It’s that time of year again, WHAM RIDE!
This year was probably one of the best years to date. But I will get into that as we go. The weather to start with was nearly perfect, not to hot or to cold, but it was just a little humid out. This year sadly Kool-Aid couldn’t make the ride, but I was able to catch a ride with my friend Alex“Sierra Nevada” and his girlfriend Shandi! As he pulled up in his prius I was amazed how he was able to fit 3 bikes with only having a 2 bike rack. Those little prisus can pack more than they look like. We arrived I think around 10pm and after parking we went to pick up our registration packets. But before we could leave Alex realized he had forgotten the mounts to his lights!Luckily for him I had my kitty litter panniers and had brought some electrical tape. He hooked it all up as best he could and we headed towards the pavilion. As I went to go pick up ANOTHER tie-dye shirt that I would never wear in public, a sack style “backpack” and some soap, I started noticing that a bunch of people had on some pretty cool shirts. They were a pleasant blue, with a bicycle in white over a map of Indiana.
Could this be this years shirt? YES! Not only did we get cool shirts, we got awesome mini top0tube panniers instead of the backpacks!! But don’t worry, I still got my bar of soap. This worked out very well for Alex as his light was shining to high, but he was able to use a pocket on the tube bag to hold his light.
I did run into Jose “Red” from the previous years but didn’t get much chance to visit. While they still had a DJ this year the music played seemed better and the volume wasn’t uncomfortable. After registering, we had to get our “party” on with some glow sticks I had picked up at the store earlier (though I did see they added some vendors this year, they even had someone selling glow sticks!).
With our festive illumination in place, and the clock about to roll around to 12 we got in place. We decided to leave with the fast group again, now what I hadn’t mentioned is that Shandi has only been riding for 3 weeks! She had a nice 80’s Schwinn (I believe), and we had talked her out of doing the 10 mile and join us in the 30. As we waited for the signal to go off, I was all set. We were nearer to the front this time, but still part way back. HOOOONK went the air horn to signal to go, when I realized I forgot to start my mapmyrun! I tried starting it but it was acting up, so I had to stop for about 30 seconds to get it going. Within that time both Alex and Shandi had left me in the dust. I could just make out her “halo” (made from a glow stick) in the distance. It ended up taking me almost 9 miles to catch up to her. It wasn’t so much that I couldn’t get the speed, but more so I lost sight of her and I couldn’t get around people who were riding 3 abreast at times.
By the way, this is a shout out to the gentleman who got mad at me because my bucket was in his way, as he tried to pass me on the right, when I was in the right lane. Don’t get pissed that there wasn’t room, either slow down or PASS ON THE LEFT WHERE NO ONE WAS. Also, I was surprised by the number of people riding this year without lights, I counted about 10-15 of them. Those are just the ones I saw. It’s midnight, partly cloudy, and you need lights people. Ok now back to the story.
After catching up with her, I found out that Alex had taken off like a bat out of hell at the start of the ride. So we rode together for the rest of the ride. It was nice this year having someone to talk with, it really made the miles go a lot quicker. Now from what I had remembered from the previous years the big stop at Cabela’s was at around mile 15. We both were looking forward to taking a quick break, but mile 15 came and went without a sign of Cabela’s. It couldn’t be much further, I figured it might be at 16 or 17, but I was wrong. We finally rolled into Cabela’s at mile 20. It wasn’t as busy this year, but I also noticed that the ride in general seemed to have less people. My guess is that with the weather being kind of iffy all day, many were afraid of the rain. The other thing could be that I was way off and they had more people than I realized.
It turned out Alex has still been waiting for us at the stop, which I was surprised to find out as I was sure he would have left already. He had gone nearly 20mph! He has been working out and eating right this last year and is really in great shape, which seemed to have paid off nicely for him! So with only 10 miles left to go, we all decided to ride together.
I almost forgot to add, for the first time ever I was recognized for my blog out in the wild by a stranger! It was about a mile before the stop, and he rolled up on us. He asked if I was the “big boned blogger” and said he was happy to meet me, as he pulled away lol. So if you are reading this, thanks! It really made my night, and encouraged me to write this post.
The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful, so I will just cut to the next parts. We finished the ride a little before 3am and had an 11.7mph average. Not bad all things considered and I still felt like I could have done some more mileage.
But now it was time for Breakfast! This year breakfast was served by Tapas Cafe! This was the best breakfast so far, the eggs were tasty, the sausage patties yummy, and the pancakes fluffy and not burned/undercooked.
So now for my annual feedback!
- The directions were much better this year, didn’t feel lost at all, plenty of signage and people pointing the way.
- Food was excellent, stick with them!
- Would like to see some food options, would have been happy to pay a bit more as I was still hungry after.
- Consider a live band
- The swag was much better this year, thank you!
Thanks again for a wonderful event, and already looking forward to next year!
Keep on Rolling,
Big Boned Biker