Monday, October 7, 2013

enfer du nord westchester

so i didn't recap D2R2,
which i rode 90 miles of in september.
it brutally destroyed me.
i limped the last 30 miles back to deerfield.
from vermont.

it was a beautiful ride.
not as beautiful as i thought it was going to be,
but really wonderful giant hills and valleys and trees.

9000 ft of climbing later,
and my knees were toast for almost two weeks.

so when i found this route, enfer du nord westchester,
mixed terrain, unpaved roads, some sizable hills,
and not far from where i lived,
i thought: it's been a whole month.
i should be good to go again.

60 miles later, and ~5500 ft of climbing,
and i was, once again, thoroughly thrashed.

it's actually much like a mini D2R2.
not as steep, which i am thankful for,
but still pretty damn challenging.
terrain was a good mix of road and dirt.
the dirt was not too loose or rocky,
except for one or two tougher climbs.
like i was told about the area, lots of washboard.
good variation in ascent and descent.

one of the roads was a gated farm road,
that, unfortunately, was closed so we had to reroute.
we also missed a couple turns; 
road signs up there aren't easy to read.

but man, the fall colors are starting to come in.
more yellows than reds right now, still great scenery.
also, TONS of horses. equestrian country up there.
giant houses. mansions? mad money.

all said and done, i'd ride up there again.

here is the link of the route and what our route ended up as.
go do it!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

to the edge

when limits are exceeded,
things either break, or become greater.
that outer boundary, beyond the edge,
can be terrifying or beautiful.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

positive contribution

one could say a solid basis for non-conflict
would simply be not pissing people off.
this can be done passively and actively.
like keeping to yourself, or holding your tongue.
this can also be done reluctantly.
because some people try and start it,
and your ego has a hard time letting it go,
even when letting it go is the safest choice.

i want to organize a structure of positive creation of non-conflict.
a lifestyle of compassion and care for all the everythings.
sure it's been written and said and purported in all kinds of ways.
and pushed forward by all kinds of organizations and agendas too.
but let's cut all those strings and simplify it for our needs.

here's simple:
just care about people.
if something is wrong with someone, offer to help.
help as best you can without getting taken advantage of.
do good things within your means.
put yourself out there, but not too far out.
get along. stand on principles, but be flexible,
as long as nobody gets hurt.
get everyone home safe.

ideally, if these things are done all the time by everyone,
we as people don't create unhealthy, angry, and upset people.
if we don't inflict pain, the pained don't have it to share.
but we're in an imperfect world, and some people are messed up.
we have to deal with them, and if we do it human to human,
by giving and doing good to others, things may work out nicely.

and if they don't, you have your training. i hope.

Friday, February 15, 2013


i try not to run red lights or stop signs anymore.
back in the day, and even on a good present day,
you can get away with a bit of wild riding in NYC.
plenty of people do it daily. sometimes i wish i did.
today was a good one; fast paced and on the edge.
in traffic, lanes split, ahead of the pack.
faster on the outside, tucking away from obstacles,
floating over bumps and hopping over plates.

with the increased enforcement,
and camping cop cars at high traffic corners,
i have a hell of a time going with instinct.
i end up slowing way down, sitting at the line,
even for empty intersections, meanwhile trying not to huff exhaust.

bike moving violations are something like $275.
no rights on red, no rolling stops, zero tolerance.
they'll toss other things, like no lights or bell, on top.
these tickets can cost more than some peoples' bikes.
i have to remind myself, "i can't afford that shit".

i would say that i begin to ride more like a motorist.
but the fact is that motorists pull all kinds of wild shit too.
and they end up maiming, murdering, and destroying all kinds of property.
these are things you cannot easily do to people or things while you're on a bike.
for some reason the cars get away with way more damaging shit too.

most riders can just as safely get from A to B,
stopping for cars, pedestrians, pets and city animals,
whether or not they stop at the next red light or sign.
i've come across pedestrians who even expect me to run it.
i stop, smile, and wave em on, saying "it's your light!".
and when it isn't their light, they're in the street anyway!
so isn't like everyone is doing the right thing,
and only cars or bikes or people or whatever need to tighten their shit.
it's the cumulative effect of all the people in this city,
getting where they need to be on time and safely.

a couple weeks back i saw a bus chase a light and run a red.
a nearby cyclist shouted at him "did you see that red light?".
the bus driver played dumb, and the cyclist continued "the one you just ran!".
the bus driver denies it with conviction, but i back up the rider. it was red.
the cyclist goes on and says something about throwing rocks.
i simply say to the driver, "we all have to be more careful".
he made a face like he didn't expect that kind of comment.
and i hope that he took it into real consideration.

taking risks is very rarely an individual cause and effect.
not when we live and move in cities like these.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

back behind the lens

recently my friend frank, the traveling ironman, went to get his camera cleaned. this is something i'd been planning on doing for sometime, but i'd been very lazy, shooting with my G12, not shooting with my G12, shooting with my iphone, and not shooting with my iphone. instagram is helping a little, but the limited resolution is tough for someone who was, at some point many years ago, used to RAW files and DNG processing.

so i jumped on the chance to return to high resolution, and gave frank my 10 year old rebel XT to take with him to the magic men at nippon photo clinic. who are apparently THE guys you bring your camera gear to when it needs sorting. my sensor had never been cleaned, and i'd shot on rooftops, on bridges, on mountains, on islands, on boats, and on bike. it was dirty. and after months of sitting on a tripod baseplate, it also had a nice glaze of sticky cork crustiness on the bottom of the body. frank relayed the receiving technicians remarks regarding my camera, "this is disgusting". it wasn't untrue.

four days later and the camera is back in my hands, 50mm 1.8f lens mounted, and the images are so clean you eat off them! if they were tangible like that. but really, it is so noticeable how well they did their job. and i am elated with the first handful of images that are popping off this sensor. i am definitely going to be shooting much more this year. like i promised myself i would. now, to find the subject matter.


IMG_8155 by mo yun
IMG_8155, a photo by mo yun on Flickr.

my 2-yr-old niece.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


after last monday i was so amped to get weekly longer rides going.
then this past sunday i got a head cold.
i didn't even know what it meant until i got one.
in short, they suck.

so instead of teaching class on sunday,
or going out for a ride monday, 
i took it super easy and ate a lot and healed.
and watched a bunch of videos on the internet,
so i could pretend i was outside.
even if outside was snowing, hailing, and raining,
all on the same day. that was monday.
maybe the cold saved me from a miserable ride.
or maybe the cold kept me from an amazing one.
we'll never know!

that said, these videos are pretty sweet:

i met kurt in oakland maybe 5 years ago, 
when he worked at the bent spoke bike shop.
he rode an xtracycle setup faster than most people rode normal bikes.
he was talking about going on a crazy tour, and i'd probably never see him again.
then last summer i ran into him at the brooklyn bicycle jumble. holy shit!
i don't think he really remembered me, but i was glad to see him,
and we caught up a bit and he told me how his tour was on hiatus for a minute.
i had no idea he was up there in beacon, or that there was a video about his story.
but i'm glad there is, and i'm glad he's back on the road. 
his endeavor is a big one, bigger than most people can dream.
to take on something like that doesn't just earn, it almost commands respect.
i wish him a great journey.

this one is just a fun mix of all kind of play bikes.
makes me want to move. which kind of riding inspires you most?

and this last one. this one is very simple.
some might say it's nothing too special.
but it recalls to me something from my early days of riding.
something i mentioned in my last post, how my friends and i would keep riding,
long after the sun went down, and on until it came back up.
those were special times, beholding the quiet city when it's least awake,
exploring parts usually kept from us. having the city to ourselves.
even a nice, long, late night, moonlit ride would do me, and probably most riders,
some deep, unconscious good.
that'll have to go on the calendar.