28 September 2009

El Corte de Madera

I bought a new bike last week. My previous bike, I'd been nursing along since 1993, finally gave me sound enough reason to pull the plug: I cranked hard to avoid an oncoming bus, on my way across town for an appointment; I felt a jolt and heard the clank of metal on the street. I looped around, up a driveway, onto the sidewalk, and rode back to the source of the sound: a chunk of cog, with about 3 teeth in it, lay on the road! Strangely, this did not stop the bike from operating normally. I carried on, and rode all the way up to the top of Russian Hill, where I'd never actually been before, to meet my clients. Afterward, I saw this plaque about graves, for which the hill is named:"[T]he graves were removed or built over"... Or? Like... we just don't know? This reminds me of a film by one of Deb's friends, Trina Lopez, Second Final Rest, about the removal of all of San Francisco's cemeteries in the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake, raising questions about just how thorough said removal was. I haven't actually seen the movie yet, but it's playing this coming Wednesday, at the public library main branch. So, maybe I'll go.

Anyway, in the past, when stuff on my bike done broke, I'd just buy another part, or buy a cheap used bike with good parts, and swap stuff out. But missing teeth on the central cog? That's a lot of work, and this bike's put in a good tour of service. Scott told me I could afford a new bike, so I went for it. And this weekend, I put some knobbies on the wheels, and took it down to El Corte de Madera Open Space Preserve, where I used to run a couple loops with my old work friend, Gabe, some dozen years ago or so. I followed the same old path: Fir Trail, to Tafoni, to Resolution, and back up the El Corte de Madera Creek Trail. The video up top is of the last few tenths along Resolution Trail. Here are the sandstone formations in the park:

And here's a madrone tree I stared at for a while, at the vista point:

I've put the slicks back on, now, and I prob'ly won't bomb much single-track any more, it's true--but I like seeing the visual explanation, in that video up top, for why my hands get so numb after racing down a mile or so of that stuff. Also, it's really nice, after such a long time, to have gears and shifters that are indexed properly, and brakes that don't squeak because I put the shoes on crooked--in short, to have a new bike. It'll also be nice to take advantage of the 2 years included service that comes with it. Thanks, Sports Basement! I've already customized it, with my name, and assorted accessories ripped off my old bike, like seats, handlebars, and rack. More good rollin' times await.

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