24 May 2000
Its Almost Here!!!
The ride starts in less than 2 weeks! So who knows, in two weeks I might be thinking, "Jeez, I have to get on my bike again?" Or maybe not. It will be good to finally get it going. Yes, I have been training. Im a little nervous about the ride, although Im pretty convinced that I am in adequate condition. My biggest fear is day after day on the bike going long distances. Plus, I have a tendency to try to go as fast I can. Thats not really the point of the ride, but Ben suggested that he was going to get a t-shirt that said, "Dont pass me because my friend will chase you and drop me." Or something to that effect. I might give it a good sprint every once in a while, but its 570 miles and 3000 other people. Have fun!! Thats what I say.
There may be the chance to ride in the Alps again at the end of the summer. I hope that works out. If so, this ride will provide a fantastic base. After the Ride, then I can start training for POWER and strength instead of distance. LAlpe DHuez is on the itinerary again for the summer trip. My goal is under and hour. I have to get there first, and September is a very busy month. (I am rambling about cycling.)
I hope to keep a journal during the ride. I could be a super-geek and take my work laptop with me and try to update along the ride. But you know what? That would be violating company policy (and so I cant do that), and I dont want to the hassle. Now if wireless was really an option maybe. So Ill do the old-fashioned pen and paper thing and then type it up and upload. I want to get pictures too. I havent quite decided how to do that. Do I do black-and-white, color, point and shoot, polaroid, disposable, digital?!? WHAT?!?! Well, I will do something because I promised somebody a picture.
Hey, Im getting wound up just thinking about it now. Pretty cool!
Ive got all the cycling gear I need a bunch of jerseys, short gloves, long gloves, arm warmers, leg warmers, water booties, wind booties, extra tubes, tool kit (a great birthday gift last year that saved my you-know-what a couple of weeks ago), and, and, and. I want to be prepared for any weather. Ive literally been stuck in snow and rain on my bike, looking at a 14% descent, and wondering how I would survive. I did, but I couldnt feel one of my fingertips for three months following due to frostbite. OK, that was in France, not California, but I just want to make sure that Ive got my bases covered. Will I overpack?!? OF COURSE.
All right, I rambling again. The Ride starts June 4, ends the 10th. I hope everyone checks in occasionally between now and a little while after the ride to see whats up and how it went.
Thanks to all those who contributed to California AIDS ride. I raised a little over $5000 and I think Ben raised about $3000 (so far). Im thrilled that we were able to raise so much. Thanks again.
11 March 2000
Weather Clears Finally
After what seemed to be weeks and weeks of rain, especially weekend rain, the weather seems to have cleared. If I understand LA weather properly, that's all the rain we will be having this season. I went for a ride today, finally. 75+ deg outside. I rode later than usual, so as a result, I got a sunburn. Not a lot of sympathy for those still encountering snow, I know. But it hurts. The ride today DESTROYED me. I rode hard and exhausted my heart, lungs, and legs. Only 42 miles. There were hills, however. I'm happy though, I was pretty strong and I rode hard. As a result, the rest of the day I've sat around like a lump. Still sitting, obviously. Lots of things I could be doing, but that would mean using energy!
Fundraising total is better than I expected ... $4540. Wow! Thanks to those who have contributed so far.
11 February 2000
Exciting Friday night!
Storm Watch '00. Greater Los Angeles is gearing up for at least 1 inch of rain tonight. Its the top story on all the news channels. Our first major storm of the season. The kind of weather we're expecting is a calm spring day in Luxembourg.
So what did I do on my Friday night ... a much needed weekend evening?!? NOTHING. So why not update the web site? Yes, such is the cosmopolitan life I lead.
You'll notice that I've spent at least 4,325,320 hours on my portfolio. That is, admittedly, an exaggeration. I just know that I seemed to spend a ton of time (and a non-trivial amount of money) preparing for the exhibition. But,
THE EXHIBITION WAS A HUGE SUCCESS!!!
Thanks to the many folks who came out to check out the party, hang with friends, watch the video for the ride, and try to figure out exactly how the pictures on the wall were related to our fundraising efforts. I now have 19 of the 25 portfolios committed. That means I only have 6 left. The support has been wonderful. That means I won't fundraise aggressively anymore. But if you want to contribute still, great. The really cool thing is that all the money I raise now goes straight to the Gay and Lesbian Center since I am well above the minimum. So please still consider contributing to my or Ben's effort (Ben could still use some help reaching the minimum).
After a training hiatus (off season you know), I finally got out on my bike last weekend. I've definitely lost the form of the Alps, but it felt really good. I felt strong on the flats. I looked like a fool though, totally decked out in warm clothes. A little overdressed. Well, I stayed warm. As I was saying, I felt pretty strong. I think it won't be long before I'm back to pre-Alps strength. I've got to then hit the local mountains to get where I was. My goal after the AIDS Ride is to be able to do Alpe d'Huez in less than an hour. I think I should be able to get there.
I was planning to get out tomorrow to continue the training, but with Storm Watch '00 predicting heavy rain, that might not happen. OK, call me a fair weather cyclist if you like.
Thanks for checking back here. We'll keep updating the site on occasion so check back often.
9 January 2000
Portfolio getting there
For those of you waiting to see if the world was going to end before donating ... it DIDN'T!!! No Y2K excuse anymore. Thankfully nothing major (or minor for that matter) has happened (yet) on the stuff that I certified as Y2K compliant. Yes, even I was not immune to the Y2K effort.
I knew that the dang portfolio thing would take some time. As usual, I've underestimated. And I've done a poor job tracking how much time I've actually spent. Well its crunch time now, since the exhibition is scheduled for the 29th. What a good time to take a 10 day business trip too!
What I have found particularly frustrating about the portfolio is ... its a real bore to do! The fun part is the discovery and a little bit of the execution. But cut 125 mats and see how long it takes before you declare it to be no more than tedious. However, you still have to concentrate or else you'll cut the wrong line, etc.
Hope to see lots of you folks at the exhibition on January 29 at the studio. The info is scattered throughout this site. As of today, 10 portfolios are reserved and 15 remain. If you think you want one, email or telephone me before the exhibition to reserve yours.
28 November 1999
Should be in the studio or on the road
On a day that I should have been in the studio or on my bike, I decided to redesign my web page. What do you think? I can't decide if I like it or not. The colors may be off. I blame it on William Wegman at www.wegmanworld.com. His page looked very clean. I also blame it on Chuck Taggart at www.gumbopages.com. I wasn't trying to copy their colors ... it just turned out that way.
I suffered from three flats in three days ... even after my really expensive kevlar tires. After the third flat, I figured that it was time to figure out what was going on. I realized the flat was in the same place as the previous flat and after careful consideration, thought it must have been caused by the same thing. Sure enough, there was a very small but sharp wire poking through my $55 indestructible tire. I removed it, no more flats.
I haven't been cycling as much as I should, but I seem to be maintaining my current fitness level. Or at least I'm not dropping off too much. I had my bike in San Francisco this weekend. That was cool. I rode with friends from the Mission, across the Golden Gate Bridge, to Sausalito, Tiberon, and back. So now my bike has been in Luxembourg, the French Alps (and historic Alpe D'Huez), Italy (sort of) and across the Golden Gate Bridge. Its seen a lot!
I'm closing in on my portfolio. If I don't get the pictures scanned in tonight, they'll be up soon.
The fundraising is going well - the portfolio seems to be a good method to get contributors.
24 October 1999
I wasnt really sure if Id do the diary thing.
But since I sent out a mass email I figured I should make it worth peoples time to
check the site out. Plus I had a few things to say. I cant promise that Ill
write often, but if theres something I deem worth writing about, I will. Ive
put a few "metrics" on this page as well so that people can track my progress in
training and on the portfolio. And if you have any questions for me, email me at email@example.com. If I think others
might have the same question or find it interesting Ill put that up in this section.
Oh, Ive also added a Whats New section to the menu so people can see the
updates since their last visit.
Today I had my second flat since June. The first on my new bike. We were riding on the bike path between the entrance to Marina Del Rey and Ballona Creek. Ben was talking about getting new wheels and I suggested that he get new tires too, and get the kevlar reinforced tread for better protection against flats. Then, LIKE A FOOL, I said that what worried me about my new wheels was that my tires were not kevlar reinforced. I was concerned about the increased opportunity for a flat. We were riding with 5 other folks that I had been training with since June. We were two abreast on the path at about 8:00 am. It seems that the birds like to use that path to crush shells so that they can get to the tender insides of whatever they are eating. Its particularly "shelly" in the morning before use of the path scatters the shell bits elsewhere. So the whole time Im telling Ben, "Oooo, I dont want a flat" I riding over little pieces of shell. Little SHARP pieces of shell. Little SHARP pieces of shell that can penetrate the tread of a non-kevlar tire and cause a flat. And thats what happened to me. Not a problem, changed the tube and continued on, but I hate having flats. As a result, I have two new tires apparently the most expensive tires that you can get for a bicycle. Oops. I got suckered a little since I now have foldable tires. Why do I want foldable? I dont know. But $110 later Im really cool. Well, at least they are yellow and match my handlebar tape!
Strange thing about today. Im developing
telepathic powers. I havent been able to harness them yet, but Im working on
it. Sort of like spider-sense. You see, I was within 30 km of the recent nuclear accident
in Japan (Tokiamura, 30 September) WHEN THE ACCIDENT HAPPENED! The evening of the
accident, I got stuck outside during a rainstorm. When I got back to work in LA, a
colleague asked if I had developed any Superhero powers. I was hoping to develop into
Charisma-man or something obscure like that. Instead, I just seem to be having odd
telepathic moments. Like walking into to an office that I never go in to and then having
the people in the office say, "We were just talking about you." To have my Mom
wake up as the latest earthquake happened in LA. The list goes on. Do I really think
Im developing Superhero telepathic powers? No, absolutely not. But it makes a good
Im working harder on the portfolio, going through EVERY black and white proof sheet since 1989 looking for material. Thats a lot of negatives. Im going to add them up (maybe), but just an estimate of the number of negatives to look at is 6400. Yikes! You would think I could find 5 out of that bunch. But ... some of those photos are really bad, and Ive used 60 of the best ones in exhibitions already. (OK, well maybe 40 of the best there are 20 pictures that I wouldnt mind out of the exhibits.) Earlier today I was convinced that I had absolutely no material for the portfolio that was not already planned for use in other exhibitions. But then I printed some today (still printing from the early to mid 90s) and found several that I am really excited about. So I might be able to get 5 in the portfolio. Still, choosing 5 is going to be hard. I want photos people will like, and its always hard to judge what others like. Heck, I have a hard enough time judging what I like.
OK, thats it for today.