Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Kristin is going for a bit of food.

Take-Out Anyone?

Only I would find a way to work food into this challenge.

The other night the cupboards were bare and we were craving takeout. There are numerous good restaurants nearby, but after serious contemplation it became apparent that most of them are Italian, burger joints or too fancy for takeout.

And Chinese? That just sounds like bad heartburn.

So, against the better judgment of my spouse, I became determined to make the trek at 8:00 on a Friday night to Vietnamese Asian on 72nd & Jones, a restaurant aptly named for the kind of food it serves (many people who haven’t heard of this joint think I’m suggesting a type of food instead of an actual restaurant).

Lately, I have been obsessed with bike racks. I am constantly assessing where I travel and how I might find a creative way to lock up my bike should I find myself without one.

It’s not a pretty picture in my head: there’s me fighting with a tree or a lamppost, I’m bent over with my big butt in the air, small children are staring and old ladies are pointing and laughing as I struggle to get my lock untangled and tied to some unfortunate smelling trash can. All of this just to ensure no one rides off into the sunset with my pretty blue bike – a fear I harbor even when my bike is chained to a pole that’s been cemented into the ground.

Okay, I’ve become a little attached to my bike. It’s as if this equipment were an extension of my body, eh hem. Now I know why so many men ride.

But, I digress. I was relieved on my way to Vietnamese Asian to recall that it is right next to the Trek Bicycle Store and I would undoubtedly have access to a very nice bike rack. The ride was a blast. I love cutting through empty parking lots, riding through neighborhoods and avoiding traffic. I have to admit that I’ve started seeking out the bumps in the sidewalk so I can do my own version of a standing jump (not impressive to the onlooker, but in my head I’m a super star).
I arrived at my destination exhilarated and ready to pick up take-out for my family. “Wait…what? No bike rack at the Trek Store? You have to be kidding!” I asked the gang waiting outside—who by now are very amused at my bemoaning the lack of a bike rack AT THE BIKE STORE—to watch my baby while I carefully packed the food in my messenger bag. I am becoming a master packer (no pun intended).

The ride home through Elmwood Park in the gloaming was beautiful and I, leaving the faint scent of fish sauce, lemon grass and curry in my wake, realized I had finally found my bike legs. Or, maybe the endorphins had just kicked in. Either way it felt great.

Unfortunately, just as I hit Dodge Street I could feel that something very, very bad had happened in my bag. It felt squishy and liquid and dangerously like a bad accident I’d had in the seventh grade during science class, which ultimately turned into me waiting in the nurse’s office for my mother to bring me new pants. “Oh, no! I can’t even look. As long as it’s not actually dripping down my leg I can get home.” Sound familiar, ladies?

Thankfully, it was only the curry that had spilled in the bag. Aside from some lost sauce and picking broken plastic lid pieces out of our dinner, it was a lovely meal.

PS – Sunday, I rode to Borders for some book browsing and coffee. What a great way to start the day. And…they have a bike rack!


C.K. said...

That is the cutest picture! And I can just see you shooting through parking lots hoping for a nice little airborne action. Always wanted to try that restaurant, but think I'll hit it on all 4-s (car tires, that is). I'm still laughing at bike's "lack 'o rack."

Hope to see you on thet rail real soon. Watch out for that curry sauce...ck

MP said...

I don't know you or anything, but I found this and I had to comment. The exact same thing happened to me! I was out riding with a friend and we thought "Hey, let's eat at Vietnamese Asian, the Trek store HAS to have a bike rack, right?" I think we ended up chaining our bikes to one of those elevated parking lot lights, which was no easy task.

becx said...

This post made me giggle. I've never spilled food in my bag but I did drop a bottle of wine on my way home from the store. I cried.

SiouxGeonz said...

Great story :) Get after the bike store! (Mine has a bike rack outside *and* indoor "customer parking.")

SiouxGeonz said...

Oh, and you're finding out what I found out when I moved to this college town.
From the car, I saw bike paths and thought "how forward-thinking!"
Then I started riding on them. They're fine -- oops, except when they're not. Good news was that I took pictures and blogged - and some of the worst spots got fixed! (And that was before I got on that advocacy committee...)
Seize the addiction :)

Melissa said...

I live full-time in Minneapolis and part-time in Omaha (weekends). I bike EVERYWHERE in Mpls and have never had to think twice about locking up. I finally got a bike to ride in Omaha and discovered there is a huge lack of bike racks! Perhaps, as more and more people are taking to the pedal, businesses will start putting them out. Ride on:)