Sunday, August 08, 2021

Indiana Tour 2021 Day 0 - Getting There

 My son Max, my bike touring buddy Jim, and I have decided to ride US Bike Route 35 across Indiana. No, I don't know why we want to do this, or anyone else. Anyway, we are riding from Louisville, KY to Chicago, IL, mostly on USBR 35.

So the first part of the puzzle is how to get out there and back with our bikes. Efficiently. I hate flying on planes. Amtrak doesn't go to Louisville. 

But my wife is the most awesome person ever. 

"Hey hon, how about we all drive to Louisville, KY, with our bikes, and then you drive the truck to my sister Kate's in Chicago, and fly home?" Then at the end of our bike tour, we put our bikes in the truck, predeployed to the end of the ride, and drive home.

She agreed to do this! She is the best.

This is somewhat easier than you think, because my sister Amy lives outside Cincinnati, and we can visit her for a night before proceeding on to Louisville.

Amy has made a flower farm in her back yard.

This is amazing and I am humbled. She has a potting shed to get the plant started. The flowers go in holes in the heavy duty ground cover, with irrigation, and hoops to cover them from the cold, and netting so they get support to stand up straight.

She picks the flowers and makes bouquets.

Which she sells at the farmers market in her neighborhood. We got there an hour after it opened and she is almost sold out. In the picture L to R is my Aunt Therese, Amy, my Dad, and Debra. Dad and Therese came up to visit because we were in town. 

I stocked up on some manly organic goat milk soap for the bike tour. I will need this.

So after we checked out Amy's farmers' market, we headed off to Louisville. We picked up Jim at the Covington airport, and introduced him to Cincinnati chili at Skyway for lunch.

We stayed in the fancy AC Hotel in the trendy NuLu neighborhood in Louisville. The AC Hotel is nice, but I would not exactly say it is a solid value proposition. Nonetheless we had fun. We all wondered off in search of food and libations. 

We started at the Akasha Brewery taproom. Jim and I got beers, and then we discovered nobody would bring us food. So we finished our beers and went over to The Grind hamburger restaurant, where they said it would be an hour for food. Max bailed at that point. He had Debra walk him back to the hotel, and buy him a ginormous ice cream sundae for dinner. Debra and I debated later whether this was a good plan the day before we are going to ride our bikes 60 miles. Debra: this is all sugar and a bad idea. Me: No, this is a fat bomb and it is good for lots of miles."

So after Max abandoned us, we had our OK burgers and disappointing craft cocktails at Grind. But while walking back to the hotel, we passed the Taj Whiskey Bar, and decided to stop for a drink.

This was the big win of the evening. Taj mad me a kick ass Old Fashioned, and we parked ourselves at a table on the sidewalk out front and proceeded to drink and people watch all night. Here is the street scene. 

So I totally became very intrigued by the building next door. It looks like Formstone! Could it be Formstone in Kentucky? Is there Formstone beyond Baltimore?

When you look at where it has fallen apart at the bottom of the building, you can see the metal mesh underneath, and it sure does look like Formstone.

Anyway, the guy at the table two pictures back struck up a conversation about my unnatural fascination with the purported Formstone. I explained to him what Formstone is (concrete slathered on a nice brick building, and shaped and colored to look like stone.) He said they call the finish on that building "veneer", and as it happens, he just finished installing such a veneer around the base of a hot tub for one of his clients. So on closer inspection, and after being educated, this is *not* Formstone. It is real stone, applied as a veneer over the brick.

I was sad, but the girl he was with gave me a big hug. She was even drunker than I was. 

Louisville was fun.

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