Smart Bicycling Isn’t An Accident

Ride to be seen and ride as if you’re not seen. Bicycling is most often an enjoyable adventure. To help ensure your bicycle experience remains enjoyable and safe, wear bright colors, use flashing lights (tail and head lights) and ride defensively while wearing your helmet.  Better to be safe instead of becoming a victim involved with a vehicle.

There have been several recent bicycle and vehicle collisions in our community. On October 15th. Joschka Homann a German tourist was the victim of hit and run on Highway 1. On October 30th. Sidney Falbo a local Santa Rosa Junior College Student was killed on the corner of Stony Point and Highway 12. In November, Ian Borden was struck by a vehicle.

By taking precautions you can enjoy a safe bicycle ride.


One day, one vote and with that there is a change. Time to be thankful for many things, including our right to vote, to be counted and to be heard. Looks like two years of check in balances are in place. Also time to start thinking about the next bicycle adventure … Northern Tier, France, Cotati… No matter what you are planning, it doesn’t count unless you participate. Just like voting, it doesn’t count unless you do it.

Reward Yourself

It’s great to volunteer doing things that help others. It’s also alright to do things for yourself. It is a balance. Like riding a bicycle, it takes balance. As long as you keep moving you will stay upright. So keep moving, help others and don’t forget to reward yourself too.

Levi GranFondo

Levi GranFondo is rated the best GranFondo in North America. This weekend, there were over 4,000 bicyclists enjoying breathtaking views along many miles of beautiful Sonoma County roads. This event was another success, in large part, because of the Bike Monkey’s staff supported by a large number of volunteers.  I am fortunate to live here and appreciate our incredible community. However, there are many in our community not able to enjoy or have time to appreciate our community. There are an estimated 3,000 homeless people in our community. Please consider helping others less fortunate this year. Each of us could do something to help others from donating, volunteering and providing other support.

Halloween is a time to be seen

The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. Some bicyclists prefer to wear dark color clothing. Great for hiding the grease but dark colors blend quite nicely with the longer nights. Unfortunately blending in with the dark nights isn’t a good thing for any bicyclist.

I have lights, lots of flashing lights (one on and one spare incase one run lows on battery power). The minimal rear tail light is 65 lumens that flashes. I prefer the 150 to 200+ lumens rear flashing light with a minimal 600 lumen front light on my bicycle. Of course, always wear your helmet, day or night. I also have a helmet with a built-in flashing rear lights with flashing front lights too. I usually use the helmet lights for evening or night riding.

I find that wearing bright color clothes greatly improves my visibility too. Wearing dark colors might seem cool, but I rather be seen this Halloween than becoming a real ghost. I wear bright colors, turn on my bicycle lights day or night and so far, so good.

This Halloween, and anytime, it’s better to be seen. So turn on your lights and wear bright color clothing (reflective even better for night).


Packing for Tour

I met Doug Wertz in Washington State. We rode for a few days through the Olympic Rain Forest down the Pacific Coast together. Tomorrow Doug will start on another bicycle adventure down the Divide following mountain trails and gravel roads. He will be participating in a supported ride and is packing accordingly. He’s got warm to cold clothing for either wet or dry weather. A small First Aid kit, bug and bear spray, tools and tire repair kit, gorilla tape with wire ties, chain lube, spare spokes, chain tool, Leatherman tool, note book, navigation and odometer, water bottles, solar battery, water, spoon, phone and camera. A few items I had on my Pacific Coast ride that Doug did not list included: tent, sleeping bag, cot (light weight), two day supply of freeze dry food, Jet-Boil, three changes of riding gear/clothing, spare shoes, cup/plate-fork-spoon-knife, cash, extra walking shoes, maps, back-up batteries/charger/cables, convertible pants, two pair of street socks, two street shirts, head light, two tail lights, tire tube, tire pump, rain shoe/boot covers, gloves (two riding, one warm long finger), buff, jacket, rain gear (rain jacket-pants-socks-shoe covers) . . .  Have a safe and enjoyable adventure Doug.

Day to Celebrate

Yesterday we were too tire to celebrate. It was hot, we were sweaty, we had challenges finding the actual border and then packing up the bicycles and gear took some time. Angela (Paula’s daughter) and Rob (Paula’s future son-in-law) met us at the border. They allowed us to stay at their home last night. Great to enjoy a real shower, quite rooms, great conversation . . .  Thank-you Rob and Angela for your hospitality.

Today we started the drive home and took time to celebrate two wonderful events. First was for completing the Pacific Coast Trail bicycle ride yesterday. Second, Francis turned 70 today (UK 7-16 translated to California time 4:00 pm on 7-15). Francis is truly inspiring, not only for riding his bicycle at age 70 across American twice and not for just completing the Pacific Coast Trail yesterday, but for dealing with his Type 1 diabetes. Francis would monitor his blood glucose levels throughout the day with a mechanic device attached to his arm.  When needed he would inject himself with insulin. Paula not only secured campsites while providing more than a dozen other support functions, but she also carried Francis’ insulin. Thank you Francis and Paula for sharing so much with me for the last 41 days (33 riding / 8 days off-travel). 



Day 33 – Mexican Border

We did it. After todays final 50 miles we completed our adventure that started in Port Angeles on June 5th. We rode for 33 day over about 1,700 miles. Took time off for 5 days in Santa Rosa and took off another two days in San Simeon. This adventure was complete with rain, heat, hills, flats, headwinds, tailwinds . . . through some of the most incredible and breath taking landscape from ocean beaches to towering giant redwoods; from rain forest to desert.

I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to ride my bicycle from the Canadian Border to Mexican Border on a good bicycle with appropriate gear including:  a tent, sleeping bag, food, rain gear, riding gear  . . . and incredible SAG.  However, there are many in our community who don’t have the basics essentials to survive in our community. In Sonoma County there are approximately 3,000 homeless people who don’t have many of the things I take for granted. I hope that each of us will be inspired to think about those less fortunate than ourselves and consider volunteering their time or provide other support including donating money or something that they might no longer use from jackets to spare tents. I’m a supporter of Catholic Charities, but there are hundreds of other wonderful organizations that continue to serve our community. Please consider one of these amazing organization and provide your support to improve the lives of people in our community. Thank you and I hope you have a great day.


Day 32 – Del Mar

Left Doheny State Beach hoping that Paula’s luck would continue by landing another campsite near Encinitas at San Elijo State Beach. Not to be on this day, but there were hiker/biker camping available. Unfortunately, check-in wasn’t until 4:00 pm. We were in Encinitas for lunch and decided to ride a bit further to reduce tomorrow’s final day ride to the Mexican Border. Unfortunately, there are no close campsites after leaving Encinitas. Paula secured a room for us at the Hampton Inn in Del Mar/San Diego. We rode 49 miles with a nice tailwind, no major climbs, smooth roads, smooth bicycle paths/trails, nice ride through Camp Pendleton, cooler temperatures . . . just a very enjoyable day.