Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Real Schwinn-er

Breaking News!

If you own a 1987 Schwinn Circuit you're better looking than someone without a 1988 Schwinn Circuit.

What? You don't have a 1987 Schwinn Circuit?

Schwinn 1987 Super Sport / CircuitSchwinn 1987 Super Sport / Circuit

Well, great news! I have one and I'm going to sell it to you! For just $300 you can have this shiny piece of 80's steel perched between your legs. It's a 56 cm frame that's been very well cared-for.

The bike is largely original with a few exceptions, like the saddle and seatpost. The paint is 6/10 for the scratches and minor pitting on the chrome stays. Other than that it's a fully functioning bike with brand-new tires. Don't miss an opportunity to be better looking and possibly more sexually active* with this excellent bicycle. 

*Actual results may vary.

Sub-Equatorial Stupidity

I usually try to avoid hitting people with my car, like, I really try not to run people over. Which is why whenever I do hit people with my car I get really upset, because they mess up my car! I'm so glad Kimberley Davis feels the same way. During an interview after she mowed down a cyclist she made an heartfelt case for herself: 

“I just don’t care because I’ve already been through a lot of bullshit and my car is like pretty expensive and now I have to fix it,” ... “I’m kind of pissed off that the cyclist has hit the side of my car. I don’t agree that people texting and driving could hit a cyclist. I wasn’t on my phone when I hit the cyclist.”

Everyone looks at least "half attractive" in a grainy, cropped selfie.
Ugh it's just so upsetting when I have to clean off blood smears and fix dents on my "pretty expensive" car because someone to hit it with their body. Well Davis knows these hardships all too well. She also makes a great argument in support of texting on the road: 

"I don't agree that people texting and driving could hit a cyclist.  I wasn’t on my phone when I hit the cyclist.

Which basically means that if she was texting she would have never hit the cyclist. DAMN! If only she'd been on her phone, some poor biker wouldn't have a fractured spine. Anyway she's really upset now, and rightfully so since her license has been suspended for 10 months. Ouch! That  hurts more than spending three months in the hospital! Well, best of luck to Ms. Davis. Maybe she'll try cycling during her lapse in license status?

Meanwhile, on the correct side of the world, someone has decided to map all of the bike crashes in Los Angeles in 2012.  Apparently there were 2,043 reported accidents in 2012.  That's over 5 bike accidents every day.  For a place the size of L.A. that's not too bad, but it's still pretty crappy. I was also surprised that Ventura Blvd. wasn't in the top 10 considering it's the road with the most assholes per mile. It's going to be interesting to see if there's any decrease in bicycle accidents over the years after the "Great Streets Program" is finally completed.


The Great Streets program actually covers some of the most accident prone streets in L.A. Starting with Van Nuys Boulevard, Figueroa Street, and Crenshaw Boulevard. Coincidentally these are all streets where I hardly feel safe even in my little pickup truck, riding a bike there can get even more sketchy. So I think it's OK to get a little excited when the Mayor of L.A. says:  

"[w]e'll saturate your street with services. We'll make your street accessible to pedestrians, wheelchairs, strollers and bicycles–not just cars. We'll create an environment where new neighborhood businesses can flourish. We'll pave the streets and make them green streets — clean and lush with plant life, local art, and people-focused plazas." (Via Streetsblog)

It's also worth noting that Mayor Garcetti will probably piss people off along the way. Improving streets doesn't always make everyone happy, especially when it means people might not have as much parking and protected bike lanes may lead to less lanes for cars. Which may lead many to question why people even need protected bike lanes. 

To which I'll respond with this:

This is why it's a good idea to have protected bike lanes.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Santa Ana River Trail Exploration

The Santa Ana River Trail is convenient in so many ways. It's only about 2 miles from the wigwam I live in. It offers a good 30-something mile ride along unhindered, car-free pavement. I usually ride it starting where it intersects with Orangewood Avenue and go South to the beach. Then I turn around and go back to my wigwam where I raise griffins and miniature ostriches. The other day I thought, what if instead of going South I went the other way. You know, what the hipsters call "Ironic South". I went all the way to the end, which is how I imagine Christopher Columbus felt when he finally fell off the edge of the sea into oblivion, or what we call modern-day Texas. Before I got to the very end though, there was a lot going on. 

First I had to pass through the Gateway of the Five Freds.

Flat bars and an aero-tuck. The Five Freds race through the ages.
Having passed through the Gateway of the Five Freds I made my way closer to the Ironic South Pole. Soon though I had to answer a riddle while keeping my hands in plain sight:

"How many SWAT guys does it take to parallel park a truck?"

It takes 2 SWAT guys to park a SWAT-mobile.
I was lucky enough to answer the riddle correctly and go on my way before the SWAT trolls found out I was transporting expired NyQuil for sale in the neighboring county. As I rode along the path I noticed they were building a new train station. I rode by and yelled at the construction workers telling them to forget all the OSHA crap and hurry the hell up. 

They tried to appease me by working faster but I still wasn't satisfied.

Having fulfilled my duty of yelling at people and acting like a complete jerk I came upon a miracle. A traffic jam had formed and people just started abandoning their cars and walking. Either that or people were parking really far away from the Honda Center and walking towards it for the latest Backstreet Boys reunion concert while others simply sat in traffic for a really long time. Nevertheless I buzzed past all the commotion and continued. 
My mission was to ride the Santa Ana River Trail as far to the Ironic South as I could. 

That's right ladies, walking is a good idea.
I soon came upon a winding road with yellow flowers. I also yelled at the flowers as I did to the construction workers. They did not respond, which was disappointing. I don't intend to yell at the flowers again because riding my bike and photographing them at the same time is exhausting.

Curvy roads with flowers on either side make for good riding.
I trudged on and rode at my cruising speed of 35 mph (I get closeout deals on equestrian grade EPO) but soon I had to come to a screeching halt. Some IDIOT had installed a fence in the middle of the path and it was LOCKED! I started cursing and stomping my off brand "Especializados" shoes so that thunder echoed throughout the land. As the townspeople cowered in fear I soon realized that I had gone as far to the Ironic South as I could and that I finally reached the end of the Santa Ana River Trail. I claimed the end of the trail for the Queen and decided to return towards my wigwam.
The end of the line. Sort of.
Was it dangerous? 

No not really unless you're scared of homeless people that live under the bridges. They have a habit of walking onto the path without looking which can get interesting when they pop up around blind corners. Riding the Santa Ana River Trail has pretty much always been a good time for me. Now that I know where it ends I can finally say I know the entire length of it like I know the names of my miniature ostriches and griffins.

Was it tiring? 

The way towards the Ironic South Pole was easy as cake. The way towards the regular South was hard. The wind doesn't like to let me hold my 35 mph cruising speed and I had to slow down and get into an aero-tuck not much unlike the aero-tuck of the Five Freds.

Did I make any friends? 

Haha, no.

So there. If you ever wondered what the Santa Ana River Trail was like you can thank me for finally giving you the most in-depth guide that there ever was. You're welcome.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Masi Gran Corsa

Please accept my somewhat-sincere apology for not posting any updates for a while. I happen to have a life that is obsessed with pulling me away from the only thing that really matters, which is updating this blog.

Before you prepare yourself for a blog update full of humor and cheesy rhetoric I must confess something:

The only focus of this post is to convince you to purchase a beautiful Masi Gran Corsa that I've acquired from my vast network of contacts. Basically just people that no longer have a need for a bike either because they are getting old or lack space to store bikes. In this case both.

Masi Gran Corsa bike frames were built in Italy and shipped bare to California where they were painted, assembled and sold. In terms of craftsmanship they are some of the nicest riding steel bikes available.  This model is a 62 cm sized frame although I measured 60 cm from the center of the bottom bracket to the center of the top-tube. Either way it's too big for me. If you want more information regarding Masi bikes don't ask me. I don't know much about these bikes but I became somewhat of an expert after reading about them here.

The bike has a full Campagnolo Record Titanium 9 speed gruppo including the hubs and headset. The carbon brake levers are without signs of scrapes or other damage. This bike was babied and well-cared for. It comes with a computer and a set of Wellgo SPD pedals.

Take a look at the pictures...

Reynolds 531 gets all the steel junkies excited.
Full Campagnolo gruppo.
9 speed straight block cassette. It's almost a 10 speed!
Hub-ba hub-ba!

New tires.
Saddle has MASI written all over it. Can you tell?
I shot these wheels with my gun and my camera, and nothing happened. Bullet proof.