New Commute

This morning's ride in was probably one of the fastest I've had since the move: 53 minutes of moving time, just barely under an hour total. Felt good, even while getting handily passed by a dude on a loaded Xtracycle on Dexter. Anyway, above is the route I'm taking. On the way home I avoid the slog up Fremont by taking 8th up to 76th or so.

I can beat that by about 15 minutes if I time my buses right, but there's no doubt I get to work in a better mood and much more awake after a ride. I feel lucky to be a cyclist.

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Edible Adventures in Bellingham

Although we were unable to go up for roller sprints this past weekend, we ended up in Bellingham for a night, which gave me a chance to check out some of the local vegan fare. And booze.

I started with a veganized Mediterranean pizza from Mambo Italiano that just might have been the highlight of the trip. Sadly I got no pictures, but it probably tasted better than it looked anyway. The crust was nice and chewy and the sauce incredibly fresh. Tasty.

The rest of our selections were adequately documented:

First was the red chili pesto vegetable burrito from Pepper Sisters. They has several items that were clearly denoted on the menu that could be made vegan; this burrito was suggested by the server as being the most flavorful. To be honest, it makes me a little concerned for their other offerings as it was pretty bland. The spice was right though, and a little salsa helped with the flavor. Service was a bit lacking, but I'd give the place another shot.

After dinner, we walked across town to Temple Bar for a few cocktails that really made the trip:

That's a muddled citrus and brown sugar whiskey sour. Monica got some fruit flavored mojito that was also tasty. We were tempted by the bottle of wine and snacks special for $15, but were still pretty full from dinner. Service was good and the place was super cozy, with a great unique bar in the first room, and a warm, velvet-walled sitting room in the second.

Before splitting town the next morning, we dropped in to the Soy House for Vietnamese lunch:

It's a good thing we split our dishes because I think the banh xeo (top) would've been a lot for anyone to handle. The crispy pancake filled with tofu and sprouts and eaten wrapped in lettuce and basil was pretty tasty but a little rich in the oil. The garlic tofu stir-fry (bottom) wasn't anything special, but played as a nice counterpoint with just enough spice.

We also stopped in several shops (Village Books being my favorite - shocking!) and hit the Tulalip casino on the way home, but there are no delicious pictures from those to remind of what to write about them. Special thanks to the blog Vegan in Bellingham, which is where I found pretty much all the places we ate. If you plan to dine out in B-ham, I'd suggest taking a look at her extensive reviews.

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Youtube: Home of C(H)ute!

Since I came across a listing in Petfinder for a kitty with cerebellar hypoplasia that linked to this video of Charley:

...I haven't been able to stop browsing videos of CH cats. Some are a little sad, but all are cute. Do a search for yourself. If I wasn't so convinced Ichabod would torture the poor thing, I'd really consider adopting one myself. What's your excuse?

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Flying Seitan Bovine

Saturday in the Kitchen

I've been wanting to make this recipe (via VeganDad) for some time. Last Saturday, I had the evening at home alone and decided it was a good time to give it a shot. I had most of the ingredients on hand, so I didn't bother to get the ones I didn't and just winged it (GET IT?!), but it turned out great. Make sure you heed the warning to not overcook; left a couple in a little longer to see if they'd get crispy and the texture on those was starting to toughen up. Next time, further testing in the hot sauce. Got a favorite I should try?


And We Start (Again)

It's been awhile, and as I don't really do as much trainwrecking as I once did, I figured it was time to bring back the GB name in honor of those that can make TWing a lifestyle instead of a delicious boozy indiscretion. In the meantime, I've imported all my old entries from The Kids Are All Wrecked... and LiveJournal. So this blog now has 10 years of depth. Don't dig too deep, it's scary.

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Resurrect Your Bike! Saturday!

It's ALMOST TIME! The 3rd Annual Resurrection Pre-Easter Alleycat is SATURDAY! Rain or shine!

Registration starts at Cal Anderson at 2:00, race leaves promptly at 3:00! Afterparty at Gasworks featuring beverages, shelter, and (hopefully) warmth.

The prize pile is looking pretty awesome with a custom bag for the overall champ from Seagull, lots of stuff from Recycled, a full frame powdercoat from Phil over at De-Luxe, tattoos from Alki Beach, coffee, shirts and other goodies.

Plus I'm working on an extra special (and entirely irresponsible) prize from myself / The Kids Are All Wrecked you'll most definitely want to win.

See you there?

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Ride Report: Bike Sabbath Bowling 3/28

I woke up yesterday morning with a tough decision to make. My legs ached from Prof. Dave's race the day before, my head swam from the free flowing beer that followed, and my bike had no fenders with the skies threatening almost certain rain. But it was Sunday, which is synonymous with Bike Sabbath, and I was itching to get some more miles on the new Trek (bike check to come). Before long I found myself out front of Fremont coffee with the gang, eyeing the ominous clouds above.

The plan was to head toward Renton for either minigolf at the Family Fun Center or bowling at Acme Bowl depending on the weather (bowling was already looking like the likely choice). To get in some extra miles, we decided to head across I-90 on the way there so we could head up the West side on the way home, completing the southern half of the Lake Washington Loop:

The ride started well enough with mild weather and still air. It was not to last. The wind came first, before we even got to Mercer Island, where we had to keep pedaling to not lose speed even on good descents. Bryan lead a failed campaign for fries at Roanoke Tavern, and we soon lost our first rider to non-weather related causes; Peter decided it was best to head home when it became clear his internally geared hub was trying to kill him.

We continued south, fry-less, taunted by warnings of ducks that never seemed to materialize (we can only assume they were smart enough to see what was coming, and stayed in their homes eating deep-fried potato delicacies). Just as we (or, rather, I) began to get sick of the rolling hills, our route opened up into beautiful downtown Renton. Then the skies opened up as well.

The next few miles are tough to recall. It was pouring, harder than any rain I can readily remember riding in. We were instantly soaked, to the bone. By "we", I mean all of us other than Bryan and Ben, who had sprinted ahead during some earlier confusion, and, I believe, managed to sit out at least some of the heavier rain under the awning of a local business.

As quickly as it picked up, the rain all but stopped as we pulled into Acme Bowl a few miles on. Bryan immediately ordered 12 pounds of fries, Ben butt-stamped every seating surface in sight, and we collectively covered their dining area with acres of spread out wet bike gear. Despite all this, we got surprisingly excellent service, had some tasty beverages, and signed up for a lane as Margaret and Rebecca decided to start their ride home.

Bowling is hard. The game was well-fought, I was briefly in the lead, and there was a lot of swearing in front of children, but I'll let the scores speak for themselves:

After the game and the wettest photobooth shoot ever, we left Daryl to be picked up by car and set off in search of the Green River Trail. Instead we found some big ass (big dick?) barriers, that, despite Bryan's best efforts, could not be ridden through. We looped around, finally found our path, and made excellent time to Loretta's, where we claimed the Airstream trailer out back and Monica led us in a round of group bonding questions (turns out my big-concert-going experiences are decidedly hippy, Ben has some serious punk rock cred in his junior high musical choices, and Monica still may be unclear how babies are made).

We left Loretta's, and travelled over the soon to be closed South Park Bridge into Georgetown where we lost Bryan for home. The group continued up through SoDo, before officially disbanding at 7th and Jackson after 39 miles.

My legs hurt today from two days of riding, my clothes are still wet from the second wettest Bike Sabbath I've been on (and apparently the second wettest ever), and I still have no fenders, but the ride was, as the unofficial two-week-old motto of Bike Sabbath suggests, wicked tits.

Be sure to check out more photos from Jeni and Bryan on Flickr.

Bike Sabbath is an open ride that meets at Fremont Coffee (map) every Sunday, departing by 12:30 sharp. Details of each ride are posted beforehand on Twitter and Facebook.


Race Report: Prime Time Trial

As we've already covered, I am not racer. I like working on races. I even enjoy watching bike races on TV (it's an aquired taste, I assure you). But I generally just do not have enough competitive spirit to get out and do something difficult just for the sake of sport. That said, sometimes I find myself out in the saddle on a cool afternoon, breathing heavily, manifest in hand, looking around wild-eyed for the next checkpoint. Saturday was one of those days.

Prof. Dave, propreiter of the finely crafted 327 Words blog, celebrated his birthday this weekend with the prime-number-themed Prime Time Trial. Apparently "exhausted" is a prime number, as at it featured several climbs that I would call memorable if my brain had been getting enough oxygen at the time to actually retain memory of the events. As you can see from the manifest, the semi-set route took us on a nice little tour of Seattle as shown in our take on it here:

We started at 20/20 in good spirits (and with good spirits) before sprinting off to a prime themed restaurant (Seven Teriyaki) and down a one-lane road to grab a playing card. From here, we dispersed from the "official" route a bit, by taking the longer, mellower way down and through downtown before eventually making a triumphant arrival in Georgetown.

Leaving G-town is when things started to get ugly. We found our way across the incredibly practical and protected bike lane on the 1st Ave Bridge only to be faced with an truly miserable climb up the appropriately named Highland Park Way. It was long. It was steep. I have no problem admitting I walked up the damn thing just as fast as I could have rode up it (Monica, on the other hand, wouldn't have dismounted even if her legs had actually burst, and climbed the whole way). From there it was off to the prime-tastic 7-11 to buy some 7up, down to Skylark for a serving of prime-mordial soup (the vegan option was to drink beer - oh darn!), then back across the lower West Seattle Bridge into G-town.

From here we cut over to Airport (not knowing what terrible condition it was in), and followed it all the way to Jackson. Jackson was the mildest of the memorable climbs as we followed it up to 29th, then over to Prof. Dave's house to do some drawings. We then hurtled down the path to Leschi for some prime rib (and/or grilled tofu and beer) before another lung-busting ascent up to the finish at Madrona Alehouse, where Dave had enough prizes laid out for everyone that completed the race to grab a lil' something.

Final time? 2 hours, 27 minutes and 13 seconds. Not terribly impressive compared to the sub 1:30 winner, but we didn't lose and that's all I ever ask for.


Bike Check: Fuji Swap Find

Old Fuji

Saturday was Cascade's annual Bike Swipe over in the Magnuson hangars. Despite having been out the night before wishing some friends goodbye, we managed to secure our spot in the fast-growing line by 8:15, 45 minutes before the doors opened.

I really wasn't looking to buy anything, but upon walking in I saw a number of classic looking frames, a few that appeared to by my miniature size (I usually ride a 50cm). My first draw, a touring frame with full braze-ons and canti studs, was actually too small, but I soon came across an old, clean Fuji that was just right and for sale for less than the pathetic amount of just-in-case cash I took out the night before. I then spent the rest of the swap being spatially unaware of the frame on my shoulder trying to take out anyone brave enough to get near my backside.

Excited to try out the fit, I decided to pull some parts off my green IRO (and a certain hard-earned gold medal), wrap and shellac some old road bars, and give it a go as a fixed gear. After allowing an extra day to procure a longer chain and long reach brake I was ready to roll.

What's next? Add gears and make it my Sunday ride? Add only front rack and fenders and make it a sweet radnogearing bike? Well, for now I'm not doing a damn thing since I shouldn't have even spent the minimal amount I did. But you can be sure when I do make a change, I will post it here.


Resurrection 3!

As you may have noticed by the updated sidebar, it's spring again and with that comes the return of the Resurrection Alleycat. This will be our third year doing it, and it's been great fun working with the full crew again. Plus this year, I / The Kids Are All Wrecked will be donating a prize that I can guarantee you'll want to win, so race accordingly.

I'm sure I'll post more as we get closer, but for now check over at Go Means Go for more info.

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