Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Oh what a night, late October back in twenty-ten...

I was just out for a bike ride the night of Friday October 29th, 2010. I wasn't racing.  Nobody else was racing either.

I was just out for a ride with a bunch of other people dressed in costume riding bikes with lights in the night. I was also in costume:

Me on the left. Chris on the right. Photo stolen from Shane Harders's Facebook page.

I felt strange explaining my 1980s reference. I don't feel like explaining it again, so here's a video:

The ride started at Robber's Cave, then on to Wilderness Park.

At Wilderness, we were greeted by a guy in costume dragging a hammer (or axe?) across a chain which "blocked" access to the park after hours. He said nothing. Good thing he was there, I would have endo'd entering the park.

Riding a road bike on super rough gravel walking trails is not my idea of fun. I took it at 5mph with my left leg out, just in case. I had to find a piece of candy in a covered bridge before I could get my stamp that gave me a clue to my next stop: the tunnel at 4th and F.

Then I followed a group of folks north to the F street tunnel at 4th street. We took a pea gravel bike trail. I thought about my skinny tires, 30lbs excess weight and pea gravel: 15mph is my limit here.

Hindsight being 20/20, I should have taken 8th street, I could have made up some time: no pea gravel for my front wheel to slip on, no "traffic" to get stuck behind, meth-tweeker zombies with rabid, underfed pit bulls to sprint away from, etc.

When we got to 4th and F, we were informed we had to enter from the other side. That means we had to cross four train tracks. At the other end of the tunnel we were digging among spaghetti for squishy eyeballs in a kiddie pool set up by Girl Bike Night. Mmmm. When you found the eyeball, you were given a stamp with your next location and given another piece of candy.

One dude in the tunnel reached in and grabbed a handful of spaghetti and ATE IT. While I can't speak for the 20 or so folks that came before us, I know how gross my handlebars are and I'm pretty sure my gloves aren't exactly sanitary.

The next location was State Fair Park horse stables. You found the No Coast Derby Girls dressed as zombies and had to answer three state capitol questions before getting your card stamped with a new location (27th and Capitol Parkway Underpass) and another piece of candy.

There are two street crossings from State Fair Park to the 27th and Capitol Parkway underpass. That means almost no interference from cars (yay!). That didn't matter because the wind was horrible (boo!).

I was greeted by a cycling ninja at the north entrance to the underpass. At the south end of the underpass, I had to toss a "severed head" to a ring on the other side of the "River of Blood". I needed six (twelve? twenty-four?) tries, twice the head fell into the river and got all slippery.

My next stop was the YWCA, which I got lost trying to locate. I had it in my head that it was on 13th street, when in reality it was on 15th.

My challenge there involved getting blindfolded and following spoken instructions to find my way through an obstacle course.

After that I high tailed it to the finish line at Buzzard Billy's. Whoops. It was not a race (remember, I was just out for a ride), which means there is no finish line. I made it to the end of the ride. We left at 8:00 and I arrived at the finish at about 9:40. I was the 36th overall arrival.

This ride was a fund/awareness-raiser for Sheclismo, Lincoln's first all-women's cycling team. (One of these days I'm going to ask how one pronounces "Sheclismo".)

There were raffles and prizes at the finish, including a Globe Daily 1 commuter bike. I came home with a new water bottle from Joyride Bicycles and five pieces of candy. (You can never have too many water bottles this time of year: they come in handy during the winter to hold soapy water for washing grit off your bike after a romp through the snow. Keep a thermos of near-boiling water nearby to thaw/rinse it off.)

The "not-race" was fun. I want to "hustle" again sometime soon.

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