I've been in SF many times this year, but these last few days have
made me feel closer to it. Less of a visitor and more of a….part-
time resident? No, that's not it. Nowhere ever totally feels like home
for me, but the more time I spend in California all of it feels like
my home. Fuck a stupid north/south CA divide (everyone already knows
Northern CA is overrated), this whole place is my home.
On this trip I rode Paradise Loop, some roads from the Rough Riders
Rally and all around the city. I ate Chicago-style pizza and at a
vegan Mexican place. Visited a Buddhist monestary/farm where we swam
in a pond and played kickball. A sweet life it is.
Tomorrow I head south by bike with Jeff to LA, 450 miles in 3 days.
We're camping, but traveling very light- I've only a big seatbag and a
hydration pack. Laptop I needed here for work but didn't arrange to
mail? Check. Chocolate covered espresso beans? Check. Ready to start
teaching again Monday? Not quite.
My British friend Aidan, who was on my crew for the Norseman triathlon, sent me this email recently:
In a couple of weeks, Emily and I are setting off for New Zealand.
We’ve got a few weeks of touring around before she swims The Cook
Strait (weather permitting, somewhere between 20-26 February). It’s
going to be a good adventure, and on the way back we’re scheduled to
have a week in LA.
‘before she swims the Cook Strait’
Hard to wrap my mind around that. Emily has a blog where she discusses this with more detail. Honestly, I prefer reading the lead-up to the wrap-up. You feel the nervousness and excitement as someone attempts to write what they are feeling and are up against. Before my biggest events I always have a part of my brain that wants to fully retreat. ‘What the fuck are you doing? You can’t handle this! You’re in over your head!’. And then my ego has to step up and answer. My writing before events is a combination of these and can go either way depending on my mood when I sit down to type.
I’m so excited for her and trying to imagine swimming for that long. I searched for more info and came across www.cookstraitswim.org.nz. Here’s my favorite part of the FAQ:
What is the most difficult part of the swim?
Getting across Cook Strait and finishing
Good to know.
I draw so much energy from seeing people I care about do what they
love. Good friends Slingshot Dakota Thursday night at The Smell.
I hope you do too! That’s one of the main drives for me to write this blog: the motivation factor of shared energy and good stories. And with that I’m off for this evening’s adventures, on the third bike of the day (!).
Like so many things in my life that I write about, DIY remains a constant struggle between who I am and who I want to be. I have plenty of reasons to reduce my consumption- mainly environmental and economical (personally and politically)- and like the great Charles Bukowski said, I hate being a buyer needing a seller. But I slack on the alternatives. I’m envious of both those who can purchase freely without hesitation and those who have a burning creativity inside that automatically translates into DIY. Me? I end up with piles of unsewn ripped jeans, socks years past their usefulness and anxiety over the few new things I actually have to go to the store and purchase for full price.
At our new house I finally got my room (somewhat) set up three weeks after moving in. I had searched for some furniture, but in not finding anything came up with this hanging system (my room doesn’t have a closet) and desk with stuff I found in the house.
The rack is straight bars slid into 1-inch forks and hung with hooks. The desk is a closet door balanced on a filing cabinet and crates. It’s somewhere between punk/DIY and ‘post-college’ chic. Most importantly it forced me to bridge the gap between what I want to see and what I do.
What am I doing with my life that I don't mountain bike more often?
(Jack on a tech section of Gabrielino while Mike contemplates)
This screw must of been sitting perfectly in a pothole. Went through
the tire, tire liner, both sides of the tube and even the rim strip.
This was a few weeks ago and since then I've done a number on this
wheel. I should know that entry-level road wheels aren't a good option
for commuting. Whoops.
Spring cleaning of bikes and bike parts definitely in order.