Thursday, August 6, 2009

critical mass and whatnot


I made it to last Friday's Critical Mass ride. What a hoot! Highlights include (and see pics below for all of these):

-Hippie dude in a crazy tent cart thing jamming electric guitar
-Very touching and brilliant marriage proposal
-Guy with a pretty jamming stereo playing Parliament/James Brown/disco hits as we rode down Michigan Ave.

The only lowlight was getting a flat and losing the ride on the outskirts of downtown. Doh!!

Afterwards, my wife and I went to eat at a delicious restaurant in the heart of the frat boy haven that is Damen and Division (how things have changed in a decade!) and while sitting on the sidewalk eating, we were passed by the ride! I was immediately jealous, but we just watched and enjoyed and took a few pics.

massing at Daley Plaza:

Aforementioned hippie dude:

Doing the swirl before takeoff:

Your humble servant:

Penny Farthing guy! Hooray!

The proposition:

Suitor on bended knee (she said yes!):

This guy had the stone cold jams, we stayed behind him as long as we could!

Still jamming on Division St:

Also last week, I went by the Soldier Field Cycling Series races on Wednesday for a little look-see. I watched the women race for about a half hour. I was surprised by A) how not very well attended it was and B) how fairly bootleg the whole affair seemed. I guess when you have a fairly fancy website, one thinks it'll be a big crowded event. Basically, there was a maybe 1/2 mile course made from traffic cones and some temporary fencing and people seem to ride around it for about an hour. Apparently that's a criterium. The women's combined field (women always get the shaft I guess) was only about 9 riders, but it looked pretty fun anyway. I was sorry to be out of town a couple of weeks back during the
Chicago Criterium. I guess that's an entirely different affair. Anyway, checking it out made me think I might just go down there and give it a shot. It can't be much different than hauling ass up to the Botanical Gardens which I have managed at a almost 20 mph pace including city traffic before. We'll see though, as I've had this nagging cough for over 2 weeks that I just got medicated for. It's not helping my preparation for the HHH100 ride in just over 3 weeks! Very annoying, but I have some meds now.

Finally, I've decided to make the Surly Pacer my sensible ride. I resisted anything that made a bike heavier for the last year, but realizing that always carrying a backpack or depending on the locks of others is not that practical. I'm going to try and morph it into a sem-touring bike. I was also further inspired by Jay Ryan's lovely Surly Long Haul Trucker I saw on our ride today (Thanks Jay and Nate, that was fun!). So, I have some decent fenders back on now, I had to mod the front one for toe overlap, it's perfect now. I also got some new Schwalbe Marathon tires as my Continental Gatorskins were pretty hacked up, turned out I had a nail head stuck in them on the Critical Mass ride. I also got a new rack today. More on this project as it progresses!

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