A Little Bit Homeless

April 8, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

I’ve been more or less homeless for the past three months. That is to say, I have a roof over my head, except for those days where it is by choice, the roof just doesn’t happen to belong to me. I’ve been mostly okay with the lifestyle: for a while, I was crashing at a friend’s empty apartment, where I became relatively comfortable telling people I was “housesitting” while I search for a career and pick up the occasional miscellaneous freelance job.

Then the friend came back and I could no longer live there. Almost in a sense of defeat, I rented a storage unit so that I could move around more freely without the extra baggage that comes with what equates to my entire life’s possessions.  So now I’m staying in my sister and brother-in-law’s spare bedroom, sleeping on their couch with my sleeping bag, because it is more comfortable and easier than pulling out the hide-a-bed and putting on the sheets that have been offered to me several times.  Regardless of the hassle or the comfort, there’s a sense of permanence about it. Sleeping in my sleeping bag is a temporary thing and it helps ground the fact that I will not be living in my sister’s spare bedroom for long.

The idea that I am in fact homeless really dawned on me not too long ago – when a friend sent me an email asking me how the job search was going and what my current address was (I presume to send a wedding invitation).  To which I was able to respond: bad, not to say that I haven’t been trying, and sorry, but I don’t currently have an address.

Even the few people I know who have relegated to living out of a van or a truck, and yes I do know people who do that, have had enough foresight to set up a PO box, or work out a friend or relative to whom they could have their mail delivered.

It took me a while to realize it, but not having a home is a little bit stressful. I should probably qualify by saying that I am by no means worried about going hungry or cold anytime soon. By any measure, I am still a long, long ways away from homeless in the more traditional sense and I have no intention of letting this stint of my life drag anywhere near that point.

Not having a home makes me feel like my life is completely out of my control. That lack of control is immensely stressful. When was the last time you had to think about where you would be sleeping next week? Tomorrow? A home is grounding. It is somewhere to call your own – somewhere, short of a natural disaster, will be there at the end of the day.

I’ve fallen into this world of semi-homelessness entirely by choice. It seemed like a smart decision at the time, and it probably was. I’ve had the luxury to be picky during my job search, and this freedom has allowed me to make numerous missteps in marketing myself as I try to figure out what I want to do. So that’s the hidden cost of being picky, stress and uncertainty.

I can only hope, that soon I’ll find a job that I’m excited about and with that, maybe go ahead and find a place of my very own to live.

For now, I’ll continue to be just a little bit homeless.

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Making a case for the WFR

April 7, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

The WFR or “woofer” as it is often referred to, is an idea that I’ve been toying around with for a while. As taking an avalanche class is pretty much accepted practice for anyone who is interested in getting into backcountry skiing or snowboarding (or those of you enjoying the sidecountry at your favorite resort), a WFR is something you hear tossed around the more time you spend outdoors.

Inevitably, if someone in your group has taken a WFR course, conversation will turn to the values of the course at some point in the day. The general consensus is almost always, “I should take one.” It’s talked about the same way people talk about getting CPR certified. Everyone will agree that it is beneficial, but hardly anyone will follow through and take the class unless it is required for their job (summer lifeguarding anyone?).

I’m exactly the same way. I’ve done a lot of talking about how valuable it would be to take a WFR class. I keep saying that I should. Or I will. I never do. “It costs too much” or “I don’t have time”. It’s really easy to make excuses.

The sad reality is that in most of the activities I do, there is a risk of injury and you are seldom close to help. Having the knowledge to understand how to react in case something does happen is one of the main reasons I think getting a WFR is so valuable.

Last weekend, I was climbing with some friends in Eldorado Canyon when a guy in the group next to us took a bad fall. There was a whole crew of us around who rushed over to help in any way we could (which as it turns out, is not much). I did a lot of helplessly standing around watching. Staying quite as the group and injured person worked out a plan. Should we walk out? Should we call for a rescue? Can I afford a rescue? There’s a lot of us here, could we carry him out? Should we carry him out? Even if I can walk, is that a smart idea?

The questions went on, rather than coming up with answers, we just came up with more questions. Everyone was well versed in travelling in the wilderness, but nobody seemed to know what was the right thing to do.

As it turns out, I learned one very valuable thing, and this one is absolutely HUGE:

RESCUES ARE FREE.

Of course this varies from area to area, and you should always know what the rules are in your particular location, but the general premise is this: we would rather you call for a rescue and be okay than to not call for a rescue and risk injuring yourself further.

That doesn’t change the fact that performing a rescue is a large operation, the cost will come from somewhere, and takes time for a lot of people (who as far as I am aware, are mostly volunteers). So even if you can call for a rescue, making the call is a BIG decision.  So how do you know when you need one?

Ultimately, we helped the injured climber walk out to his car. And by helped, I mean I gave my friend a belay to climb the route that the injured climber left all of his gear on, and helped carry their gear back to the car. Despite my want to help more, I had no answers to any of the questions and decided the best thing I could do was to stay out of the way and be quiet.

As far as I’m aware, the climber is okay, just a little battered and bruised (okay, maybe a lot bruised). So, that’s a good thing, but the experience really drove home the value of a WFR. Sure, there will be a lot of questions and I think we as a group did a great job of communicating people’s concerns and coming up with a plan that worked out well at the end of the day.  It seems like this type of situation is exactly what a WFR is valuable for.  So, just maybe, the next time something like this happens, which of course I hope it does not, instead of just contributing questions, I will be able to provide answers and have confidence that we are making the right decisions.

I’m still making excuses, cost and time never seem to go away, but I am getting closer to being able to justify the cost and find the time, because taking a WFR is one of the most valuable things I think I could do.

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One True Sentence

March 18, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

“Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence Write the truest sentence that you know.” -Ernest Hemingway

While I am not reading Hemingway (and I’m ashamed to say that I never have), I am reading The New American Road Trip Mixtape, a book by the author of Semi-Rad, a blog that I read semi-religiously. Brendan does however read Hemingway and is a much better writer than I, so if you are looking for entertainment and you haven’t already read his blog, I suggest you stop what you are doing and go check it out right now. The quote popped up earlier today in Brendan’s book and it’s stuck with me throughout the day. The longer I go without writing, the harder it seems to get started again. My thoughts begin to muddle together and when I do sit down in from of a computer, what comes out is a garbled brain-dump of nonsense.

Hemingway reverberated in my head, starting as a whisper and growing to a chant of encouragement. I HAVE written before and I WILL write now. All I need is one true sentence. So here it goes.

I don’t know what I am doing, and I think that is okay. 

I left grad school in December eager to start the next phase of my life. I packed up all of my belongings, selling/giving away whatever wouldn’t fit into my car. I drove to Colorado by way of Canada, anticipating a life filled with regular excursions to the mountains and a lucrative job that was both intrinsically and monetarily enriching. There was no uncertainty about my future when I left Seattle, nervous trepidation, as is expected with change, but not once did I question my decisions. Not once did I look back.

Until I arrived in Denver that is. The whirlwind of excitement that came with radical change began to wear off and the realization that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing began to set it. Shoot, I didn’t even know where to get good coffee anymore! So many things in my life that had been certain suddenly weren’t and it affected me in unexpected ways. For one thing, getting to the mountains became a chore, not an escape.

The mountains were one thing that was a certain! If anything I now had more free time now to explore the mountains – to live my passions, my dreams! So why wasn’t I? The short answer is I really don’t know, other than it now feels more of a chore and I don’t much enjoy chores if I can avoid them. Thinking of the mountains as a chore is silly. I know that. I still love the mountains every bit as much as before, and every time I do muster the energy to get out, I have a wonderful time.

Looking back on my goals for this year, I am embarrassed and ashamed. Between a persisting injured shoulder and a cold that wont seem to go away, about the only goal that I seem to be sticking to is going with the flow.

I don’t think these were particularly hard goals either. It was more like a list of: here’s the things I’m already doing, let’s continue to do them. They became hard around the same time that I realized that I didn’t know what I was doing. It’s taken me a long time to get past that hurdle, and I am definitely not quite there yet. But I think beginning to accept the fact that it’s okay that I don’t know is going to just maybe allow me to have just a little bit more fun.

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Adventure update

January 13, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

Bear with me,  I’m posting from my phone, which, as it turns out, is now the most capable computer-like device I own. I’m about at the halfway point of my journey, having now visited three ski towns across Canada and the US. Every town has been filled with its own unique atmosphere and had something to offer that the others lacked.

Revelstoke lived up to the hype. It has been high on my list of places to visit for a while and was admittedly the driving motivation for heading to Canada. The people were incredible. The second I walked into the hostel I felt at home and everyone was open and friendly. There were some interesting characters and I am certain I was the only person there from the US. Mostly Australian and German. Very few Canadians as well. Almost everyone was there for an extended stay. I never figured it out because by my calculations, a month in a hostel is a shit load of money.

My main regret is that I never rode the resort. I mean, revelstoke. That place is world class. But, I knew if I spent another day I likely would never leave. That just means I’ll have to go back :).

Pics will come eventually, but I’m still shooting in raw and I don’t have any way to edit them at the moment. Admittedly, that’s lowered my motivation to shoot a fair bit. It’s a good thing then that my phones camera is petty good too!
As for riding, I saw stoked to find partners for two days of touring up at Rogers pass. While we never found the epic pillow lines seen in all the movies, the touring was incredible! Admittedly, we were also staying super mellow due to sketchy layers and the whole new partner dynamic. Next time I’ll take friends, and we’ll stay in a hut and it will be epic!

Fernie was an entirely different beast. The town was way more developed than revy, but still had a fun mountain vibe. I was initially really impressed with the hostel. Much larger, more personal space, a huge common area, and a bar! My excitement quickly dissipated. The people were way less friendly, and it was much harder to strike up a conversation. I never did find a touring partner. I did manage an amazing day at the resort! Face shots all day and incredible Canadian pow.

The hostel experience just sort of got worse. If reminded me of living in a frat, except with less class. The whole experience left me drained and ready for something else.

Which takes me to the drive of all drives. Fernie to Big Sky,  in a snowstorm with strong winds the whole way. The only respite I had was the hour stuck at the border while they searched my entire life belongings for drugs. Which brings me to my top bit of travel advice. When moving,  do not travel through a foreign country if that can be avoided. The border crossing was a huge hassle both directions and it is a mystery to my as to why I didn’t get turned back.

Eventually I made it to big Sky where I had a bed waiting for me. Sadly,  the weather isn’t cooperating and so I’ve done zero riding here.  It’s a little sad,  but at the very least it’s been fun to come back through the town! I’ve recognized a lot of faces,  and the low key days are just what I’ve needed after the chaos of the fernie hostel.

Next stop: Jackson Hole! I guess it’s been storming hard and supposed to start clearing tomorrow. It might be about time to splurge on another lift ticket!

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So the adventure begins!

January 5, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

As some of you may know, I finished school and am currently 100% jobless. As if that was not enough, I decided now was as good a time as any to be homeless as well. Following in the footsteps of many who have come before (the Kerouac’s of the world); I am hitting the open road. Well, I’m not exactly a Kerouac. Moving into my car isn’t so much of a permanent move, more of a means to an end. I friend is being incredibly wonderful and has opened up her home for me in Colorado. So, while I may be homeless, I will at least have a roof over my head as I sort out the next stage in my life. Yes, I recognize that Kerouac also set out for Denver in a trip that set the whole novel into motion, but I assure you that the destination is merely coincidence.

Now, the really nice thing about being jobless is that I don’t exactly have anywhere that I need to be immediately. No responsibilities, no deadlines. I have freedom to go as I please with the impending necessity of entering the “real world” looming over me. I expect the longer I am unemployed, the stronger the desire to find work will become.

Regardless, today I officially sold off the last of my belongings that wont fit in my car. For the last week or so, I’ve been finding weak excuses for why I am not yet ready to leave. The last of which was that I needed to sell of furniture and other large items that I couldn’t take with me. It was a oddly satisfying feeling. Knowing now that everything I own can fit inside of my vehicle. As exciting as it may be, it also means that I am entirely out of excuses tying me down to Seattle. All that is left is to pack everything into my car and hit the road.

I’d kind of formulated a route a little while ago and decided it was time to map out if my idea would even work. With the luxury of time, I decided to head North through Canada. My first stop will be Revelstoke, BC. This one is fairly certain. I’ve heard incredible things about this town and the mountains surrounding it. Rogers Pass is somewhat a mecca for backcountry terrain and I want to get out and explore all that it has to offer.

Next up, Fernie, BC. This one is a bit more whimsical. It is to break up the drive into Montana, but should also potentially offer just as nice of snow.

From there, I’ll head back to my old stomping grounds, and make a stop in Big Sky (hooray!!!!). The rest of the trip may look oddly familiar, because it is a stretch of road that I’ve driven before. Jackson Hole, then Park City, then Denver.

It should be epic. Oh also, I would love to not have to buy a lift ticket at any of these locations, so I will be actively looking for people to tour with and potentially couches to crash on. If you have any recommendations on either, please let me know! I am looking forward to meeting lots of interesting people along the way!

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Goals for Winter/Life

November 6, 2013 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

I threw life on there as a last-minute decision because, as I reflect on this post, my goals don’t intrinsically shift every time the snow starts falling however much it might outwardly appear so. Goals have been on my mind a lot lately. Perhaps it’s the transition of seasons, or simply the fact that I decided to take this last weekended off from getting out and doing anything. (Everyone needs to take a few day’s off every once in a while.)

Ultimately though, there are some bigger forces leading me to focus on goal planning. This being my last quarter of school (hooray!), there are some big changes happening and goal planning is a more subtle and polite way of saying, “what the fuck am I going to do with my life.”

For the first time in many, many, many, years I do not have a seasons pass to any mountain. Just a couple of years ago, I was riding every day and the proud owner of multiple season passes. This should not be confused with my desire to ride less. It is partially a financial decision, partially a result of not knowing where I will land for the winter, and partially a shift in focus for where I want to ride. Still, it is a strange feeling. I almost feel naked without it.

I know what you might be thinking at this point. Not having a pass is not in any way, shape, or form a goal.  You are right, but it does provide a frame of reference for my goals. So does this: Last year I broke my back in December. I feel kind of cheap saying that. Anyone who knows anything about the body will interject, clarifying that I fractured the tranverse processes that, in the grand scheme of things, is a relatively minor break. Back injuries have a strong association with paralysis and other really really bad side effects. When I say I broke my back, without context this is where most people’s minds jump. I’d put my injury more on the lines of a collar bone or a wrist. Sure, it sucks, but it wasn’t that bad. That being said, goal #1:

1. Stay injury free healthy. No broken bones, no  pulled muscles, no sick days, etc.. I am not saying, “Do not push yourself” but rather, “take care of yourself.” The best way to prevent injury and to stay healthy is to train and keep your body happy. This means staying active and listening to your body. Focus on your weaknesses before the come back to bite you. Admittedly mine is my core…too many beers and not enough exercise. If you take care of your body, a bad crash may leave you banged up and bruised, but not broken. This also means, “know when to take a day off.” I am absolutely terrible at this. My body may be screaming at me, but something fun will come up and I can’t say no. Saying no is hard, but learn to do it and you will ultimately be much happier. Besides, there will always be another adventure on another day.

This brings me to goal #2:

2. Have fun. This should really go without saying. There are so many rad things going on, it really isn’t a hard one to follow. The key is to simply to be open to it. Go with with flow and don’t dwell on things you wish you could be doing or something you missed out on. Focus on the moment and enjoy it. You’ll have days where absolutely zero riding was done, or the snow wasn’t as good as you were expecting. I haven’t ever come home from those days thinking I didn’t have fun. Laugh it off and grab a beer. If you have a fun crew, a day of riding crud can be just as enjoyable as that day you found blower waist deep pow.

3. Get out as much as possible. This goes along with #2. More days = more fun. That’s a good thing. Just remember #1…It is a tricky balance.

4. Be a little selfish. Probably not exactly what you were expecting to hear. (I never said this was going to be a list that others should model their lives after.) But I am also being entirely honest and this resounds a lot with me right now. Focus on doing what you want to do. Perhaps a better way of phrasing this would be to “Know what your priorities are, and don’t be ashamed to stick to them.” For instance, I know a lot of people getting into touring. I think that is awesome and I love to see more people getting after it. But, teaching you how to travel safely (or efficiently) is not high on my priority list. So, don’t be offended if I don’t get back to you about a trip you are planning. That being said, there are a lot of factors that go into my priorities and often I am looking for a chill day of mellow touring, so being selfish shouldn’t be confused with, “I only want to ride the gnarliest lines on the mountain.” A lot of times (especially after a big dump) my priority is to simply get out and find some fresh pow. There’s a lot to be said for days where all you do is ride some low angle trees.

5. Push myself. I want to go deeper, further, and higher. (Ha. See what I did there?) I want to hone my skills and become a stronger backcountry rider. I would absolutely love to take my WFR and AVY II. I’d also love to take a glacier travel class. Sadly, I doubt any are in the cards for this year. There is some incredible terrain out there and I want to ride it. But I want to do it safely. The best way to do that is to practice and to ride with people who can teach me. That being said, I am acutely aware of my selfish nature, and I expect others have similar views. I don’t want

6. Explore new places. Part of what I love about touring is getting out and exploring. I love the thrill of exploring new terrain. This gets back to my decision to not buy a pass this year. The resorts are familiar. On a good snow day at Stevens Pass, I had a pretty standard routine. Granted, it was an awesome routine. It just becomes familiar. I am a fan of the unfamiliar. I want to get out and see new places.

7. Go with the flow. I haven’t set a whole list of objectives or lines that I am itching to ride. Last year I did that and I maybe hit one on the whole list. I did ride TONS of incredible terrain though. So, this year, I am not setting lofty goals. I am just going with the flow. I expect to get out, have fun, and make some memorable trips, but I am going to just go with whatever comes up.

Okay, I think that is about it for goals. In retrospect, this is a hugely selfish list. So much so that I listed being selfish as one of my goals. I’m trying to wrap my head around what that means and whether that makes me an asshole or not. Ultimately I think that it depends on who you are and where you are in life. For me, I think being a little selfish is not only okay, but an ugly necessity. In fact, I may end up writing a post on just that.

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Site under construction! (update)

October 16, 2013 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

under construction

Update: I’ve spent some quality time working on the site. The move to wordpress on the outset was smooth and painless. However, the initial euphoria wore off as I started to dig into the gritty details. (Some of you may have noticed the site when down for an hour or so when I broke the database.) While on blogger I was able to find a custom template that looked nice, I am yet to come across a default template that I really like. I’ve resorted to digging into the bowels of the theme and tweaking settings as I like. Simple things like links…who the hell thought it was a good idea to clear the formatting for links. I’m sorry, but nobody can navigate your site if most of your links appear to be plain text. Sigh. Also, round images. Why. Sure, the theme has a little bit of curves to it like in the header…but the round images were just horribly out of place. They turned a clean and crisp theme into something bubbly and wrong.

There are still a lot of improvements that I want to make. For now, I am relatively content with the look and feel of the site. I wouldn’t go as far as to remove this post quite yet though. This is sort of like a self-reminder that there are still things that I would like to change and don’t be alarmed if things still change.

Bear with me for a few days. I decided to set up a wordpress site and compile content from my portfolio and my blog all into one place. Most of the content moved over beautifully and the process was quite painless.

There were a number of reasons for this move:

  • Blogger was very limiting in what I could actually do in terms of site structure.
  • I wanted to add more dynamic pages and add some more content to the site, things like the (currently missing) trip reports page
  • I wanted a dedicated place to post pictures, not just tied to a post.
  • Unification with my Portfolio. My writing, photography, and my work are all a part of who I am and I think it is important that they are all connected. Some of you visiting my site may not look at my projects. Vice versa, some of you may come for the projects and could care less about the blog. I like to hope that you will poke around and explore both :).

As with any move or remodel, no matter how prepared you are, there will always be some unexpected (and a few expected) issues.

  • Where did all the pictures go? Fear not, they are all still there. Sort of. the content is all still hosted by blogger (so I guess google?) The word press templates rely on images stored on my server in order to function properly. In the actual posts, the images should still appear, but the layout is suffering a bit due to this issue.
  • I lost a few pages like the trip reports. I will recreate them, but there are over 100 posts that I need to sort through and re-categorize.
  • Portfolio content looks ugly. Yeah. I know. I promise, I will fix it. I wanted to get as much content online ASAP. I am going through and cleaning up the styling as time permits.
  • There may be more! If there is something broken, or something you would really like to see, leave a comment. I’ll try to address it in the next couple of weeks!

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There’s no place for small-talk around a campfire

October 9, 2013 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

We all nodded in agreement as we stood around the fire laughing uncontrollably. Sure, the beer and whiskey helped set the mood, but it was the warmth of the fire that invited comfort. It was the fire that drew our neighbors over to join us for a few drinks and a few laughs.

The campground, a term I use loosely, at Vantage consists of a network of roads that, despite the large boulders and steep drops are travelled just as frequently by beat up Honda civics as they are by vans that have been converted into a makeshift homes. Between the network of roads and sagebrush are patches of open space, marked as campsites by the remnants of previous tenants and the hastily thrown together fire pits. It is desert camping at it’s finest. The only amenity available is the single blue port-a-potty, which inevitably has a line each morning. By the last day we were there it had out-served its capacity and campers found refuge behind a convenient large rock on the fringe of the camping area.

But we weren’t there for lavish camping with breathtaking views. We were there to celebrate Wiktor’s birthday – to climb, relax, and have a fun weekend. Perhaps even do a bit of celebrating. Having a clean toilet and running water weren’t high on the priority list.

We did however come prepared with two coolers full of beer, a guitar and a banjo, slackline, and an ample supply of firewood.

So when our neighbors stopped by, we welcomed them into the circle as if we had been friends for years. I honestly can’t remember their names, though to be fair, this story happened before any proper introductions had taken place anyways.

At some point, our friend (who’s name I’ll leave off for obvious reasons) chimes in, “do you want to hear about the time I shit my pants in the car? …with my mom?” There was a brief silence, followed by a resounding “Yes!” One of our new friends, clearly intrigued, asked, “Wait, how old were you?” as if the answer would have an impact on his decision to hear the story or not. “25” our friend responded.

I’ll spare you the details. Needless to say, the story was every bit as cringingly awkward and yet as hilarious as you might imagine. The point being that is a story I might share with my friends once I am close with them. Once I know how they will react. I can think of few times when I felt compelled to share such a personal story with a complete stranger.

Long after the story, the sentiment stuck. A campfire really is a warm and friendly place. There is something about it, maybe it really is the alcohol, but stop and think about it. When was the last time you sat around a campfire and had small-talk? I can’t think of a single fire, friends and strangers alike, where the conversation was more substantive (or at least more engaging and entertaining).

So, as if you needed an excuse anyways, go camping, make a fire, relax, and enjoy yourself. I guarantee you will have a good time.

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Dear Mr. Bike Thief, You’re a Dick

July 22, 2013 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

So, my bike was stolen this weekend. Taken straight out of my garage, located in my backyard. I was never concerned about theft due to the concealed location. It sucks. It was a nice road bike and to be honest, a nicer bike than I really needed for the mostly commuter riding I was doing. But nothing overly fancy and there are other, nicer bikes still sitting in the garage, right next to where mine should be parked.

Still, it was MY bike and we had been some incredible places together. Just this weekend I was reminiscing on our journey spending two days biking from Seattle to Portland, an annual event in which thousands of people participate. A feat, while a respectable bike ride, was made more memorable by it’s alcohol infused manifestation, lack of planning, and complete disregard for any form of training.

I was looking forward to many more adventures. The freedom of the bike is astounding and just the thought of having to drive to work tomorrow is depressing.

This is not just about me though. What I am feeling right now. The anger, the sadness, the despair – these are feelings that many of my friends have been through, some quite recently. Sure, you feel bad for your friends, but it is hard to fully empathize until you feel first hand, how the single swift action of a thief can disrupt your entire way of life.

So, this is for my alarming large group of friends who have had their bikes stolen. I am so incredibly sorry. I am sorry you had to come home one day to the gut wrenching realization that something was missing. And the subsequent call to the police to file an incident report. Which, from everything I have heard is entirely a formality – police do not put a high (or even a low) priority on tracking down the common bike thief. I am sorry you had to waste time figuring out if your bike was insured, and if so, for how much. I am sorry that you made the obligatory facebook post, with a picture of your bike so that all of your friends know what to look for in some fleeting hope that they may spot your bike in the hands of the thief. And I know, while you might argue that with insurance, you were able to replace the bike, it is not the same.

Having your bike stolen sucks. What sucks even more is just how many people I know who have been through this same ordeal. So, if you are lucky enough to have not got through this ordeal, take care to keep your bike safe because the odds are not in your favor.

p.s. This is my bike. It is blue and shiny, with only a few minor scuff marks and scratches on the tube. I know I have more pictures somewhere, but for now this seems to be the only one I can find. I am in San Jose, so if you come across a bike in the area, please let me know!

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The Issue with Biking to Work

July 19, 2013 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

Biking to work is fantastic. If it is even remotely feasible, I suggest everyone do it. Seriously. For the first few days it may feel like a chore, but you will be surprised how quickly your mindset changes. Soon, you will walk out the door, grab your bike and never even notice your car parked on the side of the road. The bike ride, as you will soon realize, becomes a nice break from the busy world and offers an opportunity for your mind to wander. The bike ride becomes a relaxing way to both start and end your day and an activity that you look forward to.

But there is one slight issue. I can’t speak for others, but I have a bit of a competitive side. Riding on the road is fine. I relax, or try to with cars whizzing by, and enjoy the ride. My ride to work is short, a mere 3.5 miles and about half is on a trail. The trail is great, no cars, no traffic. My competitive side gets the best of me on the trail. There aren’t many bikers on the trail, but inevitably there is at least one. That one spandex clad biker, sporting an all too expensive road bike, out for their morning training ride.

I’ll enjoy my ride, letting my mind wander then, as I come around a bend in the trail, Mr. All-too-intense biker-dude comes into view. The competitive edge kicks “I can pass him,” I think to myself.

So, I bump up a few gears and start peddling just a little harder. Me, in my rolled up work pants sporting a backpack, him on his expensive bike and spandex. Making that pass feels good. I won the race against the person who didn’t even know he was racing. I ride the euphoria of my mild victory all the way to the cafe across from my office, where I park my bike and quickly realize I am now sweating profusely.

Opting to bike in my work clothes might not have been such a great idea after all. Maybe I too should invest in a pair of spandex.

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