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  • The Queen stage brought to you by New Belgium Brewing

    Did you know that the road from Gunnison to Aspen is really long? Today the racers strolled through 130 miles of major Colorado mountains, like Cottonwood and Independence passes, both in one day, and both above 12,000 feet (or, about 3,700 meters for the European readers). Today's distance was so big that, in fact, it was the Queen Stage. The "Queen Stage" is bicycle racer talk for the longest stage of the whole race. Today's Queen Stage was brought to you by New Belgium, very cool. We are sponsoring the whole Pro Challenge, but with our sponsorship package comes the chance host a stage, and we got this one. So long, so cool.

    Unlike yesterday, we did catch the start today in Gunnison. And then hustled the alternative route to Aspen, long roads, lots of team vehicles, and some dangerous passes (both in elevation and speed). But before we rip into the stage highlights, let's review our story arc: first comes the intro (you're reading it now), then Simposonic's video, then my (Juicebox's) awesome story and photos starting from last night's party and progressing until just after today's finish. So, without further ado...

    The Video!

    Now, The Story (and photos)!

    After the super awesome finish and stage recap yesterday, Simpsonic and I headed out into Crested Butte to get some pizza, a few great beers and give away another cruiser. The New Belgium Beer Rangers were already posted up (as the previous nights) at the Brick Oven in Crested Butted, drawing the crowd in to buy beers and raffle tickets. The 10 o'clock hour struck and it was time for some good ol' fashioned rock-paper-cruiser... Here is another glamor shot of Ranger Jeff with the big winner:

    She was pretty stoked to take that bike home, her grin was ear to ear on the way out of the bar.

    After the bike give away the owner (Brian) of the Brick Oven came to visit our table and he came bringing gifts (beers). Some aged sours from NBB, the Bruery, Lost Abbey, and a few Belgians that I can't pronounce (much less spell). It was super fun, and super nice of him to give us such red carpet treatment.

    Then, as the previous nights, it was time to head back to our accommodations and sleep. We needed to be ready for the long day coming.

    And then the alarm went off very early, 6:15am. Jeepers. But we had to hit it early today because the fine folks over at Team Optum offered up some meet and greet time. But to get to that meet and greet we had to be in Gunnison (45 minutes from CB) at 8:00am. We made it, under the gun and under caffeinated, but we made it. The Optum guys had just pulled in and they we chamios-ing up when we got to their RV. Mike Creed (with his wonderful hair) and Mike Friedman were gracious to spend some time with us (see the video). That was super nice of them and really fun. We got this opportunity because Optum's full name is Optum, presented by Kelly Benefits, and Kelly benefits just so happens to provide New Belgium's prescription plan benefits. Awesome, huh? A great connection and a wonderful group of people... I would show you some awesome pictures, but the video has all the gems, so go back up to the top of the page and watch that again.

    And then, as I was wandering around the start area I got a nice shot of Jens Voigt. He's my favorite: 

    What you can't see in this photo (because all the people standing in the way) is that Jens is standing there, talking to Barry Bonds. No kidding, Barry Bonds, who knew he was a cycling fan (and who knew Jens was a baseball fan)...

    After our time with the Optum fellas, and strolling around the start, Simpsonic and jumped back into the NBB team car and pushed to Aspen, the long way. The route we took brought us through the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park (and lots of other places too). It was such beautiful scenery, just gorgeous. Though, while driving we kept running into team buses, they don't drive very fast. Here was my view of the Radioshack bus:


    All the more I have to say about this driving experience is that I hope the Radioshack riders are faster than their bus (holy smokes)...

    We were pressed for time today (as with everyday) so we had to make the most of our drive. Here is Simpsonic, editing video as I drive like a jerk through very twisty terrain (I'm surprised he didn't vomit):

    When we finally pulled into Aspen the race winner was only 2KM out and we were running, fighting crowds and trying to get a good picture. I failed, I got nothing from the finish line, and I am sorry (Simpsononic did get some video). But my good pal Foos captured this stunning shot of Tom Danielson (today's winner) as he was slapping hands and enjoying his win:

    Danielson put in an absolutely Herculean effort today, off the front, almost caught, but he never gave up. Hats off to him, it was the ride of a season (maybe a lifetime). And I hope to be described like that someday... 

    And then New Belgium's own CEO, Kim Jordan (as per our Queen Stage hosting) got award Mr. Danielson his winning gifts today. It was a great moment:

    And after all the jerseys were distributed, and all hands were shook, another winner emerged, Shift Pale Lager:

    And then the stage and festival drew to a close, it was another awesome day. But before I leave you I would like to present some more photos that need no description:

    And from there, we're out. See you tomorrow from atop Independence Pass (those poor riders have to race that again (bummer for them, awesome for us...)!


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  • Stage 2, the Tour de Fat meets the Tour of Colorado...

    Alright, so I understand this race is called the US Pro Cycling Challenge (USPCC), but for the sake of our title today the Tour of Colorado just sounded better... Today we have another video for you and then the awesome photos and words to follow. It was a complete whopper, so buckle your helmets...

    The Video!

    Then, Last Night

    And here we are, post stage 2 and today was a doozie. But before we jump right into the now, let's travel back to last night... Simpsonic and I put yesterday's post together, got it all wrapped up, then headed back down into the town of Telluride. At the bottom of the gondola is a great bar and eatery called The Oak. We had beers to drink and a cruiser bike to give away. After another heated session of rock-paper-cruiser Frank took the bike home. Frank is a course marshall for the UPCC, so it was nice to send that cruiser into the wonderful hands of a hard working volunteer. Here he is (looking as if he's going to cry tears of joy):

    The bar was dark and Frank still had his reflective safety vest on, so the picture is not my best work... But you get the idea (and I think the flash blinded him too, again, look at his expression, it's priceless). Another wonderful moment of cruiser bike giveaway history. 

    And then, we were just sitting there, minding our own business, when the podium girls from the Telluride finish came wandering in. Jeff is a New Belgium Beer Ranger for the mountain areas here in Colorado, and he is quite the lady killer... After a couple minutes of Jeff talking with these two ladies they just smacked a few smoochers right on him:

    That was a big moment in Jeff's life (I think).

    And then the lateness of the night got later and we headed back up the gondola to rest our weary heads and ready ourselves for the big day ahead.

    Stage 2!

    Crested Butte was ready for this, like seriously ready. Simpsonic and I parked the NBB team car in town and mounted bicycles to climb to the finish at Mount Crested Butte. It's a huge 4 (ish) mile climb that just about tore the lungs out of my chest. But the road paint kept me pedaling. Painting the road is a tradition in road racing, it cheers the riders forward and entertains the TV audience that catch the quick glimpses. The whole road was painted with positivity from top to bottom. It was a treat to ride on top of it. 

    When I finally made it to the top I grabbed a beer and jumped right into hob-knobbing. The event at the finish started at 11am, the race was scheduled to cross the line at 3:50, we pulled in about 1pm grabbed those beers and headed right over to the bike pit. The USPCC presented a great opportunity to bring some beer and bicycle love on the road. And what better way to show it than a little piece of the Tour de Fat right inside the bike race. Art, art bikes, carnies, giant board games, funnel cakes (maybe not funnel cakes), and even a big kaleidoscope made an appearance today. The race fans with time to kill were killing it with all the fun to be had...

    The Crested Butte fans were all about the TDF costumed fun today too. Here is Pac Man apparently munching down on a New Belgium tent:

     He must have been hungry.

    And then on to the beer drinking, because there was some. There were several beer stations (as they call them in the business) to grab a cold one. And then there were beer vendors, out pedaling around, bringing the cold ones to the people. 

    That, my friends, is the perfect scenario for the thirsty race fan unwilling to give up their spot on the barrier.

    Oh, and there was some bike racing today too. It was a 99 mile stage from Montrose to Crested Butte. Lots of race action happened in between, but it all came down to Tejay van Garderen (or, as I like to call him, Tejay van Beer-Garden-en) and a last minute break on Christian Vande Velde. In fact, here is that break:

    And then here is Mr. van Beer-Garden-en, right after the win, being escorted to the podium:

    It was a great day of fans and fun and racing. And to close today's post here are some more photos that need no explanation:

    On that note... We'll see you tomorrow at Stage 3 (classy Aspen)! 


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  • Great News!

    Starting today me and my compatriot (Simpsonic) are on the road following the US pro Cycling Challenge. For the next 8 days you (the reader) are going to be soaked in the fun of this event. We are also changing up the format of this medium for that time as well. I'm going to be posting, Simpsonic is going to be posting, we'll both be posting at the same time... Things are going to get weird, and awesome. So for today, me and then him. Here it goes:


    Well we made it, all the way to Durango. It took us almost 9 hours in the New Belgium team car, but we did it. On the road is Simpsonic and myself (ol' Juicebox) and starting today we launch our total sports coverage from the US Pro Cycling Challenge... Are you ready for the ride (see what I did there? It's a pun...).

    Here is a pic of the team car in Pagosa Springs (with team bikes loaded):


    And before leaving Pagosa Springs we stumbled across this very welcoming banner (on the side of an apparently abandoned building):


    Upon arrival we headed up to Fort Lewis College to get all unloaded, decompress (have a beer) and do a little hop-knobbin' with out pals at Ska Brewing and Something Independent. We did a sweet toast with some beers, it was fun. I would show you a picture, but they took it on their camera, and I forgot to give them my camera to get another. Ah well, check out Something Independent for that shot (it's a great one), and check them out for lots of other stuff too, they're here at the Pro Challenge all week as well. 

    After the hob-knobbing Simpsonic and I headed up to our room. We're staying on campus at Fort Lewis, nice room (just like the college days). Fort Lewis was nice enough to send the welcoming committee (things are different down here in the four corners):

    I offered, but she declined the beer.

    Immediately following this posting we are headed downtown to hang out at the Pro Challenge kick off block party. And then the race starts tomorrow. So be ready for all the total sports coverage that was promised starting then... 

    Until the day after today,




    What a Friday! The last day before we leave town for the US Pro Challenge and the excitement crackled out my ears as we tried to load our reformatted commercials to NBC(aclientaccountmanagerdoeswhatnow…?). After much ado involving production houses on both coasts, NBC, a field team in Durango and yrz truly sweating bullets on deadline…  Success! We're locked to run our classic Tinkerer spots on NBC and Versus during the Pro Challenge!

    Originally shot by Jake Scott, son of Ridley ("let's shoot 'em on 16!") in and around Paonia and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, we've freshened them up with new soundtracks from Tour de Fat crowd pleaser, Sean Hayes, and hometown heroes, Fierce Bad Rabbit.

    It was a lot of shake/rattle/roll to get these up and running again so many thanks to all who helped along the way. Hope you like 'em. Check out these bands and share what they do - so much talent all around! Juicebox and I are gonna go catch a beer.


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  • Tour de Fat Wrap-Up...

    It's Tuesday and the 2011 Fort Collins Tour de Fat is nothing but a fond memory, but boy-howdy, the home town show was a doozie.  It all started with the bicycle parade, and (as always) it out did the year before.  There were people on bikes everywhere, I was on the sidelines watching it all go by and it took almost an hour for the whole thing to leave, people just kept coming (and coming), in fact the total number of people is said to have been hovering around 20,000 (that is one large group of costumed weirdos).  The Ryamiese Twins threw down the beats to get the whole thing started and eventually they ran out of things to rap about (that was pretty funny).  Then the parade returned and the show got under way and it was pure bliss.  There was hilarity, sincerity, and lots of great music.  We even had a fellow named Jim trade his car for a bike (not just any bike, a custom Black Sheep commuter (made right here in Fort Collins)) and Jim also agreed to use that bike instead of the car he no longer owns for one whole year.  It was a magical day.  It was also a great day for some Fort Collins non-profits (Overland Mountain Bike Club, Fort Collins Bike Co-op, and Bike Fort Collins to be exact).  All of the beer money's (as well as merchandise money's, parade donations, bike valet cash, and every other penny earned) was placed in their hands, and that was a lot of moneys, over 90,000 buckeroo's in cold hard cash (when all was said and done) went into the ground level pockets of these fine organizations.  That is a big take away for a one day event and the Fort Collins bike community will feel this influx of money and joy for the coming days, months and years.  And all with a 88% waste diversion rate (kudos Zero Hero, kudos).

    Overall the 2011 Fort Collins Tour de Fat was a smashing success, but the season is not quite over, the rolling Tdf train of bicycle fun (and destiny) still has six more shows, Denver, San Francisco, LA, San Diego, Tempe, and then it all finishes in Austin in late October.  Look out if you live in these areas, because this is a party you don't want to miss.  In one day you can ride bikes, taste beer, be entertained and contribute to society.  So get out there and have some fun.



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  • The East Coast (among other things...)

    Alright, so I have been gone a while.  First there was the fracture to my pelvis bone, then my lovely bride gave birth to our first child (a girl (a beautiful, healthy girl)), then I went to Portland for the 2011 Beer Bloggers Conference (and subsequently got my twitter account hacked (it's better now (check it out @carnie_nbb)))(oh and PS, this should be getting a write up all it's own in the next few days). 

    So it has been a busy few weeks for me, but believe it or not The New Belgium Brewing Company did not slam to a halt in my absence... in fact things rolled on smoothly without me (maybe too smoothly).  And now I am going to try and catch everybody up on all the things that over the last few weeks have gone under-reported on this here blog.

    Thing one-  NBB beers are now (meaning this instant) available in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.  A whole bunch of different 22oz bottles are now on the shelves and in the coolers of beer shops and bars in that area.  Read all about it here at DCbeer.com. Things are a buzz on the Twitter landscape with the news of Fat Tire coming to the area as well (check out #fattire and #newbelgium (if you are into such things and look out towards the social media landscape)).  My favorite so far has been from @The_Beermonger I knew #NewBelgium arriving was a big deal, but... #DCquake.  It is nice to know that now is not to early for earthquake jokes (another wonderful wonderful pair- topical humor and Hoptober, give it a try).

    Thing two- The Hub at DIA adds a Spoke.  The New Belgium Hub at Denver International Airport (gate B80) just got another friend to go drinking with (or more accuratly- at), the Spoke.  Located at gate A61 the New Belgium Spoke is open and serving beers.  Up until now you needed to be on a United flight (or have lots of time to kill) if you wanted to head on in for some NBB beers.  That is not the case anymore.  Next time you are flying through the Mile High City grab a La Folie (or whatever else your tongue may be asking for) at the Spoke and take a load off.

    Thing three-  A super great Fort Collins event this Friday night...  This summer has seen the release of the Tour de Fat coffee table book and a bunch of us are getting together this Friday to celebrate.  The fine folks at Wolverine Farms Publishing and a few NBB faces are hosting a reading, bike-riding, beer drinking affair this coming Friday.  If you are in town (and read this blog) show up to the tasting room (the Liquid Center at NBB HQ) at 5pm August 26 (one more time, this Friday) for a toast and a reading.  Then we will all jump on bikes and ride out to the Bar SS for more beers and more readings and probably another toast.  It is going to be really awesome (really).

    Thing four-  They make juicebox's for cats (though I don't think a cat can use a straw (just saying)):


    On that note, it's Tuesday and I'm out.

    Talk soon,



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  • SF and a quick catch up.

    Well it has been a few days since the single speed world championships and man was it fun.  But onto current events.  Its Thursday in San Francisco, that means Team Wonderbike Bicycle Ride of Destiny.  We are meeting at Speedway Meadow (the site of Saturday's TDF) in Golden Gate Park at 6pm, bring friends, smiles.

    Now I want to tell you about today. We rode across this:


    And yes it was as foggy, cold, and windy as it looks.  But over all it was super fun.  upon crossing we descended to the sunny heaven of Sausalito.  It was warm and full of delicious sandwiches.

    Then after we went to Fort Point and I found a mannequin that looks just like Coleman.  Take a look, picture one is the mannequin:

    maybe Coleman?

    Now look at the real Coleman:

    the real Coleman?

     It's weird, they're like twins.

    Anywho.  Get ready for Saturday, it's going to get awesome.

    Talk soon.


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  • The home show is upon us.

    Well the Carnies are in Fort Collins, hanging out at the Beer Factory, tying up some loose ends.  We have spent our week fixing bikes, painting random stuff, and discussing this weeks show.  Let us now do some discussing.  This is the Schedule of events:

    Fort Collins


    Tentative Schedule:

    • 9:00 a.m. - Bike Parade Registration
    • 10:00 a.m. - Bike Parade
    • 11:00 p.m. Performances Begin
    • 1:30 p.m. - âCarpocalypse Nowâ â Funeral procession for the car belonging to the Car-for-Bike Trade volunteer
    • 3:30 p.m. - Car-for-Bike Trade Celebration
    • 4:00 p.m. - Curtain Closes


    On the Grotto stage:

    • Oakhurst, Handpicked Holler, Judith Avers, Barclay Martin, Tom Zingaro, The Late Jack Redell, Jen Korte & Dan Craig, Tony Achilles
      Well there's that, and I'm glad we got it over with in a timely fashion.  Remember this parade (and show) are going to be really big, so maybe plan on getting there a bit early, or better yet, print your parade registration off the inter-webs (do that very thing here, (just head to the parade registration icon and that will take you to a PDF file for your completion)) and be one step ahead of the game.
      the other thing I wanted to bring up is this:
      That there is a bag of beef jerky (photo taken in a convenience store near Madras, Oregon).  But what I want to highlight is the slogan at center, "Just Eat It!".  that strikes me as a wonderful marketing ploy.  It tells you (emphatically(exclamation point and all)) to Eat it, and not just "Eat It" but "JUST EAT IT!". It is as if their saying that the consumer should stop lolly-gagging around and put the jerky in their mouth, and on top of all that the exclamation point leads me to believe they're shouting "JUST EAT IT" at me. And I don't respond well to shouting, I usually just clam up and do whatever the shouter is shouting.  Pure genius on the part of the Jerky Company, Kudos to you.
      And Lastly.  This week, as with every week, we (the TdF crew) are putting on the Team Wonderbike Bicycle Ride of Destiny.  Meet out front of the Brewery (across the street from the site of Saturday's events) at 7pm and be ready to cruise around on bicycles at a leisurely pace with old friends, and be ready to make so new ones.  So bring a bike, a smile, and all of your friends, because Thursday we ride.  And after we ride we swing back by the Brewery for some Bike-in movie action.  This week is "Into the Wild".  I have never seen it, but people tell me its a lot my own personal odyssey with Buckhunter Safari.  Sounds awesome.
      O that note,

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  • Portland, are you ready?

    Before I get started with the meat of this post I would like to send out a heart felt thank you to the Sprockettes for the lovely gathering over at their house.  We had food, dessert, beer, fun.... Thank you, that was awesome.   

    Alright lets get to it.  This here is the schedule for Saturday's upcoming Tour de Fat: 

    Tour de Fat Portland Schedule 2009!
    10am - Parade Registration - arrive early!
    11am - Parade leaves from Waterfront Park. The parade route is about 6 miles and should take one hour to complete.
    12pm - Festivities begin at Waterfront Park!
    5pm - Festivities conclude

    Acts scheduled to perform...
    * Sean Hayes
    * The Pimps of Joytime
    * Handsome Little Devils present: Squirm Burpee Circus
    * Nanda
    * Portlandâs Original Mini-Bike Dance Troupe: The Sprockettes
    * Loyd Family Players Salsa Drum Corps


    For even more info go here......   Got it? Good.  Let us all gear up for the good time, dust off your costumes and come down to water front park in the mood for party times, and be forewarned... the parade is going to be more fun than bar-b-que at the Reagan's house.

    And then there is tonight.  Team Wonderbike Bicycle Ride of Destiny.  The fountain by the Hawthorne Bridge at 6pm, we're riding up to the Clinton neighborhood to see if we can't get in on this action.

    Meet us at the fountain at 6pm tonight for the good times.

    And I leave you with this:

    unicorn combover

    I paid 1,500 dollars for that (worth every penny).



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  • SEATTLE!!!!!!

    Well we made it,  who knew that Seattle was so far from Fort Collins, man that took forever.  Anywho... There was some questions regarding the schedule for Saturdays event.... To clear all of that up I offer this:

    Tour de Fat Seattle Schedule 2009!
    10am - Parade Registration - arrive early!
    11am - Parade leaves from Gasworks Park. The parade route is about 6 miles and should take one hour to complete.
    12pm - Festivities begin at Gasworks!
    5pm - Festivities conclude
    Acts scheduled to perform...
    * Sean Hayes
    * The Pimps of Joytime
    * Handsome Little Devils present: Squirm Burpee Circus
    * Nanda
    * Portlandâs Original Mini-Bike Dance Troupe: The Sprockettes
    * Loyd Family Players Salsa Drum Corps


    I hope that acts as a teacher, and we all take this time to learn something.  Also if you want to preregister for the parade go here... (and by "here" I mean follow the link located in the word "here").

    I also want to share this with you:

    pancake face

    I ate him for breakfast, he was delicious, and once I ate his mouth I couldn't hear his screaming.

    And don't forget the Team Wonderbike's Fantastic Bicycle Ride of Destiny.  We are going to meet at Gasworks Park (the site of Saturday's big time Seattle Tour de Fat) at 7pm and cruise about your fine city on our bicycles, then after a while we'll stop for some beers.  You should come (assuming you live in Seattle), and bring all your friends, and bring a real good attitude.

    Bye for now....


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  • The Midwestern World is my oyster, watch me crack it.

    Holy smokes, so much fun stuff has happened since last we spoke (figuratively, of course).  Lets see, there was the Fourth of July...which was real cool.  I went with some friends and loved ones to party where the rain couldn't stop the great cruiser bike racing.  It was bracket style, it was fun.  I lost in the finals last year, so I really wanted a win in the '09 (I have been training my face off), but alas, I lost in the early heats, the competition was real fierce, not to mention bar-b-que and blue paddle make for lousy teammates.  We then said our goodbyes and sauntered off to another celebration of freedom, we showed up to the festivities blowing up... There was bean bag toss (called corn hole in some parts of the world), washers, and my personal favorite- beer on stick.  This is a game where an empty bottle is placed atop a 5 foot piece of PVC staked into the ground and then you throw a Frisbee at it, more fun than a cook-out at the White house. 

    Then of course there was some blowing up of things,  This picture should sum it all up:roman's candle

    After some good times and some zaniness a few of us wandered over to city park to watch what professionals can do with flammable materials.  Bright and shiny, the only thing missing was "(You're a) Grand ol' Flag" blaring over loud speakers.  It was a patriotic time if I've ever had one, Thank you America, thank you.

    Next was Sunday and we left town, driving fun times towards Chicago.  The carnie crew left at the crack of ten with trucks and van loaded and headed into the Colorado corn.  Along the way we had some fun times.  We stopped at the Amana Colonies, which was described to me as "the anti-technological stomping grounds of some Amish settlers", it turned out to be a huge tourist trap in the middle of Iowa that sold many things via computer such as cream soda, leather wallets, and cheese curds.  Here is Pete jamming on the biggest curd in the bag:


    Now that is curd-tastic.

    We then hit the road again, and kept driving.  The weather was nice and the vinyl seats in the truck barely even got sticky.  Over all it was comfortable.

    Then somewhere in the middle of Illinois we started seeing signs for a big ol' antique mall.  We stopped.  Carnies love antiques, its like how guys from with great hair cuts love Camaros, its weird but real.  I scored a working, very excellent condition Royal Quiet Delux traveling typewriter........totally awesome, totally 20 dollars.

    Then we got to Chicago, we have eaten well, enjoyed a few beers, wandered around like tourists, and even gone to a White Sox game where Paul Kenerko hit 3 home runs, including a grand slam. After the game we went to the Beer Bistro.  Real good sandwiches and many, many beers to be had, but the hi-light of this place is the tator-tots, delicious.  After dinner me, Coleman, and Craft wandered around the city until we found the giant silver bean.  This is what is looks like during the day:


     the bean

    (and it's also real cool Team WonderbikePropaganda), but at night it just looks like a few security guards that yell at you about how the park is closed, so not quite as fun as going in the daylight hours.

    Then we ajourned to the hotel, and it didn't even get akward at all, see:

    two dudes

     So now you're caught up, but there are a few  more things worth mentioning....  If you are in Chicago and like to ride bikes around we are having a Team Wonderbike ride Thursday night, leaving Palmer Square Park at 7pm, bring friends, bring a bike, have fun with us.  It will be a fun cruise around the neighborhood and then will finish some place we can have a beer together.  And speaking of Palmer Square Park, Saturday is the Tour de Fat.  Its the first one of the season so we are extra excited parade registration starts at 9am parade leaves at 10, beer gets tapped at 11... See you there.




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