Thursday, April 23, 2009
LBL 2009 recap
On Saturday, I awoke at 5am, to the sound of rain; the kind of rain that comes down just hard enough to make a day on the bike uncomfortable. I checked the forecast, which gave me a glimmer of hope, as the rain was supposed to be sporadic throughout the day. The Meet & Greet was scheduled for 9 am, so after my morning coffee, it was time to start getting final preparations completed; ice for the fine Shmaltz beer (particular favorites- Origin Pomegranite & Lenny R.I.P.A.-an absolute mindblower), batteries for the camera & a few food items for breakfast & supper. Folks started arriving about 9 am, and the Shmaltz was quickly dipped into, as we all commiserated on the weather, which had diminished to sprinkles. Richard Cheese provided the soundtrack for the morning. At 10 am, we all departed, the usual BiLLys, save DiRk, who was sorely missed. We had four new BiLLys on this ride: CDV, Anthony, John & Chad. The ride out of town was a spirited one, with everyone wanting to quickly arrive at Denton, our first beer stop. The weather continued to improve as we arrived in Denton, but we were hit by our first mechanical; John's Bianchi broke a rear spoke. eDBiLLy rassled the dangling spoke free & opened up the rear brake & we were good to drink! After an extended rest break, we continued on to Crete, through the rolling hills, enjoying the (by now) beautiful spring weather. The group separated into two groups, with eDBiLLy & I riding at a comfortable pace, far off the back. On the approach into Crete, we came upon John & Anthony, walking their bikes; John's rear wheel had failed, breaking three other spokes. Luckily, the car dealership was nice enough to give John a ride to the bar (lunch stop). At the bar in Crete, we all recounted stories of past rides, including the KeRNeL, eDBilly & my recounting the wildest RAGBRAI we ever rode on. John needed a ride back to home base, so I called my wife, who graciously agreed to drive support. The trip back yielded another mechanical, as RuSSeLL the MuSCLe suffered a set of pinch flats. Upon arriving home, it was time for more delicious beer, homemade chili & giant cinnamon rolls. We all reveled in how beautiful the weather turned out & made plans to get back together for Bunyan's to Bob's on May 30th in Vermillon, SD. Special thanks to Zak & Leah at Shmaltz who hooked CiTy BiLLy up with some mighty fine brews.