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!

30 January 2010

2 Rides in Less than 24 hours

Last night I went on the Critical Mass ride through the streets of LA. It was kind of a mess because the "mass" got split up into three groups but still fun nonetheless. (So much fun that I didn't take any pictures from the ride!) Made some new friends and saw some old ones. My favorite part of the ride is doing the "Circle of Death" at the intersection of Hollywood and Highland. We only usually ride in a circle three times or so and ride east down Hollywood Blvd to make a statement. One guy was carrying a sign the entire night advertising the Cyclists Bill of Rights. This is what the organized chaos looks like:

And of course after a late night of riding, my friends and I had a case of the munchies and ended up in Little Tokyo for some Japanese goodness:

I got home and went to bed around 2 a.m. this morning only to wake up at 6:30 a.m. to get ready for my spandex wearing ride. It was a chilly but beautiful morning. Ravi, Jenn, and I caught up to a bigger group of riders and drafted off of them for a bit on our way up PCH. I haven't been on my road bike in a while and I totally felt the neglect after a short 35 mile ride WITH a coffee break. I'm so disappointed in myself, I may go for a run tonight....

A peloton in front of us:

A break at Starbucks with Jenn and Ravi (I look tired after only 4.5 hours of sleep):

So beautiful riding back from Malibu to Santa Monica. Worth every minute of the "cold" weather and sacrificing sleep:

28 January 2010

Up and Running Again!

I'm so glad I was out of commission the week it was torrential downpour. The clouds parted in time for my comeback and I'm (unfortunately) back to running. The good news is that I can't remember the last time I've ran as well as I did tonight but I also did a hilly route. The funny thing is, I think it's less painful than flats because I'm using similar muscles to biking on the hills? Maybe. Anyway, I've ran the last three days and I'm so excited that I don't have to run tomorrow. Why? Because it's Critical Mass time! I'll be riding through the streets of LA again and hopefully will have a more visual post than this one.

Until then, you can enjoy this excellent video by my friend, Chris, from the Critical Mass in May:

Critical Mass, Los Angeles - May 2009 from Christophe Serafino on Vimeo.

23 January 2010

Safety First, Seriously

Since I haven't moved much from the last time I posted, except to go to the doctor and somehow manage to sit at my desk at work, I haven't had much time to ride or do much of anything. So I'm taking the opportunity to tell you that helmets save lives originally posted here.
Cruisin’ the Conejo was supposed to be my first organized metric century as well as Bobby’s. Unfortunately for Bobby, he crashed hard at around mile 23 going down a long, straight decent at around 35 mph. By the looks of this photo, I can’t stress how important it is to be wearing a helmet! You might feel “dorky” in a helmet but it really does save lives. Check out his gnarly bruise on his head WITH the helmet. Can you imagine what that’d be like without one? It’s a good thing our friend Debbie was there by his side at the time of the accident…

20 January 2010

A Week Without Riding

I was always the kid that had to call out sick because of whatever allergies or illness was ailing me and it seems as though I haven't grown out of it. Without getting too graphic (you know I'm good at posting pictures of my cool injuries), I'm going to say I went to the ER and went under a knife. I wish I could say that it was some awesome cycling injury but unfortunately, it's nothing to write home about. I'm alive, okay, and somewhat functioning (soreness but not as bad as a few days ago) so don't worry!

I haven't had much riding time given my open wounds and torrential rains in LA so I've kept myself entertained by combing through The Dropout: An Austin Bike Zine. They covered the Texas Custom Bike Show which had some pretty cool bikes. It's a pretty new publication and I expect more great things from these guys!

A good friend of mine also felt sorry for me that I'm confined to a couch/bed/indoors so he bought me this DVD. I mean, I love Lance Armstrong but I LOVE George Hincapie. Totally brought my spirits up. :)

16 January 2010

Bike Polo, Anyone?

This is the next thing I'm going to try. I've seen a lot more posts for Bike Polo games on the Midnight Ridazz site and have been meaning to try it out. It's supposed to rain all week in LA so I think this week is a bust for me to try it out but here's a video of a Bike Polo Tournament. If only I could be this graceful while riding a bike and holding a mallet....

Bike Polo from Bicykiller on Vimeo.

15 January 2010

Riding a bike ≠ $$$

Serious cycling is an expensive sport but riding a bike doesn't have to cost you too much money--unless you end up using a bill as a temporary fix on your tire like this:

Don't worry, I gave Rambod a tire so he didn't have money in his tire. It's a great trick when you have a hole in your tire and need to get to where you're going to fix it! Acts as a good buffer between the outside world and the tube inside.

Anyway, back to my point about biking not having to cost a lot of money. If you can't afford a new bike, can't afford a real bike tech to take a look at your bike issues, there's a solution. Bikerowave 3.o is a great place to stop by if you're having any issues with your bike or need help building one. It's a cooperative "Do It Yourself" repair shop run by knowledgeable volunteers. You pay by the hour or on a yearly basis for use of the shop space, knowledge and it's tools. There is no excuse for anyone to say they can't afford to ride. It's also a great place to meet a sleuth of fellow urban riders alike. (Sidenote: San Francisco has their own version called the Bike Kitchen.)

The best part of Bikerowave? Personality is written all over the walls--more specifically, the restroom walls.

Best one yet: "Bikerowave Suggestion Box"

10 January 2010

My scars don't lie, I love to ride! (Warning: A few pictures of battle wounds!)

The tagline to my blog has been "My thighs don't lie, I love to ride" but after my first gnarly fall today, the guys at the shop suggested I change it to "My scars don't lie, I love to ride!" Brilliant!! It would be so fitting considering falling off my bike has been the trend lately. The best part is, I usually have a bigger smile on my face after eating pavement or dirt. I'm in a little bit of pain right now but at least I look tough and will have cool scars, right?

The group today:

Looking like a dork wearing my new Mellow Johnny's jersey. I have yet to eat dirt when this was taken.

The boys from the shop downhilling. Some good spills but kudos to them for making it down in one piece. Although, I think this is where Mark (top) dislocated his shoulder....and then popped it back in himself.

Unfortunate flat. Teaming together to fit to 26 (?) tube for a 29.

Elbow pads saved me.

My knee pads that are on backorder would have been nice today...

Mark's cool injury and his runin with the cranks...

Mark was smiling really big. Seriously.

I think I have more than one knee. It actually looks worse in person. Who knew taking a picture of your own knee could be so difficult.

Post ride meal. The best tortas milanesa EVER from Tacos Por Favor. Makes all the pain go away....except when your stomach hurts from too much chipotle sauce. :)

Now I have to figure out how to run this dang half marathon I signed up for with a bum knee....whoops. :)

09 January 2010

Tall Bike Culture Isn't For Sale...

...so I took a test spin on someone else's tall bike. :)

Another Friday night, another Midnight Ridazz ride. I started my ride in Santa Monica and met up with a friend Rambod. We took a tour down to Venice and grabbed a quick bite before venturing over to the official start at the La Brea Tar Pits. We rode west on Wilshire Blvd and had a tour of a West LA I'm not all familiar with. It was "hillier" than I had imagined it to be but if I mash downhill fast enough on the fixed, the uphills aren't so bad.

Here's just a few highlights from my ride last night:

06 January 2010

Bike Friendly Austin and Mellow Johnny's

I've finally recovered from my trip to Austin over the New Year weekend. I've never eaten so much comfort food or felt so deprived from the lack of biking this past weekend. There were
moments where I had to catch the drool spilling over my bottom lip not only from the delicious (but totally unhealthy) food in front of me but also due to the presence of bikes. They were everywhere from the most secluded of highways to the busiest roads with ricochets just littering the hipster side of town. If there's one thing I learned about Texas, if they like something, it's serious business. Food, football, biking, it's legit.

2010 started off with the ultimate question, "Have you ever had meat sweat?" Um, meat sweat!? Apparently, it's what happens when you BYOB and eat Salt Lick BBQ. It's the sensation you get when you eat so much good BBQ that you sweat it out from your pores and reek like the deliciousness your stomach is having a heck of a time digesting. Don't worry folks, this wasn't all I had to eat--this plate was my "appetizer." I ate plenty more after this plate. How could I not? It's all you can eat! Topped off with the best blackberry cobbler a la mode I have ever had!! (I would seriously fly back just for the blackberry cobbler......) The rest of the day--well it was a blur. Exhausted from a late night of drinking and eating as much as I could....

In order to feel a little less guilty about stuffing my face with Salt Lick, we walked around downtown Austin and of course I started taking pictures of all the bike racks and bikes that were around. Check it out. It's a Specialized even in Lance's hometown! :) I do have to say that I'm pretty disturbed with the lock up job of the bikes below. I guess Austin is way friendlier and bikes don't get stolen as often as they do in LA?

Next stop was Chuy's. Their awesomeness of the queso matched the cheesy decoration. I'm now hungry for Chuy's as I write this....

And of course Mellow Johnny's was awesome. I was grinning ear to ear at all the cool stuff Lance has in his shop and spent a limb to buy way too much merchandise. Here's a video of my journey to my mecca:

The damage (this picture doesn't even include everything I got that day...yikes):

Of course after all that shopping and eating, I had to relax with one of these from the cafe adjacent to his shop:

Next time I go back to Austin (because I will go back), I'll need to take my bike with me. The roads are so rideable...It's now on my bucket list of things to do. What better way to justify eating all that goodness than to bike it off in a (bike) friendly city? Anyone else want to join me?

Oh, and one last thing, special thanks to Jordan and Shirley for making my Austin experience. :)