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for all my friends · legion of honor

legion of honor

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april_13_2013_san_francisco_marina_greens

Went for a spin around the city today.  I guess the CycleOps heart rate strap wasn’t really any better than the Garmin one, because it was reading above 105% max for a pretty long time before it normalized.  Hopefully that won’t happen again, but I’m pretty sure it will…

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I just sat here for a couple minutes thinking about something to write, but ran out of ideas, or things that I thought about during the ride.  It was nice out, that’s for sure.

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Sunday’s cruise.

San Francisco after a mellow bout of rain is always an interesting feeling, especially on a Sunday.  It’s a mixture of Sunday drivers, the anxiety of driving in the city, tourists, and crazy pedestrians that randomly cross any and all roads.  Some roads are littered with slippery leaves, others have massive puddles still evaporating from this morning.  Fun riding, either way.

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The warm weather is back and according to the forecast, it’s looking like it’ll stick around until Wednesday or so.  And of course, the warm weather means everyone’s out.  Even the crazy drivers that turn without signalling – I was almost swiped on Seal Rock, the steepest section right before the t-intersection.  A truck with it’s hazards on, right side of the road, just sitting there.  As I approached from behind, the blinkers turned off, yet he stayed in position, so I figured he had turned the car off or something, and proceeded to pass in the opposite lane, since there were no cars coming up the hill.  Then he starts turning right, into a driveway, and right in front of me, so I called out and luckily his window was down so he could hear.  Relatively quiet ride otherwise.

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After a relatively lazy day of doing laundry and vegging out doing nothing, I figured I should jump on the bike for a ride around the city.  We’re having another bout of warm weather for the next couple days, which should be nice.  It also makes me wonder if the weather is going to get cold at all.  As a side note, I met up with 20+ people from my grammar school class last night, many of which are still living/working in Bay Area.  I hadn’t seen some people in nearly 10 years, so it was nice catching up and seeing familiar faces.  It also motivated me to see them doing really, really well for themselves.

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With the laundry out of the way, I rode around the city with a clear head.  I hate lingering stuff like that.  After not riding for a couple weeks, it was a painfully uncomfortable treat to be on the city bike again.  Very few things compare to the freedom of being on a bike.

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Strolling through the city, easy style, on a Saturday is the best.  I washed the CAAD10 in the morning – it was nice not seeing a layer of caked sand on every inch of the bike for a change.  I figured I would take the CAAD5 around, get the legs spinning again.  Highlight of the ride was a random guy asking me, “How much a bike like that cost?”.  I responded with, “Ah, not too much,” which made him happy.

Side note, Garmin Connect is making the embed all weird:

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Slept in late again, but found some motivation to take out the CAAD5 and enjoy a nice spin around the city.  I figured it’d be better than nothing.  I was also pleasantly surprised to see that my heart rate monitor battery had finally died completely, not registering at all.  I guess now I can finally walk to Walgreens and pick up a new one.  As I rode through Golden Gate Park, endless rows of cars were park everywhere…and then I heard the music.  I had completely forgotten that it was Outside Lands this weekend.  There were tons of people out everywhere, taking in the spotty sunlight through the fog, and walking around.

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Another lazy spring afternoon filled with lots of wind and sunny skies.  I went along the Marina and towards Crissy, expecting the 75th anniversary tents to still be up, but to my surprise, the festivities were over, and crews were out disassembling a lot of the venues.  Dropped towards the Legion of Honor and saw a guy getting pulled over for not having his brake lights working on the trailer he was towing.  A minute later, the guy passes me up on Clement, tailed by the police officer.  As he brakes at the crest, the lights work – I’m assuming the guy didn’t get a ticket, considering they caught back up to be so quickly.  I came back around and was blasted by more wind from the coast.  Usually the short descent from the Cliff House to the beach is fast and empty, but while I was there, it was practically the opposite.  Windy and lots of cars double parked.

I cut through the park and saw this other random guy chilling in front of the De Young:

Ben and his new Vamoots road bike.  Good seeing you out, Ben!

After that, I crept up slowly to the top of Twin Peaks.  There were 3 people ahead of me on the bike lane, 2 of which were in matching fluorescent jackets.  The other guy was riding a Walmart special mountain bike, 1 piece bar and quill stem combo.  I was at least 100ft back from the Walmart guy and shifted into the small ring, in preparation for the wind tunnel we were all about to ride into.  The random try hard guy looks back at me with his visored mountain bike helmet, his loose-fitting square sling back swinging on his back, wildly, and grabs the center of his bar/stem quill, attempting to “tuck”.  He was gaining on the fluorescent couple.  It was about to go down.

But it didn’t go down.  In fact, before he even caught up to them, I caught up to him.  And then I passed him, slowly, and passed the fluorescent couple.  He seemed bummed, and hopped on my wheel, but split off somewhere along the way.

Inner city commuters are even better than Marin ones.  So excited I cruised around the city to witness such an event.

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I felt extremely lazy this morning and ditched the idea of a ride.  And then the more I thought about all the people up in Sacramento racing the Golden State Series crit and circuit this weekend, the more I like the sound of a city loop on the CAAD5.  After all, I hadn’t ridden it for a while, and with the nice weather, it’d be the perfect opportunity for some cruising.  Or at least that was the idea, initially.  So with a slew of sunscreen on, I rolled out of the house.  We’ve been having somewhat of a heatwave here, and today was one of the warmer days.  I guess that’s what I get for leaving all late.  As soon as I jumped onto the bike, my idea of cruising went right out of the window.  With the wind and hordes of tourists out, it was about to be a jammer.  My lungs could use the burn, anyhow.  First race of the season is next week, and I’ve basically done nothing but base riding.

Admittedly, it felt great to open up the valves all the way.  The sensations of puke and lung collapse now remind me how fun it was climbing through the Presidio, dropping down and then heading up to the Legion of Honor.  I was planning on tacking on Lake Merced but it’d be all wind-blown, and I would’ve run out of water by then.  Might as well just keep it strictly mountains (bro).  The park was packed as I headed up through to get to Laguna Honda.  I hit the longest light ever halfway through, but figured, ‘Ah what the hell, could happen at a race, too.’  More burning lungs and I made it to the top – cue photo above.  The descent pretty much sucked because of traffic, but I guess I wasn’t in it for the hill bombing, anyway.

Quick cut through the city back into the Presidio, which in hind sight was a horrible idea since Doyle Drive was being torn down, and all the roads that lead back towards the Marina were basically detoured.  At that point, I was just riding to get back home though, so it wasn’t too bad.

It felt amazing going a bit faster for a change.  I forgot how un-aero riding flatland with risers was, that slayed me.  At least I could tuck a bit on descents…

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