I am fortunate enough to have the best friends ever. I was even more fortunate to see my favorite people this weekend (if I didn’t see you this weekend, and you are also one of my favorites, it was probably because I saw you earlier in the week, you were busy, out of town, or don’t live around here- it doesn’t mean that you’re not included in my favorites).
Being the new Friday, my weekend began on Thursday. My good friends, and proprietors of Rainy Peak Cyclery seamstress, but it also preggers! Randi and Eric fondly refer to their fetus as ‘the polliwog.’ came to town for the Oregon Manifest. Randi is (among other things) an incredible seamstress, and she quickly set about turning our living room into a production line. Seeing how we like to support friends’ businesses, we ordered a fancy indoor bike rack to help unclutter our living area.
Drinking for free
The Manifest was one of the funnest things I’ve done in a while. I used to be *somewhat* involved in the Portland bike scene, but have taken a hiatus… whatever that means. I suggested to Nic that we should volunteer, that way we would gain admittance to the show for free, AND get free beer. Deal. Turns out there were several more beer tickets floating around (Randi, obviously, is not drinking), and I was drunk by mid-afternoon. Several awkward conversations ensued.
One of the less awkward conversations I had was with JB (John Bergschnider) of Goodtimes Bicycles. Not only are they beautiful bikes with hella sick dropouts, but JB might be my new favorite person. If I had money to buy a custom frame right now, it would be a Goodtimes. Who says frame builders are pretentious?… Not me (not saying they aren’t out there…).
Along this story line is one of my many scores of the weekend. A score for me… not the other guy. Randi, as previously mentioned, is an amazing seamstress. And had made a grip of wool cycling jerseys for JB and his bike gang, the Scorpzanos (Scorps for short). Randi has the future owner of said jerseys take their own measurements… which usually works out… unless it doesn’t. For one particular fellow, it didn’t. I now have my very own Goodtimes wool bicycling jersey. I couldn’t be more proud.
The aforementioned jersey wasn’t the only wool that I acquired this weekend. Due to REI’s fall sale and their members 20% discount on one full-priced item, I had to get myself a Smartwool sweater. As an Oregonian, I am somewhat ill prepared for the elements on a fairly regular basis. It is my goal to change that little character imperfection, and the best way to start was to acquire a wool base layer. What’s next? Wool leggings??? I shall keep you posted.
I managed to fanagle a crew on Sunday to drive the 1/2 hr to a cyclocross race in beautiful Wilsonville, OR. The Fascinating thing about this particular ‘cross course was that it was situated right up against a new housing development that goes by the name of Villebois. Amusingly, the course was arranged to include excavated land, roads that end abruptly, gravel and what might have been grassland. There were obstacles (for spectators) that included scrap metal, pieces of rebar, large cement culverts, and large pieces of machinery. It was quite an entertaining time, nonetheless. Someday I shall race ‘cross… someday….
The last part about my weekend was the hulling of acorns. I have a mild acorn obsession at the moment. It all started at work. There was a multitude of squirrels hanging around during the summer, and then the fall hit, acorns started dropping from the trees and the little squirrels became even more neurotic. I became aware of why that was. My office building is lined on two sides by oak trees, which were dropping acorns like it was their job (it is their job). I became curious about the mighty oak and the tiny acorn, so I did some research.
Acorns are naturally very high in tannins, which is why they are only palatable to pigs, squirrels and birds. That being said, they are not inedible, they just need some processing. Ex-roommate and other favorite person, Elsie McIver helped me with the not altogether unpleasant task of hulling acorns, which I had started doing the evening before (I get a little crazy on Friday nights, as is evident by my mad foraging skills). After hulling said acorns, they need to be leached of their tannins, which can be done by blending them (I love my Kitchenaid Immersion Blender), and running water over them until they don’t taste awful… Stay tuned.