Monday, January 30, 2012
It was a glorious weekend here in SoCal and since I managed to get Serena fixed (again) on Friday afternoon, I decided to make a point of not going anywhere by car the entire weekend. Birthday party down the street...bike. Errands to the bank (above)...bike. Lunch and shopping with the family on Sunday....bike. It was great, my ass didn't touch the inside of a car the entire weekend.
Food wise, I followed up the green smoothie fast by eating like a pig most of the weekend and lord knows I did some drinking, but who cares, it was an awesome weekend and I felt that I earned the right to have some fun. For those of you who are thinking of giving the green smoothie fast a try, you should know that you immediately gain a few pounds back once you get back on regular food. My wife ate healthy all weekend and even she put a couple of pounds back on. Fortunately, even though I gained some weight back, I'm looking slimmer and my pants (trousers for my English readers) are fitting much better so I'm still happy with the results.
I hopped back on the Serena for my commute to work this morning and even though it was colder than a witches tit, the sun was out and it was invigorating to get back out there and have a good ride into the office early in the morning. While passing under the bridge where Serena got a flat last week, I noticed this extremely well made bum condo (below). I'm pretty sure the bastards who live in there are the ones who broke the bottle on the trail but there was no sign of glass this am so hopefully they keep their crap to themselves from now on.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
When I was showing at the gym and trying to wash all the grease off my hands, I noticed my hands reminded me of my grandfather's (rest in peace). That dude was a man's man who could build or fix anything. He grew up hard, never got past the third grade. My Grandad grew up in the midwest and moved around a lot and said when you moved to a new town, you inevitably had to fight the toughest kid in town. There was no 'ass kicking' or 'homies getting your back', you either 'licked the guy' or 'got licked'. Long story longer...my grandfather told me about a time at the beginning of the depression where he had just moved to California on his own and was out of work. He heard there was farm work in Fresno so some of his buddies and he fixed an old car and took off from L.A. to Fresno to work. Somewhere on the Gorman pass, the car broke down. The guys had nothing back in L.A. so they WALKED to Fresno. The walk took them a few days and they slept outside and ate raw cabbages and stuff they pinched from farmers fields along the way. Once they got to Fresno they had to stay there long enough until they could buy car parts, hire a ride to take them back to their car (which was still there), and come back to L.A. with some cash. So...while I sat there cleaning the grease off my hands, I realized walking three miles on a perfect morning isn't all that bad.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
There they are folks, lined up like two torpedoes packed with greatness. My pre workout snack and my lunch just getting cold, waiting to get in my belly. The self imposed five day smoothie fest I'm on seems to be working fine. I've dropped four pounds in two days and I'm feeling great. So far I'm not really missing eating solid food but who knows how it will go. After consulting with my wife last night, we determined I needed to mix in another smoothie since roughly 600 calories per day is nowhere near enough when you consider I'm riding 14 miles a day AND going to the gym. We figured four per day (@96 oz per day) should be better than a mere 64 oz per day.
I'll be doing legs and abs in about half an hour so I just shotgunned this 32 oz of spirulina laced awesomeness. I believe it's the Vitamix recipe for Fruit Salad smoothie with our own spirulina touch. Tastes great. Only weird thing is my poops are still solid. How does that happen?
I woke up this morning just raring to go since the sun was out and the weather's supposed to be warming up. My ride started off a little rough because I came face to face with some angry wench who looked like she'd been ridden hard and put up wet the night before. She seemed to think that me trying to cross the street with a green light AND the crosswalk signal green was a massive insult and that she should be able to turn left right in front of me. That Starbucks sucking harpy came within a few feet of Serena and me. I was about to go full 'Palo Alto Bike Commuter' on this woman. I could feel my middle finger just straining to rise to its full length and make its presence known before her vacant eyes but I decided that on this morning, peace would be a better way so I just stopped my bike right in front of her car and stared at her as if to say "I hate you" and then rode on.
Once I got to the SART, all was well (photo above). The traffic on the trail was light, there were gulls on the wing, and the group of bums I see every morning sharing a forty weren't huddled together for warmth as usual; instead, they had a casual air about them and an look of optimism in their eyes. Ahh yes, all was right with the world as I cranked up the iTouch since Fear's classic hard punk song 'I Don't Care About You' came on the playlist and headed for work.
About halfway to the office, right in the middle of Milk Inc.'s cover of 'The Sun Always Shines on TV' I was overtaken from behind (get your mind out of the gutter) by Captain Otto VonRoadbike seen in the photo above...from a distance. All of a sudden I found myself sprinting and in a speed duel with this guy. The duel only lasted for a good two or three seconds before he blew me away but trust me when I say...for that brief period or time, the guy on the road bike was pretty worried about the mighty force that is Serena and me. After I spent all my energy on two seconds of bike battle fury, I didn't have much left in the tank so I took'er slow for the rest of the way in and just enjoyed the morning.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
I've had a bunch of folks asking me what is so great about Spirulina so I thought I'd give my thoughts and the facts on it. First off, my thoughts....
There are lots of things considered to be superfoods such as: salmon, blueberries, goji berries, acai, wheat grass, Cheddar Goldfish crackers, and banana Now and Laters. Spirulina is just one of those things that is supposed to be seriously good for you. The only reason I tried spriulina in the first place is because I watched a documentary on food and they talked a lot about spirulina and how its 'the perfect food' which is why apparently NASA is doing research on cultivating it in space so Astronauts have a renewable food supply for potential deep space missions. As I've mentioned before, I'm a bit of a sci-fi nut so I wanted to try this perfect astronaut food.
After giving spirulina a whack, I decided I liked it (because you can't really taste it when its blended with stuff) so I was going to try it on a regular basis. Now that I have some every day, I feel like I have more energy and far fewer food cravings. Its so great, I may just cut it into lines and snort it for the hell of it. Now that we're done with the totally unscientific part, here's some stuff I've read on Spirulina:
From FoodMatters.tv (this is the doc I watched btw):
"Spirulina - Spirulina is a cultivated micro-algae which has been consumed for thousands of years by the indigenous peoples in Mexico and Africa. It is one of the highest known protein sources on Earth and contains 70% complete protein, towering over steak which consists of only 25% protein once cooked. Studies have shown that spirulina can help control blood sugar levels and cravings thus making it a key food for diabetics, and can be used to assist in weight loss and as a general nutritional supplement."
Check this site out too: http://www.integral-health-guide.com/spirulina-powder/
And, if you want the nutrition data on spirulina (or anything), this is a great site to go to:
The rain has subsided and its a glorious morning! It was time to get my arse back on Serena and commute to work again. Before I hit the trail, I needed to enjoy my breakfast (above). I know I've said it before but the Vitamix 5200 is pretty damn amazing. That mofo turned all that fruit and veg into complete liquid. My only concern was that the wife told me just before I got on the bike for 30 min of vigorous exercise that when she researched a juice fast online they suggested that one stays very near the toilet for the first two days....not exactly a comforting thought but oh well, it wouldn't be the first time I $hit my pants and it certainly wouldn't be the last!
As a side note, there was a slight change in my routine this morning. Since I was riding with someone, I didn't need to wear shorts with pockets for my iTouch so I went with my new bike shorts and ultra tight leggings. That's right Gut Chronicles fans...today was national 'Check out my hot package day' on the SART.
Last night, the wife and I decided to go for the remainder of the week (till Saturday) consuming nothing but raw fruit and veg smoothies*. That's right people, its game f*cking ON! The wife bought lots of organics yesterday and upgraded to the large size spirulina. Wifeypoo also downloaded a bunch of smoothie recipes that are supposed to get us all needed nutrients. I'm a little worried about a lack of protein since I spend so much time working on my rock hard muscles but what the hell, its only five days right?
Here's me, about to drink my dinner....yummo...sort of. Good news is, I haven't felt hungry yet and I've got a high energy level so I'm pretty sure its so far so good. Hopefully its solid going into the vitamix, smoothie coming out, and then turns to solid again when the 'process' is completed.
* We're allowing ourselves coffee as well...no need to get crazy
Monday, January 23, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
I've been reading a lot about bike commuting lately and one thing that keeps coming up is how you should keep your bike clean in general and make sure you keep your chain clean and lubed (tee hee). So, since I've never once washed Serena I decided today was a good day to give her a spa day.
As is the case with just about anything I do these days, my first stop was to go on YouTube and watch a demo. The first one was by some woman who seemed like a self righteous wench so I ended up following one by a dude who seemed pretty cool and ran a bike shop in Texas. After acquiring the needed knowledge, I went outside to do some proper bike cleaning.
There's Serena, all naked and ready for her bath. I know Serena looks spectacular just how she is, but if you look close, she's pretty filthy (below)
Next step was cleaning and lubing the chain. Yes, I said lube. I didn't want Serena to rest on the hard ground so I got a couple of my kids pool floaties and put Serena on those so she'd be comfy for when I lubed her up....hahahahha
I didn't think I needed fancy and expensive bike cleaner stuff and tools so I used the greatest product ever made on Earth: Simple Green and a toothbrush.
Wow! Look how filthy that toothbrush is. The scary part is I hadn't used it on Serena yet, that's just from brushing my teeth.
Now that there is a clean chain baby! The amount of gunk the Serena's chain had accumulated was a shocker
Check out that filth (above). Serena was clean and on her back, now it was time to lube her up and get busy (so great)....Lube shown was compliments of Captain Tim. This shit ain't just flow lube, its TRI-flow lube. That's like three times just regular lube.
While I was lubing Serena and cranking her chain, I noticed her back wheel seemed to have a wobble. After checking YouTube again, I determined that Serena's wobbler is an out of shape wheel that needs to be 'Trued' (whatever the fuck that means) so, I was off to Orange Cycle to get my girl fixed up.
When I walked in to Orange Cycle and explained what I was looking for to the dude, he said "Jour wheel ees a crooked, deed jew get ehit by a car?" I told him I had not been hit by a car, then he looked at my gut, we had an uncomfortable silence and he told me he could fix Serena so he took her in back. Dude didn't even compliment me on the lube job I did...where's the love?
While I was inside Orange Cycle, I saw the newer model of Serena. This badboy has front and back disc breaks. I loves my bike, but DANG that's a sexy ride.
I also took a peek in the fashion section at Orange Cycle to see if I could get some ideas on getting a better riding look. They had bike shorts that were attached to shoulder straps like one of those wrestling singlet things....very lame looking. They also had lots of shirts like this little number. I should get one of these in a small and wear it all the time to impress the ladies:
Half an hour and twenty-two bucks later, Serena was all fixed up and ready to roll again. I loaded Serena in the van and got home to complete my final step in getting her all gussied up for this week's commute...checking my air pressure. The tires were a tad low so I pumped'em up. Looking at this photo I see that my Howard Huguesesque toenails could use some attention too.
Friday, January 20, 2012
This morning, I woke up to get dressed and ride to work now that I'm back in town. To my very unpleasant surprise, my commuting in the cold outfit was still laying on the laundry room floor from Tuesday (this explains why seagulls have been circling the house for a few days). I considered driving to work but then I realized that's not an option for me because I am a bike commuter now and damit, I'm going to ride!
So, I threw on my dirty clothes and noticed the wife laughing at me and I realized that even though my bike is tricked out and awesome, my bike commuter style just blows hot goat nuts. I need a bike commuter makeover. The photo above is me this am prior to my ride. Take a look and give me some suggestions on how I can improve my style. For the record, 'loose weight' isn't a helpful suggestion you cretins.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
I'm at SFO waiting for what is sure to be an absolutely miserable commuter flight home and I noticed Granola Gretchen here decided it was a good time to do her Swiss chair squats (or whatever the f@ck it is she's doing) whilst reading what I'm sure is a riveting piece of feminist literature. She keeps holding this stupid pose and pressing on her abs and doing breathing exercises while she reads. Little does she know, there's at least one person in the boarding area (me) who would like to kick her legs out from under her and take a leak on her stupid book just because she's such a moron. I spurn thee Granola Gretchen, I spurn thee like a rabid dog!
Not a bad view for a middle of the road airport hotel is it? Yesterday wasn't great in terms of regular nutrition but in terms of 'on the road nutrition' it was a triumph. Had dinner with customers and had some wine but nothing excessive. I opted for fish instead of a butter coated giant steak, and I had zero snacks. We're going to call yesterday a win.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Staying on track when you travel is always insanely hard. I haven't even left yet but I tried to be good by having a chopped chicken salad with lite dressing for lunch...I tried until I ate 8000 tortilla chips with it. Luckily I have an exit row seat so I can let my gut hang freely...unfortunately I'm flying on the vibrator with wings pictured above so the exit row seat is nothing special.
I had to drive to work today since I'm going to the airport later (The world is giving me 'Best Looking and Most Awesome Businessman of the Year Award'...again, yawn) on and I have to say that it sucks. When I drive to work, I've noticed that I'm lacking that certain joie de vivre I get from commuting on my bike. There's just this feeling of satisfaction one achieves when one gets up in the am and physically gets themselves to work. Likewise, when you do a brisk ride home, the stress you left the office with is gone because, in my case, I just spent half an hour focusing on primal, physical matters rather than more stuff that pisses me off. The release and satisfaction I get from my rides is similar to doing the naughty but the best part is, you don't have to be all nice and caring to anyone when you're done, you just get off, and go about your business.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Recently, I read an post on commutebybike.com on 'claiming the lane' which means when you're riding on surface streets, you should ride IN traffic as opposed to on the sidewalk or on the right side of the road. The authors of the post state that due to traffic laws in most states and safety statistics, you are safer if you're right in the middle of the lane as if you were a car or a motorcycle and in addition to that, legally, it is your right to be there just as much as its a car's right. (for instance, its illegal to ride your bike on the sidewalk in CA. The cops can give you a ticket) Reading the commutebybike.com post made me think a lot about street riding and since I had to change my route slightly today and ride on the streets for an extra mile so I could drop some mail at the post office (above), I thought I'd give claiming the lane a try.
I started off by claiming the lane in the short ride through my neighborhood to the SART. Within three minutes of beginning to ride, I turned around to see the world's biggest F-150 about two inches from my back tire and not letting up. The doofus finally passed me on the left but I could tell he was trying to send some kind of message to me. Whatever the case is, I nearly shat in my pants but I kept on riding. Claiming the lane through residential streets proved to be uneventful the rest of the way to the SART and then I was traffic free for the next five miles.
The true test of claiming the lane came when I exited the SART to head to the post office. I got off the SART and on to a major street right in the middle of morning commute. When I first moved into the traffic lanes, there were no cars at all so I was feeling good, pedaling like a madman. I had to turn left so I safely moved into the left lane and just kept cruising along....and that's when shit got crazy. Next thing I knew, there was a wall of cars closing fast on me like a pack of wild dogs. I was surprised the traffic was on me so fast since I had to be doing 50 or 60mph easily (more like 22mph) but whatever the case was, it was too late to un-claim the lane so I just kept on riding knowing that surely the cars would maneuver around me at a safe distance because the good folks at commutebybike.com said that's what good drivers will do and I have a right to be on the road and its safer. Well, no offense to the good folks at commutebybike.com, but apparently the morning commuters in Orange County didn't really get the memo on my right to claim the lane. If you've ever seen a video of a surfer getting completely engulfed by a huge wave, that's what happened to me, but instead of water and a surfer, it was my terrified ass and a wave of cars. One beat up old Ford Probe got close enough to me that I could have kicked his window in when he passed. The entire incident only lasted about 20 seconds but it was like there was a group effort by 20 or 30 cars to scare the ever loving shit out of me so bad that I'd never attempt to claim the lane again for the rest of my life. Long story short, I'm alive and well but my first claiming the lane experience didn't go well at all and with all due respect to my fellow bike commuters who want the world to know we have rights too, I think I'll take my chances with the cops giving me a ticket for riding on the sidewalk next time.
Monday, January 16, 2012
This grainy photo is of a bridge crossing the SART at night. Yes folks, tonight was the first official commute home in the dark for Serena and I. I've gotta say, riding in the dark gives a whole new demension to the bike commute home, the sound of the road under your tires, the shadowy figures in the distance, and the smell of homemade Mexican food coming over the backyard walls of the houses that line the SART. Yes indeed folks, I loved the night ride.
My Beamer 3 headlight did its job admirably and kept me out of harms way and I assume Blinky 3 in the back did its number because nobody rear-ended me while I had to ride on the streets. All in all, the new gear I've put on Serena is a success.
Side note: Now that the serial killer has been caught, the homeless guys have moved back under the bridges and its a little unnerving going full speed into the pitch black underpasses and hearing them doing whatever it is they do up there in the dark recesses of the bridge crevices. Welcome home boys, welcome home.
Below is the darkness factor by the time I got home:
That's the bike commuter's special right there, the old Topeak MXK bag making its way into the office!
I decided to ride today even though its cold and wet. Went to the gym too so I'll be getting in a good hour of cardio with the ride and a sexy upper body workout. I'm sure my locker's going to smell great when I get there after work and change for the ride home.
If you recall, last Friday I experimented with a low light ride home to test out the new bike lights. Today I think I'm going to try and wait until the sun is down and see how she does in the true darkness.
On the food front, this weekend wasn't the best in terms of nutrition and caloric intake but I did pretty good overall so I'm not really sweating it. The kale and spirulina shakes are still a major part of what I'm eating and I still feel energetic and great, but my farts are just off the charts awesome. I've got so much gas these days, the execs from Chevron and Exxon-Mobile are negotiating with me to hook a hose up to my ass as a new source of renewable energy.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Friday, January 13, 2012
Crazed killers on the loose be dammed, I was determined to ride my bike today and test out my new lights and I did! Hell, I even made a new friend while riding home (photo above).
I bailed from work a tad early just in case my light wasn't bright enough but it was no problem at all since there was still plenty of light. I didn't need lights for the ride home at all until probably the last ten minutes when I was riding on surface streets and then it was pretty dark so my headlight (Planet Bike's Beamer 3) and my tail light (Planet Bike's Blinky Three) came in handy.
Long story short, its pretty awesome that even darkness can't stop me. Suck on that darkness!
ps. I realize this is the most uneventful and boring post ever, so that's why I put a photo of a hot chick at the top.
It was just after dawn when I hopped on the newly modified Serena with lights and started my ride to work. The moon was still high in the western sky but the sun was rising in the east...it was a cool, crisp morning but it was good to get back on the bike commute to work.
The ride on the SART was kind of eerie. There was a lot more eye contact with the few people I saw on the trail and you could tell there was some general tension with the denizens of the SART due to the serial killer still at large. As I passed under all the bridges on my ride, I noticed nothing but emptiness where dozens of hobo condos used to be, people are clearly worried for their safety. I read this morning that the local homeless shelters have seen a huge increase in traffic and many are reporting its due to the killer on the loose. By and large, the SART was empty...
In spite of the fact that a killer is roaming the area, it was great to get back on the road though. Tonight is the big night for testing the new lights, hopefully its bright enough so I don't have to ride three mph! Speaking of killers, when I passed by the pool at the gym this morning I noticed quite a few people swimming laps so I blasted a mighty spirulina fart and just kept walking. It amused me to think that maybe some poor sap came up for air, took a huge deep breath, and inhaled my powerful essence. Hell, inhaling one of my farts is probably the healthiest thing those folks have eaten all week!
Thursday, January 12, 2012
I found our earlier today that a serial killer has been targeting homeless people in Orange County and one of the victims was found two weeks ago on the SART (Santa Ana River Trail) very close to where I ride. What the frack is that all about? I stopped riding the SART when daylight savings ended due to...no daylight, and all hell breaks loose! Nobody messes with the denizens of the SART, that is sacred ground, its time for me to take action.
Initially, I thought about getting Serena (my bike) and I fully outfitted for battle like Vernon Wells in "Road Warrior" (above) so I could roam the SART with a Remington 870 tactical 12 gauge strapped to my back. Outfitted like that, when the killer rolled up on me, I'd just rip that chrome plated beauty off my back, take aim, and drop that punk like 3rd period French but alas, I cannot do that because my wife is opposed to firearms in the house and she won't let me buy one. What do you think about your ideals now sweetie? There's a serial killer roaming the SART and I can't defend the people because you're a scaredy cat! DANG IT!
Since the road warrior approach isn't going to happen for me, I guess I'll just have to use the specialized marshal art I've been secretly developing that I call 'Bike Fu'. I can't give all the details of what Bike Fu entails since the US Patent office is dragging their feet with my patent, but I can tell you that it starts with me getting up to a high rate of speed on Serena and it ends about a minute later with me holding the still beating hart of my adversary over my head in my clinched fist yelling "GAME OVER MOTHERF*CKER!!!!!" No weapons, just Power and Justice (my fists).
I was going to save this next tidbit of info for a surprise but I got lights for Serena so I can ride when its getting dark and I was going to install them this weekend but I might have to mount them (no pun intended) tonight since we're in an emergency situation. Stay tuned and fear not! The Spirulina Avenger has been awakened!
Recently you may or may not have notice that I've become obsessed with spirulina. Now that I'm eating it twice a day in recommended amounts, I have to say I'm very impressed with it. However, now that I'm eating it, I've noticed that I have farts that could kill a moose. Last night I did some research and discovered that most people report an increase in loud, rancid blasts until the body catches up, but wow...we're talking defcon 1 on a very regular basis. At least they're not wet, so that's good.
Reminds me of how I used to fart in my dog's face and she'd lick the air after I farted like she was about to get a treat or something. Never got old!