Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Damn, it's hot already (again!) ...

Here we are: April 25. It's not supposed to be as hot as it is right now:

My back porch, out of the sun, at 3:20 p.m. on April 25, 2012; Lubbock set an official new heat record for the date with 104 F at 3:44 p.m.
What will June, July, and August bring when we're already wilting away? Mercifully, the nights are still on the cool side, but for how long? On Monday it was chilly enough that I wore knickers and a vest when I headed out for my 35-mile morning ride, and today it was a no-sleeve day that saw me go through two bottles of tepid water in two hours.

Since my last update I've been enjoying life in Lubbock while running off for about 28 hours to officiate a very small duathlon in San Angelo last weekend. Jack and Ester of Ironhead Race Productions were generous enough to request me as their USAT official for last weekend's race, which used to be on Judy's and my schedule back in the mid-2000 before bigger races (Hammerfest, Sea Otter, New Orleans 70.3) stole us away. Unfortunately, the Striders Du has lost so many racers over time that this year's 19th annual event will most likely have been the last.
It's tough to pay the bills when only 63 racers show up—start of the Striders Du
Jack and Ester also organize more than 20 triathlons in the metroplex, so they're not going to go hungry, but it's still a shame to see such a long-running race go down the tubes. As Jack, one of USAT's board members, said: There are too damn many races! Jack, a retired Air Force member who doesn't hold back with his opinions, is by his own count the most prolific race director in the sport of triathlon, having promoted way more than 200 races over the past 25 years. I am proud to call him my friend.
Jack barking out some last-minute race instructions at the start
Sitting on the motorcycle in San Angelo (about 4 hours south of Lubbock) was a pleasure on a cool, sunny, calm morning. There were no penalties, and I even had a chance to take a nice shot of Jack (who likes to race in his own events whenever possible) crossing over Lake Nasworthy. San Angelo is quite attractive.
Mediocre runner, but killer cyclist: That's Jack

The drive back home was equally pleasant. My recent road trips in Texas have left me with a sense of deep satisfaction in light of the vibrant colors and the sweet smells of spring. Of course, if this first hint of a heat wave develops into something more serious, the loveliness of spring will soon be nothing but a pleasant memory.
The last of the wildflowers—outside of Sterling City, TX

The remainder of the past 10 days or so I have spent riding my bike (now almost 900 miles since April 1), which has resulted in my shaving off about five pounds of mid-rift lard; having wonderful dinners with various friends (which prevented the weight loss from becoming too quick!); and continuing my preparations for the house renovation project, which will start in earnest after my upcoming trips to California, Germany, and Hungary. Just yesterday I took all those LPs that, untouched, had been collecting dust for the past two decades to Ralphs Records & Tapes (nah, they now call themselves Ralphs Records, CDs & DVDs) and felt like a traitor when I slunk off with $40 in cash for what used to be the treasures of our youth. A box of Judy's detective novel paperbacks went to the Friends of the Library. At least her cookbooks are safe, for now, as I have sorted through them and am going to bestow them on various family members and friends. I'll keep about a dozen myself.

This upcoming weekend I am scheduled to work the Ft. Davis Hammerfest road stage race. That's the race during which we had to evacuate last year when the wildfires started to roll into town. Let's hope that there won't be any drama this year. But with these temperatures, who knows?


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