The bridge and beyond

I biked across the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time this past weekend for another ALC training ride. (The map I drew is a rough estimation of the path we took.) We started off early in the morning and climbed out of the Presidio to bike across the bridge, into Sausalito through Tiburon and back around. I loved everything except the bridge (and the flat I got just before the biggest climb). There was a ridiculous amount of fog crossing in the morning. Going north on the bike path you are moving against the flow of traffic which is slightly unnerving. There are boats going under you with their fog horns blaring and on the way back the Blue Angels were flying over head. (Which was awesome once I wasn’t biking and able to watch.) Let’s also not forget the tourists that have no idea what they’re doing and stop whenever they want and the other cyclists who feel they don’t need to warn you before flying past you and said tourists at ridiculous speeds. Needless to say, I’m more than happy staying down south for my training.

Crossing the bridge on the way back. Still loads of fog!

But afterward there was a raffle, as there typically is at these get togethers, and I won a 60 minute massage! 2010 really is my lucky year, I think karma is making up for the last 26 years when I never won anything!

Bikers milling around waiting for the raffle.

However, Fiona (my bike) has been having rear derailleur issues so I had to take her back to the shop after having picked her up only a few days before this ride. I’m hoping my amazing mechanic can work his magic yet again and make her work.

Training begins

This past weekend I went on my first two official ALC training rides. It was so great to finally get out and put miles on my bike. Especially after having gotten used to riding 40+ miles on weekends and then nothing.

The first ride was one I was used to since I live on the peninsula, however Sunday’s ride was a real treat. I had never ridden in the city except to/from work and to/from a bar or friend’s house. Who knew you could go from sun to fog to mist to sun all in one day in a city that is 7×7 miles? I’ll be house sitting in Potrero for the first half of October so it will great to explore the different routes folks use. Especially over the Golden Gate Bridge!

Saturday's ride through the Peninsula

The internet and community

Lately I’ve been noticing more and more organizations that are bringing it back to basics and I love it. Seeing a shift in business more towards community is really an interesting phenomenon and indicative, I think, of how people are really feeling. I would like to think that more and more people are realizing that we aren’t all islands floating in the world alone and that we need each other and our communities to enrich our lives.

I’d like to think that this how my parents grew up and I got to experience this a little before the internet come along and added a new wall to break through. But now that we’ve finally figured out the internet, more or less, we’re seeing ways to use it to supplement this need for community, to connect with the people around us that we may not have before.

I read an article recently about dinner co-ops; where people who live near each other take turns cooking for one another. And shortly after I heard about a company out of LA, NeighborGoods, that helps people put the stuff that sits and gathers dust in their garage to use locally. A similar idea is Freecycle where people post they have stuff they don’t want and someone nearby goes and picks it up. Even Meetup.com is using the internet to bring people together in real life.

So in a way, once we figured out how to use it, the internet is helping us more than ever create that community we’re clearly still looking for. But it’s a fine line, getting people out from behind the screen and in front of each other.

Insight

So I’ve started fund-raising for my ride next June and it was certainly an interesting experience setting everything up.  The logistics were easy, because I do it everyday for work, it was the intangible stuff like what will my friends think, will they care, will they even ready the email, that made me pause before hitting send.  And now that I have the ability to track my emails I can see who opened what and clicked where – providing interesting insight.

More than anything it’s nerve wreaking – waiting to see who opens.  It’s kind of like calling the boy you like and hanging up repeatedly.  And then seeing who opened feels kind of like I’m spying and makes me giddy like a friend just told me that boy said he liked me back.  I’m hoping that’ll go away eventually.  But something tells me it’ll be like that each time, since it’s not like I’m emailing folks I’ve never met for work, it’s personal friends and family.

Really real

I recently went to a mixer/reunion for AIDS/Life Cycle and wow am I excited.

When I got back from traveling in Dec I saw an ad somewhere for ALC 9 and thought that this was exactly what I needed to help me get through post traveling sadness.  Unfortunately I didn’t have a good enough bike and quickly found out I had to raise $3,000 dollars.  Not something I was ready for while still on the hunt for a job.  So 9 came and went.

Now I have a shiny new bike and am working on my fund-raising page to get that 3k.  Like I told folks at the event last week, I’m not afraid of the nearly 600 miles, most the $3,000 I have to raise.  But I have a little less than a year so I think I should be able to work it out somehow.

Ready, set, go!

Burst of creativity

In an unexpected turn of events I find myself with several ideas for great projects.  The only problem being that I’m not entirely sure how to get them going or if I can actually turn them into something that could eventually support me financially.

Project 1 is to try and bring the Sunday Streets model to the peninsula and have each town host a street closure through out the warm months.

Project 2 is a restaurant association for San Mateo county, as there doesn’t seem to be one currently.

It’s  been interesting to see what happens when you accept how things are and try to make them better organically instead of wishing they were another way and being sad about it.

I’ve never been a creative person, but I’m totally going with this and seeing where it leads!

Procrastination

So I haven’t updated in about a month.  And mostly this is due to the fact that I haven’t efficiently found a way to incorporate blogging into me day to day routine.

Upon reading an article about how to blog for people who have no time I finally decided to do something about it.  Instead of thinking to myself “I’ll do it when I get home” or “I just need to get a smart phone and then an app for WordPress, then I can blog on the go” I just need to spend a few hours each week working on this.

Obviously this blog is for no one other than myself.  It would be awesome to think that people actually read because they thought I had something to say.  But at this point I know that I don’t really have a clear point of view to express on here.  And honestly, I started this off because I work in marketing and I wanted to get a better idea of this element of marketing.  But slowly I think this is turning into something a bit more.  Especially as I start to learn what it is I want to do with my “grown up” life.