Monday, March 4

Cleveland Rocks... and still loves Huey Lewis

So I traveled to the state that decides our president, Ohio.  I got to the Cleveland airport around 9:00PM, saw The Boy's new place, and then we headed out for the night to celebrate his 21st birthday.   For those that thought I was be facetious when I said:

Being that it is Cleveland, I'm sure his apartment is walking distance to at least 15-20 "establishments," or as they call them up there in the Great Gray North, "night churches."

we honestly went down the driveway, across the street, and entered the Sloan Pub.

We ordered two Yuengling drafts... $4.  I got carded.  I look young in Cleveland.  Musta been my new hat.

$11 beer at the Charlotte airport, enough to buy five Yuenglings at the Sloan Pub and leave a "generous" tip.
One beer at the Sloan Pub sitting next to a video game that was some erotic version of "Where's Waldo," and we were off to the next bar... about two blocks away.

This was a little more upscale.  I saw the guy in the blue and orange Cleveland Cavaliers shirt with a gold chain and hair gel that I would have expected to see.  As Dan F Hensley said, " it has been 1987 in Ohio since 1989. seriously."

The kind of place where you can stack up a pile of dead soldiers and no one will ever come clean up after you.

Banquet Beer... here it's Buffet Beer.

One beer there and we moved down the block, past a couple places that had a more "club-like" atmosphere, and settled into a place with a stage and a guitar.

This is my kinda place.  One guy tearing up some Pearl Jam, Tenacious D, and what have you.  Something about a dude and a guitar.  I guess I have a soft spot for it since in my spare time I'm Nils Lofgren.

We witnessed people go out the back door.  After a while, we wondered where the hell there they were going.  We polished off another round and headed out to see.  Behind this bar were two more bars.  Strange indeed.  Like being inside Doctor Who's phone booth.

So we moved on, back towards The Boy's place.  Past a bar, then another, and then a dude in a doorway says, "Coors Light's a buck seventy five."

We go in.

Black Sabbath is playing.  Then "We Built this City" came on the jukebox.

This would have been the same experience twenty years ago.

We went home way late, got up way later, and headed to Ray's Indoor (used to be "Mountain") Bike Park.

After building a rider profile on the computer kiosk and filling out the necessary paperwork (last time I was there, you just had to join the Boy Scouts for insurance purposes), we got in line to pay.  I told him I needed a rental and I also my XT Trail pedals put on it.

"We don't do that."

When I asked for an explanation, first it was safety concerns.  I had to explain, after asking for any douchey attitudes to be forgiven, that I had been riding mountain bikes since the early 90's, was comfortable riding stunts with clips, had done the BC Bike Race, and was perfectly fine.

Then I was told that there was a "no pedal swapping" rule because the threaded inserts in the cranks were being damaged from all the removals/installations.

"I flew up here, never saw any rules online about no pedal swapping, and only have Mavic mountain shoes with cleats and a pair of sandals."

Another more managerial presence stepped in.  The same thing.

"You don't wanna be clipped in... yada, yada, yada."

I tried to explain that I've ridden flats occasionally in the past, and when you're used to being clipped in, you're actually in more danger of slipping a pedal... especially in a pair of knobbly shoes.

They decided to swap the pedals on one certain type of rental bike, but while we were hemming and hawing, another associate had rented that bike out.

Time for the refund and walk of shame out the door.

Don't bother offering a solution.  It's been hashed over on FB.  I didn't get to ride Ray's and that's that.  Talking to one of my friends who used to be a Ray's regular (and got to know Ray back in the day), he informed me that a very large corporate entity had bought the place years ago, and it has never been the same.  I can't confirm or deny that rumor.  They had their reasons and I had my choice.

So The Boy and I did what one might do in Cleveland in March.  We went to the West Side Market to look at dead fish and then headed to the beach.

Now I was glad I wore my sandals.

I think my father-in-law erected this sign.

And then to a grocery store to look through the local fare.

Then we relaxed back at The Boy's place.  He had logistical non-rev flight strategerizing to do for himself, The Pie, and Nia as they were all headed to San Diego/Mexico the next day.

I watched TV.

Cleveland has it's own station that allows people to stay well footed in the best decade ever.

It was getting late, so I didn't stay up to watch Charles Bronson and Jan Michael Vincent in The Mechanic.

Then we were up at 5:00AM, on a plane, and I was back in the land of sunshine and riding 30 miles of dry singletrack later that day.

The Pie, The Boy, and Fajita are on probably South of the Border by now, and I have a week of La Vida Bachelor on tap.  Things to do, things on the way, and a race to get ready for this weekend.

Gonna be a great week.


Anonymous said...

I went to Ray's in Cleveland in 2005 or 2006. Similar to you, I brought pedals, shoes and helmet.

Unlike you they allowed me to swap my pedals at my own leisure and presumeably my own risk. Except the pedals were so damn tight, bouncing on them would loosen them a bit.

I went out put on work boots and rode. Had a good time, but even back then I got the vide that I was crazy to even be asking.

Yes, I nailed my shin two or three times with the pedals.

I'm with you.

Anonymous said...

I hope you were much ruder than your post implies. Not having that clearly posted on their website OR having loaner shoes for rent is super mega huge lame.

dicky said...

I'm not a rude person. It's not in me.

They were not rude to me in the least. They tried to be understanding, and had that bike not rented while we were working things out, I woulda been riding (and had a better story).

But I wouldn't have seen the beach.

Anonymous said...

So you went there in your ballerina shoes ? - failathon
Clip less should improve your riding not be the only way you know how

Andrew Bottar-Dillen said...

Sorry I'm so late in reading this. Good write up! Nice having you around for a few days. Next time, BYOB for Ray's.