California Dreamin’

On days like this …

I find myself California Dreamin’…

Back in early February (Feb 6-11), we spent a few days in Mountain View California and spent a day in San Francisco, exploring a little bit of what the city has to offer. We drove up into the Mountains and along the very scenic highway 1, and of course we had to rent bikes for a few hours. We did the tourist bike trek – a ride over the Golden Gate Bridge. The whole area is beautiful. Here are a few picture highlights.


View of Silicon Valley from the mountains to the west.

Sea gulls flying over the waterfront in Santa Cruz.

This guy parked a little too close the ocean!


We stopped for a walk at a secluded beach. It turned out to be a “hidden gem“, Gray Whale Cove State beach.

Scott playin’ the piano at Half Moon Bay State Park. (It’s a temporary art installation, but the piano works, it’s just getting more and more out of tune)


The Golden Gate Bridge, with a rower working hard against the tide.


The view from the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge.


Take the trolley across the city at the end of the day.

After our short adventure in Mountain View and San Francisco, Scott was offered a new job (a transfer) in Mountain View, California. And with that, our new adventure begins. We will be selling our house here in Ottawa, packing up and moving to California. Scott will move sometime in early May. Becky is about to start a critical phase in her PhD, so she will remain in Ottawa for about a year, visiting Scott whenever she can, and making her big move once she has finished collecting her data for her PhD research.


3 thoughts on “California Dreamin’”

  1. Hey,
    Sounds like quite the experience! I have often wondered about taking a trip accross canada, the praries. I think it would be awsome. I, at this moment have a Bachetta “agio”. I bought it back in 2011, if memory serves. I bought it used as I didn’t have any experience with a recumbent. As it turned out I loved it. I was litterally all over Toronto on it. I was born and raised here. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to upgrade. I had to introduce the idea of a new recumbent gently with the mrs., she’s, unfortunately not into cyling and not athletic in nature. Needless to say, when I mentioned what I wanted to do (buy a $3,000.00dolllar recumbent) well it was a bit of a battle for a while. I had done my research and had found the perfect deal at the bicycle man. Actually that’s how I heard about your blog. Anyway I packed the family, my wife, daughter and mother-in-law in the van and away we went. I met Peter and Lee and bought the “Optima Baron” that I had been researching for what seemed like a year. I brought it back into Canada, paid the 13% and took it for a spin that evening when I got home. The next morning I planned to ride into work, something I had been doing on the old “Agio” for about a year. So, the next morning I was up at 5am and out the door at 5:20am some ten minutes before I usually would leave. I was excited to ride the new bike as it was the first ride of any length I had done. Don’t think I haven’t thought of the timing since that morning of March 16th 2012, I mean being out the door 20 minutes earlier than usual. If only I had left at the usual time eh? I’m getting ahead of myself though! I had to ride across the bike lanes on a steet called Brimorton, in Scarborough. Problem was when I finished riding west I had to turn and go north into Markham, up MCcowan where I worked. As I approached the intersection where I had to turn north my memory stops. Apparently I was hit by a car, I still can’t remember any of it, twenty minutes before or 5 days after. I had numerous injuries. they tell me I went through the air for about 50 feet or so. I have not seen my new bike since as it was destroyed by the impact! Now, more than a year later I am not the same as I was before the accident but I have a lot to be thankful for. One example is that I am still around to be a father to my seven year old daughter, I’m really happy about that!! Strangely, I still have control of all my limbs and for the most part I am ok. I have an area of my back where I can’t feel anything (sensory nerve damage) but you know, it could have been worse. Anyway, I am to the point physicaly where I am starting to think about riding again. What I would like to do is to buy a “Street Machine”, because of the suspension and ride it on the side walk when traveling northbound where there are no bike lanes. I was wondering what you think about this logic? I have test riden a street machine and it seems really smooth, I loved the feel. You obviously have more experience than I, would you conquer this would be one of the best bikes to ride? Can I ask another question? I was wondering, the bike shop I have been looking at has two “street machines” one with a triple chain ring up front and the other with a single chain ring. The one with the single sprocket up front, I’m told has the different gearing offered by the cassett at the rear, but it also has three different gearing ratios within the rear axle, much like the old style 3 speed. I was wondering if you would have any comments on which would be the better configuration? I enjoyed reading some of your story, I have not read it all yet but sounds like quite the experience!!
    Mark Smith.

  2. Hi Mark,
    Wow, crazy! Glad to hear you are healing and well enough to continue riding. I do think the shocks make a huge difference for a smooth ride. We had borrowed Peter’s Linear Recumbent without shocks while we waited for our StreetMachine’s to arrive – and I can tell you for certain there is a huge difference in the smoothness of the ride.
    One thing I would definitely recommend is to pick up a “slow moving vehicle” sign from your “local” farm supply store. We drilled a few holes in the edges at attached it to the back rack – you could also attach to the seats. We got full size signs – not the little triangles at bike shops. They made a huge difference when riding – cars give us much more room passing than they did before we installed the signs.
    One the chain ring front, we opted for the Roloff hubs (15-speed). These are expensive and they add weight to the bike (they are heavy). The biggest advantage to them on the bent is that you can change gears without pedalling. This means that when you stop suddenly without time to gear down, you can gear down before starting up again. This is huge if we are doing loaded touring – also if kids decide to play with your shifters, it isn’t a big deal. For city riding, I’m not sure the price and extra weight are worth the extra cost. With the Roloff, I have installed a second chain ring up front, as I needed the extra gearing to keep up with Scott on the downhill (he spins faster than I do), whilst still being able to pedal up the hills (again, fully loaded). I don’t have a shifter for the front chain ring, so I need to manually change it (lifting the chain and moving it). Since I don’t need to change it that often, this works out pretty well.

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