Monday, November 9, 2009

My Utter Humiliation! And His Victory Dance . . .

Just when I couldn't stop cursing all the NAU students going the wrong direction in the bike lane on Beaver, I got busted!

Last Thursday morning I got ticketed on NAU campus by an NAU police officer for pedaling against traffic on a rarely used one-way street behind the Drury Inn. To be fair to myself, the street is more of a parking lot with a driveway than anything else but before anyone starts growling about cops with nothing better to do, the officer was doing his job and I was should have known better. I coulda and shoulda taken a nearby and legal route going with traffic on to the nearest bike path but I got lazy and took a short cut. The officer was very nice about it but gave me proper direction and let me off with a warning, which I will heed.

The Running, Biking and Swimming Bob

Bob and I traveled to Parker, Arizona this weekend for the Mountain Man Triathlon at the Blue Water Resort and Casino, about a three hour drive from Flagstaff on the California/Arizona border. Still working my way back into running after the herniated disk, I tagged along as cheerleader - an envious one at that since everyone looked excited and ready for a great time.

Bob's mental journey to complete his first triathlon is quite a story. He overcame cold water, panic attacks, and training interrupted by H1N1 to end up coming in first place in his division. In between wiping away tears of pride as he successfully completed each leg of the event I managed to get some images of an exciting day. Bob did most of his bike training pedaling back and forth to work with me and had joked about riding his Schwinn Jet Star in the bike portion of the race. Surely, nobody would do such a thing. Were I a quicker photographer, you'd see that indeed a few triathletes were astride commuter bikes! Sitting upright, they looked comfortable, rode strong, and certainly took in the desert scenery.

Although the race is called the Mountain Man, nearly half of the participants were women. I felt very inspired and tried to imagine if I could overcome my own clumsiness in the water to tackle a tri. I feel reasonably confident about biking and running but like many people find the idea of open water swimming pretty intimidating.
I won't go into further detail about the triathlon but invite SRAB readers to visit The Running Bob's blog to share his perspective on the weekend. I can't possibly say it better than he can, and I think he'd enjoy comments, especially from new triathletes.

Naturally, I wasn't about to travel without my bike if I could possibly help it. The night before the race, I accompanied Bob on a brief test ride of the Specialized Sequoia he rented for the occasion. The landscape in the late afternoon was quite beautiful.

The Spoils of War

A pretty rewarding aspect of the bike commuting and the triathlon lifestyle is the occasional visit to fast food restaurants. The Running Bob and I limit those times to road trips. We stopped this afternoon at N n' Out Burger in Kingman. N n' Out Burger is a western chain with which I was unfamiliar but Bob insisted was famous for their freshly cut (never frozen) French fries. Aside from fries and sodas the menu only lists about 4 items. After eating 3/4 of a N n' Out cheeseburger I can only say that if one is only going to do one or two things, one might as well do them very well. N n' Out succeeds in the realm of really good fast food burgers. Did you know that N n' Out Burger has been frying with transfats since the 1940's? Well, it says so right on the wrapper, which we took the time to read. We left happy and satisfied rather than drunk on hydrogenated fat.


Trisha said...

Good to know that some triathletes ride commuters! I am considering trying one, but don't want to buy a new bike, so good to know I don't have to if I take the leap.

p.s. funny ticket story and great post title, BTW!

CynthiaC54 said...

I am SO impressed! I doubt I'll ever even attempt a triathlon, given that I swim like - okay, not like a rock, but very much like my beautiful dog, Daisy... I can get from Point A to Point B, but if you throw in a Point C (or if there's more than a NARROW pool's width involved!), fuggedaboudit!!

Looking at road bikes for next year's three-day GABRAKY (an October ride across Kentucky), and I'm impressed that some of these folks did the triathlon on commuters. WOW. I did two days on a hybrid this year, and it was a BEAR. My Bianchi is great for city and park riding, but she's just not up to the abuse involved in a long road trip.

And my favorite trans fats come from the Char-Grill in Raleigh, NC. If you're ever in that area, check out the original location on Hillsborough Street for the world's best flame-broiled burger and big, fat fries. :-)

rcp4 said...

Congrats to Bob. All the training paid off. Was wondering what bike you were riding. Looks very relaxed in geometry?
I have a friend that works at N and Out Burgers. Very good burgers and fries without the transfat oil for frying. She tells me they are extremely demanding in terms of quality.

She Rides a Bike said...

CynthiaC54: My sister lives in Raleigh and we're visiting in January. I'll have to put Char-Grill on our itinerary.

rcp4: My bike is a Specialized Expedition, now marketed as the Globe Carmel. Very relaxed ride, indeed. I love the saddle Specialized Globe as evolved into its own stand alone line with several different bikes. Lately, I've been eyeing the Globe Live2 Mixt. Very sweet.

jjfantastic said...

We just got my mom a Globe Carmel. She had a bit of an accident at the beginning of summer, getting on her old mountain bike, where she didn't clear the top tube, lost her balance, and broke her shoulder, right after they moved here to Portland where she was loving biking around. *sigh* So as soon as she had clearance from the orthopedist, the lovely Carmel was purchased and she's back at it.

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