February 20, 2008
We were in Mill Valley, visiting our friends (see Dipsea Redux), and at the end of the Dipsea stairs I saw this guy grinding up a hill on a bike, with three (that’s right, three) kids on the back.
Now after a few years of living in Hong Kong, this wasn’t so strange to me – though he was missing a side of pork, and his wife (smiling in the background above, because she wasn’t hauling that load) should have been sitting on his handlebars.
On closer look I realized it was an Xtracycle, which is what you get when you let the Xtracycle company convert your regular bike into an SUB (sport utility bike). And the cool thing for me is that they’re based in Nevada City, or more accurately in North San Juan just up Highway 49 a few miles.
February 11, 2008
It’s been almost 15 years since I last hiked the Dipsea trail from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach.
My wife & I used to regularly do this 7.1 mile trek across the coastal range to the ocean, with traditional celebratory beer at The Sand Dollar. The food there is so-so, but as one reviewer on Yelp said, it’s not about the food, it’s about the atmosphere.
Then when we were living in Hong Kong, we simulated this by hiking from our apartment in Happy Valley to The Curry Pot in Stanley. Not as far, but the Hong Kong humidity was a big equalizer.
Things are different now, with kids and all that, but I recreated part of the old ways by having a beer in Stinson Beach and at least hiking the first two miles of the Dipsea. And yes, the stairs are still painful, though no worse than I remember – I think as I get older, I just achieve the same pain level sooner and slower.
But perhaps with age comes some wisdom. We took a side trail and wound up at the Tourist Club.
I can’t wait for a Sunday when I can enjoy their beer garden. I only hope the selection and quality are as good as what Rob described in his blog post from a few years back.