Category Archives: travel

Rainy Day Stokedness

There’s nothing better to do on a rainy day than to read about events you’ve done and that you want to do. Especially this time of year! It’s so important to reflect on the past in order to prepare for the future, no matter what your goals are. A post came through my Reader about the Norseman Triathlon in Norway and I was reminded of the race adventure in 2007 when I had the privilege of being in what they call the world’s hardest full-iron triathlon. I wrote about it here and here.

Norway = One of the most beautiful places in the world
Norwegians = Some of the friendliest people in the world

Doing like most people with some spare time on a rainy day (well, after I went on a 2.5hr run…), I perused youtube for videos of this kick-ass race and found some really great ones (keep in mind I think most race/adventure videos do a poor job of capturing the reality of this stuff, but these are actually really good!). The first is like an intro and the second is like a mini-doc….

 

 

I wish I could get out there again!! Plenty of closer adventures to be had…

What’s getting you stoked for 2011?

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Nutrition and transitioning

I spent last weekend and early this week at the American Dietetic Association’s annual conference in Boston where I facilitated a workshop on vegetarian nutrition. I usually don’t talk about my professional world here, but I’m in the process of transitioning to a new blog that combines both. Links for that coming soon, but I’ve already started using this: twitter.com/truelovehealth. One of my tweets included this photo of dietitians in line for free soda at the expo:

Yes, you read that correctly. Dietitians getting free soda at a nutrition conference. This is the world I work in. We have a long way to go. Fortunately my ‘Corporate influence = huge problem” post was picked up and re-tweeted by a number of people who feel similarly. The photo has been viewed nearly 600 times.
This is the sort of topic that makes me nervous professionally. Will this affect my work with the ADA? At the end of the conference they posted a thank you to all of the twitter users at the conference and my name was not listed….
Anyway. If you don’t stay true to your own ethics what are you left with?
Start following me on twitter for more.

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Filed under political, travel, vegan

Eat. Sleep. Read.

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(first) 24 hours in Cambridge MA

4-mile run along charles river
free yoga
sudo vegan shoe store
clover food lab chickpea fritter sandwich
family hang
cold late-night track bike ride search for famous whole foods vegan carrot cake (unsuccessful)

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Bicycling to Los Angeles Airport (LAX)

Ever try to park your bicycle at LAX? The LA World Airports site has no info and an online search gives you this LAist article which does not say much.

Rolling along 104th st toward the airport. Tower in distance!

I had a long weekend flight and work not far from the airport before and after so I decided to ride my $100 Craigslist bike and leave it. The best advice I got was ‘lock it up with the motorcycles’. So I rode into the airport and followed signs for departing flights and then to parking garage 1. Was it sketchy? Honestly, inside the airport felt safer than the sprawl-land madness that surrounds it.

I wanted a better place than this bike I came across.

There are a few concerns when locking your bicycle in an odd place. One is the usual re theft and vandalism. The other is that some overzealous pseudo-authority figure will notice your out of place transportation choice and make it his or her mission to teach you a lesson. I’ve had my bike locked by security guards, friends have had locks cut by them. It seems to be their business when you leave, but never when you ask them where to park. Anyway, I wouldn’t leave my bike locked like the above one out of fear of security guards messing with it.


I circled through the garage and found the motorcycle parking on the first floor- where arriving flights let out. There is no rack here, but there are locks on this ledge railing, so I assumed it was safe. I was also able to double lock it and include both wheels.


The morning I was leaving I had the realization that I couldn’t bring my tools on board and I hadn’t planned to check anything. What to do with the tools in my seatbag? I didn’t want to just leave it because it’s too easy to undo the velcro and walk away with $50 worth of tools (half the value of the bike!). My solution? Cover the seat with a plastic bag a la it’s raining out style therefore covering the seatbag and hiding it from view (and less sketchy than hiding the tools in a planter- which I’ve done successfully!). Foolproof? No, but I felt pretty confident that most people leaving an airport have little interest in multi-tools and tire levers.

Confident in my locking and tool hiding job I headed to Terminal 1. Guess what I see! Yep, a bike rack.




In all of my years of flying in and out of Terminal 1 (Southwest!) I have never noticed this rack. Is it new? Now I was stuck with the dilemma of moving my bike or not. One, I really didn’t have much time and two, if anyone in all of LAX would steal a seatbag filled with tools it would be someone on a bike….so I left it with the motorcycles.

Four days later I returned and my bike was (seemingly) untouched. Seatbag and all! And serendipitously the plastic bag kept my seat dry from the sprinklers just below. Score.

So when you ride your bike to the airport you have a few choices. I don’t know if there are bike racks at other terminals, but you always have the Terminal 1 option. Be sure to enter the terminal area on the ‘arriving flights’ level to ride right to the rack or to the motorcycle area of Terminal 1 parking, if you choose this option. Riding out of the garage no one looked twiced at me and I made my way to Veggie Grill for an early lunch…

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Filed under city, public trans, travel

SF to LA bike tour

I like to do a trip on the last weekend of summer before the semester starts. Last year we slayed Mammoth on mountain bikes. This year logistically it worked out to bike tour from SF to LA. I rode this same trip solo a few years ago. Bike touring goes back to 2001. Love it. I think I’m over 10,000 total miles in these 10 (!!) years.

Obligatory pre-ride photo with Jeff. Notice what’s missing: the sun.

The plan was ride fast and most of the day, camp and eat out. Mileage ended up as:

SF-Big Sur 150 miles
Big Sur-Lompac 170 miles
Lompac-Los Angeles 155 miles
I will try every vegan cinnamon bun thing once, even if it’s whole-wheat and doesn’t have icing. This is at the Co-op in Santa Cruz on the way out of town where Water St hits Soquel. I always stop here.

The seatbag I borrowed had a built-in burrito pocket. Very thoughtful. This was the first night. We did the massive descent into Carmel, picked up burritos then raced darkness to the Big Sur campground.

Packing list (all fit in the seatbag and hydration pack)
Thermarest 3/4 mat
Mountain Hardware 35 degree sleeping bag
Mountain Hardware longsleeve wind-proof shirt thing
1 bib
1 jersey
1 vest
1 pair sleeves
1 pants
1 technical t-shirt
1 button-up short sleeve (I’m obsessed with it- prob should have mailed it)
2 pair socks
1 10-inch mini laptop (oops, should have mailed)
1 pair gloves (they were old as shit and I left them in a garbage can in Pismo beach)
1 toolbag with multi-tool, tube, levers, 2 CO2 cartridges
1 pump
1 hydration pack (to carry laptop)
1 coffee mug
1 spork
1 foldable plastic plate


Food I left with

1 lara bar
1 granola mix with brazil nuts, cranberries added
1 bag chocolate-covered espresso beans aka magic beans
20 scoops Maxodextrin- homemade Sustained Energy type stuff
2 bananas

Bike
I rode my ‘race’ bike which is a steel Seven. Shimano parts. Ksyrium rims. The ones with the red spoke, don’t know what they’re called. I think it weighs in at 18 pounds, which I was told is not light. Borrowed giant seatbag.

What a fun trip! Too many tiny stories to share. Jeff is an awesome touring partner! Who else will hang out drinking coffee till 930am when you have a 170-mile day ahead of you?

I’m aching for a long bike tour….

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Filed under tour, travel

3 Photos- Mountain City, Tennesse

After racing the Shenandoah 100-mile mountain bike race this year I headed to Boone, North Carolina to see a close friend. Instead of the highway I opted for the through-the-mountains-and-Tennessee route. In Mountain City my obsession with grocery stores beckoned me to take a short stop.

Tea Party Propaganda, not unexpected. Later while listening to a call-in radio show, expecting the worst of fear-mongering conservative politics, I was pleasantly shocked by not one, but two callers. The first talked about the economy and how the blame is on the rich and the working-class need to learn all the DIY skills we used to know. Also that the economy shouldn’t return to what it was because that was exploitative. The second talked about hunting deer-with a camera! Seriously. Said it’s better cause you don’t have to kill the animal. Think of that next time you want to stereotype rural folks.
Tiny bottles of Chubby soda.
All grocery stores should have recipes from employees.


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mountain biking in Santa Cruz

My face hurts from smiling so much. That’s the best way I can describe mountain biking in Santa Cruz the other day. I told my friend Paul that ‘I absolutely have to ride cause I’m not racing the Tahoe-Sierra 100‘ and he suggested Santa Cruz. Awesome. I’m glad I had said that because when it came time to put my mountain bike together knowing I had to take it apart again in fewer than 24 hours I kind of didn’t want to. What a mistake that would have been!

After some freeway time south of SF we’re on a tiny ridge road which I thought of as ‘behind the mountains’ because I’ve never actually been in them; only ridden by with them on my left and the ocean on my right. Ends up we wouldn’t even see the town of Santa Cruz.

Paul only had a fuzzy idea of where to go. Something about a dirt road up to the ridge and trails coming back down to the car. We pick one, bomb it, then repeat on a different. There are lots of people out on bikes. Dozens. Mountain bikers everywhere. This is new to me. In the San Gabriels or Santa Monicas you only see a few people here and there.

First trail down comes up. We roll by. ‘That’s not it’, he says. Next trail- Braille- has an odd bunch of riders at the trail-head. Some regular looking mountain bike dudes- baggy clothes, hydration packs, dual suspension bikes, hairy legs, etc. A few younger dudes on jumping style bikes. A woman on a cross-country bike and a dude on a cross bike. They say, ‘you want to do this trail, it’s awesome.’ Here’s the thing though. ‘Awesome’ is very subjective. I’ll be honest and say I don’t trust other people’s idea of awesomeness. I have high expectations for trails and while most riding is pretty good and some of it is very good- not a whole lot qualifies as awesome. Our Mammoth Bromance Slaycation 2009 qualifies as awesome. I’ll never forget this wall-ride!. So I was apprehensive. Stoked, but apprehensive. And then it was possibly the best trail I have ever ridden.

Next thing I know we are flying down smooth, flow-y single track with some drops. And berms. And then jumps. With landings! Then technical built-up ladders and crossings. Man, stuff I don’t even know what it’s called. Imagine if you could build a skatepark out of stuff you find in the woods and instead of it being in one big area it’s laid out along one trail in a redwood forest. That’s this trail. Perfectly called Braille as I was hitting this stuff having never seen it before. I figure that they know where to put the landings and I’ll just be careful…

This page has some photos and a video, but it really doesn’t do it justice. At the bottom of that we had instant new friends. They loved that I was ‘a racer’ and riding a 29er and hitting this stuff. Fist bumps and high fives everywhere. Ends up they are a regular Sunday ride and next thing you know we’re climbing back up the ridge but this time bombing down toward the ocean. They are offered us weed, bbq chicken and to come to their house post-ride to help them finish the beer and food from a party. Oh mountain bike culture how I love thee! And then we were promised 15 miles of single-track and they delivered.

At the end of ________ and _______ Trail

We rode some twisty, curvy technical trails and some good mixed terrain stuff which I enjoyed. Chatting with our new friends and it ends up the main dude had ridden Furnace Creek 508 years ago. Ridiculous.

Not long after we enter yet another trail the dudes on jumping bikes with platform pedals and shin guards stop and pick up their bikes. They ask to follow them into the woods, but not directly behind. ‘Tread lightly, don’t leave any marks.’ We walk about 10 yards and then onto a SECRET TRAIL! [redacted at request of trail builders]. And that’s the last coherent thought I had because the next two miles was so exhilarating and dangerous that I couldn’t think about anything but keeping the rubber side down. There were sections where I thought the trail ended only to look down and see that what was in front of me was a 180 degree berm at such a steep incline that if it wasn’t for tire tracks I wouldn’t think was rideable. I had started near the back and slowly I passed other folks just shaking their head saying, ‘there’s no way this is possible.’ There were jumps I went around, but I rode some berms and drops that truly scared me. You’d pop out from between two giant redwoods and then bam! drop into what better resembles a quarter pipe than a mountain bike trail…

I can’t thank those locals enough! Back in Soquel, a tiny town south of Santa Cruz that I had ridden through just a few weeks ago on my SF-LA 3-day ride, we said our goodbyes and started the two hour climb back over the mountains to our car. The conversation was mostly about the costs of homes in the area and if there are any jobs…

Such a fun day. Wow. Not sure it counts as ‘training’ though.

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Filed under off-road, travel

2010 Shenandoah 100 Sunday

I raced the Shenandoah 100 in 2008 as my first mountain bike race ever and it was one of the best races I have ever done! Challenging, technical sections, beautiful area, kick-ass racers and volunteers, great vegan food before and after. It was so fun! (2008 write-up!)

I got my new bike (which made the trip in my Ritchey luggage without incident- no fee on Southwest and nothing broken). I’ve ridden off-road a lot more since 2008. Can I get in under 10 hours? There’s a corral start based on when you think you’ll finish and I feel pressure about where to line up! Last year was 10 hours, 55 min. I started in the back cause I didn’t want to get in anyone’s way…

Stoked to be in ‘the south’ visiting with friends and riding all day tomorrow. I won’t let summer end!!

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Time

I was in a coffee shop in Costa Mesa and saw a kid with a ‘vegan
power’ tattoo. Made me reminisce on the mid-90′s. He was young-ish
too, a nice reminder that the kids are still into it. I forget
sometimes.
Then later we saw this raw vegan donut at Mother’s Market in HB.
Remember when vegan donuts were the holy grail?? I’m not saying this
was good, it wasn’t worth the $4 to find out, but the fact it exists
kinda blows me away.
I did have chicken taquitos for lunch, also a novelty, and two
interesting snacks from the deli: shrimp cerviche and raw apple pie.
All vegan, of course.
Enjoyed at the beach with fond memories of HB being the first
California city I ever visited (1996) and the city I set off from on
my first bike tour- 3300 miles to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (2001).

Time: hard to comprehend.

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