New post, new blog!

Sorry I’ve been absent from this blog for a while.  Big changes have occurred in my life.

1. I moved out of DC to my new home of Huntington Beach, CA

2.  I just completed a bike trip from Seattle to San Francisco.

3.  I started a new blog a couple of months ago

Once I establish a source of income here (yes, I moved without a job -at the expense of worrying my parents insurmountably), I will be back to making silly posts about the recent recipes I try out, the art I discover, and the knowledge I gain.  So keep an eye out for me!

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And the journey begins….

In Seattle now and will be for the next couple of days.  Then my friend and I will begin our long bike journey south to California!

Here’s the exact planned route:

Seattle…Olympia…Sand Island Marine Park…Portland….Salem….Eugene…Tahkenitch Dunes Campground….Humbug Mountain State Park…. Jedidah Redwood National Park…Arcata… Humboldt Redwoods State Park…MacKerricher State Park…Ukiah….Santa Rosa…San Francisco!

Not sure how often I will be able to post items, but I will certainly try each night we have internet access!  Check them out here.

DC to Austin via bike in 30 days – It’s happening!!!

Last night, my roommate and I spent two hours brainstorming supplies and a detailed route for our bike trip to Austin, Texas (which may return to the original plan of DC to LA depending on circumstances).

We will be biking on average about 75 miles a day with a few days of exploration and relaxing in between.  To keep our costs at a minimum, we will primarily be camping in Virginia and North Carolina.  In bigger cities, we will stay with friends or couchsurfers.  The key pit stops are….

Charlottesville, VA

Blacksburg, VA

Boone, NC

Asheville, NC

Athens, GA

Atlanta, GA

Mobile, AL

New Orleans, LA

and then…..Austin, TX

(If you are along this route and are a couchsurfer, let me know!)

The countdown begins….

We have 88 days before our scheduled departure date of September 1.  In between now and mid July, we hope to get a majority of our equipment together, start fundraising, and go on a couple of trial long-distance trips to Mt. Vernon and Harpers Ferry.

So exciting!!!  Mosquitos and crocodiles of the bayou – bring it on!  Austin, here we come!

Dreams of Night Rides on a Glowing Chariot

Like many people living in cities, my bicycle is my main mode of transportation.  Biking is great.  It’s convenient and often faster than public

My current ride: 5-speed free wheel gear Schwinn cruiser

transportation.  You can park it virtually anywhere for free.  It’s very cost effective and easy to maintain with some chain lube and the occasional tire tubes for flats.  You get a bit of your exercise for the day.  Plus, it’s eco-friendly and you won’t have to grovel at $4/gallon!

Map of DC Bike Routes, including Bike Share stations

Okay. Okay.  For the amount of biking I do around DC, I know I should wear a helmet as everyone should -regardless of where you are riding, how far, if you use bike lanes, whatever.  Why am I being reckless by opting to not wear one?  Well, it’s not by active choice, per se.  Nor is it an issue of “being cool” for me (because I accept that I am incapable of being cool no matter what I do.  My Dorkiness > My Coolness.  Always).  It’s just that I don’t have one readily available, so I never wore one since midway in college when I acquired a bicycle through volunteering at Community Bikes.

Even worse, I guess, is that I have no lights on my bike.  Now before you shake your head in contempt and mutter something like “What the…This girl is a dumb….”, I DO HAVE LIGHTS!!!  I did use them regularly before…. Then, my bike with the clips to fasten the lights was stolen, at which point I rode on my new bike holding the front light in my hand as I steered and the back light clipped to the belt loop of my pants.  Then, the batteries in my lights died.  Because none of the 5 remotes in our house had a supply of AAA batteries for me to “borrow,” this has led me to where I am now.

I realize the above paragraphs make me sound really lazy, which is quite the opposite from reality.  Scorn me as much as you want, concerned blog readers.  Just don’t tell my parents of my ignorance!  Haha.  I promise, world.  I will be responsible for my safety and get a helmet very soon.  As proof, I will model it for you here when it arrives!

Anywho, whenever I think of bike lights, my thought wanders to dream of these bikes featured in the Blackberry Bold commercial.

Bright bikes and a critical mass night ride?!?!? A hipster’s dream come true!!!

Unfortunately, these bikes are indeed a dream.  They are the product of some image manipulation by computers. Sigh.

From my google searching, it turns out I was not alone in the quest to becoming a human-size firefly.  The closest alternative to achieving a neon vehicle are these products by BikeGlow that you can wrap around your bike for illumination.  My friend, who also recently converted to a helmet-donning biker as his gift for his mom’s birthday, just announced that he ordered these lights.

Somehow, I am just not excited about these as I was about the bikes in the commercial. Not only are there too many patches of black that make an observer not look in awe but more in confusion as he/she squints to discern if a bar is on wheels (which very well could exist), these lights are associated in my brain as stairway decoration in frat houses for 80s parties.  (No offense. I loved them back in the day).  I guess I want the real thing -bright, ostentatious, and visible by anyone driving at night.

Until the day when I do find this (solar power-generated) glowing bike frame, I suppose I must be satisfied with the conventional bike lights.  Maybe I’ll weave some glow necklaces through the spokes for special occasions.  Whoa!

Of course, I’ll wear a helmet regardless -day or night.