I think I'm losing weight in sympathy for my dad. Eating less.. Riding lots. And climbing galore. Can't swing a dead cat around here without hitting a ball-busting climb.. Later today I'll go out of Mudanya on the main highway with my Polar and get the altitude profile for later. I'm guessing that it climbs about 600 feet in 2-1/2 miles. The other day I climbed it without stressing myself too much, but it turns out that I pushed hard enough that my bar tape unraveled on the tops.. Tonight I'll be meeting up with one of the local Masters for a ride together. His name's Zafer. We tried to rendezvous last night (my 2nd ride of the day) but I took some wrong turns and it didn't work out. In the morning I went out by bike to meet my wife at her mom's house. Since I needed to have street clothes with me, I took the "rescue pack"- my orange adidas back pack that looks a lot like Diego's.. Had to climb the hill out of Mudanya with about 15 extra pounds.. Plus I added my red blinky to the bike to be safe. We rented a car yesterday for two weeks- a brand new Renault Symbol. It had 12 km on it and the interior still wrapped in plastic. For a sub-compact it sure had no trouble swallowing my bike in the trunk (with both wheels off). Cost for 15 days: 1050 dollars. Gas costs 9 dollars a gallon so it will be about 120 dollars to fill up the 13 gallon tank. Crazy. You can rent a car for 20 dollars a day in the states. Here it's triple to rent a car and more than double for gas.. Americans complain about gas prices.. Pfffft! I hope the price goes up to 10 dollars. Can't afford it? Ride a bike! Eat your house! You know the one where you financed BOTH the down payment and the other 95 percent too?! Sorry I'm way off topic here. Here's my upturned middle finger to Washington Mutual Bank- the one which, for the third consecutive year, embarrassed me in Turkey with credit card transaction failures.. In spite of my calling in advance and telling them I'll be in Turkey. What a joke.
Father seemed to improve marginally yesterday.. But he looks a little more tired this morning. Pulse is down to 96 today from 120.. I don't know if it's a good sign. He can't speak. He can't stand or walk without two people assisting him.. He's too weak to eat or bathe or do anything really. We need a full time nurse because Im here for only so long and his wife is exhausted both mentally and physically. There is no such thing as a "hospice" in Turkey, or so I'm told. Got cancer? You're on your own.
Yesterday while out on the roads I suddenly became very aware of a few observations:
1. Everyone.. smokes.. cigarettes.
2. Men walking hunched over, hands often behind their backs, with big beer bellies and narrow downward sloping shoulders outnumber all other 'types' on the street. Occasionally you'll spy one who's in between cigarattes, but it's rare.
3. Young misguided teenage boys with absolutely AWFUL looking 'mohawk-ish" haircuts.. Are everywhere and should be beaten to in inch of their life or until they agree to shave that travesty of hair clean off their heads. 4. Young girls with their heads covered with scarves.. Not only do they appear freakishly top heavy and androgenous.. They also seem to outnumber the other girls by a factor of 3:2. Do I have to go to the south coast in order to see some eye candy??
5. The coolest cars are in Turkey: Seat, Renault, Citroen, Peugeot, Fiat, Skoda, Alfa Romeo.. These companies do not sell in the US.. But if they did, their sporty looking compact models would be very popular.. The compact class is very limited in the US, but not for long I think.
6. Turkish people love to gawk, laugh, point and sometimes shout at handsome and muscular bike racers who are wearing great looking team uniforms and going very fast.
Thanks for reading.
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