Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Why I ride...

I don't race, so I don't ride to train.  I don't participate in timed events, so I don't care about how fast I ride.  Well, maybe a little since I do have to be back in time to open the shop according to my posted hours.  I usually ride solo, so I'm not necessarily riding to compete against others in a group.  However, I do tend to turn it up a little if I see a rider up ahead.  

I ride because I like to push myself physically.  Same reason I also trail run.  There's nothing better than the feeling of turning the pedals over and hearing the tires sing on the road.  In West Marin, just about every ride has upwards of 1,000' of climbing for each 10 miles.  Every ride that I like doing.  I like climbing because I love descending. 

I love riding here because I can go for a 4 hour ride and come across only a handful of stop signs.  In fact, last week, I came across only 3 stop signs on a 60 mile ride I started from my house.  Stop lights?  Not here.  

I also ride because I get to see some amazing scenery.  Flora and fauna.  I bring a small Olympus camera in my jersey pocket on almost every ride.  Most of shots I take are on the bike while rolling.  There's always something unique that presents itself for a photo.  I took up photography in middle school where we had a darkroom.  I don't think I've ever not taken photos.  Not a lot, though.  Too many is noise.  Just enough to give me the sense of reliving the ride or capturing something unique.  Whether it's a cloud pattern, the lighting, the emptiness, some critter or varmint, that's a big reason why I ride - to see things.  Real things.

This is the top of Inverness Ridge.  To the right is the west and the fog that was coming up the ridge from the west.  To the left, it was clear and sunny down on Tomales Bay.  This spot where the fog rolls up and dissipates was amazing.

I saw this coyote on the trail.  I heard something off to my left and looked over at this coyote not more than 10' away from me.  We both stopped.  It was not interested in me, but was sniffing the air and looking past me.  Something was out there.  By the time I got my camera out and took this shot, it had gone up the hillside a bit.  It was a good looking coyote.

The view of Inverness Ridge from the top of the Marshall Wall.

Edge of the fog in Nicasio.

Lots of empty roads to myself in the mornings.

And one of Arch Rock - the result of a ride and a hike.

(What's playing:  Silver Dollar Jukebox on KWMR)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amen brother! You're posts are informative, entertaining and inspiring. Keep up the great job!
-chefmiguel

Steven Butcher said...

I enjoyed reading and viewing your post. I, too, ride solo as there really aren't any other riders close to where I live. I liked all your photos but that one of Arch Rock is really great! The range of contrasts in that photo are truly beautiful.

Bill Romano said...

Beautiful photos Mike! I lived in San Francisco for 5 years in the mid-to-late 90's. Your photos and insight to what it's like to ride in the Bay Area bring it all back to me. I would escape across "the bridge" every chance I got.