Got Rain? Make Rainbows

If you are lucky enough to live in a place that doesn’t have snow and ice in the winter there is still bad weather to deal with. Whether you let the rain dictate when you ride or not, there are some things you can do to be more comfortable when the weather doesn’t agree with you. Sometimes stormy weather can enhance your rides, I love it!

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Featured image is a picture of deep puddles and a rainbow down the trail. Here, we found another rainbow. We saw 5 rainbows that day all on the same ride!

I think you know by now I live in northern California. We have high winds and rain during the winter. I had to find a way to stay dry and warm during storms. Water resistant clothing just isn’t good enough when it starts to pour and you are miles away from home.

I was lucky when it rained last February it was a warm winter so riding home soaked wasn’t bad and we were still having a drought. Not so this year.

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Another rainbow across the San Francisco Bay.

I looked at rain suits at bike stores and REI and are they expensive. It costs even more to get the pants. I grabbed my Chromebook and started looking at cheaper alternatives.

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A double rainbow greeted me from my living room window before my ride.

I found one on Amazon after looking at a lot of cheap stuff. A full suit with pants for $14 I was thrilled when it got delivered. I was a vision when I tried it on. Lol! Next time it rained I was ready.

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Me in the pouring rain having a ball. You can see the raindrops in the photo.

I put on the suit and went riding to see how it performed. It was awesome. It didn’t get in my way biking and I was able to wear the hood under my bike helmet. A little time drying out and it goes back in my bike bag ready for next time.

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On this day I lent my pants to my friend I was riding with but you can see them here.

Both the pants and top have snaps on the wrists and ankles that keep them out of the way. The plastic material is thick and reinforced with flaps on the pockets. A hood keeps everything dry with nothing going down your neck. It was important to me that I could roll it up small enough to fit in my bike bag.

I almost got a rain poncho. It sounded good because it would cover the legs but bicycles and ponchos don’t mix they’re too baggy in the wrong places and could get caught in your chain or spokes.

Plastic can get hot while wearing it because it doesn’t breath but I haven’t had that problem yet. I wear my suit at the most, 2 hours. They are coming up with new materials but they can be expensive.

Being warm and dry in the rain gives you the freedom to explore on days when everyone else is inside. It puts you in a certain class of bike rider/nature lover, not everyone will bike in bad weather. There’s a kind of peace to riding in the rain I enjoy very much.

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Get a bag for your bike to carry stuff in.

Having a good bag on your bike means you can take your rain suit with you on rides. The bag on the front of my bike was around $65 and as you can see the straps on the sides hold it still when bouncing around the trails. (I like this style but next time would get something more waterproof.)

The bag on the back is very old (nylon) and I use it to carry excess. It doesn’t hold much, right now there’s a knit scarf in it.

There are bags of all sizes and shapes to buy for your bike. Make sure it will attach or fit on your type of bicycle.

Things To Put In Your Bike Bag

  • first aid kit
  • health bars or fruit/lunch
  • knit hat, gloves, and cold weather wear
  • rain suit
  • money and driver’s license or ID
  • aspirins or ibuprofen
  • bandana or clean x
  • sun block/sunglasses
  • binoculars (for nature of course)
  • rape whistle (I’ve had one for decades)

All things any good Girl Scout would think of bringing. (Yes I was.) ~giggle~

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Water water everywhere. I’m so glad I have full fenders on my bike! All these photos used were taken on the same day.

If it’s not raining here this time of year it can be in the low 30’s during the day. Winds from the San Francisco Bay cut right through normal jackets and coats. Find something windproof with thumb holes (which keep the wind from going up your arms.) Layer.

I found a knit cap that fits under my bike helmet and covers my ears, a big plus. Leather gloves are the way to go and protect that neck with a scarf. Long underwear is my friend.

It’s so important to be comfortable while exercising before and after warming up. Motivation can freeze up in the face of a very cold and windy day but once you get out there it’s all worthwhile. I know how hard it is when faced with a very windy day my biggest riding nightmare! I always feel better for doing it.

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You can get some beautiful light on stormy days.

When I get home I always have some great photographs to look over and share, the kind you can’t get on a sunny day. It makes me feel alive.

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If you compare this photo with the other photo in this article (above) you’ll see it’s similar but not the same, they’re 2 different rainbows from 2 different days.

This was taken this morning from the same area (my living room window) as the first one. They both were taken half an hour apart, one from last week, one from this morning around 8 AM. I’ve never seen 2 rainbows in the same place before but now I know if conditions are right it can happen.

It was amazing!!

I have never ridden a bike in the winter. In slush yes, but not snow and ice. I do know a few brave souls who do and even ride to work all year. I give them an award of the highest respect for they are the cream of the crop of bikers compared to me! I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy!

Hope you enjoyed the photos along with my advice about biking. Since this is a new site I’m still gathering readers and I want to thank you for being a reader. I’m happy to have you!

Consider leaving some comments? I’d like to know about you and your interests. How’s your health? What kind of weather do you bike in?

Shadow Dance

Yesterday was the shortest day of the year and I took a long bike ride. The light was fantastic! All day it seemed around 3 pm and it was a warm 64 degrees with bright sunlight not at all winter-like. Made me break out in a happy shadow dance!

Shadow Dance was me dancing to a song (playwright protected so not used) with my shadow. I had no idea James was filming me until I turned around. James rode with me on Wednesday, when this was filmed and I rode again the next day (yesterday) by myself taking advantage of the weather. I was just having fun and the music I used instead is hilarious.

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There was more shadow play during those rides. The texture of the mud at low tide is wonderful and varied.

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Near the 19 hole golf course, the frogs are making a comeback. We’ve had tons of rain that is washing the drought away. The grass is sparkling.

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There was no water here just months ago. This field is across from the wetlands, on the other side of this fenced-in area there’s a park and this area fills up with rainwater only. There will be a lot more water soon.

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This is another area across from the bay that fills with rainwater and city run-off. The water used to stay but it’s been drying out during the summer. I love to sit on this bench and listen to the frogs that mysteriously appear along with the return of the water. They give a good concert if you take the time.

Notice my bike shadow. Nice!

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San Francisco is my riding buddy as I zoom along the Bay Trail.

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The sun shines on my path in the distance. You can see where the water is still not full up on the left behind the fence.

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Looking South towards the San Mateo Bridge, Highway 92. I ride under and past that bridge on a normal ride day.

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This is low tide with San Francisco in view. San Francisco is down the peninsula from San Mateo, not across the bay as these photos might suggest. These major areas are points that were picked because they stick out along the coastline. The airport is in-between us and the city.

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The city in the distance, surrounded by mud and water. The colors of blue, brown and sometimes green are amazing. The water is the color of the sky, reflections in the calm water, and deep winter shadows make for great sights! When the tide comes in this will all be covered with water again.

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I’ll be biking again tomorrow unless it’s pouring rain. I’m excited to be nearing a year riding my vintage bicycle on the Bay Trail. I started last year around February 20th riding my bike after starting a diet. When I found it enjoyable and found it working I decided to try and ride every other day.

Riding every other day has so many advantages over planning 3 workouts a week or such. A day to rest and get things done and a workout day. If something comes up skip it and go the next day, this keeps you regular so you don’t quit. Your body will shape up faster and regular workouts will make your body healthy giving you surprising energy reserves.

Today I’m proud to say I’ve fulfilled that schedule only missing occasionally due to illness, injury or terrible weather to start again. It’s not as hard as it seems but you must keep your motivation going when it’s low and it will be at times. I keep my eye on the prize (my figure and health) and work through it. Can’t wait to celebrate a year soon.

Do it, be it and enjoy it!

 

San Francisco From A Bike Seat

Biking the Bay Trail from the San Mateo side of the San Francisco Bay is wonderful for I get to see San Francisco when I ride. I have now seen it in 3 seasons and all kinds of weather from the seat of my bike. I hope you enjoy the view.

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They don’t call it “the city by the bay” for nothing. This is the view from Coyote Point, the city looks quite close from here.

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This is in Foster City near 3rd Avenue on the bridge. The land mass to the left is part of the Bay Trail in San Mateo.

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Windsurfers Beach is this patch of beach used by the windsurfers when the wind is up. I like to watch these guys out on the bay and when they “get air.”

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San Francisco is not always visible on rainy days sometimes it disappears completely. The tide is out making it look like SF is sitting in a giant mud flat. I ride in all weather.

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SF in the background on a very windy hot day. You can almost see SF shimmering on the horizon.

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At high tide SF seems to be floating on the waves under the fog bank.

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A close up of SF from Coyote Point which is a good place to view the city by the bay.

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On a cloudy day at the beginning of my ride, the tide is out. See the bicycle in the foreground on the right? It’s been there forever and is a full bicycle someone left behind. Unfortunately, this area has its share of litter and dumping that can be seen when the tide is out.

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SF is almost more interesting when the weather changes which can happen fast around the bay. The water has many looks and personalities.

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Amongst spring flowers, SF looks like it’s next to the Coyote Point boat harbor from this view but it’s behind it across the bay.

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They have put rocks like this around most of the bay. SF is in the background on a crisp day.

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San Francisco can be seen from the San Mateo side of the Bay Trail all the way to the San Mateo Bridge. It’s wonderful to see it all kinds of weather and seasons I’m a lucky person to be able to bike here daily. The only season left for me is Fall and I can’t wait!

These pictures were taken with a Nikon Coolpix digital camera and a Samsung Galaxy s7 cell phone camera. The moving pictures were taken with the Animated GIF Mode on my s7.

I recommend the Samsung Galaxy s7’s camera, with all of the modes included it’s one of the best cameras I’ve ever used which is saying a lot for a cell phone camera. I now use the S7’s camera for all my photography.

I hope you liked my photographs! Riding a bike is the best way to see and photograph the world in my opinion. Happy riding!

Everything is better on a bicycle seat!

Just My Bike And Me

Wetlands passing by
the waterbirds feed
it’s a very good day
on San Francisco Bay.

To be out of the city
yet see it ‘cross the bay
even foggy days
it’s there on display.

Wind in my hair
just a gentle breeze
sun hot on my back
as I follow the bike track.

The sharp salt smell
clicking of the gears
the songbirds sing
colors on the wing.

Drifting down the trail
I feel like I’m flying
at peace so quietly
just my bike and me.

© Rebecca Sanchez 2016

I am very lucky to be able to bike the Bay Trail up close and personal at this time. Sharing my photographs and poetry is one way I can show you just how special this area is to me and why we should keep it as pristine as we can. The animals who live here and nature depend on us.

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The featured image is San Francisco with the fog coming in as seen from Coyote Point. This image is the San Mateo Bridge, Highway 92, looking from Foster City towards San Mateo. The tide is out so the wetlands are exposed but when the tide comes back in the waters of the San Francisco Bay will be all the way up to these rocks and beaches.

Riding On The Bay Trail

One of the great things about riding my bike for me besides the health benefits is the beauty of the Bay Trail. Although I travel the same route each day there’s always something different to see and depending on the weather the San Francisco Bay has different moods and looks.

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Leaving the home unit and ready for take-off! (Yes, I’m a big geek!)

My last ride was March 22nd (Tuesday) and as soon as I got to the trail I noticed the clouds. Puffy and dense enough to block the sun at times looking like huge cotton balls.

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A lone runner stretches before a run on the Bay Trail.

This is my view of the trail right before I get on it. I’m very lucky to live several blocks away so I can ride my bike from home. Coyote Point and the boat harbor is to the left it’s a dead end where people fish and San Francisco across the bay is closest.

To the right is my almost 20-mile round trip ride through all kinds of landscapes ending up at Highway 101 where the trail ends. If you consult the map of the Bay Trail on the bottom of my site it may look like one can bike all the way around the bay but unfortunately, many of those paths are dotted meaning they are planned and not yet connected.

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Looking towards Seal Point and the San Mateo Bridge.

I bike around that point, past the Golf Course, to the bridge and under it to the other side. Just look at those clouds! The bay was choppy but I was going with the wind on the first half of my ride.

The winds coming off of the bay on this side of the bridge can be very strong, sometimes incredibly strong. No one day is like the next when it comes to the wind. If the winds clock over 15 miles an hour it’s going to be hell biking into them. If they go beyond that it’s insanity. Those are the days I come home tired and sometimes sore. (After all, it is called exercise for a reason.) Once on the other side of the bridge, the trail meanders off of the bay and the wetlands are a pleasant ride.

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Taking a break to hear the frogs.

There are benches all along the trail I like to stop and sit at but I always stop at this one near the Golf Course because this is where the frogs are. I used to sit and listen to their funny noises on the first leg of my ride but because of the drought, it’s been pretty quiet. Only when I get stuck in the rain do I hear a few frogs and it makes me sad. Even though we’ve been getting more rain this year it hasn’t brought them back fully.

You can’t see it here but there’s water in those reeds and it’s a perfect place for frogs. I’m hoping I’ll be hearing them soon perhaps they are mating and increasing their numbers as I speak. The more rain we get the better for California’s waterways.

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Canadian Geese land to visit with me as I do a frog check.

You can see some of the water but there used to be much more. This is the only place on my ride that’s close to the trail and marsh-like although there are other spots along the ride perfect for frogs and creatures like them. This marsh is across the trail from the bay.

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The Belmont Slough.

Once I get away from the bay into Foster City towards Belmont, I follow the Belmont Slough. Let me state here that although I log and track my workouts I don’t ride to best my time. I like to stop and smell the flowers and sit on benches along the way. I haven’t used the top 5 speeds on my bike yet and I wear my camera around my neck so I can stop and snap if need be. It feels so good when I’m on the trail, too good to rush.

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As I sat to eat my Golden Delicious Apple this guy came to visit.

There were 2 of these spiders and they were curious about me. You’d think something as big as me would send them scurrying but these guys approached me with a swagger.

I don’t know what kind of spider this is but he’s awfully cute! Looks like a little crab. I left them a few drops of water on the picnic table which they checked out before I left.

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Looking towards the bay (hidden here) near Bat Ray Island.

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From the same bench, a flock of birds soar by making wonderful noises.

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These flowers have the prettiest patterns on them and bloomed early. They’re already fading littering the trail with petals.

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I love going under this overpass! Highway 101 is not far now.

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On such a perfect day I had no idea that the winds were waiting to ambush me on the other side of the San Mateo Bridge when I went back.

The camera taking all these beautiful pictures is a Nikon Coolpix, one of the first compact all digital camera made by Nikon. My roommate found it in our garbage when some people moved away. Why they did that I don’t know besides being a little beat up it takes amazing pictures and is so small I can wear it around my neck while I ride. It takes .avi movies and records sound. I tend to take terrible pictures because I always move and this makes me look like I know what I’m doing!

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Highway 101 marks my turn-around point about 10 miles out the first leg of my ride.

The Bay Trail loops around back onto itself here, taking me back the way I came. I live on Bayshore Blvd., by Highway 101 so I’ve made a big circle on the trail back to 101 only further south. If the trail went along 101 I could ride back home making a complete trip. I wouldn’t get to see the great view on the way back so I don’t mind.

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As I sit and take a break some ducks are having a great time!

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This cloud looks like it’s balancing on the tower. I enjoy clouds and take photos of them as you can see.

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The ice plants are natural but most of these flowers, trees and bushes are landscaping for all the expensive homes that line this part of the trail.

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Once back on the San Francisco Bay, it’s all blue sky and beaches on the Foster City/Belmont side until the Belmont Slough.

I have questioned myself as to whether these beaches are man-made or not and I promise to look it up. Some of the beaches are sand and some are gravel but they’re all beautiful. When on the bay it’s usually rocks on the shore so these beaches were a nice surprise.

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Looking back towards the San Mateo Bridge.

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The sun is coming out from behind a cloud as a man fishes near the windsock looking towards Mariners Point. That windsock comes in handy!

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Coyote Point, San Francisco in the distance, and the boat harbor are all signs that I’m almost home.

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On the way to my apartment I pass through neighborhoods and this house is one of my favorites with a Lilac Bush expertly trained along the front windows.

I hope you enjoyed photographs from my ride. I take them every time so I’m looking for the best way to show them off on this site so you can see all of them. Even if I repeat an area it looks different in every photo depending on the light and weather. The Bay Trail is incredibly beautiful and I consider myself lucky to live nearby so I can bike from home and take advantage.

Biking is fun, keep at it and you will be successful. Biking is low impact, aerobic and just fun. It burns an amazing amount of calories. Most of you should remember riding and having a bike when you were younger and you can feel those feelings once again.

Please leave some comments and let’s start the conversation. I look forward to hearing from you. Don’t be shy, let’s talk! I’m here to help and listen.

Get moving, keep moving and your life will move…forward!