Tim

Rereading the posts about David and Curtis, I realized there was someone else to acknowledge. I met Tim shortly before meeting Curtis and David. Tim was a journalist, writing for the underground newspaper Kaleidoscope. When editor Mark Knops went to jail for contempt when he refused to disclose sources for a story on the New Year’s Gang (which bombed the Army Math Research Center on the UW campus), the paper morphed into Takeover. Tim wrote for that paper until there was a split in the staff and he was part of the group which started the King Street Trolley, which later became freeforall.

(Among Takeover’s exploits was a front page when Paul Soglin was first elected mayor. The headline read: “Red Mayor Elected: Thousands Flee Lake City”. V.I. Lenin was pictured wearing a “Soglinovitch” button. They also published a special double issue. Viewed from one side it was a parody of the Wisconsin State Journal [the AM Republican newspaper]. From the other side it was a parody of the Capital Times [the PM Democratic newspaper].)

But that’s not why I’m writing about Tim here. Tim never owned a car. To the best of my knowledge, he didn’t ever drive one. Tim’s bike was not a toy or a hobby. It was his primary means of transportation. He served on various city committees and commissions helping to represent the interests of bicyclists.

If you look up “curmudgeon” you might find a picture of Tim. He referred to cars as Tim“deathmobiles”. He was once the editor of the Wisconsin Bicycle Federation newsletter but they moved him out to bring in a more moderate voice. Tim was the person who raised issues others were afraid to raise and spoke in terms others were afraid to use. I don’t think he worried about alienating others very often.

When he edited the Bike Fed newsletter, he once pulled up next to me at a stoplight on a snowy evening. My son was on the trailerbike behind me and my daughter in the trailer behind that. Tim asked my son if he was cold. (He wasn’t.) He then asked if he could take a picture of us to use in an article he wanted to write on bike commuting. The caption would read, “What’s your excuse?” (PS Both of my kids still ride for transportation  – my son got his driver’s license just before he turned 24. My daughter doesn’t have one, but is only 21.)

Tim died June 26, 2017.

 

Now it’s official!

When do you know it’s spring? The first robin? The snow finally gone? The first flowers?

It’s the first Wednesday night post-ride potluck and the first rhubarb pie!IMG_0099IMG_0100IMG_0101IMG_0102IMG_0103

From a disk of dough to a finished pie! I left out the empty pan; the last step. Missing from this year’s ride was Half-fast Dave’s famous asparagus. Dave owns a vineyard but also has one of the bigger asparagus patches around. He makes a mighty tasty asparagus with garlic, cayenne, and soy sauce. Alas, he has retired from Wednesday night rides.

The weekly rides start at the beginning of April, but the peak of the season starts now! Enough light for longer rides, warm enough to eat outside afterward.

The final climb to food!

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One rider’s idea of a recovery meal:

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Time for the early risers to head home and rest up for the Blessing of the Bikes. If the rain holds off, it seems a blessing before a 4300 mile ride can’t hurt.

Green!

Suddenly the world has turned green! Not the delicate spring green of last week, but the vibrant, full-bodied array of greens!

After a week of rain (about 7 inches this month!), the maples, cottonwoods, gingkoes, and ashes have leafed out. There is so much moss and lichen that the trunks of the trees are green. (The photo does not do the tree trunk justice – sometimes the camera does not take in all that the eye does – seeing the green trunk against the green leaves and the third different green of the grass has something to do with it.)

Redbuds and crabapples have bloomed. Lilacs will pop any day. Irises are here. The grass needs its second mowing as soon as it dries out enough to do it.irisWith this much rain, it has dawned on me that there are only five weeks until we start riding. I put in some miles on the trainer Thursday night during a thunderstorm. The check to Cycle America has been deposited. The hotel reservation for Seattle is made. Now I just need to pack and ship the bike and myself.

Our Wednesday Night Ride this week consisted of four half-fast cyclists meeting for dinner at a local pub (which, in previous incarnations, has been a bike shop and a French restaurant).

No long ride today, it being Mother’s Day and my niece’s wedding shower. After baking a coffee cake this morning I went to my favorite Batch Bakehouse for croissants. That required a stop at Cafe Domestique for an espresso and a quick check of Giro d’Italia results on VeloNews.

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Mother’s Day Continental (pre)breakfast

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The cafe currently has a display of old Schwinn Paramounts hanging from the ceiling, including a Campagnolo-equipped bike with chrome-plated frame exactly like the one my friend SI had about 45 years ago. The map of Wisconsin on the wall is made up of cogs.

Next week The Blessing of the Bikes! The ride out there will be led by my half-fast friend Tenny. We’ll hope for sunshine.

It’s Not Too Late!

It’s not too late to join me on this epic journey. We’ll be leaving Everett, Washington on Father’s Day, June 17. Splashdown on Cape Ann, Massachusetts is Saturday, August 18. In between the route is split into 9 segments. You can join me for one or allroute

For those of you from my neck of the woods, take a look at segment 6. WI itinerary

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At the very least, maybe you could join us from Baraboo to Beaver Dam on Thursday, July 26. That’s almost Wednesday Night. A couple hundred extra riders would make quite a splash (and maybe get me kicked out early, who knows?)

If you can’t join us on the ride, and you’re on the west coast, join my friend Keith Greeninger some time this summer. He’ll be at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley on Father’s Day (the day we start to ride) and in Oregon and Washington in May. I’ve been looking for a way to work him into this, so I could link to a song he wrote several years ago but stays current.

For those who never worked in construction, most major cities have a spot somewhere (in this song it is K-Mart and Home Depot, in San Francisco it was Goodman Lumber in my day) where day workers (“casual labor” in a strange use of the language) gather in hopes that a contractor will come by in a truck and offer them work for a day.

This song is about a contractor looking for workers to build a wall, a border wall that gets higher in each retelling. He’s willing to hire undocumented workers.

Some of the half-fast cyclists are currently touring Catalunya (part of Spain to some, but not to the Catalunyans). One sent pictures of the climb of Rocacorba:

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Photos by Tim Morton

As you can see, it is 13.8 km of climbing, gradients of ~10% (7-15% by report, though it looks from the sign at the summit as though the overall average is 6.5%). If you saw the whole series of photos (starting at km 5) the smile becomes more of a grimace as they got higher, though the smile comes back at the summit. I’ll have to remember that trick when I cross the continental divide – stop for pictures rather than rest breaks;)