Category Archives: travel

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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35 ounces of vegan burrito

The Oliver's Market burrito I mentioned in a previous post. Yum!

Grande with
mexican rice
refried beans
fried tofu
guacamole
jalapeño salsa
lettuce
cilantro
whole-wheat tortilla

It's novel to get refried beans or fried tofu; together is a special
occasion. I took it over to the deli for proof of its grande-ness.

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Mt. Tamalpais

As part of the Rough Riders AdventureCORPS event we rode from the
Mission in SF to Mill Valley and then to the summit of Mt. Tamalpais
on dirt. Well, you have to hike the last 0.3 miles.
Team Swarm! and others made up the late group each day but we still
rode with some great folks. At the Saturday night bike show Megan Dean
of Moth Attack! bikes won second best bike. Rad.

More info with links and photos later in the week, hopefully.

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Oliver’s market

I've come to look fwd to this place as much as the races I go to
Sonoma County for! This bin was empty; hopefully next week they've
some. They also have a taqueria and I ate possibly the largest burrito
in my life. And I've eaten thousands of large burritos! Next time I'll
weigh it and take photos. It may approach two pounds.

The 24hr race went well! Fell short of the 200 mile mark, did 17 laps
on a tough, hour-long-ish 9.3-mile course. Second in single-speed, but
there were only four of us. This fireman dude from Santa Rosa has won
every race I've been to up there and this one he won overall! Beat
pros on geared bikes. I'll have to check my overall. Bike is DOPE. And
now I have 100 packets of Hammer Espresso gel.

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Vegan Peruvian, Portland, Oregon

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busy…

Yes, I’m posting more often! Very stoked too. Now that it’s summer I’m still busy, but in ways that are more interesting to post. After I finish up here with Badwater, I’m home for 36 hours or so before heading up to 24 hours of Boggs. Can I get a road ride and mountain bike ride in before? Then back to LA for a few days of work before the Rough Riders Multisurface Cycling Festival in Marin County. The week after? Vineman (The People’s Ironman!) in Sonoma County. Getting nervous! I really need to swim a few times. What a month.
See you out there on the trail, on the road, in the water or on foot.

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Sauvie Island half marathon

I can’t remember the last time I did a running event! At least two years. When I was mapping out my training for Vineman I thought it’d be a good idea to run a half marathon in late June or early July. And what better place than near Portland, Oregon? The Foot Traffic Flat takes place on Sauvie Island (Sauvie means delicious berries) 15 miles north of Portland.


So we, as in famous artist Lacy J. Davis and I, decided to ride our bikes there, duh. Yes, I love to ride bikes and I’m an environmentalist blah blah blah…but there’s only one bridge onto the island. Lots of cars. It just made sense to ride! The last 3 miles we rolled past bumper to bumper traffic. AND it was a great ride and a good way to warm up. I suggested this to the race organizer but he didn’t think it likely anyone else would ride…

The blue behind us is part of the un-ironic background but the blue behind that is real sky blue.

After locking our bikes to a barn and eating some fruit, the half was ready to start. I started with my friend Eben, who works at the 7th Friendliest Store in Portland, who just ran a fast half the weekend before. Needless to say I let him go after the first mile. By mile two I realized that the majority of my running races have been the LA marathon and this race is the exact opposite, in a good way! Since I don’t have a watch and only recently began pacing at a track I was nervous about my time. Was I going too fast? Too slow? I set the timer on my iPhone and checked it at mile 3 and mile 6. Turns out I was running just about 7.5 minute miles, as I hoped.

St. John’s bridge, looking south.

There’s no coasting in running! I’d find myself lost in my thoughts and my pace slowing…and I’d have to catch myself and see where I was. Runners may be worse than cyclists in avoiding hills, but the monotony of the flat course was getting to me. I like hills! I felt good at mile 10 so I picked it up and finished in the punk rock time of 1hr 38min. Eben finished about 4 minutes ahead for 107th place overall. If he knew, he probably would of let that one person pass so his time could be punk and 108. Lacy finished the 5k, her first running race, in 28min30sec, not to mention the 30+ miles of riding. Awesome!

After some lounging and watching the fast marathoners come in we headed back toward Portland, but took a detour over the St. John’s bridge to eat at Proper Eats, which is basically a restaurant in a health food store. The service and smell are like you’d expect from a restaurant inside a health food store, but the food was terrific. Tempeh breakfast scramble!

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Mt. Laguna Bicycle Classic

In April I rode the Mt. Laguna Bicycle Classic in East SD County. Back in January I was part of the pre-ride so I was really looking forward to this! It just so happened that the Rosarita-Ensenada party ride was happening the same weekend and my good friend Matthew was heading down there from LA on his fancy Rivendell.
I had to work till 5pm and then I loaded up my two-shoulder messenger bag with my bivy sac, sleeping bag and pad and everything I’d need for the weekend. Made my way to coastal Orange County in time to watch the sun set and was near the SD border by 10pm.

The awesome bike path before the military base or freeway dilemma

Our Swarm! jerseys say ‘Can’t Stop Won’t Stop’ which I took straight from Hip Hop slang as applied to long-distance cycling. Matthew likes to say, ‘Can stop, will stop!’ when riding. I had hustled to do the first 77 miles miles in 5 hours, which is fun in my own way, but the next day we were leisurely. To say the least. I asked if we should stop and get some bars or bananas and he replied, ‘If we get hungry we’ll just find a taco truck.’ Awesome.

Done.

We chilled all through SD County, taking the beach options whenever possible. We arrived at a friend’s house in Ocean Beach, which is the exact stereotype of everything you think about Southern California- in the good way. We had been texting and when I asked about food he said, ‘There’s a liquor store near me that has great vegan food.’ Whaaaaa? Ends up Liticker’s Liquor has a full-on vegan menu with carne asada and seitan burritos. One of each, please.

We ate our tacos on his roof and watched the sun set. California, bro.

My friend Jeff had driven down after work and met up with us and after some dessert from the local co-op we set our alarm for 4am to head out to Pine Valley (Matthew and Craig were riding to the border a few hours later to meet the start of their ride). We had some disagreement over what time to leave. I wanted to sleep as late as possible and get there right as the last wave was ready to go, but Jeff, being older and wiser, suggested we not do that. Okay, okay.
Ends up I was right! We flew out there with no traffic and then sat in the car, in the dark, waiting for it to warm up. Went with the last wave…

 

Jeff killing it. Fourth fastest time of the day.

We rode in a good pack till the first climb picked up and then Jeff and some Cat-1 guy were off. I settled in with a triathlete who I spent most of the time trying to convince that iron-distance is the only way to go (you get your money’s worth!). Paced with a quiet guy from Arizona for awhile who really pushed me on the climbs. the course is three loops, all with the same aid station at the top of Mt Laguna and the same fast, awesome descent. Ran into a friend I had met at the AdventureCORPS Shasta cycling/yoga camp last summer. We rode together for awhile on the insanely steep last climb discussing art, girls, work and making it all fit. He said something that really stood out: ‘Work expands to fit the time allotted.’ That aids my procrastination tendency and I love it.

I pushed on the steep stuff just to keep the pedals turning and passed about a half dozen folks walking. It was that steep! Keep in mind I’m still near the front third…

Post-ride meal included Filipino food again and vegan pizza!


Results and photos are up and worth perusing. Please note the 11 and 13 year old girls that did the same ride. For real. I also met Errin Vasquez, who I had chatted with on the internet previously. Also awesome.

We drove back to Ocean Beach in time for another Organic Athlete vegan potluck and decided to spend the night so I could go to the co-op for the 100th time on this trip. Breakfast!

When I was searching for something funny to link from Rivendell, I searched ‘Cult Bikes’ and it ends up that Robbie Morales, an old BMX friend, has a new company with this name. Here’s a great sampler video!

(maybe I should end all posts with a BMX or Hip Hop video?)

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Bring May Powers

And just like that Saturday is May 1st. The crew from September's
Bromamce Slaycation has piled into the Adventure Van (at 31 yrs old
I've no qualm that the vehicle I've spent the most time in in the
previous five yrs is my friend's mom's minivan) and is heading north
to Cool, CA. Married couple brodozer vehicle left the South Bay
earlier and this afternoon we'll combine forces. 24 hours of Cool
Saturday noon to Sunday noon.
We've got:
4-person Swarm! team- Max, Brian (both Bonobo team veterans), Mike Sz
(raced Tucson 24hr) and Nicolas (from the HooDoo 500 team in 07)
Jenny and McCall on support and hang-out duty.
They should kill it. Podium?

I'm racing solo single-speed. No crazy expectations as my fitness is
still meh. Also had hoped to have my new (custom!) bike w an actual
shock fork, but alas it wasn't done in time. Because there's no better
first ride for a new bike than a 24 hour one.

While Swarm! team M is in the woods off-roading in the north, Swarm!
team F will be in central coast at the Wildflower 'woodstock of
triathlons' triathlon. Molly (vegan baker extraordinaire) is racing
her first Olympic distance and Sasha (508 documentarian) is doing the
same, her very first tri. I've been working closely with her on
nutrition/training so I'll be thinking about her while I'm racing.

Keep up with the races at http://www.twitter.com/bikeswarm if that
sort of thing interests you.

Playlist thus far:
Propagandhi Less Talk More Rock
Integrity Systems Overloaded
Converge Petitioning the Empty Sky

And if you're in LA for May Day check this out:
http://la.metblogs.com/2010/04/30/may-1st-rally-march-its-time-to-stir-that-melting-pot/

Demand the impossible! Of yourself and the world.

http://la.metblogs.com/2010/04/30/may-1st-rally-march-its-time-to-stir-that-melting-pot/

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December SF trip: Supermarket Sweep and Prestige Cross

Looking for any excuse to head back to San Francisco after my super awesome October trip, I found the Supermarket Sweep Alleycat race. Basically you start near the Embarcadero, head to the first, predetermined grocery store and then to four others in any order you choose to pick up the required food on the manifest. It all ends at the SF Food Bank. Since riding a bike around a city and food shopping makes up the majority of my existence, I thought it ‘d be a great race to do.

My track bike with Ritchey break-away system packed up for the plane (no charge!)


My good friend Trystan, who built my track bike, now works for Chrome Bags, my Friday afternoon post-flight destination.

Ready to ride

Over 200 people raced! First hill was brutal. I should have known, right? Since my SF geographical knowledge is pretty basic so I utilized a few skills to get around: asking people in line if they knew which store on the manifest was closest and how to get there, pulling up a map on my phone, and making friends with a local and jumping on. The last of these was the most effective. Till we bombed some seriously steep hills and I’m the only one on a brakeless track bike. Definitely slightly more danger than I’m usually into to, but hey, that’s part of the experience.

Pro photos of all finishers!


We ended up covering over twenty miles! And people say Los Angeles is spread out…I rode with a number of friendly (and fast!) folks. Ended up 11th or something in the fixed category. Ex-Angeleno Swarm! rider Paul Barclay got 5th in the geared division and current Angeleno (and sxe BMXer) Hern got 4th in fixed. The organizers were unbelievable and hooked up dozens of sponsors and a banging after-party. Thanks!

That night Trystan and his bike racing housemates decided that I was going to do the Cyclocross race the next day in Coyote Point on Dan’s ‘spare’ cross bike that is nicer than any bike I’ve ever owned.

Cross is hard. So is using Campy shifters.


The course had some sweet technical sections, long straights and tight turns on pavement. Seemed my road skills came in most handy as I railed them as fast as I could. Think I ended top third in a field of 60.

Also ate a ton of food, dranks lots of coffee and was often cold; the usual SF happenings. And hung out with this amazing guy:


Thanks Trystan, Dan and Maria!

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