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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The Moose From the Brewery (Not Really)

I had a nice 30 mile route planned out when we departed the 75th Street Brewery at a quarter until six. It was only 103ºF when we set out, what could go wrong?

I emptied my Camelbak three times on this ride, and that doesn't count a couple of Mexican Cokes I bought at 18th & Steele. For two and a half hours in the saddle, that's about double my normal consumption of fluids (and sugar).

The first point where we went horribly wrong, as we came up Mill Street from that glorious descent down Puckett, Roj observed, 'That's a fucking hill.'

Do you want to try it?
I asked this because climbing this hill is on my season's list of stunts to pull off since I couldn't afford to go on RAGBRAI like Roj did.

It's not really a long hill, but it's steep. So steep you wonder, even with hot shot, how they can pour concrete that's liquid enough to pour that can set up before it slides off the hill.

As I started to lose steam, I thought to switch-back it up, and when I tried to turn I lost my balance and pulled a muscle in my side keeping myself from pitching ass over teakettle down the hill.

Roj was undeterred, though, and after watching him grind it out for awhile, I took a picture and decided that, dammit, I was going to fight it out. Switchbacking helps a little, but there's enough hoopties coming up and down this hill from the low rent apartments perched atop it to make that a dicey proposition. And it only helps a little. I made most of my progress in the Ultimate Granny Gear, first time ever I was standing up in that gear, leaning over the handle bars to keep the front wheel on the ground and huffing and puffing as Roj called out, 'Yeah, you're doing it!'

I earned a couple of Mexican Cokes doing that, don't ya think?

Anyway, we ended up taking Shawnee Drive out to the county line and then coming south on Switzer. I thought about trying to talk Roj into a route that would take us out Renner to 95th, but getting back across I-35 would be dicey.

And he pointed out we were in Tomatotown's neighborhood. So we went that way and dropped into say high to his sister and her shack up honey, but they weren't home.

I did snatch some pics of their garden, and damn. I have three plants that are taller than me, but they have volunteers in the compost pile that shame some of my plants.

Then, coming up Roe Lane, I heard music. Okay, not music, I heard 'Sweet Home Alabama,' a song Roj hand complained dominated RAGBRAI.

At first I thought it was the pool, water causing distortion, but as we got closer, I thought, 'That's a live band.'

And it was. When we got there, Roj was joking, 'What if it's Randy singing?'

My old friend, best man at my ill-fated wedding, a guy I've known since Ronald Reagan was President, was right there by the band which was playing for the National Night Out, an event I gather is practiced this evening by 49 states and by secession-obsessed Texas around Halloween.

Texans threaten to leave the Union a lot. Even my hopey changey friends are prone to it if they live in the state. All I ever hear by way of response is 'Don't let the door hit you in the ass!'

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