Monday, May 7, 2012

Midway("Fleaway") Ride Report

First off - never mock a fellow cyclist, I gave Lina some shit
yesterday and flatted twice today, suffering added humiliation that
the first was because I had patched a tube with a "Lame Ass Patch"(Tm)
and the second because I failed to follow my advice to myself to
"THROW THIS TUBE AWAY" and put a tube with an undiscovered slow leak
into my saddlebag, thus having to stop twice to add air just to get to
a bike shop.

You may however mock triathletes at will. Don't ask me, ask BSNYC.

Anyway - "Midway" also known as "Fleaway"

Doing Joe Gross Monday I was thinking "There has to be a better way".
There is (IMHO, YMMV). I did a little recon yesterday on the way to a
train station, and today since Theo bagged but Bret didn't, we decided
to try it out. First, we took San Jose/Alemany which I very much
prefer to Mission. San Jose has a bit of a freaky factor but not too
bad, Alemany has a bike lane and great pavement compared to Mission.
In theory you can switch from Mission to Alemany post San Jose.

We then took Hillside headed toward the hustle but took a right on
Lawndale, left on Mission, and then just past the BART station we got
onto the Centennial Bike Path. Joe Gross is basically 200 yards West
of this bike path the whole route, on El Camino. To be fair to Joe,
when he made the route, the path didn't exist. It dumps you off onto
Huntington at San Bruno BART, Huntington is actually a pretty good
road. Then you kind of wind around in a neighborhood, crossing the
tracks twice (once on a pedestrian crossing on a path) and then under
them and down a street that supposedly has no outlet but for bikes you
go through some poles into the Millbrae BART lot, then onto Rollins
which is very comfy. Right on Broadway takes you to Carolan where you
re-intersect with Joe Gross. We were spelunking a bit but I think it
will end up roughly the same time as Joe Gross but it's a lot more

Carolan to right on Oak Grove, left on El Camino, right on Occidental.
It looks like we can avoid El Camino here as well and still get on
Occidental. We then took a very bucolic route through Burlingame and
Hillsborough subdivisions. So far the ride has been pretty flat
outside of the slow rise up Alemany and one tiny bump in the
Hillsborough section. Left on Crystal Springs, Right on Alameda De Las
Pulgas - Avenue of the Fleas (thus "Fleaway"). That's when it gets

Stay on Alameda/Junipero/Foothill to your preferred exit. There are
many rollers on Alameda and one little bitch of a climb entering
Belmont, Strava says 3/4 mile at 8%. Ouch. There aren't a lot of
lights, there are some stop signs, nominal traffic but overall
reasonable riding. It's not Skyline, it's not Bayway - it's in
between. In climbing, in time, in scenery, in sketchy sections.

I took Arastradero to see what the "To Google Time" would be, roughly.
I had 2:40 rolling time to Arastradero and Central. Then it sort of
fell apart with the two flats.

Moderately recommended. I like it better than Bayway, less than
Skyline. Longer than Bayway for Googlers, probably shorter for Palo
Altans/Applers, FCHSMB.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The view was worth the climb

Brief ride report:

5 of us braved the park and met at JBC for hot coffee and tasty pastries. Rolled almost on time at 0638. We briefly lost Chris Z who scurried back to fetch his credit card off the cafe table.

Together again we headed south and a reasonable pace. FF Bump three of us watched Brooks and Zap ride OTF while in conversation...

Skyline drive was uneventful and we had none of the visibility issues Murph had on his last ride of that route. After cresting Brooks and I headed to Pacifica while Chris Z, Jason and Mike stuck to the plan Standard + Portola (bummer for them). 

Fassler both sucked and was awesome (in that 13-14% grade kind of way), but with two lanes, then one with a big shoulder, I never felt in danger (unlike Manor). The road part was over faster than expected and the dirt part (Banquiano) was well worth it. This was a totally navigable (due to tips from Yoyo and Ammon) on a road bike with 23c's and compact gearing (34-27 for me, 36-36 for strongman Brooks, though he had knobbies). 

The view from the top was spectacular (see attached, with crappy iPhone camera).

I hit standard Skyline at about 8 (this added 45 minutes to the ride) and headed for work via unconventional route, Brooks headed back to the City.

I will do this route again, but only if it's sunny.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Talking Tina

So, have you ever seen the Talking Tina episode of Twilight Zone? That's what happened to me today, only Talking Tina in this case is a a 30lb Rivendell Sam Hillborne.

It started off relatively simply. On the way to BBQ, my front fender was rattling. I secured it at BBQ as tight as I could without a wrench and moved on. This was a horrible omen that I should have paid more attention to. Later in the ride my new bar tape started coming undone. I was a little annoyed, but no big deal, it didn't get worse. But now I'm slightly irritated. Then my seatpost started acting up. It's a crappy post and needs replacing, I just didn't know how bad. Every rough bump would send the seat backwards about thirty degrees. No amount of tightening worked. The hulk wouldn't have been able to keep that piece of crap together. Then, after another turn fixing the seatpost, I dropped my chain.

I'd had it, and was swearing at my bike more than an episode of deadwood. Well, Talking Tina wouldn't take that sitting down. Right after the right turn to University, I hear the fender rattling again, and consider stopping to secure it. Before I had any time to really think about it, I see something shoot forward from the front tire. I look down, but I am not seeing the tire. I am seeing the fender. It has arced forward and the fender stays are flush against the fork. The fender is now a brake. I am suddenly higher off the ground, higher still, it's kind of in slow motion. Then I think to myself, "This is happening, and I cannot stop it." The bike is now nearly vertical, the front wheel firmly planted on the ground, and the rear wheel above me. The only thing I can do to keep my head and face safe is to roll all of my weight over my left shoulder. Then the bike and I were intimately wedded on the ground. Ouch, very ouch, but nothing broken.

On another note, if you ever get in a SERIOUS accident and find yourself unable to move. You are more likely to die of starvation than actually have someone pull over to see if you're ok.

Talking Fucking Tina.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ride (flat) report : tuesday 7/19 dsb+bayway style II RRR 07:00

THanks all for a lovely ride, minus the (in total 4) flats.

Lord knows what it was I hit, but it was big and hard and I heard the
explosion and stopped.
I then got to feel like a pro as before I could even properly dismount
Creamsicle, Scott had my wheel off, and there were tire levers and CO2
cartridges flying through the air as my awesome brethren changed my
flat in about 2 minutes.  I felt like I was in the pit at a race :)
Anyway, as we tried to close the open valve stem, there came explosion
number two... something was clearly wrong.  THe massive hole in my
tube was found, another inserted, and we were off, minus a HR
launching episode of me trying to pedal with my rear brake rubbing.
Stopped and fixed that, and phew, I can ride my bike!  Of course, then
by the airport, came flat number 3.  Ted once again identified the
huge hole in my tube, and then determiend that it had been caused by
the huge hole in the sidewall of my tire!  That is $65 of brand new
beautifull 4000S down the toilet.  Anyway, with a third fix, we were
on our way.  I am incredibly grateful for everyone's magnamity, and I
owe Theo and Matt tubes and the rest of you brownies.
THings seemed to go ok to Google.  I met my sister briefly, used the
facilities, and helped myselfe to a gift of odwalla choco protein, adn
hit the road.  Well, just after Rengsdorf, I could feel another flat.
Indeed, I looked down, and I was not totally flat, but almost there.
Having no more tubes or ideas, I decided to blow the thing up with my
last CO2 cartridge in the hopes it would get me close enough to Palo
Alto to deal with the situation.
Went to PA Bikes, and apparently, in addition to the hole in the
sidewall, the boot that we used had rubbed a hole in the tube, so that
had caused the last flat.  Since PA bikes sells my beloved 4000s grand
prixs for a whopping $70, and since they would have charged me another
$10 to put the thing on for me, I bought a $20 piece of shit tire, a
tube, and had them put that one on instead.  it is the shittiest tire
I have ever seen in my life- epically shitty.  It got me the rest of
the way to work, and will hopefully get me to and from the train
tonight, but that puppy is coming off as soon as I get home to decent

Anyway, that was way too much drama, and I have now set a flat record
PR at 4 in one ride, BUT other than that, it was lots of fun riding
with the bestest guys ever!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Barway V!

(I hope this doesn't post multiple times. I'm a bit drunk, and
computer illiterate)

I figure a nightcap recap is the most appropriate way to ride report
this episode of Barway, so away we go:

Fred's was a great spot to begin. Local's place in a really awkward
stretch of San Antonio and Middlefield. I got turned around trying to
find it and so did another group. We easily doubled the number of
patrons in the bar after only a few riders arrived. And that's their
busiest time. Dive!

Once 12 humans were assembled plus a big ass poodle in a trailer, we
took to the streets. Ben led us through the bike routes of Mt
View/Palo Alto to get to the Oasis in Menlo. Since it wasn't fricking
raining this time, the outside tables were open. Food was fast, and we
didn't linger too long.

Next on deck, a jaunt up Middlefield through the Atherton ghetto then
to Little Michoacan in Redwood City, my hood away from hood. Tons of
good tacos and and an all-female owned and operated garage called Lady
Parts. Neat Peninsula pocket. Like the Mission with no hipsters.

Rode through downtown RWC where we ended up picking up some random
extra riders on the way to Steamies. We've become a caravan! The
headwind to Steamies was no joke, y'all. Especially for those
dragging a big ass dog.

Steamies was as gracious as ever. The bartender remembered us from
Barway III. She gave us all pints of water along with delicious beer.
She wins.

On through the remnants of Bay Meadows to Burlingame and lovely
deserted California Avenue. That is except for the Camaro that gunned
it to pass the group. I mean, it is Friday. WTF, mate? The
eucalyptus trees are pretty cool through there.

DOG HOUSE!!!! Exactly as I had hoped. Quiet. Empty. Surly as fuck.
After a few folks ordered drafts requiring the old dude behind the
bar to use actual barware, he ran out of pints and started serving a
single beer in two glasses. I got the feeling he would have been just
as happy for us to either order bottles or not to come in at all.
Cause now he's gotta clean all these goddamn glasses. He did say
thank you when we left, so there's that.

I left the Dog House thinking to myself,"You know, it's been pretty
successful so far. No flats/mishaps/mechanicals...
SHUT UP!! Don't jinx it!" Not more than five minutes later, we're
riding toward downtown San Bruno, and I hear that sound of light metal
and plastic suddenly crackling together on hard pavement. Tom took a
dive after hitting a parked Corvette. A little blood, but all is
good, so we ride on.

Some darkness along Airport/Old Bayshore and the creepy Apple
billboard on the side of San Bruno Monutain. I never noticed it while
driving before, but against the barren, natural backdrop of the
eastern face, and ad for iPad 2 seemed really out of place.

7-Mile House. Yes! The highlight of the night. Beautiful moon rise
in the east. As we rode up, we could hear from the street some guy on
a mic talking about how women always close their eyes when they have
sex, and he likes real Mexican food because he's half Mexican, and
some other stuff about female genitalia and how he likes it. I later
realized this was supposed to be "comedy". Luckily, I could only hear
but not see him, since I was locking up my bike at the end of his set,
saving me from having to pretend to tell him he was good in case I saw
him at the bar. Awkward.

Then the funk band began. OMG. That was awesome. The kitchen was
closed, but they still had adobo for some reason. So we all chowed on
a plate of pork adobo and rice rocking to Funk Friday at the Seven
Mile. Serioiusly folks. A +150-year old roadhouse next to a power
station serving Filipino food and live funk. That's some real SF shit
right there.

Unfortunately Bender's was a bust. Some crappy band was playing.
Cover charge. No bike parking. The group splintered off somewhat
before that and definitely after that. A few die hards Tracy, Brian,
Danny, Janne and Muppet the dog detoured to the Uptown for a few more.
Muppet was a total chick magnet. Who wouldn't love a big white
poodle/retriever mix with a pink mohawk? Janne invited along his
Finnish mafia which made for a nice rounding out of the evening.

Final thoughts: distances between bars seemed appropriate. We got to
SF around 11ish which allowed for plan B and still ample drinking at
the end of the night. Success!

Can't wait for Full Moon Barway VI - 7/15