Thursday, October 14, 2010

2011 Madsen Cycles

You can pretty much ignore this post. I am participating in the MADSEN Cycles link contest, whereby I can win one of these cool cargo bikes you see below. I probably would look more pimp than this guy even. Because you know he looks cool in that hipster dad sorta way. I know, I know, you're saying to yourself, Juan, you are already as cool or cooler than this poseur. Yes, but I don't have a cargo bike. After I win this, then I'll be all set. Though I might need that hat, too.

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Random observations from the bike commute

I had originally planned to just post some random observations from today's bike commute. Here they are.
  • I had to maneuver around two vehicles parked/stopped in the bike lane. One going downhill. Not cool.
  • I saw a dead possum roadkill. Oh, I smelled it, too. Yuck.
  • I saw a lady with a scarf on a scooter. She did not look this cute.

  • I saw an old Toyota Corolla GT-S. Hachi Roku!

  • I tried to ring my bell at another cyclist across the median on the opposite side of the road. He didn't hear me.
  • I saw a VHS cassette tape case on the ground.

  • I noticed the City painted more bike lane icon symbols in place of the "bike lane" wording, though it wasn't the white symbol on green box, just white on the asphalt.

  • I saw two cyclists who had pulled over to change a flat. The first guy was riding with a buddy, so I didn't stop. The second guy I asked if he needed help but he had already started pulling his tube out and said he was OK.
  • I'm thinking about posting about people I regularly see on the commute and giving them funny nicknames. I'll save that for later...must figure out a way to get photos...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Back in it, sorta

Email exchange with my wife today went something like this:

Her: Lunch?

Me: I biked in, so you'd have to pick me up

Her: Nevermind...time constraints. PS - Let me know if I need to pick you up [meaning after work]

Of course I declined...

So as you might have guessed, I resumed my bike commute today. Last time I rode to work was August 27, and I explained what happened in my last post. I briefly thought about reverting to my old drive half/bike half commute for today. I decided against that partly because I thought I could deal with the 30 mile round trip, and partly just because I'm lazy and loading the bike into the car was something I didn't want to deal with. So that was that.

It felt great to be out there riding again. The morning was cool & foggy. The fog was probably not ideal as far as visibility goes (cars seeing me, that is), but I was thankful it wasn't hot. I made a conscious effort not to push myself and I'd even managed to leave with enough extra time so I could take a slower pace and not worry about being late to work.

I only packed a few apple slices to snack on once I got to work and a turkey sandwich for lunch. My legs started to feel tired as the day wore on and by the afternoon I was getting really hungry for a snack. I kept hydrated hoping that would quell some of the hunger. I was looking forward to the ride home, though.

Anyway, 5:00 pm hit and I was on my way. I was expecting it to be clear, sunny & warm for the ride home but the clouds were making their way in. As usual Kearny Villa Rd had a headwind ready for me as I headed north, but otherwise the conditions were like the morning so I couldn't really complain.

I hit the first climb and I could tell I'd lost some strength after not riding for awhile. I wouldn't say it was a painful climb but I was going painfully slow, geared down (unfortunately) as low as I could go. I thought about stopping at the shopping center atop the hill (there's a Starbucks there after all) but kept at it. The next part of the hill wasn't bad, but again I just kept it slow & steady. A right turn to crest up to the peak of the road traversing the north side of Black Mountain and I was nearly home free. I only had about 2 miles to go. From there it is a longish downhill, but unfortunately one more climb to reach home. As I crawled up the crest my quads were starting to burn, then cramp a little. I thought again about the email, the chance for a ride home. I thought about the last hill and possibly hurting myself again. I thought of not being able to ride for another month.

I pulled over and called home. I'll be back again soon enough.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Missing. Inaction.

These two words certainly describe both this blog and my bike commuting as of late.

If you're curious I'll offer up a brief explanation. In August we spent both a week in Chicago and a week in Lake Tahoe. My bike came with to Tahoe and I rode it only a little (I'll get around to finishing that post eventually).

Upon returning to non-vacation mode I rode to work the very next Friday. I ended up sustaining a strained calf injury that morning, though I didn't fully realize this until the next day. This wouldn't have been so bad had I not been training for my first half-marathon, which was conveniently a week away. I know. I was potentially screwed.

I sought treatment at a sports chiropractor for the week leading up to the race and was able to complete the race within my previously estimated time, despite the injury.

So that was all well and good, but I've been taking it easy on my road back to recovery. I've taken a couple short rides and was considering riding to work this week, but then rain happened.

Anyway, hopefully I will ride in at least once next week.