Sunday, October 2, 2011

Keeping it in the Family

My new favorite biking buddy is my sister. Early yesterday morning, I called her up to see if she was awake yet and if she was, what her plans were for the day. I received sleepy grumbles for this effort and prepared to shuffle on about my day. 45 minutes later, I get a call back from her: "I can't sleep. What are you doing?"

Me: "Not much. We could go ride bikes, maybe?"
Sister: "I'll be over in a bit."

And thus we set off on the longest bike ride of my sister's brief (3-week) cycling career. Our first stop was to drop some things off at my Bike Shop of Employment, where we also scored a new, way more comfortable saddle for my sister. Between her relative inexperience at cycling and the fact Grey Bike's previous OEM saddle could better be described as an ass-hatchet, the cushy gelness of the Serfas we installed put my sister, in her words, "In Butt Heaven".

Ooooh, squishy!

Her butt thus cushioned, we set off on our grand adventure for a beer and lunch. Yes, it was 11 a.m. Yes, that could well make us alcoholics. No, I don't really care.

Anyways, we set off, my goal to show my sister the majesty of Shoal Creek Boulevard. Shoal Creek, if I haven't previously explained, is a road running through Tarrytown paralleling Mopac all the way south to around 31st Street. South of that it becomes a trail, but our destination was around 40th, so that is where we branched off. One of the beauties of Shoal Creek Trail is the shared bike/parking lane is the width of a regular lane. It also has a low speed limit, so up and down this road you see every stripe of cyclist there is to see. Fredtacular roadcyclists in spandex, recumbents, tandems, whole families out for a day together. We even saw a couple with a dog in a trailer tootling along together for lunch. It's an education in who can cycle, and how accessible it is because as an activity, cycling is so open to interpretation by the individual that anyone can ride a bike just about any way they want. Our preferred method is "Wearing fairly normal clothes, getting from A to B, often drunk."

Our first stop was the Central Market cafe on Lamar, where we procured a feast.


We sat, feasting, basking in the warm sunshine, drinking beer, and throwing bread to the crows who populated the tables with abandoned food in the fashion of a swarm. My sister took a moment to update her Facebook, "Annie and I riding bikes eatin Quinoa! Dude did I just say that?" Yes Sister. Yes you did.

We packed up the leftovers of our meal, made sure to leave some bread for the crows, and set off in the direction of home. As we rode north through the neighborhood we saw a handwritten sign in a front yard that sang out to us, "YARD SALE, EVERYTHING 1/2 OFF." Half price are the kind of prices I like! So we stopped and for a dollar, bought a flagpole and two pairs of groucho marx glasses.

We rode another few blocks and lo and behold, another yard sale! Another $2.75 later, and we are the proud owners of an original 1950s SaladMaster and a knitted glove which is meant to be used to dust knick-knacks. But here was the problem - we left the house with the intention of eating lunch and going home. My sister didn't have her basket, I didn't have my panniers, and we were already carrying a flagpole and a bunch of food.

We ended up bungee cording a box to the top of the rack on my sisters bike, and using masking tape to attach the flagpole to my bike as though it were jousting. We pedaled off, giggling the whole way. We got it home and hoisted my pirate flat out in the yard, where it warns off all who would plunder my booty (heh).


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