Monday, June 30, 2014

Beer and Loathing

As has become the ritual, at 6am sharp, my rescue Chiuachsund, Mango, jumped up on the bed and began pulling the covers off of me: Digging at the one side, then vaulting off my back to dig at the other until waist up is exposed.
Then tunneling under my arms and wedging his head painfully under my face he gave me the daily ultimatum: broken nose or get out of bed.

Okay... okay.... I'm up.

Dogs love hats. That's just science.

Keeping with the theme of ticking off things I never anticipated in my life, having an insane dachsund/chiauaha mix was never really part of "the plan." But he's wedged that thick skull of his into my heart.
From what little I know of his storied history, he was left in a PetSmart parking lot with a note saying that his owner was terminally ill and couldn't take care of him anymore.
I was in a coffee shop and saw a little poster stating that a dog needed a home ASAP.
Well, damn.
Before I really knew what I was even doing, he was in my house, following me around and barking incessantly. After about 30 minutes of that, I just swooped down and scooped him up in my arms. At that moment, he got the drift "Oh... You're my dude."

According to what I recently read on the facebook, he is a combination of at least two of the most aggressive dog breeds in the world. I don't doubt it. While he loved the shit out of my other dogs (even if they never particularly cared for him), when he sees another dog, he growls, pulls on the leash until he's choking, and nips violently at their legs. Until they nip back...and then he flops onto his back, acts like he's been grievously wounded and pees a little. Then he tries to nip at their legs again.
When he sees another person, he growls, whines, flops onto his back and pees a little. I have no idea what sort of environment he came up in and what prompted this kind of behaviour.
It's one part endearing, eight parts insanely vexing. But it is what it is.

He loves women....

Especially this one....
And he loves Milo...
But he's particular about his mens.

He did warm to Greggers pretty quick though, so....
But I digress.

This particular morning, upon being ousted from bed by Mango, I looked at my phone and saw three missed calls. All from 3am. And not from a number I recognized.
Never good.
And sure enough... it wasn't.
"Yes, uh, Mr. Dixon, this is Doug with AAA Security. We're showing a break-in at 1907 Spring Garden St. The police have been dispatched. Please call us."


So, three hours late, I pull up to my brand new shop space totally unsure what I'll find.
What I find is that some dipshit had decided to try and break a window and get into the shop. He'd made it through one pane of glass, but hadn't figured on;
A) another pane of glass,
B) an alarm. (Despite there being a sticker smack in the middle of the very pane of glass he broke informing him of said alarm's presence.)

Luckily, we have a pretty damn good alarm system. Outside of the very occasional break-in attempt, it's sensitive enough to have been set off by:
-a book falling off the counter (twice)
-an overinflated tire exploding off a steel rim in the middle of the night (thrice)
-Genisis Dancer (a few)
-a spider that decided to live in front of the motion sensor (ugh... that guy)
-a bat (how'd he even get in?)
-me after too many margaritas at the Mexican restaurant down the street (ugh... that guy)

Back when I was but a lowly employee at Friendly Bike, the owner, Les, in addition to simply having us set the alarm, mandated that we create the largest fustercluck known to man in front of the door. A minefield of bikes facing awkward directions, plus 20 feet of cable run through anything and everything in sight. The alarm was in the very back of the shop, and once set, you had 60 seconds to get in or out. Did you see Ocean's Twelve (You did? I'm sorry). But it was kind of like that.
The game among the employees became to create a barrier so damned confounding that Les would get stuck in it in the morning. More often than not, it was actually us that got stuck, hand reaching out ineffectually to the terminal on the other side of the room as the countdown hit zero.
Then, after messily extricating ourselves from the tangled web we'd woven, alarm blaring, you'd rush to the phone to try and stop the inevitable call from the alarm company to Les, who'd magically show up while you were still standing there, dimwittedly holding the phone.

And all he'd say was, "What happened?" But you knew... you knew... that what he was really saying was, "You are a foolish child of a human being and that you've made it this far in your life is a testament to the absurdity of our very existence as a species.
But please, by all means, indulge me for a moment."

No amount of locks or bikes or crazed inventory obstacles would have stopped this fool from trying to bash in my window, but he wouldn't have faired very well once inside. There's no real point of egress once you're in, save for the point of ingress. That and lethal lasers.

Speaking of fools trying foolish things, one of my long-held foolish ideas has finally come to fruition.
Many moons ago, I had read about a shop in Oregon that had added beer taps to their shop. I thought it was beyond genius, and looked to a future where I might be able to do something similar.
The shop in question was Velo Cult. 
In Portland, naturally.
Back in '98, I'd spent a very little bit of time there, and loved it. Sure... make fun of it, but with a tear in your eye because you're not there. Sitting at my friend Tony's house, quad's blown from snowboarding Mt. Hood earlier that day, I reassembled my Univega Alpina, learning more about bike repair in one day than I have in 16 years. Once it was together, I rode it to the coast, down a ways, and then across the country. Had things gone according to "the plan," I would have arrived back in Atlanta, GA, picked up my girlfriend and driven back across the country to our new life in Portland.
Instead, upon my arrival, I found myself trying to convince said girlfriend that I was worth staying with (was I?) and we somehow found ourselves instead in San Clemente, CA... a mecca of it's own, but one very different from Portland.
I had tried, unsuccessfully, to make a case for settling in Fort Collins, CO, as I'd had such an awesome time there during my tour. But alas... she wasn't interested.
One can't help but wonder what might have been.
Not long after swooning over Velo Cult and swearing to myself that one day, one day, I'd do it my way, I heard of another shop in our region doing something similar: The Hub and Pisgah Tavern. Sadly, outside of signing up for races, my life is not organized such that jaunting off to Pisgah for the weekend is ever feasible, so I continually failed to make it out that way. I finally met Sam and Jordan two years ago when I stayed at their house for PMBAR and these days consider them friends. Admittedly, I've picked their brains more than a few times.
And admittedly, as Dicky so elegantly put it: "beer is over. Everything is kale now."
Hmm.... It's kind of like my race career:  not the first and not the last.
But nonetheless, after years of jabbering, dreaming and scheming, it's finally come together....

We'll be serving beer.

It took some work. There were some in the city who just didn't really warm to the idea of a bike-shop serving beer. Whether because they didn't understand what it was I had in mind, or they're not really down with the cyclists anyway, or they'd just rather see yet another hookah bar open instead, I don't know. It took all of my legendary charm and charisma to successfully plead the case. (And somehow it still worked)

Good thing I have this bar, then. 

The plan is to have local and regional microbrews exclusively. There's so much amazeballs happening in NC right now with craft beer. Even Asheboro, a dry city less than seven years ago, has a new brewery opening. I hate to exclude the rest of the U.S. but as a very local-centric business, I really want to focus on what's happening close by. We'll see what happens.

Next couple of weeks we should have it all set up. We finally have our permit, but just have to finish up a few things: get our storage dialed, file some paperwork, hook up the kegorators and most importantly, make some very big decisions about who's on first and what's on second.
Suggestions are welcome.(Throwing out names to show everyone how well versed and discerning your tastes are is not.)

This does change the game a little. As I understand it, the days of picking up a sixpack from Bestway's "wall of beer" to drink at the shop are over. Hell... as I understand it, the days of me even being able to drink at the shop are over. Sacrifices for the greater good of the people.
Maybe this is my chance to get down to race weight?

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