Sunday, August 21, 2011
"if you’re going to love something cycling’s a good choice." - eben weiss.
for years eben weiss wrote the bike snob NYC blog anonymously. well, maybe not so much as anonymously, but a highly guarded secret. weiss poked humor at all elements of cycling and often admitted to his own faults as a cyclist. coming out of obscurity, weiss released Bike Snob: Systematically & Mercilessly Realigning The World of Cycling which should be required reading for all cycling enthusiasts.
in his book, weiss carefully documents the past, present, and possible future of cycling. there are small autobiographical chapters in which weiss attempts to retrace the route - nearly impossible with vehicular congestion - of an early 1800s bicycle race. weiss reminisces about his time as a bicycle messenger: “I absolutely loved working as a bike messenger...the fact that any responsibility lasted only as long as you had a package inside your bag.”
the book was loaned to me by greg wessel to whom I am grateful for. between greg’s *comical* displeasure of fixed gear bicycles to his expert knowledge of bicycle mechanics I acquired a road bicycle this summer and began to enjoy the beautiful misery associated with racing such a vessel. as such, when megan milligan’s friend arrived in honolulu my welcome gift was weiss’ Bike Snob book.
the last few weeks have brimmed with activity. marissa eshima, leroy lehano, curt, and I went on leisure bicycle ride into the lush mountains of manoa. then I decided to climb the most difficult hill on the island of oahu: willeminha rise. willeminha rise has a 13.6% average percent gradient and I swear every percentage was felt. jeremy pang accompanied me for the ascend up willeminha rise, ending up at maunalani community park where HNL bike polo was hosting the first ever bike polo tournament - correct me if I am incorrect - entitled “broken coconuts.”
nimz surprised me by coming home three days early. I was in such shock that it took a day for me to rationalize that my gal was indeed home. thank you NOAA for chartering an earlier flight.
at mccully warehouse I met damek maurice from oregon. damek showed up on an older cambio team cannondale road bicycle and inquired a job as a warehouse mechanic. damek explained that he was back in honolulu to finish his schooling. we immediately bonded over the fact that we are both good friends with shanna belknap. so I asked damek if he was racing the dick evans memorial road race.
damek explained that he was in no shape for the lengthy road race. I explained that for the last two weeks I have been desk-ridden with a new career as program coordinator of KVIBE. without hesitation I sponsored half of damek’s entry fee and we both jokingly agreed to do our team - cambiamento d andaturo - proud by holding the “third group” strong. there is no way I am going to be anywhere near the first nor second peloton at my rate.
it is humorous how much responsibility I acquired recently: from bicycle messenger to being in charge of a non-profit bicycle education program. humorous indeed.
Friday, August 12, 2011
with less then one month before the dick evans memorial road race I stumbled upon the above photo. taken by colin cross at the 2009 edition of the fabled race, cross writes: “this is the main field chasing Mike Zagorski and John Flanagan (top of the hill) through the end of the Kunia Road climb. Mike went on to win the race.”
...geezus. I am in no way prepared for this race.
Monday, August 8, 2011
haleakavelo roller sprints are finally making their way to honolulu. funded by limon flores and the kickstand: two full sets of bicycles, rollers, and software have been acquired. the kickstand - owned by cyrus camp and fiance nicky rowles - has been quietly setting up the equipment for a roller sprints event in late august.
cyrus told me that the roller sprints event would celebrate the kickstand’s two-year anniversary. this made me realize that I have been living on an island for two years as the kickstand began when I moved back. living on an island for this length was never part of the plan, yet somehow it became the plan.
last week cryus offered me the opportunity to test out the machines. he also invited jon “pluggs” isabelo who informed me that he ceased being a bicycle messenger. jon laughed heartily when I told him that I too was resigning as a messenger. tis’ the season to quit.
the roller sprint machines worked superbly and were simple to tune in. participants should expect thirty seconds of maximum effort - the identical fixed gear bicycles have a rather tall 46X13 gearings - and a sudden heightened heart rate. the inaugural haleakavelo roller sprints is destined to be a sweaty good time.
Monday, August 1, 2011
the month of july - with five saturdays and sundays - ended with profound circumstances. my first road race on a road bicycle proved to be both disastrous and learning. the four months of seeking a new career path ended with procuring an amazing opportunity. and the lovely gal arrives home in weeks rather then months.
this week is my last week of employment as a bicycle messenger. it was always meant to be a temporary gig that lasted much longer then originally intended. messengers will always be held on the lowest end of the totem pole - even secretaries have a day dedicated to their profession. I will miss the days of passing another working messenger and exchanging head nods that acknowledge “today sucks.”
it is always a difficult workday when the rain decides to let loose and a fender is nowhere near proximity. but biking home with a friend in the rain always reminds me of being young and unstoppable. while the world is hiding in their automotive fortresses you and a friend are riding bicycles grinning mischievously. nothing is impossible.
august has arrived. schools are returning to session, the weather has gotten warmer (“end of summer” my ass), and its only a month away from my first foray at the dick evans memorial road race. the beginning of summer feels of a lifetime ago, and the approaching conclusion is so very curious.