cateye Mity 8 on my road bike — at least not yet. My confidence in it is definitely a bit shaken, but the road bike doesn’t see the same kind of abuse and rough surfaces the mountain bike does, so hopefully, it’ll be OK.

I was tired on my way back up Hesitation Point. The fact that I was riding really well earlier was lost now, due to fatigue. I made a mistake around a difficult switchback. Somehow, one of my tires slipped, and I found myself falling — fortunately, to the center of the switchback, not to the ravine on the outside. Still, I fell a bit, hitting my knee and my left arm on something, and unfortunately, hitting some sensitive parts on the top tube of the bike. No real damage done, but it left me a bit sore. I rested for a few minutes and continued on my way. I was glad when I made it to the top of Hesitation Point. I think it was about 18 miles of riding, all told.

Road biking
On Sunday morning, I went for a road ride. I wasn’t sure how well that would work out, given my injuries from Saturday’s trail ride. I also got off to a bit of a late start, and it was pretty hot by the time I started riding. My plan was to ride around Lake Lemon backwards. After riding Mount Gilead Road, I felt OK and continued on, riding Shilo Road in the opposite direction I have in the past. It was a lot easier this way, in terms of climbing; instead of a long, spread-out climb, it was mostly downhill, with a couple of short, steep climbs. The only problem with this was that since Shilo Road is one of the roughest and windiest roads in the area, it was more technically challenging.

I still felt pretty decent after riding Shilo Road, but I decided to head back toward home, rather than ride around Lake Lemon as planned. It was getting hotter, and I knew I could make it around the lake, but I didn’t want to push it too much. I wanted to get home and hang out with Sarah, and I knew we’d want to do some things with the rest of our day – I didn’t want to wear myself out completely by riding. So, it ended up being a fairly short ride, at about 26 miles, instead of the 36 I’d planned. On my way back, I took a photo of something by a fire station I’ve been meaning to shoot for a while.

Water ... bikers
Proving once again that firefighters are true American heroes.

Sarah and I went swimming in the pool in our apartment complex Sunday afternoon. We have done very little swimming in recently years (especially me), but we had a lot of fun. I use the term “swimming” very loosely; really, we just hung out in the water, and played a little pseudo-volleyball with a beach ball and no net. We also took some photos with the underwater camera I got at Goodwill for $2. I’ll post some of those photos later.

We were planning on watching Office Space Sunday night, but instead, we went for a drive and took some photos. I used my old Pentax K1000 again, and really enjoyed it. Sarah has a great post about our outing here. We found ourselves on many roads to nowhere, getting lost and not particularly wanting to be found. There was some incredible late afternoon/evening light, warm and on an angle — and a beautiful sunset, the best part of which (a huge, pink sun hanging low in the sky) we couldn’t capture because there were cars behind us and no way to get off the road. Anyway, Sarah covered it pretty well, and posted some of her photos, so I’ll shut up and post some of my own photos.

Bryant Creek Lake
Bryant Creek Lake

Reaching up
Reaching up

Main Forest Road II
Main Forest Road



Low Gap Road
Low Gap Road

Solitary tree
Solitary Tree

6 Responses to “Road to nowhere”

  1. Revrunner Says:

    “My plan was to ride around Lake Lemon backwards.”

    Now I bet that was a sight to see! 🙂

  2. John Says:

    Like Revrunner, I was wondering the same, thinking you possibly got yourself a fixed gear bike.

    Kudos to the bubbler at the firestation. And loved the pictures. They are always good.

  3. furiousball Says:

    Love the shot of Sarah, the picture of the sunken limb is really cool too. I lost my bike computer, but Bubba found it for me after retracing our steps during a ride. Sorry for your loss.

  4. Marty Says:

    Sorry to hear about the lost computer – you would think that they would build them to withstand a mountain bike ride if that’s what they’re for. Sheesh… But at least you got some nice pictures of your trip – watching Office Space would be hard to turn down, but a good trip like that can make up for it.

    BTW, you asked about my lenses for photography: My standard lens is my Nikon 80-400VR f/4.5-6.3 on my D200. 90% of what I shoot comes out of there. For macro shots, I do use my wife’s 105mm (sweet, sweet, SWEET lens) or my older 70-300mm Sigma zoom-macro. The quality isn’t as nice as the 105mm by a long shot, but it does have the trade-off of being able to be a little further away (less spooking of the subject).

    As for the greenheads (officially, the salt marsh greenhead fly – Tabanus nigrovittatus), they’re a little smaller than the horseflies I’m used to, but they swarm. Think of the bastard spawn of a horsefly and a blackfly, and that’s about it. Here’s a picture of one, if you want to see these annoying little buggers.

  5. Marty Says:

    darn – I hate when I forget to close a tag like that…

  6. MRMacrum Says:

    Nice picture of Sarah. And the others also. I just really liked that one for some reason.

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