Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Green beans, Spring Lake paddle, and Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival

On our morning rides we often pass a house that has a "Free" sign propped up against the mailbox by the driveway. The first time I noticed it, I wondered just what was "free" as there was nothing to be seen by the sign. The next few times we rode by, same story. Then, one morning, I noticed a large brown paper bag at the base of the sign. I stopped to check it out. Handwritten on the bag were the words "green beans." Free fresh green beans from their garden for the taking! How nice! I brought the bag home and we had green beans with our dinner that night. The best we had ever tasted! I wrote a thank-you note and stuck it in their mailbox a few days later. The next time we rode by, the "free" sign had a few plastic bags at its base with a handwritten note attached that said "Feel free to go in our garden and pick as many green beans as you want. We're done with them." Signed "Mary & Larry." I did just that and we had green beans to go with several more dinners. Eventually, we met Mary and had a nice chat with her and got to thank her in person for her generosity. The other day we rode by and she had put a box of "windfall" apples, a zucchini and some hanging flower planters by the free sign. I took the planters and some apples. Maybe I'll make an apple pie...

Earlier this month we took our inflatable kayaks for a paddle on Spring Lake, a lake we often pass by on our morning rides. It was a beautiful warm day with puffy white clouds and calm waters. We saw one female loon, two blue herons and 10 Painted turtles during our afternoon paddle.
Mike painted his kayak to look like a loon.

The 29th Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival was held September 16-18, with the start of the 40-mile mountain bike race from Hayward to Telemark Resort in Cable on September 17. The 40-mile race has a mass start of 1,850 riders on Main Street in downtown Hayward. They wheeled by for over five minutes as they left town and headed for the Birkie ski trails. Two hours later, the first riders crossed the finish line at Telemark at an amazing pace of about 20 mph. Here's a link to a video of the 40-mile start.

We volunteered to help with the Fat Tire festivities and were part of the concessions crew at the Big Top tent at Telemark on both Friday and Saturday. Our job was to keep the various t-shirts folded and in good order and to answer any questions about the clothing.
On Sunday, we helped with the "Fun" Day events. We were put in charge of the Klunker Toss. About 40 people took a turn at throwing a klunker bike as far as they could down a hill. Our job was to measure and record the distance for each participant and retrieve the bike each time it was thrown. This took place in steady rain for over two hours, negating the "Fun" factor.

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