Because of the news that Sunday night, I knew the following Monday morning's ride would be enjoyable. However, I hate to break it to anyone who happened to stop breathing that Sunday and who was now feeding the fishes in some ocean depths, but Monday morning was a spectacularly nice day:
However, the big goal Monday morning was to not forget to stop at Swamis to see the Moai carving. It seems a Torrey Pine was infested with the bark beetle and had to be cut down this January, but the best was made of it. I pulled into the roadside park in the early morning calm, and snapped a few photos:
From there, the Commuter Challenge raged on, and the week continued with bikes, trains, and lockers until Friday. My colleague Doug told me about the guy that used to be on crazyguyonabike.com, but is now fattiredrifter.com , and is now on his way from Beijing to somewhere in Europe. Consequently, Friday's ride didn't seem all that long, but after cresting the climb on College at Tamarack, the descent to Vista Way seemed kinda slow. Plus, there was this odd sound...and when I looked down, the front tire seemed to have a configuration that it really shouldn't.
Still, there wasn't the disheartening rapid innertube decompression accompanied by catastrophic air loss. Instead, the tire just got softer as I descended the hill. Since the bottom of that hill is a busy place and a bad spot to fix a puncture, I thought I'd see if I could get to a quieter place to make a repair. I was able to nurse it onto Vista Way, ironically across the street from the hospital emergency room that I visited last year, and I thought I'd try putting air in the tube and seeing if it would hold long enough. It seemed firm enough to continue on, and much like Johan Vansummeren at Paris-Roubaix this year, I limped on my deflating tire to burritos and beer before home much like how Vansummeren held off the charging Fabian Cancellara. Mine was at a lower speed, of course, but the reward was likely equal.
Since then, the remainder of the Commuter Challenge has gone well. I haven't driven my truck in a month, and I wonder if it will still start. I'll give it a test this weekend, but tomorrow is the finale of the Challenge--Bike to Work Day! While most places hold this high holiday on Thursday, San Diego is sublimely intelligent by holding it on Friday, so that Bike Home from Work Day can be much more relaxed. Oddly enough, California Bicycle Commute Week has coincided with the Tour of California, and it was indeed exciting for me to watch my former Swami's teammate Chris Horner stomp the competition on Sierra Road to take the lead in the race. I'll be sneaking a peak at the time trial tomorrow, and glued to the screen on Saturday to see if he can win this thing. If you've never had the pleasure of riding with Chris Horner, I can tell you that he is the guy vanishing in the distance when you can briefly look up as you ride at your max. He had a long, blonde ponytail when he rode on Swami's, but unlike Sampson, losing his hair only made him stronger.
Why doesn't that work for me?