From here to there and back again

Twelve hours after I left home and hearth, sallying forth in the service of bicycle journalism, I found myself back at the ranch, cracking the first of what would be more than one bottle of Odell’s 5 Barrel Pale Ale and speaking in a tone and volume that startled the dog, although the cats are used to it.

It’s all of 85 miles from here to Denver International Airport, a distance I once routinely covered via bicycle, and that’s as far as United Airlines got me today before I finally told them, “Piss on the fire and call in the dogs, I’ve had the course.” Not even bicycle racers can make this many excuses for failure. Call it the Tour of Concourse B.

Had I been flying Air Subaru I’d have made Flagstaff in about the same time as it took to fly from Bibleburg to Mile High and back again (total air time: 40 minutes tops). I could have enjoyed a Hopshot IPA at the Beaver Street Brewing Company, hit the sack, then arisen early and motored to Sacramento for a glass of Thunderhead IPA at Pyramid Breweries. But nooo. …

More tomorrow, once I calm down. We must think of the animals.

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26 Responses to “From here to there and back again”

  1. Libby Says:

    Not good. Awaiting your next post.

  2. bikesgonewild Says:

    …we’re you scheduled for THAT plane ???…

    “Oh, Oh big ol’ jet airliner
    Don’t carry me too far away
    Oh, Oh big ol’ jet airliner
    Cause it’s here that I’ve got to stay”

  3. Ira Says:

    Airline de-regulation did make for lower fares, but that’s not worth a damn if you can’t get anywhere. The airline industry is in a race to the basement when it comes to customer service.

  4. Jeff Cozad Says:

    Drank my last bottle of 5 Barrel Pale two days ago and my cache of Mirror Pond is getting down to critical levels. I am pleased to report that various Stone products are finally available to me over the river. I’m developing a fondness for the Arrogant Bastard Ale for some reason or another. (the Double Arrogant Bastard when it’s around too)
    http://www.stonebrew.com/beers/

  5. Larry T. Says:

    Gotta ask since we live sometimes in a tiny place with an airport that can fly us to only one destination (Minneapolis) why didn’t ya just drive or pay for a car ride to DIA? Yeah, we know it’s almost in Kansas but if it’s really only 85 miles it’s about as far as from SUX to OMA. We fly out of OMA more often than not just to avoid problems of this sort and save some dough. Especially dumb if this means you’ll now miss the whole NAHBS?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Larry, I rarely fly. Once a year is a lot for me, and it usually involves either family or some sort of emergency.

      The Bibleburg airport has a lot going for it — it’s a 15-minute drive, long-term parking is cheap, security is a breeze and shuttle buses cruise LTP to fetch folks to the terminal, which is the best part of the trip for me, since I’m usually wearing a backpack full of computers and cameras and fetching a duffel of duds.

      But traffic at Bibleburg Interfaith Airport is down, and based on the snapshot I got of the terminal on Thursday I’m thinking that if I have to jet anywhere anytime soon, I’m flying out of Denver.

  6. Khal Spencer Says:

    To paraphrase Gordon Lightfoot

    “… There was a time in this fair land when the airline did not run…”

    Doesn’t Southwest fly to Sacramento from Denver? If not, next time hop on I-25 and drive to Albuquerque and take Southwest. I just checked and they have a shitload of flights between the Duke City and Sacramento. Stop at Second Street and Marble along the way as feed zones. As long as you don’t mind the shitfaced locals driving north in the southbound lanes, it might not even be that much of a time sink.

    We got a divorce from our UAL frequent flyer cards a long time ago, esp. after the way they treated their flight crews, a former member of which is a close friend back in Honolulu. Been very happy so far with Southwest Airlines.

  7. John Levy Says:

    I know it sucks but Delta goes to SLC then onto SAC. Yeah I know salt lake is a piece of dog crap but you can get out of there usually. ppl at airport are …… not enough expletives to cover them but still now you can at least get a really over priced good beer there. I use them occasionally to get to the springs from Montana and then south to the burg. United needs to revamp the whole attitude of that airline maybe electroshock therapy would help.

    • Khal Spencer Says:

      United has rat-fucked its pilots and staff enough that I don’t really blame them for being surly. I can’t quite imagine how I would feel if management robbed me of my retirement plan. Our friend in Honolulu went back to school and reinvented herself as an R.N. because her career at UAL didn’t promise much.

      Vulture capitalism has its price. Disgruntled employees is one of them. Or, your staff votes with its feet, such as O’G and Velonews.

  8. bikesgonewild Says:

    …i thought you were booked on the denver to sf flight that got cancelled yesterday due to a supposed ‘bomb scare’…true story…

  9. john Says:

    Off-topic, but Charlie Pierce just posted a link to this astonishing verbal beatdown of a right-wing talk radio host by the president of Ireland. Drop what you’re doing and listen to it right away!

    And you wonder where our esteemed host got his ranting skills … ?

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/03/01/1069909/-President-of-Ireland-Must-See-Believe-Me-Please-?via=siderec

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      John, isn’t that a great piece of rhetoric? The Irish prez shut that bozo off like flicking a light switch.

      If only we could get O’Bama to give us such craic. But “wanker” sounds so much more genteel to the American ear than “jagoff.”

  10. James Says:

    One more ale for me to drink in my hometown, cool!

    Patrick, why did you try and fly United out of Denver? Yes, they fly to SacTown but so do a few other outfits. Delta and Southwest being two of them. Your presence at the bike show will be missed yet I feel that your happiness is much more important than the crazy trip to get here and back.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Hey, James … I flew out of Bibleburg, where United is about the only option. Frontier is expanding its service here, but only slightly.

      The flight crew on the way home begged us to keep flying rather than driving — they were all Bibleburgers and hoping that their hometown would remain a regional hub.

      But based on the empty concourses I saw in B-burg it seems they’re destined to move north before much longer. Or switch airlines.

      Sorry to miss the show. You do realize that you have to drink for two now, right?

      • James Says:

        I do realize that!

        And tomorrow’s mimosa ride will be a perfect opportunity to do so. Nothing like a fruity alcoholic beverage to wake one up on a Sunday, right?

        It is ironic that B-burg is having issues with the airlines. Seeing as how probably a good portion of the flight crews probably spent some time there with the USAF.

        Nevertheless, next year the trip should be much easier for the NAHBS. Just up the interstate and back to Denver.

  11. Derek Says:

    If anyone is curious why United is the only real option to fly out of the truly not terrible airport in Bibleburg you don’t have to dig very deep to discover the odd relationship we have with the Olympic committee or their relationship with United. I wouldn’t expect much variety in the airline department “nuff said

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