ONWARD

 

Dunton Hot Springs Fleet Cars

Sadly for me the current incumbent of the driving position that I was looking at, that left due to a self inflicted disability, says he wants to come back.  He fell down and ended up needing a hip replacement and now suddenly announces that he is doing well with his rehab and should be back to work in three weeks!

Must stay ever hopeful, although of course I’m not sending any negative or positive thoughts to him. One door, another door etc, as yesterday I bumped into Sharon who is our admin assistant and bus driver sub for Cortez. She told me that Dolores are having trouble finding activity drivers for their current round of field trips so that may be worth a quick visit on Monday morning.

Monday comes and the weather is cold and miserable with rain and hail. It comes to my notice it is Columbus Day and therefore  a “No School Day” so this one will have to wait until tomorrow.

Meanwhile over the last week, which I thought would be a no cycling affair with all the doom and gloom of 80% chance of rain every day I still managed 100 miles and the total is now 4301.06 but the weather is forecast to be just as bad this week and even colder.

Wednesday, still cold and wet, no riding so far this week but I did manage to get all the forms filled in for Dolores so now the wait begins on this one.

Still no riding but on Friday up to the bus barn and see the boss man Larry, who tells me the School Board have approved me and gives me the “book” which is getting bigger and bigger every year! Now I must read through 200+ pages of legal rules and other stuff that comprises the yearly test. This test, which started two years ago has a 30 question format with 15 multiple choice and another 15 true or false. Seems to get harder to pinpoint the questions but I’m nearly done on the second read through.

This weekend was forecast as THE BIG FREEZE so much work to get everything ready to avoid disasters. First on the list get the boat sorted and that has its own giant rock right in the way to get the engine upright to drain even though we never got it out ONCE this year! Rock removed, engine upright and about a cup of water gushes out so a good idea that we got that done.

Dead center under the prop!

Deep  enough and a cup of water?

Delicate plants all brought in and off to pool where I got a 1st this week and for the most part was actually seeing the shots and hitting them well.

Plants come in, well we saved some

Figs get replanted

Sunday, more reading of the book, and out to restock firewood from under the damp upper layers. 3 Big baskets later that task is done and onto the next ones on the list. All irrigation turned off, heat tapes all plugged in. A new power cord over to the “Dog Box” for our expensive backwash valve and its house. Move the Safari, put the jacks down and winterize. Wind up all the hoses and disconnect from the siphoning valve that froze last year and had to be replaced.

Safari moved and winterized

Siphon valve disconnected from hoses

By 1600 we are done, and just as well as I look at the morning temp of 19F !!!  ……. there will be some sad looking plant life out there this morning but you can’t save them all.

No riding at ALL last week, I do have the part time job so back to the book and get this test out the way. By 1530 my reading is in serious overload mode so a quick ride in the cold by way of a change. 14.66 goes in the books before I’m getting cold and the temperature is beginning to drop towards tonight’s low of 26F.

Tuesday and back to the Bus Barn and three hours of testing to get the annual requirements up to date. Wednesday and a drive round for two hours in one of the newest buses.  Very nice, some changes to procedures but its a start. Wednesday evening and its back to pool where I take another 1st and Brenda takes the 3rd.

Thursday morning and Brenda departs for Buffalo for her mother’s birthday and niece’s wedding. An awful drive to Durango in the rain at 0400 and still dark when I got back at 0645. Highlight of the day has to be the Denver Broncos actually playing football like they mean it with a 45 to 10 thrashing of Arizona.

Friday and back to the Bus Barn for another hour of “in service” training and get more info on new rates of pay and a nice long trip next week. Another 23.23 done and 12.57 on Saturday morning  before pool where once again I’m on form and win my way through to the final but can’t get the job done so end up with 2nd.

Sunday and Monday manage another 50 miles and crack the 4400 barrier but Tuesday is back to wet and windy and recovering Brenda from Durango in the evening.

On the work front 4 days of riding the Dolores routes which leaves 2 for next week. The scheduled trip for Friday gets cancelled when its discovered that Dolores is NOT playing at Center but rather “they” are coming to Dolores as its a HOME game!

Today is a non school day and it gives me the chance to change the rear tire on the Roubaix which suddenly started to break up.

Rear tire is shot!

It seems they do that without warning after about 2-4000 miles ? I can only assume that when the wear gets down the outer layer just splits and peels away …… looks like a MotoGP tire after one race.

Rear done, now the front

Further investigation shows the front is also on the way out so I’ll change them both.

Happiness is NEW rubber!

All done, now as the weather is picking up a few more miles this afternoon. All sounds good, temp around 60F with a swirling gusty wind and leaves blowing every which way. 16 miles, in need a quick pee, so home and a coffee with the plan to set out around 1700 to the brew pub for a couple of pints and a pizza.

I  don’t believe it!

2 miles into this portion of the mission and a BLOODY FLAT TIRE!!!  …… in the NEW tire to boot!! Walk home and change same …… somewhat pissed off as now I can’t get the beer and pizza and get home in daylight and I don’t want to be there for 4 hours until Brenda finishes her shift.

Settle for the last 5 miles in daylight, watch TV, walk dogs, NO beer!

Saturday and after a blogging session time to get out there and put some more miles on that odometer. 16.53 in favorable conditions before the standard shower and pool. Once again I’m on it and surge through to the unbeaten final where I’m victorious again.

This week no problem and another 1st.

Home from pool and that throat sensation starts and you know you have a cold starting!!! the joys of travelling with small children. Poor sleep with all the fun symptoms and a pretty miserable Sunday when nothing gets done and by nightfall the cold is in full swing and the nose is running like an open faucet.

Monday morning and decide not to go route riding but then Larry rings with news of another trip to Nucla on Thursday. Quick trip up to the barn and say I’ll take it and finish off the last 2 routes on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Here we are on a very cold Wednesday Halloween, and no riding since last Saturday and still suffering from the weekend’s cold. The month’s target of 4500 gets missed due to the illness and I’ll finish at 4476.89 ……… snow is falling in Telluride and they had 6″ last night so I wonder how much longer I have on the Roubaix this year?

 

TONY DOWN

 

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