Just got home from Minnesota about 2 hours ago, un-pack, get the kids bathed and in bed, run down some blogs and find out that a cyclist has been hit and left to die in Boone County. Again! That makes two in under a year by my count, and in the same area of the county. Hit and run. What the hell! I will bet you any amount you can stand to lose that it will end up that a kid hit him. Any amount. I just have a feeling about this one. There will be details coming from Kim West as soon as they're available so that we can all know when the funeral is being held. There will be a procession of cyclists riding along with the funeral procession as Kim has done before. I must encourage anybody who reads this message to try your hardest to make it to the ride! I rode in John Maxwell's funeral and found it to be a rewarding experience. You won't feel like you're wasting your time if you're worried about that. It was possibly the coolest thing I have ever done as a cyclist and at the same time opened my heart as a person.
As I said earlier, I was in Minnesota for a few days with the family. Just had to get out of town for a bit. I tried my best to perv some gravel as we went along on our journey, but only caught glimpses of some here and there. Tons of farm fields naturally, but not many access roads that I could see. We drove up 169 from Mankato to Bloomington and in parts of the valley I saw gravel roads that made the Y Camp hill look like child's play! Talk about right out of the box leg breakers! Wow. And as usual, there's me without a bike available! Duluth vacation 3 years ago, no bike to hit the hills. Black Hills 2 years ago, no bike. Branson last year, no bike. Mankato, nope. Oh well, the idea is to have family time, not ride alone in a strange land. I did have a chance to go into a few bike shops though. That is if you call Scheel's and some hack joint called "The Spoke" a bike shop! More like"I will ask you if you need help then go back to talking to my friend from department 18 until our supervisor comes to bust up our hang-out session while he goes outside to have a smoke so don't come in here all 'I'm just looking' then asking 5 minutes later if we have any 9er tires 'cuz I quit caring as soon as you came in." If I want abuse like that I'll just walk in and out of the Gap all day! I did stop at The Flying Penguin though. Cool shop with lots of old jerseys on the walls. Old Raleigh bikes that the owner used to race, and a huge display case of old mountain bike parts. Purple anodized goodies to temp my retro taste! An old Nuke Proof stem (if you don't know Nuke Proof you're too new to biking, Google and learn!) and an NOS pair of Onza Porcs!(Google again grasshoppers, you have much to learn.) I would die for a pair of white Porcs! Talked to the owner for 15 minutes and found out that he knew all about the old bikes at Michael's in Ames and was so inspired by their devotion to old Raleighs that he made it his first line of bikes when he opened his own shop. He had a XXIX single speed on the floor and says he sells one every three weeks. Seems like good turnover for a niche bike. We chatted for some time until he started getting busy, so I boogied out of there. Reminded me of Bike Barn over in Ogden. No pressure, just cool.
Now I find out that "KID" Contador is in the hot seat! Oh I cannot wait to find out what he is going to say at his press conference Friday! You know he is going to be crying by the end of it. In the future, the winner of the Tour will no longer be the guy with the lowest time. It will be somebody four or five places back who actually is litigated into the win. Look at all the people who chose to cheat this year and are busted! Are you serious? Cheat in the highest-controlled year ever? That's just stupid! Take a page from Hincapie's book. Lay off the drugs and doping for two years consecutively, take your lumps and finish 34th or so, and see what advances in cheating come down the pipeline. But stick with Discovery because you know they have it all mapped out! Rambling rant complete.
Lastly, I watched Breaking Away for the billionth time and realized that I need to build up a CUTTER bike! I have a good frame to use. Just need some camp stove green paint, a 27" coaster brake wheel, and it will be rolling in no time. There is a quarter-mile, crushed limestone track about 3 blocks away from my house too! It's at the middle school and my friend (and more importantly P.E. Teacher at the school) Scott Kelley says it's o.k. to ride all I want on it! Better practice up on my I-talian, no? Later! Travel Gravel!