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.