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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chocolate Fairy Tour of Gardner

Some pictures I took Sunday as I rode around with the Chocolate Fairy.

It was a hard sell at Wal-Mart, the weather was cold and people were just trying to get their business over with and get home.

The laundromat was a little better, but outside Wally's was where we started to really get into the groove.

KU had just lost some sporting event, I guess, and chocolate is actually pretty therapeutic for that.

And a girl ran out of Goodcents with cookies for us because seeing us made her day.

Then there was the swap & shop, and a couple of women we accosted in front of City Hall.

And anyway, it was fun to just ride around in the falling snow.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Garden Bike

Spotted this bike on the way to work the other day. I think maybe the chain is due for some maintenance.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Good Morning

Beautiful view of downtown from 27th & Penn the other morning.

Happy Tree

On the Turkey Creek Trail near Shawnee Mission Parkway, we saw the happiest tree.

Monday, March 28, 2011

You Might Be an Urban Cyclist If...

This is not what a water bottle normally looks like on a bike.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bungled Bungee

Something didn't feel right as I came up 10th Street out of Argentine. I wondered if it was the sandy/gravelly feeling I've been told is the warning sign you need to overhaul your hub.

About the time I spotted the Poet Laureate sailing down the hill I realized what it was.

Old tubes make great bungee chords for tying stuff to your rack. Stretchy, grabby, they're better than anything you can buy and since you're using a leaky tube that won't hold a patch, they're basically free.

But one had come un-tucked (it' wasn't holding anything down at the time) and wrapped itself up in my cassette.

This isn't something I'd recommend doing with an old tube.


I noticed this street sign when I was still in high school, probably while looking for promising spots to fulfill its message with whatever girl I was dating at the time...

Rode by it again the other day on the way to the Poet Laureate's house and stopped to snap a pic. No comment on the previous thought except how hard it would have been to devise my high school schemes if me and my dates had been on bicycles...

Which seat is the 'back seat' when there is only one seat? When people look at bicycle commuting a solution to problems, they are so limited in their thinking.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Klan Was Here?

I did get heckled a bit. Including by a woman who told me to 'get in the left lane, dummy!'

This fantastic mural in Argentine, I've seen it before but never looked close enough to see the hooded Klansman...

It's the sort of thing people like to whitewash out of their histories rather than having them tagged in...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Took Mo to Moon Marble on Sunday, and finally got my Dad there. I knew he'd love the place, and I've literally been after him about it for years.

He found a metal slide whistle and wondered if it really worked better than the plastic ones. Buy it and find out, I suggested.

But it was $25. More than he wanted to pay to find out, and I can respect that, I'm not a big slide whistle aficionado.

I rarely buy anything at the Moon except for a stocking-stuffer trip at Christmas. If you avoid buying the novelties, it's one of the neatest 'free' outings you can take your kids to in Kansas City (free after the gas to get there). If I caved to the buying impulse, that joint could bleed me faster than the Country Club Plaza any day. A part of me truly wants pink, girl 'squirrel' underpants.

And most of the stuff (Bruce once asked, as he was starting a demo, 'Did you find everything you didn't need out there?) is priced to move. I don't mean that a licorice mustache lollipop is necessarily worth $1.50 (or whatever it was marked), I mean that people in America will generally throw a double sawbuck at you if you intrigue them slightly.

Twenty bucks: it's high for a lap dance, unless prices have gone way up since I last had one a decade ago. But compared to a week's groceries, a tank of gas (even for a small car), etc., it's de nada.

My Dad came back with a line about how when he was married to my Mom, if he had $20 in his wallet he was carrying a lot of money.

No doubt, but that was two wives ago and you could buy a nice house in the burbs for $30,000. I filled up my four-cylinder Accord the other day for over fifty bucks.

I did get some gum that gave me pause. Made with natural rainforest 'chicle.' I wondered if this was where the brand Chicklets came from.

Monday, March 21, 2011


I never knew Micky Mouse was born at 31st and Forest. This was among the things I learned riding around Midtown and the Bottoms with Corinna the other day.

We had Arthur Bryant's by way of a birthday meal. It'd been about fifteen years since I'd eaten there, but I remember the carboys of sauce in the window. Wonder if they're the same ones, still aging since...

Took the time to really look at Scribe's legal wall on Southwest Boulevard (Dessert Feud).

Hit a flea market that had some cool old bikes, including some great looking Schwinn's from the made-in-Chicago days.

We also visited the Turkey Creek Diversion Tunnel. Corinna told me how she'd looked up some microfiche articles about when it was built, 1915 or 1918 (she couldn't remember and we couldn't tell for sure looking at the inscription).

The city of Rosedale, then an independent entity, came up with it because Turkey Creek had a bad habit of flooding and being unruly.

I guess you can't throw an unruly creek in jail, so they gave the creek diversion, running it underground for about a mile. Quite a piece of engineering, really.

And we visited the apparent ruins of an old power plant. The stacks are all that's left, I guess the scrap metal and whatnot had some value. I'm surprised, tall as they are, that they don't have safety lights for aircraft even if it is a defunct plant.

When we got back, the flint I picked out of my tires and the general wear and tear they've been taking from some of our non-paved adventures, I'm going to have to buy a different sort of bike tire next time around. The RaceLites are fine for on the street, but I think I'd be better served (for the same money, more or less) with one of the touring tires Schawlbe, Continental or Vittoria make. That, or I might go for the Air-Free tires. Looks like they weigh something like half a pound to a pound more than conventional tires, and it's impossible to have a flat.

Or, if you want a super light air-free tire and money is no object, they do offer an option any racer would love, the Mythos Unobtainia...