Seeing how many of our friends “up North” were or are being treated to a mid-March return to winter replete with snow or at least a wintery mix, I’m almost ashamed to share a brief recap of our relatively warm & sunny weekend here in North Georgia….
I think my weekend actually began on Thursday evening with an invigorating off-road ride at our nearby Allatoona Creek trail. This has become a great outlet for me on those evenings when I don’t want to deal with motorists, but still want to get out and ride. After my ride and dinner we dropped my Toyota Tundra off for service and to have a “check engine light” investigated: those can be costly!
Friday saw Debbie headed off to work as I worked from the home office on what is technically an off-day. After that it was bill-keeping and some time building a PowerPoint presentation for use at next weekend’s Tandems East Open House. In retrospect, I may have over-achieved with my “little” presentation, which is almost a metaphor for my entire obsession with my purely recreational interest in tandem cycling. It began life as a simple outline that was intended to keep me on track during my upcoming “guest speaker” gig at the Open House. This was something of a lesson learned from my one big time, National Public Radio interview on The Outspoken Cyclist where I neglected to prep as well as I should have. Anyway, it suffices to say I’ll have more than enough material to cover any amount of time I’m given.
By about 10:00 AM I headed out to run an errand on the Harley before meeting Debbie for lunch at The Red Eyed Mule, our favorite place to go for a great burger on my off-Fridays. My late morning objective was to find a travel bag for the Harley’s rear rack as we prepped ourselves for a motorcycle trip down to Key West in early April. After lunch with Debbie at The Mule, I found a pretty nice Saddleman bag from Earl Small’s in Marietta and headed home to take on some yard work.
The yard work turned out to be more than I bargained for as I ended up extracting 18-45 gallon yard waste bags filled with thatch. All of the thatch was “harvested” and collected using my trusty Honda mower with about a 12 gal collection bag so if you do the math that worked out to about 300 “empty the mower bag” cycles over the course of 4.5 hours: 2.5 hours on Friday afternoon followed by another 2 hours on Saturday morning… noting that I still hadn’t touched the front yard!
Friday evening gave way to our usual visit to On The Border where we enjoyed dinner with all the usual suspects. Debbie and I ended the night watching Mel Gibson’s 2006 movie Apocalypto: wow! We’d never seen it before and it was amazing.
Saturday kicked off with a little more work on the open house pitch, laundry, a quick trip to Home Depot for a new mower blade which had me in out in the yard by about 9:00AM. With the second ½ of the back yard work all done by 11:30 AM, it was also time to go and collect the Tundra from the shop where it receiving some fresh oil and some pretty hefty emission system work: Doh! At 90,000 miles, that’s not too bad since it’s the first thing that’s really gone bad. But, it was an unusual part to go bad: I blame E10 fuels!!!
To take the edge off the sting of the repair bill I asked Debbie if she’d mind making the trip over to Toyota on the Harley. The weather was quite nice – not hot, but not too cold – and the sun was shining so she indulged my request and I added a bonus to the trip: a return visit to The Red Eyed Mule for lunch! Once again, the perfect burger with its unique ingredients and taste: 100% lean ground beef, lettuce, tomato, a fried egg and a dollop of sloppy Joe on Texas toast. Hey, I eat nearly 100% fat-free during the week… so this is a real treat for me!
We collected the truck, headed home and then jumped on the tandem for a lovely mid-afternoon ride. Mind you, it was windy as all get-out and I felt like we had a headwind the entire time. But the temps were in the low 70’s and the sun was shining, so regardless of how poor our early season form was, we were together on the bike and there’s nothing better than that! Well, at least when bounded by some assumptions and premises, i.e., doesn’t involve a motor, happens out-of-doors in public, etc. Debbie decided to rest once we were back home while I spent the afternoon working on bicycles before heading off to dinner.
Sunday also proved to be a pretty busy day, starting off by doing my annual analysis of changes in the Tandem Club of America’s membership (down again, but only by a little) while waiting for the sun to come up, then getting Debbie’s little red car washed, a little more yard work accomplished and the garage cleaned-up after putting the finishing touches on a bike build from Saturday. By then it was approaching 11:00am when David & Deb came by to join us for a ride over to Killer Creek Harley Davidson for their St. Patrick’s Day party where are friends from the band Pretty Twisted (PT) would be playing from 12:30 – 5:00. We spent about 2 hours at Killer Creek and got to visit with our PT friends, David picked up the same bag that I did so we’re both set for the Key West trip, and the his wife Deb picked up a nice pair of H-D boots back over at Earl Small’s after we took a nice afternoon ride around the Chattahoochee River area. We wrapped our day on the bikes at Loco Willy’s around 4:30 which left me just enough time to get home and finish up that front yard!
Yup, with a couple of hours of daylight left I was still able to burn-off the dead thatch and then “vacuum” the residual charred remains of the thatch and other junk with the mower which filled another 3 45-gal bags. I finished the day by finishing my open house pitch and then reflected back on the weekend by doing this write-up.