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A Monday Story

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Podium Cafe orange Once upon a time, there was a place called Podium Cafe, in fact, there still is. There, the regulars gather to drink deeply of virtual Belgian ales, swap recipes, and talk at length of two-wheeled wonders. They are known to be a little loopy, and sometimes they draw with crayons.

The place has a lived-in look. Over the bar, someone has taped up a story about a Sea Marmotte, or maybe it's a Sea Otter. Really, who can tell? A bathroom wall black marker scrawl declares "No Needles!" a relic of the neighborhood's gritty past. Sometimes, the past refuses to fade into the distance the way we'd like it to do.

But the regulars do not like to dwell on such unpleasant things. Instead they linger on the best moments, celebrate the victories, and talk smack about their favorites. Sometimes, there are good-natured arguments over who has the best race, California or Colorado, or whether bike racing should involve radios. They like to imagine who might win the next race and how. There are movie nights. And sometimes, guests like Gerard Vroomen stop by to talk about cycling. Oh yes, they do have some good times at the Cafe.

And they're just getting started. For soon come the big races on the cobbles. Then, the beer flows like water and the talk turns Flemish. Hopefully, there will not be too much doodsmak. If you're ever in the neighborhood, be sure to stop by. There's always something going on. For what's not to like about virtual Belgian ale and loopy talk of cycling?