Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Shout-Out to My Hommies in the 2nd Grade

I wanted to mention that while on the commute up Mountain Ave. to work, there's often some kids waiting for their school bus. They like to hold out their hands and I give them the "Hight-Five"

They sit by the road, looking bored as Hell--then when they recognize me, they jump up and stand out in the street and hold out their hands as I'm coming by.

I did the ride home last night--only 103. Ride home was fast. I passed most of the traffic lumbering along. I saw a fellow with a really sweet 2005 Mustang--gave the guy the thumbs-up, and he smiled in appreciation.

Cool... Owt

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Day I Knew Would Come, or, Mean People Suck

UAPD put out a warning to all skateboarders and bicyclists that they were enforcing a no-tolorance policy about "hot dogging" on campus. That would mean skateboarders doing tricks, and dudes with those BMX-type bikes would be arrested if caught grinding on handrails and walls, and on sculpture, etc. The bulletin wasn't geared toward students biking on campus or commuters.

However, I believe my supervisor, whom I don't really care for very much, saw a chance to be mean and suggested to the library director that I be forbidden to have my bike parked here in the office. Supposedly he sent me an email to that effect, which I never saw.

This morning my supervisor came banging on my door and made some comments about my bike. Naturally I was suspicious and I didn't know what email she was talking about. Our director came by and I asked him about it--about an hour later, the email showed up.

Anyway, I told him it would take a couple of days for me to come up with an alternate plan so he will let me lock the bike in a store room downstairs.

Last year I tried to get a bike locker but I was told they were for UMC employees only. I'll have one of my friends that works at UMC see if they can rent the locker and I'll use it for my bike.

Actually I knew this day would come, but not under these circumstances--at least I didn't or haven't got a fine yet--there were those two fat bitches I wrote about a few weeks ago, you know, the two women that are so fat they have to use the freight elevator to get back and forth from their offices. Yeah, mean people suck...

I did have a strong commute home last night--nothing to report there--and this morning, the ride was good and I felt strong. I actually road a few miles with two women out for a spin. They were very pleasant and on their way to breakfast. They asked me to join them--very cool of them--but I was on the desk for the early shift and had to decline.

So for every mean person, there's two nice ones just ahead.


Monday, August 29, 2005

Ride Report, Bebe!

Mes amis, you must know that school has started and all the students are back, and the library is a happenin' place. Girls are freakin' everywhere--I love this job!

Yes, I'm happy to report that I rode in today and all is well. My handle bars are loose on the Lemond, and I'm too lazy to fix them. Actually it was cool because they were just set the way they were set since put together. When they got loose I was able to experiment to find a comfy position--but I'll do that later when I have some time.

So I charged in on the Monsoon bike--I feel like such a stud when I pass the lines of cars waiting to go and then wait thru yet another light. See I left late and there was more traffic than I'm used to. It was 7am --usually I'm in my office by 7:05 am, so it was surprising to note how slow and backed-up traffic was. There was headwind worth mentioning, and I got tired of fighting, so I just relaxed...

I must tell you all that I got caught in a traffic jam on I-10 last night after work. It took me an hour to get home. There was construction, and then people in a hurry to be first through caused a minor fender-bender where traffic merged. Yeah, it sucked all right--then it began to feel like torture!

Anyway, I still don't have a final go-ahead to ride in the Cochise Classic from Bev. Time is running out to commit...

Stef told us a great story about the Saturday morning shoot-out. Where a few pros taunt the posers and run them into the ground. I should try it sometime as a change. I feel fit and able to ride the long brevets, and a 250 mile ride like Cochise, but it would be fun just to try it with Team Mooney--Stef and the lads would give me the low-down--so when I got dropped I'd know how to get back home...

I will do the El Tour training rides because there are cool and laid back riders to hang with--but I have to ride in a pack to get under 6 hours for El Tour--that is a goal that's worth doing. Right now my best time is about 6 hours and 40 minutes; a respectable time. I'm just not fast or fit enough to hang on to a paceline and get that good time.

So I'm off the subject--got to ride home soon... 107 outside... Hmmm... Do I have cold beer at home in the fridge? I hope so--it will taste good tonight.


Thursday, August 25, 2005

Sunburned Lips, but Undaunted!

Well, I want to say its been nice driving into work this week--but it has sucked. I just had shit to do and got sleepy and other excuses. But I do have two changes of clothes here in the office, so that will save me some time ironing! Ironing clothes is fuckedup--I hate it--I could be sleeping...

Somehow I ended up getting my lips sunburned--Geez, but its not fun. They're peeling. And everytime one of the guys has a wisecrack and I laugh, my lower lip splits open and bleeds--thought all of you would like to know that!

But does that stop the Randonneur from his sick pursuit of ulta distance? Non, jamais, mes amis, jamais! Other than being asleep at my desk for a few days, I am 100%

More adventures to come! Who knows who I may meet on the road!

Sunday, August 21, 2005


263 miles round trip.
Sorry, but the camera didn't work, so my prose will have to suffice, Gentle Readers...

This ride is the brain child of my friend Steve--a seasoned Randonneur, and two-time veteran of Paris-Brest-Paris, and other countless brevets... If you ever want to ride the long ride, you want Steve in your pace line. So here's my shout-out to Steve--Yo, Steve--Allure Libre, mon ami!

4 am Marana
Dogs freak out

Packed, and ready to roll--Callie, my dog, and Shasta, my neighbor's dog that I'm watching while they're away, can feel the excitement--or something. So they're outside and in the garage with me. My hope is they'll run around, get some exercise, and leave me to finish getting ready. One of my other neighbors appears, and starts up his motorcylce--at 4:30 am (Kind of odd actually) Callie and Shasta freak out and bark and growl and chase him as he speeds off. Great. I've woken up the whole block...

4:30 am
Steve arrives in the Mystery Van

Callie likes Steve--she barks--Shasta starts barking. It's more of a, "Hey Steve is here!" bark, and pretty loud... So whoever got woken up, went back to sleep--is now awake again.

4:45 am
Bev bids us farewell

5 am Marana
We roll out

Going down Tangerine to the Frontage Rd, we can ride about 28 to 30 mph for 6 miles. That's pretty cool (enjoi while we can) and there on the Frontage Rd, just as we turn to head North, Picacho Peak is visable about 27 miles in the distance. About 13 miles past the landmark will be breakfast...

Wish I had the camera. At sunrise, Picacho Peak is awesome, as are the Picacho Mts. Father Kino noted Picacho Peak when he first arrived in the area in 1775. I've also learned that near the Dairy Queen was the stagecoach stop in the 1870s. They went through Picacho Pass and turned left (West) and went on to San Francisco. (image borrowed from the web)

Welcome to Eloy -- Evil Eloy

There's an old legend about Eloy that goes like this: A guy gets off the train and takes one look at this shit hole and says, "Eloi! Eloi!" "Eloi" is supposedly the Spanish pronunciation of the biblical quotation, "Eli, Eli, Jama sabachthani?" meaning, "God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Somewhere leaving Eloy on the way to CG, I ran over something sharp in the road and my rear tire blew. If you've been reading the blog this summer, you know my luck with blow-outs... To my dismay the rear tire is gashed. We are about 40 miles into our 130 mile leg. My brand new Continental set of tires I just bought($$$)--So now the rear tire is crap.

Eloy is an evil place. We change the tire. WHAM. The tire blows again... "Eloi! Eloi!" Okay, this time we use the dollar bill trick to keep the tube and tire in place. Keeping our spirts high, we decide we'll make it to breakfast and find a bike shop open--I'll buy a new tire and we'll get some more tubes. As we're leaving, I hit my head on the "Welcome to Eloy" sign. We had been using it for shade while we fixed the my tire--ouch! It hurt.

Casa Hop

When we reach Casa Grande, I see a UPS guy getting gas at a service station. He gives us directions to the bike shop, and the I-Hop, and the strip club--not really, just playing!

Bike Shop

Steve and I decide the tire will make it to Scottsdale, but we'll buy extra tubes. Steve says he'll loan me a tire for the return trip back to chez Marana. Really I think we just want to get rolling. The bike shop guys know Susan Plonsky, and they know we're the sick long-distance riders--they give us directions to get us up the road to where we'll catch the Casa Grande Century course, and on to Chandler, AZ.

Chandler, Arizona
Alexander John Chandler, 1859-1950, born in Canada--he was a veterinarian when he arrived in Arizona Territory. Later he had a large farm and citrus groves--no relation to my people. We ride the Casa Grande Century course on Hwy 87 for a good while--and we are riding strong and making good time. Other cyclists are out enjoying the cool morning. This part of Hwy 87 is probably the most scenic of our ride. Open desert, lots of giant saguaros, and rugged moutains in the distance. Traffic is light, and people driving don't seem to be in hurry.

Before long, I begin to recognize Chandler--we're getting into what used to be farm country. Developments are underway with nice homes and shopping malls--Circle K's begin to appear. It is worth noting that its late morning or going on very early afternoon--Friday--but as we buy ice and get water, etc, mexican laborers and guys like that are buying cases of cheap beer. Hopefully we won't meet up with them later on the road.

My moral is boosted by arriving in Chandler, but we still have a long way to go. I'm still confused about time and distance in the Pheonix area because I really don't know that much about it. South Mtn becomes a visable landmark.

100 Degrees +
I have one more flat tire before we start to push through Guadalupe and then Tempe. I must tell you Gentle Reader, that although we are riding fast, averaging between 16 and 19 mph, the flats have slowed us--and the heat is beating us down. We have to stop when we can and get ice and water. Steve's call to Kim on the cell let's us know that the temp is 106. We push through Pheonix proper, stop at Taco Bell because we're starving, and start making a gradual climb through to Scottsdale. ASU and Tempe are beautiful, but its so hot! We're also manuvering through early afternoon Friday traffic.

Camelback Mtn is our next landmark. We're about 20 to 25 miles from Steve's house--its due North of us. We go thru Papago Park, and then thru some pretty posh Scottsdale neighborhoods. Check out below, mes amis!

Chicken Marsala
I'm leaving out stuff because I only have one thing on my mind.

We make it to Scottsdale, and Kim is getting dinner ready. After a quick shower, I'm starved! Dinner is the best!


Back to Marana
After a few more glasses of Italian wine, and a few more beers--we pack up our gear so we can be ready to roll at 3 a.m.

3 a.m. in Scottsdale--
The road is wide open for us. All the traffic that we had to drag ourselves through is now gone, and we fly down to Tempe to our favorite I-Hop. There is no one out, say a few party-goes returning back to Mommie and Daddy's house. Its clear, cool, and the only sounds are spinning wheels, a few yawns, farts--and my stomache grumbling. Geez, after all I ate and drank you think I wouldn't be starving--but I am.

I-Hop staff is wide awake and professional. The waitresses do a good job dealing with a few drunk college boys... My omelette is the size of an SUV, by the way.

We have made good time, riding fast, getting good service--before I know it, we are on the outskirts of Chandler--a quick look over my shoulder, and I can see the lights on South Mtn. It's like the 4th of July.

We are riding at a good clip, and by 9 - 9:30, we are in Casa Grande. But I think the funk is getting to me, because at our stop for water and ice--it takes us/me 30 minutes to get it together to get back on the road. Because we're tired, and now because of the heat, our stops will become frequent and time-consuming. We're gonna work on this so as to cut our time down. I've thought about driving out on the course for next years brevets and stashing stuff... As we get through Eloy, thank goodness, there seems to be only one place to stop and get some shade and some rest. Its an old foundation of a building by the side of the road. The trees have shaded the slab and its still cool from the eveing. Steve and I both lie down, take off our shoes, and rest--but after a few minutes, I feel myself falling into a very deep sleep. But we got to get out of there and keep rolling--but I wouldn't have caught myself, I believe the both of us could have falling asleep for a very long time. The longer we take getting home, the hotter it will get.
Two Brothers
As we're getting our asses in gear, two cyclists roll by and wave. After a few miles on the frontage road, they are in sight. We catch up to them and have a friendly chat. They are two brothers from Chandler, Arizona. One of the brothers has been living on the East Coast and is home for a visit. They are both eager to be out riding. They think our ride has been "Sweet" and they know our course and think that it is way cool that we left at 3 a.m. They are on their way to Tucson to meet friends and party. I hope they'll get a ride back. It is going to be hot, and although the guys look fit, they havn't ridden in awhile... Pichaco Peak looms ahead about 6 miles in front of us. We'll stop at DQ for lunch. We move on and quickly drop the brothers, as we are riding strong and fast.
The Heat
After a quick burger, ice and water in the bottles, we step outside to mount the bikes--it is noticably hot--and I mean like over 100 hot. Holy Shit but we are going to fry, and we know it. But we only have about 27 more miles. They will be unforgiving. We are riding strong, and soon I see the Marana Circle K a few miles ahead--which is good because I have no water left.
Tangerine Rd
We have a six mile climb up Tangerine Rd to the finish. We road about 12 miles an hour, which is a good pace, but soon, I'm sweating so much that I'm wiping sweat out of my eyes and I can't see. I have to remove my helmet for the climb, just so I can better wipe the sweat off my forehead. In the couse of this six miles, Steve and I are both soaking wet.


Made it. And I still feel strong! But I need a shave.

Allure Libre!

Blog Spam Deleted

I got some blog spam--I deleted it right away! Yuck...
So if you do write a comment--and I don't like it--I will deleted it.
If you want me to delete your comments, send me another comment, and I will delete all at your request, Gentle Reader.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

An "Unplesant Exchange" at the Library

Dear Gentle Reader.

I am back in the saddle and all is well. I've had a few days to cool off from an "unplesant exchange" wilst leaving my job the other day--I will relay it to you. You will no doubt be shaking your head in disbelief, mes amis. If only I would have had my gloch, I wud ah capped them bitches...

I am leaving out the side entrance of the library, which requires me to cross into several short hallways, past the medical bookstore, then I am out and on my way to bike home. These exits are lightly used--mainly for deliveries--and people sneaking in cause they're late... Monday, as I was leaving, two very nasty and mean old ladies decided to give me a lecture on having my bike in the building -- and I got quite pissed off and ended up telling them to go take a flying fuck.

As I was riding home I realized they were faculty of the College of Nursing (actually--it figures) but oh shit, they might have my boss, or UAPD on my upiddyass.

First of all--I was not in their way, or obstructing their progress toward the exit. Secondly, these two, early 50s and quite obese and greying fat tubs of goo, were using these particular hallways and exits because they had to take the medschool elevator to get their fat asses to and fro--because they were most likely to physically challenged to walk up and down the stairs... You probably can picture the type.

My friend and colleauge, Stefan Walz, who himself has had enough of this kind of shit, has simplified his reaction to these kind of people.

On being confronted by them--
Say the following. "Okay. If I have pissed you off that bad by riding my bike--You want a piece of me? Okay. Bring it on--if you think you can beat the shit out of me, let's go..."

I like that--they just drive away... I always figured I would say something like. "Kiss my Ass." or "You're a pussy." In fact, that's what I do say.

But, I think I was fond of, "Why don't you step outta your car--and let's see how tough you are--pussy..."

Because they won't. I just don't get it. I ride to work on routes that make it easy for cars. I aways give cars room. Everytime I've had some idiot yell or honk me it has just been because they don't like something they don't know about. They would say something to me if I was a black man or a mexican or a chinaman, walking along with my white wife or girlfriend. Or a white guy walking down the street with a mexican girlfriend, or a black girlfriend, or a boyfriend that was half chinese and half mexican.

They would just have to say something mean... as they safely sped away in their SUV--cause they got status, Baby!

But you say that kinda shit to somebody to their face--like these ladies did--whoa, sukah, y'all get yer ass kicked!

Well Folks, my new address in prision is BR 549 West Prison Road, Florence, Arizona.... hheee he hee, just kiddin'

"Kant vee all jus-- git along?"

Hey--keep checking back because Steve and I are doing an Epic ride this weekend--lots of pictures and stories about our trip!

Allure Libre!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

My rant over--back to the bike...


I've been ridding in. It was a week since my last commute and I must say my lungs burned a bit. Not much to report on other than I lived to blog once more.

Last night, at the very busy corner of Ina and Thornydale, I little runt of a cyclists passed me on the big climb--didn't even say hello or acknowledge I was there. He thought he had left the Big Guy in the dust, but I was not far behind him and gaining on his skinny butt. All the way up Thornydale he kept looking behind him to see me closing the gap. He was getting tired and kept looking behind him to see where I was. Eventually the head wind wore him out, and at the light at Cortoro Road I passed him--and he wasn't very happy about it.

This morning I had to try and ride as hard as I could to make up some time--because I dragged my ass getting started. Well, that plan didn't work for long because the head wind spanked some sense into me. So I put Beuna Vista Social Club on the IPod, and just took it easy.

Coming up Mountain Ave, I passed what looked like a very serious cyclist cooling down and taking it easy. We both said hello. A ways up on Mountain, I saw a young co-ed, in some very tight shorts, walking her little dog--and I kinda rubber-necked the ol' bike helmet to prolong my viewing time.

The other cyclists was about a car's lenghth behind me, and he was checking out this girl too--just then a lady in a huge SUV pulled out--not stopping at the stop sign, of course--and she's in the bike lane and into the street, yacking on her cell. We just miss crashing into the side of her SUV.

So this other guy's just shaking his head and laughing. I tell him I'm turning off to head into the office and he says take it easy.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Happiest Place on Earth, Baby...

All I can say about the beloved US of A is that it will be over-run by ill-mannered illeterate mexicans. Self-centered aging Anglos will be close to extintion as they drive their greed-driven bling bling machines that are getting them nowhere fast.

I saw the King Tut exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It was butt-cheek to butt-cheek crowded, Gentle Readers. Shame on us for having no sense of what is beautiful above and beyond our own noses. Shame on us for having no respect (or fuckin' clue) for who we were--the ones before, and now--the ones coming after us.

LA is a mass of filthy air, cars, and freeways. Gas is now over $3.00 a gallon. LA is totally fucked: A desparate dying balls-out drive-like-a-sonofabitch disater right on the horizon... Capital H HolyShit!

I liked Disneyland for one reason, and one reason alone: the people who worked there. From the top management to the men and women emptying the garbadge--they were all respectful, friendly, and had positive, helpful attitudes. Of course, Disney Corp. hires them, and I'm sure quickly weeds out the bad apples.

But Geez, what these people (Disney employees) have to put up with--thousands of muthafuckurs with no fucking manners who push and shove, and grab and grope--I would not last long as an employee, mes amis!

My only complaint is the constant happy Disney theme music played, oh so beautifully and perfectly, a little too loud--all the time.

Friday, August 05, 2005

46 minutes -- 19.5 mph average speed, Baby!

My ride in was good. I felt strong. 46 minutes to ride my 15 miles to work--that's 19.5 mph average speed. Mostly I stayed in my aero bars, and I feel the interval training I do on River Rd, where I ride as hard and fast as I can for the two and three mile streches, is paying off.

I also have a two and half mile stretch on Thornydale were I can ride 27 - 29 mph if I really push it--and if I get the green light at Ina Rd, sometimes I can get to Orange Grove, and if a green light there--I'm on River and River is where I get my speed. So, if I can keep the speed I gain coming down Thornydale from Arthur Pack Park, and make it throught the lights, I can maintain speeps of 23 - 26 mph over about 7 or 8 miles.

But, alas, Gentle Readers, I'm hardly the bike stud--I'm too old now to be a breaking any records. My hope would be able to ride fast--with some comfort--on my brevets next year.

Like the 400 K ... I was feeling really good, thanks to Mike, Rich, and Steve, and miles and miles of working our most excellent pace line. The last 35 miles, Steve and I just cooked down the road and it was fun to get in the bars and just hammer down! Some of you might recall my story about this ride--when in Eloy, a drunk guy staggard out of a bar, and then stepped out off the curb right in front of me--I just missed him. Steve and I were hauling ass--it would have killed him if I had collided with the poor fellow, and I probably would have been hurt bad myself. So, I try to be careful and alert at all times.

Hey! Are you paying attention! See! See how easy it is to get distracted!

It's Friday. I'm going on vacation to LA for a week-- blog will be silent. Until then!


Thursday, August 04, 2005

Ride to Work

This morning I was joined by a fellow commuter named Frank as I was rolling down the road. He's a cardiology fellow at UMC--mainly working at the VA Hospital. So it was cool to have another rider to talk with. Like me, he rides about 3 times a week. Last night about a quarter til 7 o'clock, I believe I saw him riding home as I drove moi voiture. And he said it was him. I'm not sure why I haven't seen him before. He was a very nice man and I'm sure we'll meet again.

We both noted that there were many more runners, joggers, and people walking dogs the last few weeks, that's why I 've been traveling down River all the way to Via Entrada to hop onto the Mountain Bridge there. I related to Frank my episode of running over the skateboarder last Friday, and he thought he might take my River to Via Entrada route to avoid the pedistrians as well.

My goal this morning was to take some pictures of the commute--but riding and talking with Frank means I'll do it some other morning. Maybe I'll have some images for the ride home.
Until then, here are a few shots from early morning...

I'm all packed from last night so all I have to do is hop in the car. Tangerine Rd and now most of Thornydale are under a construction project. I'll drive about six miles to the golf course.

At the Arthur Pack Golf Course--also a big sports complex, I park my car under the big mesquite trees. My car is shaded all day, and nice and cool when I roll up about 6 p.m.

This is a bit earlier than I usually start out...

"Aloha, Bruce. How was your ride in?" Yes, who wouldn't want to be greeted by Hawaiian girls as they arrive from a brisk 15 mile ride to the office?

Wednesday is a drive-in day. I bring in a change of clothes for my Thursday Friday rides, and take home clothes from the Monday Tuesday ride.

Ain't I organized or what?

It is August already, mes amis.