Thursday, September 28, 2017

I Have to Sing About the Book I Read

When we were in Madison, I finished reading the novel I brought with, so on Friday night, John and I rode to a great independent book store, where I could pick up something else. You know, because I might just die if I don't have a book in hand to read at all times...

Anyway, while I was buying my book (Elena Ferrante's "My Brilliant Friend") I saw that they had "I read banned books" stickers for free at the desk. So, in honor of Banned Books Week, I slapped that puppy on the fender of my commuter bike and have been toodling around town brazenly announcing my habit of reading banned books ever since. I highly recommend that you all try to read some banned books when you get a chance as well (and ride your bike around town as often as possible). You all know that banned books are the best books. They wouldn't have anyone trying to ban them if they weren't full of sex and violence and radical political ideas...

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

You Write the Words and Make Believe

Well, Kids. I'm finally writing here again. I had a crazy weekend in Madison, Wisconsin, where I had the lamest audition for old lady "Baywatch" ever.

I also narrowly escaped being attacked by strange, prehistoric, metal, creatures.

We may or may not have gotten into some trouble and John and I tried to make a clean get away...

...But were caught and put behind bars.

Fortunately, we escaped and rode off into the sunrise...

...Just kidding, we really just went to Madison for John's birthday and to go to a bike race. We did have some great adventures, though. I promise to tell you all about them as soon as I get around to writing about the other things I've done since late July.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Everybody's Got a Bomb, We Could All Die Any Day. But Before I Let That Happen, I'll Dance My Life Away.

Oh, kids. I suck at blogging lately. I still have one more OOBRAI/RAGBRAI post to write and then there's all kinds of stuff that's gone on in the last two months that I have yet to write about too. Of course, we're going to Madison on Thursday, so I don't know how much I'll get to before then, but I will do my damnedest.

In the meantime, as you can see above, I'm keeping myself busy by continuing to be obnoxious and ridiculous and amusing myself at any cost.

Photo credt - Russ Ellis' Instagram.

Jingle CX was this past weekend and we had a blast...All except that time John crashed riding really fast down a hill. Luckily no one was harmed while making this photograph.

I promise to try to be better about posting and I hope you all are having fun out there too.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Thank You For Being a Friend

So, last weekend we went to Mason City for a bike race. We decided to drive the 10 miles to Clear Lake to eat dinner at the place we drank at during OOBRAI, where the owner so graciously offered to give John a ride to a bike shop. We like to put our money where are mouths are...Wait. That doesn't sound right.

Anyway, I sent a group text of the above photo to John and some of our other friends and captioned it: Look! We're making drunk friends.

Then John responded: No. We're drunk. They're working for tips.

Ha ha ha ha ha. Sometimes the truth is hilarious.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Right, Wrong. I Just Can't Stop It.

On the third day, we were finally going to catch up with RAGBRAI. First, we had to get John's wheel situation rectified. He called the bike shop in Clear Lake and they said they could help him. So, he rode out to them and they set him up with a new wheel and we were ready to go.

We only had about 56 miles or so to ride, which seemed like nothing after the last couple of days, but the shorter distance was welcomed by all of us after the treacherous day before.

The biggest problem for me, was that I was getting a migraine. I tried to take some Advil to see if that would help, to no avail. We stopped at a Casey's in a small town that had lush grass and lovely shade trees behind it. I told the gang that I needed to take migraine meds and rest a little while. They were very sweet and just fine with it. After about an hour, I felt much better. The meds meant I couldn't ride very fast for the next 24 hours, but at least my head wasn't splitting.

The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful. We met our RAGBRAI group in a little town called Algona.

Our RAGBRAI friends are lovably goofy. In the photo above, Bry forgot his helmet and picked up an alternative one....

I was so exhausted from migraine and my meds, so I basically ate and went to sleep.

The next day we were in full-on RAGBRAI. It meant that we wouldn't have to hitch rides if anything happened to our bikes, there would be tons of stuff to do, but we would be surrounded by thousands of people all day. Sigh.

I was still pretty weak from my migraine meds, but I had a good time and the beer tent sold root beer as well. So, I was happy.

We rode and ate and played and made it to Clear Lake. It was only a 54 mile day, so we had enough energy to hang at the show at night.

The Wailers played. Of course, it wasn't the real Wailers. I saw Bunny Wailer in 1986 at the Oakland Coliseum. This may have been a grandson or just people who sounded like the Wailers. The music was good, but after a while I started to feel that bad vibe. You know, the one where people are getting too drunk and pushing people in the crowd and it just starts to feel weird?...So, I asked John if he wanted to take off and we headed to the lake where we could still hear the music, but weren't engulfed by drunk people.

It was supposed to storm the next morning. Which meant a lot of riders got up really early in the morning to try to out ride it, or didn't ride at all. We didn't worry about it. We got up at the normal time and headed to Charles City.

The clouds started to roll in early on our ride, so we thought we'd try to make it to a breakfast burrito and coffee place and "ride" out the storm at the farm there.

It started raining just about the minute we got our food and coffee. We holed-up in a dilapidated barn with some other riders.

When the storm started to let-up, the farmer who's barn we were hanging out in, walked past us and said, "Yeah. That's a pig barn..." and pointed back to the clean, dry, garage where several other riders were waiting out the storm. Oops!

It sprinkled here and there, but we decided to ride on to the next town where we saw several of our group. The photo above is of John and one of his best friends since high school. They have been doing RAGBRAI for 20 years together.

The coolest thing about the bad weather, was that there were hardly any people riding that late in the day, so there were very few lines and we didn't even have to get off our bikes and walk through towns like we normally do. Best of all, there was a cool pond swing.

We talked my brother into doing it (which wasn't hard at all). Then when it was his turn to get up to the platform we all chanted, "Uncle Bill! Uncle Bill! Uncle Bill!" The guy who was talking to people and getting them set up on the swing said to my brother, "Okay, Uncle Bill. Here's how it's gonna go..." Hilarious.

What I did discover that day was that I must have done a lousy job of washing my legs at that splash pad on the 2nd day of OOBRAI, because the weird itchy blisters were all over me. They have left some nice scars after the blisters cleared up. So, there's that...

We met up with some of our team and were riding through a town, when we spotted two other teammates sitting on a bench with a 12 pack of PBR. I guess that meant we were stopping.

It was actually a good thing we did. We found hula hoops and the boys played a game where they handed each other beer and tried not to mess with their hula hooping. None of them seemed very good at it.

When we finally got back on the road, we passed a woman who rode with her dog on her back the entire week. His name was Zazoo and he seemed to love the experience.

Our last stop of the day was at the Craft Brew tent. They had bags (corn hole, if you're from Iowa) and sting rays (why?) in these tubs for people to look at and beer, of course.

We all played frisbee and because our friends are assholes, it all degenerated into some kind of tackle game where you try to keep your friends from catching the frisbee. Apparently, we play a lot of weird games.

We did finally make it to Charles City and stayed with some lovely people. As I've said before, there are parts of RAGBRAI that can be hard for me, but the fun adventure days always make up for those things.