Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Icemannish Things

Iceman is over, and the bikes are going in for an end-of-season tuneup (which is sorely needed for TFN's Hi-Fi!), so let's take a walk, shall we? It shall be long and convoluted, and may or may not pay off. Let's see what it's like when we get there, as this one is more about the trip than the destination.

This is Mika. Thanks to TFN, he is my current secret guilty pleasure. I don't mind sharing him, though. Go ahead and listen while we walk.

Iceman weekend started unrealistically well. We took Friday off, and I did some homewise projects, like putting patio furniture away, while TFN worked from home for a bit. We left for TC at noon, which was later than we planned but earlier than we hoped for, if you know what I mean (the time you plan to leave is always much earlier than the actual departure).

We made amazing time up to TC (I don't want to brag, but rumors that we made it from 16 mile in Troy to downtown TC in 3 and a half hours are apparently true), and got there in enough time to go to L Mawby (our favorite winery up there) for a tasting and several bottles to go. L Mawby isn't open on Sundays in the off season, so this was an imperative.

Wine in hand, or actually in the back seat, we checked into our hotel, and made our way over to the Grand Traverse Resort to register for the race, where we met up with ST and KayBee, who were just getting up to the TC as well. We were slowly assembling the group... Picking up one more (Mookie), we went to Minerva's for dinner, ran into some friends, and made our way back to the hotel for a beer and a mild case of food poisoning - which is sad, because I love Minerva's but I don't think I can go there anymore.

Iceman morning was cold but sunny, and we assembled at the gates with plenty of time to prepare, have that last ill-advised smoke of the morning under the baleful glares of healthier riders, and get ready to make a go at this thing called Iceman.

ice mzn 005
Originally uploaded by danfrayer@att.net
We all blasted out of the gates at a great pace, I know TFN and I were poised to blow our previous times out of the water - or the sand in this case. The temperature was perfect, and the sand was wet and packed.

At Williamsburg Road (the 17 mile checkpoint), I stopped to have a bananananana and talk to KayBee, our support person, for a second. As I did, ST caught up with me. He informed me that TFN, who was right behind me, had gotten a stick sucked up into her deraileur, and she couldn't hold any gears on the climbs.

I waited for her to get to Williamsberg. She was frustrated and angry. After I looked at her bike, I could see that something was out of whack back there, but it was beyond my limited mechanical intellect to make any repairs in a timely fashion. So I told her that she could bail there, or if she wanted to limp it out, I'd stick with her. She decided she wanted to finsh.

So we took off from there, hammering as fast as her bike would permit on the flats, charging up all the hills until the point where her bike went Kachunka-chunka-chunka! and her chain started bouncing up and down the cassette, without settling into a gear. Then we'd get off and walk.

For the most part, I provided pep talks as she forced her bike to limp as well as it would.

We finished last in our classes, but we had a great time, and we crossed the finish line smiling side by side. I'm buying that picture!

It was all about helping out a teammate and riding our bikes on a gorgeous day. I think it's something I'd do for any fellow Angry Monkey (you don't leave a man behind!), but with it being TFN, we actually had a lot of fun doing what the Hi-Fi would do.

Good times.

And there was a cooler full of Fat Tire waiting at the finish.

I want to thank my Fellow Angry Monkeys who raced with us that day. I want to thank the Angry Monkey Support Crew who drove our cars to the finish, cheered for us at the checkpoint, and had cold beer ready when we got to the finish. I guess I also want to thank my teammates once again for not drinking all of the Fat Tire before we finished. And I want to thank TFN for sticking it out, and deciding that she was going to be the toughest member of our team that day.

The official after party had a change of venue this year. The K&A faction had rented a suite, but when they arrived they found out the place had messed up and lost their room, so they instead opted to put them up in a 2,000 square foot condo. K made tacos for everyone, and we hung out there. It was a lot better than a bar.

The bummer was that Z was putting out fires at home, and couldn't make it out to party with the primates, but at least we'll be in Florence at the same time as her and the Mr. Z, duly note that your prescence is required at least once to have a drink or 20 with TFN and I!

Sunday was set aside for a BIG breakfast, several visits to wineries (L Mawby was open again on Sunday due to an event. Yayyy!), and the drive home. We stopped in Frankenmuth for a big dinner and our second mild case of food-related illness for the weekend (I blame this one on gorging myself, though). I do think that, in retrospect, Frankenmuth is a scary town and hopefully it falls into the ocean with rest of California (however improbable this may be, it could happen, God willing.

Now for an interlude, here's more Mika:

Are we ready to convolute? Good. If not, I'll wait. OK, are you ready? Let's go.

This should really go into another post, but I'm on a roll, so we'll just keep going.

Quicken Loans just announced today that they are moving downtown and bringing 4,000 jobs with them. This is amazing news for my Detroit, and if it's not entirely indicative of a turnaround yet, it's definitely pulling a nail out of the coffin. I would love to see this place keep it up, but I think it will still be a little stalled until Kwame gets out of office.

If things get better, I can see myself moving into the city. A few weeks ago, we went to Indian Village, and discovered that it's entirely realistic to buy a 6,000 square foot house in the city. We're not wealthy, property is simply that inexpensive there. Unfortunately, the taxes are crippling and include zero in the way of city services right now.

If Detroit doesn't get better, the next few years may see me... we'll just say elsewhere for now. That's all I have to say about Detroit for now, though. We'll hope it continues to improve.

Hmmmm... this was a pretty failed convolution as I am out of stuff to blather about.

OK, more later, and I also have some Halloween and Iceman photos to share at some point.

I'll be back soon.


Jennifer said...

I nearly shed a joyful tear when I saw the Quicken headline a couple of days ago. This is a HUGE opportunity for a turn-around, I'd say. Keyword: opportunity. You are too right about the current lack in solid local government. But 4000 jobs = 4000 voters, each with the potential to influence other voters for positive change. Give me (doing arithmetic) four and a half years (til the last Eena leaves for college) and I'll get Mr Z to move a bit closer to Detroit Metro. We'll buy a home & an office in Indian Village, and make all our employees move there, too :-) IT'LL BE A MOVEMENT! A REVOLUTION!! A RESURRECTION!!! I refuse to die until I see Detroit risen from the ashes!

So here's how we start. We give (secretly, of course) MrZ just a little bit of absynthe, see, and when the colors start going all swimmy, TFN enters wearing flowing robes and the wings of an angel. She speaks to him her message from God: thou shalt build a moving van, 40 cubits high and 40 cubits long, and thou shalt move they stuff to Detroit, bringing thy employees with thee...and so on.

We've got work to do ... yes, we do!

Gonna go look for Mika downloads...


Angeline Rose Larimer said...

"...under the baleful glares of healthier riders..."
Made me snort laugh. Then I had to blow my nose.

Sorry to have missed this year's festivities. Can't believe a year has gone by since our first eye to eye meeting. Sniff.
Wishing I could be in Florence.
Not wishing I could move to Detroit, but hell, if you're all there, I'll surely visit a lot more often.
TFN has some sort of IceMan curse above her head. Not fair. She must be too awesome for the gods of cycling.

Where was Abishag?

(My pants are too tight. Just unbuttoned them. Thanks for the background music.)