9 Dec

I wanted to write a post about the preparation work that Zolie (the dog), Avengelyne (the bike), Mustafa (the car) and I are doing to make our upcoming road trip a safe, fun, productive, and trouble-free adventure.

“Preparation” is not a good blog-post title though. At least in my world, that word conjures up “pain in the arse” ideas rather than joyous journey premonitions. So I Googled “preparation synonym,” which yielded 43(!) options, with groundwork offering the highest level of resonance to me.

Road trip / groundwork.

Yes, that works. We are doing groundwork (both literal and metaphorical) for our road trip.

When I entered “groundwork” into my Google browser, 3 of the 4 top hits were:

Holymonkey. Yes, all that totally works, too! Google is kinda spooky sometimes.

logo_groundworkPersonally, I’ve ramped up significantly in terms of coffee intake, fitness outputs, and telelogical ruminations — all of which shall be essential elements for this forthcoming road trip (if not for life itself), and each of these will likely get its own treatment in future posts.

The dog has performed remarkably well with her social makeover efforts in advance of interacting with dozens and scores (if not hundreds) of strangers out in the big-wide world. Her/our biggest success has been overcoming her narrow-yet-deep, neurotic racism towards Mexicans.

Our new (temp) roommate/subtenant, JC, is Mexican by birth (but now a full U.S. citizen with Purple Heart to go with his real heart) and when he came to check out the place to decide if he wanted to move in, things did not …. well, they did not go well (to put it mildly). It’s a really good thing that one of his legs is made out of carbon and steel, because that’s the one that Zolie kept trying to attack/chomp as she maniacally barked and dodged at him. Not good housemate behavior, Zolie!

So, for the last several weeks I have treated Zolie to (and tested Zolie with) multiple trips to my bike shop, which is home to:

(a) Auntie Alison who spoils Zolie endlessly with fistfuls of treats designed for her very large dog, Toast, and

(b) Manny, the chocolate-dipped Mexican, who is about the same build as JC (except he has 2 fully-human legs).

I let Zolie get all comfy and happy (and fat) with Auntie Alison for a bit and then I sneak off to…

take a phone call right out outside the shop,

grab a coffee at the end of the block,

cross the street for a bacon shake,

walk 2 blocks to get the world’s best sandwich

walk 2 blocks to get the world’s best sandwich and eat it at the sandwich shop instead of high-tailing it back to Bike Effect…

Each effort/outing was longer than the last and each one left Zolie alone in the company of no-longer-hated-but-instead-much-beloved mini-Manny the Mexican. Accordingly, we now have Reasons #30-37 as to why Bike Effect is the best bike shop in the west (if not the universe).

A bike shop that TRAINS YOUR DOG TO NOT BE A RACIST? How awesome is that!

Thanks, Team BE! Y’all are the tops!

Of course Team BE also has done wonders for Avengelyne. Most recently, they installed new wheels, tires, rings, cogs, and a slick new ultra-smooth-and-quiet chain on her. Purrrrrrrrr, she says — especially on the downhills (wow, she is loving the downhills these days)!

Except when she was saying “ggggrrrrissk” in the 3 lowest gears and “ka-thik” every 3rd pedal stroke.


Luckily, Diego is like the West Coast version of the Car Talk guys (RIP, Tom), except for bikes (although Tom apparently loved bikes, too). Yesterday, Diego trimmed and filed Av down real nice (with a REAL FILE, which was actually completely terrifying to watch, but -hey- it worked!) and now she’s more than ready to bust out ~5000 or so miles in the next 6 months while we tour this great nation of ours.

[Actual cycling training details still very much TBD b/c Coach has a been LAZY of late…]

And that brings us to Mustafa, the car, who is arguably The Most Important Character in our upcoming road trip drama. I bought Mustafa 3 years ago because (I shit you not), because I could not handle the pressure and challenge associated with choosing new floor-mats for my prior car, Rex.

Too. Many. Options.

Sensory overload.

Cannot compute.

Cannot decide.

Fuck it, I’ll just buy a whole new car.

In cash.

On the spot.

Will it a bike fit in the backseat?

It will?



That is what happens when you let brain damaged people try to manage their lives on their own….


So … Mustafa.

He wasn’t exactly planned, but I love him. And he has a great caretaker, Peyman. Peyman has been my car service guy for 10+ years. He was PISSED at me when I got rid of Rex without consulting with him first: I could have helped you choose some car mats, Z! You didn’t need to buy a whole new car, you know?

Oh. Yeah. I guess I should’ve thought of that! Stupid dain bramage. Well, I’ve got Mustafa now, Pman, so I’m counting on you to help me take care of him.

Sure enough, on Monday Peyman called: Z, you know your 3-year warranty expires on the 20th, make sure to bring the car in before then, ok?

This morning, a soon as I’d left Mustafa in Peyman’s care, I began what I believe must be the first Official Epic Homeless Vagabond Couch-Surfing Road Trip Adventures

Tune in tomorrow (probably) for details!

[And if you have a catchy acronym or shorter renaming suggestion for the Epic Homeless Vagabond Couch-Surfing Road Trip Adventure, PLEASE share it in the comments — thx!]

2 Responses to “Groundwork”

  1. T December 19, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    The Bay Cities hot pastrami is the best sandwich in the known universe.

    • justadventures December 19, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

      Really? Better than the Godmother Works Hot?!? Clearly I need to expand my horizons! Thanks for the tip. I will check it out in a few weeks and let you know if I agree.

Something you wanna say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: