Saturday, June 30, 2007

Where is my Headlight?

Early to bed, early to rise....etc. What it gets me is out on the road barely before dawn. Looking for my Headlight, with a flashlight, in a shed that I should have cleaned out last year, or was it the year before. Early riding on a Saturday means no traffic, fairly cool riding, but one big drawback. La Cubanita, at Bloomingdale and Lithia Pinecrest Road is not open that early, so I must skip my Cubano Cafe Leche this morning and face the dreaded Lithia Springs Hill with no reinforcement other than a powerbar and gatorade. My camera sits at home right next to my second bottle of water. My financial analyst(wife) tells me that short term memory loss is a sure sign of old age. I tell her as long as I can remember how to get back home I am doing OK.
After a short stop at the Springs I head east to Hwy 39 and debate going to Ft Lonesome. Instead I decide to continue east and find a road that takes me back to Keysville Rd. It has been so long since I have been on these roads east of Hwy 39 I forget what connects with what. Suddenly I start thinking about what my FA said and start thinking maybe there is something to this short term memory loss. Just then I look across a field and see two deer standing in the shade of some pine trees and my camera is aimed at my dining room wall. As luck would have it, I find my way home, again, after stopping to chat with Sam the produce man at Fire Tower Hill about the new Target Store they are going to build there. 42 miles, not bad for an old man. Now I gotta go clean out that shed. Well..........maybe I'll do that tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hump Day

If you are in to good classical and movie theme music, I am sitting here listening to a theme from "The Lady Caliph", by Ennio Morricone, played by Yo Yo Mah on the Cello. It is the first I have heard it. If you can, get a copy or listen on-line.

Anyway, 39 miles today. Rode up to Hillsborough State Park north of Tampa, including 8 miles through the woods on an unpaved trail. Now I am going to need to clean the bike and chain again. There was a lot of mud on the trail, I guess from the rain a few days ago. Then back home through Dover. I took two photos as I passed over Interstate 4. Which road would you rather be on. Both photos are from the same spot. I'm happy I was on the road I was. Great ride through shady roadways(well, some of them are shady). But it was approaching 90 degrees when I got back home around 11:00 AM. The third photo was my speedometer turning over to all zeroes. Had to show the 9999.9.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Not a Bicycling Tale (but read it anyway)

Luz Estephanie Machiavello. What a beautiful name. What a beautiful little girl. We met Luz in the Childrens Hospital in Lima, Peru, on a recent cardiac surgery mission. She was injured in a motorcycle accident, which severed her right arm, in her village of Juanjui, about 300 miles from Lima in the jungles of northeastern Peru. 14 hours after the accident she arrived at del Nino Hospital. We found her after the amputation.

Shriners Hospital in Tampa, has agreed to treating Luz to fit a prosthetic arm, and to continue to re-fit the prosthetic until she reaches her 18th birthday. American Airlines donated round trip air travel for Luz and her Dad, Hilmer. Luz and Hilmer are staying with us at CardioStart House for 8 weeks during the initial phase of her treatment. Hilmer is a farmer in Peru. While he is here with Luz, her Mom and four siblings are in Peru. Naturally there is no family income during this period. Hilmer is doing some work around CardioStart House, gardening, etc. and we will be paying him a stipend to send back home to help the family during this time of trial.

If you are interested in helping the family or to offset some of the expense, we have set up a special account, "CardioStart - Luz Estephanie Machiavello Account", at Royal Bank Centura, Brandon, Florida. For account number and other information you can email or leave a comment with a return number or email on this blog. Thanks, Chuck

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Future Star

On my ride to Lithia Springs last Thursday, I came across Arthur on his way to a Summer music lesson. Boy do I remember those days. Arthur said he was happy he decided against the drums. He would need a wagon to carry them. He dreams of playing with a symphony orchestra someday. Arthur could be a budding Itzhak Perlman or Mstislav Rostropovich. Meeting and talking with people like Arthur make my day. Travelling in an automobile that chance is lost forever.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Biking and Bugs

Someplace I saw a photo of a motorcycle rider during luvbug season here in Florida. Smiling away with little black spots on his teeth. That's how I felt today on my way home from CardioStart. I never saw so many Gnats. My shirt looked like the front of a big truck after running thru a pile of luvbugs. I mean it was loaded with Gnats. And it wasn't just in one location. They were everywhere. Most of them blew off by the time I got home. But, I had loaded up with sun screen before I left the office. They did not blow off my face, neck, arms, etc. I wanted to take a photo but my hair was not combed. I had black freckles all over. You know you must like riding to eat that much protein during a ride.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Talk about a Loaded Ride

I spent some time today looking over some photos that Angelica and Claudio sent me from their recent tour around South America. Most cross country riders I read about in Adventure Cycling and other mags and blogs, ride with about 50 to 70 lbs, and consider that heavy. Take a look at Claudio's bike combo for their ride through the Andes. This is what his bike looked like when I met him in Arequipa. Of course, Boomer had eaten most of the food by that time. Makes me wish I could ride with them on their Alaska to South America ride this Summer.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Happy Day Before Fathers Day

John took Mom and me out to dinner tonight at the Shrimp Boat Restaurant in Brandon. Great food and excellent prices. I had Tuna Au Poivure(or something like that).

Rode 41 miles today. North to Hillsborough State Park and then out to Dover. See the photos from the ride.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Get the Knots Out

Well........What do you do after a long ride?
Actually it wasn't that long, just to the office in the morning and back in the afternoon, 23 miles. But that ride back was at 2:00 PM, ninety two degrees and about 90% humidity. The water sure helps the muscles relax, and about two quarts of Gatorade.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Maintenance Day

Thursday was a decent day to ride my new tire. It held up, so I guess It will be OK. Today is clean-up day. Need to clean and lube the chain and make sure everything else is in good working order and not ready to drop off at the next speed bump. Did 30 miles this AM after stopping for a haircut. Rather late though, did not finish until Noon. Stopped to talk with Sam the produce man at Fire Tower Hill. Bought some boiled peanuts. Need to ride over to CardioStart later today. Not sure I want to go out in this heat. Might just drive. Tomorrow is the Tampa Freewheelers Picnic at John B Sargent Park over on 301 North of Tampa. It's a good ride north of Brandon.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Call AAA

Flat tire, actually not really flat, just bald as my head, with the tire threads showing, so I figured maybe I better not stray too far from home today. Bought a new tire and changed it last evening, and proceeded to pinch the tube while putting it back together. Now I have a flat. Hang it up. Bought a new tube today so I'll be ready for tomorrow. If the sun stays hidden, as it has thus far today, maybe I'll ride this evening.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Good day for a ride, but.....

I had a call at 7:30 AM that I had two truck loads of dirt scheduled to be dropped at CardioStart this AM. So, had to postpone my ride so I could get over there and show the driver where to dump it. 40 tons of sand makes two pretty good size piles. Now all I have to do is spread it.
The weekend rain washed a lot of dirt away from under a new concrete slab I had poured two weeks ago, so needed the dirt to fill and grade. Maybe ride tomorrow.

Sunday, June 3, 2007


Went for ride out towards Lithia. 18 miles total. On the ride back along Kingsway Rd, a narrow, no shoulder road, a guy pulled up along side, rolled down his window and proceeded to cuss me out for riding in the street. I couldn't really understand what he was saying other than something about the sidewalk. So I took my left foot off the pedal and placed a swift kick against his rear right side door. Gosh, I wish I had golf shoes on. He stepped on the gas and left me. I wonder why these guys never want to stop and discuss the issue?

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Great Day in Tampa Bay

Raining like a tropical storm. Oh.......Yeh.......Barry is in town. That's TS Barry. No ride today. And I really felt like heading up to Hillsborough State Park. Maybe tomorrow. So......over my breakfast of Jimmy Dean Sausage, Grits and cheddar cheese scrambled eggs(I did use some "egg beaters"), some Papaya, Mango and Banana, I look out the french doors to the yard and watch the rain water the garden. Jack is in bad shape. He has days when he thinks he is a puppy again, and then the next day he can barely walk. At 16 yrs old he goes out into the yard in the rain and stands there, wondering what he is doing there. Poor guy is not long for this world. He will soon be crossing over the Rainbow Bridge. Probably the lawn mower will get a workout this week. I guess today, because of the rain, I will use the truck to go to Publix and do some grocery shopping.
Hey.....The rain has stopped, the sun is shining, we don't need no steenking groceries. I'm off to the park. C-ya.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Photo Time

Someone once told me that to keep the interest of your readers you need to keep their eyes occupied with pictures, cartoons, or just be a good writer. you can see, I'm not much of a writer, and I stopped drawing cartoons back in grade school in Sr Mary Gertrude's 4th grade class. So, I guess you'll have to look at some photos. These are of several friends. They will be visiting Tampa in July in preparation for a ride from Anchorage, Alaska, to Bogota, Colombia.(their home) Wanna go with them?
Clockwise from left:
Angelica, Agustin and Claudio

In Order of Progression:
Claudio, Boomer and Angelica

Taken in the Southern Andes during their ride around South America. Boomer, a Chocolate Lab, and a member of the family, accompanied them on 17,000 mile plus journey in 2004 & 2005. That is Boomer's trailer that Claudio is towing. You can read about their adventures and view their many photos in SA, where I met them in Peru, on their website at:

Boomer retired after this trip. He said he was tired of riding behind Claudio and could make better time on his own. Actually, getting permission for Boomer to accompany them on the Alaska south trip would be a major problem with Homeland Security. Boomer does not have a passport. I offerd him mine but my eyes are a different color.