Monday, June 16, 2008
It is Difficult to Write About Riding While Riding
Weeks have passed. 88 of 99 counties in Iowa have been declared disaster areas because of flooding and my phone is been ringing off the hook with concerned friends telling me that Iowa is on CNN and it is flooding. No shit?!!
It appears that more than a few of my peeps have finally realized that Iowa does indeed exist and we are not Idaho or Ohio. "By golly, there are even CITIES there," one of them lamented the other day...by golly, there are.
Anyhoo, our area here in the middle of utopia appears to have been spared for the most part and will not be hit as hard as the eastern half of the state. Some baseball games canceled, roads closed, my aunt and uncle's farm leveled by a tornado, six foot deep lakes formed in my 82 year old grandpa's fields, favorite restaurants and bars closed (forever), and plenty of friends and family with LOTS of water in their basements. My little brother has been situated in a boat for days now in Coralville/Iowa City/Cedar Rapids rescuing people in 12 to 14 hour a day shifts. He's tired but we're all still here and the weather is so astoundingly beautiful it's hard to believe that people nearby are literally floating away.
In the meantime, some of my dearest friends were married this weekend...to each other. The festivities took place on Lake Okoboji, arguably the one of the most fun places within driving distance and also one place in Iowa spared from the floods. It is a bit of a scary thought when you are sitting at the wedding of two folks you introduced and the mother of the bride says, "Well, you're the reason we're all here!"
At that point, I get on my bike and ride very far and very fast in another direction. So that's pretty much exactly how the weekend went: Party, sun, socialize, ride. Repeat. And luckily, the weather was picturesque all weekend.
My biking tribe came with me to enjoy the festivities, and in between my wedding duties as bridesmaidzilla, we rode. There some nice rollers around the lakes and also a nice trail called the Iowa Great Lakes Trail that runs around a good portion of West/East Okoboji and Spirit Lakes. My friends were kind enough to not brag too much about their rides and libations when I was off getting my hair done, or when I was sweating bullets in a dress, and in the end the wedding went off without a hitch, we danced like fools, the Nash-Vegas contingent had their Iowa perceptions largely shifted, and a great, great time was had by all.
All my entertainment and stimulation was perfectly timed as I was coming off a week of riding solo. Scooter was in his cave after being Mr. Entertainment/host the weekend before, I'ola seemed too far to drive to ride given the flooded out bypass/Ben and Keri's basement situation, and I don't know what the rest of my peeps were doing, but they were not riding bikes. It was good to have them back as the red winged black birds were boring me to tears and it is way more fun to ride and laugh with my people than it is to torture myself mile after mile all up in my head.
Next weekend is the HyVee Triathalon for which Keri has been training for months. Except wait, downtown Des Moines flooded and the fecal levels in all bodies of water around these parts are so high that swimming is no longer safe. So now it's a duathalon. Keri's trying hard not to be pissed, and of course will participate nonetheless. We shall ride there and cheer. Be merry. Okay, that might be pushing it. We'll show up, make fun and have a couple roadies.