Sunday, August 6, 2017

The 8 Hours of Craig and Chris

Route sign, LOL!!!

It was an ambitious plan.  Ride from home to Perry and take the gravel to the Trestle and then the Bittersweet Rd to Stevie-C's in Grimes and then limp home.  But what looks great in the grey matter and on text often does not become a reality.  I have now regrets.  I got out of the house.  I got the Trek 520 working again.  I spent time with a great friend and saw some others.

I was planning a long ride anyway.  Planned to take the LeMond out and do some fast miles north to avoid the crowd at the 24 hours of Cumming.  Been far too long without being on a fast bike.  Since Ragbrai I've been on the single speed daily.  But I was asked if gravel was OK so I had to switch bikes.

The 520 sat lonely against the west kitchen wall behind the bike stand.  Just one wheel on it.  The front had been removed to facilitate the return of Craig's spare tire.  That tire saved my Ragbrai two weeks ago after the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme blew up from a sidewall cut in Ayershire, Iowa.  Had it not been for that Continental tire that Craig carries around I would have been doomed.  Miles and miles away from a bike shop I would have had to make phone calls in a serviceless region.  Or set my tent up for the night and wait for the official Ragbrai to roll through the next day and hope to flag down a mobile bike shop and spend money.  But Craig produced a miracle and I was able to add another 336 miles to his famed tire that has saved the likes of Jon Cox, Spaulding and Kim West among others.  On Thursday I returned the tire to him.  I had not taken the time to put a new tire on my wheel.

So I put my old heavy Continental Touring Plus back on.  Too heavy and a poor rolling tire it's saving grace is that it is almost bullet proof.  I only had one flat on it and that was from a roofing nail I picked up in Missouri.  Confidence of a flat free day.

So after hours of slacking and a flurry of prepping I took off about noon.  Dumped the remnants of 3 bags of ice into my cooler and headed to the corner store for beer.  Craig would like Jagermeister I thought as I qued up for the purchase of a 6er of Busch Light tallboys.  Why not?  I bought two.  Small glass bottles not the plastic airliners.  Bumped my total up to $16.  Fookers, I just wanted 1 shot bottles not the next size up!

Parked at the front door of the University Tap.  Dash's bike is the red one.

We hooked up at University Tap.  He asked if I wanted to meet at a bar or park.  I said Colby Park.  He had another idea.  Cyclists were at this water hole.  I found Craig sitting next to Dash and a cold beer in a coozie waiting for me.  During the consumption of this corn beer the topic of "ON YOUR LEFT" came up.  "Fuck I hate that!" Dash exclaimed.  "People should just have mirrors!  Trying to enjoy nature and the sounds of the birds and the flowers and such and somebody shouts 'ON YOUR LEFT!' and ruins the peace.  I ring a bell."  Me, I give a friendly greeting such as "good morning" or "howdy" to announce my intention.  But like I always say, things look great on paper until you start adding humans to it.  Bike trails are no exception.  One and done.  Make that 2 and done.  The bartender opened a Miller Lite by accident and gave it to us for free.  I threw myself on that landmine.

We left still intending to reach Perry.  The sky was grey and cloudy but the air was cool.  One stop at a bench along the Greenbelt.  Then I knew that we would not get far.  Craig was tired.  He apologized.  But no apology was needed.  I accomplished something and I was outside with a friend on bicycles.  Perhaps we'd make it to Kenny's in Waukee.  The light rain started and the second nail of the ride coffin was placed.  Let's move to the shelter.  But the shelter was packed with a family reunion.  Move along.  The rain had quit.  Stop at the bridge that connects the Greenbelt to the Raccoon River Valley Trail.

The bridge.  I'd like to know the history of it.

Not a one beer stop.  Junkies...

This bridge is wide.  Could use some benches.  But it was quiet and bicycle/pedestrian traffic was the lowest we had encountered all day.  We sat on the pavement and I asked Craig if he'd like a shot of Jager.  Yes.  We probably spent a good hour there before turning back.

Front Row was our next stop.  We enjoyed a beer on the  patio.  Pulling in Craig said our bikes would be safe on the patio.  A woman smoking a cigarette said they might be safer on the bike rack across the road.  It was a twisted POS.  Craig thought it was hit by a snow plow.  Something ran over one end of it.  No thanks, by "safe" we meant free from theft not free from falling over.  Rikki King and Pylar Eaton.  This was Rikki's first ride since Tom and Judy retired (several years).

Would you use this rack?

Well the rain began again a little stronger and longer than before.  but we stayed underneath the umbrellas and chatted with the smokers and ordered some Mexican food from next door.  Eventually we left.

Western Gateway IPA at 515 Brewery.

515 was the next stop.  My idea.  I wanted to see Miccah whom I see at work and feel bad that I never see her at her second job at 515.  Sure enough she was swinging beer and I ordered the Western Gateway IPA.  Craig got the Single Speed guest beer.  I needed the hops to wake me up.  Looking around I spotted Austin and Molly Gill for a 20th class reunion.  Chad Leeper was there despite being on crutches.  Jennifer H from work was there as well having a spouse that graduated with Austin and Leeper.  Small world.  Truly a one and done.  I felt I needed to get home.

We parted ways at Pal Joey's.  I had no desire for another beer.  Instead the desire for ice water was in full swing.  Stopped at the BP station for the second time and purchased 10 lbs of ice for home since my cooler ate all we had.  Wise choice.  That ice water tasted like nectar!  It was now 8 pm.  Not much for miles but it was nice to spend a day with a friend on bicycles.

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