Tag Archives: biking

Off on other adventures

Bike Day: Ready to ride.

Ready to ride?

Over the last few days I’ve done at least two cool things I never anticipated doing at this time last week. Gotta love how that happens. The first thing is that I got to take part in a web series I enjoy called Video Game High School, shot at the new YouTube Space in LA. The general area is still under construction but the finished facilities look amazing. I can see why YouTube partners would want to hang out there and create.

The second thing is I completed my first long bike ride of the year.  The opportunity to ride locally came up and I thought to myself ‘Eh, why not?’ After a brief bike inspection, after a small tug of war with a spider– me: 1, spider: 0 — I grew confident my tires were sound and my chain looked good since I’d stowed it properly from my last ride.

I pedaled off from Harbor City and with a small group rode about 30 miles around the South Bay to PV and back. We saw amazing views of the ocean and got to experience commuting to the beach in a very sensory way. Not sure if you can get a biker’s high like you would a runner’s high, but riding downhill made me wish I had a camera to mount on my helmet or bike to capture that sensation.

That I wasn’t sore at all the next day was very encouraging. I may have to do that again soon.

Gotta love Carmageddon II weekend

Carmageddon II

Now, I’m not the most spontaneous road trip-py person in the world but if I were, then after looking at this traffic map I’d be itching to go somewhere right about now… As for planned road trips I am excited about my first venture up to Mt. Wilson tomorrow. I’m doing a real road trip… on my bike.

If you’re on the Westside and looking to travel a short distance here are some local bike ride tours you can take today.

Also today is Field Trip Day. See? No reason to stay indoors just because a part of one freeway is closed. Get out there and enjoy your weekend.

10/01/12 Carmageddon II update: The effort was a success!

Falling into the new season

Nautica Malibu Triathlon (Classic) bike leg

Photo courtesy Andrea K. on Sept 16, 2012

A couple of highlights of my summer.

Nautica Malibu Triathlon is now completed. I managed a PR by 3 minutes and 39 seconds on the bike compared to last year. I’m in the best shape of my life right now, so I may as well do as many races as I can in the next month! Half-kidding about that.

Delving back into the music world, I decided to audition this year for the employee choir’s annual Candlelight Ceremony Performance in December. My dates to come soon as I’m not singing all 20(!) nights. I’m very excited about this. It’s sure to be an awesome experience.

Anything else? Oh yes. The 6th annual LA Chocolate Salon is happening today.

Hello, Fall.

Update 11/10/12: My Candlelight performance dates are Dec 8 – 9, 13, 15 – 16. Showtimes are 5:30pm and 7:30pm.

Back in the saddle!

Halfway there!

San Gabriel River Trail - 2.5 hour ride: halfway there!

I was out the door in the 7 o’clock hour on Saturday morning for a long SGRT ride in Duarte, CA, with an intermediate group of riders. I’m an advanced beginner rider with moderate endurance, moderate speed, moderate comfort level riding w/ feet clipped in while using one hand (usually my left) to fiddle w/ the bike computer display, or to grab my bottle and drink whenever I need to. I still prefer to stop riding to drink, and I’m not quite comfortable riding hands-free for more than a split second or actively eating while riding my bike.

I was definitely challenged. With six other tri teammates I rode about 35 miles total. There were a few others there who rode separately and at their own pace. As usual I couldn’t keep up very well, but I did my best to keep the person in front of me in sight so I wouldn’t get lost. My average speed was 15-17 miles per hour reaching up to 22mph on the flats (there were hills). In the last few miles on the way back my bike computer showed I was pushing a whopping 8 mph at times. I was pooped.

The group’s average speed was closer to 20mph. Reassuringly, members of our group either stopped and waited at the parts of the path where I could potentially go the wrong way or hung back and rode with me for a while. Since I had not touched my bike in two months before this weekend, my “sit” bones were so sore! Don’t think I’ll ever not have that soreness after a long ride, but that’s also good thing because I don’t actually want calluses developing there!

I carried lots of nutrition this time, as I learned my lesson from my last ride. I had two pieces of toast before the ride, and then a Luna Bar, a Clif Bar (both white chocolate chip and macadamia nut) and a bottle of water during the ride. I can go 35 miles comfortably on one bottle of water, but that’s just me. I feel like other people drink more water than I do. It would be a good idea in the near future for me to get another water bottle cage installed on my bike in case I ride a longer distance again. I definitely plan to.

I recently found out about a 30 day outdoor biking challenge called 30 days of biking. Though I’m a sucker for most 30 day challenges, alas I must admire the participants’ efforts from afar while I focus on other things this month. Instead of biking every day for 30 days, I will put my own spin on that and make an effort to bike at least once every 30 days through the end of the year. Sounds like a tame goal compared to the linked challenge, but this is an attainable one for me. Not to make excuses, but I’ve got two other sports to brush up on to conquer my biggest challenges yet: A half-marathon and an Olympic distance triathlon (0.9 mi swim, 24 mile ride, 10k run). After that, my sports season will be complete and anything else will be gravy icing a refreshing fruit smoothie.

Okay, enough about biking. Tomorrow I plan to run my WP 5K! If you’ve read this far, thanks for reading my biking babbles. I do appreciate comments and questions, and I actually *squee* out loud when I notice new subscribers to my blog. I hope that you find something that keeps you moving this month!

Getting back on the wagon

Confession time: Though I have been running/walking at least a couple days each week I’ve somehow fallen off the triathlon wagon. I haven’t been in the ocean or even a pool once this year and I’ve ridden my bike once (though that one time was a 50 miler). If you’re thinking, “Why would you swim now? It’s freezing cold and there’s still snow on the ground!” then you’re probably not anywhere near Southern California. In LA yesterday it was quite hot with high temperatures in the 90s. To change all this, over the next two weeks or so I’ll be doing a moderate distance bike ride, participating in the WordPress 5K, and taking on my first Masters SCAQ swim workshop.

The swim workout is the same day as the official 5k run, April 10, so I will likely do my 5k run between April 4-9… although I probably could run on April 10 too if I really wanted to. That is how we triathletes roll!

On biking half-centuries and horses (oh my!)

A few months ago I went on my first intermediate distance group bike ride in Duarte. We planned to cycle about 20-30 miles, out and back, on the San Gabriel River Trail (SGRT). It was drizzling that day and never quite let up the whole time we were riding, so we turned back sooner than initially planned and returned to our point of origin, soaked, yet hopeful to try again when the weather was better.

This month I had a chance to ride the SGRT again. The plan was to ride between 30-40 miles, out and back, on the same route as the last attempt. We rode a lot further though, due to an underestimation of a mutually agreed-upon turnaround point some distance just past the halfway point. What made it even more challenging for me, being both the farthest I’d ridden and at a faster average speed, was that I had only a single bottle of water with me for what turned into a 4 hour ride. We stopped and rested for a bit at a peaceful park in Downey and headed back toward Duarte, but my water bottle was close to empty when we were still out about 20 miles.

Fortunately I was riding with more experienced riders, who were more than happy to offer a bit of their nutrition bars– Peanut Butter Powerbars, FTW!– and unused hydration. They were also full of encouragement as I progressed along the trail and let me set the group’s pace on the way back. This was great because I felt tired, hungry, and my energy level was as shaky as my legs which had been spinning my bike pedals for hours by that point. I wanted to be done more than anything. About 11 miles out we came upon a strange site and jumped off our bikes.

horse down on the trail

We saw a horse lying on its side, so we moved closer to find out what happened. It was a very sad scene to happen upon.

horse down, pulling off saddle

My teammates immediately offered to help right the fallen horse. It lay very still and I wasn’t sure what was wrong with it or if it was going to make it.

horse standing up on trail

Turns out the saddle made the horse too top heavy. As soon as it was unstrapped and pulled off, with a little encouragement the horse quickly found the energy to stand on its own.

horse and caring bikers

The horse was led down the ramp to the soft dirt below. Perhaps the horse shoes were not the proper fit or otherwise not fit for the cement trail and the poor thing slipped and fell.

The horse will be fine. Yay!

Back to the ride, after saying farewell to our new equine friend. We had 11 more miles to our path’s end.

The rest of the ride was uneventful and the next thing I did upon finishing the ride and immediately downing another half bottle of water from my car, was to make a beeline to IHOP with my bike group. We rode 50 miles and were proud of our achievement! I also had a very sore bum which would continue for the next couple days, but it’s fine now. I look forward to the next ride wherever that may be.

Until then there’s no place like home.

Bike n’ run

Four bikes at the beachOver the last few weekends I’ve been training for the Santa Catalina Triathlon, mostly on weekends. I may try a local reverse tri before then, but I haven’t yet registered for that one. Last weekend included two days of ocean swimming but this week has been too rainy for the water quality to be good for swimmers. Today’s workout consisted of a 13 mile hilly ride followed by a 2 mile run in Palos Verdes (PV). In my training I’ve learned a few things.
1) A painted solid white line 4 feet out from a gutter half-filled with brush and other debris does not a bike lane make. And why did the city paint “bike lane” in huge raised letters within the lane? Those don’t feel good to ride over and there are enough hazards in the bike lane already (more info on bicyclinginfo.org).
2a) Hawthorne Blvd in Palos Verdes is a beast with that long double hill to climb.
b) A BEAST, I say.
3) When running a hilly route for the first time think twice about picking a route with three flights of stairs. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?
4) A “healthy” breakfast burrito never tasted so good than after a brick workout.
5) Recovery naps are the best. Oh, yes.

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