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About Me

Who is The Roller? I am just another high tech worker in Silicon Valley slaving over a hot keyboard. I spend the day worrying about picoseconds, millivolts, fab schedules and Section 6 of the contract. I have a laptop and a Blackberry and live by a task list and a schedule. I am on auto-pilot as I drive home, just like everyone else.

The thing that makes me different is that I discovered mountain biking over 15 years ago.  This gets me out of the office, out of the air conditioned silence that is broken only by the soft clicking of keyboards, out of the sterile steel, Formica, and industrial carpeted ecosystem where I spend too many hours a week.  In 15 minutes, I am on the trail with the sound of gravel or redwood duff crunching under my wheels and the wind in the trees and the smell of redwood or California bay trees in the air.  I am now surrounded by wild animals of all types and plants from ground-hugging mushrooms to redwoods stretching to the sky.  I have traded congested traffic for delightful solitude or the company of friends.

I live on the west side of Silicon Valley, so I have a wealth of local trails to ride.  The vast majority involve a fair amount of climbing because almost everything flat has been built on.  I have tried to share some of my riding experiences with you on this site in the hopes that if you are not a rider or just starting out you will be able to find something interesting that fits your needs.  If you are experienced, maybe you will have some ideas to share or find some ideas in an area you are not familiar with.

Most of my mountain biking has been by myself or with Ken and Don.  A few others have joined us from time to time, but this is the core crew. I also ride with a "group" one evening a week in the summer and special rides at other times. Between these two and some of my own rides, I have gone to almost all of the local open space preserves, state and county parks in and around Santa Clara County, and some places that just aren't identified. If you know of any good rides I haven't done, please drop me a note in the guestbook!

I have been taking a GPS on every ride (and a few hikes wink) for many years, so I have built up a pretty useful set of trail information. Using the GPS data, I have elevation profiles for each ride. I have merged multiple rides in each location into a single combined trail map that you can display in Google Earth. You might find this interesting - I think this is pretty cool. I have been having fun plotting the information from each ride on the computer and making all sorts of calculations. We have done quite a few major hills throughout Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, including rides up to the Lick Observatory and Mt. Umunhum (the blue cube). My longest mountain bike ride (so far) was a 72 miler cross-country from my driveway out to the coast at Pescadero Beach and back. Over the course of my rides, I have seen a wide variety of wildlife, including cougars, bobcats, coyotes, deer, wild pigs, rabbits, turkeys, foxes, quail, vultures, owls, woodpeckers, butterflies, ticks, mosquitoes, flies, squirrels, rattlesnakes, lizards, newts...well you get the idea. If any of this sounds interesting, take a look at my photo gallery.

In the summer of 2013 I bought a road bike and started riding that in addition to my mountain bike. Road riding has been a nice change, allowing me to cover longer distances, move a lot faster and ride when hitting the trails is difficult. It also allows me to get out with some different riders and is great conditioning that carries over to the mountain bike. It also kept things fresh and gives me a new set of equipment and possible rides to think about. I have established that I can go over a hundred miles, so I will have to start thinking about entering an official century ride just to do it.

Thanks for visiting.  If you have a moment, please sign the guestbook and post a comment before you leave the site.

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