Monday, November 17, 2008

2008 el Tour de Tucson Pregame Show

See update below...

Geez, is it November already? Where does the time go?

As devoted reader SiouxGeonz points out in comments to an earlier thread, I should be preparing for the upcoming el Tour de Tucson bicycle race instead of frittering away our time by entertaining you all at this here blog thing.

Yeah, maybe. But first I have to post this pregame show to my blog, do my morning calisthenics, and get an hour of sun so I don't look like the Great White Northerner that I am while soaking rays at the Tucson swimming holes this weekend.

And only then can I can start thinking about today's training ride.

Let me tell you about el Tour de Tucson.

It's a huge sprawling bicycle race -- a timed race with timing chips strapped around ankles of the 15,000 participants. There are four distances to choose from -- 109 miles, 80 miles, 67 miles, or 35 miles.
The largest and most popular distance is the 109-mile loop around the entire Tucson perimeter. That's the one I'm interested in. That's the one I did last year and wrote about here.

Did I tell you they hand out medals at the finish line depending on ones finish time? OH YES, they do! But you have to go FAST!

If you can finish the fat century ride in under 7 hours, you earn a Silver Medal. If you finish under 6 hours, a Gold Medal. And for those riders who are exceptionally athletic and practically professional, if you can average over 22 mph for 5 hours or less, you get a Platinum Medal (and some other goodies, which I'll discuss here afterward... if I can do it.)

Platinum is what I want.

Last year, I had three (3) flat tires and finished in 5 hours 29 minutes. I got a Gold Medal for all my exertions and troubles. Not good enough. It currently hangs around one of the posts of our headboard and taps with a lovely metallic 'ting' every now and again to remind me of my failure.

eTdT begins at 7 a.m. this Saturday, November 22nd in downtown Tucson, and if I'm to earn a Platinum Medal, I'll need to finish before noon. I can do it. But only if my bike and tires and tubes (and legs) cooperate. I'll do what I can.

As Pansy Palmetto* says, "Yes, you can!"

*Her porn name.

I was ready to go, but The Man wasn't convinced. Guys wearing black SECURITY T-shirts had to escort me from the start. And then it got ugly. In about 30 ways. After the race, I crashed. But that only resulted in swelling -- nothing that could keep me off the bike the next day as my friends and I climbed Mt. Lemmon. You think I'm kidding about any of this? I'm not. Someday I might write about it. But then I didn't write about my Triple Bypass experiences. Nor did I write about the 519-mile ultra-endurance race that Deadhead and I completed in 31 hours 57 minutes to win 1st Place, setting a course record which should stand for at least... another year. So don't get your hopes up.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Since BJ forum is still down, just wanted to wish you good luck on the Platinum this year. I know you can to it. NO FLATS THIS YEAR.


11:11 PM, November 18, 2008  
Blogger Mozam said...

Wow! Rests on your headboard... Now, that's dedication. You must be inspired... Good luck homey. I won't be there. Too expensive for Mozam. I was waiting for my bailout check, but it hasn't arrived yet.

Keep the rubber side down.


6:01 AM, November 19, 2008  
Blogger SiouxGeonz said...

It's taper time :) :D

Hope things have been healing well, too.

10:54 AM, November 19, 2008  
Blogger Howard said...

The hip and the road rash have all healed up, but the shoulder is messed up for sure. Will have an ortho doc look at it after I get back from Tucson. In the meantime, I still have to ride today before resting Thursday and Friday. That ought to be enough. After all, it's only 109 miles...

11:07 AM, November 19, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any way you can either flat-proof your tires, or carry spares for a quick change or sumthin' ta speed you up ?

12:27 PM, November 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

howie, are you kinda fired up? are you feelin' like you're ready to go?

11:22 PM, November 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i guess the question is: were you fired up? were you ready to go?

11:23 PM, November 22, 2008  
Anonymous Pansy Palmetto said...

2008 Platinum: RIP, fucker.

3:46 PM, November 28, 2008  
Blogger Howard said...

I met every one of my goals as a cyclist this year save that one. Fucking Tucson.

8:55 PM, November 30, 2008  

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