Bike Ride 5/20/21

Aside

 Now I’m by myself when I go bike riding because my sister just had a knee operation. She claims after successful knee surgery she’ll be able to double her bike speed! If I can’t keep up I’ll really be a sissy boy. During my misspent youth when I was 14 years old, I had a paper route. I’d get candy bars, tickets to the theater and get “gifts” when I signed up new newspaper subscribers. One of those “gifts,” was a “Genuine Police Siren.” I’d pull a chain and it would rub against my front tire spinning a armature which would produce a siren sound (no batteries), unfortunately slowing down my bike. It was illegal in Illinois so I really wanted one. It turned out to be somewhat lame, not loud enough, good sound however. At any rate I got two buddies these sirens Terry & Bill (Bill was a wise guy, remember “Leave It To Beaver?” The wise guy Eddy Haskell, well Bill looked like and even talked like Eddy). Picture the scene; all three of us pumping our bikes and pulling our siren chains all at the same time, that’s when something totally amazing occurred, They “resonated,” becoming exponentially louder! It was so loud I could actually feel the sound, it was amazing, I never in my life experienced this phenomenon again! The most memorable event was when we stopped all the traffic on Harlem Ave & Ogden!

At any rate a Berwyn Cop Car witnessed our shenanigans did a U turn turn on Ogden Avenue and turned on his lights (electric gum ball machines located on their roof), so we took off into Riverside. A cop car could never catch a 14 year old kid on a bike, we knew every short cut in the neighborhood and could easily hit 20 MPH. We were like trying to catch a fart in a windstorm, rather elusive. We weren’t even close to getting caught, a fun biking day! We were really proud of ourselves giving the cop the slip. We had to lie low, we were on the lamb, hiding behind bushes, while the Keystone Cops were looking for us, we stayed on the lam for about 7 minutes.
 
 
Ace Reporter

Bike Ride 5/15/21

Aside

Tree Pollen High, Grass Pollen High, Ragweed Low, Mold Low. Temperature 69 degrees F, winds under 9 MPH from the South. the reason for the earlier than anticipated bike ride is a forecast of rain for 6 out of the next 7 days. As usual I was the only person to attend this event 16.5 miles.

Heritage Village in Lockport is a collection of 5 buildings that built around 1880 -1900 then moved to this location, right next to the Centennial Bike Trail. They we’re have a “Shindig,” at this location today. Usually everything is locked up at Heritage Village, not today. Some type of Military show (featuring the Revolutionary War, Civil War, WW1, WW2, even Viet Nam) was taking place. Patrons would ask a “soldier,”which utensil in your mess kit is the fork? What happens if you stick your finger in your eye when your saluting? Does the Navy get the gravy and Army get the beans, stuff like that.

I’ve previously walked through these turn of the century collection of buildings, people before, they weren’t living the high life back then, pretty grim. I guess the highlight of visiting Heritage Village is visiting the “Privy,” which gets old pretty quickly. They also have a “Hoosegow,” which more than likely the place I would’ve been interred in if I lived in Lockport around 1900.
 

 

Ace Reporter

Unannounced Bike Ride Saturday 5/8/21

Aside

Two people showed up for this “not to be missed event.” Linda, a Tall Club Wannbe, and yours truly Tommy; it was quite chilly a hoodie and gloves were needed, we had a frost that morning. At the conclusion I was over 360 miles so far in 2021. The Honeysuckles have started blooming 6 years ago there was mile after mile of them, that’s changing as “Buck-Thorn” (an aggressive species; a small tree) is taking over, wiping them out. Honeysuckles still perfume the air; they come in white and pink colors (Johnny told me he likes the pink color the most). Ever eat a Honeysuckle flower? They actually taste like Honey, unless you try eating one with a bee in it, then it’s off to the hospital.

Speaking of bugs despite the 52 degree temperature they’re was plenty of them, microscopic Nat’s with tiny wings, there’s millions of them! They really don’t taste that good, I wonder how many calories they have? They tickle when I breathed them in through my nose, causing me to laugh hysterically, while trying to blow my nose at the same time, try doing that sometime. Pretty weird laughing about bugs in my nose!  I had to wipe hundreds of them off my hoodie, I guess I sort of looked like “bug-man.” Bug spray is of no value, because I’m the bike rider that’s running into them. Giggers which do bite are deterred by bug spray, they’re not out yet. Honking didn’t dissuade the Nat’s. Why not wear my COVID mask you ask? I’d hyperventilate, turn red, fall off my bike gasping for breath. Singing didn’t work either causing me to eat even more of them. Linda told me to quit belly aching and to stop my caterwauling and if I didn’t stop she was going to ride by herself.

Ace Reporter, Tommy

4/3/21: Bicycle Ride from Morris on the Centennial Trail

Aside

Three people showed up for this event: Tall Club Members Milanne & Me (Ace Reporter) and Tall Club Wannabe Dave S. A little chilly at the beginning, which eventually turned into a gregarious day. Just a few Blue Bell flowers were blooming, the frogs were out chirping, we saw one deer. Milanne told me to look into a mirror if I wanted to see a skunk. We ended up at a Gin Mill in Senica; a small town, which was beautiful as well as were the parts of Morris we passed through.

My bicycle horn blowing as progressed exponentially, I now have the amazing ability to “honk” with 11 different sounds, truly a Symphonic Masterpiece of honking noise akin to the sound of a garbage truck tipping over. I remain the “Official Paramount Tall Club Chief Honker,” a prodigious title of acclaim. Competitors could only come up with a pathetic tinker bell. We saw two really weird things on this trip, the first being a bridge composed of laminated wood beams OSB (Orientated Strand Board) (instead of steel, some parts were over 3 feet wide, I took a picture of that. The Second being some type of gigantic tractor thingy probably 35 feet long 15 feet wide with 5 foot tires, definitely homemade with at least a 1,000 HP engine, running around an enormous field blowing dust everywhere, looked like a kid driving this monster for a hoot! The 5 foot (diameter) tires, shook the Earth, it must have been going 40 MPH and weighed around 12 ton’s, it kicked up a lot of dust! Prior to this bicycle trip I had already logged in over 105 miles total for 2021; the longest trip up till now being 17 miles, but this trip put that to shame, still bike riding is so enjoyable.

The Gin Mill was nice, we didn’t get kicked out which typically happens when Dave S & I start yelling about something. We did some yelling about the shape Illinois is in, and political stuff (now that football season is over and with an up coming local election). Milanne refuses to sit between us now, saying, that’ I’ve wised up. In fact I like to act like I don’t know who you guys are (except when the bill arrives).”
 
Ace Reporter,      Tommy

4/2/21: Dance & Dinner Lockport Legion

Aside

5 people showed up: 2 Members, Milanne & Me (Ace Reporter) and three tall club wannabe’s; Dave S; Linda (my sister) and Dawn (Not Dawn P.) The first thing I noticed when arriving was there were hardly any Parking Spots available! This was further confirmed when we entered the huge 100′ x 50′ dining hall, which was “packed” Est 300 people. To get a table, I got Tall Club Wannabe Kathy to find us a place to sit and eat our delicious fish dinner, (we were unwilling to sit on each other’s laps) we ended up getting the lastavailable table in the entire hall. We were lucky! This officially was the last fish dinner weekend at the American Legion in Lockport.

Things only got better! A ½ gallon pitcher of MillerLite$7.00; the fish dinner was excellent I had COD (not the same COD that they make COD piece’s out of) Milanne had the Catfish dinner which she gave a strong thumbs up. Sadly Dave S got there 2 minutes before the 7 PM buzzer when they close the kitchen, he said his french fries were cold (he would say something like that!). It’s been too long since I attended a activity like this, mainly do to COVID. Another highlight was the demented 6 ‘ tall 300 Lb, Easter Bunny they had hopping around terrorizing the children. Most people at this event were not wearing masks. Safe distancing was more or less observed as much as possible. During dinner I gave Dave S some Fart Spray, now he’ll be another person to be feared (like giving a 5 year old a stick of dynamite) . Dave kept asking Milanne if she could smell anything by placing the spray can near her nose, after awhile Milanne grew tired of Dave’s antics and told him, “Quit being so pernicious, if you keep sticking that fart spray in my face I’m no longer going to clean the fish you catch.”

At 7 PM the band the “Fabulous Fabtones,” started up playing songs from the 50’s and 60’s, unfortunately I knew almost all of them! When I heard one I didn’t know I asked Linda (my sister), “do you know that song?” She said that she did (1957; Blackslacks- Sparkletones). Then I said, “I don’t remember that song, so you must be much older than me!” She didn’t enjoy that comment. They played a lot of Beatles Songs, Elvis, “I’m a Wonderer,” “Run Around Sue,” along with a a bunch of other Deon songs, “Come And Go,” by the Dell Vikings. The dance floor definitely got crowded at times, it was so much fun (stepping on unsuspecting peoples feet), Some Toe-Heel Dips (elegant dance moves), the American Legion was “hopping.” Whenever I started telling jokes; I had an enormous selection all prepared; Milanne would say, “I’m not listening to that,” and she would head out to the Dance Floor, another words she would rather dance than listen to my jokes, imagine that!
The “Fabulous Fabtones,” played non stop. When they took their first break at 9 PM, Milanne and I went over to ask them if they would consider playing at our yearly Paramount Tall Club Friday Dance, they said sure but unfortunately they want to be paid something. The lead singer asked, “Where’s Rodger, my old drinking buddy?  Why he didn’t show up?” We told Mr Fabtone,” I think he’s hung over,”
to which Mr Fabtone replied “He’s probably drinking those Kirkland Whiskey’s again.” The Easter Bunny who sitting right next to Mr Fabtone stated, “If Rodger was here I would have given him some Easter candy.” They played until 10:35 PM to thunderous applause. Only 3 guys in the band but they sounded terrific!
 
 
Ace Reporter,      Tommy