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Thread: Photographing in the Diablo Range of Northern California

  1. #21
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Photographing in the Diablo Range of Northern California

    Well, there's a bit of a squabble in one relatively newly opened big section of East Bay ridge land trail by cyclists DEMANDING their own exclusive trails, devoid of horses and hikers. Not going to happen. Electric bikes impose a new layer of complication, being potentially resented by both traditional cyclists and walkers. But narrow steep trails always impose a hazard when any kind of bikes are on them. Hence each park must wisely tailor their own rules. A couple of times I've had to flag down cyclists on steep trails to warn them of a rattlesnake ahead. There are certain advantages to moving slowly and keeping your eyes open!

    Many of the trails on Mt Diablo itself are simply too steep for realistic e-bike usage anyway, or else too narrowly confined between rows of poison oak! I haven't checked recent rules.

  2. #22
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Photographing in the Diablo Range of Northern California

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    ...Many of the trails on Mt Diablo itself are simply too steep for realistic e-bike usage anyway, or else too narrowly confined between rows of poison oak! I haven't checked recent rules.
    Heck no -- the new e-mountain bikes are getting as good as most pure mountain bikes...with prices starting at $10,000 and quickly up.

    This simple beast runs from $8500 to $13,000 depending on the build. https://www.santacruzbicycles.com/en-US/bikes/bullit

    I'll stay with my cargo bike and keeping myself upright.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  3. #23
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Photographing in the Diablo Range of Northern California

    Hmmm .... Before so-called mountain bikes were ever invented, we real mountain kids built our own, typically with cannibalized parts a maximum budget of eight dollars rather than eight thousand. Think I had more fun too.

  4. #24
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Photographing in the Diablo Range of Northern California

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Hmmm .... Before so-called mountain bikes were ever invented, we real mountain kids built our own, typically with cannibalized parts a maximum budget of eight dollars rather than eight thousand. Think I had more fun too.
    Rode once with a fellow who was at the beginning of all that stuff -- but he was from the East Bay hills on 'newspaper boy' bikes. We bombed down the hills east of Covelo in the mid-80s -- I was on my new fancy mountain bike trying to keep up with him. That bike ended up having lousy geometry for dirt riding, but excellent for my 5 month rough-road touring I was about to do in NZ.

    The fellow was the large equipment repair man for the town and farms around Covelo where I was stationed with the USFS. Every town needs one...forgotten his name. He'd just weld his bike back together if he broke it. Duct-taped a crescent wrench to the frame just in case. A fellow like that has a shop just down the street from me now, but retiring due to health issues. He has brought someone in to replace him, so there will continue to be a parade of farmers bringing in equipment to have parts fabricated and welded...and that sort of stuff.

    In the early 70s, I was riding my Schwinn Varsity on the old logging roads and such around the county. That why I think I like my e-cargo-bike -- it is a standard steel frame redesigned to take a motor. It still feels like a bicycle -- I just get more speed and distance for my pedaling effort, and can carry more groceries.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  5. #25
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Photographing in the Diablo Range of Northern California

    Tin Can

  6. #26

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    Re: Photographing in the Diablo Range of Northern California

    The Diablo Range down near Lick Observatory is my favorite place, teenage years I got to go behind Mt Hamilton to hunt.
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  7. #27
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Photographing in the Diablo Range of Northern California

    A friend of mine was in charge of that for awhile, that is, as a teaching telescope. But I never had the will to drive up there in the middle hours of the night for sake of the relatively few hours around 2AM when there was the least light pollution from modern sprawl down below. He was a physics-astronomy professor at UCB at the time. Talked to his wife a few days ago. He's quite restricted now due to cancer therapy related immune system issues. I'm more interested in some of the far side slopes of Mt Hamilton. The recent Calavaras Dam seismic retro further down brought up a lot of interesting fossils. And there still an active hot spot (a hot spring) below one of the volcanic basalt plugs in front of the dam itself, holding back all that earth-fill. Great 8x10 country with some of the largest blue oaks in the world, plus golden eagles etc. Wish 680 traffic weren't so horrible, getting there and back. Gotta go the quiet back way from Patterson or Mines Rd, I guess.

  8. #28
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Photographing in the Diablo Range of Northern California

    There is a mountain bike history museum over in Fairfield, right below Mt Tam in Marin where the "official" version of mtn biking largely began. I've known some of the originators - a few ended up ridiculously wealthy due to their innovations, others remained starving hippies, not due to lack of engineering creativity, but due to lack of marketing sleuth skills, or simply allowing themselves to be bought out prematurely. I can't imagine that crowd taking the e-bike trend kindly, but it sure makes sense in terms of fuel saving where mild commuting is involved. The current problem is that demand greatly exceeds supply. There's now a bike lane completely across the Richmond Bridge, and halfway across the Bay Bridge. I think Golden Gate Bridge now has one too, but rarely cross it myself, so can't say for certain. I presume e-bikes will be allowed on all of these official bike lanes, but we'll see.

    Of course, by now probably quite a few people know that there were very small hi-tech nearly silent electric motors being installed INSIDE the tubing of cheater contestant bikes like on the Tour de France. Being so small, these weren't enough to actually power a bike uphill, but gave just that little extra something allowing one competitor to unfairly edge out another. First doping scandals, now this. But somewhere down the line, the public will benefit from those technical innovations.

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