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.
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:
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:
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:
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?
And adding insult to injury, look at his map. JUST LOOK AT IT.
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!
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Prince Charming – Adam Ant
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
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.
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
Cartrouble, Pts. 1 & 2 [Original Album Version] – Adam and The Ants No Rain – Blind Melon
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
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
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
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
Today’s ride. I actually had a short second ride, but it was slow and silly.
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):
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.
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.
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.