Before undergoing last weekends surgery, I was able to get in one last good ride with good friends. This particular group of friends is spread all over the country, so it was great to get organized and actually meet up to ride again. Some drove in from St Louis, some flew in from UT, I came from STP and we all met a friend who lives in Milwaukee for the Lake Country Classic in Oconomowoc, WI. Getting ourselves there and set up for the ride was a bit hectic. I waited in St Paul for our UT friend to fly in, as she needed a ride to Milwaukee. This got delayed as we're all on the non-rev, standby plan, so we didn't arrive until 3:30am. Already set up to be fatigued on our 7:00am start time for the ride. To make things later, she flew in with an S and S bike, so we needed to stay up and put it together. My mind wasn't working the greatest, and it took me longer than necessary to build it up. Then for whatever reason, I couldn't fall asleep until around 5:30 for a 6:15 wake-up. Ouch. Oh well, worse things have happened, and I was still excited for the ride and to hang out with everyone. As mentioned a couple entries ago, I'm currently limited to my Long Haul Trucker for road riding as my Lemond is down. And add the info from my very last entry, and you'll realize my sternum was broken (although I didn't know it at the time). Yeah- big recipe for success right? Well, I realized I wasn't going to keep up with anyone on the full 100 mile route, and opted to ride the 65 mile route instead with two out of the group who had chosen the same.
Next issue- we got a mile and a half into the ride, biking through some pleasant light rain, saving us from the weeks oppressive heat indices, and I noticed while watching the slightly greasy road in front of me that my buddy Chris's rear wheel was wobbling like a drunk. It was pretty bad. So I checked it out, and discovered his hub was super loose. We nursed it back to my truck, where I had my tool box, and tightened things up, but then upon looking further, found two broken spokes. Ugh. After deliberating, he decided he'd ride carefully, but most likely ruin the wheel, and go forward with the event. It held the whole ride. Thumbs up to Mavic cross wheels.
Now that the ride was finally on for real, we enjoyed 68 miles of Wisconsin back roads, and I remembered why there are bike companies based there- it really is a peaceful place to ride a road bike. I'm going to have to do some day or overnight trips over there next year to explore some more of the area.
The food was a little comical- they advertised "famous baked-goods", which I think meant that a ton of grandmas made a ton of cookies for the ride instead of Costco (which was nice), and they made a big deal out of having chicken-wings at one of the stops. I really didn't think wings sounded good in the middle of a bigger ride, but I did eat a couple.
After the ride, we all regrouped for mexican fare and margaritas, reminisced of good times, and talked of making an annual century trip somewhere to get everyone together more often. I hope we do- it was great.
"Everyone say Facebook!" (I think that was Julie's quote when setting this up.) :)
Yup, I guess we're eating wings on a long hot bike ride...
Hmmm...broken stuff everywhere, hubs, spokes, sternums...
Always worth riding the heavy touring bike in case you need to carry a spare tube on your 80 lb. limit rack... :)