Friday, March 28, 2008

All City Bike Wash

Our Midnight Ridazz AIDS LifeCycle Team hosted a bicycle wash event to raise funds, hosted simultaneously on the East Side at the Bike Oven, and the West Side at the Bikerowave.

Bike Wash @ Bikerowave

In addition to scrubbing down a lot of dirty bikes (lots of encrusted sand in chains on the west side), we sold food and drinks. Meghan's cookies were a smash hit, making an additional 100 dollars after the bike wash when we sold left overs at the C.R.A.N.K. Mob social ride later that evening.

Cathy cleans chain.
(Cathy cleans chain)

Props to team members who helped volunteer to make this event possible, our gracious co-op bike shop hosts, and a big thanks to all our awesome customers for supporting our fund raising efforts. Hope you enjoyed the sparkling smooth ride home.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

LAX Circuit Race

(Flickr Set)

At The Races

I competed in my third race this past Sunday, and prepared my self a little better this time around. Eating more the day before, and tapering off my training as I got closer to the race. Since LAX isn't that far from me, I rode to the race as part of my warm up.

This race was more intense than my previous ones, with a longer course (4 laps of 4 miles each in Cat V), more elevation change, and insane winds from the sea. Riding west bound it took serious muscle just to keep above 20 mph, but going east bound hitting 35 felt pretty effortless.

Here's a picture of me with my game face on, which is apparently more evil looking than I realized until seeing my self in the third person.

Me At The Race

I came in 20th place out of a field of 50, after swerving out of the way of a flying bike in the sprint to the finish. Luckily the rider came out of the bad tumble and roll with only a broken finger.

Crash in the Final Sprint

Exhausted and hungry I ate a protein bar and then went with my friends to Casey's Crepes, a popular spot near Otis where I went to school. Then rode back to Santa Monica with my girlfriend who had ridden her bike from Hollywood to come watch the race. So concluded another great weekend of bicycle action.

Post Race Exhaustion

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Cubcamp: Friends of the Friendless

(Cubcamp light painting @ our ocean side stop)

West Side bicycle crew Cubcamp has begun a genius new tradition, that is to become a recurring ride every 5 weeks. This concept was first conjured last Thanksgiving for riders who weren't going out of town for the Holiday. The concept is to as a group search for a stranger who happens to be riding their bike. Then you follow them, escorting them to their destination while engaging with them.

(Our first new friend in the middle wearing pale blue)

Our first friend was so happy to be a part of this, that rather then continue home, she became part of our crew as we searched for new friends. She is in the middle there, in the picture above, at our first stop, a 7-11.

Some friends got spooked and fled, or pretended to arrive at their destination, but some were happy, even thrilled to have us follow them. Our last friend of the evening, cruising through Venice Beach, was so happy to have us escort him home, that he invited us up to his pad, and gave out free drinks. A couple guys, returning the favor, went out to restock.

(Here we are at our new friend's pad in Venice)

It was an incredible night, sharing such giddy excitement with complete strangers. I hope we see some of our new friends on future rides. The bicycle is a tool of transportation, but unlike the private automobile, it has the capacity to create spontaneous new social interactions that go beyond honking horns and flipping fingers. One more reason I ♥ bicycles.

(Photos from the evening by Alex and Stevo)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Preparing for a bike race. What not to do.

Checklist of things that are not a good idea in preparation for a bicycle race.
  • Barely eat anything the day before, and drinking just enough water to get by.
  • Ride close to 300 miles in the week leading up to the event.
  • Join a social bike ride with your friends to the Rocky Horror Picture Show the night before.
  • Make repairs to your front derailer at 4:30 in the morning after finally getting home.
  • Waking up late with no real sleep having been accomplished, skipping breakfast, and arriving at the race with no time to warm up and just enough time to pin the race number on the jersey.
I really know better, but I was having a great weekend, and races in Cat V don't count for much yet. In any case, I didn't do completely terrible, with the unofficial result being 22nd in a field of 50 riders. I went hard for one lap to try for a prime, pulling into the lead, but started burning out and couldn't maintain it, finishing the lap in 4th, then dropping back on the following lap.

It was nice having a fan club of two this time. My girlfriend came with again, and my Mom was able to make it out this time.  

I'll prepare my self much better on the next one (This one is going to be on home turf too. I'll be biking to the starting line.)