Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ride the Bike Ride the Bike Ride the Bike

I dreamed Beautiful Beijing girls cheered me on as I braved yet another week of bike commuting.

Monday Morning—as I was getting over the rough and broken pavement of the Dragon’s back (that would be Cortaro Rd/Magee) a roadie blasted past me at the crest of the hill—much to the displeasure of motorists because it seems he was chasing me down and using the lane to get some speed and avoid all the pot holes, making the drivers wait just that extra three seconds… Whatever—he didn’t want to stop and say hello but just brushed past me. He had all kinds of tattoos on his arms and legs—so he was a young dude out to beat the old man. I don’t mind, it’s just that the road we were on was not the best, and drivers not always awake.

At the bottom of this hill where we met momentarily at the top, is my right turn on Shannon which takes me to Ina where I made a left turn. Sweet Shannon—new road and smooth with curves… Tattoo kept going up Magee, which I do think is impressive because it is a tough climb, and there is no shoulder, the pavement is crap, and as you probably guessed, cars proclaim the road as their own.

I guessed right because as I made my way up Ina, Tattoo was climbing about half mile in front of me. I had to wait for a left turn at a light—Tattoo probably saved several minutes by making the tough climb and didn’t have to stop and got to Ina up ahead of me.

I slowly gained on him as a light rain fell. But I could see that he was going to make the lights and I’d have to wait—which is what happened twice. So catching up to Tattoo will not happen this day.

Still, maybe I should try the route he took and see what befalls me. Traffic is light on this road in the morning, but picks up the way he went.

Rain was spotty but ready to let loose. Bike was stowed in the locker and as I walked across the parking lot it began to pour. I was soaked, Gentle Readers of This Blog.

Going Home—again rain, but mostly mud on the bike path. The fenders on the Raleigh have earned their keep as my tires gobbled up that pudding-like muck from the river bank.

Because of the rain and it being a Monsoon Rain, I had a tail wind and not that brutal head wind that I’m used to for the ride home everyday. Mes amis, I flew down the road with ease, and cut off 10 minutes—I was at the river path and La Cholla at 5:35—way early. At the YMCA I waited for Bev 15 minutes and just chilled out—and dried out. It’s been a bit muggy with the rains still hanging on.

Tuesday Morning—taking hold of the Raleigh, I discovered the back tire was pancake flat. Phil at Pima Street Bikes has sold me on the heavy-duty puncture resistant tubes. To have a flat with these installed means there’s a serious problem. So I quick as I could put the bags and gear on the LeMond and I was off—about 15 minutes later than normal—so I rode hard to make up time.

One thing right away I can tell is weight. The LeMond is much lighter—but I felt funny. Gearing is different on a road bike set up for racing as opposed to my touring bike. I believe I should take the advise of Dave Glasgow and ride the LeMond—as that will be the bike I will ride in the 252 Cochise Classic.

But the commuter bike has fenders and is rock solid sturdy. The racing bike is sleek and with no fenders; bike and rider will be covered in mud and grime. This has been the wettest Monsoon for many years. I imagine Cochise will be the same as 2005 with rain, hail, and relentless wind.

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