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  1. #1
    Senior Member chicbicyclist's Avatar
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    a photodiary of a utility cyclist - 56K WARNING!!! - picture overload

    Since most photodiaries focused on the commutes, to and from work, I thought I'd do something different and do one for my most frequent ride. It was my day off today and thought I'd have some coffee with somw friends, do some errands and some maybe recreational shopping along the way.

    Note that the sun was really bright today, and the worst part is that I took these pics in the afternoon, westbound. I had to photoshop half of these pics for brightness.

    This is in San Diego, CA. Just north to northeast of Downtown and Balboa Park, about 2-3 miles.

    Now that thats out of the way, let's begin:



    PART 1


    Ah, our humble abode. Yes, we need to do some yard work, but we just cleared a fallen tree in our yard from the storm last week. But this isnt about the shabinness of our place. Now, unto the good stuff.

    Yes, that lady was jaywalking. Don't mind the crack on the street, thats one of the "better" ones. You'll see. We turn left at this intersection to University Ave, the main thoroughfare that we are gonna be taking.


    My favourite mexican food place to your right. Cheap and open 24 hours.


    Now we go down right on the freeway bridge...nothing of interest here.


    We are now a tenth of a mile from home. The centre business district(of the neighborhood) is just up that small hill. Time to turn the electric assist on. Vrooommmmm.


    And up we go. A new Walgreens is being built on that empty lot. It's a big deal because a)savon(left of the tower) sucks and b)this area is full of mom and pop stores.


    ....and we're up! Boy is the sun intense today.


    More art deco architecture now. We are now half a mile from home. We are turning left on that intersection because we have to mail something at the post office.


    There it is!


    Quite busy today.

  2. #2
    Senior Member chicbicyclist's Avatar
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    PART 2


    Bye bye mail.



    Now we're going back to University and stop by the thrift store and see if there's anything new.



    Back on University Ave.



    Careful, there are tons of parallel parked cars here. Time to take the whole lane. And btw, thats a fresh carcass of a dead pigeon right there, lower right. It was gross, to say the least and saved you the gory details of its exposed innards and red insides.



    Central North Park. That's the "sign" up there. North Park is a "sign" neighborhood. You'll see what I'm talking about later. You can also see the the newly reopened North Park Theater(pink orange building with those spires, sorta). We are gonna turn right at this intersection. Rush hour traffic is begining to fill the streets.




    New condo development. The neighborhood/community is currently experiencing a rennaisance/gentrification.




    A better view of the actual street we're on.




    Auntie Helen's Thrift Shop, that's where we're going.




    I'll see you in a bit.



    Okay, I'm back. Didnt get anything. Here's a better view of the condo development. And whoa, a pigeon(alive this time) to your left side!

  3. #3
    Senior Member chicbicyclist's Avatar
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    PART 3


    We're back on the road. We're turning right on that intersection, back to University. Notice the two commuters(I think) parked to your right. They had baskets! You can also see the new mixed use parking garage behind the bank(right).


    A closer look at the sign and theater. More art deco overload. This is about .8 of a mile from home.



    We're out of the central business district of the North Park community and we're heading to a different community now for some coffee and shopping. It is about a mile away and we have to get up and down those hills.


    Down we go!



    And up. Another downhill.




    Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!



    Thank god for electric assist.



    Ouch, my eyes.



    We made it. We are now entering Hillcrest.


    Traffic here is rough and faster than north Park so I have to attend to riding now.

  4. #4
    Senior Member chicbicyclist's Avatar
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    PART 4



    The bus blocked the view of the sweeping avenue! Grrrrr.



    Much better now that I overtook the bus.



    Across another freeway bridge.


    We're getting coser to the "heart" of Hillcrest. Thats an SBS antannae thinggie to your left.


    We're at the center. Traffic is really bad now. Time to take the lane again. They serve good breakfast at the restaurant to the left.



    notice the "no bicycle on the sidewalk" sign. Forgot to take a picture of the other "sign".



    More traffic...ahhhh....good thing we're turning left at the next intersection.



    Much better. We are now about 2.5 miles from home.



    Need to stop for an ambulance.



    The coffee shop is almost around this corner

  5. #5
    Senior Member chicbicyclist's Avatar
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    PART 5


    *Calls celphone*. Ah, change of plans. *mumbles*.



    Off to get some dough to get those bar end shifter and some shopping.



    Ah, one of my favourite stores. BRB!!



    Okay, we're back on the road(University Avenue, this time going eastbound, and voila, there it is! The sign!



    Let's wait for this bus.



    I'll be right back again!!!! *drools*



    They are using a pink cruiser on thier display window!



    Okay, I changed my mind again. But the bus is still there. i already missed two red lights.



    No better at this stop light. Rush hour traffic at full force. At least the light is better.





    Okay, I'll be right back again.

  6. #6
    Senior Member chicbicyclist's Avatar
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    PART6


    Dinner!



    Time to go home.














    Hey, we've been here before! Ah, I forgot about the bar end shifters. We're turning left here instead of going

    straight all the way home.



    To here. Notice the really bad road.



    But it gets better! We're going up this road about two miles north.




    Not as exciting as University Avenue.

  7. #7
    Senior Member chicbicyclist's Avatar
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    PART 7


    But yes, this is indeed

    another "sign" community. University Heights. Mostly residential though.



    Right we go.


    More residential mundanity. They do have better roads here.



    down a small park we go.




    Alot of palm trees



    Freeway bridge



    Overlooking Mission Valley. We are actually at the edge of a mesa right now. Mission valley is suburbanite

    paradise and certainly less urban, and more car-centric, relatively speaking.



    I have to be on the sidewalk to take the pictures!



    Looking down the bridge. That's Texas street. And yes, that's a man in a black outfit to your right. Walking on

    a shoulder of a highspeed roadway.

  8. #8
    Senior Member chicbicyclist's Avatar
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    PART 8





    Past the bridge, here's my second favourite bike shop(left) but we're not going there.



    We are now in Normal Heights.
    The bike shop we're going is just right by the construction site.



    I'm running out of stuff to say but here's the bike shop!




    Okay, bar end shifter is ordered, and we're off home. We are on historic Antique Row btw, go figure. And hello

    fellow utility cyclists! They are on the sidewalk though :-(



    More traffic.




    32nd street. We want 35th.




    Guess what? Another "sign" community! Cool coffee shops, cheap(but very rad pubs) and antique stores in this "central business district".




    And right we go once we get to 35th.




    We are about to enter the rumble zone featurning very rough paved streets.



    Thank god it ends here.

  9. #9
    Senior Member chicbicyclist's Avatar
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    PART 9



    We're almost home.



    Newly painted bike lanes. Too bad its right by the door zone.



    Newly built elementary school, another sign of redelopment/gentrification.



    Ah, finally. That's University Avenue in front of you.




    A sweet parting shot. Hope you enjoyed! Total trip length, about 8 miles.

  10. #10
    Senior Member CigTech's Avatar
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    Very Nice Trip.
    May your feet keep move'n with the wind to your back.

    CigTech

  11. #11
    jur
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    Great!!

  12. #12
    @#$% cars
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    That was fun. Thanks for sharing!!

  13. #13
    bum bike chajmahal's Avatar
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    North Park, Normal Heights, University Heights really are beautiful communities with lots of cool stuff to do. Too bad the hipsters drove up the housing market so much. Don't mind me. I'm just jealous. I waited too long to buy!!!!!

  14. #14
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Great! Fun photos, though the blue sky, palm trees, and references to good pubs are making me very jealous. How does the electric assist work? I assume it has something to do with that massive front hub. How does that affect your bike's handling?

  15. #15
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    I didn't see any badly paved roads...?
    BTW - Nice pics! Thanks for the sun!
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



    We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!

  16. #16
    That darn Yankee TexasGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chicbicyclist
    PART 9

    A sweet parting shot. Hope you enjoyed! Total trip length, about 8 miles.
    Great pics and decent commentary.

    One question and one comment.
    What's a utilitarian cyclist?
    And isn't the bike parked beside the suv a bit of irony / oxymoron?
    Life is about hanging onto what you think is important and finding out what really is important.
    "Stop Ruining my joke!", "No, a joke implies humor attached at no additional cost"
    So many sayings, so little sig space.

  17. #17
    That darn Yankee TexasGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyossarian
    I didn't see any badly paved roads...?
    BTW - Nice pics! Thanks for the sun!
    Yeah, those roads "looked" pretty decent compared to some of the stuff i cycle on.
    Life is about hanging onto what you think is important and finding out what really is important.
    "Stop Ruining my joke!", "No, a joke implies humor attached at no additional cost"
    So many sayings, so little sig space.

  18. #18
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyossarian
    I didn't see any badly paved roads...?
    BTW - Nice pics! Thanks for the sun!
    Me either. Looks as good or better than any of the pavement I ride on, and way better than the 4 miles of washboarded, muddy gravel I ride across twice a day.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Mad Scientist's Avatar
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    Wow! So sunny. Once again -- it makes me want to sun myself on a rock. Here in Minnesota the spring thaw has once again destroyed the roads.

    I now have two sections on my commute where the cracks in the pavement have widen to several inches across and nearly as many deep. Ride light -- or jump over them if possible.

  20. #20
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    Haha, you live in my neighborhood. (I live off of 30th street, down near the Whistle Stop.) In fact, I bought my Bowery from Charlie over at Cal Coast just a few months ago. Great shop... those guys rock.

    Gotta love the weather here. Sunny and 70's for almost the whole year.

  21. #21
    Senior Member chicbicyclist's Avatar
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    How does the electric assist work? I assume it has something to do with that massive front hub. How does that affect your bike's handling?
    Indeed it does. Front hub motor for the muscle, Sealed lead acid batteries in the bag on the rear rack for the juice. As for handling, I seem to manage fine, but I'm not experienced enough of a cyclist to actually comment on that, if there's any subtle difference at all.

    I didn't see any badly paved roads...?
    I actually thought that to myself when I saw all the pics as a whole. I should have taken more pics of those, since they really are bad. I've gotten 5 flats in a three week period very recently because of glass being stuck on the cracks and potholes. Or maybe I just have no concept on whats really "bad".

    What's a utilitarian cyclist?
    Utility Cycling

    Haha, you live in my neighborhood. (I live off of 30th street, down near the Whistle Stop.) In fact, I bought my Bowery from Charlie over at Cal Coast just a few months ago. Great shop... those guys rock.
    Aren't they great? They tried to sell me $10 tubes, but they have given me free service if the task wouldnt take too long, or if they are not that busy. From simple tightening to drilling my stuck gear shifters off.


    And isn't the bike parked beside the suv a bit of irony / oxymoron?


    I'm glad you all enjoyed the pictures!

  22. #22
    Car-free commuter
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    Wow, great pictures of an eventful 8 miles. Beautiful bicycle too!

  23. #23
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    MAN!! Talk about server overload!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. #24
    Behind EVERYone!!! baj32161's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hubs
    That was fun. Thanks for sharing!!
    +1...I love reading and seeing peoples' ride reports. I gotta do one of these someday.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers,

    Brian
    Fellow members. I am riding in The 2014 Ride to Conquer Cancer
    I am starting to raise $2500 to support the wonderful work done at The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Please support this great organization.

    Please help me by donating so that I can ride. Please go to my link at www.conquercancer.ca/goto/Brian_Johnson . I would greatly appreciate it.

    Bless You All.

    Brian J.

  25. #25
    I'm Carbon Curious 531phile's Avatar
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    Cal Coast, I'm going have to check them out. what do they specialize in? new bikes? Do they have any used bikes? Anyone particular mechanic or person you recommend?

    I've been in San Diego for almost two years and I haven't found a "Go To" bike shop. I like Holland's bicycle, but it in Coronado and I don't drive and taking the ferry or riding 26miles for one small part isn't fun. The guys at Bike San Diego are good mechanics, but the parts selection are be spotty.

    I just got some nice sturdy rear wheels that's dying for new frames to ride on.

    BTW, you forgot to include my hood, Banker's Hill in your loop. I'm going to have to start exploring Normal Heights. I usually just make it up to Adams Avenue bicycle shop and just come back.

    Quote Originally Posted by avner View Post
    I loled. Twice. Then I cried. Then I rubbed one out and cried again, but thanks for sharing.

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