SUI GENERIS punk rock bike shop home-brew art/craft love

I like to bike (also tattoos) + more!

With temperatures climbing above freezing again and the skies clearing and sunshine I got out on my own yesterday afternoon for a few hours of springtime frolic. After being shut-in all winter, this time of year makes me really glad to be alive. It's weird, though, poking my head out of my little den at the end of the hibernation season and emerging into the outside world again. Those months of freezing and wasting away inactivity seem twice as depressing again when compared to the glorious warmth and light of summer.

Moving to Georgia would have been a welcome change after living for most of my life in this bone-bleached part of the world. But I was rejected at last! Hallelujah, the long cold winter of law school admissions is coming to an end.

If you don't want to hear about my trip to Uptown, you can stop reading now. But this post got longer than I planned and turned into a sort of confessional and tattoo/bicycle shop tour of Minneapolis, and it's maybe not as boring as I thought. Your call.

I went to a couple of bike shops and a tattoo parlor, that's about the gist of it. First I drove out to a great little place in northeast Minneapolis called Behind Bars. Is that a hardcore name for a bicycle garage or what? A nice cute tattooed girl greeted me as I came in and set me up with a bike after I explained what I was looking for. I gave her my credit card and driver's license as collateral and she handed me the loaner helmet. Dude with a killer moustache adjusted the seat and gave me a primer. "If you squeeze this left brake too hard, you will flip over the handlebars," he warned me. Good to know.

I wheeled my Smoke outside and took it to the streets. It's been a few years since I rode, so I was a little nervous, but after a trip around the block I was feeling pretty good about it. I made sure to take it easy on the brakes. There wasn't too much car traffic, which was my main concern. I've still got a nasty scar from--well, that's a different story. Anyway, it was just a nice solid bike and I had fun with it. I rode the 18- and 20-inch frame models, and then tried Kona's slightly pricier Dew for comparison. I liked the cheaper bike better.

After that, I gulped down a bunch of water and drove down to Uptown Tattoo. This place gets a lot of good press; in fact, some would say it is the Twin Cities' Best Tattoo Parlor. I got most of my work done by David Dettloff* at the Ink Lab down the street (except for my very first merely hour-long session** at Saint Sabrina's,*** yet another venerable Uptown institution), but I had been meaning to check out Uptown Tattoo for quite some time. Not that there was anything in particular to do once I was there, since my wife has nixed all tattoo plans for the immediate future, but I looked at the artist's portfolios for a while and picked up a flyer. Curiousity: satisfied.

I didn't spend as much time at Penn Cycle (even though it was a really cool and admirably well-stocked place) because I want to test-ride a bike before I buy it, and I was freaked out just thinking about riding around the Lake-Lyndale area at rush hour. The traffic was a nightmare. I chose to drive home in it instead. Not even gridlock could dampen my spirits, though, because I was so happy to be running around outside and warm. It's good to be alive.

*Fun Fact #1: my tattoo is actually displayed on this page! Fun Fact #2: I will never tell which one it is! (Dr. Vono, don't spill it.)

**and piercings
***full name: Saint Sabrina's Parlor in Purgatory


stag said...

I’m guessing this is yours:

sui generis said...

Crap, my secret is out!

drvono said...

That was a fun day, remember I picked you up and took you to get your mammogram?