ESCONDIDO ---- Staying fit, avoiding traffic congestion and "saving the planet" are among the reasons why two longtime Escondido firefighters regularly ride their bicycles to work.
"If you don't make your workout part of your daily routine, then it usually doesn't happen," said Capt. Roberto Gutierrez, a 1982 graduate of San Pasqual High School who joined the Escondido Fire Department in 1988. "I'm kind of a health geek."
Fire Engineer Steve Colford said his offbeat approach to commuting is less about exercise and more about avoiding the city's clogged streets.
"All of our fire stations are in school zones, which are always congested when I am headed in for an 8 a.m. shift," said Colford, who joined the department 27 years ago. "It's so frustrating when it takes half an hour to get through town."
All that butt watching advice reminds me of story... now get a cup of hot chocolate and sit by the fire......
"Once upon a time, way, way 'back in the day', when I was a whippersnapper of a racer in Scottsdale (Phoenix metropolitan area) there were winter training races set up. The intent was to get some race experience for us locals, but more importantly to draw out the men's and women's national teams who trained down there in January. Believe me us locals got real riled up with the opportunity to ride with the big "boys". This one race was an out and back, maybe 45 to 50 miles total. Constant up grade on the way out. The race started and the big boys promptly got on the front and as the grade got steeper they went faster. Me, "a thirty something fast twitch where's my wheel sprinter" was looking for a draft. About that time a 7-11 jerseyed rider came flowing smoothly beside me, right up the middle of the pack. Ah-HA! sez I, my prayers are answered. I'll sit on this wheel and learn how the big "boys" work their way up the pack without going outside into the evil wind. Well, this rider was smooth and kept the same pace just as slick as can be. Me, I'm watching the butt and the brakes on the rear wheel. No conscious thought in my mind, just focused on the two before mentioned items. As we are getting near the front, out of the blue a thought comes to me.."nice butt"...now that broke my concentration, jezze what the hell am I thinking. Right after that shock to the system we reached the front and couple of guys, also in 7-11 jerseys call out, "Hey Cindy, how's it goin?". "Cindy, where you been, we've been looking for you." Cindy?!?!?!? All conscious thought again leaves my head. After a few moments it comes to me; Cindy Olivari, yes of course, Cindy who is so damn fast she trains with the guys national team. Whew...that was relief to my inner man. True story, and if you don't believe me I can show you the bike I was riding at the time.
Second Place, again...
Nancy, as some of you know, rides everywhere. She has a trailer and she even hauls her tools to the P-Patch community garden. She gets the groceries in it etc., etc., She's my hero.
However, Ruth, the little upstart, borrowed the trailer a few months ago and hauled the sewing machine to the repair shop for a tune-up. It's not an ordinary sewing machine. It's a 1927 White; 65 pounds easy. (Women back then must have all had hand-trucks.) Boy was I proud. It's uphill to the shop on 110th and Aurora and when I got to that intersection, I looked around and there was no repair shop in sight! I dug through my bag and looked at the address again. Ohh ... 220th and Aurora. Sheesh. More uphill. I made it just fine though, thinking, 'Just look at me!' to everyone who passed me by.
Nancy has the most miles and most miles in the rain, the most everything, she had all of the records ... but now I had the weight record.
Then, last week, I was cooking up something in the kitchen, and Nancy had gone to do an errand with her bike and her trailer. When she came back, she opened the back door and exclaimed, "Rootie, look at what I bought!" What a grin she had on her face.
I stuck my head out the door and looked down to the walkway. There were two 50 pound bags of steer manure in the trailer. Hmm....
She said that she was glad that there was a very slight downhill out of the Fred Meyer parking lot, or she thought that she might not have been able to get started. She got started all right and, lucky for her, there weren't any big hills between Fred Meyer and our house. Imagine going down a steep hill and the trailer overtaking the bike!
So Nancy has all of the records now ... and I'm second place.
Me and the Cactus
I've wanted to make a trip to Winter Park in the off season to experience the downhill MTB. As you may have noted, mountains and me don't really get along. I also slid halfway down the side of Table Mountain in Golden, until a firmly planted cactus that imbedded itself in by crotch, halted my downward progess. It was really hard to believe people could actually fall over laughing instead of assisting me in extracting my ripped, bloody and torn body from the Colorado flora. Once we manage to descend without further incident, we drove up to Winter Park, thank goodness there was still snow on the ground. I found a nice high drift, sat in it and let the "boys" enjoy a little quite time. The worst part is that it was all captured on film and made to rounds at the office when we got back home.
My Ned Poster
Wow, what a special day. A package at the post office turned out to be a personally autographed posted from the man himself, Mr. Ned Overend. I'm going to get that sucker framed and place in a prominent location in the house. The wife might get a bit upset that I replace the wedding pictures with the poster, but I bet she will get over it, at least at some time in the future. Then I get home and find the Bouré Winter Newsletter sitting the email inbox. I read every line, or at least had Kaye read it to me, but heck that still should be good enough to get that 10% discount. To be honest, with all them bike wrecks and the resulting condition of one eye pointing left and the while the other points right has kind of made that whole reading thing a bit of a hassle. I guess I'm going to have to hire a reader for the next newsletter, because once I hang that poster I don't believe Kaye is gong to be willing to do me any favors.
I really do love the poster, thank you Ned. I just wish they had show and tell at work, because I would the taking it in.