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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Brewery Ride Dance Mix

Me and Roj were supposed to ride 30 miles tonight, but one thing and another...

I got to the Brewery on time, we planned to leave at 6:00. But Roj was running a little late, so I waited for him.

Meanwhile I got this great picture of Vance's jersey. I guess this was a bike shop that went out of business, Campagnolo, and he got this exceedingly clever piece of nylon on clearance.

Roj got there and his bike was hissing. He'd picked up a big-ass piece of glass and needed a new tube for his front tire. There's a bike shop right a cross the street from the 75th Street Brewery, and every Tuesday night there are sixty to a hundred cyclists riding from there, but the genius who owns the bike shop closes up at six sharp. Actually, I've been in that bike shop once, and I don't know why he opens to begin with: my experience is he isn't any too glad to see customers walk in the door.

Anyway, there's a proper bike shop around the corner, and while I waited for Roj to run to Walgreens for something and then realize he had a spare tube after-all, I went down to the staging area to take photos of the group leaving without us.

A woman and her adorable (I'd guess three year old) daughter came out of a house and as they got to the sidewalk near me, the woman asked, 'Did you lose your bicycle?'

I was in riding shorts, helmet and Camelbak slung over my usual explosion-in-a-shirt-factory Aloha shirt, and I must have cut quite the picture standing on the curb waiting for a a bunch of Prairie Village Yacht Club types to decide it was 6:30.

'We sometimes count,' the mother told me. 'A couple weeks ago there were 72. Once, last summer, we counted 96.'

We didn't have anything like that tonight, I think because of the Houston-esque weather, temperatures in the 90s and humidity that seems to go into triple digits.

It wasn't bad once me and Roj were finally underway. We went north a ways, through Mission Hills and into Roeland Park where we stopped at QuikTrip. I'd filled my Camelbak with what was advertised as lemon-lime Gatorade at the QT on Wornall before heading to the brewery, but something was very wrong. I was glad I'd drunk a quart and a half of water plus almost a quart of soda before we set out, because what was in my Camelbak was about as appetizing and quenching as oven cleaner. Solvent with a twist of caustic.

At the QT in Roeland Park, I dumped and rinsed my Camelbak multiple times, and then took a test sip of their fountain Gatorade before filling back up. To QuikTrip's credit, when I told the cashier that I was replacing an absolutely undrinkable refill from the store at Wornall and Gregory he waived off money saying, 'We'll just tell them they owe us one.'

Pity the Trek Store hadn't felt the same way about my misfit helmet. I know what I've spent there is peanuts compared to people who buy high end bicycles from them, but most of my gear and replacement parts of come from there, and they sold me a helmet that didn't fit last year and even if it took me a year to catch on to that, I shouldn't have had to pay full price for the replacement. They made the profit off helmet number one, shouldn't they just be grateful I was still alive 1750 miles later to come back for the helmet they should have sold me in the first place? I wouldn't ask them to take a loss, I trusted my friend to know how to shop for helmets, but surely they could have sold the replacement at cost.

Anyway, a Gatorade refill is obviously cheaper than a Styrofoam cooler full of holes (which is what a bicycle helmet amounts to), so it's easier for QT to, as BP vacuously promises, 'make things right.'

Anyway, we made 25 miles happen, but we finished in the dark. This was a combination of late start and stopping at QT to refill, and whatnot. Roj has been playing with his bike in preparation for Ragbrai, and between going back to a tall seat post and adding a multiple gear crank and shifters, he brings a lot to the table for a guy riding a child's plaything.

I didn't do great on pace tonight, 11.6 mph average for the 25 miles, but when I decided to pour it on and worried I might lose Roj, he kept up every time. He may have few mechanical advantages, but there's a better chance Elvis is still alive than that I'm going to trump him even with some very real mechanical advantages. The dude has some drumsticks, riding centuries on an old Mongoose BMX with mag wheels.

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