Sunday, June 01, 2008

Minneapolis Trip

Well, while not officially over, I can declare this road trip a great success!

First off, the trip itself was fairly uneventful, with a stop for gas sixty miles beyond where I used to stop in my Camry, so the Jetta's got some staying power. I know that thirty-seven miles to the gallon is nothing considering what some cars can get these days, and I'm not saying it's the Peel P50 with it's mileage, but still, being able to go more than 400 miles on a single tank of gas is a nice way to get around if need be.

But enough about cars, because I want to talk about bicycles eventually. But first, let me get to the point in the weekend where bicycles come in.

No, actually, before I met Kathy at the MetroLink station on Thursday, I drove down Hanley from Clayton towards the Jimmy John's in Brentwood, and the traffic was terrible. I was behind a girl on a really nice red Specialized bicycle, and I was busy checking out the bicycle. I had my windows down, and I was in the right lane, when this guy in the left lane says loud enough for me to hear, "Yeah, I'm checking out that sweet ass, too." I looked at this guy, perfect sleaze ball in a Mitsubishi Eclipse, and I explained to him that no, I was actually checking out the bicycle. He then said, "Yeah, but the hot ass in spandex doesn't hurt, does it?" The girl then turned and said, "I can hear both of you, you know." The traffic started up again, the Eclipse Creep rolled his window up, and the girl pulled over and waved me up. I still had my windows down, so I pulled up next to her and she said, "Were you really checking out my bicycle?" I replied, "Of course, that's a pretty sweet Specialized to be using as a commuter bike" (I only assumed it was a commuter bike because she was wearing a blouse and had a messenger bag that was stuffed to the brim), and she said, "You should see my Orbea at home." Those are pretty sweet bicycles, just so you know. I said to her, "I see you've got Shimano Dura-Ace then on there. Nice. And you must have the FSA carbon cranks." She said, "You could pick that out from behind me?" I answered, "The curve is wrong for them to be the Campagnolo carbon cranks." Her reply? "Do you have a girlfriend?" I should totally set her up with my friend Zach.

Anyway, storms in Iowa, driving for nine hours, blah blah...

Friday we had lunch with Greg rom Bailey Hall at Sally's on campus, got to check out the construction going on around campus, with the new Gopher stadium (for more in depth coverage of this project, consult Chris' Blog) and the other various additions to campus since the last time I was up there in 2005 (check out This Post for a brief rundown of our various road trip mishaps, including the ill-fated 2005 visit to the Twin Cities).

After lunch, we walked around downtown a little bit with my sister-in-law Jen, saw the construction of the New I-35W bridge, which is coming along very quickly and makes the St. Louis I-64 project look like it is just...dragging...on...forever...which it is...and then looked at the debris from the 35W collapse, which they have partially laid out underthe Washington Avenue Bridge. After that, we went to Cafe Ena for dinner with my bro-in-law Joe and his fiancee Shelley, drank a ridiculous amount of sangria, and then we went to Chino Latino for drinks and appetizers with some of our old MN friends (including the aforementioned Chris). It was nice to catch up with them. No, it wasn't nice. It was fantastic. I really truly miss Minneapolis, and as much as I love school at Webster, and I like my job, and Kathy loves her job, I can actually see us moving here sometime in the future (grad school, maybe). After Chino Latino, we ran across the street to Williams Uptown Pub & Peanut Bar where, we were promised, we could get a quiet and cheaper drink. Well, anything is cheaper than drinks at Chino Latino when you get right down to it, and almost anything is quieter, but not Williams...but their beer selection was unbelievable. It will be complete when they get Magic Hat IPA and Schlafly products on tap.

But it wasn't all drinks and peanuts and catching up...I also made a great reconnection with my friend Lisa, whom I haven't seen in something like five years, but who is very active in the theatre and film scene in Minneapolis. She asked me to send her some of my scripts, and without making any promises said she'd do what she could with them. Hell, any exposure is good esposure, right? I can't thank her enough for that. Yet another reason to want to move back, right?

Saturday, we finally got to see our host, my bro-in-law Paul (Jen's husband, Kathy's oldest brother), and we hung out with them playing Wii and eating some good food with Jen's parents until we went to the wedding, which was great. They got married, so the desired end result was achieved. And of course, Kathy got to see quite a few of her old classmates, so it was like a mini-reunion.

There was a girl there who looked incredibly familiar to me, and it wasn't until Kathy told me that I remembered why. I used to buy coffee from her at least three times a week at Laurie's Coffee Shop, which was just across the street from Bailey Hall. She, it turns out, makes handbags and messenger bags and sells them, which is cool because I actually do like me a good messenger bag. But what was even cooler was that her boyfriend builds bicycles. He designs and builds steel framed bicycles in Minneapolis. His name is Brad Capricorn, so his company is called Capricorn Bicycles. They are really nice looking bicycles, and I may buy one from him some time in the future. He was also a really cool guy. His website is mostly just a blog right now, but eventually Peter (the groom from the wedding) will finish designing a website for him. Should be awesome. I posted Capricorn's website in my links list. Check it out, some good looking bikes.

Overall, a great trip. We've got a BBQ going right now, so I should probably get to that. Hopefully (knock on wood) our trip back tomorrow is uneventful and safe. Hope everybody everywhere else had a great weekend!


marty/bridget said...

orbea...shimano...campagnolo...carbon cranks...hmmmmmmm, i'm lost. sorry, i don't speak bicycleese. b.

Lisa said...

You could find a bike in a snowstorm. :) I'm glad this trip went so well and I hope that starts a new fad and that you can avoid your road-tripping plagues from now on. I also hope you guys do move back to the Cities. It'd be fun to have you up there. I'm also going to need your advice on a bike for college, so be thinking. ;)

gerald said...

Elliot Rouscher. Biker? Player.

Get your Shimano Dura-Ace on big guy.

Kathy said...

Man- no one voted to give me a covertible as your next big purchase... I am saddened :(