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Saturday, September 04, 2010

The Other Half of the Hot-Rod World

Got a bit of a late start, meaning to get a bit more length of ride in what with it being like three weeks to Bike MS, but a little riding is better than not at all.

The weather was too ridiculously good to not ride anyway. Having packed a picnic dinner for me and the girls for later, we headed to my Mom's and I rode less with a plan than with my cycling computer set to the clock so I could be sure and get back in time.

I rode south because that was the direction the wind was coming from, figuring to return with a tailwind. Then I got to 71st and thought how great it would be to go down Puckett, so I headed east and then cut north on Mission Road to get over that way.

Mission Road north of 67th is freshly paved with a bike lane: match that with a 10 mph or so tail wind and that's some effortless riding.

Descending Puckett is so much fun, I wish there was a ski lift so I could just ride down that hill over and over. It's not the fastest hill in town, I only hit 38 miles per hour, but with its turns and dives, it's about as fun as downhill gets.

At the bottom, I had to brake to avoid a hot-rod, which I didn't think much about, it's just a car, right? Then on Southwest Blvd, which is normally deserted on a Saturday afternoon (and thus ideal for cycling), I was faced with quite a bit of traffic walled in by cars parked on the side of the road everywhere. People were charging to park in their yards and whatnot for a big car show at the drive-in.

Greaserama, a big hot-rod show, it was explained to me.

But I thought that was at the Speedway.

Nope, the guy said. Greaserama is where you find the real 'no billet' hot rods. Billet, he explained, refers to absurdly fancy and/or expensive custom aluminum wheels. Nothing high tech, no $90,000 projects, just good old school hot rods and antique cars.

I said, I didn't know there was a 'new' school.

'That'd be the Good Guys, that show out at the Speedway,' he said.

I guess I can relate, the whole low-buck ethic and all that. Though a lot of the enthusiasts coming in were in their own old-school rides, from before there was such a thing as emissions controls, and the exhaust they made was no fun to breathe as I rode along Merriam Lane.

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