Up in the air

The Steelman Eurocross on Trail 505 north of Elena Gallegos.

February took a while to get rolling.

Herself was scheduled to jet up to Colorado for a weekend with some gal pals. Being of a frugal nature she had wrangled the cheapest flight possible, which meant we had to be at the Duke City launch pad at 5 a.m., an hour I find abhorrent.

Naturally, when she got up at dark-thirty she learned that her American Airlines flight to Grand Junction via Phoenix had been canceled, and that she had been bumped to a 9:30 departure. Back to bed, if not to sleep.

When next she arose, at 5:40, she found that as she dozed AA had instead booked her on a 6 a.m. Delta flight through Salt Lake City. And had she been at the airport at that moment instead of wandering El Rancho Pendejo in her robe, why, that would have been just swell.

A call to customer service saw her flight shifted yet again, this time to an AA-Mesa tag team that sent her through Dallas-Fort Worth. Yes, to get to Colorado from New Mexico — call it 300 miles as the crow flies from Duke City to Function Junction — you have to visit Arizona, Utah or Texas first.

And thus, through the miracle that is modern air travel, a mere seven hours later, before anyone could say “You could have driven there faster,” which I did, there she was.

My day likewise featured its detours. Hal Walter and I had been planning a podcast that would take a jaundiced view of sport ahead of the Super Bowel, but like Herself we encountered a series of breakdowns, false starts and changes of direction.

When I do audio (rarely) I use the 2009 iMac, which has tons of storage, memory out the wazoo, and the best mic in the house, a Shure SM58 routed through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB interface.

But when I cranked it up I found that Call Recorder wanted an update, and so did Skype, and once I’d made them happy Hal told me that he’d quit using Skype because his crowd was all about the Google Hangouts, Slack and whatnot.

Ay, Chihuahua.

I recalled reading that Jason Snell at Six Colors had spoken well of Zencastr, a service that occasional and undemanding podcasters like us can use to record their local audio at good quality without jumping through all the hoops that an old-school double-ender requires.

So Hal and I both signed up with Zencastr and started rooting around under the hood, banging on this with our stone clubs, and sawing on that with our flint knives, all while hooting dolefully, and before long Hal drifted off into a side project and I said fuck it and went for a ride.

Which turned out to be just the thing for a leaky brain-pan. I found a new-to-me trail that was just barely navigable on a Steelman Eurocross. My reflexes had dulled to a blunt edge that could not hurt me and I rode bits that would have confounded me had I been of sound mind.

If I’d kept going, who knows? I might have wound up in Colorado. And quicker than Herself did, too.

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6 Responses to “Up in the air”

  1. Dale Says:

    Re: Airlines

    I once had to travel from the eastern shore of Maryland (one small airport) to New Hampshire (another small airport). A co-worker offered to drive me in his company car, but I declined since I would save about 6 hours of travel time. By the time that I finally arrived he picked me up in his car, and this was pre-TSA.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Ho, ho. I once flew from Portland, Oregon, to San Francisco, back in the early Eighties. Some regional airline, a little Fokker puddle-jumper. The plane landed in every whistlestop burg along the way, swear to God. I couldn’t have driven it quite as fast, but there would have been fewer ups and downs.

  2. Pat O'Brien Says:

    After all that complicated scheduling and techie shit, I would have been ready for a ride too. I rode in shorts today. You should have loaded up the Saga, stuck Boo in a pannier, got the neighbors to feed Mia and Turk, and rode down here. Your brain pan would have been sparkly clean by the time you got here. Boo’s pannier might have been a little soiled.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      It was arm warmers and knickers for me, Pat. The arm warmers came off, and I could’ve gone with shorts. Sixty-something is hard to beat for the first day of February.

      With Herself out of Dodge The Boo is being a drama queen. Travel would not suit him. Walking him this morning was like dragging a rubber chicken around a vaudeville stage.

  3. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    The joys of air travel are the only cycling vacation thing CycleItalia/Piedmont Cycling Resort has zero control over.
    Tales like yours keep a lot of folks from flying over the Atlantic to enjoy Italy with us.
    I did have a laugh a few weeks ago when I showed up with our stuff packed into a minivan – someone seemed to think I’d packed it all up the in the USA and driven it over here!

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