Friday, January 29, 2010

Old Farts Unleashed on the World

This morning I picked up Dexter Henschel at his house for a road trip - two old adventurers out without boundaries. I was driving so I got to be Don Quixote today and Dex was my Sancho Panza. It's about 100 miles to Minneapolis from his front door. Our first stop was the shop of Chris "Da Man" Kvale. We met Chris's older brother, had a little small talk, a lot of big talk. Chris says his new web presence is keeping him busy, even taking a bike order from Europe. He gave me a little more insight on my McLean frame, it's overall condition and what he did to it. He made it gorgeous, that's what he did.

Kvale gives the O.K. to Dex.

We carefully wrapped up the frame, pump and a couple of forks in blankets and headed to the home of Mark "Bikesmith" Stonich. Mark has been to my house within the past year, but he and Dex go way back to their motorcycle trials days. There was some discussion about how long it had been since they've seen each other, and they came up with 30+ years. Much discussion of weight and not looking a day older. As we looked at Mark's sometimes quirky bikes and current projects, the old war horses recounted their days of youth, strength and glory on motorcycles. Dex whipped out his cell phone and played the recorded sound of his current steed rumbling, then screaming through the gears. Nice.

Mark took us out to a nice lunch- talk of health and diet. Then we continued over to Hiawatha Cyclery, a great old school bike shop, of the fendered, racked, canvas bag sort. There were Goodrichs in the windows and reworked Raleighs and new Surly's on the floor. Surlys are not manufactured here, but they are based in Minneapolis and have certain Minnesota sensibility to them. Holy Minnesota! That Pugsley has big tires! Met some friendly folks there. Dex had to get home by 5:00 to take Jan out for dinner and dancing, so it was time to cut it short and we headed back home. A good day.

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