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!