Thursday, January 31, 2008

One Cold, Dark Commute...


Today was my first commute of 2008 and in a word, it was cold! 27 °F and dark too! Back to that in a second. It appears that some busy-body, no-account asshole intent on keeping track of peoples’ comings and goings decided to single me out for scrutiny. I was told that I was creating an impression of taking too liberal a view of working out at lunch. The regulation (yeah it sucks working for da guv-ment) clearly states that I can take an hour-and-a-half 3 days a week to workout (GWB’s initiative to keep us all from dropping dead). So, I had been combining my workout with my lunch hour to get a few miles in. Actually, I was only riding for little over an hour on my riding days for about 20 miles or so. Well, this just didn’t sit well with some no doubt fat-chain-smoking creep, and now I’m told to correct that perception. So, in a few words and reading between the lines that means, “stop riding your bike at lunch.” So, if I want any miles during the week, I either commute, or ride after work in order to comply with the request from on-high. Ya know, I watch all these smokers around here take time away from their work at least 10 times a day for 10 minutes at a crack, to suck down a proven cause of cancer, and the leadership tells me I can’t go for a ride to keep myself healthy. What bullshit! But, being the good trained soldier, er uh, retired-military dog that I’m am, I just shut my mouth and implemented plan B. One thing that I learned as a graduate of the United States Air Force Weapons School (TopGun for all you Tom Cruise fans) is to always, always, always…have a plan B.

Note to self: plug in battery to fancy, expensive, flame-throwing light BEFORE early morning commute. Hey, what do these two red lights mean? Yep, 5 minutes out and on a dark bike trail with no street lights, I’m riding blind! Helen Keller Mozam, Whoohooo! Quick thinking on my part to switch on the backup light kept me from endo’ing on the upcoming rock (we have a lot of those here) in front of me, and directly in the path of my front wheel. There’s nothing like an adrenaline rush like that at 5am to get the ‘ole ticker going! The song, “What a dumbass” kept playing in my head over and over again followed by an encore of “Color Me Stupid”.

Pretending to be Helen Keller


It has been awhile since I rode so early in the morning and in such darkness, and I was reminded again of how much more attention you have to pay to drivers at such an early hour. The one’s that really getcha are the numbskulls that pull out of side streets 90 degrees to your path. They do that, “maybe I’ll stop here, but not really, look in the opposite direction first kinda thing” while rolling through a stop sign. Makes me wish I had a hammer so I could put a big fat dent in their hood as I pass by. Oh well, off into the concrete combat zone on my trusty two wheeled steed I go! “Know thy enemy, know thy self”.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Here we go again!

Well, this is just peachy! It rained like a cow pissin’ on a flat rock yesterday and now this today. Al Gore must here campaigning for that bitch Hillary or something. Maybe he should get out his MacBook and do another f__king presentation, and explain why the f__king wind is blowing so hard. After all, he did invent the internet so explaining the cause of this wind outta be easy for a genius like him. Next thing ya know Mitt Romney will be here telling all these Sin Sity Sinner’s the benefits of becoming a Mormon. Oh, that’s right, there already is one of their “meeting houses” on every f__king corner around here anyway. But, I digress... Here is the current observation as I sit here on my ass during my normal lunch time ride


VALID 281600Z (28/0800L) TO 282000Z (28/1200L)

Weather Warning for Nellis AFB:

High Winds >= 50 kts, maximum expected 50 kts.

I had actually contemplated riding today thinking to myself, “gee how bad can it really get anyway?” What a stupid thought on my part. Go outside and stand in this sh_t dumbass! The base weather guesser just sent out an email with a weather warning saying the winds could get as high as 50 knots! I’m psyched now! That’s about 56 mph for all you non-military type folks. I guess it will be a good day for core work. Yeah, right? Haven’t even started doing that yet. God, I hate the gym too. But as the Nike saying goes: “Just do it.” Think I’ll bitch a little more though before actually working out. Get’s me in the mood.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

English Grub...Yum, Yum!


Last Sunday marked an interesting experience for me. After completing EnglishJames’ birthday ride from his house to the Red Rock overlook, he and his girlfriend, Jen, treated all of us to a wonderful English breakfast complete with some kinda fried-poached-egg thing, sausage in pie dough, and what the English call: refrigeration cake. Believe me, none of this stuff was healthy. Well, with the exception of Paul’s (Mr. Watt) 3-alarm chili that he contributed. Chili at an English breakfast? I guess Paul didn’t get the memo. Paul’s chili, by the way, was primo! Just spicey and hot enough you could eat it without that, “this is gonna hurt tomorrow feeling.” My favorite, however, had to be the fried-poached-egg thingee. I’m not sure what was in this, but it sure was good. Especially, with some English mustard smeared all over it! Yum, Yum!


I think the highlight of the event though was watching James’ dog, Jill (of Jack and Jill fame) watch football on television. Jill didn’t just watch television; she enthusiastically participated in the game. Nobody else in the room seemed to care who was winning either, they just wanted to see Jill react to the next set of plays. Jill would sit quietly looking intently at the screen until the snap of the ball. As soon as the play started she would grab her little soccer-ball toy and race around the room until the play stopped. She continued to do this on 4th down punts, kickoff’s, and every snap of the ball. An amazing sight indeed. I never would have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.

Birthday Boy...


Cycling friends who care to give the very best... Happy birthday James!


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

No More of That!

Well I must say...I've never experienced anything like this past weekend on a bike. Wind, wind, and more wind. In our quest to remain competitive on the BikeJournal mileage leader board, a few of us brave souls took on mother nature this past weekend and nearly lost the battle! From our weather guesser's technical accounts, all the elements and planets aligned properly to produce some of the worst weather on the West coast and Northern Nevada in quite some time. Record snow falls, 120+ mph winds, and floods all plagued our region in a short two days.

In a sick sort of way, VegasDogDoc and myself were looking forward to testing some of our newly acquired "foul" weather gear. Unfortunately, the rain abated and just left behind horrendous, 30+ mph winds. We took our usual southwesterly route down St. Rose Pkwy directly into this beast just to see how bad it could actually get. The longer we rode, the slower we got! VegasDogDoc commented that this was just like climbing Mt. Potosi. With every mile up that 10 mile mountain, the grade increases by 1%. And so, the same with the very "flat" St. Rose Pkwy. By the time we got to the end, we swore we were climbing a 20% grade! "Enough of this crap!" I thought to myself. So, we changed strategy and tried to put the wind at a 90 degree angle to our projected path. That worked for awhile until a very strong gust, literally picked me up and moved me about a foot sideways! That was certainly unerving to say the least, so we wisely turned downwind, put the beast to our backs and headed home. That was probably the hardest 25 miles I've ever put on a more of that, ever!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Off to a Pretty Good Start: 62.01 miles, 3,460' of Climbing

The first ride for 2008 got off to a pretty good start yesterday. It was a bit chilly, hovering around the 30 degree mark. I didn't feel so bad, though, because Mrs. Mozam was on her way to the frozen tundra of Bloomington, Illinois and a -12 degrees, yuk! I seem to have beaten this cold bug, or at least I think I've beaten this thing so I decided to go ahead with my plans for New Year's Day and get some miles in. The plan originally called for a full Century, but using discretion as the better part of valor today, I decided to back off a bit and complete a metric instead. A few of us diehards showed up at 0830 for a cold and crisp start on our journey out to Callville Bay, Nevada for an out-and-back of 62 miles. I was a little hesistant at first because being an old fart now, I did not want to push this virus any further down the pipes than it had already traveled. The lead bunch, Cowboy, FastEddie and Danny, were kind enough to keep the pace under control and do most of the pulling in the headwind we somehow managed to find. Once we got to the Callville turn-off, FastEddie, Cowboy, and Danny pulled on ahead to round out their New Year's Century attempt. Myself, DrDog and Rod continued on down to the bay for what turned out to be a bit of a history lesson.

I couldn't help notice the historic marker located near the backside of the marina restaurant. Evidently, the town of Callville was a trading post/outpost many years ago for the Mormans who were looking for a trading route to and from Salt Lake, Utah. The original Callville landing was located on the Colorado River and is now underwater due to the construction of Hoover Dam. Here's a quick history lesson:

The Mormon Church, on their expansion west, needed a reliable route for their supplies and converts to reach Salt Lake, Utah. Elder Anson Call was sent to select a site for a steamboat port and, in 1864, he established Callville.

A large warehouse was constructed first, followed by a landing, post office and corral. The steamboat Esmeralda completed a trip on October, 1866, and delivered 100 tons of freight.

In January, 1867, the Army arrived at El Dorado and Fort Callville became an outpost until May, 1868. Callville, being very desolate, isolated and lonely, had the most desertions of the Army company stationed at El Dorado, and one suicide.

The Mormon's plan for a supply route via the Colorado was abandoned when the transcontinental railroad was completed in northern Nevada in 1869. Steamboats and barges trading salt between Rioville and El Dorado still made a few stops at Callville.

National Park Service and concession developments at Callville Bay began in 1967, after the North Shore Road was completed around 1966.

Click here for some more information about Calville Bay.

So, what is the moral to today's bike ride? Stop and smell the roses once in awhile, you just might learn something.