Friday, March 31, 2006

These are Nice

I remember looking up a really scary scree covered hill in the grand canyon and seeing Wendy way up on it with her camera. Shooting at some barrel cactus, I walked way up there, but I was really scared.


Shinumo Creek

Shinumo Creek. Digital Photograph, Canon Powershot. © Shawn Kielty 2005. All rights reserved. I mean it.

Unless you get a little closer. Many thanks to the river gods and a million years work. And Captain Ed.

"You don't have to live like a refugee ..." on the radio.

... Shinumo Creek

Shinumo Creek Falls in the Grand Canyon. 9/20/2005 Digital Photograph. © 2005 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.

There's not a lot more to say. Hard to find a better place to be.

... More Colorado River

Colorado River in Marble Canyon. Digital Photograph. 9/18/2005. © 2005 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.

I believe this image include smoke from a nearby fire. The waters are now muddied from the entry of the muddy Little Colorado.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Colorado River

© Shawn Kielty 2005. All rights reserved.
This was the second night on the Colorado River. 2005:09:16 16:37:16. Above the junction of the Little Colorado. I just thought I would post this so that we wouldn't have to change the title of the blog to "Bicycle Propelled Camera."

On the Ipod: Fleetwood Mac. Black Magic Woman. "Don't turn your back on me baby ... You got your spell on me baby ..." Wow.
Date: 30 March 2006 AM
Mileage: 15.62
Mileage for March: 330.47
Weather: 67°F.
Average: 13.7
Daily Mileage: 30.60
Date: 30 March 2006 AM
Mileage: 15.08
Mileage for March: 314.85
Weather: Breezy, and 65°F.
Average: 13.7

Ok, so the commute this AM was a bust. I got to the cafe and realized I had forgotten the lock ... double drat. Went back and threw the bike in the truck, and drove it and the lock in so that I could make my afternoon fitness ride. I got more miles, but was later than usual.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

It's Just a Box of Ice Cream

I sure can identify with this.

Me: How big is the NY strip?
Her: 14 ounces.
Me: cool -- medium, with a baked potato, everything.
Her: Everything?
Me: yes, everything. Plus a salad with blue cheese.
Her: Do you want to start out with some wings?
Me: Yes.
Her: Do you need anything else?
Me: Water. What do you have for dessert? ...

Let's eat.

This Must be Looking a Bit Like a Training Blog

Date: 28 March 2006
Mileage: 10.71
Mileage for March: 299.77
Weather: God Beams, Breezy, and 72°F.
Average: 13.6

That's nearly 300 miles.

Monday, March 27, 2006

You Were Saying.

Really just straight away lifted from bikecentric. I stole it -- I admit it.

Don't get your shorts in a bunch if you missed the latest World Naked Bike Ride because the next one happens on June 12. Time to do sit ups! BTW, both those links include lycra, nudity, and behavioral anomolies.

The Salt River

Date: 27 March 2006
Mileage: 10.12
Mileage for March: 289.06

Ripped this little ride out right after spending about an hour looking for my sunglasses (I had planned a longer ride). I am remembering now what it's like to take a gnat in the eye. So I am glad it wasn't a June bug. Went the short five miles down to the Salt river and then back out via Kong, that hill which is allegedly hard. I inadvertantly reset my trip meter right after reading the mileage -- but I think it all went down in about 35 minutes. Which is over 16 miles an hour. It must be the shorts.

Maybe on Thursday I will take my camera. The Salt river looks something like this, which you can see is remarkable less beautiful than Annie's pictures of the same river from her comment on my post yesterday. What I can't figure out is why Annie always has a huge smile, before, during and after riding a bike. She must like it.

Abandoned Bicycles


Sunday, March 26, 2006

This Guy's Pretty Good!

So -- ok -- I am checking the bird chick who claims her blog is about birds, when actually it is more about pet rabbits, which make me gag. Never mind that, while I was there I found an item of note. I have to share this with my usually happy hiking buddy, who is trying to learn to juggle. This guy Chris Bliss is very good.

I particularly like the two balls behind the back trick, and the behind the back cascade. But, honestly, do you think maybe this guy spent too much time hanging out at the "Day on the Green," or out with the guys that have dogs that chase the frisbees? I have to find that picture I took in Colorado Springs in 1977 back in the day, of the guy riding his bike with a large white shepherd on his back, same shepherd having his back paws in riders back pockets, and front legs wrapped around riders neck. I'll post it -- if I can find it -- and get a scanner that works ... Someday.

In all fairness to Chris Bliss, I am sure he trained hard to be a juggler this good. Cheers. There's an interview here which I haven't watched.

Just incidently, I have added a few of my friends to the blog -- and these guys can do some cool tricks too.

Hair of the Dog.

Date: 25 March 2006
Mileage: 19.89
Mileage for March: 278.94
Weather: Sunny 82°F.
Average: 14.1

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Chainring Challenge -- It's an Uphill Thing.

Tunitas Creek Road photo stolen from here

Here's a description of part of my May ride in CA. The climb up King's Mountain Road is a major feature in this 120k ride and described in this document, along with what promises to be a good warm up ride. The additional and perhaps harder climb will be the climb up Tunitas Creek Road (from the beach -- one picture, here, shown above) to the exact same spot. Alledgedly, it's an average of 9% grade over some 3.6 miles. Perhaps, Alice's Restaurant has an internet connection and I'll be able to stop and post my progress and condition after both climbs. That would be fun. The link map also includes some of the other parts of the ride like stage road -- and this says "The very steepest parts of Tunitas Creek will make you wince if you've only got a 23-tooth cog though!," and the map clearly says there is three miles of it.

Since the new bike is not designed for wimps, only insane crazy people like myself, I'll be doing this without the benefit of alpine gearing. So there may be either heroic reports of feats of sheer physical brilliance, or tales that include the distances walked. So maybe I should bring a pedometer as well. Or do some hiking in my new biking shoes.

I know I am definitely bringing cab fare. But you may be able to find me in one of the local clubs (I'll be the one eating), and listening to Neil Young, who just happens to drop in to play live acoustic, because he knows I'm in the hood.

While I was shopping around for some good places to practice, ride, sweat, pee, show off, get off, stand on a soapbox, stump, I found this page describing some great road climbs that you can find in Arizona -- along with top times and grades, and tales of cycling heroism.

I may join these riders (not the record breakers, the bike shop breakfast eaters with Arlo on the Group W bench) the Thursday before the big ride -- as my last warm up run, but the in meantime, I'll be considering some weight training. I need to find someone to show me how to do that.

A recipe from paradise:

To one new bike, add one old victim, new shorts, pedals and shoes, thirty five miles in the saddle, several hills and one river valley. To the result add some pints of carbohydrate and protein liquid, 2 alleve, and 2 cod liver oil tabs. Then roll in Bengay™ and roast in sleeping bag overnight with the Pearly cat. Repeat.

Tomorrow is Sunday, and you know what they say about Sundays. I'll be stumping my shorts up to the Pearly Gates.

That Felt Pretty Good

Date: 25 March 2006
Mileage: 37.61
Mileage for March: 259.05
Weather: Sunny 82°F.
Average: 14.6

I should mention that I traded in my clips for some spd pedals. I haven't crashed -- thank God -- and find them ok. There's no leather, which bothers me, but they are ok. This ride included both climbs of Las Sendas Mountain and the back of Usery Pass, and the less than famous Power Road climb into the Salt river.

I also bought some Pearl Izumi attack shorts. I have an aversion to spandex, lycra, elastic, latex and people calling foam padding a chamois (In the day -- that was reserved for the skin of a goat kid). I am not entirely sure these shorts and I are going to get along. The elastic is leaving a ring around my thigh. Is that what the attack part meant, that they would attack me? Despite all of this the shorts did make it a bit easier in the saddle.

The tag on the "Attack Short" shows a picture of a Saguaro cactus next to the dryness indicator. Does that mean that they can absorb and hold several tons of water in a virtually moisture free environment? I hope not. Maybe, they are impenetrable by thorns. That would be wishful thinking.

They also have a padded seat like an easy chair. I hope I don't turn into a wimp.

I did see a blooming hedgehog cactus today in a well irrigated garden. It is just a small indicator that spring is indeed starting in the sonoran desert. More to come.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Some Humble Pie

Date: 24 March 2006
Mileage: 15.84
Mileage for March: 221.44
Weather: Sunny 80°F.
Average: 13.7

This was a ride filled with hill climbs, at least as I could find near the cafe of the beautiful people. On one particular climb I passed a young woman. About two minutes later she passed me and rode away from me like I was going backwards. Despite that, it appears I may have caught up with Jill, which of course would depend on whether she is actually on her bike this early in the Alaska day, or not,

This is not to take away from the kudos that Jill deserves, as she is riding a 33° slippery snowy mud slime with a cold, while I am riding on clean broken glass covered roads, in eighty degree sunny weather. It's no wonder I was able to catch her, unlike that grrrl on the hill today. Now that I have overtaken Jill -- it's on to catch ladyvelo.

I did ride for a bit today with a guy named Terry, and we made a few short hill climbs on Las Sendas Mountain. This was the first somewhat sweaty trip out so far this year, and I forgot to fill the water bottles. One hour, no water, 80 degrees. I have to think ahead better -- because in July that will be dangerous.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Half-Naked Thursday

Here's me in the Palm Colors. Enjoy.
Date: 23 March 2006
Mileage: 14.92
Mileage for March: 205.60
Weather: Sunny 80°F.
Average: 11.6

Today's ride included some climbing. Mostly on the higher ring. I like the new bike.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Cruising the Blogworld

So my training is going along ... and I am trying to get enough food in my body. During my travels lately, it seems that I am growing a huge preference for the meals that include large plates of rice. Potatoes take too long to eat. The Thai Corner Basil Beef -- The Shiskabob -- down the road a bit at Bellagio's. I am always hungry these days. Maybe I should try this suggestion by mistress julie from the dark side.

It appears (according to Jill) that I have gone over to the dark side; I am now on the dark side of the planet. This is really ok with me. Here in the Valley of the Sun it is better for the days to be shorter. Despite that, the weather is now promising to heat up, since winter is actually over. In fact the desert is starting to bloom. I think I saw the teddybear cholla's with buds in the valley here. Just 2 days after the rain. Today was perfectly like coastal California in the summer. 78 degrees. Sun shining. I am actually looking forward to the searing heat, and the delight of (the equivalent of) a great workout in the sauna. Vigorous hydration -- copius amounts of sweat -- total purification. I think I have definitely gone over to the dark side.

Gilby mentioned having a Deli boyfriend. She has a "The Boyfriend" Boyfriend too. I was thinking that there have been a lot of times that I have had a coffee shop girlfriend. I never knew what to call her. Now I do. I once went to a million szechuan lunches with a woman I worked with. Lunchtime girlfriend. The Barmaid when I was married (we never) -- illegal girlfriend. Late night coffee shop girlfriend turned into my ex wife ten years later. Girlfriend Girlfriend. Who knew? I never did. Now I do. Grocery store clerk girlfriend.

Internet girlfriend. Phone girlfriend, adventure girlfriend. Travel girlfriend. Ex girlfriend.

Coffee shop girlfriend took a break with me the other day. I think that might have been our first date. I hope she's not is reading this. Maybe she'll do that again tomorrow.

I should be cleaning my house.

An Explosion Out to the East

I was just reading this post by skibby and thinking how obnoxious people can be. Out in front of me to the east there is a stream of light going in a circle, up and down, accompanied by an ATV/motorcycle like roar. Now I live in paradise here. You all might not agree, but it 50 ish degrees out at 10 PM, the Sonoran desert all around me. Coyotes yipping. Serenity. Except right now. Buttwipe yahoo, riding in circles on his one acre strip of paradise.

There was a fairly large explosion noise off in that direction, and the ATV noise stopped. It is with guilty delight that I imagine what might have happened. I hope one of my serenity loving neighbors hasn't ... done anything drastic.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

It's a Dry Rain

Date: 21 March 2006 P.M.
Mileage: 10.14
Mileage for March: 190.68
Weather: Dry Rain and 59°F.
Average: 15.2

A dry rain is when it rains and doesn't really wet the ground, and the ground might become leopard spotted with wet. You can still get pretty damp riding in it. Wearing the Palm Jersey and arm warmers and a couple of extra layers ( a grey running shirt over the top) helped a lot. Yes. Never mind about the arm warmers. I mean it, don't ask.

Cool Breezy Cruise

Date: 21 March 2006 A.M.
Mileage: 10.14
Mileage for March: 180.54
Weather: Scattered Sun and 51°F.
Average: 17.5

I don't know if you notice this, but my average is a tad higher than it was before the new bike. That's more like it. All I need to do is hold that pace for 500 miles and I'll be able to keep up with LadyVelo, and some of the other Hell Weekers. We'll see if I can hold that pace on the way home too.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

When You're in Hell, Do as the Hellians Do.

One of the serious troubles here in Hell, is just how hot it gets in the summer, One doesn't really want to plan a century ride on the fourth of July unless one can manage to arrange for a hydration IV and portable on the bike air conditioner. This is not to suggest that it can't be done, but could I please have/get someone else to carry all the water I will need.

Last year on the 2nd of July, my normally happy riding buddy and I did an eleven mile hike. Our first hike together ever, methinks, during which I swear, he was trying to kill me. Honestly, something, exhaustion, heat, falling on my a**, was killing me; let's just say it was memorable, and I never had the pleasure of waiting for him. He wasn't responsible, however. We started at 6:00 AM. It is normal to start anything here in Hell at or before dawn, also known as dark o'clock, which is just unGodly freaking early in AZ. It might be better to start right after dark, the ground is usually too hot to walk on for several hours after dark. By the time we had finished this hike it was 4 liters of liquid and 5 hours later and 109 °F.

Since I missed the Santa Fe Century ride on May 21 -- due to scheduling the Palm Ride for the Cure in CA, and since no one in this entire valley does any exercise in the summer, I'll be trying to ride my century Apr 08, 2006, during the Desert Classic, which starts and ends at a pizza joint in Glendale, meaning 2 things; some of the trip will be flat, and there will be food, and I won't be ready. Some of the trip may be very hilly too, which I am sure I deserve, since I signed up for a hell hilly for many miles hilly ride in a few months and then bought a very tall set of gears.

Since I know that the century is indeed too early in my training -- I signed up for one of the century or metric, and I will do whichever I feel like based on the training plan and map. One thing I don't want to do is come home in a cab.

Palm is going to give me my first piece of riding specific clothing ever. You must be wondering what kind of pedals I have on that bike -- if I don't have any riding clothing. I rode my Centurion enough so that I ripped the bottom bracket out of the frame -- and I never had any riding shoes or shorts. I did have toe clips, which is what I currently have on the Ferrari (the new bike has a name!). This morning when I was over at the cafe of the beautiful people, the cute coffee mommy asked me, "What are you doing?"

"I am going for a ride", says I.

"On your motorcycle?" Everyone here in Hell has a powered something or other or a desert destroyer vehicle.

"No on my bicycle, 20 miles."

"Wow, that's a long way, are you going to wear all those clothes?," she says, pointing outside where all the gayly dressed roadracers will all sit later. "And be a dork?," I add to the sentence in my head.

"No, that shit is really expensive." I don't want to spend like that just now, is what I am thinking.

So, what do you do with a leg warmer when you remove it? Where do you put it? I am not getting this quite yet. Do I need padded shorts? You put chamois butt'r -- where? Does the stuff (not the chamois butt'r -- the clothes) have to be so gayly colored? Can I get in grey? I want to wear the little CSU Hayward pioneer T in grey -- some cheap REI shorts -- shoes that don't have wheels on them or any lights, a pair of socks, and an off-white coffee stained oxford shirt with cab fare in the pocket. I think I need to be the art student sitting in the back row on the desk again; can I stay an outlaw here?

I have a huge amount of resistance to the riding specific clothing. Have you noticed?

It is About the Bike

Date: 19 March 2006
Mileage: 19.55
Mileage for March: 170.40
Weather: Cloudy and 55°F.
Average: 12

Today's ride was much nicer. I know, I know, "It's not about the bike", but today's ride was all about the bike. My usually happy riding buddy remarked on several occasions (from behind me) how easy I made it look as I was effortlessly pulling away from him. "Ferrari", was one word he used. The effect of reduced drag, light weightedness, and an all together smoothly smooth ride, was more than clear. I have never been able to wait for him before today. Although the average isn't much higher than previous rides, I definitely enjoyed the ride a lot more. I felt like I could adjust my pace, have conversations, and just generally felt more road worthy, which is much more delightful than to constantly hump just to keep up.

Today's ride was two hours, which was the perfect way to start a Sunday, At the finish it was just trying to rain and about 55 degrees. Chilly and threatening toward the end of the ride.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

New Bike Day for Me

My Uncle Ralph passed away recently. I could wax along and remind everyone of all the classic Ralphism's, like, "Anyone that would eat this, would eat woodpecker eggs," or talk about how he put olives in his beer, but the purpose of this post is not to eulogize Ralph. It's to talk about the bike he just bought me. You see Ralph always bought us the greatest baseball glove, bat, pigskin football, skateboard, whatever the new snowboard of the day was. He bought it for us. Well he just bought me a new bike.

All the road folks riding in Hell Week and racking up hundreds of miles each,

The S.S. Blog
Recreational Reading

and one or two of my friends at work have inspired me to buy a new bike, and of course Gilby, with her new bike. I have never had a new bike in my life. Not only is this bike new -- it is very light. I want to ride it around the gravel velo, but gosh, it's a road bike. They have inspired me to buy a road bike.

For those that don't recognize this bike, it's a Marin San Marino vintage 2004. It weighs somewhere near 20 lbs. It is well outfitted with some Shimano ultegra gear, on a steel and Carbon frame. 9 cog 12-24 rear cassette, and 53,39 chainwheels, has aluminum rims and high pressure, slickery smooth clinchers.

I may need to practice my hill climbing a bit, but the near 20 lb weight should eliminate some of the demand. I may have to stop jumping curbs too!

"I licked it so now it's mine!"

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Training Plan

Ok -- the 120K ride is May 21 -- that's 78 miles of California's finest coastal hills. It's promising to be a bitch -- I think I need to head my rides toward the rim of the grand canyon -- so I can get some altitude into them. Wes (my last boss) suggested that I ride to Payson and back. -- No Effing way-- that's like seventy miles one way -- uphill in a big way ... but he makes a good point. That's more than I ever signed up for, but I need some real hill in my practice run. The ride's about 8 weeks away. So here's the plan: build a base out of two rides a day at 9.5 workday miles (each) and increase my normal Sunday ride until it reaches 50 at least. and try to ride 16-25 on Thursday afternoon. Ramp the Sunday rides at about 5 miles a week to acheive 55 in six weeks -- then roll back the base to about 50 miles a week and rest up for the ride. Then go like hell on race ride day.

Develop a food strategy -- and stay hydrated.

The Elder Brother suggested practice tires.

So, what do you think of my plan?
Date: 16 March 2006 P. M.
Mileage: 16.25
Mileage for March: 142.85
Weather: Cloudy and 72°F.
Average: 11.8

Total for the day: 25.75

I'll have a Tall Coffee with Two Shots and Room

I never thought I would make it to the coffee this morning. Seven miles is just a long way to go. Fortunately over at the cafe of the beautiful people, they see me running the red light crossing the intersection on my way in and have it ready as I pull up. No cup holders though, so I have taken to taking my feet out of the clips (and putting them up on a chair) to stop and drink it. It's a sweet gentle downhill into the computer cube helicopter parking lot farm from there. Rain coming -- so say the weather wizards..

Date: 16 March 2006 A. M.
Mileage: 9.5
Mileage for March: 126.6
Weather: Sunny and 48°F.
Average: 13.6

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Local Bike Shop

This was inspired by a post of the old bag's today, and a few young men I have met in my life. The Old Bag has a lot of bikes.

30ish years ago there was a guy named Robert that helped me put together a Centurion -- that would still kick some ass today (if I could just be 16 again and ride it.) He helped me learn to build and ride a bike and how to fix 'em. He was a young guy like the kid over at the local bike shop near me today. Enthused, and happy to share his enthusiasm. I spent a lot of time at that shop.

In Mesa there are local bike shops everywhere. I treat them well and try to patronize them in a good way. I have my favorites, and it's sort of like buying a pizza at Ray's, it's tough to decide where to go. The other day I was in the shop and the young guy, the kid was fixing my oh so frequently flat tire while he was busy helping an even younger man start to make decisions in his life. I think a lot of a young man named Robert who taught me a lot about bikes, a lot about tools, and helped me make many wise decisions about a bike I was building, and shared my youthful passion. He helped me build a 20 lb bike in 1976, on my high school salary. And he taught me enough, so I don't feel stupid 30 years later. He was one of my first mentors outside of my family. And he did a good job. If he reads this -- I think he should turn his cub scout pin upside right.

I don't want to ignore the Elder Brother -- who also did a lot to help and inspire me. Although my sweet little bike was stolen several years later -- his gitane was not. I may get to ride that for my Ride for the Cure. If that's true I really need to get in shape, because it just has ten gears, and none of the ones in the back are very big.

There's hopefully more going on in the local bike shop than just fixing flats. I say, spend your money wisely, and support the community that supports you.
And did I mention Sascha yesterday at 257 for the week.

Date: 15 March 2006
Mileage: 11.8
Mileage for March: 117.1
Weather: Sunny and warm.
Average: 11.7

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Date: 14 March 2006
Mileage: 8.5
Mileage for March: 105.3
Weather: Sunny and 66° F.
Average: 12.9

Ok -- So I squeezed in a little ride just before total darkness. I have a ways to go if I am going to keep up with all these girls. Gilby 135.5 miles since Friday. Jill 138.2 for March and Annie 251.88 in the last four days. Holy guacamole. But then again -- who's counting.

I better get to work if I am going to be in racing riding shape by May 21. I need to build a faster bike, get better shoes, file my taxes, and set my butt into the saddle a lot more often. Rumour has it that those are real hills out there in coastal California (unlike these wimpy mountains out here in AZ) and that I might actually need to use the lower gears. Here's the route map and ride profile. Any one else notice how steep that looks? It's going to take quite a bit of gatorade to get up that, twice.

Extra nice bike guy fixed up my broken cassette by replacing the cassettte hub with a 9 speed one and spacing my seven cogs to fit in. He suggested I might need a pair of bike shorts for a 75 mile ride -- and that the shorts might make quite a difference. I was thinking that a flip flop hub with coasters and no derailers might make a big difference too (this is where my buddy Foster suggests I will probably want all those gears). Strip off the rack and the lights and change the tires to road tires -- change the steel bars to aluminum down bars and go. I should really do all this to a different frame -- since this one isn't really suitable.

I suppose I could just give about a grand to the organization and stay home. That wouldn't be as much fun, though.

I am a commuter, what kind of biker are you?

Monday, March 13, 2006


Date: 13 March 2006
Mileage: 0
Mileage for March: 96.8
Number of Flats: 1
Flats for March: 6

I had to go to the bike shop to get a new tube. I asked what to do about all these flats. "There's 49 other states," was the advice from the shop. Hmmm. I got some heavier rubber.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

And She Said, "What's an Anorak?"

It's still cold. After the ride to get coffee today -- I went to the Big Five (it's like a Tri-State only not as good) and said -- I'd like this Anorak in a large. Ugly JanSport fleece thing just warm enough to get me home, olive drab mixed with lime green, so for sale I thought I was at the Goodwill. "What's an Anorak?," 20 year old cash taker girl asks.

Anorak, from

I'll take this sweatshirt instead. Where am I? At the grocery store today they had a rack with the hats and mittens and umbrellas. One day of rain in 144 -- and they roll out the umbrellas. Wow, that should sell about like movie rentals at the grocery store.

I never thought of that, I could Pirate a ride. The former lover of my ex inadvertantly received an email announcing my ride for the cure -- on May 21 in Palo Alto CA, and actually complained, claiming that there probably would be a fundraising requirement for the ride and that I was just trying to meet that. Whatever. "I gave at the office," is very similar to what was said. I'll donate some money to my own ride. I just want to ride the 78 miles of serious California hillclimbing.

I could have just pirated the ride. I am so inspired by the idea. That means I can do what I want and I don't have to follow all the rules. Dang -- that's like being a hacker self-trained computer scientist.

I read this post by Harlot and man -- I learned two things. One can pirate a ride and two, I heard this quote:

The next day was even better when Aaron's picture appeared in the Seattle PI as the one representation of the CH (Chilly Hilly -- my comment) ride. So not only was a Pirate representing the ride, but he's riding a tall bike and not wearing a helmet. Those Kaskaders had their lycra in a wad over that one. Go Aaron...let's all just ride bikes.

Oh my, "(They) had thier lycra in a wad over that one." I wish I could have said that first. I would have liked that. I could have so said that with JOY!.

Like the pink bike girl, I like the steel frames. I want a double butted steel road frame in about a 53 cm (By the way -- I am with those bike advisors that say if you want power you'll need to extend your legs all the way, it's part of a big power triangle. You need to get your legs out.). I love the old steel road bike. I got to find one of those.

I was wearing a pink shirt the other day and my coworkers were interrogating me about it. Maybe I need a pink bike. I like pink. Especially, my oh so pink toes.

A Two Flat Tire Day

Superstition Mountains, Digital Photograph. © Shawn Kielty 2006. All rights reserved.

I hate those fixing two flat tires in a day days. I figured out why all these people are all out taking pictures of the snow. There hasn't been this much snow anywhere near Phoenix since anyone the Barista at the cafe of the beautiful people can remember. All this riding and I am still under a hundred miles for March. Hmmm ... Right now I need a seriously huge Italian food dinner.

Date: 12 March 2006
Mileage: 22.9
Mileage for March: 96.8
Weather: Sunny and 48° F.
Average: 10.9

So, my feet hurt today, and itch weirdly, and burn occasionally. They feel a bit less coordinated than yesterday, and less willing to flex. Not good, but I still have everything. I still have a flat to fix too. I went out early to look at the snow and get the coffee. A lot of other people had the same idea -- in fact, I think someone was selling coffee over at the intersection of Lost Dutchman and Meridian.

Images and content © Shawn Kielty 2006. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Brrrrr. Rainy Rain. The Rain Dance Worked.

The gravel drive.

Date: 11 March 2006
Today's Mileage: 10.2
Weather: 37° F. Rain
Mileage for March: 73.9
Average: 11.1

Welcome to Arizona. When there is weather here, it can be interesting. There's snow on the hills out the front window glass. It's cold and it's raining. I think my toes are suffering from a bit of exposure. They were cold and very numb when I got in; now they are engorged and extremely warm. Is it possible to get frostbitten at temps above freezing? I think I need a waterproof riding boot. The snow level is now about 2000 feet and the weather wizards expect 3-6 inches tonight at that level. Mesa is at 1200-1300 ft. It's imaginable that we may see snow on the floor of the Valley of the Sun before dawn. I saw snow falling here today.

There was water in a lot of the washes running across the roads and the gravel edges were pretty boggy. From my place the first mile is a swamp of washes and all gravel, so that was a bit of a challenge, with me at times in the sand up to my axle spokes, and dodging cholla. One wash (the distant one in the picture) sent me off into the desert to find a crossing. This ride was enough of a workout so that I didn't notice I had a flat on the way back.

It was fairly warm in the rain gear and although I haven't been able to find a rain cover for my helmet, it was reasonably ok. I was supposed to try thirty miles or so tomorrow, but I won't be doing that in this weather. It is fascinating to see the desert take a well needed drink. One can literally see the plants changing color as they restore themselves. It's amazing.

All images and content © Shawn Kielty 2006. All rights reserved. I am quite serious.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Lousy Seat

Today's ride was a bit brutal. The trekkie seat on the borrowed MB sucks for me. Ouch!

Date: 10 March 2006
Miles: 9.5 miles
Total for March: 63.7 miles
Temperature on Departure: 46

Thursday, March 9, 2006

As if That Wasn't Enough

Now the bike. I just ordered a pizza for dinner. No truck, no bike with lights. I am stuck here till daylight. A more than remarkable event has left me with a job tomorrow. For most of you
I am sure that is quite unremarkable, but for me on this day, it was pretty spectacular.

This afternoon I went for a ride -- on *my* bike -- which blew chunks. serious chunks. It doesn't go forward when you pedal. It stopped at Chris's house. SO I rode his Trek mountain bike for our ride and also then tomorrow to work. I was out of daylight though at the end of the ride. No lights. I conquered the big hill -- the hill of the bike stopping cramping, kong -- with just a few gears, too -- since the MB has no low gears due to a derailer mis-adjustment.

Today one of my coworkers (you probably don't know him) called me a scumbag. He said your boss "asked me for a recommendation, and I said you were a scumbag, but you'd get along with the rest of the scumbags." I guess that's better than being a dirtbag. I am not sure I would have gotten the job without it.

This afternoon's mileage: ~15
Today's Toatal: 22
Mileage for March: 54.2

The Trek MB had shocky shocks and a leather saddle with anatomical cutouts. I got scared and tried to figure out how to get the Brooks saddle on there -- but it wouldn't go easily. That Trek holy saddle was fair -- but still left my well trained a** in a state ... of pain. It was ok but the spot that the cutout was designed to avoid got beat anyway, and my hands got really numb. After a recent conversation with Gilby, I think I will always think of her when I see a saddle, especially if it's "rock hard and unforgiving" -- I mean easy to push against.

Carless, bikeless, but not jobless, which is a good thing.

Still Fixing the Car

Date: 09 March 2006
From the New Mechanics to Work: 7.2 miles
Total for March: 39.2 miles
Average Speed: 14.4 miles per hour

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

The Broken Car

Date: 08 March 2006
From the Mechanics to Work: 13 miles
Total for March: 32
Average Speed: 14.7
Temperature on Arrival: 60* F.

There was a quichey like eggy thing with potatoes waiting for me when I arrived at work this morning -- thanks to one of my co-workers. Pepsi and quiche, breakfast of champions. That beats goo all to h*ll.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

A Remarkable Turn of Events

Due to today's unlikely turn of events, I'll be free to join this man in his quest to ride the tour de cure. I'll be riding on behalf of my friend Paul Meyers, an avid cyclist, who died, untimely and in his early twenties, of juvenile diabetes. The ride is a 120k hilly ride and is the best perhaps that my homeland has to offer, both in terms of scenic beauty, and in terms of cycling challenge. There are two other lengths, but I will be riding the longer, just because I'm so into the painful bliss.

A contribution of a classic 70's era road bike to ride would be so cool. I have decided to fix one up, if I can find one. I would just love to have a lime green gitane super corso to ride ...

The man above will be riding for team Palm™, as well as his daughter, I hear, all allegedly competing with team Google™, which is my real motivation. He invited me -- but I know secretly he knew I would come if I could compete with Google™ -- but we will have fun. I want to beat them just to show that they really should have hired me. If you look it's clear now that the Palm team is up in the fundraising. Ha! Here's my page, where you can donate if you'd like. I think you can join the team, too. and ride your 25k 120k on the trainer if you want.

Support Shawn!
Join Shawn's Team!

Let's get it on for the cure.

Saturday, March 4, 2006

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier. Digital Photograph. &copy 2006 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.
Santa Monica Pier. Digital Photograph. © 2006 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.

The West Side

Santa Monica Ocean Avenue. Digital Photograph. © 2006 Shawn Kielty.  All rights reserved.
Santa Monica Ocean Avenue. Digital Photograph. © 2006 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.

It's Saturday again, go figure. It's nice to be somewhere moist. I am back in the hotel after the morning coffee and crumpets. So I'm sitting in this room contemplating a shower and finding lunch. The motel is nice enough. It's one of those formerly sleazy sort of places that become almost retro cool after becoming a quality comfort inn. There's a perfect iron shaped mark right in the middle of the floor, an arrow pointing out.

This morning I went out to the edge of the world and shot black and white film of some folks on the beach. It feels strange to be in a place where people actually go outdoors to exercise. Maybe a thousand people jogged by me in organized groups of about 100. There were groups around the center there -- with loud speakers and it felt like a real city for a minute.

I need to look at a map, because unlike San Francisco, or Phoenix for that matter, this town actually has freeways that go different places. I walked over the Pacific Coast Highway -- the PCH -- to get down to the beach. I need to figure out where these roads go so that I can get lost more effectively.

P.S. I shot this photo two weeks ago.

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Oh That

Date: March 2, 2006
Mileage: 14
Total for March: 33
Average: 12.3
Temperature on Arrival: 68 F.

A quick ride after work with the boys. They always push me harder. I think today is the first ride with no saddle sores. Yeah!

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

The Way Home

Date: March 1, 2006
Mileage: 9.5
Total for March: 19
Date: March 1, 2006
Mileage: 9.5
Total for March: 9.5
Average: 14.0
Temperature on Arrival: 67 F.