Luke has as many as three bikes, depending on how you count

I love my Long Haul Trucker but it has skinny tires and a short stem, which makes riding on anything other that straight, smooth roads a little spooky. My Fuji Touring is a little better, but still not really up to any kind of dirt or gravel road. 

Solution: NEW BIKE! Look at this lovely thing:

A Salsa Journeyman!

But three bikes in an apartment is crazy – especially when I hardly ride the Touring these days.

Solution: “Loan” my brother the Touring!

I couldn’t just let it go – it’s the bike I rode to Santa Barbara, for corn’s sake – but I hated seeing it sit unridden. So it’s on indefinite loan to my brother, who will ride it a bunch.  

I got the Salsa three days ago, but the smoke from the wildfires was too thick to go for a ride. Today I took it for a short shakedown.

…and I plugged some holes!

It’s about what I thought. A little slower, a lot more stable. A fun ride. I’m still adjusting it, but I can tell it’s going to be a nice ride.

The trouble with map apps, and starting to fill in!

I’ve been using BikeGPX to help me fill in holes in my Ride San Fernando Valley project. It’s free, and it works well – unless I make a crazy route that keeps doubling back on itself. The it gets confused and I have to nudge it back on track. But for any normal cyclist trying to ride pre-planned routes, it’s a pretty cool thing. Worth having!

The other “use a map to plan a route ahead of time” issue: Did you know that roads and maps sometimes don’t line up? It’s true! It’s almost like the city is constantly changing or something.

1. This road no longer exists.
2. I was supposed to ride in here, but all the crisscrossing confused the map app.

But even with glitches, the southeast valley is starting to fill up.

Heck, in a couple of years I might actually finish this thing!

New mapp app, new seatpost

It’s really hard to find a decent app that gives turn by turn directions. Runkeeper & Strava don’t do it, which is annoying. I found an app calle Bike GPX that lets you follow a map, but doesn’t have a voice. Annoying, but it worked well enough to (mostly) follow the route.

Also: I am stunned by how different the bike feels with a different seat post. Much more comfortable!

Now part of the rideSFV map: the West Valley!

Today’s ride:

Some sort of gun, I guess?

About 40 miles on the new saddle today. Totally worth every penny it cost.

And the West Valley is officially on the map!

Of course, I’ve already ridden all over the West Valley (and big chunks of the north side as well), but that was before I started mapping, so…let’s do it again!

Filling cracks, climbing little hills.

Today’s ride: 20 miles of picking up missing streets, and a slight return (voodoo child) to hills.

I have no idea what this could be. That could be a mouth bottom right, I guess…

Things I learned:

  1. I need to ride more hills. A tiny bit of the end of Lankershim was a challenge.
  2. It’s really easy to miss streets. I’ve been consciously trying to fill in everything, and I’m still missing streets less than a mile from me! 
Seen here: missing streets.

I need to start making maps before I go so I can pick up stragglers and and reasonable hills along the way.

Rorschach tests, mile adjustments

Cartoon dog wearing a turtleneck and smoking a pipe, or hand reaching from the grave for Santa’s boot? You be the judge.

I like the antenna on top of the dog’s head.

And’s here’s a rough guess of which parts of this ride were new-to-me roads.

I guessed that there are are 3,200 miles of road in the San Fernando Valley, but I based that on a report from the City of Los Angeles that doesn’t include other cities. No Burbank, no San Fernando, no Glendale. New guess: 3,400 miles.

So, how many miles are we talking about here?

I had no idea how many miles of road there are in the San Fernando Valley, so I decided to try and look it up. The most recent information I could find is from this 2008 report. It says:

The City of Los Angeles has approximately 6,500 miles of … [paved] streets divided into two geographic areas, Metropolitan (53 percent) and the San Fernando Valley (47 percent). It is the responsibility of the Bureau of Street Services to maintain all streets in a perpetual good to excellent condition.

47 percent of 6,500 is 3,055. I’m sure there are more streets now than there were ten years ago, so let’s call it 3,200. I don’t have any way to figure out what percentage I’ve completed, but it’s not anywhere near that!

The Smiling Man Loses His Hat – AKA “My new project makes me go on weird rides”

Tonight’s ride looks like a smiling at lost his hat.

Ride map

I hear you asking: “Why the weird ride?” Here’s the thing: I’m a guy who repeats himself a lot. I find something I enjoy, and I NEVER CHANGE IT. Or I change it so slowly that it doesn’t feel like it’s changing.

So, I’m changing that. Two things that made me decide on this project:

  1. Strava has a “Heat Map” function; it shows all the streets from every ride you’ve logged. More common streets glow brighter (that’s why it’s called a heat map) but all I care about is the log of all streets.
  2. I read this post about a woman who plans to ride on every road in Alaska.

I’ll never ride every road in California. I’ll never even ride every road in Los Angeles. But I can ride every road in the San Fernando Valley. Will it take a long time? Sure. But I have no time limit. Right now I’m just riding on streets I don’t remember using, but pretty soon I’m going to have to start actually planning these rides or I’m going to leave a bunch of short chunks all over the place.

This is what I’ve got so far:

Heat map

And this is roughly what I added today:

New Roads

I have no idea how many miles of roads there are in the Valley. At least five, that’s for sure.