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Now back in Sacramento from the multi-month trip, I have use of a computer to type up my feelings and observations that I had over the summer traveling. This also is an opportunity to work on my creative writing and language skills. I invite you to give feedback and comments.

The sunny California slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountain foothills were fun for me to ride on my bicycle as we left the flatlands of the Central Valley and the Sacramento Metropolitan Area. The dappled sunlight from the overhanging trees was a pleasing sight for me. We rode frontage roads parallel to Interstate 80 till we got to the city of Colfax. Most cars were utilizing I-80 so the ride through the unincorporated towns of Applegate and Weimar was smooth yet uphill. Bicycling up the foothills reemphasized for me that our training rides had been on the American River Bike Trail, devoid of both automobile traffic and hills, and I was noticing the differences. Downtown Sacramento is at 25 feet above sea level whereas Colfax is at 2,425 ft elevation. We staying overnight in Colfax in a motel cause there was no local camping option. We left going north then my bike experienced some problems with the Shimano Rapid-Fire shifters in that it was jamming. We pedaled back to Colfax and planned our way to a bicycle shop for repairs.

We heard the closest shop was in Grass Valley, 12 miles away. We had prepared for the bike trip by learning some repair skills but internal-to-the-shifter-repair was beyond my skill level. I had the intent of not bringing my computer or internet related stuff on this trip that had an open-ended planned aspect. In preparation for the trip, S had gotten a smartphone with a data plan, more so cause her cellular phone she had previously been using, was buggy, and cause the research she had done revealed the Droid could serve as a GPS, cellular phone, camera, and mapping device, as well as a way to make CouchSurfing.org couchsurf requests. In Sacramento we had used the hospitality network CouchSurfing.org and hosted a number of people. We had the intent to use that same method to seek hospitality if we needed it while traveling.

The smartphone showed us the route of California State Route 174 to be the best, shortest route to get from Colfax to Grass Valley, and the bike shop. We also heard, after checking in with a couple of the nice folk in Colfax about bike shops, that the better route would be to bypass the narrowest, dangerous portion of 174 by taking the parallel running 'Old Grass Valley Road'.

Thus began my learning the difference between 'vacationing' and 'traveling'.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
rkmlai
Nov. 15th, 2010 03:08 am (UTC)
Addendum and corrections
In reviewing my notes and reviewing comments I have received regarding the above post:

1) S has pointed out to me that there was camping in Colfax, a mere three miles away. We chose not to go to it because I was too Narcolepsy tired to continue bicycling that afternoon.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 1st, 2011 12:32 am (UTC)
Great writing
Hi Ming, I'm enjoying reading about this biking adventure. Wow - I've never done anything like this and it's incredible all the details that go into making a biking trip possible. I never would have thought about bike repairs or dangerous roads. I enjoy your descriptions of the sunlight coming through trees. Brings this to life for me! Thanks for sharing, Julie F.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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