Thursday, May 30, 2013

SF Randonneurs' 115k Populaire - June 22nd

SF Randonneurs present the Populaire June 22nd

I drew a map. This is happening. I can't think about it yet because my brain is alternately consumed with a shit ton of work and dreaming of riding the California coastline.

But when the time comes, I hope to see you folks out there. I hear that the picnic will be fabulous.

Register here:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

TEN Days until the Big Dance!

In ten days, TEN, I will be on the road to Los Angeles. By bicycle! I've trained since November, ridden about 400 miles every month since February, climbed who knows how many hills. Love them! Yes I'm prepared!

This past weekend I had a wonderful experience with the Positive Pedalers. We rode up the coast to the Russian River on Saturday, then headed to Petaluma and back to Mill Valley on Sunday. This was my last big training ride before the show starts on June 2nd. Since we camped out Saturday, this was a great test run for the actual ride. Who knew that so many things have to happen before one can get on the road at 6am? Packing up the tent. Sunscreen. Pump up the tires. Eek.

Bill is going to witness my process over the next ten days with packing and trying not to buy new things. Send him love. :) I am in full-on planning mind.

Thank you thank you thank you to all. I could not do this without all of the support. Whether it has been financial support, words of encouragement, listening, reading, riding with me, all of it was very helpful. HUGE thank you and air kisses.

If donating was something you intended to do, now is the time. I don't know if I will be able to write more before we leave.

My Team is trying to raise $150,000. If 30 of you donated $10 right now, we would be a big step closer.

You can donate here!

Instagram will probably get the most updates on the ride. As the week goes on, it will likely get very silly.

Insty: AliceStribling


Love: Y O U


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

It's a hard life if you live it

My heart has been heavy this week. My family is struggling with my Dad's every changing behavior due to dementia. Last weekend was particularly stressful, and I've been recovering. I've been holding things close, not riding, and I've thrown myself into a project.

The not riding was intentional, because I'm participating in a two-day ride up to the Russian River this week with the Positive Pedalers. We ride 75 miles up the coast Saturday, camp overnight, then return inland through Petaluma on Sunday.

I have had some amazing insight into my process this week.

1) When I'm planning for a trip and it gets closer to the trip I want to buy things! Because somehow what I have can't work. : /
2) When I'm upset I feel more like making things than spinning pedals.
3) I have a wonderful support system.
4) The hurt passes with time.
5) Good things and bad things happen. Sometimes at the same time.

 It's spring break and we had Monday off at Apparel Arts. I worked on this instead:

The beginning

We are the champions

This is my Freddie Mercury sash.

I would like to thank Margaret Jayko for the title of this post. She and I used to work together, and often she would say this quote, in a thick New York accent. It's true.

Also, if you are into meditating and would like to hear a nice dharma talk about Anxiety, I can recommend this talk by one of my favorite teachers, Matthew Brensilver. It's helping.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

I ride for Freddie

A lot of folks ride AIDS/LifeCycle  for the people in their lives who can't ride, which is beautiful. I'm riding for Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen, who died in 1991 of bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS.

I am a HUGE fan of Queen. HUGE. In another life, and perhaps sometimes in my apartment, I prance(d) around with the same grace and larger than life exuberance of Freddie Mercury.

From what I gather from Wikipedia and this documentary, he kept his illness a secret because he didn't want to make 'public liars out of friends and family'. They had all denied his illness.

I feel like it's not right that AIDS had/has such a stigma that he kept it a secret. The documentary made me sob like a baby and also made me realize that THIS is why I ride.

Five years ago, I had the idea to merge some interests. Bikes, Queen, Girls/Ladies/Women/People who identify as Women riding bikes, Drag Queens, Queens in Nun drag, I could go on... and Dr Sketchy's.

I posed for the first Cute Girls on Bicycles event at Dr Sketchy's SF and our inspiration was this:

Cute Girls on Bicycles

This year, as incentive for fundraising I told the drawer-ers at Dr Sketchy's that if everyone put $1 in the kitty, and we raised at least $50 I would do a 20 minute pose. And of course I HAD to recreate the album cover.

Now all these artists have started posting their goods on the internets and I realize that we not only raised money for the SF AIDS Foundation and LA Gay and Lesbian Center, but that I now have a very personal collection of drawings of me on my bike. SO. MUCH. LOVE. My heart is going to explode.

Killer Queen Bicycles

You can order this one from Madelyn Lee!

Thursday, May 09, 2013

The Big Rock Candy Mountains

I walked out of my door Sunday morning at 6am, with the early morning light casting everything blue. I had the PERFECT shot of a tanker motoring through the bay from Presidio, with a strip of pink at the horizon line, but it was too early to stop and take the photo. Oh well.

About 30 of us left Sports Basement in the Marina, bumped across the bridge along the well worn path through Sausalito, bike path, Camino Alto, Ross, San Anselmo, then out to China Camp. I rolled through China Camp noting that what was once green has now turned to gold. Then we popped over to Lucas Valley Road for a nice little climb up to Big Rock.

Big rock candy mountain #aidslifecycle #teamunpopular
Meow Big Rock! Note that the landscape has changed dramatically with one week of hot weather. It's really neat to see the swift changes. I felt truly energized by the cool weather and dynamic skies. It was quite a day to be out in the elements.

Tia, Shelley and I stuck together on this ride and I enjoyed their company, especially after lunch when it got hotter and towards the end of ride when we were all tired and grumpy. Climbing over the easy side of White's Hill and getting the descent into Fairfax made my heart soar. I felt like I was flying. I finished the day feeling strong, my legs felt like a metronome.

@texafornia74 @sheldra #teamunpopular #aidslifecycle

Monday in Apparel Arts was a little difficult. I was tired and I got a little confused drafting my last pattern. I hope to have time to cut out the pieces so that I can sew them up in our next class.

I am excited because I found some really great fabric for my two final skirts. It would be super if I could start on these before AIDS/LifeCycle but considering it is less than a month away, I am ok with letting that go. I did get some linen for my Freddie Mercury sash. I don't know if I have mentioned that on the blog at all. I'm embroidering Freddie on the front and MOXIE on the back. It will be a reclaiming of the beauty queen sash, with sparkle, camp and some hi vis mixed in. I hope that it will be truly spectacular.

Tuesday at Dr Sketchy's we had one of my favorite events of the year: Cute Girls on Bicycles! We referenced the original inspiration from 5 years ago, the cover of Queen's Bicycle Race.

Constance and Zoë were spot on with cute poses, in 70s inspired outfits. My AIDS/LifeCycle Team sold baked goods and made delicious grilled cheese sandwiches. We raffled off a zombie pencil/makeup bag from Nooworks, water bottles from Box Dog Bikes, a Woolrich messenger bag from Timbuk2, beautiful posters by Meli Burgueño, a handmade sketchbook from John Hull and a $200 certificate for coffee delivery from Ritual Coffee/Chicken John.

Oh yes, and I auctioned off a pose. I told everyone if they put $1 in the tip jar, and we raised $50 that I would pose for 20 minutes. It was a big success and a lot of fun.

And so in total we raised over $600 from our beloved Dr Sketchy's community. I feel both proud and humbled by all the support.

Cute girls on bicycles #drsketchy #drsketchys #aidslifecycle

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Complicated Interests Rock

There are lots of interests moving towards end points right now.

First at Dr Sketchy's, we are about to have one of my favorite events of the year: Cute Girls on Bicycles:

  Draw Cute Girls on Bicycles

Constance and Zoë modeled last year, they recreated some vintage imagery that made me so happy. This year we are revisiting the original inspiration: the album cover art for Queen's Bicycle Race and Fat Bottom Girls.

They will be wearing 70s inspired outfits and I'm hoping we can find a 10speed of that era, with exposed white brake cables. We'll see.

This is a fundraiser for AIDS/LifeCycle and we will have baked goods for sale to raise money.

Edit, we'll also have a bag from Nooworks, some water bottles from Box Dog Bikes and some handmade sketchbooks from John Hull. All available for raffle.

Further edit, Meli Burgueño has donated a poster!

This brings me to the 2nd topic: AIDS/LifeCycle. In one month 3000 other likeminded folks and I will be embarking on a 7 day, 545 mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I want to do this because I want to break past the mental hurdle of what I currently think is possible on my bike. I also want to give back to my vibrant San Francisco community. The AIDS Foundation keeps people alive, prevents future infections and helps eliminate the stigma still surrounding HIV and AIDS. It matters. It feels really awesome to be a part of this amazing community.

Here's my team profile pic, it's freakin hilarious: My team profile photo...

Speaking of ALC, our training last week took us up Mt. Tam to the 7 Sisters (or bitches as some call them). The climb up to Alpine Dam and the top of the ridge was fine because it was covered, but once we got up on the ridge, it was exposed and hot and I ran out of water. That's the first time I've ever been nauseous on the bike. Thanks to the Training Ride Leader who had V8, it saved me from tossing my cookies all over the bitches. It's a good thing these ladies are pretty, because they are a little bit brutal.

 It's a good thing the sisters are pretty

I can barely contain my excitement about number 3. I will FINALLY have something interesting (at least it feels interesting to me) to show for Apparel Arts!! To me it feels like my process photos all look the same, paper patterns, muslins. All this translates to white, beige, boring??

Anyhoo, I have two more skirt projects to finish before I can move on to the 2 fashion fabric skirts. I have had my inspiration for months, I don't want to reveal anything because I don't want to set any expectations. I also have to go to the fabric store and I *hope* that is successful.

Contoured waistband with free hanging lining #patterndrafting #apparelarts

The above is a photo of the 2nd to the last skirt project: a contoured waistband skirt with free hanging lining. Then I draft a straight waistband/with a secured lining.

That's THREE AWESOME complicated interests. My goal book will be thrilled. I am excited. 

Also not be missed. Polk Street changes. Please sign this petition to show support for making it a beautiful pedestrian/bikey thoroughfare:   This is what I want San Francisco to be!!

Babycakes and I had a super time at Al's Attire getting some custom things made by a local artisan. Very excited about my custom shoes! Look at the mess we made, there is fabric and wine and cheese littering that table top... It was a good time.

@billduane and Al of Al's Attire