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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015

Rolling Cowboys

Cool name for a shop - Seen in Little Ethiopia, Los Angeles, CA

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

eyes in the back of your head

Knowing what's going on around you in traffic is so key to safe riding. So here are two tips to knowing what's behind you without turning around.

You're riding through an intersection. An oncoming car is waiting to turn left. After you pass through they will either turn left behind you immediately or wait. If they turn immediately you generally have at least a gap of space/time behind you. If they wait to turn then there's a car bearing down on you. 

People like to wash their cars. A lot. They get them all real nice and shiny. Back tailgates and hatchbacks and bumpers and the like make for occasionally great rearview mirrors. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

where's a car when you need one

The magnetic sensors in the road that trigger a traffic light to change rarely work for bicycles in my town. I guess all the lights with these sensors also have pedestrian cross buttons to trigger a light change but sometimes I don't feel like riding up on the sidewalk. So I wait for a car or pedestrian to arrive. It's usually a short wait. But often also one of those surprising moments of stillness - sitting quietly in the glaring fall sunshine...

Friday, October 23, 2015

Thursday, October 22, 2015

the endless cycle…

old tube tool

I finally got around to tightening the headset on "Totally 80's." It's been loosening on its own as I ride and I've been hand tightening on the fly. I don't have the perfect size wrench for it - I think maybe it's 1-1/8 or 1-1/4. So I use the adjustable wrench which can mark the nut. I used to use a rag to protect the nut. This time I used a piece of old inner tube and it worked much better.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

the tool floor

i like to keep things where i can see them...

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

three fingered wave

When I cross paths with other runners it seems natural for me to give a little wave of acknowledgement and encouragement for a person that is choosing to be out participating in the same activity. I'm more likely to wave if I'm on a trail - somehow the sidewalks and streets have become all business. 

Hikers will often do this, too. Maybe that's where I learned it. They'll even say Hi or stop to exchange information. 

Bicyclists do this. Usually just a wave or a nod of the head but only, seemingly, if you're dressed in the same manner and/or riding an equivalent or better bike. 

On longer runs I carry a water bottle in one hand. Sometimes I'll switch the bottle to my outside hand so I can wave with the closer hand to the other runner - I'm not sure why but maybe it just seems more welcoming. 

Sometimes I don't switch the bottle but just raise three fingers while holding the bottle with the other two. I do this when I get tired or someone appeared unexpectedly or I've already waved to the same person earlier in the run.

Some people refuse to wave back. Or say Hi. Or smile. Or acknowledge my presence in anyway. Maybe they're lost in thought. Or have a different perspective on what it means to be a part of the running community. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

good idea

Tie some sparkly ribbon to your seat post...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

hand stand Or smooth move Or sweetness

I went out to dinner with "the ladies" tonight. The Lady and The Daughter and The Gran. We met there having come from different parts of our days. They took a car. I took a bike. After dinner, on the way home, they passed me (could have given me a little more space!) but I caught up to them at the light at the bottom of the hill and I rested my left hand on her right rear view mirror as casually as if that were just what cyclists always did as they got to a stop light - and wouldn't that be so nice! No need to un/de/clip or foot down. They noticed. The light turned green. We rode off into the sunset… 

Monday, August 10, 2015


[after heavy editing] Please use the turn signal mechanism provided with your vehicle every time you change direction… 

bringing sexy back!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

running the plank

Before your next run (or ride, or day) try a quick planking exercise. Even just 20 seconds or so helps to engage the core which should help you find proper running form sooner and make for a more enjoyable experience. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

front row parking...

…as usual

nice bike and/or...

As I was riding home from my regular Sunday morning group ride today I heard someone call out from a passing car, "Nice bike!" I was turning left from the middle of a moderately busy intersection and trying to navigate through traffic so I couldn't quite interact or reply. I thought about the comment for a bit. I mean, yes, it's a nice bike - midnight purple, Faliero Masi, Ultegra, etc… But, really, what I think/hope she wanted to say was, "Nice Ass!" 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

humorous bike locking

One of my friends got her bike almost stolen recently. Miraculously someone saw it in progress and the thief was stopped. Unmiraculous was that I'd told her that her bike was locked up only to her front wheel and she should lock it up better and not leave it out for days at a time locked improperly. 

I do my share of improper locking myself, although, not in high traffic areas. Almost every Sunday morning I lock my bike to itself (front wheel to frame) next to my garage after pumping up the tires and otherwise prepping it for The Brunch Ride. Then I go back inside and get kitted up and such - usually only leaving the bike alone for several minutes. 

Today, though, with the recent bike theft attempt in my mind, I locked the front wheel to the frame AND an old metal tub that's great for icing down beverages on the back patio on warm summer evenings. It seemed a humorous scene, imagining someone trying to walk off with that collection of cabled together oddities. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

a touch of PF

For the last few days I've had a sensation in my right heel. It's like there's a sewing needle imbedded in the far back and to the right. Is this Plantar Fasciitis? I looked it up and apparently it's very common with runners. Luckily for me it doesn't bother me when I'm running. But I fear that it could someday progress into a terribly depressing hobblement. So I suppose I'll take the course of action  I've always taken with my many injuries and ailments: a) ignore the pain. b) increase my activity level. c) plead  ignorance. d) drink more alcohol. e) run like the wind. f) get some kind of new accessory - I'm thinking maybe a seventies style headband… g) blog it!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

bloody nipples

Yes, this a running blog, too. And it's been hot and humid. And combined with a bit of chronic dehydration some of us may find ourselves - as one of my friends recently, and so eloquently described it - wearing the number eleven jersey… Well, based on one test run you needn't look any further for a solution for here it may be found! Chamois Cream! Yes, this is a biking blog, too. Apply chamois cream where you need it on a run and your problems may well be solved! Eureka! 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Or perhaps this is what one could categorize as mid-life crisis. Something needs to change. I just can't keep riding these hammerhead bikes. Or maybe I should stop riding! I'm always tempted by the idea of fancy new carbon frame models but can they fit a wide enough tire? Can I squeeze a 28 in there? Is 28 even enough? Am I barking up the wrong tree? Should I be going full in for steel randonneur style? Should I "make the leap" to… dare I say it… 650B?! And I can't just think of my present self but need to plan ahead for the rider I'll be next year and maybe ten or more years into the future. I can't imagine I'll want a carbon racer when I'm 25% older…  

Or maybe getting a carbon racer will breathe new life into my riding...

But maybe getting a steel rando will guide me in the direction I really ought to be going…

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day

It was kind of a weird Earth Day for me. Or maybe it was perfect. I can't figure it out.

I had an appointment at the DMV to renew my license at 3pm. It had been 15 years since I'd set foot in there. I was anxious. Remembering all the early eighties horror stories of long lines and bureaucracy…

I rode my bike there. It's Earth Day! Of course.

How can going to the DMV on Earth Day be perfect? Well, on bike remember… it celebrates/protests all that we juggle: our decisions… our reality… our passions…

And it turns out that the DMV ain't so bad these days. I was in and out of there in 14 minutes!

I felt so relieved.

I went buy the pub to celebrate on the way home.

Bike: 17.25 miles.

Happy Earth Day… everyday...

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thursday, March 5, 2015


This is my new running mantra. It really helps me to understand and remind myself throughout the run what I need to be doing with my stride - it's amazing that after all these miles I still need to focus and keep myself running efficiently but, for me, at least, form always falls apart - I begin to wander… 

The Power part comes from a strong down step - that seems to be what generates speed.

The Glide part comes from all moments in between the Power step when everything quickly reverts to a relaxed float… a glide. 

These are two very different aspects, I know, but I feel they need to both be there in repetitive alternation for maximum speed and efficiency. 

I like the mantra for other reason, too. It reminds me of that old transmission from GM. The PowerGlide - smooth and easy and powerful and fast - like some big, blue Malibu stealing through the desert night 

N Express

I went for my usual neighborhood run this evening. It's a simple, short, out-and-back - to the top of the hill/street and back. But on Thursdays the Farmers Market takes up residence right in the middle of my route. Which is fine - only a minor dread - and really, a nice change of scenery. Today I was briefly excited by one of the vendors. My first glimpse of their truck gave me the impression that it was a running shoe demo truck - what I saw painted on the side of the truck was N Express. And so, naturally, obviously, I was sure that New Balance had come to find me! But that first view was partially obscured by another vendor's truck. What it really said - as I soon learned - was Cumin Express. Not really the truck I was hoping for… 

the three bears

Sunday, February 22, 2015

men to match my mountains

I was standing at my bus stop this afternoon. Standing because it was raining and the bench was wet. I was well dressed for the occasion with boots and jacket and umbrella. Still a bit wet, though. It seems I can never really hide from the rain - some people seem to have a knack for it - not me - I'm always a wet rat. 

I stood there for 25 minutes. In the rain. Waiting for my bus. One came by and stopped but the driver said it was "discharge only" and that he was sorry but he couldn't pick me up in the pouring rain - I get it - same thing happened to me last time except the driver was like all "Hey, Baby, I 'm supposed to be discharge only, but just hop in and let's go…" Thank you, Bitchin' Bus driver lady. You're so cool.

But today, no. More rain. And, that's fine. As I said, I was prepared. But I just really wanted to make it to the pub quick because my window of availability was closing fast… I need my 90 minutes of Sunday relaxation, you know… 

Eventually I made it and everything was really just fine and cool. 50 minutes total. 25 minutes standing in the rain under an umbrella. Biking would have taken me 30 minutes but I'd have been soaked soaked soaked so maybe okay - maybe just great. 

But as I was standing at my bus stop in the rain I was thinking about my friend. My dead friend. And I was like, he would love to be able to be standing right next to me in this rain watching the cars drive buy - it really was a nice rain shower… And so I felt humbled and better… "we" would make it there in time.. no place else to be…

But I also got to thinking about a poem by Snyder, Gary - one of my favorites. The title is "Left Out in the Rain" - or is that just the book title? Which led, after reading his, to a poem of my own. It's in that compilation I put together a while back. (I'm sure you've all ordered it!)

But that night that I read Snyder's poem a dozen plus years ago - that night, that poem, that solitude on the eastern edge of the High Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in that little town that holds fort at the only eastern entrance to one of the most celebrated National Parks in the country/world - that little unassuming town called Lee Vining at the junction of Highway 120 sparked a dream within. Where, actually, as I keeping digging through my memory is home to so much more - where I became an Indian through deep eye-soul connection with the saddest last real Indian I ever saw (and I use this word because of the times then and because you just have to - he was a Native American, of course, but he was also an Indian - as he would have called himself) - I was maybe 6-years old - he was about a million - he became one of my grandfathers - maybe me only because there was no one else that loved him anymore. It was sad and tragic and yet such a beautiful moment that those mountains rising up to the sunset never left me - us. 

And so I still dream about someday riding that road all the way through those mountains - starting in LV and taking the 18-mile-ish steep climb up through the thin air and sketchy RV squeezing-out-the-lane traffic and then descend all the way down and down and down and around and through all the way to The Valley on the other side and then prop my feet up and enjoy a nice beverage at The Ahwahnee bar. 

And then just keep on riding and riding and riding on…

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hitched outside the pub

One day they will set up trainers for us to ride our bikes on while we drink at the pub…

Friday, January 9, 2015

Circa 1994 times two

I think Mindful Mule just turned 21!