Besides going out into the Wilds of Free Kansas for my riding adventures, Gentle Reader of This Blog, a good part of my time running around Interzone is spent on my old Desert San Campus Bike I had with me back in Tucson.
I bike to work, to the grocery store, to the liquor store--and today for a haircut and stop by the local bike shop. I spied Stanley relaxing in the sunshine of the front window and thought I'd stop in to see how he was doing. Stanley is a legend in Old Historic Downtown--I don't know that much about him (I'll try to find out from the lads) but he's back after a sort of medical leave.
Out for a haircut in Old Historic Downtown. The new paved road just off from the neighborhood of the Little House is fast and the bike lane wonderful. However, Old East Lawrence where I reside, despite the new road that runs through, mostly remains brick. Bricks look charming but if you've ever ridden a bike on them mes amis, well you can appreciate what they where talking about when they used the term "Bone Shaker"
These 100 year old streets are for the most part in pretty good shape. They've poured asphalt over some of the streets but that eventually wears away--the bricks seem to be stubborn so the city probably just gave up and let the bricks have their say.
Okay there's a bit of charm in all this but I would not want to be on a Historic Old East Lawrence Parade of Homes Bike Tour for long--you'd lose a few fillings by the time you were done.
After my haircut I made my way to the bike shop just to see what was happening. Glad I did because it was late afternoon and pretty slow--everyone was watching the last 30 or so kilometers of the Tour de France on the big screen TV back by the tool room and repair floor.
Dan the owner of the shop told me about the upcoming century ride Lawrence Bike Club puts on--so I'm pretty sure I'm going do it! Start time is between 6 a.m. and when ever you get there. I'll show up and find a pack to ride with and cruise into the Wilds for the day. The cost is only $30 for the sag stops and all--not bad seeing as how El Tour de Tucson can cost you about $130--if you're like me and wait till the last minute to sign up...
The Local Bike Shop is well known by many pro riders. Greg LeMond is a friend of Dan's and stops in often. Here's a signed yellow jersey from Greg among other signed jerseys of cycling heroes and friends of the shop.
In the winter Stanley wears a yellow jersey/sweater to keep him snug and warm. This summer it appears he's sporting cooler attire.
Stanley is reportedly doing quite well for his age. When the shop is busy with lots of customers (the shop and store are very large) he can be hard to find--but he's around. Today he's just hanging out, and at first I spied him sunning himself in the window when I arrived. After a while, he came by to say hello--then made his way off to some favorite perch to sleep, or watch the comings and goings of the world inside and outside the shop.
In early Spring I was coming in the backdoor of the shop and Stanley followed me in through the door as well. The lads were a bit surprised as Stanley came strolling in with me. "Stanley? Where have you been, Old Man?" They said to him. I don't think it was that common that he ventured outside much anymore, but the back door is by the back alley so maybe he went out for a look. He pretty much does what he wants around the place.
Old Man House not looking so good. My hope is that he will see better days again--someone will buy him and fix him up and windows will let in light--not rain and cold...
Bike Lane for my ride home.
Slowly the old streets and old man houses are being restored--it takes a bit of money--lots of work and courage! Slum lords still control large sections of Old East Lawrence, but when they give up and new people with new ideas come in and save the past while they build the future--well there is hope for all of us! 100 years ago people lived here and did well for themselves. So shall we, Gentle Readers of This Blog--so shall we...