Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Weekend: A Little About A Lot of Riding

Saturday we had ourselves a lovely ride on the Great Western Trail on the stretch from El Bait Shop to Cumming. The call to wait out the morning gloom and forego the "official" start time of noon was a wise one; the afternon/evening were a lovely mix of sun, libations, laughs and of course some interesting characters met along the way.

El Bait Shop actually sponsored a ride on the same route that day and dubbed it the Fat Tire Ride; we were just four hours late so missed the on time/responsible ones.

Nonetheless, there were still some straggling members of Team Bar Fly hanging around the Cumming Tap when we arrived and also a couple baggers who had loaded their bikes down Friday night and planned to troll the Des Moines area trails for the weekend. The drinks were stiff, the sunset a fiery mix of rays of warm goodness alongside the occassional threat of a wet adventure, and the company was plain and simple...the best.

We also stopped for some pretty damned amazing pizza on the way back at Bambinos in Orilla. We found ourselves there just long enough to pull out the lights on the way back; one the truest indications of a ride gone perfectly right.

And as if the day wasn't perfect enough, we saw the first of this year's fireflies lighting the path back and had to slow several times for deer leaping into little train. There were a lot of moments that day where I looked around at the scene, my bike and especially my company and did my own little happy dance.


And thankfully so, because the next two days' rides were of the type that make me wonder why in the hell I ride a bike at all they hurt so bad. But such is life. And such is cycling.

For those of you who sleep under a rock there were tornadoes all over Iowa on Sunday, and I was on my bike a good portion of the day. I decided to ride to a family reunion, but rather than take the direct 25 mile route, tacked on an additonal 20 or so. Except the "additional 20" were wrought with gusts of up to 40 mph and some of the shittiest roads I've ridden. Nonetheless, there were plenty of hot dogs, jello salads, and deviled eggs waiting for me upon my arrival.

Yesterday I stayed true to my idiotic little promise of a week ago to ride that dumb long Ledges hill again and again and again...it was a bit like I'd never ridden a hill in my life. But I am happy to say I gutted it out and will not be caught doing that little ritual again...until next week.

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