Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Let me try this one more time...

Hello everybody! I decided to re-post my cute story from my other blog. (Kim says it is cute. Let me know what you think.) I hope you all enjoy my little story (pardon the quality of the pics, trying new techniques and all).

The Adventures of
Grape and Smiley Cup On A Sunny Saturday Afternoon

(This story is best read while listening to "Everyday Is A Winding Road" by Sheryl Crow.)

On Saturday, a bright and sunny day, Grape and Smiley Cup decided to go on a Road Trip. The idea was to go and find a New Coffee Shop for Smiley Cup to endulge his favorite past time: having a cup of coffee! The plan was simple: get ready, and go. SIMPLE! Or so our intrepid adventurers first thought...

The first thing that needed to be done was to air up Grape's tires. Grape just hates to go out on a ride with squishy tires. (He tends to get pinch flats when he does that...) Smiley Cup helped to pump up Grape's tires. (See picture at left.) The front tire filled up quick and easy. But half way through filling up the back tire... PSSSSS! Oh, no! said Smiley Cup. (Well, a variation there on at least.) It turned out that the tire pump had sprung a leak. Not to worry though; because Grape ALWAYS carries a tire pump for just such an emergency. Grape is so smart!

Then, water bottlles needed to be filled up for gC so he woudln't dehydrate. (gC just HATES to get dehydrated...) Smiley Cup filled the water bottles and then put them into the "special" behind the seat bottle cages. (You can just see them in the picture at left.) Grape really likes his bottle cages, because he hardly ever looses a bottle on a ride. And that is good because if he lost a water bottle, gC might get dehydrated; and we all know how little gC likes to be dehydrated... Since Smiley Cup doesn't have a helmet -even though helmets are always a good idea- he rides with Grape in a special bag on Grape's rear rack. The bag is where Grape keeps all of his other tools as well as any of gC's personal effects that gC might need while on the ride. (gC ALWAYS carries his I.D. just in case...) Okay! Everybody ready? Good, let's go...

The first stop was this local bike shop. gC has a soft spot for bicycle shops. He just can't seem to pass one by when he sees one. Oh well, Grape and Smiley Cup didn't mind. For one, it gave Grape a chance to flirt with the cute little blue EZ-1 in front of the store. He found out that it is a grand-child of the Tour Easy ; which has a pretty nifty pedigree of it's own. Of course, it was hard to say who was doing more flirting: Grape or gC, since gC took the bike out for a short, around the block spin to see how the bike handled overalll. gC says it isn't a bad little bike for it's price point and would be just the ticket if someone wanted to get a cautious start in the recumbent bike riding game. (If you are curious about giving one a try, check out the dealer listing @ EasyRacers for a dealer near you. Okay, end of shameless plug...)

But Smiley Cup wasn't just left in Grape's rear rack bag. Nopers! Smiley Cup decided to go to the coffee shop in the folk art store next door. Unfortunately for Smiley Cup -and unbeknownst to gC- the folk art store was recently closed for good. Apparently it wasn't having much luck selling the craft stuff or the coffee. Smiley Cup felt pretty bad about that, since a good cup of coffee is always a good start to a bike ride. (See in the picture at left? Smiley Cup's smile is upside down, A sure sign of an unhappy Smiley Cup...) Poor Smiley Cup... Oh well, back to the bike ride...

After a little bit of riding time, Grape and Smiley Cup came to a local park that had a trail running through it and decided that it would be a good short cut to 84th St., which is the Big Street that would really be the start of the Road trip. At the park, they saw this Star Art 2006 sculpture. It is called "Star Light, Star Bright." Grape was really impressed with it; since it appears to be designed to light up at night. (Grape likes to light up at night too.) Smiley Cup liked it too because it looks like it would be very cheery once it was lit up. (Smiley Cup likes cheery things.)

After leaving the Star and the park, Grape and Smiley Cup finally made it to the Bridge Over 84th St. The trail in this general area is based on an abandoned railroad line. The Bridge makes it safer for folks to cross 84th St. without having to dodge the traffic below. (84th St. is a VERY busy street.) As you can see from Grape's flags in the picture at left, it was a rather windy day Saturday. But not so windy as to make it a not good day to do a Road Trip...

That silly Smiley Cup! Disregarding Grape's comment on how windy it was, Smiley Cup decided to sit on the gaurd railing and get a better look at the traffic passing under the 84th St. Bridge. It is a good thing that gC was there taking pictures! It was so windy that Smiley Cup was almost blown off of the railing. gC to the rescue! He was able to catch Smiley Cup just as he was about to fall off. (That is why Smiley Cup is showing his unSmiley Face in the picture at left...)

After his near-death experience -and once our cheery little group made its way to the Gas & Sip at the end of 84th St.- Smiley Cup decided that he needed a cup of coffee, and right now! Luckily for Smiley Cup, the Gas & Sip had some good, strong coffee to help calm his nerves. As you can see at left, he was a much happier Smiley Cup after he had his cup.

Grape -however- was feeling a little out of sorts. Normally, Grape is a pretty laid back kind of bike. But as Grape was waiting for Smiley Cup to get his coffee, it dawned on Grape that he was parked in a potentially compromising position: almost literally between a "Handicapped Parkers ONLY" sign and a "Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be TOWED" sign. Needless to say, Grape asked Smiley Cup to hurry up once Smiley Cup got his coffee. Grape would feel awfully embarassed if he ended up getting towed for being where he was...

For the most part, the next part of the ride was fairly uneventful. gC still wanted to try and find the New Coffee Shop, but his time limit for being out with Grape and Smiley Cup was getting short. So, the group decided to go at least as far as The Next Town before turning around. How long could that possibly take? Well... A little longer than gC first thought. But that wasn't really a problem. Because even if gC was a little bit late, he wouldn't be that much later than he said he would be. So once the group made it into The Next Town -without ever really seeing the City Limit sign- the decision was made to turn around and head back home.

The return trip was failry uneventful, since it was pretty much the reverse of the trip out to The Next Town. The pace was a little bit faster though, since gC had a Deadline to meet.
(Come to find out, the trip would take the group about 30 minutes longer than first planned. Oops!) All in all, this was a good day for a ride.

EPILOGUE: The final numbers from the Road Trip...

Once back at home, Grape, Smiley Cup, and gC went to look at Grape's computer to see what kind of ride they had. By the numbers, so to speak. What they found was this:

Apparently, some time during the Road Trip gC had accidently kicked Grape's computer and broke the mount! Uh oh! That is going to cost gC... At least this is a -relatively- easy thing to fix. ($25 or so at The Bike Shop and it will be as good as new...)

Anyway, on to the numbers:

Trip time: 2 hours, 12 minutes. (This is the amount of time that Grape was actually moving. The Road Trip acutally took about 2 hours longer than that...)

Maximum speed: 21.3 mph, probably heading down 84th St.

Average Speed: 10.2 mph. This was a casual Road Trip. Something more agressive would rate a higher average.

Total distance: 22.46 miles. Half of that was the trip out to and back from The Next City.

Grape's poor computer! The poor thing is at least as old as Grape -c. 1996- and it is really starting to show its age. gC may have to spring for a newer, fancier one one of these days... Nah! The old one is still good... ;-)

Well, that concludes this post about Grape and Smiley Cup's Sunny Saturday Adventure. Stay tuned for more exciting Adventures of Coffee Shop Searching!!!

(gC Note: Thanks a bunches to all and sundry whom I mentioned either directly or not so directly during the posting of this post. Only Grape's computer mount was harmed during the creation of this post. Thanks again everybody!)

That concludes my little story. See? I told you it was cute... ;-)

Post at you all later!

Cool Story!, I love Smiley Cup, what a great idea.
I love it!! Do it a gain, not too soon, but in a month or so! thank you for the smile (smiley cup rubs off on one!).

Happy stitchy
You are tooooo creative! Very cute!
Smiley Cup and Grape are too cute! My! I wish I could translate that to my kids, but I'm not fast enough, so after one or two patient minutes, they would let me down...
It was a great ride! No wonder the pics and placing of objects and so on take a long time... But it's definitely worth it!
Thanks Greg!
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