Sunday, April 29, 2007

Jim Chaney - Old Guy

This past weekend our bike club had a treat - free pre and post ride massages. I had a chest cold and was feeling kinda week, but went for a 92 mile ride, the last 20 miles of which was a blistering 21.5 mph pace. I like to go fast, but sitting here with the formerly pesky cold now a full blown take-my-fuckin-energy-away funk, perhaps I should have taken it easy.

Nah. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

After the post ride massage - itself an incredibly pleasurable experience - I went to get an ice cream cone.

Chaney's Dairy Barn had a truck at the park where the ride ended, and I like Chaney's ice cream, so I got a cone. There was an old gentleman there with a twinkle in his eye, and I started a conversation with him. Turns out he was Jim Chaney, the patriarch of the Chaney Dairy Barn. What started out as a howdy do, turned into a long conversation about the both of us. He was a good storyteller and a good listener too. We talked for maybe forty minutes, and had I not needed to be somewhere else I would have talked for another hour.

In the course of the conversation he mentioned that the cost of cattle feed had jumped from 160 dollars a ton to 213 dollars a ton, seemingly overnight. The reason? Ethanol. Farmers are planting corn to sell to ethanol companies instead of planting other crops for human consumption. Fuel being given precident over food. Scary.

I don't remember where I read it, but I recall a statement like 'we're going to use the last 6 inches of good topsoil for automobile fuel'.


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