Sunday, March 8, 2009

It's Springtime in My Heart

This has been a great weekend for cycling. Maybe the best since last summer.

Jim and I did an epic after-dark ramble that clocked in at 45 super entertaining miles on Thursday night. My very good friend Bert diverted us just long enough to inhale some steamed (which is the new word for fried) potatoes, club soda and beer at the Bulldog NE. The conversation never lagged, many laughs were laughed and once out the door our game, as the kids say, was ON.
Bert retired to the relative safety of his house to get some work done. You see, he's a graduate student and also works at the U. He's a genuinely busy guy with a lovely little girl and a beautiful wife and, for better or worse, an office in the attic. Dude works a lot and when he's not working he's fathering a spectacular example of the toddler ilk.
Jim and I headed back through downtown, having crossed the Stone Arch Bridge. This landmark is one of the best things about Minneapolis and I am struck by how beautiful and wonderful it is everytime I cross it, which is often. We accessed the Cedar Lake Trail near the new Home of the Twins and rolled out Hopkins way. The trail was mostly OK, but quite wet in spots and only a trace of submerged ice slowed us down. Our pace was postively Armstrong-esque.
We tagged the terminus of the Cedar Lake Trail and whipped back toward town and the Greenway. To thwart nocturnal thugs we increased our already impressive speed and Jim begain swinging nunchucks while pedaling no-handed and I shouted at random intervals that "we are packing serious fucking HEAT and we are NOT AFRAID to use it and that we, in fact, really well TRAINED to MAIM and/or KILL any assholes who might try to slow us down and steal our CELL PHONES or CASH CARDS or BIKES". It worked very well as we were not attacked. So if you ride the Greenway after dark, try it. It has worked 100% of the time.

Saturday was the Inimitable Hiawatha Cyclery Ride and it was a classic for the books. Jim made several mid-ride decisions, defended his position effectively against his detractors and those who sought to debate him, and we found ourselves sharing a long table at Kramarczuks, wolfing down sausage, eggs and potato pancakes and washing it all down with coffee and vigorous conversation. Our postprandial cycling took us to the mostly abandoned but conveniently plowed State Fair Grounds via the Inter Campus Transitway. Our group was merry, the wind was at our backs and the ride was eventful in only the best possible ways, except for Monte, who is on my list.

To cap off a perfectly wonderful weekend of riding I was the delighted recipient of a question by my son Jasper. 
"Dad, do you want to go for a bike ride?"
Why, yes. Yes I do. I cannot explain to anyone, especially him, how that question makes my crusty, jaded heart skip a beat with joy. There is nothing— I repeat NOTHING—that brings me greater happiness than a bike ride with my family. We pedaled off toward the local park, played a bit on the gear therein, and returned home, triumphant. I snapped the photo at the top of the page at the end of our ride, the newly Daylight Saved Sun low in the sky. You, gentle readers, are reading the words of a deeply happy and completely satisfied man.
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Jim K said...

Last Saturday's HC ride was pleasant indeed. Kramarczuks ricks, the potato pancakes were awesome. Remind me to take you up on the beer connection for Kay's B-day party in mid-July.

Monte said...

am I on the free beer list? when are we doing our nite ride together?