This is my third winter in Northern California, and I am still puzzled and mystified by the phenomenon. The weather patterns are different than other parts of the year, but how to describe what shape they take exactly is like trying to hold fog. This winter has had some incredibly dismal and cold/wet days, preventing me from going on a superior bike camp plan for Christmas week, but there have been some bright spots, too. After finishing the R12 it was a hard fight against burnout, so I thank my pal J Potis for bringing me along on some light-hearted and social rides. I feel so lucky to be living in an area where bicycling in the winter is only subtly different from bicycling any other time of year. After bike commuting in Chicago for year after icy, salty, blizzardy, windy year, I have a deep appreciation for being able to ride without borrowing outerwear (and underwear!) from activities like snowmobiling. Here, then, are some snapshots from the riding I did in my “off” season.
Carlos, Jake, Potis, and I agree to meet at the Lighthouse diner in Sausalito for breakfast then go for a light mixed terrain ride in the headlands. While standing outside the Lighthouse after breakfast, we see two SFR jerseys speed by… Tom Haggerty and Steve Haas! We ride back to the bridge with them.
Riding through Fort Baker on the day.before.Christmas (where’s the snow?!?).
More beautiful scenery with no snow
When I took that last photo, I put my camera back in my bag without buckling the pocket it goes into… a few hours later, I discovered it was gone! It must have bounced out of the pocket. John backtracked over our entire route through the headlands looking for it… and then on our way back to the bridge, Jake spotted it in this shaggy patch of undergrowth.
Taking Conzelman back to the bridge
More Conzelman. What a beautiful day!
John didn’t like Carlos’s Christmas wreath, but I liked it!
Carlos and Jake had to get back to town, but John and I wanted to ride some more, so we dropped down to Kirby Cove. He had saved his rye toast and butter from breakfast, so we had some with butter spread on it with his Park multitool (what else?)
A family was camping there and taking some snapshots
After Kirby Cove, it was not quite yet time for the bike side of the bridge to reopen, so we decided to kill time by hanging out with the tourists and people watching.
Old barracks, now playground
We watch currents in the Golden Gate
Potis’s 700c Pelican
After having to scrap our camping plans due to frrrreezing rain, Carlos, John and I take a quick s24o to Hawk Camp in the Marin Headlands. Another gorgeous day, a break in the heavy rain and cold. We are ready to kick back!
Plenty of food was brought by all
Full moon!! It was pretty cold in camp that night although we played several rounds of the dice game Five Thousand. Carlos and I got sick of John beating us, so we all decided to go hiking.
Mushrooms I found next to my bike in the morning
Seemed like it would rain, so we broke camp fast to make it to Mill Valley for breakfast
Misty Mountain Morning
Carlos rolled over a log and found these critters!
Heading out on Bobcat Trail
Yes I was glad, but we had no mimosas. We did meet up with Jake and Leah at Mama’s Royal though!
Mmmm… though not as good as the Lighthouse
Okay! Here we are the weekend before the Point Reyes Lighthouse 200k, going up to Point Reyes Station for biscuits and gravy at the Pinecone Diner. I guess you could say at this point that my off season has been a tour of the region’s bikeable-distance diners.
Me & my bike, next to a tree.
we both heart petanque, actually…
some mushrooms John saw by the side of the bike path through Samuel P. Taylor Park
I did not kick that girl off the stag. She just, um, got off.