25 February 2010

On my commute

On a quiet residential street in south central Los Angeles.
What could this thing possibly be used for?

Thus Climbed Zarathustra

From our good friend Stephen, the organizer of this and previous versions:

An urban cyclocross ride/race through the Eastside of Los Angeles where participants pedal to stairways, portage their bike and climb 'em, before heading to the next one. It's fun, challenging (but do-able) and eye-opening: you'll probably see parts of LA you haven't. And if you don't want to race, no problem. During the inaugural event a few folks stopped at a garage sale and picked up a messenger bag for cheap!

Fast folks should finish in 60 to 75 minutes and more leisurely riders can complete it in about 90 minutes or so. I think. Haven't nailed down the course yet.

This is a Swarm! event.
The name? The first event was held on Nietzsche's b-day.
The flier? Courtesy of Chris. He rules.

On the facebook at bit.ly/thusclimbed


24 February 2010

Purple Drank

The purple carrots and beets were obvious. When the question, 'what
else do we have that's purple?' was asked, I got a little nervous.
Some purple cabbage and purple grapes later and we've this wonderfully
purple concoction.

23 February 2010

Top of Amethyst rd in El Sereno

Scoping out the route for Feel My Legs Im a Racer.

20 February 2010

Between the mountains and the clouds: the ocean

Cyclocross adventuring in the Verdugos scouting Moi's upcoming
'(dirty) Gentlemen's race'.

Dirt was sticky luckily, as I hadn't bothered to change my slicks, or
remove my fenders.

Carl Lewis on being a vegan athlete

How have I never seen this?

19 February 2010

Kale Soyrizo Purple Cabbage

1. Take what's in fridge.
2. Dice.
3. Pan fry in olive oil.
4. Serve with open-flame warmed corn tortillas.

16 February 2010

Adventure is contagious

My British friend Aidan, who was on my crew for the Norseman triathlon, sent me this email recently:

In a couple of weeks, Emily and I are setting off for New Zealand.
We've got a few weeks of touring around before she swims The Cook
Strait (weather permitting, somewhere between 20-26 February). It's
going to be a good adventure, and on the way back we're scheduled to
have a week in LA.

'before she swims the Cook Strait'

Hard to wrap my mind around that. Emily has a blog where she discusses this with more detail. Honestly, I prefer reading the lead-up to the wrap-up. You feel the nervousness and excitement as someone attempts to write what they are feeling and are up against. Before my biggest events I always have a part of my brain that wants to fully retreat. 'What the fuck are you doing? You can't handle this! You're in over your head!'. And then my ego has to step up and answer. My writing before events is a combination of these and can go either way depending on my mood when I sit down to type.

I'm so excited for her and trying to imagine swimming for that long. I searched for more info and came across www.cookstraitswim.org.nz. Here's my favorite part of the FAQ:

What is the most difficult part of the swim?
Getting across Cook Strait and finishing

Good to know.

15 February 2010

Okay bag, whatever you say

11 February 2010

Fragility and Fun

Every once in awhile I think about all of the stupid shit I did as a teenager-wait, even before that considering I had two concussions from bikes before I was 8- and am thankful to have a functioning body. My friend Brad sent this clip and said, 'this made me think of you.'

Into the Void - Johnny Devlin from Shadow Conspiracy.

It has been a long time since doing any of that on a bike came naturally or with ease. And I'm talking the 'easier' stuff, none of this 180-ing into rails and then 180-ing out that I've never been able to do. Bikes. Such a medium. Meanwhile though, I fall off of my road bike doing wheelies. So dumb because I actually hurt myself. Had my hands on the brakes, was three pedals in and WHAM! I'm on my ass. Thud. I thought I broke my tailbone. It still hurts ten days later and I have been beating myself up over it. How could I be so dumb? Why do I do these things? How did I let myself fall?

But I'm over that. If I start self-restricting risk and danger it would require an alteration of my entire life. Every day I'm on my bike is a risk. Whether I'm cruising along on the Eurotour or splitting lanes at 20 MPH on my track bike. If I didn't mountain bike and jump stuff I would go insane. I self-reflected on this in my Dan Cortese vs Noam Chomsky post last summer.

Those who take less risk have said, 'Just stop doing what's dangerous then you don't have to worry.' What's the exchange for that life and is it worth it? So much is dangerous. 'How do you think we can get up there?' comes up far too often. The blizzard on the East Coast reminds me of high school where we drove around 6 deep in an SUV with shovels and ladders finding our way onto buildings to jump off into snow piles. The time I jumped off a three-story building over a road and that feeling still gives me chills...

I am scared to death (which is a funny statement right?) of being seriously injured or killed. Not a day goes by where I don't take a deep breath and think, 'Wow, that could have killed me'. Not long after I watched this video and fell I heard the news that an ultra-cyclist named Bruce Taylor died from his injuries in a bicycle crash here in Southern California. We've done the same events. I've ridden with him. He was on a bike path. Safe, right?

Weighing risk is the basis of public health. We all do it. But knowing what is in us and how we want to act when not restricted is fundamental in understanding what 'danger' is and how we use it and feel it. I'm watching this (on mute with Jay-Z playing: better):

and thinking about the summer while nursing my injury...which really is pretty minor so why worry? Is death and injury a reminder of our fragility and a sign to live more or a warning to take it easy? I'm pretty sure I know the answer and I have the French to thank for articulating it:

We want nothing of a world
in which the certainty of not dying from hunger
comes in exchange for the risk of dying from boredom.

02 February 2010

Worlds colide on the reg

New fork for the soon-to-be new 29er picked up with the trusty (and
delightfully squeeky) Ross Eurotour.
'What a life' indeed.