Anyone who is in a writing mood with a cycling tale to share can just write it up (photos are nice, too) and send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., whereby it will be  published on this page, always available to readers. Use the Search box to hunt down older articles.


Can I start out by telling you about my Harleys, Vincent HRD, Kawaski and Honda Gold Wing? No? Alright, how about my Caterpillar career? How about my other careers like Melles Griot and Tri City hospital? No on all? How about my Jag restorations into show cars? No? For the last time John, this is about bicycles so get on it.

OK. My first bike (our, I shared it with my twin brother) was a 1932 (est) brand unknown, with 20 inch wheels with one piece tires. The punctures were fixed by inserting rubber glue soaked rubber bands into the tire with a special gun. The excess bunch of rubber bands sticking out of the tire was then burned off. The combination of melted rubber /rubber cement did an adequate job until the next puncture which followed closely. We lived in the congested city so there was plenty of debris on the streets.

My next biking adventure was exposure into the intricate wheel construction with its many, many spokes. After school one day, I asked a school buddy “hey, can I take a spin on your bike?” It had a tire driven siren driven on the front wheel. He was especially proud of it and said “give it a try.” Not owning a bike at the time and thinking the siren was cool, off I went. The trouble was, when I pulled the lever to engage the siren, I found that the siren was incorrectly mounted. Instead of the drive wheel contacting the tire, it went into the spokes. My buddy became an ex buddy since I broke his bike. I was somewhat bloody having done an end over. I got no sympathy there. So, I walked home, no sympathy there, walked to the bike store, a little sympathy there and scraped together the minimum possible coins to pay the bill. Then I walked back to my ex buddies house to return the wheel.

[alternate view of Pie Ride 2011 -]

What a great re-cap from Wade but I thought there were a few details worth mention. Seven riders left the parking lot at a chilly 8:00AM following our fearless, dressed in layers, impromptu leader, Bill the Adventurer.

For a promised casual 100 miler the pace started out brisk but welcome as we all needed to warm our bones. But that all changed when we hit the Valley Center climb and Ursula put the hammer down and put us all in our climbing places. And while true (Wade put it so eloquently) I was not the first to the top, more like dead last, I would have been fine had I not been singled out and asked if I stopped on the way up the hill.

Trying to save face I may have mentioned a non-existent flat to make up for my lack of climbing prowess. Not to name names but, the first person up the hill (see paragraph above) should not be questioning the last person up the hill. Bill can you check the by-laws for an etiquette violation and possible club expulsion for this hazing, taunting behavior.

Through Valley Center the ride progressed without incident while the anticipation of climbing the beyond category mountain finally settled in which made us all that more determined.

We fly through Rincon and finally stop at the market to water up, strip down and fuel up for the climb. At this point we are in the shadow, of Palomar Mountain. OK not exactly a shadow as there is no sun and the mountain top is shrouded in a heavy cover of clouds looking all the part of the WINTER STORM WARNING that had been predicted.

Did I mention WINTER STORM WARNING?  And yes my handy IPhone, app indicates rain and snow above 4,500 feet and remind me again why we want to ride in rain, snow, and blizzard?

As I climb the lower portion watching the six other riders pull away once again, I begin to contemplate……..why do I want to subject myself to being  A) last up the mountain, B) cold, C) wet, D) most likely hazed again by the first rider up the hill, E)  subject to no pie left, F) subject to the unusually large woman getting the toe warmers, or was that unusually large feet on a woman or was Wade delirious from the cold and saw a Big Foot???

At this point I decide to invoke one of my two bicycling theorems the first is….if I were meant to ride in a blizzard I would have fur.  And the second….well more on that later

So, I decide not to climb into the blizzard, I split at the “Y” say my sad farewells to Bill and Steve as Big Foot, I mean Ursula, did not wait once again. So I head on the 76 towards Mesa Grande and/or to the east grade thinking I can climb up to the blizzard and wait for the 6 other psycho, wet, cold, snow covered, riders.

This plan quickly falls apart as I climbed the east grade hitting rain at about 3,500 feet and decided, I am chicken, I am not cut out for riding in the rain, I wish I had cool Nerius fenders or at least Bill's sporty Tartan jersey to keep me dry and I start to descend thinking the rain will subside as I head for Mesa Grande.

My Plan B quickly became a bad idea as the rain did not subside and it got worse.  As I climbed Mesa Grande (and Anthony is right on this……there is nothing grand about that climb) the rain picked up and at this point I invoke my second bicycling theorem…if I can fill a water bottle by wringing out my socks, it’s time to call for a pick-up. I ride Mesa Non-Grande to Santa Ysabel, where I am met by a warm, dry heat blasting SUV for a pleasant drive home.

Lastly, there is some conspiracy speculation that the other 6 riders never really made it to the top and the whole thing was staged in the same studio they used for the supposed lunar landing. I never saw the other 6 on the top of Palomar. The “looks like a Christmas card from the inside of mothers” photo looks very suspicious. If you look closely you can see fishing line holding up each snow flake. The “snow” on the side of the road looks amazingly similar to vanilla shave ice. The photo is currently being forensically reviewed for alterations. The photo of pie and coffee looks eerily similar to the bakery department in the Del Mar Vons. Lastly, I have climbed Palomar side by side with Steve and I know from our conversations that he is not crazy enough to ride in a blizzard. Also note that Wade’s description of the ride there are several inaccuracies, including “we arrived back in Magee Park” - come on, that is in Carlsbad not Escondido. I expect that from Anthony and his sense of direction but not a government employee.  And come on, “a little dog that did not like Nerius” who can’t like Nerius. Raises some questions doesn’t it ………can you say conspiracy. I am just saying……