|shaved ice - you're going to need it in this heat.|
I called Pete from right next to that shaved ice box. I was directed across town to the building that houses The Yellow Bike project. Check it out. Make a donation. When I arrived what I saw was enlightening. A room full of new and veteran cycling enthusiasts working to make sure no frame goes to waste. The yellow bike project is a non profit organization that helps you learn to build or fix your own bike. They provide the tools and support - you provide the desire and willingness to learn. The idea is to remove cars from the city and make bikes the default rather than the exception. As someone who burns gas in order to gain smiles I hope they let me keep my motorcycle.
I'm sure they will. I hung around the bike shop for awhile examining the culture. The crowd of industrious bike enthusiasts made me want to start a motorcycle shop with the same goals. After seeing this place it seems so feasible. Eventually I mentioned to Pete that I was in need of a good meal. I had far too little food today, and far too much coffee. I was shot. East Side Pies had the solution. I ordered a Bacon (the great enhancement), mushroom, gorganzola, and spinach pizza. It is drastically overpriced but terrific. Pizza is supposed to be poor people food; $21 is not poor people pricing. I wish that the rest of the country (i.e. not the east coast) would figure out that making an outstanding pizza does not mean you can over charge. I can't say enough how great this pizza was. I guess that's the point.
|nasty air filter!|
This necessitates a complete removal of the front plastics of my bike. It is not a very difficult process if you don't panic. It is quite peaceful actually. I had some breakfast tacos and did some laundry while completing this job. I also sent off some emails and made some phone calls. I basically did everything but pay close attention. This is something that will always result in slipshod motorcycle maintenance work. You must maintain a strict focus on your work if you want to do something right. I have always been told this in one way or another. I continue to disobey the suggestions passed down to me, thinking I might be able to do it my own way. I hold out hope that this approach might eventually work. It didn't this time though. In an effort to keep the insidious Austin dust out of my air intake while my cleaned and re-oiled air filter was out I packed rags in the air intakes. I then took a jaunt over to Barton Springs with Pete. Barton Springs is a natural pool within the city limits. It is a definitive, must see spot on any visit to Austin. The pool is fed by a spring which keeps the water at about 68 degrees year round. This spot, in addition to being a top optional place for female bathers, is also the habitat of an endangered salamander species. I declined to swim due to recently developed aversion to slimy, weed filled swimming areas. Instead I chose to read a book on the shores of the pool while Pete did some swimming. When we returned to Pete's tower I decided to finish my bike work. I forgot about the rags in my air intakes as I put the bike back together. This caused some trouble the next day, but no damage. Good for me.
The night before, over beers, Pete alerted me to the fact that he had a nightly raccoon visitor. I was pretty excited to see if he showed up with a stranger in town. He did. Tuesday night I actually had my camera to capture the adolescent raccoon. He showed up around 10pm as we were having a conversation about whatever it was we discussed. I was at the ready with my camera. I probably took an excessive amount of pictures given the situation. This raccoon is socialized for better or worse. He lives in a city, making him very familiar with people. He continually walked up to our feet for a sniff. It made for some neat pictures.
Some strange faces, a foot sniff/gnawing. Additional shoe inspection elicits terror and a rapid retreat.
The next couple days in Austin offered a dizzying array of BBQ, tacos, and beers. As Pete showed me his city I found out that I love Austin. It is a world class city. There will be a Formula 1 race there next year (and hopefully for years to come). There will also be a MotoGP race there in 2013. There will always be music in Austin as long as Humans inhabit it. If you have money to travel I suggest Austin. It will be a rewarding experience for someone with the proper mind set. Don't feed the wildlife.