Sunday, September 28, 2008

Not Last

A couple months ago, my lovely cousin Marie invited me to to join her and her father (my jovial Uncle Bob) on a bike ride in Madison.  The event is called "Bike the Barns" and is a fundraiser for CSA's or Community Supported Agriculture in the Madison area.  The ride was 63 miles (with an optional 14 mile extra loop) and wound through rolling farmland south of Madison.

Here is Marie packing up the car.  I took this picture at 7am, approximately three hours after going to bed the night before.  It was going to prove to be a very long day . . . 

The following pics were snapped early in the race, when we were still able to force our facial muscles to curve in an upward direction . . .

Along the 63 mile route, there were designed stops at three different farms.  Here the riders took breaks, talked to the farmer, filled up on water, read inspirational messages in the toilets, sampled the local food (homemade and locally grown bruschetta, granola, ice cream, cookies, etc . . .).  At one farm, we picked fresh raspberries!


We may not have had the fanciest bikes, we not have been the fastest riders, but we made damn sure that we were not only the best looking bikers, but also the most stylish.

At one point during the ride, we commented on the strong tailwind we had that day.  Later we realized that the "woosh" sounds coming from behind us was not a tailwind, but rather the force of every single biker passing us at breakneck speeds.  An hour into the race, however, we did manage to pass our first rider . . . they were broken down on the side of the road (and later passed us once again).
The ride went smoothly for about the first 55 miles or so.  After that point, Marie's butt began to ache, Bob's knees began to creek, and my hangover kicked in to high gear.  Its a good thing that most everyone had already passed us at this point, as our whining reached screeching magnitudes.  We dragged the last ten miles and reached the finish line around 4:30 pm.  Behind us, way off in the distance, we noticed a stray biker that still had not finished the race.  We turned to each other, exchanged high fives, and exclaimed, "Not Last".  That pretty much sums up our day, "Not Last".

Despite a strong desire for some 'nappers' after the race, we all showered and got ready for dinner at Rick and Mary k's house in Cottage Grove.
We arrived around 7pm: the kids were leading the busy lives of teenagers, Mary K was cooking tirelessly, and my aunt Barb was deep into her first bottle of wine.  

Dinner was absolutely fabulous (big ups to our wonderful hosts): fancy salad, tender beef, quinoa, fresh tomoatoes with mozzarela, and LOTS of garlic sauce.  Dinner conversation was cordial, and centered mostly around buying pagan babies.  After Barb licked clean every bottle of wine in the house, she moved on to the chocolate hazelnut liquers.  At this point, Barb started asking questions about the logistics of sex at the south pole and wondered aloud about my status as a heterosexual.
Several painful mintues later, Marie and I managed to escape to the car.  We may have finished nearly last in the bike ride today, but we were first up from the dinner table.


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