Monday, December 26, 2011

Napa Valley Motocycle Day Trip

This little tour takes you from San Francisco South Bay, where I happen to live, to the famous California Napa Valley and back, through roads such as Suisun Valley Rd, Wooden Valley Rd, Sage Canyon Rd, Chiles Pope Valley Rd, Butts Canyon Rd, Trinity Rd.

All in all is about 300 miles (480km) and I did it in about 8 hours at relative good pace with many stops. Most of the road is through the mountains (except highway bits) and includes large sweepers, so difficulty is intermediate. The last part on Trinity Rd is pretty goaty and it gives you a workout both physically and mentally, so difficulty is advanced.

Interactive map:

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Santa Cruz Mountains Motorcycle Day Trip

This is a short and sweet motorcycle mini-tour around California Santa Cruz Mountains. It's less than 4 hours (Google Maps estimate), but in fact in can be done in about 3 hours. The roads are hand-picked for their turns and twisties, so difficulty is intermediate-hard. Length: about 120 miles (200km).

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  • Bear Creek Rd
  • Jamison Creek Rd
  • Smith Grade Rd
  • Bonny Doon Rd
  • Swanton Rd
  • Cloverdale Rd
  • Pescadero Creek Rd
  • Alpine Rd
  • Page Mill Rd
  • Moody Rd

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Southern California 2 Day Mini-Tour

Day 1: Santa Clara - Pismo Beach (~450 miles / 11 hours)

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Day 2: Pismo Beach - Santa Clara (~260 miles / 8 hours)

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

High Sierra Pashnit Tour Day 3

Last day of the Sierra Nevada Pashnit tour took us from the West Walker Motel (in Walker, CA) to Georgetown, CA. We then continued a little tour to Quincy.

Roads followed:
  • Monitor Pass
  • Alpine Village
  • Hwy 88
  • Mormon Emigrant Trail
  • Silver Fork Rd to Kyburz
  • Hwy 50 West
  • Ice House Rd
  • Big Hill Lookout
  • Wentworth Springs Rd
  • Georgetown (Chinese restaurant lunch)
  • Hwy 193 West to Hwy 49
  • Hwy 89 to Quincy

Distance: 320 miles / 515 km
Duration: 8h30m
Difficulty: Super twisty
GPS Routes: kml / gpx
Interactive map:

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

High Sierra Pashnit Tour Day 2

Day 2 of the Pashnit motorcycle tour Sierra Nevada. From Bridgeport to Walker taking passes Sonora and Ebbetts.

  • Hwy 395 to Hwy 108
  • Sonora Pass Hwy 108
  • Middle Camp / Sugar Pine Rd
  • Big Hill Rd
  • Yankee Hill Rd into Columbia
  • Parrots Ferry Rd to Hwy 4
  • Ebbetts Pass to Hwy 89
  • Monitor Pass to Hwy 395
  • to Walker, West Walker Motel
Distance: 200 miles / 320 km
Duration: ~5h30m
Difficulty: Advances (super twisty)
GPS Route: kml / gpx
Interactive map:

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Friday, September 16, 2011

High Sierra Pashnit Tour Day 1

Day 1 of Sierra Nevada motorcycle tour. We officially started in Manteca and ended up in Bridgeport.

The roads we took:
  • Hwy 120 East to Hwy 108
  • La Grange Rd
  • Bonds Flat Rd
  • Hwy 132 to Coulterville
  • Hwy 49 (The Little Dragon) to Mariposa
  • Hwy 140 to Yosemite National Park (lunch at Ahwanee Restaurant)
  • Big Oak Flat Rd to Hwy 120
  • Tioga Pass to Mono Lake
  • Hwy 395 to Bridgeport
Distance: ~300 miles / ~500 km
Duration: 7 hours
Difficulty: Intermediate / Advanced (super twisty)
GPS Route: kml / gpx
Interactive map:

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day Trip to Hwy 25

Motorcycle ride to Hwy 25, Holister to Hwy 198 then back.

GPS Route: kml / gpx

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Picking up Hans and Albert from San Francisco

Going to SF to pick up Hans and Albert from Eagle Rider. Then we did a small motorcycle loop around the Peninsula, visiting Alice's Restaurant for lunch.

Distance: ~150 miles / 240 km
GPS route: kml / gpx

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Pashnit Grand Tour - Day 2

Approx: 300 miles, 11 hours

Part 1: Cambria - Forest Route 23S16

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Part 2: Forest Route 23S16 - Three Rivers

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Overnight in Comfort Inn, 40820 Sierra Drive, Three Rivers, CA. 559-561-9000

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

VMware (Player) Port Forwarding

As I said in one of my previous posts, I _love_ VMWare Player (much more than its Workstation brother). There is no surprise, I want to have some neat port forwarding (from HOST machine to VMWare).

I found the following information on

Step 0: If using VMware Workstation, continue to Step 1. However, if using VMware Player, you need to extract the `Virtual Network Editor' from the installer via the following command:

$> VMware-player-setup.exe /e .\extract

Go into `extract' -> `network' and copy `vmnetcfg' into the VMware Player directory before you use this tool. Once `vmnetcfg' is in the VMware Player folder, you can launch this tool to configure the NAT port forwarding.

Step 1: Open the Virtual Network Editor ( either from Workstation or launch `vmnetcfg' )

Step 2: Choose `VMnet8' from the interface list, change the Subnet IP at the bottom of the panel to `' then and choose `NAT Settings...' from the VMnet Information panel.

Step 3: Ensure that the Gateway IP is set to `' and then choose `Add' under the Port Forwarding panel.

Step 4: Fill in the port map information with the following data:

Host Port: 22

Type: TCP

Virtual machine IP address:

Virtual machine port: 22

Description: SSH

Step 5: Apply all settings and close out of the Virtual Network Editor.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Santa Cruz mountains route

Redwood Retreat Rd (to Mt Madonna Rod) - closed, private with signs of no trespassing, but gorgeous drops, redwoods
Summit road - closed, private, unpaved portions, trespassing alerts, dirt, potholes

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Citate cu sens

Urmatoarele sunt citate de pe Mi s-au parut ca 'fac sens' asa ca le-am adunat aici:

"cu siguranta peretii ar spune multe povesti daca ar putea [..]. Gasesc semnaturi vechi si chiar fotografiez cateva din 1845. Este reconfortant de stiut ca eram cel putin la fel de prosti si atunci ca si acum. Macar nu ne-am tampit intre timp." -

"ne miscam foarte disciplinat, Pomo care conduce sirul merge regulamentar, depasim pe rand si refacem formatia, ascult “Bohemian Rhapsody” si ma gandesc ca, daca as vinde clipe din viata mea, astea ar fi foarte scumpe." -

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Breaking-in my new front tire

Got a new front tire - Bridgestone BT023-GT. Time to break it in. What a fantastic tire it is. I love the handling. It feels like it's a whole different bike.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

How to Increase VMWare Partition

My latest hack is the following: I ran out of space on the C: partition on my VMWare image. Needed to add a few GB extra. My issue was that I only had VMWare Player and not the Workstation.

VMWare Player cannot perform the partition increase by default, so it needs to be helped (note that VMWare Player and VMWare Workstation cannot coexist on the same machine). I needed the following files from a VMWare Workstation installation:
  • vmware-vdiskmanager.exe
  • vmcryptolib.dll
Run vmware-vdiskmanager.exe inside VMWarePlayer folder (e.g. C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Player)

From here the steps were straight forward:
  • Convert the partition to be ‘single growable virtual disk’:
vmware-vdiskmanager.exe -r "C:\My Virtual Machines\Image\hdd1.vmdk" -t 0 "C:\My Virtual Machines\Image\hdd1Converted.vmdk"
  • Resize the virtual disk to new size (15GB max):
vmware-vdiskmanager.exe -x 15GB "C:\My Virtual Machines\Image\hdd1Converted.vmdk"
  • Launch the VMWare Image
  • Use a hard disk manager tool (e.g. “Paragon Hard Disk Manager 8.5 Server Edition”) to re-allocate all unused space in the partition to the given disk

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Big Sur Route

A little day trip to Big Sur.

- Santa Clara
- Gilroy
- Hwy 25 to Hwy 198
- Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd to Hwy 1
- Lunch in Nepenthe in Big Sur
- Return to Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd
- King City
- Greenfield
- Carmel Valley Rd to Monterey
- Hwy 1 to Santa Cruz
- Hwy 9 to Saratoga
- Back to Santa Clara

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Another variant including lunch in Cambria:

- Santa Clara
- Gilroy
- Hwy 25 to Hwy 198
- Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd to Hwy 1
- Hwy 1 South to Cambria
- Green Valley Rd to Paso Robles
- Indial Valley Rd becomes Peach Tree Rd
- Peach Tree Rd to Hwy 25
- Hwy 25 to Gilroy
- Hwy 101 to Hwy 85 to Hwy 87 to Hwy 280
- Back to Santa Clara

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And finally this is the route I took (with an overnight stop in Paso Robles to change the back tire) :)

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Going up Sonora Pass

This is from the last Pashnit tour I have been in - Sierra Nevada.

Pashnit Sierra Nevada Tour - Day 2

This is the route for day 2 of the Pashnit Sierra Nevada tour. What an awesome day of riding... Probably the best so far!

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Pashnit Sierra Nevada Tour - Day 1

This is the route I took on the first day of the Pashnit Sierra Nevada Tour.

Description of the tour on the Pashnit Tour website.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pashnit NorCal BackROADS Tour - Day 2

Day 2 of the North California Backroads Tour. Horrible weather all along this day too... But we pushed through none the less.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Pashnit NorCal BackROADS Tour - Day 1

Super rainy day... unfortunately. But this didn't stop anybody :)
More bad weather to come in the next day.

That's us here (Pashnit forum link)

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Romanian Radio on iPhone

Although I have an iPhone for couple years, I just realized recently that I can use my iPhone to listen to Internet radio stations. Doh!

The search for an app began. I started googling for "Interet Radio" or "tune in radio", but the results were not all that good. I wanted a FREE app, simple and customizable. There are some really cool looking apps out there, like TuneIn Radio or Spark Radio, but they are either not free, or coming with a predefined list of thousand of stations that can't be modified. I didn't like that! Who is going to listen to 35,000 stations? I just have a dozen of stations or so that I listen to and I want to be able to specify them myself.

There comes FStream (AppStore link here), which is just what I wanted. It has a very simple interface, which I like, but the major features are:
  • customizable station list: the user specifies the URL of each station, it name and position in the list;
  • web interface: the user can access, modify, reorder, etc the station list from a web browser. The iPhone needs to be connected the a WIFI network. Then user can access the FStream built-in website from any computer/browser on the network.
Combine this with the Motorola MOTOROKR T505 and you got yourself a cool solution to listen to your favorite Internet radio while on the move. Mind you, you will need the following to have this working:
  • 3G connection available, subscription to data
  • Audio device with Bluetooth A2DP file support (e.g. iPhone 3Gs+ / iOS 3+)
  • FM car radio (yes, this is mandatory ;-> )
The following is a list of Romanian Internet radio stations I usually listen to:

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Norway Motorcycle Tours

Here are few links to resources about touring Norway on a motorcycle: