Monday, July 23, 2007

Day Off in Weehawken

Considering all the partying last night, I'm surprised to be up by 9am and feeling great. Must have been the pacing.

Putz around all day, not getting much done, but that's OK, too.

Happy Birthday to my buddy Foy back in Raleigh!

And a belated Happy Birthday to my buddy Chris in Raleigh, too. His was yesterday…

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Day Off in Weehawken

Sat outside today at Houlihan's near the hotel and had a terrific BBQ Salmon Salad for lunch. Also spent a couple of hours sitting on a bench by the Hudson River reading the paper.

We have 2 days off here - we're staying at the Sheraton Suites On The Hudson here in Weehawken. Not much to do here, but you can jump on the ferry and be in Manhattan in minutes. The ferry lands you at 12th Ave. and 39th Street, near the Jacob Javits Center. From there, you're a quick bus or taxi ride to most anything you would want to do.

Tomorrow's my birthday, but I'm celebrating tonight. I have the day off tomorrow to recover from the festivities, a luxury I won't have Tuesday morning because we have a show that day. So tonight's the night.

I took the ferry into the city and met up with my dear friend C.J. around 6:30. I've known her over 10 years and she's one of my bestest buds up here. We did a little barhopping before heading down to Restaurant Row for dinner. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Restaurant Row is the block of 46th Street between 8th Ave. and 9th Ave. Lots of good places to eat there - so many that me and C.J. walked up and down the street for 20 minutes before deciding on a little Italian place that had a couple of sidewalk tables available. The food was great, and an hour later we were off to meet some other folks for drinks.

The plan was to spend the rest of the evening at The Collins Bar, on 8th Ave. I discovered it during Bob's Great New Bar Adventure of 2006, following the closing of my fave NYC bar Ye Olde Tripple Inn, (R.I.P.). Collins is now one of my 2 preferred dive bars in the city. There, we met up with the lovely Janet Taylor (our new road manager), Mickey (our FOH Engineer), and Adam (our Videographer).

The place was absolutely slam-packed. WTF???

Turns out the place is closing down. Not only are they closing, but tonight is THE LAST NIGHT. So every regular customer they've had in years is here tonight. I mean it's wall-to-wall. There's usually about 12-20 people when I'm here, but tonight it's like 150-175. I can't deal with it, so we all down our first beers and split for my other fave watering hole, Rudy's Bar & Grill on 9th Avenue, between 44th & 45th.

Rudy's has just instantly become my numero uno bar in the city. It actually has a much better jukebox than Collins Bar did, and they were both sorta tied for the title of Bob's Place. Now it stands alone. Speaking of the jukebox, it has everything from Willie Nelson to Marvin Gaye, Iggy Pop to Steely Dan.

There's a great patio out back, too – don't see too many of those in New York. But there's no music out there (gotta keep the neighbors happy), so we opt for a booth inside near the bar and the jukebox. The place is filled with 50's-style vinyl-upholstered booths, which have way more gray duct tape than red vinyl on them.

Funky but chic. You'd love it.

Oh, yeah, and they have FREE hot dogs. Yep, free. I don't eat 'em myself, but over the course of the night, everyone else I'm with will have a dog or two.

My buddy Jimmy Archey shows up. Jimmy doesn't drink, but he's a great hang – always fun to be around. The rest of us proceed to drink ourselves back to the Stone Age.

At midnight, I tell everyone that it's my birthday (no one knew, but I think Janet suspected) and we kick it up another notch. Shots of this and that come 'round and the night is rockin'.

At 1:05am, the time of my birth, I'm sitting there with a Budweiser in one hand, a shot of premium tequila in the other, and The Rolling Stones song "Sweet Virginia" is blasting out over the system. A perfect birthday moment!

By 3am, C.J and Jimmy have split and Janet's asleep sitting up, leaning on Mickey's shoulder. We grab a cab back across the river and call it a night.

Happy Birthday to ME!!!!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Heading to Greenville, SC

I woke up sore and stiff. Feels like I've been in a car accident. I'm almost crippled by this shit. Where's my walker?

Instead of having the tour fly me to Greenville, SC, I had them rent me a car instead so I could drive myself down. Stopped in Charlotte to visit with Mom for a couple of hours and got to G-ville around 9pm. Dropped off the car at the airport and waited at the terminal for the band and Janet to show up from LA. The buses rolled up, we loaded, and off to the hotel we went…

Friday, July 13, 2007

Last Day Off at Home

Hmmm. Friday the 13th. You would think that TODAY would be the day I'd splatter twice on the bike, not yesterday.

Dumbass that I am, I can't resist going for a ride this morning. Don't feel too bad - I'm pretty stiff, but it usually takes about 48 hours before the real shit kicks in. Can't wait until tomorrow.

I managed to do a really slow-paced 20 mile ride. Not bad considering. I rode really tentatively, though.

Finished packing during the afternoon and met the gang at the Ale House for my last meal in town. Here's what a sundown looks like from the deck there:

A few of the regulars. Hey, where's the Beal's????

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bob Goes BOOM!!!

Not a good day.

I was about 18-19 miles into a 30-mile ride this morning when I crashed. It rained last night, and the greenway was still sorta damp. I was riding about 14-15 mph on a section of the trail that was a wooden "boardwalk" over a semi-wetlands area. As I was turning to the right in a curve on the boardwalk, my front tire hit a bit of mossy, slimy stuff on the wood and went right out from under me. I went down fuckin' HARD, landing on my right hip and shoulder, banging my head, and scraping my left leg pretty bad. The worst part, because I was moving at a pretty good clip, was that I slid/scraped along the trail for some 10-12 feet. It was damp and slippery, which was in my favor. I was also lucky enough not to catch on any nail heads sticking up or splinters or anything, although I lost a bunch of skin on my right knee.

I want down so hard and so fast that one minute I was riding and in an instant I was on my back looking up at the clear blue sky. I thought for a second that I had broken my hip – the pain was searing. I screamed like a fucking banshee and started cursing a blue streak.

I laid still for a minute trying to figure out what had happened and what to do next. After about a minute, I decided I'd better get to my feet or it would only get harder to do so. I managed to put weight on my right leg, so lucky me, it wasn't broken. I limped around for a minute or two, trying to shake off the pain and checking myself out, then I hobbled over to my bike and picked it up. Didn't look too bad, considering. Looked better than I felt.

My knee was bleeding pretty good at this point. I took a big chug of water, cursed some more, then tenderly got back on the bike. Needless to say, I'll be riding a little slower on the way home.

About a half-mile further on, as I was riding, I got real thankful that I hadn't broken my hip (or anything else), considering I'm starting a tour in 2 days. Also, I was lucky enough to have my mobile phone with me in case something really bad had happened.

All of a sudden, as I was taking a curve to the left while doing about 9-10 mph on a paved portion of the trail, the goddamned front wheel went out AGAIN. This time I fell to the left, scraping up both hands pretty good, and banging my left shoulder. The left pedal got broken off the bike, and in the process, it tore my left shoe wide open, and along with it, my foot. Pretty good cut, too, started bleeding like a bitch.

I had a few small pieces of gravel in my hands, especially the left one. Can't ride my bike now because it only has one pedal -- not with the hills that are still between me and the house. I'm still 10 miles from home and now everything hurts. So I break down and call my buddy Greg to see if he can come pick me up.

On the way back to the house, I have Greg stop at Flythe's so I can put the bike in the shop for some surgery. I was expecting to have to leave the bike there, but within 15 minutes, I was out the door with it, all patched up and ready to ride. The bike, not me. I think I better take a day or two off…