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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Beer and Biscuits

Yesterday it turned nice and warm. What a feeling! People were turning outside like ants from a disturbed nests. I can't remember the last time we had such an extended spell of cold weather and the the build up of the pent up feeling was ready to burst!.
On the ride from work was like I had been let out of school for summer. A small group of us cyclist found ourselves converging into a group on Market Street. Where did we all come from? I love when groups of cyclists come together like that. It means Chattanooga is reaching a critical mass of bicycles on the road if we are finding ourselves clumping together. I hope this is a harbinger of a numbers explosion of bikes in the spring.
I was on my was to meet Q at Greenlife. Laura Jane and Jeremy were two of the cyclists that joined me on Market and they were on their way to Greenlife also. And they ended up  joining Q and I. I loved their dinner of beer and biscuits! Ah, to be young!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ride, Co-op, and Barbecue-A Great Combination

Tonight Q and I went on an urban ride sponsored by the Main Street Bike coop. It was  actually Chattanooga's version of Critical Mass.  But this is Chattanooga-it wasn't very critical or very massive.  Mostly polite,nice people following the rules as we rode our bikes around town.  There were about 8-10 of us, all young, except for Q and I. We find many of our biking adventures put us in the company of those much younger then us. Does that make me feel young? Or old? I don't really know, mostly neither. We get together with people to do what we love. I don't know what it means that many times it is with people the same ages as my kids.

Cortney preparing to strut her stuff

Did I say it was cold?  Love Jesse's gloves!

My attempt to taking pictures while riding

We had a short ride through Highland Park, leaving from the UTC Library.  It was dark, rainy, and cold which has become a standard around here. We toured through Highland Park (where my studio is) and ended up on Main Street for a tour of the Main Street Bike Co-op. It is a small place set up in a back corner of a restaurant.

I was impressed with the mission and vision of these young men. I believe that getting bikes into the hands of the low income and having a place where all can come and become bike literate will come largely from these grass roots efforts. I wish this co-op well. I plan on becoming a member to support their efforts, and who knows I might find it in me to do some of the maintance on my own bike!

Zac explaining about the Co-op.

To hear about the co-op in their own words watch this:
MSBC Trailer from Main Bike Co-op on Vimeo.

Time to Eat!

I think the original intent was to make the Co-op visit a short visit and then continue on a longer ride. But the restaurant the co-op was housed in was changing format from a Mexican Restaurant to a barbecue place and it was a free tasting night! Woo Hoo! We were staying!

  Rachel Conn, who Q and I are familiar with from our triathlon world and Main Street familiarity owns the building that had a Mexican restaurant in it. But when the people who ran it wanted to go back to Mexico, Rachel seemed not to miss a beat. She went down the street where a barbecue master was working out of a trailer parked at Rogers Groceries, a hole in the wall type place. Rachel brought him up to her place which is its own hole in the wall place/art gallery. Unique low brow, up brow combination. I love eclectic!

We had not heard about this tasting but a lot of people we knew had. Mostly the people there had some Main Street connection. We ended up eating with Greg Ross, the owner of Estate of Confusion and also my neighbor. He had with him two more of my neighbors that I had not met before.

The barbecue was great-I had the rib sandwich. Greg had to explain to our neighbors, who are recent transplants from Chicago that because of the bones you can't just bite into a rib sandwich. You eat the ribs first and use the bread to wipe your lips cleans. I had not heard it put this way before, but yes, that is the way to eat a barbecue rib sandwich.

  The bread, by the way, were buns from Neidloves which tells you about the place. In town, if a place takes the trouble to serve bread from Neidloves, it is bound to be good. (Angela and John Sweet owners of Neidloves, were there with their little ones for the tastings).

But at a barbecue place, it is the barbecue,after all that makes or breaks it. And this barbecue was good!  We really enjoyed it and will definately be back.  Come down and try it out for yourself! King's Barbecue House on the corner of Main and Hawthorne.

     So there you have it. What could have been written off as a night too cold and wet to go out ended out being a great night for a ride, meeting new fellow bikers, and finding ourselves unexpectedly at a free barbecue tasting with a restaurant of friends and other familiar faces. A perfect night!