Saturday, August 19, 2017

Road trip

We are once again out on the highways and byways of our great continent seeking entertainment.

Today's journey brought us to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, home of the high A league affiliate of our local team, theTwins.  We came to see a home game for the Cedar Rapids Kernels who would be taking on the Beloit Snappers.

Mostly we were here to see the new phenom, the Twins number 1 draft choice, Royce Lewis.  He is barely 18 years old, having turned 18 in June.  It is a very long road to get there from here but we happily took this opportunity for an early peek at a player we may see again.  Here he takes his first swing of the evening.
Good luck to the young man.  He is athletic to be sure but his results on this evening were not the best.  He was 0 for 3 at the plate and had an error in the field as the Kernels shortstop.

This is what the league race looked like going into this evening's game.
Cedar Rapids won the game and moved within a half game of Beloit for fourth place in the West.  I have no idea what that means for them in terms of  post season possibilities

The fellow traveler posed in our seats, first row behind the home dugout, with the scoreboard in center field visible behind her.
Four different Kernels pitchers combined to produce a pitching gem, holding the Snappers to two hits and no runs.
After the game there were fireworks.
Before the game the fellow traveler was insistent upon the gift shop.
We bought the shirt.  The rubber ball was just a tiny bit harder.  At the conclusion of the game each member of the Kernels was given a Burger King logo small rubber ball to toss into the stands.  We were in the first row behind the home team dugout, I held up my hands and eventually number 15, Colton Davis, looked right at me and tossed me his ball.  I am pleased to report that I am still capable of making the catch on a short toss of a rubber ball.

As a result someone has a new shirt and a new ball with a story.

It was a beautiful night in Iowa, a  fabulous night for baseball and fireworks.

Tomorrow we will venture even farther south.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ides ride

Today was a rarity for August, a day when it was plenty cool enough to allow an afternoon ride.

I tried a new route down to the Capitol.  The route needs some work but it is promising in that it avoids the giant climb over the railroad tracks.  That climb starts at the bottom of one of the iterations of Glacial River Warren found here in town (think really deep valley) and then goes high over some tracks and then down off the bridge to a spot back on top of the other side of the glacial formation.  Big hill.  Hills are one thing but this totally artificial uphill just to get over some railroad tracks has gradually come to irritate me.

I got to the newly renovated Capitol to find that the front lawn has been completely restored to lawn.
Count me surprised but glad.  That was always the wrong place for a parking lot.

But here is what surprised me the most, located on  the curb in front of an area school building that I ride past on almost every ride, both north and south.
It's a bicycle repair station.  There is a pump, some tire tools, a couple of wrenches and a couple of hex wrenches, all of the tools cabled to the stand which also includes a stand to place your bicycle on while you do the work.

I just hope that my next on the road flat tire occurs somewhere near this new public amenity.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Ocho

Today is 8-8 and in honor of that juxtaposition of eights and the Vince Vaughn movie "Dodgeball", the folks in Bristol have designated ESPN-U as the Ocho for today and are running odd sports including dodgeball on trampolines and ultimate frisbee.  Stuff you don't see very often.

Today was pretty much like yesterday and today's ride was pretty much like yesterday.

Except today I had a guest rider.
It was a full ride again today.  Full ride is an endurance sport and today required a bit of endurance.  Life is good, we had a nice time out there.

Monday, August 7, 2017


One of the very first signs of fall.

The Fair is at the very end of summer.  When they close the Fairgrounds for final Fair preparation it must be true that summer is on the wane.

Today the Fairgrounds are closed.
I rode past the site of last week's gas explosion.  It is right on my regular route to Minnehaha Falls.
There was a TV crew on site, interviewing some of the onlookers  I guess even at this point well after the event it still has some news value.

Here is the Falls from down at the end of the main gorge.
It was a pretty day out, a nice day for a ride.

I rode the full distance.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Destination 2

Excuses are easy.

I kept catching sniffles from the baby.

The weather went really bad, nine days of rain in a row.

I went to England.

It was TOO HOT.

Today was our anniversary (where did all of that time GO?).  We have both been riding an at least fair amount.  Today seemed like a really good time to do something significant.  We have been to the destination to the south.  I am not a bicyclist in this city if I cannot ride to Lake Vadnais, the destination to the north.  Today that's where we went.

Those familiar with the regular route will know that we usually ride past Lake Vadnais on the west side of the lake and then make a lateral move over to approach the lake from the top side.  This means that we ride through Sucker Lake before we arrive at Lake Vadnais.  Today Sucker Lake featured a couple of big white birds.
Swans.  And a bench.

GRider at the upper end of Lake Vadnais.
The picnic tables at the main parking area.
Checking stuff off the list is good.  Today we checked some stuff off.

It was a nice day for a ride, there was never a point when it seemed too hard, even the change in elevation coming up from the lake was handled fairly easily.

I will say, though, that now a few hours after the ride I feel like I worked pretty hard today.

Which is a feeling I enjoy.

Friday, July 14, 2017


I thought about it and decided that with Deadman's Curve open, that following a mostly direct path would bring this destination within the outer limit of our fitness.
Friday afternoon in July at Minnehaha Falls.

It was cool at the start, temperature not yet 70F, but it got to 70 pretty easily as we rode along.  The sun was mostly out, the wind was very light, we had a really nice ride.

I note for the record that if we can get that far that it is only about another mile and a half or so to where three of our favorite people live.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Investigation report

It was hot today but mostly overcast.  When the clouds were present the wind felt temperate enough to allow a little riding around.  When the clouds parted the sun was a burden.  When the clouds were present the possibility of precipitation always was present.

Just riding around.

I had about nine miles in when the sun first became a burden.  After that only roads that led closer to home were considered as an option.  Even so a couple more periods of clouds allowed me to achieve a respectable total.

I spotted this about four miles from home and about nine miles from the end of the ride.
That's a Trek comfort bike, a fairly nice bike, several important degrees above the department store POS that we all see so much of.

It is leaned against a signpost in the middle of a block with no lock to be seen.

All signs point to this being a stolen bike.  The thief lives nearby but not in the house that the bike is in front of.  He lives within walking distance, for sure.  But he was wily enough to not leave the evidence directly in front of his residence.

The bike was also stolen from somewhere within walking distance.  He was out walking when the opportunity theft presented itself.  Where I spotted the bike was close enough to Como Park that I suspect that is where the crime occurred.  The lesson is, as always, do not let your bike out of your sight if it is not locked.

Chance that the bicycle will ever be returned to its rightful owner?  Almost nil.

I ride through that neighborhood a lot.  I have no evidence whatsoever but if I had a guess to identify the perp I know what my guess would be.