Saturday, May 12, 2012

Antics From Check Point 4 on Cyclo de Mayo 6

Our two bicycles and Burley, flag prominently displayed @Check Point 4
Once again yours truly volunteered to run a check point for Des Moines premier bicycle poker run, Cyclo de Mayo.  This event is to raise money to build a gazebo in memorial for Joan Gill, a valued member of the tribe we call bikers.  This was Mary and my second time at Check Point 4.  Joan was good to us and Graham has been good to us as well.  Give back to the community.

Graham @GoodSons for handlebar Happy Hour.  This is where we recieved the packet and flag.
My involvement began sometime back.  When asked, I said I'd help.  First task was to build trophies.  We met one afternoon and cleaned old chains, cassette cogs and chainrings in an environmentally sound manner.  Big thank you to Brad O @The Collective for donating chainrings.

The day before the event we met at GoodSons for HHH and packet/flag exchange.  This is when I was given the location of our check point.  Chutes and ladders was the theme so parks with slides were the destinations.  Honestly, if the happy hour special was not good I would have been upset.  $3.75 pints of quality beer.  I chose Goose Island IPA.  Love the taste and smell of hops.  Mary met us there which was a good thing since my bike lacked bags to carry the flag home.

Craig Lein left here with us, stopping once at Carl's and then the Locust Tap.  Jon Cox, Check Point 3 met us at the Tap.  We exchanged phone numbers and Latitude permission.  As per Graham's instruction, the check point before yours was to call or text the next check point to inform them when the first rider was heading that way.  With the exchange of info Points 3,4 and 5 were ready.  I had previously called Liz Waxman Dagget, #5, to establish communication.

Liz @El Bait
After a beer we rolled for home.  However, when we reached Court Ave it was discovered that the flag was missing!  So we retraced our path and found the flag laying on the ground in front of the Tap.  It apparently fell out when Mary put her purse in the panniers.  Dodged that bullet.  I feared that some drunk snatched it as a memento of the night.  We rolled home and went to bed.  Long day, our alarm went off at 415 am on Friday.

The morning felt promising.  Sun was out.  Forecast called for great temps.  My best operating temperatures are between 55 and 75F.  I like to be outside without shivering or sweating.  I can always put on a jacket but in Iowa when the temp passes 80F so does the humidity.  I do not mind working up a sweat but just breathing and having my heart at a low resting beat and sweating is wrong IMHO.

Supplies.  Last year we were the designated Red Bull stop.  I also supplied a 30 pack of Miller and CP 4 was on the pedestrian bridge over I-235.  Miller and Red Bull over the freeway!  Unfortunately, Graham's connection moved away to care for his father and we were sans Red Bull.  And feeling a bit of a need to save money and stay sober, we foregoed the Miller.  Diet Mountain Dew and a bottle of Moscato is what we took.  We never touched the wine.  For food we stopped at Grazianos and purchased a bag of rolls, 1/2 lb of sliced pepperoni and 1/2 lb of sliced provolone with a box of raspberry tarts for dessert.  Helping out a local business and eating with style.  I snagged two Powerbars just in case.  It could be a long day.

 Because I am not of the Culture of Fear and was planning to be sober I left the helmet at home in favor of my BSA Asian looking hat.  I found it on day 4 of our trek through the Rookies at Philmont Scout Reservation.  Riding with this hat was an experience since it is completely an aerodynamic drag.  Sort of a drag chute with straps that cut at my throat.  But the hat was for keeping the sun off my face and give people a laugh.  As usual, it was well received by those who saw me riding.  Should have brought along my SKS for the full effect.  Diddy mao, round eye!

The shadow of the hat made me feel like a South Park character
CP 4 was at McHenry Park.  5 or so miles from our house in Little Italy and all but 1/2 mile on trail.  Nestled above the re-vamped Birdland Levy, this park offers a commanding view of the river and city.  The trail was greatly enhanced during the levy reconstruction.  City planners intelligently had a new trail replace the connection to the park.  The former was extremely steep and narrow and dangerous.  I would not have been able to pull the Burley up it.  But the replacement has a much gentler grade.  It is a pleasure to ride up and down it.

Mary and I arrived early and had time to set up.  As per Graham's instruction we set up next to the slide.  This was also next to the rock on the punch card.  He said not to take the shelter.  The shelter was busy with a birthday party anyway.  We had time to mess around for these stupid photos.

With these shots we were ready.  All that we needed was the text from Jon that the riders were coming.  We never got that text.  4 or 5 bikes eventually rolled up.  Since we were slightly above the trail they failed to see us and rolled to the other slide bitching all the way once we were spotted.  Sorry, your job was to find us.  We were exactly where we were supposed to be.  Time to work.  It seemed that once the first folks arrived someone was right behind them.  The first group was off quickly.

Bottom left is CP 4.  Notice the slide through the rock?  We set up there.

Our job was simple.  Punch their time card and hand out a playing card with their number on it.  Then tell them where the next CP was and hand out maps as necessary.

These participants were not in a hurry. One has a beer.  Photo taken at our checkpoint.
The only problem with our CP was that the trail was dug into the earth.  The sides of the trail were seeded for grass.  It was very tempting to ride up our run up or scramble up this hillside.  At least one person rode up it.  I was impressed.  Smart people would leave their bikes down there and climb up on foot.  Chris Mace asked for us to come down to him.  Sorry, Chris, I was not going to establish that precedent.  Git your arse up here!

In the group of riders in the photo above, one puked and another took a hit off an inhaler.  They bitched about hills.  I don't remember the hill being bad but then again I was not competing.  They took their time to recover.  3 more check points.

Sam Gill
Soon the herd thinned.  Fast riders were long gone.  Time for stragglers.  The last two were of note.  One was the infamous #61 or "girl in pink shorts."  She was the last to register.  Graham had already texted the number of racers BEFORE she signed up.  She was with a friend who was not participating.  I think they refused to allow her to sign up.  Late and probably out of punch cards.  One must draw a line somewhere or people will walk right over you time and time again.

Pink shorts chick on a late 80s early 90s Trek 1400 a tad bit too large for her.  Noticed the saddle is almost to the frame.  Too bad, those Treks are solid rides.  I hope it is not uncomfortable for her.

The 55th racer to grace Check Point 4 was Molly.  I tried to video her climb up the hill but did not hit start.  Instead I have the following crappy photo.  She said that this was her 2nd ride of the year.  Mace, come on man, her second ride??  Best winter ever.

Molly getting her card punched by Mary.  She would join "Pink Shorts" for the ride to CP5
We remained on station for another 40 minuted before texting Graham.  1 racer dropped out and informed HQ.  5 others failed to show up here before graham gave us the go ahead and return text.  I did call Jon Cox twice to no avail.  We called Liz to let here know and told her to text Graham about splitting.

Off to El Bait.  Good to see everyone there.  Many of my friends I had not seen for quite some time.  Been a busy Spring.  Liz and Brad invited us to the Omaha Double Bagger but we declined.  Would love to go but we need some centuries in before Tour de Kota.  That and saving $$.  Ragbrai soon after TdK and we have two touring bikes in dry dock to prep for that adventure.  As it is Mary's fast bike needs some TLC before June 17.  Thank you for thinking about us.

Mike Lamb was there.  Back pack ready for his pilgramage to Europe for rock and roll.  Emphasis on rock.  I am jealous.  Richie Allen was there but his drunk wife was passed out at home.  His FB posts are the best.  I hope he posts "ghetto tetherball."  Ask him.

Not a bike ride without a photo of Eric Crabb and Brad Dagget and Liz

No comments:

Post a Comment