Friday, September 05, 2008

Perks of Bike Commuting

I checked the clock and realized it was about that time to throw on the bright orange jersey and bike home. It was just another commute when I pulled out of the parking lot and found every bike mechanic's best friend, laying right there in the middle of the street: zip ties!

Not just entire, beautiful bag of them. Some poor sucker must've dropped them off their truck. Add this to my 3 bungee cords on my rack, collected earlier this summer from various streets in southern California.

People can rave about the health benefits of bike commuting, the greenness of one less car, the relief on the I do it for the zip ties.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

August 2008 Recap

August 2008 mileage: 872.7
2008 year-to-date mileage: 3,143.0

Despite being out here for several months already, this was the first month that it's really started to hit me that I'm living out here. I have a feeling that the big city will always overwhelm me, that I'll continually have periods where I feel claustrophobic living amongst so many people. But there will also be times like the several night rides I did this month, where I watch the sunset over the mountains, then turn around and see the city pulsing below.

A friend once expressed his desire to me to move to a large city, to just blend in and get lost in the shuffle and hustle of life. I certainly feel that way sometimes, for better or worse. But, we also get into routines and patterns where things become familiar. I pass the same businesses on my morning commute, see the same people going about their daily happenings -- hopefully they recognize me as a fellow commuter also, not just a spandex-clad cyclist who doesn't belong on the road.

As I mentioned before, I hope to get some more dirt riding in this month. I just received word that my broken fork is finally on its way back to me, so by this weekend I should have a working mountain bike again. As the weather begins to cool down (one can hope), I want to start exploring the local trails at Potato Mountain, Marshall Canyon, and Sunset Ridge. I'd also like to ride up in Big Bear or the Santa Ana River Trail before the snow falls.

If we're lucky, we might even get some dirt under the tandem.

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Long Weekend

Hard to believe it's already September...I remember not long ago looking back and thinking how fast July flew by (and the same about June before that...). After I graduated high school, someone told me to get ready, because things would start moving really fast. Some of my recent ambitions have been to stop and smell the roses every once in a while, because it sure seems that time can get away from you pretty easily if you let it.

We're moving into our final stretch of summer here, before cooler weather and "winter" starts to set in. You can tell the weather is itching to change here because we're getting a little more clouds in the morning, followed by slightly more humid days. Winter is supposed to be dry and in the 60s and 70s during the day, opposed to 80s and 90s. Nights are supposed to be down in the 30s and 40s! I am definitely excited for cooler weather.

Clouds in southern California!?

This week was the typical blur of work and bike riding, with a nice 3-day weekend thrown in the mix. Between commuting to work, mountain biking, and the tandem, I am spending 15-20 hours riding each week. This lends itself to sinks full of dirty dishes, laundry piling up, attempts to watch movies thwarted by sleep, and the like. We tried to watch The Deer Hunter the other night, and I fell asleep in about 20 minutes. Not that this is anything new for me...

Wednesday I did a night mountain bike ride at Bonelli Park, and Sat/Sun/Mon we spent on the tandem. We didn't quite make our ambitious goal of 200 tandem miles for the week, but ended up with about 130 miles. Today was our longest ride to date, about 64 miles with 4000-5000' climbing. Glendora Mountain Road was closed to cars for the holiday weekend, but it was full of cyclists, including another tandem couple! We also saw a small coyote hanging out alongside the road, probably wondering what the heck we were doing in his territory.

These next couple weeks I hope to get some more saddle time on my mountain bike, assuming my front fork will return from the warranty work being done on it. I'm riding the 24 Hours of Adrenaline race in Hurkey Creek on September 20 with a team of 5. I've also had my eye on a 29" Kona singlespeed mountain bike, but that'll have to wait a little while.

Good night from out west.