AND WHAT A WEEKEND IT WAS…
Saturday, January 23, 2016 marked the running, er, rolling of the 18th annual Tour de Palm Springs, an event that has raised $3,000,000 for Coachella Valley charities (that is in California for both of you reading this who aren’t from California) since the first event in 1998. Not content to be left out, a delegation from Bike Preskitt visited ourselves upon this toasty hamlet, thrilled to be extricated from the unusually harsh winter and the fact that anyone would let us ride with them. There are, apparently, only a few of us who’ve managed to scrape together the dough to purchase a jalopy for such an excursion, so there we were: one James McCarver M.D., his son Max Davenport (the different names, from what I’ve heard, involve some kind of youthful—yootful—indiscretion committed by James, along with no small amount of time traveling).
Bill Fanelli, a man run out of southern Wisconsin into our welcoming arms a little over a year ago, and Dr. Lee Berman, a man who migrated in search of older eyes (JACKPOT!) It should be noted that both Bill and Lee were accompanied by their dog caretakers—I mean wives, whose company was like an oasis in a desert of boorishness. Dave “Scabs” Hardy also showed up to provide an example that it is possible to crash, perform an epidermisectomy and still finish in front of extremely fit individuals 25 years younger than oneself. I think they rode about 100 miles or something—I wouldn’t know or care because The Powers That Be invited me to not do the ride when they noticed that I was standing at the start line without a Garmin and my Assos shorts were inside out (Total discrimination. I’m colorblind!) Fine with me I had better things to do, such as ride the Palm Springs Arial Tramway to the top of Mount San Jacinto while curled into a fetal position and screaming about 80 Hail Mary’s per minute. Oh, and blindly ignoring the looks of my fellow trammis.
It’s a really great ride if your definition of “great” is certain death. Once at the top there is not a lot to do except hike or snowshoe, since the ironically named “Adventure Center” is closed due to snow. Understand, readers, we are in California so NOTHING has to make any sense. After determining it was too far to walk, I was on the next car down to terra firma but not before making the mistake of noticing the view of the guts of this contraption, thoughtfully provided by the Tram authority in a wholly misguided attempt to reassure riders that they would see their loved ones again. It is obvious that it was designed by Rube Goldberg’s slightly more organized brother. My lips to God’s ears, the Hail Mary’s delivered me safely to the base. I exited vowing never to allow my feet any further from the ground than a full effort vertical jump and headed to the finish line to see if any of the Preskityterians had managed to cross the finish line. To be continued.