19 May 2008

LA...things i've never done, cars parked under the sun

i'm tired as all hell, but i saw two very different videos on bike advocacy today. each video essentially represents the opposite sides of bike advocacy spectrum. one working within, the other working without. just had to quickly share.


and then the more punk rock, and very illegal, voice of bike advocacy. can't help but admit it must have felt like a rush to ride on the highway past the stalled cars in traffic. i bet there was all kinds of road rage...

oh, and as i might have to do a reverse commute soon as part of (hopefully) a new venture, i discovered the very thing i had been looking for. some place FREE and SAFE to park my bike while i am about an hour south. keep it up! ride bike to the water, store it, ride back at night. not quite the laguna honda uphill challenge, but still a decent ride in the morning to get the blood flowing. god i love riding. and goodnight.

oh ok, i just couldn't stop thinking about biking and riding to work and all the goodies bike to work day had. they had cute shirts and tote bags full of lights, patch kits, maps and stickers. i love stickers. and they gave out fuel in the form of bananas, bagels, muffins and energy drinks. and i heard that on market street and van ness, an extremely busy intersection, (some may call it the main artery of the city) there were twice as many bikes than cars during the morning commute. now if that were only to happen every day.

i fell into bike riding out of necessity. it was the cheapest and fastest way to get where i wanted. i've been a public transportation user going on 12 years now, and i've been riding off and on for 8 years. this time i got serious about bike riding because of monetary issues, getting over the trauma of being run over and wanting to be somewhere as fast as i possibly can get. and in this city, it honestly is by bike, despite what one must think of the hills. it's faster than public transportation, it's cheaper and it gets you exactly to where you want to be. and since i don't have a gym membership, it is just the best of both worlds. completely useful in its dual functions of exercise and transportation. there's nothing i like more than something that's practical. can't get more practical than that. and there's something that takes you back to being a kid and feeling the wind through your hair and just being carefree about moving on two wheels. good memories and just as good as anti depressants. ahem, so i hear...

11 May 2008

i heard from someone you're still pretty

for some reason that lyric stuck out to me as i heard this song on pandora while trying to cut out the noise from the calimexican and her boy in the kitchen next to my room. it's nice and bittersweet.

ok, so been doing the commute, and yes, i did have to muni it from the mission to laguna honda. the little problem i have is the slight mountain/big hill called twin peaks. as i gain strength as a rider, perhaps that will not be so daunting a task for me to take. in the meantime, i will just put my bike on the 48 and that will be that.

thanks to the comment from chic cyclist :) it's good to hear that advice/words of encouragement from a dancer. i am happy with my new commute, and i'm glad about the yoga classes. after two saturdays, i've determined i like the instructor enough to most likely attend classes on tuesdays as well. now if only they had a donation pilates class somewhere....

the best thing so far about my commute is that i've been drinking less caffeine and more water. i never really drank that much caffeine (and 98% in the form of tea) to begin with, but i've cut down even that much more. but i do miss my routine morning tea. i figured i will start bringing some to work and so be it.

i also realized i need some new handlebar tape and gloves to reduce the bumpy residual asphalt that tends to outline 7th avenue going up into laguna honda. that part of the commute on my skinny tires is probably the worst. so tomorrow i am going to try riding with gloves for the first time. i didn't get the color combo i wanted, but that's ok. apparently they might be too big for me, but they seem to be fine. we'll see. if they are too big, then that can be easily repaired. for the time being, i do feel like anything will help. haven't put on the new cork tape yet, but i will. and it's a light blue. nice to change up the color combo a bit...

in that vein, i've got to rest up for my ride. this week also holds bike to work day. the city is littered with cute posters reminding anyone and everyone that thursday is the day. how exciting. more exciting is that they are going to have morning and evening commute stations where they will be giving out discounted bike coalition memberships. saving 10-20% on bike parts/accessories? yes please. sign me up.

and now i leave you with that song. reminds me of the picture of you and me in red and blue. "and please remember me, happily/fondly/at hallowen/mistakenly/as in the dream/my misery/seldomly/finally."

and...last but never ever the least...happy mother's day!

oh, and last night the boo and i saw the kids in the hall (um, can't believe they have a myspace page...) perform where the ballet performs. it was great, and we had terrific seats. they played a mixture of old and new things. very fitting to these past few posts was a new skit with old characters. i don't know their names, but they are two informercial product sellers. they were making fun of fat americans and american dependence on SUV's for transportation. so they "invented" a spigot that one can stick into your fat beer belly and take all the fat out. that fat can be burned and converted to gasoline for your hummer. it was so hilarious, i kept covering my mouth and laughing b/c the powerpoint presentation they had running was the funniest thing i've seen in a long time. also their superdrunk (he's a super hero) was hilarious, and contained the best line of the night (for me, the boo disagreed). "you're the one with the mangina, foley!" ahh, spoken so well, in the appropriate tone and timing. beautiful. also, that was the last skit of the night (pre-encore), and they kept cracking themselves up. i love it when that happens.it's like we are also kinda in on the joke, but not really, but kinda yeah.

oh, and on a more serious note, scott thompson fell off the stage last night during the encore. it sounded/looked like quite the nasty fall. apparently he was taken to the hospital, checked out ok and was performing tonight. glad to hear he's ok. SF loves you scott.

btw, in case you care, all of them have been a favorite of mine, but the longest and current favorite is....MARK. geez, he is fantastic.

like i said earlier, i need to rest up for the ride. it's now 12:11am. eek.

02 May 2008


so this week has been full of firsts. i started commuting to work on my bike. this means fifty (50) minutes a day in the saddle. my crotch is a lil sore, ain't gonna lie. but also aint gonna lie about how excited i am to see the benefits of these 50 minute rides for 5 days a week. and that's just for work. on the weekends i love to ride for fun, so we'll see. i can already tell my legs and bum are becoming steel-ified. i think i need to let them rest tonight/this weekend.

in my scouting the Internet for its end, i found out about donation yoga. one is a couple of blocks from where i used to live, which is only a few blocks away from where i live now. the intent behind yoga donation is something i completely agree with and stand behind. it's pretty complicated, so bear with me if you can't keep up: yoga is too damn expensive! so for those folks who would like to keep a regular yoga practice, but can't due to prohibitive costs, you can donate as much or as little as you want. i'm glad there are non elitist yoga instructors out there who actually understand that paying $125 for 10 classes is just not a realistic expense for most of us out there who do appreciate the benefits of yoga, but can't afford the maintenance. if you went 3x a week, that only lasts for 3 weeks. gyms are cheaper, but their classes are often sub par when compared to yoga studios. and the yoga studios here only offer $10 community classes once a week in the middle of a weekday. yes, i'm looking at you yogatree hayes valley....grr.

anyway, bonus for me, i found one instructor who is an avid cyclist, and so he tailors his practice to meet the needs that come from biking. he participates in the LA to SF aids ride. and quickly. how noble, but not exactly me. i'm still huffing and puffing up 7th avenue to laguna honda. i think i will try out this yoga place, see if they really will take 5 bucks (if not, i don't have to go back, if so, then maybe i can do it again in a few weeks) tomorrow morning. i am pretty sore, and i think a good stretching is well called for. i can't wait to try it out.

i also don't want to get bulky biker legs, so i think stretching them through yoga will lengthen the muscles a bit. at least that's the idea i've constructed in my head. i don't really think i will bulk up too much since one, i'm not a dude and lack the testosterone, and two, i don't eat the amount of protein required to build such muscles. i can already tell the difference in my arms and my face, which makes me feel i'm beginning to lose the chub and gaining the muscle i like. also i've been carrying my bike up and down the stairs of this crazy city, and my right arm is beginning to look like steel when NOT flexed. my poor left arm. haha.

with all this biking i've been doing, i've slowly but surely compiled some necessary gear. i had to update a helmet after i realized mine was from 2000. something tells me the foam in that thing was outdated. not something i want next to my head should i fall. i also got a cycling cap to cover up the hat hair. that cap has come in handy this week. but those items combined with my standard riding gear of jeans/tshirts makes me feel like a 12 yr old boy.

now, i often say that i'm 1/2 dude. i actually believe i might be (very well documented is my despise for anything resembling a romantic comedy except for those based on austen). so following that logic, i would want to look like a dude for 1/2 the time. the other 1/2 i'm wishing i had a cute and clunky cruiser bike so i can wear a skirt or at least be able to look a little more feminine than i usually do on my beautiful bicicleta. and what do i find today, on the day that i wish i could have worn a skirt and a striped top? two girls that have the same idea. but since they are presumably 100% girl, they thought of the idea before i did. london cycle chic and riding pretty: bicycle chic california (that's kinda a mouthful, huh?).

also in more bike related news, i'm excited to hear about the DC bike sharing program. there's been one in austin for awhile now. i think it's been around since i've been in college. and upon checking out their site, seems like they are not only providing free bikes in austin, but they are also like the oh-so-loverly bike kitchen. i hear they are going to bring a similar bike program to SF, chicago and pdx. these are already bike friendly cities, so its kinda cool to see it start off somewhere familiar and then perhaps branch off to where bike riding might be more of a foreign venture.

back to DC. their program is cool, and sounds kinda like zipcar, but for bikes. both types of ride sharing are based on european models, so there ya go. not thrilled that they had to get clear channel, a notorious corporation, to help out w/ the funding, but i suppose it's not the worst thing either. they can spread their message of censorship across the world! jk...?

another first that happened was an unsolicited soliloquy from the boo. it was rather unexpected, rather eye-opening, and rather touching. and guess who rode his bike to work today? umm, that's right! leading by example perhaps? although having to ride to the sunset from the mission on boo days is something i'm not looking forward to quite yet. those have got to be some of the steepest street grades in the city. i think i might have to muni that. we'll see.

and on that note, i'm off to find out more about bikes. oh, i saw these super cute wooden fenders, but they are extinct i believe. the boo is good with constructing things. i wonder if he could make some? :)