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So I’m spamming myself to sell some bikes (=

2 Jun

Well, I found a bike. Ummmmm, it’s a really really good deal, and I am trying desperately to come up with the necessary cash. It’s even my color. Yeah. So I am selling two bicycles, and have listed them on craigslist.

One of them is my red Firenze GL5000. I noted in a previous post that I have given up work on this bike, but taking it for a test ride today, it’s really not a bad bike. I cleaned it up nice and it actually rides pretty well. The deurailler needs some tweaking, as it has issues with the small gear in front, but it shouldn’t be a big thing. The chain is clean and there’s no rust to be found anywhere. I thought it looked better without the fenders and rack, but they come with and are easy enough to put back on.

I’m asking $75 to start, but come take a look and make me an offer, and we’ll see what happens!

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The second bike is my old mountain bike. This one has stories behind it, let me tell you. It’s a 1996 frame, and the frame itself is still in great shape, with only a few nicks in the paint. I got this bike in high school and on a really rainy day after a cross country meet, I sort of daydreamed off and ran into the back of a parked car. OOF. The car was fine, and no one cared much, but my bike was another story. The fork was shot, totally bent. This leads to the one glaring problem with this bike that you’ll have to deal with.

My friend put a set of shocks on it, but the for doesn’t quite fit. I’ve been told all it needs is a spacer, so it may be an easy fix for someone with know-how. The brakes are perfect, I mean they are sharp, as well as the shifters. The tires also are still in really great shape, and they are pretty decent tires. The crankset is meh, could use replacing, but the bike still rides and shifts. I’m asking $75 for this one as well, but again, negotiating is fine. Oh, and it comes with a really sweet set of lights a friend gave me. They light up greenish-yellow and are great for night-time visibility. I really just want to get a little closer to that gorgeous Bianchi that’s never going to leave my dreams (=

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Thanks for looking, and if you know anyone interested, please pass it on.

GT http://appleton.craigslist.org/bik/3844961969.html

Firenze http://appleton.craigslist.org/bik/3844973179.html

The Spotted Cow, a Wisconsin Tradition.

16 Apr

If you are at all into craft beer, then I assume you know about New Glarus. I’ve done a couple reviews of their beer before, a couple of my favorites, Moon Man, and Black Top. An interesting thing you may or may not know about New Glarus is that there beer is only available in Wisconsin. I often see tweets and facebook updates from friends who’ve moved out of state, wishing they could get their hands on it. Even with this limited distribution, they still managed to rank pretty high in a recent poll by the Brewers Association, which is just freaking awesome! I feel for the friends who can’t get it readily, but it’s pretty cool to have such a dedicated brewery right here in the heart of the dairyland.

Spotted Cow is not in my opinion the greatest beer New Glarus makes, but it’s definitely the most well known, and has some wonderful endearing qualities.

Wisconsin is a bit of a confused state in the beer world. There is a whole lot of great beer brewed right here in the state, some really amazing local microbrews are available just in the Green Bay and Appleton areas. Milwaukee is also home to Miller (okay I know that’s not technically true but we have Miller Park anyways) and there is a heavy network of domestic beer distribution. I get that domestics have their place, and I realize why people indulge in such beers like Miller Lite and Bud Light, among others, but it always boggles my mind to see people drinking swill when better wonderful options are available. Weddings are a great example, and a great example of how Spotted Cow is saving beer lovers lives.

If you haven’t been to a Wisconsin wedding, it’s pretty much the law that there’s an open bar sometime around the dinner. Either up to the dance or during the dance, whatever. A lot of weddings there will be two beers available during this time. It’s either Bud Light and Spotted Cow, or Miller Lite and Spotted Cow, and I’ll let you guess which I choose. There’s always that moment of relief when I see the cow on the tap, and to know I’m not alone. While many wallow in a shallow pool of mediocre beverages, I take comfort in the fact that our whole state is putting some really great beer on the map.

Well, on to the beer.

I would be remiss to mention this beer without talking about the label. It even worked it’s way pretty far into the beer label bracket competition on CBS sports! It’s just a classy label, paying homage to the dairy that our state is famous for. I love the simplicity of it, the straight green field, star at the location of New Glarus and even the name. It’s wonderful simplistic design, my favorite kind.

Spotted Cow is said to pour cloudy as they leave bits of yeast in the bottle. It pours a little cloudy, but mostly clear golden, it’s not like a hefeweizen. It shows a decent amount of carbonation, but doesn’t have a real thick head. It stays around for a little while and reduces to a thin film throughout most of the beer.

The smell is definitely citrusy and fruity with maybe just a hint of nutinesst. It’s not an amazing aroma, but it’s quite honest and gives a good idea of what is to come.

The taste is similar to the other pale american lagers that I mentioned, but it has a refreshing slightly fruity quality that sets it apart. It has a lemon-like fruity flair, with the just a tiny hint of the corn they add. It’s a nice easy going flavor, perfect for warm summer evenings and chilling outside in nature.

The mouthfeel is really what I think sets this beer apart from others in its class. It is nice and creamy smooth, not watery like it’s mass marketed opponents. It fills your mouth and goes down easy, almost buttery.

Overall, like I said, it’s not my favorite New Glarus beer, but it is quite good, and gives a good representation of New Glarus’s ability to craft great beer. You can find it on tap at most bars all over the state, and it’s always cool to see the cow hanging out on the tap. So go pick up a pack (if you’re in state, if not, come visit!) and relax, it’s going to be a wonderful evening.

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The weirdest April ever: photos of the spring ice storm

11 Apr

So, it has nothing to do with biking or beer. I’m sorry. Sue me if you must (= But I do love photography, and this blog does relate to the environment in which I find myself, and I regularly bike in this area so I’ll allow it. Plus, it’s my blog and you’re here anyway so hey! Thanks for coming (=

If you’re from Wisconsin, you know that our springs tend to be not very springy. Most of the time winter turns everything into a slightly warmer slushy mess that transitions mysteriously into summer, basically skipping ‘spring’ entirely. If you are not from Wisconsin, this is part of why so many Wisconsinites go crazy and wear shorts and t-shirts in april when it’s 45 degrees out, and others complain relentlessly around this time of year that it’s still so cold.

Well this year has been really weird. We had a thunderstorm last night, (not that odd for Spring) and then shortly after the temperature dropped rapidly,  freezing basically everything. I mean everything, roads, trees, blades of grass, cars, power lines etc. The result is a city coated in absolute pristine beauty. This beauty comes at a high price however. I mean that quite literally, I saw some very expensive damage today. The insurance claims are going to be skyrocketing. Large branches have fallen everywhere due to the extreme weight of the ice.

I think it’s ironic the way nature works. It does something so devastating, possibly fatal to some, if a tree fell in the right place; yet it does it with such beauty. The way the trees glimmered white was enchanting, and I couldn’t help but stare, and become conflicted with the stark contrast of beauty and destruction. I typically speak about these things with pictures, so I’ll stop blabbing and show some, photos that is, of something the likes of which I really have never seen before.

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