Saturday, March 20, 2010

Welcome Home and Thank You VietNam Veterans

Pics are from top to bottom, click on a pic for a larger pic, text for a pic is under the pic.

The title was , duh, the title.... GBG the intro to the event was:

Patriots of the East Bay, represented by VFW, The American Legion, Pleasanton, Antioch and Livermore Military Families, Blue Star Moms, Lafayette Flag Brigade, Warriors’ Watch Riders, the Livermore VA and many more, all of which have a heart for our Service Members and Veterans, invite Vietnam Veterans and their families to attend our - Welcome Home and Thank You VietNam Veterans

OK, it included era vets and that covered me... but I fought the battle of Charles De Gaulle in France. Remember when he kicked NATO out of France? Most of you don't! GBG + sigh, but it was in '66/'67. I left a rural tiny air base in the Alsace-Lorraine
area about 20 clicks west of Verdon.

BUT, I was invited, so after about 15 miles of crankin', I went in! Very nice crowd and event, it was large! I thank ALL that went to the effort to finally give the VietNam Vets there LONG overdue "WELCOME HOME"!!! God Bless you all and heal and move on!

So I get there... followed the map... the young lady asks why are you here, I said the 'Nam event, she said next entrance... U'e and on to the next gate, the lady asked me if I was here for the veteran event... guess my PGR banner clued 'er in, I asked where is it
... lady said, right on down the road... Saw a bunch of scoots and thought, this must be it! Not crazy about loose gravel, but I'm a whoosey...

Nice 'Vet!

'nother test for you young'uns.... do you remember dash mounted mirrors????

Some more 'Vets... guess that is more than appropriate! GBG

Gee, wonder where the event is????... GBG

The very nicely done MIA/POW 'Vet!

Here comes Audie A, one of our District 13 ALR riders to say hi!

Just shooting pics for the cause...

And here comes fiancee Cheryl!

Audie's mom and dad, he has a hard to remember name... William.. same as me!

Shot of the Huey.

Most of that is the food line! I was surprised, I got there a bit after 1400 and I was early! Jake, eat your heart out!!! EARLY!!! GBG

Shot of the cookers, Mike "The Noisy Kid" in front of me. After meeting Audie, in my wandering, Dist 13 ALR Gary R found me and said Hi! He had a table with Sandy and Mike, plus Lori and Bruce P. Of course there were many ALR folks around. Kick myself, in my hunger forgot to take pics of out table group!!!!

The MIA/POW 'Vet was pulling this scoot! The guy who rides it must be a big guy!

A better shot of the Huey.

As I was leaving, I got another shot of Audie and family. Cheryl was working with Audie on something and I think it was the Welcome Home VietNam pin that we all got.

Another shot...

It was a VERY nice event and I will wear my VietNam Welcome Home pin with Pride! Thanks to all that made this happen, it was fantastic!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

San Jose ARC Bernal 19 Mi loop

Pics are from top to bottom, click on a pic for a larger pic, text for a pic is under the pic.

Well, I was telling folks that after the Fremont fund raiser 3/14, I was going to take a nice 19 mile loop to work off all my sins... I may have fixed a few but.... sigh... This is one of my preferred rides, so thought I'd show it to Ya'll!

The weather was gorgeous and off I went. I've been treated quite badly by the weather as of recent, so I started out with a light sweatshirt... peddled 1 mile to the beginning of the bike trail...

It starts at a percolation pond, that's how we get our ground water, let it out of the dams, store it in places like this and let the water get into the ground water system. The water is very clear!

Highway 85 just west of the 87 interchange, north of Oak Ridge. This is where I lost the sweatshirt... nice out!

Other side of the perc pond, the bike trail follows a stream just to the right.

...and leads to Almaden Lake. Pretty place, the horrible paths I have to ride on.. GBG

Town homes across the lake.

This is where I lost the T shirt... 80... in the sun. From here, I take streets along the Santa Teresa Hills to Bernal Rd. that goes over my favorite hill... That's miles 2.5 to 8.5.

Hillside as I peddle along, almost to the good place!

Alright! At the park and starting up the road...

I'll take a pic from the road up by that cement wall..

Some folks ruining their day... GBG

About mile 8.8 and we start up the hill... notice it has a slight upward slant! GBG

This is about .3 miles up or 9.1, notice that we're moving right on up!

Overlooking the homes, same place.

So I go a short way so I can see up the road.. and up we go...

Santa Teresa Park, notice the ruts... hogs looking for grubs, etc. They plow quite well! And looking for deer, normally see some up here...

This is one of my favorite stops, overlooking the houses, this is about 9.7 or almost a mile from start of "up".

So I've got a bit more to go..

A park, quite nice, the family used to go there.

Now about 1.3 into the up, at a pull out / parking spot. Notice everything is green... well we've had a wet year. It's the Golden State... in a couple months it will be golden! And we'll go to HSVROC at Topaz Lake, Nv and most of CalEfornYa will catch fire and I'll have to eat smoke all the way home! Or that's what it's been for at least the last two years!

Looking back down the hill....

AT the top! This is about 1.5 mi of the "up"... notice that zig zag on the left? Kids and I called it the switch back, single track and on the other side going down, there's about 5 levels of it, pretty bad trail, very rocky and steep.

If you look at the tallest point, There is an antenna there, I think it's Coyote Point, around 1450' up.

Looking to the right at the IBM Almaden Research Center - ARC.

There ALWAYS has to be a down side! The road / trail headed down into Almaden Valley.

It's hard to see, but if you click on the pic, the left highest point is Mt Umunhum, at about 3450', the next tallest peek to the right is where the power lines go over the hill... power lines are mountain bikers best friends... they have to have fire trails and access roads for power company vehicles... nice roads for the off roader's. I took that road ONCE, and that was enough! It's a killer!

OK, so far, this is the "wild life", sigh...

We got lots of turkeys in the valley, real ones! I saw 5 dozen here once!

For the "wild life", bet that would feel good on a 100 deg day!

Some very large old growth Manzanita trees.

Looking back up this side of the trail. We're almost at the 12 mile point.

Back on the bike path, 12 down 7 to go!

A nice stream fed by the Almaden reservoir.

The other side of the bridge, the water was dirty today, unusual, but we've had a lot of rain lately, that clouds it up.

...not the yellow brick road, but pretty nice! GBG

Let's see, Sunday, first great day in a LONG time... think the trail was packed!

This is interesting, to me at least, I've watched this stream for a long time, the straight route and the branch to the right were always even split. I wondered why one didn't become the dominate branch... this year the right branch won!

Again, the water was cloudy, it's normally crystal clear. They have some very large fish in the stream, lake and perc pond. I've seen 12" round, 2+ foot long ones taken out, black bass... big ones! That rock by the tree out growth, is where they like to play. A few weeks back I saw about 8 big ones, spawning, I think.

Well, I didn't get skunked! A deer!

A tree laying down. This creek will rage! When it rains hard, all the street water drains to ditches that feed this and the run off comes in FAST! And this thing can get wild!

That tree was straight across the creek, laying on the fence post of the bike path, the last heavy rain and run off, straightened it out! I'm tellin' Ya, this thing runs bad in heavy rain!

A lot of times I'll see families with kids playing in the water....

We get to the park across from where I first came into the lake.

A busy day indeed! Lotsa folks!

Nice picnic areas.

Remember I said this creek rages? Look at the rock build up in the lake. That has occurred over the years, the water washes rock into the lake. Makes it nice for folks and fisher people to walk out into the lake.

Nice place for families.

Favorite view across the lake looking at Mt Umunhum...

Almost back to where I started. This is the coolest spot any where! The breeze comes across the water, 85 shades the lake, and it's real cool!

Hey! The Cranky dude survived! Great day all around! I think I still see some 'tator salad, mac salad, bit of brownie stuck in places, sigh... Next time I'll work it all off! GBG!!!! 

I bought a new bike just after this ride:

Look under Dad New Cannondale F5 Section

The thing about a cross bike, part mountain / part street bike, is it does neither very well.... sigh...  Well, I rode it for 35K, and it was completely shot! Rims, tires, tubes, derailleur, gear cluster, chain, it would have cost more to fix than my new one... oh well..... 

So back to a mountain bike.  Got it for $400 on Craigslist, less than 1/2 price, but of course, added much to make it work for me.... and would have had to do the same if I paid full price, some things Ya just gotta do....