Sunday, January 31, 2010


Okay so like I said in the previous blog post, it's not the total 'Damiano Cunego' look yet for a few reasons:
1) I'm not 130 lbs.
2) My hair has not grown out enough to be truly "euro-trashy"

Now that we've got that out of the way, go ahead and feast your eyes on that.
Turns out I have to blowdry my hair and use this paste crap every day to get the true feeling of undeserved accomplishment with which to go parading and gallivanting across San Francisco.

Again, it's not truly there but give me two weeks to make it grown and then things will happen. Hopefully in those two weeks my fatass can finally lose some weight and put together some new test data [Wednesday and Thursday are test days].

My dad on my hair: "Why?"

Friday, January 29, 2010

Phase 1 Euro-ization Complete

Straight faux-hawk-in son! Building on the momentum from last post, I've decided to take my first step into renouncing my Hawaiian running genes and coming to terms with my European-cycling genes.'s been difficult but I figured hey, gotta start somewhere right?

And so...the shit storm begins. Starting with.................
The faux-hawk! Yes indeed, it's an E-P-I-C haircut. Let me rewrite the dialogue that went on about this:
Alex: Hello, I'd like this [flips open laptop, shows picture of Damiano Cunego].
Stylist: You can get this YET as parts of your hair just aren't long enough. But, what we can do is get everything ready so that in two weeks, you'll have 100% Euro hair.
Alex: Great.
Stylist: For the full effect, I'd like to go with a 4 on the sides. Also, you have typical asian hair so you're going to need to buy some paste to hold up the backside. And with that, take a seat.

Some 20 minutes later and with tons of hair on the floor, it is done.
Pics to come later. Honestly, from the front is doesn't seem different [that's what she said!] but apparently from the back it's noticeable [that's what she....ahh, nevermind. You get it by now.]

Stay tuned non-euro-trashers...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Euro-Trashing 2k10

Yes folks, 2010 is the year I REALLY REALLY begin to acknowledge that Italian part of me [thanks dad]. Part of this decision has to do with my ever-increasing love for cycling and how I get to wear cool Oakley sunglasses [when the weather permits, which is a nice way of saying not right now]. Another part of it has to do with my relationship with all things vegan italian. Didn't think there was such thing did ya? I got news for you can 'veganize' pretty much anything. From creamy mushroom alfredo to stacked 'lasagna', it's doable. Let me stop right there before I drool all over my keyboard and cause some serious problems for my computadora [yeah, betcha didn't know that's italian for computer huh?]

Along with my endeavors to get 'Euro-pro' skinny, certain quality upgrades need to be made along the way - granted some of it is aesthetic. For example:

1) Faux-hawk - haven't done the deed yet....just need to.....

2) Buy ripped jeans, gucci loafers and tight, tight fitting ribbed t-shirts. I think that's italian?

3) Listen to 'Italo' house music. This is pretty much Euro-trash music that typically is upbeat with a female or male voice in the background speaking english or italian. Youtube it to see what I mean.

If I could pinpoint a 'style' that this resembles, just who 'Damiano Cunego' is. One of my favorite pro tour riders and get this, that little pip-sqeek can push 430 watts at 20 minutes. At 128 lbs [61 kg], that's a whopping SEVEN TIMES his strength-to-weight ratio. F**kin-hell man!

Anyways, I've done a few things:

1) Picture of our dirty ass garage where I keep Evelyn away from cold weather and cold looks.

[that's me and the red SRM].

2) Picture of Damiano Cunego or Il Piccolo Principe [the little prince] and Pipo Pozzatto [two of the italian stallions in the pro tour!]

3) My fit day son! Get off me!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What I eat on a daily basis Part UNO

(Click to make larger....that's what she said?)

I've been getting some interesting questions from people asking me what EXACTLY I eat on a daily basis. Apparently, my response: "Everything except meat, dairy, cheese, refined-sugar-anything, honey, eggs, seafood, Subway Sandwiches [based on principle], Starbucks" didn't fly. As a result, I've decided to take a snapshot of my nutrition intake.

First thing you'll notice: My diet is the evil step-child of Dr. Atkins. Protein? Eh...mas-o-menos. Carbs? ASS-LOADS. Fiber? Don't even get me started....

On a given week, I probably consume more fruit than people do in a month. Why? Well, I like sugar and I like carbs. And when I get both in CHEAP SUPPLY = one happy vegan. My weapon of choice? The trusty banana. A close second: HAWAIIAN-grown Papaya. Throw in a LaraBar and I could live off these three foods indefinitely.

You'll notice a nice balance of raw and cooked foods. This is the happy medium that I have reached in my diet. I'll admit, I love fruit. And by love, I mean like the love I got for yo mama =) But I also enjoy cooked vegetables a lot such as roasted zucchini, eggplant, red bell peppers, thai curry [hungry yet?].

If I were truly King Shit, I'd make fruit "burritos". Just think, what if you could:
Brown rice tortilla, agave-drizzled brown rice, strawberries, bananas and cashew butter?
I digress.

Let me also take this post to give a big filipino shout out to my boi Kenji. After Brown, he changed his life, got his eating "right" [in quotes because he's not a vegan so I can't say it's 'correct'], fixed some lifestyle issues, got in teh gym, does muay thai kick boxing, has BICEPS!, and [gasp] is courting a woman I hear?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? The romantic in me wants to believe he got the inspiration from reading my blog but most likely he got it from watching some old-school Sean Connery 007 film and thinking "damn, why can't I be like that? Hmmmm...."
Alex's Guess: From Russia With Love.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Okay so, I JUST discovered


that website is awesome!!!!!!!

Someone, anybody just go there and have a laugh. I have been neglecting my blog and faithful readers to fulfill my childish needs for laughter. I've made it to page 86 over the weekend! That's how epic failblog is. Just go there and you'll see EXACTLY what I men.

Best fails: Best Man Fail.

Boat Launch Fail.

Weight Lifting Fail.

This site is just way too funny. Honestly, do yourself a favor and go there. Works especially well if you're tired, sore and had a not-so-stellar weekend of off-bike related crap. Sigh...why can't life just be: Eat vegan food, sleep, run, cycle,, Iron Chef?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tomorrow is my FIRST road race!!!!!!

Whoa nelly! My first ever cycling road race is tomorrow. My hope is to just sit in and learn from people. Listen to noises, watch faces, and drink the tears of human suffering =) Okay no really, prolly won't be doing that but my hope is to just enjoy racing my bike. It'll be a first for me because unlike running, one must strategize, think about fellow competitors, stay alert for accelerations and all this other kablooey. Whereas in running, you throw on the shorts, lace the shoes and keep the appointment you have with yourself. No need to think about drafting, accelerating or all that other stuff. Just get out and run. Simple. Fastest dude wins. Cycling however, I've learned that you don't have to be the strongest guy to win. In fact, you need to be fastest guy to react to things. And that's different.

Think of it as missionary vs. dog...ahh, nevermind. I'm drifting off somewhere in the gutter. In other exciting news, I'll be getting the faux-hawk tomorrow. Yes, you read correctly. If you've been following the blog, I've been contemplating this decision for a while. Truth is 2 folks at my job have this and every day I see them I go 'I love you hair and am jealous'. Well no more! Now that the banking shackles are off, it's game-on for tomfoolery! And so...the shit storm begins! =)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Know what you get when... turn 2-3 around? Triple-double's baby. ALL DEE TIME! ALL DEE TIME!
HAHAHA I absolutely LOVE these Nike-Lebron-Kobe commercials.
Just awesome....

Peep this one out: LEBRON KOBE MRS. LEWIS

I love the last line especially:
'Oh that was Mrs. Lewis....she said you ain't go no defense!'

Much needed recovery day. On a cool note, the kind folks at decided to give me a brand spankin' new PowerControl 6 [asked for the 7 but didn't get it, of course!]. This computer alone is like $900 but it's been the best investment as it helps my training. On a completely lighter note, you need to watch this one too:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tuesday Download - Straight Slap

This Tuesday, iTunes and Armin Van Buuren are on the same page. And thank the lord too, it was suckin' for a bit with the 'best albums of the year' thing running forever and a day.

My tip: Go get the entire Armin Van Buuren state of trance January CD. Really good tracks to throw down to, let alone keep awake at work ;-)

In other news, been flirting with the idea of a faux hawk a-la David 'Becks' Beckham. Check that photo out...and get your thrills as this will be the FINAL time I have him on this blog. Grossing me out already in fact.

So far, I'm getting mixed reviews.
Some say 'sure, why the f-not.'.
Personal favorite response: "Just. Say. No."


Monday, January 18, 2010

Vegan Alfredo??? Say WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!?

This weekend, dad and I made plans to make a vegan alfredo sauce. Truth is, my dad isn't getting younger and he won't kick his caffeine addiction anytime soon; thus, he wants to eat better and of course, I was first to blurt out 'VEGANISM!'. So after careful thought and planning we set out to make a vegan alfredo sauce.

Soft tofu
Salt + pepper
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Vegan margarine
We blended this nonsense all together until it was a creamy sauce. Then, we transferred to a sauce pan which included........
1/2 onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic
5 shiitake mushrooms
Simmer on low flame and there you have it! Vegan alfredo! And the outcome? Well...I was certainly happy! I haven't had alfredo since....since....before veganism!
P.S. had the subway veg-patty today. Barf Barf Barf. Truth is someone at work was buying and what can I do except accept? Despite the heaploads of veggies piled on top, I still remain firm in my assessment of all things Subway: It sucks balls.

Anyways, from dad and myself, try this vegan recipe and then go out and get a lottery ticket.
"You're going to like the way you look, I guarantee it."
-The dude from Men's Warehouse commercial.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Crits = Suck

Criteriums....the simplest of races; riding around in circles for 45 minutes over 30 mph. HR's north of 170. Yeah, it blew. I've been a bad guy and haven't been blogging. Truth is, I've been sleeping! Yes, you read correctly. Sleeping 8 hours these days and loving every minute of it. Truth is, interval training is taking a lot out but that's no excuse. Anywho, I'll get to what you really wanna see. The weekend log:


Wasted day and I didn’t do my intervals. I had to get my tire replaced [again] and didn’t want to risk anything one day from racing and hence, the reason why you’re not seeing any Friday data. I got a provisional tire until my training tire comes back in [this one is a ‘wire’ tire and will hold up a bit better than my road tires].

So I decided to do some light yoga at my gym and spent the time with my dad. We got some vegan thai food: spicy eggplant tofu, green coconut curry with seitan. Wow. Add to that some brown rice and some ass-kickin mint tea? Umm, hell yes.


The best day I’ve had on my bike since I’ve been back home. For the first time, I rode with my team, the Berkeley Bike Club. There were a bunch of people around that had really, REALLY expensive bikes. Anyways, we got to the first climb which is about 1.5 miles up and I set the pace and noticed I had some company. About mid-way I up I start throwing down watts and no one is left. At the top, I ride back down to be with the bunch and then cycle up again. Second climb was awesome too because I got up and would hear people behind me saying ‘going in the small ring’ while I kept going and grinding. Looking back, there was no one there and it was great. Pretty sure I solidified myself as a climber.

We went 65 miles on the day and it was great. There were 3 climbs. 2 short but gnarly ones and I had a blast just tearing legs out there. Then, on the last climb, it was 3.5 miles [an actual long climb!]. Coolest part about this was prior to the climb, a team mate had a flat tire so I pulled over and waited while 6 riders went ahead. 5-6 minutes later, we started back up again and I had an awesome climb. Once we started, I immediately separated from the bunch and then, little by little, I caught the rest of the 6 riders. Each time, they got on my wheel for as long as they could but couldn’t hold. It was great. Super super watts. HR’s north of 190, just ripping it out there. My descending was great too! Man, I LOVE CLIMBING!

Worst part of the day: SRM didn’t download data correctly so there’s no way you could see how it was. Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo disappointing. But not as disappointing as….


Woke up quite sore from yesterday but not tired; Implemented my pre race rituals. One thing: Seems that I have to use the restroom a lot. This is true when I was running. I was so nervous that I had to use the restroom a bunch!

First thing I noticed: pace was really, REALLY fast and part of this has to do with the super Saturday I had yesterday. Legs were a bit tired but that was no excuse. I stuck my head out there and moved up with the pack little by little. I noticed a lot of little breaks at the front and a lot of wasted energy. These were mainly small breaks that would be reeled back in over time.

I was doing my best to identify the thalweg and I was in a really good draft. There were times I was barely pedaling but moving up somehow? Another thing was I marked 2 people and noticed where they were in the pack. One lap to go and I start to move up when they move. I love how people will go up and I just hop on the train where possible. But again, pace was FAST this time; that or I was just tired and had to work a lot. Not so sure yet. Anyways, I was in the bunch when the sprint happened and right when I was getting up to speed, I heard weird sounds from my bike and realized 2 spokes were bent and coming off. Bike was wobbly and I decided to not contest the sprint and just keep it safe. It was crappy, finished in top 20 but that’s pretty sorry in my head. I mean, might as well not finish at all.

I am feeling disappointed in myself and frankly, I just don’t like crits. No hill climbs and places where I can really rip legs apart. But re-reading what I just typed, I’m motivated for this weekend. I know I’m not good at crits but I also know I have the potential. But wow, if you look at the SRM HR’s were well over 170 for the duration so there was some serious work being done. Looking at the past .SRM files over time, I realize that each time, I’m getting faster, cadence is up, HR is up and power is up so there’s improvement. But I can’t help but get down on myself when I think ‘man, I should be killing these guys up and down’. There time will come soon.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Does the title give it away? Hmmm....
Let's just say I'm THRILLED tomorrow is a rest day. 2 interval days in a row = punishing. Right about now, I've got a full stomach of pasta [wasn't very good, eggplant and kalamata olives...err...not so good] soy yogurt and banana. Man that's good.

I had this sobering moment today. Whipped out the iPhone and checked the 7-day forecast for San Francisco. What did I get? Temperatures in the 50s with rain almost everyday. Switched over to Hawaii and found temperatures in the 80s, sunny. Sigh....that's life eh?!

In other less exciting news, I've become a huge fan of baked falafals! Man these are good! There's this place around the office that makes them vegan style. Spicy baked falafal, roasted potatoes, eggplant, hummus, lettuce and tomato on a homemade lavosh wrap = $6.75. Yeah, the weather sucks but the food [most important!] ain't that shabby at all. =)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Legs are screaming right now...

I think Lance Armstrong put it best when he described the sport of cycling - let alone all endurance sports. It is simply about being in total denial over everything. You have to be in denial that there is a tremendous amount of pain, be in denial that you love and respect yourself and most importantly, be in denial that you are fatigued.

For me, there comes a point in both my cycling and running where the mind is ready to roll, where there is a limitless supply of passion and drive, but the body cannot respond. Great example was today. I had to do some intervals on my bike and the targets were pretty good considering the workout [2 intense interval sessions, all within the SAME workout]. The first half, I went all out and left it on the 'field'. The result: a cespool of sweat and misery left around my bike and garage floor. My dad came down to get some paint for his art and said "wow, this looks like the aftermath of a World War 1 battlefield." The second half was so, so painful. There was a constant struggle between my mind and body. Simply put, my body just refused to turn the pedals despite my mind trying to 'will' it to do so. In the end, I ended up missing my target wattage by a significant amount but I feel good about it. Good that I didn't leave some in the tank to finish strong; instead, I went as far as I could, and then did the best job possible with what was left in the tank [which was already on 'E' for empty].

So there's my bit of training advice. When you have intervals, dont half-ass it until the last one and then blow it out of the water. Rather, all the REAL work is done prior to the last interval and EXPECIALLY the two sets prior to the final. Those are the ones that the legs will be totally fried but you have to will yourself to get through it. To give you an idea, my 'RESTING' heart rate [in between intevals] was between 170-163 bpm. Which means everything else was north of 170 bpm.

Know anybody going to bed early tonite? I sure as shit do. Night.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Man: 1 Machine: 0

Wanna know how the day starts off?

Typically, I'll have my alarm set for 5:20. Do I get up at that time? No. Hell No. Who does?! So I turn on the snooze and then roll around for the next 20 minutes, doing my best to wrestle with the morning and gain courage for stepping on a cold floor [man, I miss carpeting].

Bam, the TV goes on and I'm awakened with the Bloomberg Channel's opening bell show to see how markets are doing. Turn on the espresso machine cuz hey, what's a Monday without a decaf soy latte [many of you ask: "Alex, what the f*ck do decaf soy latte's do for you?". My response: "They help me whoop your ass up and down the hill."], and a big ass bowl of fruit salad. Add to this some raw vegan granola and Monday's start to look up.

Full stomach and bright-eyed, I open the door and am slapped in the face with 40 degree weather. At which point, my courage retracts inward and my covers look all the more appealing. Hop in the ride [94 Accord, cuz I roll real dirty like that....] and it's off to BART [Bay Area public transporation thingie]. While on the BART you can find me reading one of following magazines:
1) Runner's World
2) ProCycling Magazine
3) Road Magazine

And the job? Well, that's looking pretty good actually. I like and respect the people I work with and am THRILLED that I can roll to work in jeans, tshirt and my Inov-8 shoes. I see those poor blokes in shirts and ties and I sigh, nod my head and think "son, I have been to the top of the mountain...and it is good"

And that's the Monday commute.
In response to the lovely Miss Amelia - What the heck does 475 Watts look and feel like? Well, let's break it up piece by piece shall we? The light bulbs we have here are 60 Watts. Divide that into 475 and you get roughly 8 lightbulbs. In this room that I'm typing this blog post, we have 7 light bulbs plus the hallway makes 8. So basically, I can power half my house =)

In terms of what that feels like? Well, it's not so bad. It feels like a good level of resistance at first. Keywords: AT FIRST. And then the next 20 seconds roll by and your legs are absolutely screaming. 10 more seconds of insanity and it'll all be over. 10..9..8..7.......6........5.........4............3...........2.......................1...........................Done! Feels like friggin forever. And get this: You got 11 more to do.

Turns out that Kitchen-Aid also makes a plug-in appliance that people use for mixing. I have a picture of it above. That can generate power of up to 475 Watts. What I'm saying, is I can beat that egg faster than the machine. Yes. Man: 1, Machine: 0. So yeah, if you ever need flower mixed, or eggs beaten....ya know.....

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Weekend Insanity

To make up for my weekend, here's a nice and long post =)

Friday - After my Thursday rest day, legs felt better but still sore. This being the second week of dedicated cycling, some of the interval days leave me a bit tired. Nonetheless, I got up and pounded out my intervals. Typically, I find that in the PM when I'm 'awake' and coming back from work, I do better in my training but there was no excuse that morning. Almost all of them were under 430 watts [target] but over 410 watts. In the PM, the session was okay but it's tough to do around here when it gets dark. how I miss Hawaii [and of course, the bikini-clad women holding surfboards!]

Sunday - Earlybird #2
We did cornering practice so the mentor ride dealt with cornering vs. pedaling through a turn. I tend to be a corner-guy myself, but it seems a lot of people favor the pedaling through. I also took notice of the field and recognized one of the guys that was in the break with me last week. I 'marked' him and was firm in my staying behind his wheel for a bit.

My strategy was to do nothing for the first 5 laps [back of the bunch] and then move up. Then on the final lap with one turn to go, I was going to try and get in a break to where it would come down to a sprint with a few guys and then turn on the afterburners.

2 laps into the race, I witnessed the chilling sound of carbon fiber hitting the ground and witnesses bodies gyrating in the air as some people touched wheels ATTEMPTING TO PASS ON THE INSIDE! Hmm, no thanks. I was caught behind the 4-person crash and 'threw' my bike [pushed my butt way back on the saddle while applying the brakes] and then clipped out to avoid the crash. I was worked back into the group but man, that was just ugly, ambulances came and everything. Yikes.

5 laps to go and I figure I might want to move up and begin grabbing wheels wherever possible, always conscience never to touch the wind. I also take note of the marked guy that I wanted to be behind. Anyways, laps 6-8, I begin to move up and up, getting into the top 15 and not surprisingly, so is my marked buddy who noticed that I was behind him. There was a team at the front driving the group which was pretty much single file for the most part.

Bells go off and there's the sign for the final lap. This lap is kind of hairy because most of the folks in the rear burned a lot of energy and caught up to our group so I found myself in a group of 20 guys going into the second-to-last turn. We take the second turn and I notice the legs from others aren't really turning the way they should and so, I figure let's have a small, small attack [a light one too, didn't even get out of the saddle] to see if we can break some people up. The guy whose wheel I had been on [the 'marked' guy] followed me and I put in a light attack just to get some room going into the turn. The marked guy went in front of me and I caught his wheel. However, I noticed we were slowing down significantly and you can see this on the SRM [sharp decline at the end].

Going into the final turn it was myself, the 'marked' guy and this other dude that had bridged the small gap. Suddenly, a group of 10-12 guys comes roaring by as we head into the final 200 meters. I realized that we had missed 'the real' break and the winners were well ahead. Upset, I motored ahead and beat my small group at the line and placed a miserable 11th.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Off-Day [finalllllly!] + failed photo shoot =(

So today was the first off-day I've had in 6 days. And man, this was sorely [get it!] needed. 2 days of back to back 2-a-day interval sessions = suck. Off-day filled with friends and family = better. I got up and slept in till 6:20am [wow, can't believe I said that!] and got up with a nice smile. Man, I do love me some off-days. Had some muesli with soymilk and then threw in about 20 strawberries, 2 bananas and a hefty sized orange. Wow. That was an awesome breakfast.

Went to work and programmed some SQL and for lunch, I'll be really nerdy and show you the syntax [in SQL].
USE Alex's Stomach
SELECT roasted eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, avocado, greens FROM
Cafe Cicils
WHERE bread = freshly toasted ciabbata
AND 1 banana

BAM! Now some of you have wondered where those photos were. Sigh...they're coming. Truth be told, I ate all of it before I had a chance to do anything. Don't blame was Tim Geitner, oh wait, the ex NY Fed Bank Chairman, errr...the devil =)
[if you don't know, check].

Tomorrow won't be too pretty but hey, it's Friday and I can go to work at 10am. Best part about Fridays would be getting Vegan burritos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Vegan sour creme, black beans, brown rice, soy chikin', salsa and guacamole.
To summarize: Vegan burrito > Vegan sandwich
[not even close]

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Training just hurts right now

Right about now, my legs are perched up on the desk as I write this blog...trying to drain the lactic acid buildup that is no doubt accumulating. The past few days, I've been a bit tired and difficult training really isn't helping the war effort. In fact, the past few days of training have been so hard, I'm beginning to question the meaning of life.

Apparently, buddha said life is suffering. Well friends, that rings ever true when I'm suffering on my bike. Interval sessions on the bike are similar to running sessions when one does interval training. Difference is, on the bike you can do MORE of them whereas in running the body really begins to break down [like...seriously].

I had this workout today that was so blisteringly difficult, even the pasta I made after it tasted bland! I mean, c'mon! That's pasta and for those of you following this silly blog, you KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE PASTA! That should tell you something.

So I'm going to make it up tonite and treat myself to a belgian beer. Ahhh, the simple pleasures. Work has been going well but I'm constantly freezing my brown-ass off in and outside the office. What is that Mark Twain once said? The coldest winter I've had was a summer spent in San Francisco? Some shit like that...can't remember.

Tomorrow: much, much, much needed off day.
Oh this awesome sandwich I'll prolly snap photos of tomorrow.
Toasted ciabatta bread with avocado, ton of greens, roasted eggplant, peppers, zucchini and jalapenos to boot. All that and a freckly banana = one happy 25-year old kid. =)

Okay, on to the beer.
Cheers or as they say in Flemish: "Asmdjfklasngkn vjoebnjksenrjhb"
Okay that don't really say that but you get the idea!

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Job: Day Uno

So I'm working in San Francisco and let me just say, it's COLD. As in BRRRRRRRRRRRRR cold. Then again, my panzy-Hawaiian-sun-kissed self cant really say much especially to you east-coasters. Regardless, it's cold and thank god for warm tea. Chamomile is my preferred weapon of choice with some agave syrup. Hmm...think I'll go brew some of that right now.

-------15 minutes later-------------
Okay, we're good to go. Where was I? Ah yes, work. So I work at 388 Market Street which is near the Embarcadero in San Francisco. Really nice area and my commute is roughly 40 minutes. 40 minutes! That's way more than my get-out-of-bed-check-hair-and-go 10 minute commute in Honolulu. But here's the thing: There's a local and organic cafe across the street from where I work. So what was for lunch you ask? Grilled veggie sandwich with pesto on toasted french bread with a side salad. Yum.

Joined a gym called Equinox that was cool. Aside from awesome facilities, spa, indoor pool, lounge, cafe, juice bar, internet area, steam room and what not, the shampoo and soap are all from Kiehl's. Yeah. It's nice. Can you say 15-minute showers? Um. Hell yes.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My first bike race...

...well, it wasn't really a race per se as there were no 'placings' but rest assured, everyone one in my race [65 people] were all gunning to win. First things first: really good experience but I'm just no crit racer. I like climbing and road races and this was just off-and-on speed. Sometimes it was slow and other times it was getting fast.

Race - 10 laps, 4 turns.
Race started and that's when I switched the SRM on. First 5 minutes I was barely working and then the pace went up as jitters and attacks were thrown. Really kind of pointless in my opinion. This was my strategy going into the race [per recommendations of a good friend]: Sit tight in the bunch first 5 laps. At 5 laps to go, begin to move up. By lap 2, be in the top 10. On last lap, go with every attack but be sure to never touch the wind until final 100m, then go for it. First 5 laps, I just stayed with the bunch and never really was at the front. I just moved up where possible but let the idiots throw attacks for the first 5 laps.

With 5 laps to go, I decide it's time to break a sweat and move up a bit. Little by little I move up and start clawing my way to the top 20. With 3 laps to go, still stayed in the top 20 and moved up with people that were bracing the elements. Basically, I sucked wheel all day and tried to never touch the wind and have others do it for me. 2 laps to go, I'm in the top 15 people. Effort was mixed, sometimes I could feel it start to rev up and other times, I'm spinning at 180 watts or so. Really up and down and not one hard effort. With 1 lap to go, I place myself in the top 10 and it seems a lot of people are moving up so I think I slip into the top 20. Then approaching the final turn, this one guy [this was the winning move] launches an attack and I see 2 others following. I decide it's go-time and get down 2 more gears and go with this group of 4. We take the turn and this one fellow starts to sprint. I wait [my big blunder] for the other 2 to kick so that I can get a free ride up. In the end, I finished 4th and didn't even get out of my saddle!

So I KNOW I can go harder. Big lesson learned: Don't wait with final 100m to go.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Post New Year's Tomfoolery

So that's my dad doing what all painting-italian-studying-yogalates-retired guys do: make art out of anything, including my glass and my cousin's. Yes indeed, things in the Tellez family are pretty ho-hum.

Had my first ride today with a group of riders from the Clif Bar team. Fortunately for me, much of these guys go into hibernation for the off-season which meant I was in plenty good shape. Problem is the weather was in the mid-forties as we made fast desents and braced up to rain and strong headwind. Throw in the added benefit of thinned out blood from Hawaii and the fact that you're wearing cycling shorts and not long pants and well, you've got a sure fire recipe for freezing you ass off. And ladies and gentlemen, make no mistake, I FROZE MY ASS OFF.

As I was cycling, I looked left and right and was startled to find cows, green fields and cars, LOTS of cars. Palm trees? No. Mountain ranges? Nope. Bikini-clad women holding surfboards? Negative. Sigh...the choices I make.

In other news, tomorrow is my first bike race ever! An earlybird criterium in Fremont, CA. Oooooh boy, this will be interesting. Upon asking a good friend about crits, I was told "stay away from the idiots!". Yeah...problem with that is what the hell am I supposed to do if I'm an idiot myself?!?!?! More news at 11 =)

Friday, January 1, 2010

So this is home huh?

One night of restless sleep and dreams about playing poker with dogs, I woke up bleary-eyed at 3:38am to January 1, 2010. Upon pounding some water, I fell back to sleep, then got up again to the smell of coffee. Big whif of that is just what the doctor ordred for breakfast: 3 bananas and 1 Larabar. After that, I took Evelyn [bike] out of her box and realized just how fu*ked it was. There was a partially bent part and when I tried riding her, she complained all afternoon and I couldn't find the higher gears while climbing. so instead, I did 22 miles of hilly terrain in the big ring and middle cog - crap.

Soon after that, I took it to the only bike shop open today and BAM! Go ahead and light $120 on fire all for my Evelyn. Sigh...the things we do for love. But now she's good to go and after 3 vegan tameles [mmm mmmmmmmmmm!] and watching the OSU vs. Oregon game, I feel a lot better.

Right now, I should be excited about the new chapter in my life, full of zest and all that jazz. Instead, I'm a bit lethargic and am not ready to admit that Hawaii is temporarily gone. I guess it's because I make trips often and so I'm not 'feeling home' yet. It's like I'm waiting to go back in a few days but nope...not this time. And so my New Year's passed by, the real fireworks at the Tellez residence begins tomorrow. Whoa nelly.

Tomorrow, I'll be riding with the new team, Berkley Bike Club []. We'll see how that goes...peace out son. Hope you and your's had a safe and vegan new year's.