nekoballs

March 25, 2010

Me versus RAV4. Winner? Draw.

Filed under: cars, cycling — Tags: , , , — nekoball @ 8:04 PM

After two years of incident free cycling, I finally had my first “run in” with a car. Literally. Yesterday, Wednesday after work at 6:30PM, I was heading Southbound on Moffett Blvd. in Mountain View taking the same route I take everyday to get to and from Caltrains and Moffett Field. I was riding the Felt at a relaxed Z1 pace and had my hands placed at the corner of the tops. I crossed the Middlefield intersection while the signal light was green for the left turners so I cleared all the cars that were continuing on Moffett. Looking down the road, there were no cars, but I noticed a group of cyclists heading in the opposite direction. They made a left turn into the plaza and were likely headed for Los Portales for a post ride bite. After noting the riders, my mind either zoned out or I looked down because as I approached this driveway, a white/silver Toyota RAV4 suddenly turned right in front of me AND STOPPED.

With my hands not on my hoods or drops, I couldn’t grab a handful of brake so I swerved to the right into the parking lot. I heard “F****CK” come out of my mouth and “wOOOOOOH” out of one of the other rider’s right before my leg ran into the RAV4’s fender/tire and bounced off. Yes bounced off.  Luckily, the RAV4 left enough driveway for me to ride into the lot otherwise I would have either 1.) ran straight in it or 2.) ran into a curb and endo’d…

Slightly in shock, I looped the parking lot and rode back to the curb. One of the cyclists suggested that I come in for a beer, which wouldn’t have been a bad idea had I not been on my way to meet up with Thomas. The RAV4 had driven off somewhere else in the parking lot, and since I did not really have anything nice to say to the driver, I just rode off lucky to get away without incident.

In retrospect, after totally cutting me off, the RAV4 probably had to stop to yield to the other cyclists going through the parking lot-right in front of my path of travel. I was probably a bit zoned out too, but I suppose I got off lucky… Lets hope I’ve hit my car incident quota for the year.

PS: Did I really write that much (and spend that long writing) about a 10 second incident?

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March 10, 2010

Riding Eastbayway to Mountain view with angry clouds

I was in Alameda on Sunday and I wanted to ride into work on Monday. Instead of wasting an hour BARTing back to Millbrae, I decided to just ride directly from Alameda to Mountain View. The ride distance was surprisingly short (38 miles versus 32 miles from Millbrae) so I wasn’t too worried about the ride. I WAS however worried about surviving both Oakland and EPA solo.  I headed out at 7:30AM and was annoyed to find that my Garmin was out of batteries, depriving me both the ability to monitor my heart rate and to upload my route post ride. Fortunate for me, I had been staring at my HRs all week long and therefore had a rough idea what zone I was in based on my perceived effort.

To minimize getting lost, I made myself a cue sheet:

and taped it to my stem.

Not having ridden in this area at all and having no expectations of the route, I was pleasantly surprised by how bike friendly the route was… up until Hesperian. Bay Farm Island in Alameda was very bike friendly and had plenty of bike lanes and off street paths. In fact, most of the time I was in a bike lane or shoulder until I got to Hesperian.  Hesperian did have some sections of bike lane, but a majority of the street was similar to el Camino – three lane wide with a 35-45mph speed limit.  I would definitely avoid that next time. If I was riding with someone else, I would have been open to do some bay trail exploring.


Before I got to the bridge, I stopped to blow my nose and take some pictures. I thought I was pretty much at the bridge and on my way to Mountain View. Little did I know! Going down Paseo Padre seemed a lot longer then it looked on the map and going up Marsh Rd. to the Bike/Pedestrian walkway seemed to take forever. The road was very bumpy and Marsh Rd. turned West, right into a strong headwind.


Those clouds were sprinkled in the sky all morning long, but the weather the getting warmer and the sun was coming out… until I got to Dumbarton Bridge. When I started climbing up the bridge, the sun disappeared behind the clouds. While the sun was gone, a single angry rain cloud decided try and stop me from crossing the bridge. So it pelted me with raindrops-icicle cold and sharp raindrops. The thick rain created standing water on the road and blurred my glasses and soaked my jacket. It wasn’t supposed to rain today! I tucked myself in and hammered to get off the bridge, and when I finally started descending, the rain let up. By the time I was off the bridge, it had stopped raining.

The rest of the route was the normal Bayway and since I took it easy most of the way, I wasn’t feeling fatigued or sore. Dumbarton was not fun, but I would do it again-rerouting around Hersperian.

Route via Garmin Google maps

March 7, 2010

SF2G Bayway plus Gmap for bikes

Filed under: cycling, ride report — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — nekoball @ 9:32 PM

Missing out on rides all week long, I did a FFFF SF2G bayway to work on Friday. We rode a standard Bayway route and skipped the BTN. At 7:40, I joined the first two riders:  Gavin and one other. At the water stop we waited for the rest of the group. There were 27 riders! I joined the first group of 5 that left. Eventually, it shrunk down to just me and Gavin, who offered me breakfast courtesy of Google.

By the time we got there (9:40), there was not a lot of food left.  There were mostly donuts, bagels, and fruits left. I went for the bagel, toasted!, instead of the donuts.  While eating and chatting, we asked to participate in a video to promote google maps for bikes.

We rode around in a few circles, got filmed, then almost got run over by the “conference bike”.

Route on Garmin …and yes. My HR stayed in Z2/z3.

January 28, 2010

s works can too

Filed under: cycling — Tags: , , , , , , , — nekoball @ 1:07 PM


It seems like weeks since we have had a dry weekday. Today there was going to be a break in the rain, so I decided to ditch work early on Wednesday to squeeze in a short post work ride with Slonie. The night before, we hashed out the details.

me: so, what kind of ride tomorrow and when and where
Lee: Road, wherever, whenever
me: cross?
Lee: Well I’ll have my road bike on me

Meh! I wanted to do a cross ride, but I guess I’ll just ride the S-Works. We met up at Bayshore x San Antonio and started wandering around paved sections of Shoreline baylands. We end up heading back toward Moffett Field, a bit too early in the ride. We loop back out to Palo Alto,  and make a turn to the south. I follow Slonie, down a path and toward what appears to be a dead end. Doesn’t the road end up ahead? I don’t get response because we hit the dirt and Slonie takes off! Wait, where are we going!? I brought my road bike, I didn’t sign up for this!


If feels sketchy enough for me offroad on a cross bike, so being on a road bike did not help to boost confidence. It was mostly flat, and mostly dry, but there were spots of muddiness and lots of rain puddles. As we start climbing a dry gravel path up the hill, I was thinking this isn’t so bad. Then Slonie points to the top of the hill. Pedal pedal pedal pedal. Unclip. Pickup bike. Walk up hill. I guess we got ourselves a cross ride after all! These little hills certainly do make a for a nice CX training course and its only 10minutes from my work! I think I just found my lunch ride. Riding the Sworks offroad was not as bad as I thought it would be, but I do have the cross bike so I should use it! Now I just need to clean the mud off all the bike, which I JUST cleaned this weekend. I never clean my bikes.

All pictures and route are from Slonie’s S90/Garmin

PS: Next morning, shortly after running out the door I realized I had a rear flat. I have never had a flat on the gatorskits and yes they were still a bitch to get off/on. Maybe S works can’t after all.

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