Sunday, August 16, 2009


What an awesome weekend. Perhaps it was the perfect weekend. I am not one to brag on weekends usually, but I feel compelled to recap what made this the ideal end to and start of a new week.

First I'll backtrack to Thursday. My friend Sara was in town. We rode around. There a few simple pleasures better than just riding around -- the rare moments when one has nowhere to be and no time required to get there. I have too little time to just get on my bike and ride around, so I welcomed an excuse to do just that.

We made the rounds and ended up at Shockspital. I got to peruse B Rose's new digs. Business was hopping. It was good to see.

We cruised Cedar Lake, hit a little urban singletrack, stopped for a beer, then picked up some food and headed home to grill dinner and see the rest of the family.

Sylvia set up an impromptu bike repair service in the backyard while Sara pushed Willa around. Sylvia can dream up all sorts of games and she's very good a roping grown-ups into playing along. She's even convinced Dad to occasionally play Candyland.

Super Bridge Club happened Saturday. It was super indeed and major thanks to Brother Nick and friends for pulling it off. Conceived as a celebration of the recreational opportunities provided by the myriad bridges we have around the city, the route took us on many paths and trails I've never seen. That's what I love about these rides -- I always learn new places to go on a bike that are off the usual paved trails and lanes. Oh yeah, I suppose drinking beer with friends is kind of fun too.

Some of the heavy hitters made a trip into town just for the event. Chewey Moffit frames the Grain Belt sign nicely just after the start of the ride.

Andy is double-fisting it. He's so pumped he's got two drinks in one hand. Okay, no white Russians -- rather these were baby formula.

After all, Garnet had to have something to feed Max on the curb in front of Lee's. Mpls cycling: Classy to the core.

As a father myself, I have no problem indulging the baby photos. Props to Andy and Garnet for towing the Burley to the first stop. Max was having a blast.

I simply call this one 'kids and sunglasses.' If you're a parent you know all too well your shades, cheap or spendy, stand no chance when you're holding a kid.

Our group crossed the bridge at 394 and Penn. I ride this a few nights per week and always enjoy pedaling home facing traffic at rush hour. I smile as I whiz by the drivers stuck in stop and go traffic trying deperately to merge onto 94 into the city.

Dominating the Midtown. At this point our ride was 64 thirsty riders strong. And had only verifiably pissed off one trail user.

Aww, aren't they a happy pair? We were all happy since by the time we made it to the Bryant Ave ped bridge, Nick showed up with a huge cooler of sandwiches and beer. Brian was packing ice cream sandwiches and push-ups on dry ice. I have to admit the mood was more festive than Zito's towel.

We rode on and on through Minnehaha Falls park and across to the east bank. The sun soon faded about the time eyesight was beginning to dim anyway. We waited out a shower beneath a bridge or two. Somewhere along the way we derbied and a wheel got broke. Wet, tired and happy, a number of us reconvened at Town Hall where it all began some 9 or 10 hours earlier. Then we went our separate ways for some much needed downtime.

Sunday felt like it came a little too early. I'd been exhausted from a busy week anyway, so I enjoyed sleeping in courtesy of April. Sylvia's friend Lilia came over for a few hours. We all piled onto the bikes and rolled down to the farmer's market just before it closed for the day.

The kids split a cheddar brat. When they're still babies, watching kids eat and make a mess of half chewed food can be a frustrating test of patience. However, Sylvia is now at the age where she can keep the food contained and manage to flat put down some chow when she's hungry. By the look on that face, she was hungry.

While April browsed for produce I watched the girls and managed to get a couple more cute photos. Another lazy rain shower came and went. The chaotic throngs at the market, awash in more cultures than you can count, seemed united in a celebration of food and good old-fashioned barter and commerce.

Yep, folks, it was a fine end to a splendid weekend.