1st Bike Commute of 2011

During the winters, I feel really fortunate living in the Bay Area. The weather is really tough to complain about and you do get some great views. A couple of years ago, during January, I also took some pictures during the bike commute and was equally as pleased with the views and weather. Golden Gate Bridge in January

I’m also really getting a kick out of this Garmin and uploading my rides to Strava. I’m hoping I can get most of my mileage documented this year. A friend recently told me that when he documented all of his miles for the year, he came to the sad realization that he rode way less than he was telling his friends. I have a feeling I am too.

Strava Upload

The Rapha Festive 500: Day 6, 7, &…8?

Didn’t ride at all on days six and seven. But I did get out today for the bike commute to work followed by a ride up to Fairfax. Then did a quick equipment change at home and did some cross riding in the park again.

No photos this time around.

Strava upload.


Not even half way to the 500, but I’m actually quite pleased to considering I’ve been back on the bike for only three weeks now. It feels pretty good, but I have a little time before I’m back in decent shape.

The Rapha Festive 500: Day 1

Today marks day one of the Rapha Festive 500 challenge. Their challenge is to bundle up and ride 500km from December 23rd to December 30th. That way you can enter the new year “fit and refueled.” Entering into the holidays has been bittersweet this year.

After having ACL reconstruction surgery a little over three months ago, the surgeon said I can get back on the bicycle for real. Good.

It’s been about six months since I’ve ridden any serious miles since I had been waiting for surgery with a knee that that wouldn’t straighten fully for three months. Bad.

I felt the need for a real road bicycle (I had been riding a cyclocross/touring bicycle that I love) so I sprung for a new-to-me Serotta Colorado off of craigslist. Good.

My girlfriend bought me a Garmin for Christmas. (We let each other choose gifts.) Good.

My girlfriend ex-girlfriend is moving out next week. Bad Good.

My Garmin is sitting in the garage in the shipping packaging since at this point it is pretty pointless wrapping it and putting it under the tree. And her gifts from Tiffany are sitting under the tree all alone. I guess as a consolation there won’t be any guilt when I go home and unwrap that packaging like a kid that found the presents in their parents’ closet.

So here it is, the first kilometers of the challenge. The bike commute into work this morning.

the new ride

the route to work


Although, I think this is a lofty goal considering the shape I’m in, I think putting in some mileage towards a goal will be good.


After work, I took a coworker around the Paradise Loop for his first time. On the decent of Camino Alto, we met up with a couple of my neighbors then back tracked back up again. Once home, my neighbor took me for a quick intro to cyclocross in Golden Gate park (one of my few off-road experiences really). He took me up some spots that I found pretty difficult and ended up losing traction on an uphill rooty section and took a spill. It was a little bit of a scare considering my replacement ACL is still pretty vulnerable. I’ll be holding off on technical stuff for a bit.

top of camino alto

paradise loop then home


I’m kind of guesstimating mileage for the day since I haven’t put a cyclometer on the new-to-me road bike, but that should be pretty close. Like I mentioned earlier, I don’t have any expectation to hit the 500 mark, but am hoping to find some good holiday motivation during this week preceding the new year.

Cycling in the Rain and Cold

(One of the colder days in the Bay Area. I admit, we have it pretty good here.)

In the San Francisco Bay Area, it’s been pretty mild weathered for the most part this fall and early winter. We’re beginning to see the first signs of heavy rains and some are predicting an El Niño rainy season.

For the most part, I’ve only done rainy day bicycle commuting, but have limited my distance riding to fairer days and more likely to the fairer months of the year.

This year I’ve decided to try commit to train for some longer rides during the wetter, colder months. A friend introduced me to the San Francisco Randonneurs and they are one of the few organizations that hosts cycling events year round in fair and fowl weather. If you are not in the SF Bay Area, you can try to locate a local chapter by contacting Randonneurs USA.

This Saturday is the first brevet of the year. It’s a 200km loop from the Golden Gate Bridge through the Pt. Reyes area. Rain is in the forecast and there has been some discussion about what to wear and what to expect. I’ve picked up tips and tricks ranging from the absolutely best jacket money can buy to the joy of wrapping newspaper under your jersey to absorb moisture.

Read one of the discussions here.

Commuting by Bicycle: A New Year and a New You!

I’ve been struggling for motivation to commute to work by bicycle this winter, and by good fortune I came across a blog dedicated to the bicycle commuter called Commute by Bike. I posted a comment asking how others motivate themselves to get on their bikes during the colder, wetter, and darker months of the year and they were kind enough to start a discussion about it.

There were lots of really great responses. A couple of my favorites were:

“Simple. I have no car. My choices are ride a bike or walk to work. It’s 4.2 miles. Staying home isn’t an option. I’m simply too busy at work and if I stop showing up I’ll get fired and I’ll lose my house and I’ll have to sleep under the bridge and will have to not just ride my bike in cold, wet weather but LIVE in cold wet weather. So my < 20 minutes each way ride really isn’t so bad.” – John


“I have made a very public goal of riding to work for 500 work days in a row. I am currently at 351.
People at work (and elsewhere) often ask me how many days I have under my belt, and I don’t want to have to admit I opted out.
So, two days of riding with the flu, last week…not pleasant, but doable. Driving the car…not an option.” – Jon Grinder

Browsing elsewhere online, I also stumbled upon stories of people commuting to work on their studded tires through snow storms in well below freezing temperatures. Wow, if they’re doing it, there’s no excuse for me not to ride in.

And plus, look at the view along the way to work: