Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Looks Like Bones in the Shape of a Beetle

Bike rack at Linn County building where Treasurer's Office is located.  Looks like the shape of the Beetle or maybe an old rib cage.
Don't you like the shape of this bike rack? It looks like some giant fish or whale died long ago in this spot, and after it fossilized (into metal through some odd chemical reaction), they left the rib cage exposed as a bike rack.

This is at the new “Jean Oxley Public Services Building,” a county government structure. I went with Audrey and Ben and Nicole to the building this morning so Audrey could turn in the license plates of the VW Beetle, which she sold Monday.

Part of mural inside lobby of
Jean Oxley building in Cedar Rapids.
Bye, bye Beetle. You were fun while you lasted, but an expensive toy, as any maintenance required costly German parts. We'll miss you, but were pleased to get any money at all out of you, in the end.

Oddly, on this bike blog, one of the posts of long ago that still gets traffic is one where I wrote about driving a Beetle when I wasn't biking.

Well, we have Jon's borrowed car for now, and it will be a while before we buy anything to replace the Beetle. And when we do, no, it probably won't be a Beetle again, although it's likely to be a small car with manual transmission, if we can find one.

Anyway, the end of the Beetle comes as the junk bike has also broken down—a little piece of the back axle broke. I don't know how easy or hard it will be to replace—if it's not cheap, it's not likely to be done at all. We'll see.

And, in other Cedar Rapids bicycling news …

Tristan was over yesterday evening, and a bit out of sorts. A 2-year-old who misses his nap can get that way, and Mr. T was definitely “that way.” Still, the promise of a ride home on a bicycle calmed him a bit, and I quickly installed the bar that holds the toddler seat, and away we rode.

It was around 8, just getting a little dusky, so we ran with lights and vests on. As soon we were moving, he was calmed down. Nothing like a glide on Old Blackie to bring out the good mood in that boy, whether that boy is Mr. T or CR Biker. We headed south along C Avenue to the trail behind Walgreen’s and then east to the Boyson Road trail in Marion.

It was too late to ride the whole trail, so when we got there we turned north to Boyson Road. Fortunately, this summer the sidewalk along Boyson has been completed all the way to 10th Street, so we had an easy, traffic-free ride.

Tristan noted every bridge, every puppy and every biker that we passed.

When we got to his house and I took him off the bike, he insisted that mom had to take his helmet and vest off—the 2-year-old monster was returning. He ran off into the house, and I left quickly, to let Katy track him down and try to put him to bed.

Still, it was a fun ride, as it always seems to be with Tristan. I retraced the route on the way home, and it was a bit of a mistake. The sky was growing blacker and the light was fading. We had met numerous walkers and bikers on the trail on the way to Tristan's house, but the trail was dark and quiet when I was returning home. By the time I got to the side trail that leads behind Walgreen’s, it was honestly too dark to ride there, although I did anyway.

Slowly. Even with my lights, it wasn't easy to see, especially when you get to Cedar Rapids and the trail becomes an undeveloped rut in an old railroad right of way.

I won't do that route in the dark again, although I made it home fine.

And now the Beetle is history, Mr. T is, I hope, in a better mood, and soon, I'm also hoping, the junk bike might be ready to ride again. It might even return to Ames with Ben, plans are a bit up in the air, but only if it can be ridden. While the Beetle is gone, the junk bike might have a few more miles in it.

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