Thursday, September 2nd - Day 61 - Kick in the Balls
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My couchhost in Cincinatti was nice enough to let me stay at their place while they went off to work. It was funny, they work for a diaper company in R & D at the moment and are trying to figure out what the competition is doing. I said if they paid me $100,000 dollars, I'd tell them what they're up to.. And I hypothesized that they were attempting to develop a more absorbant diaper! I thought it was witty but her response was that her company already develops a diaper that can take 6... "servings?" of urine. Amazing... their new marketing campaign could be aimed at white-trash parents. And the spinoff jingle could be "Mommy wow! I pissed my pants 6 times!"
My host had warned me the night before, "At dusk the birds fly back into these trees on the street and they will shit all over your bike just like they did to my car". "How bad could it be?" I said non-plussed. It looked like Big Bird had taken a dump on my baby. I rode on it like that all the way to Columbus. When I got there, I washed it. I had no idea bird shit dried on so aggressively. It's like they were up in the trees eating bugs and epoxy.
Some thanks are in order, Ksaul from RideOnTwo, thanks for the reccomendation on the CAC in Cinci.. not really my thing, but a nice change of pace.
The ride to Columbus along the interstate was quite pretty. The terrain has turned into hills, and they rolled along side, sporradically dotted with trees, and smeared with small forests. It was picturesque. But I only stopped once to take a picture. The farmlands since Tennessee have actually all been quite nice. It reminds me a bit of Ontario's farmlands, few as they are.
After the ghetto bike wash (micro-fibre cloths, a bottle of warm water from the gas station restroom, and elbow grease), I went to the Museum of Modern Art in Columbus. I'd learnt my lesson about 'contemporary art'. As nice as it CAN be, I'd say the gems are more rare. The museum was under renovations so only had a few exhibits being shown. Still, quite nice.
Met up with my couch host at a restaurant in a nice area of town where they lived and worked. Inside were a collection of new photographs of people in different fantastical costumes, then finished with photoshop. Very impressive. A local artist that my host knew.
My host asked if there was anything in particular I wanted to do, so I checked my list of suggestions. Hyde Park Grill for fine steak, or Thurman's Cafe in german village for one helluva burger. It was burger time. Good Lordie, that thing could stop a bear. I couldn't even get it in my mouth to take a bite from top to bottom and had to bite from the bottom and then bite from the top in hopes of getting all the fixings and flavors in my mouth at once to enjoy how they all complimented one another against my pallette just as I'd imagined the chef had intended.... lol, Thanks again to Ksaul for that recco.
I was only able to eat a few of the chips. The Thurman Burger was so filling. Great though. We then headed back to my hosts so I could have a shower after a hot day of riding, and then head over to their friend's gym for a workout. I really appreciated that. Working out is something I enjoy so much, and on a trip like this it doesn't happen as often as I'd like as I've stated before. Was able to enjoy the newly installed 'Rainshower' as well. The large, flat, shower head lets the water pour out like warm rain. It's very relaxing. I barely even felt bad for the hordes of people waiting to get in the washroom to take pissed and dumps. Queue the 6-serving diapers.
From the gym we walked about in the area as they pointed out the different places where friends worked or managed or owned. Easily my host had a handle on what would be going on, on any given night after living in the area for 4 years and making many friends. Nice to see in a day and age where big cities tend to seem like oceans of people where you just get lost at sea. I suppose it helps that this wasn't downtown.
We had meant to get to some ice cream shop after the massive rock-concert line up outside died down by killing time at a local Wine bar called The Burgundy Room. But we spent a couple hours chatting with the staff who were my host's friends and enjoying cheese and wine (amazing post workout food.. I hoped), and by the time our ride, my host's room mate came to pick us up, the ice cream shop was closed. Ce la vie.
We got groceries and I got fruit for the morning, then we headed to McDinks but I held fast against temptation and did not order anything. That was the end of my fun night in Columbus.
The next day I saddled up and headed to the nearest hardware store to find a bolt and spacer for my top rack... The bolt had vibrated out very recently. I don't think it will impact my trip, but I also don't think any more bolts will stay put. Ah well not much longer. The asian guy who owned the shop was incredibly friendly, as well as impressed by my journey.
On the way towards Pittsburgh where a buddy had set me up with a safe place to store my bike, I checked my voicemail. It was my mother. I had to call quick. About the court date the next day that I was told I could have an agent go to in my place and request a postponement.
You see, I have a bit of a heavy foot. Actually no, that's not it. It's just that my automobile is capable of going very quickly with minimal effort. As does my motorcycle. It's perfectly natural to be 'cruising' at higher than legal speeds. Well, I got a ticket. A biggie, but was assured by the prosecution that if I pleaded not guilty and he had time to think about my situation, he would lower the charge and thus the penalty. But the trial date was set for September 2nd, when I would be here. The prosecutor's office staff told me that people have agent's represent them all the time and that it wouldn't be a problem.
Now here I am, no way of going home (nor desire), and apparently this ticket is actually a way bigger deal than this guy was making it sound, and I could be losing my license. Kinda shitty when you need it to ride a motorcycle across the rest of a continent on the way home. Not to mention I have two unpaid speeding tickets from down here as well as a parking ticket, one of the speeding tickets being due. Hopefully that doesn't cause too much grief crossing back into the US. Even if it doesn't I criss cross the border a couple more times on my journey. Kick in the balls.
We'll see what happens.
Right now I'm on a plane back to Vancouver, BC, to attend the wedding of two friends, whom I met on a beer league slo-pitch team last summer. Great people, this should be fun.
Just landed, got to my hostel, checked my email... My trial has been postponed til March 2011. I'm in the clear. It's fate. The ride must go on ;D
Take care, Ride safe.