Archive for the ‘Website Updates’ Category

Server Migration Complete

April 17th, 2013 by MTBBill

So I have finished migrating my website stuff from one server farm over to a new mo better one with new hardware and software stuff on the backend that will support the front-end better.

Not my stuff I swear!

Like all things touted as “seamless” in the IT world is often does not quite go that way.   Early on in the migration the site was down for a few hours when some DNS records got update too soon and prematurely sent folks to the new server that was not ready yet.  There were a couple of folks who either left comments on the blog or registered for an account, right in the middle of the cutover which will have resubmit there stuff.   Besides that all has all been ironed out and things seemed to be going just fine on the new stuff now….for now.  Time to go ride a bike :-)

Update to the Otay Mountain Loop

March 4th, 2013 by MTBBill

It came to my attention some time ago that the segment of the California Riding and Hiking Trail that I used as part of my Otay Mountain Loop has gotten horribly overgrown.    

It was pretty faint in spots back in 2008.  I have updated my page to reflect that riders may want to go around on the road.   Or better yet, check out this route and take some pruning gear along on you. :-)

Guajome Park

March 11th, 2012 by MTBBill

So off and on I get asked where are good places to take kids riding.  On my website to-do list for quite sometime has been to create a where to take a kid guide.   Lake Hodges, Big Laguna Trails, Penaqsuitos Canyon are places on the list but I had been thinking about some of the smaller places that would be good for the MTBer with little wheels would be.  Guajome Park is one of those places good for the grommet MTBers to get a taste of dirt.

Guajome Park (Or as my kids like to call it “Yo Hommie Park” is located on the east side of Oceanside right off of Highway 76.   It is a county park that has a campground, a couple of small ponds and a series of trails that are no so overly engineered with split rail fencing and compacted non-native soil dirt sidewalks like are prevalent in many of the county parks near the urban environment.   This place still allows for kids to interact with the environment instead of just look at it.  When my kids where younger we used to hike out here often and go just out the little nooks and crannies of the place.

Last week I was talking to youngest son Jake about the park and that I wanted to get a webpage together so Jake decided to join me on the photo, map recon effort.

With about 4.5 miles of trail out here it can be quite fun for newbie kid.  Even an a newbie adult who is willing to do a lot of hamster wheeling can find the place fun.

There are mainly fireroads here but there are also enough singletrack bits to keep a kid well engaged.   There are two different playgrounds at the park as well as large population of resident ducks that quite fond of stale loaf bread.   This would be a great place to take a little kid out for his first “big” MTB adventure as there are lots of opportunities to do other things besides ride the bike.

When I say “little” kids I’m generally thinking newbies on bikes with less than 26″ wheels as once they get to that big, this place can get rather small and you would have to get creative at this place at that point.   Here is Jake working on riding this telephone pole skinny.   It took him a while to get the technique down but he eventually was able to hop up on the log at the skinny end and ride the whole thing.

This was an after school ride for Jake and we played around here until we ran out of daylight and had to head back for things like dinner and homework.  Good midweek stoke.

Map File Links Back Up

March 6th, 2012 by MTBBill

So of you may have noticed that my National Geographic TOPO! files were showing up as broken links.broken_link

 Turns my ISP had made some tweaks on the server setting that caused the file not to be recognized (MIME Type Associations for the geeks) even though the files were indeed on the server.

I have the issue all cleared up now so they are once again downloadable.  For those of you who also asked about if I had KML, GPX or CRS files for the various places, the answer is maybe.  As I get around to updating the various pages on my site I’m revamping my GPS files as well.  In the interim you can convert them yourself through some many conversion utilities that are out there on the interweb.    

Take a look at my FAQ on GPS and TOPOs to get yourself throughly confused on some of the conversion processes I use.

On a related note, I have had a new GPS for the last six months that I have been tinkering with.   The Garmin Oregon 450.  I pretty darn happy with it and will try to get some more verbage out on in the future.   Finally on the subject of GPSs, sooner or later your GPS will stop working, wither it is due to dead batteries or a tumble off your pack, it will be a pricey brick on one of your rides.   Be prepared to navigate without it.    Now go have some fun getting lost! :-)

Server Issues Resolved

July 8th, 2011 by MTBBill

Some of you may have noticed this past week that my site was down for about 12 hours.   

My Internet Service Provider suspended the account because my site was overloading their server.   Appears I had a configuration issue with an automated backups program that caused some expontential growth of the number of files on the server. Normally there is around 40,000 files associated with MountainBikeBill.com on the server.   The error reached critical mass over the holiday weekend and the number of files grew to around 185,000.   Evidently those kinds of numbers are frowned upon.   

Techno babble, blah blah blah, yada yada yada…… end result is I got the mess is all cleaned up now.

You may resume your previously scheduled work diversion tactics  :-)

Feeling Blue about Trucks and Bikes

May 30th, 2011 by MTBBill

The last couple handful of months have been a bummer  on the Truck and Bike front.  

 

Last summer my beloved Intense 6.6 was stolen.   I knew that bike so well and it was one hell of a capable rig for get out and about and even the occasional launching.  In the last month  it has actually been seen in Kelso, Washington (where it was stolen) being ridden by some “crackhead”.   There is hope for it recovery as the locals are on the lookout.

Then about two months ago, my Tacoma was totalled when a bonehead thought that the red arrow on a left-hand turn was a suggestion.   Man I loved that truck as I had it just the way I wanted it.  A leveling lift, onboard air system, hidden off-road lights, In-Cab 115VAC and a tricked out infotainment system. 

So while I was in Washington for six weeks all the insurance stuff was settled out and I was online shopping for a replacment Tacoma.    I pretty much wanted the same truck I had before.  Double Cab 4×4 with the Tow package and either the TRD Sport or Off-Road package.  It also had to be in good shape and have descent miles on it.   I found plenty in the category but hitting the price mark was the tough part as I was not interested in having a truck payment.    Cash is king and the day after I got back from Washington I was able score a killer deal on a truck that meet all of my specs.

The new MBB Mobile.    A 2007 Tacoma Double Cab 4×4 with the TRD Off-Road and Tow Packages.   It even had a brand new set of BFG AT on it (My favorite all-terrian tires)

I had thought about a camper shell with my old truck but never got one. I’m still not sure wither I’m a shell guy or not but I going to see if it will work out or not.  I can always take it off.

You may have noticed I have have a new website supporter/partner up on the site,  BikeBling.com.   Recently they have moved to huge place in Escondido and have a ton of goodies in the story.  For users of my site you will periodically see MountainBikeBill promotional codes for BikeBling that are good for a discount on online purchases.   A regular good for me –  good for you relationship.    

Part of the good for me relationship was that when I got back from Washington there was a brand new steed waiting for me.  A well equipped Intense Uzzi.

A brand new set of SpinergyXyclone Enduro wheels were waiting back a Casa Del Bill to bring the build to its ready for launch state.  Considering this rig has a 7″ travel coil fork  up front and a coil shock givng 7.5″ in back this rig  weighs in at a respectable 35lbs 6 ounces.    This rig is built well above my skill level so it should be fun to see what kind of “trouble” I can get myself into with this beauty.  

Closeup of the “Works Blue” finish that Intense did on this.  The finish is slightly translucent which allows the weld mark to show through giving the finish a marbelized look that I think rocks.

Now the color of the bike was picked out long before I brought the truck and the color was pretty low on the criteria in the selection process.   It is however pretty uncanny how the bike and truck are pretty much a spot on match.   One thing is for certain they both need to be taken out and gotten dirty!    I’m feeling pretty damn good about feeling blue!

Ranger Creek and Palisades Loop (WA)

February 1st, 2011 by MTBBill

So I finally got around to getting a page put together for the Ranger Creek – Palisades Trail Loop near Mount Rainer in Washington State.    I did this ride a couple of times in August and it is a fantastic mix of awesome trail, views and and some lung busting climbs.  The route described on the page included an out-and-back to Noble Knob which resulted in even more awesome views and brought the ride up to around 21 miles with about 4,000 feet of climb and a day full of smiles.

While it is covered in at least a few of snow this time of year, if you should find yourself in Washington in the summer months, it is well worth your time to check out this loop.

Here is all the rest of the information on the Ranger Creek and Palisades Trail Loop.

New Washington pages

October 19th, 2010 by MTBBill

While they are mighty slow in coming, I have added two new pages in the Washington section.

Devil’s Gulch and the Lower Dungeness – Gold Creek Loop.

Updated GPS and TOPOs How-To Page

July 27th, 2010 by MTBBill

Well long overdue, I finally got around to updating my GPS and TOPO Information Page to reflect what I’m actually doing when preparing maps, and moving GPS data around.  While I’m sure some of the information will seem convoluted, it is what has been working for me.   I have included some information and links about some various freeware applications and data that can make your outdoor life with a GPS as little easier and cheaper.

Before you go digging into the geekery, remember GPS units are great as they help us keep track of where we are going and give many of us the confidence to venture out into areas we would otherwise never go without a guide. I am no fan of folks who will blindly upload a track into thier GPS, strap it to the handlebar and go follow the arrows on the screen. We all need to remember that we are only one set of dead batteries or a crash away from not having that gadget available to us. It is not a matter of if, but rather when and where it is going to fail.

Will you know what “point” you are at when that occurs? A compass, map and some orienteering skills will serve you well at that point.

Now go get lost! (It is a lot of fun)

Lost Webpage Found! Cuyamaca – Noble – Big Laguna Epic

July 19th, 2010 by MTBBill

Riding from the Cuyamaca to the Laguna Mountains and back is a really awesome ride that can range from 31 miles upwards  towards 40 to 65 miles and beyond according to what you add on at the ends.    The most I have done is around 40 miles.   I have made a couple of videos of this ride in the past but I thought it was about time that I put together a page with maps and pictures of the ride.   As I working on the map I came across a map file with a similiar name as the one I was starting.   When I opened it up I was surprised to see it was the route I was working on.   I started digging around through my local copy of my website and found a page I had orginally done up in 2003 and updated in 2007.  Somehow, when I did my big website makeover in 2008 I failed to include this page in the menu directory for the trails.

East Mesa in Spring 2007   

More East Mesa Spring Goodness

Wildflowers in Big Laguna Meadow

While part of me is a little bummed that I missed this page in the first place, it is sort of cool that it shown up now.  It is like finding treasure I buried myself and forgot about.  

Check out the Cuyamaca to Noble Loop