Another Sea Otter Classic has come and gone. This year didn’t disappoint. My buddies came out from Chicago and rented a rather large RV. They learned the hard way that Monterey, CA gets cold at night.
This year we bailed on the organized ride and did our own. We rode into the towns of Monterey and Pacific Grove and on to Carmel by way of 17 Mile Drive.
We had perfect weather and met a cast of characters out of central casting. The best being a bleach blond 48 year old beach bum who told us his life story no less than 3 times because we gave him a beer. It was like someone gave a seagull one potato chip and it wouldn’t leave. We learned he has 6 kids. He’s lived on 8 continents and visite 88 countries. Not to go to Santa Cruz because it’s a bad scene and they stole his bike.
Sunday, I entered my first mountain bike race. First I got a flat 3 miles in. Second I flipped over my handlebars on a washboard descent. I tacoed the front wheel on my new bike and separated my shoulder. I managed to straighten it out enough to finish the race. I managed to place 34 out of 38 in my age group. Not bad.
I have some great pictures to share when I’m not writing on my phone.
Just a few interesting things I notice about people in my day to day observations.
I love Trader Joe’s, but I can’t stand a lot of their customers. There always someone there who’s only buying 30 of the same thing. The other day it was a woman buying a bunch of cartons of egg whites. Another guy was buying 20 boxes of Puffins cereal. These people shop like they live in a bunker.
We went to a flea market where the people are often more interesting than the wares. No matter what, there will always be a couple of old hipsters sporting a western look. Both will be wearing horn rimmed glasses. She’ll have severe bangs, and a flowery dress. He’ll have a crew cut and a short sleeved plaid shirt.
This year’s Oscars was so boring, it wasn’t even worth making fun of it.
I haven’t bothered to see the latest “Star Wars” movie, but I’m surprised it didn’t get nominated for a bunch of stuff if “Mad Max” did. I had zero interest in seeing either movies, mainly because I’m so tired of sequels, reboots, and remakes.
What little I heard of Chris Rock’s monologue was funny. His joke about Wil Smith getting $20M was the best. Second, was Louis C.K.’s joke about the Oscar going home in a Honda Civic (for short documentary).
This weekend I got in a couple bike rides, both marred by equipment failures. I went mountain biking on Saturday. I found some great single-track and ran out of steam going up a gully. I cranked too hard and broke my chain. Fortunately, I was only a mile from the car. Sunday, I had a 25 mile ride according to my plan. About 3 miles from the end, I must have hit some construction debris and got a flat. It was more than the tube, the tire has a hole too.
Within three months of getting my California drivers license, I received the letter that makes us all cringe – a summons to report for jury duty. I managed to kick the can down the road for a year and now the chickens have come home to roost.
I don’t even remember why I postponed it the first time. I assume I had a good enough excuse. This week is one of the worst possible times because we are about to launch Cola, the app we’ve been building for the past year.
I’m hoping to just get passed up and sent on my merry way as the odds of getting picked are usually pretty low.
The last time I reported for jury duty was in Chicago, and I got picked. I honestly didn’t think I would. Insiders tell me if you’re going to get picked hope for a criminal trial. They’re likely to last one day, and can be interesting. Otherwise, you could get stuck in a trial for something like a malpractice suit or insurance fraud. Those are the worst because they’re boring and can last a lot longer.
My case was about a guy who was accused of shooting his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend. The boyfriend and the accused had been friends at one time when they were both working together as “pickers”, guys who salvage scrap and sell it.
I may have written about this in the past, but long story short, we all though he was guilty and figured he did it. In the end, we found him not guilty. The prosecution did such a bad job, there was all kinds of reasonable doubt. Granted, it’s a single data point, but I can see how many seemingly open and shut cases don’t go the way most of us would expect.
Linda has decided to take up Mountain Biking with me and last week we picked up a new bike for her. We’ve been looking for something to do together that gets us outside and is also a good way to kill time when we go camping. We had toyed with some other activities like kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, or surfing, but all those water sports require, well water. On a good day, we’re at least an hour from the ocean. With biking, we can go right from the house.
For her first ride we decided to check out Lake Chabot, an East Bay Regional park near San Leandro. We read about it on a bay area bike website, and sounded like a good place to start.
While we weren’t looking for level 10 technical single-track, we didn’t want a flat asphalt trail either. What did get was a mile-plus climb up some incredible steep fire roads. At one point it we had to walk the bikes up a 24% grade. Overall, a great place to ride, just not your ideal first ride. For future reference, we’ll probably go back.
We finished off our ride with a little brunch next to the Westy.
When I was sick, my parents trotted me out to K’s Merchandise Mart on a weeknight to pick up my first bike. It was this beauty, the Huffy Mono-Shock.
Technically speaking, it was my first store-bought bike. The first bike I ever had was a beat up girls’ bike my Grandpa picked up at a police auction. The chain constantly fell off and the hand grips were disintegrating, leaving my hands black every time I rode it. In addition, it had one of those against-the-wall paint jobs where someone sprayed it, chain and all. The kind of treatment you give a bike after stealing it.
The Huffy on the other hand looked like something that came out of a focus group of 6 year olds. It had everything they could want, while getting everything wrong in a bike. The seat was a like a loaf of pound cake. The handlebars splayed outward. The bike weighed almost as much as me at the time. In fact, I was so light, I couldn’t even move the shock.
It was a good three years before it even fit me. I think mom and dad were thinking this will be the bike he’ll ride until college.
Over the years, I lost original appreciation I had for the bike. Other kids were getting ten speeds and dirt bikes. The mono-shock was neither. One major benefit of riding it for so long was I got used to the weight. I don’t remember when I officially stopped riding it, nor do I recall what happened to it. The one great thing about Huffy bikes. They’re pretty durable, and built to last. I can’t necessarily say the same thing about their ride quality.
Last night I caught the tail end of the Grammys. I must be a masochist, because I hate most award shows. Compared to most, the Grammys are the least authentic. That includes the Oscars, because I expect actors to be feigning sincerity.
Recognizing David Bowie’s contribution to music made perfect sense. I would have preferred someone other than Lady Gaga to do it. I think she’s talented, but let her Madonna’s tributes when she dies.
We really didn’t need another montage of his 10 radio hits. We’ve been hearing those around the clock since he died. It would have been more interesting to hear from the diverse range of people who worked actually knew him. I would have loved to see an uncensored Iggy Pop up there.
I liked the B.B. King tribute with Gary Clark Jr., Chris Stapleton, and Bonnie Raitt, because I like them. The Grammys tributes are such a conceit, not because they’re so mawkish and self-congratulatory. It’s because they’re obviously done more to promote the flavor of the day act.