A Fine Day For A Bike Geek

I don’t work on Thursdays and this morning Cody finally drug me to a yoga class to see what all the fuss was about.  It was a free intro class and I must say I enjoyed it very much.  It made me shake some and wonder when it would all end but I am going to sign up for a run of classes for the rest of the month.  Hooray for me not being so poor postured and stiff!  I hope, I think it will take more than 5 classes to correct my issues, I must make a commitment…  In addition to yoga Cody and I had a nice coffee date and rode the classic Morse – West Branch ride except we rode lower West Branch Road into Iowa City which is gravel and less traff-icky than the HerbertHooverHighway.  It was a good day on its own merits, but tacked onto the back of yesterday, which I will longly tell ya about shortly, it was super-dooper.

So yesterday I worked at the shop.  Steve Fuller from Des Moines stopped in to say hi.  He is riding from Des Moines to Galesburg, IL and using his world class touring set up to do it.  He and I have had a few internet interactions and while we both rode the DK200 this year we did not meet so he made it happen.

Lookit that loaded rig!  A serious first run on his new LHT for sure.  I had told him that Ira and I were riding out to Tom Teesdale’s in West Branch after the shop closed and he was interested in checking it all out so that is what we did.

Ira is almost out of here to return to the glam-rockin’ West Coast framebuilder lifestyle.  There was a big old thunderstorm coming in on us so we had a couple of beers to wait it out and Ira polished up the Cupcake so he could wow Tom with it.  We finally decided to roll and take what came.  It was a nice ride and we talked about bikes and gravel and rain and we rode bikes on gravel and then it rained.  Hard.  We were just a few miles from Tom’s shop and I wanted to press in but Ira is here to get his fill of Iowa so we hid in a barn for 20 minutes until the worst had passed us.  It was a beautiful night with lots of thunderheads and that golden glow of the sun whenever it could break through and we were at the shop in no time.

There is much to see at Tom’s shop, even one of my old buses.  The white one.  It was nothing but trouble…  So Ira got to chat Tom up about the emo-rockin’ West Branch framebuilder lifestyle and I wandered around the shop quietly wondering when I had last gotten a tetnus booster.

This was not just a pleasure ride for me, I had serious business as well.  Tom had worked on two of my bikes and I was hoping to make it three.  Ira had drilled holes in my fork a few days ago to get some low rider mounts brazed into and I was hoping Tom could do it on the spot and it turned out he could!

It was a good time out there, it is always interesting and there is much to see around the shop.  I borrowed the above picture from Ira’s flickr page, he has lots more shots of the place if you want to see.  So by now the sun was setting, we were 10 miles from the nearest Iowa City and Steve had to roll up to Tipton to sleep in the city park so we figured we should roll.  It was a sudden parting of our group, I had wanted to grab a last beer in West Branch to debrief but we just had a see ya at an intersection.  It was nice to meet you and I hope the rest of your trip is grand Steve!

Ira and I rode into the night and took mostly gravel back to Iowa City, angling south to hit town close to the Lefler’s place where Bike Night is every Wednesday night.  The ride was awesome, we saw thousands upon thousands of fireflys in the farm fields all around us and the storm was still kicking out some awesome lightening strikes to the South.

Bike Night was a bit quiet, but we still straightened out a few of the major problems with pro cycling today as we emptied a few beer bottles and Kenny built a wheel.  As we rode off we encountered a toad in the road and after I took a picture Ira saved it from a certain sqooshing.

So that was the evening that was.  A keeper for sure – I love bikes!

I cleaned off the brazing goo this morning and got the rack on and all is well.  I need to give it a quick paint job yet.A trip to the store confirmed yet again that a front basket rocks, I have been without for so long!

Cody and I just started making plans for a full on tour to happen at the end of this month and I am excited to take this bike and see how it goes.  We are going to ride from here to Antioch, IL to celebrate my mom’s retirement and then back again, it should be a fabulous ride!


6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    ari said,

    If you guys cruise neare Sycamore we have food and brew for you guys. Plus a garage
    full of tools if you need any repairs.
    from sycamore, IL.

  2. 2

    Steve Fuller said,

    GP. I truly enjoyed the visit to the shop and and ride out to Tom’s with you and Ira. The ride into Tipton was bordering on epic in the Ira Ryan sense. More beers are definitely in order the next time we cross paths. A bed and drinks are always an open offer for you if you are in the central Iowa area.

  3. 3

    […] to ride and prepare to bike tour for 5 days before getting on the train back to portland. here is pickle’s post on our trip out to tom teesdale’s frame shop in west branch. i will have a better post when i […]

  4. 4

    ricke said,

    my family is from galesburg, weird………sup IRA! look’s like your havin a great time! you and rachel have a good time………

  5. 5

    kosi said,

    hurray for papa steve…so glad you enjoyed your first yoga experience.


  6. 6

    this makes me miss you guys all over again, dammit.
    why doesn’t this shit happen around here?

    you give great blog, g pick

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