Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tom Waits/Soul Coughing Anti-Mashup

It is only fitting before embarking on an 8 to 12 hour drive to San Diego to quote a little "Screenwriter's Blues" and "Diamonds on My Windshield" ...

Exits to freeways
twisted like knots
on the fingers.
Jewels cleaving
skin between breasts...

It is 5 a.m.

and you are
to Los Angeles
--Soul Coughing

The 8s go east
and The 5s go north
and the merging nexus
back and forth.
You see your sign,
cross the line,
signaling with a blink.
And the radio's gone off the air
gives you time to think...

And one more block; the engine talks,
whispers 'home at last'

It whispers 'home at last'

And there are diamonds on my windshield
these tears from heaven.
Late nights and freeway flying
Always makes me sing

It always makes me sing

--Tom Waits


BART sketches Aug. 18-21, a short week with packed cars:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Then We Shall Ride in the Shade

I hadn't ridden in Marin since the move to the W.C. last year. I forget how gorgeous it is, and when peeps speak of the beauty of the Bay Area, in my head I interpret this in images of Marin, specifically my first trip to Stinson Beach through Muir Woods. Add Fairfax to Mt. Tam's East Peak.

Ridgecrest looking north. Descending this section is the best part of the ride. Wish the asphalt was smoother, though.

Alpine Lake: Bay Area bling.

Rain forest effect from Bolinas to Ridgecrest. Condensation from the onshore flow and fog drips from the trees as a heavy rain. While the sun is out!

Dangerous punctuation.

SF lies underneath like a kitten in bedsheets.


BART sketches Aug. 11-16.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Satanic Versus [sic]

I otherwise stay clear of Mt. Diablo this time of year due to the heat, preferring instead figure-eights through the Oakland/Berkeley Hills, the Three Bears, and maybe Martinez. This, despite the fact that I live only a few miles from Diablo's North Gate. Climbing Diablo in the spring is one thing. But in August?

Saturday's temps were a reprieve. North Gate to Junction is my bang-for-the-buck ride. Short on time and need a challenge? It's North Gate to Junction. Saturday stayed cool long enough to visit the summit.

Some milestones:

1) I was feeling a little under the weather and wanted to take it easy. To my surprise, I was able to do almost the entire ride under threshold. The exception, of course, being the Summit Wall. But even then, I was able to stay seated and skipped the rest stop at the lower parking lot. My heart rate monitor said I was at 90% at the top of The Wall. I had some left on the throttle. Now, if I can only achieve this in February then I know it'll be a good cycling year.

2) I've done North Gate to Junction enough times to break it into three sections:

a) North Gate to park boundary: Gradually ascending rolling hills. Descending this section is the bomb-diggity.

b) Park boundary to 1,000-foot elevation marker: Steady climbing begins. The first stretch of 10% grade comes at the 1,000-foot marker.

c) 1,000 feet to 2,000 feet: Includes a long, winding 10% grade approaching Diablo Ranch, followed by a series of hairpins, the last of which is tight and steep on the inside. The 2,000-foot marker comes soon after that, followed by the ranger housing then Junction station.

Not that any of this makes me any faster. It does mean, however, that I have to begin higher-intensity training so I don't plateau.

Starting the rollers just past the North Gate.

New-ish retaining wall just past 1,000-foot marker.

The hairpins. Maybe at the end of the season I'll spend the afternoon taking better pics.


BART sketches Aug. 4 - 8

Saturday, August 2, 2008

That Sketchy Feeling

Counting Stops: BART sketches for the week of July 28-August 1.


The Bicycle Thief
Road to Roubaix
There Will Be Blood
The Velocity of Gary
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Refugee Nation, Theater Performance
Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries
Michael Clayton
The Last King of Scotland
No Country for Old Men

Alone in San Francisco, Thelonious Monk
Third, Portishead
Jukebox, Cat Power
Out of the Shadow, Rogue Wave
Back to Black: The B-Sides, Amy Winehouse
As Iron Sharpens Iron, The Procussions
The Reminder, Feist
The Impulse Story: Alice Coltrane, Alice Coltrane
Greatest Hits, Guns N' Roses
The Heart of Saturday Night, Tom Waits

The Looming Tower
, Lawrence Wright
The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama
Obama: From Promise to Power, David Mendell
The Rider, Tim Krabbe
Memories of My Melancholy Whores, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Code, Charles Petzold
Karel The Robot, Richard E. Pattis
Making Beats, Joseph Schloss
People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks
The Lightening Thief, Rick Riordan
Love Is a Mix Tape, Rob Sheffield