Thursday, December 18, 2008

WANT!

My friend Patrick emailed me this neat article about Retroreflective Bike Vinyl. Read about it here.

This is so awesome. I love my black Flying Pigeon, but Black Matte that turns bright white when the light hits is so full of WIN.



Bright Bike from Michael Mandiberg on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ms. Bicyclist

Got some mail the other day from the Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative (something like that) and right between my name and my address I see "Ms. Bicyclist".

I LOL'd

(kind of wonder how that happened)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Hell Of A Weekend

Ok, so I figured I would take my bike to the shop. Get my rear tire looked at and then spend the rest of my weekend doing some much needed cleaning before my big date on Sunday. Ok, the date wasn't all that big, but I am crazy about this guy, so even if it's just a dinner out, I'm uber excited. :D

I sleep in on Saturday, watch a bit of telly and don't get out of bed until noon, when I am hungry enough to attempt breakfast (pumpkin pie, FTW). I find that my rear tire is totally flat. :( So I get my stuff together, put some air in my tire, moisturizer on my face, grab my tea cup and leave. I had to stop once to pump more air into my tire on the way to the Red Line station in NoHo, but I get there in one piece. Two trains later, I drop the bike off at FPLA and walk around Figueroa while Josef gets to work. I come back and while I let my jasmine green tea steep, Josef explains that there was a tiny staple like sliver of metal that was embedded in my tire. He said that I patched the tube well. He trued my wheel, I rode the bike around the back of the building and when nothing seemed out of the ordinary, I was on my merry way home.

(goodbye FPLA!)


When I got off my last train in NoHo, I rode a couple of blocks (Colfax and Chandler) and my tire was nearly flat again. I stop and put more air in tire, as I'm trying my hardest to twist off my skull cap off my tube, two little boys (10 yrs old?) stop with their bikes and ask if I have a patch kit. They both have flats. They help me twist off the cap and I help one fix his flat but the other kid's tube is frakked beyond repair, it will not even take air at all. I do what I can for them and give them my extra patch kit. I always carry 2 patch kits, which reminds me, I need to get another one next time I'm at the shop, just in case I give this one away. They only live a block or two from where we were so I'm not worried for them.

I start riding again, but my tire is totally flat after another block. This time I cannot get the cap off my tube at all. So I walk home. From North Hollywood to Van Nuys. It's only 5.5 miles but I am not a walker. I always do my best to look on the bright side, I tell myself "At least the weather is really nice" "At least it's not raining" "At least you have your Converse on and not wearing heals like you usually do" (Sorry Enci, I read your twitter, that freaking sucks!) "At least you can listen to that kick ass Charles De Lint audiobook" I do my best to count all my blessings but at some point I just crack and say "Dude, this freaking SUCKS!!" I get home, watch a little TV, speak to my awesome boyfriend and fall asleep knowing that I will wake up and go back to FPLA first thing in the morning. This time, I will get my rear tire and tube replaced!

I get up and walk to the Orange Line, which is about a mile away, my legs are hurting bad at this point, I am so not a walker. As I'm waiting for the bus, I see this:

I am uber paranoid about someone stealing my bike, or parts of my bike. This person was using a U-Lock, which, in my opinion, is one of the best types of locks you can get. But this person locked only their spokes. Their SPOKES! The only thing left is a rim! OMG!! I mean, carrying a U-Lock can be a pain because they are heavy but every bicyclist should look at this picture to remind them WHY they carry their U-Lock. My goodness, I would be beside myself if I came out of work, or the store and found that all I had was a tire rim and spokes left. :(

So as I get off the train platform behind FPLA, I see that Josef and the rest of the bicyclists are already leaving on their normal Sunday Dim Sum bike ride (no Dim Sum today, I think I remember Josef saying they were going to Rueben's in LA). So I tell Adam all about my last couple of days and how much trouble I had last night after leaving FPLA. He fixes up my bike in no time. I got a new tire, a new tube and all is right in the world. :D

waiting for the train


on the train, yay



I did have one near death experience outside the train station in NoHo. We were all waiting for our green light and when the signal finally told us it was safe to go we went, and then this white SUV came speeding in front of us, running the red light and nearly killing us. The SUV missed my front tire by inches. INCHES! I freaking hope that the camera got him and they make him freakin' pay. The asshole. Yeah, running that red light was so important, you had to nearly hit at least 3 people to get to where you needed to go 5 seconds early. Asshole, what goes around comes around but I am wary of wishing karma to come back on a person such as this because it would mean that somebody may get hurt. :( I'm glad that most of the major intersections such as this one (Laurel Canyon) have cameras that take pictures of red-light runners like this dude. I can understand running a yellow light, I've done it many a time (until I got a ticket at a camera intersection). But this asshole had no excuses for running, he had to have seen the 30+ pedestrians and cyclists trying to cross the street.

But all that worrying soon left my mind when I was riding so smoothly home. My rear tire had 60 pounds of air in it and my ride was wonderful. It felt so good. :)

I got home in time to take a long shower and buy a couple of grocery staples at the market. Mr Awesome (because he is) picked me up and we ate at Jerry's Diner and he gave me this comfortable scarf. It's long, warm and soft. Shades of Grey and black and it's perfect.

And now he's calling, yay! Laters loyal blog readers, Mr. Awesome calls.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Black Friday Ride

um, yeah, so I haven't been blogging lately. What can I say? I've been busy. But today, OMG, today was Black Friday. I vow to either stay home or get the hell out of town for the next Black Friday. I mean, I don't go out and shop, I've never been that type of manic shopper, I value my life too much. But I did go to work. So, I'll tell you a little about my day. I got wine, I got pumpkin pie and some music is playing so I'm set. :)

So, seeing as how it's the day after Thanksgiving, nearly everyone at work decides they want to come in early to leave early to continue their holiday weekend asap. So I leave at 6 AM. While I was getting ready, was listening to and warned by KPCC that the San Fernando Valley was enveloped in some wicked fog. So I bundle up good and leave.

(Gratuitous bike porn)


I figure a little fog wont hurt really, while it's quite freaky driving in it, I'm of the opinion that bicycling in it could be no worse. And it wasn't really, it was just a big colder and wet. Really WET. Like so wet that about a half hour into my ride my glasses were so soaked and foggy that visibility was better after taking my glasses off. (embarrasing fact, when I stop at a red light, my glasses fog up pretty bad, it's like my tear ducts exhale sometimes) And I rarely do anything without my glasses.

Visibility was about 30-40 feet at times.





Yeah, so next time I do this, I'm wearing wool. I still need to get a rain cape though. It's on my list. I'm dropping subtle hints with loved ones that all I want for Christmas is proper rain gear and wooly/warm mufflers and gloves.

(more gratuitous bike porn)


So, the morning was overall uneventful, if not very wet. Until I realize that it's taken me a lot longer than usual to get to work. It usually only takes me 90 minutes to ride the 15 miles to work (yeah, I'm slow). But I've noticed that it's been taking me an extra 15 minutes to ride the 15 miles lately. I've recently had to have Josef from Los Angeles Flying Pigeon work on my bike. Actually, the real story is my cardigan got caught in my rear wheel cog and fucked up my bike chain and Josef, being the Knight in Bike Grease that he is, came all the way to my apartment in Van Nuys to work on my bike, when he found that he forgot one vital tool, he took my bike to his shop and fixed it. Really saved my ass, I cannot thank Los Angeles Flying Pigeon enough.

But ever since I got my bike back, I've felt that it was just a bit more harder to ride. Maybe it's the weather? Maybe I'm lazy? I don't know. But today's trip was 24 minutes longer that it should have been. I couldn't even ride up the hill to work, it was pretty sick. My bike didn't feel different, my tires didn't look different, but something was different. I spoke to Josef in the afternoon and told him what I was sensing (maybe the chain was too tight, I don't freakin' know, that's why I called the experts). He gave me a number of reasons why I would be having this problem. I vowed to bring the bike in on the weekend.

I get out of work and get my bike ready to roll and I realize my rear tire is flat. I'm thankful that I have all my tools needed to fix the flat and I work on it. Thanking the gods that the sun hasn't set yet as I find the itty bitty hole in my tube and patch it right up. As easy as it was getting the tube out from under the tire, it's as hard to get the freakin' tire back into the frame. grrr

But someone believed in me <3


I got that sucker on and pumped and was ready to go.

I realized that there was so much traffic. Black Friday is no joke to these people and they will straight run your ass right out of the road if you dare try to take the lane. Which is what happened to me soon after making my normal Friday night stop at Trader Joes. I decided that tonight was not the night to battle it out with these people so I rode on the sidewalk and looked at all the pretty/tacky Christmas displays in peoples' yards. There are some homeowners who will persist in watering their yards even though it's been so wet lately that they would be just wasting their water and I made sure I yelled my thanks loud enough as I cycled past. I will never understand why these people feel the need to not only water their lawns after a rain but water their sidewalks as well.

Also saw a man in a wheelchair start crossing the street in oncoming traffic because they modified the street lights to work differently. I motioned for him to turn around so he didn't get hit by all the drivers making left turns (in our brand spanking new left turn signal light). He saw me and paid attention, in the knick of time. He ignored me when I caught up and tried to talk to him. (did I smell?)

There were so many people out that I had to be so very cautious, you'd be surprised how many drivers outside the malls don't give a damn about paying attention to the traffic cop directing the lines of traffic. That was the scariest part of the first 5 miles of my ride.

Then I got to the Orange Line Bike Path and it was smooth sailing until the next tangle of traffic. Which was about a mile from home. I ride the bike lane up Woodley (because I don't have the balls to ride on Sepulveda) and there was a three car accident on Woodley and Sherman Way. Now I usually take a little detour behind/between the 7/11 and Toys-R-Us but there was no way in hell I was going go near Toy-R-Us so I decided to cut through the drive way in front of 7/11. As I do this I see this huge freaking black SUV coming towards me, the driver is looking at the snarl of the 3 vehicle accident on the corner, she comes right at me, I make a sharp left to get out of the way and nearly fall off my bike, she makes a right and parks in front of 7/11. I'm freaking irate with drivers at this point and I go up to scream bloody murder at whomever it is and I discover it's my coworker Christina, the one I carpool with when I'm too achy (lazy) to bike to work (rarely). She gets out of the car and I explained what happened and she's just so shocked and scared because she knew she was too preoccupied with looking at the three car accident just feet from us. She's constantly apologizing as she's terrified of hitting cyclists (she's had bad experiences in her past). We talk for a bit, I rant about some of the other stuff I dealt with tonight and we vow to talk more about it at work on Monday.

I ride the last mile and arrive home a bit frazzled but in one piece. Watch some Family Guy and give The Gritty Kitty some lovin' (she knows when I need some extra attention).

Saturday, November 1, 2008

So, remember that WSJ article I was in?

You can read about it here

A few nights ago I get an email from the reporter who wrote the article.

Some one from the LAPD got in touch with her and asked her for my information. The Seargent has been tasked with attempting to find out more information regarding the streets mentioned in the article. The guy is in Charge of the Community Traffic Services Unit, Valley Traffic Division, LAPD. He asked for me by name specifically. I told her that of course she could forward my information to him as soon as possible. The Seargent called me the next afternoon. He went into great detail about ways that the LAPD want to improve conditions for cyclists. And I offered to answer his questions and help out whenever I could (if my schedule would allow it of course). They are hoping to get a lot more info and once they identify the problem areas, they have plans to set up some task forces like plain-clothes officers/cyclists and some sneaky media coverage to note problems and catch offending drivers. All this to make bicycling a bit safer and to educate the public in how to deal with us on the road and how to bike safely.

I'm very excited about this. It looks like there is hope for the valley...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I visited Los Angeles Flying Pigeon again last Sunday

My light stopped working and a lugknut fell off my seat so they needed to do a little fixing. They were cool, of course, I drank some good tea and talked with the other patrons while they worked on my bike.

I took a couple more pictures, the men's version and a flock of Flying Pigeons out on the street.




I'll have to go again this weekend to pick up some spare tubes. I might go attend the Dim Sum Ride.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Today is shipping up to be interesting...

Left for work at my usual time, was about 5 miles on the bike path when the smoke got unbearable and I took a detour and went to a friend's house. Decided to hitch a ride with her.

Watched the news about the fires in The San Fernando Area.
The Santa Ana winds kicked my ass on my way to my friend's house. Dodged branches flying, dirt in my eyes and was nearly knocked off my bike a few times (I'm a heavy broad and on a heavy bike). The Santa Ana winds are horrible alone, especially to bike in, but you couple it with a fire and all hell breaks loose. (ya rly)

2 hours into work, they decided to have us pack up and calmly evacuate the building, the fire was getting too close to us. Ash was starting to fall and cover everything outside. I made sure I got the other cyclist a ride home (coworker with a truck) and got the hell out of dodge.



The ride home from my friend's house was uneventful, and the smoke didn't bother me too much as I was wearing a mask. The wind may die down in a little bit. It will get worse tonight. I am not sure whether or not I will have to go to work tomorrow, we were all told to call the company's emergency number first thing in the morning.

Now that I am out of work for the day, I planned to just chill out, get some stuff written for www.soulgeek.com/. I got word that there is a neighborhood council meeting tonight in Sherman Oaks where they will be voting on The Cyclist's Bill Of Rights, so I am going to totally have to go to that. Besides, I want to show Stephen and Enci Box (soapboxLA) my new Flying Pigeon.

Christ on a bike!! The Governator (Ah-nold) declared an emergency just now...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I've made a decision about my Raleigh

I've decided to take my Raleigh bike and sell it for parts. I will just take it apart and post the items on craigslist. Toss the frame into the recycling bin.

I attended an interdepartmental meeting today, I'm on the safety committee, I represent the billing department. I have a friend on the safety committee who represents Microbiology. She also rides, and whenever we see each other, we talk bikes. I told her about my Raleigh frame breaking. She told me that's the same bike she rides (down to the same model). She also told me she's gone through 4 Raleigh bikes in the past 10 years, that she get's them for comfort but they fall apart after two years or so. She's on her fifth Raleigh, and after six months, she's already worn out one gear. And she only rides 6 miles a day. She also get's regular maintenance, she just doesn't let them fall apart without doing anything. I put 16-17 miles on my Raleigh a day. I was just shocked.

I've been thinking about this a lot today. Even if they are able to replace the frame on my bike (I still do not know yet), it would only buy me a few more months until something else breaks or falls off.

I have a great all steel single speed Flying Pigeon that is simple, comfortable, beautiful and fast. In a comment in one of my latest blogs, Tiago, from the Ride N Desire blog, told me that if I buy a Flying Pigeon, I have a bicycle for life. The Flying Pigeon HE owns is 60 (SIXTY) years old.

I've been riding 30 miles a day on my Flying Pigeon since Monday and I feel great. I have never been able to ride this many miles on my Raleigh in this short of a time.

Trying to fix this Raleigh would be stressful, costly and a waste of time (good time I can use going out and riding my FP). So screw it, I'm eating this loss.

Learn from my mistakes boys and gouls, don't by a Raleigh (unless it's an all steel vintage that has stood the test of time).

Saturday, October 4, 2008

My bike frame cannot be repaired. So I got a new bike!!!

Yeah, Craig at Boulevard Cycles told me that he will see if getting a new frame under warranty is possible, but not to hold my breath. He looked at the broken pieces and said there was very little hope (kept repeating, "no bueno" I think that's the only spanish he can speak LOL).

I wasn't surprised really. I had already decided yesterday that the next time I get paid (two weeks from now), I will just take a few trains up to LA Flying Pigeon up in Highland Park and buy a Flying Pigeon. Like I mentioned in a previous post, it would be just a few bucks cheaper than the piece of crap Raleigh that I had. I said as much to my coworker/friend who happened to show up at the shop while I was there and my brother who gave me and my doomed bicycle a ride to the shop. They were both there with me to hear Craig's grim prognosis.

While my brother and I were on our way home, I muttered a few times "just two more weeks, just two more weeks, just two more weeks". Bro told me that he can lend me the money and I can get the bike now and pay him back in two weeks. So I took that money and got on the train from the San Fernando Valley to LA. I don't usually borrow money from my bro, and vice versa, but I couldn't pass this up. I hadn't riden a bike since Tuesday and the prospect of two weeks with no bike felt horrible.

Flying Pigeon Los Angeles is AWESOME! The guys were really nice and I cannot suggest them enough! Their bikes are pretty sweet. They let me take a few pictures of the bikes. They asked about my blog so I told them all about it and I told them that I heard about them from SoapboxLA (link to the left). I also let them know that I was going to do a little write up about them.

I just wanted to post some pretty pictures.

The Pink is a work in progress





That last one is the one I bought (outside the burrito shop near Flying Pigeon LA). I was *this close*to buying a red one. But I decided on black, it is my favorite color after all.

Oh, I don't know why I didn't take any pictures of the men's Flying Pigeon. But yes, they do have a men's version, in black only.

I decided to stop by Trader Joe's on the way home. The bag fits perfectly in the basket.


I just need some new pannier bags on the back, because the steel is a bit thick and my old pannier bags do not fit on them. Any suggestions? Remember, go everywhere on my bike, so I would need something suitable for work and shopping.

Also, I need some help naming my bike. Any suggestions?

Friday, October 3, 2008

There is hope on the horizon...

I still miss my bike. I miss riding so bad.

I spoke to my trusted shop, Boulevard Cycles, earlier and they made me feel so much better. Craig was the one who worked with me when I attended Boulevard Cycles' free bike maintenance class and saw first hand how bad my bike was. I told him some horror stories about my experience with the guy I bought the bike from. I told those same horror stories to the guy who answered the phone at Boulevard Cycles today. I asked him to please help me out and PLEASE don't make me go back to the crook I bought the bike from. He told me to bring my broken bike in and they'll do what they can for me. <3

It made me feel so much better, because I really didn't want to go back to that crook. I just knew he was going to try to screw me out of my warranty.

I miss riding, soon I'll be back in the saddle again. This bike was an extension of myself. I didn't just ride it recreationally, I rode it to work, to the store, to the movies, running errands. I rode this bike EVERYWHERE. It was a great way to express myself, relax and relieve stress after a hectic day. Being without a bike is like missing a limb. :( I feel so EMO without it (I still listen to better music though).

And to avoid anything like this happening again, when I get enough spare money, I'm going to buy another bicycle. Thanks to SoapboxLA, I found a shop in Los Angeles that specializes in Flying Pigeons and surprisingly enough, the Flying Pigeon Bicycle costs a little less than the bike I own right now (only because the crook I bought it from overpriced it).

And the Flying Pigeon so purty!


So in the future, if something happens to one of my wonderful bikes, I will not have to go without riding while it's being repaired...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My bike broke

I was trying to straighten out my rear wheel this morning on my way to work and I just could not straighten it out right, it would sit crooked in the frame rest. It got so bad that I just walked the rest of the way to work. I wasn't far, just outside the campus so I was still on time to work.

The other bicyclist here at work (see previous blogs) came out to help me set my rear tire straight and it was an EPIC FAIL. He was trying to set the rear hub into the cradle and parts came off in his hand.



That part circled in green is what broke off the frame. The rear wheel cannot even sit in the bike, that whole back area is totally frakked. I cannot roll it home or put it on the bus. My broken bike and I are hitching a ride with a friend who drives a truck.

My bike is a Raleigh Venture and I just got it in May 2008, it's not even 6 months old yet. According to Raleigh's website I have to get in touch with the dealer (the guy I bought the bike from) to see about getting it fixed before I contact them about my warranty.

I'm not even sure the guy I bought it from is a Raleigh dealer. He has so many different bikes there. Usually dealers deal in only one or two brands and stock their stores in only those, right?

But that's besides the point, the guy I bought it from is an ARSEHOLE (excuse my language but I have no other way to describe him). When I bought this bike I had already taken my old clunker bike to him a couple of times for repairs and he would refuse to allow me to watch him make repairs (I wanted to learn) and he CHARGED me to adjust my seat height (I was such a n00b). He even messed up my gears when he put the kickstand on the bike and it took me two months to figure out how to fix it (because I refused to take it back to him, because I knrw he would charge me).

When I took my bike to another shop for a free bike maintenance class we found that my tires were on backwards, the brakes were adjusted incorrectly, etc. When I left I felt I had a new bike, it rode better then when I bought it back in May.

And now I have to take my broken Baby back to this arsehole?!

I don't know what to do :( does anyone have advice for me?

(PS, I gave my old clunker bike away to a friend so I have no other bike now. I don't care that I have to take the bus to work and walk, I am extremely thankful that I can carpool with coworkers. I'm just REALLY sad that I cannot ride. I miss my bike already.)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

"I don't cater to commuters...

my main business is the recreational cyclist."

Um, I got told this by two different bicycle shops. That they don't really have anything for the bicycle commuter because they sell recreational bicycles/accessories. They say they can still order stuff for me online though.

Why even bother when I can order items online myself? Ugh, so frustrating!

my new favorite webcomic



I saw this on Tiago's blog (bicyclendesire) and read every comic in an afternoon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Funny thing my friend said to me...

I got a flat on my way to work today. I pulled to the side and was going to start fixing it when my friend/coworker saw me and stopped on his bike to help. We got the tube all patched up and we went to work.

I told my other friend about this, and about The Cyclists' Code. The Cyclists' Code: When you see another bicyclist trying to fix their bike, stop and help, pay it forward.

My friend compared us to Jedi's, he's a total Star Wars Geek, as am I (original trilogy only though). He says "Silly, you Jedi Cyclists are. Strong in the Bike you must be to defeat Darth SUV. mmm"

I LOL'd

Monday, August 25, 2008

Do I make men feel less macho when I pass them on my bike?

I've noticed this before but haven't written about it, it's now happened so much that I need to include it in this blog. Whenever I'm on my bike and I ride past a male cyclist, most of the time, I notice that the dude looks at me, sees how fast I am going and then speeds up to try to pass me. They don't say anthing to me, but they don't have to say anything to me, their actions speak louder than their words.

About me, I'm not really a fast rider, my regular speeds can go from 9 to 14 miles an hour. I may be a die hard bicycle commuter now, but I rather enjoy riding slow, lolly-gagging if you will. Sure, my main goal is to get from point A to point B, but I will make my time on the bike count. It's a wonderful stress reliever and works me out (EcoVelo even blogged about this "slower ride + heavier bike = better workout").

But no matter how slow or fast I go, I always run into a pleasure rider who tries to outrun me. As if they feel less macho, because I passed them on my bike. Me? With my heavy body and heavy bicycle? puh-lease! LMAO, it even happens when I'm biking in a dress and heals.

It feels kind of nice just flying past these dudes and see them startled when they realize that they've been passed by a girl, then see them pick up their pace suddenly and try to pass me by as if they were trying to make themselves feel more manly and bad-ass. Jeeze.

I'm onto you guys...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Yeah, so I got a flat last night...

I got off the bike and and found a thorn in my front tire. Took the thorn out and immediately heard the unmistakable sound of air escaping.

I would have stopped and just patched up the hole right then and there but remembered it was nighttime (hard to see the hole) and I was in a bad neighborhood. So I just decided to walk the two miles home. It wasn't bad.

I got home, felt up my tire, found nothing out of the ordinary. This was the second time fixing a flat and it was much easier this time 'round. I remember getting my tire off and on the rim the last time and how I messed up my cuticles and I was stoked that I had tire jacks (for serious, I'm such a n00b). Replacing my tube was a breeze. Finally got to use my new tire pump, now my tire is nearly rock hard full of air.

I even adjusted my brakes, because one side was rubbing up against the rim. I am so happy for taking that bicycle repair class, the knowledge has already been put to great use.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

must be a slow weekend in the news

because this story is finally becoming national news, posted on the CNN website.



Pretty dissapointing seeing as how the incident happened nearly a month and a half ago.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bicycle Repair Class

I attended a free bicycle repair class last night. It was teh awesome. I learned so much. My suggestion is shop around. There are some mom and pop shops out there who will teach you all you need to know about your bike. And they are not in it to make a buck, but do it for the love of the bike.

Besides, I found out there were so many things wrong with my bike, seeing as how the guy I bought it from put it together wrong (tire was on backwards, breaks were mal-adjusted, etc.). There are so many things that I can list why I will not return to the shop where i bought my Raliegh from, but let's just say the guy charged me $10 to "fix" my seat post on my old junker bike. I found out after at the Bike Instead of Work Event I attended that I was ripped off. Chris from Hollywood Pro Bicycles, who was giving free bike tune ups at the event showed me how to adjust my own bike seat. It was so freaking easy I was embarrassed. Yeah, you live, you learn.

My instructor last night did a complete overhaul, taught me a lot and didn't charge me a dime. I am loyal to that bikeshop now. If you're in the area, visit Boulevard Cycles in Sherman Oaks and see Craig, he's an older man, tell him Paula sent you, the chick with the Red Raleigh who's tire was on backwards.

It was also a great way to take my mind of a break up that happened earlier in the day.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I almost got hit tonight

Yeah sure, it happens.
But what upsets me so much about it this time was this was on the bike path. Not a bike lane, but a bike PATH, well away from the street. The very same bike path I ride every night. It was dark but I was wearing a bright blue t-shirt and my white head light and red tail lights were bright and blinking. I dp my best to be visible because most of the riding I do is at night.

The guy I guess thought he saw a driveway, when there was NONE, and pulled in real fast to make a U Turn without seeing me. Thank goodness my brakes are in good working order or else i would have been creamed. He saw me at the last minute and stopped IN THE BIKE PATH when I hit my brakes, then saw that I was breaking and started to go, then stop, then go, waiting for me to get out of his way. Like I had the audacity to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Now I have been trying to cut back on my road rage as I don't want to flip off or scream at one driver then have that driver take out his/her anger on the next cyclist he/she sees. But I cussed a blue streak at this guy. Sure it was nighttime but dammit, you don't pull into a bike path to try to make a U Turn.

Note: the bike path is alongside a very wide street. The street itself is wide enough to allow a U Turn. Trust me, I used to drive an SUV and made many a U Turn in this area.

ugh...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The menacing skunk

On the bike path I take home, there is a skunk that lives in the bushes to the side. There are quite a few big trees, bushes and shrubbery to the side of the bike path in Van Nuys. Provides wonderful shade in midday and just the right conditions for many an animal to thrive.

I see her every now and then. I'm sure it's a "her" because she's vicious, like a mother protecting her young. The first time I saw her, she was 20 feet away from me. On her hind legs, shreiking (or whatever the hell they do) at me while I sped past on my bicycle. She scared the hell out of me! I was relieved by the time I got home and didn't have the smell of menacing skunk on me. My coworker/friend who rides the same bike path home has seen her as well.

The other night, on my way home. I pass by two older cyclists sitting off to the side on a cement bench, enjoying a pit stop. I smell the unmistakeable odor of mary jane. It's dark and the trees hide many things. The perfect conditions for someone to get their high on (weed is not my cup of tea, but I'm not one to judge).

Anyway, as I'm passing by the stoner cyclists and all of the sudden the shrubs behind them start shaking, like there's an animal there. The dudes are startled, stand up and clear the hell away from there. I can almost smell the skunk, but by this time, I've already passed them on my bike. LMAO Bet those cyclist dudes were really tripping out. :D

Monday, August 4, 2008

Road Rager Arraigned in Crash Involving Cyclists




(hey, that's that freakin' reporter who cornered me last Bike To Work Day before I had a chance to get coffee, LOL)

Friday, August 1, 2008

I'm in the Wall Street Journal

:D

I'm not just in the Wall Street Journal, but I made the FRONT PAGE!!!

Clicky here for the link
Just in case the page stops working, as I'm sure you have to sign up to see most of the WSJ, I'll cut and paste the article.
PAGE ONE

Risking Life and Limb,
Riding a Bike to Work in L.A.

Cyclists, Banned on Freeways and Reviled
By Drivers, Save a Buck and Make a Point
By RHONDA L. RUNDLE
August 1, 2008; Page A1

LOS ANGELES -- Paula Rodriguez, who lives in the San Fernando Valley, got so disgusted with soaring fuel prices last spring that she stopped driving, sold her SUV and bought a bike.

But pedaling the 15 miles home from her job, the 30-year-old Ms. Rodriquez has encountered something more frightening than $4.50-a-gallon gasoline: the mean streets of L.A., home of the nation's most entrenched car culture.

"Drivers scream at me to get off the road," says the medical-billing clerk. The main commuting route near her home is so terrifying, she says, that she usually takes an alternative route that adds four miles to her trip.

Even then, it's not an easy ride. On one stretch, splintered glass in the street could puncture her tires, she says. On Wednesdays, she has to dodge garbage cans blocking the bike lane. On Friday evenings, as the sun sets, she feels menaced by drunk drivers. Such threats compel her to sometimes swing onto the sidewalk, even though that could get her a ticket. "I go slow, ring my little bell and stop sometimes to say 'hi' to pedestrians," she says.

Commuters across the U.S. are responding to high gasoline prices by finding alternatives to driving. But in Los Angeles, it takes a special kind of road warrior to hop on a bike in the name of saving the planet and a little money.

The city is notoriously short on bike lanes, bike paths and bike racks. Bicycles are illegal on the freeways, and city streets are packed with motorists who seem increasingly cranky about the swelling ranks of cyclists. Every cyclist seems to know somebody who has been injured or who has survived a near-death experience. In 2006, 28 people in Los Angeles County were killed on bikes, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety. Geography makes things difficult, too, as the distance from home to work in this sprawling metropolis can be immense and necessitate adding public transportation to the journey.

Tensions between cyclists and motorists here have become dangerously combative. Los Angeles police are investigating an apparent July 4 road-rage incident that sent two cyclists to the hospital with serious injuries. The cyclists crashed into a car after its driver allegedly slammed on his brakes in front of them on Mandeville Canyon Road, a winding street through a hilly neighborhood.

"Cyclists have equal rights, but in fact a lot of motorists think they should get off the road," says Lynne Goldsmith, manager of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority's bike program. Nearly everyone has a bike sitting in the garage, but people are starting to actually use their bicycles for transportation, ranging from short hops to the market to long-distance commuting, she says. "When we're used to seeing more cyclists, we will treat them better."

An Exercise in Frustration

For now, commuting by bike here is most often an exercise in frustration. Michelle Weinstein's 75-minute commute to work begins at 6:50 a.m., when she dodges rush-hour traffic on a busy boulevard in the city's Silver Lake neighborhood on her way to a subway station. She hauls the bike onto the train, then takes it off in North Hollywood, about seven miles to the north.

The next leg is an express-bus ride. But when the bus pulls up with a full bike rack, she must wait for the next bus. When she finally arrives in Van Nuys, she gets off the bus and back on the bike for a game of chicken with motorists.

"It's nerve-rackingly crowded, and people give me dirty looks," says Ms. Weinstein, a 33-year-old personal assistant at a music-production company. "Everyone I know who has biked has met with some kind of injury," Ms. Weinstein says.

Ms. Goldsmith says the city has 1,200 miles of bikeways, but many of those are along busy thoroughfares on which cars and bikes compete for space. In West Hollywood, an enclave of 40,000 residents, debate is raging over the proper role of sidewalks. The issue has divided elderly pedestrians; environmentalists who ride bikes to work; and parents who worry about the safety of their children, whether in baby carriages or on bicycles.

Defensive Biking


Biking advocates are offering classes to teach novices how to be defensive riders. "Our classes are starting to sell out quickly," says Liz Elliott, a founder of the grass-roots organization Cyclists Inciting Change Thru Live Exchange. She says the group has so far instructed about 100 people. Many bike lanes are "too narrow and you don't want to be hugging the door zone," she advises -- referring to the space in which a parked car can swing its door open suddenly. Unfortunately, much of the local bike infrastructure was designed by engineers who don't ride bikes, she says.

Veteran riders say that obnoxious motorists are the biggest problem. Michael Marckx, a 44-year-old vice president of Globe International Ltd., a skateboard company in El Segundo, recently started commuting three or four days a week by bike, encountering what he calls "caffeine-infused psychotics" in their cars who yell at him to get off the road. "There's something about being in the car that is kind of anonymous. It's a veil to hide behind, and people seem to like to get their aggression out on cyclists," says the former professional bike racer.

Some cyclists are striking back. Stephen Box, a cycling activist who claims to have broken the Mandeville Canyon story on his blog, carries a camera and snaps pictures of bike-tripping potholes and confusing traffic signs. He sends the snapshots to the city. The community organizer says he and about a dozen bloggers drafted a Cyclists Bill of Rights in January that he is presenting for a vote at neighborhood council meetings around the region. But Lenore Solis, a council member in Atwater Village, says she voted against it because the assertion of a right to "full access" on "all mass transit with no limitations" is too broad, and could be interpreted as a legal right to bike lanes on freeways.

Indeed, the freeways have been invaded repeatedly by renegade cyclists calling themselves Crimanimal Mass, an offshoot of Critical Mass, a national cycling enthusiasts' group. About 30 cyclists performed the illegal stunt in rush-hour traffic on a recent Friday to demonstrate how much faster commuters can zip through gridlock on a bicycle than in a car stuck in traffic.

Despite the problems, L.A. cyclists keep trying. Kim Jensen Marren broke her ankle when she collided with a truck that pulled in front of her bicycle five years ago. But now the 30-year-old graphic designer is newly married and wants to save money to open her own wedding-productions business. So she recently got back on her bike and started riding to work again, figuring that she is saving about $220 a month.

Write to Rhonda L. Rundle at rhonda.rundle@wsj.com
_______________________

Special Thanks to Stephen Box of SoapboxLa (link to the left) for getting me in touch with the reporter.

d'oh!

damn double post...

The best bicycling TV spot I've ever seen...



Special thanks to Alan at EcoVelo

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

yeah so I joined twitter...

There are many times in the day where I am stopped by either a brilliant thought or by witnessing something interesting. Being a bicyclist, it's more often the latter LOL

Yay for twitter, now I just need to go find my way 'round...

I'll post my twitter in my sidebar...

Thank you for messing up my night vision.

With your extra bright helmet light. Did you notice me covering my eyes with my arm and nearly falling off the path when you passed me?

I've never seen cyclist lights this bright before. I need to find out who made them, so I can write a complaint. This was stronger than vehicle headlights turned to high.

If you need this much light to ride at night, maybe you shouldn't be riding at night. Maybe you need them while touring in rural areas, but the San Fernando Valley isn't a rural area.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

"Keep pedaling baby, YEAH!!"

file this under 'things people shout on me as I ride by'

got to admit, I did blush a little...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I got an award at work...

So during one of our most recent department meetings, my boss presented me with an award for going above and beyond to help one of my team members improve. It was unexpected and a pleasant surprise. I've been commended on my work before, but this time was different as my boss gave me an access code and a link to an award page on our company website to select a prize. I didn't even know my company did that.

I could choose from MANY products such as a coffee maker, fancy blender, jewelry, spa gift certificates, a massager (LOL), fruit/cheese basket, fishing and camping supplies etc. The only cycling gear or gadget listed on the site containing over a hundred items in my specific price range/award level was a Trek Incite 8I cyclo-computer. So I got that!

I've researched cyclo-computers before and just thought that I couldn't really justify spending so much money on such a small gadget. So this is a real treat! Now I can track my speed and miles! :D

Saturday, July 12, 2008

On vacation...

Spending some quality time with my boyfriend in upstate New York. We were driving around trying to find some good yard sales when I eyed this beauty at a "barn sale" outside Buffalo.


It's an Azzuri, they are made by the Bicycling Corporation of America from Allentown PA (BCAmerica). Does anyone know anything about this company? I cannot find much online. My boyfriend found some information. Seems that BCA filed for chapter 11 in the early 80's.

The frame is in great condition, just a couple of chips in the paint. I might or might not want to repaint it, blue isn't my favorite color, but it's a brand that doesn't even exist anymore. I might want to preserve the original look. The tires, cassette and chain are all rusted. I'll use some elbow grease and salvage what I can. I figure I'll replace the items that are rusted to hell.

I've never refurbished and old bicycle before (or anything else for that matter), so this is going to be quite an adventure!

Anybody have any advice? Tips? Info?

I also want to say that I added a link to the How To Fix Bikes blog in my "Biking Blog I like" bloglist as I found that the guy who wrote the blog was offering a great deal of information and I thought it smart to take note. I'm glad I did, now that I have this project. I highly recommend this blog.

___________________________

update, my boyfriend and I have since broken up and he hasn't sent me the bike, so chances are, I wont ever see this bike again. que sera sera...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Sunday, July 6, 2008

my page in UrbanVelo magazine




at urbanvelo.org

When I drink beer, it's usually Guinness, but...

I'm really going to have to try Fat Tire from New Belgium Brewing Co, Fort Collins Colorado. Not only is their main mission to make beer that tastes great but is green. And I'm not talking about green beer (leprechaun pee), but utilizing green design and techniques in their business. Everything from wind-powered electricity running through their buildings to giving their employees a custom cruiser bicycle after completing one year of work. All in the name of sustainability.

I wish my employer gave out free bicycles.

"Team Wonderbike: Bike More!"


more about New Belgium Brewing

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

10 Good Things about $5 Gas

Yes, the Time article is entitles "10 Good Things about $4 Gas" but it's already $5 in Southern California, so I'm sticking to my guns here.

Clicky for the link at Time.com

It lists many great points from more localized jobs to less traffic accident's and deaths.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Helmets Are Sexy

I don't care how dorky some people think they are.

Safe=Smart
Smart=Sexy
Safe=Sexy :D

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Question from a Coworker 1

I think I might turn "A Question from a Coworker" into a series, seeing as how I get questions from coworkers about bicycling and "de-car-ing" all the time.

One of the most recent questions was "What are you going to do in the Winter now that you don't have a car?"

Honestly, my first response is "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!"

I then remind the person that I only had an SUV for a YEAR and was a regular bus rider and occasional cyclist before then and I was totally fine.
I explain that I talk to many other cyclists online about this very subject.
I tell said coworkers about this dude, who rides in Wisconsin all winter


And then I refer to Jill Homer and her article on NPR regarding biking in the snow.

I figure, if these people can ride in the snow, then I can should have no reason to gripe about my commute. I mean, I live in Southern California, we never get snow. The only extreme weather we have is when temps get as high as 120 degrees in the summer, and the wildfires, mustn't forget those.

And people worry about me riding in the winter. **rolls eyes**

Give me some good rain gear for those rare rainy days and I'm set.

Friday, June 20, 2008

bike lust...



I love dutch bicycles. Why are most bicycles in america the sporty type? I really like sitting upright and taking in the sites while riding...

Someday, I will get this bike. Until then, I'm enjoying my Raleigh Venture Comfort "sit up and beg" bike.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

my submission to Urban Velo Magazine...

NAME: Paula "Righteous Metal Broad"
LOCATION: San Fernando Valley/Los Angeles, CA
OCCUPATION: Medical Biller by day, novice blogger by night.


• Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city? I live in the Van Nuys area and commute to and from West Hills. It's unsafe to ride out here so I get an adrenalin rush whenever I hit the streets. Granted, that's not the only reason I ride, but I honestly believe the streets will become more safer once there are more and more bicyclists out riding. Nearly every day at least one person tells me that they would love to do what I do and just go out and ride but they don't because it's so unsafe. As cyclists are more visible to motorists, hopefully motorists will learn to share the road and less cyclists will die in hit and runs. Not only do I want to change the attitudes of the drivers out on the streets, but I want to educate the new bicyclists out there. I see many people riding on the wrong side of the street, with no head or tail lights at night, etc.

• What was your favorite city to ride in, and why? Tough question, because I only ride in SFV/LA, I know I have favorite streets, favorite paths, favorite areas. I really love the Metro Orange Line's bicycle path. I ride 4 miles out of my way to take that path every day. My daily commute is about 18 miles. It's worth it because it's 4 extra miles and it's safe. So, I guess my favorite city to ride in is SFV/Los Angeles, because I live here.

• Why do you love riding in the city? I love riding because it's healthy, I lost 60 pounds when I was an occasional bicyclist 2 years ago. Then I inherited an ancient SUV from my father and drove that for a year (supplemented my "healthy living lifestyle" with a gym membership). Before owning the SUV, I was a bus rider. I only lost about 15 in that entire year (try as I might, I could not lose anymore). Then gas started going up, so I sold my SUV and used the money to buy a better bicycle. And I don't regret becoming "car-free" at all, it was like unloading a huge load off my shoulders. I don't have to worry about gas, car maintenance, insurance, parking, etc. I've developed a new love for public transportation. I am much more mellow, I've lost more weight, my clothes fit so much better and the endorphins from my daily rides feel great.

• Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city… Cheesy as it may sound, sometimes it is best if you do stop and smell the roses (or coffee, or corner taco stand). It's much more pleasant if you have the choice to be able to stop on your bike, rather than stop because you are stuck in traffic. I've found that I am catching some things that I would regularly miss if I was driving, a beautiful sunset or sunrise (the latter rarer), a cute child waving "Hi", a cute guy waving "Hi", other bicyclists high on endorphins, a corner grocer or thrift shop. When I'm on my bike, I feel more a part of the scenery. I'm no longer outside looking in. I'm out there, living it up...

So go out there, live it up... I'll see you on the streets...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Be careful with Craigslist...

Sure, they got some great deals, but if you are dead set on buying from there, make sure you do your research or else people are gonna screw you over. Check out this ad I found earlier today, picture of said bicycle is in the ad. I bolded the interesting text.

20 '' freestyle bike - $200 (downey,ca)


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reply to: see below
Date: 2008-06-07, 11:59AM PDT


The bike is a mongoose rebel freestyle with many upgrades, including alloy star mag wheels, mongoose boxter freestyle frame, four piece freestyle bars with alloy stem, alloy brake levers, rear "u" brake, brand new haro fusion 3 piece crank, brand new f&j chain ring, primo sealed bearing pedals, pair of animal chain tensioner, and set of pegs. Over all the bike is worth over $400 but I am willing to let it go for $200 or best offer. Great beginner and intermediate bike. I have only had it about 2 months ridden a couple of times, in need of the money.

Location: downey,ca
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests


________________________________________________

Alright you guys, get this. I had to go to wal-mart a couple of months ago to pay a traffic ticket (somewhat long story). The guy in front of me in line at customer service was returning this SAME BIKE. Same make, same model, same size, same color. Guess how much it costs! $99.72 I wish i was kidding, but you can click here to see the bike yourself at walmart.com

Messed up...

A couple of pics from my morning commute...

Decided to take some pics when I skipped the bus on my way to work last Monday.




This bike path is parallel to the San Fernando Valley Metro Orange line. Most of the time I'm on this path is at night so seeing it in the daylight was a nice change.


And this is the Los Angeles River in Canoga Park. Isn't this the saddest thing you've ever seen? There's barely any water, just a bunch of slimy garbage. They've been trying to improve it, and restore it back to it's original beauty, but it's still going to take a long time before that happens. As it is, the San Fernando Valley, while it's still a part of the City of Los Angeles, does not get as much attention as the part of Los Angeles proper (over the hill). But then, that's a whole 'nother blog...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Diva's Guide To Biking

If you are like me and don't think that the typical cyclist fashion is your cup of tea, then this article is for you.

The Diva's Guide to Biking

Just because we are cyclists doesn't mean we must wear bright yellow lycra.

Monday, June 2, 2008

So, I rode everywhere...

I skipped taking the bus today.

It was hard. It was hot. I am happy I stocked up on baby wipes because I was a hot mess.

I was tired but I was otherwise fine. About an hour into my work shift, I got really nauseus though. The nausea came and went all day. People even told me I looked a bit green around the gills. Some offered to give me a ride home. Of course I refused.

You know, I've heard that if you push your body just so much, the strenous activity will cause you to become ill and vomit. It didn't happen to me thank goodness, but I came really really close to losing my breakfast and I felt green for the rest of the day.

But what can you do? After work, I got right back on my bike and rode home. I clocked 2 1/2 hours on my bike today. Rode 30 Miles. Yeah, I'm slow, I know if I tried to speed it up, I would have felt worse. Ya gotta start somewhere, I guess...

And now, I must get to bed. I got the new Opeth CD "Watershed" and I cannot wait to listen to it. I love me some Opeth...

not all drivers are bad and I might skip public transport...

(posted on myspace 5/30/08)

I don't mean to be talking smack about all these motorists out there. Sure most don't like us and yell the most stupidest shite at us. Sure most don't know how to really drive.

But there are some who are just so very polite. They wait for me to cross the street. They make eye contact and wave hello. Give me thumbs up sign. Yell " YOU GO GIRL!!" Some act as if they want to get out and ride with me, others have said as much. I wish there were more considerate and open minded drivers out there...

I keep thinking about quitting the use of public transportation altogether. I'll skip taking the bus this Monday (6/2/08) and just ride. Meaning, I'll be riding 30 miles that day. I'll let y'all know how it goes on Monday night, that is, if I don't pass out as soon as I get home...

Should I quit public transportation?

(Holy shit another update yay! posted on myspace 5/27/08)

Yeah, the only reason I'm still taking the bus part of the way to work is because my job doesn't have showers and it's freaking hot in the Valley. Otherwise, I figure I can just stop taking public transportation alltogether and just ride everywhere everyday. I got my endurance up. Maybe I should keep baby wipes on me. I was told they work wonderfully if you just cannot shower. And the other bicyclist at work lives 5 miles farther than me, bikes all the way to work and home and he doesn't smell horrible at all. hmm... decisions decisions.

Other than that, it's really unsafe to ride out in the streets. Sure we belong in the streets:

Bicycle Use. VC 21200
Every person riding a bicycle upon a street or highway has all the rights and is subject to all the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.

AND

Duty of Bicycle Operator: Operation On Roadway. VC 21202
a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at such time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:

When overtaking and passing another bicycle or motor vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge. For purposes of this section, a "substandard width lane" is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
b) Any person operating a bicycle on a one-way street or highway with two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of such roadway as practicable.


Damn, it's even in the fucking DMV driver's manual, I should now, it's been about a year and a half since I got my drivers license.
But it's still unsafe, must I go on about the drunk drivers? I already blogged about them. How about just drivers in general? Drivers just downright hate bicyclists. I honestly do not know why we garner so much animosity, I've spoken to many other cyclists. We all get screamed at every now and then, it could be anything from "Get on the sidewalk!" to "You fucken FAG!".

One even told me he got "Hey bikey, why don't you go and ride a bike!!" now isn't that the most stupidest thing EVER?!!!

Oh, and I didn't mention in my last post that I pass by temptation whilst riding on the bike path home. I pass by a Best Buy, BevMo and Borders, mmm electronic, wine and books.

Also, I've been doing my best to network with other Los Angeles and SFV cyclists for some good old fashioned bicycle activism. I feel it's my personal responsibility to make the streets a bit more safe for the rest of the people who are just too scared to ride. Especially now with the price of oil well over $130 a barrel. Besides, activism is fun!

oh and I sold my piece of sh!te SUV... most of the stuff on/in it didn't work anyway...

quit the gym because biking is loads better and the gym was a waste of very precious time...

damn, I've simplified quite a bit...

So I've been riding more...

(Originally posted on myspace 5/2/08)

Yeah, so since that time I rode all the way home from work, I just haven't taken the bus at night anymore. I've been riding home every night after work.

It's just plain unsafe, seeing as how we belong in the streets, it gets bad on Thursdays and Fridays when more and more people are out. And you know they've been drinking. See, I work late, so I am always riding home at night. It's great, because it's cooler at night and sure there are less people, but it's still dangerous. You see people swerving and shit. I've almost been clipped a couple of times.

So I've been riding a few miles out of the way to hit up the Orange Line bicycle path. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metro_Orange_Line_bicycle_path It's bitchin' I can just speed on my bike all the way home and all I have to worry about are the red lights and bugs. I may hate bugs, but dodging them isnt' as bad as dodging crazy drivers.

So, riding the orange line bike path has added 4 miles to my ride, because it's out of my way. I'm not complaining about that, because it's loads safer.

Count the two miles I do every morning and that's 17 miles a day.

Not counting those days I add miles to my ride when going shopping. Not including weekends as well. While I love riding, most of it is commuting.

I got a new bike!!!


So, my old bike was a piece of crap Magna from Target, I bought it a few years ago and it was time to retire it. If you absolutely have to, you can get your bikes at Target or walmart, but you will get what you pay for. My old bike was advertised as a WOMENS bicycle. But after further research, they say WOMEN are 12 years old and 5 feet tall. I am 5 feet 6 so this bike is a little small on me, it's hard on my knees. If you can, spend a bit more money on something that will fit you. I recommend you test ride the bike around the block and see how it feels.


So, I test rode my bike around the block and fell in love. It's a Raleigh, the model "Venture" comfort bike. The larger frame fits my larger frame and I can ride for miles and miles. She's the nice red metallic color, but this picture from the site really doesn't do the bike justice. I named her "Righteous Cranberry"

A major cycling milestone...

originally posted on April 10th, 2008
_________________________

(I figure I'll just keep updating this blog when I feel the need to...) The old title was "I've done something tonight that I never thought that I would be able to do... "
But I wanted to. Wanted to for a while.

I rode my bicycle ALL. THE. WAY. HOME. from work.

Y'all don't understand. I live on the other side of the valley. And I'm overweight! Sure I've blogged before about losing weight, but I have a lot more to lose and I've never thought I would have been able to do this before. It's 11 freaking miles away!

I'm so excited!! I'm gonna get charlie horse muscle cramps but dammit I DIT IT!!!

And I'm gonna do it again!

"When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race." ~H.G. Wells

I'll just copy all my cycling related myspace blogs here...

Because I wanted to spread my tentacles out and beyond myspace to other cyclists, both seasoned and n00bs (like me).

here's my first blog about cycling, posted on myspace on April 3rd.
___________________________________________

Gas prices sure do suck you guys...
It's getting up there to $3.60 now. Two weeks ago it costed $65 just to fill up my gas tank (gas was $3.40 then). I love driving, but not that much. At this point, I've had enough. I know I told my boyfriend (Mr. Wonderful) that I was going to stop driving when gas got to be $4, but I don't want to go that far.

But I got a solution since the weather is pretty nice in my area. I started riding my bike again. Bought some bus tokens because I am not yet ready to ride my bike for the entire 11 miles to work (I got a long commute).

I lost 60 pounds the last time I was riding my bike, then I inherited my SUV, started going to the gym. Lost 20 more. Gained 9, lost 4 and hit a plateau that I have not been able to get past for the past few months. boo, plateaues suck you guys!

This time around, I am waking up wicked early and riding the bus to the other side of the Valley. Ride my bike the few miles to the gym, workout, shower, ride my bike the few of miles to work. Work, then ride about a mile and a half to the bus stop and go home. I'm averaging about 7 miles a day. But this time it's even harder because I'm going to the gym as well. It's kicking my ass, you know. But's that's ok, because my legs are looking great.
I missed riding my bicycle. It's fun. Some small part of me missed taking the bus as well. I'm a weirdo-magnet, EVERYONE speaks to me on the bus. I don't know if it's some vibe I give off or what, but I meet someone nearly every time I take the bus. Just the other night I was talking to some dude about how the government should not take away our 2nd Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms. (but that's a whole 'nother blog)

I figure I'll drive only if I absolutely have to, like if I need to go grocery shopping or something. One thing I do miss about driving, I miss getting to sing along to my loud music, you wont see me doing that on the bus, or at work, or even in my shower...

___________________________________________

yep, that was the beginning...

I'll be cross posting the rest of the blogs soon...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Yay! My first freaking blog

And how long have I been on the internets? YEARS.

I kid you not. I read a shit load of blogs. My favorites are from Neil Gaiman, Emerald City at Los Angeles Times.com, and various velo/cycling blogs. I'm also addicted to Nataliedee.com

Guess I should start using this bad boy soon...

out riding

out riding
riding my flying pigeon