2017.01.25 – More thoughts

I am still trying to figure out why I am so impacted by the close call I had last night. I’ve had plenty of close calls before on my bicycle in SF riding around. But there was something about this one that just impacted me in such a way that I have yet to fully recover. As I sit on my flight to Vegas I am starting to reflect on it and came up with three thoughts that may have contributed to it.

1: I’ve been learning to ride a motorcycle. I think this has a good chunk of the impact since I seem to be more aware of my body position, posture, and overall connection between everything. One of the things I noticed on Monday was that I started to tilt when I turned my head. Maybe this is something I always did, and if so I am just more aware of it. I also broke bad cycling habits and started keeping my head up more instead of looking right in front of my front wheel, started to not cover the brakes, and even use the same head movements you would on a motorcycle.

With all of that combined, I think that helped me avoid running into a curb at 17mph after swerving. But more so – I think I have a much different awareness of risks and actions I can take to mitigate them.

2: I had an eighteen month hiatus from bike commuting in SF. With the office in Cupertino, when I biked into the office, my route was on Highway 35. There isn’t much contention around cyclists and cars except for the Highway 1 intersection. But one of the first things I noticed with the new commute is that SF, and all of SF, seems to be more congested during rush hour than it was when I quit my last job. It seems like nearly every other car is a Lyft or Uber and everyone is impatient on the roads.

I really think that there is just more stress between all commuters in SF

3: I witnessed someone get doored on Monday evening. Was approaching Market and Van Ness in the evening and there was a taxi stopped in the bike lane. Someone with ample lights went to pass on the left and the door just opened on him. This just reinforces my vulnerability when out on two wheels.

2017.01.25 – Glad to be alive

TL;DR: Taking my morning selfies today was tough. I am still recovering from the adrenaline rush and drop from what happened last night on my commute home. If the events of last night were just a few seconds later, I would have been severely injured or possibly dead. I also think learning how to ride a motorcycle and doing a basic rider course over the weekend also possibly saved my life – it managed to break some bad cycling habits.

Adrenaline rush crashes suck! Having a hard time posing this morning.

To set up the play by play – I am on my road bike with my rear light on flash mode, my front be seen light on flash mode, and my main headlight at the 300 lumen (medium) setting. This is typically how I have my lights setup for night riding. Also, this is over the course of 7 seconds (if that).

  1. At the red light at Oak and Stanyan stopped waiting for it to change. I notice there is another cyclist approaching behind me and is probably going to shoal so I get ready to just take off.
  2. I take off and somehow this guy doesn’t shoal and start the ramp up on that little downhill leading into JFK drive.  At this point I continue my sprint downhill and I am in my typical position of being in the left part of the bike lane.
  3. Reach about 20mph and I notice a Prius starts to barely pass me, slows down, and then turns on it’s signal right hand turn signal.
  4. I see the right wheel turn, and I go OH FUCK they are going into the Park and Rec office parking lot. At this point, they are only a car length or two ahead of me.
  5. They keep going without yielding and I scrub off some speed and swerve around them. I managed to scrub off from 22mph -> 17mph in that one second according to the GPS data.
  6. Then I quickly look over and there is traffic trying to get back in the JFK Dr lane since they were passing the Prius and I go oh fuck time to get back in the bike lane.
  7. Here is where I curse the SF and the SFBC – the out I wanted to go is blocked by those flexible barriers in the stripped zone between the bike lane and car lane. If I hit one of those at the angle I was going to hit them at, I was likely to get one in to a spoke and do something bad.
  8. Swerve again and now I am on the path to hit the curb.
  9. Something just tells me look down the path I want to go, so I do and everything just follows and I get parallel to the curb with plenty of space to spare (in this case, I had about a foot in the end)
  10. Now I have the next obstacle, there is a fucking runner in the bike lane running right at me – at least at this point things are stabilized that things are back to normal and that was more of a gripe than an near death experience.

Every time I closed my eyes last night – the events replayed in my mind with different scenarios that would have ended in a bad crash. If that car was just a second or two later, I would have had no other choice but to emergency brake and end up in the door of a Prius.

Somehow throughout this, my upper body stayed loose and never tensed up. The other part was, before this weekend, I didn’t move my head as much on my bicycle. I used mostly my eyes to steer. Now, my head is pointing where I want to go and I am keeping it up more. In fact the only time during my commute the last two days where it stayed pointed down for any real length of time was is on the uphill of a KOM attempt on an overpass segment in Mountain View – and that was because I needed to watch my power output closely.

I really think spending 10 hours on those under powered motorcycles in a parking lot put some new muscle memory into me and may have just saved my ass.

I am really starting to believe from my biker friends that road cycling is way more dangerous than being on a motorcycle. At least if I had my motorcycle gear on, there would have been way more to protect me if I did have to hit the car. Still would fucking hurt.

Well I need to get stuff packed for DNA this weekend. If anyone I know will be in Vegas over the next few days, say woof.

Coffee Time

2017.01.20 – Why I am not paying attention…

I am just not paying attention to the Trump inauguration today. Seriously, it is not worth having this take space in my head. And I really recommend others do the same. The legitimate media will consume and process anything real that is said today, but I expect very little to be said during any of the speeches today.

We should all go on with life. This is what I am doing. I am focused on doing things that make me happy – and this might be because I burnt myself out a little dealing with the community over the past year. But there will be no way to win if we all act triggered and traumatized by the results of the election.

Watching the sunrise yesterday with coffee

Stress can also lead to you making good choices. I am dealing with some stressful news at the office. Normally when I work from home I try to run before I start my day, and typically a short run for me is now 5k. Well yesterday, it was 5 miles. I needed to burn off the stress and get my head re-aligned. Redirect this stress into something productive – if you really feel protesting is productive, than go for it. Just don’t let it ruin your life and health.

But here are the selfies I failed to post up yesterday.

2017.01.18 – Morning Thoughts

Lounging around last night trying to find my motivation.

Yesterday was a rough day at the the office. Can’t really talk about the events that took place, it was a rough afternoon and evening. I am glad that I have many things going on in my personal life to keep me motivated, otherwise I think I would be ending up in a slump.

And today’s wet weather isn’t helping me much either. This morning looks like the calm before the first storm and my evening commute looks wet and windy. i debated about driving in, but the thought of being stuck in traffic in my car just made my soul shiver. I decided to just take it slowly, or at least what I define as slow, and not let anything get to me today.

On top of that it looks like another storm is going to hit over the weekend causing me to take the MSF class in the rain. This might actually be a good thing since learning to handle a motorcycle in the wet weather is something that I would have to learn anyways. Going to have an interesting time.

In more interesting news – I have now posted up my 1000th photo to Instagram, which was an ass selfie. I have been doing those a bit more since I have been cycling. I don’t like wearing my printed leggings on the bike because getting chain grease and road grit out of clothing can ruin them.

2017.01.17 – When I get a lot of reaction to my gear…

When I get a lot of reaction to my gear, this always comes to mind:

It’s interesting, I get all of this reaction online – yet I hardly see it in the real world. I know part of it is that I am oblivious to being cruised, but I also wonder how much of it is other people not being forward and reacting in real life. This is the dichotomy that I don’t understand.

Is it because people can be anonymous online and they feel there is less risk? Am I that intimidating all geared up?

Watching the sunrise on Caltrain

As I sit here watching the sunrise on Caltrain I realize it is time to start another work week.


2017.01.17 – This outfit is complete

Being Meta – Selfie of me in gear processing selfies of me in gear.

While I was on a 40 mile bike (bicycle, grr it sucks to have to disambiguate) ride, my new semi-transparent blue catsuit from Invincible Rubber arrived. After I bought all of that Hi-Vis Yellow and Blue MX gear, wearing it over a black catsuit didn’t seem right. So I ordered the Paneled Pouch Front Suit, and I am so glad I did.

I just feel damned sexy in this

To me, this look feels complete. I don’t think there is much more other than some elbow and forearm armor (which I have not found in yellow) to really complete it. While I may be in to other various kinks and fetishes, gear is my primary one. And it always seems that I get interested in the gear and next thing I know, I am actually doing the activity.

I need to get someone to do an outdoor shoot with me in this gear

In this case – it is not a hard stretch to end up getting a dual sport or dirt bike and wearing this out in public. I am already on the path to get a motorcycle, and if I no longer have a car in my garage space, I can easily fit a second motorcycle in it. We will see what happens in the future.

Overall the catsuit fits well – I think next time I need to do a made to measure suit. My shoulders are a bit wider than the standard cut and the sleeves are a tad short (by about a 1-2 cm). But the color! I am in love with this color. It is so saturated yet transparent. Something about it just screams me. Even without the gear on, I think it looks great. There is no way that I can hide wearing this suit or gear – this will draw attention.

Now I need someone to do a photo shoot of me in this out in public somewhere 😉


2017.01.14 – Start of a long weekend

I just wanted to be in gear this morning

Generally I post my thoughts on Facebook, but lately I have been paying less and less attention to it. In a way, Facebook has been taking too much space in my mind and too much time up. With things calming down locally, I uninstalled it from my phone. So far, No earth shattering kaboom and I feel like I need it less and less.

As I look to what I want to do for 2017, I have realized something. The realization might be very self centered, but it is what I need to be happy for myself. I need to make this about me and not others. I am going to be stepping back from a lot of things I have been doing. The only kink/fetish related travel I am going to do this year is Drummer North America. The only reason that is still happening is that I booked it last year and it is mostly planned. I am also stepping back from my involvement with various groups. The type of involvement I do want to have with the community needs to be aligned with my goals and not what others want from me.

I do want to make this clear, I am willing to still help out with photography for various groups. The reason why is that I really do enjoy it and it is my artistic outlet. I still will go ahead and do my Guys in Gear Drinking Coffee series, but that is going to be secondary to my primary goal for the first half of the year.

The theme around my year is to explore California and to rekindle my connection with nature. I moved out here 4 years ago and really haven’t left the bubble of the Bay Area. The reason why is I don’t feel motivated being caged up in a car. When I cycle around, I feel more ambitious. I am in the process of getting my M1 license, the rider course is next weekend, and will be buying a motorcycle sometime in February. With my current job being an mentally undrivable commute for me, I will be ditching the car as well since I am using another form of two wheels, my bicycle, and Caltrain to get to the office.

I guess having a gear fetish makes it easier to justify buying all of the gear I needed first.

Since my new commute involve a lot more cycling – I am quickly noticing that I just don’t want to be caged up. The sunrise was beautiful yesterday morning, but the whole time I was thinking, I much rather be in head to toe in leather two wheeling it or back outside on my bicycle cutting through the fog with my own body.

What I really want to do is just show up to work on Friday with my motorcycle, a small bag with my camera and a few extra t-shirts, and after work just escape the Bay Area and explore all weekend long. I want to get lost around the mountains and find places for taking sunrises and sunsets. I want to find various ponds filled with birds. More importantly, I want to have fun getting there and doing this. My tongue should be hanging when I come down a mountain.

Worrying about my job right now is secondary. There is a lot of uncertainty in what is going on with my employer. When I step back and think about it I keep on seeing opportunity, I just need to see how things play out over the next few months. I will write about the mental mind shift I have been having when I get into my bike kit – this may be one of the healthiest observations I have noticed about my new long commute.

Outside of doing some longer rides on my bicycle this weekend and hosting a play party, I don’t have many plans. I think cleaning up the home office will rise to the top of my list given how messy it is from the second selfie.

On that note – time to make more coffee and start packing the car up with the stuff needed for the party.

How I started of 2017 vs 2016.

It is amazing how quick 2016 flew by. In a way, I can’t believe is 2017 now. Last year I started off with this selfie.

How I started 2016

Over the year, somehow I became a huge selfie whore and kept on improving my technique. Sometime over the summer I realized, my primary camera has a decent WiFi remote control app and realized I could take better post run selfies at home, and I did. Before I knew it, I ended up with this morning ritual where I would workout and take a selfie.

How I started off 2017

In many ways, I am looking forward to 2017. We are going to have a challenging year for sure, but I have set personal goals to resolve ambitions that I have always back burnered. I hope everyone else will have a good 2017.