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

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

5/4 skyline style 2-3 - rrr - 630am

RIDE REPORT!!!!!!!!!!

I never do ride reports, but I'm doing one today because this was my first Skyline... and I have Learned Lessons™
If you have never done Skyline, as I never had, here are my first impressions. Your mileage may very, I'm not a particularly zippy rider. Also, there may or may not be hyperbole in the following text.

Got up at 6:10am, a LATE start for me on a ride day. Usually have to haul across the city, but today I get to join the ride in my turf. Awesome. Sadly, I have two songs stuck in my head, Friday by Rebecca Black, and some track by Black Eyed Peas with excessive use of auto-tune. Horrible. These do not exit my brain during the entire trip, but form a 3 hour, hellish medley of chaos and suffering.

You know how they have recommended doses on Aspirin bottles? They do not do this on mojitos. This will become apparent later.

Nice, leisurely stroll from Stern Grove out to Skyline Blvd. Very pleasant, slight downhill, brisk. Feeling pretty good. Make it to John Daly & Skyline way ahead of the regular group, and have to pee already. Go to the viewpoint to take in the sights and give a what's-what to California by tinkling into the San Andreas Fault. Angst about having to leave Seattle now reduced a little bit more.

DG, Darrin and Lance arrive. Time to climb.

From the SF2G Skyline description:   It's not easy, but not ridiculously hard either....   BATMAN'S BALLS!
This felt like the longest climb of my life, though looking through Strava later I found some longer one's I had done recently that didn't seem as difficult (see: Mojitos)

The gang waits for me at the top and reassures me that this is the first of two climbs. I learn soon that this really just means this is the biggest climb and there is one more big one, but there are like 40 more in between them.

Everything's going smoothly, lovely weather. San Andreas Trail is fun. Scenery is nice, hey this is great. Stop off to get some water... then... what... WHY ARE WE ON THE FREEWAY?!?!?! Adrenaline gets me safely to the next exit.

Hillsborough Rollers next (not a fan.) At some point somewhere around here, I think, the temp drops to about -100 degrees for like 20 feet. I think I got snowed on. Then its instantly warm again.

It is at this point that I Get It™. Awesome, fast descents. I've never done the dam, but I though the detour was fun (until the climb, again got to see my ridemates disappear into the horizon.) Cañada: 10.5 Megatons of YES. Crystal Springs Reservoir, hello. This ride makes Bayway now seem kinda gross.

Moutain Home Road might be my favorite segment of the commutes I've done so far. One lane, mellowish flat or downhill in most parts. Enshrouded by trees like a scene out of Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Absolutely beautiful.

Some more awesome descents. Wishing Bayway had descents like this, but as my CPA says "You don't have to pay it if you didn't make anything."

My takeaway, my opinion only: you pay your taxes in spades on this ride and get rewarded handsomely for the effort. A+++++ EXCELANT EBAYOR

I plan to make this a regular part of my SF2G repertoire, but right now I just feel the legs burning.

Awesome ride, everyone, thanks for navigating me to the G!

Update: After waiting 20 hours for the usual Strava iphone freeze-up routine and sync, I finally see my stats. JD to BGS, 131st overall. You may be thinking, Matt, that's horrible. Until you realize there are over 6 Billion people in the world. Then you realize 130 faster people doesn't seem so bad. ;)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hot Dog for Breakfast

Ride report
subtitled "Hot Dog for Breakfast"

Important lesson: if you've been away for almost 2 months, prepare to
carry extra food!

As I rolled into a Ritual overflowing with SF2G love this morning,
Trung mentioned to me that I already looked cold. That wasn't a good
sign, but I don't know sign language. Nevertheless, with the small
embarrassment of someone falling over (in front of a police car)
before beginning to ride, we the Skyline group departed ahead of the
Bayway group.

17, no, 19, no, 20 of us made our way up to Skyline on a blustery
sunny morning. When I got to work, my coworker from San Jose was
convinced we must have had great tailwinds because he'd experienced
headwinds. The only explanation for both of us suffering is that the
winds emanated directly from the Googleplex. (Not too far off the

We stuck together until the San Andreas Trail head, where it appeared
the fast Skyline subgroup had already vanished into the lack of fog.
11 of us continued on to the rolling lumps and marvelously clear bay
views of Vallejo Dr, opting to skip the bone-chilling and narrow
Sawyer Camp Trail, with the sure anticipation of the bone-chilling and
broad Crystal Springs descent before us. How cool is it that our route
can now include what must be the 2 coldest spots on the whole

After a difficult Polhemus and the bike path, we stopped at the water
temple on Cañada to refill water and hear a lecture on how not to
disobey civil codes from two recent victims of Woodside police stop
sign ambushes. Then we stretched out, and the miles stretched onward,
and onward... Soon I could see no one in front of me, and only Eimear
behind me. I noticed after the last rise on Cañada that she was gone
too. I waited, and there were enough passing cyclists expressing
concern for me that I learned she had a flat, so I headed back down
and we fixed it. (Obligatory cat picture:

I called Tracy, waiting at Roberts, to tell her and the rest to go on
without us, since we'd both been falling behind anyway. I took Peter's
Arboretum-way through Stanford to cut a bit of climbing on Junipero
Serra, but the headwinds did not relent. Neither of us was too
energetic, and my consensus of one, one who could scarcely keep his
head up, thought I probably had bonked. Eventually, on Charleston, I
sent Eimear ahead to make it to her 11 o'clock meeting (probably, but
a close call). With no such obligations, I sank further behind,
knowing at least In-n-Out could ease my ailment. Uncertain visions
cavorted through my head, or what little of it remained, since no one
ever told me what In-n-Out serves breakfastwise.

But one the third-to-last block of Charleston, a light dawned---the
light reflecting off a hot dog stand. 'Tis not so deep as a tamal, nor
as wide as a taco, but 'twill serve. The cliche to describe how I ate
my hot dog is "with relish" even though that would literally be
untrue. It may not have made me any faster for the last mile, but it
did restore a smile to its rightful face.

It was a good ride, but for me, a wicked slow one, with my
disembarkation clocked at 11am. Next time I'll pack extra food, I

Yoyo Zhou

Sweet! I finally made it into a ride report...good thing I have a big ego because that spill was rather embarrassing (in front of 17 riders). Clearly one of those OK let's roll, clip in, look over shoulder, cars coming, no ones moving, stop moving, "oh, crap!", kind of moments. That one could make it here. Sadly, no coffee, bumper, cement, wave or even an other riders tire to blame...oh wait...maybe it was the lack of coffee.

Great write up btw.



Yeah thanks for the write-up! Great ride everyone, I think we counted 21 people at the skyline/1 intersection. Greg and I also decided to stop at In and Out post ride :)  Thanks for stopping to help Eimear with her flat. 

Maybe again next week?



Great report Yoyo! I made it to my 11am meeting (well, 11.05, which is on time by my standards) after the fastest shower ever!