im - 11/09/2006 09:00:00 AM
Thursday, November 9th, 2006
WEDNESDAY NIGHT RIDE REPORT
I am the passenger
And I ride and I ride
I ride through the city's back side
I see the stars come out of the sky
They're bright in a hollow sky
And it looks so good tonight...
A big, bright moon, illuminating reddish-purple corduroy clouds, and 65F air (tropical for Minnesoter this time of year) set the scene for a real good WNR. We rolled more or less south through the belly of MPLS, over lake paths and streets, into and back out of cul-de-sacs, got pooped out into hidden suburban singletrack, and eventually found our way into Bloomington. Highlights included a long stretch of railroad track, a beer stop on a highway overpass, The Gravel Grinder (fun is pain), and empty wide open streets with a couple of really nice long rolling downhills. Sidenote: Dr. Swerve rode the entire night on his XtraSurly (Xtracycle Free Rad making sweet love to an Instigator), carrying 8,025.658 Surly tons of camping gear. Rock star.
There is virtually zero traffic in Bloomington at 12 o'clock. The only time cars show up is when 3 or 4 people tangle their bikes together at speed and end up in an unnervingly quiet heap after a loud crash involving lots of sparks. Standing around checking bikes and people for serious damage, untangling the mess sprawling across one lane, that is when the headlights crest a ridge and the whole mess has to move over to the grassy section. KK's wheel got munched but remained rideable and Gnar Gnar Brau Pow got some scrapes that later bonded to his arm warmers (leading to a reopening of the wounds upon removal of the arm warmers later in the ...night? morning? ). Everyone rode on. Except me. Knowing I had a good 18 miles or so to get home, and not having eaten anything since lunch 10 hours earlier, I turned northeast as the rest of the group launched back into some more hidden trail that led to the crest of the ski jump hill.
Nothing in Bloomington is open at midnight. Not a BK drive-thru, not a gas station convenience store, not a thing. Nada. I didn't see a single car for over 10 miles. I took a couple of detours in search of some kind of food and finally found a mostly deserted Pizza Luce in uptown MPLS (i.e., almost home), where I ate two slices, drank a pint, and remounted for the final stretch, getting back to the Fortress of Solitude a little after 1 a.m., where I slept the sleep of the dead.
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