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Road Trip

10 Jul

I still can’t get my head around the fact that I live in Chicago. I know I’ve only been here a week but it feels like I’m on vacation and will be heading back to Utah any day. Must be the road trip and 2 weeks off the bike and 2 weeks of road trip food.

Summer is all about road trippin and I-90 is heavy on the trippin. Granted we started on I-80 but things didn’t get trippy and more than a little kitschy til we got to I-90. We left SLC early on June 30th bound for Chicago and headed straight to Rawlins, Wyo. Yeah I’d never heard of Rawlins either. Mile after mile of boarded up motels and restaurants, must be the $30 entry fee to visit the historic Wyoming State Penitentiary. We just asked to use the bathroom and got the whole tour of the place for free. Maybe it’s because of the non-paying bathroom users like us.

We spent the first night at Devils Tower, Wyo. and wondered why we had never been there before. Oh yeah now I remember, it’s a 10 hour drive from home. Actually, totally worth the drive and was hands down our favorite stop of the trip. After Devils Tower you hit I-90 and it’s pretty much non stop kitsch all the way to Chicago, not that that’s a bad thing I happen to like me some good kitsch.

The kitsch starts ramping up in Sturgis, grows and grows through Mount Rushmore nearly reaching a crescendo in Wall, S.D. at the worlds largest drugstore that consumes an entire town. But wait, there is still the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D.

Oh thank God, respite in Sioux Falls.

Like I said before, I loves me some good kitsch and Austin MN didn’t let me down. Behold the SPAM museum. Tasha and the girls had never tasted SPAM before so I made the mistake of opening some in the car after we left the museum so we could all have a wif and a taste. After all, the CEO of Hormel proclaimed SPAM “wholesome” in the video we watched at the museum so we were all anxious to give it a try. Pee yew! Catfood. Smells and tastes just like it. Only 1000mg of sodium per serving too! Good thing it has a cool name.

Wisconsin took the top prize as the king of kitsch though with the Wisconsin Dells. Part Disneyland, part Vegas, part really bad David Lynch movie and 100% kitsch. Worth the trip just for the Goody Goody Gum Drop store and their chocolate covered potato chips.

I’ve been too tired to notice any kitsch in Chicago, I’m sure it’s here. We spent the first 3 nights sleeping on the hardwood floors waiting for our truck and the last 4 days trying to cram everything from the truck into those top two windows on the left in the picture below. The moving truck is 3 times longer than our flat is wide, ended up leaving a bunch of stuff on the curb and it magically disappeared.

I’ve got a photo tour of the new house up next. Stay tuned, you’re gonna love my bathroom.

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Thank You!

29 Jun

I’m sitting on the hardwood floor Indian style because we have no furniture left in the house, the moving van left last night and we leave in the morning. In a few hours we will be driving to Chicago and leaving Utah behind for a little while.

I love Utah. I love all the amazing friends and family we have here.

I thought I was going to miss the single track and mountain biking more than anything else but over the last couple weeks I’ve come to realize that I will miss my friends the most.

I like the internet and being able to write something without anyone knowing how emotional I am. I didn’t think I would be so emotional about leaving but I’ve had to walk out on a few people this week as I was starting to choke up. Suffice it to say I’ve found myself tearing up on more than one occasion.

Thank you for all the well wishes, send-off’s, bike rides , cakes, cookies, food, cards, emails, hugs and for being a friend. I love everyone that has been part of our lives over the years and I appreciate all that you have done for us and for your friendship, I truly love you. If you ever find yourself in the Chicago area know that you have a home.

Back To School Pie

18 Mar

Note: Team website is up and they have been posting on a near daily basis.  Stop by and say hello.

We are going back to school. By we, I mean Tasha but me and the girls will tag along. Long story short, Tasha has been accepted into doctoral programs at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Chicago, she so smart.

We have spent the last couple weeks visiting both cities and universities to try and figure out where we should go. Needless to say it’s going to be a very difficult choice. We really liked both cities so it’s coming down to faculty and what each school has to offer. And of course, pizza and bike shops. I’m still trying to pedal off the countless deep dish pies and bbq I consumed.

It was my job to assess the bike shop and pizza pie scenes. Here’s the rental bike from Big Shark in St. Louis on the river front trail. Decent Cannondale road bike that took me on a 4 hour ride into Illinois and back to Missouri. Mike and the crew at Big Shark are awesome by the way and had me sold on St. Louis after 5 minutes.

Here’s the longest bike only bridge in the U.S. just North of St. Louis. Illinois is on the far side.

Ah, Pie! From PI in St. Louis. It was incredible, never had a crust like that anywhere. St. louis is ranking very high on my short list.

On to Chicago. The University of Chicago looking North from the Social Services Administration building.

I must admit the bike shops left something to be desired. I visited 4 different shops around the University area and they all had weird hours or were by appointment only and seemed to cater to repairs only. This shop is through the blue door in the background, if you can get through the gate.

After visiting 4 shops I came up with this Fuji as the best rental I could find. I had packed my shoes and pedals with me and when I asked the shop owner if I could at least put my own pedals on the bike he said, “No, that’s a real pain in the ass.” Ok. I spent the next 2 hours in jeans and Chuck Taylors on this bike, my ass still has wounds.

Here’s the shop where I rented the bike. When it says “Things” they aren’t kidding. Half the shop is a giant bird cage with parrots and bird shit everywhere and the other half was occupied by dogs of every size and chewed up furniture. Turns out the proprietor and sole employee has a bit of a reputation around town and has even been written up in the Chicago Sun Times, go figure. Nod goes to St Louis for bike shop.

Back to pie. Pequod’s in Lincoln Park had the craziest pie I’d ever seen and I barely made it through one slice. Nod goes to Chicago for pie. I know, it’s hard to believe that that is actually a slice of pizza, looks more like road kill.

There you have it, pizza pie or bike shop? Not sure.

Blisters And Karaoke

19 Jan

One of the best weekends in a long while. Weekends start on Friday, right? Kenny came and picked me up Friday night (man-date) and we headed down to the warehouse to watch The Revival, a fixie bike movie. Just insert a skateboard or trials bike or snowboard or skis and you get the idea. Warren Miller meets some fixie dudes from Portland.

The warehouse ain’t about whats playing it’s about the warehouse. Brian Price has what every man wants, NO YARD WORK. He lives and sleeps in a warehouse and hosts parties in same said warehouse nearly every weekend. Did I mention no yard work? Go Brian!

I then got up at 5 am on Saturday and went back-country skiing with dug, Mark and Dustin. Did you hear that, 5 am! I have no idea where we were except that it was somewhere in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

I am a total amateur. I can’t ski to save my life and my life needed saving multiple times Saturday. 5 hours of back-country after the warehouse Friday night just about killed me. At least I got a souvenir; blisters. Lots of them all over my ankles and shins. I’m guessing it’ll be a couple weeks before I can put the boots on again. Luckily Tasha had a nice leisurely Sunday planned for us (real-date).

Karaoke and sushi class at Mt. Fuji.

I’m a natural when it comes to karaoke and making sushi. Chef Jo said so. Many times, I think. I couldn’t understand a word he said all night but he knows how to throw a good sushi making class complete with karaoke. I ended up making 2 rolls, 1 hand roll and 1 piece of ngiri.

Yes, I made those and they were delicious.

I don’t know if it was all the wasabe or sake but I was the only person out of a group of 24 that thought karaoke was a good idea. I’d post the video but I may run for public office some day, I’m pretty sure I totally killed it though.