Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bike Art and some randoms

Thursday evenings are usually reserved for my honey, but recently I've been working about 482% too much. You can't ever really make up for that, but trying to is fun, you know?

(firepit burns *wood* which is the purported theme of 5th anniversaries for traditional gift giving. Copper is also good for the 7th anniverary, so hey, if this firepit lasts long enough I'm all set. Obligatory bicycle - Hillary, if you were wondering - in the background and I'm sure if you look closely enough there'll be a cat in the house looking out)

Teresa and I just redid the backyard last year with something like 50 cents and a lot of elbow grease, plus a couple special assists from Sean Smith (thanks Sean :-) ). And we haven't gotten to enjoy it much this summer, but this is definitely nice. Obligatory two-wheeled machine in the background (that's "Scout" if you were wondering)


I pass this bicycle graffiti every day, and I have to admit, it's not bad:

A visual feast. Shouts to all the guys and gals racing this weekend - good luck to everyone and keep the rubber side down (unlike that graffit)

Thanks for stopping by

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bike Against The Odds

I don't do charity rides usually because I don't like hitting other people up for money, I just donate myself if I'm into something.

But my cycling team (Kaiser Permanente / Team Oakland) *is* sponsored by a health care provider, there's a charity ride that starts at Lake Merritt and rides all over my normal stomping grounds, and it's supporting research into breast cancer which hits a surprising number of my friends.

So I end up supporting the Bike Against The Odds every year, and even though I haven't been riding much this year I gave it a shot.

Here's the crew (3 Jeff/Geoffs, 2 Mikes, a Tom and a Mel) about to depart at 6:30AM on a Saturday (sacrifice, people!) for an overcast romp around the hills of the East Bay.

Naturally, training in three months what I normally train in two weeks didn't work out to well for me, and I'll just say this picture is a metaphor for my fitness:

I started getting the tell-tale twitches that said "do you *want* to cramp before you get home, or shouldn't you just ride home now, buddy?" so I pulled the plug at mile 50 and retreated to a comfortable napping area to lick my wounds.

I'll do the full thing again next year. But hey, we raised a ton of money! And it's for the boobies, I think everyone can get behind that. Seriously, good work to all that helped the cause or have battled through it.


I ride a bike sometimes

Lots of stuff separating me and my beloved stable of fillies (Hilary, War Admiral, and Angeleria, if you were curious. You name your bikes, don't you?)

But I have still been riding to work when I can - BART in the morning, Ferry at night

One of the things I love about bike commuting is that it puts me in the urban parklands and urban core, where there is always incidental art hanging around. Bike commuting in, say, Wichita, Kansas just wouldn't be the same.

Right now there is this exhibit of globes on the beach (I forget which one, by the marina) in San Francisco. It looks like they've asked a bunch of artists to do whatever they want so long as it's this size globe and has the continents on it. This one is my current favorite - it's a fully "green" globe, but really looks like a welcome mat. Bonus points for having the bridge behind it :-). I'll be sad to see the globes go - I'll see if I can scope out another couple for posts.

And yeah, sunsets are cliche, but come on. You had a hard day at work, you're on your way home, and there it is. Ahhh.

Sam's Getting Married

Bachelor party last weekend, and folks, take note - this is a good itinerary (good work, James):

- karting (of *course* I won, I mean, come on)

- guns (I'm not that into guns, but if you've ever gone to a range you have to admit it's fun - those paper targets never knew what hit them!)

- cocktails

- dinner (Espetus - more meat than you can shake a stick at, or fit on a stick, or whatever, just meat, man)

- out on the town

Honestly, a great day.

Best of luck, Sam and Jen.

FormulaGrub and a Track Day

While this is a cycling blog mostly, I'll admit I'm generally
interested in most things that go really fast. Nascar doesn't do it
for me because turning one direction the whole time is a bit dull, but
Formula 1 and MotoGP are both great fun to watch.

Just about everything is better if you enjoy it with friends though,
so we've got a little dinner club going we call "FormulaGrub" where we
try to cook food related to the location of the Formula 1 race, then
we eat it up while we watch the race. Good friends, new food, and
fantastic engineering, what's not to like?

Here's Clan Gilbert cooking up some Indian food before the Hungarian
Grand Prix (note Lindsay criticizing us because while Hungarians may
eat Indian food a lot, it's not really Hungarian)

And of course, even better than watching MotoGP is acting out your
fantasy that you may actually have a little Valentino Rossi in you, so
I took Jimbei up on his offer for a track day and headed out to
Thunderhill for some moto-madness. Honestly, Jay Rossi (long-time
friend from FormulaGrub) talked me into it, so it's all his fault.

For an idea how much fun that is, my leathers are new so their a bit
tight, and they rubbed some friction blisters all over my shins. I
didn't notice that *at all* while I was on the track - that much speed
on that little machinery is definitely a form of crack. Jimbei, thanks
for the bike loan, and Sean, thanks for the truck loan.

Look at the smile on Jay's face, it tells the tale :-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

two wheels, but faster

hey, if I'm not training enough to go fast on a bicycle, why not get an engine involved?

Thanks to Jimbei for letting me borrow one of his babys for the day, and to Teresa for being nervous but understanding

pics of the full stormtrooper/dork leather suit later

rubber side down!