How many miles is ‘too many’ miles?

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More importantly – how much rest is enough rest?

Angel Lance
Little Lance: Dirt bath: check. Sun bath: check. Water bath: forget it.

I had a day off the bike on Saturday, which basically meant I rode with the dog 2 miles, and that was it. This was the first day off the bike in over 45 days.

A few days ago, a poorly attended-to pit bull puppy jumped out to playfully knock me off of my 15 mph vector, and succeeded. I was 5 miles into what would be a 20 mile day. On the right side this time – elbow, knee, ankle; a throw down on Edison. I sat there and cleaned my wounds and demonstrated to these dumb youngsters why a cyclist shaves his legs.

I get a lot of miles in, and I’m dog tired, boss. Dog tired. Still, I get on the bike and every time, feel great about it. In the city of Tucson, shit is far away from shit. A steady head wind can feel demoralizing. Few people ride to do nearly everything, and I’m one of them. I’ve been running around these streets day after day, every day, often pulling a trailer to haul water or wood. Tomorrow is going to be 87 degrees on the F scale. Just enough miles tomorrow should be zero. However, I can’t not ride. I don’t think so much about my sore ‘taint’, or the knee pain that I gotta work away each day, or the soaking wet shirt I put on that’s dry before I get to Country Club. I just go. It is my time to think, observe the places I go at an absorbtive pace, and get to where I need to go.

I think about her often; this noble woman brutally attacked and I imagine the warrior like courage of those who are like her, who will continue to enter the absurd circus of government and try to do good. I am so sad and troubled by our times.

We miss you and love you, Gabrielle.
We miss you and love you, Gabrielle.

I heard a rumor that they did a hemisperectomy on Gabrielle… that she is a vegetable now and will never walk or ride a bike again. Whenever I see that picture of her getting on her bicycle, or think of it, I get choked up with tears. When wing-nut types present their conspiracy theories, I feel my heart sink to even greater depths. Our Gabby.

I hate to say it – this city is a big tragedy. It’s full of people that are on the death cycle, and so many have given up on even trying. It’s surreal to be riding home at 2:00AM in the cool of the night (when I get some good tire time in) and to be heading right into a neighborhood where a helicopter man hunt is taking place. The quiet midnight pierced by sirens and chopper blades.

I think of Gabby, again… and think of her laying there with just half a brain left, and I say to all who care to hear me: Women of merit, step up and pick up the blooded torch of Gabrielle’s legacy. Be lawmakers. Fearlessly meet the public. Young people, you are not our sacrificial lambs in an endlessly crooked game… you are our only hope.

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About littlejar

5 - Learned to ride in paved alley behind liquor store in Lowell. 16 - Road bike riding alone while peers do soccer practice. 18 - First new road bike bought with winnings from Project Graduation. 20 - Burlington VT. Nuff said. 22 - Joined the Air Force. 23 - Joined team Fair Wheel in Tucson - rode the Shootout. 24 - Rode El Tour in under five. 26 - Toured to Quebec City 28 - Toured Oklahoma to Vermont 30 - Found my dream bike - a 1989 58cm LaBan (#22) 32 - Experienced Minneapolis and saw BIKE CULTURE. 34 - Building my first bicycle frame, with a self made jig. USA

31 Replies to “How many miles is ‘too many’ miles?”

  1. Littlejar, that is one awesome dog, I can tell by lookin’ at him, or her. Enjoy the warmth, goddam suicide gray, raining sideways and windy as hell up here in Seattle!!! Ive had a brand new road bike for bout 3 weeks and it still hasnt seen the outdoors. Gonna come visit mom in Scottsdale soon, may be the maiden voyage. Take care yo self!

  2. On July 4th, 2010, I was sitting on my roof watching fireworks around Tucson with a friend from SLC. There was a helicopter maybe a half mile, no more than a mile from my house doing loopty-loops in the air with its spotlight on the ground. My friend asked what was going on and I said in a matter-of-fact way “oh that’s what we call a ghetto bird, they’re out doing that just about every night in Tucson.” “A ghetto bird?”

    The nickname and concept were completely new to him, and he was 23 or 24 at the time. That’s when I started wondering if Tucson is actually normal, like I had thought. Just the other day in my ‘hood, 7 cops unloaded 53 rounds into a driver who tried to run over a cop who he had just knocked down to the ground!

  3. They’re not saying how much of her brain is removed. Plus, they’re telling us what we want to hear, but she is not going to be voting any time soon. The last sentence in that article linked through comment 3 says that the defendant pleaded not guilty.
    A guy on a bicycle on Pima wrote a book (titled Sacrifice of a Congress Woman) he had self published with and was telling me his version of ‘the TRUTH’ and I’m not sure what evidence he has – he said that this was staged and there is no booking photograph. I’m not convinced.

    My next post about Tucson will be more poetry, less pain. I have a love for some aspects of this place. Tucson is not ‘normal’ – it’s one of the most unsustainable cities in America, and, instead of getting progressive in slow shuffling steps like the Northwest is, it’s getting worse. People come here to go to college, be part of the tatooed hipster scene, or to get old and die. Or… to just ride every day.

  4. …considering the nature of the circumstances, joe, that is about as stupid & insensitive a comment as could be conceived…

    …i think you are a good human being, sir but i’d suggest that sometimes you just don’t fucking ‘get it’

    …with all you’ve mentioned that your wife has gone through, would you in any way appreciate it if someone made as derogatory a comment directed at her afflictions ???…

    …that, amigo, is as classless as could be imagined considering the daily struggle that the congresswoman is undoubtedly going through…

    …just fucking amazing…

  5. Wasn’t about the Congresswoman, whose suffering and great courage I admire. More about our legislative body in general. I mean seriously, do you need any kind of brain at all for that?

  6. …i’d simply suggest that within the context of the situation &/or the original post, that it was an ill advised comment…

    …just sayin’…

  7. I’m too sad and hurt by the whole thing to even have my heart rate go up by 1 BPM over your comment, Joe. You’ve pissed me off in the past, but man, I don’t give a flying fuck right now. There’s making light of a bad situation, and then there’s just plain ignorant ass. I hope you get to meet her Navy Officer/Astronaut husband, and maybe sense his grief, ’cause I can feel it even without meeting him.

  8. Joe- funny. fucked, but funny.

    Rhys–’round here we call the ghetto bird a PorkChopper.

    L-Jar–nice post, and I agree.

    Me– mm, this Abyss Stout from Deschutes Brewery sure is yummy. “What?”, it’s 11%!

  9. Dang, PorkChopper is good.

    I thought Joe’s comment was pretty damn funny. If you think that had anything to do with what Gabby is going through, then you simply don’t get the joke.

  10. When I originally read this post I immediately went out on the interwebs to find the missing source on Congresswoman Giffords’status and anything at all reporting on any hemispherectomy. I found nothing of the sort. It’s already been pointed out here in the comments, but nobody has pointed out that it’s kind of a big deal. This site has a large readership and although we all know what we come here for, I expect a certain amount of conscientiousness when posting. By all means post facts and opinions, but please try to avoid posting what you believe are facts, without citation. Especially regarding a sensitive situation involving someone we all care about. Misinformation is a plague of the internet; please don’t contribute here. Just the facts, ma’am. and some opinion of course, FFS.

  11. @ nate,
    An excellent point. I’ve only just poked around the internet a little on this subject, mostly due to the prompting of your comment above.

    I too can find no suggestion that a “hemispherectomy” was performed. Rather, I have found articles listing what a hemispherectomy is, and how her injury is distinguishable from that process.

    I agree, misinformation is a plague of the internet. And we must do what we can do limit it. When I re-read LJ’s post, in light of your comment, I now see the wording at issue in a different context. I believe the author was relating the rumors he had heard and despair he felt. Perhaps it could be been worded more carefully. We hope that we all can work to address such concerns in the future.

  12. we shall commit the aforementioned disparity and it’s ensuing reclarification as DC policy # dc.fc.134

    thank you
    – the mgmt

  13. …yoga…i’d say yoga is about the practice of ‘balance’ mentally, spiritually, intellectually as well as physically…hmmm…

    …oh, sorry…thinking out loud & just kinda speculating, as it were but for some reason the idea of ‘balance’ seems particularly important to my way of thinking at this juncture…

    …undoubtedly just another non sequitur on my part…no worries, ya ???…

  14. …when life is at a standstill, as does happen at times, balance is that much more important…

    …in cycling, ‘especially on a fixed gear’, it’s called a trackstand…

  15. From the text of my post:

    “I heard a rumor that they did a hemisperectomy on Gabrielle…”
    “I heard a rumor that…”

    How, my friends, does this equate to me believing that this is the case? Do I not take things I hear as rumors with a grain of salt? Indeed, it is that I feel despair at the fact that there are people spreading mis-truths and misinformation, including the media.

    Now, I was half drunk when I wrote that post, but I still know a rumor from a substantiated claim. I don’t think there’s any room for mis-construing it, or where I could have communicated it better for the lower reading level readers… the top statement is what I wrote.

  16. …don’t lower yourself, littlejar…

    …you, me & a ton of folks just feel sad for gabrielle & simply want the best for her, right ???…

    …why do you want to rehash the “you said, i said, they said” so long after everyone else has let it go ???…

    …don’t be a dick…man up & if you wanna contribute then find us some real information about the congresswoman’s progress…

    …at this point, your rehash is fucking pointless…

  17. Well I truly hope the congresswoman makes a full and speedy recovery. I also stand by my statement that half a brain is more than enough to serve in Congress. If that offends you, you probably wanted to be offended, in which case I am glad to be of service. Or maybe you just have a better congressman than mine. (Roscoe Bartlett, D, MD)

  18. Kitchen, that would be so cool. Always said that to see NASA putting something up would be the fulfillment of a wish. But if I had the spot and the Congresswoman was up to it, she could have my place.

  19. …thank you, gianni…i must admit that i hadn’t taken the time to really search for info, but i was hoping to hear positive news & mark kelly’s words sound encouraging…

    …one thing i gotta say, joe…we may have our serious differences on occasion & for my part, i certainly admit to the vehemence with which i sometimes respond but i’d like to make note here that i’m glad that we can both bounce back & respond civilly to each other once we’ve cooled our jets…

    …that said & said from the heart, it doesn’t take a lotta imagination to realize who else might fit the mold but the guy never does respond unless it’s defensively & i wonder just why the fuck that is ???…i can only speculate…