Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tour de Kota '08: Day 4 - Highmore to Huron

Picture poached from the Argus Leader. I'm second in line proudly wearing a wet CiTyBiLLy work shirt.

We had an official "Ride with thE kErnEl Day" today and we left way later than I would normally leave (8:15ish). In retrospect, I should have talked them into leaving LATER than that. I looked at the weather forecast and knew the wind was going to change from East to West around noon, and we were heading east. Before we even got going, it started to rain slightly and it was chilly and windy. But we headed out and as soon as we turned east on Highway 14, we realized how bad it was.

Light rain doesn't necessarily bother me. Winds 15 mph and under I can live with. Adding them both together can bring the heartiest of riders to tears. There would be no tears in thE kErnEl's peloton however. There were many smart aleck comments, a few jokes, movie one-liners, and even and occasional song or two. The priorities took over. Bar stops. The first of which took place in Miller.

We found a bar, which I didn't even look at the name, and Patrick Lalley tried the door and it was locked. He looked in the window and said "There's movement!" He pounded on the window and in his best voice of utter alcohol desperation said "PLEEEEEAAAASSSSSSEEEEEEEE!!!!!". Low and behold, the door came open and we were invited in. Patrick just made the jump to the good friends list. After conversation, a couple of mugs of Blue Moon and some bar popcorn left over from the night before we were on the road again.

As we stepped outside the bar, we noticed that the wind was finally starting to shift from the west a little more and the rain had pretty much run its course as well. The paceline formed once again as we hammered the next 14 miles to Wessington gleefully after dealing with the rain and the wind for the first 26 or so. Only problem for thE kErnEl crew in Wessington was that the bar was not open at all. We ended up having to circle back to the Cenex and grab a 24 ouncer from the cooler. The line was long so we started drinking it on the way and was promptly scolded by the cashier. It didn't really stop us from continuing however.

We rolled on to Huron with a few miles of crosswind, but for the most part nothing but tailwinds for a change. thE kErnEl tried to lead out thE mUsclE for the intermediate sprint points for the city limits sign into Huron (hard to explain to you non-cycling folks) but as thE mUsclE and I were probably topping 30 mph on our sprint we laughed as there was no city limits sign to be seen. With no sprint points to be won in Huron, I captured all the intermediate sprints for the day, although only one was truly a contested race by thE kErnEl himself, but my competitive nature couldn't let him win it, even on Ride With thE kErnEl day.

We found a bar in Huron (shocking!) that also served food. Laura joined us and we enjoyed a beer and good food. We parted ways after a great day on the road, regardless of the weather. Friends old and new further cemented their bonds. Many of the CiTy BiLLy's (Northern chapter) were on the ride so we paid homage to the other founders from Lincoln, eDLoNNie and eDBiLLy by making a phone call to eDLoNNie with a "wish you were here".


eDLoNNiE said...

Thanks BiLLys for the phone call! It really picked me up.

thE_kErnEl said...

Damn rear-view mirror! Not like I could have beat you, but a surprise would have been nice ;-)

Thanks for making it a great day!!

Anonymous said...

I can neither confirm or deny these reports.