We’re going black here - conserving energy in case of outage…..tropical storm Tingting and the ensuing typhoon that is headed our way.
Further bulletins as events warrant. No news - assume all is well.
TROPICAL STORM TINGTING LOCAL STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TIYAN GU
9 PM GUAM LST SUN JUN 27 2004
…TROPICAL STORM TINGTING CONTINUES TO DELUGE GUAM…
THIS STATEMENT RECOMMENDS ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN BY RESIDENTS OF
GUAM…ROTA…TINIAN…SAIPAN…PAGAN AND AGRIHAN.
…WATCHES AND WARNINGS…
A TYPHOON WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR TINIAN AND SAIPAN. A TYPHOON
WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR AGRIHAN. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING AND A
TYPHOON WATCH REMAIN IN EFFECT FOR GUAM AND ROTA.
AT 7 PM GUAM LST…0900Z…TROPICAL STORM TINGTING WAS CENTERED NEAR
LATITUDE 14.5 DEGREES NORTH AND LONGITUDE 148.1 DEGREES EAST…OR
ABOUT 235 MILES EAST-NORTHEAST OF GUAM…195 MILES EAST OF ROTA…
170 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF TINIAN…AND 165 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF
SAIPAN. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE 65 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 80 MPH.
TINGTING IS MOVING NORTHWEST AT 9 MPH.
GUAM REMAINS IN CONDITION OF READINESS 3.
ROTA…TINIAN AND SAIPAN REMAIN IN CONDITION OF READINESS 2.
So the cop leans over to me from his Kawasaki cruiser, as we pass by the Pacific Welding Services and shouts “wish they would have put cones up on the northbound lanes”.
“Yeah,” I shouted back, with all the air I could muster from my burning lungs. “Would have made your job alot easier!”
“Oh well,” and he shrugs, ” it’s you guys that are doing all the real work today - I can’t imagine all that training and preparation.”
“Yeah…” as I smile, trying to figure out what the hell he’s talking about.
[ Let me back up. ]
So at 6am Saturday morning, I’m taking Rachel to work. As we pull out of our side street onto Marine Drive, I notice cones blocking the rightmost lane.
“Wonder what that’s all about…”
On the way we pass some cyclists - the real kind - with road bikes that make mine look like a Huffy. Nice. Must be some sort of cycling thing going on this weekend.
So after I drop Rachel off at work, I see some more cyclists and the feeling that I need to go see what this is all about is nagging me. I get home and Google “guam cycling” - nothing about today anywhere.
After working for a couple hours, I just can’t stand it anymore. I quickly suit up, fill the CamelBack and hit the road. Raining at this point - not bad here, though, since it cools you off.
“I’ll just go as far as the cones go,” I tell myself as I enter Marine Drive. Normally this would be impossible, since traffic rivals that of any major highway. So I’m tooling along - 2 miles, 3 miles, 6 miles, almost to the big Navy base.
I bet it stops there.
As I approch big Navy, I can see a cop directing traffic in the distance, right before the gate. As I get closer, he sees me, stops ALL TRAFFIC and points me left - away from the base.
Okay, I’ll go left. Lean in and kick it a little around the bend and up a hill. Cones still in the road ahead of me as far as I can see. I keep going - I’ve only passed 1 other cyclist at this point, so I figured I’m either really early, really late, or nobody wants to be out in the rain. The end must be near.
I should mention that Guam’s topology is fairly flat near west coast - where I’ve been up to now.
As I weave back around increasingly small and poorly-constructed roads, I start to notice the subtle rolls in the land turning into major hills until I round a corner and see the hill that made me cough just by looking at it. After a very labored climb and subsequnt descent down the back side, I begin the next climb. I pass a cyclist and say the usual, “on your left….hello, how’s it going…” He says something - I’m not exactly sure what, but there were some words that were not PG rated in reference to this ride.
Okay, he seems disgruntled. Oh well.
After some more gruelling climbs, I stop a scenic overlook and decide this is where my wagon takes a 180 after a water break. I must have looked like hell, since the busload of Japanese tourists that just arrived to see the sights - looked on at me in disgust. It was 930am at this point and several of the people getting off the bus were holding Budweiser cans.
Yeah. Hope they brought their guns. I sure miss DC.
Anyway, after talking with the bus driver - and asking him what the heck the cones were for, (he really looked at me weird) “Aren’t you riding in the race, or whatever this is?”
“uhh…no, I just saw the cones…”
He had no idea either. I’m 20 miles from home now and about out of water, so I really need to head back. I leave shortly after the bus and head back in the direction of the nearest Taco Bell - god bless ‘em.
12 or so miles, a 7 layer burrito, intos and cheese, and a bean burrito later, I’m back on the road. Still no idea what the hell these cones are for. As I’m riding along in the shoulder (there are no cones on this side of the road), a cop pulls up behind me on his big Kawasaki cruiser and then to my left.
“Hey, brotha, you can get in this lane.”
He points down.
Jesus. I have a cop escort for an event which I’m not a part and I have no IDEA what it is. And since I’d just eaten, I figured I’d have a leisurely ride home, stopping along the way if necessary. Scratch that plan. I’ve got to keep up appearances here and act like I’m really in this now. It could be the gay pride race for all I know.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that - just like to know what I’m in for at the end.
So I decide that I’m going to try to get some info out of this guy. I race up next to him with all the effort I can manage - my legs are on fire and I feel like I’m going to barf at any second. Let’s see if I can keep up 24mph while having a conversation - just after eating.
“I don’t know if I’ll make it all the way to the end - think I’ll stop in Tamuning,” I say, hoping for a meaningful response.
“Hey well, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad, man.”
WHAT?! What the hell does THAT mean?
We talk some more and I still don’t get any info. He turns around ahead of me to go back along his patrol area. I pull off to the side to catch my breath, thankful to GOD that he’s gone. After a sip of water, I see another cyclist coming my way. I hop on the bike and head her way. She’s being followed by a big SUV full of people and an undercover squad car. I don’t even care at this point - I HAVE to figure out what this is.
I pull up next to her and start some chit-chat, she’s wearing a swimsuit and cycling shorts. That’s weird.
So after a second or two, I say, “Hey, this is gonna sound really weird, but what the hell is this?”
She cocks her head to the side, looking at me like I’m speaking in walrus or something.
“What is this race? I just saw the cones outside of my apartment, and figured I’d give it a try. I’ve done….40 miles far and still no clue.”
“It’s the IronMan triathlon, man.”
Putting it all together just as I pass our apartment, it all comes together.
I pull off to the side, so I can use the traffic light to cross the road to get home, and this SUV that (I had forgotten) had been following us the whole way, pulls up next to me. The guy in the passenger seat thrown me a water before I can say no thanks.
“This is it for me,” I say, hoping they’ll just go away.
“What? Are you okay? The 2 people in the front seat look at each other.
“No, I’m not IN the race, I just saw the cones and figured….”
Now they BOTH look at me and cock their heads to the side.
“Oh, I’m NEW - we JUST moved here a week ago…” (lie)
The guy says “OH” and all is good - he tells me to go to some websites and check ‘em out for Guam events…
Thanks, I’ll make a note of that and put it right next to my “I’m not participating in whatever this is…” t-shirt.
A thousand apologies for not writing lately. Been sorta busy with school and moving in. You really don’t realize the degree to which the things you have consist of useless crap until you move. In addition, it’s the sheer volume of said crap that boggles the mind.
As we clear the wreckage, I promise to post some pictures of our little villa.
Well, since we’ve gotten our new place (hey, we got our new place!) and we’ve gotten mostly unpacked, I decided that it was time. I’m sure you could see the joy in my eyes when my bike was revealed to me by the moving crew, wrapped in paper and so unscathed as to preserve the tiny amount of Washington, DC mud that was so unlovingly caked to her frame. She had made it and was in perfect condition!
So I decided at about 5pm today to go for a little ride. Just a short, easy ride, say, around the block. Well, I turn out of our apartment complex and on to the access road and make a right into stopped traffic leading on to Marine Drive. I cross Marine Drive and head up a little back road. 15mph….20mph…30mph. Nice breeze. It’s at this point that I notice a red speck on the side of the road ahead of me. As it nears, I notice it’s a rooster.
Wonderful. A rooster’s gonna get caught in my chain, or spoke, and kill me.
So as I draw nearer to this weird little beast, he TEARS OFF RUNNING - in my same direction of travel. As I pass the point where he was - I’m still going 30 by the way, he veers off into the left lane and is RIGHT NEXT TO ME.
I’m still going 30.
And he’s still with me. We exchange terrified looks. I don’t know if he’s going to sacrifice himself into my bike, or worse, try to eat me. He doesn’t know what the hell I am or where I came from - and why there was no thumping bass music coming from my vehicle. He eventually tires and heads off to the underbrush off to the left. Thinking that’s weird, I head back to Marine Drive. As I approach the road, a beat up pickup truck with more people in it than horsepower - slides (not kidding here - slides) across the lanes of Marine Drive and comes on to the side road - 2 tires in the brush on the shoulder and 2 (barely) on the road. He speeds off and disappears into his own dust cloud, bass-a-thumpin.
Suddenly I now know why that rooster had such an impressive speed.
Evolution at it’s finest.