The Long Hot Summer

Not to much of a surprise statement if you are from the California Central Valley, and Bakersfield in particular. Dispite the joke, “it’s a dry heat” being true more often than not, 110+ days are getting old….. pdq!

It isn’t that I’m not used to it, or can’t handle it anymore, but in can be an inconvenience. Cuts right into my “lazy weekend morning” routine. I like to sleep in a bit, even if it is only to 7:45am. That second cup of coffe, and maybe third are so nice. Water a bit, hang with the cats. This gets my mind right, communing with nature…. and coffee. But noooooooo, not in the summer, unless you’re willing to suffer in the heat. I seem to have been doing this more often this past August. 

Slow and low when it’s hit like it has been. If your going long you don’t need to rush, hopefully your climbing up and it will be cooler. Obviously drink before you are thirsty and eat before you’re hungry, it’s even more important in the extreme conditions. Sunscreen is vital, skin cancer is real! 

The heat can eat you up if not acclimated to it. In July I was part of a group of four that rode from Sacramento to Bakersfield in three days. A great experience, 3 full 100+ mile days (107, 109, 127) with 105-113 degree days. This was a trial by fire heat training camp, in all the best ways of course. Amazing what you can do with good food good friends and your body and your bike. I think every cycist in Kern learns this in time, ride super early or be prepared!

School is back in session and we are still in the 100+ day on September 1st.


The Southern Oregon Trip

My mom is the bomb, that’s her behind my wife Hannah(my wife is the bomb also😎). 

I know, I know, I know. I’m biased as hell…. but she’s “dope” by all accounts, not just mine.

Her and my father(also a BOSS) meet at Bakersfield High School and married in Japan. I was born in San Francisco while both went to school and worked. I was given two stellar parents.

They parted when I was two, and before you even think about getting sad, STOP. I was gifted with two great additions. My stepdad and mom on both sides are the best ever. Couldn’t have planed it better myself.

As anyone with kids knows, checking off the “taking the kids” to see there grandparents box is a duty not to be taken lightly. Chrismas, Thanksgiving, Spring and summer vacations are often the times we do them. 

This summer we were living on a tight budget but needed to check the boxes. With Cambria California and Ashland Oregon being the two locations for grandparents. It really wasn’t a terrible burden to have to go to these beautiful utopias. 

First Stop Cambria!

We headed over to Cambria the 2nd week of July. Packed up the car and the family, along with my nephew Caleb Fassbender.

Sometimes it can be cold even in the warmest summer months in Cambria, not this time. 

We got a day in at the Hearst pier enjoying the sun, sand and surf. People from all over California, the U.S. and the world were enjoying all that the central coast has to offer.

Great food and a nice trip to San Luis Obispo to pick up dads 550. Caleb enjoyed the ride in the Ferrari back to Cambria. 

Off the Ashland! 

My mom and her husband Bill had there home custom built here in the Ashland hills. It sits at about 2600′ ft in a quite little neighborhood.

Ashland is home to theWest coasts  oldest Shakespearian theater and festival. More than just Shakespeare, it’s home to countless modern primers and classic adaptations. A true cultural gem. 

The first day I busted out a great 85mile ride, heading east on the 66 looping around several lakes and back onto Dead Indian Memorial Road. 

The first climb out of Ashland has you climbing Southeastern with a great view of Mt. Ashland, Ashland and Emigrant Lake.

I got off the grid onto “Old Hyatt Lake Rd” a great 6 mile dirt road to little Hyatt Lake and some beautiful pasture land and Farm Mansons(with Clydesdales). 

Mt Mcloughlin in the background at Howard Prairie Lake  

Burton Flat road next to the Klamath County line. 

Great day on the bike, I had misjudged the water but not bad. Made it back to the 66/I5 area and got H2O and grub.

The next day was family time exploring the valley I grew up in. Lush and green, the Rogue Valley is a beautiful area especially in the summer. 

That evening my mother and wife attended Beauty and the Beast while my son Jacob and I attended a premier, UniSin. UniSin is Inspired by August Wilson’s Poetry. 

Next day I was back on the bike heading up to the Mt Ashland Ski area. Took the Old 99 climb to the end Ski area road. All in all, it’s about 5k in 25 miles oneway. A quality climb for sure.

All good thing come to an end……

Made it back home safe and sound. In reflecting I am very proud of my son Jacob for tolerating his parents and grandparents so well on both trips! He’s a great kid, getting ready for his senior year. I’m pumped for him!

Now back to work…

8/1/17 Tuesday AM Ride Report

From what Mike McCray said, we had about 33 riders leave Beach Park heading east towards the rising sun.

Of course at some point it breaks down into smaller subgroups with vering agendas and routes. As always, as the summer months begin the increase of attendance at the morning group rides increases. This naturally lead to different rides for different levels or work/workout needs. This works well to maintain safe weekday ride that are on more urban roads. 

All that said, this morning was a good reminder of how dangerous and exposed we are on our bikes. 

No bad riding, just fluke things that anyone whom has spent time riding in traffic or on rural roads knows happen all the time. The thin line between alive and dead that all cyclists have felt on our roadways.

It was almost comical in the sense that the offenders couldn’t have been type casted better. The old man whom flips a u-turn out of know where, oblivious as could be, was just who you should expect to flip a “no signgnal u-turn” in front of you. I wouldn’t expect any less, I wasn’t mad. 

Of course, it’s not just the “old man in the car” that need there space. The switch side jogger and the leashless dog walker demand every bit as much spacial awareness as the “regrouping” bicyclists stopped on the “path” blocking the traffic.

Even though no bad riding was at issue per-say, in a group ride or riding solo, A crossed wheel and eating pavement is always an millimeter away. Adding to the beauty and adventure of living life, and riding a bicycle. 

I wasn’t mad.

It’s been a bit….

Can’t say I could blame you for not remembering that iBikeKern, aka me, Zac Griffin has and have had a blog page…..

See I got, or should I confess, I get burnt out. On people, hype, communications, bicycles, bike racing and bike people just to name a few. I know we all do, nothing new in the “life sucks then you die” category, I’m just putting my failure out there.

I have been doing bicycle advocacy and education for going on 8 years here in Kern County. Sometimes you need a break, so I took one…

But now I’m back!!

Its summer time in Bakersfield and that means it’s hot, hot, hot and occasionally hotter than hell! This also means the 6am weekday and weekend rides are at the larger end of the pendulum swing.

This means a larger mixing of Ride abilities. Always an interesting learning curve for some folks. Little things like when to, wear earbuds, stand up, take a pull, all take time to learn. Remember we all learn at our own rate, and that’s that.

Our local Independence Day Ride was full of these shanangins….. but that’s for a later post.

I will keep my post short tonight, but I will give you some hints and teasers for upcoming blog posts on my recent adventures, local cycling issues and observations.

Upcoming blogs topics:

-the adventures of Nathan’s Ride

-the 6am circle jerk gets some new blood

-Vision Zero Kern, with 22 pedestrian fatalities in 6 months, where are we heading with our roadway safety needs?

-Standard Middle Schools bike education program is back for 2017-18 school year

-Youth Education Scholastic and Sports Inc.(YES Sports) is trainning LA Unified Schools PE teachers on the YES curriculum!

-Tehachapi, Bear Valley and Stallion Springs by bicycle.



Its time for a Vision Zero program here in Kern!

In light of the recent tragic pedestrian collision near Foothill High School, is it time time for Bakersfield and Kern County adopt a roadway safety program to change this tragic climate. We have a population that depends heavily on Active Transportation and can benefit from that said form of transportation, both economically and physically. This connection is vital and is being inhibited by the increase in roadway collisions here in Bakersfield and Kern.

The Vision Zero Initiative is a 30 year old program designed to reduce roadway fatalities to Zero in ten years. It has been adopted in San Fransisco, NYC & most recently in Montana.

Its time for Kern County Residents demand a safer roadway system for all users. Not just the 4000lbs autos, but all users from 8 to 80 years old.

Join us on Face Book at VisionZeroKern, and help make Kern a better place to live!!

June 2nd & 3rd SCNCA Jr’s, Elite’s & Masters Road Race Championships Bakersfield Ca.

Its that time of the year….


June 2nd & 3rd SCNCA District Championships:

Saturday was the Jr Road Race Championships as well as a handful of non-championship races.

Christina Fuentes, Kenyon Pape, Charlie and Parker Rous all took part in the Jr Races. Christina took home an SCNCA State/District Jr Women’s 16-17 Championship. Christina is an Honors student as well and it is great to see her hard work pay off for her! Charlie Rous was 8th in the 12.5 mile 10-12’s & Parker was 11th on the 25mile 13-14’s!! All finished, not sure of all of the places, but from the smile on their faces, I’d say they had fun!

Many other local cyclist through their leg over the bike on Saturday to take on Event Promoter Sam Ames Championship course. I dont have all the placings and names yet, but you know who you are;)

I raced the 30+ cat 3/4/5’s that started at…

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Letter to a little kid

Great article on a very tragic reality of Bike Racing

Cycling in the South Bay

When you grow up you’re going to ask about your father. You’re going to ask how he died. You’re going to feel the wordless pain of going through life without your dad. You’re never going to have the guy who gave you half your blood, half your genes, and all of your heart standing next to you at those moments in life when you most desperately need a father. Little kid, you’ve lost half of the most important thing any kid can ever have before your life has even begun.

Your dad died racing his bike in a stupid weekend crit. And you want to know why, and no one’s been able to explain. How can anyone explain something as senseless and pointless as dying in a weekend bike race, chasing the glory of a candy bar prime and twenty-five bucks in prize money?

Why we race

Before I try…

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