Sunday, June 30, 2013

Dirty Mogollon Flats, Heat, and Pain.

Roger and I riding along while the morning is still pleasant
 So,  for some crazy reason, I thought I would try the Dirty Mogollon Mormon Madness route again, but this time on my commuter bike with Cyclocross tires on it.    This route is my attempt at a mountain bike 200k  through the rim country of Northern Arizona.  At this point I think this ride is doable on 35c tires and no suspension,  but I don't think it is as enjoyable an experience without some suspension.   It may just be the fact we were riding in extreme heat (at least for the forest which rarely gets over 90 but it was over 95 most of the day) that I developed the saddle sores I did or perhaps it was the fact I forgot to shower before I left in the morning, but I am growing suspicious that suspension on rough roads may help ease saddle discomfort.

Roger at Jones Crossing

Roger hadn't done much gravel riding he told me shortly into the ride.   He would get a lot of that in the next 30-40 miles.   The dry conditions made for a dusty ride on loose surface.   I think I prefer a surface that has been rained on within a week or so at this point,  it's much more stable.

Typically Roger is a much faster rider than I am but the gravel slowed him down a lot.  We would get into a pattern of me pulling ahead on the descents and him catching up on the climbs. 

Roger climbing up onto the rim
I think the cyclocross bikes are faster than the mountain bikes marginally,  but they sure do jump around a lot more when the road gets loose or rough.  The mountain bikes are a much more comfortable ride which over the long term can amount to success or failure.

On the rim road with um, friends?
There were a few times when it seemed like herds of people would pass us  the closer we got to the more popular parts of the rim country and then there would be really long periods of nobody at all on the road.  Cough Cough Sputter.

View from the Rim Road

 We had to walk portions of the 1/2 mile road to the General Springs Cabin due to deep sand and the fact it has gotten really rough in recent years.  I got a flat between there and Clear Creek,  it was a defective tube.   Clear Creek was as pretty as ever, a true oasis in the bottom of a pretty canyon.  The climb out was hot and grueling.  The cold water at the Blue Ridge Ranger station was very refreshing and I made a point to soak my jersey before I left to keep my body temperature down and conserve water.

Roger near General Springs Cabin
I got my second flat on the dirt section following the ranger station.  This time a thorn was the culprit and Roger would catch up to me while I was changing it.   When I caught him again he notified me he was abandoning since he determined he was unable to keep up a qualifying speed on the roads under current conditions.  I bid him adieu and headed off to try and keep enough speed so that I would be able to make the cutoff,  I would cut it close.   In retrospect I probably should have put on sunscreen,  or maybe listened to the pain that was growing in my posterior,  but I am stubborn that way.

Clear Creek
Upon arriving at the Happy Jack Ranger station I saw I had a chance of making the cutoff.   I doused my jersey again,  drank as much water as I could stomache, and topped off all my bottles.   I had a brief episode of questioning down the road as I almost turned on the wrong road thinking it was Stoneman lake road but I ended up going a bit further and found the right one.   I made good time down Stoneman lake road and took some nice pictures of the homesteads and the lake.

Homesteads near Stoneman Lake
After the lake I entered the tough section of the ride and admit that without suspension there is a lot more hike a bike through here.   It slowed me but I think had I not had my further flats I probably would have made the time cutoff.   This section was scorching hot.   So much so that I stopped at a cattle tank that was fairly clean as far as cow tanks go and splashed water over myself almost falling in twice and accidentally stepping into the ankle deep mud once.

Old tree at Stoneman Lake Overlook
After the tank I pinch flatted on a sharp rock while descending and the patch I put on to cover the 2 holes did not hold leading to my second flat.    After repairing the second flat I was out of tubes and glue and my butt felt like I had sat on a flaming hill of fire ants for an hour.   I determined that since I didn't have anymore materials to fix flats it was not prudent to continue since getting stranded in the back country for days on end was not an option.   The posterior heartily agreed and so I rerouted myself to take the most direct route I could back to the Happy Jack Ranger station to get enough water to get back to the car.

The long road of abandonment, and a very appreciated sun blocking thundercloud
The posterior, did not stop complaining with the minds resolution to turn back though.  I could barely stand to sit and the pain was excruciating.   After much pain I managed to get back out on to Lake Mary road again and heading back to Happy Jack.   After a lot of walking to easy my discomfort I eventually got to Happy Jack and downed some ibuprofen and filled up on water.

Dusty, not rusty.
There's not much to write about the last 15 miles.  They were long and painful.  The car was a very welcome site.   I ended up with 6350 feet of climbing and 102 miles done in a little over 11 hours.  75 of those miles was on dirt and rocks.  Some of it extremely rough.

Someone needs a bath.

Not a tan.  Completely washed off in the shower.

Monday, June 10, 2013

What We Ride- Some Dude interviews Paul.

Dude: Today we're interviewing the infamous Paul Layton, Randonneur Mediocre extrordinaire!   Particularly we are interested in his bike.  Paul,  I don't see any branding on this frame, it is a very um,  interesting setup here.
Paul: Yes Dude, it is.  The frame is a Mordor original, Nazgul model.
Dude: Mordor?  I'm not familiar with that bike company.
Paul: I kid,  it's actually a Nashbar touring frame I got for $150.  I used to ride a Cannondale Synapse on Permanents and Brevets but I've recently started drinking the koolaid on larger tires and also been mixing in a little dirt so my commuter became my Rando bike.
Dude: Ah,  ha ha I see,  that's a joke isn't it?  The opposite of Rivendell would in fact be Mordor,  ha ha.   Paul,  I understand Randonneurs often take great pride in their setups from the pavement up, and especially the tiny details.  What are the special items on your bike that really stand out?
Paul:  Dude,  I am so glad you asked that question.  A lot of great care went into this bike.   Let's start with the bars,  these bars were throw away's from my Synapse when I ordered a shallower bar for it so I stuck them on my commuter.  They are nice and deep which by a sheer amount of luck actually feel ok for me on this bike.   I really like how they put me a little farther forward.   It sounds odd I know but it just feels right at this point.  Being a green bike, you might notice my camoflauge bartape?  Nice touch huh? I'm the guy with the invisible handlebars!  Seriously though the tape cost me $3 at Mord...I mean Nashbar and so I really didn't care what it looked like,  this was my commuter after all!  Let's move to my state of the art shifting system.  This too was a throw away from my synapse as the guys that built the synapse put SRAM Rival on it and put the Tiagra brifters in the sale bin and I eagerly saved them from such a demise and stuck them on the tandem,  yup you got that right,  they didn't work out so well on the tandem so after a lot of thought,  I decided the quaint rivendell downtube shifters I had that weren't quite working so swell (no fault of rivendell,  nostalgia lost it's magic that's all), would be replaced by my nice third times the charm Shimano Tiagra brifters and here they are today,  and I have very little displeasure with them.  You'll also find a state of the art Nashbar square bottom bracket and Richey headset on this baby,  I did not spare any expense on this thing.   I ask you what's more sexy than those Tektro Oryx brakes that I got for 20 something dollars?
Dude: Um,  uh,  I'm at a loss,  what's more sexy than that?
Paul: How about those home laced Sun CR18 rims on Ultegra Hubs I picked up on the cheap too for just a little more?
Dude: ok,  well, uh,  how about the seat?  I hear Randonneurs are very particular about their seats.
Paul: Parts bin.  It's an old Cobb saddle I used to have on my Synapse too.  The Brooks and Selle Anatomica weren't too comfy for me in the aero bars but the Cobb felt ok so there it stays.   I should add the derailleurs are also from the parts bins from old bikes.  They are a Shimano 105 9 speed triple setup from my first rando bike.  The best touch though are the 3 bottle cages.   I don't know if you spotted this, but each of them is a different brand/style.  How sexy is that?....
Dude: Parts bin?
Paul: You got it!  Parts bin again!
Dude: Wow, Paul,  this appears to be a um,  a um, well interesting bike.
Paul: Yup,  I'm livin the dream man.
Dude: Well,  thank you for your time Paul,  it's always interesting to see different rider's bikes of choice.
Paul: Anytime Dude!

Down at the Salt River Ready to cool off so I don't get Heat Stroke.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Burma Shave Brevet, 1st place....and Lantern Rouge.

Burma Shave signs, memorials to the old Burma Shave signs of yesteryear.

As of this week no one else had signed up for either of the distances for the Mother Road 200/300k.  So, not wanting to impose on anyone, seeing as I was the only one signed up for the brevet,  I offered to ride self supported so no one would have to spend their day out supporting one rider on a 300k.   This was one of the things I think that led to a bit of a slower time this around,  as well as the wind, which fortunately took a little time to start it's huffing and puffing.  The other thing I thought would be an issue was my foot, as my wife had backed the car over it while I was working on the  jeep in the driveway Thursday morning.  Turns out it wasn't an issue since most of the damage was on the heal and it turns out I don't use my heal much when on the bike.  Walking yes,  cycling no.  For the win!  So though I could hardly walk Friday,  I found I could ride without problems.

The Jeep I am proud to say stood by me through the 2 hour drive to Chino Valley Saturday morning and I had 15 minutes to get everything ready.  The manager couldn't get me a receipt I soon discovered but gave me a signed business card.   Hope it's enough.   The things you find out when switching a ride from a supported ride to a self supported ride huh?   They were nice enough to let me use their bathroom to get ready (and not tow my car away during the day,  must say I appreciated that).

Temps out of the gate were 50 degrees but would drop to 44 down in Paulden,  and I with nothing but a wind vest (glad I brought that) for additional warmth.   My attire strategy did work out but I had cold fingers for the first hour or so as the sun took it's sweet time to warm things up.

Steve wasn't there so someone had to take the beer sign shot.
 I had a bit of a tailwind kick in a few miles out of Ash Fork and it was much appreciated but it would slowly strengthen into an overpowering crosswind/headwind for most of the rest of the day.   I remember thinking how cool it was to see a wind farm up on the hill above Ashfork and then suddenly check myself as I thought  where there is a wind farm there is usually wind.  Darn!  Maybe wind farms aren't so cool after all.

I made a quick stop in Ash Fork to get my proof of passage and water and then forged on ahead at nearly the same time I was there 2 years ago.   I think I was stronger this go round but took longer in the controls due to being self supported.

I suppose I should mention I tried a different bike for this brevet.   Since the pavement as  I remember it was a bit sketchy much of the way (yeah it's a historic road, that will happen) I opted to ride my commuter bike with 32c tires to perhaps gain a little efficiency with the larger tires on the rough pavement.  The shoulders on the interstate had a weird large chipseal type shoulder and I think the tires really shined in here.   That is once I passed the bag full of poop on the shoulder on the entrance ramp of course.   Somewhere out there is a really high class person.

Ye Olde Crookton Railroad Overpass.
Crookton Road was a pleasure as always.   I hunkered down for a good climb through some interesting hills dotted with old dilapidated buildings bedecked with no trespassing signs.   I started seeing prairie dogs in here,  I would see several throughout the day diving into the safety of their holes as I passed.  Just over the pass I stopped briefly at the Crookton Overpass to take some pictures of original route 66 pavement and the old bridge.

From there it was a nice drop down into Seligman and pleasantly,  there was not nearly the headwinds in this section as there were last year,  so I guess the wind fairy did throw me a bone or two before throwing me under the bus.

On top of Ye Olde Crookton Railroad overpass
 Not being one for big meals (my apology's to the Extreme Picnicking Society) I opted to stop at the General Store for Ibuprofen and water rather than get my proof of passage receipt at Ye Olde Road Kill Cafe.

As I moved on into the Valley west of Seligman the winds would slowly build to roaring and direct headwinds the closer I got to Grand Canyon Caverns and from there to Peach Springs they would hold me below 12 mph or so the rest of the way until I started down the 6% grade into Peach Springs and then they let me get up to 20 or so.    I figured I'd at least have a tailwind coming up the hill though.

One other perk of my Commuter bike is it has 3 bottle cages and I used that last bottle before I got to Peach Springs.  I didn't think I would but I was glad I had it.

Lonely power pole,  shot by a lonely randonneur.
 Again I opted for the market over the restaurant for my control receipt so as to get some water and supplies.   I downed a delicious cherry Dr. Pepper which pepped me up.   Several times during the filling process of my bottles the wind would pickup and blow the empty water bottles I had bought half way across town before I could chase them down and finally got smart and weighted them down until I was done and could throw them all away.   Did I mention it had gotten windy?

I decided I should head back while I had a bit of a tailwind which did in fact stay a tailwind for the whole climb,  so that was kind of nice.   Once I got over the top though it was more of a cross/headwind for the downhill parts which was annoying.  I took a lot longer getting back to Seligman than coming due to the winds.  I constantly would see tumble weeds rocketing across the road as well as other debris,  giant clouds of dust often whipped across the road.  It was a trial.   I spent most of the time at 11 - 12 mph.

The Endless Valley
 Upon finally having conquered the endless valley upon my return I decided to sit down for a bit in Seligman, I had noticed that morning the presence of an "A&W" at the edge of town and so opted to sit and have a large root beer and some fries to get me back to Ash Fork and to help ease the memories of the struggle in the wind.

One of the highlights of my day was on the stretch back to Crookton Overpass when I was successful in getting a train engineer to honk his horn at me when I gave him the sign.  That has to be a tedious job sometimes I am sure,  crossing the wide grasslands of northern Arizona.  Which is why I was pretty sure he was looking at me,  the only different thing out there, as I gave him the horn honk sign I had used so many times as a kid from the backseat with the passing semi's much to my parent's annoyance I am sure.
The Best Market in Peach Springs,  and only one.
 The winds didn't abate much as I pulled in to Ashfork.  I am happy to report there were no signs of bags of poop on the eastbound side of the interstate.   I pulled into the station feeling a lot stronger than I had 2 years ago.  The wind would make up for it though.   I had strong headwinds all the way back,  but I did at least get to Paulden before I really would need my lights,  so I did get to get the descending (if you could call it that with the wind) out of the way in the last evening light.

I managed to get back about 8:40.   39 minutes longer than last time but I figure I can account for that with wind and being self supported.   It was a good day.  A day full of solo introspection and open road.
Evening Shadows

Thursday, April 18, 2013

28 C's Kelvin Helvin? Kevin Heaven?

 Hmmm, I suppose I should report on my 28 C's Kelven ride.  I'm not going to go too deep on this one as my Sunday got blown to pieces thanks to a car that broke down for my wife while I was riding Saturday.  So,  the car got more attention than you will I am afraid fair readers.  I will put up all my pictures though.
I officially started right at 4:30 from the convenience store across from Albertsons since the big A wasn't opened yet.   Temps were in mid 50's pretty much perfect.  They did get a bit cooler out towards Superior but not much.  It was pretty much a perfect morning to do this ride.  Winds were light and really not much of an issue the whole day.

 I brought some tunes to help pass the time and noticed the miles just seemed to fly by.   Us 60 was not too busy and I think they have repaved the shoulders on the way out since I rode this last as I recall it being a much more painful affair in the past.

So what ya wanna do?  I dunno,  what you wanna do?  Let's not start that again!
 Refilled water at Superior and plunked my Gu electolyte tablets into the bottles.  Juries out on these little guys,  liked the taste but I think they may have been involved in my issues after Florence but I don't know,  think I'm going to go back to what I know works and doesn't cause wierd pain- endurolytes.
Managed to drag my overweight keister, 3 full water bottles, and packed oversized seatpack up over the Superior side of the End of the World hill and all it's 10%+ glory.  Whew!  Need to lose a few pounds.

The End of the World!
 People were up and doing stuff in Kelvin.  I'm usually there before people are out of bed.   Looked like nice folks.   Not many folks on Florence Kelvin Highway today.  2 hikers,  a motorcycle and a couple of jeeps.   Freshly Graded this week by the looks of the road since it rained on Monday and the tracks were fresh.  Sweet, sweet, freshly graded road, almost able to keep pavement speed most of the way except a few short washboarded segments and the steep descent of course.  I was even able to use aero bars much of the way on the gradual descent.  I think 32C tires are the magical compromise for this route.  I had deflated them to around 40 psi and the ride was just right.  Think I might try this setup for the Dirty Mogollon Mormon Madness permanent I am thinking of at the end of June instead of going full mountain bike.

Stopped to pump up tires and mix some drink at start of pavement again.  No crazy headwind this time heading down to Florence.  Made it by 11:30.   Looks like a beach town with everyone in bikini's and absurdly short jeans,  looks like a Daisy Duke meets Sports Illustrated Swimsuit style convention.   Could swear there was a river or lake nearby by the way everyone is dressed at Gas Station and Sonic.  Weird.
12:00  finally off after the really slow service at Sonic finally got me two big waters and an ice cream cone.  Mistake-ice cream cone had some preservative or something that caused strange pain like I get when I eat Honey Buns.  Kind of a gotta pee someone kicked you in the marble sack type pain.  I think part of this was due to dehydration but I think I'm going to avoid sonic ice cream in the future.   I should have downed the rest of the second water while I was there but didn't.  That was my second mistake.

Steep start of Florence Kelvin Highway 14%!
 Because of the pain I couldn't get in the aero bars or even the hoods because it would get bad the more I leaned forward.   Really bizarre. Fortunately the winds were moving around so I never had bad headwinds for too long.  I started chugging water at the Gantzel market.  The pain would persist even after I knew the dehydration was gone and the ride was over.   Think I'm going to make a point of drinking extra fluids next long ride and hope it doesn't happen again.

Old Friends

Woo hoo!  At the top of the huge hill!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

BP Man and Biker boy save the, oh ok, RIDE, El Tour De Mesa

Biker Boy in all his glory
A beautiful day in a a small desert town,  peaceful,  hmmm,  almost too peaceful.  What evil lurks in the backstreats of Mesa, Arizona and surrounding areas this fine day as nearly 1400 fine upstanding citizens dressed as super hero's line up at their choice of distances at El Tour de Mesa (72 or 28 mile)?   What stands between them and defeat?  What evil lies in their path?  What demons lay in wait to devour their resolve and results of many weeks of training?  Yes,  for though they have almost superhuman abilities of strength and endurance, what of the mechanical weaknesses of their trusty sidekicks?  What of a suddenly sunny day at the end of months of training in the cold and the electrolytic muscle cramping carnage that may ensue?  What of those nasty little wires from radial tires that are impossible to find when you have flatted?!  Oh the carnage!  Who can save them?

Fortunately among these good folks dressed as superheros, are some ordinary folk dressed in very un-hero like t-shirts.  Yes,  in a world dominated by platinum riders and spandex super hero's,  there is the t-shirt clad bike patrol,  the thin yellow line as it were,  ever on the patrol against evil in the pelaton.  Ever on the alert for the unwitting victims of mechanical tragedy or sudden disaster,  ever there for a cheery comment to brace up the wilting warrior! (yes I know a few super Bike Patrollers have those superhero spandex jerseys too but most don't)

Well,  this blogs post is of just such a ride good citizens of cyberspace.   I, BP Man, with my trusty sidekick, Biker Boy, lined up at the 28 mile start of El Tour de Mesa.  Not because Biker Boy was but 10 years old, no,  no, rather because we didn't want him to um,  uh......Show anyone up?  Is that believable?  no? uh, ok well, um, we knew!  yes,  we knew that great evil was waiting for the innocent superhero clad people of the 28 mile event! Yes,  that's it!    So we lined up with the 28 milers in order to be of most service!

As it turned out,  evil would not be long in attacking the good folk of the 28 mile event as Wayne Churchman,   no no no,  Wayne's not evil,  quit jumping to conclusions.  There are no finer people than the good folks at PBAA always on the lookout for helping people to good health through wholesome and fun events,  no the evil was insidious as somehow the events first mechanical was the device that was to play the melodious and harmonious voices of the "somebody or other sisters" singing the National Anthem.    Yes,  Doom may have been final and complete before we even began had it not been for Wayne's observance that there may be some good folk among the crowd who had secret powers of harmonization lurking deep inside.   Indeed, BP man himself had once masqueraded as mild mannered Paul,   a boy in a high school choir who sang bass on this same song at all the football games.   The day was saved as many lent their voices to the task at hand and without further ado Wayne released the sea of spandex upon the streets of Mesa.

Good riders heading towards Red Mountain
I took many opportunities now to remind Biker Boy of the dangers of following the evil "too fast for you guys", lest he overdo himself and end up in care of the paramedics as he did at Cochise last year (another long story which you shall have to leaf back to October's entries on this blog to read).  Amazingly Biker Boy listened and showed off his magnificent powers of paying attention which before now I did not know he possessed.  He has hidden those powers well over the years.

Biker Boy attacked "Little Kong" hill with calculated and patient vehemence but near the top he nearly succumbed to stopping.  I had become distracted by a few guys with a thrown chain behind me and went back down the hill to see if they needed help.  By the time I arrived they had resolved their situation but now the evil Mr. Traffic had trapped me on the far side of the road!   I was not able to get back to Biker Boy until he was nearly up the hill,  but I arrived in time to give him a word of encouragement and point out the downhill spots ahead.

Biker Boy apparently did not do as well with the Super Gummy Bear breakfast as he thought he might have. It turns out his super-stomache may be waning in it's ability to digest a full bag of Gummy Bears in one sitting just before exercising.   BP Man used his powerful words of encouragement powers and barely succeeded in bringing Biker Boy back from the brink of bad bear digestion induced bad attitude.  Either that or it may have been the start of the downhill,  in the interest of full disclosure,  the ever honest BP man must admit going downhill may have helped Biker Boy's attitude as well but he prefers to think it was his amazing super powers of motivation.

The rest stop was a much appreciated cookie, banana, and water break.   Soon Biker Boy would endure the great evil of the backside of Usery Pass.   This was a very dark hour for Biker Boy.   BP man used his amazing powers of motivation on many but his greatest efforts were pushing Biker Boy periodically to get him through tough spots and stopping to wait for him every so often as well.

Upon passing the pass it was evident that BP man would not pass and told Biker Boy to fly to the end and he would catch up.   BP man was the victim of unspeakable evil,  the evil Dr. Flat.   Not finding any thorn or glass BP Man decided to pump the tire up and hope it was a slow leak.   Alas, twould not be slow enough!

Faster than a speeding recumbent, BP man shot down the front side of Usery Pass in his desperation to catch his sidekick but fate would determine otherwise!   There on McDowell,  a rider was in need and BP man,  sworn upholder and defender of the riders,  had to stop and help.   I won't share detail for though this lighthearted ride report is a report of the ride it is not an official report,  and BP Man's mild manner alter ego works as a programmer in the medical field and the fear of HPAA is strong upon him and it just doesn't make sense to share more information in these matters than is necessary,  so,  using my incredible powers of HIPAA violation avoidance,  I will remain mum,  only that it wasn't anything crazy serious,  I'm just a cautious guy and it's nobody's business but the riders what went on.

So,  after a time,  BP man was off!  But the evil Dr. Flat was not to be ignored!  Fortunately, the next rest stop had a floor pump but a few miles down the road Dr. Flat completed his wicked plan and I had to confront him with my superior powers of flat resolution!  He had used his worst weapon!  It is rumored even the fabled Armadillo's cannot block a steal belted radial wire and he had plunged one deep within my tire.  It was now I discovered the BP Pliers had not made it into the mighty BP utility pannier.  Fortunately, another BP Man stopped and lent me his and the evil Dr. Flat was defeated.

Off to the finish line!  I roared along making good time and encouraging those I passed.   Biker Boy gave me a call on the BP Phone when I was still 4 to 5 miles out.   He must have gotten a super second wind going,  either that or he likes pedaling downhill a lot more.   Personally I think it was his amazing super powers of pedaling downhill.   I crossed the finish about 15 - 20 minutes after Biker Boy.   We picked up our medals and enjoyed the glorious spoils of the Great Arizona Bicycle Festival.  So ends another adventure of BP man and Biker boy!   Stay tuned for the Cochise Classic where they will be joined by Super Joe,   Same BP time same BP organizer!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Neighbors, Sons, and Sons of....well, lets just not finish that.

Josh Climbing Usery Pass

It's Spummer in Mesa good readers.   Spummer is a short season where it is cool enough that you aren't sweating buckets and yet you don't need arm or leg warmers.   Such a season mimics what the rest of the world calls summer but only lasts a few short weeks.   I can't in good faith call it Spring,  Spring follows winter and we don't have Winter here in the Valley of the sun.  We have Fring,  which is basically Fall Spring,  it gets cold at night but is nice during the day.

Well,  my neighbor across the street who works at DNA Cycles invited me on their Saturday ride and as I did not have anything set in stone,  I decided to give it a go.   My neighbor has been doing a lot of Mountain Biking lately and looking at his times on Strava, and adding to the fact he is a lot closer to perfect cycling bmi than I am, I was a bit intimidated.   I managed to stay with him to the shop despite breathing a little harder than I should for a warm up.   It went well though.   We've been talking of riding since he moved in over a year ago and it's funny it took this long for our schedules to hook up.

We rode out to the beeline and back with a trip over the backside and I am proud to say I was not last up the hills and was even third getting up little Kong.  Of course I was further towards the back on the other hills but I am not unhappy with the results.

In the afternoon I took Josh up to the Usery Pass Visitor's center for his last big training ride for Tour de Mesa next week.   He did good with only a minimum of complaining and stopping.  He'll do good when we mix in all the people to distract him next week and he just goes.   He has really picked up his pace this year and I am finding him quite pleasant to ride with.   Of course this might just be because I go all out in the morning and by the time I take him out that is just the pace I am comfy with.  No matter, he's a lot funner to ride with now that he can hold 15 mph or so.   Nice to finally average over 10 mph and not stop ever 3 or 4 miles.

Ah,  the title mentioned Sons of,  um,  well, I'm not a big swearer I'm afraid, but those of you who are can fill in whatever terms you like for my father in-law's boss that fired him because he was too old this week.   He's been my ride home this last year as I've been riding the bike 20 miles to work and then riding 3 miles over to meet him for a ride home at Az Mills Mall.   I'll spare you all the details but it all amounts to a 66 year old guy that can't afford to retire and lives to work by choice (yeah I know,  not my thing either,  I'd love to retire and ride all the time but different spokes for different folks) getting the ax so the company can pay a younger person less money.   I'll be putting in a lot more miles soon after he finishes training his replacement since I'll be riding both ways as I'm faster than the bus. Wish I had enough money to give him so he could just tell his boss to train the replacement himself and leave.

I should have lots of miles in the bank by the time the Mother Road 300k rolls around in May.   Nobody else is registered so far.  Hope I'm not soloing the brevet in May.  Oh well, if I go it alone I guess I go it alone.   Wish I didn't have a schedule conflict for the Mines to Pines this month,  looks like a good group of riders have signed up.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Commuting thoughts on a sunny beautiful 60 degree morning.

To the fellow in the surprisingly wide chromed Lamborghini in the contruction zone who passed me so close,  if I ever see you passing me again I shall empty my nasal cavity with surprising force in your direction and considering you have a convertible, the contents might contact you and your pricey car.   Something to think about.  What?   How will I know it is you?   Um,  you do of course realize there are a limited supply of Lamborghini's in Mesa, Arizona right?   The other one is Yellow but you probably know that I am sure.  For the record,  if you give me the 3 feet of passing distance the law requires it is a very slim chance I would have the range to get nasal discharge on your car,  I haven't been training lately and my range is just not what it used to be.

To the little fellow (I assume he's a little fellow at least in his own introspection) whose little compact has a tailpipe louder than an obnoxious Harley.   You know,  you are only making people think about the things you are compensating for when you try so hard to call attention to yourself.  Why not take up a nice hobby like cycling?  Perhaps the comradery would do your self esteem some good and give you something to really be proud of.

To Les,  the intrepid commuter on the cyclocross bike who I played tag with halfway across Mesa.  So nice to see another rider out there getting to work under their own power.  You can drop into my draft anytime.  Keep it up.