By Skiles Kieth
Anyone who has spent time riding bicycles in Tucson, Arizona, has seen the man known as the Grey Wolf. The Wolf lurks in the desert the same way the Coyote lurked in the desert waiting for Road Runner.
I’m not sure if he has a phone tree of potential ride partners, or is just a group ride opportunist. On any given day, he can often be found circling at the top of Helmet Peak where he might try to join your ride. He never really joins the ride per se, but tails about 30 feet behind. On occasion, the Wolf might join the end of the [tag]Shootout[/tag] on the Old Nogales highway and try and mix it up in traffic. He gets so excited that he growls and bays like a horse or wolf, and thus the nickname.
If the Wolf is wearing a pink jersey, rest assured matching shorts and shoe covers will follow. He also has the ability, depending on the mood, to don a bandellero or cycling cap.
He does not carry a pump on his bike, but instead uses a utility belt. He sticks the pump through the belt and into the first layer of his shorts. The pump looks like a lone arrow in a quiver. The utility belt also fits his walkman — without auto reverse. I have personally seen the Wolf manually change cassettes mid ride. I asked him once what gets him moving as far as tunes go, and he replied, “You know the good shit, BAD.” WTF???
Back on the Wolf’s wear, he usually outfits himself with two pairs of shorts. The under layer is exposed just above the knee. It is almost like a support layer. The outer layer, which is held in place by the utility belt made of patent leather, is most likely pink or green. The jersey is usually pink or green as well, and always matches the shorts. To round out the getup, his final touch is to match the thin watch band on his wrist to whatever color utililty belt he happens to be running that day.
It is no doubt that the Wolf has a year long, deep tan which contrasts his grey head of hair and thin, [tag]weiner cleaner[/tag] over the lip. The [tag]Grey Wolf[/tag] never misses a minute of sun, and, for all we know, may not even own street clothes. In the mornings he lays out, waiting on the brick walls near campus for a ride to start. Sometimes he fuels up while he waits by munching on Oreos that are wrapped in a plastic bag and tied around his ever versatile, utility belt.
The Wolf does in fact talk; he told me once that he is from Boise, Idaho, which is another desert town. Well, a high desert town I guess. It’s not clear exactly why he moved to Tucson. There are many theories, but I don’t believe riding year round was one of the motivating factors, oddly enough.
Speaking of theories, the Grey Wolf also has some pretty interesting thoughts on the riders who participate in the weekly World Championships of Tucson, a.k.a the Saturday morning Shootout ride. “All of the top guys jump behind a saguaro and shoot themselves with drugs at the bottom of the Mission,” says the Wolf.
Where does the Wolf live and how does he survive you ask? I think somewhere near the Mission in a pile of cedar chips for bedding. If anyone knows for sure what he does to pay the bills, email us.
Filed by admin at April 4th, 2006 under MS News