Hot Pot with Joe and Jho

Justin and Joe in front of our first hot pot dinner together.”

It’s great to see these two back in town. It was fun hearing their tales of travel. Both Justin and Joe have been wandering around the world for the last couple months and their stories are pretty inspiring. They have endless tales of meeting new people, blazing new trails and getting occasional food poisoning. I’m hoping to have them over again so they can share more.

~1 Year Since My Bike Accident

Photos of my bike with an updated Surly touring frame.

I can’t believe it’s been about a year since my bike accident last year. For those of you who don’t know, around this time last year, I got in a nasty bike accident last year which left me with stitches, a concussion, two chipped teeth, and a damaged bike. It was pretty rough because it overlapped the time when I was shutting down Flare and transitioning to a new project. Thankfully, I had insurance and a strong support network here to help me out.

I made a fast recovery… and when I was able to ride again, I made a video that documented my crash as well as an issue I had with my bike. This all happened last year, but I’m finally getting around to sharing this video one year later.

One of my first vlogs on youtube I created last year.

Anyway, everything is okay now. Since then, I get my bike serviced once a month to make sure all the parts are in working order. I also got a full face helmet along with a GoPro to document my daily commute.

By the way, since last year, New Wheel (the company that sold me my e-bike), replaced my damaged frame free of charge. I had to twist their arm, but they stood by their product and rebuilt my bike after the rear wheel dislodging. So, if you’re in the market to get an electric bike in San Francisco, I’d recommend them.

So, I ride super conservatively now and I avoid questionable conditions.

HOWEVER, Google Maps managed to navigate me through a really sketchy path. I would say this felt as sketchy as walking around in the Tenderloin at night. I really wish there was a checkbox on Google Maps that says, “Avoid Sketch AF Routes”. Since I’m sharing some crazy videos, here’s another one…

Sketch AF bike route by Google Maps.

#neveragain

While I love San Francisco, there are times that I’d like to get away from the craziness. I live in Bernal Heights now, and it’s pretty safe/clean… but all you have to do is walk a couple streets down the hill, and it gets seedy.

Okay to lighten things up, here’s one more video of another bike ride. This is a time lapse of a bike ride I did with Patrick from Sausalito back to Bernal Heights.

Timelapse video of a 56 mile bike ride from Sausalito to Bernal Heights.

Hopefully you won’t get too dizzy watching it. It kind of starts smoothing out once we go over the Golden Gate bridge. Next time I’ll see if I can run these kinds of videos through a hyper lapse filter to remove all the jittering. Enjoy!

Input Team Retreat

Glorious view of LA from our AirBnb.

So… it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. Actually, that’s not entirely true–I’ve created content–I haven’t posted it yet. There’s a ton to share, so we have some catching up to do friends.

Our team had an offsite two weeks ago and we all met up in LA. It was great to collaborate with folks in person–we’re a distributed team, so getting real face time is rare. Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer working in person. Remote jobs definitely have their perks, but nothing can replace being around creative people in the same room. It was a great offsite, and I’m looking forward to more jam sessions like this in the future.

Timelapse of theview from ourAirBnb.

The house was a total surprise, and it was super comfortable. There was actually a pool and hot tub overlooking the city skyline with a beautiful unobstructed view of the stars above. I honestly could have just brought a tent and sleeping bag and could have been in heaven.

Huge kudos to Belinda for coordinating everything. The house, the meals, travel, team activities, etc were all on point. Speaking of which, let’s look at some of the photos.

Vincent and Dan talking tech with the LA skyline as a backdrop.

Ben, Roberto and Naveen moving stickies around using the KJ Method

Brainstorming session outside.

Korean BBQ, LA style with the team.

Cooking class at Sur La Table.

Ben pouring a perfect pint.

Ben, Belinda and Naveen taking pictures of the Venice Beach sign.

Dinner with the team and celebrating Naveen’s birthday.

Naveen rocking the Halal Guys wayfarer sunglasses.

Cheers!

The steak here was aaaaamazing.

Everyone checking their phones after our escape room adventure.

Vincent getting his portrait taken in the corner of a bar.

Anyway, those were some fun times. Now it’s time to get some work done. We’ve got a pretty ambitious vision, and it’s going to take a hungry team to build it over the next few months.

Photos from My Bike Ride

DSC_8183

Photo of a blocked off road beside Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

After the storm cleared up this morning, I decided to go for a bike ride. I ended up doing a 25 mile loop around the city. Here are some photos from my ride.

DSC_8182

Crossing the road.

DSC_8153

Shadows and pruned trees in the city.

DSC_8160

Stairs near the Painted Ladies.

DSC_8167

A small beach between Lands End and Presidio.

DSC_8170

Museum at the top of Lands End, featuring a collection of work by Monet.

DSC_8173

Photo riding down Ocean Drive.

DSC_8189

Close up photo of flowers in Golden Gate Park.

DSC_8179

Ocean beach.

DSC_8190

The court yard between the California Academy of Sciences and de Young Museum.

An Encounter with a Coyote

IMG 1125

Photo at the top of Bernal Heights, shot with the iPhone 7 Plus.

On my way to watch the sunrise this morning, I saw a coyote walking around in the middle of the road. There was a woman curiously chasing them around. She introduced herself to me, sharing some basic guidelines around coyote interaction and safety. If you want to learn more about Coyotes in San Francisco, check out Janet Kessler’s blog.

IMG 1126

Screenshot from my Facebook Live stream of the Coyote.

I’m kind of bummed that I didn’t bring my camera along with me this morning—it could have been a great photo opportunity. Instead, I shot a Facebook live video.

According to my conversation with Janet, coyotes were hunted for such a long time that they virtually disappeared from San Francisco; however, in recent years they’ve come back and repopulated. The coyotes roam along the streets, often chasing and stopping cars. People typically feed them, which encourages this unusual behavior.

IMG 1123

Panoramic photo of the sunrise from Bernal Heights.

As the coyotes return, Janet explained to me that everyone in San Francisco will need to find a way to co-exist with them without feeding them, similar to raccoons or skunks.

Here are some tips from her website:
• Never feed them
• Don’t approach them
• Walk on and don’t linger
• Keep dogs leashed
• Don’t let cats roam free

And here are some photos from her website so you can get a closer look at the coyotes.

Electric Bike Tour around SF and Sausalito with Annie and Julia

DSC_3645

Riding across the Golden Gate Bridge, covered in fog.

Wow, so I am so behind on blogging. Like, I have photos from months ago that I haven’t shared. Anyway, I’ve gotta get better about posting more content more frequently.

Anyway, I wanted to share some photos of when Annie and Julia came to visit me in SF. I had tried out some electric bikes before, but this was the first time I actually went for a real ride–we ended up riding around Embarcadero, Presidio, across the Golden Gate Bridge, and all the way to Sausalito.

DSC_3611

Julia getting some Blue Bottle coffee before the bike ride.

DSC_3605

Photo of Annie perfecting her coffee, since it wasn’t quite right.

Side note, I’m not a huge fan of Blue Bottle. I love their logo, but their coffee is just too bitter for me. If you ask me, I’m more of a Philz Coffee kind of guy.

DSC_3615

Photo of Annie and Julia watching the safety video at Blazing Saddles.

When we got to Blazing Saddles, they made us watch a video about the tour, and then they let us try different bikes. At the time, I really wanted to try out a Stromer, but the only models they had were really old ones. They had one really new model on display, and I wanted to rent that one, but they gave me some old beat up model. Fortunately, I spoke to the owner and they straightened everything out. We ended up renting their own home made electric bikes, and they were actually really impressive.

DSC_3614

Video of the tour.

DSC_3689

Photo of Annie in front of the Golden Gate Bridge.

A thick fog rolled in in a matter of minutes, and we could hardly see anything when we were on the bridge. It was a little unnerving, not to mention really cold. I think we were all underdressed on this bike tour.

DSC_3676

The fog rolling over the mountains. As you can see, there was hardly any visibility.

DSC_3653

Annie looking at a whole ‘lotta fog.

DSC_3669

Every once and a while, you could see the top of the bridge.

DSC_3680

Looking up at the bridge scaffolding. Notice the fog wrapping around the top, carried by a brisk wind.

DSC_3696

Fog completely engulfing the bridge. We were lucky just to see the top of the scaffolding from time to time.

I wasn’t joking about the fog. It was literally rolling across the entire bay in a matter of minutes. The fog was carried by a strong brisk wind, with strong gusts.

DSC_3699

Photo of the bikes we road, built by Blazing Saddles.

I have to say that the bikes built by Blazing Saddle were exceptional. They were comfortable, easy to ride, and most importantly provided enough assist on even the toughest hills. The the best part was that they had plenty of power–we literally road for hours and had plenty of juice left by the end of the ride.

DSC_3715

Photo of Julia and Annie preparing to ride towards Sausalito.

DSC_3737

The fog was quite a marvel as it rolled across the bay and bridge.

DSC_3751

Fog rolling over the top of Sausalito.

One of the most breath taking scenes was observing how the fog would blanket the side of the hills around Sausalito. The fog would cascade over tree tops like a waterfall over rocks.

DSC_3777

Photo of Sausalito.

The sun started setting when we got to Sausalito, so we enjoyed the view and prepared to head back on a ferry.

DSC_3760

The main street that runs along Sausalito.

While this neighborhood looks upscaled and nice, I will warn all cyclists that the drivers around here are a little reckless. Watch out for the crazies, because they sure don’t give a damn about cyclists on the road.

DSC_3765

Another photo of Sausalito.

I can’t help but to think how much my dad would love this part of town. There’s something about it that feels small, but upscale. It reminds me a lot of Reedville, VA (but a rich version in California).

DSC_3773

Catching our ferry back to San Francisco.

DSC_3783

Photo of Annie and Julia, with Sausalito in the background.

DSC_3785

The sun setting, with an incredible reflection in the bay.

DSC_3791

Bikes stacked tightly on the ferry.

DSC_3794

Returning our bikes to Blazing Saddles.

They had a nice warm welcome when we returned. I have to say that Blazing Saddle offered a really good experience and I would definitely go there again to rent a bike (if I needed one).

Annie and Julia will be back soon, and I have a sneaking suspicion that we’ll be doing this again. Only this time, I have my own personal electric bike that I can use.