Monday, October 19, 2015

Asphalt Dreams

I first fell in love with asphalt as a child.  Our forty acre farm was my whole world, and our blacktop driveway was my personal runway.  It was very black and perfectly smooth.  And huge. 

We used to lay out cushions and books to create obstacle courses we'd run on our polyurethane skateboards.  I learned to rollerskate there.  And, at the late blooming age of eight, I learned to pedal a bicycle there.

When it was wet, you could see the whole sky in the driveway.  It seemed so slippery I was sure I could run and land on my knees and slide like Pete Townsend, who wasn't in the Who yet.  As it turns out, it wasn't slippery enough and I experienced my first road rash.

Oh, if that driveway could tell stories.  I guess I can instead.  It was the launch pad for my first short road rides.  As soon as my parents would leave for an errand, I'd jump on my red JC Penney ten-speed and head west on Buffalo Road.

Buffalo Road is the busy highway that connects Rochester and Buffalo, New York.  It features two very busy lanes, filled with traffic that includes semi trucks.  The small shoulder was my escape for the twenty minutes I had before Mom and Dad returned and I'd push to make it further than the tine before on each try.

This is where my roadie roots originate.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Drinks With Dave

I woke up Tuesday morning knowing it would be a banner day.  Today I'd get to meet framebuilder extraordinaire, Dave Moulton.  Steel is real and that's what Dave worked with during his framebuilding career, which ended in '93.

Many of these classic road and touring bikes are still around, and rolling strong.  A couple nice folks brought theirs to the Bike Commuter "Drinks with Dave" evening and everyone, especially Dave, enjoyed geeking out.  That's what us bike geeks like to do!
It was my first night as a server and I managed to do quite well, only ruining a couple of beers with foamy heads.  I have a new respect for beer-pourers everywhere, or "beeristas".  There's more to it than pulling the lever that I hadn't understood from the other side of the bar.
How did this event come about?  Sheer luck.  While visiting the southern part of the valley, I joined a G.E.A.R.s bike club ride and someone mentioned that Dave Moulton would be speaking at their club meeting.  So, I took a chance and emailed Dave and was astounded when he called me right back to say he'd be delighted to plan an event with me.  Thanks, Dave!