Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Helmets Are Sexy

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

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.


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...

out riding

out riding
riding my flying pigeon