Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Monday, March 9 2009

I managed to get out of bed pretty early on Monday morning and went for a bike ride out to the south shore of Lake Tohopekaliga.  It was a clear, cool morning and the lake looked gorgeous:











Me at the Lake



This is Daddy's old bike:



I've been riding it for a couple of years when I come to Orlando and it's getting to the point that it needs some work done.  Not a whole lot but I'm thinking I'm going to have Mom send it to me and the guys at REI work on it and make it my new commuter and then send the Cannondale I'm currently commuting on to Florida to ride when I'm there.  I think I'd appreciate the bigger tires on it more there than here.  I have a bike that's allegedly dedicated for wet weather commuting but I never ride it because the Cannondale is pretty good in the wet.  This bike is, I believe, a Vitus 979 from the late eighties.  It's aluminum and considered a classic road bike.  I loooove the frame.  It's so cool looking and such an unusual color.  I'm not sure what kind of wheels it has but it's got dura ace hubs on it and they're in good shape.  I'd want to change the handlebars to drop bars, put on a new seat and change the drivetrain to a 105 triple.  It's kind of a lot of work for such an old bike but it would look awesome and be better for my day to day commuting than what I'm currently riding.  Stay tuned!

This is a view of the swamp I rode through on my way home.  So pretty:



I had lunch and then Mom and I ran some errands and then she took me to the airport.  I got checked in and through security really quickly which was nice.  It was a gorgeous day in Orlando and the airport looked great.  This is the view of the control tower from the tram to the US Airways gates:



I like the tram but wish I could walk instead:








US Airways has a pretty sizeable operation at Orlando and they had a bunch of gates.  Their new livery is such an improvement:



Orlando airport has free wifi and so I parked myself by a power outlet and recharged my phone and worked on emails.  The interior of the airport is gorgeous.  I approve:



There's a lot more variety at the Delta terminal because they fly a wide variety of heavies in Orlando from Atlanta and also because that's where the international stuff is.  So I didn't see anything but narrowbodies.  Continental 737-800:



American 737-800:



United Airbus:



Our ride:  An Airbus 321:



US Airways 566 MCO-PHX Dep 5:05 PM Arr 7:00 PM A321

We were on another sparkling clean Airbus A321 back to Phoenix.  I miraculously had an empty seat next to me so I had plenty of room to stretch out and read comic books for most of the flight.  I'm still pretty impressed by US Airways.  I was totally expecting I would be miserable the entire time and only booked with them because I had to book at the last minute and it was pretty much the only choice.  They've vastly improved since the last time I flew them and I would have no problem flying them again.  We had two drink services on the flight back to Phoenix.  Still no free food of any kind which kind of surprised me because a little pack of pretzels can't be a big ticket item and it would go a long way in improving the perception of their service.  Southwest has tons of free snacks.  The uniforms that the cabin crew wore in flight were awful.  They were of a cheap looking fabric in a crappy shade of blue and they were mock turtlenecks.  Mock.  Turtlenecks.  What are their uniforms now being supplied by the Men's Wearhouse??  On the women, they looked OK but the male flight attendant looked like a pedophile circa 1988.  Not a good look.

Here's the cabin in flight:



Phoenix airport is pretty easy to get around.  I had a burrito which had to be returned because they put cheese in it.  The bastards.  They also have free wifi which is awesome although you have to answer a questionnaire about how friendly you think the airport is before you can log on.  Forcibly friendly, I'd say.



Here is our ride for the flight home.  Our flight was delayed for about forty five minutes while they worked on a maintenance issue.  I don't understand why it's so hard to make an announcement every ten minutes with status when a flight is delayed, but Southwest seems to be the only airline that consistently does that.  Employees at the gate seemed.... a little surly.  Boarding was a little chaotic after they finally let us on.  I had to check my bag because the overheads were full.  They didn't charge me.  Our ride:



US Airways 415 PHX-SFO Dep 8:10 PM Arr 10:17 PM A319

Flight was pretty uneventful except for the large number of screaming children on the flight.  The people in front of me at their child watching a DVD with the sound turned up and no headphones.  Lovely.  I didn't want to complain because the child only stopped kicking, crying, and throwing stuff when the DVD went on.



We got into SFO around 11 and my luggage made it to baggage claim and Mr. Poe came to collect me and we went home and after a half an hour of dog excitement we went to bed.  My opinion of US Airways is vastly improved and I would have no problem choosing them again.  Their aircraft were spotlessly clean on every segment I flew and the interiors look terrific.  Phoenix is a pretty good place to connect through and I wouldn't have a problem going there again.  Their service is still a little weak and they're going to have to work on that but they're getting there.

Bike Mileage:
Today                                                 29.7
Week to date                                       29.7
Month to date                                    143.3
Year to date                                    1,892.7
To Goal                                          8,107.3
Over (Under) plan                               29.7

YTD Mileage vs Last Year                 581.9
Rolling Year                                 11,392.4
Since Inception 10/1/07                 15,170.4

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