07 June 2010

A Sweaty, Summer Ride to TK Burgers


It’s finally feeling like summer! And what did I do to celebrate? Um, ride to the beach to EAT, of course! I was able to convine a few people to make the 45 mile round trip ride from Anaheim Hills to Newport Beach. We took the Santa Ana River Path which should have been easy given that it was a “flat” ride but the headwind seriously sucked. And if that weren’t enough, I am peeling like a lizard now thanks to the powerful So Cal sun. It’s a good thing that TK Burgers has the best burger I've ever had! It was well worth all the pain. But then again, I think anything tastes good after a ride….

Anyway, here’s a pictorial overview of our ride:


Eric and my Roll at our first rest stop.


Anaheim Honda Center. GO DUCKS! (Hockey is my favorite spectator sport….and they will always be the Mighty Ducks even if they're not owned by Disney anymore.)


Almost there, Lily! End of the river path.

Finally made it to Newport!


Time for a siesta after we stuffed our bellies. We’re never going to make it back home now….


And a sweaty hug and kiss! Wait, I think he might be licking the salt off my forehead to replish his sodium....

Original post here: http://starlahashimoto.com/2010/06/summerburgerride/

24 May 2010

Bike Geek Weekend with MASH SF and GoldSprints

Okay, so I said I was done blogging here but I couldn't NOT blog about this Saturday. I didn't make it to the AMGEN Tour of California time trials in Downtown LA but I made up for it tenfold--at least from my perspective.

If you've never heard of MASH SF, you should really check them out. Long story short, they rode the last year's Tour of California route through the hellish rain and endured the same 750 miles the pros did but on fixed gear bikes. The thought of riding that many miles hurts my knees but it made for a great story--so good the had a gallery full of their journey in pictures, gear, and video. And because I'm a bike dork, I had get a picture with MASH's very own (and Specialized's) Garrett Chow.


After checking out MASH stuff and picking up a pair of arm warmers (I'm a sucker for colorful arm warmers), I headed over to Cynergy Cycles where they had plenty of booze at the GoldSprints event. What is it exactly? Racing on rollers.

Here's Eric and I taking part in a couples' relay race. We're winning in this picture but it was a really close race and I lost the lead in the end by a second. Lame. I hate losing. This is when I decided that my tailbone is 100% better and I'm ready to get back in bike shape just in case I ever have the opportunity to do this again. I have to redeem myself, dang it!

Eric and Elon below. It was a really close race. Only, this was Elon's 6th race in a row. Sidenote: I have no idea how he didn't throw up after sprinting 500m, six times, all under 20 seconds.

19 March 2010

In an Open Relationship...

Despite what your first thoughts may have been given the blog post title, this is really just an open letter to Globe Bikes and Specialized for changing my life in ways I'm sure you, me or anyone else could have ever imagined at the start of this blog.

I'll start off with the obvious. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to ride the Roll 2 in exchange for my word barf. The bike and blog "forced" me to get out there and explore what I couldn't on my road bike. There are people who brush off a bike as just that--same as any other bike but it's SO not. I was immersed in a world full of spandex, carbon fiber, and hill climbing for miles on end. Although I fully enjoyed the "roadie" world and had great company while riding my light-as-a-feather bike, the fixie let me explore the city in a completely different way. I was able to just cruise, get back to where I started on a bike, and enjoy the views of the city, stop at the hole in the wall restaurant, lock up my bike (without worrying about what part might be stolen like on the road bike) and enjoy the experience--in normal clothes and shoes!

Learning to ride a bike again was such a fun challenge. And oh the things I've learned to do on the fixie! Oh wait, I only really learned one thing--to track stand. I guess if calculating how to stop without using my brake is a "trick" then I suppose I've somewhat learned a trick and a half, this being the half. I've yet to learn to ride in a circle backwards but I'll get to that eventually.

The people I rolled with were different too. (Pun intended.) I love my roadie friends that were just as masochistic as me on the bike and made fun of me for being a hipster but I also love the people that were willing to ride alongside me to explore. Actually, I fell in love on the fixie, not just with my inanimate bike but with the boy that always joined me on the rides, Eric. If it wasn't for Globe Bikes and the Roll 2, I probably would have never had the opportunity to ride as much as I did with him, being the fixie snob that he is, so thank you. And if it wasn't for Eric, my partner in crime and his constant support, urban exploration wouldn't have been as fun and I would have struggled and picked my brain to pieces coming up with new posts.

The funny thing is that I used to wear the "I heart..." shirt as a joke saying that my bike was my boyfriend. Never thought in a million years that I would actually heart the boy that rode (and still rides) bikes with me.

On this note, I end my blog with many thanks and am happy to announce that I'm in an open relationship with my longtime boyfriend, the bike, and my new boyfriend, Eric. :)

P.S. The last few months, I've been on hiatus from my personal blog www.starlahashimoto.com and I plan to continue blogging there. Feel free to visit my life there if you'd like to bore yourself with my mundane posts!!

15 February 2010

100+ Miles on a Fixie Vs. Roadie

I'll start off by showing you what the (almost) end result looks like--this is Eric and I at 103 miles and we still weren't done with the Tour de Palm Springs. My smile is probably bigger and cheesier than Eric's because I had a brake AND I could coast downhill--it's the difference between riding a road bike and a fixed gear. :) Life is so much easier when you can descend at 41.1 mph--I made sure Eric knew that each time I passed him going down a hill. Although, he did kick my butt UP the hills.

And this is the start, approximately 10,000 participants for this event. At 7:00 am, Eric and I were already 11.58 miles into our first century before we even got to the start. Why? Call me a dummy, a masochist, or just plain crazy, but I hate driving to rides and if I can avoid it, I will. Plus, why wouldn't I want to just ride a little bit more?

Ben, Oli, and Mai below. They are the kids that I started riding with almost exactly a year ago during a Specialized Demo Day ride out of Cynergy Cycles. It was our goal to do a century within a year's time since we picked up riding--mission accomplished. (We're all so brand loyal to Specialized, just saying: 4 helmets, an S-Works Amira, Ruby Expert, S-Works Tarmac?, a Quick Step jersey--list goes on...)

The view. There was a whole lot of nothingness for a really long time and I loved every second of it.

Eric on his fixed gear. And you call me crazy?

Another fixie kid! Eric and mystery kid had twin bikes too. I think it was a match made in heaven. Seriously. Same color frame (which is very unusual), same pursuit bars....

Eric at mile 80 in fetal position. We really just wanted to hop in that pool on the other side of the fence--it was 85 degrees. It doesn't even hit 85 degrees in West LA during the summer...

The "almost-done-happy-valentine's-day-kiss" between my favorite cycling couple, Olivia and Ben.

Mai and her boyfriend the bike, keeping it clean with no tongue. The bike doesn't hurt her--ever. We bikes--seriously. I think we were all a little delirious at this point too...

And the finish wouldn't be complete without some delicious beer.

Some shaved legs (Ben's first time--I'm still in shock he decided to sacrifice his hair for the sport), and some gnarly tan lines.

First time spandex tan for Eric. Hipsters usually forgo the spandex for some skinny jeans and he forgot to put sunblock on his legs.

What would a ride be without a post-ride food photo? The annihilation of the best pizza I've ever tasted. Mostly because I just sat on the saddle for the last 6.5 hours...

Final result for me: 108.45 miles. I turned back to the hotel from the 103 mark. The crazy part is Eric kept riding to the finish and had a 120? miles under his belt by the end of the day. I lost count. Either way, he pretty much showed everyone that riding a 100+ miles is easy on a fixie....

12 February 2010

Necessary Evil: Running

Although I could just solely stick to biking, I feel the need to cross train and that means I have to run. The masochist cyclist in me that drags my friends on long, sometimes very hilly rides (Malibu Canyon, anyone?) apparently rears it's little head when I decide to "go for a quick, short run." The funny thing is, it's not very quick nor is it very short. I will say that with only two weeks to prep since my recovery from the stint in the ER, I was able to accomplish three out of four of my goals.

1) Jog the entire 13.1 miles
2) Keep a consistent breathing rhythm

And the one goal I didn't reach?

4) Time. Grrr! At least I had a burst of adrenaline the last couple of hundred feet to actually sprint. Slowest out of all my friends that ran but 3 out of 4 ain't so bad, right?

Besides, running and biking gives me an excuse to eat whatever I want. Considering this run was on Super Bowl Sunday--well, let's just say I gained all the weight I lost during that run back...that evening.

And next time, I'll remember to smile no matter how much my knees and hips are hurting. (Haha, I look SO awful but there's nothing like publicly embarrassing myself!)

10 February 2010

Bikes + ♥

I'm not a big fan of the upcoming Hallmark holiday that everyone celebrates every 14th day of February but in recognition of that day, I found a few things bicycle and ♥ related that made me feel warm and gooey, no matter how sad the content really was. Mostly because if you throw a bicycle in any mix, I'm going to smile. Real big. Here's a sequence of my thought process and findings....

1) It all started with this blog post in the New York Times called Two Wheels + Two Seats = Love. Apparently, "if you want to see how solid your marriage is, give it a test ride on a tandem bike." SpokesNYT is an interesting urban cyclist on twitter too if you're interested.

2) Then I thought, if tandem bikes are used to measure how solid your marriage is, do couples bother to ride one BEFORE tying the knot? I eventually ended up looking at wedding photos with bicycles and found these to be super cute originally found on this blog.

3) But sometimes, relationships come to an end and when you're feeling down and out, sad love songs make you feel less alone. This is when you listen to She & Him's Black Hole.
But I'm stuck here
Getting misty over you
I'm alone, on a bicycle for two.

4) I guess if you fell in love on a bike, you might hang up your bicycle for a while like this chick on this blog and prompt you to caption it, "There it hung— a bicycle built for two, an exclamation point to her lonesome heart." So emo...

5) But it's probably safe to say, eventually, you'll get back on your bike and fall in love all over again whether it be with someone else, riding, or both like in this short film:

Personally, I'll be spending my Valentine's day with my boyfriend a.k.a Timé the bicycle, riding my first century in romantic Palm Springs. He never hurts my feelings.... :P

07 February 2010

A not-so-easy ride. Tour De Bike Shops.

There was a torrential downpour all day Friday and I was super bummed I couldn't ride Santa Monica Critical Mass so I walked into Cynergy Cycles thinking I was going to pick up one small item but apparently, I fixed my rainy day blues by making a dent in my wallet...Who said retail therapy doesn't work? Oh, I did because this lack of riding affected me the next day...

I woke up Saturday morning to the sunshine of Southern California and decided to dedicate the day to some EASY riding--I was even mentally prepared to ride in the rain, just in case. I had to be in Huntington Beach to pick up my race packet for my half marathon on Sunday so I decided to take my bike with me and ride to avoid all the traffic in the Expo area. This obviously wasn't enough of a bike fix so Eric came down to join me for a CRUISE around town. He too needed new gear, has been looking into buying some spandex for our 102 mile ride ride in Palm Springs next weekend and ended up at a few different bike shops.

First stop (approx 5.61 miles from start), Surf City Cyclery in Huntington Beach, another Specialized shop. The store was huge and had a lot of gear but the women's selection was small and frankly a little disappointing. Eric said, "Let me guess, you know about Surf City Cyclery because it's a Specialized store." Smart kid.

Next stop (approx 18.32 miles from start), Kings Bike Shop in Seal Beach. I really have no comment about this shop except that one of the employees there was totally checking out my Roll 2. I think he drooled on it just a bit.

At this point, the dark clouds were following us but I didn't have enough riding in for the day so after a quick stop at Starbucks, we kept riding north not really thinking of the ride back. (Blame my lack of planning on Gattaca, my favorite movie of all time. Check out the movie reference here.)

We ended up in Long Beach at LBFG, short for Long Beach Fixed Gear (approx 25 miles from start). A shop geared toward the urban rider and not the spandex wearing rider. Look what I found, a Roll 2! :)

Apparently, the best part of the ride was still to come. It started to get dark but there was one more stop we had to make. The sunset was beautiful and the seagulls were enjoying the view too. We decided to set ourselves back about 20 years and act like we could still tell you how old we were by holding up our fingers. "You want to make the seagulls fly?" Um, well, that's a silly question because HECK YES, I DO.

The look of satisfaction. (It's not that difficult to act like your five years old after a long ride.)

By the time we got back, it was dark, we rode approximately 48 miles, escaped the rain that had falled in Huntington Beach while we were north, and of course, we were hungry. Oh, and we did manage to pick up some spandex. :) So much for an easy ride the day before my half marathon!!

02 February 2010

George Hincapie!

I live in West Los Angeles and there are plenty of celebrities around this side of town but I'm never "star struck" by anyone really. I see Patrick "McDreamy" Dempsey cycling around the hood (in Cynergy and Specialized gear), saw Carson Daly at Cynergy Cycles, Seal (the singer, husband of Heidi Klum) cut me off in his car, Conan O'Brien lives up the street, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are frequents at my local farmer's market and I could really care less but put a professional cyclist in front of me and I get dumb. Real dumb. I mean, I think this picture pretty much explains everything:

He is known for being "nice" and he was totally so sweet to me when I caught him walking out the door and begged him for a picture and an autograph. :)

31 January 2010

I'm Not Obsessed

Another Sunday, the trails have had a week to dry, and it was a fantastic ride! I love how the dirt becomes grippy and all the new ruts the rain leaves behind. It's like riding an entirely new trail!

I brought along Eric for a ride today--he usually rides on all the Midnight Ridazz rides with me on his fixie. Needless to say, this was a whole new experience for him but I'm so happy came out and tried it! Brakes and steep, steep climbs are a foreign concept but he held his own. This is what happens when you decide to ride up a crazy hill off of 3 hours of sleep:

This is what happens when you actually have a good night's rest. Will, founder of the EHNHDUUURR!!!! ride, looking pretty happy to be on the trail.

Will's socks. They may not be a matching pair but at least they're color coordinated?

Rico. The sweetest mountain biker I know.

Specialized's Elon Rubin. He tears it up on a bike. I bow down to him.

Mark, aka Water Boy. He killed it on today's ride because:
  1. He carried all the water, spare tubes, etc.
  2. Lost some screws (literally) and was riding without a rear brake most of the ride
  3. Went down a super sketchy downhill without a rear brake and did a slow motion flip over the handlebars only to get back on and ride the rest of it down

The big turnout for the demo ride today:

Elon tore his hand up.

And his leg. I was a little bit jealous I ended the ride without a scratch!