Austin

Two weeks ago, I was able to check off “the South” from my list of things to see in the US. A business trip brought me to Austin, TX and I decided to stay and spend the weekend. The weather was a welcome change from the Michigan winter. During the day, temperatures rose to 86F and on the second day, I bought sunscreen. I noticed that the city had birds that I’ve neither seen in Germany nor in Michigan. »

Bike Restoration Update

I thought I’d give an update on the current status of my bike restauration. I’m at a point where I’m considering to just call it done. I’ve been wondering if I should really make the conversion from 27” to 700c wheels since that would significantly increase the price with new brakes, spokes, and rims. Therefore, I decided to initially just keep the steel rims which also look pretty darn cool when they are clean. »

Eagle Creek Trail

One of my best ideas in Portland must’ve been to explore the nature outside of the city. On Thursday, I drove about an hour further inland to go hiking on the Eagle Creek Trail which promised beautiful landscape and a ton of waterfalls. As most trails that I’ve seen so far in the U.S., this one started with a parking lot, restrooms and some nice and helpful overview information. Admission was $5 and you were able to pay at the self service station. »

Pacific Coast

During my trip to Portland, I rented a car to explore the surrounding area. One trip that I decided to make was to the Pacific Coast. At the car rental, I had the option to choose between an older VW Passat and a brand new Chevy Cruze. Also, the Chevy came with a rear-view camera and the Passat was parked all the way in the back and they would’ve had to move vehicles around. »

Portland

I had some vacation days left over and figured I’d rather use them before the weather gets miserable. But where to? After looking at the cities in the U.S. that I hadn’t been to yet and the weather to be anticipated there my choice was clear: The hipster capital Portland. After booking the flight, Jessie introduced me to the amazing show Portlandia which is a satire of the whole city and hipster culture. »

Grand Rapids

Last weekend, we visited Grand Rapids. That was the first time I’ve been to the city and I hope it’s not the last time. We came for the Art Prize festival where local and national artists show their pieces throughout the whole city and you can just wander around and look at them. This one here was right in the front yard of the bed & breakfast that we stayed at. »

Nishiki Sport

It looks like it is slowly getting colder outside and so I thought I’d need a project to work on for the colder and darker days. Also, since you can barely get along in life with two bikes, a third one would be nice. I wanted to find a cheap but decent old bike and then put some work into restoring it and then use it as a town bike or to commute to work when back in Germany. »

Hoeft State Park

On Labor Day weekend, Jessie and I went on a short trip “up north” to the Hoeft State Park. We went up on Friday morning and back on Monday morning as early as we could to beat traffic. On our way, we noticed a scary amount of Trump-supporting signs. In the upper parts of Michigan, they certainly are ubiquitous. In metro Detroit, I haven’t seen a single one in quite some time now. »

Potawatomi Trail

This weekend, Jimmy and I went on a two day hike on the Potawatomi Trail in the Pinckney state recreation area, which is about an hour away from home. The hike started during nice weather but light rain was promised for the rest of the day. Soon after we started hiking, the rain started and turned into pretty severe rain. At that point, it was too late to turn back and we just went on - on trails that had become small rivers. »

Dream Cruise 2016

Today was the 2016 Dream Cruise and I figured I should visit since I hadn’t seen too much of it the last two years. Still in Downtown Royal Oak, I could see quite a few fancy cars driving around. One of them was this beauty of a Corvette: I then walked to Woodward Avenue where the side of the road was filled with parked vehicles and spectators. »