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Thank you guy at 'Colfax Food and Gas' for the suggestion of bicycling on 'Old Grass Valley Road' in order to avoid a section of the highway with a history of dangerous automobile traffic. The down hill along this road that paralleled the main road was seemingly much safer than the main road of Colfax Highway aka State Route 174. I felt appreciation for this experience of following the advice of locals and reflected on, and contrasted this experience while on much of the way to Glacier National Park, Montana. Once rejoining State Route 174, the road was much more trafficked as a narrow two-lane highway. Beautiful and covered with tree shade and grasses, the pedaling slowed as we reached the Bear River valley floor and went up the other side.

I enjoyed seeing parts of Nevada County that I had not seen before. As I chose not to bring along a computer on the self-supported bicycle tour, cause of potential problems of wetness, weight, and loss, I am finding, in writing this journal now, with more time and consideration, I am continuing to choose to deep-link to wikipedia articles as I think specificity and accuracy adds more depth to my writing. I also figure that if the links don't serve you, the reader, in receiving more depth, then I figure you won't clink on the links, so it seems like a win-win for everybody.

I have received the creative criticism, in the past, that my writing has seemed list-like, and so I have the intention of adding more detail as a tactic to be less list-like. How is that working for you ?

I seem to be much more of a 'visual' person than a 'word' person and seem to glean more information from maps and pictures. I was even labeled as an English-as-a-Second-Language student in High School, even though, in fact, I wasn't. I have, in the past, struggled with writing, but believe that just cause I have found it challenging in the past, doesn't mean I should choose the path of shying away from this arena of creative expression.

I had never really been on a bicycle trip before of this magnitude. I had done support for bicyclists raising funds as a non-competitive race, and had gone on a trip with a friend that turned out to have a bicycling-with-a-large-backpack component but had not had any interactions with self-sustained bicycle touring cyclists. The internet research I had done in preparation for this trip had suggested to me what not to pack. Most sites I saw seemed to me to emphasize what new gear I could purchase to shave weight off my ride but not necessarily how to pack. So I thought of this bike trip as also an area of doing something that possibly could be difficult (bringing few items) but also holding potentially many rewards of fun.

At the small roadside stop in the town of Cedar Ridge was the first place I met another bicyclist than S. He owned 'Dupre's Baking Co.' the bakery that we stopped at in the afternoon seeking icy water. In stopping there and sharing where we had bicycled from, our need of a bike shop, and asking about local camping spots, the peoples there offered hospitality to us in their backyard for the night. With the proviso that there had been recently visits from a reoccurring bear. Additionally we found out the bike shop in Grass Valley had closed business and that the nearest available shop was now in Nevada City.

J, the baker / bicyclist, noted that my tires on my used bike that I had gotten from Craigslist, seemed a little worn, yet my recollection from the advertisement claims was that the tires were fresh. This was foreshadowing.

We biked out, with hot coffee and bread, along 'Brunswick Road' in the morning, reaching Nevada City. There the bike shop mechanic disassembled my shifter about to do a frankenstein repair then found my shifter to work suddenly. I had ambivalence toward buying spare tires (where to pack them ?) as the tires I had currently seemed good) and so left with a new rear bike light for S as our only purchase. Next we visited the National Forest Office to checkout camping options and found that the closest camping would be at the boundary of the Tahoe National Forest but that the direction we wanted to go was without camping for quite a few miles. We choose to go to the closer, yet not the overall direction we wanted to go, option as the day was getting darker.

California State Route 20 out of Nevada City, was horrendous, the automobile traffic fast, curvy, and slow going for us as we were going uphill and I noticing increasing numbers of biting mosquitos (more foreshadowing).

We reached the Tahoe National Forest boundary, going just past the local landmark, The Old 5 Mile House and there we found an off-the-road camping spot.

That night was beautiful.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Nov. 15th, 2010 03:27 am (UTC)
Addendum and corrections
In reviewing my notes and reviewing comments I have received regarding the above post:

1) S pointed out that, of particular interest to us, as 'fermentation enthusiasts', I was enthused about, but neglected to mention in writing, that Dupre's Baking Company 13459 Colfax Hwy used natural leaven from a very old sourdough starter.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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