Less than an hour North of San Francisco lies a network of small towns that exist utterly detached from the hamster wheel of our nation’s obsession with technology. They have names like Dogtown, Bolinas, Forrest Knolls, and Olema. Somehow, they’ve managed to escape most trappings of gentrification. They feel authentic, real, and fragile – rather like hummingbirds feeding on flowers despite a gathering storm (or perhaps in spite of it). And I get to drive through them almost daily, because I’ve made Stinson Beach my new office (for more on that, see Time To Begin, Again).
Northern California has always meant the world to me, but moving my base of work close to these places has cemented my love for this special patch of the world. Today I left my hut on the coast and rode my bike up and over the 2,000 foot barrier between the surreal – where fairies dance – and the very real – where most of us live and labor to produce the information economy (also known, in this case, as Mill Valley – fast becoming the Brooklyn of San Francisco).
Here’s a picture of the view from the divide between the two. Looking, as always, to the west.
PS – I posted this picture earlier on Instagram, but that just wasn’t good enough.
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted in Four Letter Words, forgive me. I’ve still been riding, and drinking, of course. Just busy launching another thing, OpenCoSF. But tonight I took a step back and took my wife out to our favorite place, and we noticed a new wine on the menu, from the makes of The Prisoner. It’s called Abstract, and it’s got a wonderful etched label to which this picture does not do justice. But it’s moderately priced (for a wine from Orin Swift), and it’s a wonderful drinker. So go get it if you can.
And yes, I’ve not stopped riding. Here’s the view from the top of Tam on Saturday. The Bay was alive with boats – Fleet Week, the America’s Cup, the Giants in the playoffs, the Blue Angels….great day.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted images and such from the other side of life. It’s been a rather strange, disjointed, fast-paced summer. No long breaks, no monumental family vacations. A lot more work than I’d like. But time for riding, mountains, and wine…and pictures of same. So to them:
My family has been going to Mammoth Lakes, California since the 1960s. My mother has a place there, and this is her dog, who lives to swim after sticks in Sierra lakes. Not a bad living…That’s Crystal Crag in the background for anyone who knows the area.
This is one of the many single tracks from the top of Mammoth Mountain down – this is the backside of the mountain, looking out toward the lakes and across to the Southern Sierra. That’s my son on the trail. We had a great day riding the mountain, which included some pretty ridiculous technical stuff, even some man-made nuttiness where you get essentially sideways, to wit:
Today I got to steal a ride under the guise of bonding with a senior exec at Federated Media, Walter Knapp, an avid rider/racer who spends much of his time with our Lijit business in Boulder, Colorado. Of course, he’s younger than I, and lives at a higher altitude, which is why he went easy on me as I took him through one of my favorite rides – from my home in Ross out past Fairfax and up into Tamarancho, a unique single track haven built by bikers in cooperation with local Boy Scout troops. Then we headed up to Pine Mountain to take in some views – here’s Walter enjoying the Bay Area’s answer to Colorado high:
That’s on Pine Mtn. Trail, with Mt. Tamalpais in the background, and the East Bay over his right shoulder. One of my favorite “happy spots” within striking distance of my house. According to my AllSports GPS app, we rode 22.1 miles, climbed about 4500 feet, and were at it 2.5 hours. Talking business the entire time, of course. (Actually, that’s pretty much true). Here’s some context as to where we were in the world:
Saturday presented an opportunity – two beach parties on the other side of where we live, the first out in Bolinas, a small, quirky beach town that values its isolation from the rest of Marin, and the second at Muir Beach, some ten miles by road south of Bolinas.
The opportunity was this: I got to ride to Bolinas, and take in some new trails I’ve always wanted to ride.
Many of you have asked me to not mix business with the rest of my life, and thanks to my pals at Blend Interactive, it’s finally happened. I have a new section of my site, which I’m calling “Four Letter Words” – mostly photo posts about life, wine, and bike(s). Consider this the first post, in which I’ll catch you up on some good drinks and rides over the past few weeks. Searchblog RSS subscribers who take the main feed will NOT see these posts, but you can sign up to get them either as a separate stream, or with all other posts, on my feeds page.
First up, let’s get a bit of wine entered into my personal Database of Intentions (and I’ll pin these to my board as well). We had this nifty Chappellet 2002 Cab last month, and I’d encourage anyone within reach of a bottle to open it, immediately.