Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cool things... a 3-in-1 post.

So I have to mention 3 cool things... and they are all related.

1) My cool new bike. (See picture at the bottom of previous post.)

2) - a cool web site where you can map out your bike ride.

3) The fact that Santa Clara has many cool biking/jogging trails. Here's a map showing a ride I did this week:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I like bikes!!

HISTORY: My first bike was so cool. I think I was 7 or 8 (kinda’ a late start for someone who loves bikes so much now). I think my parents got it at Kmart or Sears or somewhere like that. My Dad even purchased training wheels, but before installing them he suggested I try it without them. I was terrified, knowing he was going to let go of the seat; but when he did, I didn't fall! But I didn't move forward either... I just froze there, balancing in place like a statue, for what seemed like forever. Then like an old tree, I toppled over with a crash! But I was quick to get back up, I soon learned to peddle forward, and the training wheels never got used. Quickly, my love for biking developed into a passion that has lasted much over the last quarter of a century! Thanks Mom and Dad!


My first bike looked something like this. They really built them solid back in the 80's!

A couple years later, I graduated to my first "big-boy bike." Oh, how I loved my Diamond Back!

But it wasn't until high school (in the early 90's) when I abandoned the BMX genre of bike for my very first mountain bike. A new world was opened before me! I called my bike the General Lee. I have so many great memories of my Rock Hopper, and exploring the trails around Gilroy, Morgan Hill, and Hollister, with my friends Ted and Barrett. (A post about my love for biking would be incomplete without mentioning their names.)

I brought very few things with me to college... but among
the essentials was my first GT. That thing went places with me! ...Idaho, Utah, Colorado, and of course California. She was a beauty, and the day she was stolen was a sad day indead.

After my GT was taken from me in 2000, (and after riding a fully rigid mtn bike for nearly a decade), I welcomed in the new mellinium by buying a new GT with some springs! It was quite a transition to go from no springs and toe-straps, to full-suspension and clippless pedals, but I soon began to appreciate being less rattled on the bumps, and bombing down the trails with more speed!

Now, after nearly a decade of riding the same bike, I've been itching for a rebirth -- something to get me excited about biking again. Don't get me wrong, I still love bombing down trails on my GT, but things just get stale after awhile and there comes a time when you need a new ride.

In fact, it was over a year ago when I started toying with the idea of getting into a single-speed. I had this desire to get back to the basics of biking. I even purchased an old 10-speed bike from Goodwill, and had the vision of converting it to a single-speed/fixie. (See pics here.) But soon after tearing it apart and cleaning it, I discovered the frame was falling apart. So I abandoned that project... but not my hunt for a new ride.

Recently, I've really been interested in Giant's single-speed bikes. I particularly like the retro editions of the Bowery. The idea of getting into a single-speed/fixie roadbike intrigued me; it would be fresh/new for me as I've never been into roadbiking much.

Here are pics of the Bowery '72 and Bowery '84:

But instead of going with the Bowery, last Saturday I found my new love. It is a perfect fit for me at this stage of riding! It is back to the basics, but still a mountain bike...

Introducing, (drum-roll)...
my new Single-speed 29er:


1) It is simple. It's a pure bikeride experience! The single-speed takes me back to the day of riding my BMX bike to 7-11 to buy a Slurpee.

2) No noise. No compressing of the shocks, no rattling of the chain, no clicking of the gears -- nothing! Just the wind in my ears, and occassionally the sound of my heartbeat in my temples, as I stand up and pump, while climbing a hill.

3) Monster-truck tires! The 29" tires are awwwwesome. They simply devour the trail in front of them! And 'devour' is the right word. There is almost something organic-looking about how they consume the trail. It is almost as if these tires pull me behind them, like I'm a passenger on a dog-sled, or something. They climb over just about everything, and smooth out the bumps quite nicely.

4) Fully rigid. Takes me back to my first mountain bike. And Since I rode a fully rigid bike for so long, I guess I still appreciate feeling the trail underneath me, and picking my lines.

5) The price. In a day when it is tough to find a bike you love for under $100o bucks, this ride retails for only $798.

6) The price. It was on sale for $569.

7) The price. I talked them down to $499.

8) The price. I talked them down some more... to $450. I mean, who get's a bike these days for $450?! I was really happy about that.

9) My new "personal trainer." Not only has this bike refueled my love for biking, I really feel like I get a great workout when I ride it -- even just on the river trails around our home. So I'm hoping that this thing will whip me into shape, so someday soon I'll feel just as comfortable reaching for the single-speed for a tough bike ride, as I am in reaching for the full-suspension.

10) The reviews. Though I fell in love with the bike immediatly when I test rode it, I hadn't heard anything about it before I bought it. So it was nice to check out the reviews when I got home, and find out that others really love this bike too. (See here.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

3D Baby!

His cute little hands.

Sleepy baby...

Chubby cheeks!

More sleepy.

Kissy face...

We are excited to meet our little boy... in just 9 wks!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009


Its been a while since I've posted anything but heres a few things that have happened lately.
My sister had a new baby. Emma Jean. So adorable.
Jason and I went to Mesa for a visit. Here's some more adorable kiddies. Carter and Abby.
We played the wii. Or should I say we watched Kaleb and Grandpa play the wii :)

My mom, sister and a few friends threw me a baby shower. It turned out so cute and it was so fun to see family and friends. (I love the clothes line...such a nice touch. Thanks Jody.)

Cute Katelyn
Cousin, Tiffany

Jody and Amy (cousin)

Wendy Candland, my mom, and Tara

Katie, Allison, Robin, Shelby, and Erica.
Thanks so much to everyone who came and helped make the shower so fun!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009


A Day in San Francisco

Jason and I met the Brizzees and the Beswick boys in SF a few Saturdays ago. It was a beautiful day in SF.

Jason, Amber, Nathan, Justin, Kyle, Jeanna, Trevor, Katelyn and Kristy.

Amber and Katelyn at Alcatraz

Amber and Nathan from Alcatraz

The Brizzees

On the boat ride

This is the area where the prisoners would hang out and play baseball and basketball. Kinda eerie. They could overlook SF and see what they were missing. A true punishment.

Jason took some really awesome pictures

This is a reflection of the warden's home or what's left of it. The families of the people who worked at Alcatraz actually lived right on the island children and all.

Pretty flowers with the Golden Gate bridge in the background. I love this picture. Good job Jason. He's definitley the picture taker/creative one in our relationship.

Warden's House


Pier 39