Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Love a Parade!

Well, actually, I've generally just liked them, not loved them. That is, until a couple of years ago when I got to actually participate in one. You see, the town of Vienna, Virginia, has a big Halloween parade every year, and it's been going on for over 50 years now. Bikes@Vienna participates, and staff and customers alike ride a pretty fun array of bikes in big looping circles as we go down the main drag of Vienna, Maple Avenue.

Last night was the night, and we had a pretty good turn out, in spite of it being pretty chilly with a chance of rain. There were some pretty good costumes as well... one of our customers as the Grim Reaper on a trike, another riding a Kidz Tandem, in ghoulish makeup with a child sized skeleton in the child seat in front. Me, I was at a lost what to wear, until digging in a closet for something else, and discovering a set of ram's horns, a la Monty Python's Great Enchanter, that a friend had given me a few years ago. Why would someone give me that? Think back to the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The Knights of the Round Table are seeking the Great Enchanter, and when they encounter a bizarre figure with ram's horn headgear, they ask "Are you the great and mighty Enchanter?"... to which John Cleese responds "There are those who call me... Tim!" :-)

Anyway, a good time was had by all. I rode one of our Brompton folding bikes from England, and periodically hopped off, folded it up, and carried it a short distance... then unfolded and remounted it. I only managed to go through it three times I think, but it did show off the bike a bit, and even got me a few cheers and some applause. I learned the hard way that while it was good to practice the folding at the shop, I should have tried it with bad lighting and gloves too. Out there on the parade route, with gloves, it was trickier than I thought. I had an assist from Al, another staffer, who pulled up behind me on his trike-of-many-lights, which helped me see a bit better. After the ride we had refreshments back at the shop... beer, cider, and "walking tacos", a concoction made with a small bag of Doritos, crushed and covered with chili, cheese, and other taco fillings. Yummy and filling.

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