Life On Two Wheels

Along the river and toward the mountains a morning shadow shimmers across the road. The rays of the first light jet through the trees and across a figure gliding upon the road. His breath trails in short spurts, petrified as it hits the icy air. All is quiet except the slight sound of the athlete as he summons himself for yet another days work. Soon the rest of the world will bustle with life as well and the brief simplicity of cyclist and nature will disappear into the everyday struggle of life in full motion; the errands and intervals, the appointments and intersections, and the deadlines and finish lines OutPaceTheRace

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

B/W Albuquerque, NM & Chicago, Illinois

In Transition
Silver City to Gerona
B/W Albuquerque, NM & Chicago, Illinois
Jan 22nd PM

We just took off in an “Embraer 170” in route to Chicago. The seats are very good, they’re all leather and they’ve got the extra six inches of leg space, not to mention that there are two seats on each side of the isle, & I have no one beside me… pretty sweet.

The Albuquerque scenery is so spectacular. First, the runway goes straight into a mountain, kind of odd- a bit of a thrill as well, maybe that’s why they did it? But all else aside, something of note did occur & I don’t think too many people have had this happen before. An F-18 taxied in front of us! No joke, a full on fighter jet was ahead of us, when it started to take off its after burners shook the entire plane. I guess they don’t put mufflers on those suckers, at first only a few of us noticed it but once it started up everyone was looking to see what was going on. Pretty cool, pretty funny to see how quick it gained altitude compared with the rest of the planes ahead of us. I’ve always said that if I wasn’t a bike racer I’d be a fighter pilot, I doubt you can get much more of a rush, aside from descending a hill at 50 on a 14 pound bike, than flying one of those little jets around in the sky- shooting Iraqis and crazy jihading Muslim scum, oops! Did I say that?
Now that were up in the air traversing the New Mexico landscape, I’m getting a better view of how it all looks. Remarkably serene, the lowlands are dominated by square and circular farms that give way to rising mountains capped in snow. Our plane is actually rather close to the peaks, quite captivating really.
Chicago’s not so special. It’s flat and- well flat. The city was pretty impressive though, it literally hovered in the fog. Everything was covered in snow and the runway was a little icy. Nothing to worry about, but the cold was probably the cause of the fog on the ground.