Thursday, December 25, 2008

Steve Sando in Memorium

On Christmas Eve I got a call from my old friend Jay Holgate. I sensed right away something was wrong. Why else would he call at such a time? He told me that our great friend Steve Sando had passed away. Steve and I went to college together, roomed together, worked as broadcast journalists together, played music together, and loved each other as brothers. I will miss him so much.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter Solstice Ride

A hearty dozen or so revelers met at Paula Anderson's house tonight, as is the tradition, for our annual Winter Solstice ride. (This year it was a day late, but who's counting?) Lots of fresh snow made the going a bit slidey, especially at the intersections, but everyone stayed vertical.

We moved at a slow pace around town, flashing our lights, singing carols and dinging our bike bells towards anyone who would listen.

It was cold, about 12 degrees F. We had one Bubba in a white pickup truck to the engine revving, spinning tires, testosterone pump, while we were heading west on Front Street. But otherwise not another glitch to the evening.

At the intersections the cross-plowed snow was piled up and chewed to the consistency of sand. A few people commented that it was like racing the Iceman when there's no snow, (or ice,) having to push through the dunes on the singletrack. Pretty much it means throttling up and pushing your butt back behind the seat so you can ride the front tire lightly.

Speaking of light, we were all lit up like the veritable Christmas tree. This makes for a jaunty, if not festive, appearance as we move as one crazily gesticulating group through the dark streets.

We rode a few miles, first through downtown, then through the central neighborhood, and finally back on a big loop to Paula's place for hot chocolate and Christmas cookies. Paula's gorgeous daughter Amanda was waiting there with hot chocolate steaming and cookies galore!

A nice tradition.

more pictures below....

The last three photos are from in front of my house in the Midtown Neighborhood. My bike is actually ON THE SIDEWALK. You can see the green street sign refecting on the left side. The snow movers piled the it up about 15 feet tall and right over the friggin' sidewalk.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Drive-in ATM

So I'm out on the town tonight. Heading to the brewery where I'll eventually meet up with Admin and his entire family. Sorta makes me feel adopted. Lindsey and Andy are down from Marquette, a rare occurrence, so it's "git down to some good beers" time. This photo will surely get me dis-owned either way.

The Sweet custom beer mug is Carl's.

We're playing a die rolling game that Lindsey gave to Dennis for Xmas. It wasn't even a drinking game and we were getting pretty stupid.

On the way there I stop by the local ATM to get some cash. But I love this one. It's right downtown Traverse City at 5/3 (Fifth-Third) Bank. I hop up on the sidewalk, bump the front wheel against the left-hand door, grab the other door with my right hand and ride right in. Pull up to the machine, get my cash, and ride out the door on the other side. No need to ever get off the bike and beats the hell out of doing the same maneuver at the drive-through a block away in the cold temps and blowing wind off the bay. Simple pleasures ya'll. In this economy, we have to get them wherever we can.

It's a wobbly ride home, but I've got a smile on my face.

Sunday, December 7, 2008