No Name Tour – The Mule Is Back

A bike tour doesn’t officially end until your trusty steed is back and home and in working order. When it arrived from San Francisco, I re-assembled The Mule then took it to the bike shop for some TLC. It now has new fenders (long overdue), new bar tape, a new water bottle cage (one of the old ones died of metal fatique), and a new front derailleur that actually shifts properly.

I brought The Mule home and put on the handlebar bag, the bike computer, the frame pump and the saddle bag. Everything old is new again. I left the lizard on the stem.

Every bike tour needs a mascot but my last few haven’t had one. I was given this little plastic lizard by the owner of Lizard Lips, a pretty decent cafe inside a convenience store in Toronto, Kansas. The lizard needed a name so I decided to call it Dave in memory of Dave Salovesh. Dave wasn’t the slightest bit reptilian but what are you going to do? (Ironically, I was riding with Mark and Corey at the time. Mark bought a pool noodle and used pieces of it to make cushions on his handlebars. My favorite picture of Dave has him holding pool noodles after a protest in DC.) Dave was the kind of person who seemed to look forward to flat tires because it gave him an opportunity to talk to his cycling friends while he fixed it. So, whenever I was facing a godawful climb or a soul-sucking headwind (which was WAY too often) or a terrifying descent in a swirling, gusty wind, I’d talk to Dave. Dave the Lizard wasn’t particularly loquacious, but he took my mind off the struggle for a few seconds.

I also like the fact that this lizard is pink. I think it would look nice with Dave’s jersey with the rainbow-puking unicorn on it or his fabulously loud bicycling tights.