Sunday, 27 September 2009

Motorcycle Trip 14

I found this trip on calmoto.com.

It's very similar to Motorcycle Trip 13, but there is an extra twist. Instead of taking Mines Rd from the Junction, you continue East on Del Puerto Canyon Rd to I-5, then go North until S Coral Hollow Rd, where you go West until Livermore.

Length: 231km / 144mi
Duration: 4h47m
Difficulty: Beginner/Intermediate


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Motorcycle Trip 13

I found this trip on calmoto.com.

From San Jose to Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton, pass the summit, then continue onto Livermore through the woods. Eat at Emil Vila's Hick'ry Pit in Livermore, then return to San Jose via the Calaveras Rd.

Length: 172km / 107mi
Duration: 4h
Difficulty: Beginner/Intermediate


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Motorcycle Trip 12

I found this trip on calmoto.com.

It takes you from San Jose to Duarte's Restaurant in Pescadero and back over the great Hwy 9, Hwy 1 and Hwy 84.

Length: 222km / 138mi
Duration: 4h35m
Difficulty: Beginner-Intermediate


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Motorcycle Trip 11

I found this trip on calmoto.com.

Length: 347km / 216mi
Duration: 7h
Difficulty: Beginner/Intermediate


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Motorcycle Trip 10

I found this trip on calmoto.com.

A lovely ride from San Jose to San Francisco, across the Golden Gate and into Marin County. It goes around the Mt. Tamalpais, Hwy 1, ending up for lunch at the Cheese Factory on Point Reyes Rd.

Length: 320km / 200mi
Duration: 5h
Difficulty: Beginner / Intermediate


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Saturday, 26 September 2009

Motorcycle Trip 9

I found this trip on calmoto.com.

This is one of our favorite shop rides for dualsport riding, and although it takes a whole day, it never brings you more than a few hours from the bay Area. These are some of the last true dualsport routes open to the public, and it is by no means certain that these will remain open much longer.

The basic route is from Mountain View to Hollister, via either 101 (fast) or Uvas/Mckean Roads, past the reservoirs, paralleling 101 (slower) and rejoining 101 in Gilroy. Take Route 25 into Hollister and be sure to stop for gas, because you are going to need it before the day is over!

From Hollister you head south on 25 as far as Paicines, where you turn left on J 1. The sign is marked New Idria, and that is where you are headed. J 1 is a lovely paved road that takes you to the Panoche Bar, near the turn-off for Little Panoche, which is the continuation of J 1. I recommend stopping at the Panoche Bar for a Coke and a quick look around at one of the nicest old country bars in the area. This is also the only real bathroom stop on the whole route, so be advised.

After leaving the Panoche Bar you want to go straight ahead, (don't turn left on J 1) always bearing right, (southwest) on the New Idria Road. This road is the road that takes you over the mountains to Clear Creek. When you approach the mostly deserted town of New Idria the road gets rough and turns to dirt.

You need to be at least an intermediate rider to have fun on this road, it is a little challenging for a pure beginner. This road climbs to a three-way intersection. Going left takes you to the top of San Benito Peak, but you have to backtrack to this intersection. Going right, up the hill, takes you to the top of Clear Creek and onto the Clear Creek Road that leads down the mountain and back to the Coalinga/San Benito Road. Be careful on this road, there is often dirtbike traffic on it. There is a gate at the top and bottom of this road on the New Idria side. We have often ridden around the gate, but if you are riding around the gate you are definitely on your own on that section of road, and it is not recommended if you are by yourself.

A caution: If it is wet, this road is nearly impassible unless you have knobby tires. The clay turns to a slippery mud. The best time to take the New Idria/Clear Creek Road is a couple of weeks after it has stopped raining so the road can dry out and the mudholes disappear. Then regular dualsport tires are OK for traction.

After riding down the west side of the mountain and across the San Benito River ford at the entrance to Clear Creek, you turn right on the Old Coalinga Road and follow it to a right turn marked Old Hernandez Road. This road is about half dirt and half paved, with one river ford which can be challenging after a rainstorm, otherwise it is no problem. Follow it to its end and turn left, go a short distance and turn right, you are back on Highway 25 heading north. Follow 25 north past the Pinnacles and the twisties, and watch carefully for a gate on the left, with a dirt road marked La Gloria Road. You are only 6 or 7 miles past Pinnacles when this road comes up, so watch for it!

Gloria Road is all dirt, is used by farm trucks and equipment, so watch carefully and don't go too fast. Stop at Chalone Road, the summit, and take a little break. You've been riding several hours by now; pace yourself so you don't get too tired. Gloria Road takes you back to Highway 101 north, and you have the choice of staying on 101 and heading straight back to the Bay Area, or taking Old Stage Road into San Juan Bautista for an early dinner before heading back.

I guarantee you will be tired if you ride this whole route, but you will have a great feeling of accomplishment as well. All the roads I've mentioned are shown on AAA maps, (San Benito County) and I have available copies of my own marked maps at the shop for anyone who wants one.

Allow a whole day for this ride, get started by 9:00 am and you will be home around dinnertime, having accomplished one of the nicest Dualsport rides in the Bay Area.

We must remind you that you are responsible for your own safety on these rides, and that conditions can change rapidly. If you have any doubts about your ability to master the terrain, the depth of the fords, or any other risks, turn back! Your safety is paramount and we don't want you to put yourself at risk unnecessarily.

Feel free to e-mail me for any details or questions.

Best regards,
Reinhold Schmitz


Length: 320km / 200mi
Duration: 1day
Difficulty: Intermediate/Experienced


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Friday, 25 September 2009

Motorcycle Trip 8

Trip around the Santa Cruz mountains. It starts on Hwy 17, Los Gatos, going towards North Santa Cruz, then back near the Uvas Reservoir.

Distange: 144km / 90mi
Duration: 3h30m
Difficulty: Beginner/Intermediate


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Motorcycle Trip 7

Short trip around Southern San Jose, along the 101, with some portions on the highway. Perfect for beginners, with just a few easy curves.

Length: 77km / 48mi
Duration: 1h30m
Difficulty: Beginner


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Motorcycle Trip 6

A trip on the East side of the Bay. It starts from Milpitas, going North near the Calaveras Reservoir, passing Pleasonton, through Castro Valley until Redwood Regional Park, then back South to Fremont.

Length: 115km / 72mi
Duration: 3h6m


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Motorcycle Trip 5

A short trip around the Northern hills of San Jose. It will take you through quite a few twisties, so level should be beginner-intermediate.

Length: 86km / 54mi
Duration: 2h06m
Difficulty: Beginner/Intermediate


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Motorcycle Trip 4

Mega die hard tour, not for the faint hearted. Start from Roseville, first stop in Oroville. Then, it is up the Feather River Canyon, around Lake Almanor to Susanville. North along Highway 139 to Alturas, and accoss the mountains to the Surprise Valley. Return is through the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, Pyramid Lake, and back through Reno and Hwy 80.

Length: 1028km / 640mi
Duration: 15h45m


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Motorcycle Trip 3

I found this trip on the Bay Area Moto Group. It will take you through Sonoma and Napa Valley in the North Bay / Marin County area.

Length: 255km / 159 mi
Duration: 4h17m


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Motorcycle Trip 2

An easier and shorter version of Trip 1, this second trip will take you around Alice's Restaurant, Half Moon Bay, Hwy 1, Santa Cruz, Hwy 9, Boulder Creek.

Length: 172km / 107mi
Duration: 2h45m
Difficulty: Beginner/Intermediate


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Motorcycle Trip 1

Now that I have my rider licence, I started looking for trips. The following is the first trip I found through the Southern Bay mountains.
It is for intermediate-experienced riders, as it goes a lot through mountain twisted roads, but there is really not a lot of traffic on them.

Length: 185km / 115mi
Duration: 4h
Difficulty: Intermediate/Experienced


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Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Motorcycle Licence

I passed my motorcycle licence today!!! Hurraaaay... Now I can ride in peace.. only thing missing is a motorcycle.

Been to DMV and passed the written examination. I made 3 mistakes, but still ok. As I completed a riding course, I didn't have to pass the skills test anymore.

They took another photo of me and they punched a hole in my current licence in order to invalidate it. So now I have an intermediate licence... or actually a piece of paper, until the new licence comes in mail.

All is hunky dory... but I need to rent a bike if I want to ride now... These things are expensive, plus there's a ton of liability if you fall/scratch one. Plus they rent only mega bikes... all touring and mega Harley Davidsons & BMWs. I would like to start on something easier to handle... Like a Suzuki V-Strom ;)

First weekend in October I'll try rent a smaller bike.. that will be a tiny BMW R 1200 GS... Baby bike >:D<

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Chicago Sears Tower

May 7th, 2008. Visiting Chicago once again. This time we climbed to the top of the Sears Tower. Mada likes the elevaor music so much that she shows us some moves ;)

Original date blog can be found here.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Chicago Planetarium and Aquarium

May 6th, 2008. Day trip to Chicago. We visited Adler Planetarium and Shedd Aquarium.

I am slowly catching up with my video editing. Now the backlog is only 1 year 4 months ;)

Original date blog can be found here.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Greg Kihn at Peppertree Ranch

Today we went to the Peppertree Ranch in Hollister to see Greg Kihn and his band. This was an open-air family event/rock concert in the middle of farm land.

The only song I knew from Greg Kihn was Jeopardy, which I really liked and I wanted it to be played at our wedding, but after I listened to the lyrics one more time, I had second thoughts about the message it would convey ;)

This concert was very American - I think I saw 2 Asian faces, one black kid and no Indians at all... which, for California, it's extremely out of the ordinary.

Music was good, beer and wine also good (from the nearby Guerra Cellars). Though we had to leave earlier, as Mada was quite cold.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Java Read/Write Files in UTF-8

Even after several years of Java experience, there still can be confusion reagarding handling of files with different encodings.

One thing that is unclear most of the times is that encoding only makes sense if you are trying to read/write character data. For this Java created the Readers and Writers. They only handle textual content and they bridge byte streams to character streams by encoding/decoding the bytes using a specified encoding (char set). For binaries (or for textual content not actually represented as text) one can use normal input/output byte streams.

Reading textual content from a file using UTF-8 encoding:
public static String getContents(File aFile) {
StringBuffer result = new StringBuffer();
BufferedReader br = null;

try {
int len = 0;
char[] buffer = new char[8192];
br = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(
new FileInputStream(aFile), "UTF-8"));
while ((len = br.read(buffer)) != -1) {
result.append(buffer, 0, len);
}
} catch (FileNotFoundException fnfe) {
fnfe.printStackTrace();
} catch (IOException ioe) {
ioe.printStackTrace();
} finally {
try {
if (br != null) {
br.close();
}
} catch (IOException ioe) {
ioe.printStackTrace();
}
}

return result.toString();
}

Writing textual content from a file using UTF-8 encoding:
public static void saveContent(String content, String fileName) {
String directoryName = fileName.substring(0,
fileName.lastIndexOf(File.separatorChar));
if (directoryName.length() > 0) {
File outputFile = new File(directoryName);
outputFile.mkdirs();
}

BufferedWriter writer = null;
try {
writer = new BufferedWriter(new OutputStreamWriter(
new FileOutputStream(fileName), "UTF-8"));
writer.write(content);
} catch (Exception e) {
e.printStackTrace();
} finally {
try {
if (writer != null) {
writer.close();
}
} catch (IOException ioe) {
ioe.printStackTrace();
}
}
}

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Indianapolis

May 5th, 2008. Short day trip to Indianapolis... or Indiana? Anyway, Mada explains it for all :)

Original date blog can be found here.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Tour of Computer Science Department

May 4th, 2008. We were in Lafayette, Indiana at the Computer Science Department of Purdue University. My brother-in-law was showing us his PhD project.

Some of us had no clue what he was talking about, some of us were cranky... all were tired and some were even jet-lagged.

Original date blog can be found here.

Mihai, Here We Come

May 3rd, 2008. All family going to Indiana, Lafayette to visit my brother in law's and witness his commencement. We are now in the Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam), getting ready to board the plane.

Original date blog can be found here.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Prima Sonograma

La ora 10 am avut programare la obtetrician pentru primul consult. Am aflat ca nu era saptamina 11 cum credeam ci a 10-a. Mai exact 9 saptamini si 5 zile.

Cu aceasta ocazie doctorul a facut si prima sonograma. Totul a fost in regula, bebele aratind normal pentru saptamina 10 :). Jumatate este cap si jumatate este corp cu minute si picioare in formare. In total bebele are aprox 2.88cm. Am auzit si inima care batea consistent cam cu 150 batai pe minut. Este mult prea devreme sa aflam sexul, asta fiind doar posibil doar inceping cu saptaminile 17-19.


Eu am ramas complet masca cind am vazut pe sonograma cum, la o miscare de-a lui Mada, bebele a facut un hop, a sarit si apoi usor s-a asezat iar pe peretele uterului. Era ceva ireal... asemanator cu unul dintre globurile acelea de Craciun pline cu apa, fulgi de zapada si peisaje de iarna.

Si parca voind sa puna capac suprizei initiale, bratul drept al bebelui s-a ridicat la un moment dat si s-a miscat ritmic de vreo 3-4 ori, ca si cum ne-ar fi facut cu mina.

Daca in weekend ma stresasem la BabiesRus, acum ca am asistat la scena aceasta, mi-a venit rapid inima la loc...