Thursday, May 31, 2007

joe says...

I know I haven’t mentioned much about coffee, yet. There must be dozens of coffee enthusiasts just dying to hear it mentioned here. I mean, it is mentioned in my profile and in my header so I guess I should say something lest I be accused of falsely representing my blog. But, what can really be said. I drink coffee. It’s the only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning. I take it black - at least to start things off. Then later in the day I’ll usually switch to a soy latte when I meet Dan the Man for ride/coffee/ranting dates. I’m not opposed to decaf either. Later in the day I find it’s a smart choice and tastes just as brown. Although, my sister nearly disowned me recently for uttering the D word. I guess I’m just not that picky. Just like that Blues Traveler song: “I like coffee and I like tea… lalalalalalalalalala didi… I know no matter what the waitress brings I will drink it and always be full, yes…” Hmm, that’s actually pretty deep. Always be grateful… for coffee and bikes and friends and blogs…

Wednesday - I think I’m going to convert this to a weekly total soon.
Run 7
Bike 3

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

not quite a Luddite

I’ve heard about this new technological breakthrough in the world of mountain cycling. It’s called suspension. It seems like a really good idea. Why take the extra trail abuse if it’s not necessary? I’ve been thinking about getting a suspended bike for the last several years. Having never ridden one, though, I’m still skeptical about their performance. Especially, since half of the ride is generally uphill when it doesn’t seem like an advantage, but an anchor/weight. At the moment I’m in love with the Santa Cruz Superlight .

In place of a new/newer bike I’m considering changing the handlebars so that when the washboard sections of trail do rattle the ride, at least my hands will be in a proper/comfortable position. I think mustache bars might be a little extreme (although, I do think they’re pretty). Anyway, some kind of bars that bring the pinkie side of my hands more towards me seem nice.

Bike 10
JD/DC (jack daniel’s and diet coke) 1

Run 7 – so painful on the quads, but getting better with each mile
Bike 10

Monday, May 28, 2007

fun mountain run

Wow, that Mt Wilson run was a lot harder than I expected. My legs have been so sore since Saturday. I guess I haven’t been doing much trail running lately. My quads are killing from running down the mountain. I’ve been hobbling around ever since. The race was awesome, though. I had a really fun time. I can’t wait ‘til next year. Hilary and I ran it together with a few of her co-workers.

It was definitely the smallest organized race I’ve ever been a part of. I saw bib numbers going up to 350, but it seemed smaller than that. It’s a good thing that they do limit the numbers on this run, though, because it’s mostly singletrack. I ended up getting trapped behind a lot of people on the way up. This was frustrating for the competitive side of me, but I was able to stay calm and remember/notice that it was really cool to just be out there on a beautiful morning with a bunch of running enthusiasts.

The front-runners were really moving. The winning time was something like 1 hour and 30 seconds. It was an out and back course, so it was pretty crazy when the fast folks were headed back down the mountain while us slow pokes were still heading up. It was a tight squeeze between steep drop offs and speedy runners.

We went out for Margaritas afterward. That turned out to be a bad idea. By mid-afternoon we were totally floored and useless.

Run 3
Bike 8

Run 8.6
Margaritas 2, XX (dos equis) 1

Bike 10
Sierra Nevada 5, Mendocino Red Tail 1, Heineken Light 1, Pacifico 1?

Friday, May 25, 2007

fast recovery

I went out for a short easy run Thursday to test out the feet, ankles, knees, hips, back, neck, etc. – everything that got whacked when I fell off my bikes on Monday. I felt a little creaky at first, but by the end of the run everything seemed to be falling into place with only very minor discomfort, so it looks like I’m still a Go for the Mt. Wilson Trail Race this Saturday. It should be a fun time.

I haven’t decided if I’m going to run Friday, the day before Mt Wilson. I probably will – just to work out any last kinks in my stride – maybe another easy three miles. It’s not like I’m trying to set any records on Saturday and it’s only 8.6 miles – half of that being downhill.

After the run we’re heading to the best restaurant in the world – Mijares Mexican Restaurant in Pasadena. It’s been around for over 85 years. They’ve created a low calorie margarita made with Splenda that they call the “Spa Margarita!” Have a nice weekend.

Run 3
Bike 8
Blue Moon 1, Sierra Nevada 2

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Dead tree outside my window yesterday.

Live tree outside my window today.

Dead tree.

Live Tree.

Moon rising over live tree. I think that's good luck.

Walk 3 for burrito
Bike 6 on the Schwinn for a test ride
Bike 3 on Mindful Mule (right) for groceries
Sapporo Reserve 1


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

project bike

This bike has been in the family for a long time. My Dad bought it just before I was born. I remember riding on the back of it in a child seat. I felt like I was so high up off the ground and when we went up a slow hill we’d rock back and forth and it felt like I’d fall out at any moment – no seatbelt or helmet, of course – those were the days! Then I rode it around for a while when I was in seventh grade even though it was too big for me. It was my daily commuter from 1998 to 2000. And since then it’s been waiting to buck me off as revenge for neglect.

I found out some info about it from the serial number on Sheldon Brown’s Website: It’s a Schwinn Super Sport manufactured in January 1971. Apparently it has Fillet Brazed joints on the frame which Sheldon seemed to think was pretty nice, but I have no idea about that kind of thing. It’s Crome Molybdenum Steel. It originally sold for $136.95. It will be fun to get it back out on the road. Considering that it’s been sitting outside for about 25 of the last 35 years, it’s in pretty good shape. A little oil here and there and I think it’ll be ready for the pub ride. I just need to give it/her/him a name. Any suggestions?

Bike 8
Drink 0
Crash 1

Monday, May 21, 2007

stupid boy crashes two bikes at once

I was just reminded of how it feels to hit the pavement. I don’t think I’ve crashed like that since my BMX days which ended about twenty years ago. I’ve been doing a lot more biking lately, and so I’ve been concerned about the inevitability of a crash. However, I’ve been assuming it would be related to some incident with a car. This accident was totally different. As I mentioned in my last post, I want to fix up an old bike of mine that I haven’t ridden in about seven years. The bike has been sitting outside that whole time at my parent’s house about 3 miles away. So, today I decided to go pick it up, but since I don’t want to drive a car anymore unless I really have to I decided I could ride back home on my current bike while holding onto the old bike and ride it along next to me. That’s a maneuver I haven’t attempted in about twenty years (again). Everything was going well. I even stopped for a coffee on my way home. Then in the last stretch, the old bike veered towards me and got tangled in the bike I was riding. It’s hard to piece together exactly what happened next. I didn’t want to fall onto either bike so I pushed the old bike out to the left with my left hand and managed to fall right in between the two right on my butt in sort of a slide with my left foot out front and my right foot tucked back and behind me. I wish I could see the replay. As I was sliding down the road on my butt trying to untuck my right leg I looked up to see the old bike ghost riding down the street and into the curb about 40 feet ahead of me. It didn’t want to give up on its first ride in years. It was totally crazy. Somehow, I managed to escape serious injury. My right shoe came off and I tore a big hole in my sock, but no scratches or anything. My left knee and hip feel a little tweaked and my right heel feels pretty bad – I’ve been icing it all afternoon. The old bike looks pretty much fine. The current bike has some minor dings. I’m a little shaken up, but mostly I’m feeling very lucky. I’ll probably be very sore tomorrow.

Most surprising of all, though, is that after seven years, the inner tubes in the old bike still held enough air pressure to roll home.

I wish every week was bike week

Bike week wrapped up this weekend with the Bike Expo which was great. It was held, like most of the other events and ride starts, in the courtyard outside Gordon Biersch restaurant and bar (hence: all the Golden Exports this week). There were lots of exhibitors including the very small and local. The highlights for me were Bicycle Fixation and Townsend Cycles
I got a chance to talk with the people that ran these companies and they were really nice and seemed to care a lot about people and bikes and quality.

There were some really cool bikes on display. And of course I didn’t have my camera. There might be some photos on the C.I.C.L.E. website. Some of the best bikes were old restored bikes. I’m tempted to restore one of my old spider web/rust bikes now. Or at least get it out on the road again. I just have to make sure to keep myself from turning it into a fixie. Fixed gears look so awesome and simple. They really attract my attention. I guess some part of me really wants to be trendy. I’ve never ridden a fixed gear bike so I don’t understand their appeal on a mechanical level. Right now I’m still addicted to shifting. Today I’m going to rest and let the sunburn fade.

Run 7
Bike 11
Golden Export 2

Bike 23
Golden Export 1, Sierra Nevada 1, Margarita 1, Fat Tire 3

Run 3
Bike 32
Apple Cider 1, Fat Tire 1

Friday, May 18, 2007

Datura inspiration

I crossed paths with the Sacred Datura on my run Wednesday (probably wrightii/meteloides) – it’s blooming with it’s large white trumpet flowers– gotta get a photo – gotta charge the camera – gotta take the camera with me – so much to remember. Datura is a beautiful plant friend/spirit guide of mine. I learned about Datura from Francisco at the native plant nursery I used to work at. Actually, I learned a lot about everything, about life, from him. I’ll have to write more about him sometime. Datura can be a very dangerous plant. If ingested without care and respect it can lead you on some terrible journeys. But it can also be a wise teacher and provide a perspective of reality that is rooted deep within the earth. It made me happy and energized to see this plant again this spring. So I went a little further on my run. It felt really good. I wanted to add an extra 3 mile loop, but then remembered that I haven’t done many longer runs recently, and didn’t want to push my mileage too much all at once. A 28% increase is quite enough for now. Maybe I am learning something from reading all these endurance blogs. The image is a sketch I made of the bridge.

Run 9 (past the bridge to the Rose Bowl)
Bike 7
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (my favorite) 1

Bike 19
Asahi 1
Guinness 1

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"please allow me to introduce myself" (part 1)

I call myself Jonah Skye. This is not the name my parents gave me. It’s one that I chose for myself about six years ago when I was out in Joshua Tree. There’s something about being out there in the desert that is very powerful. It’s simple. There’s no obvious sign of the urban environment that we’ve grown so accustomed to. And in that simplicity I feel a deeper connection to what might be called spirit or soul or god or mother earth. So there I was with two friends sitting in a circle on the earth as the sun set. I was at a transitional stage in my life - in between relationships, about to leave home for a long-term volunteer project, and generally doing a lot of spiritual seeking/reading/shifting. I was in my late twenties and trying to find my true self. I’m not really sure how it started, but each of us decided to change our names that night. Star Smoke went first, then Pilgrim Party, and then Jonah Skye. Skye refers to the Isle of Skye off of Scotland and represents my ancient past. I later read the Book of Jonah in the Bible to find out more about that name. Luckily, it’s the shortest book in the Bible (I think, really short, anyway). Basically, though, god gives Jonah the task of spreading his message. Jonah stalls and stutters and blows off these instructions several times, but each time gets a new chance to try again. I interpret this as a story about trying to live our lives as closely as we can to what our true self or soul is craving. Being our self is not as easy as it seems. There are a lot of distractions in this world and we end up following the lead of others for much of our lives. So, by calling myself Jonah I am able to remind myself to be real and true and find my own path in this place.

Tuesday Log
Run 7
Bike 11 (just crossed over 1000 miles this year!)
Drinks 0 (and only a little bit shaky/groggy).

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

bikes and fiddles

Yea! Bike Week is here. C.I.C.L.E. is showing movies and holding clinics and group rides all week long in Pasadena. It started off with a group ride yesterday morning to escort the mayor to work along with about 50 riders and bike cop support. When we arrived at city hall there was food and live music by the Mariachi Divas. I’m looking forward to hanging out with the bike community a lot this week. Oh, and last night before a couple of bike related documentaries, Triple Chicken Foot played us all some great fiddle/banjo/guitar music.

Sunday Log
Run 7
Bike 8 (to mom’s)
Becks 4

Monday Log
Bike 18
Sam Smith 1
Jack and Diet Coke 1
Golden Export 2

I think this drink log is working for me. It’s actually a bit embarrassing to post it. Hopefully that will help me cut it back and save a lot of money/health. Will you help me get down to one a day?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

nice normal weekend

Happy Mother’s Day. Went for a run to the bridge with Hilary (my girlfriend – no blog, yet) this morning. It was nice. We got to do a lot of talking. Usually she’s pretty tuned into her ipod, but for some reason not today. Pictured to the right is the collection of rocks that we place at the base of the bridge each time we run. I place one rock and Hilary usually places one stick each time we make it up there. We’re getting ready for the Mt Wilson Trail Race coming up in 2 weeks. We’ve got a small group of people that will be running with us. I think it should be fun. I haven’t been in an organized run for a couple years. I’m looking forward to it. It’s an 8.6 mile course with about 2,100 feet of elevation gain. Just the right stats to work up a healthy appetite for pancakes and a few pints afterwards.

Shoe report: still love the moon shoes – I only call them that because I think they look like an astronaut should be wearing them with all that silver color.

I didn’t make it to my favorite Brown Mtn trail. Instead I tried a new route with a friend. It was a steep paved road toward Mt Lowe. I could only keep up about 3 or 4 miles per hour. Then a treacherous (in my opinion) single track (Sunset Trail) on the way back down. I have no suspension on my bike so that route down was a little outside of my ability. We made it down safe, but I don’t think I’ll try that again. I think I spent as much time carrying my bike as I did riding it. But it was beautiful up there. There’s a lot of flowers blooming right now and it’s been a little cooler the last few days (mid 70’s). So the ride was a little steep and technical for me, but all in all it was a pretty good time – it’s nice to push the limits once in a while. I spent most of the rest of the day relaxing on the shady patio at the Pub. Hope you all (the two people that might be reading) had a nice weekend.

Friday Log
Run 7
Bike 22
Sangria 2
Guinness 2

Saturday Log
Bike 29
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale 3
Rasputin Stout 1 (just a taster size)
Apple Cider 4ish

A note on alcohol: part of the reason I’m logging my drinks here is so I can see for myself what the situation really is with my alcohol consumption. I’d like to see that section of the log decrease and the riding and running sections increase.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Moon Shoon

Here's a shot of my favorite new moon shoes. They're so awesome. I took them out on a quick ride last night to test them out and I have to say that I love 'em. My last pair of clipless shoes are about 10 years old and for some reason I was under the impression that when you wear cycling shoes they shoe be tight and uncomfortable, like rock climbing shoes, but now in my older wisdom I'm realizing a few things. One of these things is that one should wear shoes that fit well and comfortably. I mean, what's the point have having cramped up and cold feet when you're trying to enjoy a ride or a rock or whatever? So, I'm excited about these shoes - I like shoes, I guess. Can't wait to take them up to meet Brown Mtn. this weekend.

Thurs. Log:
Run: 7 (Suicide Bridge, as usual)
Bike: 7 (to the pub)
Guinness: 4 (proper pints)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

beginner's luck

Okay, well that was an experience setting this thing up. I really have no idea what I'm doing here at this point, so bare with me - I'll get it figured out sooner or later. So, I've been reading a bunch of blogs lately and I've been inspired to start one myself. I'd like to thank Jill and her main man Geoff, Lauren, Shawn, Peanut, Quinn, and of course, Catra! (Oh, and Mr. and Mrs. Cook, welcome back.) You all are great and I've really enjoyed reading your blogs over the past couple of months. I'm not really sure where all this will be heading, but it will most likely mention bikes and running and drinking and dreaming and all sorts of other random stuff. I like what some of you have done with your running/riding logs - maybe I'll copy that. And now I can post comments for you all, too. Thanks for the inspiration. Here it goes...