Sunday, June 23, 2013

Priorities, a Turtle Basket, and Riding for Brunch

We had a doozie of a thunderstorm last night. The tornado siren went off, so I packed a bag of necessities in case we needed to flee to the basement - "necessities" being the things I most wanted to keep if the house were destroyed.

What did I put in the bag? My cycling gear, my camera, a crochet project for a magazine, my design notebook, my purse, and - as an afterthought - my one prescription medicine and a spare pair of undies. (I'm not sure what this says about my priorities, but I remember thinking that I've trained too hard to miss my big ride, and though I could borrow a bike if mine were lost, I'd hate to have to replace my shorts, jersey, gloves, helmet, etc. And the crochet project is due to the magazine in a little over a week. And if I want to keep selling patterns I need to hang on to my design notebook, as it contains all my ideas. Cycling and crochet - what can I say?)

Luckily there was no tornado, just hours of stunning lightning and thunder and rain and high winds. This morning dawned clear, to my relief - we had breakfast plans in Madison and I really wanted to ride there and back.

Tallulah and I set out before 7 to take advantage of the cool morning air. Temps are in the mid-70s, humidity is 90-100%, and a strong south wind is blowing. This means a headwind all the way, but I don't really mind as the wind keeps me from melting.

Tallulah is riding in her new custom turtle basket (though it takes a few attempts to get her loaded):




"Dang it!" she says. "I'll get into this thing if it kills me."

"Would you like a little help?" I ask.

"No thanks," she replies. "I really want to do it myself."

With commendable persistence she tries again, taking it a little more slowly this time:




"Sure you don't want any help?"

"No thanks," comes a muffled voice from the depths of the basket. "I think I've got it."

Some grunting and groaning ensues...



...then: "Ready!" she says (a bit breathlessly).

And we're off.


Red-winged blackbirds serenade us all the way to Madison, while mourning doves sit on the power lines to watch us go by. Chicory is blooming now, and bird's-foot trefoil, but I take very few photos (it's too windy, and the air is rather thick). I see some storm damage: large trees have been split or knocked down, and one house has giant pieces of twisted metal strewn over the lawn - a barn roof has been torn off by last night's high winds. (What a mercy none of them hit the house's windows.)

Shadow shot:


Barn shot (with bonus blackbird in flight):


Capitol shot:


The headwind gets stronger as I reach Madison and makes me later than I planned for breakfast. But Mr. M is waiting for me and has snagged a table on the terrace.


We're eating at Sardine, one of our very favourite brunch destinations. Though we only come here about twice a year, the food is always divine, the service always impeccable, and the view always outstanding.

We both order the croque-monsieur, a heavenly ham and Gruyère sandwich dipped in egg batter and grilled until the cheese is melted into submission. Served with spicy mustard, pommes frîtes, and a gem of a salad, it's the perfect pick-me-up after a strenuous bike ride.


Tallulah sniffs at the sandwich and refuses a bite of lettuce ("I don't like balsamic vinaigrette," she says).

While Mr. M and I shovel in the fries, she amuses herself by scaling the water carafe (made from a recycled wine bottle). "Cli-i-imb evvv-ry moun-tainnnnn," she sings loudly.


Heads begin to turn, and I quickly take her down and put her in my upturned helmet. "Shush!" I tell her. "I'm just trying to find my dream," she says.

When the meal is done and our leftover bits of sandwich safely packaged, she emerges to inspect the take-home box.


"Why did Monsieur croak?" she asks. "Was he a frog?" (Not knowing if this is a joke or a serious question, I pretend I didn't hear it.)

We pay our bill, thank the server, and head over to Machinery Row, the handily-situated bike shop next door.


I'm in need of new handlebar tape, and this brand immediately catches my eye:


(I wonder if Snowcatcher's husband The Lizard uses it?)

Mr. M's eye has been caught by a bike with wooden wheels...


...while I wander around and look at the old cycling posters on the wall:


Machinery Row Bicycles, and Sardine, where we ate brunch, are located in a set of historic buildings that once housed implement dealers. The original woodwork and floors have been lovingly restored and add great character to both businesses.

Statutory bike shop shot:


Our business concluded, it's time to head home. Mr. M climbs into the car, and I get back on the bike.

If it was too windy to take photos on the way down, now it's just too hot. Though I have a lovely tailwind that makes the ride seem almost effortless, I want to get home and out of the heat as quickly as possible - so I just keep riding, admiring wildflowers along the way, but stopping for none. About halfway home, a few welcome clouds roll in, providing a bit of cooling shade.

A good ride with a strong finish, thanks to a great meal and a tailwind. Also my longest ride ever (until next weekend).

Miles today: 66.7
Miles this year: 932

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P.S. If you thought a tornado might be coming, and you had to pack a bag of things to save, what would you put in it?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

34 comments:

  1. Oh so cute...Tallulah is a very cute turtle! And you are so caring to get a special bag for her.I Am sure she enjoyed your latest ride.

    That meal.. oh, delicious! I am hungry now, need to eat my breakfast.

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    1. Thank you, Anna - it was fun to make T's little basket. :)

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  2. I love your tornado priorities. I don't know what I'd put in my bag - apart from the children. I think I'd assume that the animals would follow. Juliex

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    1. Thanks Julie - I suppose we'd all grab whatever was most important to us. And having neither offspring nor pets, my hobbies have to fill the bill. :)

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  3. What a ride! My bike remains in the basement. I can't get it up the stairs myself so poor thing just sits there.
    I honestly do not know what I would take with me if I had to seek shelter from a tornado. Apart from the dog of course.

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    1. I hope you never have to find out! :)

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  4. Oh, that's funny! I'd grab my current knitting/crochet projects (thankfully, they're all in a basket together!), running shoes/ clothes, dog biscuits for the fur babies, and my quilt that I made last year with all of the PR's written on it for the races I had run (even though I've broken a couple already). Then I'd worry about regular clothes!
    Your posts make me really wish I had a bike... one of these days!

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    1. Thanks - and your quilt sounds fascinating! :)

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  5. Glad you personally, had no damage.

    Don't know how you do it! All this riding. But your pics are super. :-)

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    1. Me too, Auntie - though I found out today there actually was a small tornado that touched down south of us. :/

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  6. Very thankful there was not tornado. Love the bike ride. Little Miss T is always adorable. :)

    Hmm we've had those sirens go off more times than I want to even think about, I never grab anything, I am always too busy praying. I think in the future (after I have Hubby with me) I should grab my thumb drive, it holds all my photos...everything else can be replaced.

    I so enjoyed the bike ride. I am in awe of the miles you have pedal. You are so amazing.

    Looking forward to the new crochet design, too.

    Blessings always dear friend.

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    1. The thumb drive is a good idea - I should load my photos onto one.

      Thanks Vicki! :)

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  7. Sue, it is time for you to write a book for children. Your photography and creative writing would be a certain hit. As for the emergency kit, I suppose the only thing I would really pack is my purse with my passport. The rest of the "treasures" would just have to make it on their own. As much of my Dutch in-laws' furniture and personal artifacts made it safely through the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands, I think they have served their purpose and can withstand almost anything. I won't be trying to save "things."

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    1. Hear hear!

      And thanks for the compliment. :)

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  8. All my medications, I take about a million, purse with camera and iphone, cat food for the cat and my Kindle.

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    1. Yes - you'd need something to read. Would Mac grab his paints and brushes? :)

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  9. "Bottoms Up" has a different meaning for a turtle than humans, it appears! 8-) Miss T Turtle is so cute! Terrible wind here also last night. I would have to add some chocolate to emergency items and power cords for those electronics that I would take along!

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    1. Ooh - chocolate. Definitely a must! :)

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  10. Lovely interesting post Sue, I love Tallulah's basket, I would grab my purse my kindle, chocolate, a crochet hook and some yarn, what else would you need? haha

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    1. These are the simple bare necessities.... :)

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  11. Your mileage is astounding. You go, girl!
    Loved reading about your lunch and riding adventures. I am so glad that no tornado thundered your way.
    Your Tallulah stories are wonderful. I agree, you could write a lovely book.
    (have you been having trouble with bloglovin..if that is what you use? It has been giving me fits yesterday and this morning.)

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    1. Thanks e! I don't use bloglovin (yet) - only the reading list in Blogger. As far as I know that will still be with us after July 1st.

      :)

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  12. Such fun! Another story well told, Sue :-) Having knelt by my dad at a window watching a tornado veer away from our home at the last minute years ago when I was a young teen, I know how deadly they can be because a classmate was killed and our good friends' home was swept away from that storm I watched. I hope that I would grab my computer gear in it's case and my important papers in a portfolio along with my one prescribed med if I ever faced another such storm...but some clean clothes would be a good idea, too and if I just grab my purse [suitcase] too I carry some yarn and needles and hooks in it as well :-)
    xx,
    Gracie

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    1. The computer - why didn't I think of that? Although it's kind of big to lug to the basement.

      I've never seen a tornado - it must be frightful. :/

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  13. T'is a good thing you put in another pair of undies. You just never know what might occur. Better to be prepared.
    The shot of Tallulah with all four feet in the air just cracked me up. Mostly because I didn't know turtles came in a fainting variety. Watson was thrilled.
    And...what lake is that one can see from the terrace of the restaurant that serves such luscious concoctions (despite what Tallulah thinks of the viniagrette)?
    So many questions... are you holding Tallulah up in that shadow shot and it is actually a gratuitous turtle shadow shot? Or is that just your hand?
    And last, if Le Lizard does NOT use that kind of handle bar tape, he sure OUGHT to! That's all I have to say on that matter. :)

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    1. Don't tell Watson, but she didn't actually faint ... just fell out of the basket and flipped onto her back (rather like a beetle). It took a lot of leg-waving before she got flipped back again.

      That is Lake Monona in the photo - the restaurant is at the corner of Willy St. and John Nolan Drive.

      And Tallulah is not visible in the shadow shot - she was tucked into her basket and hanging from the headset. It's just my hand. :)

      That Lizard handlebar tape is pretty pricey - but with a name like that it's worth it!

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  14. Gosh, I'm loving Tallulah's adventures. That getting into the basket sequence had me laughing all the way home on the train tonight, and I needed that. Seriously. Tell ya all about the drama this weekend. Or maybe not. We can just have fun and leave the drama for a future email.

    Congrats on the 66-mile ride! I'm so proud of you! You have trained with all your heart, and this weekend is going to be awesome!

    Glad the tornado didn't materialize! Now, if we can spin some anti-wildfire magic down here...

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    1. Thanks Deb! Can't WAIT to see you Friday. :D

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  15. well all three cats would be in the bag! and my meds and a pillow because I cant sleep without a pillow and I"d need some sleep sooner or later

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    1. A pillow - good idea!

      And when the tornado is over you can let the cats out of the bag.... :)

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  16. I love the turtles new basket!!!!

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    1. Thanks! It was fun to make such a tiny little project.

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  17. My knitting bag would definitely go to the basement with me. I am not sure if I would think about too much else. The purse would be an 'oh, duh' moment.
    I so enjoyed the ride you took us on. The longest I have ever managed is 28 miles. Perhaps popping over from Pembrokshire Lass has inspired me to dust off the handle bars. The wonders of blogging!

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  18. Hope you popped Tallulah's basket in that tornado bag! Mine would probably be full of stuff for the whippets.

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