Saturday, March 12, 2016

Late Night On the Trail

All about the right tracks.  Not too many words, good rhythm and pitch ect.

Colin put the challenge out on Face Book, how could we refuse?  Make the 23 mile round trip to The Cumming Tap for karaoke.   He is a good singer and I've been practicing my Stevie nicks in a Cajun accent a lot.  But it was going to be a long day.  Had to ride 12 miles to work by 6am and 15 miles home at 330 pm.  Let dog out and prep a fresh horse for a ride that would most likely last until midnight.  And prep my 9 pm meds.  Reason enough to stay home.  But if I have learned anything lately it is this, when a friend has a crazy idea for fun the right decision is to go with it.  Better to regret something you did do than something you did not do.

I left the speed of the Carbon Rod at home for the $600 Mistake.  The Soho commuter is currently the only functioning bicycle in my fleet with a rack/panniers and without studded tires.  I have grown weary of its Nexus 7 speed internal hub and the bike's weight.  Heavy and slow and with a crooked pedal do to the crank been egged out.  The crank's replacement is on my to do list.  But the panniers were essential.  Needed warmth layers for the trip home and the ability to carry a growler and few other adult bevies.

The IP was Orlandos.  6pm.  Just a 5 mile ride from home.  I left home at 530 and had a quick stop at Confluence for the growler refill, Campfire Black Lager.  Curiosity had me check out the new trail from SW 30th to the Great Western Trailhead on Flagg.  Although unpaved this path makes getting to Orlando's a straight shot and cut nearly a mile off of my ride.  Unfortunately, the orange fencing on the west end indicates that the trail was not finished yet, missing the October 2015 deadline, But I had zero issues and Mary and I took it on the way home.  Lots of deer here.  I did miss checking out the action on Water Works Bridge.  But I cut a mile off.  The trail is not paved but relatively smooth and hard packed.  It will be a beautiful place to be when Spring is established.  I returned today for the photo.  Yes, muddy but not deep or megasloppy.

The new trail.  Water Works Bypass?

Colin was standing at the path's entrance to the establishment.  And then Mary showed up a few minutes later.  Excellent timing!  She did not leave her job in Urbandale until 5 pm and headed directly to Orlando's.  I purchased two slices of pizza for the price of one (last two and old) as they were most likely the only food we would have until we got home.  Time to roll.

It had been a while since I have ridden the GWT at night.  Two things I noticed.  First, a  chorus of frogs singing almost the entire route.  Awaken from their long winter nap I was glad to here them.  Secondly, the never ending arms race for the brightest bicycle light was still raging.  I kept my NiteRider off to spare the battery for the ride home when it would be most important.  We somehow made it all the way without going blind.  One stop at the Safety Shack to relieve the pressure in the growler and then the last 3+ miles to the Tap.

Colin and his biggest fan acting naturally!

We got there before 9 pm as the Croat Connection was setting up and were able to secure a table and a round of Fat Tires.  The crowd, mostly locals and no cyclists, spilled in and the tunes were mostly country and/or western.  It was going to be up to us to make it weird.  Colin went up maybe 10 times and the crowd loved him.  I went up once toward the end of stay and took a piss on Stevie Nick's Edge of Seventeen.  My fears of getting lynched afterwards were unfounded and when packing up the bikes for the return two women expressed regret that we were leaving.  It was late.

Farewell photo as we left the Tap.

But before these shenanigans I text Donnie to join us.  He never replied but appeared.  And Chad showed up as well.  Chad rode back with us and played 80's rap/hip hop at volume on his bike.  Brilliant!  Could not ask for better tunes for that brisk ride home.  As usual, we were the last people on the trail and the only ones at the Safety Shack.  Finished the growler and watched street races on the other side of the field.  Kids these days....doing what I did back in high school.

It was a quarter after 2 when we rolled by Orlando's.  Colin wanted to stop for the warmth but we assured him it was closed and the Casey's was probably closed as well.  He stopped nevertheless while Mary and rolled on taking the new trail to save time.

Famished was our condition when we finally reached home.  Absolutely no ready to eat food.  No where to find food at 3 am on bicycle.  So I grilled brat burgers.  3 am working the grill.  Neighbors probably had good dreams as the aroma wafted in the night/morning air.

Dump the ice out and put everything back in the bucket for tomorrow cleaning can wait.  Or later today...
Looking forward to doing this again.  I hope others will join us in this adventurous fun.


  1. That sounds like fun, but man, you guys stay up late. I'm only a few years older than you, but I am a lot bigger wuss.

    1. Did not intend to stay out that late but it was Colin's birthday ride. Normally, I am in bed by 930 pm.