Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Biking to Naples and Other Bike Adventures


I biked from my place to Long Beach, Naples, Seal Beach, and back. It was a 70 mile round trip that took me 5 hours total time including breaks and my bike travel photography sessions. I took the Los Angeles River Trail down to Long Beach. I biked to Belmont Shores and then to Naples.

Naples is like a Californian version of Venice, Italy. There are homes along the canals, and you can even ride on gondolas. I think it's a great place to walk and see the nice homes there. I might come back here with Sarah and ride around here. I think it's quite lovely.

After that, I biked to Seal Beach. I took the San Gabriel River Trail up. I got another freakin' flat tire as I started biking back home. I tried to pump my rear tire up, but my mini-pump sucks. I can only put in about 20 psi instead of the 120 psi needed. I just tried to be careful biking home. Somehow, I was still able to average over 20 mph going back up. I was passing everyone left and right even on my low pressure tires. I took a bunch of drinks and powerbars so I had enough energy to get back home.

I need to get CO2 inflators so that I can pump air in my tires quickly. I also should get slime self-sealing bike tubes so that the tubes seals themselves up when I get a flat.

The beginning of the L.A. River Trail is terrible. It starts in the City of Vernon which is not a good area. This is mostly a warehouse district. There are terrible roads filled with glass. There are cars and semi-trucks that almost hit me as they pass really close by. The City needs to make the bike paths better by extending it all the way up the river instead of stopping the project right in the middle of this terrible place.

La Tuna Canyon Revisited

I went back to La Tuna Canyon. In my previous post, I wrote that I got 3 flat tires each time I tried to bike there. On my last ride there, I was able to successfully conquer that road without any flats! Yaay! Well, I did get a slow leak after I did the L.A. Triathlon, but I did not get any flats on the ride. The horse mom and colt in La Tuna Canyon where I fixed my flat seemed happy to see me as well.

I biked 50 miles in less than 3 hours when I went there and back. Unfortunately, one of my extra Gatorade bottles fell out of my bike jersey back pocket when I was in aero tuck position going fast downhill. All these cars kept running over my Gatorade bottle! Dang it! I was thirsty, but I wanted to save that bottle for my ride back.

YNC Cycling

I went cycling with YNC Cycling again this past weekend. We had even more riders show up. This time I didn't get any flats, but another rider did. We rode about 50 miles as a group. I rode over 70, because I bike to the rides and back home.

Correy took videos of the cyclists for church. Joel was preparing for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon the next day. His wife, Christina, came to run in a race in Pasadena. Phil, George, Thomas, John, David Park, Joshua, Yun Hui, and Ken Chong were also there to ride. We had another great ride riding to Duarte from the Rose Bowl. We biked all around the San Gabriel Valley area. We also had a bike clinic at Performance Cyclery in Pasadena. One of the employees gave us a clinic on bike maintenance. I can't wait for our next ride. I'm pumped up for the ride down to San Diego. We'll be meeting in Long Beach and riding down to San Diego for a 100+ mile ride. I'm going to be biking to the starting point in Long Beach so that will add another 30+ miles to the ride.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

LA Triathlon

On Sunday, I did the bike portion of the LA Triathlon. I was really tired from riding over 100 miles the day before. I won't be doing that again before a race.

I got 16th place and finished in 1 hour and 13 minutes. I managed to move up to the front of the starting line, because I did not want to be behind a big mob of cyclists. They could slow me down from the traffic jam they form. Plus, you can't draft in triathlons.

My legs were so sore even in the first mile, but I kept going because of the cheering crowds. They really motivated me to go fast. I wanted to slow down, but for some reason I couldn't bike slow and disappoint anyone. I felt like I had to go fast as I passed by the crowds, so I did, even though I was dead tired. I felt like I still got a really good time even though I biked too much they day before.

The streets were surprisingly deserted at 7:30 a.m. After awhile I didn't see anybody. There were no people except for the bigger intersections. I could hardly even tell I was in a race for the first half of the race. Except for about 15 really fast riders in aero disk wheels and $8,000-$10,000+ bikes, I was still in the front.

At a certain section where volunteers passed out water and gatorade, I was unsuccessful in grabbing any bottles. I was going too fast and just knocked the bottles out of their hands. Sorry!

Going up Alverado Boulevard, I overheard some Chicano guy in the crowd complaining to his friends how all these stupid bikers were ruining it for everyone, because all the streets were blocked off.

At the Sunset Boulevard turnaround, I could see the main pack starting to chase me down. I was suffering at this point. My legs were dead. I didn't grab any gatorade. My nose was running. Somehow, I was able to keep them off until I the finish line in Downtown LA. My heart sank as I had to climb the hill on 1st Street. I thought I would get passed there, but surprisingly I wasn't. Then, I kept jamming down the steep hill on Grand Ave. going over 40 mph and then I crossed the finish line near the Staples Center.

Afterward, I just jammed back to church in Ktown. I couldn't be late for the first day of Sunday School. I want to do a full triathlon, but I have responsibilities and can't let down the kids. Most triathlons are on Sundays so I won't be able to do them.

The race started at 7:30 a.m. I finished at 8:43. The course length was 25 miles. I got to church in Ktown a few miles away around 8:50 a.m. Then, I washed up and prepared for my 5th grade sunday schoolers.

I wanted to stick around for the post-race after-party and fair, but couldn't. I didn't make it to the awards ceremony either.

I think I could enter into the elite amateur category next time I do a triathlon. I am pleased with my time as I averaged almost 21 mph for the course. If I got more sleep and didn't ride over a bike century the day before, I could have done even better. I only slept 3.5 hours on Friday night and 4.5 hours on Saturday night. I need to sleep more.

Pictured above is the area near the 1st Transition Zone in Venice Beach.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Young Nak Cycling

On Saturday, I biked to Encino, which is 30 miles away from my place. I left before 5:00 a.m. and got there shortly before 7:00 a.m. Then, I met up with the Young Nak Cycling Team to train for our San Diego ride, which has been postponed to Saturday, October 4. We'll be meeting in Long Beach and then bike down to Mission Bay in San Diego, which will be 100 miles. I'll be biking to Long Beach in the early morning to get to Long Beach. That will be at least another 30 miles for me. I want to bike to San Diego and then bike back to L.A., but I don't think I'll be doing that without any bike support.

We had a great scenic ride in and around Encino, but we were plagued by flat tires. Yun Hui got her tired shredded by a piece of glass. We thought we patched it up by placing a dollar bill underneath the sidewall. It worked for a few miles, but her tire soon got another flat. I got a flat tire too when I went over a pothole going over 35+ mph downhill.

We went around San Fernando Valley, Porter Ranch, and Palisades Park among other places.

Then, we had a great lunch at More than Waffles restaurant.

After that, I biked again to church for a 5:00 p.m. meeting. We had to decorate and prepare for the official first day of the new sunday school year.

I should not have biked over 100 miles right before the triathlon on Sunday. I just did it because I love biking so much. Next time, I won't do that, because I was super-tired.

Pictured here is Joel and the Young Nak Cycling crew fixing Yun Hui's tire.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Meme from Abbagirl

I stole this A to Z meme from my blog friend, Abbagirl. Be sure to check out her blog. She's a fellow Kool Korean from Kansas. She's a KKK for short. Just kidding! That's bad! She's not. I'm a Krazy Korean.

You can check out her meme on her blog too. Her answers are much better than mine.

A. Attached or single? I am attached to my ball and chain, my lovely wife, Sarah. (Just kidding about the ball and chain part.) :)

B. Best friend? My other personality. . . Just kidding again! It's my wife, Sarah.

C. Cake or pie? Can't I have my pie and eat my cake too? This is a lame pun on the old saying, "You can have your cake and eat it too." . . . Whatever the hell that means.

"She's my cherry pie...tastes so good, makes a grown man cry."

D. Day of choice? I would like to create an eighth day, because there aren't enough days in a week. I'm not sure that would solve the problem of how busy people are these days.

E. Essential item? Only one item?! I guess it would be my underwear. I would be naked without it...essentially.

F. Favorite color? I don't have a favorite color. I like different colors for different things. I even have different favorite colors for different cars. I won't bore you with my list of cars and top color choices here.

G. Gummy bears or worm? If I can choose only one, then I will choose gummy worms. They're bigger in size than gummy bears so you get more for your money, unless you are counting by ounces instead of by quantity.

H. Hometown? I still consider La Canada my hometown.

I. Indulgence? I indulge in too much stuff. I guess I would say blogging is a big indulgence of mine.

J. January or July? I choose December because that's my birth month. I guess I would choose January if I had to choose between those 2 months, because it doesn't get too cold here in L.A. July is very hot here.

K. Kids? Get those freakin' little brats away from me!

L. Life isn't complete without? Sex. Just kidding! (Or am I?) I would say life is not complete without "love".

M. Marriage date? November 6, 2004.

N. Number of brothers and sisters? One younger sister, Christine.

O. Oranges or apples? Cherries. Okay okay. Oranges. No apples. No, wait, can't I mix them together and make a smoothie? I can't decide. Oranges have a lot of Vitamin C, but apples keep those evil money grubbing doctors away.

P. Phobias? I am not scared of anything except fear itself. Just kidding. I can't tell you my weaknesses or you'll use it against me.

Q. Quotes? "Carpe Diem. Seize the Day!" John Keating from Dead Poets Society.

"They can take our wives, but they can never take our freedom!" An intentional misquote from Braveheart.

R. Reasons to smile? My bikes.

S. Season of choice? I guess spring has decent weather.

T. Tag Seven Peeps! I don't like playing tag. I don't even knowing 7 people to tag.

U. Unknown fact about me? A fact that will remain unknown.

V. Vegetable? Maybe potatoes. I like french fries and I like being a couch potato.

W. Worst habits? Worrying too much.

X. X-ray or ultrasound? I like x-ray vision like Superman's. I've never seen any superhero with ultrasound abilities, although with the number of comic book heroes coming out lately, that may not be far off.

Y. Your favorite food? Leftovers and gourmet food. I go to extremes.

Z. Zodiac sign? Get those satanic signs away from me, you devil!

Thanks for reading my crazy answers. I hope that helped you to understand who the hell I am. At this time of night, it's my other personality writing this, not me.

Night Rider

Koreatown Ridazz

On the Koreatown ride, we went from Ktown to Santa Monica, Venice, and Marina del Rey and back. I rode over 70 miles on Wednesday night. There were a couple of girls on that ride too, Traci and Annie. Traci is a small and cute petite Asian girl, but man, she can fly. I like going on the fast Midnight Ridazz group rides. I'm not into the social Midnight Ridazz rides. They're okay to try at first, but they're too slow. Plus, I hate the circle of death thing they do in intersections sometimes. They hurts our cause against getting respect from drivers.

The Ktown ridazz went on a very fast pace. I was out of shape because I was sick for a couple of weeks and didn't ride for awhile. The amazing thing was that most of them were on fixed gear track bikes. They only had one fixed gear, had no brakes, and could not coast, but they were jamming. Fixed gear bikes give riders "souplesse" or incredible suppleness of the legs.

Alhambra Ridazz

On the Alhambra ride on Thursday night, we went pretty fast too. This was supposed to be a no-drop ride, but when some riders are too slow and the rest are too fast, then the speedies don't want to wait up all the time. So, eventually the slowpokes get dropped and get lost. I try to keep the group together and drop back to get the rest of the pack up to speed. For some reason, I always worry about the other riders and don't want them to get dropped and lost. It's hard work because I have to speed up to the lead pack and then slow down for the ones in the back. So instead of keeping a steady pace, I have to quickly accelerate which uses up a lot of my glycogen stores. I have to pace myself because I end up riding a lot because I bike to the rides and back.

One of the riders named James let me try out his fixie for awhile. He was kinda worried I might fall since it's different from regular road bikes, because you can't coast. I have excellent balance, however. He had a really nice Bianchi. I love Bianchis, especially the ones in Celeste color. I want a fixie now.

Young Nak Cycling

On Saturday morning at 7:30 I met up with Phil "Freepcreep" Lee's bike team, Young Nak Church Cycling. (Not to be confused with "Young Naked Cycling" as Google Search suggests.) We met at the Rose Bowl in Parking Lot "I". We rode from the Rose Bowl to La Tuna Canyon and Sunset and back. Joel Kim, who is a triathlete, and his wife, Christine were there as well as Yun Hee, Timus, Corey, Richard, and Joshua Kang. We rode over 33 miles. Then, we had some lunch at a cafe in La Canada on Foothill and Angeles Crest. They were a pretty good group. I want to keep cycling with them on Saturdays. I guess it's good to go to a big church because they even have their own cycling team. They're training to ride to San Diego for a charity ride. I plan on going with them. If I can't get a ride back to Los Angeles, then I'll have to ride back. It will be a race against time to get back to my Sunday morning service at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday. I'll have to ride all night by myself in pitch blackness to get home. Riding to San Diego doesn't seem like such a big challenge since I've biked 120 miles before. I think riding to San Diego and back to L.A. will be a bigger challenge for me. I just don't like the fact that I'll be going by myself in the middle of the night without a support group in unfamiliar roads. I'll have to bike through the huge Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base too. Hopefully, they'll let me ride through. Otherwise, I'll have to ride all the way around the huge complex or ride on the 5 Freeway.

I got a flat tire while riding down La Tuna Canyon. Josh helped me fix my flat.

La Tuna Canyon

This ride seems to be my nemesis, because I got another flat on my rear tire getting there while riding there after church on Sunday. I rode on a flat tire for 15 miles. It was really hard to control because my rear wheel kept squiggling around. I also had my heavy backpack full of my church clothes, shoes, and bike stuff. I started fixing my flat tire on the side of the road near some shade. This horse mom and her colt daughter were staring at me while I was fixing my flat tire. I guess they were wondering what I was doing. When they got bored, they left, but after awhile they came back to see if I finished fixing my flat. After I passed Pasadena, I got another flat tire. This time it was the front tire. I looked and saw there were about 8 tiny thorns stuck on the tires. My back tire previously had a small piece of glass that pierced the tire. Then I tried biking home on my flat, because my tire just wouldn't pump up even though I patched it up. The presta valve was broken. Those presta valves are so fragile. They break when you just press down on it slightly. I can't believe they haven't come up with a better presta valve design yet after all this time. Anyway, I plan to go back, because I have to conquer every ride. I hope I don't get another flat going there. I can't let a ride jinx me. If it happens again though, I'll probably never go back.

I also had to deal with a bunch of rude drivers honking their horns at me, trying to run me over, and yelling obscenities at me. Those guys just don't know the rules of the road. They think that bikes can't be on the road. They think I should be on the sidewalk, which is ridiculous. They try to run me off the road by moving to the right as soon as their car is a little ahead of me. I hate rude drivers. I'd kill them if they were not in their cars. They just don't know what cyclists have to go through. They get pissed if a bike slows them down for half a second. They just don't want to go around to the next lane. Jerks! Anyway enough of my ranting. I need to ride more.

Labor Day

I've been so tired lately, that I got sick again. Yep, I got another cold after Labor Day when Sarah and I went to the Cabazon Desert Hills Outlet to go shopping during their sales. I feel like I should be stronger from all this cycling, but I guess I'm overexerting myself by riding too much and not getting enough rest. I haven't been sleeping much. I have a hard time falling asleep.