We live in earthquake country

I was reminded that we live in earthquake country this morning at 3:30 a.m. when I was awakened by the Napa temblor. It was mild compared to 1989 when I rode home from Cupertino to Palo Alto through streets with no traffic signals.

Fortunately the South Bay wasn’t affected this morning. I saw nothing out of the normal on the ride to Santa Cruz.

However, I noticed that Mountain Charlie Road has a new coat of pavement lower down, seemingly unpaved since Charlie McKiernan sold his toll road to the county of Santa Cruz in 1878.

Old Santa Cruz Highway also has a new coat of pavement near Summit Road. Most of the road hasn’t been paved in 15 years and it’s starting to show, with large fissures that could catch a wheel.

4 Responses to “We live in earthquake country”

  1. Richard Masoner Says:

    The lower twisties on Old Santa Cruz Highway are getting pretty beat up these days. It gets pretty bouncy while descending.

    I watched somebody’s stem break last spring while descending Mtn Charlie. Not a fun way to end a ride.

  2. Ray Hosler Says:

    Sorry to hear about the stem failure. I wrote an in-depth article about bike part testing in 2010 and the conclusion is that you should cycle bike parts the same way airlines cycle key components. There’s no sure way to know how long a part will last, even if it is built to spec. The bike industry could do us a favor by posting recommendations. I’ve broken two Campy cranks. The crank problem has a solution, developed by Jobst Brandt taking a lesson from the car industry, but the bike industry ignores the problem.


  3. jay Says:

    Personally 99.9% of my worries about failure center around tires. I guess after that it was be a fork or frame, but outside of looking for a crack in it I don’t really know how to check a carbon frame. I wonder if the broken stem witnessed on Mt. Charlie was carbon. I read in Velo News that many pros stick with traditional handlebars and stems because of fears of catastrophic failures.

    I’d be kind of proud of myself if I wore out two Campy cranks–that must be an insane amount of miles.

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