Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Atchisron, Topeka, and the Santa Fe

It was going to be a record 65 degrees on this Friday in January--almost 70 so they said!  I got out and road Big Sexy around because for one, I have regular pedals on it, and two, fenders will keep me clean and dry as the last of snow is quickly melting.

This is the impressive Watson Bank Building on Massachusetts Ave or "Mass" as we like to call it--and now the Douglas County Museum.  A great building from the 1880s and Mr. Watson paid for and has other distinctive buildings named after him up on the KU Campus.

That's the County Courthouse of infamy--where I feel down the flight of stairs that led to the lower-level tag renewal desk.  The Watson Building is right across the street.  I'm riding through the city park this time, to go downtown.  Usually I don't go this way but thought I would as it was so warm out.

Friday night is party time in Lawrence, so all the bars and pubs and taverns are getting stocked-up.  Free State Brewery is actually just around the corner, so I'm not sure why this truck is here... The brewery is more like a restaurant now so they probably make the beer in the old warehouse district.

Free State Beer is best to drink anywhere but at the Free State Brewery, Gentle Readers of This Blog.  Free State is always packed, and packed with the local heavy drinker blue collar types--its fuckin' loud, rowdy, and smells like a urinal--the food sucks.  The front door has a small sitting/waiting area, and that is where the Old Dragons perch themselves--male and female--to drool and holler in a cloud of filth tainted with the sweet smell o' hops and barley.  And when you enter (try to enter) to find a seat--you have to venture through, and sometimes wait in the Free State Mist--God is makes me want to puke just writing about it!

So anyway, like, just be happy at the pub you're at and have a Free State and enjoy!

I have Big Sexy locked to the rail at the Post Office as I run a quick errand.

That's the Eldridge Hotel, which was burned down in 1862 by Quantrill's Raiders.  The story goes that William Quantrill, a dapper chap, had himself a fine breakfast there while the Raiders, the Missouri Bushwhackers, sacked and burned Lawrence, and murdered over 100 men and boys.

I always wanted to check out the old steam engine.  It seems every city or town has one of these mementos in a park someplace.   Even Tulsa has one but I've never stopped to see it--so why not look this old man over?

This has got to be the very worst sign ever put up, mes amis.  Its like the historian or the curator or librarian gave what was to be put on the sign to the illiterate sign maker, and well, you can see the horrible result--pretty embarrassing if you ask me.

If Old 1073 logged almost 900,000 miles between 1908 and 1952, well that is worth taking note of--and I am glad they saved her and hope she enjoys her retirement!

I like getting out on Big Sexy--I know that the bike had logged more miles in that barn I found it in than miles on the road.  Phil back at Pima Street Bikes in Tucson restored Big Sexy and its still a fine riding and comfortable machine.

Always have to make time to see my friends at the local bike shop.  Here's the side door best to use when bringing your bike into the shop.

I would not keep this bike so close to the back door!  I'm sure this bike will cost you $5000 to $8000 dollars!   I bought the Raleigh Marathon for $20 and spent $100 to have it gone over with all new cables and what ever Phil did to make it like-new.  I guess somebody will buy this bike, but they couldn't ride it until Spring.

Eddie Merckx rides into history...

Next door to the bike shop is yet another cafe and bar.  The bar is upstairs--kind of a fun place actually.

Next door to that bar is another bar.  A lot of students or longtime residents here ride old bikes to the bars rather than drive.  There's no parking to be found anywhere, and the cops are hunting for drunk drivers--so best to just slip under the radar on yer bye-k.  The bike on the left is locked to the rail at the entrance of the tavern--the front wheel is smashed.  It will probably be cut off and thrown into a junk heap.  The bike on the right is a pristine LeMond from the 80's.  Its just sitting there not locked up or anything--it will get stolen unless the owner, probably in the guitar store there, has an eye on it, Gentler Reader.

Well, going back home via the old brick streets to my house.  There are still a few of the old places that have these hitching posts.  I'm pretty sure that's what these are--if I'm wrong let me know.

Cheers!  Bruce


Dan Trued said...


The AZ brevet season I see from your link started last weekend. It had to be the coldest 200 they ever had. This last 7 days have been the coldest for the 30+ years I've been here in Tucson. Well at least they could get back to the car at the half way mark and dump their ski coats.


Bruce's Bike Blog said...

Hey Dan,
I heard about the cold weather in Tucson. I've ridden some pretty cold brevets but that last 200 was brutal I'm sure. Arizona is the best for riding but on the day of the Brevet, even here in KS, the weather always turns for the worst.

Cheers! Bruce