|Our two bicycles and Burley, flag prominently displayed @Check Point 4|
|Graham @GoodSons for handlebar Happy Hour. This is where we recieved the packet and flag.|
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|
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.
|The shadow of the hat made me feel like a South Park character|
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.|
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.
|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|
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|