Friday, May 13, 2011


"My name is Fred McDowell.  They call me Mississippi Fred McDowel.  But my home is in Rossville Tennennee.  But it don't make any different, it sound good to me...I do not play no rock 'n' roll y'all.  I jus' play jus' straight an' natchel blue...Now the only way you can rock Fred, you have to put him in a rocking chair..."

So begins one of the 70's classic blues albums (back when vinyl was king) recorded in Jackson Mississippi and later released on Capital Records.  My sister Hilary introduced me to the album and I remember being struck by one of the song titles - "MY JESUS IS ON THE MAINLINE".  My vinyl version is getting pretty worn and I've had trouble finding it on CD.

All of this leads me to an inspiration I had the other day while training for the MS Tour.  As faithful readers of my blog, you'll remember that my silver TREK is called Furry Lewis but I've never named my red road bike.  Until last Saturday.  I don't even remember the point at which the idea hit me.  Was it when we were headed uphill and into the wind ?  Or twice when we were sent in the wrong direction?  It is ususally when I'm slogging through a long section of a ride and my attention begins to wander that I have these flashes of inspiration.

It was Thomas Edison who said that "Ideas come from space" and it was on the MS Tour a couple of years ago that the eccentric notion of velcro-ing a digital voice recorder to my MEC hydration system occured to me.  I had been thinking for some time how I could record conversations and observations while riding since using a pen and notebook just wouldn't do.

Calling my road bike Mississippi 'Red is not only a little play on words but an apt name for a bike that I'm really getting to like and named after a bluesman that I've always enjoyed since my sister introduced me to his music.

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