Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tucson - the trip home

We arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare. We knew it was going to be a long flight home, the flight was overbooked and there were at least 5 babies getting on and close to a dozen children. The rest was filled with various walks of life. The skies were clear and the military planes were leaving at regular intervals leaving you with the secure feeling that there weren’t going to be any enemy air attacks any time soon.

They started begging for some one to take a later flight as a late arrival just had to be on this flight.

Just before we were to board the plane an attendant asked a woman to check a baby buggy of as the buggy wasn’t allowed inside the cabin and would be returned to them immediately upon landing. When asked she her and the old man if they had purchased a separate ticket for the child you could tell they weren’t too happy. There were no extra seats available and I had the feeling this woman thought she was just so special the airline would make an exception for just little ole her. Eventually she quit discussing the issue and allowed them to take the buggy and the old man returned to his seat.

They continued begging for a passenger to take a later flight offering cash and vouchers. I would have taken it but the next flight was 5 hours away and I had Turra with me.

Then there was the sun bunny who was so tanned she looked like an over baked ginger bread man no one wanted to eat.. She was all dressed up with somewhere to go, decked out in huge spiked platform sandals, skin tight jeans and fake fingernails that were so long she could barely use her fingers. Must have been a late night down at the teen club as she tried all morning to sleep across two chairs wrapped up in a coat.

We finally got to board the plane and as luck would have it, we pretty much boarded last with unassigned open seating. By the time we made it on board, all the good seats were taken and the only multiple open seats left were the back row. So we could sit relatively close together, we took the back row, me at my favorite spot, the window and her near the isle so she could stretch out. I was hoping for some one good to sit there, young and hot, middle aged and sexy, a cougar, even a kid would do.

Then it happened, The Butt Sisters, two huge beefalos, Betty Butch and her Queen came charging down the isle demanding the steward (yes, we had male attendants) give them side by side seating because her “companion” as she called her, had medical issues that required getting up every 10 minutes so the coumadin in her wouldn’t cause blood clots. Someone needed to tell the cranky assed tubby that coumadin prevents blood clots, not cause them. No one wanted to get stuck with two tubbies in the same row so the butch looking one decided to plant herself between us. At 1st we thought she was going to need a giant shoe horn or a little anal lube to get her enormous butt between the arm rest but somehow she managed to wedge herself in and no, it wasn’t very pretty.

Queen Coumadin seemed content to be where she was but Betty Butch was not a happy tubby. She huffed and puffed and tried to get her own way but to no avail, the plane took off with her stuck, literally to me. At least she didn’t stink! If it hadn’t been for the arm rests, I would have been smashed between the human garbage disposal and the narrowing tail section of the plane. Turra was hanging into the isle way in total disbelief.

We were no long up to altitude when the stewards came by and asked if we wanted any snacks? Betty Butch couldn’t decide so she took one of every thing along with a large bag of cookies presented to her by Queen Coumadin. It didn’t take long before all the snack food was devoured and crumbs swept away all over me, the floor and who knows where else. I’m surprised she didn’t inhale them like a human Hoover. Meanwhile I was trying to eat some peanuts when one dropped from my hand. I was afraid to catch it as my hand might get caught up in her diving for it, she did look famished you know.

Then came the fun part, Betty Butch evidently doesn’t do well on roller coasters either. As soon as we hit bad weather and the plane started pitching she started getting nauseous all the while the sweet wide cheeks who was supposedly sick, never batted an eye. Poor Betty kept wobbling all over in her seat pushing me up against the wall, excusing herself, then repeating, lean forward, lean back, pitch left, pitch right. She couldn’t sit still for the longest time until she finally closed her eyes, probably praying for a ho ho. The whole time this was going on I kept my head buried in a video game while listening to music trying like hell to keep the Butt Sisters out of my mental (and physical) space.

We finally made final approach to Chicago when I realized that Queen Coumadin, who was supposed to get up every 10 minutes, never left her friggin seat!! I think these two dikes were trying to pull a fast one just to get to sit together. One could only imagine what would happen to the 3rd person in the row that housed those two as the 3rd person would surely have to be as skinny as Kalista Flockart.

I know this may offend some people but now I understand why Airlines want to charge double seating for the obese. It is a shame that we (they) are that way. It’s one thing to have a little fat, padding or what ever you want to call it but to be carrying enough girth to take up the space of 2-3 people is absurd. I have plenty of chunky friends and they aren’t that big I once saw a guy who was at least 400+ riding in an electric scooter. He left the buffet table with huge heaping helpings of everything he could get onto TWO plates, one on each leg to take back to his table. When you need to use a scooter to get to the table, the last place you need to take your fat ass is a freaking buffet! Last summer I met a woman in Marietta who was born in France and lived Amsterdam. When I asked her what she thought of America, the 1st thing from her mouth was “there are so many fat people. It’s probably just a bad case of hyperactive jaw bone combined with an inability to get off one’s ass to do anything other than walk to the fridge.

Sorry if I offended anyone, I need a donut…

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tucson, Day 5

One more attempt to make it up Mt Lemon. I left at 6.30 to avoid the heat. Part way there I rode off the side of the road when the pave shoulder just ended. Seems like I missed a turn when I head down and wasn't paying attention. Nothing looked familiar so I asked a guy at an intersection how to get back to the hill. Once back on course I stopped at mile Zero for a bite to eat before subjecting myself to stupidity of climbing while still sick. One hour down, many more to go...

Being the weekend there were more people on the mountain, unfortunately, most of them behind me. Why would you want to climb during the full heat of the day? Seems like only 4 people had the same idea as there were 3 on the mountain already and a woman passed me while I was munching a non-peanut butter infested cliff bar.

I started the stopwatch and rolled up the hill in search of the well filled spandex that had just passed by. I wish she was a little faster as riding alone is boring and she made a fine view while drafting. However, at her pace I am not sure I would have made it by night fall. I pressed on and around mile 3 passed a couple older gentlemen chatting away while wobbling all over the road. At this point I was averaging around 9 miles and hour and was looking to finish in around 2.5 hours. It was kinda nice having some people ahead to pace off of but they were too far and too few in between. Somewhere around mile 9 I passed another senior citizen riding a beautiful flat black campy 6/13. From then on it was boringsville and smokers hack the rest of the way.

Turra and her parents were going to meet me at the fudge shop at the top and have a picnic lunch at one of the overlooks. I was in fear of them getting there a long time before me and forcing me to get in the car with them not allowing me to finish the climb. So every time I heard a car coming up behind me I hoped it wasn't white. The mentally hard part was, there was a white car that kept passing me, repeatedly, as he was stopping at all the overlooks. At mile 14 I passed him for good while his hood was up with a jug of water sitting on the fender waiting for the radiator. WOOHOO - I WON!! Man beats machine!! (A faulty machine!)

Around mile 16 I started to feel good and for the 1st time thought I would really make the top with ease. About 500 feet past mile 20 where I had stopped a few days earlier I started to feel the dreaded bonk crawling up my legs. I looked down and saw I still had 2 more gears to go so like a girly girl, used them, a lot! I pressed on changing between sit and stand trying use my 200 pound butt to make the pedals go down. At around mile 22 the terrain leveled off and even had a down hill to help me relax. The turns were fast, fun and lined with snow, the cold air chilling me pretty good making the legs feel heavy on the next climb. It's amazing how fast you can row that shifter from high gear to panzyville riding at a clip you are sure a desert tortoise could out run.

The longer I rode, the longer it seemed to take for the next mile marker to pop up. At one point I swear I saw the number 18 go past twice! I finally started to see civilization and the sign near mile 24 noting the town of Summerhaven, time 2:28:15 a hair under 10 mph. What a relief!!

I continued on into town and then headed up to the ski slopes. Holy Cow, this road is steeper! I was down to gear 1 and starting to wobble like those old men. The sun was at full mast and blaring down like a blow torch. If it hadn't been for the sun, I would have thought it were raining from all the sweat. I think this portion has the the steepest and hardest climb that ended at a gate. I should have went further but I turned back for town to meet up with the crew and lunch so they wouldn't call out the rangers to come find me. By the time I made it to the meeting place I had in over 4 hours of riding, most of it up hill including the climb from the valley floor to mile zero.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tucson - Day 2

THIS PLACE IS HOT!!! Not as in babe hot, more like satin hot. Been sick with sore throat and sinuses since arrival. Got up early this morning and rode to the golf course with Pierre where I was dropped off in front of this sign.

Loaded to the rim with 4 bottles, couple tubes, tools, food and some other misc junk I headed to mile post 0 at the bottom of the hill. At the 1st switchback I saw a line of bikes following me up the hill. At mile post 4 I was wondering why. Next the thing I knew a guy on a TT bike passes me but only lasted another mile and turned back. By mile post 6 I figured I’d try to make it to 10. When I finally made it to 10 I thought try for half way, 12. I kept saying I was going to turn around at the next milepost but I kept going. My mistake was stopping to take a picture of mile post 20, a point I thought might be my last and it was near the visitors center.

I got back on the bike, went a couple hundred yards to about the 8,000 ft. mark and said “” and turned back to the visitors center. While I was there, the 2nd pursuer passed by me
The trip back was pretty easy as I stopped at the 1st 5 lookouts for pictures. At one lookout a rider asked me if it got any easier. I told him not really and he said “your hurting me!” The dude had his friends meet him at the top, he still had 10 miles to go.

At the last overlook I stopped at, a couple riders who had turned around came screaming by. Chase or coast? I chased of course and it took a while and sat up around mile post 2 intent to follow them the rest of the way. Rider one looked back and saw me and of course, hit the drops and took off. When will little scrawny guys learn you aren’t beating my fat butt to the bottom of a hill. Once we hit the flats I pulled up beside them to see where they were from, they sat up, I guess since they didn’t shake me, I wasn’t good enough for them.

I made it back to the condo totally exhausted got cleaned up, went to the docs for drugs and then off to the air museum. 8pm and it finally cooled off.

This Taylorcraft was built in Alliance Ohio where I grew up and the building where my father worked for Sancap.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tucson, Day 1

WOW, this place is hot and dry. The roads are ok, not much different from home except for the wider berms. I rented a Caad5 Cannondale and took an hour spin. The buildings all look alike and sometimes makes finding my way home a little difficult.

The condo is at the base of the mountains containing Mt Lemon, my goal for tomorrow, if the sore throat and ear ache subsides.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

1st OCC ride of the season

Boy did I suffer and freeze. I tried to ride in the rear and away from any aggressive riding but in the end I rolled off the back and rode my own pace back to the shop. I was so depressed, I called Lifeline and got a call center in Pakistan. When I told them I was suicidal, they got all excited and asked if I could drive a truck? At least I didn't get a flat.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

2008 World Submarine Racing Championships

It was a photo finish!!

What were you expecting?

Bissell Contest

Looks like Moto didn't make the cut. Most of the winning dogs were your averge run of the mill designer dogs from puppy mills.

Oh well, maybe next time.