75 miles/5 hours

22 08 2009

i’ll write more later.

time to take a shower.


motivation, determination, and hangovers.

22 08 2009

i was going to do 150 miles this weekend. but i got really drunk with nate, justin and others last night and ended up with a wicked hangover. rode home from justin’s downtown and passed out for a few hours. now it might just be 100 miles.

that wouldn’t be so bad, but i will be leaving in a few weeks and i need some serious time figuring out how everything feels, and that just doesn’t happen when i’m commuting or out mashing with friends.

when i get done posting this, i will eat and then do one of three things:

1) fuck off and spend the rest of the night lamenting my lack of motivation from the safety and security of my own living room.

2) plan some sort of lesser ride (campus, or some sort of loop) and secretly wish i had the determination to actually go to monterey.

3) ride to monterey and back faster than i ever have before, just because i can, and don’t want to be riding on an illegal section of freeway after dark.

i will let you how it turns out.


11 08 2009

last weekend, i didn’t ride at all. well, at all means more than 10 miles.

i cleaned my house, worked on the yard.. basic domestic stuff. i realized that the reality of leaving to ride my bike for long distances entails more than physical fitness and the proper equipment. i need to get my house ready for my absence. plants will need to be watered, and the animals need provisions as well. i’m building a dog run in the backyard, but my dog has special needs. specifically, she tends to get real fierce with other dogs when she gets out, so the area needs to be a setting similar to san quentin.

i spent a few hours on that last weekend, then worked on my cruiser bike. i put gears on it. and then i realized the bike is too small for me, so i’m going to paint it and give it to a friend at work. he needs a bike because he used to run but now it seems to be too high impact for him. i told him i’d charge him 20 bucks, but i’ll probably gift the bike. there never seems to be enough bike-gifting in this world.

on the gear front, i am expecting my rack and handlebars with aero brakes and all the fixins. this is my rack, these are my bars, and these are my legs. no, just kidding about the legs. but let’s be honest, the rack and bars were gonna be sexier than any leg pics i put up.

what’s the moral of the story? steroids are bad.


5 08 2009

i had just finished telling him about my riding, and how i planned to visit him in the spring with my bike and wanted to ride down from his place. he laughed and said it was far, but did so in a way that belittled the distance at the same time. this was a man who grew up in an era of 65 lb cruisers and day trips from san jose over the hill to santa cruz.

“i’m also going to come up before that in october, because i think we should play some pool. are you gonna be up for a game?”

he paused to think for a moment, and to be honest, i don’t know what he was thinking about. i’m hoping it wasn’t about the faulty pacemaker and the loose wire that was lodged in his heart, though he could have been thinking about the fact that we hadn’t played in over ten years, or nearly half the span of my life.maybe he was thinking about the table i own, and how he had bought it with my grandma in 1974, 35 years before the one that saw the end of her life. or the recent knee replacement, and the countless hours of rehab he had suffered through to stand without a walker.

he could have been thinking about any or all of those things, but all i know is how he responded.

“you know, i think we could get a game or two in next time you come up. that sounds like fun”

that’s my grandpa. he’s a fuckin badass.

80 miles/2800 ft/7 hours

4 08 2009

edit: i just realized how long this is, so i decided to make it two chapters. i promise future posts will not be so daaaamned long.

chap. 1

on saturday, i got a ride to san jose so i could find my way to sf. all in all, i ended up doing about 35 miles before getting to the city. i’d say that san jose is terrible for riding, but all i did was get on el camino real and jam for about 20 miles. i was told later that el camino is a terrible road for cyclists, and there are a ton of alternatives that i could have found had i bothered to look for a parallel road.

lesson learned: i need to get a good cyclist’s map.

eventually, i hopped on caltrain and transferred at bart. caltrain is way better than bart for bikes, because your bike gets its own little area and you can strap it in, instead of clutching it for an hour in an attempt to keep it out of the way of countless people walking on and off the train.

i got to SF around 9 pm, which meant the crowds and cars were in full force. this was a bit daunting for my first time riding in the city. i walked up to union square, hopped on my bike, and jammed down geary towards fillmore.

if i could use one word to describe riding in the city, it would be: exhilarating.

it’s like SF was built for bikes, but then at some point the cars took over. the hills are all by-passable, and the orientation of one way streets makes it extremely easy to run red lights, which i did, countless times.

i rode for a little while, got drunk, rode to my friend’s at 12, then went out and rode again when he got off work at 3am. each time held its own degree of joy. at 9, the cars were numerous and domineering and i felt like a fly amongst them. at 12, they were less common and it became easier to ignore traffic laws. and at 4am, the cars had all but vanished and we conquered the streets as though they had waited the entire day for this secret moment of true joy.

chap. 2

the next morning (a scant 5 hours later) we got up and prepared ourselves for the ride with a vegetarian fare of eggs, biscuits and gravy, and hashbrowns at the pork store. it was dope, and i wish i would have taken a picture because our breakfast was truly one of the most beautiful sights that day (and there were quite a few). we met up with our third companion and then headed towards skyline via the panhandle and GG park.

SF to SC comes in two stages, and i will attempt to give them names as epic as the ride itself:

“the forest of silent agony”

skyline is the first of two well-named sections of road on the trip. skyline drive, a nice broad 600 ft climb, runs straight up into the clouds before dropping down with a burly little descent through a sprawling suburb that i would never EVER do brakeless. a friend told me afterwards that he knew two dudes that had done it and got through just fine… i still shuddered at the thought.

devil’s slide is a section of HW1 that cuts inland to get around a large hill. mathematically, it’s not as bad as skyline, but the “bikelane” consists of a strip of road approximately 18 inches wide. at the end is a long downhill section where i almost got hit by an old man with a handicap placard.

“the great redemption”

the last 35 miles were not so bad. the last 20 miles were like butter. i think we kept a pace near 18 mph.

then we blazed, ate a ton of chinese food, and went out for beers. best quote, while in downtown santa cruz, yelled at someone by one of my companions: