About surlygiver

I'm an operations engineer at Kairos Aerospace, but I made this website before I knew how to build my own from scratch and was instead riding my bicycle all day every day across the country looking for bone marrow donors. Maybe someday I'll rebuild it, but that would be a lot of work.

Hello Kitty Is My Watchdog

As mentioned before, there are certain things one can do to hopefully reduce the chances that one’s bike is stolen.

Bike locks. Bike registration. GPS tracking devices. Making the bike ugly and/or girly.

So nice to have a gorgeous winery three miles out your front door.

So nice to have a gorgeous winery three miles out your front door.

This weekend I focused on making my bike (whose name is Lutz, by the way, in honor of my grandmother) ugly and/or girly. I invited everyone to Picchetti Winery in Cupertino to join me for wine tasting and a picnic in the beautiful forested hills, where I frequently go for training rides. It was raining, but that doesn’t matter when you’re indoors drinking wine, and the lush redwoods provided enough shelter to keep the picnic tables near bone dry. Continue reading


A Smear of Fish

Lots of people have been asking me about how I’m getting ready for my ride across the country.

I’ll get into that someday soon. There are lots of things to talk about. But right now I’m thinking about food. Proper nutrition is big on my mind as I think about getting as fit as I can for this journey.

I like to eat healthy food. Now, what does that mean?

I’ll stress that I like to eat healthy food. That doesn’t mean I always do. But sometimes I put my mind to it and I’m totally dialed in and I eat what I consider to be amazingly healthy food. Continue reading

The Quest to Keep My Bike Mine

Meet my new bike.

my new surly

He’s looking very pretty. He doesn’t get to stay that way.

This is the bike that I was able to purchase thanks to the incredible kindness and generosity of my CrossFit crowd. This bike is so much more to me than just a bike. If anything happens to this bike, I will go ballistic. Seriously, someone will need to lock me up so I don’t harm myself or others.

So here’s my checklist on making a bike unstealable (or at least too undesirable or annoying to steal) and recoverable: Continue reading

Swabbing and WODing!

Prometheus CrossFit and Be the Match, together at last.

Prometheus CrossFit and Be the Match, together at last.

I’d been waiting for so long to use the phrase Swabbing and WODing and I forgot to use it on Saturday! Oh no!

Saturday was my first Swabbing and WODing day! I’ll have to make up for not using my clever slant rhyme on the day of by saying it over and over again here. Swabbing and WODing, Swabbing and WODing, Swabbing and WODing!

So what is Swabbing and WODing? It’s when a Be the Match bone marrow donor registration drive is held at a CrossFit gym!



wodding dec 13

And WODing!

Continue reading

On Stolen Bikes and How Awesome People Respond

Since my bike’s been stolen, I’ve been spending a lot of time moping.

When I'm sad, I cuddle with a rat.

When I’m sad, I cuddle with a rat.

It’s okay, I have permission to do so. In fact, my project manager (who also happens to be Sue) instructed me to do so. It’s true. She wrote it on the weekly blue sticky note of tasks. “Time to mourn and regroup.”

But I need to bounce back. I’m doing a ride next year for Be the Match, for heaven’s sake. These setbacks cannot get in the way!

I went to my parents’ house and rustled around in the garage to find any bikes that might be lurking in there. I found an old Novara that needs some work, and I figured that it’d be great to put some of my newly learned bike maintenance skills to work. So I tossed it into the back of my car. When I got home my neighbor brought out a bike that’s been hanging around his backyard for twenty years. Underneath all the dust you can see that it’s a Peugeot. He said I can fix it up and then decide if I’d like to buy it from him. So I’m thankful for these distractions. I started to think that I could be one of those people with a garage full of old bikes, none of them fancy or expensive, but each with its own personality, its own story, and some of my own handiwork. I like that idea. Today I put a couple hours into the Novara and hope to be riding it tomorrow.

But of course I still want my Surly back. Continue reading

On Stolen Bikes and Poop Sandwiches

Some idiot poop-sandwich-eater ran off with my bike yesterday afternoon.

I don’t think very highly of this guy.

My friends Kat and Hai-Yue and I had an incredible ride from Mountain View to San Francisco yesterday. We decided to visit the Exploratorium, even though we only had about an hour until it closed.

We locked up our bikes. I took off the easy-to-steal items, my light and bike pump, and put them in my shoulder bag along with my wallet, keys, and phone.

And when we came back an hour later my bike was gone. Continue reading

Coastal Trip Day 7: Lompoc to Santa Barbara (but really Carpinteria)

Day 7. Could it really be Day 7 already? Our last day?

The Chinese character for 7 is not as exciting as the one for 6.

The Chinese character for 7 is not as exciting as the one for 6.

I was so sad that our trip was coming to an end. Erik had predicted that by the end of the trip we would be debating continuing on to Los Angeles. I was all for it! Unfortunately, things like “work” and “money” kept us from being too impulsive. Continue reading

Coastal Trip Day 6: Pismo Beach to Lompoc



Everybody dance! Or at least do a jumping jack. Six is here!

Everybody dance! Or at least do a jumping jack. Six is here!

I’m half Chinese. I don’t speak Chinese, I don’t read it, I don’t understand it. I know more Thai words than I do Chinese, which slightly irks certain members of my family. But thanks to playing Mahjong, I am at least familiar with the Chinese characters for numbers one through nine. And as my sister said when trying to teach the numbers to her son Logan, the Chinese character for six looks the way it sounds. You know, six!! It’s an exciting word, it deserves a little dance! Cortney and I struck the six! pose at the beginning of Day Six. Sue was less enthused. Continue reading

Coastal Trip Day 5: San Simeon to Pismo Beach

On the morning of Day 5, we woke up in San Simeon thinking about breakfast. Real, hot breakfast, with eggs and toast and hashbrowns and bacon and pancakes. However, there weren’t any great breakfast options in our immediate vicinity, so we did what we always do: we got on our bikes.

Let's go find breakfast!

Let’s go find breakfast!

About six foggy miles later we were in the cute, sleepy town of Cambria. We wandered down Main Street until we found the local breakfast joint, where we burst in on the quiet scene with our neon windbreakers and sniffly noses to bask in the warmth of steaming mugs of coffee. Continue reading

Coastal Trip Day 4: Big Sur to San Simeon

The dreaded day. Day 4.

This was going to be our most difficult day. There isn’t a whole lot of lodging available in Big Sur, so we just had to keep going until we reached San Simeon. That’s about 65 miles. 65 miles with lots and lots of climbs.

Of course, it was also a ride along the coast of Big Sur, so the scenery should be plenty of motivation.

The coffee shop at Fernwood didn’t open until 8:00, and we didn’t bring the JetBoil, so there would be no coffee for us if we wanted to get on the road at a reasonable time. This distressed Cortney and myself, but Erik promised to bring coffee to us at the top of a hill. There was some Coke for the caffeine-desperate to chase down our light breakfast of trail mix, and then we pedaled off into the mist.

day 4 wake up

No coffee just yet this morning… but there’s Coke!

Continue reading