At least for the time being, the majority of my activity will be on Tumblr. It's the direction this blog had been going, and I'm contemplating moving the URL over there from Blogger, depending on how I like it in the long run.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey Takeoff Snapshots


The Rapha Turkey Takeoff; a challenge to burn 9,000 calories in the four days surrounding Thanksgiving. In those four days, I rode for 16 hours and 19 minutes, covering 251 miles and climbing 8,018 feet, burning a total of 9,036 calories. Below are a series of snapshots from during the challenge, and you can read about a brief moment I experienced.








L to R:
1. Summit of the haunted Turnbull Canyon 2. Fuel for a big ride
3. Bridge at East Fork Road and Highway 39 4. Highway 39, just above 2,000 feet
5. Dam on the San Gabriel River Bikeway 6. My wife's first Thanksgiving dinner
7. Downtown Los Angeles, morning 8. Downtown Los Angeles, evening
9. Mount Wilson 10. Dennison's Schwinn Cyclery, East Los Angeles
11. Men's room grafiti, Birds, Franklin Village 12. Watts Towers
13. The Forum 14. Flat white, Espresso Profeta

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hustle

Last night, for the first time in a few months, I participated in the Wolfpack Hustle Monday Night Ride. For those of you not familiar with this institution, it was birthed by one of the founding members of Midnight Ridazz. For better or worse, it's a true hustle ride, "not a race but a hustle." In practical terms, that means it's a surging, chaotic, run reds urban adventure. Or something close. Anyway, last night, there was a big group and it was pretty orderly. What's interesting about these night roadie rides is that they have the reputation of being, to some degree, party rides (which they're not- think mindless hard training ride). So they end up becoming a good introduction to roadie culture as kids from more blighted LA neighborhoods become familiar with the exploits of the ride and decide that they can come out to earn their stripes. They quickly realize that riding a fixie, wearing jean cut offs and no helmet will quickly get them dropped, at best, or injured at worst. Most never come back, but those who do graduate to road bikes and lycra. Anyway, it's a great mix of dudes, young and old, pro and street, sophisticated and gritty. 

Last night it was the ride's 5th annniversary, and we rode from Silver Lake (Hollywood) to Disney Hall (Downtown) to Dodger Stadium up to Griffith Park (1000 ft of sketchy climbing and descending) back to Hollywood. Good times.
 
-Albert

Sunday, November 6, 2011

RIP

Yesterday's Rapha Gentlemen's Ride was an absolutely beautiful day until a fellow rider went down and never got up. Albert and I were part of the group he was descending with, and what we witnessed will continue to affect me with every pedal stroke I take. Albert sent me the following, which is exactly what I'd say if I could've found the words.
It's hard to describe what it's like to see a man breathing his last breaths. One of Roberto's friends posted on Bike Effect's Facebook that he died doing what he loved. I hope he had peace in his final seconds. I didn't know him and I'm sure most of the 50 plus riders there didn't as well, but we all felt connected to him and our thoughts and prayers will be with him. 
Rest in peace, Roberto.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Lucky 7

I was an obstinate kid and former punk rocker (who wasn't) who rolled with other trouble makers and renegade cyclists. After years of holding out, I finally gave in to the pleasure and performance of cycling specific apparel. None of my former pals have followed. Anyway, it got me thinking about my rules of lycra. Inspired by the famous/infamous Velominati's rules they are as follows:
  1. No pro kits. I'm a grown man. I still play pick up ball and the only players who wear Kobe jerseys are kids.
  2. Limit team or club kits on club rides to once a month, unless the club ride is sponsored by my club. Some dudes have to rock their colors on every single ride. It's called a club ride, yo. Not a race, not a crit, not a challenge, etc. Ritte cats, I'm looking at you.
  3. Check your shorts/bibs before you roll. You know what's between your shorts and your junk? Nothing. The first layer worn over genitalia is usually known as underwear. We're out there exerting ourselves with less clothing on our lower halves than the average hooker (actually they wear shorts with no underwear as well, but you get the idea). Bottom line: no holes in da shorts...in any area.
  4. If you're shaped like a woman, get a woman's opinion on the fit of your shorts. Your wife, your girlfriend, the girl at the bike shop. Any woman.
  5. I don't match my socks to my kit. Even a label whore would show some restraint.
  6. If you spent more on your shoes than your wheels, you're doing it wrong.
  7. Rapha always looks good, but research shows it makes you 5mph slower.
That's my lucky 7. 

-Albert

Friday, November 4, 2011

Welcome A New Author; Albert

I've been riding a lot with Albert lately, when I'm not riding alone. Listening to him tell his stories as we roll along and watching him chat up anybody we come across has inspired me to ask a few friends to contribute writing for this blog, with him being the first.

He's one of those guys who is always down to ride, with almost any amount of notice, and a ride with him can go as long as you want it to, thanks to his Google Maps-esque sense of direction.

"We want to make a left here..."

And, when we're not riding together, he sends me photos like this one:




Tomorrow will be his first post, hope you enjoy it.