Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July 4th: no fireworks but happiness with one Wicked Beaver!

Independence Day came and went without a big bang, neither man-made nor in the form of a thunderstorm. As a matter of fact, it was the tamest Fourth of July that I remember. Still, it was a nice weekend, one that I spent at home and that certainly was productive and satisfying.

First of all, there was the delivery of the custom CoMotion tandem for my old racing buddy from Midland, Ken P., and his riding partner Cat C. The two of them have been terrorizing the Midland lads with a beater Cannondale tandem for many months now, and Ken decided it was time to step up and drop some serious money on a two-seater. How serious? Well, my new impact resistant, Class IV roof and metal siding accents for the casa cost less than this 27.2 pound machine that was handcrafted in Eugene, OR.
Ken and Cat with their new speedy toy
Talking about my house: The siding was finally finished last week, after a stutter job that took more than a month because Dave's Roofing and Siding couldn't source the materials. And everybody is bitching that the economy is slow! Duh! Once the boys got done, though, I was tickled pink with how much nicer the house (at least from the outside) looks—Judy would have been proud. And the big bonus is that my Indian temple bell is finally—FINALLY!!!—hanging where it was supposed to have been placed right after we picked it up at the temple bell monger in Aggra several years ago. So, when you come to my abode, don't seek in vain for a doorbell button but rather reach up and wake up the god residing at 4921.
Give it a good whack, and the god will awaken
Occasions like that make me thirsty, and what better way to counteract the dryness than to have a party! Saturday night a dozen or so of us congregated in the backyard, baked pizzas on the Kamado, and drank fine designer beers. I have to thank Scott M. to come up with the idea of the bring-a-pizza-along get-together. Clean-up was a breeze. No photos, though, since I promised Martha not to post any mouth-agape pics for at least a month.

After a late Friday night (Liz and I had gone to the FFAT and then descended on a party thrown by Chad C.), another late Saturday beer-bash night, and a somewhat hazy and late Sunday night (more about that afternoon's beaver activities in a minute) it was pretty tough to muster the courage to get up early on all three consecutive mornings to make the club ride, the beer ride, and the July 4th ride. Each one was a 55-mile affair with somewhat different pelotons, ranging from more than a dozen to a paltry four on Monday, but as they say: That what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

"So, what about that beaver?" you ask, innocently enough yet secretly hoping for another revelation of Jürgen's latent naughtiness and ribaldry. Well let me tell you, 'twas not just a beaver, but a wicked one, indeed. Martha had made the initial contact with owner Mike A. of Wicked Beaver Brewing in Lubbock's 'burb Wollforth, and after Sunday's beer ride (a sixer of Dale's Pale Ale chased by six lovely Hopdevils), we piled into Alan's Tourareg and paid a courtesy call to WBB. The industrial digs right behind Mueller's Steel Siding may not have the inherent ambience of a well-established East-coast brewery, but holy Moses, old Mike makes one dam fine beer!

The boys know a fine beaver when they see one!
Mike treated us like royalty, plain and simple. Not only did he show us around his small production facility, but he and his wife had prepared a wonderful appetizer spread as if we were the emissaries of the Emperor of Aggra. Well, maybe word of the temple bell had made it around already.... Anyhow, his three beers are crisp, clean, tasty, and an absolute joy to drink, which of course we did with zest and ambition. So, that's why I don't remember much of Sunday night!

Good poo-poo platter!
And that was the Independence weekend. Good friends, nice parties, fine riding, and ecstasy in beaver-land.


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