Friday, February 29, 2008

Cubcamp 50: Into The Mouth of Darkness

I had the honor of leading a week 5 ride for Cubcamp this week, which also happened to be their 50th ride. Cubcamp is a fast paced pack of night time weekly riders hailing from the West Side, with whom I've now been riding with since last summer. They ride in a 5 week rotation, with week one being the easiest rides and week 5 being the most challenging.

Cubcamp 50
I scouted the 54 mile route on Tuesday and led the ride on Thursday. The name sake of this ride comes from a very steep drop in which you quickly lose a 1000 ft of elevation without any street lights. Scary, but so much fun. WeeeeEEEEEEeeeee!!!

And oh yeah, getting to this drop meant climbing from near sea level to 1200ft in a few miles at steep grades.

On the ride home we took a spin through the LAX terminal loop, welcoming late night arrivals to L.A. We hit the airport once before (about 1:13 into the video), and it's quite a fun little ride.

Thanks to those brave few who came out for this, as Richie would say, you're all diamond tuff. And Happy Birthday to Alex the mastermind behind the co-op bike shop Bikerowave, which is our meeting point for Cub rides. I'm glad you decided to spend your special evening with us on this masochistic adventure.

I Cubz.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

DC3.0. 100 Miles in the rain & the cold of night.

As I recover from the epic insanity that was Dark Century 3, certain memories from our journey come to mind. Like pedaling through a flooded underpass tunnel with water so deep my feet had to go completely underwater to continue pedaling. Singing songs in a half delusional state of mind. The god send that is 7 Eleven, even if they had the worst croissant I've ever had in my life. Seeing a bat take shelter with us under a bridge as we took a breather. Spending time with my girl, who had the guts to make this her first century, one of two riders who completed that crazy night as their first 100 mile journey.

The Dark Century always attracts a certain detected few in the cycling community, but last night especially brought out only select mentally deranged individuals, of which I am included. It was an honor to be in such good company, and props to Drew our fearless leader on the most enjoyably miserable bike ride ever. Dark Century forever.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Dark Century Returns

This Saturday: One hundred miles by bicycle under the light of the full moon.
At least until the rain clouds move in...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

First Criterium Race

I have taken part in a couple unsanctioned street races in the past, however this past Sunday I took my first step into the world of sanctioned bicycle racing. A criterium is a bike race, typically a short loop on the road, in which you ride laps for a certain time depending on your category. As the time ticks down they announce announce laps remaining, and the winner is first across the line on the last lap.

As a beginner I was in the entry level, Category 5, which rode laps for a half hour on the course. The Cat 5 was a field of 50 64, and thanks to a hard sprint to the finish, I placed 13th in spite of having a cold, which left me coughing out a lung after crossing the line. It was fun, fast and exciting to be a part of, and I definitely felt a high off of it. There will be more attempts at racing in my future.

[Update: Click for official race results]

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bike! Bike! Bike!

Since my personal blog became packed with cycling related posts, I've decided to create this separate blog to chronicle my cycling adventures, and discussing bike culture, centered here in Los Angeles. As I have time I will migrate bike related posts from my previous blog over and pre-date them, so this will fill with past photos & information as well as new content.

(photo taken during Cubcamp, at the Hermosa Beach Pier)

I have been indoctrinated into the cult of the bicycle and this shall be my confessional. Here's to one of the greatest inventions of modern man and most energy efficient transit yet created. Bikes are for lovers.