26 May 2011

Update on the Road Attack II Tires

After having these tired installed now for about 200 miles I can only say I like them quite a lot! Grip is definitely better than the Tourance EXP, stability leaned over is much better, stability on the highway is better, doesn't follow tar snakes as much.

Oh, rear tire used on both sides to the edge ... *smile*

I'll update on the tires from time to time to write about the ongoing experience.

25 May 2011

Rafting on the American River

That's why we didn't go on a motorcycle trip last weekend:

It was a lot of fun! We drove up to Cameron Park, CA, on Friday evening and were on the river most of Saturday. High water and a great team made it a good experience. Great guide, too.

15 May 2011

Goodbye to Metzeler Tourance EXP Tires

It was time for a change. A tire change. The Metzeler Tourance EXP I had on were getting kind of rough on the rear, not completely worn but for German laws probably on the border of being legal.

Also they created a feeling like a broken bearing on the rear wheel. Vibrations and bad behavior when cornering with medium lean angle. I guess my 400 mile run back from a tour last fall wasn't the best for them ... fast highway riding, they developed a flat area in the middle. Also, traction was never what I expected, I was sliding a few times in areas where I really wouldn't have expected it.

So, this time around I went with full on road tires. I figured that I won't ride much off road this summer, not with Andrea now having a bigger and heavier bike and myself not heaving enough time for Death Valley exploring or so. And if that comes along, I find ways ...

What did I get? I read a lot about various road and dualsport tires and ended up with Continental Road Attack 2 tires. As the name says, pure road tires. More rubber, less tread.

One nice thing about them is that they don't have a shiny, slippery surface at all. They are sticky right from the beginning. The old myth of a "mold release agent" is what it is according to tire manufacturers: a myth. But nevertheless a new tire isn't completely scrubbed in and builds its full grip only after a while. Not those I guess. After 20 miles there is about 5mm unused tire surface left on the rear on each side. And I didn't even have some real corners. Once up Highway 9 and down Page Mill Road and that tire is on the edge. And it sticks like glue and is more stable when leaned over. I'm really impressed and so far I like it.

I paid roughly $400 for them including mounting on the bike. I just brought the bike in and they did everything. I will be looking into mounting tires myself, unfortunately that's a financial commitment that will only pay off after 6 to 10 tire changes. Not bad to learn it anyways, but money wise it might not be worth it. It's more a flexibility and learning thing. We'll see.

07 May 2011

Bad Week ...

Wow, this was a really, really bad week for me. Work load is quite insane, we have way too much going on right now, and I was sick. Really sick. Haven't been hit that bad for longer than I care to remember. Can't recall a single time in the last twenty years that I had more than 39 centigrade fever. Normally I don't get fever at all. Me at 38 is close to dying ... And the last time I recall it being higher than 39 I was still in school. The whole thing started with headaches and joint pain last week, got better for a day or two, then coughing started on Monday, stayed home sick Tuesday with 38.x fever, went to work Wednesday and half of Thursday when I just couldn't do anything anymore and went home. Checked, 39 fever! No wonder I felt like shit.

Okay, enough of this. It got much better on Friday and I was on normal temperature Friday evening. Today was a nice enough day, so in the afternoon we decided to ride up to Alice for dinner. It looked like a rainstorm up there but it was actually dry, just kind of dark already at 18:45 ... had a nice dinner, went back home. Both ways we took the short and quick route: Foothills Expressway (yeah,  an "Express" Way - you have to stop every 400m for red lights, what a shitty concept), Arastradero Rd., Alpine, Portola Road, Highway 84 to Alice.

The way back was in the dark. A first for Andrea, but it wasn't a big problem. I was riding ahead and so she had at least a good bearing in front of her.

It was really exhausting after being sick for so long. No pictures - no time and no light. Sorry. I'm glad the week is nearly over ... but the weekend could last another couple days.

01 May 2011

San Francisco Ride

Needed to get out a bit today. Andrea was climbing. So I decided I ride up to San Francisco for some nice photos. But, as it stands - I should have checked the battery of the camera before leaving. So all I got was a few shots ...

Camera gave up there, so I took another one with the iPhone:

Another thing that kind of surprised me after being to San Francisco quite often, living in the Bay Area for more than two years - I didn't know that San Francisco had a beach this big:

It was really nice out there, weather was around 26C and there were lots and lots of people but this beach is huge! I knew there is a beach but really, the size surprised me quite a bit.

Rode home via Skyline Blvd all the way, part of Skyline is unfortunately also Highway 280, but okay. Didn't really matter. It was a great day.