Saturday, June 30, 2007

What the hell was I thinking?

It was here at breakfast this morning midway on the morning HC ride that Monty predicted he'd drop us all and hang on to a bunch of skinny tired weight wienie racer boys. Monty, I think its time to shave those legs again and order that custom Rivendell track bike.

Let us go back in time to 10 PM on June 29th. I, in the elephant arrived late for the night time HC ride. Thankfully the rest of the bunch waited for at the light (which I seemed to fail to recognize was red). I was late because I'd forgotten 35W Southbound was closed and had to map a new route. No paper map, no GPS, no TomT
om on my dash baby, all brains. Which is why I was late. We looped around the city for a outstanding 22 miles. What a night to ride and many awesome scenes were observed. The hill by the Guthrie and riding the bike lane down the middle of Hennepin were two of mine. Low light, not finding any food at the end of the ride beyond, gulp, White Castle. I can attest that everyone resisted that strange urge. Gosh we're all old.

I got home and into the sack at 2.

Three hours later the alarm went off. I wasn't driving in that mess again. I got up showered, scraped my noggin, dressed up, ate a bowl of Cracklin' Oat Bran (Ray is their signature rider and personal spokesperson), and launched. Seeing the clock on the cyclometer, I thought I was late. No, I was sleep deprived. I went to the big ring and pushed a pace that was unwise. To arrive half an hour early. After getting rather bored, I was about to lie down on the bus bench across the street after taking this shot as testimony I was there in case I fell asleep and they left me. Thank God, Velocopete showed up to keep me awake.I had clocked 21 miles already by that point. Plus the breakfast ride, plus the return trip added to 56 miles.

And tomorrow someone arm twisted (they asked, "want to?" and I said "Sure") into joining them to ride the Empire builder to Winona. And then yes, Ladies and Gentlemen ride our bikes back.

My legs still feel weak. I will be toast tomorrow. And somehow regret one of these foolish maneuvers, for at least a moment or two. Wish me luck and cool weather.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


The danger with writing is the possibility someone will read it. :-D

I mentioned an altercation. The altercation occurred after the ride was complete and in fact I'd spent a few sheckles in the HC headquarters. I had ridden to the ride with someone else who helped me a great deal with navigation in the south end of town. They were kind enough to accompany me back the same way. It was at the corner of 54th or just down the street and Highway 55. We only became involved when a very annoyed cager shoved a lone cyclist on the east end of the street light. We were waiting at the west end of the light and began to yell. The cager jumped in his cage and went away, the cyclist shouted his thanks to us and we rode away. I think he is okay. I don't think I knew him.

It was a situation I've put myself into many times. I yell at a cager that does me what I think a wrong. From what I could tell, the black car buzzed the cyclist. And didn't care. And was more than willing to beat the shit out of the cyclist too. We pointed out we had his license plate and a cell phone and unless he knocked it off, we'd have the police and a lot of witnesses.

As we rode away, we agreed that we've been there and done what the rider did. Attempt to educate a stupid cager by yelling. It ain't going to work. In this case it initiated more trouble that it was worth. Even polite discussion is rarely a solution. A cager finds a cyclist the last person they will take roadway behavior advice from. We don't drive a motor vehicle (at that moment) what can we know?

It upset me over the day. It could have been me. None of the other cages cared a wit. We two cyclist were the only ones involved. Yeah, we helped a little. I didn't bother (didn't have a pen) to get his license. I didn't call 911. I'm not sure it matters. The instantaneous violence shocked me.

The cyclist didn't appear to be gravely injured. He could have been.

Bleriot Redux

Here is a photo or two of my Bleriot. Kit includes a Sugino crank, MSK pedals, Soma clips, Phil rear free wheel hub, IRD freewheel, Schmidt front hub, Berthoud fenders, Brooks Saddle, Carradice saddle bag. Berthoud fenders, ToPeak frame pmp, Nitto stem and handlebars, Modolo brake levers, Dia Compe brakes with Mathhouser pads and a Brooks saddle, Silver shift pods and Shimano 600 down tube shifters, Shimano XT front derailer and Suntour rear derailer, and Nitto bottle cages.