Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tue, Dec 23

Chain Reaction Bicycles posted some really cool pictures from a recent ride up Kings Mountain Road; click on the picture to see the photo album.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sat, Dec 20

The only thing worse than riding in 53F weather, is riding in 48F weather. Despite the cold temperature, I decided to go for a short ride today, because some exercise is better than no exercise, and the forecast for the coming days will not entice me at all to go cycling. The ride ended up being really short; after 25 minutes around the Cal State campus, I had enough and returned home for a hot shower. This was definitely the last ride this year. Now it's time for a fresh-made eggnog.

2008 riding stats: #of rides: 85, annual mileage: 2631.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sun, Dec 14

Hayward (pln) - Pommi prematurely ends the 2008 cycling season after the weekend was just friggin' cold and wet. Folks in areas where it's about -2F right now, are probably rolling on the floor laughing hard. There's just one more weekend left this year for some California cycling, but the chances for 60+ degrees are rather slim.

With 2624 miles for the year, I came up 92 miles short of last year's mileage, and 376 miles short of my initial goal; as mentioned before, May and September were spent in China and recovery.

Breakdown by month:

Jan 110.0
Feb 111.5
Mar 361.8
Apr 150.6
May 31.6
Jun 207.8
Jul 393.3
Aug 367.4
Sep 69.0
Oct 334.1
Nov 430.0
Dec 57.5

My 2009 goals are undefined as of yet except participating in 2-3 centuries.

The 2009 New Year ride will not be on a bike up Diablo, but on a train from Frankfurt to Munich; my cycling season will start January 10.

Until then, Happy Holidays, and don't drink too much eggnog.

Mobile blogging via sms ....

mobile blogging via email

how does it work ?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Mon, Dec 8

Weekend stats:
- mileage: 57.5 miles
- average temperature: 53 F

On Saturday, I still got away riding with half-finger gloves and just a vest over the bike jersey; yesterday, the temperature at start was just 51F, and required full-finger gloves, shoe covers, skull cap, and jacket.

I have 92 miles of riding and two weekends this year left to at least beat my 2007 mileage of 2716.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sun, Nov 30

With temperatures in the 70s (other locations in the US getting half of that today), I rounded up the weekend riding 84 miles, bringing the month's total to 430 miles, and the annual mileage to 2567, still more than 400 miles short of my goal. Considering the one-month trip to China and my crash, I would've already passed the 3000-mark; maybe next year.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wed, Nov 26

Placed a new picture into the blog header: a ~135-degree view from the Haleakala summit.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cyclist killed in Port Costa hit-and-run

MARTINEZ — An avid cyclist killed by a hit-and-run driver Monday during a routine bike ride in Port Costa was remembered as an energetic man who had a knack for sensing when his friends and family needed help, relatives said.

Mark Pendleton, 49, of Martinez, was struck sometime in the early evening hours by a driver who remains at large.



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wed, Nov 19

Four more days left here on the island. This morning I rode for one more time, bringing the total for this vacation to 8 rides and 272 miles in 11 days.

Other impressions

Different day, same ocean.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mon, Nov 17

Today, on top of Haleakala, at a balmy 48F; with wife and without bike.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sun, Nov 16

Week One is over, Week Two to start.

Saturday I took a break from cycling, and I picked up my wife from the airport. Today I only got 20.9 miles accomplished due to the Trade Winds being back and bringing morning showers.

Remaining day's view:

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fri, Nov 14: Road to Hana

Today was the 5th consecutive day of riding; total Maui mileage: 196 miles.

I also heard that the weather conditions on Haleakala above 7000 feet two days ago were not any better than at 6500 feet, where two of us turned around; conditions at the Summit were described as "almost snowing" and "I couldn't move my fingers to break". This sounds more like mid- to upper 30s, instead of the forecasted 57F.

The ride today was out from Maui Cyclery in Haiku, on Hana Road to Keanae Peninsula and back, for a total of 46.8 miles in about 3 hours. And it really really doesn't get any better than this:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wed, Nov 12 - Haleakala

To make a long story short: the ride to the House of the Sun ended up being a ride to the House of the Fog.

At about 7am, it looked to be a clear and sunny day on Haleakala. We started the ride close to 8:50am at the Maui Cyclery in Haiku. The route took us on backroads up to about 3100 feet, and the first stop, at the Kula Lodge. It was noticeably cooler already than at the start of the ride, and at the next stop at about 5000 feet, arm warmers and vests came on. At 6500 feet visibility was maybe 100 feet at times due to the fog. With still 13 of 22 miles on Highway 378 to go to the Summit, we decided to turn around. We had a blast going 40 mph downhill, and were back to Haiku an hour later.

Climbing 6500 feet is the equivalent of riding up Mount Diablo twice, and despite the failure to summit, I enjoyed the 44 mile ride. In retrospect, I regret that I gave up, because physically I could have continued on the final 1/3 of the ride, but mentally I wasn't ready for the cold and another 13 miles of uphill riding. At least Haleakala doesn't go anywhere; one day I'll complete the ride.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tue, Nov 11

Typical day on Maui (so far):

6am: get up
7am: hit the road

9:30am: return to hotel
10am: hit the beach
12pm: lunch
1pm: hit the beach
5:30pm: watch the sunset

6pm: dinner
9pm: hit the sack

Scheduled for tomorrow: the ride up Haleakala.

Mostly sunny with isolated showers. Breezy. Highs 59 to 65 at 7000 feet to around 57 at the summit. Southeast winds 10 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sun, Nov 2

The weather was my friend today as we got a break from the rain. Headed over the hills to Pleasanton to ride to Walnut Creek and back. Diablo looked inviting, but I didn't trust the weather. Between Danville and Alamo, Chris Phipps and friends from the Morgan Stanley / 24 Hour Fitness / Specialized Cycling Team passed me, so I drafted them at about 28 mph until Rutgear Rd. Returned via Olympic and Tice Valley Blvd. Today's mileage: 34.4, average 18.4 mph.

In a week from today I'll be sitting at the beach in Maui, and enjoying just about everything there. Instead of schlepping my bike there, I'll rent one from West Maui Cycles, and hope to get some of the 830 miles done which I am short of to reach 3000 miles for the year. The plan for Wed, Nov 12, is to ride up Haleakala, with Donnie Arnoult's Go Cycling Maui. Aloha!

Evening Sky over SF Bay

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thu, Oct 30: HealthNet goes OUCH with Floyd

Cyclingnews.com reports on the sponsor replacement of the HealthNet cycling team, to be now called "OUCH presented by Maxxis", and Floyd Landis riding for OUCH in 2009:

Landis, ex-Health Net together under OUCH

After a lot of speculation, the replacement for Health Net as title sponsor of the five-time top NRC men's team is now official – OUCH Sports Medical Center, based in Temecula, California, will take over the sponsorship of the team run my Momentum Sports Group, to be officially named OUCH presented by Maxxis. As well, it is confirmed that Floyd Landis will join the team following the end of his suspension in January of 2009.

Dr. Brent W. Kay, MD, co-founder and executive director of OUCH Sports Medical Center, is the impetus behind the sponsorship. Dr. Kay is Landis' long-time personal physician, and testified at his USADA arbitration hearing. He is also the doctor who oversaw his hip replacement surgeries.

"We are very excited to showcase Floyd's Smith & Nephew hip, to play on the bionic man theme with his return," Dr. Kay told Cyclingnews. "We think it is going to set a precedent about what these joints can do."

As for how the sponsorship came about, as well as combining it with the plan for Landis' return, Dr. Kay said that the pieces just fell into place. "I knew that Health Net was not going to be sponsoring any more, and the opportunity just presented itself, so I jumped on it. I am really excited because I want to help Floyd return and also it is going to help get out message out. We are going to do some seminars next year about joint replacement, not just to the athlete community but also to the general public. "

Dr. Kay is himself an accomplished track cyclist, who attempted to break the world hour record for ages 40-44 in 2006. "I started cycling at age 40; I had done triathlons for twenty years before that, but because of severe arthritis in my shoulder I got into cycling. Shortly after that I met Floyd on a ride near my home."

OUCH is not new to cycling sponsorship, as it was the sponsor of American track star Sarah Hammer for her 2006-2007 season. It also supported the American Women's Track Cycling Fund. Dr. Kay said that currently the plans for a track team are still to be determined.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wed, Oct 29: SF Bay Expo coming next month

From cyclingnews.com:

San Francisco Bay Area Expo and Swap coming next month

The inaugural San Francisco Bay Area Bicycle Expo and Swap, presented by rideSFO, will happen November 29-30 in San Francisco, California. The Expo and Swap will be about everything on human powered two wheel machines and related. Booth space will be available for exhibitors such as bike manufacturers, eco-friendly vendors, bike shops, teams, and advocacy groups. Bike demos, shows and a raffle will be part of the activities.

For more information, visit www.ridesfo.com.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mon, Oct 27: ToCA 2009

"Thank you for your interest in the 2009 Tour of California. The Sacramento Sports Commission has received your contact information from the AMGEN website and you are now a registered volunteer for the overall start of the 2009 Tour of California!
We are still looking for willing volunteers to assist the Sacramento Sports Commission with this event so if you are aware of anyone who might be interested please refer them to www.amgentourofcalifornia.com to sign up. [...]"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sun, Oct 26

Today's ride: Pleasanton - Walnut Creek - Diablo North Gate - Junction - South Gate - Danville and back, for a total of 49.3 miles and 334 miles for the month. This is the same route I took on Aug 17, before I crashed in Dublin, about one mile before completing that day's ride; fortunately, no broken bones today.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sat, Oct 25: Diablo #10

This is one of those days where you get up and don't feel like riding but rather sleeping for another several hours. Nevertheless, fearing that I will regret it if I don't go out for a ride, I packed my things and headed towards the usual hunting ground. It was also good to start early, because by the time I passed the South Gate Kiosk on the way down from Mount Diablo Summit, the breeze had turned from refreshingly cool to 85F+.

Today's view from the summit

Not for sale ...

On Diablo Road ...

Fall colors in Danville

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sun, Oct 19: Diablo

Another beautiful day in the Bay Area, so what else could one doing other than visiting Mount Diablo. Today was the ninth time this year to ride up to the summit; and No, it doesn't get boring.


On the way down, just above Junction

Halloween must be near ... a house in the Diablo Country Club

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sat, Oct 18: Tour de Napa

Our "Tour de Napa" is a semiannual event, where we just focus on wine-tasting and not bike-riding. We usually meet somewhere along Silverado Trail, cycle from winery to winery, and at the fourth of fifth winery stop for lunch, and enjoy sushi and a bottle of red wine.

Today's wineries:

Total mileage: 27.4 miles.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sun, Oct 12: Diablo

2-for-2 in Diablo rides this weekend ... today it was more windy than yesterday, so instead of riding up to the Summit, I took the North Gate downhill and returned via Walnut Creek back to Danville. Part of why I don't like the North Gate route, is that I need to take dreaded Ygnacio Valley Road to get from/to S. Broadway / Rudgear, unless you want to risk getting lost in some neighborhood. If you're familiar with the area, it would definitely be a safer choice.

2008 riding stats (2007 stats in parenthesis) as of 10/12:
#of rides: 63 (68), annual mileage: 1916 (2548), pace: 2446.

The 3000-mile goal has moved far far to the horizon, and I will probably not even reach last year's mileage (2716); however, I hope to catch up a bit during next month's 2-week stay on Maui.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sat, Oct 11: Diablo

The plan for today was to ride Diablo, to make up for last weekend's missed opportunity. The temperature in the morning was a little turn-off, but looking outside the window, having great visibility and clear, sunny skies, I was determined to achieve my personal Diablo Challenge today. It was about 65F in Danville when I started riding, and by the time I reached the summit, the temperature had dropped to 43F. I was the only cyclist at the summit; it didn't really feel cold until turning around and heading downhill.

Today's ride took me 1:13 hours, from the "Hole in the Wall" to the summit, excluding stops at Junction, Juniper and some photo opportunity locations.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fri, Oct 10: Those were the days

Diablo Scott found a cool picture of Mount Diablo Summit:

Those were probably the days where it took a car longer than the current record by riding a bike up to the summit.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mon, Oct 6: Schumacher positive for EPO

Who other than L'Equipe broke the news: Stefan Schumacher from Team Gerolsteiner tested positive for EPO CERA during this year's Tour de France. How much more can we expect from testing the Tdf samples ?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sun, Oct 5: Mount Diablo Challenge 2008

Last year, my goal for this year's Mount Diablo Challenge was "riding Mount Diablo in 1:20 or better on a bike lighter than my current 22-pound Trek". Back in February I bought a new bike, but due to my crash seven weeks ago, I could only be at the event today as a volunteer for Save Mount Diablo.

The day started with driving up Diablo while it was still dark. At South Gate, all traffic was stopped for about 30 minutes due to a fallen tree between the kiosk and the Service Area past Rock City. Once cleared, it had gotten brighter already, so experiencing sunrise on Diablo must wait. The remaining drive up to the summit was uneventful, but the views were rewarding.

Wind chill probably around 40F ...

At 8:30am, the first wave started; 1:10 minutes into the race:

It didn't feel very much later when we saw cyclists in the distance, between Junction and Juniper. Shortly after, the motorcycle escort was seen, followed by a single rider.

And then, a few minutes before we actually expected the first cyclist to pass the finish mark, 24-year old Nate English (ZteaM) from Berkeley, sprinted up the final incline ...

... and finished with a new course record of 43:33.3 minutes, beating the old record by 1:25 minutes (44:58); Nate also won the 48th Annual Mt. Tamalpais Hill Climb on Sep 27.

Nate's team mate, Justin Laue, finished over two minutes later, at 45:51.8:

Christopher Phipps finished third with 47:09.0; last year, the top three finishers were Phipps, English, Laue.

Here the unofficial, overall result (top 18):

UPDATE: Photos and Official results are available now.

Unfortunately, on the way driving down, we came by two accidents; two cyclists had crashed between South Gate Kiosk and Park Entrance. At the site of the first crash, I saw a young woman lying on a stretcher, with Fire&Rescue and Sheriff already on scene; and just a few curves later, another more seriously looking crash, where a cyclist apparently drove into a ditch filled with rocks /boulders. The sheriff I talked to later, said that the young woman broke her hip, and that the young man was in more serious condition; he was later transported back up the mountain to be airlifted out by helicopter. Apparently there were a total of four accidents that day. We wish both cyclists a full and quick recovery from their injuries.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sat, Oct 4

The latest doping news from the professional circuit of cycling:

First the good news:

Now the bad news:

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thu, Oct 2

My assignment for this Sunday's Mount Diablo Challenge was changed to duty at the Summit, which will actually be more fun: zooming up with the NeverFollow vehicle, seeing the sun rise, enjoying the view, hanging out until noon, driving down, saddling the bike, and then doing my personal Diablo Challenge that day. If it is not too cold in the morning, I might decide to ride my bike up to the summit before everyone else, but this means leaving Athenian School at around 6am. In any case, it will be a fun day.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tue, Sep 30: Diablo Tuesdays

This afternoon I had an appointment with my doctor to check on the progress of my recovery. Except "lifting heavy weights, and falling", I'm allowed to do any activity. This and the fact that the hospital is about 10 miles from Mount Diablo, facilitated my decision to take all of the afternoon off, and ride the mountain. It was a little warm, around 90F, when I started in Danville, and by the time I reached South Gate, I was close to just turning around. After South Gate, the temperature is usually a little cooler, and so as always, I tell myself "if you're already here, you can also ride to Junction", so I made my way to Juniper, Devil's Elbow, Lower Parking Lot, and finally to the Summit.

It's good in a sense to not participate in Sunday's Diablo Challenge, as I might disgracefully reach a new PWR ... personal worst record, considering today was only the third bike ride in 6 weeks; but I will be at Athenian School in Danville Sunday morning to hand out bib's and time chips. See you there.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sat, Sep 28: He's baaack

Yes, I am back to Mount Diablo ... after six weeks of absence ...

You can't get up early enough ... by the time I reached Junction at about 10:30am, the thermometer at the Ranger Station said "86F". The heat and me being not in the best shape made me turn around about a half mile past Junction on Summit Road. Overall, good to be back riding, but now I have to start working on getting back in shape.

Somewhere on the way up to South Gate:


The bike was also be happy to be let out of the garage ...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sat, Sep 27

Another beautiful autumn day in the Bay Area.

While I'm pondering whether to go for a ride or not, fellow cyclist TBV is in the hospital recovering from his injuries that he sustained during an accident, about which he wrote a detailed report.

As you can see and read, cyclists and other weaker participants in traffic, have to be smarter and more prepared than others in 3-4 thousand pound sheet metal boxes. Anticipating other driver's mistakes or inattentiveness is important to avoid an accident, or otherwise look for the best way out. Wearing bright clothing, a helmet, and lights at dawn or dusk, are compulsory; make yourself visible to drivers behind glass and windshield wipers. Always carry some I.D. and a cell phone. Being smarter and more prepared can save your life. Be safe out there. Always.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


This year is already not a good year for a few of us cyclists, but unfortunately worse for some ...

Not even two months after TBV broke his shoulder when crashing during a ride, he was hit by a car early afternoon today, and suffered broken ribs and a collapsed lung. This evening, he sent an email via iPhone from the ER, so fortunately he is doing well, considering the circumstances.

This incident reminds us to be always safe out there, try to compensate for inattentive drivers, and have enough luck to make it back safely; a few other cyclists in Saskatoon (Canada), Minneapolis and Cleveland were not as lucky yesterday and today, when they were struck by cars.

We wish TBV a full and quick recovery !

Wed, Sep 24

Finally I did register for the Diablo Challenge, but you actually won't see me racing up the mountain on October 5. Since I'm in lousy shape now, I will volunteer instead, and handing out bib's and time chips during check-in.

If you also would like to help out at the event, please contact Kim Bratton (kbratton AT savemountdiablo DOT org), and provide contact information (name, email and/or phone) as well as times at which you would be available.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sun, Sep 14

After four weeks of idling and recovering, today I decided to go out for a ride. Instead of crossing the Bay though, I just circled the nearby Cal State campus for a total of 15 miles. All went well, but I realize that it's still early to push ahead for more; bumps and other unevenness in the road still creates an uncomfortable feeling. I think that I will have to skip the Diablo Challenge, and instead, contribute as a volunteer to the event.

Returning without incident ...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sat, Sep 13

After circling once around the block on my bike today, I feel good to venture out tomorrow for a little longer and further. My first ride, four weeks after my crash, will be on Canada Road; to keep it safe, I'll just ride to Woodside and back a couple of times. I didn't get permission to ride Diablo yet, but it would be too early anyway; officially I have another 2 1/2 weeks of recovery ahead of me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lance coming out of retirement ...

This sounds like it's more or less official ....

"AUSTIN, Texas — Lance Armstrong is getting back on his bike, determined to win an eighth Tour de France.

Armstrong's return from cancer to win the Tour a record seven consecutive times made him a hero to cancer patients worldwide and elevated cycling to an unprecedented level in America.

The 36-year-old Armstrong told Vanity Fair in an exclusive interview posted on its Web site today that he was inspired to return after finishing second last month in the Leadville 100, a lung-searing 100-mile mountain bike race through the Colorado Rockies.

"This kind of obscure bike race, totally kick-started my engine," he told the magazine. "I'm going to try and win an eighth Tour de France."

The sport and particularly the Tour have missed his star power, even though skeptics refused to believe he could win seven Tours without the help of illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

The 2009 Tour "is the intention," Armstrong's spokesman Mark Higgins told The Associated Press, "but we've got some homework to do over there."

Tour director Christian Prudhomme did not return messages seeking comment on Armstrong's decision. His staff said he would not comment before Wednesday morning, if at all.

Armstrong's close friend and longtime team director, Johan Bruyneel, now with team Astana, sent a text message to an AP reporter in Paris saying he did not want to comment now.

In a video statement on his foundation's Web site, Armstrong said details — such as a team and schedule — will be announced Sept. 24 at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City."


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tue, Sep 2

Today, my doctor said that I shouldn't be riding my bike for another four weeks, so technically I could participate in the Diablo Challenge. I also got to see my new look:

The doctor's note about the Titanium plate came along with it; otherwise airport security might object letting me through.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fri, Aug 22

The Bell helmet that saved my head; arrows point to the cracks.

Bike damage is minor: torn handlebar tape, scratches on pedal and shift brake lever, plus flat front tire.

The other damage:

According to the X-ray from after surgery, which I personally haven't seen yet, the bones are again nicely lined up, held by a metal plate and several screws. Loath going through airport security next time ...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thu, Aug 21

Two stories making headlines today:

1. Pommi is back home after surgery, doing fine, and now a big fan of Ibuprofen.

2. 15-year old girl learning to drive SUV kills cyclist

I'm at a loss of words ... kids driving 4000-pound vehicles after getting this lousy driver education. I remember the driving test I had to take in CA after moving here; it was a casual drive around 5 blocks, with one stop at a curb and having to back up 10 meters, plus a 3-point turn on such a wide road where you actually can do a straight U-turn twice (!).

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mon, Aug 18

367 miles for this month, 120 miles alone last weekend ... but that's it for Pommi for the next several weeks ... yesterday I added myself to the list of cyclists breaking the shoulder or collarbone when crashing. Somehow I managed to catapult myself off the bike after having taken the left hand off the handlebar and then obviously pushing the handlebar too much and/or leaning left too much (details are fuzzy) when trying to grab the handlebar again. The handlebar went right, and I went left and down, hitting the pavement with the left shoulder and head. Rookie mistake. The helmet and the collarbone both cracked; the bike is in better shape than me. Thanks to the lady who stopped to call 911.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Wishing TBV to get well soon

In his preparation to smash this year's Mount Diablo Challenge competition, TBV went down yesterday during a training ride and broke his shoulder. The new bike is fine but he won't be riding for a while. We wish him a quick recovery !

Sun, Aug 3

It's August ... already ... last month's mileage (393) raised my pace for this year to 2477, up from 1900 just three weeks ago. Last week plus this weekend added 124 miles to the count. After TBV told about his Diablo 1:20h, I had to counter: today 1:14h from the hole in the wall up to the summit; however, this was just riding time, excluding the stops at Junction, Juniper and lower Summit parking lot. I still have to work on my pace to eliminate these breaks.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mon, Jul 28

Since I posted last time, 16 days ago, I've racked up 283 miles, 112 alone since last Friday. I did the honorable thing and rode the bike to work Friday; Saturday's ride was the usual route on the Peninsula, to Chain Reaction Bicycles and back. After getting up on Sunday, I initially declared this a recovery day, before I declared I could at least do a recovery ride. Next thing was seeing Mount Diablo in the distance, and thinking that I could ride up to South Gate and then return. But this mountain has this unexplainable appeal, so I continued to Junction, when the mountain said "come on, if you can do Junction, you can do Juniper", and once there, it said "now please, only another 849 feet of climbing". Diablo was stronger, and I made it to the summit in 1:22 hours, 2 minutes faster than my previous record during last year's Diablo Challenge ... TBV, take that.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sat, Jul 12

It's been eight weeks since I got back from China, and not only have I been lazy updating my blog, but also lazy to bike and even lazy to follow this year's Tour de France.

After last year's Tour and its doping cases, I really got tired of following the pro's. Not watching this year's Tour was probably also a good decision, considering Beltran's positive EPO test and the anticipated, usual fallout.

Not riding a lot lately myself has other reasons. My wife calls it "mid-life crisis", but I'm really NOT into writing poems, traveling to Antarctica, buying a Porsche, becoming a healer, growing a mustache, spending hours in front of the mirror, skydiving, or moving to Shangri-La ... or contemplating about it in a blog ;-) ... maybe just ready for a real long vacation. So far, 277 miles in 8 weeks, current pace for the year: 1900 miles, just 1100 miles short of my stated goal. It's going to be tough.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sat, May 31

Pommi has been back from China for two weeks now. Last Sunday I rode my bike for the first time in six weeks, and Boy, it felt good. Eight pound lighter (probably all due to the light Qingdao beer in China ;-)), the inclines felt easier. Endurance was fine, but after six weeks of not riding any bike including the one in the hotel gym, your leg muscles have vanished like ice cream in the sunshine. So I feel like this is the start of spring season after a long winter break. Diablo will have to wait a few weeks, and even TBV's Ralston Rd regimen seems like too much effort right now.

If you haven't seen it yet, Google created a Street View of Mount Diablo; check it out.

Also, the Diablo Challenge 2008 has been scheduled for October 5. Yes, my goal for this year had been "1:20h or faster on a new bike up Mount Diablo", and while I have a new bike, I can't say yet whether I will participate in this year's race to the summit.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Thu, May 8 - from China: The Olympic torch in Shenzhen

The Olympic torch (well, one of the two: the other one just made it to Mt. Everest) came through Shenzhen today, and passed by the FIYTA High-Tech Building where Oracle's office is located. It was a sunny and clear but hot day out there while we waited for the arrival of the torch. Crowds lined the streets. Eventually I found a nice spot to take pictures: on the roof of a bus; the bus driver was nice enough to let me inside and climb through the roof door on top. And then it was like during a bike race: you come out hours before anything will happen, and then within a minute it's all over.

Some pictures from today, click on the picture below:

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sun, May 4 - from China

Some pictures from Xiamen, Fujian Province, China:

In the land of bicycles ...

Talking on the phone while driving ...

Latest helmet fashion

Tandems ain't big enough for all of us ... and it's good to see a fan of 1860 München in China. Since I was asked, the bubble wrap is probably just there to protect these valuable bikes. Side note: the local Walmart Special goes for CNY 199 (currently USD 28.75).

I get this all the time ...

Alien girls on bike

The local bike gang

From Macau:

Old chap, old bike.