Sunday, February 25, 2007

Weekend Ride

My new shoes are right out of the box. My old shoes were busted. The soles were cracked and the left shoe was broken and the right cracked. No wonder my knees were killing me on MSM.
So I got the new shoes set up and adjusted by a very technically saavy man named Kurt at Sabino Cycles. My old shoes were kind of like my little Honda Civic I used to have--200,000 miles and doing the job no-frills. These new shoes--Mercedes Benz--if I had Sidi shoes, well they'd be like an Alfa Romero, Gentle Reader. I paid $$$ for the shoes and the rocket science in-soles. Maiden voyage on Sunday afternoon--worth it, Baby!

New Super Duper handle bars. Look Ma! No pain! Handle bars are wider, and set up such that all my weight isn’t so much on my wrists. We also adjusted my saddle height, and Kurt also put some shims on my shoes and on my cranks. So now I sit evenly distributed on the bike. Its much more comfortable than ever before. I used to have severe saddle pain with all the pressure on my right sit bone. This was because one leg is shorter than the other.

I was so happy! On the way home from a short ride, I spun to cool down, and I rode by my neighbor’s place. They were home—the dogs barked at me, and Bruce and Heather said come on inside. Bruce poured me a nice tall glass of OJ—with a little Vodka mixed in—as my ride was over…

Heather with Shasta and Logan.

Me and Logan…

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Mount Up and Clip In

Mornings heading out from my house are the coldest. Picacho Peak is about 15 miles down the Frontage Rd. in this shot. It's about about 7 a.m. We're headed for Scottsdale Arizona, about 133 miles Northwest of Tucson/Marana.

Near the town of Picacho--we took the Brevet route to avoid the dogs on that stretch of road in the latter-named shithole. The friendly old gentleman/security guard at the DQ said he accidently ran over and killed one of the dogs awhile back---Yeeessss!

This is farmland between Picacho and Eloy. The farmland is being pushed out by development. One day when I'm an old fart, I'll be able to say, "I remeber when there was nothin' out thar but open farmland..."

Looks like Old Mexico--but it's Eloy... where Jesus es Senor!

Eloy, Arizona. Okay.... Bye. Let's leave!

Steve and I arrive in Casa Grande and enjoy a pretty good breakfast at IHOP. The place is packed, but we get seated pretty fast. The food is tastey, and its nice to take a break. When we ride Brevets, there always seems to be an urgency to keep rolling.

After breakfast, we rolled out and then headed over I-10 on the way to Sacaton. As we neared the freeway, we could see that it was backed up for miles--in both directions! It was just a parking lot, and an eerie sight to see thousands of cars and trucks just sitting on the road. Nothing was moving. We just creeped over and past that nightmare.

As we were going down the road, nearing the turn to Sacaton, a Highway Patrol Trooper in his cruiser beeped at us and flashed his lights. I heard Steve say, "Bruce, turn around--" and Gentle Reader so this blog, not three seconds later, we pulled off the road, and at least 60 or 70 cyclists in a peleton zipped past us at like 30 mph! It was quite breathtaking to behold. They passed and we kept going, but a few other groups of cyclists were coming up too, and they were looking at us like, "Who the Hell are you guys?" I don't know what the event was but it was certainly a Cat 1 Road Race--And my first...

As we rode down into Sacaton, there was a strong crosswind, and tumble weeds were racing across the road like rabbits. I was riding fast, taking advantage of some downhill--and it was like I was in some kind of virtual video game--just trying to time when to pedal a little faster or slower so I wouldn't slam into one. Oh yeah, since I-10 was all backed up, people that could get off were taking the backway to Chandler, like us, so there was a lot of traffic. You would not want to dodge a tumble weed just to get run over by a truck. Still, it was an exhilerating stretch of road...

Remembering Ira Hayes

Sacaton is not my favorite place. Its in the middle of nowhere and then some... But Ira Hayes was from there and he was a Marine at Iwo Jima. Out of the five men that raised the flag, two were killed a few days after. Of Ira's 45 man platoon, only 7 survived the battle--so you know it was just luck of the draw that he made it at all.

Even though we were not treated very well by the Indian girls at the only stop for food and water stop for many miles, the first time we road through there--this last time, I spoke with a couple of older Indian men and they were quite friendly and wished us well.

John is going to meet us either in Sacaton or on the road somewhere. John will ride up to Scottsdale, and the ride back to Marana with Steve and I the next day. Steve connects with John and we will rendezvous at the Hunt Hwy.

John meets us right outside of Chandler, on the Hunt Hwy.

Off the Reservation and on thru Phx to Scottsdale... After some Menudo... Jesus es Senor!

Riding through Tempe and ASU Campus. Nice day to walk the dog.

We're at the light on Mill Ave.

Steve calls Kim to give her our estimated time of arrival for dinner. We made a quick stop at Subway for a bite. Still have some miles to put in before we get to Mule Farms.

It's still some miles to get to Scottsdale. The landmark in front of us is the Camel Back.

This is about mile 120 and its late afternoon--we're almost there.
We arrive at Steve's place in Scottsdale, Arizona--and right on cue as we pull into the driveway, the mule on the old farm (amongst the swank homes of afluent Scottsdaleonions) brays us welcome. Now, I told John about the mule, who always seems to let out a shriek when we're either leaving or arriving--and he looked at me in disbelief--Steve, having paid $$$$$$ for this location, says he can't hear anything. I don't believe him!
Dinner: Kim is my most favorite person in whole wide world. The only reason I do this insane ride is for the chance to have dinner up in Scottsdale. When Steve did PBP, Kim was scoping out Paris cafes and resturants for the nuianes of French quesine.
And when, all goes to Hell on the bike--a call to Kim and we are rescued--and then we have dinner and a few bottles of wine.
Riding back to Marana and Tucson the next morning...
I believe love--possibly lust--is in the air after we leave US Egg. That's were we have breakfast, and its usually a high point of the day--before the head-wind and heat (or cold) of the desert. Just georgeous svelte waitresses working there. Next time I promise a picture with our favorite one. She didn't wait on us today, but she did wave to me as we were leaving.

For now, a picture of me, writer of this blog--next time me and her, Gentle Reader--Me and her--oh yes! Me... and Her.
Oh--Steve almost fell off his bike when, as we saddled up and clipped in, the most hottest girl I've ever seen skipped into the back of the place to start her waitress duties--she flashed Steve a big smile. As I said, he almost crashed...

John rides strong.

Only about 110 miles to go. That's nothing--
John and Steve at the end of the ride. For John, about 150 miles total. For Steve, 263 miles.
Allure Libre

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Last Man Standing, or Brevet of 300 Kilometers

Gentle Readers,
The 300 was a few weeks ago. Time slipped past and I didn't have a chance to write--so I will just copy and paste an e-mail I sent to Paul Layton, fellow Randonneur and blogger, to this my glorious blog.

From: Paul
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 12:51 PM
To: Bruce
Subject: So how did it go?

I saw your blinking taillight heading up Henness as I
went to the I-10 exit. Thought about stopping but I
figured you guys probably were probably eager to
finish the ride. Man what a gorgeous day that was.
Other than bonking and a bent front derailleur (easily
fixed with a little bending, front derailleurs are
good that way) I didn't have any problems.


Hi Paul

Hey I read your blog entry and enjoyed the post. I tried to make a comment but it didn't work--blogger is squirrely at my office.

So, anyway Paul--I had a flat right there in Coolidge--and really glad Steve came back to help me out. It was cold and dark and I got most of the wire out of the tire, but not all of it, so it made for a slow leak. I'll write more in the blog myself, but after the first controle at Tom Mix, I was feeling pretty nausious, as was Steve. We dragged ourselves up that road to Oracle, and I have to say I was in pretty bad shape. Just waiting to puke my guts out--but I didn't. On Oracle road we stopped and with tweezers picked the wire and a shard of glass out of my tire. At the lunch controle I was pretty sick--Susan offered to take me back to CG. When I was in the bathroom, I looked in the mirror and I was green.

Had a bought of the "runs"--and then the fog lifted a bit. I figured I'd go as far as I could. I off loaded everything I could--including the camera, to save weight and gave to Susan. Very slowly I began to recover, Paul. It was grueling but luckily by the time we got to Gates Pass, I knew it was time to do or die. You would be glad to know that I pulled myself up Gates Pass and met Steve at the top. I made the ascent. As I was going up, weekend riders going down were cheering me on. After 103 miles or thereabouts, getting up that hill is quite a feat in itself. You're up there at the top and looking down that road... Its amazing that we have the strength to do what we do.

Photo courtesy of Paul Layton--this is going down the front side of Gates Pass

Steve and I battled the wind and just took turns drafting for the return. I wanted Steve to draft off me as much as possible until I gave out--that way he could at least finish. But the miles started to melt away and we had a rythm going on up to La Palma, and then we easily got the 10 miles to I-10 under our wheels. Once we got into town and up Henness, where you saw us, we were pretty happy to be done and just kind of cooled down and took it easy.

I must say Paul, you and your bike looked pretty well-tuned. I was glad to see you--but wished I could have talked to you a little more. Steve and I lost a solid hour working over my tire problems. We have made good work of streamlining our controle stops, and even at the lunch stop, we were pulling in as Bryan Gibbon and the group from San Diego were pulling out--so believe it or not, Steve and I ride pretty strong--and we will always finish!

Allure Libre!