Take that, Graham Watson

July 21, 2014
Sorry, but I couldn't find a peloton to drop behind this lot.

Sorry, but I couldn’t find a peloton to drop behind this lot.

Missing the Tour de France on this second rest day? Me neither. But here are some sunflowers just in case.

Oh, yeah, I'm gonna get her for this.

Oh, yeah, I’m gonna get her for this.

Herself is road-tripping again, leaving me in charge of quarters, a change of management that Mister Boo finds repellent. The bug-eyed little weirdo is accustomed to constant attention from Herself, a.k.a. That Lady Who Gives Me Things, and when I’m down in the weeds doing a job of work he occasionally feels deprived.

I feel his pain, particularly when someone sends me photos of a delicious Aspen breakfast after I’ve just inhaled a dollop of yogurt, an English muffin and a cup of Joe.

We’re not in Albuquerque yet, but we’re inching ever closer. We’ve opened negotiations to turn The House Back East™ into a full-time rental, which would solve some logistical issues with running an Airbnb op’ from six and a half hours south. And in about 10 days Herself will relocate to temporary quarters in Duke City and take up her new gig with a bit of house-hunting on the side.

So Mister Boo has some more tough rows to hoe. And I anticipate further dispatches from The Breakfast Club.

Hump Month

July 16, 2014
nob-hill-sm

If I were to find work in this neighborhood, would I be justified in calling it a Nob job? No, don’t answer that.

I know, I know, the term is “Hump Day.” But it’s gonna be Hump Month around here, and maybe even Hump Quarter, because Herself has gone and landed a new job — in Albuquerque.

Ay, Chihuahua.

It will be a homecoming of sorts. We met and married in Santa Fe, but left New Mexico for Bibleburg in 1991 to take care of my mom, who was developing Alzheimer’s and had begun acting nearly as outlandishly as me. We’ve lived in Colorado ever since, either here (twice) or in Weirdcliffe (once).

We’ve been in residence at the ultra-chic Chez Dog in the upscale Patty Jewett Yacht & Gun Club Neighborhood for going on 12 years now — 12 years! — and I figured we were all done moving, that my years of rocketing pointlessly around North America like a turpentined ferret had finally come to an end.

I’ve lived in two countries, 11 states and 18 towns that I can remember, and in several of those towns more than once. Hell, I’ve lived in five different houses right here in Bibleburg. And the appalling state of three of them is none of my doing, no matter what you may hear from the few neighbors who survived.

Well, looks like we can toss No. 19 up there on the Big Board. Some people around here insist on having actual jobs, my shining example to the contrary notwithstanding, and next month Herself starts work as a technical librarian in electronic resources and document services at Sandia National Laboratories.

And me? Well, God willin’ and the creek don’t rise — which it appears to be doing as we speak — I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing since 1989, to wit, annoying the readers, staff, advertisers and ownership of various bicycle publications. My primary residence will always be a Mad Dog state of mind.

 

The accidental Tourist

July 14, 2014
Bianchi Zurigo Disc

The Bianchi Zurigo Disc, kitted out for light touring.

The downside of following the Tour de France for fun and profit is that one has fewer suitable rationales for skipping the daily ride.

When guys are falling off at 60 kph on wet descents, breaking bones, and then getting back on the bike and continuing for another 20km or so before finally caving, “I feel too fat for Lycra today” seems a feeble excuse for staying home.

So, though the skies were an ominous shade of gray, once my day’s labors were more or less complete I kitted up and went out for a short leg-stretcher.

The Templeton Gap trail was closed, so I kept riding north, only to find the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail likewise shut a bit further along. So I spent the rest of my ride dodging various road projects, potholes and velocidal motorists until it finally started to rain, then did my best Tony Martin impersonation all the way home.

And I finished with the rubber side down, too, which makes it a whole lot easier to do it again tomorrow.

I’ve cracked many a joke about Alberto Contador over the years, but all kidding aside, the man does help bring a race to life. I think we’ll miss his damn-the-torpedoes style during the remainder of this Tour.

A Giant among men

July 7, 2014
This stretch was one of the fast downhill bits of our old 'cross courses.

This stretch was one of the fast downhill bits of our old ‘cross courses.

Stifling again today, with the high somewhere in the mid-90s and the promised rain nowhere in sight.

It was already 80-something as I stepped away from the iMac and started slathering on the sunscreen after a bracing few hours playing second-chair tuba in the Live Update Guy Symphony Orchestra during stage 3 of the Tour de France.

What a fella wants after all that chin music is a bit of the old bikey ridey, and a little shade to do it in, so I rode south past Colorado College and America the Beautiful Park to Bear Creek Regional Park, where the Mad Dogs used to run their cyclo-crosses back in the day.

The shade is spotty over there, especially if you climb westward through Bear Creek Terrace toward Gold Camp Road, which I did. Then I zipped down 26th Street into Old Colorado City and turned east, toward home.

Nobody would have mistaken me for Marcel Kittel, who I figure can play The Batman anytime he wants to. I’m sure Ben Affleck would be happy to step aside, especially if Marcel has gotten his bad self up to speed.

It’s only a model

July 6, 2014

I think I’ve figured out how the Limeys Yorkies have managed to turn out these insane crowds for the Tour.

Prime Minister David Cameron conspired with industry to simultaneously lay everybody off and evict them from their flats, then gave each of the poor sods a free pint and told them, “Right, you lot, now go stand over there and yell at the nice cycle fellows, and we’ll give you another.”

The smart money in today’s nine-climb quad-snapper was on Peter Sagan, but he was unwilling to chase down his pal Vincenzo Nibali in the finale, and thus we have Nibbles in The Big Shirt and his buddy Wolverine in the green, and also the white.

Charles Pelkey and I were at it again over to Live Update Guy, but I wasn’t able to chime in often, having other chores and not being much of a multitasker.

I did, however, contribute a couple bits of trivia: Mr. F.G. Superman, a.k.a. Bicycle Repairman, a.k.a. Michael Palin of Monty Python, is a native of Sheffield, where today’s stage concluded. Also, the comedy “The Full Monty” was about a clot of idle steelworkers turned stripper in that very same town.

Tomorrow brings a 155km stage from Cambridge to London that looks like one for the sprinters. And on Tuesday, the Tour finally gets round to visiting France for stage 4, a 163.5km leg from Le Touquet-Paris-Plage to Lille Métropole with a couple of category-4 climbs.

Wednesday is crunch day. Nine sectors of cobbles along the 155.5km road from Ypres to Arenberg-Porte du Hainaut will separate the sheep from the goats. Everybody must get stoned.

Speed bump

July 5, 2014

I was never a sprinter, for a variety of reasons, the foremost of which we saw today in stage 1 of the Tour de France.

Thundering into a gap that didn’t exist, Mark Cavendish lost his chance to win one in front of the home folks and don the yellow jersey to boot. He tangled with Simon Gerrans, both men went down (as did others), and it was just a helluva mess, a really bad way to end what otherwise had been a fine start to the Tour.

To his credit, Cav’ took the rap, saying via press release: “It was my fault. I’ll personally apologize to Simon Gerrans as soon as I get the chance. In reality, I tried to find a gap that wasn’t really there.” Gerrans, for his part, was circumspect, declining to assign blame as he limped off with his kit in tatters. And Marcel Kittel was grinning from ear to ear, because he finished with the rubber side down and took the first stage win and yellow jersey.

Charles Pelkey and I called the race as per usual over at Live Update Guy, and it was big fun until suddenly it wasn’t. It seemed most of the regulars were on hand, and we engaged in the usual digressions — doggerel, cat photos, Monty Python, literature, cartoons, rock ‘n’ roll, beggary, history, pix from the Man On the Scene (MOTS), medium-heavy libel, you name it.

We’ll be doing it again tomorrow. Y’all come.

 

Candygram. …

July 4, 2014

 

LUG nuttery

July 2, 2014

OK, so it’s not exactly a Monty Python reunion, but Charles Pelkey and I are getting the band back together to provide live updates of the Tour de France starting Saturday.

Yes, that’s right, Live Update Guy rides again! There will be snark, limericks, cheap shots, haiku, bad manners, references to obscure skits from The Firesign Theatre and the aforementioned Pythons, ad hominem attacks that fall just millimeters short of actual libel, cameo appearances by The Fat Guy singing his hit single “It’s Over,” heavily moderated comments from our heavily medicated audience, and occasional bits about the actual bike race.

Counselor Pelkey will get the ball rolling at stupid-thirty every morning, and I’ll pop around 7-ish to get things wrong, make fart noises and otherwise contribute to lowering his intellectual property values.

If they allow you computer access in your particular state-run institution of license-plate manufacture and/or Edison-medicine application, surf on by and say howdy. How bad could it be?

Rocking the Pulpit (or not)

June 29, 2014
Georgia Gould on a fast section of multipurpose path on the north side of Pulpit Rock.

Georgia Gould attacks a fast section of multipurpose path on the north side of Pulpit Rock.

During a break in my paying chores yesterday I rolled over to Pulpit Rock to watch a bit of the women’s cross-country race at the US Cup. Man, was that ever one thin crowd, and I ain’t talking body weight here. I have more voices in my own head, f’chrissakes.

The men’s race I watched via streaming video, and while there seemed to be a few more spectators for that contest, the crowd was still pretty sparse, about what one might expect for a Marilyn Manson concert in St. Peter’s Square or a meeting of the Louie Gohmert Fan Club.

Not being a big mountain-bike guy — I quit racing in the mid-1990s after a guy deliberately crashed me at Rage in the Sage, and haven’t covered a race since the final Cactus Cup in Arizona — I have no idea whether this is SOP for the discipline these days or some class of an aberration specific to Bibleburg, which has been hosting the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb all week long.

Any mountain bikers out there in the audience? Is this the way things are now? Or are we here in Bibleburg just “special,” as we are in so many other regrettable ways?

Rocking out

June 27, 2014
Pulpit Rock is one of the lesser-known venues for riding the old bikey bike in Bibleburg. That will change, starting tomorrow.

Pulpit Rock is one of the lesser-known venues for riding the old bikey bike in Bibleburg. That will change, starting tomorrow.

I almost forgot — we actually have us a spot of bicycle racing taking place in scenic metropolitan Bibleburg this weekend.

Round four of the US Cup Pro Series presented by the Sho-Air Cycling Group takes place Saturday and Sunday at Pulpit Rock Park, which is just a hop, skip and a jump from Chez Dog.

I popped round today to say howdy to my man Andy Bohlmann, who is lending a hand with the heavy lifting as the circus comes to town, and I’m going to strive mightily to spectate a bit between chores (yes, I have deadlines and Herself is road-tripping again, leaving me in charge of quarters).

If you’re in town, swing on by. And if you’re not, you can watch via streaming video.

 


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