Friday, January 6, 2012

Big Waves and Hunqapillar Love

Given yesterday's mechanical issues with the Hunqapillar, I began the morning with some careful chain cleaning and lubrication. I mentioned in yesterday's post that the chain was relatively new and couldn't really be completely fouled yet. This had something to do with some of Sheldon Brown's sage advice that a new chain is coated with factory lube, which in his opinion is as good as it gets ... and one should be good to go for quite a while with just that. Well ... I would have to say now that, although his advice is generally stellar, in this case I think he's wrong. With not a huge number of miles on it with the factory lube, my chain was thick and rather stiff, and that factory lube seemed like some kind of gel coating that magnetically adhered any kind of dirt that touched it. I've been pretty good about wiping it clean, but this time it looked like I hadn't touched it in months. So I cleaned it thoroughly and applied some more appropriate lube for my conditions here. The chain felt immediately more flexible, looked nice and shiny, and shifted through the cogs and chainrings like butter. Much better.

Having spent a bit of time on maintenance, I lost some of my ride time ... but I felt it was important to get down to the harbor today, as the morning weather people all offered warnings of high surf advisories, which means there might be some good photos to be taken. So I grabbed my camera and headed out.

There was considerable traffic on the way to the Ocean Institute where I thought the coolest photos would be. As I approached the beach and tide pool area, I understood why. It seems my idea of watching the waves and snapping photos was not a unique one ... there were lots of people already there, many camped out in folding chairs:

People, dogs, cameras ... wave watchers, all
I was actually one of the late arrivals, barely getting a good place to park the Hunqapillar and take some pics. Several people rode bikes there, every kind imaginable, including the racy-looking fellow below with his Lynskey Titanium steed and full matched team kit (whatever you do, don't call it an "outfit"). He complained that he hadn't brought his good camera, although I'm not sure where he'd put it while riding ... couldn't see any bags or racks on that very nice bike, and his jersey pockets were already stuffed with stuff. I, on the other hand, had my camera, tool kit, picnic blanket, and coffee ... and had room to spare in my saddle bag. Of course, he did seem to get up that hill on the way out a TINY bit faster than me ... and by "tiny", I mean that he was likely home, showered, eating lunch, and watching soap operas before I actually crested the hill. But at least I had my photos ...

Mountain bikes, cruisers, city bikes ... even titanium race machines!
The object of everyone's attention was the ocean, which was kicking up some pretty heavy swells and waves. The photos below are misleading, because there's no real point of reference to show how big the waves are ... but you'll notice there's no one surfing today, in contrast to the previous posts, where there was always someone on a board.

Normally you'd see some huge rocks where those waves are crashing

Just as I snapped this, the water swelled up around the rock in the distance, which is about  20 feet high

These waves are actually 12-15 feet high, or so the Ocean Institute people told me

Pictures can't talk, but the sound of the water hitting these rocks was AWESOME!
Since I didn't have a lot of time (I do actually work, you know), I headed back home ... but on the way, I grabbed a shot from above the harbor. The arrow in the photo below shows where I was when I took the photos above ... and to the left is a wave crashing over the break wall. Compare the size of that wave to the people standing to the right to get an idea how big the waves are today. Click on the image (or any of them) to get a larger view.

See those tiny people? Compare them to the waves for size ...
That's it for today ... more riding and stuff next week, if not sooner. Hope your new year is off to a great start!!

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