Monday, March 31, 2014

Good Things Happen To Those Who Bike . . .

Well, it finally happened people -- guess it was inevitable.  No, I didn't submit the "Billion Dollar Bracket" (I know, I know, hard to believe), so I can't retire from blogging quite yet.  However the next best thing happened -- someone is going to actually pay me to blog!  No kidding -- The San Diego Reader beat Mr. Google to the punch in sending me my first bonafide check for blogging.  That's right, I'm a fifty dollar-aire!  Just think of all the good I can do with fifty whole dollars!  The world is about to change for the better.

My first post as a paid member of the digital media appeared this week at The Reader's "Blog Diego" page:

And they want to use more!  I always thought The Reader had excellent taste, now we have incontrovertible proof!

Hope I'm not blowing anybody's mind here.  Yes, this is a blog post about another one of my blog posts appearing in The Reader's blog section, with links to and images of the Reader page that links to my other blog post (that first appeared on this blog site).  Be careful what you click - it may just cause the universe to collapse back in on itself . . .

Anyway, now that I'm a legitimate, paid, member of the press corps, I need to figure out where I pick up my press credentials -- can't wait to start using the Press Entrance at Petco!  I promise to ask the players only bike related questions -- just like I did at the Super Bowl.

Speaking of sports, I may not have submitted the perfect bracket, but biking DID get me into the Elite Eight. 

No kidding.  As any of my thousands (upon thousands) of loyal fans are well aware, I start every Saturday morning with the Crown City Cyclists who domestique for me down the Strand to IB, where I break off and loop around the bay to Little Italy for breakfast and cappuccino before heading up and around UCSD or further up the coast.  Invariably, when I arrive at Caffe Italia for my pit-stop (coincidentally, right across from The Reader's main office), I'm greeted by my buddy Chuck who is usually holding court with passersby and other regulars.  I hit it off with this semi-retired Physics Prof the very first time I pulled up to the cafe on my Secteur.  He was sitting there with his own Specialized (a vintage Allez, one of Specialized earliest carbon frames, with an aluminum fork - the mirror of my aluminum Secteur and its carbon fork):

Chuck may just be the original San Diego Bikeist, riding long distance and trekking for years with Mission Hills as his home base.  He, too, uses Caffe Italia as a pit-stop for his Saturday rides which also take him to the Y for his daily work-out.  Any given Saturday morning his throngs of groupies and admirers (me included) engage with him on world events, bikes, the cosmos, working at Google, the advantages of penning your own obituary, solving decades old murders, or an almost infinite array of other topics.  As March approaches, though, one topic tends to dominate conversation -- college hoops, especially Chuck's beloved Arizona Wildcats.  He has followed them to three Final Fours and multiple other Tourney games and this year he had the good fortune of having them seeded #1 in the West where they played four games in San Diego and Anaheim.  His good fortune translated to mine as well when Chuck wound up with an extra ticket to 'Zona's Elite Eight game against Wisconsin.  The first person he reached out to was the guy from the coffee shop with the Specialized.  That's right, my passion for bikes and biking has not only earned me fifty big ones this week, it also landed me a ticket to the Big Dance!  Here I am with Chuck right before the start of the second half:

Damn, I'm looking good these days if I don't say so myself!

It was a great game that went into overtime and came down to one final, desperation, Arizona shot.  Unfortunately for Chuck and the thousands of other U of A faithful, it just wasn't meant to be.  I hope they all took some solace, though, in the fact that I had the time of my life (I'm sure they did).  Chuck, of course, took the loss in stride.  Disappointment is always a less bitter pill to swallow when you know a bike ride awaits you the next morning . . .

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Man With Chainsaw Terrorizes Bikeists!

What is it with L.A. anyway?  First they go and steal our hometown First Baseman:

Then, when your beloved San Diego Bikeist breaks a shocking, trending story on a slew of bike stabbings, they decide they have to one up us with their own, crazier, menace:

This is a picture of an actual chainsaw wielded by an actual deranged man on the Venice Boardwalk as he threatened passing bike-riders, walkers, roller-skaters, fortune-tellers, t-shirt salesmen, rap artists, street performers, junkies and whoever else happened to be in the vicinity.  This, classic, passage from today's L.A. Times captures the incident best, I think:

"Spencer Davis was chatting up tourists on the Venice boardwalk when police officers pulled up in front of his display of plastic alien heads.  Had Davis seen a man threatening people with a chain saw, they asked?  "Not today," he quipped with a smile, assuming that the officers were joking. Then he turned around and saw police officers, their guns drawn, with a man holding a chain saw. "Just when you think you've seen it all…" Davis said."

Really, L.A.?  Why do you have to always go and do everything bigger than us?  You're so insecure.  We have a perfectly good trumped-up ominous trend going and you just go and blow it out of the water.  How are we supposed to compete with a chainsaw?  Knives plunged into the abdomens of unsuspecting bike riders just seems so mundane in comparison.  Anyway, here's how local L.A. TV news handled the story:

Why even bother employing actual camera operators when you can rely upon old hippies in crazy hats to capture your footage for the 11 O'clock report?

L.A. Police have, reportedly, increased bike patrols after the incident (Hurray!  Bikes to the rescue!), and the Torrey Pines Park Rangers, in their infinite wisdom, have posted a sign banning chain saws from the preserve -- just in case.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Epidemic of Bike Stabbings in San Diego?

Suppose, during a lull in the nearly constant barrage of basketball madness, one were to Google "bike" and "stab" and the name of their hometown or city.  What are the chances that anything noteworthy would pop up?  A quintillion to one perhaps?  Well, if you live in or around San Diego, the odds would be something like 1:4, because the world's finest (and classiest) city has had no fewer than four bike related stabbings since last July.  I kid you not!

It all started last last July 23.  As reported by FOX News, an El Cajon man was stabbed in the stomach when he approached "an acquaintance" in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant to confront him over not having returned his bike.  Here's FOX's official, ominous, knife graphic that it appears to use for all stories on bike-related stabbings:

I suspect that the victim (who survived) demanded the bike, but was then told that he needed to ask nicely.  Confused, the victim probably tried saying "please," but was rebuffed with "not nice enough."  The next overture likely would have been "pretty please," to which the assailant may have said, "come on, man, you can do better than that."  At that point I'm dead sure that the victim must have swallowed his pride and said "pretty please with sugar on top," with the assailant, of course, then pulling out his knife, stabbing his friend in the gut and riding off on the "borrowed" bike.  That's pretty much how all of these encounters go.  Trust me, I'm an expert.

Then, a mere two months later, also reported by FOX, (and accompanied by the same, scary, knife image from above) a man was jumped by three attackers on Palm Avenue who were trying to steal his bike.  They were unsuccessful, but in the melee, they managed to stab the poor bike rider in the lower back.  He survived, but the bad guys got away.

Looks like bike stabbers took a little break for the holidays, but were back at it this very month when we have had not just one but TWO bike-related stabbings!

The first was on March 3 when a young man was stabbed on his bike after getting in an argument with another man on a trolley platform in National City.  As reported in the U-T, he tried chasing his attacker until he came to the realization that a stab wound could lead to serious complications, to include possible death.  A passing driver pulled over to help.  He helped the victim into his car, and, when the victim said he didn't think he was going to make it, the driver reportedly drove the victim to the victim's home.  That makes a whole bunch of sense.  You have a man who says he's bleeding to death in the front seat of your car and you just take him home to die?  People do some weird stuff in a crisis.  Anyway, when the victim got home, somebody there had the good sense to call an ambulance and, luckily, the young man survived.  

By the way, 10 News reported that the victim was on his way to Jack in the Box when the argument occurred.  What's the deal with fast food and bike stabbings anyway?  There must be a connection.

Finally, just this past Friday, News 10 reported that a struggle between two downtown homeless men resulted in one of them being stabbed in his "side torso area." 

He too, thankfully, survived.

Lessons Learned:

(1) The odds of being randomly stabbed by both acquaintances and strangers alike increase exponentially when riding a bike;

(2) Those same odds increase to greater than 100% when riding one's bike to a lower-tier fast-food restaurant (just don't do it people!);

(3) Bike riders are remarkably resilient.  Despite the best efforts of psychos wielding knives, all four of our recent victims lived to bike another day;

(4) People hate bikeists more than I ever suspected.  It's one thing to try and run us off the road or plow into us in your SUV's but stabbing is so personal!

Way Ahead:

I'm pretty sure our City Council will soon reach the only reasonable conclusion that can lead from this string of violence and resolve to ban bikes within the limits of San Diego.  No bikes = no bike stabbings, right?  Hey, it worked at Torrey Pines.  As previously reported in this very blog, after a century without any bike related deaths in the Park, the Rangers there decided that they could do better than zero by simply banning bikes from riding down the road that runs through the park (while still allowing cars).  No bikes = no bike related deaths, even though they hadn't had any bike-related deaths.  With some bonafide stabbings on our hands, I'm pretty sure that the City Council will have no choice.    Unless our bikeist Mayor and Police Chief ride in to the rescue, I'm afraid we're all doomed.  Guess I'd better start scouting out cities where an honest bike rider is free to get stabbed for no reason at all without government stepping in and spoiling all the fun . . .

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bikeist Madness is Here!

I have to admit, loyal readers, that I've been having a hard time focusing on bikes and the blog this week.  We are on the eve of March Madness -- the single best annual sporting event in the world and second only to the World Cup when it comes to sports tourneys.  I'm sure this opinion will elicit a few jingoistic responses, but there is simply no argument -- nothing is huger than the World Cup.  It's main drawback, though, is that it happens only every four years.  Meanwhile, March Madness brings its rollicking awesomeness to our flat screens like clockwork each and every year.  Hmm, there may actually be an argument to be made that when you stack four years of awesomeness up against one World Cup, the NCAA Tournament might just win out.  Would the World Cup be as popular if it happened every year?  Perhaps not.  These are the quandaries that keep your Bikeist up at night . . .

So, what does any of this have to do with biking?  Only everything!  Haven't you heard, Warren Buffett is giving a way one quintillion dollars to whoever manages to pick every game in the tourney.  With my immense knowledge of college basketball and unworldly analytical skills, I'm pretty much a lock to take Buffett's money.  Can you just imagine all the the Bikeist could do to make the world better for bikes and biking with that much dough?  Wait, um, wait a minute.  A member of my crack research staff just tapped me on the shoulder to point out that the prize is not a quintillion dollars.  Apparently, that's more money than actually exists or ever existed.  Buffett has offered only one "billion" dollars to the winner (aka Me!).

So, what's the "quintillion" all about.  Ohhh!  My crack research team is now telling me that the odds of anybody picking all the games correctly are one quintillion to one.  How much is a quintillion anyway?  It sounds like a number Dr. Evil made up.  They say that it = one billion billions, that's a 1 with eighteen 0's after it:


Wow!  That's a big number (especially when I increase the font)!  I remain undaunted, though.  If life could somehow defeat the odds to crawl out of the primordial ooze and evolve over and over again to produce the amazing higher life-form that is currently typing these words on his MacBook, then anything is possible.  Who cares if nobody has ever picked every single game correctly -- I'm feeling lucky! (Click HERE to see why Forbes magazine says I'm delusional.  Silly Forbes . . .)

Well, while a billion dollars isn't quite a quintillion (or remotely close), it's still more money than I'd know what to do with.  What's the first thing I'd do with the money?  Did you really need to ask that question?  Buy a new bike of course people!  Have you been paying any attention at all?  But, what bike to buy?  Again, Forbes comes in handy as a source of what filthy rich people squander their money on (I had better start practicing!):

I could get this one for a mere $101,000 and still have $999,899,000 left to change the world:

Yes, it is, indeed, a gold-plated bike, with gold plated spokes and wheels as well.  It also comes with 600 Swarovski crystals built in.  It is, of course, made by a French company - "Auramania."  They can have it.

Then there is this one, which (world-renowned low-life) Lance Armstrong rode to (a revoked) victory in the 2009 Tour:

It is adorned with the wings of hundreds of butterflies -- presumably pulled off the living creatures one by one by Lance himself.  This is widely considered to be the most expensive bike ever sold.  It went for $500,000 at an auction -- before Armstrong was disgraced, of course.  I'm guessing it's re-sale value has taken a hit since then, however.

This Trek Madone, adorned with 100 diamonds in the shape of a "7" to commemorate Lance's 7th stolen Tour victory, went for $75,000 at auction:

Starting to see the incredible monetary incentive to cheating kids?  If Lance hadn't been caught, the industry/market that surrounded him might have actually made a Quintillion.

For a mere $30,000 I could get one of these from Beru, a company that specializes in systems for Formula One race cars:

This bike (which would 100% illegal for pro cyclists) has a dozen computerized monitors built in that track all aspects of the bike and rider's performance.  Torquing too much on one pedal?  It will tell you.  Need to downshift to maximize efficiency, it will tell you.  You're a hopeless Fred for whom no amount of technology could possibly squeeze another half MPH out of any bike -- it will seize up and kindly ask you to dismount immediately.

Seems that none of these bikes are for me.  So, what to do?  What I think I'd really do is re-trace the steps of the author of one of my favorite books, "It's All About the Bike."

The Author, a Brit, and a true "Bikeist," details his quest to obtain the perfect custom made, steel (of course) bike to suit his body and riding habits.  He lays out his quest part by part, first giving the history of each part and how it contributed to advancements in bike technology, then takes the reader to the factories and workshops where the very best parts are crafted.  In true Bikeist fashion, he uses humor and a self-deprecating approach to lure the reader along for the ride.  Highly recommended people!  Anyway, the first thing I would truly do with my billion, would be to reach out to Robert Penn and ask him to accompany me around the world to act as my consultant for building The Bikeist's perfect, forever, touring bike.  If he asked nicely, I'd probably bring my buddy, Chris, along as well since he knows more about bikes than anybody I know and it would probably be fun to watch him argue with Penn about what should go into my "perfect" bike.  This is going to be so much fun!  I just can't wait to get my hands on that billion dollars!

Oh yeah, and the next thing I'll do is quit writing this blog.  Who needs a non-paying job when they have a billion dollars?  :)

Oh, and Go Aztecs!

Last game of the day today -- be sure to tune in and cheer on our hometown team!

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick a Bikeist? Um, no . . .

Pretty sure St. Patrick didn't ride bikes (as they hadn't yet been invented in his day).  That didn't discourage Sheldon Brown, though, did it?

That's a whole lot of awesome right there folks.

I'd love to ramble on and on as usual, but I'm simply spent this evening.  Remember my psycho friend, Marc?  The one who makes me do all the burpees?  Well, before hopping on the Secteur for my usual 23 miles home around the bay, I had to do his latest WOD (Workout of the Day).  Why, you ask?  Because I'd be publicly shamed if I didn't.  Today's torture session involved 16 rounds of 11 squats, 11 push-ups, and 11 leg-lifts for time.  (They're ALWAYS for time!)  Yes, that's 176 of each -- non-stop.  Then, of course, there were the burpees -- 17 today, on the "March to 100."  As if he doesn't have us doing enough burpees, as is, we now have to add one every day for 100 days on top of whatever else he doles out. 

So, I just don't have it in me to dazzle you all today.  You will just have to settle for the following image, which, in my opinion, strikes the right balance between the festive and religious aspects of St. Patrick's feast day:


Thursday, March 13, 2014

More Fun With Lasers!

Good article in the New York Times today on safety-related bike gadgets (Click HERE to read the entire article).  While I have begun to lose faith in the hacks who do their Op-Ed pieces, and can see some blatant intellectual dishonesty in much of their current reporting, they have actually provided some pretty good coverage of biking and bike-related topics of late.  In this regard, I applaud their blatant pandering to Brooklyn hipsters.  Keep it up New York Times!  I also liked the graphic they used to demonstrate the various products discussed:

Not going to re-hash the entire article here, but I was definitely intrigued by the horn that mimics a car horn (and matches its decibels) and agreed with the logic that the only way to get the attention of many driveists is to put them in fear of their own lives - which hearing a sudden car horn blast can accomplish in a safe manner.

Even more interesting, though, was the "X-Fire" rear safety light.  About six posts ago, I dubiously wrote about a laser light designed to project the image of a bike out in front of the rider (Click HERE to re-visit that post):

I'm still not convinced that projecting a laser image out in front of a bike will be any more effective than a bright headlight.  Why not have cars do the same thing if it's such a good idea?

The X-Fire, though, attacks a much greater danger -- those multi-ton death machines approaching from behind at night.  It's designed to be affixed to the rear of the bike, and (instead of a cute picture) it projects what appears to be a bright, red, bike lane directly behind the path of your bike:

Now THIS is cool!  Even bad driveists are somewhat conditioned to respect bike lanes (at least when they're not parked in them).  This, to me, seems like a great way to subconsciously get driveists to both notice you, and provide a little leeway (at least 3 feet in California!).  

This is what the product looks like:

Pretty similar to a standard rear light.  And - BEST of all - it doesn't come with the ridiculous $200 price-tag of the "Blaze."  It goes for a mere $40 -- about what you might spend for a good light anyway.  I'm thinking that this Bikeist might just need to go out and get one of these babies.

I'll let you know how it works . . .

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Eat Like A Champion . . .

Tom:  What are you doing man?

Carlos:  I'm trying on my new bike bib.  Do you think it makes me look fat?

Tom:  You weigh like 110 pounds soaking wet, dude -- nothing makes you look fat --

Carlos:  But I like totally cheated on my training diet this week.  On Wednesday, I was supposed to have 150 grams of chicken, but when I put the steamed breast on my food scale, it came in at 165.7 grams.  There's no way I can pull off this bib now!

Tom:  Dude, I think you're losing it.  You really need to try to be more like the Bikeist and relax a little.

Carlos:  The what-ist?

Tom:  The BIKE-IST, man!  How many times do I have to tell you?  The guy with the blog.  He doesn't worry about crap like bibs and weighing food down to the gram.  He just rides.

Carlos:  Oh, that stupid blog guy -- hate him.  What does he know about fueling anyway, man?  It's an exact science.  If I didn't follow my regimen, there's no way I'd have a top 200 Strava time up Torrey Pines.

Tom:  Well, you do kind of have a point there.


Poor Tom and Carlos.  So unenlightened.  If they could only learn to let go, they might actually start to enjoy riding - and life a little.

So, in honor of everyone's favorite Über-Freds, I bring you the first in a recurring series of segments of the Bikeist's "How to Eat Like a Champion."

Today's recipe is something I like to call "Breakfast Pizza."  Being a transplant from New York, I am very serious about my pizza.  I simply will not consume chain pizza or any of the stuff passed off as pizza at most of the local places in town.  So, even though I live on Coronado, when Friday Night - Pizza Night comes around, it's across the bridge to either Bronx Pizza

-Or- Luigi's on Golden Hill:  

Both are as close as you'll get to authentic New York pizza in our pizza-wasteland, and we have to alternate in the Bikeist household due to passionate debates about the sauce recipes and crust consistency of each.  We also always wind up with more pizza than we can consume because of the endless topping battles that ensue once we determine which place I'll be driving to (Yes, yes, the Bikeist occasionally has to actually drive -- believe me, I'd get the pizzas by bike, but they'd be pretty cold by the time I crossed town and took them home on the ferry).  Since compromise is impossible, we always wind up with two pies with some variation of plain cheese, white, pesto, and/or sausage.  This pizza surplus is what led to my ingenious invention of "Breakfast Pizza."

Now, the absolute simplest version of breakfast pizza is the recipe I employed through my entire childhood on Saturday mornings.  Before tromping off to the "play-room" to watch Scooby-Doo, Looney Tunes, and Land of the Lost, I would delve into the fridge to recover left-over pizza to help fuel my Saturday morning entertainment binge (Yes, Friday Night - Pizza Night has its origins in my idyllic New York childhood).  This "recipe" consisted of placing the pizza on a plate and eating it cold in front of the TV.  Delicious!  Few things better in this world than cold Saturday morning pizza!

Well, after moving on to adulthood, I'm still not one to turn up my nose at at cold pizza.  However, my breakfast tastes have become, somewhat, more sophisticated.  As my loyal readers know, Saturday mornings for the Bikeist mean heading out at 7 am with the Crown City Cyclists, joining them down the Strand, then branching off in IB to circle the Bay and head up (at least) to UCSD and back to San Diego.  These 60-80 mile rides require some serious fuel.  My favorite weekend breakfast are my Bikeist Huevos Rancheros:  three heated corn tortillas, two over-easy eggs, fresh Chilean salsa, sour cream and cotija or cheddar cheese.  One fateful Saturday, though, I went to the fridge and, to my initial horror, found that we were out of tortillas (for probably the first time this decade).   What to do?  Well, staring me down on the middle shelf was a left-over Bronx Pizza box:

Did, I just grab a slice and wolf it down cold, as I had on so many other Saturdays?  Believe me, I was this close!  But, there was a kernel in the back corner of my brain that I had retained from the Food Channel (or was it Bon Appetit?).  I had either watched or read about an innovative method for "refreshing" left-over pizza.  Rather than drying it out in the oven, or vulcanizing it in the nuker, this method involves bringing the slice back to life in a cast iron skillet.  Why cast-iron you ask?  Because that's what all serious Food Network watching hack chefs must have in their kitchens to appear serious about cooking.  The magic of cast-iron has something to do with "seasoning" the skillet - which I'm pretty sure means never -ever- cleaning it -- even if your long-suffering wife begs, cajoles, and threatens you.

So, with that lead-in, let's walk through the steps in my creative process that morning:

Step 1:  Place cast iron skillet on burner and turn heat up half way between low and medium.  No need to add any sort of cooking oil or non-stick spray -- that's what the "seasoning" is for --

Step 2:  Place left-over Bronx Pizza slice into skillet:

To my delight, I soon saw the crust begin to soften as the cheese became melty again.  (Later attempts have revealed that the use of a lid can accelerate the cheese re-melting process).  It was at this point that my instincts kicked in.  Hovering over the stove as I re-heated something in the skillet triggered my craving for the eggs I usually consumed with tortillas.  I looked down at the slice of white pizza and thought "Why not?".  Before I knew it, I was on to:

Step 3:  Grab a no-stick pan and fry two eggs over-easy:

Step 4:  Remove "refreshed" pizza from skillet (ooh, it smells so good!) and carefully arrange the two eggs on top of the cheese (huevos rancheros style) like so:

Step 4:  Add your hot sauce of choice (in my case Siracha or Tapatio) -- see picture above.

Step 5:  Quickly brew a double-shot of Lavazza Espresso.

Step 6:  Carefully cut the pizza and eggs together so as to maximize yolk coverage and a bite of crust, cheese and egg with every forkful -- washing it down with fresh espresso:

I know what you're thinking!  "Awesome!"  Right?  I know!

Ok, Ok.  I'll admit, it doesn't make the prettiest sight.  However, I can hardly describe the deliciousness.  We all like eggs on toast, right?  Well, just think of the pizza as gourmet toast, and you're  half way there.  Who could ever expect such genius to spring from a tortilla-less morning?  You never know loyal readers, you never know . . .

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Stuff I See From My Bike

As all of my loyal readers know, I spend a good part of my life in the saddle.  Adding to the almost infinite benefits of traversing my environment in a self-propelled manner through the open air, is the fact that I can easily stop and snap a photo of anything that happens to catch my eye along the way.  To facilitate my shutter-bug impulses, I always make sure that my iPhone is within hand's reach in one of these:

(Topeak really needs to start sending me some royalty checks -- really.)

Many of the images I capture make their way into the blog, but a good number of blog-worthy photos don't make the cut.  They have been amassing on my roll, and a quick tour through my collection today convinced me that it was time to cue the B-Roll!  What follows is a random array of cool (mostly) bike-themed stuff I have spotted from my saddle:

First off, there's this awesome bike sculpture that's part of a collection installed along the new sidewalk promenade in Solana Beach:

Many passers-by don't realize it, but he's pedaling hard so he can get to his totally hot girlfriend at Tidelands Park in Coronado:

Then there's this "Ghost-Bike" installation that any of us who have traversed the coast from San Clemente, through Camp Pendleton, to Oceanside are all familiar with:

"Ghost Bikes" are installations placed in honor of fallen cyclists.  The first bike was moved to San Clemente in honor of Mark Anthony Leones, who died after crashing on a steep downhill curve.  The frame was placed in honor of John Cuchessi, a former bike shop owner who struck a fence on his way back from a Pendleton ride.

Next up is something else I spotted on one of my rides from Orange County back to San Diego.  Along the designated bike route that follows the rollers on top of San Clemente's coastal hills is this, ingenious little piece of bike infrastructure:

As I have previously pointed out, intersections are major danger zones for bikeists.  I love how this lane separates bikes from cars, allowing for a smooth right turn that funnels cars away from the bike.  Sweet!  Feeling a little guilty for thinking that Orange County dwellers were all brain dead.  Although, it's altogether possible that they hired a consultant from San Diego to come up with something this clever . . .

I wrote a post en route to Boulder last Fall, but never had a chance to post this photo of the mural on the side of the building housing what might just be the most awesome bike shop in the world:

I try to get there every October to do some recruiting, and always rent a bike from the iconic "Uni Bikes" on the Saturday after my recruiting is done.  Just look at those gorgeous blue skies beckoning!

Uni Bikes is almost like a museum of bikes and cycling.  Here's the bike that Andy Hampsten rode to his win in the 1988 Giro:

Yes, it has "Huffy" decals, but this hand-made beauty is not the huffy you or I grew up riding . . .

Moving back to bike, art, there's this giant bike sculpture I spotted in Lake Tahoe last summer:

There are several of these installed throughout the Lake Tahoe area.  They especially caught my eye, thanks to the similar sculptures I pass every night on my way home around the bay:

These are constructed and installed in the South Bay along the Bayshore Bikeway by the sons of my fellow Crown City Cyclist, Dan.  The first three were painted yellow, polka-dot, and green, in honor of the jerseys worn by Le Tour leaders and "kings."  They have since added three more bikes, including a tandem and a penny-farthing.  Fun stuff!

Might as well continue with the metallic, painted, bike-sculpture theme:

These cool bike racks are at the corner of Fifth and University in Hillcrest.  The Orange tube-like thing on the sidewalk is actually a bike-repair station:

Great idea!  However, I'm sad to report that this station has since been vandalized, with many of the tools removed and the pump destroyed.  Hating, Hateists . . .

Finally, I give you these guys:

I spotted them along the PB boardwalk one gorgeous Saturday last month.  I'm not sure if it was worth all the welding it must have taken to create such crazy bikes, but they definitely seemed to be having fun!

Monday, March 3, 2014

It's On People -- The New Police Chief Is A Bikeist!!

Well, loyal readers, as if we needed any more convincing that we live in bike heaven, the powers that be have just provided us with the ultimate coup.  First, we got a legitimate bikeist as our new mayor.  Then, when our venerable Police Chief suddenly stepped down, the Mayor-Elect waited a scant twenty-four hours to name his biking buddy as the new Chief:

That's right, Chief Shelley Zimmerman, is an honest to goodness, bonafide, bikeist:

Here, she is pictured biking for the Challenged Athlete Foundation (CAF), whose epic coastal ride she trained for with none other than Mayor-Elect Faulconer!  Click HERE to read the press release that announced their commitment to training for the big ride.

So, what does this mean for us bikeists?  I'll sum it up for you in one word:  IMPUNITY.

When else in your life will you be assured that you not only have the Mayor, but the Chief of Police herself on your side when it comes to your favorite pastime (unless, of course, you were a Yankee fan in New York City in the early 21st century?).  

Those pesky stop signs that are always ruining our precious momentum?  Optional now people.  Same goes for red lights.  Sidewalks can now be considered bike paths.  Who has the right of way in all situations?  Well, bikes of course.  Who's going to be carted away in cuffs when you run over a clueless jogger?  Not the bikeist.  Best of all, I think we can be fairly certain that the force will be trained and primed to enforce the new "three-foot-law."  Hopefully, they will be authorized to use severe, non-deadly force  against any driveist who thinks it's a good idea to pass within arm-pit's distance as I'm trying to not get eaten up by the potholes on Harbor Drive.

In all seriousness, though, a big Bikeist congratulations to Chief Zimmerman.  I have had the pleasure of meeting and dealing with her in person in her former position, and she is one of the most genuinely energetic and enthusiastic people I have ever met.  Some say it's her natural disposition, but I give all credit to her love of biking.  What's not to smile about when you get to bike here every day . . .