Father’s Day Metric Century

So, my DailyMile buddy Steve’s going under the knife this week to fix some tendon in his knee that apparently doesn’t exist any more. Wah. Such is the cost of getting old, I suppose.

(He’s brokenhearted too, about missing the Vermont City Marathon this year, but he missed it due to his knee, whereas my owie seems to be getting better>

Anyhoo, he wanted to bang out the route that the Pequot Cyclists use for their 100K before he went under the knife. Father’s Day seemed to be a good morning to do it, so Steve, Alex, and I set out from our local gas station (just east of the ‘official’ start) at 0530.

The beautiful thing about late spring in New England is that we’ve got like 20 hours of effective daylight, so 0530 on a Sunday morning was bright and clear. The funk that we’ve been in, both mentally and meteorologically, lifted over the weekend, and the morning found Alex, Steve, and I ready to ride. There had been tragedy in recent hours – I’d hit a valve cover on some road about to be resurfaced the morning before, and am about to shell out a couple of sawbucks for a new rim. But I’ve got a cool tire cut pretty much in two, so that’s all good. Alex checked his bike Saturday evening and found two flats on his road bike. So, rather than fix the flats, he showed up on his ‘cross bike. Nothing like pushing 60+ miles on 38 mm knobby tires…

The first hour of the ride – to quote my sainted grandfather (usually about the 3rd tee), “I wonder what the poor folks are doing this morning”. Down CT 215 to Groton Long Point (with the added benefit that the valve covers I’d shredded my rim on the previous morning all seemed to be on the other side of the road), and 3 miles of brand-new skim-coat pavement to downtown Mystic, and a great spin up US 1 to Stonington.

There’s a small climb on Rt 1 right before you hit Montauk Ave in Stonington. Alex’s shtick on recent rides and runs has been to pull alongside and start asking “deep” questions. So, on this one, he hits me up with “Does God Exist”? Feeling slightly guilty about possibly missing church ’cause we’re all old and fat, and what should be a 3.5 hour metric century is probably going to be a 4+ hour ride, I say “sure”. Alex presses, so I launch into the Apostle’s Creed

There’s more, but hWordPress for iPad ate it (I’ll blame equally operator error and poor app design) and it’s wicked late. I will say that (a) I wish I’d taken more pictures; and (b) Steve’s flat at about 40 miles couldn’t have been more perfectly timed.

Fathers' Day Flat

So to both Steve and Alex, huge thanks. Best ride in a long, long time.

Where are you, Buddy Holly?

When I was a kid, my dad didn’t listen to much music. He liked even less music. He’d tolerate the outlaw Texans – Waylon, Willie; a little Merle Haggard. But, when “Peggy Sue” would come on the radio, he’d light up like he was 16 and waiting for a hot date (“Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty Peggy Sue”).

Which made me really excited when NPR’s “First Listen” series posted a Buddy Holly tribute album.

The project looks really, really promising – Lou Reed, My Morning Jacket, Modest Mouse, Justin Townes Earle – solid bands, decent cross-section of Americana and alt-folk that should be able to do a solid job paying tribute to an artist lost at a tragically young age. However, the execution is far below what it should be.

I’m pretty disappointed with this as a whole. Cee Lo Green, Kid Rock and J.T.Earle provide redeeming cuts; however, as a whole, the album fails. Much of my resistance to the Buddy Holly album mentioned earlier is due to a bias that some things just can’t be improved upon. In particular, Sir Paul McCartney and Lou Reed really let me down. Modest Mouse and the cover of “Not Fade Away” irk me in particular. I’ll probably come back to the album a couple more times because I want it to be great. And there are moments of beauty on here; just not where you’d think they should be.

Maybe Buddy Holly would have ended up fat, sweaty, and playing Hawaii much like Elvis. Maybe. But, in the moment up until the crash in a snowy cornfield, he was the living, breathing embodiment of rock and roll. To mis-quote the “Princess Bride”, ‘There are few perfect (things) in the world – it would be a shame to ruin (his)’. Sometimes you can’t do any better than a straight-up cover.


What have I been doing the last two months?

Getting fat and slow, mostly. When I went to the doc, he said to take at least a month off of running. So, I did.

Then the guy at PT (Who was MAGIC, MAGIC, I say, with the tape and the battery-delivered analgesics) had me keep doing the stretches I was doing, but, more importantly, didn’t mess around and cleared me to start running again, provided I kept stretching and using orthotics.

So, I’m painfully fat (Well north of 180), and painfully slow (Bike’s been averaging less than 16 mph), I’m at least running again.

I’ve also changed jobs, which should end up providing more time in the day. The pool’s a 5 minute walk from my office, and, even better, it’s only 7 miles door-to-door home to office. I’m still sorting out logistics with the job, but I’ve ridden my bike in at least once each week I’ve been working here.

My goals for the summer, as they have been for the last two, are to get well and get thinner. Let’s see how that goes…