Wednesday, November 26, 2008


That's right. I'm on Hiatus for the next 5 days. I get vacations too suckers!!! I'll be heading to the sunny city of Denver Colorado to lounge on the sun drenched beaches while sipping Pina Coladas and Margaritas. Oh... it will be pure enjoyment!

In the mean time, get your Euro enjoyment on over and over again with this classic tune by Kraftwerk:

See you in December!

-Corey Read more!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ride Report: 100 miles of Solitude.

The year is coming to an end. The winds blows colder now. The mornings and evenings have a distinct crispness to them that they didn't have 3 months ago. The leaves are falling and the days are short...

There are few things in this world that I find frustrating on face value. But one of those things is base training in the winter. See, in the Spring and Summer I've trained up, and I'm in good shape. But in the winter I have taken to relaxing due to shorter days and busier social schedules. The social schedule has a lot to do with the fact that by winter I'm burnt out on riding and I give myself more social time, but whatever, I'm slower and a little fatter in the winter than I am in the spring and summer. The other thing about riding that I find infinitely frustrating is doing a benchmark ride when I know I'm off peak.

Having missed Solvang's Finest (what was to be my November century) for a number of reasons I decided this weekend would have to be my century weekend. I wouldn't have another opportunity to ride 100 miles on a Saturday this month. So after thinking about a number of different, easy routes I decided on one that would include some of my favorite climbs (that are easy) and some easy miles through the valley. Yes, my route would take me from my house over Mulholland, through Brentwood, to the beach, up PCH, to Latigo, through Mulholland, then back to the valley taking me home. 102 miles. Now I mentioned that Benchmark rides when I'm off peak can be frustrating, this would prove to be ultimately frustrating.

Back in June I rode the L.A. Wheelman Double Metric, which included Latigo Canyon. Latigo is one of the well known climbs in Southern California and rightfully so. It's a formidable beast that is well traveled by all cyclists, from seasoned pros fresh off the boat from the European circuits to every day Freds. When I did Latigo in June I felt like a pro. Most of the climb was done at 11 to 12 mph, and I completed the climb in around 50 minutes. Saturday the 22nd I found myself on Latigo after 45 miles of solitary cycling. I'd left my house at 8:30 in the A.M. and had only a brief reprieve from my loneliness on PCH. Once I was on Latigo though, the solitary confinement would take it's toll. When I was a kid I was a Ball boy for the Sizzlers. They were a Topeka Ks. based Minor league basketball team. There was one point one game where one of the players caught me talking to myself.

"Who you talkin' to?" he asked
"uh... me" I responded, thinking there was nothing wrong
"You know boy, only crazy people talk to themselves"

To which I had nothing to say. But since that time I've been infinitely aware, thanks to the wisdom of that Minor League Basketball player for the Topeka Ks. Sizzlers, that if you talk to yourself you're crazy. And so on Latigo I was slowly going crazy. I found myself having whole 2 person conversations about a variety of subject matter. I was doing anything I could to keep my eye off my Garmin 305 as I knew from earlier checks that I was only clocking about 8.5 to 9 MPH this time. Benchmarks, don't do 'em when your out of shape.

I managed to get over the climb, get over a small hump on Kanan Dune, and get into Agoura hills with out incident. I even made it up a couple other small (relatively speaking) climbs that were between me and the valley at this point. I made it into the Valley and I felt like I was home free despite the 30 more miles that lay ahead. But I was home free, as the rest of the way home was basically down hill. I did it. All by myself, like that one song. I did 100 f**king miles alone. I don't recommend it to anyone. I don't know what I was thinking with this "Oh yea, I'll just go out alone for a hundred miles"... yea, f$%k that.

Never again... until maybe January.

Here's the Route.

Read more!

Monday, November 24, 2008

El Tour de Tucson = El Tour de WTF???!!!?!?!!?!?!

The Ride Report that was to be published today has been pushed back and will post on 11/25/08. First of all, I made a commitment to some close friends that I would clean up the content on this blog, and I feel I've done a pretty good job of that. So... Sorry guys, This post is going to be bad. I wasn't at El Tour de Tucson, but...

If further proof that Arizona is the F$%ktard A$$hole capital of the world was needed (I personally think there is already plenty of proof) it was published yesterday at Apparently some old guy in a car decided it was appropriate to run over ten cyclists, survey the damage, and then drive off. Yea, you read that right.

At El Tour de Tucson, a very large, very well known century ride that covers much of the sprawling Tucson metropolis, about 60 bicyclists were riding west on Ina Road, east of Oracle Road, at about 10:20 a.m. A car driving east made a left turn into the resort and hit 10 of the bicyclists. The driver got out of his car and observed the damage to the vehicle and the bicyclists before getting back into his car and fleeing.

"The driver got out of his car and observed the damage to the vehicle and the bicyclists before getting back into his car and fleeing"????? Are you F$%KING KIDDING ME???!?!?!?!!!? I have a serious problem with this. There are two groups of people I'm pissed at here if this article is accurate. First I'm pissed at the driver (given) but what about the other 50 riders? What the F$%k were they doing when "The driver got out of his car and observed the damage"? How many people does it take to subdue someone who's already gotten out of the car??? If I, or say, any of the 50,000 cyclists I've gotten to know over the past few years had been in that group of 60 that guy wouldn't have had time to "Get out of his car and observe the damage" with out me or someone jumping in the car, grabbing the keys and then subduing the suspect!!! Now, If this article isn't right, or if You the reader were there and saw this happen PLEASE write to me and tell me WTF was going on!!! Here's my e-mail.

I'm sure some of you remember the F$%ked up S*&t that happened back in January with that Melissa Arrington girl. If for some reason you don't, click here to revisit that whole mess. I'm pretty sure that if we were to take these two incidences, plus the slew of others I've heard about into consideration next time we vote on "Worst place to ride a bike" Arizona, and Tucson in particular, would take the cake.

Good job Tucson. Way to be only mildly s%&tier than hell.
Read more!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Get High, Drive, Text, Kill...Get off easy.

There were a number of events that transpired in 2007 that you could say "Helped" fan the flames that were used to forge this blog, the jersey, and the effort that I've been putting forth since. But none of those events were as heartbreaking to me as the event that transpired in August of last year...

I was reading the LAist and came across a grim reminder of that accident. Danny Oates was 14 years old when he was riding his bike to school on August 29th to pick up his schedule for the upcoming semester at Isaac L. Sowers Middle School. Jeff Woods was 20 when he swerved into oncoming traffic with his F-150 and mowed Danny down, killing him. I went back and found the article from the OC Register and reread it probably 20 times tonight, just like I did on August 30th. I remember when this accident happened. I watched every bit of news coverage that followed for a short time, and then lost track of the story as other things came and went. But today I saw that the Grand Jury convicted Jeff woods of felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated and felony driving under the influence causing bodily injury.

It turns out that Jeff thought it a good idea to get loose with some Vicodin and Xanax, then get behind the wheel of his truck, and send some text messages to his drug dealer while driving. Well, good thing the justice system is there to punish folks who make terrible decisions such as driving while distracted while high off of prescription drugs. Now, I understand that mistakes happen. I'm sure that there are people who have prescriptions for certain kinds of medication who get behind the wheel and who probably don't have any problems. And even if they did, and got into an accident, the legal system would probably look at it and say, "You know, this is a fairly descent person, they were on their medication and they were driving, honest mistake..."

But this was NOT...NOT and honest mistake. This guy was F$&ked up, and was going to get more F%&ked up, and hit a kid and killed him. There's no way to look at this and say "Oh, you know, it was an honest mistake"! So why they convicted him of felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated and felony driving under the influence causing bodily injury and not at least 2nd Degree Murder is just beyond me.

I don't know. If it were me I'd lock this dude up and forget where I put the key.
Read more!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Spot on Lads... Spot on.

I remember this one time that I was watching one of those crappy early morning talk/news shows for some reason. They were talking about some story about some guy and some crazy crazy circumstances and the hoops he had to jump through to right the situation. The very tall, very blond anchor then made the comment, "Wow, It's like, like a Reality Game Show!" Insert grumble, furl brow and rub eyes in disbelief. Since then I've been keeping a vigilant and socially critical eye open for examples of "Reality Copying Art"...

And so today, as I went through my pre-work morning ritual of checking various blogs and news outlets I came across quite a gem on Film Drunk, a blog usually reserved for movie stuff. I guess it works though since he was kind of knockin' Brett Ratner by saying that these unknown dudes from what appears to be California (food rating in the window tips it off) did something cooler than Brett did when he over payed Kobe Bryant to dance around in his underwear a la "Risky Business". And it is better, in my opinion... But whatever, I'm no expert on movies and TV and commercials or even video games. I'm just stoked that some kids who somehow managed to get bored of video games did something cool instead of getting jacked on some homemade Jankem

Watch the full video in all it's awesomeness below
(Note the flashing lights on the handlebars)

Read more!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Well, That's a Bummer

So, I've been doing the jersey thing for a while, for a year actually. I did my first order back at the first of December in 07 to get the ball rolling for 2008. I've been really proud of the jersey, and have gotten a lot of great feedback for the past year. But I had to make a decision today that was a hard decision...

Today I had to make the decision to pull the order off the table. I told everyone that I would close the order for the jerseys at the end of October, and by that time I had only sold two of the black jerseys, and not a single one of the white ones. I don't know if it's the new design or the economy or the fact that lots of people in my network already have "Share the Road" jerseys, but nobody wanted one of the new jerseys. Soooo, for now, this marks the end of the "Share The Road" jerseys. I suppose if I get some solid interest in the next year I'll put another order in, but for now, the jerseys are done.

The advocacy is still going to stay, the blog will still be there, but between the new post with PAA and the other stuff that's going on right now I just don't have the energy to really get out and push, then manage the jersey orders again this year. So for the two folks who did order the jerseys, I'm truly sorry.
Read more!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Amgen Tour of Cali' in the Classroom!!!

You know, it never ceases to amaze me how regular news sources usually seem to get to the story before me. It probably has something to do with the fact that I have a full time job and a life outside of 15 rides, but regardless it still makes me feel like a chump journ-o for bringing certain stories to you a day late...

As usual, Bike Radar reported on something awesome and I basically am just taking the story from their website and reposting it illegally here in. It seems that the Tour of California, and the company that runs it, AEG, have found that it's a good idea to roll the Tour into the classrooms of the schools that inhabit the 16 host cities.

The Tour has developed a classroom curriculum that will cover all the content that would be covered in the classroom but it will all be content that will somehow be pertinent to the tour and it's route. So, much to the dismay of school children in the 16 host cities, Math will still be taught in Math, but it will be math that is Cycling or Tour of California specific. If you're interested in finding out more information regarding the curriculum that will be taught you can check out Bike Radar or Do it, because typing "curriculum" at 10:30 at night after a few beers is really really hard.
Read more!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Long Weekend...No Post Today

Sorry folks, but there won't be any post today, with the exception of this. I've been wicked busy with tons of other stuff, and I just don't have it in me to write. Keep your peepers peeled for a full ride report of the Kern Wheelman's Spooktacular Century coming this Monday morning... Get back to work! Read more!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Special Bulletin... For Me Anyways.

The cycling club I belong to, Pasadena Athletic Association or PAA, held it's yearly elections Wednesday night. The votes have been counted and the results are in...

Here are the results...

President Corey Keizer
Vice-President Banner Moffat
Treasurer Jim Small
Secretary Johanna Tokunaga
Board Members:
Cici Arenas
Rick Babington
Fritz Bottger
Nor Oropez
Rob Shaw
Sue Thompson
Aaron Tuchfeld

For those of you who aren't familiar with PAA, it's the single greatest cycling club in Southern California if not the entire world. The club has a long and storied past. It's a club that has a deep respect for cycling tradition, but and openness to change and progress that makes it unique. PAA has strong race teams and great coaching, and has seen a number of members in state, national and world champion jerseys. Despite all of that, it's a club with members who are cool, down to earth people who love to ride. If your curious about PAA, or would like to learn more click this link: PAA Cycling. If you want to look into our role in Southern California's cycling past click the PAA History Page Read more!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Open Letter to Congress: Active Transportation

Recently I had written a post regarding "Active Transportation" which is essentially bicycling and walking. I mentioned that I had skimmed through the report and gotten the basics. Well now I've read the whole thing, from front to back. Not surprisingly the Rails to Trails Active Transportation report gives a full and complete justification for a greater piece of the federal pie going toward bicycling and walking infrastructure. What follows is my open letter to congress, urging for serious consideration of the facts in this report, and that there be swift and decisive action taken...

Congress of the United States of America,

The Active Transportation Report (from here on to be referred to as ATR) from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy was recently presented to Representative James Oberstar in mid-October. The ATR gives a very simple solution to a number of dire problems that face America today. The ATR makes the assertion that by motivating more Americans to walk or ride bikes for a number of their short trips and errands, we could lower our carbon footprint, reduce our dependence on oil, decrease the rate of obesity and obesity related health risks and alleviate some of the congestion that clogs are strained roads and highways

A large percentage of the trips taken by Americans in their cars are less than five miles. These are trips to the local grocery store, or to the gym, or to work. Many Americans drive for these short trips because infrastructure that supports bicycling or walking simply doesn't exist, making bicycling or walking unsafe. Increases in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure have been implemented in a number of metropolitan areas and have caused significant increases in foot and bicycle traffic. This traffic is good for the population, good for the environment, and good for the economy.

Global Warming is a very real, very prevalent threat. Our dependence on oil and coal, both of which are extremely dirty, have caused environmental damage on a global scale, damage that we will leave to our children's children, and most likely their children as well. We need multiple solutions to this growing threat, and we need those solutions now. Helping more Americans to get out of their cars by providing realistic and safe alternatives to driving is a step in the right direction. It's not the silver bullet that will lower the global temperature or clean up our dirty atmosphere, but Active Transportation is a significant piece of the puzzle.

Our dependence on foreign oil, and on oil in general has been a highlight of political debate lately. We've seen oil prices fluctuate wildly over the past year, causing an unbelievable rise in gas prices which crippled many Americans. Additionally, it is this expensive, dirty fuel that has been a major culprit in global warming. Bicycling and walking are modes of transportation that use no oil and gas, and have nominal associative costs when compared to driving a car. Convincing Americans that riding or walking for short trips is feesible will help them lower their fuel consumption, and will significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The ATR further shows that by assigning a fraction of the Federal infrastructure budget to Active Transportation cities and municipalities would be able to create miles of walking and bicycling infrastructure for the cost of mere feet of automotive infrastructure.

Many Americans find their days and nights consumed with a variety of responsibilities, and often don't have time outside of work and family for fitness or activity. Because of busy schedules and a lack of feasible Active Transportation options caused by auto-centric transportation infrastructure many Americans find themselves struggling with obesity and obesity related diseases. The CDC recommends a minimum 30 minutes of light activity a day. A 5 mile bicycle trip, or a 2 mile walk would give a person that 30 minutes a day. When Americans choose to walk or ride their bike to do basic errands, or to commute to work, there isn't as great a need to squeeze in costly and time consuming trips to the gym.

The ATR is not proposing that we discontinue spending on automotive infrastructure as it would be foolish to assume that America can continue to grow and progress without the automobile. The ATR is seeking though to offer real and feasible infrastructure that would increase Active Transportation, a solution to offset the pressure on our streets and highways. By reducing the number of short trips taken by car, we reduce the total number of cars on the road per hour per day significantly. This will decrease the strain on infrastructure, increasing it's overall lifespan. Additionally, bike lanes and walkways cost a fraction of roads and highways, and are more cost effective per taxpayer. Bike lanes and walkways also increase property value and drive traffic to local business that are within the path's reach. Americans will always have needs that require a car, but we can very easily reduce the number of those needs by offering safe and available alternatives to driving.

I urge you to speak with members of Congress who have championed this cause, and to obtain a copy of the report. I hope that the facts outlined therein will convince you of the need, and the solution that Active Transportation offers. We are at a crossroads in America, please help us make the right turn.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Corey Keizer

You can view the report for yourself at There is a link for the PDF in the right hand corner of the page. Read more!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Westside Riders Beware the Pink Bullet!!!

I was on an insanely fast ride this weekend (reference this link for full ride details) with some guys from the club when I ran into an anomaly on the Westside that caught me quite by surprise. We were rolling down San Vicente in Santa Monica when my sensibilities were assaulted...

The Pink Bullet first caught my attention a few blocks away from where the incident actually took place. As we were heading south on San Vicente I could feel a car passing me in a manner that was a little too close for comfort and it startled me. When I saw that the car was a Pink Miata I immediately thought to myself "Oh, it's the fact that it's an extremely ugly, little car that startled me, not the nature or proximity of the way the driver passed me" and I let it go. Actually, I still did think it passed a little close, and that it was really, really ugly.

As we approached the intersection at San Vicente and 26th street I could see that there was a gradually right leaning line of cars that was developing. All of the drivers in this line were obviously turning right, but were respecting the autonomy of the bike lane that parallels the two driving lanes. Except for that is, The Pink Bullet. The driver of this assault on decency swerved violently into the bike lane trying to circumvent the line of cars and make a right hand turn before the other motorists could. realizing that the bike lane was too tight even for her diminutive atrocity she stopped, and simply stayed put.

Having no choice but to enter the driving lane because the bike lane was now "Obstructed" we did so, and on my way around this rolling pile of visual pollution I gave my usual polite but slightly sarcastic wave. To which she responded by waiving her hands around wildly, whipping a camera out of her purse and taking pictures of me while she undoubtedly screamed obscenities which I could not hear. Unsure as to why she was taking pictures of me (other than the fact that I'm devilishly handsome) I decided to take a picture of her, as she was still planted firmly in the bike lane despite the fact that the light was green and that traffic had proceeded and there were now people trying to pass her in the driving lane which she was partially blocking.

The Pink Bullet, in all it's bike lane blocking glory

The license plate of the pink bullet, documented here for safety's sake

Now it's fairly obvious to me, but maybe not to others, that anyone who would drive the devils delivery vehicle is obviously insane. I know this because I have common sense. Another indicator of her insanity is the fact that with only my stunning good looks as provocation she began snapping pictures wildly like a rampant paparazzi. I can only imagine the chemical imbalance that was driving her outburst, maybe schizophrenia or something else like chlamydia induced hysteria. Either way she is a frightening individual who is only made more frightening by her frightening car.

I advise all cyclists to keep their distance from all Pink Miatas, as I'm sure there aren't many in the L.A. area as most folks here have some amount of class and decency enough to know not to drive such an affront to humankind. Please beware, and good day to you all. Read more!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bike Friendly: The Americana at Brand, Glendale CA.

Seems a little weird right? The title I mean... I was definitely caught by surprise when my good friend Matt sent me an e-mail saying "Did you know the Americana has Bike Valet". Matt is one of those guys who helps me keep a finger on the pulse of all that it Glendale, the city in which I live, so when he said this I was inclined to believe... but I needed to find out for sure. Additionally there was some talk of a place called the Crepe Place, which is always appealing because I'm French so with camera in bag and my lock around my waist (just in case) I went in search of this "Bike Valet"...

Since the Americana at Brand was built I've been there once but only to scoff at it's "Mall-ish" Suburban Corporate shopping experience and prefab urban facade. I won't lie, I hated the Americana when I first saw it. To me it represented the kind of rampant commercialism and "Shop 'till you go Bankrupt" mentality that has doomed us. You know, kind of like This Visa Commercial. Actually, that's a total lie. I did originally view the Americana with some disdain, but once I saw that they had a Sur la Table my opinion immediately changed. I went there, had a good time, bought some stuff and went home. Whatever, I like Sur la Table... as I like to have nice stuff to cook with and I don't have a lot of time to go searching for obscure, hard to find Japanese steel so I buy Shun because it's good and (relatively) inexpensive. Also, if you're going to knock something for being "Corporate", don't let me catch you riding any bike with any Sugino, Shimano, Campagnolo, or SRAM part on it. In fact, don't let me catch you riding anything, or wearing any clothes, or doing anything "On the Grid" for that matter, as everything you do now means you are in someway patronizing something "Corporate"... so just suck it up, The Americana has some cool stuff.

But my opinion on this matter is neither here nor there really, and the promise of a bike valet and a crepe had me thinking it was time to ride down there. Before I pumped up the tires on the Hipster D-Bag Special I wanted to make sure my trip wasn't in vain, so I called. The concierge was probably the nicest person I've talked to who works in Glendale in, well... Ever, and he informed me that there was a Bike Valet, how to get there from the different traffic arteries, and ensured me that this was a service that was available every day that the Americana was open. This became something I had to see for myself.

So now that I was relatively certain that the Bike Valet experience was going to happen I got the Hipster D-Bag Special out and topped off the tires. I threw my dirty 10 year old Timbuk bag on and rolled down Brand Blvd to the Americana. I turned right onto Caruso st. and rolled into the (Car) Valet to ask the Valet if this was where I needed to be. Expecting him to say "No, it's down there a ways" I was surprised when he said "yes".

"This is it? The same place as the cars?"
"Yea, but follow me over here to get a valet ticket"

So I followed the guy across the way, got the ticket, filled out a quick registration card (the registration card is used to identify the bike since there is no VIN number or License plate) and gave him my bike. I was really impressed that the Americana even offered a Bike Valet service, and that they treated it essentially the same as the car valet, and that... get this, the car valet costs money (without validation) while the bike valet is FREE. I was so impressed in fact that I took this picture (which got messed up somehow):

The Bike Valets at the Americana at Brand with the Hipster D-bag Special

After leaving the Hipster D-Bag Special in the care of The Americana's valet service I walked over to the Le Maison du Crepe to see what all the hype was about. I ordered the Chicken Pesto and a Strawberry Lemonade. It was delicious. Now, it's important to note that, while the Crepe Shack's Crepe's are extremely tasty and delicious they aren't really traditional crepes, but more like, a Crepe-Cone, that you can hold and eat while you walk around spending Citibank's money at Juicy Couture.

But whatever about the Crepe. The point is that the Americana at Brand has a Bike Valet, and they are cool about it. It's a pretty progressive thing for a place like the Americana to include a Bike Valet, essentially saying "People who ride their bikes here are just as important as people who drive their cars here" which is a statement that a lot of places are saying, but not really backing up the way the Americana has. It's simple infrastructure changes like this that make all the difference in my mind. I recommend that everyone who has a bike should ride it to the Americana, Valet it, and then tip the Valet generously so they know just how much we appreciate the service. Also, I applaud whoever the operations manager is who made the decision to include the Bike Valet. Thank you for putting some muscle behind the words "We think bicycling is important". Read more!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Awesomeness Report: OMG I'm Gonna Vomit...

Thankfully this weekend has been one with many bike related happenings in it, and such I have a pocket full of stuff to write about. I'm not going to smash everything into one post, but instead I'll divvy it out through out the week. But since it's a Monday, I'm going to quench your thirst for that special brand of 15 Rides bloggerizing with this Awesomeness Report!!!

On Friday I decided to post ride plans on the PAA message board. It went something like this:

Greetings carbon based life forms with similar interests and hobbies...

Sorry this is kind of late but I'll be riding out of Griffith Park tomorrow to do 80-ish miles including Mulholland, Topanga and Old Topanga. Leaving at 7:00 a.m. Come along and do all or part of this ride. Pace will vary between conversational and vomit-inducing.

See you there!
Now, usually when I call rides that are 80 miles or more the response I get is "I'm training for Cyclo-Corss" or "It's the middle of race season" or "It's Mtn Bike Season" which are all valid reasons not to tag along with me on one of my epics, although I usually get some company for at least part of the ride from folks who like bits and pieces of my routes. Because most folks never join me I usually get to set my own pace, which is a plus, but I end up with no one to talk to for 5 hours and my face is in the wind the whole time. Inevitably I end up having long and drawn out conversations about religion, politics, or BBQ with myself. This time however, I was very excited (At first, later I would be regretting being born) to have Doug and Ryan joining me for a part of the ride, and Aaron Wise joining me for the whole excursion. Let me start off by saying this: If your reading this Aaron, I'm sorry I'm so slow.

I snapped this pic of Aaron after I caught him on Mulholland. He had stopped to wait and in the time it took us to catch up had made an Espresso, drank it, and read the most recent copy of La Gazzetta dello Sport

For the first 20 miles of the ride there were four of us, Aaron, Myself, Doug Wolfe and Ryan. Doug and Ryan had things to do (pffft... Families) and rolled down the hill at different points. To that, our time on Mulholland was pretty fast, as the pace was high, I mean vomitously high (for me at least, the others were sipping mimosa's on the way up) and we were to Coldwater Canyon before I even knew it. Aaron and I jetted down Sepulveda and headed towards the beach. It was our plan to take the normal route to the beach, head up PCH to Topanga Canyon, and then head up Old Topanga for a little extra climbing. Afterwards we'd head back through the valley to get to Griffith Park. Which is what we did. Saturday was the perfect day for riding. We managed to get down to the beach and on to PCH by around 9:00 AM. Another rider named Shawn (possible misspelling there)caught us and went along up to the Old Topanga intersection. There's nothing I hate more than when super skinny cyclists like Shawn say stuff like "Oh, I'm not a very good climber" and then woosh! off the back for me like I'm dragging a cart of boulders. Honestly though by this time I'd spent most of the day barely hanging onto Aaron's back wheel so I was quite alright with the humiliation of being dropped. Oh well, my fault for taking on that "Drink Beer and Don't Ride" training program.

We stopped at the usual (CVS on Mullholland), took a break and then rolled out. We got a little lost in the valley, made our way to the bike path, then made our way off the bike path as it's kind of annoying and then hustled back to the park via Ventura/Moorpark/Riverside. It was a sweet effin ride, and if you get the chance I highly recommend riding with Aaron Wise. If you get a kick out of watching cyclist "handle" 10-12% grades while in their big ring then this is the guy to watch. Mind you that Aaron "made" that Espresso I mentioned earlier. He had an Espresso cart in tow the whole ride.

Read more!

Friday, November 7, 2008

This Seems Promising!

It seems to be that a reoccurring theme on my blog is Bicycle friendly infrastructure, and reasonably so as more and more municipalities and towns are looking seriously at the benefits of bike and pedestrian friendly paths and routes. But in an effort to trump my consistent news is this gem of a story that is actually a few days old...

According to www.bicyclenewswire The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials or (AASHTO) ha been mulling a plan for 50,000 miles of bike routes through corridors that would connect urban, suburban and rural areas. The plan has been under construction for a pretty considerable amount of time, and there have been a number of revisions since they started. At this point though, all the members of the association have signed off and it's go time!

John Horsley, executive director of AASHTO, praised the adoption of the national plan: "Bicycling is an increasingly popular transportation option that helps our environment and improves the quality of life for many Americans. AASHTO is pleased to be working with Adventure Cycling to foster the development of a national system of bicycle routes. State departments of transportation can now collaborate with local agencies and neighboring states to begin establishing these routes throughout the United States."
The great thing about this plan is it offers states and non profits the opportunity to work together with a common goal, that of creating more expansive infrastructure that's bicycle friendly. This will work to increase the amount of bicycle trips people take on a regular basis. In Europe, as well as various cities throughout the US like Portland increases in bicycling infrastructure have led to significant increases in bicycle trips taken as opposed to car trips which helps the local businesses.

Anything that's pro bike right now is good stuff, and this plan really appears to be pro bike. There seem to be a lot of things in the work not only at the local level, but also at the federal level, and now what we need to do is get everything to coordinate so we're working together, and not against each other Read more!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What Will All of This Mean for Cycling?

For those of you who have been living in caves and have only now come out there was an election and the candidate with the very socially progressive outlook won. Which is great unless your not into progress, and into sending things back 50 years like some folks are, but whatever, The socially progressive guy won, and it makes me wonder...

What will all of this mean for cycling? Will things change drastically or will things stay basically the same? I'd like to think, that with the economy in a spot of trouble, oil prices fluctuating wildly, and the populations health out spiraling downward, that things will change for the better for cycling. And aside from the small amount I spend on thinking, I spend the rest on hope, hope that pictures like this:

are in indicator of the positive change that is speeding down the road
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What About Something Like This

Many cities and municipalities across the United States have been looking seriously at increasing infrastructure for bicycles and bicycling. But one of the important elements that have been missing in many of the equations is the education element. Many communities work under the assumption that if they paint some extra lines on the road then "Problem solved"...

Throwing infrastructure solutions at bicycle integration is great, everyone knows I'd be stoked if there were bike lanes and bike paths that shadowed every road in the U.S. but the problem is bigger than that. There is also the massive issue of ideas and mores, habits and practices. This is an issue that needs work on both sides, not just motorists but also with cyclists as well. There does need to be greater education for bicycling, but there especially needs to be more education for motorists, and how to negotiate the roadway with a growing cycling community using them. It appears that the English County of Lambeth is implementing a training programs for bus and truck drivers about the hazards cyclists face when sharing the road with these monstrosities. Bike Radar has the full story, and I think this seems like a good start.
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Slow News Day

There hasn't been anything going on in the past day or so. Nothing... Nada. Today is election day so it's probably a good thing since there will be unrelenting media saturation all day today and for the next few following weeks...

Aside from politics though, and especially in the way of cycling it's just been a slow news day. I even went as far as to wade through the Advocacy forums on and all that was being discussed worth looking at was some discussions about silly looking cars and bike lanes and car horns. Aside from that there was a kid talking about how he was being harassed by the a bus driver that drives kids to his school. I weighed in on the matter but was promptly ignored as usual.

Aside from that I've still been reading the piece on Active Transportation. I skimmed through it the first time but I'm trying to give it a very detailed read this time around. It doesn't help that I have the attention span of a 3 year old... Hey what's that over there?

Oh... right. Anyway, once I get done I'll probably be all amped up about Active Transportation and I'll start my letter writing campaign and I'll start insisting that my 12 regular readers start writing their legislators as well... except for my reader in Birmingham...This doesn't apply to you.


Oh, It is my Sister's Birthday today! So Happy Birthday!!!
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Monday, November 3, 2008

Day Light Savings Time

Well, That part of the year is upon us again. It's the time of year when the air grows crisp and the morning chill pricks your ears and nose like thousands of tiny little needles. Yes, it's that time of year when the leaves on the trees turn bright and vibrant reds and yellows and oranges. It's that time of year where lovers cuddle up with scarves and hot cocoa by the fire and relish the warmth of each others company to stave off the frigid night air. Yes, It's fall, and all of these things are beautiful seasonal reminders that mask a bitter truth...

It's soon going to be too cold to ride. Which is why I moved to California. Well, truth be told, I didn't move here to extend my cycling season, I'd like to think I'm that dedicated to my passion and fitness, but I'm not. Truth is I only learned of that wonderful benefit after I had followed one of the thousands of delusional female college graduates who migrate to L.A. to pursue a career in the entertainment industry only to be chewed up and spit out because they simply "Don't have what it takes", or are simply too hooked on the pot or too lazy. But regardless of that after we went our separate ways I found Team in Training and quickly got back on the bike and started riding. The only thing that gets in the way of my cycling now is my lack of a proper lighting system and daylight savings time. Yes, that confounding, jump in time that falls about half way though the fall and lasts through the winter and into the spring really cuts into my riding time. What this ends up meaning for me is that now is the time when I start telling everyone "yea, I'm gonna hit the rollers tonight" even though I'm not going to because I'll be drinking beer. So now I'm trying to figure out ways to manipulate the sunlight hours with my iPhone and despite what WiZaRdofTiMe2099 on the iPhone Chat Forums tells me I just can't seem to get anything to work. I suppose it wouldn't be that big of a deal if I could just get my lazy rear end out of bed at a time that most senior citizens saw fit but I can't. I don't like getting up early, so until I get into my 60's or 70's I'll continue to think that daylight savings time sucks.
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