Sunday, April 30, 2006

Red Tailed Hawk

SO I thought I might load up my bike and go out to look for the hawks I have seen hunting along the drainage beside my place. So I grabbed my camera and the hawk taking lens, and then started trying to figure out how to carry it on a bike -- It doesn't fit well into the Timbuktu messenger bag, or the SunLite rack-top bag. Maybe if I had decent sized rack-top bag like the Banjo Brothers one George has that can carry bowling balls. In case your wondering what this picture is, it's a picture of my real digital camera atop my sun-lite rack-top bag on my commuter. The thing weighs as much as some bowling balls and is a much more less graceful shape.

SO I lazily took the car. And I found the nest I had noticed a few days ago.

And it's owner.

My initial thought on this is that it's a red tail hawk. But I currently seem unable to find the stack of guidebooks. Perhaps the Bird Chick will help make an ID. Her blog is fairly cool with serious birder stuff going on. Since her rabbits are indoors and not in my yard eating my cactus -- I guess maybe they are ok.

Her dissaproving rabbits will be happy to see that this hawk appears to be carrying a rat, and not a rabbit or a cat.

All Photos are © 2006 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.

Date: 30 April 2006
Miles: 8.0
Average Speed: 14.4
Max: 22.5
April Mileage: 415.21
Weather: 93°F. sun.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Brotherhood of the Hungry

It's the brotherhood of the hungry. "Yeah man you gotta eat...," says Ruby in my last post. Ain't that the truth. Eat early and often. Is what I have always said, but never done. When I quit smoking in July, I started to eat again. Even that thing the rest of you call breakfast. I never have been good at making breakfast work. Leo Tolstoy said, "most people think of changing the world, but few people think of changing themselves." SO I am going to have to figure it out.

A while ago I found this type of moth, a sphinx moth, flapping wildly inside the house with a cat flying equally as wildly below it. It is about the size of a sparrow or a bat, I hung the cat on the coat rack (just kidding, I put her in the bird's cage) and set out to find this monster bug. This is just one of many varieties of sphinx moth in the vicinity of Arizona. This photo was taken by Paul Opler. I have no idea if the moth I found is the Falcon Sphinx or not. I gave it to an entomology student, the young Jane, who is not to be confused with the old Jane, who didn't much care for bugs either.

Turns out that this large bug is the pride of Jane's 200 bug collection. So maybe she can tell us which Sphinx Moth it is. After seeing this woman in The Silence of the Lambs, I am positive it would be a bad idea to eat the moth, even for a cat (Annie Leibovitz photo of Jodie Foster is gorgeous). I repeat, do not eat the moth.

So I went to the Mediterranean restaurant after my ride today and was treated to this, compliments of Jane, for finding the best darn bug around.

Which of course I tried to eat.

Oh -- and I was kidding about the cat, I love Pearl the Cat; I threw her outside for a minute (I opened the door first).

Since the bird didn't get to eat the cat, I gave him the leftover shish-kebob.


Date: 29 April 2006 P.M.Miles: 55.96
Average Speed: 16.2
Max: 28.6
April Mileage: 407.21
Weather: 82°F. sun.

So I went over to the REI in Tempe to look at sunglasses. I had no idea it was 25 miles away. How wasteful I have been. So I get to the REI and it's been 26 miles and the average speed is 19.2! Screaming fast (for me) to start out. I cruise into the store maybe to get some power food and some gatorade and water. Things get seriously delayed when the printer for the credit card doesn't print the receipt. ... I realize that I am a bit depleted and may be starting to become incoherent, so I am trying to encourage the problem to go faster, because I am nearing babledom. It got somewhat hilarious as she realized my state was extremely needy. "Do you need some food?," as if she was absolutely ready to provide it. "Yeah, probably."

The balance of the ride went well, however the trip out across Tempe Town Lake was full of lousy roads and I was slowed and delayed on the return. Overall it was a good ride. I must eat breakfast every day.

Interested parties should notice that the Saguaro bloom is on, starting today.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Buckwheat for President!

Story in the NY Times. It says:
G.O.P. Senators Hurry to Quell Furor Over Gas

Published: April 28, 2006
WASHINGTON, April 27 — Senate
Republicans tried on Thursday to get the upper hand in the escalating political battle over high gasoline prices by proposing a $100 rebate for taxpayers and by suggesting that they might increase taxes on oil-industry profits. Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, took questions from reporters after announcing a legislative plan to combat high gasoline prices.

The Republican proposal also called for opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil production, a provision sure to draw opposition from many Democrats and even some Republicans.

"The American consumer is the one that needs the break today, and we need to be taking steps to make sure that they aren't emptying their wallet every time they fill their tank," said Senator John Thune, Republican of South Dakota, as the leadership unveiled its legislative response to an issue quickly taking over the Congressional agenda.

The Republican plan includes a provision that could levy a significant tax on oil company profits, a provision that President Bush promised to veto when a version appeared in a Senate bill last year. The proposal came on a day when Exxon Mobil reported a 7 percent gain in its first-quarter earnings ...

I agree with Squirrel -- except it's the republican Senate. If the republicans think I am dumb enough to let a $100 make me start thinking it's OK to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, they must be possessed. I spend that on gas in no time -- and if they are dumb enough to think that that is going to stop my wallet from hemorrhaging due to the price of gas, they better go back and take math again.

I say we should all give that stupid money to Buckwheat, so that he can help improve the clinic in Skagway. Buckwheat is changing his own life, and working in a big way to help his community -- go dude. Maybe he also needs a new bike -- You know -- Aim High. I say Buckwheat for president. We've made worse decisions.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Leaf Storm

Date: 27 April 2006 P.M.
Miles: 23.19
Average Speed: 13.8
Max: 26
April Mileage: 351.25
Weather: 67°F. Partly Cloudy, 23 mph wind.

And dust everywhere, dust and pollen. Inch worms and other foul tasting bugs. All on the wind.

One Missing Shoe

Date: 27 April 2006
Miles: 10.00
Average Speed: 16.2!
Max: 25.7
April Mileage: 328.06
Weather: 67°F. Partly Cloudy.

Commuting must have some merits. I managed to haul a change of clothes, drink hot coffee on the bike, and not really get to work on time. I showered at work and changed, and forgot one critical shoe. So i am hiding my feet under my desk. The coffee girl is wondering if I ride because of the price of gas. No -- I am thinking -- I am just crazy.

This picture comes from the archives and was taken near Tucson in December 2004.

Prickly Pear in the Sun. Digital Photograph. © Shawn Kielty 2004, 2005, 2006. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Well -- so today's ride was a vigorous workout prompted by a strong headwind. I added a couple of miles on each end as I am trying to extend the base a bit. My route is full of construction and obstacles; ultimately I'd like the loop to include 2 hills and 20 miles, and a headwind in only one direction.

Date: 26 April 2006
Miles: 18.15
Average Speed: 14.2
Max: 25.4
April Mileage: 318.06
Weather: 87° F. and 18% humidity, 17 mph wind.

Went to get some food after, but forgot my wallet. These delays don't seem really critical. Went back for the wallet. Sat down to dinner and bonked. Since my riding time was just 1 hour 15 minutes, I was surprised.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Fly By

I detected more than a smattering of pride out in the parking lot as the Arizona Air National Guard did a fly by over at Spaceley Sprockets (AKA -- the widget factory) the other day.

Photographs © 2006 Joe Chott. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Mountain Bike One

San Jose Mercury News reports that the president had a bit of a mountain bike ride during his visit to California. I particularly like this bit:

A long convoy of SUVs and off-road vehicles rumbled behind the group,
carrying medics and security agents with machine guns.

What? No mechanics. Now thats a SAG crew -- security and guns.

Thanks to George for the link.
Date: 25 April 2006
Miles: 17.65
Average Speed: 14.7
Max: 28
April Mileage: 299.91
Weather: 82° F. and 16% humidity, 6 mph wind.

So with the 12-27 I can climb Las Sendas Mountain on the big ring. Which pretty much means I don't need the front derailer here in Mesa. Tap tap tap -- what to do. Go test it out on the pearly gates.

Over at the Skate Thing

So -- That woman invited me out Sunday after my ride -- to the Whole Foods in San Mateo CA, to check out some skate expo, live band, "Excuse me -- is he famous?" -- thing.

This young man caught some air!

She caught some air too, but I missed it.

I can't shoot a camera -- but she could ride a bike in a pipe. It was fun to watch.

Photos © Shawn Kielty 2006. All rights reserved. I love you too.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Practice Ride

The Palm Crew after the climb up King's Mountain Road; who said that was steep?

Date: 23 April 2006
Miles: 33.50
Average Speed: 11.8
Max: Over 33.8
April Mileage: 282.26
Weather: 50ish and overcast. John -- it's so undesertly.

This was a good climb and a good workout. Aside from a few spots where I had to stand, it was swell. More than a few riders broke off after the first ascent to cut the ride short, there were 8-10 of us riding down Woodside road. but Foster and I and oh who? were late behind the rest. We managed to catch the others in the group on the way down.

Despite stopping to take this:

It was cold on the downhill from King's Mountain road to the junction of 84 and Skyline -- and frankly -- I was underdressed. I was cold. We toured downhill and picked up some degrees.

Foster and I approaching the road closure on Cañada road.

The view of Skyline from Cañada road. We climbed that hill off in the distance.

Than we got to eat and chat with these people. And met Bike Dave. A bicycle ambassador. It was cool. He was with a group on a Multi-day ride for the Greenbelt Alliance.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

It's Really About the Food

I love that I can eat. Unchecked eating; because I need the carbs, the fuel. I had breakfast with my folks this morning -- some eggy omelet with vienna sausage which could remind me of scrapple. With potatoes. Then I put off lunch -- repeatedly dreaming of a great huge burrito at La Cumbre. Then I had dinner at about 6 with my parents. Big meatloaf and baked potato. I used to do this when I was a kid. Have dinner at home with Bruce Williams, and then go to his house and have dinner. Right after dinner with my parents, I had sushi with Jane at Tomokazu. Finished with green tea ice cream.

I love to eat like this. I am sorry I don't have any before and after pictures like the S.S. blog. Maybe tomorrow.


I changed out my 12-23 rear cassette for a 12-27, which shouldn't make me a wuss.

Date: 21 April 2006
Miles: 3.1
April Mileage: 248.76
Weather: 63° F. Clear and Undesertly.


Miso soup.

This is a Shannon roll and the tuna tatake.



Raj filling up.

Baked Salmon Roll.

So I didn't ride yesterday afternoon -- I just ate. And ate.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Parrot Drive

Date: 21 April 2006
Miles: 11.31
Average Today: 11.2
April Mileage: 245.66
Weather: 63° F. Overcast. Moist.

Ok -- so this road is steep. I had to get off and walk. First though I went out for Coffee with my pals at Bean Street Cafe. I got some homemade banana bread which is giving my heartburn. It felt good to be home and the weather was not rainy, but damply marine like and very undesertly.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sushi Run

I am going to take the camera out to dinner. I am so looking foward to the tuna tatake and Vic's seriously rich baked salmon roll. I am going to eat lunch and dinner with them.

After that I think I will be going out for Japanese food. I should go to Benihana then and have some Teppanyaki. Ahhh -- to be in a real city. I think I am going for a traditional Japanese bath and a shiatsu massage at the Kabuki. Life could be worse.

I really miss the miso soup and the green tea ice cream. Or better yet some mango ice cream.

Who has seen the movie Tampopo? Here's a different review.

Monday, April 17, 2006

I went to the Gym

Oh -- and I did ride

6.6 miles on a bike.

I have never actually gone to a gym by myself to work out until now. I resisted any temptation to get on a "bike" at the gym. I went about a "mile" on that machine that is like running and skiing without all the pounding and falling. 10.5 minutes. Plus climbing at max resistance for another 10 or so. I stood on the treadmill for a minute or two and then felt old and decided that maybe the next time I get on a treadmill someone should test my heart (like when I am actually old, and the person watching/testing could be a heart specialist).

I am thinking of these two different bartenders I have met -- one is J -- who runs three miles a day on a treadmill, and the other is, Carmine, who runs a marathon for kicks. J wants to start training for a triathalon, to which I say, maybe it's a good time to move the exercising outside. Carmine doesn't seem to actually train. At any rate -- I didn't find the treadmill too attractive.

So, I did some weights for the hamstrings and upper body, and about 100 sit-ups. And now I am doing some curls. I did some hammer curls, followed by some bicep curls, and some reverse curls, followed by some twelve ounce curls (just kidding). I am working on a philosophy to help develop speed and strength, so that I won't ever have to get passed by a grrl in a dress.

In no time at all I will be posting from California, after some hill climbing, and lunch at Alice's Restaurant ("You can get anything you ...," Thanks Arlo -- now would you please try to stop talking.) or maybe have green chili soup at Duarte's ... or both!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Oh look

"Joan Wilder, Write us out of this one." "Joan Wilder? The Joan Wilder? You are Joan Wilder, the novelist?" "Yes, I am." "I read your books ..."

Jack Colter: "Joan Wilder, Write us out of this one."
Juan: "Joan Wilder? The Joan Wilder? You are Joan Wilder, the novelist?"
Joan Wilder: "Yes, I am"
Juan: "I read your books ... "

... I finished my taxes. Now I pay through the nose and well. Maybe buy some some new stuff so I feel better.

I am sure they will audit me and I will have made some huge snafu. I only screamed at the cat once. Just now. If it totally blows out -- look for me in South America.

It was a great movie:
[Jack shows off his new, crocodile skin, boots, made from the crocodile he
has killed]
Joan Wilder: I like the boots.
Jack Colton: Yeah, that poor old yellow-tailed guy... developed a fatal case of indigestion. He died right in my arms.
Joan Wilder: I can't blame him. If I were to die there's nowhere on earth I'd rather be.

That's pretty sick, but -- it is like I've died and gone to heaven. I have paid my taxes, and I am free.

Desert Bloom Report

Date: 16 April 2006
Miles: 13.47
Average Today: 14.3
April Mileage: 227.86
Weather: 77° F., Still Dusty.

Roadie with the Palo Verde Trees and blooming Hedgehog cactus

Santa Rita Prickly Pear (Opuntia violacea) is a native of the Chihuahuan desert. This one has something growing on it.


Echinocereus fendleri, or Fendler's hedgehog Cactus, is a local native.

Opuntia acanthocarpa, or Buck thorn cholla. I could be mistaken though.


All images are © Shawn Kielty 2006. All rights reserved.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

My 1st Century

I'll be riding this route. It ain't easy, but it is 100 miles -- and it is May 7. Wish me luck. Here's the page if you need to contribute. Go team.

The Good Stuff

I really enjoy cruising the photo albums at R.A. Dillon's blog, An Alaskan Abroad. I found this because I have a secret plan that says I am going to escape from Arizona, and go to that other great "A" state. When I was younger I decided that I would go to all the 50 states, I have just a few remaining now -- and Alaska is really next on my list. His post today showing the cool places (Where the Wild Things Are) to go in Alaska reminds me I am supposed to be going there.

Dillon's posts are informative, and pointed, and challenge me to be less apolitical. I hope you find them pleasant as well, or ... uh ... at least enjoy looking at the photos. Nice work, dude!

Tax day blues ...

Date: 15 April 2006
Miles: 13.04
Average Today: 15.4
April Mileage: 214.39
Weather: 78° F., Dusty.

Can one deduct the miles on the bike? If it's for a business purpose?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Don't Forget to Ride

... and ride.

Date: 14 April 2006
Miles: 10.30
Average Today: 12.6
April Mileage: 201.35
Weather: 89° F., overcast, windy.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Beer Can Stadium

If this picture looks like it sucks to you -- that's because it does. Shooting photos while driving ... tsk tsk tsk. Any way, it would be hard for me to make this thing any uglier than it actually is, but it seems I have succeeded. The old bag and I saw this big can during our ride out in the west valley Saturday.

It is an Air Conditioned stadium, I hear. And they roll the grass outside to get some sun. It's a little crazy out here with the A/C and the grass. It's not just here that people can get weird about their grass.

... and ride.

Date: 13 April 2006
Miles: 15.96
Average Today: 13.8
April Mileage: 191.05
Weather: 90° F., overcast.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Pick of the Week

There are moments in the past when I have had a thing I like to call the pick of the week. It is my favorite image of the week.

Per Volquartz will be honored with a solo retrospective exhibition from June 1 to September 30, 2007 at Denmark's Museum of Photography in Denmark. This is a tremendous acheivement and Per deserves it! Per is constantly an inspiration to his peers, students, and proteges and has done a great deal to further the beauty and community of photography.

I remember once when Per sent me a note saying that my images of Mono Lake after a Snowstorm caused him to uhh-hmm ... "wet his pants," and I was astounded, because never had someone so talented paid me so high a compliment. I will never forget that.

Here's the pick of the week.

Copyright Per Volquartz 2006. All rights reserved.
Copyright Per Volquartz 2006. All rights reserved.

Congrats to Per!


Date: 12 April 2006 P.M
Miles: 10.o8

Date: 12 April 2006
Miles Today: 19.90
Average Today: 14.3
April Mileage: 175.09
Weather: 93° F., clear, and sweaty.

The record for this date is 99° F. Temps are climbing. Hydrate.

Street Sweeper Cool. A.M.

Date: 12 April 2006 A.M.
Miles This Morning: 9.72
Average: 16.5
April Mileage: 165.01
Weather: 71 clear, and clean, and swept.

As John suggested, let's not count in metric kilometer things. City of Mesa ran a street sweeper on the rough spots of my route at my suggestion. Roadie was happy, but nevertheless, I did still manage to hit some large debris.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Today's Little Ride

Ok -- So I am a little confused. Is it ok to ride my bike over to Basha's (the nearest grocery store) and lock it up to buy groceries, or not? If it's an ATV it seems it is ok. If it's not ok I bet they don't mind at Safeway.

If it isn't, then why do we have this rack right in front of the sign? Am I the only one confused about this?

I wonder if they'll get upset if I ride my bike right in the freakin' door (which is what I want to do) and fill my panniers with groceries to buy? Is it ok for me to walk into the store?

Todays ride was just 8 miles. and that's a guess.

Sunday, April 9, 2006

The Hackberry Springs Hike

My faithful nemesis continues to destroy my body. Even a week later. The Superstition Wilderness. Each time I enter I come out in pain. I don't get it. The Hackberry Springs loop is a beautiful hike. It's 5-6 miles, fairly level, nice. I just don't get it, do I have some bad juju there or what? Several of my recent hikes have ended with some pain.

Moon Rise over Siphon Draw. Digital Photograph. Copyright 2005 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.

In November I went in to the Superstition Ridgeline hike. Since this hike is often compared to a rim-to-rim hike of the grand canyon (it isn't), I'm not surprised that I was more than a bit sore after that hike. It's about 11-12 miles with a mile vertical ascent. It hurt. It still hurts.

Saturday November 12, 2005, I am standing near the top of Superstition Mountain. Photo © Dale Perry 2005. All rights reserved.

On the Hackberry Springs loop there is a mine shaft that goes back a 100 ft. of so. There is the spring itself and water. Pools and running water ... these things are indeed rare in the Superstition Wilderness.

Elephant Arch in the Superstition Wilderness, near Hackberry Springs. © 2005 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.

There is the Elephant Arch -- named by my ever happy hiking pal. It's a good hike.

If you asked where the Superstition Wilderness is -- I'd say right out the window, right near my house. Stop by and I'll take you there.

It's full of hoodoos and goblins.

What this post doesn't do -- is show the blooming cactus (there were none last week) or show you the endless teddybear cholla forests, where alledgedly the lost dutchmans gold is hidden. Or a single saguaro. or even hint at an ocotillo, the best of which are all abloom here on the floor of the Valley of the Sun.

Saturday, April 8, 2006

Danger Will Robinson

I think there's been a disturbance. I love the Old Bag's post there. It reminded me to think of other worlds, other spaces and times in my life, other intersections of life and the e-worlds. And surprisingly the Jetsons and Lost in Space. When we have opportunities to intersect our breathing life with the ethersphere, some of our past experiences, rumours and real news about horrors of meeting people from the internet, can cause fits of panic, apprehension, or just slight nervousness. This is normal, methinks. But today, I think we need to tell that robot -- "There is just no cause for alarm. " When I originally started this post I was mostly just linking to the Old Bag's post, which had sent me into a reverie. But then ...

I had the exceptional pleasure of sharing a 52 mile ride today with the Old Bag and a group of riders out in Sun City. She is charming and witty, every bit as brilliant in real life as in her blog. Plus what, she can really ride a bike. The ride was completely fun and perhaps we will do it again sometime. Thanks Jeanne, I enjoyed the ride and the company.

My average for this was 17.4. This was clearly the longest and fastest ride I've ever done. Make note to self, "ride more often with the Old Bag. "

After that and lunch I stomped out to the Salt river to add a few more miles to my day, and a bit more significance to my muy (that's moo-ie) sunburn and muy miles.

Date: 08 April 2006
Miles Today: 68.42
Kilometers: 110.08778
Average: 16.4
April Mileage: 139.29
Weather: 88 and sunburny

We all know what that means. Men ride faster when accompanied by women, and that's a bit like a metric century. Muy Bueno.

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Scoop of the Day

Punch this into your browser and you will see that I was the man on the spot for pictures or Photos at the El Tour De Phoenix with this post. Look out East Valley Tribune, and the Rebublic. As far as I can tell, there was very little coverage of the race.

If your interested, here are the unofficial results of El Tour de Phoenix.

And Then Some

Date: 5 April 2006
Mileage: 14.48
Mileage for April: 70.77
Weather: Wind, 71°F PC
Average Speed: 13.6
Daily Tally: 27.17

Bike to Work Day

Date: 5 April 2006
Mileage: 12.69
Mileage for April: 56.29
Weather: Wind, 67°F Overcast, Lightning.
Average Speed: 14.5

Crazy Pre-Dawn

I was dreaming of someone taking pictures of me from outside the house while I was sleeping ... the cat noises breaking the pre-dawn silence, when an incredibly loud rumbling sound stood me straight up outta bed. 10 minutes later I have let the whiny cat in, and am double espresso chatting with the cafe buddy down the road, who says, what are you doing up so early? "Grumble ,,, flashing ... cat ...grumble ... loud rumble ... coffee, please?" There's a significant lightning show going on at the moment.

Right now I am suiting up, have determined to brave the 70 degree, 15 mile an hour winds, threats of thunderbolts and softball sized hail, because it's ride your bike to work day over at the widget factory. My alarm is going off, so I guess it's time to get up. I guess I should wear a raincoat. Grumble.

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

What About My Foot Pizza?

George, the bike riding donut guy, is asking "if that's your foot, what did you do to it?" It is injured, wounded, and feels like it has been beaten with a hammer. Said pain is accompanied by swelling and throbbing, and responds well to ice packing and Alleve™. So I am probably not making this up, despite the fact that there was no single event to explain the injury.

Saturday's 44 mile ride and/or Sunday's 6 mile hike have left my foot severely beaten. The 6 miles in the Superstitions included the same terrain as always: scree, larger scree, rock, harder rock, steeper rock and steeper scree, an occasional cave, getting disoriented, one dead camera battery, and several open streambed scrambles. It's nothing new. We didn't find the Lost Dutchman's gold.

Adjusting my clippies in my cycling shoes could help, or not hiking. It's hard to say. Ice definitely halps, as does rest and elevation. Tomorrow is bike to work day here at the widget factory, so I'll be riding 20 miles, and bragging about it.

I wonder how it is going to respond to the 100km Desert Classic on Saturday. I'll have a Hercules pizza and an ice pack please.