Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Aiiieeee, the apocalypse is coming!

Just kidding. But it sure seems like it with the smoky sky and the sun. OMFG. I had to stop on my way home and take a picture of it, because it was so surreal looking.

To add to the mystique, and surely this must be another "sign", I hit EVERY SINGLE TRAFFIC LIGHT GREEN on my way home. I drove home via Woodside Road. Road of a thousand stop lights. And anyone that knows me knows I am a red-light magnet (my "gift" to the group ride). It was crazy. Not only did I hit 'em all green on Woodside (has anyone ever hit them all green?) from Woodside Town Hall all the way to 101, I hit the 3 traffic lights GREEN in Foster City. I probably should have bought a lotto ticket, but I was sweaty and cold and just wanted to come home.

I sure hope these fires get under control, sooner rather than later. It's so sad...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Why I hate to ride my bike in Burlingame

Our sponsor shop is in Burlingame (Summit Bikes). Periodically, I'll ride from home over to see them. As it's been hot, I'm trying to ride in the heat to acclimate, so I headed over yesterday around 11:30. While riding along the gutter line on California Avenue (4-lane road) a car came within inches of me with their mirror. I was a bit miffed and raised up my hand like "what the hell?", especially since the other lane was completely devoid of cars. Well, unfortunately for both of us, the car hit the light red at the next intersection. I rolled up, not looking for a confrontation, but wanting to just say, "hey, you got really close to me, please be careful.". Oh, that's so NOT what I got... Me: "Hey, do you know how close you got to me back there?". Psycho woman driver: "It's YOUR fault. You swerved out in front of me!". Me: "Umm, no I didn't. All I'm saying..." PWD: "IT'S YOUR FAULT. YOU SWERVED IN FRONT OF ME! HAVE A NICE DAY! HAVE A NICE DAY!!!" Me, "Look, lady, do you understand..." PWD: "HAVE A NICE DAY! HAVE A NICE DAY!" The more I tried to say, the more she interrupted me. I should have known that on a day close to 100, with all her windows rolled down, that her brain was probably pooched from the heat, and that trying to reason with a psycho is a moot point. Sort of like, jumbo shrimp, military intelligence, etc. I was so shook up that someone could have such little regard for another's safety that I just yelled at her (over her still screaming at me), "Nice, well, it's obvious that you're a psycho. Have a nice day!" and rolled forward.

In hindsight, so many things come to mind. Like, if I really wanted to get hit, I'd not mess around with a car, and I'd go and "swerve" in front of a bus. Or does it not imply the motorist isn't morally obligated to avoid hitting a cyclist, even if the cyclist swerves a bit? For the record, I didn't even twitch. I can ride a line without wavering for a very long time. Then there's always the stuff you think of saying hours after the fact. Like, "It's nice the mental institution lets you out for the weekend, but you really SHOULD go back before someone gets hurt.". That would have been a fun comeback. But likely, the way she was acting, she probably did it on purpose, and then was mortified to hit the light and then, on top of that, be confronted. Well, if you endanger me, and I can catch you, I WILL confront you. I don't regret confronting her, but I regret that it kind of consumed me for the day and that's such a waste.

Not more than 45 minutes later, after stopping at Summit to get COLD water and visit, I headed back towards home. Checking out the course for the Burlingame Crit next Sunday. On my second pass, as I was getting ready to get out of the madness of downtown, some asshat in front of me (I was a safe 4-5 bike lengths away, but we were doing close to 20), decides to SLAM on his brakes to let a pedestrian cross (not in a crosswalk). Holy sh*t. I slammed on the brakes and missed slamming into his bumper by about 1/2 inch. God, I was furious. And you know what? HE NEVER EVEN SAW ME. The pedestrian did, but not the motorist. Wow... I decided that I couldn't get out of there fast enough and there was a huge blockage at the next intersection, so I stopped (full stop) and then proceeded through the 2 cars blocking the entire intersection, only to be nearly pegged by someone turning right. I hit the brakes again, they let me go (I have no idea if that was my fault or not - I was pretty shook up by then). I got out of there as fast as I could, in tears.

I have had more "near death" experiences in Burlingame than I ever have in San Francisco, Los Gatos, Redwood City, South City or Foster City. All places I consider to be more dangerous than Burlingame. But I've been proven wrong again and again.

All I can say is that I felt safer than I have in ages on the bike path yesterday. And my SRAM Red brakes work REALLY well.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Holy sh*t!

I've been trying to break 1000 watts since I started training with power last fall. I got close a few weeks ago with 994 watts, but this is all during training. I haven't felt good enough to actually sprint in a RACE, so it's kind of a moot point. Tonight, I'm out on a pre-race ride with a former teammate (Kim P), just messing about. Did a few efforts and asked her if she wanted to go do a couple of sprints on Runnymeade (my favorite place to do sprints). She was game and so off we went. The first one was a bit shaky, but I still pulled out 909 watts. Okay, good, but I can do better. The next one was way better. I could tell because I felt like I was going to pull my shoes out of the pedals! Kim got a better wattage reading that time too, so when I checked my max, all I could do was scream. I just kept whooping/screaming and almost crying and when she caught up to me all I could blurt out was "Holy shit. I did it. I broke 1000 watts!!!!!!". Kim was hilarious. "This is great! I've never seen you this happy!".

I had to take a picture of it, just in case. And I have no idea how the hell I'm going to sleep tonight, because I'm SO amped up. And to think I did it on Friday the 13th, of all days. Wow. Must be still wound up about the butt gasket business! JK.

So I'm not a jerk, my co-workers are just lazy slobs

This time, I taped it to the top of the mirror, since all of the big paper clips have mysteriously gone missing. The worst part, in using the long piece of tape to grab the butt gasket off the toilet, the end of the butt gasket dipped into the toilet. EEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!! Too bad the picture didn't come out better...

If I can catch this person, I think the funnier thing would be not to confront them, but to silently put a butt gasket on their desk chair. This was suggested by a co-worker and I think it would be awesome!

I'm on a mission now...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sometimes I can be a jerk

A funny jerk, mind you. But a jerk. I have this pet peeve at work: women who don't bother to see if the auto-flush toilet actually flushes their junk down the toilet, women who drip all things unholy on the toilet seat and then leave it for some unlucky bloke, and women who leave the butt gasket on the toilet seat. Jesus. I work at Google for crissakes. Some of the brightest minds work here. Supposedly. Yet these women (I've been trying to catch the culprits for months, because I can shame them like no other... and I've been bleakly disappointed to not catch a one of them) expect someone else to clean up after them.

A few months ago, someone left a butt gasket on the toilet. Incensed, I went and got a sticky note and a red Sharpie and left a note, with a brand-new butt gasket taped to the mirror. "You left this behind. I thought you might want it." I ran out of the bathroom trying not to laugh. A few hours later I went back in and it was gone. Bummer.

Earlier today, I went in, and there was a butt gasket left on my favorite heated toilet seat. UGGGGH! So I used a different stall. Tonight, when I went into the bathroom to change for my ride, there it was. The used butt gasket was back in my favorite stall. Even though I had to use the "big stall" to change in and go to the bathroom - I couldn't help it. I found myself digging through my backpack for a Sharpie and scrap of paper. I left a note: "Please take this with you next time. Nobody wants to sit on a USED seat liner. Gross!!". The cleaning staff leaves a couple of gigantic paper clips in the bathroom to use to prop the door open, so I grabbed one and used it to grab the butt gasket off the toilet. I then grabbed the note and somehow got part of the butt gasket in the sink, setting off the automatic water faucet, which washed away part of the used butt gasket. By this time, I was almost crying from stifling the laughter. Using the end of the clip, I attached the entire thing to the tampon dispenser, took a picture, changed my clothes and got the hell out of there before I got an aneurysm from holding back the laughter...

I sure hope it's still up in the morning, although I'm afraid to go look!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Birthday Ride

So I'm slow. My birthday was actually on Monday... I went for a nice ride to celebrate. And of all the odd-ball things for me to do, I decided to climb Old La Honda. First time since last fall. I held myself back so I could take in the scenery and try not to worry about how long it was going to take me to get to the top. And I made sure to do it the first part of the ride, so I wouldn't chicken out. I was surprised to make it in a reasonable time. I remember a few summers ago, training my ass off to get a good time on OLH. Seriously. I turned myself inside out to get to the top, and clocked a slower time by 20 seconds! Good to know that my fitness has improved in the past few years!

Oh yeah. When I stopped for water before heading back to the car, I saw a bunch of Harleys parked at Roberts Market in Woodside. As I was standing there, eating and drinking I noticed this sticker on one of the bikes... I almost fell over laughing. Classic!

Some of the other bikes had the "Support your local Hells Angels" stickers, but this was the only one that I saw that had the added tagline: "OR ELSE". Awesome.

I followed my ride with a trip to the store for some mahvelous cheese and had homemade Bruschetta, yummy cheese and wine for birthday dinner. I figured the cheese might be s l i g h t l y better for me than the planned piece of carrot cake. ;o)