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Monday, January 17, 2011

Sacramento Interlude

We’ve spent the last 4 days in Sacramento just doing odds and ends.  We arrived Friday afternoon at CalExpo RV Park.  CalExpo is the home for the California State Fair and they have a huge RV park with full hookups.  Not too many amenities, but a great location.  After getting settled in, we went for a 4 mile bike ride.  Would have probably gone longer but my shoulder was bothering me and my Hilltopper needed a charge.

What’s that you say?  Hilltopper?  What is that?

The Hilltopper is a kit you can get to convert your average bike to an electric motor assisted bike.  You can see details on their web site by clicking here.  It consists of 4 items:  A new front wheel that has an electric motor built into the hub, a battery pack, a push-to-use switch to mount on the handle bar and a charger for recharging the battery.  The battery pack is removable so you can bring it inside to recharge.  Then strap it on the bike, connect the cable, and you are all set.

I tested the unit at home and with no pedaling on a level road, it will get up to 15.8mph.  In theory, it will go about 10 miles under these conditions.  But the real value for us is on hills.  We don’t use it unless we need a boost.   Then push the button and you feel like someone is pushing you along.  While it won’t do 15mph going up a hill, it sure makes it easier to climb the hill.  Likewise, when starting out from a dead stop, you can push the button and it will get you up to speed promptly.

Friday night we ate out at Outback.  One of our favorite places, but a bit expensive so we don’t go there too often.  We have some gift cards though which helped.

Saturday morning we went for another bike ride, this time about 8.8 miles.  The American River runs right by the CalExpo RV park and there is a network of paved walking/biking trails that wind around the river area.  You could actually go all the way to Old Town or downtown Sacramento on these paths.  The area is undeveloped open land and there are a lot of birds of various kinds in the area.  We saw many ducks, cranes, and others that I don’t know the names of.

Saturday afternoon & evening I watched the NFL playoffs on TV.  I rooted for Baltimore and Atlanta.  Both of course lost.  Oh well.  Guess I will stick to officiating football games and not try to pick winners.

Sunday during the day I also watched the playoffs.  This time, teams I rooted for (Bears & Jets) both won.  So that was a better day.  In the evening, we went over to my sister-in-law Pam’s house for dinner.  This is the better side of the family.  Our nieces Keri and Cheryl were there too along with Keri’s boyfriend TJ.  We had a very enjoyable visit listening to the girls tell of weird veterinary clients and strange car dealer customers.  TJ, who drives an 18-wheeler up & down I-5, told us of all the best places to eat along that route.

Today (Monday) was a day of errands.  Carol had to visit the local Kaiser medical facility for a periodic lab test.  Then we went out to lunch and to WalMart for groceries.  We always hunt for Diet Code Red soda, Carol’s favorite which is not available in our Vancouver area.   (last trip we came home with 20 cases – no telling how much we will get this time!).

We also went for an even longer bike ride late this afternoon – a total of 12.1 miles.  We didn’t make it all the way to Discovery Park which is supposed to be at the end of the trail we were riding, but I don’t think we were too far away from it.

Tomorrow we pack up and head to DeMartini RV in Grass Valley, CA.  It is about 90 minutes away from CalExpo.  They are going to do some work on the RV and then we will head for Pismo Beach.


John and Ellen said...

Good post Dave, I enjoyed learning about the “Hilltopper”. I can think of many occasions where this would have greatly added to our enjoyment.


Ali said...

What is Diet Code Red? Who makes it?

Sounds like you have had a good time in Sacramento.

Hope the necessary repairs get made quickly and correctly.