Friday, December 22, 2006

To the Moon

double-click the picture to see a larger image
Stef designed the Team Mooney jersey we're wearing, and Chris and Stef have done the Photoshop work/magic. Chris, professional photographer, is on the far left. I'm standing next to him. Stef is under the moon to the right--the hairless one--and his smokin' hot wife Angela is on the far right--if you didn't already notice.

Be careful because she can kick your pathetic ass, my Gentle Reader of this Blog.


Craycroft by Campus Bike

Today I used my campus bike to ride back to the office from an errand on the Air Force Base. An adventure of sorts and I’ll make a note in the blog. The Base has a one of the best places in town to get your car fixed. 22x needed a new pair of struts and I had to leave her there all day. My problem was that I needed to get back to work somehow.

Craycroft Ave flows into the main entrance of the Base, and its about 4 or 5 miles from my office. There’s a wide bike lane all the way—so I will simply bike back to my office. But Craycroft is so busy and clogged with traffic… Driving to the Base sucks because every old retired ex-military fart is in town and going to the base for cheap shit they don’t need—made cheaper by the fact that you don’t have to pay taxes. So they drive slow and create a big fucking traffic jam—and there’s no way around them.

Okay—I get the campus bike out of my bike locker, throw it in the trunk of 22x, and drive to DM. I drop off the car, and now I’m on base and going to pedal back to work.

I’ve not ridden the campus bike this far except on the trails near Dog Mtn. I can still ride pretty fast, and I cover a lot of ground—the bike lanes on Craycroft are wide—and believe it or not, I’m riding faster and further than traffic, because, and I can see them, all the ex-military snow birds and making their way to where ever it is they go. And the road has a slight descent going North--cool--so I get some speed.

It is a bit brisk, Gentle Reader, and I will tell you that early last summer I found a pair of perfectly good work gloves on the ground when biking in one day. I saved them in my bike locker for a rainy day or cold day—and I got to use them. That made me happy because it was just cold enough for gloves while riding. I also stashed a pair of Tony Hawk skateboard shoes in my locker as well. I was glad to have an extra pair of sturdy shoes because all I wear are sandals (that are formal for the office) and not good footwear for commuting on busy streets.

I must say that, yeah, Craycroft was a cold dirty busy street—but there were glimpses of beauty and living things living despite our thoughtlessness. There were huge trees with branches stretching out, and I could kind of tell that younger trees of the same heritage as the big grandfather trees had fanned out over the landscape of the dingy neighborhoods right off this Grande Allez. Even small ones were growing thought cracks in the cement and pavement.

This has meaning and one day I might understand the language and strategies of a forest, and even an urban forest at that. But I am afraid that the life I’ve been allotted, which I hope is long and fulfilled, is not quite enough to unfold this mystery today.

Allure Libre

Monday, December 04, 2006

Eat My Dust

We're on our way!

Yours needs coffee...

When we ride past a tree, or clump of vegitation that blocks out the sun, the cold seems to grab your ass! I'm not kidding!

How many times have we traveled down this road? Picacho Peak seems symbolic of our Arizona Brevets and Randonnees--the route we take past this monument has been traveled for hundreds of years. Probably about 150 years by white men alone. The Frontage Road is actually the old stage coach line.

We're caught in a dust storm, Gentle Reader--we ride in a brown cloud of fine sand and grit. I can taste the dirt in my mouth as I breath, and I can also feel it grinding in between my teeth. The wind is really taking it out of us. We're trying to make it to Casa Grande for breakfast. The gusts are 25 to 30 MPH.

Oh, and here come the tumble weeds. Since visabiliy was about 100 yards, we would see them rolling and bouncing through the desert. Since we were in a stong crosswind inside the dust storm, they came hurtling across the Hwy.

We dodged many tumble weeds like the one. As they were rolling past, I just missed a large one by slowing down. A car coming along didn't quite judge the speed, and right after I dodged it, the car and the narley old week collided, with the tumbleweed busting into a few hundred pieces.

Plonsky Power!

Susan is going to meet us in Casa Grande for breakfast, and then ride with us for awhile—however, the wind is so bad that we figure trying to make it to Scottsdale in a 25 MPH head wind would be futile. Gentle Readers, I will tell you that by the time we did see Susan at Denny’s I was hurting. As we had breakfast, we could see the palm trees almost bending over backwards from the wind.

So it was decided that we’d abandon the MSM ride, and get our asses back to Tucson. Beloved RBA will ride to chez moi with Steve and I, and then Steve will drop her back in Casa Grande as he continues back up to Scottsdale.
Mes amis, you must know that it is difficult to abandon a ride to Scottsdale when one knows that a gourmet meal prepared by Kim awaits on the kitchen table. And it was going to be lasagna…

Taking a respite from the Wrath o’ the Wind...

Susan “The Flame” Plonsky pulls for 50 plus miles back to Tucson.

We took the Frontage road on the west side of I-10 this time instead of the usual route on the east side. The road was in very bad shape, and not one car passed us either way for 25 miles—people don’t drive their cars down it, the road is that bad! Steve and I took a beating—and still had to try and keep up with Susan… while fighting the crosswind.

Susan gets us back to Dog Mtn before dark. For that, we are very grateful.

Mystery Van is loaded and its time to roll out.

Well, Gentle Readers, this was a very tough ride. I believe I did a couple of things wrong here, but mainly it was probably not staying hydrated. Because of the cooler temps, I didn’t drink enough, and then not drinking enough and riding so hard in the wind caused the cramps in my legs to start. I was just able to keep them at bay with endurolites and a few salt tablets. It took me a few days to recover fully. Yeah, didn’t drink enough.

Allure Libre!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

El Tour

I went down the corner of Tangerine and Dog Patch, and was just going to see a few riders pass by. There was a big crowd and I got into the excitement--was there for two hours cheering on riders until I was hoarse and sunburned.

It was fun to cheer and many of the riders looked pretty tired. They were about 70 miles into the ride. Riders really perked up and smiled when people cheered them--that was the best part.

When the police did have to stop traffic, I had a chance to chat with the riders. I helped one fellow change a flat on his rear tire. I pretty much held the bike for him and he said that that was the quickest tire change he'd ever had, and thanked me for lending a hand.

I was out there at the intersection from just before Noon to about 2 o'clock. Stef and some of the other lads I knew were riding El Tour probably passed before I got out there to spectate--but I did see an old friend Warwick. He was riding with his wife, Pam. Her first time, and they were doing the 68 mile course. Warwick usually finishes in under six hours, so he was just kicking back and enjoying the ride.

There were many un-sportsmanlike automobile drivers--all looking pretty sour they had to stop and wait or slow down. It was shamefull gentle readers! Most were or retirement age, had expensive cars, and lived in the very affluent part of Dog Mtn called Heritage Highlands. I noted that they were very pushy when it came to other motorists--motorists that had slowed down and were letting cyclists go on ahead, or were watching and actually obeying the police officers directing traffic.

I saw the two traffic cops give two tickets. One to an old fart who decided he had waited long enough and drove thru the intersection. He got pulled over right away and was given a ticket. Next some asshole in a corvette started to get impatient and began revving his engine while stopped in the intersection. He was wanting to make a left turn up Dog Mtn Blvd. As I said, he started revving his engine and the cop made him pull over and wrote him a ticket. The asshole argued with the cop, and then as the corvette driver left with his ticket, the crowd applauded the police officer and booed the corvette. The asshole in the corvette turned up the street and gave the crowd the finger as he burned rubber up the street.

Pretty shameful. I have never in my life seen so many grey-haired worthless Dog Patch Fucks in my life. I think they should have all been pulled over to the side of the road and shot insurgent style. Holy shit, but Gentle Readers, what is wrong with this country?

But I love you all, mes amis and Gentle Readers--

My rant is over!

Allure Libre!!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Great Owl

It has been difficult to drag myself out of the sack, get on the bike, and ride in these cold mornings—but I have done it. By Friday I am pretty tired putting in just over 120 miles for the three days I rode into the office. Sometimes it feels like a blur, these days on the bike. The sun is so intense and low in the sky—I can’t see very well, and now I only start to feel safe as the sun slips behind the mountains in the evening on the ride home. With all my flicky-lights and reflective tape on my bike I know that when automobile lights hit my ride, I light up like a Christmas tree…

I wish I would have had my camera this morning, because as I neared the library’s entrance, I spied on top of the old water tower, built in 1924, an incredibly large Great Horned Owl—warming himself in the morning sunshine. He was magnificent and regal, and the sun made him glow with a kind of golden halo. What struck me was how big and bad-ass he really appeared.

They say that dragons are a mixture of everything that used to hunt early humans—talking about memory that comes from evolution that’s in our DNA—when the things that used to prey on us were snakes, large cats, and birds of prey.

A dragon is the combination of all three of those creatures; the fangs and eyes of a cat, the wings and the talons of an owl, or a hawk, and the body of a serpent. Evolution favored those early humans and animals that could recognize those dangers and thus flee.

My thoughts are that my bike riding has made my super-aware of things around me—sound and movement. Riding on some of the more dangerous roads, a rider has to stay pretty focused—at least I do—always watching for something lurching out, or some car suddenly cutting me off.

So naturally when I’m off the bike and walking to the office, my senses are still turned up super high. Catching an owl turning his head slightly to get a look at me gets my attention—for a moment my ancient DNA / Pleistecene Man toggle switches fire.

We are all of us basically still Pleistecene people, yet we live in an Industrial Age.

I know this because the owl told me this morning.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Le Randonneur

Here's a photo of the bike with all the lights on board. The hub works well, but on certain roads on my commute, I like to use both the hub and the 5 watt light. This set up works well in the mornings when I'm going down Thorneydale from Tangerine Rd. This is downhill, and runs about 3.5 miles. I can ride at 22 mph--but it is about 6 a.m. and dark. The road is narrow and the pavement rough. Sand and gravel on either side--you would not want to run off the road going 20 or 22 mph. The front wheel with sink into the sand and you would fly over the handlebars. I should know--this happened to me once out with John Heller and Dave Glasgow. I though I was having a flat tire and would pull over to investigate. My front wheel quicky sank into the sand--it looked like hard-packed dirt--and I was flung to the ground and on my back.

In the desert, I'll use the 10 watt and the 5 watt together--because its so dark and I'm a chicken. The pavement runs out and then its a dirt road. I can ride a little faster because I can see the road, with the rocks and sand pockets, rattle snakes, mountain lions, bigfoot, Taliban, North Korean Comandoes, etc... The battery power drains quickly, so I try to use as little as possible in the mornings to save power for the evenings...

With all the miles I put in with the Brevet, and then riding in almost everyday this last week--I had to catch up on laundry. Finally the weekend and a chance to slieep late.

Allure Libre!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Let There Be Light

After a few days to recover from riding 190 miles--300 kilometers--it was back to the commute. Remarkably, I rode into the office Wednesday, Thursday, and into the office this morning. Pretty much I've thrown clothes into my backpack, and rolled out into the cold desert morning air. The moon has been bright and with the hub, I feel I can see. My night vision is horrible, so it was cool to see moonlight on the mountains.

Yesterday morning, a thick piece of wire puntured my rear tire--and I flatted in the busiest most dangerous section of my commute. The bike lane ends and everyone is bullying for a right turn onto the freeway. I have to jockey for a position and ride in the middle lane. Most drivers realize I'm not getting on the freeway, and realize that I'm going pretty fast, so why bother trying to beat me to the red light. Often, some guy in a big redneck truck will lay on his horn for me to get out of the way, only to realize the light is red and there we are waiting at the light. I always give the asshole the "oh come on" look. They usually ignore me because they know they're idiots for being so impatient. But enough about those losers...

Because of the flat, I decided it would be safer to go the river bike path and quaint Glenn Ave, where the speed limit is only 30 mph--but there's a stop sign or stop light every few blocks; it takes forever it seems to get anywhere.

That's why this morning, I decided to ride on Ina--even though it is due East right into the morning sun. A lot of people not working today so traffic a bit lighter. But I had a steady climb for many miles up Ina until it turns into Skyline--but once I got up to about Campbell, I rode like a bat otta hell all the way to Swan. This section of road is about 10 miles of bumper to bumper haul-ass traffic. There's a bike lane--just enough to fool yourself--and you're going like 20 to 25 mph, and cars are just inches from you. It's quite an odd feeling to know that if one of the drivers hit me and knocked me off my bike, I'd probably be run over twenty or thirty times before anybody stopped.

So--coming home--yeah... Its Friday and has been a long week--and I still have to drag myself home on the bike. The last seven miles are through, but not for long, open desert on an old jeep road. It is dark Gentle Reader. And I am nervous and sometimes scared. I've seen big rattlesnakes, Owls, coyotes,and javalia. One night a horse was standing in the middle of the road--just out there in the desert--and he was just looking at me with this kind of surprised look on his face.

In the dark, witn not much light, you can imagine what a horse's figure can look like--a monster is what!!! So tonight I have the hub, and the commute lights with 5 watt and a 10 watt lamps. That should do the trick, mes amis!


Monday, November 06, 2006

Brevet of 300 Kilometers

Steve and I press onward to Picacho Peak.

The infamous Picacho Peak Dairy Queen lies ahead. Mike Alexa has ridden on ahead--he must have at least three chilli cheese dogs in order to complete any brevet he rides in Arizona!

Mike and Steve rode brevets together in Indiana for 15 years, and Mike has two or three PBP rides under his belt, as does Steve.

We had to face the evening headwinds, and as you may know, Gentle Reader, that can make for lots of work--headwinds can be demoralizing. A headwind can break your spirit, and for a few days more make your body ache from all the energy needed to finish. Steve and and I took turns drafting each other--until that wore us out--but as we neared the DQ, the winds let up.

While Steve met Mike and John, a strong rider from Pheonix who rode with us, at DQ, I went to the store next door to get a Irish Cream coffee out of one of those automatic machines. They're great and I love them--and I need the caffine to keep me going. When I pulled in, I found a gallon jug of water on one of the trash bins. It was still ice cold and hardly used. I bet that the three other riders on the course, about 45 minutes ahead of us, left it for any randonneur that happened by--that would be me, and I filled my water bottles and camel-back. This saved me some valuable minutes and got me back with the other riders in no time.

Everyone felt re-freshed, strong, and ready to get this brevet done after chilli cheese dogs, hamburgers, Dilly Bars, and coffee.

All the difficult hours with gusty winds were forgotten, as we sped to the final controle, and back to Casa Grande for the finish. I was pleased with my time and with the ride in general... 300 Killometers is 190 miles--that is quite an accomplishment. I need a day to sleep and recover.

Allure Libre

Friday, November 03, 2006

Morning Ride Report

I left my house at 6 a.m. The tempature was 54 degrees. That's not too cold but it was a bit chilly, and it was pleasant to ride with a striking sunrise over the mountains. On the river path, and looking down into the river (which is dry) I saw a pack of coyotes very calmly and contently walking about. They seemed happy. I know that seems strange, but it was though they had not a care in the world. There were big males, and the moms because there were frisky pups tagging along.

My ride was 23.8 miles and took right at 1 hr and 30 minutes. I could ride faster on Ina, but the sun coming up in the morning is blinding and people drive too fast--I even drive too fast on Ina when I drive to work. But I love Ina going East becasue everybody hauls-ass and gets where they're going.

Oh yeah, last night I went to pick up the car. I saw cyclists on the path--people were friendly and everyone looks fit for El Tour.

I took some pictures and not many turned out that great. One did and I blasted it using Photoshop for ya.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Ride Reports

I rode home a few nights ago, and it was the first time in quite sometime that it was getting dark. I have a Schmidt Dynamo Hub and I believe it works quite nice. I wanted to make note that at Orange Grove and Thornydale Rds, traffic was at a stand-still. I traveled at least four miles North through all the major intersections, to almost the Safeway Store at Linda Vista and Thornydale—and still traffic had barely moved. For my Gentle Readers that don’t know what streets I’m talking about—just imagine seeing for many miles ahead of you, the red tail-lights of commuters waiting to get home. A lone cyclist gliding past. Wow, that is bad traffic and I’ve noticed how much worse it has become. Sad really, but I don’t feel any safer because cars aren’t speeding past. It just feels eerie.

I had to ride in again this morning and take my car back to the shop—yet another problem. But other people waiting in line for their appointments saw me take the bike out of the trunk of the car and put on the front wheel. People thought that was really cool and wanted to know all about my commute—how far I went, how long it took, etc. One woman told me that she volunteers at a water station her company sponsors at El Tour de Tucson. She asked me if I was riding… Hmmm? I told her it would cost me $95.00 and she was shocked. “That much?!” But one of the doctors here at the hospital put it into perspective, cause we were talking about it--he said the money goes to pay all the police to stop traffic for us—and of course there’s the good cause the money goes to—as in—people that are too sick or physically challenged to ride a bike. So I should pony up the money, send in the check—and be thankful I can enjoy the ride with my friends.

Allure Libre!

Helmet Hair

Dropped off the car at the dealership for a repair. So I would ride into the office from there—and pick up the machine after work. As I unloaded the bike from the trunk—it dawned on me. My helmet… on the kitchen table.

It was weird not having the helmet. Not having a helmet equals death (in my mind) if I should hug terra firma. Gentle Reader, as you know, I traded in the horses for bikes, and I have the faded plastic surgery scars to remind me what happens you find yourself flying off the back of a horse and landing on your head. I broke my cheekbone, and some other bones with names I can’t pronounce broken up around my temple and eyebrow—oh, let’s change the subject shall we?

Riding without my helmet I was fearful of all that mess.

Good news; I had another helmet here at the office, the one I use with the campus bike. So I had a helmet for the ride back to pick up the car.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Forget Something?

I normally take clothes into the office when I do drive in. It seems I always have a pair of pants, socks, ironed shirt, etc. waiting--cause that stuff is weight and I can't fold or pack for crap. Bev can, but I have to really plead with her--and she doesn't want me looking all wrinkle-lee. A pair of shoes is also stowed in my locker. This just saves time and makes me at ease.

This lovely morning I made a hastey last minute dash to work on the bike, and made it with a few minutes to spare. I had to pack clothes to wear for today in my backpack--but as I got out of one set of sweaty bike clothes and layed out the office ones--I was sans underwear, mes amis. I forgot to pack 'em. I will make it a point not to do this ever again, and actually will have a back-up pair in my desk. At first I felt exposed and like a tramp--but with emails and phone calls, I forgot about being one layer short.

One time when I worked at AHSL, I rode in, and put the bike in the office, and went down to the locker room. I got undressed, took a shower, got out, and then realized I'd left my clothes still haning on the back door there in my office. For a second there I'd thought I didn't have any clothes at all.

I had to change back into my bike stuff, walk back down thru the hospital to fetch my pants, shirt, and all that. Wonderful...


Breakfast in Casa Grande

Picacho Peak from the Frontage Rd. The major landmark for our Brevets. I-10 and the Frontage Rd. are the old stage coach line. Here at the Peak, the stage coach turned and headed West to San Francisco. I'm riding to meet Steve in Case Grande for breakfast. I've left from Tucson and he's started out from Scottsdale.

The course for the Brevets ahead... Picacho Peak, The Tortolita Mts, and Mt. Lemmon in the backgroud. Keep going South and you're in Old Mexico, mes amis!

After breakfast, time to ride back home.

Bon Journee!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

"Always Go Forward, and Never Look Back"

My first afternoon, and first time to visit Monterey Bay--bike riding here seems to be out of necessity for some people living here, and just makes sense. There's a nice bike/walking/jogging path that connects tourists to the spots, and helps locals get about.

Seals sun themselves--the water is clean, and the air feels good to breathe. I believe seals enjoy their lives as they seem content and don't mind the tourists--but they can be noisy and their barks and bellows you would probably tune-out after awhile. Kind of like when the jets fly over here in Tucson. You get used to it...

Cannery Row of way back. Probably was a rough place to work and live...

The Monterey Bay Aquarium--way cool. Marni and I got really hungry looking at all the fish. In a way a I felt a little guilty--but after a few cold beers and fried Calumari, bring on the fish, Baby!

Okay, so the adventure begins. We eat and drink some of the best seafood I've ever had, then attend the "conference" I get an hour break in between speakers, and rent a road bike from a bike shop in Cannery Row. I get a map and encouragement from the wrench, and he gives me a break on the price of the rental. He pulls out a large road bike that never gets ridden much, and the bike says "Go Go Go!" I get it back to my hotel room--riding through the streets of downtown Monterey. I already feel like a frumpy local and not a frumpy librarian-type.

I've brought my own clips, and other bike gear/clothes for a 40+ mile ride up (or down) the coast. Shock told me, and I think Stef and Angela told me it could be cold--so I brought arm and leg warmers.

After a dinner with the company that evening, my plan was to get out early and ride up to the Mission in Carmel--looks like about 20 miles down the coast; a very do-able distance for me. As the dinner was about to get under-way, and we were getting a lift from our hosts to the resturant--I met this guy Tony and his wife Rita, from Pittsburg. Tony had gone out the day before on a rental bike and gave me some good info on the route I was going to take (because gentle readers, the maps I had sucked and got me lost) So thanks to Tony's recon of the area, I felt good about my trip.

When I left about 6:45 a.m. from my hotel it was foggy, kind of dark, and as you can see from the only human likeness beside myself, cold... I put a local weekly rag newspaper in the front of my jersey to keep my nipples from freezing off! I'll toss the paper once it warms up...

Cannery Row and the Aquarium. I zipped through town along the bike path. I brought flicky lights so I wouldn't get run over by a fish delivery truck. It was cool because the air was wet and misty and not a soul was around.

The Point Pinos Lighthouse, in operation since 1855. You can see how dark it was out there. From here I start to get on the coast, and I can feel and taste the ocean spray on my lips. I'm on 17 Mile Drive going south down the coast. Gulls and pelicans glide over and eye me with a bit of couriosity.

Wow--its like the ocean! This area is a Nat'l Marine Sancturary--cool...

The ocean at what appears as high tide, seems kind of like me in the morning; loud and restless.

I took more pictures but when I stopped I got cold--kept moving to stay warm, plus there was a bit of rain. But it was oh so sweet--the waves, the birds, the seals, the sea otters out there.

No one around to take my photo--yet another self-portrait in your face, Gentle Readers!

Oh yeah, so then there's Pebble Beach--some where along the line I made a wrong turn, and ended up climbing into the mountains. The fog and mist made it difficult to see, and luckily there was no traffic--the roads got narrow and went up and down through the thick forests. There were plenty of deer about. Many of them just stood in the road, or by the side of the road watching me climb up the hills. This area is semi-private and closed to bikes and tourists on the weekends. I couldn't see but I could hear the waves, but they may have been echoing thru the canyons. Either way I ended up going more North and East than I wanted, and was headed more toward Hwy 68.

I saw some sort of building and a woman had parked her car and was heading into her office. I stopped her to ask for directions. She looked really surprised at first--like, where did you come from and how did you get here? Until she looked at the map I had. "No wonder you're lost--this map is horrible!" But she set me straight and basically I had to go back down the way I came. Had to watch for deer on the fast descents--and through the fog, I almost missed the landmark the woman told me to watch for. Geez! But I got the road she said, and I popped out and could see the beach.

So just rode along at a nice clip--I passed the Lone Cypress Tree, famous landmark--obscured by the fog still laying around... nearing Carmel, I had to start climbing again. I went through the Carmel Gate, and had to ride in morning rush hour traffic on some narrow curvy roads--got to a place to take a breather, and asked a young waitress at a cafe if she could point me in the direction of the old Mission. I was close, and her directions got me there (she actually told me a short cut the locals use to get to Safeway) but I had about two miles of tough climbing to get to the an old ranch and Ranch Road--suddenly the Mission appeared.

The Basilica of Mission San Carlos Borromeo, Del Rio Carmelo--opens at 9:30 a.m.
Friendly staff let me in the gift shop to get warm, and they let me stash the rental bike in a storeroom. One of the nuns let me inside the compound and in the garden, where the sun warmed me as it came up over the mountains. I rested while the staff got things ready to open the place for visitors, pilgrams, and tourists. Humming birds darted about and let me know I was on their turf.

Morning in the garden.

Sun coming up, as it had since 1770.

I go inside, and say a prayer I can find my way back to Monterey!

Finally some sunshine! This place is so beautiful. I'm glad I'm here.

Every where, there's a vision of beauty and mystery--a moment to reflect on who and what you are--where you belong in time and place, and the purpose for that arrangement.

It is healthy to ponder these thoughts, in this world of airports, elevators, conferences, blogs, emails, and shopping malls.

This is where the Padre hung out. Father Junipero Serra, who founded this mission, as well as all the other ones in California, said, "Always go forward and never look back." I will use this as my mantra for my 2007 Brevet Series.

These guys were from the Netherlands...

On the coast, headed back to Monterey.

My old friends from the mountains, now having breakfast on the golf courses of Pebble Beach.

Sea otters down there in the kelp.

Nearing Monterey, and a few miles from Cannery Row. I ride back to my hotel, stash the bike, change, and make it back to a speaker at the conference center. Mes amis, you must know I slept through most of the speaker (she wasn't very good) and then had yet another awesome lunch on the warf. Glad I made this trip...

Allure Libre!

Monday, October 16, 2006

200 Km Brevet (Almost DNF)

Another successful Brevet thanks to Plonsky Power.

Dave "Shock" Peashock at the Casa Grande controle.

I make it to the first contole, all 240 pounds of me!

Gerry is going over the cue sheet before the start of the 200, as the course had changed a little. What didn't change was the headwinds we all faced out on Indian 15, the Hwy out on the Rez.

This was a tough ride. It was gusty headwinds all day. I got lucky, Gentle Readers, and just finished the 126 miles or so in one piece. I almost had to abondon the ride--it was so tough with the winds, that I was cramping and I'd also run out of water. 10 miles from the 86 mile controle, I was in trouble. My legs were cramping so bad that I had to get off my bike. As I was collecting my thoughts, Tom and Mick came over the hill and I quickly got back up and then asked if I could hold on to a wheel--I was in trouble and needed help. They were more than happy to help out and I hugged a wheel until the controle with water and food. Mick gave me one of his water bottles and I drank that down and that's what saved me because I was finished. I just eeked in.

After some lunch and filling my water bottles--and stuffing a few turkey wraps in my jersey, we rode back with a tail wind. However, as you might have guessed, the wind shifted again and about 15 miles out, the brutal headwinds punished us again. We pedaled in ever so slowly, and made the finish right before dark.