Riding for Me, but with Others

SF Cycle Club cruising through the Presidio

SF Cycle Club cruising through the Presidio

I had been missing doing group rides but also lamenting the fact that I knew of some groups or rides but I felt that I wasn’t fast enough to keep up with them.

But one of my coworkers pointed out a more casual weekly ride that the SF Cycling Club does on Fridays and said it was an all-inclusive ride that I’d most likely be able to keep up with.

I’m not in the club, but I went out and tried one Friday morning at the ungodly hour of 5:45 (they roll out at 6). The group was super nice and although I couldn’t keep up on one or two hills I managed to keep up for the most part.

But I still feel guilty or fearful whenever I ride with others- whether it’s one person, or a group, that I’m going to slow them down too much. I worry that I’ll slow down the general pace or worse, they’ll have to stop and wait for me at the top of hills.  It’s one of the things that keeps me riding alone. Although to be honest my schedule is the main reason I ride alone.

But I’ve noticed an interesting side-effect of riding with this group. There’s a hill on the way to the Legion of Honor that kills me.  And as we get to it, I can feel (and see) the group start pulling away from me. As the road goes on I can see them going around the top of the hill as I’m huffing and puffing and starting to get a panic attack about being too slow.

But you know what? I’ve actually gotten faster at that damn hill. Even though I get dropped the group’s had to wait for me slightly less over the past four weeks. So I’m actually improving. Check out this screenshot from Strava:



I’ve been hitting “PRs” (personal records) on that stupid hill each week.

I’ll always be worried about group etiquette and making others wait for me- but I do ride for me- and I am getting better (slowly). And more importantly I’m having fun.

Swedish Earworms – The Sounds

I’ve had this song stuck in my head for a few weeks now:

I picked up The Sounds’ album Weekend recently and quite like it.  It’s pretty 80s-pop-ish, but in a good way. The album seems a bit more put together too compared to the past albums too.  Dang earworms.

I was thinking about the Sounds and the Hives, and Maskinen and some other Swedish acts though and it made me  wonder why there aren’t more (any?) Norwegian acts? Anyone know?

As a side note, this song was slightly Mumfordized:

What’s mufordized?

That all began to change in 2012, when the Mumfords’ album-sales success began to have a radio trickle-down effect on other campfire-hootenanny-style acts. Top 40 programmers started rotating twinkly, strummy tracks by the likes of Imagine Dragons (“It’s Time”) and Of Monsters and Men (“Little Talks”). By the start of 2013, one-trick-pony act the Lumineers rode the stomping, positively Mumfordesque “Ho Hey” to No. 3 on the Hot 100.

via Slate

last pop vid:

{link} Braving the Deep, Deadly South on a Bicycle – Aaron Reuben – The Atlantic

According to a benchmark study, released last year by the National Alliance for Biking and Walking, the states of the southern U.S. are the most dangerous per biker, and per bike mile traveled, by a wide margin. If you bike in South Carolina you are 10 times likelier to be hit and killed by a car than if you bike in Oregon, one of America’s safer states for cyclists. In North Carolina, eight times more likely. In Louisiana, seven. If you bike in Mississippi, that number is close to 13.

via Braving the Deep, Deadly South on a Bicycle – Aaron Reuben – The Atlantic.

The City and The City – ***

The City and the CityThe City and the City by China Miéville

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Quite a few people had recommended that I read a China Mieville book and I picked this one up on a lark. I was pretty impressed with the book and enjoyed it a lot. But I do wonder if I enjoyed the setting and the background more than the main plot.

At its heart, this is a murder mystery/whodunnit. The storytelling is rich and the locales are fantastically detailed. But I had a sense of “that’s it?” when the case was solved at the end. I think after a bit more time goes by and I think about the book more, I’ll only remember the fabulous and meticulous details from where the story is set rather than “the story”. I’ll remember my own feelings of reflecting on this book and thinking it reminded me of Eastern European history, both old and recent. I’ll remember thinking the setting had fascinating parallels to a walled Berlin, cold-war Prague, and 90s Yugoslavia. But I won’t remember the murder mystery at all.

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