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for all my friends · December 2010

December 2010

You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2010.

frigid morning.


headed out this morning, one last morning ride before the end of the year.  unfortunately (or fortunately…), I’ve had to work the last part of this week, which means longer rides are out of the question.  if I want to ride, it has to be at the pre-dawn.  probably didn’t help that my legs weren’t functioning at 100% because of the pain from the bruises, but it definitely felt good to be back riding.  the temperatures hovered around the low 40’s with a bit of wind chill.  it was COLD.

I climbed up to the top of conzelman, and ran 3 intervals from the bottom of mccollough back to the top for an effective elevation gain of ~2700ft.  I’m sad that the accident broke my training schedule for a day, but in the grand scheme of things, I’m still very lucky to have just walked away from the accident.  tomorrow marks the beginning of a brand new year, and a whole new set of challenges.  my first race is tomorrow, the san bruno hill climb.  a 3.5mi course, with 1300ft of climbing, gradients ranging from 7-10%, the steepest parts being near the end.  I’ll be racing in the cat5 division, but hopefully I’ll get a chance to chat with some of the homies: travis, connor, ryan, gabe, and a few others will all be out there, racing tomorrow morning.  fingers crossed for clear weather, the forecast reads as an 80% chance, temperatures ranging from 45-50*.  definitely bringing the rain jacket!

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I was riding home from work, and not a minute later, I found myself on the ground, pinned between a bumper, my bmx bike, and the ground.  I was riding from 4th and townsend towards 3rd, to make a left and start heading up towards market, back home.  a car in the opposite lane, without signaling, or indicating in any way, began to make an illegal u-turn across the double yellow line, and came up from diagonal left, behind me.  the car impacted my left pedal, sending me on the ground.  my left leg was sandwiched between her bumper and the top tube of my bike.  the pedal was jammed under her car, and I couldn’t break free.  she continued to drive for 5-10ft as I screamed for her to stop.  she stopped.  she put the car into reverse and I screamed.  it would’ve brought the bike upright, effectively snapping my leg.

she got out of the car, and looked at me.  two pedestrians that witnessed the accident came by my side and lifted me from the front of her car, out of traffic.  one of them went back and pulled my bike from under her front bumper.  the other called the police, and within a few seconds, ambulance, fire, and police cars rolled up.  the cop took down the information from the accident, and soon, I was on my way to general hospital.  my lower part of my left leg, near my ankle, was hurting the most.  it was the part that was pinned between her bumper and my bike.  my right knee had also impacted the ground.  my right elbow had struggled to keep me upright during the accident, so it had minor scrapes and a surface bruise.

the put me in one of the emergency rooms, and ran an x-ray.  they placed me in the hall as I waited for the results, which turned out to be clear.  the pain is from the deep bruising on my left and right legs, but I’ll be okay.  my brother picked me up and we tossed the bmx in the back of the car, and drove home.

I am grateful for everyone that helped me, and everyone that was concerned.  I’ll be back riding soon.  be safe out there.


well, that rear rim isn’t straight at all…

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I made it about 4 blocks away from my house, and smacked a nasty pothole that ended up destroying my rear tube.  after swapping it out for a fresh one, I rode back home to properly inflate it.  now I was running behind my normal morning schedule, AGH.  nothing beats the guilty feeling of being late.  it’s a lingering, burning feeling that somehow (maybe due to circumstances out of your control) you FAILED or on the path to fail.  I planned on riding out to rodeo beach, but the barrage of wind that blasted from the coast said otherwise.  it was at least 15-25mph, constantly, with wind gusts that nearly brought the bike to a stand-still.  I was seeking redemption.


I took bunker tunnel to the backside of the headlands, mccollough to the top of conzelman.  the backside seemed much more shielded from the wind, which kept my hands and feet a bit warmer.  near the top, the wind started picking up more, but the clouds it pushed away seemed to almost make it worth it.  the bridge and city were unobstructed by clouds, the air was thoroughly circulated with the heavy wind.  mmm, fresh coastal air.  I descended down to the roundabout, climbed to the top, descended back down to the intersection at bunker (backside), and made my way back to the top.  an interval sandwich…though, I regretted not going back to the bottom the second time around, oh well.

next time.

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more pre-dawn goodness.  it was pitch black out today, an interesting fog formation hovered over everything.  it reminded me slightly of the independence day, where the ship hovered over the city, but I digress.  you can actually see clear across the water, straight into san francisco, which is pretty awesome.  just another quiet day in marin – I believe I saw 5 riders total, a majority of which were heading towards marin as I was coming back.  it must be the holiday season.  dry roads, with some puddles on descents kept my mind occupied.

as a side note, I’m thinking about jumping back on the track bike for city riding, and twin peaks climbs.  the views in marin are nice, but nothing beats climbing up to see clear down market, as well as shredding through tires all the way down.  I went through 39 tires from 2008-2009 on my windsor and pista concept, clocking in roughly 250-450mi weekly.  it was crazy, awesome, and most of all, fun.  plus, I feel a bit bad for my cannondale track bike, it doesn’t get ridden nearly as much as my road bike.  and I’m sure that riding two completely different types of bikes will help me become more tactile with handling them both.  I’ve learned a lot (and I still have more to learn) since the last time I’ve ridden the track bike.  various things like tire pressure/drop, tire compound, crank length, setback, saddle to bar drop, tilt, reach, etc.  it’s going to be my little side project, since racing my road bike is obviously my priority.  there’s not too much to tweak, I’ve made a small parts list:

saddle: selle italia flite, titanium rails. the vintage shaped one, not the modern one.  the slr saddle is minimalist, decently comfortable, but meant to be used with a chamois and bib shorts.  there’s very little padding for this reason, the same goes for most other modern saddles.  plus, the slr on the track bike is pretty much toasted, I might as well try something new!

cranks: shimano dura-ace 7600 crank arms.  yea, I’ve got the exact same ones on the bike right now…so why buy them again?  well, the ones on the bike are 165mm in length, which is great for shoe clearance on the front wheel, but much too short for what I need.  not sure what I was thinking when I first started riding on 165’s…that was kind of a bad idea.  and I’m fairly certain I’ll have a much nicer spin up with longer ones.  I’ll be going with 170mm on my next pair.  very excited, these cranks give me bedroom eyes.

pedals, shoes: time atac xs, sidi dominator 5.  wowza, 2 bolt pedals and cleats as opposed to running look 3 bolts?  yea, it’s time to make the jump.  I’m keeping my sidi ergo2’s strictly for road riding.  plus, a wonky cleat on the front won’t allow me to walk around once I’m off the bike.  ever try ted-shredding in road shoes?  wouldn’t really work, since there’s no rubber on the bottom of the shoe, just composite material to make it lightweight and stiff.  and trying to shred just on the heel pad…yikes, it’s hard and doesn’t slow down quickly at all.  the dominators will give me versatility and durability for city riding.  and, they’ll work with my custom insoles (another reason why I’m sticking with clipless and not regular pedals, clips, and straps).

valve extenders.  yea, I’m going to run the reynolds in the city.  I built them up to be ridden, it’d be a shame if I let them go unused.  the stock reynolds valve extenders are loose and leak air.  they’re definitely not as secure as the sram or zipp ones on my road wheelset.

and I think that’s pretty much it.  stay tuned for cannondale track v2.1.

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back to pre-dawn.


oh yes, back on the bike this morning.  pre-dawn steez, you know what it is.  there’s only one word that describes the road conditions today: QUIET.  it felt like something out of 28 days later – there were probably 2 cyclists I saw out riding, a couple of runners, and some cars when I initially left for rodeo beach.  I’m assuming people are still recovering from the holiday weekend, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if it continued to be quiet through next week as well, since new years eve/day are coming up next weekend.  oh, and the fact that both holidays land on the weekends?  people will be getting nuts, which leaves the mornings on weekdays quiet and calm.  excellent.

I did spot a bit of frost on the grass in the headlands though, which made me a bit concerned for my tires.  there were also some large puddles and gravel sections around rodeo beach due to the heavy wind and rain a couple days ago.  it was clear and crisp out in the headlands today, much nicer than the thick, muggy fog that choked the bridge and the city.  you can see it in the photo above, the fog basically covered everything past the bridge.  although, I’m a bit disappointed that my hand couldn’t hold the phone steady…thus the blurriness.

oh well, I guess I’ll try again tomorrow morning.

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level up.


5foot tall bamboo stalks for my new vase.  they dwarf my previous 3ft ones!

thanks for the glass vase, mom!


holiday recovery.


hope everyone had a good holiday.  I’ll be back on the bike tomorrow for another full week of morning riding, hopefully peaking my fitness for the san bruno hill climb on new year’s day, january 1st.  my first race of the season, STOKED.

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x-mas eve ride.


the weather was brisk and clear today, out in marin.  I left the house a bit later than usual, sleeping in until 7am, *gasp*!  because of that, I saw many more cyclists out, enjoying the weather and roads.  unfortunately, because of the holidays, there were lots of drivers out in marin, a majority of them not paying attention to the bike lane lines, or signaling when turning.  taking it slow until the bike path seemed to be a good idea.  I hit 4 corners through mill valley, and continued up to the ranger station via panoramic highway.  the road conditions on the climb were flawless.  cars came every so often, but passed with ease.  it was quiet out there.

I stopped briefly to top off my bottle before descending towards stinson beach.  as I made my way down to the ranger station, I saw daniel (cyclocross/road rider that goes to freewheel hayes) and another guy he was riding with.  we chatted for a second about where they had come from (muir, stinson – the reverse of what I was about to do) and how empty the roads were.  I left them, and descended towards the coast.  there was still a bit of water on the ground which was a bit of a surprise, considering all the roads were dry from mill valley, out.  it was probably because the trees keep the road shaded, and any overnight dew from the trees drip down onto the road.  either way, I stayed cautious and took apexes slowly.

the massive rolling coastline of highway 1 is unparalleled.  the jaw-dropping views, paired with the steady elevation changes make for one of the best sections of road in marin.  I stopped at one of the vantage points and took the picture above.  there’s nothing quite like it.  I continued on towards muir woods, and made my way back towards mill valley.  yes, this is the exact same ride that I did yesterday, 55 miles and 4000ft later:


of course, on the descent down, a silver vw jetta in front of me decided to abruptly pull off to the side of the road without signaling…that was a bit sketchy, I jammed my brakes and my rear tire locked up as I screamed, “WHOA, COME ON MAN!”.  luckily he stopped and let me pass, but damn, that was one of the last things I was expecting after a brutal ride.  note to self: never let the guard down, expect people to do stupid sh*t.

hope everyone is having a safe holiday weekend!

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the rain cleared overnight, and I headed to the bridge to meet ryan (team mike’s bikes), hank, and two other guys from roaring mouse.  we headed across the bridge, down into sausalito, but I lost them on the way out.  we regrouped at a light in mill valley, and made our way to 4 corners.  I wanted to keep the pace quick up the climb, so I passed the guys and made my way to the top alone.  I stopped at the ranger station to top off my bottle.  the route to 7 sisters and alpine dam was gated off, possibly due to bad road conditions, but they continued on anyway.  I split off to hit stinson beach, and eventually highway 1.  the descent was a bit moist, and the wind bit hard into my layers.  luckily, I started climbing the rollers back towards muir woods, so that kept me fairly warm.

there were some cars out, but it was quite empty, for a majority of the ride.  I made my way down into muir woods, and back out to mill valley.  I passed some random guy in a full white/red kit on the descent back, and he glued himself to my wheel for a couple miles.  as we came to the end of the bike path, I spotted the light turn green for a couple seconds, and jumped through.  he must’ve gotten stuck, because that separated him from me.  he didn’t even call the next day, I felt so used (HAHA).  I rode through sausalito, took e road to the bridge parking lot, and climbed conzelman to the top of the headlands.  around 55 miles and 4000ft of climbing later, the cherry on top of the whole ride!

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yea, it rained.  hard.  the radar had this fast moving, yellow cloud system moving over san francisco when I initially checked the forecast.  the precipitation is usually greenish on the radar, which means light rain.  yellow is one level up from that…and the rain was brutal.  everything seemed to be going well, until I made my way around rodeo beach a second time.  something felt a bit off, and the rotation on my rear tire went wobbly.


another rear flat.  I believe the count is 4, now.  all of which have been at rodeo beach in the last 2 months.  the tire seemed fine, and I couldn’t spot the culprit since the sun was still laying low in the thick fog.  luckily, the rain lightened up a bit, and I was able to swap out the tube quickly.  I made it back to san francisco, safe and sound, but regretted not pumping up my rear tire more.  the low psi made the ride feel as if the rear tire was going flat, so I was constantly checking the pressure with my hand at various points.

I think I’ll take off the tire and redo the tube when I get back home tonight.  the bike is getting a wash, anyway.  and the forecast is looking clear for the next two days!  riding in the dry?  I’ll take it.

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