All posts by Mike

Being back on the bike is awesome!

Just another day in Paradise! November in Northern California. Doesn't get much better than this.
Just another day in Paradise! November in Northern California. Doesn’t get much better than this.

Arrived home from 12 days in Africa last night about 7:30pm; first thing to do, after showing Becky & Kevin (my kids, although, at 21 & 26, is it really right to call them “kids”?) what we brought back for them, was a shower. A shower to wash away 30+ hours of travel time on planes and sitting in airports. A shower where it wasn’t dangerous to let the water get into your mouth or eyes because there might be parasites. Heck, for that matter, a shower where the hot & cold controls work they way they’re supposed to! Yes, a really marvelous shower.

Thankfully, I was able to fall asleep about midnight, rather than face one of those scenarios where you’re wide away when you want to sleep, and sleepy when you need to be awake. So many hours mostly-awake on planes and in airports likely resets your body clock to some zero point from which you can adapt quickly to most anything.

And this morning, time to get back into the regular breakfast & coffee routine, and not have to worry about yet another meal that has curry in something, just because.

Finally, just past noon, Kevin and I got out riding. Just past noon leaving less time than it used to for a ride, since we moved off daylight saving time while my wife and I were gone, but still enough time to do the “coastal classic” (aka “the usual” or my “reference ride”). I told Kevin, who’d managed to pretty much stay away from his bike while I was gone, that we should be taking it easy up Old LaHonda, but of course, about halfway up, it was bye-bye Dad, including the added humiliation of him riding back down the hill a bit after finishing, to check up on me. Sigh.

I felt better on Haskins, and even better on Tunitas where, predictably, Kevin began to pay for the matches he burned on Old LaHonda. Some day he’ll learn, but his excuse was, what does it matter, the only time that’s really important is up Old LaHonda.

Along the way we met Alec from our Redwood City store in Pescadero, on his own ride with a friend.

All in all a really nice 58 mile first ride back. Looking forward to more!

Most-torturous-flight ever? Finally home, get to ride my bike Sunday!

Do the math; 33" inseam, 31" seat pitch, 2 inches of my legs unaccounted for!
Do the math; 33″ inseam, 31″ seat pitch, 2 inches of my legs unaccounted for!
Most-torturous-flight ever? That would be the Addis Ababa to Dulles (DC) segment of my return from Tanzania. Instead of the direct flight on the way out, a mere 12.5 hours trapped in a metal tube while strapped to a narrow chair with only 31 inches of “legroom” (my legs are 33 inches so any concept of “room” by my math comes up negative)… The return consists of a 6 hour trip from Addis Ababa followed by a one hour refueling stop at 2:30am in Rome followed by 9.5 hours to DC.

So you’re thinking, not so bad, breaking it up into two flights. Except that you’re stuck in the plane during refueling and not allowed to leave your seat, even to use the bathroom, due to some unforeseen danger posed by whatever’s going on in the dark.

In the end, about 16 hours for one flight segment. Makes the 6 hour flight to San Francisco (that I’m presently on) seem like a piece of cake! Except that my tail end causes me to wince in pain every time I even-slightly reposition myself in the seat.

No question Tanzania is an amazing place to visit, but next time I think I’ll fly to the east coast then row my way across the Atlantic to Morocco and from there ride a bike across the Sahara desert, finishing with a southern ride through Somalia, fighting off pirates on the way.
This all may sound a bit odd, coming from a guy who has done round-trips to Manilla and Singapore for fun (yeah, I’m sometimes one of those “mileage runners” you might have read about), but Ethiopian 501 was almost enough to cure me of my flying habit.

Almost.

Next week I’ve got a short business trip to San Diego, no biggie, but early December in taking my daughter to Machu Picchu in Peru. Thankfully both trips will be largely on United, where I benefit from E+ seating (3 additional inches of leg room) and no flights over 6 hours. Oh, and the record of 13 consecutive curry-laden in-flight meals will likely be broken as well.

Tomorrow morning (Sunday) I get back out on a bike. It’s going to feel terrible, after not riding for two weeks. And it’s going to feel AWESOME!