SDBikeCommuter.com discount initiative

The http://www.sdbikecommuter.com discount program is a non-profit initiative that promotes cycling to local sustainable businesses in San Diego. Inline with its slogan “Ride Local – Buy Local” businesses join the program to support green transportation of bicycle riding and encourage customers to bypass parking spot hunting normally done in a car.  A benefit to you, no toxic preservatives and transfats in the food like typical commercial chains use. No membership or special cards are needed, just remind the staff that you biked in to benefit from the 10% off your purchase*.  Join us on a tour of the booming local businesses on the program:

Look for the sign

Cruising along Adams Ave, you can go to the modern-tavern style wood fired pizza joint known for their craft beer list on tap Blind Lady Ale House – vegan cheese is available. For a stylish and cozy venue for inventive pies, salads and drinks choose Haven Pizzeria. One block up, the same owners created Kensington Cafe which is a classic American breakfast to dinner restaurant with a large pet-friendly patio.  Embrace the seducing middle-eastern rustic ambiance at Cafe21 (also in Downtown) that serves authentic dishes with a Californian spin, with a 5-sangria flight you won’t forget.  If you’re craving Italian, enjoy DiMille’s Italian Deli that’s been keeping Adams Avenue full and happy with the all you can eat Sunday brunch since 1978!

Swing by University Heights for oriental medicine consultations including acupuncture, ayurveda and nutrition advice from Health & Wellness Coach, Erin E. Raskins, M.S., L.Ac  who’s also been featured in GreenBuilt Homes. Keep your criminal defense visits and city ligitation needs under the radar by riding to Kaftal & Associates Law Firm.

Explore City Heights to find this rustic gem with indoor or outdoor shaded patio seating with American fare creative combinations and craft brews at Nate’s Garden Grill. If you’re a night owl just keep the vibe going with live music, karaoke and stand-up comedy fueled by cocktails at the Til-Two Club.

Take a ride over to the center of Balboa Park for a relaxing outdoor experience at Panama 66 and enjoy live music, craft brews and a full bar while seasonal farm-fresh-to-table is served.

Get down in America’s number one hipster neighborhood on your fixie… start your day with an espresso or home made kombucha at Subterranean Coffee Boutique.  If your commute starts from the east side visit Santo’s Coffee shop where you can also take some beans home.  Now amped up, hit Europilates San Diego for a training session.  Oops, Did you forget your training shoes? Milestone Running Shop will get you running.  Don’t forget their large group runs on Wednesday nights at 6pm.  After your workout, grab some recovery food at the bike & pet friendly outdoor patio Carnitas Snack Shack if you are craving the best pork creations around.  If pizza is your happy place, dine-indoors at the authentic Neapolitan pizza at Caffe Calabria (proudly serving their own roasted South & Central American coffee beans too), grab a slice or a whole pie of either New York or Sicilian styles at Sicilian Thing Pizza.  Catch an underground flick at  Digital Gym. Ok it is turning dark and now time to get your drink on… choose from Waypoint Public, Tiger! Tiger!, Mosaic Wine or True North Tavern – better yet bar hop & “roll” all three by bike! (FYI Always drink responsibly as you can get a DUI on a bike too).  If this happened on a Saturday night – then come and recover at the unique bluegrass brunch put on by Urban Solace; the butter pecan cinnamon roll that’s large enough to share one with the table.  Speaking of rewards, if you won a trophy at a race, get it engraved at North Park Trophy.

Chug your way up the hills into South Park, with a coffee and acai extravaganza stop at Captain Kirk’s Coffee.  Don’t miss the train… at the restored depot station turned open-air burger & beer bar with a kids play area… Station Tavern has won the best vegetarian burger in many local contests.  Indulge for brunch, exotic mochas or dessert at Eclipse Chocolate that has a unique discount of a free truffle with any purchase & a pet patio.  If it is hot enough, The Daily Scoop ice cream parlor will keep you & the kids cool.  Now time to go shopping for some new or re-purposed / up-cycled artisan local items only at Make Good.  End the day with a coffee and scone while listening to live music at Rebecca’s Coffee shop (you can start your day there too), or wine at Rose Wine Pub.

Off to Downtown and the Coffee district, where you can visit these independent roaster cafes to try Cafe Moto, Cafe Virtuoso, and Ryan Brothers and report to us who the best bean roaster is in San Diego.  Or just chill with your brew having adoptable cats crawl all over you at Cat Cafe.  The new unique hipster square Quartyard has opened up with many weekend events.  Chat with the friendly baristas who’ll translate the witty coffee menu to you then enjoy it on the rustic patio in the heart of Market Street at the Meshuggah Shack (also in Hillcrest).  Meet any one of the 4 friends that own and staff this dine-in or takeout joint serving healthy versions of classic sandwiches/salads for breakfast or lunch at The District. The same owners opened an Asian fusion eatery and bar called The Parlour because they know that the next best thing after sliced bread is sushi!  Whether for brunch or dinner, Zymology21 doesn’t disappoint with innovative and fun dishes and a mixology-focused bar which fuses science with food. If you are really really hungry… forget the touristic BBQ joints… the quick climb up Market street to SCUE BBQ (formerly known as sonneys) where you will find the best dry rub ribs… and ever rare rib tips are on the menu too.

Moving a mile from downtown, Little Italy has a little hidden non Italian secret: Underbelly,  where you can find some asian fusion dishes having various types ramen as the main entree.

Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the airport, multi-lane expressways and military bases fool you, Point Loma’s bike friendly Harbor Drive arterial bikeway that connects Bayshore bikeway – Coronado – Liberty Station will connect you to the fun world traveler wine-tasting experience at the Wine Pub. Here you will find the highest discount at 20%, probably because the owner’s husband is a big bike enthusiast in the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. Ride smart on Rosecrans Street using the streetlights and wide turning lanes provided to arrive at the Pearl Hotel‘s saltwater poolside sanctuary nearby for a stay-cation or just for the locally-sourced food, a craft cocktail bar plus weekly movie nights.

By now you deserve a break, treat yourself to Golden Hill‘s extensive spa/massage/makeup venue for one or a party from 9am – 10pm at the cozy & tranquil Girl on the Go! Night Spa!  For a waxing specific saloon-themed salon make an appointment to tidy-up that UnderCarriage.  The practitioners at Herbin Acupuncture & Wellness focus on individualized plans that create a well-rounded healing experience, which include garden plots to grow your own organic medicinal plants!  Ride up to the Absolute Acupuncture clinic to treat all types of pain and health conditions with this 5,000 year old holistic medical system.  Between getting your style fixes at the Mint Shoe Store and #1 hat resource Village Hat Shop, grab a bite at the airy vintage-chic Salt & Cleaver for award-winning sausage creations, small plates, craft cocktails & beers… all this located in fabulous Hillcrest.

As you hustle and bustle along the old and famous Highway 1 / Pacific Coast Highway… the longest bike route from Mexico to Canada, Old Town has the perfect pit stop for you at Congress Cafe. Serving breakfast and lunch with a side of “the best coffee in town”.  Here you can get crepes served any style… ask for the special salmon-cream cheese version.

Are you carrying your dog in a trailer behind you? Or just carrying an empty stomach?  If near Mission Bay, take a stop at Bull’s Smokin BBQ, very pet friendly where you and your pet can share a bone.  Try the almond coleslaw, and the only place to make its own cornbread from scratch in the whole county.

Beach time!  Chill out at Mission Beach by stopping in at Swell Cafe with the very filling dawn patrol panini or chill out by having acai bowl… and always the cappuccino will hit the spot.  If its later in the day, scoot to Pacific Beach where you will find  The Patio on Lamont serving great flatbreads, under the same ownership of swell.  Better yet, sunday brunch has a jack Daniels pancake on the menu!

* It may be necessary to show the website on your phone since new staff may not be aware. Also, this will confirm the discount listed, as sometimes it’s higher than 10%.

Battle of the Charities

It seems within the past 2 years, the theme of charity racing is popping up on your facebook, twitter feeds or emails.  A tactic using guerrilla marketing (aggressive) is trending so much that you wonder if the person is a friend true to the cause, or a sleazy salesman in disguise.

The majority of us have limited funds; but if you don’t – donate away! A big reason for the rise is that many people are using charities to gain race entries.  So the likelihood of you having to choose between multiple friends’ charity campaigns sky rockets.  It can be conflicting as you don’t want to offend someone by donating to a competing cause and still want to remain friends.  All I can do is suggest guidelines and questions I ask myself:

  1. Check out the cause… does it line up with your moral beliefs? There are many cancer charities out there… but my jaw dropped when I saw Susan G. Komen partner with many businesses that are questionable, such as KFC buckets for pink.  What!? The food KFC makes has cancer causing products in their food!   At that most the money went to marketing campaigns, very little to support or research.

2) What is the person’s personal connection with the charity?  Did they just randomly select one, or does it have an altruistic meaning to them?

3) Does your friend’s tactics seem over aggressive (spamming their charity link on your facebook page)? Do they thank people who donated to the cause in a non-generic manner?

4) Perhaps break down your donation into smaller pieces and give something to each one.  The act of GIVING should matter, not the dollar amount.

So yes, I end on this note that I am participating in a charity to run the New York City Marathon with Bessy who qualified.  I gave you some guidelines now it is up to you to decide if you wish to help out this charity I chose.

I had over 300 to choose from, some which gave me fancy personal benefits…. but I shun the benefits so I can get the best charity to help others out.

New job: “professional cyclist”

Yes, in quotes because no, not for bicycle racing, but as a bike messenger.  It consist of delivering depositions, bills, etc between law firms.  The pay is minimal – although I think it is a fair trade off for something that you look forward to doing everyday – no waiting for Friday for it to be all over and being the weekend.  Yes, I love Mondays!

Some inspiration was taken from the movies Quicksilver , Premium Rush, Line of Sight, and the USA network tv show Suits

Mike Ross in the show suits is a bike messenger who is hired as a lawyer on one of his deliveries thanks to his intelligence

Continue reading

1st Alpine Ski Tour

I have downhill skied weekly (every winter) since I was a toddler until I got an injury in my teenage years…. and since prices for lift tickets kept going up, it just became a once a year thing.  Entering the endurance sports world / life outside of the 4-wheel motorized prison world, my perception has changed.  It is a 3-hour trip one-way to our closest slopes (you always hit LA / Vegas traffic).  Then when you get there, $60-80 for a one-day lift ticket… where you maybe get 5 runs in due to long lift lines.  Mind you, my a$$ hurts sitting in that chair… I just sat for 3 hours, and need to sit for a 15 minute ride, to go down 2 minutes, and sit another 3 hours back!? Hey this sounds like a desk job scenario.

And what if this situation happened? stuck on a chair lift!

No more I said… when one day I saw a couple going up the mountain slope, who told me about alpine touring.  It is basically cross country skiing up the mountain, then downhill skiing on the way down.  Never do you need to pay for a sit (err I mean lift) ticket again!  The mountains here allow this, because the climb up is so tiring you will want to buy some beverages or food at the bottom.  Here is a video explaining more:

Continue reading

2014 in review

Thank you for following and visiting our blog in 2014!!  Your views and comments help us focus our writing, and get to know YOU better. WordPress posted our stats so I wanted to share with you. Here’s an excerpt:

metropolitan transit systemjpg

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,000 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Carlsbad Half Marathon 1:40 Pacers (as a couple)

Screenshot_(16)

Roger was worried about this guy to the left, as he was with us the whole was till that last half mile dropped back. But we looked up his results and he got the goal with chip time!

To lead a pacer group is a right of passage for a runner who’s simultaneously likeable and capable of controlling his/her performance to the second.  After the past few years of focusing on our own running capabilities, we wanted to give back.  Roger signed us up to join the Road Runner Sports pacing group for Carlsbad Half Marathon this year.   The idea was to pace the same 1:40 group together. What an honor & sweet date! I would be returning to Carlsbad Half Marathon, which was my first 13.1 mile race in 2012, as a pacer.  Luckily, Roger paced the same group at Silver Strand Half, so he knew what needed to be done.

Continue reading

Fashion on the Blue Carpet: KONA 2014 Highlights

Early on one of Roger’s selling points to me on triathlon was since I liked changing into multiple outfits, triathletes get to do that a lot in training and racing. It totally worked! I now have almost as much swim/bike/run clothes as I do work clothes. Putting giggles aside, let’s talk best and worst dressed at KONA 2014.

Where’s the light out of this darkness?

Swim  It was the only area of sport that’s still underwhelming as far as design creativity.  Only a couple color burst speedsuits stood out in the sea of black, so hopefully more brands will start to “lighten it up” in the water.  It could be because the water is so tropically amazing that the only color that doesn’t blend into the corals for pictures is black?

Continue reading