Today is what we who are in the business of touring around the country in order to sell things call a "travel day." This means that, as you read this, I am en route from Boulder, CO to my hometown of Cagliari, Sardinia. My return will then conclude the first let of the "Enlightened Cyclist" World Annoyance Tour (sponsored by Brooks England, makers of fine cycling posterior supports), and I will resume more or less normal blogular activities tomorrow--until I set out on the second leg of the tour, which takes me to the west coast, but which we don't need to concern ourselves with at this moment.
In any case, pending my return, I'm pleased to present you with these photographs from my Madison (which is in Wisconsin) BRA this past Wednesday. As it turns out, Madison is more than just "bike friendly," and it's actually so affectionate towards cyclists that it sometimes gropes you in a way that makes you feel slightly uncomfortable. Here's what it looks like when you enter from neighboring Middleton as I did:
And here's what it looks like when you have your very own bikey road:
Naturally, I stopped to study the "path etiquette:"
Which I subsequently ignored, though I did notify others when passing with a hearty, "Out of the way, cocksuckers!"
By this point I was amazed my Madison's extensive cycling infrastructure. Sadly though, a few miles later things took a turn for the worse, and the cycling conditions went from delightful to dreadful due to the presence of these few unsightly sealed cracks:
I really shouldn't have to look at that.
Disgusted, I took a little detour into this charming hilltop neighborhood, and the presence of this car told me much about its demographics:
The old Saab is the pickup truck of the smugness-and-Birkenstocks set.
Speaking of smugness, with every mile I realized that Portland had less and less to feel special about, since in Madison they even have streets just for bikes:
Once again, however, cycling conditions took a turn for the worse:
I mean, shadows on the bike path? Seriously?!? I could be killed. The city should really do something about that.
As I got closer to the university I began passing scary buildings, like this "Livestock Laboratory:"
I don't know what they do in there, but you can be sure I slipped on my Vogmask so as not to contract anthrax.
Ugh, more shadows!
If there's anything more smug than a Prius taxi with a bicycle rack on it, I have yet to see it:
By this point I was approaching the hustle or bustle (due to civic ordinances, they can't have hustle and bustle at the same time) of downtown Madison:
If you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of someone being unfailingly polite.
By the time I got downtown I had forgotten I was in the midwest, but the local populace's affinity for striped clothing reminded me in short order:
There are also lots of bike racks in Madison, but rest assured that if it rains, you can take the bus:
Overall, Madison has a certain European flair, by which I mean you can find lots of schlubby people sitting around outside and smoking:
Wisconsin is also known as "America's Diaryland" (at least according to the license plates), and this was supported by the populace's apparent fondness for journaling:
Here's where they have rock or roll music (due to civic ordinances, they can't have rock and roll at the same time in Madison, otherwise people might get too excited):
And here's where they have the government:
Like all government buildings, it is surrounded by questionable massage establishments:
Note the use of underlining. When Alan Koa says any, he means any.
Skirting the capitol building, I finally arrived at Machinery Row Bicycles, from which our pre-bra ride would depart:
whoring touring means being a stranger in a new city every single day, and to deal with this I've developed a cunning strategy, which is to look sad and confused until someone is kind enough to adopt me. This strategy worked perfectly in Madison, and these kind people were kind enough to guide and succor for the duration of my BRA:
It wasn't long before we were on the road, and it wasn't long after we were on the road that we decided to stop and imbibe beer. So we stopped at the student union and I enlisted the strongest riders in the bunch to aid me in "pitcher portaging:"
Here is the Filling of the Pitchers:
And here is the Dispensation of the Beerstuffs:
It was a lovely spot to sit and drink, and we gazed across the lake upon the residence of John Burke, the Grand Exalted Leader of The Great Trek Bicycle Making Company, which apparently lies somewhere in the distance:
Then, sufficiently beered, we mounted this short stretch of unpathed path:
At which point the ride officially became "epic:"
On we rode, through the forbidding streets of Madison:
And on into the sunset:
Until we finally reached a Barnes and Noble in a mall somewhere, where we paraded in with our bikes:
People found their seats:
And I prattled on until all assembled became heavy of eyelid and short of patience.
After which I returned to my accomodations and joined the rest of the coaches:
It was an especially lovely ride and BRA, and thank you very much to all who attended. It is now time to board my aeroplane, so I bid you adoo, and I look forward to returning tomorrow with more regularer and better proofreaded and formatteded updates.
--Wildcat Rock Machine
--Wildcat Rock Machine