Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Day at the Races

Nothing like helping out in the community I always say. Well I think I may have said it once, but it may have been that instead of the other option the Judge gave me but still I am a big fan of helping out. Living in a city with several million people, I am going to help out in a place that needs more people then they have so I am off to Torrey to help the fine folks of the Capitol Reef Classic Bike Race in marshaling the various racers around the courses of the area. Hey somebody has to do it!

My GPS is still on Mountain Time so it is really 4am when I head out of the garage to beat the heat to Torrey. My plan is to make straight there and not stop for a lot of pictures along the way. I am going to do that in September.

I make fantastic time up and the weather is glorious! Never above 90 and hardly anything more than a small breeze. I get into Torrey and find the house deserted. Ed, Janet, and Bob are out and about laying out the bicycle race course. Before doing anything, I make the decision to set up the Hammock. I mean is there a more important job?

But I am also finally cleared to get back into shape so rather than sleep away the afternoon, I set off for a nice walk around town to see whats up in my home away from home.

Torrey in mid summer is something I haven't seen. Lots of Green and the canal is running.

Many of the locals still seem too shy to want to talk to me, but they sure don't have a problem staring

The fields are all coming in and the smell of cut grass, and summer flowers make for a great time walking about.

I stop at the post office and see my man Jamie. He fills me in on the latest happenings.

The big news is that his wife's new place is going up for a beer license this Monday. The issue is that in Utah if you are within 600 feet of a school or a church you need to jump through some extra hoops. So Monday is the meeting. Send a little Karma Christine Austin's way. She is good peeps and I wish her all the best!

From there I walk on back up the street to rendezvous with the hammock and await the road crews return.

Bob's Flowers are doing nicely as is the garden. I don't take any pictures of the garden knowing the vegetables don't grow as big once they have been photographed. Honest, google it.

The crew shows up soon enough and rather then enjoy a nice well deserved Siesta, our hero the man of action agrees to go out and help finish the Teasedale Loop. How often does one really get to go out and actually spray paint government property and not be breaking all the rules!?

Our man Ed, out there telling the bikes to turn right off 24 onto Highway 12.

One of Bob's finer pieces of street art. This arrow would later almost cause significant strife because a certain woman's polarizing glasses thought Bob had painted it in the wrong direction. My vows for 2009 prevents me from saying anything more.

We head up Highway 12 to the Teasdale Road and keep getting the course ready.

Where is a monkey when you need one! We have to sweep the gravel out of the corners to reduce the risk of a fall when the riders come through tomorrow

The Englishman and our hero working like a well oiled machine.

The rest of the usual suspects start to show up around dinner time. We go eat at the Rim Rock and have a wonderful time.

Next morning we are free until 1:30 so we decide to head out for a little hooning out on Fish Lake. My left shoulder is still bugging me and to be honest having taken the jeep the last few times, I have forgotten the road. Makes me a tad off the normal pace, but still a glorious time!

The GT was ready for more here. Fish Lake is still one of the best kept moto secrets in the land and with Highway 72 being resurfaced this summer, it should be in perfect shape come Fall Torrey for more Hoon madness!

The Hoons posing for a shot at the top of Fish Lake. I love these folks!

But we need to get back to town to meet with the Race Director and the Referee to get assigned to our races. This is a stage race and today's event is a 18 mile loop that the bicycle riders will circuit 1 to 3 times depending on the class of rider.

All of us moto escorts ready to get to work!

I draw the Most experienced and competitive Men's Group and we are off to do three laps around the circuit.

Now these guys ride fast and on the first circuit, Larry is with me to help sweep the cars around the peleton while Eric leads from the front to clear traffic. It is a total blast and I am zipping around pulling cars around them as possible or charging ahead playing chicken with oncoming traffic to get them to slow down.

Here they are just about to head out of town and onto the main highway leading through Torrey. It doesn't take long to get the hang of knowing where you need to be and I have a whole new appreciation for cyclists now.

It was totally cool watching these guys race and to be in the middle of it. Very Worthy

About to turn up Highway 12 towards Bryce Canyon. This is a pretty steep climb with a lot of corners. The issue becomes the bikes are averaging about 18mph and the cars about 50mph so getting people around is a bit of a challenge.

Our gal Janet Leading the Peleton!!

I have to admit that the enthusiasm for following bikes at 20mph did not have the same thrill on everyone.

The next day I get to lead out the group of men who want to do the medium race which is 51 miles.

Photo by Sharon Eblen
Sharon got a picture of me leading off this group

The same time roughly but from my persective

After about 10 miles, a single rider attacks and he and I spend the rest of the race together where he finishes with a 3 minute gap on the rest of the field. I have a blast and will do more races in the future.

I need to be back in Phoenix so at 2:30 am I take off and try to get a jump on the day in hopes of getting home before the summer sun gets too crazy. I see about 6 deer on the road before dawn which isn't bad but always keeps you fully aware. It is actually so cold this morning (under 40) that I stop and layer up and put on my rain jacket.

The tale of the tape. A nice 3+ 1300 mile trip. Can't wait to get out and do it again!


Sunday, July 5, 2009

A quick ride at the end of July 4th

After a great 4th, I have discovered that I need to go Moto.

Somehow over the last 6 months I have managed to get stuff from a few members of the board and today is the day that I return it all. Howard has left his Hoon Cooler with me since last Memorial Day, CraigC has not needed his Gerbings in Arizona, and 10ovr has a Torrey Tshirt he refuses to pick up. So at the crack of dawn this morning it is off to meet them and then go on a little ride up the hill for breakfast.

The merry trio is there to meet me. 10ovr, CraigC and Philly. All in fine spirits and all riding the same color RT.

It is hot this morning already here and while the temps hover in the low 90's even up into the hills, I am not bothered at all by it. Odd how I am so used to riding in the desert.

RT's in front and back. All accounted for

Traffic up is really light on the Beeline and pretty soon, Timmy pulls away with Howard and we have a fun run up the hill. Still better than any drug.

We decide to not go to Payson but rather Punkin Center. But where to eat?

This has become my normal staples since being told by the Doc to get my act together in the next 6 months or be in trouble. All good for you but not really gonna be available in Punkin Center.

This doesn't look promising....

We eat at Aunt Becky's which has a really good menu, is very clean. I eat a plain omelet and pass on the meat and potatoes. Will have to go back there again someday. By the way the horse head weirds me out too.

Now this is something you don't see in every small town in America. A Pratt J57 in the middle of a guys backyard(Ok it said Marine Corps Museum) but I am still going WTF?

I am pretty sure if I take off the side case, I can make get that J57 mounted. Timmy tells me though that it isn't metric so we leave it for another day.

This fella doesn't like being fenced in...

While his pal is having fun with the tourists. Gotta love dogs.

But its time to moto. I need to get back to the valley before it gets too hot and the boys want to work on their bikes before heading to Colorado next week.

Tale of the tape. Not a big ride today at all, but quick and fun.

See ya down the road