Spring Chicken Ride

Sunday, Anne and I rode the Bicycle Fun Club’s Spring Chicken ride. It started and ended in St.  Libory, IL. Saint Libory or in Latin, Saint Liborius, was a 5th century Catholic bishop. He is still venerated as the patron saint of Paderborn, Germany. Needless to say, St. Libory, IL was founded by Germans. We did the middle route and got 36 miles, on what was a picture perfect spring day. After the ride, we ate at St. Libory’s Chicken Restaurant and had chicken, except that Anne had fish. Joining us in this post-ride repast were fellow Team Kaldi’s members, Mark [the good one], Merri, Susan, Don and John. Where was Tom?

I got up early on Sunday morning, early enough to catch the tail end of the BBC night service that runs in the wee hours of the night, on our local radio station, before the NPR news comes on. Instead of their usual and also unintelligible cricket scores, they were interviewing some Cornell professor on control theory for bicycles. Apparently, while riding a bicycle is easier than thought, understanding how it is done is even harder than ever imagined. The professor had all sorts of techno-babble for his control theories that I will spare you. He did have one thought that I would like to share. He compared the bicycle to the airplane. In 1903, if you walked into the Wright Brother’s bicycle shop, you would see bicycles that were both recognizable and not too dissimilar to what we rode on Sunday. Moving on to Kitty Hawk though, the Wright Flyer bears only passing resemblance to today’s airplanes. The professor hypothesized that while the 1903 design for an airplane was hardly optimal, the 1903 bicycle’s design was. Such is perfection on two wheels. 

Brothers Chris and Frank cruised around Monterey bay, up to Santa Cruz and toured the beach boardwalk there. In addition to the usual boardwalk activities, like the Sea Flyer, pictured below [I love this shot], Nik Wallenda performed his high wire act. Nik is seventh generation Wallenda. He holds the Guinness record for the longest distance and greatest height ever traveled by bicycle on a high wire. He and his wife are pictured performing together, on the left.

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