Monday, October 28, 2013

Coffeeneuring Rd 3: If I were a rich man...

Despite taking last week off, I remain in the running for this years Coffeeneuring challenge. Even though last weekend I spend many miles on the bike, even while carrying a coffee mug, I failed to drink and ride at the same time.

See that battered thermos on the downtube? It's empty.
Coffeeneuring Fail.

Fall is going in a rush around here. Every morning it stays dark a bit longer, and temps stay a bit lower. Yesterday was a welcome break from the chill, we actually got into the 60s, which meant it was time for a picnic with the kids. A few sandwiches, quick scouring of the pantry for portable kid food, and we were rolling.

Coffee Shop Without Walls
Entry #5
Lat: 43.070
Lon: -96.166
2.5 Miles
My lookout, whose sole mission is to keep both eyes on mom.
Though the day had been warm, by the time we headed out around 5, the sun was racing to the horizon and the temp was falling. After riding through a local prairie restoration area, we arrived at a small park, simply known as Children's Park. (Apparently it was once known as Bear Park due to the bear kept in a cage on site. That attraction was mercifully put to an end a few decades ago, something to do with a drunk loosing a portion of his hand late one night)

My daughter, (riding in the back) does in fact have a head, she was just very
intent on watching the leaves running underneath her.
Since it was late, I opted out of an evening coffee for trying some yerba mate that my wife is fond of. In taste I found it a strange mixing of flavors, tasting a bit like coffee, a bit like chocolate, but also tea like. But it was hot and welcome on a cool evening.

I can handle this. Take bag, put in hot water, wait.
My wife and I managed to keep both kids held down long enough to get some food in them (both oddly fond of the smoked kippers) before the lure of the playground got the better of them.

Low-light hip shot. I'm not to be confused with Henri Cartier-Bresson.

My wife and I are not rich by American standards. Our income labels us as lower-middle/working class. We keep up with the bills and manage to stash a little bit away each month. Our cars are both over 100,000 miles. Re-shingling our roof last year ran us dangerously close to the red. Our clothes are almost all second hand. The cargo bike was the first wholly "new" thing we had bought in years.

Did you know I'm a rich man? Filthy, disgustingly, nauseatingly rich. I take long rides, luxuriating in quiet roads bordered by fields bursting with record-breaking crops. I live in a beautiful little town with almost no crime, blocks away from two excellent schools, with wonderful parks within a 5 min walk, a new library a half mile away, all for a well-below average cost of living fueled by a local economy that powered right through the recent recession. I spend my free time chasing two curious, trouble making children, both healthy and growing like weeds. I've got a beautiful wife who has stuck with me for 5 wonderful (sometimes turbulent) years, a wife who loves to ride and supports me in my obsession with bikes. I'm rich because my house is filled with the sounds of her playing the violin and the squeals and peals of her young students. I am the 1%, I eat tomatoes straight off the vine, make my coffee black, drink cider pressed from my parents trees, run down paths with only the moon to light my way, see the sunrise each morning, ride like I own the road (because I do), punish my legs and lungs because I can, beat my body stronger so that I can one-arm bench press my wriggling giggling daughter and live to see my son have toddling rug rats of his own.

So when the bank account gets lean, when I cannot afford the bikes I sell, when I walk through homes with rooms larger than my whole house, when I wish for what I do not have, I remember that I am the wealthy, the spoiled, the upper crust, the rich.

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