Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Cyclist Weekend

It all started yesterday. The usual suspects were planning the monthly meet at Al's Breakfast in Dinkytown. Yes, 6 AM sharp for coffee and usually a short stack whole wheat wally blues. For those unfamiliar with Al's that stands for two whole wheat walnut and blueberry pancakes. Good for what ails you. Those that show can vary from Tim and Tom the racer boys. Then there is Jon, a man who's forgotten more about bicycles than I know. This follows with a man who needs no introductions, its BBBB. Or maybe you'd prefer just plain Bob. Then there is another guy who often shows up we'll call Curt. This week, I had a surprise guest, none other than our own, Misanthrope Cyclist. Now he's not a morning guy, so I had to lie like a dog to get him to show up at 6:00. He made it, sort of, a few minutes after we did, but he had time to eat before we felt guilty and began to make motions to leave. This time Curt didn't make it, most likely due to a heavy work schedule. Missed yah dude! Coffee, tea, juice, eggs, and cakes were as good as always.

Today, I added to the punishment. I joined the Hiawatha gang for their weekly ride. I'd forgotten the time and thought it was at 7:30 sharp. Huh, no one was there, so I amused myself by shooting photos of the shop through the window. To the right is a photo of the store front from across the street. It looks better without the snow so you can see the stands to lock up your ride while shopping. The top of one stand can be seen in the photo, its the bit of red sticking up from the snow.

After a few photos, someone started showing up. First arrived "Big" Jim, who politely informed me that my memory was faulty and that usually people start showing at 7:45 and they might get riding by 8, but don't count on it. Cool, just my kind of ride and I was early for once. Just ask my ex-wife for information on how often that happens. Or not. Here are a few photos from the gang of eight (or nine) that showed.
I didn't get names on all of them.

Since I don't wear a watch and never look at my cyclometer, I've no clue when we started. Then add to the fact that I don't live or really know the area, I was quickly lost. We meandered all over the place. Only two casualties. A young college gal, Laura hit a large patch of ice and her bike slid out from under her. She seemed to be just fine and the bike wasn't damaged visibly. Next was the owner of Hiawatha, Jim, and he and his ride a three speed went down. Other than his chain guard insisting on making tons of noise for the next 30 miles he seemed to survive the crash okay too. At one point they bunch could hear my growling stomach, and in an effort to drop me and still have some pity on me, they laid down some food for me to snack on. Then to add to the humiliation, they took some photos to document their prowess.

Their fatal error? They discovered that watching me eat made them hungry too and so they looked for a coffee shop and low and behold there across the street was Espresso Expose. So they parked their bicycles everywhere. By the time they were done, so was I, so I rode back with them. Sorry for the poor quality of the photos from inside Espresso Expose, I'm just not that interested in learning how to use my camera better. Yet.

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