This past weekend, some of my Chicago biking buddies flew in to join me and my son down in Monterey, CA for the 25th annual Sea Otter Classic. It’s the biggest bicycle show in the country, if not the world. And if you’re into bikes, it’s the place to be.
We took the Westy down and camped inside the grounds of the Laguna Seca raceway, which is also where it’s held. We arrived around lunch time Friday and spent the afternoon meandering around the show.
I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking. It was one of the best times I’ve had all year.
More often than not, people who say they have a bias for action really mean they have a bias for activity. Don’t get me wrong, I get the difference between analysis paralysis and execution. It becomes a problem when you place a higher value on action than progress.
So I went to the Replacements show at the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco last Monday. I was not disappointed. It was as good a show as when I saw them in 1991. In fact, they seemed to be enjoying themselves a lot more this time. They played close to 2 hours, and mostly old, old stuff. They did get in all the best stuff.
The crowd was full of superannuated hipsters who totally forgot how general admission works. There was a lot of pinched faces when you stepped into the gap to get a better look. I managed to weasel my way up to the front row and to get some pictures. Sorry to say, I was one of those guys for a couple moments. You know the ones, the stiffs who stand there and film the whole thing instead of experiencing it. I couldn’t resist getting a couple pictures.
I’m not a big fan of reunion shows. Like many guys “my age”, I was a huge fan of the Replacements, so I’m making the exception.
The last, and only time I got to see them was at Foellinger Auditorium while I was at the U of I. The rumor leading up to the show was they couldn’t stand each other anymore, AND they had cleaned up their act. For years, I had been dying to see them, but they never came to the towns where I lived. Since their last album was a little stale, I had lost some gumption.
I was working at this show as part of the student-run concert organization called Starcourse. Surprisingly, it hadn’t sold out right away and to promote it at the last minute we had signs saying “come see them before they break up.”
On the day of the show, I got to be on stage while they did their soundcheck. It was like getting a private concert – with their backs to me. I got that chill down my back when you hear a song live that you’ve only heard recorded.
I love traveling up and down the West Coast. Everything is within a 90 minute flight. We went down to San Diego this past Spring Break and stayed at a resort on Coronado Island. It’s a cool little town, definitely different than Santa Cruz.
Everyone had a chance to work on their tans poolside. We did a good job of getting around. We went up to La Jolla to check out UCSD, had lunch in Old Town, and of course, took a trip to the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
We tried going to the zoo first thing on Monday and it was a complete shitshow. The lines were an hour plus just to get in. We went back Wednesday in the afternoon. It was the perfect plan. We waltzed right in fresh as daisies. The rest of the crowd looked like the walking dead and were moving to the exits. We didn’t quite have the place to ourselves, but we weren’t waiting in huge lines. They’re one of the few zoos in the country with Giant Pandas. So it was a pretty cool getting to see those in person.
The other highlight of the trip was surfing lessons for the kids. We wanted to take them too, but my knee isn’t ready.
Coronado Island is a great place to stay if you want to get away from the bustle of the city. They’ve got a decent little downtown built up around the famous Del Coronado Hotel.
Interesting factoid, Tina Weymouth of the Talking Heads is from Coronado Island.
The good people at my insurance company covered my bike and within 24 hours of making my claim, I was able to get another bike. Luckily, Bianchi is nearby and they still had a 2014 Metropoli in stock. I’m back on 2 wheels and wielding a much better lock.