9 Days to Havasu

9 Days to Havasu

What do chainsaws and the London Bridge have in common?

London Bridge, London
Londoners cross the London Bridge on their way to work.

The funny thing, for me, is that you always hear about THE London Bridge as though there is only one.   I suppose there is only one London Bridge that crosses the River Thames at any given time, but throughout history there have been several bridges called the London Bridge.

London Bridge at night
London Bridge at night

When I was in my early teens, I had heard about this place in the middle of the desert to where THE London Bridge had been moved.  My first thought was, “How are all those Londoners going to cross the river?”   Well, I was in London last year for the first time and I’m happy to report that there are many bridges in London that cross the river.  And one of those bridges is called London Bridge.   Do not confuse the London Bridge with the iconic Tower Bridge.  They are within walking distance of each other, but very different.  One is full of tourists and the other is full of Londoners going to and from work.

London's Tower Bridge
London’s Tower Bridge

So, how did one certain incarnation of the London Bridge find its way to the middle of the desert of Arizona?  It’s a fascinating story and you can read about it on various web pages and blog sites.  In short, a wealthy businessman purchased land in Arizona in the early 1960’s.  His intention was to build a city.  Around 1967, this businessman needed a gimmick or something to attract people to his city and at the same time, the city of London was considering selling the London Bridge.   One thing led to another and the bridge was purchased from London for about two and a half million dollars.  That was just the purchase price.  Now remember, this is before Amazon Prime and free shipping so the cost to dismantle and ship the bridge was pretty damn high.  Our eccentric businessman paid the price and had the bridge reconstructed on dry land.   Dry land?  Yes. If you look at a map of Lake Havasu City today, you can see that the bridge spans a narrow stretch of water between the river bank and an island in the river.   That island used to be a peninsula.  After the bridge was built, a canal was dug underneath the bridge separating the peninsula from the mainland.  (why can’t all bridges be built this way?).

The bridge in the desert is nothing spectacular to look at.  The reason you go to see it is to pay homage to a wealthy eccentric American who had the balls and the money to undertake such a project.  You go to the bridge to celebrate the American dream that anything is possible even it makes little sense.  The bridge is there to remind us that we should never be limited by the practicality of a situation:  dream it and it can be done. That bridge embodies the same spirit as we triathletes do.

Don’t get me wrong.  Walking across that bridge in Lake Havasu City won’t blow your mind or shake your spiritual foundation.  If it does, then that’s your thing.    It’s just one of those things that you look at and wonder why would anyone do this:  much the same as our friends and family members look at us triathletes and wonder the same thing.

In hindsight, it was one of Robert McCulloch’s good decisions.  It drew people to Lake Havasu City.   Do you recognize McCulloch’s name?  He is the one who founded Lake Havasu City and purchased the bridge.  He is also the founder of McCulloch chainsaws.

If Paul Harvey were alive, I’d ask him for his signature quote here…

“and now you know the rest of the story”

10 Days to Havasu

10 Days to Havasu

This is the first day of the TriRiot countdown to the Lake Havasu City Triathlon.

The Date:  Saturday, March 16, 2019

Normally, I would make a video of the countdown.  Lately, however, I’ve been full of excuses as to why I can not get a video posted.  I will spare you my list of excuses except to quote the great Henny Youngman who once said:

“Doctor, my leg hurts. What can I do?” The doctor says, “Limp!”

So I’ll just limp along this countdown as though everything is perfectly normal. 🙂

Regardless, there is plenty of stuff to talk about for this countdown.  For example, did you know that the London bridge that used to span the River Thames was purchased from the city of London, shipped to the U.S. and rebuilt, brick by brick, in Lake Havasu City?   That is absolutely crazy, right?

Also in this countdown, I’ll show off my new bike bag: not a bag that goes on the bike, rather a bag big enough to hold the bike.

Ten days to go until the race in the desert along the Colorado River by the London bridge.  Stay tuned to this blog for the next nine days (and beyond).

2018 Was a Rough Year

It’s been a while…

It’s also been a rough year.  Here’s a short list of 2018’s highlights in my personal calendar:

  • My dear friend, Carol, died unexpectedly.
  • My father-in-law died.
  • Another friend, Mark, died tragically.
  • Joan died from cancer.
  • Channing died from cancer.  You may remember Channing from a recent video: LG’s Coaching Secrets
  • My cousin barely survived a horrible car wreck driving from Phoenix to LA.  She’s still recovering after two months.
  • California was ravaged by wildfires.
  • Florida’s panhandle was ravaged by Hurricane Michael.
  • My house flooded in Hurricane Florence.
Thank god she survived
Barely anything was left of Jeanne’s car after the wreck.

First of all, I’m too young to know this many dead people.  And second, I’m literally homeless.  I’m not on the streets, but my house is not yet livable.   The water rose to 8 inches above floor level and sat there for about 6 days.   It doesn’t sound like much, but it destroyed the floor and weakened the subfloor.  The moisture wicked up the walls almost 30 inches and the mold was everywhere.

I’m not looking for sympathy.  Honestly, I’m not.

I’m building a case to defend why I haven’t posted anything on YouTube since September.    So much energy has gone into fixing the house.

 

Flood damage.

 

 

 

All that is about to change.   I hope to have new videos out as soon as possible.

In spite of all these setbacks, I’m looking forward to a great year of training, racing and video making.

We Are Triathletes

We Are Triathletes  came to Wilmington on August 8, 2018.

GREAT NEWS:  $49.30 was earned for promoting this film and was  donated to the Challenged Athlete’s Foundation.

“It is the mission of the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) to provide opportunities and support to people with physical challenges, so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics. The Challenged Athletes Foundation believes that involvement in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life.”

CAF Mission


The TriRiot web show is on vacation for the 2018 North American triathlon season.  See you in the Fall.

New Triathlon Movie

Triathlon Movies

There are not too many movies about triathlon in general release.  The most recent one I can think of is called TRI.  It was released a couple of years ago and it was not at all what I was hoping for.   I gave it a luke warm review because I wanted to be positive.  I was probably too generous, but it wasn’t bad: it was just lacking clear focus and direction and the acting was mediocre.  (Who am I to talk?  I have no acting talent myself).

But a year or two before TRI was released, I found out about a Triathlon documentary which I talked about in this TriRiot episode:

Finally Here

The triathlon movie that I talked about in early 2015 is almost ready for general release!  There’s been a bit more activity lately on the movie’s Facebook Page suggesting that it should be released sometime in the summer of 2018.  They actually have a movie poster, so it must be close to release.  I am excited, to say the least.

Movie poster posted on Facebook

What I Know About This Film

Most audiences are familiar with the annual broadcast of the Ironman World Championship.  I expect this documentary to be a bit like that, but with more focus on individual athletes rather than race specifics.   The annual broadcast is probably one reason that the sport of triathlon has enjoyed popularity for quite some time.   One of the goals of this new movie is to promote the sport and attract new participants according to Bob Babbitt , the film’s executive producer.

From one of the movie posters I learned that:

  1.  Bob Babbitt is the executive producer.  He is a big name in the world of triathlon.  In fact, he hosts Babbittville Radio and Breakfast with Bob: two shows full of great interviews.  When he posts on twitter (@Bob_Babbitt), I read it.
  2. The film features two big name athletes: Mirinda Carfrae and Rudy Garcia Tolson.  There are other athletes, but I am not as familiar with them.
  3. The title is, “We Are Triathletes
  4. The tag line is, “The mental and emotional challenge is greater than the physical challenge

This Week’s Episode

Why so many people are excited about triathlon

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