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Bike Mortal Enemy ridesfv

A WINNER IS ME!

My Mortal Foe, Daniel Quinn: VANQUISHED!

Peep this:

DEVASTATING. YOU’RE DEVASTATED.

TWENTY FIVE POINT TWO PERCENT. Pity poor Daniel Quinn, for his paltry 25.02% of the Valley has been crushed.

This is me:

…and this is PATHETIC HAS BEEN DANIEL QUINN:

At this point, the only way he could possibly catch me is if he rode SEVEN MILES. IMPOSSIBLE! NO MAN CAN RIDE SEVEN MILES AND LIVE TO TELL THE TALE.

My glory will never be surpassed!

The killing blow:

Now go and tell the world of this glorious day!

(maybe don’t tell Daniel)

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Bike Mortal Enemy ridesfv

Closing in on my Mortal Enemy as a new foe appears

As you know, Daniel Quinn is my mortal enemy – but my campaign to defeat him is working!

At the start of this month, I had covered 18.66 percent of the San Fernando Valley. Quinn had 24.9 percent, the cruel coward! But the tides are turning, old friend. This month he has only added a PATHETIC 0.7 miles to his Valley total.

Now check this out:

Oh, yeah- unreadable maps are my jam!

Including today’s ride to Tujunga & Sunland, I have added 88.3!

I now have conquered 21.16 percent of the Valley, more than 40 percent of the gap between us. If I maintain THIS EXACT PACE (which seems impossible to deny as possible) , then I will best this cruel tyrant on May 6th, and there will be much rejoicing!

Unless he rides his bike in the Valley between now and then… just the kind of decietful trickery I have come to expect from this blackguard, this lout, this contemptible scoundrel. I MUST BE VIGILANT AND WARY!

And then there’s Hunter Baoengstrum. He is not my foe…YET.

It is only a matter of time.

Why do I say this? Because Hunter Baoengstrum is systematically riding all the streets of Los Angeles County. He hasn’t started the Valley, but it’s only a matter of time. And look at the ride HE went on yesterday:

He is a mindless biking machine.

FIFTY-FOUR NEW MILES. IN ONE DAY. Sure it took him six hours, but HE DID IT. One day he will cross the Santa Monica Mountains and begin his attack. When he does, Daniel Quinn and I will face a true challenge. A challenge that will probably require Daniel and I to enter into an uneasy truce to defeat Hunter. A truce that the nefarious Daniel will break when he reveals that the two of them have been secret allies all along, plotting my destruction. BUT I AM ON TO BOTH OF YOU. Your plot is doomed to fail! I SHALL TRIUMPH AGAINST ALL ODDS!

Also: Here’s a fun little video showing today’s ride:

Categories
Bike ridesfv

My Mortal Enemy

Today I tell the tale of my greatest rival, my nemesis, my one true foe: Daniel Quinn. Who is Daniel Quinn? I JUST TOLD YOU HE IS MY FOE. MY MORTAL ENEMY, FOR CORN SAKE.

But if you want to know why he’s my foe…

About a year ago I started a project: to ride on every single street in the San Fernando Valley. It fell by the wayside, mostly because of bad weather and laziness, but also because it was hard to figure out exactly where the streets of the Valley ended.

But recently I found wandrer.earth, a site uses your ride data from Strava to figure out exactly what roads you have ridden and how much progress you have made. I signed up, went to my map, and saw this:

A map of my rides through the San Fernando Valley.
Guess which corner of the Valley I live in.

Look at that magic! A beautiful map showing all of my carefully planned trips to precisely cover every single street. And now I had a number: 18.66 percent. Only 81.34 percent left.

Then I saw the link to the leaderboard. I had to know if I was on top. I clicked the link.

I was number TWO. Who was number one?

DANIEL. QUINN.

And adding insult to injury, look at his map. JUST LOOK AT IT.

Now guess which corner HE lives in.

HE’S NOT EVEN TRYING TO HIT EVERY ROAD. He just rides so much that he’s picked up tons of streets ON A WHIM.

He is the most dangerous kind of mortal enemy:
the one who doesn’t know he is a mortal enemy.

I will crush him. CRUSH HIM.

In the Valley. Eventually. I hope. Everywhere else he will destroy me. See how most of my rides are straight lines, and how his are all bendy? That’s because he rides the hills. A lot. He could probably knock out the Valley in a week if he tried.

So I must work silently to destroy him. And then, when my task is done, I shall gloat on his Strava page about conquering him, destroying him, humiliating him!

And he will say “Who are you?”

Sort of like this:

Categories
Bike PenPal ridesfv

Hello, Internet.

Dear Internet,

How are you? Fine, I hope. I am fine.

I’m sorry I haven’t written for a couple of months. I was really busy or something.

So much has happened since my last note. The most significant thing is that I saw Cats. This was my favorite song.

Now and forever!

I also lost more weight. Most it from my beard.

I also got a new bike. It looks like this one, but red.

I made a little more progress on my project to ride every street in the San Fernando Valley.

Look at that map of the San Fernando Valley! Look how the corner is all filled up!
I also found a web site called wandrer.earth that will track the valley for me so I can be lazy.

I’m sorry I haven’t written lately. I will write more soon.

Your Friend,

Luke

P.S. Maybe the world is ending?

Categories
50ish Recent Songs Bike

End of the year stuff

There are about nine hours left in my 2019.

It’s ending on a good note. Katherine is as awesome as ever. I still have the best damn job I could imagine, and a group of co-workers I actually like to hang out with. And I’m about 25 pounds lighter than I was last year. All good.

The world decided to give me a gift today: perfect bike weather. Sunny and warm, but not hot. And a second gift: almost no traffic. I had my highest ever average speed for a longer ride. Another good note.

I don’t care for the whole New Year’s resolutions thing. It’s a high pressure recipe for discouragement. Instead, I’m going to try and keep doing what I try doing all year: adjust and improve as I go. I don’t expect to get it all right, and that’s fine. Whether you’re making a resolution tomorrow or not, I hope you give yourself permission to fail and learn.

2020 is here. I hope it’s great for you.

Now: 50 recent songs, mostly picked by my phone, including the best song of the ride.

New Year’s Eve – The Walkmen
I guess my phone wanted to get into the spirit of things
Commissioning a Symphony in C – Cake
This would normally be a contender for Best Song of the Ride, but alas! It played before I left.

Feral Cat Tribe – Tenement
My Three Sons – Elvis Costello And The Imposters

Tu m’as encore crevé un cheval – Arlt
This was in the last 50 songs as well. Why? Because Apple uses a crappy music randomizer. Thousands of songs on my phone, and this one comes up again right away.

Part III – Crumb
I Wish You Would – The Yardbirds
Vaporize – Broken Bells
Who Cares? (take 4) – Cannonball Adderley With Bill Evans
Longer Boats – Cat Stevens
Coney Island Baby – Tom Waits
Schn in rosa und rot (Pretty in Pink – Psychedelic Furs) – Le anin
Dio – Tenacious D
Easy Read – Trashcan Sinatras
Baby Plays Around – Elvis Costello
Jump Boys – The Undertones
Cross-Eyed Tammy – The Dickies

Bicycle Race – Queen
When a bicycle song plays on your bike ride, you have to point it out. Also: In this song Freddie Mercury sings “…and I don’t like Star Wars.” If he didn’t like the original, imagine how much he would have hated The Rise of Skywalker.

Fool – Cat Power
Crazy People – Luna
Until Death – Scout Niblett
A New Wave – Sleater-Kinney
Take It Easy, Greasy – Snooky Pryor
Porno Music – Freaks and Geeks
Straight Edge – Minor Threat
Most Precarious – Blues Traveler
She Wolf – Shakira
Get In On It – Antoine Diligent
Think It Over – Buddy Holly

My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama – Frank Zappa
Best song of the ride!

Hot – The Regrettes
Haunted – Broken Down Golf Cart
Tu Mirada y Mi Voz – Susana Baca
Motherless Children – Eric Clapton
Big House – Young Fresh Fellows
Sky Phenomenon – Jens Lekman
I Feel Speed – Love And Rockets
Muddy Waters – LP
White Babies – Liz Phair
I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues – Elton John
I’m a Wicked One – The Hives
Neighborhood #1 Tunnels – Arcade Fire
Dereclict – Beck
Key Largo – Arbes
Loosy Lucy – The Steeples
Everyone Can See – yungatita
The Girl I Knew Somewhere – The Monkees
Daylight Til Dawn – All Night Radio
Stars on Your Nose – Indoorsy

I’m Gonna Love The Hell Outta You (Demo) – Silver Jews
If this had been the studio version it totally would have won best song of the ride.

Tal Uno – Barrie

And here’s today’s ride.

Categories
50ish Recent Songs Bike

50ish songs, Best Music of the Ride

50ish recent songs, mostly picked by my phone.

Just Like Heaven – The Cure

Prologue – Schlong
This will always make me think of Renee, who introduced it to me.

Changes – No Vacation
Falling – Howard
Big Rock Candy Mountain – The Beat Farmers
Nowhere Man – Low
The Haunted Mansion: Grim Grinning Ghosts – Disney
It’s Alright, Follow – Tarek Musa
Good Day (Extended Edit) – The Kinks
Paper Planes – I’m From Barcelona
Paper Thin Walls – Modest Mouse

Word To The Mic – dj BC and The Beastles
These folks have multiple full albums of Beatles/Beastie Boys mashups. Some of them (like this one) work pretty well.

She’s Leaving Home – The Beatles
Over the Rainbow (live) – Rufus Wainwright
Tumbledown – The Jesus and Mary Chain
Empty puppet – Mary Bell
Hold Your Head Up – Argent

The House Where Nobody Lives – Tom Waits
Specifically, this live version from a 20 year old VH-1 special. I like it a lot more than the album version, but it’s really hard to find a decent recording of it.

Sympathy for the Soul of the Beast – Celebrity Murder Party
Happy Together – Mel Torme
Summer Wind – Frank Sinatra
Red Right Hand – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Worse Things Happen At Sea – Toy Dolls
Critic Intro – They Might Be Giants
Pop All The Stars – Emmett Kai
King Kong – Tom Waits
Blow Me Down – Harry Nilsson
Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 26) – The Beatles

Once In A Lifetime – Talking Heads
The second-best song of today’s ride.

Prince Charming – Adam Ant

She’s Got A New Spell – Billy Bragg
The best song of today’s ride.


Gypsy – hana vu
1 2 3 4 – Feist
Maiwaige – The Princess Bride
This Time Tomorrow – The Kinks
Gypsy Town – Wet Illustrated
Don’t Stop Now – Crowded House
Birth of the Cool – Miles Davis
Infatuation – The Rapture
Fatal Attraction (And It’s So Strange) – The Ultraviolets
Wrong About Bobby – Eels
Money – Pink Floyd
One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) – Billie Holiday
Paul’s Pal – Sonny Rollins Quartet
Fade – Goth Dad
LNT – Stevan
My Funny Valentine – The Miles Davis Quintet
Highness – Envy And Other Sins
Telegram Sam – Bauhaus
Song For Dan Treacy – MGMT
Schoolhouse Rocky – Bob Dorough & Others

Young Fresh Fellows Theme – Young Fresh Fellows
This wasn’t on the ride. If it had been it probably would have won best song of the ride.

Also: Really good ride today. 30 miles and a better-than-normal average pace. All it needed to be perfect was for me to remember my water bottle.

Categories
50ish Recent Songs Bike

50ish Recent Songs, and the Best Song of Today’s Ride

50ish recent songs, mostly picked by my phone. About half of them were from today’s ride, where I decided to get a pinch flat AND whack my hand into a utility box.

Oh, and I didn’t tighten the bolts on my new cleats enough, so one came loose. NEAT.

Big Time – Peter Gabriel
The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room) – Flight of the Conchords
I Heard It Through the Grapevine – Marvin Gaye

The Girl Is Mine – Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine – You haven’t heard this song until you’ve heard a lounge version with Stephen Hawking.

Cartrouble, Pts. 1 & 2 [Original Album Version] – Adam and The Ants
No Rain – Blind Melon

Julie’s Been Working For The Drug Squad – The Clash

Hot Hot Hot!!! – The Cure
One Way Or Another – Blondie
Everybody’s a Star (Starmaker) (mono mix) – The Kinks
The District Sleeps Alone Tonight – The Postal Service
Yew – BUHU
Hard To Handle – The Black Crowes
Bedlam – Elvis Costello And The Imposters
Train In Vain – The Clash
Birthday – The Beatles
Pretty In Pink – The Psychedelic Furs
Chicago (acoustic version) – Sufjan Stevens
Three Car Jam – Minutemen

Love Will Tear Us Apart – The Hot 8 Brass Band – presented in its original form as a New Orleans jazz band song.

The Loved One – INXS
Miracle Cure – The Who
13 A Sky Blue Rhapsody – ccc – ill chemist
Boys Don’t Cry – Grant Lee Phillips
All You Ever Think About Is Sex [12″ Club Version] – Sparks
It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) – R.E.M.
Breakfast – Evolution Control Committee
A Sight For Sore Eyes – Tom Waits

American Tune – Paul Simon – Winner, Best Song of the Ride. I think Katherine knows this song.

New Moon on Monday – Duran Duran
Scarecrow – Beck
Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey – My Brightest Diamond
Livin’ on a Prayer (Bon Jovi cover) (BL Rewind 2) – The Boat People
Nusrath Fateh Ali Khan – Piya Re Piya Re (Remix)
When I’m Sixty-Four – The Beatles
Alina’s Place – Fredrik

The Old Saloon – The Lonely Island – The most important song of a generation.

Falling – Howard
Where Do I Begin – The Chemical Brothers
Little Miss S. – Edie Brickell & New Bohemians
The Mighty Hercules – Johnny Nash
Lucky #9 (video version) – The Moldy Peaches
Poses – Kiki Pau
Graceland – Paul Simon
Abracadabra – Steve Miller Band
Hammering In My Head – Garbage
Same Changes – Sam Phillips
Tomorrow Wendy – Andy Prieboy
Transatlanticism – Death Cab For Cutie
The Tracks Of My Tears – Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Hombre Secreto (Secret Agent Man) – Plugz – I used to play the hell out of this soundtrack.

Today’s ride. I actually had a short second ride, but it was slow and silly.

Categories
Bike

The three best songs of today’s ride

I had to try out my new shoes, so I did my usual loop around Balboa Park. It was a good ride. One sign of a good ride is a moment where I think “this is a really good bike song.” Today there were three. In order from least to most good (today):

They Might Be Giants: Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

Brian’s favorite band. Their cover is much perkier than the original version.

The Jam – Town Called Malice

A great song that Weezer casually stole and made happy, it would have been number one if not for the last song of the ride…

The Dead Milkmen – Punk Rock Girl

Oh, this song. It would never make any top ten list of mine, but it sure feels good when you’re on the last half mile and you want a little push.

Today’s ride:

Categories
Bike

New Shoes

My bike shoes are three and a half years old. They were fine- biking is not exactly tough on the soles- but I needed a second pair for work. Of course, as soon as I ordered the new pair, the old pair started falling apart. THEY KNEW.

My bike shoes.
Left: old and busted.
Right: New Hotness.
In the back: gloves (in case you need to dye your hair).

The new ones look more like sneakers, which is nice. They also look more like clown shoes, which might be okay as well. BONUS! One of my bikes is yellow, and the other is olive green. my feet will match either bike, which is what makes bikes fast.

Leo from Twin Peaks would be so happy.

I was going to put a video of Leo saying “new shoes,” but he’s gross and drooly., so you get some Angelo Badalamenti instead.
Leo is excited.
I told you he’d be happy.

Categories
Bike

My fingers didn’t like this ride

I ride a lot in the summer. I’m used to heat. I ride wearing gym shorts and a t-shirt.

Today was not hot: Sunny, but mid forties to low fifties. Not the best weather for thin shorts. I did adjust my clothing a tiny bit: I wore a long sleeved shirt. That helped my arms, but did nothing for my fingers or ears, which were mad at me for most of the ride.

Tomorrow: gloves!