Where’s Hayduke when I need a strong back?

If God is trying to make me even happier about the thought of spending a week cycling through southern Arizona, He’s certainly on the right track. The weather here in Bibleburg is deteriorating rapidly — blowing, spritzing, shivery, even snowing up in Black Forest — which is to say it’s a fairly typical March day in Colorado.

As a consequence, I didn’t bother to ride. I figure I have plenty of that sort of thing coming up soon, and in a more hospitable climate, too. Instead, I visited my chiropractor, started packing and scored the fixings for a big pot of chicken noodle soup, which is simmering as we speak.

Soup sounded good, and more important, there will be leftovers, which will come in handy during my absence. Herself will cook an egg, or a holiday feast, but leaves the shopping and three-squares-a-day stuff to me. If you like to eat, you want a great fat bastard running the kitchen, not some 95-pound sprite whose capacity is about equal to that of a baby robin. I’ll cook up a couple more items tomorrow and freeze ’em so she’ll have heat-it-and-eat-its while I’m pushing envelopes down in cactus country.

The fun part of all this is the packing. Ordinarily when vacationing in Arizona I park myself in McDowell Mountain Regional Park outside Fountain Hills, so any forgetfulness on my part is easily remedied. But bike shops, REIs and other dispensaries will be few and far between south of Tucson, so I have to try to transcend my brain damage and take everything I might possibly need, including a bigger vehicle to carry it all.

George Washington Hayduke got along fine with his own two legs, plus 60 pounds of gear in a backpack, but I’m going to need something with more carrying capacity. Maybe a Peterbilt, or a CH-47F Chinook helicopter.

9 Responses to “Where’s Hayduke when I need a strong back?”

  1. John Says:

    Word is that REI has, is, or will be opening a store in Tucson. You’ll be able to find it, no doubt, in one of the millions of banal, identical strip malls that infest that soulless village. Enjoy.

    By the way, on your way down there could you swing by ol’ Page, Arizona and join me in a prayer for just one little precision earthquake that’ll drain that cesspool Lake Foul once and for all? Seldom and I would very much appreciate it.

  2. Larry T. Says:

    Have fun Patrick! Weather here in Viterbo sounds kind of like yours — our Italian friends might start asking us to leave as the last time it snowed in Rome was January 2005 while we were there and now in Viterbo it’s snowing while we’re here. A good time to have a snotty cold, otherwise I’d be really cranky missing sunny days and warm temps to ride in. We had those on Saturday while at the Strade Bianche so I consider us pretty fortunate overall.

  3. Patrick O'Grady Says:

    John, I lived in Tucson briefly in 1980, during a very short stint working for The Arizona Daily Star. Didn’t much care for the place then, in large measure because I hated my job, but there were upsides: Fourth Street, where all the weirdos hung out; the Mexican food at places like El Minuto; the U of A swimming pool; and my rental, a stucco guest house behind a mansion on Orange Grove Road. The owner had a swimming pool and four daughters, each of them lovely. I’ve been back to visit a few times and the place just keeps getting bigger and uglier, like most of the rest of America. “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell,” said Ed Abbey, and he did not lie. Happily, Tucson is merely the start and finish of the tour, so my contact with the place will be minimal.

    Larry, sorry to hear about the snotty cold and the snow. But at least you got to scope out the Strade Bianche. That’s something, eh? I love the weirdo races, like the dirt stages the Giro likes to throw at the peloton now and again. Alison Dunlap was leading a group road ride here in Bibleburg once and on a whim took us onto the unpaved New Santa Fe Trail, which leads to the Air Force Academy. As an old cyclo-crosser on an equally aged bike it didn’t bother me a bit, but you should have heard the sniveling from the carbon-fiber crowd as they tried to stay upright in the gravel and sand on 115pis 23mm road rubber. Ho, ho.

  4. steve o Says:

    Your kitchen situation sounds a lot like our house. The M.striss holds her own when the money’s on the table, but I get the privilege of the sustenance when no one else is looking.

    Lately I’ve fallen in love with the plastic freezer-friendly mason jars. Cups, actually, and if you can get over the fact that they so very closely resemble those that the doc hands you once a year and asks you to fill up to the line, then they’re quite useful. Currently I have about a dozen two-cup servings of pozole, pork and green chili stew, chili of various sorts, chicken soup, and a couple of frost-burned unidentifiables that I’m sure will be just fine with a mug of ale or glass of fermented grape juice.

    Make sure you take a picture of your rig once you’re all loaded. We’ll need some way of identifying that sun-scorched pile of bones, long after the search party’s been called off!

  5. bromasi Says:

    how about a Hummer I here you can them cheap now

  6. bromasi Says:

    I forgot the get

  7. Darwin Says:

    I live in Phoenix now but used to live in Tucson. Loved it there then and now.

  8. chris Says:

    Ah, a lovely ode to gravel and sand, so. Last fall’s Levi Leipheimer King Ridge Gran Fondo here in God’s Country followed typically unkempt California asphalt for miles and miles and miles, then funneled 3,000-plus riders onto a perfectly adequate stretch of dirt and gravel for the last 1.5 miles. Sniveling doesn’t begin to describe the reaction. It was quite entertaining.

  9. O'Neill Says:

    Your Bibleburg has a couple choppers for sale

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