Bike Story (Manhattan Again II)

Update of today’s stage of the Tour de France, from the Times told of an amazing stage.  When you see a 6% grade the natural impulse is to walk your bike: today’s winner Gerdemann has heart.

The first attack came at the base of the climb of the Colombiere Pass, a 10-mile climb that gains 3,500 feet in altitude and is ranked in the highest of four categories in steepness and length.

Only three other riders were able to stay with Gerdemann, and two of those soon fell away. Then, about a mile from the top — the steepest part of the climb, where the road slopes upward at a grade of 10 percent — Gerdemann attacked and rode away from Landaluze, his sole remaining opponent.

Jheesh, what a rider.  I don’t think Kiko will be quite that strong.

7/14/2007 7:22 AM

We took the kids to the dentist and I postponed part 2 of my root canal yesterday.

I got the new (used) phone off of the internet, but without a paper copy of the instruction manual it is a bit of a bear. I lost the numbers on my sim chip somewhere along the line and I’m trying to reconstruct my phone book. GRRR.

Couldn’t wake early this morning, and I got up and just added numbers to my new used phone.

I did not grade any papers, and now the kids are starting to wake.

I got another positive feedback on Kiko’s story, so I’ll have to add more:

delivery bike


It wasn’t saving the two dollar fare that had Kiko so jacked, it wasn’t the ride from Jamaica, it wasn’t being outside in New York for over an hour before dawn, it wasn’t even having made it on time (which was in question as he came over the bridge): it was that he had fallen in love with cycling. He had know for a while that he liked riding his bike in any weather more than he liked cutting watermelon neatly or restocking the “hot salad bar” (which were the only jobs they left him because he was out so much).

The hour he had spent this morning, and the hour and a half last night, where he rode as hard as he could, where he pushed up against his limits had reminded him that he was alive. Spinning through fatigue and fighting the clock to get to the deli on time were clear moments, where life got simple: the next crank, the next block, the next light. If he had it in him, the push, the fire, “el deseo,” he could move beyond the man on the bike, the delivery Mexican, el burro: la alma pura.

Cycling was like having a mistress here in New York that would replace his missing family back home. Not a mistress with too many demands and brown roots like so many found at the cantinas on Saturday nights. He didn’t need to wear a big hat and cowboy boots with a matching belt to signify his vaquero roots to impress her. It wasn’t a woman whose kids you’d have to wake before dawn to avoid for the first six weeks and then have to bribe from then on. She was the kind that would take all that you had, ask for more, push you to fight for her honor, wear you down like the soles of cheap shoes, and reach into you and find the last bit you were saving, but always leave you better than when she found you. She didn’t ask for any money yet, though she would become a hard and greedy mistress, but by then he’d have a pimp who would pay his bail.


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