Up here in Iowa City we have rides that leave from a city park every Tuesday and Thursday night between spring forward/fall back time at 5:30pm. As far as I know there is no other place in the world that has anything like this going on. It is a pretty good ride, if your definition of a good ride is hammering until your teeth clunk off your stem whenever you hit a bump and then you get dropped.

It was a chilly evening as we rolled out tonight, everyone in attendance on cross bikes with lights except for the Eppens 0n their custom rigid Quiring 29er tandem with lights.

That's them at Chequamegon this year on said Quiring, they won the tandem title outright (no masters combined age or "mixed" rigamaroll necessary for them) for the fifth year in a row. That is Brian up front, his wife Kim on the back and it is her birthday. That plus tandem equaled trouble.

So we rolled out East on gravel and turned North on a B-Road (no maintenence, just dirt or mud if the rain is falling) where the pace went from hard to really hard. The road was super chopped up from rain last week and it was good motivation to stay up front. We rolled through and were quickly onto the next challenge, Hedge Apple. That is what we call it, an abandoned road of not more than a mile that is literally littered with big roly-poly Hedge Apples in the grass. This is typically where this ride will detonate and tonight was no different. I was happy to play my cards right and come out first but on the next section of B road that was just 200 yards off (there is some great riding out that way, if you are into this sort of thing) I got pretty tired and the mighty tandem came raging by. There were still more B roads ahead, and relentless hills and it was getting dark and sure was cold, too.

At 6:35pm I decided it was a good time for me to start tapering for this weekends State Cyclocross Championships so I started sitting in a lot/always. The Eppens had decided that the best way to celebrate a birthday was alone so they went to the front and drilled it.


When the dust settled (and the Eppens finally sat up) I caught up and there were just a few of us around (it was a small group after all) and we were all really tired. I was expecting a jovial romp with lively conversation for the last four miles into town but what I got was more looking at the back of that tandem as we thundered in and scared the crap out of a poor opossum that was just minding its own business trying to cross the street and finally I made it home and collapsed.

Well, not exactly. You see, I have agreed to guest blog here for Tarik until he gets the hang of fatherhood so I am trying to offer something for every facet of his loyal readership. I have the longwinded ride report covered, lets move on to cooking!

So Cody and I made soup for dinner. Really good soup. Taste of Autumn kind of soup. Butternut Squash, that is, grown at an organic farm that I rode by tonight that is owned and farmed by Ira Ryan's mom. So buy one of his bikes! The soup turned out well.

Okay, what might be next you ask? CATS! Of course. We have a couple, (l to r) Wayne (midwest alter ego of Wink, methinks) and Ritchie, who is the sweetest little killer you could ever hope to meet.

This is them post chow. Okay, so I gotta level with you that have so bravely plowed through this entire post, that in addition to butternut squash soup we had wine for dinner and Cody got tired and went t o sleep and I have ben finishting the bottle by myself and I gotta level with you , I am a bit typsi so I am going to wrap it up but do not dispair! This blog will continue until Tarik ca rreturn and spint that blog gold agian like only he can.


gpickle said...

whoa, I gotta level with you all, I don't do much with blooger, I am a wordpress kinda guy an that picture is HUGE and I don't know how to deal with it so utnil Cody waked up or Tarik checks this and can resize that sucker I am gointg to leave it as is.

its kinda cool anyways...


gpickle said...

Okay, I think I did it!

Yay me!

(sorry, I ahve been drinking)

Anonymous said...

I would be interested in the Autumn soup recipe. Is it a family secret or would you be willing to share?

gpickle said...

Well anonymous, the recipe is no secret, but it also is not very strict. We just used a big butternut squash (I guesstimate 4 lb or usable meat) which we peeled and seeded and chopped up into cubes before throwing it into our pot of olive oil sauteed onions (4) and garlic cloves (5) along with 4 cups of veg stock. We simmered it until the squash was squishy and pureed it before seasoning and enjoying.

Nuthin to it, good luck!

Pat S said...

I'm about as fascinated as anyone can be about the Eppens on their rigid 29er tandem, stomping all the crossers. Geez that is a cool pic of them.