Monday, February 3, 2014

Sunday Giro Report From Guest Blogger Big Rich

I myself being largely unqualified1 to report the complete circumstances of Sunday's Giro, we turn to guest blogger, Big Rich2, who filed the following account in response to a far-flung request:

 -------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re:
Date: Sun, 2 Feb 2014 14:43:23 -0700
From: Luke Ponseti <>
To: Richard B. Ehret <>
CC: <>

How was the ride?

Give me more than four words

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-------- Original Message --------
Subject:     Re:
Date:     Sun, 2 Feb 2014 15:49:10 -0600
From:     Richard B. Ehret <>
To:     Luke Ponseti <>
CC:     <>

Wet dirty orange fast 2 flats

Richard B Ehret

= = =

-------- Original Message --------
Subject:     Here's a pic
Date:     Sun, 2 Feb 2014 10:47:31 -0600
From:     Richard B. Ehret <>
To:     David L'Hoste <>

= = =

= =
1. From the very start the wet-and-wild ride was bad going on worse for me. I should have taken heed of the dark omen of almost rolling over Tricep Dave's Garmin as it skipped up the Bayou St. John Bridge. After stopping to retrieve the computer, it only took me a couple of blocks to chase back to the slow-rolling pack but it looked like Triceps Dave wasn't closing the gap back to the group very expeditiously and I never saw him east of the bridges. That's not to say he didn't make it back to the group or onto Hayne, but after the pack got onto Hayne I spent most of the rest of the morning quite literally blind. Blind, not because my useless eyeglasses were in my jersey (my myopia is rather mild), but blind as a result of my eyeballs being unceasingly pummeled with all manner of  microbial fauna suspended in a soupy mix of petrochemical byproduct, industrial waste, oily, noxious bits of road debris ground to microscopic and not so microscopic particles of fetid, putrid leakage from a thousand landfill trucks, all of it flung up off of the road and into my squinting eyes and slavering maw by the copious, greasy rooster tail of whomever's wheel.

There is no doubt my view of yesterday's ride is different, in an antipodal, diametrical sort of way, from those held by the handful of Orangemen and numerous other Gen-Yers who were trading pulls with Brett, Woody, et alii at the front. Even on glorious, windless, sunshiny days much of my Giro experience is spent near the very limit of effort. And while I am happy to have successfully survived, my 61-year-old ticker intact, numerous recent Giros, it doesn't take much unusual stress to nudge me over the anaerobic brink. And it didn't take long yesterday on Hayne, beating it at 28 mph into a SE cross-headwind with much of the drawn-out line of riders at or over the centerline, blind, for me to start mulling over the possibility that just such an over-the-brink nudging was in my not-so-distant future. I should have done less mulling and admitted sooner that enough was indeed enough rather than finally resigning myself to such fact ten or so blocks east of the Bullard shortcut. So after backtracking to Bullard and fighting the headwind to the Chef, I turned east onto the notoriously dangerous highway in the fog/rain/mist, alone, while I dug a kind of oleaginous goop out of my eyes.

As I passed under I-510 I saw a lone rider in a black kit on a TT bike, big guy, (who I mistakenly took for V.J.) heading west, and I knew I hadn't beat the group to Chef. Near Little Vietnam I saw Keith McD. and another rider who, even with my fiercest squint, I couldn't identify from across the rainy road, heading back toward town. Farther along I came upon Lenny riding west against traffic, on the shoulder next to me, who yelled something about a broken spoke as he passed. Near Textron I found a young rider in a greenish kit who had been left marshside to change a flat alone. He was just finishing and I proceeded east with him. Then I saw HL laboring hard at the chase of an unidentified Herring Gas kit. Just east of that unusual scene, riding toward town, was Vega (he had made it to Chef before the group). I turned with Vega, but asked him to stop while I dug out and tried to clean my glasses. All I was doing was pushing the oily smear around the lenses, so I gave up just as Graffagnini rode by and told us the group would be about three minutes behind him because V.J. was changing a flat. Then HL came up from the west complaining that Novak wouldn't wait for him. So HL, Vega, and I rode to where the group was waiting on V.J.

The ride in on Chef was plenty fast with my low-tech computer reporting 32 mph at a couple of points. I was happy to have survived to the Chevron station, but traffic at the intersection there split the group up and nobody was slowing down going into the service road. I found myself puffing hard in the last group of three on the wheel of an orange-kitted youngster with Big Scott on my wheel. Soon the Orangeman gives me an elbow, which, if I could have spared the breath, and with all due respect, I would have laughed at audibly, but just ignored instead. Then he's giving me a quick, double chicken wing, one-two, and a little peek over the shoulder, which is, I must say, harder to ignore. Since I needed 100% of the available oxygen to stay conscious, none being handy with which to explain to the young rider the utter futility of my attempting to go around him, and since it looked, from where I sat, like we weren't making it back to the groups ahead, and since we were nearing Lake Forest Ave. and I was thinking about checking out the condition of the Eastover golf course, I did the stupid thing and went around him.

I emerged from the shortcut through Eastover (the golf course remains overgrown and closed) onto Bullard in perfect time to meet HL (who had asked me at the Chevron station where Vega was and then sat up) pulling Vega and a visiting Ohioan toward Hayne. The four of us were caught by the group at the base of the Seabrook Bridge, and we all rode in on Leon C. Simon instead of Lakeshore because of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. I complained to Rich along the way of getting no "pitchas" due to the weather.

Hence, I leave the reportage of the Giro of 2 February 2014, to guest blogger, Big Rich, whose five-word, one-number description, profile, and submitted image (see above), are as accurate as anything I could offer from my shortened-ride perspective.

Guest Blogger Big Rich Recently Celebrating His Birthday

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