The training continues! I spent the weekend juggling my other commitments with cycling well apart from the AIDS Life Cycle crowd. Yesterday, Alina and I finally rode the Topanga Canyon loop. This is my new favorite L.A. area ride. Yes, it is climbing intensive (over 2300 feet), but the views are beautiful and the seclusion from PCH is incredibly peaceful (minus the racing cars and motorcycles, of course). Just before Thanksgiving of last year, we tried to ride up to just the corner of Topangan Canyon and Old Topanga Canyon Road for the first time. That ride was very difficult for us. Yesterday, the first 3-mile hill was no problem nor were the other hills in the loop. As the first real measure of my progress since I started doing longer rides, the Topanga ride was probably one of the most satisfying experiences in recent months. I felt like I had conquered a monster.
Today, I am off to Helen's to get new tires. I got a really nasty flat yesterday just 1 mile shy of Santa Monica. As I was changing the tube I noticed that the only reason why I haven't had more flats is my tire liner: it was all chewed up. The holes in my back tire are so bad that you can literally see them from the saddle. Clearly, a change is necessary. (Also, it's a great opportunity to downgrade to something smaller, say a 25cm tire.)
For those of you wondering where I've been for the last few weeks, I feel that I should inform you that I took on a second job for the spring quarter AND I am sitting-in on my advisor's social theory seminar. Both of these elements mean that blogging is generally the last thing on my mind. The job is for a good cause and the money is certainly nice. I keep telling myself that I won't let it distract too much from my research, but I can't be sure. This much is true: my fatigue is palatable.
Coming soon: comments on LA's new Bus Rapid Transit and getting hit by my first SUV during my commute.