Awhile back, I described a Midwest Rivendell Rally for owners and fans of Rivendell bicycles. The plan was/is to have an adventurous two days of riding our bikes in the Lake Pepin area June 2-3, with an optional two days (June 1 and June 4) of riding there and back from Minneapolis, camping along the way.
Just today a new element has been added to this party. As you may know, Rivendell founder and owner Grant Petersen recently authored a book, and Grant is going to do a tour to promote the book, sign autographs, etc. One of the tour stops is HC on May 31 at 6-7:30 pm (approximately). Any number of factors and events may derail this plan, but as of today, that is the plan as I understand it. We're going to have the book for sale here, so you can stop and get the book, have Grant sign it, and generally enjoy an evening of socializing with like-minded bike people. If possible, we'll have a ride afterward, though I can't speak for Grant on whether he can attend anything other than the book-signing session.
Grant Petersen has long been an inspiration of mine. I wasn't always into bikes in a serious way, but when I did start to immerse myself in bike-geekery, nobody influenced my thinking in those days more than Grant. I've owned two Rivendells and lots of other bikes over the years, and while my ideas about bikes have morphed and broadened a bit since I was soaking up all Grant's written wisdom and experimenting with my Atlantis, I still adhere to many concepts that Grant has promoted, namely an emphasis on versatility, durability, and aesthetics. I'm not the only one who has been influenced, directly or indirectly, by this seemingly common-sense approach. Now, in 2012, the number of steel bikes available with fattish tire clearance, longish chainstays, and rack/fender braze-ons is huge compared to what was available just 6 years ago when HC opened its doors. In 2004, I bought an Atlantis, mostly because there were very few touring bikes on the market. Now I can think of at least 10 close substitutes without much effort. Grant didn't invent this concept, but he did it before most other modern manufacturers did it, and he promoted his counter-culture ideas relentlessly through the Rivendell Reader, catalogs, internet discussions, and various incarnations of the Rivendell web page.
Anyway, I'm excited to have Grant here in May.