Last Saturday saw the second coming of the Gent’s Race here in the DSM. 5 person teams, 66 miles of gravel, and a bunch of fun. In theory. My team consisted of myself (der) and 4 awesome gents known collectively as Team Careless Whispers and singularly as Steve Fuller, Mark Stevenson, Bob Moural, and David Cornelison, all men with deep ties to the biking scene (their names are linked to either their businesses or blogs, visit their sites) I would be hard pressed to put together a better team for any ride of this type, those guys are golden and got me through a rough day of whining and sniveling.
Bob, David, Steve, Mark, and myself right before shit got real
I am not going to give you the play by play. I honestly don’t want to think about it too much, it was painful but an incredibly good time. This was probably the most challenging flat terrain gravel ride I have ever done due to a recent road resurfacing (and me not being able to gain any momentum whatsoever). It was demoralizing at times, but we kept it together, no flats and no mechanicals. The guys were riding strong and there were some amazing moments when it all came together and we were pinning it to the wall. Ultimately my motor came up more on the Yugo side than it should have and I managed to be the anchor this year. All good, the guys took turns babysitting me while I cussed my legs, my bike, mother nature, birds, pretty much everything along the way.
Thank you to the Careless Whispers for all the good times this year. I can’t wait to return next year, maybe with a different team name.
Last Saturday marked the thirty-something running of the two-wheeled bull um…run…known to the greater world as BRR or, the Bike Ride to Rippey. This ride came from humble beginnings, with a few souls braving the brutal Iowa February winter weather to go out for a little bike ride from Perry to Rippey. Some years it is below zero, windy, and just a handful of riders participate. Other years, like 2009, it is in the 50s and more than a thousand people come out to party. Regardless of the weather, the bars of Perry are filled not only with
blah balh blah. whatever. You get the point. BRR: cold February ride. got it.
A few years ago a man by the name of Steve had this great idea. BRR isn’t really THAT challenging (the ride from Perry to Rippey and back is about 26 miles), so why not do something like ride gravel from DSM to Perry. Great Idea. This year was the fourth running of the GRR2BRR, and would have been my second.
The weather took a huge turn south on Friday, and I was pretty perplexed as to what bike would be the best for the job (which would probably have been my still-unfinished Fargo project). I had company at home, watched a movie then realized it was after 1 am. Shit. I had to pull out of my house by 5:30 am to make it to Steve’s house for the start of the gravel ride. Of course, I woke up at 7. They were leaving at 7:30. Shit. Time for plan B.
Plan B involved trying to squeeze some 2.1’s onto the Vaya and hauling ass on the trail system to try to catch up with the GRR ride. Plan B fell quickly by the wayside.
Plan C put me on the Bar Fly bus with no intention of riding a bike whatsoever. I conferred with a friend who was also taking the bus, and it was decided that leaving the bikes at home was completely acceptable. I gathered my party partner and headed towards the “Bus Depot”. (Party Partner had also had plans fall through, so it was officially on)
Fireball got the holeshot, with a whole bottle being finished within three laps around the bus. This was not an endurance pace day. After the first bottle went down, the “Pit Bottle” was unleashed and a few more hot laps ensued. Beer was flowing, then we hit the first barrier. My “purple drank” four loko was opened and quickly rejected by almost every bus rider. This left me, party partner, and two other people holding the tail of this grape flavored dragon. We were about a quarter of the way to Perry.
Things slowed down and the field settled into a sustainable pace.
Okay, I am getting bored again. So we get to Perry and see a bunch of friends, meet some new friends, and I got assaulted with snowballs and more beard questions/comments than usual. I understand, the comments flow more freely the colder or hotter it gets. (Colder=I wish I could grow a beard like that, Hotter=Doesn’t that thing get hot?) I found the remaining contingent from the GRR2BRR ride, which numbered FOUR. I knew I had made the right decision. They GRR folks looked exhausted. (okay, I had actually made the wrong decision as every mile counts between now and the TI). We had some fun, then headed to Bouten.
Bouten brought skittles and a wild game of Flippy Cup. I had never played this game, but since I have spent the greater part of my life being bored and flipping things over (you should see how I amaze convenience store clerks with my ability to flip a cigarette pack into my hand), I was a natural. Party partner DID have to explain the rules (thanks for attending college, Party Partner) and the first round I messed up, but it was smooth sailing after that.
I don’t have the slightest idea what happened after that. I think we went back to Des Moines. I am pretty sure I ate a steak burrito at Abelardo’s. I do remember waking up sometime in the middle of the night lecturing my cat on how much I hate it when he touches me in my sleep. Not like THAT. He kept trying to lay on my legs.
All in all, it was a great not ride. We all had a good time, everyone made it home safe. Thank you Mace, Bill, and the Bar Fly bus for a great time…and saving me from sitting at home whining about not making it to BRR.