Monday, May 11, 2009

100 Degrees My Pretties!

The start of my 26 mile morning commute at 5:30 a.m.

I embrace 100 Degrees like hugging my Aunt Mary, the legendary school crossing guard (ret) of Jenks High School, Jenks, America—she is gonna hug you back, and it will be a chocking head-lock. No matter how grown-up, or bad-ass you think you are, Aunt Mary let’s you know she’s very high up in the chain of command—don’t mess with her, show her the respect she deserves—and you will be lovingly tolerated.

In Tucson, when it gets to 100 degrees, a lot of people start crying about super heat. I don’t know why because they only experience it for the few minutes they’re walking from their office chair to the car in the afternoon.

This is like how people experience extreme cold weather, like I used to up in South Dakota—they only experience the frigid air walking from the parking lot to their office—which is three to five minutes. In automobiles, people are far removed from anything weather related.

I have ridden my bike, commuting to class at the University of South Dakota—in 40 below zero. And here in Tucson, I have commuted home in the afternoons from work in a blazing 107.

You can do it, mes amis. You can…

Sunrise on Calle Concordia and Pusch Ridge, Tucson, Arizona.

Okay, well—embracing 100 degrees was easy. The morning ride in was beautiful—and uneventful. I left the house at 5:30 a.m. yesterday, and it was 72 degrees.

Riding home—right at 100 degrees. My first water bottle only lasted to the top of my climb—three miles. I had bottle number two iced down in my saddle bag. At the top of Swan and Sunrise, I grabbed bottle two and took a cool drink. There was a steady headwind like a blow dryer in my face.

Half-way home on busy Ina, just past Oracle (one of the busiest intersection in this city) I ran over something—a rock or piece of glass—and slashed my front tire. My bike was wobbling—I pulled down a side street. I saw the tube starting to push out the torn tire, then WHAM !!!

Show stopper--a blown tire.

The tire blew wide open. I called Little Egypt for evacuation. “My show starts at 7 o’clock.” She said as she hung up her cell. But the coordinates I gave her were clear and she knew a short cut from our house—so it seemed that in no time she rolled up.

The time I waited, I endured many hostile and mocking glares from car drivers leaving the Wal-Mart next to where I was held up. My own fault for abandoning my Randonneur’s sensibilities for a 50 mile commute. I didn’t have anything to boot the blown tire—I didn’t have my spare folded-up tired that saved us on the 300 km brevet. I was broken down and it was obvious to the haters as they drove by. Lots of smirks and laughs. Joe Six-type dudes would gas their libido trucks and they’d rev low and mean as they lunged to the exit to turn onto the street.

From cars and trucks, it seems easy to be something you’re not. Easy to be mean to someone in less fortunate circumstances, like a cyclist with a flat tire, while were it the same person walking by or on a bike themselves, they may stop and ask if there was anything they could do.

While I stood by the bike, a young woman puffing a cigarette with her churlish beau sauntered past me—they acted as if I wasn’t there. Now I know how a homeless or a street person feels when people walk past. Just by their mere existence they were better than me—was the feeling I got. Ouch…

100 degrees got the best of me today, mes amis.

Evac from Little Egypt. She wonders why I do this? 100 degrees and commuting to work? Why don't I just drive?

It's about time!

Callie is glad I'm home safe and sound--because damn it, she wants to play!


Anonymous said...

Why ride in the 100 degree heat? Cause you have a dick and you want to show it to the world, hence the Lycra:)

You are a better human than any puke that dares to set foot in the parking lot of a Walmart. You are my hero. My role model. Ride your ride brethren.

Bruce's Bike Blog said...

100 degrees is not that bad really. Just have to keep moving and stay motivated. I don't have anything to prove and I'm not trying to show the haters how tough I am--just love riding and feeling the sun and the wind. I like feeling fit (fitter).

Cheers! Bruce