Sunday, July 27, 2008

Devil's Advocate

Or, confessions of a wheelsucker trying to bridge a gap.

"The Wall" at Mt. Diablo. I made the mistake of going right after it for my first try some years ago. I wound up making mini switchbacks and found myself in the gravel shoulder, spinning out my rear wheel and going down hard. Since then, I catch my breath at the lower parking lot before "burning the matchbook" to the summit.

Although, I think the toughest part of Mt. Diablo is the stretch preceding the hairpin turn at Devils Elbow, one of the last switchbacks before The Wall. The road in this section faces Morgan Territory to the east and is completely exposed, but shielded from cooler breezes from the west.

The summit steps overlooking Morgan Territory. The visitor center, by the way, is air conditioned and has ice cream.


This week's ride, however, coincided with one of those rare SF days when it's equally gorgeous at the Great Highway at the western end, where I successfully reclaimed my wheelsucker title.

It was a perfect City-ride day. We did a new route for me, returning counter clockwise from the beach through Daly City, Colma, over San Bruno Mountain, then back up around Candlestick to China Basin.

[Aside: Funny thing is, while in Colma, we rode past my first SF apartment. It was an in-law, a hook-up from old hip-hop connections. The owner's son once managed Mix Master Mike (ISP, Beastie Boys). A recurring phone conversation went like this: "Mike's here." Mix Master? Nah. Mike. He's a writer. Not a graffiti writer. A writer. Magazines. Newspapers." Oh.]

Bless the Yellowjackets. My chain snapped just 200 yards from the end of the ride, close to BART. And a few riders turned back around to make sure I was okay. ... I'd been thinking a lot about those things specific to the Bay Area that make the high cost worth it. Those institutions that might not exist in other cities. The Yellowjackets are one of those institutions.


Per tradition, this time of year calls for a healthy dose of cycling in the media diet. Two awesome films from the weekend:

1) Road to Roubaix: Goosebumps.
2) The Bicycle Thief: Perfection. This is a funny parody here.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Dub-C is Red Hot

Wake up prayin' that a game's on
maybe it's the Runnin' Rebs, maybe it's the Knicks.
Maybe it's a re-run of an old TV show
like Hawaii 5-0 or karate flicks.

Maybe if the phone rings Butterfly will take wings
speakin' on some cool things frontin' like I cope.

Born under flat ground, now I'm chillin' shaky ground.
Reachin' for Pacific Heights, Sunday is my rope. Dig it.

Sunday's to relax.
Sunday's to relax.
Some Sunday morning drama is calling up my mama.

The hot line is in, I guess you know the deal,
vibin' off the jams from the crews on Sugarhill.

Lay around and think, ain't nothin' to do,
checkin' out some Frommes, some Satre, Camus

Mingus' Ah Um, damn Roach can drum.
The DPs are life; There they go, here they come.

It's time to grab some loot, put on the Timber boots,
checkin' out some dollies like Tasha and Kamali.

The Creek is a museum with its posters and graffiti.
If you're in the Dub-C on Sunday
come check me, get with me.