OK, the truth is he didn’t come to Austin, Texas just to visit me, he came to see his son. But since he asked, I couldn’t get out of town in time, I couldn’t weasel out of it. Just kidding. A Midnight Rider hails from Southeastern Massachusetts, and from the moment he exclaimed “Dude!” I was taken back to my college days in Vermont. That New England accent ain’t heard too much around these parts, but it was welcome to my ears. If you’re not familiar with it, the letter “r” in certain words is a lot softer. So “Park the car in the yard” sounds like “Pahk the cah in the yahd.” Anyway, here’s a little recap of our get together.
I invited friend Rhodney, being in the same generation, who happens to have a bitchin’ camper van with a bike rack on it. Getting up early for me, we made our way to the Galaxy Cafe, in a nicer part of town called Clarksville. The son couldn’t make it but he bought us all breakfast, which was suitable penance and fine with me. I wore my Brattleboro (Vermont) shirt so he’d feel welcome.
Because I’m a big boy, I had the Big Breakfast and splurged on a hot chocolate since this was an early day for me. AMR had an egg white omelette, a result of improving his eating habits some years ago. Rhodney, who AMR dubbed Rocky for some reason (why not?), had eggs over easy and filched some of my potatoes, later returning some. We go way back, so it was fine. Keep Austin Weird, right? But it was good to sit out on a beautiful morning and chat with a guy who heretofore was only in the blog. Unlike me and many bloggers, A Midnight Rider makes great videos, so I already knew what he sounded like.
Sitting out on the patio, we chatted about the very early flight in, plans to do a pub crawl with fellow soccer fans and then to see the US play Jamaica in World Cup qualifying match. All this time I thought AMR liked to ride late at night, but it turns out that his name comes from being part of a soccer fan group called the Midnight Riders, named after which supports the New England Revolution. He’s a HUGE soccer fan and has a storied past with that.
Anyway, like A Dude Abikes is not THE Dude Abides — that’s Jeff Bridges aka The Big Lebowski — he’s A Midnight Rider, not THE Midnight Rider — that’s Paul Revere. So we have that little article in common. I wasn’t invited to the pricey and sold out game, the tailgating before, or the pub crawl. But that was fine by me, because it sounded pretty loud and raucous. I used to play as a kid and young dude, and I watch as much of the World Cup as possible, but otherwise I’d rather be on my bicycle. Quite ironically, AMR played with a guy named Kyle Rote, Sr., whose son I saw play for the Dallas Tornado many decades ago. As fellow Bay Stater comedian Steven Wright from Boston (excuse me, Bahston), Massachusetts said, “Small world, but I wouldn’t want to paint it.”
Breakfast completed, we headed down to Town Lake. AMR knew the route well, having done it half a dozen times before. With the ACL Music Festival going on, I was sure to take us well out of the way of that madhouse. Unfortunately, the seat on the bicycle he rented from Mellow Johnny’s kept slipping down, so I loaned him my Allen wrench, but it didn’t hold. So we detoured over to the shop where the mechanic did the same thing. A few miles later, the same problem occurred. AMR and Rhodney and I took turns chatting. It was an enjoyable 13 miles or so on a bright sunny and warm day. Great weather for a New Englander. I took some photos, he took some video. After the ride, he swapped out the bike.
The next day didn’t work out because the pub crawl went pretty late, so he needed to recover in time for the early tailgating. It is apparently a huge spectacle with drumming and rival fan clubs, and then the game itself also involves lots of noisemaking. I suggested we meet the next day at the Southern Walnut Creek Trail. I biked down, Rhodney drove over, but AMR got lost. He didn’t follow my directions and instead was getting there by calling his son who told him a longer way to go and then asking passerby who steered him wrong, then Google Maps also him go out of the way. Finally he made it to the park and as we were about to hit the trail, we noticed a couple about to bike. We started chatting and giving them recommendations for where to ride. Coincidentally the guy was Jamaican — but had no clue his country’s team was playing. Later I took pictures of a Jamaican restaurant I mean to visit one day.
We rode up the trail for a while, and I asked what he thought of it. “Yeah, it’s nice. But I prefer the city streets.” He mentioned how when he’s ridden longer rails to trails, like he did a few summers back with his son in upstate New York, he kind of got bored with seeing similar green trees and not much else for miles on end. Since his neck of the woods has a lot more options for bike routes without cars than the Texas capital, I could see his point. I never tire of the SWCT, though. Time was short so we headed back to the trail head. Below you can see him cooling off, because it was in the 90’s, which is warm for him. He had some bright yellow arm sleeves and neck protector, too. If I were back east in the winter I’d be doing the opposite — putting on as many layers as I could and still move.
By the way, here’s A Midnight Rider’s blog post about his visit. At the end there is this YouTube video link. I’m not given much dialog, but I do feature in several action shots. Now that I’m going to be internet famous, I look forward to those royalty checks coming in. Maybe I should get into the moving picture business. Someday I hope to get back to visiting Massachusetts again. Apparently there’s not a lot of snow right on the coast in the winter. Maybe we can get some of that famous New England chowdah. Thanks to A Midnight Rider for coming down and hanging out! It was a wicked awesome time.
Thank you for visiting me on WordPress or at https://ADudeAbikes.com. Feel free to add your Likes and Comments and to Follow the blog through WordPress if you have it, or by email. Contact me on the About page with any questions. Please feel free to Re-blog and Share as long as you give credit and the permalink to this post.
© 2021 A Dude Abikes. All rights reserved.