Pastimes

Submitted by Jim Zaun on Tue, 08/11/2020 - 19:13

Sporting Activities

In recent years, I have been forced to cut way back on my sporting activities due to my caregiving duties and well... age.

I was an avid bicycle enthusiast from the 1970s through the 1990s and I still enjoy bicycling in the Santa Cruz Mountains on a cross-over mountain bike today though I don't ride nearly as much or as far as I use to. In my prime I use to ride 100 to 200 miles (150-300 km) per week rain or shine. On one 1200 mile bike tour of Baja California I rode 160 miles (260 km) in one day. On another 1200 mile tour, I rode 100 miles (160 km) on my loaded touring bike over Luther Pass (7,735' / 2,358 m), Monitor Pass (8,314' / 2,534 m) and Dead Man's Summit (8,047' / 2,453 m) from Lake Tahoe to Bridgeport, California in a single day. This route covered much of the same terrain as the famous Markleeville Death Ride®.

Bicycling map from Tahoe to Bridgeport

I was such a bicycle enthusiastic that I built up my own bicycles from scratch on some rather nice Italian framesets. I built my own wheels too. One of my favorite bikes from that period was a Freschi touring bike that I rode all over the Western U.S including those long day-rides mentioned above.

And, then there were the Masi and Denti road bikes that I rode with my bike-club friends, on twin centuries and for endurance. I loved my Masi and rode it for several years until it was demolished in a car accident. Masi's were very popular around San Diego at that time because Falierio Masi setup a framebuilding operation in nearby Carlsbad, (later moving to San Marcos). So, my 1979 Masi Grand Criterium frame was actually built in San Marcos, CA instead of Milan, Italy. Most of the Campi components on the Masi frame ended up on my new Denti frame. In the same building as Masi World Wide was Jim Cunningham's CyclArts where I had my Freschi repainted.

I also did a fair amount of mountain biking on my 1981 Stumpjumper until I decided I wanted to put more time into bike touring with a girlfriend, (later to be my wife). Then, in 1985, I left my spacious two-bedroom condo in San Diego to live in a tiny one-bedroom apartment in Menlo Park near Stanford University. That forced me to sell off most of my furniture, electronics and the Stumpjumper.

These vintage bikes are probably now collector's items so I took detailed digital photos of the Denti and Freschi in 2010 and later in 2019 after overhauling the Denti. By the way, I'm looking to sell my vintage Denti road bike. Drop me an e-mail if you are interested.

Before I got into bicycling, I went backpacking all over the High Sierras. This included hiking most of the John Muir trail and hiking up to the top of the tallest mountain in the continental U.S. (at 14,505' or 4,421 m) three times. However, the popularity of backpacking in the High Sierras was on the rise and on my last backpack trip up to Mount Whitney in 1982, the trail and basecamp was so crowded that it took all the enjoyment out of it for me. So, I put more time into bicycle touring where I met my wife to be in 1983.

My other sports passion before 1985 was beach volleyball but I no longer live close to a beach like I did at my Sea Colony luxury condo overlooking the Pacific ocean and Sea World, San Diego.