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Thread: Photographing in the Diablo Range of Northern California

  1. #1

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    Photographing in the Diablo Range of Northern California

    Now that I have my ebike trailer all worked out, I took it out to the Diablo range near my house. The bike has opened up this landscape like never before. The ability to look for a shot and quickly get there via bike is a game-changer. It can sometimes be dishearting to hike to a spot only to find you don't like the composition. Some of that can be resolved by bike. I'm having a great time :-D

    This is near the China Wall looking east towards Mt. Diablo with my 6x17
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

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    Re: Photographing in the Diablo Range of Northern California

    Looks like a great time! My uncle used to live on the north side near the base, in Walnut Creek. The few times I had gone up there, I really liked it.

  3. #3
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Photographing in the Diablo Range of Northern California

    Hmmm ....Glad you're having fun. I got chewed out by a trail rider last Spring for using a wooden tripod near the Chinese Wall. Hard to figure out why. Don't be surprised if e-bikers come under complaint from mountain bike types sooner or later.

  4. #4

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    Re: Photographing in the Diablo Range of Northern California

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Hmmm ....Glad you're having fun. I got chewed out by a trail rider last Spring for using a wooden tripod near the Chinese Wall. Hard to figure out why. Don't be surprised if e-bikers come under complaint from mountain bike types sooner or later.
    So far so good. There were plenty of ebikes out there, all of them e-mountain bikes.

  5. #5

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    Re: Photographing in the Diablo Range of Northern California

    As a fairly avid "real" mountain biker, that location does not look like the sort of trail I would seek out.

    But, to address Drew's point, I've run into a number of bikers, mountain and road, who have way too much testosterone and take themselves far too seriously!

  6. #6

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    Re: Photographing in the Diablo Range of Northern California

    ...yeah, but maybe the proliferation of E-Bikes will be accompanied by an associated decrease in testosterone levels. Ya think?

  7. #7
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Photographing in the Diablo Range of Northern California

    Drove past Diablo this past week...looking good! Have fun on the bike!
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  8. #8
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Photographing in the Diablo Range of Northern California

    The craziest thing I ever saw was two guys coming down from the summit parking lot, down the narrowest steepest part of the paved road per se, each on a unicycle! I was following slightly behind in my truck. They both lost control on the same sharp curve, and went flying right into a big clump of poison oak! No broken bones, but undoubtedly a hard-earned lesson anyway.

  9. #9
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Photographing in the Diablo Range of Northern California

    homan - there are plenty of steeper portions of the same trail system in the adjacent side canyons, leading up to the relative plateau portion, which is in fact way way below the main mass of Mt Diablo itself, if one wishes to continue higher. The real difficulty is when those seemingly level trail portions get all muddy, and the mud cracks terribly drying up, making certain sections surprisingly bumpy. I always personally hike them anyway. My 8x10 pack wouldn't be very convenient on any bike! A little too windy today out there for convenient view camera work on the ridges, perhaps better later in the week. The Chinese wall is an interesting deep sea sediment (ooze) formation which, due to lacking fossiliferous clamshell reinforcement like nearby Pliocene reef layers possess, simply split apart segmentally, looking like a strange linear Stonehenge ruin. I finally got the backlit surreal effect I wanted last Spring.

    I should probably add that there is a very vocal and aggressive group of bikers and trail bikers in this general Bay area, a distinct but organized minority of them, who are demanding not only bike lanes on highways, but parallel trail systems for their use exclusively, minus any hikers or horse riders. That's not logistically realistic; and even the new bike lanes across major bridges are open to pedestrians too. But these are loud and sometimes violent types, who sometimes refuse to use bike lanes themselves, deliberately hold up auto traffic, and have been know to smash mirrors and windows on passing cars. If identified, they do get arrested.

    But out on the trails, if I hear a bike coming down a hill, I simply step off the trail, just like I would for horses or walkers faster than me. There are certain open spaces over in Marin County where I simply stay away. I'm less worried about the aggressive types than the sheer numbers of trail bikes barreling downhill. That's where the sport and those bike designs originated to begin with. But overall, unless trails are wide, or old dirt roads themselves, bikes might be totally off-limits for safety reasons. E-bikes seem to appeal to a whole other kind of mentality, especially older folks; but those bikes aren't ideal for the steeper unpaved trails anyway. My own negative experiences with cyclists of any stripe has been very rare overall; everyone seems to get along in the parks, if not on the highways, which is a different story entirely. I never worry about it, but do try pull somewhat off the trail when setting up a tripod whenever possible.
    Last edited by Drew Wiley; 7-Mar-2022 at 13:19.

  10. #10

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    Re: Photographing in the Diablo Range of Northern California

    I'm fortunate enough to live in an area where there just aren't enough of us humans out there to create user conflict!

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