What does Oak Flooring, Windy Hills, Braised Rabbit, and Vehicular Manslaughter have in Common?

What does Oak Flooring, Windy Hills, Braised Rabbit, and Vehicular Manslaughter have in Common?

Reflecting back on an uncharacteristically busy Saturday that involved a round-trip to gramma and grampa’s in Mapleton, a 50-mile bike ride in Henderson, and an evening out in Minneapolis, I’m not sure one additional activity could have fit into the span of the 16 hour day?

Mapleton with Koen

Since Koen is on spring break all of next week, we thought it would be a perfect time for him to spend a few days in Mapleton at grandma and grandpa’s house. With a full day ahead of me, Koen and I hit the road early. I was excited to see how my dad was doing after undergoing his second hip surgery a few weeks ago. I couldn’t believe he was already well enough to rip-up carpet in preparation for a floor and wall refinish of the dining room.

Dining Room 2

They don’t make hardwood floors like this any more.

This 100 year old Craftsman house is going to look even more amazing with fresh sheet rock and beautifully finished original oak floors. Having grown up in this house since the day I was born, I can’t believe I had never seen the beautiful oak floors that were hiding underneath the carpet. I just hope my dad doesn’t overdo it while working on this project.

Dining Room 1

Of course the dining room looked gigantic without any furniture.

Koen & Gramma

 

Koen & G&G

Koen deciding not to smile while standing on the freshly revealed oak floors with gramma and grampa. Grampa looking pretty good on his new hip.

 

Biking in Henderson

After leaving Koen in Mapleton, I headed back north to Henderson where I was scheduled to meet up with Ben and Jim to ride the Silver Island Road Race course. Since I arrived to Henderson early, I rode to Jessenland Hill and got a few climbs in before the ride. The last time I had ridden this hill was 2009 while racing in my second ever road race as a Cat 5. Boy, 5 years of racing has gone by in a blink.

Silver Island

August 30, 2009. Not loving Jessenland Hill during my second ever road race.

Henderson Hill

March 28, 2015. I forgot how long Jessenland Hill is. Great training hill as the pitch never gets too crazy.

The first few times up the hill I felt pretty good, but by the time I met up with Ben and Jim I realized I was feeling pretty flat. By the end of the 48 mile ride I was struggling to just hold on. It seems like every year around this time I come to the realization that I can’t lift weights 2-3 times per week and think that I’m going to be able to ride a solid 3+ hours on the weekend. My poor form may have been caused by a number of other factors, but it is still time to cut the weight training back to a maximum of once per week.

Ben & Jim2

15-20 mph gusts made for an interesting spring ride.

It was still a blast to get out on the road for a few hours and fight the elements with a couple of great guys.

Ben & Jim1

Ben needs to take the yellow stickers off of his wheels and Jim should probably treat his helmet a little better. . .


Dinner at the Sanctuary

I made it back to Brooklyn Park just in time to freshen up and head back down to Minneapolis with Angie for our first date night in months. Based on a recommendation, we chose The Sanctuary on Washington across from The Guthrie. Overall it was a great experience. After biking for nearly 50 miles, I was happy that the braised rabbit I ordered was a hearty and filling meal. I would recommend it to anyone.

Rabbit

I loved the mini carrots poked into this braised rabbit stew.

 

Drinks in the North Loop

We left the Sanctuary around 7:30 and realized it would be pretty lame if we headed back to the suburbs now, so we drove in the direction of the North Loop of Minneapolis. It’s amazing how much the dynamics of the city have changed in the last decade. “Back in my day,” the only time you would venture to this area of the city was if you wanted to see a local band at Bunkers or go to a comedy show at Acme Co. There are now well over a dozen bars and restaurants in this small area. They are also very popular bars and restaurants, as it took three different attempts for Angie and I find one with a room at the bar.

Angie

Lucky guy. . .

 

Freaking out with the Steve’s from Freakonmics Radio

I have been enjoying Stephen Dubner’s podcasts on Freakonomics Radio recently and thought that four hours of car time would be a great opportunity to catch up on a few. Koen and I listened to “The Perfect Crime: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast” on the way down to Mapleton and both enjoyed the traffic crash statistics and analogies made throughout. The attention-getting title was based on the fact that so few drivers are prosecuted after striking and killing pedestrians in New York. So, if you truly wanted to kill someone. . .

Since the percent of pedestrian fatalities from traffic crashes continues to rise, theories and solutions were examined throughout this podcast as to why this is the trend and why the population generally accepts this high number (4,743) of pedestrian deaths. However, the most interesting statistic was that the number of pedestrian deaths was nearly 4x this number (16,000) in 1930. After listening to the podcast, I continued to ponder the concept of driverless cars and the extent to which they will be a part of my life in the near future.

Traffic Fatalities

What’s the reason for the percentage increase? http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811888.pdf

 

It’s more often than not that Saturdays do not live up to their potential, but Saturday, March, 28, 2015 was not one of those.

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