Tag Archives: bike

new things are exciting but tiring

The other day in conversation I called California ‘home.’  It was probably because I was on vacation in Hawai’i, but I decided to take it as a sign of adjusting.  🙂

Here’s an interesting view I caught on my camera.  The green glow is the fishing lure of the guy standing a few feet away.  It was a lovely bike ride.

When the plane was taking off from SFO last week, I leaned forward to look out the window, fully expecting to see Austin below me.  I always liked being able to see my neighborhood and house as we took off.  Of course, that was quickly rebutted when I saw “South San Francisco  the Industrial City” on the ground in big white letters.  And seeing the city from the air was beautiful – a very different kind of beautiful.

Last week I dreamed I was back in Austin – I think for a visit.  I went to Flightpath, I went to liturgy, I saw friends.  I think towards the end I knew that it was a dream, but I was trying to stay in it.  (No dreams within a dream, though).

I met with my new staff recently – I really like them!  We had our area team retreat at an amazing house with beautiful deck space.  The deck was built to accommodate the 12 redwood trees in back of the house.  Wow!  I’m pretty excited about getting to work with them – the schools are quarter schools which means we still have a week or two before school starts.

Experiencing new things and letting go of old things is exhausting.  On vacation I averaged more than 10 hours of sleep a night.  The vacation was perfect – allowing me to detox out some of that stress with lots of outdoor adventures, swimming in the ocean, and eating wonderful food with good friends.

Oh, and today I finally got that haircut I was talking about.  More transitions.  Ha!

now playing:  Boy Lilikoi – Jonsi (of Sigur Ros)



Thought I’d jot down a few highlights from the move thus far… you know, because it’s good to be thankful.

– had a surprisingly enjoyable time packing (most of the time).  Had lots of great help from friends, and managed to have some fun in there too!  One of my favorite parts was making a big to-do about taping up the last box with JBand MF, and then realizing that it wasn’t the last box at all.  There were 3 more boxes upstairs that needed to be taped. Haha!

fun while packing

– felt very sent and loved by Austin folks, especially that last liturgy at Mosaic.  hard to believe it was just a week ago – I really feel like those prayers are carrying me through these days.

– the roadtrip was super-great.  Sherman was wonderful and had no overheating problems.  Here’s what Carrie had to say about it…

Day 1: Austin-Phoenix, lots of loopy video diaries recorded in the car, finale with generous, hospitable Archers letting us stay with them. Day2: Phoenix-Palo Alto, a “short” surprise stop in LA where I accidentally bumped into several dear Fuller friends who got to meet Sabrina Chan, then an incredible drive up the 5. I finished reading all the Mosaic prayers to Sabrina as we exited the highway and made way for her apartment complex. The last one read as we pulled into her new parking space, we both choked back tears and hugged at our arrival to her beautiful new home…

Yeah, it was a pretty great drive, with a pretty perfect ending.

– happy days sightseeing in SF with Carrie…. beautiful redwoods, walking around town, and also winning the $25 tickets to Wicked on Friday night.  It was incredible.  Seriously amazing – we were so close and the show is so good!

fun on cable cars

– speaking of Carrie – best moving buddy ever.  Let me be sad when I needed to be sad, was excited for me at all the right times, and likes driving.  Oh, and lots of other great friend things too. 🙂  It was real tough to say goodbye… but I was so glad she chose to come.

– OK, on to a random thing – a bird sliding down a banister at Pier 39.  seriously.  it was amazing.

– bike rides in Palo Alto – so many people bike here, young and old alike.  Today’s ride was to the Fuller location to test that out – and it was a little over 4 miles.  One route on the bike paths only has 1 traffic light!  And the other route is a little shorter with more stoplights but goes through downtown Palo Alto… and has a tunnel!

– meals with friends – SE and JE, JH and NH, JS, AS, and house, CT and PT… it’s been nice to be with great people.

Well, hopefully the movers arrive tomorrow with my stuff mostly intact.  So I should get some rest before a long day.  More updates soon.

a good day (and an even better night)

Less verbiage, more pictures.  How about it?

Ok – a few words.  Many thanks to SL who helped me clean out my office today.  These picture for JS who said I needed to take a picture…

empty office

amazed that it's done

And then more packing at home – with help from JM got pictures, glass, and wall hangings packed as well as the electronics.  No small feat.  It’s starting to look like pre-move in.

Then time for fun – a last Monday night ride with summer bike gang.  On the way out of the neighborhood, I took this. 🙂

don't worry, the road was empty

According to the speedometer, that was at 17.6 mph.  Fun times.

We hit up Tapioca House, and then the Lamar Pedestrian Bridge – one of my favorite sunset spots.

sunset on the pedestrian bridge

And finally, the Long Center – which I hadn’t been up to and from far away kinda looks like the Star Trek Enterprise.

rock stars


And while I loved the self-portrait on my bike – I think this one might be favorite of the whole night.


A great night.  Thanks to the packing helpers of the past few days who helped make this possible – I didn’t feel too stressed to go on the ride.  And of course, to all my fellow bike-gangers of the last year – I salute you. 🙂

now playing:  Beautiful Day – U2

of bike gangs and spin class

With cooler temperatures and better health this past fall, I’ve been able to ride my bike a lot more.  My new(ish) location makes a commute to church or work much more doable (at my old house, it was 7 miles each way to the office, now it’s more like 3.5 each way).  But what has really made it possible is bike gang friends.  There are friends at my church that are commuting by bike for lots of different reasons – convictions about cars, trying to live simply, it’s fun, it’s cool, it’s exercise, etc.

After several invitations over the summer, I was finally able to go ride with a ‘bike gang’, and we rode 13+ miles! (my longest ride ever, at that time).  A rambling jaunt of 2 hours, with some stops for coffee, an attempt to dumpster-dive some bagels, and a stop at a friend’s house where we gathered one more person. 🙂   I hadn’t ridden with people before, and felt like I was suddenly in the tour de france – one shaky turn and I could bring down the whole pack!  But it was great fun – getting to talk with my friends while riding, speeding up, slowing down, talking with different people at different times.

When the weather was really bad and I couldn’t bike commute, I went to a couple spin classes.  If you’ve been to one, you know – they are SO INTENSE.  There’s a lot of cycling that happens, they don’t have odometers, but I’m sure we go far.  We sweat a LOT, more than I ever have on a bike gang ride.  And the instructor is yelling encouragement.  We ride fast, we listen to thumping music, and yes, we probably burn a ton of calories.
But I’ve been thinking – what really taught me to love biking is the bike gang rides, not the spin class.  Sure, in a spin class we work out and burn more immediate calories.  But for the long-term, learning to figure out what roads are good to ride, learning the practicals of locking my bike, etc, those make me a cyclist for life.  Getting to learn from others, enjoy time together, and have fun… that’s really what puts me on the journey for the long haul.

In a spin class, even with friends, there’s no talking – there’s no spare air!   The spin instructor isn’t going to go out to show you practicals – he/she is just yelling instructions and giving a good workout for that time period.  Being in community is what shows me the joy in it, gives practicals, and encourages me to ride on my own even more.
This has parallels with the ways I think about ministry and community.   The most amazing speaker in the world can tell you things, and it may feel phenomenal in the moment, but we need community for the long run.  That’s not to say there’s not a place for spin classes or good speakers – but we can’t rely on that to be the only thing to keep us going.  One of the many reasons I love my job is that I get to foster and encourage Christian community amongst college students – to set them up well for the long run.  Here’s to more “bike gangs.”

day 5 is for bikes

I used to ride my bike all the time when I was small, down our dead-end street into a methodist church parking lot in the West End.  Then later in a cul-de-sac on the south side.   And then I really didn’t ride a bike for almost 15 years (except that one year at Rice when I rode for Hanszen and crashed with another biker, yes, that put me off bikes for awhile).

But a couple years ago I started thinking about trying to bike commute – the ultimate in efficiency – exercise, commuting, and being environmentally friendly all at once.  So I tried it out and liked it, and commuted sometimes from my old house to the office – 7.5 miles each way.

Last winter I moved a lot closer in, and cut the bike commute in half, which made it more doable.  The spring was a wash because of all the health stuff.  But this August and September, I caught the biking bug again via my local bike gang.  Biking with others a lot of fun (more on that after the 12 days…)  and I also learned more of the routes in this part of town.  I can bike to the office, church, small group, various coffee shops, and many friends’ houses.

It takes some planning for sure – but that also allows for a sense of freedom on the road.  I love seeing the city from a different perspective, and feeling the wind or sun.  I’m thankful that I can enjoy the ride, and that my body + mechanical advantage can get me somewhere fairly quickly and efficiently.  (Is there mechanical advantage in a bike?  i think so, but bonus points if you can explain it!)

Here’s part of my world as seen from a bike.  The parts that I could capture on a cell phone camera, at least.

now playing:  Keane – Everybody’s Changing

all that talk

After all that talk, I finally did it. Took the plunge. Got clipless pedals and shoes to go with. I got them installed yesterday, and promptly took a nice fall in my backyard. Bummer. But took ’em out for a quick ride today, and had a blast! I can really notice the difference on hills, and it’s sorta nice to feel ‘one with the bike’ – except when you’re falling… I think Speedy likes it too (that’s my bike’s name).

It was a very short ride because I just haven’t been feeling well. I’ve been off and on sick for over a month now (more sick than well), so I took it very easy, but still tired out super-quick. Hopefully I’ll feel totally well, soon.

So the last few weeks have been crazy busy, thought I’d pull some pictures that give you an idea…

Here’s my awesome small group from Breakthrough’s What’s Next track…

daniel project crazies
At the Asian American Staff Conference… Daniel Project crazies. 🙂  Are they sure they want us to lead?

daniel project and mentors
looking more civilized, for a picture with the mentors and teachers. 🙂

my friend Morgan and I, high above San Francisco…

Exit Clov at Lovejoy’s during SXSW. The picture’s super-blurry, and you can’t really see Aaron or Brett, but I like how Emily and Susan are right in front of the angels on the backdrop.

Clov at Ruta Maya, this is the only one where you can really see John, the drummer

at the Rio for the official showcase. Awesome, just awesome. (fyi – the Rio used to be the Real World Austin house… confirmed by the crazy loud colors on the walls in the back area)

Unfortunately, my camera isn’t that good, and I also don’t have any pictures of my friend Ellen (cousin of the twins) who was in town too… but check the website, because they have better pictures there. 🙂 Despite the lack of pictures, I did get to see some other bands – most notably, the Polyphonic Spree. Amazing!

Whew, I’m tired. I’ll have to put up post-Spring Break pictures later…

10 of life’s simplest pleasures…

So back in October, I got tagged by flightpath on this, and he included this challenge “And if think you don’t have time to do this, consider this a spiritual discipline of remembering God’s providence in everyday details. No excuses now.” 

It’s almost two months later, but I’ve had it in the back of my mind to do.  I need to be a little more thankful today.  So, here ya go, 10 of life’s simplest pleasures, in no particular order…

10. beautiful bike rides with sunshine and cool air
9. doing chores while bouncing around to happy music (today it was the backstreet boys…)
8. throwing a football with a friend
7. driving with the windows down, leaning an elbow out (especially if it’s in the passenger side of a friend’s pickup, and with tom petty playing)
6. making new friends – getting past the smalltalk, and getting to be real (it never ceases to amaze me)
5. reading a good book with a chai tea
4. walking on the tops of walls, you know, the ones that appear alongside sidewalks, or in front of buildings…
3. holding my friends’ really cute babies
2. having little kids remember you, and say your name (or sing to you!)
1. real conversations (like #6) with old friends, and even family (especially if we’re staying up way too late… and also remembering the things we’ve been through together)

This isn’t a _simple_ pleasure for me because it’s rather complicated and involves a freaking long plane trip – but I’d have to throw in, being with extended family (especially if it involves a ridiculous amount of karaoke with lots of cousins and aunts and uncles). 

Alright, I’m out.  I’ve got more cleaning to do – I’ve let the house be a wreck for most of the fall.  Time to try and remedy that.