Thursday, June 29, 2006

Puppy Dogs and Rainbows

Read more and you get to see the puppy towards the end of this yarn!

Ride Report--I go to the bike locker after work--back tire is flat. Somehow I've missed something in the tire. Hmm... This really sucks--two flats in one day. Then I get an idea. Pump up the tire enough to get down to Pima Street Bikes. Phil and Judy are still there and I have just enough time before they close. I get enough air with my hand pump and it seems to hold, so I sprint off.

Judy replaces the tube and checks out the tire and I'm good to go.

So there I am on Pima Street. Monsoon clouds are rolling in and its gonna start pouring any minute. Rather than go back up to Campus and ride Glenn to to Mtn Ave. What the heck I'll just take Pima to AHSL and get to Mountain Ave that way--and I get rolling.

Dang, but it is windy! And on Mountain its even more windy! So I've a fierce headwind all the way to the River Path--no big deal. Except now its getting stronger, and the clouds darker.

From my days in South Dakota, the Lakota people would tell me stories about the spirits and the fairies playing, and up to mischief when the wind was like this. You shouldn't be out when they're having their fun--because if you are they will delight in taunting you. You know, like grabbing your handle bars and giving them a yank! Or a bunch on them getting hold of your ankles to make your peadaling more difficult! Or holding onto to your jersey so if feels like you're not even moving. Yeah they had their fun teasing me alright.

I'm riding head-on into this wind and into dust clouds. Off the bike path and North onto La Cholla now--straight into the wind--I can only ride a few miles per hour. Mes amis it is un-natural wind and I must tell you I can hear a low roar and it seems to blast down the street... There's a Circle K up ahead where I stopped yesterday for water. I'm taking an ass beating and I pull in to get out of the wind, drink some gatoraide I mixed at the office, and take my last two Endurolites. I also note that I'm covered with a thin layer of grime--great.

Well, I'll wrap up. I get back to the car and just then the downpour begins. Just made it.

Callie is waiting at home and I unload my bike. She likes to sit in the trunk for some reason when I'm working in the garage.

Here she is just watching the storm as it rolls into Dove Mtn.

We finally get more rain.

I cooked up a mess of Spam and eggs for dinner--also Callie's favorite--for I felt I made a good effort to get myself back to the car before all Hell broke loose. I guess I didn't have much choice!

Allure Libre!

Ride Report--Flat tire at the start

The Monsoons are trying hard to start up--and will any day now! But that makes for some humidity--and last night was no exception. I just couldn't seem to drink enough water, mes amis. I had to make a stop at a Circle K on LaCholla for water, and I had to buy some Doritoes for some carbs--I was starving. The ride home is much easier and I will not attempt to ride Skyline and Ina in rush hour.

But I did ride in again this morning--but as soon I was off and down the road a ways the real tire was flat. No big deal. A quick tube replacement and I was off. Well, I have to say that this commute will be getting me in shape. Its mostly climbing unitl Skyline and Campbell--after that it is fast down hill rollers. A cyclist can ride fast, but people are driving fast and there's not much room. Cars are going past me at 50 mph plus--but when everyone has to slow down or things get bunched up because some snowbird is on his way to a tee-time--I shoot right on by, Baby!

Oh yeah, I brought an extra bottle of Gatoraide, and some pop tarts for the ride home tonight.

Tomorrow is a rest day...

Allure Libre!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Morning Ride Report

Left chez toi at 6 a.m. and had a pleasant drive to the YMCA, where I parked the car. I believe I dove 9.2 miles. At 6 a.m. the YMCA is packed! I got one of the last parking spaces...

Mes amis, it was hot and I have to say a bit muggy even--and there was traffic--but as a veteran of brevets and randonnees I left undaunted. The time was nearer to 6:15 a.m. Anyway it seemed tougher this morning (went to bed at Midnight last night) and I was on my own. When Steve and I rode on Ina (which turns into Skyline) a few weeks ago it seemed like a piece of cake.

I could feel the hills and sweat was pouring out of me! Lots of exhaust fumes too--yuck! Rode up to a guy on a bike in front of me, who looked at me like I was a ghost. I said good morning but he did not reply. In that case its time to pick up the pace and move on.

When I got up to the top, about Skyline and Campbell Ave. I think, I tucked in the aero bars and hauled arse downhill. The pavement is nice and smooth and clean. I got to ride fast and that was fun. One hump in the pavement gave me a jolt, but other than that I flew down the road.

There's a gradual climb as you near the high school--and after that you're almost to Swan. Swan heading South is about four or five miles of downhill and you can take off like a rocket--which I did. All the lights changed green for me and the momentum quickly got me to Glenn and Swan.

I rolled into Campus and off the bike at 7:15 a.m. Not bad. Not bad for Cat 2 overweight and having consumed way to much alcohol at the Beck Concert, and I stayed up until midnight doing on-line bill pay last night...

Oh I have my rain coat with me as the monsoons are coming. Maybe today? My heart is light today mes amis!

Allure Libre

Sunday, June 25, 2006

El Mega Weekend

The Start of El Mega Weekend. 5:15 a.m. at I Hop. We left Scottsdale at 4 a.m., mes amis! Oh yeah, as we saddled up the neighbor's donkey heard us and started "hee hawing" to annouce our depature to the entire block. You wounldn't think that Scottsdalianites would have a donkey, but when you're wealthy and eccentric I guess you can do whatever with your ass...

Beautiful ASU Campus, Tempe, Arizona--USA Baby!

South Mountain by 8 o'clock!

Steve looks for Endurolites.

Its cooler up here, but you can't stay long. The ride home will be grueling with the heat.

Locals relaxing after the climb before they head down.

The big guy makes it to the top yet again. Steve and I felt pretty good about meeting our goal of South Mtn by 8 o'clock--I started out hurting--but so was everyone. Even as early as we started, the heat was brutal.

Coming down I relaxed--and I think I rode down a little faster. But you wouldn't want to get too comfortable. If you were to mess up going down Summit Drive you would certainly get yourself killed. So I just try to enjoy the feeling of flying, and live to ride the Mtn again another day!

On the way home, I snapped this old church in Guadalupe--this side of the tracks is Mexican. We go over a bridge and the Anglo surburban sprawl begins.

Driving back on Hwy 51 there was a pickup on the shoulder burning. It was kind of cool. I tried to get my camera ready, but this is the best shot I could get. A Hwy Patrolman waved his arms, saying to everybody to just keep moving. I'm glad because I needed to get home!

Beck at the Rialto Theatre

My Man, Beck. This show was awesome! The Rialto is a cool old theatre and not that big, so we were able to see well an were up close. Beck and his band Rocked the House. Speaking of Howse--he keep putting a big glass of beer in my hand the entire show.

Oh yeah--there weren't any seats in the theatre. They had taken them out. So I had to stand for about three and half hours, packed in the crowd. Because I started getting bad leg cramps right before I left Steve and Kim's place--I had this awful fear that the 90 miles that morning would catch up with me--and my legs would give out. Luckily the didn't give out until we were back at Stef and Angela's place. They let me crash on the couch in the living room--I'd been up almost 20 hours.

Thanks to Kim for the gormet lunch after the 90 miles. Thanks to the Walz Compound for a quick dinner before the Beck Show, the couch, and for breakfast this morning. Now I must nap and do laundry and all that other stuff to get ready for the week.

Allure Libre!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Team Mooney Jersey

It was bad luck for me running into Mooney and Stef, and without my "Show Time" jersey. I had a gut feeling I should have had it on--my name is mud... But you're probably not reading this anyway...

I have no idea who this model is in the photo. Maybe I'll meet her July 2nd--a full report will follow!

Allure Libre!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Mountain Bike

I pulled the Mtn Bike from the bike locker and rode down to Chipotle for a bite. It was only 95 and not 105, and there were clouds--so you don't get that cooking feeling. But there were lots of people out and I had to wait in line at the resturant.

Mainly I had to wait in line so long because people would come in from their office, and they would be the first one there--then all their chump cohorts would arrive--and they'd cut in. So in the 20 minutes I was there, about 15 people cut in line. So if a person takes about a minute to get their order and get through the line, well you can see how I would have to wait an extra 15 minutes before I ordered.

These people were mainly airmen from the airforce base--but there were office girl types too. Just really bad manners. The thing that really irked me is that I was trying to exit, and people just kept walking in. These are mainly younger people in their twenties and thirties--everybody was so self absorbed and on their cell. Only after about 1o people bargded in did two older, better dressed, and probably educated men use good manners and hold the door and let me exit. We were all amazed at the total lack of manners of the herd.

But it was just great to get out and move, and get my heart rate going. I felt like I accomplished more today, and the air was fresh and clean and felt good.

On the bike you can see things that you would miss in the car. Like rattlesnakes in the wash... The wash is what's left of an ancient wash and is all concrete. I know that it runs for miles uninterrupted, as it runs through the heart of TMC, and on the way to Chipotle, I cross it again on Grant. Looking South it seems to go on for miles. I'd like to ride in there and see how far I can go--like some kind of journey of discovery. Cool--I think I'll do that.


Monday, June 19, 2006

Meeting of the Giants

Steve arrived Friday night at my place--I returned from a dinner for College of Medicine Residents--at a swank golf resort in the foothills. I think I drank too much wine. When I got home I was exhausted. Steve showed up while I fumbled around trying to get everything ready. Alarm was set for 4am. I didn't even hear it--Steve had to wake me up. So our 4am ride ended up being a 6am ride.

The plan was to test my new commute route to TMC, and then cut down to the Hungry Fox for breakfast. After breakfast, the plan was to head out to Saguaro Nat'l Park, and ride on up to Colossal Cave time permitting. With the late start--we would modify our plans to avoid 107 degrees.

Ready to roll. I spent $250 bucks on the LeMond but didn't have time to put on the new saddle, so I'm riding the trusty Raleigh-- still a sweet bike.

Steve's magical new Italian shoes--too bad they didn't come with magical Italian cleats! We had to stop and adjust them all day. But Steve looked good and that's the important thing!

We start at the YMCA and ride up Ina to Swan. Here we are just at the top of Skyline and Swan. Ina turns into Skyline and is a pretty good climb. We rode up fast and strong--still was a good amount of traffic on Ina and then Skyline, even at 6:30 am on Saturday. That's what's making me a little nervous--Skyline is busy with tons of traffic. But now I know I'm fit enought to handle the climbing.

We've been climbing in the foothills, heading due East. Now we have several miles of a sweet downhill to the Hungry Fox for breakfast. We pass my office and the commute distance is about 15 miles, and we're ridden about 50 minutes.

Broadway and Swan at the Hungry Fox. Two years ago on Father's Day, an older fellow drove through the front lobby while attempting to park his car. The place was packed, but no one was hurt. The place was closed months for repairs--probably prolonging the life of all the artery-hardened patrons.

Even though I love to eat at this place, it must be done only rarely. The regulars are quite obese and sickly-looking. Everyone has a walker or an oxygen bottle. It will take riding both days this weekend to burn off the 300,000 calories I'm about to savor.

At the Con Tiki next door to Hungry Fox, I pay homage to Dios Tiki de Tucson.

Yet another Tiki God! A gouche--that is Steve a doit, mes amis!

Tiki Gods must move aside! Zoot alors! 'Tis Team Mooney--the Giants of Triathlon! This is BigBallsWalz, or as we like to address His Fitness--Satan Bo Jangels--President of Team Mooney.

Jesus Chris Mooney--known for saying, "Let There Be Team Mooney" and it was so. I explained to the Giants I was going to wear my Team Mooney jersey--but spilled vanillia-flavored soy milk on it while eating my Honey Nut Cheerios--damn...

Bo J, Le Steve, and Jesus Chris

Yours (out of uniform) Bo J, and Le Steve

Mooney and Stef were heading back home and we're on our way to Saguaro Nat'l Park. Kind of cool that we've been able to cut right thru the heart of the city--and soon be in Saguaro Nat'l Park.

Bo J and Le Steve... Meeting of Giants

On our way--

We made a quick stop at the Ramada, which is still open althought they're re-paving the scenic 9 mile drive in the Park. Here's Rincon Peak from the Country Store on Old Spanish Trail. Colossal Cave is maybe 10 miles from here--because its getting late (thanks to my sleeping in) Steve and I decide to head back. A few years ago I hiked up to Rincon Peak-- in one day-- on Stef's Birthday--it almost killed me--but I made it. So seeing the peak humbles me because I could have carried more water and been in better shape.

We'll take Freeman Road to Tanke Verde, and then take Tanke Verde to Pima. Part of this route will be my old commute route to UofA when I lived near Sabino Canyon. Freeman Road down to Tanke Verde is fast, and it keeps us out of traffic. As you can see from the photo, its a straight shot North.

I take Steve down Pima Ave. There's a lot less traffic on Pima and the 30 mph speed limit. We drop by Pima Street Bikes but Phil and Judy have customers so we don't stay long. Judy mentioned that I wasn't riding my LeMond that she and Phil just overhauled. As you know mes amis, I was too busy drinking wine the night before to put my new saddle on the LeMond! But I digress--from here on Pima I can look down to my office, right under the old 1927 water tower there, to Grant Ave and the TMC Campus...

Pima takes us down to UMC, and we pass by my old job. A few blocks West we'll ride North up Mountain Ave to the River Bike Path.

Probably the trickiest move is the left turn from La Cholla onto Ina. The YMCA is about two miles from that crossing. As you can see, traffic was heavy. As we were going through, the green arrow turned red by the time we got in the middle of the intersection--which meant it was green for about five seconds!

66 miles later. Swimming at the YMCA pool should be nice after a long day in the office.

Happy Father's Day!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Claire's Cafe

I took the LeMond to Pima Street Bikes for an overhaul. In the mean time, I did some tinkering with my old Raliegh. My Dad bought it for me in 1977 or 1978, and only now have I appreciated what an awesome bike it is.

I switched out the Brooks saddle and the aero bars I had on the LeMond. I made a few minor adjustments, and I have to say the combination looks handsome, and the ride is oh so comfortable--especially in the bars. Check out the picture. This bike is cool, and rides sweet.

Early this morning I went for a 50 mile spin and ended up having breakfast at Clarie's cafe. As I sat down and got my first cup of coffee, Bev called me from Texas. She was at a cafe herself, alone--and asked me is Steve was there with me at Claires. No just by myself. She said she'd call back later. So in a way it was like we had breakfast together.

Today marks the first day in a long time I've had time to ride. Life has been pretty stressful--Bev tells me how much Texas sucks, and how much being in the Army sucks. They work six days a week with only Sunday off. Most of the soldiers go out Saturday night and get shit-faced.

Being in Afganistan dosen't worry her--its the pin heads in her Battalion. She said there's quite a difference between being trained and being educated. There's a lot of stupid people so you have to be on your toes all the time. The hard part for Bev is that the leadership could give a rat's ass about anything other than flying their helicoptors. She said most of the pilots are pretty full of themselves and when it comes to their assigned administrative duties, they just don't want to bother. So nothing is organized and nobody cares.

Coming home through Rancho Vistoso, I got in a pack of three young women and they were all riding strong and we were going at a good clip. As we started going up a long hill, they slowly pulled ahead and I got dropped. But that's okay because it was good to have some nice people to chat with and its cool to get in a tight pack and go fast.

Allure Libre!