Bay area wrap up

Some more bikey and other things from the Bay area, while you peruse, please ponder this, in one of the Starbucks on Union Square we saw on day 1:
Young well dressed woman of maybe 23 years, eating baby food applesauce from a jar, no evidence of motherhood or baby care.
Day two:
NYT reading man sipping grande latte, eating scone with a single can of whiskas tuna pate next to him, possibly ready for a post scone treat?
What the hell?

My friday fixie works great on these useless old racks, Danville Safeway
Old rack works OK for the friday.

Attempt on Diablo, turned back by 100+ degree temps, free peach though from fruitmonger who took pity on me.
Me, peach, diablo

I did find a wrench at 104 degrees F
Road find wrench at 104 degrees F

Muir woods to dipsea loop run with coworker, big trees

Some park below sutro towers looking back over the city

Cool raleigh

The first Sturmey Coaster Brake I have spotted in the wild

Team Miyata city bike conversion in rockridge

Baby's first ride on the F Market

Speaking of baby, surf on over to dipping aida in the pacific for more family fun.


It came from the sky

The good news is that none of the bikes were hurt.

A couple weeks back I was taking the morning off work to hang out with my brother. As we were plotting a bike ride down town to get some lunch, we looked up over the mountains and noted extremely ominous clouds closing in. We thought better of the ride and just as I was explaining to my brother how hard it had hailed the day before, we heard a mighty pthunk as a large hailstone hit the roof. We went out on the porch and watched as really big hailstones fell every few seconds.
sleepy brother holding initial hailstone
Sleepy brother and initial hailstone

As the frequency and size of hailstones increased, I noticed a roar coming from the south, I thought it was wind, but I realized I was hearing the core of the hailstorm moving up the street toward the house. Crap. The storm got pretty intense, the videos here don't quite do it justice.
initial stages

toward the end

It was sort of amusing until Elena came running to say that the skylights had all broken and there was hail and broken skylight all over the kitchen. The post storm tally was 5 broken skylights, decent water damage in the kitchen floors below the skylight, my brothers rental car was decimated (he had the insurance), both of the vw's had dents on the rear third, cracked tail lights and broken rear wipers ($3000 in damage according to the insurance company), dented gutters.
Northern over kitchen skylight

Eastern over cats skylight

The roof seems OK, no leaking, but it looks worse for the wear. The insurance adjuster for the house came by, but we are waiting for the results. It could have been a lot worse. We already had a contractor out to asses the roof/skylights and will replace the skylights soon with tempered glass ones as well as possibly replacing the roof. We will also likely get the wood floor redone in the kitchen as it is raised and starting to warp.


The yard was carnage. The whole house smelled like sage because of the shredding that the giant sage plants took out front. The fruit trees were shorn of most fruit and alot of leaves.
Apricot tree carnage

Tomatoes, peppers and pumpkin plants were reduced to bare stalks, as were the roses and raspberries.

Pumpkin plant, this had big flowers the day before
This was a pretty healthy pumpkin plant

I spent some nervous time up on the roof covering the skylights while followup thunderstorms blew in. Thanks to neighbors and friends we were able to get enough tarps and plywood to cover it quickly.

Storms recede
The storm recedes

Pretty much every house and RV skylight in the neighborhood had damage, lots of roofs were completely totaled. Many cars were totaled out due to hail damage and many car windshields were broken completely, especially on cars that have low angle windows like prius and other hondas.

The variety of hailstones that fell were pretty interesting,
initial morphology
Initial stages of the storm
Golf balls with baseball size agglomerations
Golfballs with half a baseball hails.

Again, the upshot was that it was way more exciting than it needed to be, but it could have been worse. I guess this is a pretty regular occurrence in places of the country where I have never lived, but hail at this level is pretty new to me. The roof still works and all the bikes are OK.
more photos
The end.



I have long coveted a way of not only finding out where the cats are, but where they have been. I looked into coming up with a home made system, but I wanted live tracking, not putting a GPS watch on their collar and downloading it afterwards, but more of a Lojack for the cats, it was way beyond my technical skill.

But today at the pet store I saw this:

Ok, so it is $600 bucks, and it has a dorky antenna on the collar, but at least it exists. I need a maruders map of the cats so I can figure out not only where they are hiding, but where they have been after looking for them for 3 hours. And where the hell they go during the day. So this needs to be $200 for the system and less than $10 for each collar mounted system so it does not hurt too much when they loose the collar in the sewer. It needs to track at least 4 cats simultaneously. Good naming of the product as well... So we are getting there.

Clearly the TDF uses something similar for the rider tracking, but they fit under the seats. I am pretty sure that Garmin probably developed this for David "gimp" Millar" but then decided it was more marketable for a dog tracking system. I would like to see him win a stage wearing an antennaed collar. Maybe with some sort of remote shocking capability as well? Anyways...


Bike fun San Francisco Style

Too tired to write words. So I will go for that three order of magnitude advantage conferred by pics, click on through for clarification. More soon.

Sycip pig part carrier

Cool rack

JimG and I visit the oracle

A wheel sucker I picked up in the panhandle

The beat commuter of the wheelsucker


Pile o' 650B city bikes

The bridge enveloped in a blanket of Frogs.

Post circumnavigation of the city shoreline



I am serious
Some serious caffeination for some seriously long yet fun work travel that continues even as I type. Lots of great bike stuff to report. Stay tuned.


Summertime sipping

Summertime drink

Finally found a source for paper straws, cheap but for shipping.