Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wolfpack Hustle

It has not been the greatest month for cycling - only 140 miles.  I am becoming more and more aware of the Wolfpack Hustle.  On the one hand I hate the complete disregard for traffic and safety, but on the other hand I admire the speed and agility in traffic and often wish I could get up to a decent speed.  Now when I'm sprinting across an intersection, I tell myself, "wolfpack hustle, wolfpack hustle" to encourage myself, but still don't generally break 18 mph, and if I do, it's only long enough to get across the intersection.  So, I'm 110 miles short of my monthly goal, and that's not an easy target to make up, because now I start February and getting it up to speed.  I have all three rear panniers on the bike now, and I plan on traveling with all three as much as possible, although two are not loaded with anything.

More pannier experiences!

On Wednesdays I go grocery shopping for the lady I work for, and usually I do a tiny bit for myself afterwards.  Now when I say tiny, that means it has to fit in the two Bontrager side panniers... and today i was going to push it a little because I needed cat litter.  I knew I couldn't get the 21-lb containers because I had other stuff to get also plus I'd done some pet food shopping on the way to work, and those foods were still in the panniers.  So I got two 14-lb containers and put one on each side.  I know I had at least 40 lbs on the back on the bike.  I could feel it getting started, but once the momentum was up, I was good to go.  When I got home, it was as always a struggle to get the bike up the stairs, but that happened too, so I was good to go.  I still need to ride over to Smart & Final and get some lemon extract.  Maybe tomorrow morning if I am organized.

Might go riding this weekend with a friend, and if so, I'll take her down to the Ballona Creek Bridge.  Maybe we'll stop on the bridge for some pictures and a bit of a picnic.

Monday, January 21, 2013

100 milles

Taken on Whitworth, 1 block E of Robertson.
Okay, I admit, this is pretty dismal for the first 21 days of the year.  I'm thinking of doing a half century on both Saturday and Sunday to try to boost my miles for the month and stay on my goal of 250 per month.  Ugh.  I need to get prepped for the weekend.  Good thing is the weather has turned warmer.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

bike buying tips from youtube video

I found this great video tonight with lots of great tips on buying a road bike, which will be my next bike.

Varied day of cycling

Not much to blog about - only 12 miles on the bike today.  First two miles were to the pet store, bank and back.  Then a ten mile trip to work, taking the long road and even stopping at Jack In the Box. Yes, I brought the bike into the little restaurant.  Well, it was about 3:00pm and quite empty.  It was safer with me this way.  Oh, and their Jr. Jack is pretty good.  The chicken nuggets are like McD's - processed chicken something, but the honey mustard sauce is great and that covers a lot of food sins.  I'm addicted to the curly fries.  Must stop.  Must stop!  The JITB I stopped at was on Holt/Pico.  Yeah, I am guilty of visiting them quite often.  Maybe that's why I never lose any weight from cycling (I don't gain weight either). Nah, I think it's that my metabolism is just dead.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ernest Hemingway quote on cycling

"It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them" - wise words from Ernest Hemingway.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


It was supposed to rain today according to Yahoo weather, but not a raindrop appeared.  In fact, the sky was largely clear today with high, gusty winds.

I wasn't sure if I was going to ride to work or drive due to the winds, but the winds had calmed some  by midday, so I put on my arm warmers, packed a warm hoodie in the pannier, and off I went.  When I got to the intersection of Wilshire/Gale, the wind that was channeling down Wilshire Blvd nearly knocked me off my bike. 

I knew the temp was supposed to drop tonight as we're in a cold snap (cold for Los Angeles), and the windchill factor plus riding the bike made it absolutely icy, it seemed.  I started out with just the arm warmers but within a couple of blocks pulled over and pulled out the hoodie.  It was much much MUCH too cold for only arm warmers.... well, they might have been okay if my short sleeves had been longer, but they are short short sleeves.  I didn't put on my head band that covers my ears and that was a mistake because by the time I got home, my hears were practically frozen, as were my cheeks.  Plus the headwind was withering, and when I got back to the Wilshire/Gale intersection, I was nearly blown over from the east and then the west.  I had to slow to 8 mph just to keep the bike steady because I was really fighting for balance.

Tomorrow night for sure I am putting on the headband and suiting up properly before I step out the door.

I am wondering what Lance Armstrong revealed to Oprah tonight.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Yesterday on my ride I got honked at - not the annoying honk but more of a scolding honk, and when the lady drove by me, she yelled something that I couldn't understand.  I'm sure, however, that she didn't like me controlling the lane on the suburban street.  There was plenty of room to pass me, but I was NOT going to move into the door zone of the cars parked on the street.  So, whatever.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Crazy riding today

Today on the bike I went back and forth to work twice, which was about 12 miles total, but then when I got home in the evening I decided I needed a little bit of food, specifically bananas.  I'm eating two bananas per day now in efforts to overall boost my potassium intake.

I'm getting pretty good at locking the bike.  I wish it went a little faster.  Even though I'm locking it to a bike rack in a well lit area of the parking lot by Pavillions, I am constantly looking over my shoulder.  I solidly locked the wheels to the frame with cables and the seat was locked down with a cable that was threaded through the U-lock.  All the cable ends were threaded through the U-Lock, and then the U-Lock and the frame were locked to the bike rack.  It all went very smoothly.  If I'd wanted to lock down the handlebars, I would have needed my third cable, but honestly, if someone were to steal the handlebars, they'd have to cut the brakes and the damage would be substantial.  The good thing is that I have enough bananas now to last me for five days, so I don't have to shop for more until Saturday. I also indulged and got my favorite cheese bagels and some cream cheese. They are definitely NOT on the high potassium diet, but I have to ease myself into a more vegetarian lifestyle and ultimately a vegan lifestyle (although both possibilities were hammered over the weekend when I made fried chicken nuggets.  Oh well!).

Sunday, January 6, 2013

It's okay to lie - if you fess up.... what????

So here's the think about Lance Armstrong and doping.  I wanted so hard to believe he didn't do it, but I suspect the evidence that he was part of a huge cover-up is too over-whelming.  So his titles got stripped from him and he was banned.  Now there are rumors that he wants to confess so that he can be allowed in the sport again.  Well, how many parents of a punished child who confesses to a crime will say, "Okay, thanks for confessing, punishment is over."  No.  Good parents don't do that.  Confession or not, the ban needs to be in place, perhaps one year per Tour de France win, so at least seven years.  And during those seven years, pro cycling needs to do some major house cleaning and set new standards that it religiously inforces.  Otherwise it's all just a joke.

Friday, January 4, 2013

No bike today... too many cookies to carry

Today I had to drive to work because a cookie client was meeting me there to pick up his order.  It was all in a box far too big to put onto the bike.  Perhaps tomorrow I'll take an 18 mile ride to go visit Gloria's cake and Candy supply.  I don't need to go that far to go get some of my supplies, but it's a good ride, and I certainly don't care to take the car which is nearly empty anyhow.  That reminds me, though, that I need to wash out my water bottles.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Issues with my dog being lonely

Why am I writing about my sweet little dog when this is a cycling blog?  Well, because my neighbors have been complaining some about her barking for hours.  So I've been having to ride to and from home twice a day to give her a few minutes of attention, let her out to do some business, and general nonsense, then pedal back to work - a totally frenetic way to work.  Double mileage on the bike isn't all bad, but this isn't exactly how I want to rack up miles

Tomorrow I am taking her for a super long walk before I go to work to see if I can't just get her so exhausted that she'll sleep all afternoon.  Otherwise I will speak to my vet about some doggie valium.  Poor little poppet misses me something fiece.  Truly attached at the hip.

First bike ride of 2013

I'm on the bike for the first riding of 2013.  I put a new battery in my Cateye odometer, and it's reset to ZERO, which feels rather deflating after 2300 miles last year.  This year I'd like to go for 3000 miles.

The only thing about the reset is that there's something about the tire size, and it's defaulted to 210.  I don't know what it's supposed to be, but when I did a normal route this morning, it came up about 1/10 of a mile shorter than normal... which adds up in the long run.  So I will talk to my guys at I. Martin asap and see what it is supposed to be.