Friday, July 28, 2006

Hot Thursday Night

I rode the Callahand challenge last night and I think it was upper nineties and about 80% humidity. I feel strong all week until I do this ride. I can sum it up in one word....Humbling.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Another Lunch Time Ride

Did laps around Lander today, got 15.25 miles in, not too bad. It was the first time on the Death Trap in a while. Gears make you weak. Lander was out and classes are not to resume for a couple of weeks, so it was quiet. A couple of cuties and that was all. It was a little windy and that slowed me just a bit, but it also wafted the aroma of onion rings from the Dixie my way. Nothing out of the ordinary happened until I was on my way back to the office. I climbed the short, but very steep hill to the first of three stop lights between me and the office. Two thirds up it turned red. I try to find the "sweet spot" that would allow my bike to trip the light, but no go. I wait. Soon a Hispanic guy in an old escort wagon pulls up. He nods at me with a smile on his face. He looks familiar, I think he works at one of the local Mexican restaurants, Santa Fe. He rolls down the passenger window and asks, "Tired"? "No, but give me another 30 to 40 more miles then maybe", was all I could think to say. He laughs and the light turns green. As he passes I notice a mountain bike wheel in the back and think of that article in Bicycling magazine about Hispanic immigrants and cycling, calling them "invisible cyclist". If I'm on my bike and I see someone on a bike no matter what type or what color or nationality or origin of the rider, I wave or say something to acknowledge them. They are not invisible to me, but this was just a little weird.

Monday, July 24, 2006

But the Tour Was On!!!

It's been a while since I posted anything, my excuse is The Tour. That's done and another American in yellow. If I was a conspiracies, I'd say the French were up to something this year. I'm not so I wont. The Hitch a Ride post was a good 54 mile fixed ride and Penny's first 20, she did great by the way. The next day another 54 miles on the fourth, you can read Russ' take on that at internal detours blogg. I discovered some really nice roads that day, must do it again. Pictures may follow later. Then it was back to work and over the weekend I went up to visit my cousin, Matt. We did some trails at Issaqueena and had a blast, I only fell once. The trails were a little more technical than what I am used to and I've been on the road. Then later that night we went to Clemson and started at Keith Street, a pub type place. No Tour, they didn't have OLN, but the wings were good and so was the beer. Then to Tiger Town Tavern, an honest to goodness bar. I was one of maybe three people there over thirty. Some of the ladies were eyeing me, but that was probably the alcohol. We played a game of pool, been 11 years or longer since I've done that, and got beat, but not as bad as everybody else. Andrea, Matt's girlfriend was a wee bit tipsy at this point, and I was also starting to feel the effects of the beer, or it was the nicotine from the second hand smoke. We made it back to the house and to bed, Andrea had an early day Sunday and Matt and I were going to get a road ride in. I dreamt of cigarettes and smoke all night. As Christopher Rico once said,"It's like a French movie". It's been almost 7 years since my last cigarette, but I guess once a smoker, always a smoker. Well, the next morning we got up, though later than planned, and got ready. We walked to the end of the drive and put on our cycling shoes. Matt's drive is about 0.5 miles long and gravel, not good for skinny road tires. We climbed up the hill on Silver Creek, I used to think it was bad, not now. We turned right on Maw Bridge Rd. and headed to Six Mile. A few miles into the ride, Matt complained of feeling the beer. For me my lungs had that cobwebby feel you get after too many smokes, but the first hill cleared that up. It was a beautiful ride with lots of nice climbs and some fast descents. At about 35 miles in we were at the start of Maw bridge Rd. in Central. The biggest climb of the day was looming. It wasn't as bad as wiggington Rd. on Issaqueena's Last Ride, but it was still a couple of miles of grinding. I waited for Matt at the entrance to Silver Creek Rd. We were to go back to Six Mile to retrieve Matt's helmet, he left it at his sisters house. It added about ten miles to the trip. As I thought I would have to talk Matt into the additional miles he slows and says,"what the hell, let's go." I pull in behind him and we head back in to Six Mile. We get the helmet and head back. Three miles to go Matt has some gastric issues and we turn around, Six Mile is closer. Then he says he's feeling better and as we pull into his drive, it hits him again,"I'm not going to make it", he says. "Well, hit the woods", I reply. It's a good thing he lives in the country. Not wanting to witness the horror that is about to unfold, I walk toward the house. Fifteen minutes later he walks up, "That was bad", he says. "There were flies directing traffic". I shake my head and laugh. What is it with that side of my family crapping in the woods? Don't ask it's a very long and smelly story. I grab some lunch, shrimp and pasta, awesome, shower, and hang out for a while. I make the trip home and await the return of my girls who have been camping.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Hitch a Ride

Today I rode with some of the Laurns folks, My first ride where males were in the minority. Penny, the lady in the purple jersey, rode as well. It was her first ride with the club and I think her longest ride so far. She managed 20 miles and I don't think she got out of the big ring.

At one point I noticed something on the road, a frog. I jumped and caught a spoke on Penny's back wheel. It then found itself perched on her shoulder and hitched a ride for a while. When we stopped at a stop sign I snapped another photo and placed her safely in the grass....the frog, not Penny.