A Hard Week

The cold, foggy, unforgiving, and highly anticipated climb up the Tourmalet still loomed many miles ahead for the Tour riders as our group headed out for the usual Thursday morning levee ride. It had already seemed like a hard week to me, and with a difficult criterium coming up on Saturday I knew I needed recovery time more than another hammerfest up the river. The Tuesday ride had been fast and furious, and Wednesday’s was no walk in the park either. Even so, I was planning on doing the train Continue reading “A Hard Week”

Another Day, Another Giro

I was up early again this morning, but it wasn’t to ride. You see, our garbage collectors are very reliable. Every Saturday morning at precisely 4:45 am, I am awakened by the melodious sounds of the garbage truck and its crew as they make their rounds way over on the other side of S. Claiborne Avenue. Every cloud has a silver lining, however, and it this case it’s the fact that I often forget to put the garbage out on Friday nights. Since they don’t actually get to my house for Continue reading “Another Day, Another Giro”

Rust and Clouds

I sat up in bed, taking inventory of the morning’s crop of stiff joints and muscles. One calf muscle in particular was complaining, amid the usual dull cacophony of reluctant leg and back muscles. I remembered what Bob Perrin had said to me once when I was first starting to notice the effects of aging (which was over twenty years ago now). “It takes a long time to warm up old meat.” He followed it up with something like, “Just wait until you hit 40.” Indeed. Continue reading “Rust and Clouds”

Big Gears

It was another hot and humid morning down in New Orleans. This is the time of year when things on my bike start rusting, corroding and generally getting all gummed up from the gallons of sweat they’re exposed to. It’s a constant battle. This morning I put a little drop of oil on the rusting thumb-shifter mechanisms on each shifter. Of all the things I’ve tried, good old 3-in-1 oil seems to work the best for that. As I do every morning in the summer, I cleaned Continue reading “Big Gears”

Out to the Lake

The Daughter was headed back to Iowa City early Tuesday morning, so I skipped my ride in favor of breakfast at La Madeleine before driving out to the airport. Coincidentally, the Tour de France was just starting the mountain by the same name as we left. I told myself I’d get in a ride after work. Yeah, right. By the time I got home all I wanted to do was vegetate on the couch with a glass of wine. I felt so guilty — at least until the second glass of wine. Continue reading “Out to the Lake”


Although The Daughter is in town for a few days, I had been expecting a fairly routine weekend — a couple of regular Giro Rides and maybe an afternoon in the French Quarter. There are certainly times when I enjoy kicking back and sinking into the relative comfort of familiar routine. This weekend it lasted only until about 12:30 on Saturday, at which point our dog attacked her dog in a dispute apparently involving a piece of deer antler. As one might expect, the little dog got the short end of Continue reading “Unexpectations”

Big and Fast

Finally feeling almost normal again, I was up early and out the door on my way to Starbucks by 6:05, looking forward to a good Saturday Giro Ride. I had finally given in to the mid-summer heat and squeezed one of those huge blue insulated water bottles we’d received at a recent race into the bottle cage. The sun was still behind some clouds way over on the horizon, and so I started out thinking I’d go for a regular coffee, but by the time I was halfway there I was already dreaming about iced cof Continue reading “Big and Fast”