Category Archives: city

My Favorite Photos of 2012

I am well aware that it is already Spring and this is a ‘favorite of 2012’ post, but hey, better late than never, right? I take a lot of photos. Some end up on facebook or instagram but most never make it off of my phone/camera. I was looking through all 1400 of them and thought I’d pick some of the ones I like best from last year.

Thanks for reading (and looking!) and thanks to everyone who was a part of this madness!

TourDeFat

Tour De Fat is one of the funnest days of the year. And I don’t even drink!

When I attempted the Zion 100. My first of failed 100-mile runs. Still a day well spent.

When I attempted the Zion 100. My first of two failed 100-mile runs. Still a day well spent.

IMG_0556

California Coast. Many many hours spent here in 2012.

Big dude big dog.

IMG_0770

Aaron Edge’s bag. He’s the dude I tweeted about from #furtherfasterforever who was recently diagnosed with MS.

IMG_0776

CicLAvia plus pupusa. Los Angeles!

IMG_0779

More CicLAvia hangouts. MacArthur Park.

IMG_0805

This tiny bridge connected two bike routes and not only made cyclists’ ride way shorter and easier, but safer. Also called ‘Jesus Bridge’ because google earth hadn’t caught up to Strava and it looked like you rode on water….

IMG_0864

Any dog in my sight is at risk of being picked up. Especially pugs. This is pre Zion 100.

IMG_0996

Can I help you? At the NYC Veggie Pride Parade.

IMG_1026

I love classic East Coast brick buildings with their shady fire escapes. Bethlehem, PA.

IMG_1116

I only went mountain biking a few times in 2012 (wtf?) but this ride with my friend Timoni was a good one. Snake!

IMG_1128

At the 24 Hours of the Enchanted Forest, where I finished third place in solo single speed. 2am blurry photo with a crooked wheel?

IMG_1174

A pug in a milk crate basket is already great. Another great part is that Paul, who I did the British Columbia bike touring / mountaineering trip with, saw this photo and thought I was taking this bike.

IMG_1234

British Columbia. SO MANY BEARS.

IMG_1257

Mountaineering cabin view. Hell yes.

IMG_1283

Us on the mountain from the previous photo!

IMG_1338

Mountaineering challenged me in many ways. Most of them mental!

IMG_1351

Roped in, on the side of a steep mountain, discussing if it’s safe to be where we are. Why not pull out my phone and shoot a photo?

IMG_1305

Whistler Mountain Bike Park. I had such a blast. One of the best days of the year for sure. Wish I had more photos, but I was too busy getting rad.

IMG_1405

Vancouver. There was a serious race. I ate a veggie dog from a vendor. End of story.

IMG_1414

North Shore, Vancouver. This place is internationally known and changed mountain biking forever. Such a privilege to be there and ride bikes! I saw this the first day, thought it was insane and then rode it the second day. I guess I got use to the bike I was borrowing? Haha.

IMG_1445

Twenty-four hour vegetarian dinner in Vancouver. I love breakfast, in case you didn’t know that.

IMG_1462

Back to Eden vegan bakery in Portland. A treat. And mirrors on the walls.

IMG_1587

This pug was going wild while the owner went shopping. I had just locked up my bike and was on the phone but fortunate enough to capture this.

IMG_1659

Donovan at the Headlands 50/100. He paced me on my first 50 miler. And then ran 50 more miles while I hitch hiked back to SF from Marin County. Beautiful race!

IMG_1676

We fostered kittens for awhile at my house. This one was born with only one eye. Adorable.

IMG_1749

You know it’s an adventure when you are sleeping in a high school gym. This is Christian, my college housemate and close friend who joined me for several hundred miles when I rode cross-country in 2001. Here we are at the Oil Creek 100. He ran the 100k and I DNF’d the 100-miler.

Oil Creek 100. I was planning on quitting at the mile 62 aid station but then somehow still blacked out after I sat down. Not sure what happened! This is me trying to get warm and figure out the meaning of life.

IMG_1798

Excuse me, can I hang out with your pug?

Thor. The pit bull rescue. Maybe the cutest puppy ever?

IMG_2005

Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships. Yes, I’m pretty stoked and wearing a wig. Photo by Donovan. Hooliganness by Los Angeles.

Hey dawg.

I love garlic. And have the tattoo to prove it.

IMG_2142

Art.

First CX race of the year. I may not of placed well, but I did do this every lap. Photo by

First CX race of the year. I may not of placed well, but I did do this every lap. Photo by PB Creative.

For the first time every I regularly made pizza from scratch at home.

For the first time ever I regularly made pizza from scratch.

Backside of Amethyst in Montecito Heights during Feel My Legs I'm a Racer. Photo by @Area45

Backside of Amethyst in Montecito Heights during Feel My Legs I’m a Racer. Photo by @Area45

Comments Off on My Favorite Photos of 2012

Filed under city, off-road, race, run, travel

Day in the Life 9; BMX Photographer Rob Dolecki

BMX riding is one of the most difficult sports to master- it takes crazy skills that are only perfected with great risk. Like skateboarding, there is no safety net and the slightest error can lead to injury. It’s physically and mentally demanding, to say the least. The variety within BMX is also huge- imagine becoming an expert at every single soccer position- most BMXers ride skateparks, street and BMX trails. It’s also a sport with very little recognition- sure there’s the X Games, but that’s not what most BMXers are interested in.  As cliche as it is, those who do it absolutely love it.

And our newest athlete in the series, Rob Dolecki, is a case in point. He simply loves BMX and bike riding.  The man is humble and not quick to talk about himself.  I think the only reason he agreed to this is because of how strongly he feels about veganism and because we’ve been friends for nearly 20 years! Rob is a full-time BMX photographer for magazines like DIG BMX, but that doesn’t mean he has stopped riding- even at 40 years old!

 

I love how Rob is a quiet, positive example of veganism, which is exactly what this project is about. He knows that the best way to influence others is by showing what’s possible in life- whether that’s smiling while jumping a 20 foot gap on a bike or finding food while on the road in the South America. Rob shared his tips for traveling while being vegan:

Road Trip Vegan Food Tips

Be flexible! You may not find your favorite or the healthiest foods on the road, but sometimes you have to just eat what’s available and vegan. What’s most important for your long-term health is the food choices you make most often. Don’t stress over eating eating less than ideally while on the road!

Be prepared.  Learn about the food choices where you are headed.

Plan ahead. Can you carry food with you while you are away from resources?  Some easy choices while traveling-

Fruit– Dried or fresh.
Nuts– High in calories and important nutrients, these are a life saver when spending long periods of time between meals on the road.
Bread and nut butter– Vegan bread is easy to get,  add some peanut butter and you have a filling, tasty meal to hold you over.

Be sure to check out Rob’s exceptional photography at www.twicebmx.com. Thanks Rob for spending your day with us and getting me out on a BMX bike again!

 

7 Comments

Filed under bmx, city, Day in the Life, nutrition, vegan

Photos, Videos and Coverage of the 2012 Feel My Legs I’m a Racer

Photos by Donovan, Wolf Pack Hustle and Area45. Links to more photos below.

Backside of Amethyst in Montecito Heights. Photo by Errin Vasquez

It had started to rain and even though we were riding the usual 10 hills, we were riding up Amethyst St from the backside and it proved to be an entirely different experience.  The road is narrow, filled with potholes and blind corners with steep switchbacks that wind up a seemingly rural mountain. Our group had diminished in size and smiles were infrequent. But as I stood at a switchback filming riders go by I looked out from the hood of my rain jacket and for no reason in particular thought to myself, ‘This is why I put on this ride.’

Eldred St from the top. Some say it's steeper than Fargo...
Photo by @WolfPackHustle

It’s a Los Angeles that most people never see.
It’s a physically and mentally hard journey with little reward.
It’s camaraderie. The fastest cheer on the others from the top of the hill.
It’s simple. Pedal your bicycle up hill. No money exchanges hands, no permits or road closures, just simple bike riding on public streets.

The famed cobblestones of Baxter from Echo Park Ave. Photo by @Donorun

 Results
1. 50 points – Jon (Wolfpack)
2. 40 points – Evan
3. 16 points – Ivan
4. 15 points – Jacob (Swarm!)
4. 15 points – Michael (La Grange)
6. 10 points – Chris (Orange 20)
7. 4 point – Mark D.

[update 4-10-12: Points/results now correct]

Jon Budinoff on Thomas. Props to him for winning every hill. Photo by @Donorun

Uyen Nguyen was the only woman to attempt all 10 hills in 2012. And if there was an award for Most Stoked she would definitely get it. Photo by @Donorun

It didn’t rain until hill number 7, but since we did the route backwards [map] this when we were farthest from the start- probably reduced the drop rate.

Everyone who endured until the end, excluding one guy who hadn't made it up yet- sorry man! I felt bad for keeping people in the rain even a minute longer... Photo by me.

Sasha, my partner for the Day in the Life series, made this cool video using our GoPro.

Road Block from Wolf Pack Hustle stopped by to shoot this video of Eldred St.

Thanks so much to everyone who makes this ride possible, from the Swarm! volunteers like Jesse and Molly who rode up every hill and kept score to those who come out and ride. It really makes me happy that so many people find joy in such a unique event! Below are some of my favorite photos and there’s more 2012 coverage from Wolf Pack Hustle, TakeOver LA, Velo Club LaGrange, and photos by Errin Vasquez/Area45  and Donovan Jenkins.  And there’s the history of the previous 6 years.

The rain was really falling by the time we left Eldred St. Photo by @WolfPackHustle

White Knoll to Marview is a classic hill, has been on the FML route since the very first year. Photo by @Donorun.

A 29er and a Rando bike! All bikes are welcome! Photo by @Donorun.

Riding up Boylston from Stadium Way ensures that we get the maximum elevation out of each hill. Photo by @Donorun.

We arrived at Fargo with our crew to the confusion of the LA Wheelman folks. Fortunately they were very cool and cleared the hill for us to race up it. It helped that a Furnace Creek 508 veteran was the one deciding who goes up when! Thanks Picachu! Photo by @Donorun.

Welcome to Eldred Estates. Photo by me.

Vegan waffles with strawberries and cream, potatoes, tofu scramble and coffee warmed us up nicely post-ride. Thanks to Sasha and Luz for organizing the foods! Bad photo by me.

8 Comments

Filed under city, feelmylegs

Final map and details for 2012 Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer

Racer I am, Legs My Feel?  We’re going backwards this year! Here’s the map of the 10 hills:

Hills- Red
Route between hills- Blue
Return from last hill- Green

Sunday March 25th, 745am at
Silver Lake Pedestrian Plaza

Sign in at 745, meeting at 815am, roll to hill #1 at 830. Please be on time!
Day-of announcements: @BikeSwarm
Yes– rain or shine, any bike, water, snacks, tube, tools, stokedness, riding for points, riding to finish, waiting at top of each hill
No– bad attitudes, cars, jock mentality, entry fee, prizes
See other FAQ on this earlier post, propaganda here, entire event history here and send any questions to BikeSwarm [at] gmail
I may need some more day-of volunteers, please come speak with me in the morning if you’d like to help out. Thank you!

2 Comments

Filed under city, feelmylegs

2012 Feel My Legs I’m a Racer Propaganda

 

Here’s an 8.5 x 11 pdf with two half sheet fliers for printing.

I realize that this is the same day as the LA Wheelmen Fargo Hill Climb but I couldn’t avoid that conflict. It’ll be a little chaotic over there, as Fargo may be an earlier hill this year, but maybe we’ll pick up a few more riders for the rest of the hills? Every year I email them an invitation to come to this, but they never do- or even write back. But I’ll let them know that we’ll be there this year.

Also, if you read through the history of this event you can see that despite having the word ‘racer’ in the title the majority of people are there for an unbelievable tour of back roads and hills in Los Angeles- Shawn Bannon’s photos from 2010 really capture this. And any and all bikes are welcome! Just bring a good attitude- and patience.  See you bright and early on the 25th.

Thanks to Swrve and Golden Saddle Cyclery for being supporters of this event.

3 Comments

Filed under city, feelmylegs

Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer #7 Date and Time

[Update: Feel My Legs I’m a Racer Propaganda]

It’s that time of year! Can you believe this race has been happening for 6 years ->; 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011. And the Feel My Legs category has everything in between, including the flier from the very first race!

The 2012 race will be on Sunday March 25th. We’ll meet at the same location, which is now the Silver Lake Sunset Triangle Plaza, at 745am, pre-race talk will begin at 815am and we’ll roll out to the first hill at 830am sharp. All updates between now and then will be posted here and on the facebook event page. For day-of info please follow the Swarm! twitter account. Flier coming shortly!

;

Finishers of the first ever Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer way bike in 2006.

;

What exactly is this?

This is a stage ‘race’ on 10 of the hardest hills in Los Angeles that started in 2006. We ride as a group between hills and then each hill is its own race with points awarded for 1st through 5th. We regroup and ride together to the next hill. The rider with the most points after 10 hills wins. It’s based on Danny Chew’s Dirty Dozen. Most riders are out there just to ride all 10 hills in one day, which is no small feat.

Do I have to race?

Definitely not. Most people on this ride are not racing, but are there just to attempt every hill.

Is there an entry fee?

No!

Are there prizes?

No!

Can I ride fixed gear?

You can try! We ride together from hill to hill and any gear that you could get up these hills with will be too low to stay with the group. You are welcome to come out and prove me wrong though.

Will I get lost?

No! Well, probably not. We ride as a group from hill to hill at a chill pace. At each hill it will be obvious where to go. At any turns or confusing parts I’ll have chalk and/or a volunteer. We regroup at the top only after the last person has made it up.

How can I prepare?

Familiarize yourself with the route and with the history of the ride. A good start is the write-up from 2010. A good gauge hill is Micheltorena off of Sunset Blvd. . It’s long with steep sections and if you can make it up that comfortably I think you can hang on this ride. Another test is Fargo St, which is a monster of a hill. It has been hill number 9 for the past few years, but that is subject to change this year.

Do I get a meal or picnic or something out of this?

I wish. In the past we’ve done everything from pancake breakfasts to picnics and from t-shirts to patches. This year there will definitely be a spoke card by Creative Thing, but no promises beyond that.

Who puts this on?

My bike club, known as Swarm!. We ride everything from alley cats to international UCI races. Collectively we think that the world would be a better place if people rode bikes and ate vegan food more often.

My friends want to watch, can they drive along the course and stop at the hills?

Nope, sorry. We’re going to be on some narrow roads in quiet neighborhoods; I don’t want to add to the car traffic. They are welcome to ride bikes along with us and I’ll help navigate the best places to see and how to get around. By the end almost half the people with us are just there to watch and cheer on the other riders!

How long is this ride?

Plan to be done around 2pm, hopefully sooner.

Why did you stop making fun of Bryan Farhy?

After 5 years of naming vegan events after him over an anti-vegan email, he recently sent me an apology and I’m letting it go. Don’t tell any of my east coast friends that I didn’t take a grudge to the grave.

Anything I can do to help?

Thanks for asking! I need help getting the word out. Please send this page to your bike club/crew/gang. I also may need some volunteers the day of. Getting up and down the hill may or may not be required. Photography is always appreciated, but again, by bike and not cars. Get in touch at bikeswarm [at] gmail.

Get me stoked?

Here’s a short video of Canton Street, one of the steepest hills in the world, from this past year’s Dirty Dozen race.

8 Comments

Filed under city, feelmylegs

Is this the definition of irony?

The other day I was riding my cyclocross bike on some great canyon trails here in the city. Nothing is better than riding to the trails, riding dirt, then riding home. It’s great when cities have undeveloped areas to explore.
I was riding along enjoying some fast sections, with perfect conditions. Then the trail was blocked by a 4-lane road. I know building bridges and tunnels costs a lot of money and I don’t mind having to pop onto a road for a minute, but then I came across this fence between the lanes restricting non-crosswalk crossing.
And then to rub it in they put images of cyclists and runners on the fence blocking the access of those very people in favor of automobiles.
The fence forces you to ride against traffic to a stoplight, where you ‘safely’ cross and then ride against traffic on the other side.
All the while those images of cyclists and runners stare at you mockingly.

20120127-085847.jpg

20120127-085923.jpg

6 Comments

Filed under bike, city, off-road, political