Well, it finally happened! HogWild, aka Carl, came to New Orleans!
Carl and his lovely wife, Christa, arrived the evening of Wednesday (6/27/01). Rainbabe and I picked them up from their hotel to introduce them to one of our favorite local seafood restaurants on the lake. We had a great time visiting and getting to know one another. Carl and his wife are great folks and very interesting. We had some great local beer, and Carl told us about brewing his own. He made it sound so good I think I want to try it.
Friday, June 29, Carl and I got together for a long-anticipated ride together. It got off to a shaky start when he called me at the appointed time to tell me his shifter detent had failed so he asked for a referral to a bike shop to see if he could get it fixed. As luck would have it he has a Giant Cypress like mine so I suggested he visit my LBS which, fortunately, was as close as any. I called ahead to tell them the situation and asked if they could do it right away as a favor to me. Thankfully, it was a simple repair, and they did it under warranty even though he did not buy the bike there!
Since it was on the way, Carl swung by my office about 1300. We put Yorick in the back of Carl's truck for the ride to Audubon Park and the levee-top bike path. Riding on the quite levee path gave us an opportunity to ride side-by-side at a leisurely pace and visit. A slight head wind and clouds to block the sun most of the time made the ride very comfortable for a summer afternoon in New Orleans. We rode about 7 miles out the path before we needed to turn around. I rode back about 4 with Carl where we shook hands and reluctantly said goodbye before I headed back out and continued my way home.
We asked someone to take our picture together so we could post it here. Even though I had checked the batteries in my digital camera that morning, they were dead when we tried to take the picture, as were the backup set I always carry. I had just charged them recently and they usually keep for quite a while. Maybe we will post pics separately. Mine, at least, may keep your computer free of bugs.
SpicMick, another New Orleans BikeForums poster had hoped to join us. He rode mtb Thursday and twisted his ankle pretty badly. Thursday night when he emailed me he though he would be able to ride, but it was just too bad when he got up Friday. He and I will try to ride soon to continue the serial.
This was a fantastic experience. Carl and Christa are wonderful and interesting people. Rainbabe and I really hit it off with them. I hope they feel the same. From the posts I have shared with all of you, I get the impression that everyone here would be fun to ride with. I can't tell you how much I hope to get to ride with any of you who get to N.O. or whose location I get to visit. I also hope to get to see Carl and Christa again.
I strongly encourage anyone who has an opportunity to ride with another poster to do so and share the experience with us. My feeling is that, though a ride is best, if it is not possible, just sharing a few minutes and a cup of coffee together is worth sharing with the rest of us if that is all you can manage.