Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bicycle Diaries the 3rd - The Flats and The Stars

It was a weekend all about flat tires and Hollywood stars.

On this past Saturday, I leaded a ride with Pedro and Eric. It was the day before the conclusion of the Amgen 2008 Tour de California, a professional cycling competition, which ended at the Rose Bowl on Sunday.

About 10 riders showed up. The weather was nice and we finally got a break from the raining Oscar weekend. One of our riders, Leo, had 3 flats! We were not exactly sure what went wrong, it must be something to do with the wheel or spokes. He decided to take the bus after we stopped at Sierra Madre.

The route for the day was a revamp from previous rides. We took Huntington Drive instead of Longden Ave., to avoid most of the stop signs (according to ALC’s safety rules, and the California traffic laws, we have to stop at every stop signs, just like any other moving vehicles on the road). On the way back, instead of using the popular-steady incline Sierra Madre Blvd., we used the less traffic yet with nice rolling hills’ Grandview Ave. I received great feedback from the group, so most likely we’ll stay on this route for the future rides.

I added more hills for this ride by bringing the group going up New York Drive, Altadena Drive and Lake Ave., it was hard but doable, most of us enjoyed the hill climbing part.

The sky turned into dark before we were able to do the last part of the ride – a home tour to the nice Linda Vista neighborhood. We decided to go back to the Rose Bowl after finishing a 42 miles ride.

Then I noticed my rear left tire had a flat! I was worried for few seconds because I had no idea how to change a car tire. Luckily, our man of the day – Pedro volunteer to show his talent. In less than 15 minutes, he helped me put on the spare tire and I drove slowly to Costco to have my tire fixed.

I didn’t ride on Sunday. Not because of the Tour de California closing ceremony, but because of the Oscar! This year we were lucky enough to get the credentials to cover the actual event. My co-workers Nicole and Peter were at the red carpet while I was put at the press interview room where all the winners answered media questions while holding their golden statute.

This was my second time wearing a rented tuxedo, sitting at the press room with 200 other reporters from all over the world. The first time was 4 years ago when Lord of the Ring became the big winners. It was really interesting to see what’s behind the scene and meet all those A-list stars and directors and producers and writers up close and personal.

So that was my exciting weekend with flats and stars. Hope yours went well and have a great week ahead.

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