This summer I was based out of Fort Worth as I flew to Pittsburgh, NYC, Seattle and then Pittsburgh again.  ( Thanks for all the airport pick ups and drop offs to all who helped a hobo out) I spent 11 years dancing with Texas Ballet Theater and I also spent quite a few years volunteering and working to help spread the joys of cycling with Fort Worth Bike Share, Bike Friendly Fort Worth and the Night Riders. It’s no surprise that Cowtown, one of Fort Worth’s many nicknames Panther City and Funky Town are the others I can think of, feels like my second home in a way. ( My first home is the Burgh aka Steel City aka City of Champions aka Pittsburgh)

It was great to cycle around and catch up with lots of folks. On a 6 mile bike ride from the North to South side I randomly ran into 5 people I knew. At my favorite grocery store, Central Market, I’ll see a few of the employees I talked food and recipes with for years and it never fails that I’ll run into at least one acquaintance in the store or parking lot. ( I can never go into that store when I’m in a rush because it always seems to turn into social hour) I got to do a few bike rides with the Night Riders, play poker with my old cardplaying group that has been playing Texas Holdem for over 10 years and I got to see my friends Matt and Macy’s new brewery Hop Fusion  taking shape as they continued to prepare for opening. ( BTW, I was able to sample a couple of their beers and Feisty Blond and Fur Slipper are where it’s at!)

I did a dinner party circuit attempting to catch up with as many folks as possible, but schedules being busy and me coming down with an upper respiratory infection, made it impossible to see everyone. (I did run into Mayor Betsy Price during early voting. I was humbled that she remembered who I was and asked about my journeys) I’d like to thank each and everyone of y’all who hosted me, fed me or bought me a beer. I felt such love from y’all.  I’ll be sure to work FW into my travel plans again sometime soon

The Night Riders ride their bicycles at night.
I had a brilliant idea to sell photographs of my travels at an art fest on Magnolia ave. It turned out to be a not brilliant idea when no one bought any of the photos and I lost 100 bucks. However, I did see soooo many friends that I hadn’t seen in ages so it wasn’t a total loss, There was one gal, who used to bartend at one of my favorite hangouts, who ran up to me and gave me the best bear hug ever. After she let go, she simply said, ‘It’s good to see you” and left with a couple tears in her eyes. That moment alone was totally worth losing a hundred dollars and standing in the sun all day.
I’m so proud of my friend Macy. He and Matt have built an awesome brewery. Congratulations guys.
My good buddy Tony was one of the many folks I happened to just run into riding around town. Tony is a former plumber who is a musician, beer lover, outdoorsman and fellow bicycle enthusiast. We once crashed a foam party together, but that’s another story for another time.

 

Another random meeting with a friend happened when I saw my buddy Jeff pulled over by Fort Worth’s finest downtown by the post office. I went up to say hello, but had to keep it quick because the officer wasn’t amused with the reunion and waved me and my bicycle on. (y’all be sure your tags are up to date now!)
The Night Riders meeting at the Chat Room Pub before the Sunday evening ride. The group has held a ride each and every Sunday since June of 2009!
Jokes, pizza ,beer, music and sometimes we actually play enough attention to get a few hands of poker in too.
Another Mark. Mark is one of the “Chat Rats” who can almost always be found at the Chat Room Pub. Great guy. We’ve had many great conversations about music, travel and literature.
It’s impossible for me to thank people for enough for supporting me and my adventures. I did try to say thank you to a few friends with a rooftop dinner. Looking out over downtown and sharing food and wine with friends has got to be one of my favorite moments of the summer.
Sasha and Heather,two of my old ballet co-workers, and I cooked an Eastern European feast together. Look for a few of the recipes to be featured in the cookbook I’m starting to piece together.
Had the chance to meet Mila and a couple of other new additions during my stay in town.
Betsy Price, the Mayor of Fort Worth, gave me the long horn and “I heart FW” buttons to pin to my pannier so a little bit of Fort Worth could travel with me as I pedal West.

 

I’d like to thank FWT Consulting, Chimera Brewing Company, Bicycles INC, Cowtown Cycle Party, Avoca Coffee, and most especially the Chat Room Pub for their past support keeping the Lewis and Clark and Mark expedition going!