I'd forgotten how fun it is to ride around in circles. (Apparently I also forgot how to get into the mood for blogging.)
I got back from Guanduras two months ago (wow!). Since then, I've had some fun out-of-town adventures, but the time I've spent at home has consisted mostly of recovering from being somewhere, preparing to be somewhere, and dicking around on the Internet. While I enjoy all of those things, I didn't feel like I was being as awesome as I could.
This past weekend, I went out garage saleing looking for a cheap cruiser with a basket I can take to Burning Man. Instead, I found a custom-built in-tune 7-speed town bike with three baskets, bright yellow mud guards, and an orange flap with Chinese characters for pain and pleasure. At $150, I realized I could get a lot more value out of it than I'd gotten out of my mountain bike lately. Not only would it be a good bike for Burning Man, it would encourage me to take it to the store instead of driving.
Since this purchase, I've spent several hours fixing bikes. First I used a vise to bend back the fork I bent getting the new bike home (oops). Then I installed a replacement front derailleur for my mountain bike. Then I tried to patch mollybzz
's tire before discovering self-patching goo tubes won't hold a patch. Then I tried to true my mountain bike's back wheel in place without much luck. Then I joined Community Cycles
so I could use their truing device and get reminded what I was doing. Then I spent a long time tweaking the brake position and shifter tension for my mountain bike's front gears and lubed my chain (I think it still shows signs of Burning Man '04). Then I installed a new tube on mollybzz
's bike, lubed the shifters, and adjusted the gear tension. *whew*
While going through old Burning Man mailing list posts this week, I saw a couple references to the Happy Thursday cruiser ride
. I'd heard they stopped riding a few years ago due to excessive chaos and police concerns about violating traffic laws. It's going again, but they're being cagey about the location. Poking around a bit, I found the Happy Thursday twitter page
, which announced a goths vs. vampires theme and a location of "EGF." I racked my brain for a few minutes thinking though Boulder locations that would have those initials before Eben G. Fine Park popped into my mind. Of course!
The last time
I rode with Happy Thursday, everybody was decked out in kitsch and glam and gay with some impressive custom cycle and decoration jobs. I haven't had time to put together a crazy lighting scheme for my bike yet (a safety feature at Burning Man), but I figured I'd take my new cruiseresque bike out for a spin. I wasn't sure when the ride started, so I showed up at 7 and sat by the creek for awhile (another Boulder activity I forgot I missed). Around 7:30, cruisers started arriving, including one with a sound system on the back. (Mobile tunes are key to a successful cruiser ride.) Some folks had some potluck food, pens for drawing moustaches, and name tags for declaring what sort of snob you are. I decided to be a code snob, beard snob, blog snob, and snob snob :-) With folks drinking PBR and Key Light while listening to an upbeat party mix and tight-rope walking on webbing straps it didn't seem much like a goths vs. vampires theme, but whatever.
We biked around down town, periodically stopping to ride around in circles in parking lots and socialize on top of parking garages. As we passed amused diners, we cheered out "Happy Thursday!" Boulderites responded in kind 'cause they know what's up; folks from out of town (dropping their kids off at college, perhaps) gave some bemused looks. After an hour and a half or so, the small group that remained reached the ride's terminus and played glow-in-the-dark frisbee in a daycare playground. Just as it was splitting up and the leaders heading to a bar, another Happy Thursday group rolled up the block and ascended the parking garage. With red corsets, black fairy wings, white makeup, and long capes, and Sisters of Mercy on the bike stereo we'd found the goths vs. vampires version of the ride. I heard there was a third group riding around somewhere, perhaps with a different costume theme. I suppose that's one way to keep it from getting too big -- tell different people different starting times.
That was the most pure fun I've had in quite a while. There's a thrill I get on an easy bike ride, even if it's just around in circles, and being in a crowd of people having a similar good time amplifies the effect. Riding back home, I was a little more pressed for breath than when I biked to school every day, but I still came home feeling super energized. Heck, I had enough energy to write my first blog post of the month!