Yep, I’m still here. At Home Judy is not as much fun as On The Road Judy, for sure. Seems like I really have to scrape to find anything to post
May and June are full of bike events that are important to John and me. Up until my retirement in January 2013, I worked every Saturday and Sunday. So, while everyone was having fun doing these events, I was lugging books at the bookstore. I’ve been a busy volunteer – anyone who knows me knows that I’ve done some serious arm-twisting for volunteers on bike events in the past. So, it’s been a good chance for me to reciprocate. One of the funnier volunteer gigs was pouring beer (as a volunteer worker for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) at the Motley Crue/Alice Cooper concert. Omg – it was deafening! CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW???? My hearing may not recover for months!
We are lucky in Grand Rapids to have the New Belgium Film Clips and Beer Festival come to town. This is an traveling outdoor film extravaganza of short clips, augmented by great beer – set in Ah-Nab-Awen Park in Grand Rapids, right on the downtown riverbank. Best of all? 100% of the proceeds from this event – beer sales, merchandise sales, raffle tickets (our friend Troy won a $4000 custom fat bike!) go to support the Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition. Nearly $14,000 this year! So, one very hot sticky day was donated working setup for the event – I helped push up probably 20 Easy Up tents. My shoulder was so sore the next day, I could hardly move! Worth all the effort – what a wonderful event. Grand Rapids is so lucky to be one of 25 (give or take) cities on this Tour. Here’s our site from under one of the Easy Ups….The crowd gathers….Showtime!
The day after the Festival was the Gran Fondo (Italian for Big Ride), a chip-timed 40 or 80 mile bicycle rie from Grand Rapids to the Lake Michigan lakeshore and back. Now in its second year, the Fondo is a fund-raiser for the MSU College of Human Medicine. It was great fun to be a volunteer at the first rest stop on the 80 mile leg – although many of the early riders were in race mode, and didn’t stop. Downtown Grand Rapids was transformed to a big street party following the Fondo, punctuated by the Grand Rapids Criterium (bike race) for the afternoon. It was a great weekend for cyclists.
Remember drag racing on your bike when you were a kid? Lining up with another kid, yelling go, and racing to some pre-determined point down the block. Exactly what the Blue Bridge Hustle promised to be. This new event seemed like too much fun to pass up, so I paid my $20 entry fee to race. I’m not fast, but adult bicycle drag-racing just made me laugh to think about it. John was like, “Seriously? You’re drag-racing?” It helped that he was out of town that weekend…..Long story short – I won my division. Check out my prize.Nine $40 gift certificates to some of the best restaurants in the area. John has changed his tune to, “I’m really proud of you for entering”, but his little act isn’t fooling me. Now all I have to do is figure out who Judy Crenshaw is…
In the meantime, there has been lots of work to do on the Fireball. After losing license plates in Utah (2014) and Texas (2013) due to the flimsy license plate bracket that was part of a taillight assembly, John rigged a new bracket. This is our LAST license plate!Taillights were another issue. If you had ever followed at night, we weren’t very well lit. All changed with our new LED configuration.
Caulking the underside? Check! Cleaning/waxing? Check! My project list included recovering our dinette seats and painting one wall. I’m very happy with the results.Task list for the Fireball still includes updating the flooring and the radio. But, in the meantime, we’re finally going to hit the road for about 10 days. Heading to Nordhouse Dunes, our favorite camping spot in Michigan. After five days, John is leaving to go tent-camping and cycling with the boys in Empire (near Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore), and Caroline is coming to camp with her teardrop trailer and her mountain bike. Should be big fun. She can only stay a few days though, then it will be Jezzy, me, the bears, my mountain bike, and the beach for a few days until John reappears. Back to the good life!