Monday, July 7, 2008

What's Goin' On?

Or, perhaps, what is and what shall never be? Let's take a lookey here ...

Last Thursday, July 4th eve, yours truly went on a little cruise to da Nordeast to see that mythical band which is called 4-1-3-0. The band did not disappoint and succeeded in unleashing a generous helping of dirtrock favorites. Stasiu's (the venue) did not disappoint either. Much mayhem ensued. Trust me, it happened, you don't have to have been there to know. It was so much mayhem that by the end of the night we were gathered in a garage full of motorcycles. I'm not a huge moto fan, but there were some cool rides there. My Mom was always quite happy I never got into motorcycles. I do enough damage to myself under my own propulsion.

Mark started the eve by unveiling this sexy silhouette of a saddle. British Racing Green no less ... (now, if he could just lose that Salsa seatpost. AND, ya might benefit from a little Proofide there, my friend. I'm just sayin'.) Nonetheless, it were the stuff that centerfolds are made of. Bike centerfolds, that is.

We rolled onward and upward through the alleyways and via the byways under the expert guidance of the Butcher. Our crew stormed into Stasiu's sweaty and thirsty yet invigorated by the roundabout urban route we followed. We had time before the band went on. We mingled with band folk and friends as they filtered in for the show.

The playlist didn't look encouraging. Cheese, cheese and more cheese?

But the band went on and played the sounds we all needed to hear. I'll eat cheese curds out of Brandt's hand any day o' the week. He rocked. They all rawked.

Later we regressed to Brapper Dan's cycle garage. Brapper Dan is the fine chap who recovered Girl Carl's stolen Steamer. (Wow, if that sentence doesn't come off a bit risque.) The garage was full of lots of cycles and stuff. Sarah and Mark take a mock run while Hurl takes advantage of the camera angle. Good fun. Sarah is headed for Naropa in Boulder. We had fantastic conversations about life, Buddhism and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. You never know who you're going to meet on a bike adventure in Mpls.

Hurl pointed out a sticker adorning the wall of the garage. I was not aware that my adopted family name carried such local prestige. The message is apt: Don't ride junk, friends.

I got home later but it was tough. After dodging a few cars I felt it was prudent to strike out on my own and took an undisclosed route around downtown Mpls. I arrived home safe and tired. I have nothing more to say. It was to be a long weekend.

The next morning I finished my Travelers Check. All Campy drivetrain -- would you expect anything less? I've been commuting on it and I have to ask: Is anything like a Cross-Check? Quick, nimble, amazing. Does anything compare to the Cross-Check? It's my favorite bike. Wait, except for the Big Dummy. And then my Long Haul Trucker is pretty cool. Well, my Bianchi race bikes are amazing too ... you get the idea. That's why "they" say the answer to the question "How many bikes do you need?" is "Just one more." I do miss my daily Dummy fix since I've been riding the Check. And the logistics of beer hauling or dealing with found objects/cargo are significantly more complicated with a short bike. But I need to make sure the Travelers Check is dialed in and all the kinks are worked out. In 3 weeks I'll be loading it into luggage and taking it to Japan for a week. The humble Tennessee boy is off to see the world!

Fast forward to that evening in our new backyard ...

Joel, Faith (Willa) and Eric, Angela (Sylvia) right outside the back door. We had a little impromptu party at our new house. I hauled over the grill in the old Burley. Thanks Eric for bringing beer and cheer. And thanks to all our old friends for helping us feel at home in the new place. Fireworks exploding from the neighbors' yards, a beautiful summer evening and a grill feast in courses were all accompanied by a modest fire in the pit the previous owners were kind enough to leave. It was a great evening all around. I hope there are many more like it in the future.

Saturday brought more labor. Johnny Nebraska came over. We braved the heat to haul a couple loads by bike from the old place to the new -- a distance of 6 miles or so, almost entirely on bike trails. Although we were loaded down with 100-150lbs a piece we enjoyed the chance to pass the majority of other trail users. Weren't they surprised. Johnny was a trooper. He would have stayed to haul more, but I had to take off with the family. I intend to haul some more by bike, but we're renting a truck to get it done in one fell swoop this Saturday. In my ideal world, we'd pull off the entire move by bike. Hauling by bike is extra work for sure, but it makes the rather mundane process of transporting one's worldly trappings from old to new much more enjoyable, for a cyclist anyway.

And finally, Willa. Oh, Willa. She is growing fast. She remains happy, content and as ready to smile as ever. She's discovered her feet and she rolls over at will. She is starting to hold her head and shoulders up while on her tummy. We believe she is destined to make an early acquaintance with ambulation, just like her sister.

Be well, folks. Blog updates are sparse -- there's moving to be done! The deal goes down this Saturday a.m. at our old place. Come join the fun! I know at least a few who can't make it due to a little thing called the Bicycle Film Festival which is also happening this weekend. These damned life events keep getting in the way of my cycling plans ...

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