Cycling Along The Way...

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Silver City, NM, United States
Riders of the wheel. Racers, Roadies, Mountain bikers, Touring cyclists, Commuters, and others. Diamond frames, recumbents, trikes, and more. Sharing a web of connections often misunderstood or unappreciated by those who don't ride. Herewith, my attempt to share some of the more rational thoughts that flit around inside my head while bicycling, knocking back a brew or three, or just thinking about life. Reviews of bicycles, gear, touring, and more, plus some unsolicited posts about people, politics, and philosophy. Other things, too. Me: retired, gave up my TV in 1988, avid cyclist, several cross country tours completed with more to come. Your thoughts?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Andrew Norman Read, English Touring Cyclist From The Netherlands...

"The British are not a very spiritual people, so they invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity." ~ George Bernard Shaw

Over the past month, numerous cyclists have contacted me via Warmshowers ( asking about staying for a night or two. Most, we've been able to say yes to; others, we haven't been able to due to our schedules or because cyclists have contacted us too late and not given us enough time. Andrew is one who we were able to host for a night. He followed on the heels, er, wheels of Jen and Simon (see previous post), who, like Andrew, are English. Andrew now lives in The Netherlands. He's a semi-professional musician and, to support himself in thin times, he has done lots of different kinds of jobs over his lifetime of travels.

A few photos:
    Eileen and Andrew at the counter in our kitchen...

    Andrew prepared to head out for Safford, AZ...

A few years ago, Andrew's father died and left him a bit of inheritance that he's been using to travel by bicycle. When his father was ill, Andrew moved in with his Dad and took care of him until he died. He purchased a custom built Koga touring bicycle with some of the inheritance. It has a Rohloff hub ( that has 14 gears and is virtually indestructible, incredibly reliable, and needs very minimal maintenance...essentially, change the oil every 3,000 miles or so. Expensive up front, but very cost effective in the long run. 

Andrew had contacted me before getting to El Paso, TX, so we had time to check our schedules and arrange for him to stay one night despite having just hosted Jen and Simon for two nights. They left on a Monday and Andrew showed up on Wednesday, so it was a quick turn around. Not knowing how he'd do with the climb over Emory Pass, about 3pm, I headed out to check on Andrew's progress. I found him in San Lorenzo, just as he finished coming down the West side of the Black Range. It was around 4pm and I offered to haul him, his bike, and gear to our house to save him the rest of the ride, most of which is just ok. He'd already see the best part of the day's ride coming over Emory Pass. He hesitated momentarily, admitted he was tired, realized it was late and that he wouldn't get to our house until around 7pm, and said ok to the ride by car. No harm or shame. Sometimes, taking a ride in a motor vehicle is just the right thing to do. We unpacked his bike and got it and his gear in the car and off we headed to Silver City. Andrew is a pretty friendly cyclist, actively interacts with people, and had lots of questions about the area and the people. We also chatted about USA politicians, briefly. Seems like the whole world finds it absolutely hilarious, scary, and astounding that someone like a Trump or a Cruz would actually be considered for President by any sane group of humans. As I explained to him, money talks. And, yes, there are enough ignorant people in the USA to support these jackasses.

After getting to the house, we drank a beer or three, then Andrew got cleaned up and, after Eileen got home, we sat down for dinner. Pretty good conversations ensued and around 9pm, Andrew's day of riding and a few beers caught up with him and he headed to bed. Before we knew it, morning was here and Andrew was getting ready to head out. Before leaving, Andrew needed to get a few items (food, etc.) for his trip. We headed to Albertsons, where he picked up the goods he wanted and got back to the house, so he could finish packing and get on the road to Safford, AZ.

We enjoyed Andrew's visit with us and wish him well down the road. His plan is to ride around the USA. He's headed to San Diego, CA, then north to Washington, then East to the Atlantic, then South to San Augustine, FL, where he started his trip. I'm envious. It sounds like a great tour. 

A few more photos:
    Putting the Ortlieb panniers on the Koga...

    A photo of the Koga...

    The world famous Rohloff hub...

    Another good idea...a kickstand front and rear from Koga...

A few short video clips of Andrew getting ready to leave for Safford, AZ:

So, a tune to close with. Andrew spent a few years in Ireland, mostly Galway, I believe, playing Irish music on the street with a couple of other musicians. In recognition of that, here's a tune from Randal Bays, another non-Irishman who plays some damn fine Irish music.  This is Randal with Dave Marshall playing some Irish reels...don't know the names, but enjoy them anyways! And one more with Randal playing guitar...with someone that I don't know nor do I know what the tune is, but WTF, enjoy it... Happy Trails, Andrew!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Jennifer And Simon Corbett From Christchurch, New Zealand

"If it would not look too much like showing off, I would tell the reader where New Zealand is." ~ Mark Twain

"When George Bernard Shaw visited New Zealand, a reporter asked him his impression of the place and, after a pause, Shaw is said to have replied: "Altogether too many sheep." ~ George Bernard Shaw 1934

Ok, Simon and Jen didn't bring any sheep with them, but they did talk about them. I must keep this from my Canadian friend, John Fleming, who has this "thing" for sheep and sheep jokes. No, I won't go into the gruesome details. So, onward...away from the sheep thing...

These two touring cyclists from down under are in their early to mid forties and were great fun to meet and host for a couple of nights. When they contacted me about staying with Eileen and me, Jen indicated they would like to spend a rest day in Silver City, their first rest day since they started their trip  in Los Angeles, CA. Jen and Simon are in between jobs at this point, headed back to England for Jen's father's 70th birthday, and to reconnect with family and friends they've missed since immigrating to New Zealand 10 years ago from England. While planning the trip back home, they decided to ride across America. Both have a bit of cycling experience, but not a great deal of touring experience, so taking on this trip across country is a huge leap of faith for them, sort of. They took off from Los Angeles, headed to San Diego, then off on the Adventure Cycling Association's Southern Tier Route to St. Augustine, FL. From there, they'll fly to England, tour a bit in Europe (by car, maybe bike, too), then it's back to New Zealand and job hunting. They have a Facebook page, should you desire to follow them as they ride across the U.S.:

Some photos:
   Simon at the border of New Mexico on their way to beautiful Lordsburg, NM!
    Photos they took as they made their way to Silver City from Lordsburg
    Jen and Simon getting their first view of "The Big Ditch" in Silver City, NM
          Jen and Simon posing for the camera....
    Eileen's arm, Simon, and Jen at our house...
    Eileen, Simon, and a part of our house.
    Simon and Jen cooked dinner on Sunday...Falafels, veggies, couscous...yum!

Now, a couple of very short videos:

Simon and Jen were very friendly, helpful, and enjoyable company for a few nights. We hope they have fun riding across country and find out that Americans are better than the press gives us credit for. The view that people from other countries have of the U.S. is not good and has diminished since the arrival of Trump and Cruz on the political landscape. The damage these two fucking political morons have done for the U.S., Trump and Cruz, should be illegal. I'll stop now before I go on with a rant about these two idiots.

On Monday, Jen and Simon headed up into the mountains to spend a few nights at the Gila Hot Springs and to visit the Gila Cliff Dwellings ( there. It's only 42+ miles, but there is 5000 feet of climbing to do to get there. From the hot springs, they'll continue to head East over Emory Pass and on to Las Cruces, NM, and beyond.

Eileen and I hope to get to New Zealand to visit these folks in their adopted home country. It looks like it's gorgeous there. And to visit Mt. Lyford ( outside of Christchurch, New Zealand, too!

Ok, time to exit this post with a tune. What to use? Let's go with Michael Coleman doing "The Tarbolton Reel/The Longford Collector/The Sailor's Bonnet ( since Eileen didn't play fiddle for these guys while they were with us. Enjoy the tunes and come back sometime to hear Eileen play them live. Happy Trails!!!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Barb and Bill Bochner...Riders From Marin County, California

"The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time." ~ Abraham Lincoln

I've been up to my elbows in the things that I do as a retiree, so, while it may not seem much to someone else, it has kept me busy enough to not have done this post sooner. What the hell. Now, it's time to do it. A few weeks ago, give or take, Barb and Bill Bochner arrived at our house. They're from around San Francisco, in Marin County. On this trip, they're riding the Adventure Cycling Association's Southern Tier Route from San Diego, CA, to San Augustine, FL. Good time of the year to do it, particularly with the weird weather bringing on the warm weather a tad sooner than expected. Even without the warm weather, it's still a good time to do the ride. Minimizes the bugs, mosquitos, etc., that come with doing this route in the later Spring weather. 

So, Barb and Bill. They're retired lawyers. Yes, I know all the lawyer jokes but decided to go with a Lincoln quote instead. They contacted me way in advance, which helps immensely since there is a major sketchy area of no internet/cellular connection as riders approach Silver City. With this advance notice, I was able to give them some helpful advice on how to get to Silver City. No matter which way you head towards Silver City, you have to climb...either coming out of Safford or heading up from Lordsburg. Or coming from Las Cruces. These folks contacted me early, so I could give them some tips on riding to Silver City.

Some photos:
    Barb and Bill getting ready to leave for the Mimbres. 
    Bill deciding whether he really wants to leave. 
    Barb packing up. 
    Traveler set for the ride. 
    Me, Traveler, and Bill...
    Barb and Bill all set to leave. 

We enjoyed having these folks stay with us. I drove out to meet up with them on Rt. 90 and found them near the Continental Divide, where they had stopped for lunch. The climb from Lordsburg was a bit more daunting than they'd expected. Living around here, I have a different perspective on riding in the mountains, which makes it difficult to give anyone else advice on what to expect. Drivers are terrible with their advice to people traveling by bicycle and those people who ride bikes are not great either. How strong a rider is, where they ride most often, age, type of bike, etc., all factors that affect how a person perceives whether something is difficult or whether the climbs are hard. This combines to make giving advice sketchy, in my opinion. I offered to carry some of their gear to help make the ride easier, but, like true gluttons for punishment that a lot of cyclists are, they opted to carry on and not "cheat". I understand...unfortunately...since understanding makes me one of those gluttons, too. So, I left them to their bike riding and checked back later in the day. At that time, they were just a few miles from our house...and they arrived soon. After showers, some talking, a beer or two, then dinner, we sat around and chatted. Good company and then off to bed early, which I can also relate to. 

They're much better at maintaining a blog of their travels than I can catch up on what they're up to at: Pedaling Puppy Raisers ( They help raise puppies for people who need a companion. Plus, they help welcome home soldiers from the quagmire of the Middle East. Admirable.

The next morning, Barb and Bill got off to a good start after breakfast and good weather for a ride over Emory Pass. Barb rides a Bruce Gordon Rock'n Road touring bike ( Sweet bike. Barb likes it a lot. I still have my mind set on a custom road bike. For touring, I think something like the Rock'n Road is very good.

Ok, one lawyer joke...I have to:
How many lawyer jokes are there? Only three. The rest are true stories.

Alright, got that out of my system. As an Irishman, not telling a joke is bad for my health. Sort of like hurts until it's out of your system! Now, you know why the Irish live on this little island all by themselves. Can't help's one more:
As the lawyer awoke from surgery, he asked, "Why are the blinds drawn?". The nurse answered, "There's a fire across the street and we didn't want you to think you had died."

Time to get this post online, so here comes a tune. What should I use? Let's see..."Fields of Gold" by Sean Keane, (, an Irishman, a great singer, and someone that Eileen and I saw/heard at a session in Louisburgh when we were there in 2013. What an incredible, effortless singer! These folks have already arrived at, and left, Austin, TX, so they still have a few days to go to get out of Texas. Happy trails! You're always welcome back for a longer stay in Silver City!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Our First French Rider...Aurelien Fourrier

"How can anyone govern a nation that has 240 different kinds of cheese?" ~ Charles de Gaulle

Despite all the jokes about the French, Aurelien was a fine representative of his country. He grew up in the north of France and presently lives in Provence, France. For work, he is a bicycle guide with Backroads Tours ( So, while on holiday, what does he do? Takes a cross country tour of the United States. He likes to ride his bicycle. Aurelien is riding the Adventure Cycling Association's Southern Tier Route (, going from St. Augustine, FL, to San Diego, CA.

I met up with Aurelien out in the mountains East of Silver City when I went to see where he was, so I could figure out when he'd arrive at our house or if he wanted a ride in the car to our house. He was just about a mile below Emory Pass, where the scenery is spectacular, so he opted to keep riding. Smart move and the best choice since it's so beautiful to ride there. To make his ride a bit easier, I offered to take his panniers and Bob trailer. This lightened his bike considerably and made the ride out to Rt. 180 much more fun. Returning back to our house, I unloaded his gear and waited for him to text me to let me know when he was near Rt. 180, so I could give him a ride to our house. The stretch of road from Rt. 152/Rt. 180 to our house is not particularly fun around 5pm when there's a fair amount of traffic.

Aurelien is an outgoing, fun to talk to, and easy to be around kind of guy. We enjoyed his stay with us and he's welcome back anytime. We drank beer, talked about America, how the rest of the world sees America/Americans, and how crazy they think American politics are. He had broken his pump and didn't have many rear lights to use going through the tunnel between Globe and Superior, AZ, so I let him borrow two lights and a pump. When he gets done with the ride, he'll send them back to me. That's one of the things that makes touring cyclists different.

Here are some photos:
    The Bob Trailer...
    A photo op before Aurelien headed out towards Duncan, AZ.
    Getting ready to depart for the open road...
    At Emory Pass, the top of the climb...over 8000 feet.
    A good photo of Aurelien in Florida...
    A selfie at Emory Pass in New Mexico...
    Adventure Cycling Association's Southern Tier Route...

Aurelien was on a quest to get to Phoenix by Sunday, so he could meet up with some friends and go watch the San Antonio Spurs play the Phoenix Suns since there were two French guys playing basketball for the Spurs. Who knew that the French played basketball??? I joked with Aurelien about this. He has a good sense of humor. Like the Irish, I guess the French have developed a good sense of humor after being teased about being French or Irish or Polish or whatever, eh?

Aurelien has kept in touch and is now in California, almost to the end of his bicycle tour. From San Diego, he will be traveling to Hawaii, San Francisco, Portland, and finally to New York City, where he'll catch his flight back home to France. We hope to catch up with Aurelien in France somewhere down the road, so he can show us a bit of France. I have to make sure not to drink any wine until the ride for the day is over or else I'll have to take a cab. I know how I am...and French wine is fabulous! As is French cuisine and cheese. Maybe I'll just take a cab ride around France? It might be safer...

So, time to end this post. And what tune/song will work? Let's see...Edith Piaf performing, "Non, je ne regrette rien" ( She's an amazing singer and seemed larger than life in her time and ever since. I do like classics like this song. Hope the rest of your trip is fantastique, Aurelien!!! 

A Post Script: Just heard from Aurelien last night (2/3/16) and he has reached San Diego! Congratulations! There's no feeling like that. He posted the best "finish" picture I've ever seen, too...
   Aurelien at the Pacific Ocean!!! Great photo!!!

So, here's another French guy doing some jazz...Michel Petrucciani doing "So What" with his group of jazz musicians in 1992 ( He was born with brittle bone disease that affected his growth and died at age 37 in 1999. Despite the fact that playing the piano hurt his arms, he did so anyways because of his love for the music and the piano. Reminds me a little bit of what touring can be like, but, obviously, nothing to the degree that this man overcame his suffering to bring great jazz to the public.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Cannondale Morphis Jacket, A Review...5 STARS

"Everything is amazing and nobody's happy." ~ Louis C. K.

Ok, on to another review. Recently, I decided that I wanted a new cycling jacket that I could wear on colder days that had removable sleeves, so, when I got too hot, I could take them off quickly, which left a vest to help with the temperature control. Most jackets like this have zippers that allow the sleeves to be removed. Works great, but I found something better. Sleeves that are held on by magnets. Yup, magnets. WTF, who thought of this? Give the person an award!

Cannondale Morphis jacket. Very sweet. Believe me. It's expensive, sort of, $110 from Cannondale, if you purchase it straight up without looking for a deal. Now, who just pays the full price straight up these days? Got to be crazy to do that. Ok, I know, let's support the locals. I do, as much as possible, but often there are deals out there too good to pass up. For Christmas last year, a friend of mine gave me a $25 Amazon gift card. I'd been reading reviews on cycling jackets with removable sleeves and came across this beauty...
   Cannondale Morphis Jacket

Here's a photo that shows how the sleeves come off:

Here are a couple of videos showing how easy it is to take off and put on:

This winter, so far, has been particularly cold and snowy, so the Cannondale Morphis has come in handy. It's wind proof and waterproof, too. Recently, as it has warmed up, I've had the opportunity to remove the sleeves and to put them back on. As the videos show, it's simple. No messing with zippers and, if you're better at balancing yourself on a bike than I am, you can remove it and/or put it back on while cycling. I'd rather stop the bike and do it more safely.

I found one on Amazon, which, with the gift card from my friend, Val, allowed me to get it for $35. And free shipping. So, look around the Internet and see what price you might find it for, but, if you're after a good jacket that can keep you warm and allow for quick and easy removal of the sleeves, this is the jacket you're looking for. Several different colors to choose from. I went for the red this time. I've got too many fluorescent yellow and lime green cycling items. Time to change it up. It's a new year.

Time to exit the post, so here's a song to keep you humming for a while...David Bowie and Mick Jagger doing "Dancing In The Street" ( Cool video...and Bowie is the better dancer, IMHO. Happy trails out there...

Compass Bicycles Cayuse Pass 700x26 Tires Review...3 STARS

"Every thing happens for a reason, but, sometimes, that reason is because you're stupid and you make bad decisions." ~ anonymous 

Last September/2015, I finally replaced my Grand Bois Blue Cerf 700x26 tires after getting several flats on the Willcox Flyer, a 66 mile ride in Willcox, AZ. The tires had served me well with over 3000+ miles on the road. Hard to beat that. So, instead of replacing the now deceased Blue Cerf tires with the same model, which would have been the sensible, correct decision, I decided to purchase, from the same company, Compass Bicycles (, a different set of tires called the Compass Cayuse in 700x26 size. These are extra light tires at 183gms. 

Some photos of the tires:
     Compass Bicycles Cayuse Pass, $76 ea.
     Grand Bois Blue Cerf sold by Compass Bicycles, $57 ea.

Why? What would make me decide to buy an unknown tire vs. a tire that I knew could give me lots of miles of use? Stupidity. Plain and simple. While trusting a company and their products did enter into my decision, the truth is...I should have bought the Blue Cerf (or the Green Cerf...same tire, just a bit larger, 700x28) tires. Now, why am I saying this? Well, in the past month, I've had two flats with the Compass Cayuse tires. My suspicion is the extra ledger (extra lightweight) aspect of these tires is the culprit, which was the issue with the very first set of tires I purchased from Compass Bicycles that I only got about 1000 miles of use, also extra ledger tires. While great perhaps for racing, their durability for everyday riding on rough country roads is lacking. Lesson learned? Jesus, I hope so, but, over time, this has not been the case since I seem to forget the "lesson".

What makes this worse is that I cannot even blame it on "old age", which is convenient, but untrue. When I was 18 yrs old, I made the same stupid mistakes, but now, at least, I can use the "old age" excuse. But it's not why I repeat these mistakes. That I've yet to figure out... It definitely is "operator error".

So, while I highly recommend some of this company's tires, be sure to purchase the ones necessary for the riding you'll be doing with them and the roads you'll be riding on. In the meantime, I've ordered a set of the Grand Bois Green Cerf 700x28 to replace the Compass Cayuse 700x26 tires. The larger size (hopefully, they'll fit) should help with the rough roads around this area. I'll let you know what happens with these tires. For now, I'll keep the Cayuse tires to use when I need to have a lightweight tire for a road ride.
       Grand Bois Green Cerf sold by Compass Bicycles, $57 ea. 

My rating of the Compass Cayuse tires is 3 STARS. Even as an extra lightweight tire, for the money, I believe they should be better at puncture proofness than they are. The other qualities a cyclist looks for are there, but, if the tire can't get you down the road, why buy them?

Ok, time to exit this post with some music. Recently, David Bowie moved on to whatever, if anything, is next. Since he was a big part of the music I listened to in my 20's, here's a song to enjoy..."Changes" by David Bowie ( and one more because he's just so good, "Rebel Rebel" ( His list of songs is vast, but I remember these two from way back when. At the time, Joan Fish, a woman I was mad about then, turned me on to Bowie. I owe her for that gift.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Alex Kelly, Chicago Kind Of Touring Cyclist...

"Q: What three streets in Chicago rhyme with vagina?"
"A" Paulina, Melvina, and Lunt."

A little Chicago humor for Alex. Just about 10 days ago or so, Alex contacted me via Warmshowers ( and, no, just because my wife, Eileen, thinks so, it's not a porn site. This site is for cyclists, primarily touring cyclists, from all over the world to connect with other cyclists for a place to stay, set up a tent, get a shower, have some food maybe, and maybe a beer or three. Plus, it's a good way to meet people and to have a cyclist, who's familiar with the local area, provide some good advice on where to go, what to see, where to eat, how the roads are, what traffic is like, etc. My wife and I enjoy it primarily because of the people we meet who are traveling through on the Adventure Cycling Association's (https://www.adventurecycling.orgSouthern Tier Route or their Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. We've met more people from around the world via Warmshowers here in Silver City, NM, than we have anywhere else that we've lived.

Alex is self-employed back in Chicago with his lawn care business. He also has done, maybe still does, construction work.
This winter, Alex decided to ride his bicycle across the U.S. via the Southern Tier Route, West to East. I believe that he said he was 28 yrs. old. Good time to ride across the country. Actually, any age is a good time to bicycle across country, in my opinion. One of the dicey prospects of riding across the U.S. In January/February is the weather, which can be variable, to say the least. Alex happened to hit this area during a cold spell. Because of that, we weren't able to invite him to stay more than one night because, for his riding pleasure, he needed to "get out of Dodge, pronto!" as they say out West. Alex got into town on a Friday and, on Monday, Silver City was due to get hit with a snow storm. Sucks for cycling. So, on the morning he was due to arrive at our house, I headed out on Rt. 180 West to see where he was and to see if he wanted me to take his panniers, so he'd have an easier ride in to town. Or to see if he'd like a ride into town and skip the bicycling in exchange for a few beers. 

In Buckhorn, NM, I found Alex at the RV Park, just getting his gear together so he could ride into town. On offering him the option of throwing his bike and gear into the car and taking a faster ride into Silver City, he unhesitatingly said yes. I think he had tears in his eyes, but I'm not sure...just kidding. Nights had been cool, as soon as the sun set, and the days had not been extremely warm, but tolerable for riding. He did have tailwinds, which is always good. After getting the car loaded up, we headed for Silver City and the beer. This is Alex's first long trip as a self-contained touring cyclist. He has done a century ride (100 miles) between Chicago and Milwaukee (my wife's hometown). Touring, however, is another beast altogether. He was doing fine with it except for the cold nights. His overnight stay with us was his first day off from the bike since Los Angeles, CA, where he started. When we got to the house, I got out some sandwich makings for him to fix himself something to eat...and offered him a beer. He'd been having some trouble with his rear derailleur and I offered to look at it for him. A few years back, a cyclist had shown me how to make the adjustment to the rear derailleur that was the simplest instruction I'd ever had on how to do it. So, a few quick moves and it was done. Then it was time to clean up his drivetrain, which was fairly dirty. Hopefully, it worked well for him after he left. Haven't received any death threats from him yet.

I made some homemade pumpkin pie, cooked up some rice and chicken breasts for dinner, and more beer, of course. Alex had settled in, taken a shower, got unpacked for the day and night. He seemed to be enjoying the day off the bike. I knew the next few days would be windy, colder, and potentially some snow, but a real chance for rain before he got to Las Cruces, NM. So, we enjoyed our time at the house. He was telling me that his Dad is into home brewing. Now, I'm sure he told me what work he did, too, and what his Mom did, but all I remember is the home brewing. Beer brain. Always have been. 

Here's a picture of my pumpkin pie. Didn't get any photos of the chicken breasts. Oh, and a photo of my wife and the pie. Both are good looking, eh?
    "THE WIFE" and the pumpkin pie...
   Homemade from scratch...cooked the pumpkin, made the crust, yum!

   Alex loaded up and ready to ride on Saturday morning

Here are a couple of VERY short videos with the usual "Hello" and "Goodbye" to Silver City...

I heard from Alex a few days ago via this website/blog and he's been enjoying warmer weather in Texas. With friends in Austin, he's planning to spend a few days there enjoying himself. As a touring cyclist myself, I can attest to the fact that a few days stop somewhere, particularly a place like Austin, is great fun. Friends make it even better.

So, best wishes to Alex for a safe and great journey, with more to come down the pike. For now, it's time to exit this post. Not sure if Alex is a jazz fan, but there's nothing more indigenous to Chicago than jazz. Here's a new one done the old style way..Robin Adele Anderson doing "Gangsta Paradise".

Hope you enjoy it, Alex. Come back for a visit was a pleasure meeting you. My wife and I enjoyed your company. Happy trails...