Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Big Fatty and the Fleeing U-Lock

So yesterday was not just Super Tuesday, but also Fat Tuesday and the last day of Carnaval. In my universe, this means that I voted 2 weeks ago by mail, woke up at 5:45 AM for a 6:30 ride with the good people at Shifting Gears, volunteered for our TA Union for few hours (rather unsuccessfully, I might add), picked up a package from the post office, did busy school things (research, went to the gym, attended a lecture), and then bolted over to Santa Monica's Temple Bar to play for its annual "Big Fatty" Mardi Gras event. Whew! Yes, ladies and gentleman, I had a very busy and long day.

But there were some highlights:
– During my early morning ride, I discovered that my knee injury is frighteningly common. I heard a bunch of cyclists talking about doing their time on the "foam roller of pain" to avert knee problems later in the day. And yes, I did my time on the foam roller, and yes, it was very painful but necessary. The whole situation with my t-band and knee makes me very sad because I can't run, and I certainly can't dance. You see, I went to a friend's wedding between Christmas and New Year's, and my little knee chose that night to become a big problem. It was horrible because on the surface, my refusal to dance made me look like a drag on the party mood. So sad! And I have another few parties on the horizon (not to mention the basic dancing I do when I get excited from playing music) and not trusting my right knee to do its job makes me sad.

– While riding from UCLA to the Temple Bar along Wilshire, my U-lock decided to free itself of my bike and fly into traffic. This has happened before. In the past, I was fortunate enough to be riding in a relatively safe area for turning around and I successfully returned it safely to its home on my bike frame. Last night the U-lock's attempt at emancipation occurred while I was rapidly riding down Wilshire between Federal and Barrington during the height of rush hour and bad visibility. Ever since the City of Los Angeles opened the bus lane (which bikes could share) to regular traffic, the ride down Wilshire has been significantly more dangerous. There was no way I was going to turn around to find my lock and I had to let it go. One rather pressing problem remained: how I was going to keep my bike secure while playing the gig? I stopped at a sporting goods store, but they only had coil lock (boo!). Out of desperation, I rode down to Santa Monica Blvd's Cynergy Bike Shop and, lucky for me, they were still open for 5 more minutes. With a new U-lock in hand, I headed over to the Temple Bar and played some good Bahian-style Brazilian music.

– Last Saturday's ride to Palos Verdes was great. I rode a total of 55 miles that day and still went on to work on my dissertation chapter for a good 3 hours. Perhaps I am finally learning how to do something else after a big training day. Also, I have discovered that I am a better than average climber. By no means do I like hills, but I love getting to the top. Also, I had no knee trouble on Saturday! Yay!

– I am now four dollars within reach of raising 1K for the Aids Life Cycle. Will you be that fabulous person to help me hit 40% of my goal? If you are feeling inspired, donate here. I get that very few people read this blog, but if you happen to be passing through and want to donate to a good cause, there is no reason to hold back!

Ok. That's all. Today will be my first day off my bike in over 5 days.

1 comment:

beto dotô said...

Your riding with Shifting Gears! I love them. Did you meet Yanira (aka Peanut) yet? She's in Team 100.

keep on riding!