Monthly Archives: June 2011

A Fat Man’s Guide to the Dirty Kanza

This year marked my 2nd attempt at finishing the Dirty Kanza. Last year, I gave it my best and ended the day with just over 100 miles on the bike, 30 minutes under a mulberry tree and about 45 minutes laying in ditch-water. It was my first century, and I was completely at peace with “only” riding 100 miles in 100+ degree weather. Still, there was this nagging voice in my head telling me I could do the full 200 if I really applied myself.

“Applying myself” turned out to be quite a challenge. I’d say the biggest problem I had while preparing for this race was fried food, beer and my girlfriend. It’s not something I’m particularly proud to say, but I’ve gained about 40 pounds in the last year. There was a time when I’d bike-commute to work and do an extra 20 mile loop just for fun . When I got home, I’d eat a couple of eggs and go to bed. I wore a size 34 waist jeans, was finally rid of my man-boobs and felt great about myself.

'09 Rim Wrecker, my first mtb race

Then I got lazy.. I lost my “fire”. For pretty much…the year 2010, I was driving home from work to eat mexican food and drink beer with Cara. Lemme tellya, life was good… until we had to go to the store and buy me a pair of size 40 waist jeans because none of my clothes fit anymore. Getting fat sucks, and it’s especially bad when you know how much easier everything WAS when you were kinda skinny. In reality, it was a slow progression back to fatness, but I swear it felt like I went to bed one night  and the next morning I was a lardass…just in time for summer and the Dirty Kanza. Oh well.

Try as you might, you can’t hide fatness in the cycling world. Check out this pic and you’ll see the signature move of any insecure fat man….the shirt tug.

The jersey only looks faded because the fabric is pulled so tight.

Raceday saw my fat ass stuffed into a TRW kit at 262 pounds. I had to wear my old school jersey since  the zipper on my new one had literally exploded one week prior. Let’s just say it wasn’t the most confidence-inspiring moment of my life.

All that aside, the Kanza was an event I’d been looking forward to for a long time, and backing out was never an option. It’s pretty much the only race that draws about 90% of my friends in the cycling community, and the town of Emporia really gets behind this  event. When the race starts (at 6am), there are spectators lining the streets all the way through town.

When the race director turned us loose, Travis and I discovered our biggest problem was holding back. The gameplan was to maintain a 12mph average for the duration of the race, but for the first few miles we were in the low 20mph range. I think Travis actually ran out of gears for a while. It was odd, but we both agreed that we were putting out a minimal effort. Sure beats the alternative, I suppose.

Look closely and you can count 3 chins in this photo

Next thing you know we’re riding with THE Jim Davis. After getting “before” photos of one another at  20 mph, we talked for a bit before he rode ahead.

For the first 20-25 miles we rode effortlessly among the crowd of other riders. Paved steets lined with people eventually gave way to gravel roads lined with flowers and grazing cattle.

Near-perfect weather conditions in the morning

The sunrise was beautiful, but I only managed to get this one shitty photo while we were bumping down the road.

(I don’t think I have to tell you that photo is a poor representation of the actual sunrise.)

Riding among friends next to that Flint hills sunrise was a great experience. The temps were probably in the upper 70’s with very little wind. The rising sun outlined the clouds in crimson, and the fields on either side of the road glowed in a rich amber color. The roads were lined with pink and white primrose for as far as I could see. There was nowhere else I wanted to be but right there at the Dirty Kanza.

Travis and plodded along, taking it all in. Our spirits were high and we both had some pretty high expectations. At this point in the day, I don’t think either of us “wanted” to finish. No, we were “going” to finish. We agreed to stay together for as long as possible and not let one another quit. It was nice to have a partner out there. We took turns drafting one another and making sure the other guy kept up with food and water intake.

The first 30 miles were a piece of cake, but we knew there would be a strong headwind soon.  Funny thing about the wind, pedaling straight into it seems so brutal, but you eventually realize it’s a blessing. That wind keeps you cooled down, which becomes a pretty big deal during the heat of the day. 

My whole strategy for finishing the Kanza was simply to eat, drink and be merry. If you’re working, you’re working too hard. Energy conservation is a must, so any time we got to anything that even looked like a  climb…we walked it. It certainly wasn’t the most glorious way to crest a hill, but it paid off in a big way. Getting off the bike and pushing for 1 or 2 minutes gives certain parts of your body a chance to breathe and take a break. Most of the time we’d get passed on the climbs only catch the same riders minutes later on a downhill or flat.

Of course, there are those climbs that get everyone off the saddle.

Foodwise, I had chosen to carry a LOT of Honey Stinger waffles. If you’re not eating these things yet, you’re missing out. While it’s important to pack the food you need, I also like to have a few things in the bag to look forward to. In that light, I had a tasty bag of beef jerky and some twizzlers. To fight off the cramps, I had a triple-loaded bottle of E-fuel in my Mountain feedbag and 4 vials of The Right Stuff. 3 more water bottles on the bike and one in my jersey pocket would be enough to get me to the 62 mile mark.

40-50 miles in, I couldn’t help but remark at how smoothly things were going. Our pace was great, the waffles still tasted good and we hadn’t had a single flat tire. If we could just hold this momentum and survive the heat, things were gonna work out. Other people hadn’t been as fortunate, it seemed like we saw someone changing a tire about every 5 miles. 

When we rolled into the first checkpoint, (62-ish miles), I felt like a freight train. My water rationing was working, I’d been eating consistently and I really felt great. I was a bit leery of the rising temps, but mostly I think I was just excited to sit in the grass and crush a PB and honey sandwich.

The Hammons-Jenkins Express cruises into town

 The first thing I noticed when we rolled into the CP was the abundance of riders laying around. There were some very strong riders sitting in the shade, and I couldn’t help but wonder why.  My friend Chris Bopp walked up and asked if I was dropping out of the race.

Say what?

I’ll admit, my first impression was “Oh, a fat joke..that’s nice“. But as is usually the case, I was wrong.  Chris wanted to drop out of the race and he was just looking for some reassurance.  I had no interest in quitting this early, so I made my way to the shade and took care of some very serious business.

There's just something about peanut butter and honey

It sure felt good to sit in the grass and stuff my face, but I knew better than to let myself get too comfortable. I chilled for a bit, took some electrolytes and started filling water bottles for the next stretch. Travis didn’t seem eager to leave, but he got up and made ready to leave anyway. He said if he didn’t leave now, he probably never would.

The Hammons Camp

At this point, another 42 miles sounded like a ride around the block. I was so eager to get back on the road that I actually forgot to fill one of my water bottles. It was a very stupid move, and one that would cost me dearly. Unaware of my mistake, we set out for the 2nd leg of the race with piss and vinegar in our veins. I couldn’t believe how great I felt, all I could think was ” I’m fatter, but I’m stronger..and I’m not going to question it.”

About 30 minutes after we left the CP, Travis said he needed to stop and take a break. The heat was getting to him and he needed to chill for a while. After a bit of debate, we decided he’d stay back  to recoup while I went on.  I felt like a total douchebag leaving him there, but he insisted that he was fine and if I didn’t leave he’d kick my ass. OK, maye that’s not entirely true, but you get the point. It definitely felt like the wrong thing to do, but if Iwas gonna have any chance of finishing the race I had to keep going.

We had been passed by Wendy and one other rider about 5 minutes earlier, so I set out to catch the 2 of them. Without the headwind, I was able to hold between 20-22mph in the flats. I figured that’d be enough to catch them, and before long I saw someone about 1/4 mile ahead. When I finally caught up to the rider I thought was Wendy, I was a bit disappointed to find out it was someone else.

I could just barely see a small white dot in the distance, so I knew catching up would be a challenge. After a good 10 minutes of hard riding,  we were side-by-side. We chatted about the days events and enjoyed one another’s company while the miles ticked by. A few minutes later, I thought I smelled Corey Case’s feet..but it was just a horse carcass rotting in the sun.

Isn't the grass normally greener around dead animals?

I’ve seen and smelled some dead animals in my day, but that shit was disgusting.  Wendy and I enjoyed about 11 miles together before I let her go ahead, and that’s when I began to experience what I believe is the true essence of the Dirty Kanza. No longer part of a group, I was left to my own thoughts and struggles. My mind wandered in countless directions, from the meaningful to the miniscule. One moment, I pondered things like fatherhood, marriage and my career. Then my mind would flip and I’d be thinking about boobs and Treloar cheeseburgers. How many kids would I have? Would they be pretty like Cara or have my huge chin?  How awesome would a Huey Lewis/Phil Collins concert be? I crossed the Kanza’s finish line 1,000 times in my mind, re-living the glory over and over.

My thoughts were as random as Casey’s bowels.

I looked down at the cyclometer and saw 104 degrees looking back at me. I knew it was gonna be hot, but this was getting out of control. Around 80-ish miles the road got pretty rough and led me into a treeline. A guy rode past me cussing because he had gone the wrong way and ridden an extra 10 miles. This made me a bit paranoid. As I rolled along, I began to notice the lack of tire-tracks in the sand.

Jeep road

The prospect of being lost in the Flint hills was sobering, but I was confident that I had correctly followed the route.  I decided there were no tracks because the road was too rough. Further down the trail, I began to see other riders on the side of the road, and that was reassuring. Most of them were ok, just waiting for a ride. The heat was claiming people right and left, and I could feel it slowly strangling my own resolve.

I believe I was around the 84 mile mark when I ran out of water. Temps were still above 100, and I began to realize I was in some pretty serious trouble. The route was different from last year, so there would be no life-saving mulberry tree this time. If only I had remembered to fill my other bottle… how could I have been so stupid?  I had one or two swallows of e-fuel left, but that was it. I started scanning for creeks and ditches to get water from, but they were all dry. Maybe somebody waiting for SAG support would give me a bottle. Not a town or even a house for miles, so ringing doorbells wasn’t an option. Things were looking prety grim until I saw these guys:

Desert Oasis

No more than 10 feet to the side of the road was a water spigot. I laughed out loud, blind luck had officially saved my ass two years in a row.  I patiently waited for my turn, then loaded my bottles and doused myself with delicious, cold water. I poured it across my neck and rinsed my hair, it was phenomenal. Someone asked me if I thought the water was safe to drink. I took a giant gulp and told him I didn’t give a shit. It was a great day to be alive.

After filling my bottles and colling off, I felt renewed and ready to finish this leg of the race. I’d say those feelings lasted about 30 minutes. After that, the heat finally claimed me. I lost all sense of time and motivation. My biggest concern became finding a shady place to sit in the grass. A lone tree on distant hilltop became my life’s purpose, and when I got there it was time to chill.

My view to the left

My view to the right

I promised myself to only take a 5 minute break. 20 minutes later, I got my ass up off the ground and moved out.

After that, the miles passed by slowly and without much enjoyment. I ran out of water again, and cussed myself for not taking more from the spigot. The upside was that I was only about 6 miles from the checkpoint, and there was a Jeep headed my way. The guy in the Jeep offered me some water, and I graciously took his last bottle. You gotta love those Jeep-guys, that’s twice they’ve saved my bacon.

A few miles before town there was an old house with a giant shade tree in the front yard. I laid down under the tree and tried to cool off for a minute. I laid there and looked up at the branches weaving back and forth. Between that and sound of the rustling leaves, it was hard not to fall asleep. It was a good 5 minutes of tranquility, then back on the bike.

About 1/2 a mile before I got to town, Jim Davis came rolling up behind me. He was in good spirits and in a hurry to make the “4:20 cutoff'”. I knew the cutoff was at 4:30, but kept it to myself. Jim tried to motivate me, but I was whipped. Realizing I’d later regret letting him ride away from me, I sprinted to catch him and we came into the checkpoint together.

I collected my map from the volunteer and went to lay in the grass. I was having trouble getting good breaths and my ribs hurt like crazy. I lay there trying to breathe and reviewed my mistakes.  Trying to catch up with friends and not having enough water had lead to my demise. Both were rookie mistakes and I should’ve known better. Being fat probably hadn’t helped, but it didn’t seem to really hurt me either. All in all, I felt much stronger this year.

My race was over, the sun had won again. Checkpoint 3 was something like 60 miles away and I knew it wasn’t gonna happen. I had no cell phone, so the smart thing to do was call it a  day. It was a disappointing end to a wonderful journey, much like the final episode of Lost. In the end, I’m glad I didn’t finish. I really didn’t deserve it, the Dirty Kanza is the kind of race you prepare for over the course of several months, not several weeks.

That being said, I had a solid time. I saw some kickass scenery, hung out with friends and attempted something most people think is impossible. I’m already looking forward to toeing the line again next year, and I think I’ve got a solid chance at finishing.  One thing I know for sure, I’ll get that finisher’s beer mug if it’s the last thing I do.

 

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Just for Fun Friday – The Flood is Coming Edition

As Bob and I were running on the Katy Trail this morning (although Bob was a half an hour late because he “sent me an email changing the time to 6:30 instead of 6:00” that I never received), we talked about how the Katy may be underwater within the next few weeks as the Missouri River rises.  We then discussed how we should paddle on the Katy Trail if it does indeed become flooded.  Bob even came up with a great name for the event: “Rails to Sails.”  Pretty good, huh?

Talking about paddling during the impending flood made me think of the time we had way too much fun paddling a flooded Cedar Creek.  In case you missed it, below is the video. Check it out:

 

 

The last time we paddled Cedar Creek, we ended up walking a few extra miles since we (Bob) left the keys at the canoe put-in.  To read all about it, you can go here (seriously, it’s worth a read).  It was an incredibly fun day (even with the mishap regarding the keys), and we really need to get back out there for some more paddling fun.  And Robby has promised us that he would join us next time, and NOTHING will stop him.

Until next time, Toot-a-Loo.

Just for Fun Friday! – Adam Wins a Medal Edition

We’ve been working long and hard (that’s what she said) behind the scenes here at TV HQ to bring you a new series of blog posts.  In case you missed the title of this post, the new series is called “Just for Fun Fridays!”  Every Friday (or at least every Friday that we feel like posting) we’ll try to post a fun fact, photo, or some other sort of nonsense to help brighten your day as you head into the weekend.  So, without further ado, here you go:

Last Saturday, our very own Adam Laffoon took second place in his division at the Run for Heart 5K in Jefferson City.  Huge congratulations to Adam for winning a medal with a time of 49 minutes and 35 seconds (an average pace of 16 minutes per mile)!

Adam Wins a Medal

"C'mon guys. It's just too easy when you're this good!"

Second place is something to be proud of.  Unfortunately, Adam also finished dead last in his division since there was only one other competitor, but hey, who’s counting?

My question to all of you Virtusites… Is this podium finish worthy of reinstating Adam as a full member of Team Virtus?  Please vote in the comments below.

No pain, no gain

When I first joined Team Virtus, I was a cripple.  I had recently had ankle surgery and was unsure of my cycling and running future.  Back in November of 2009 I was playing a simple pickup game of basketball when I came down on someone’s foot.  My foot instantly bent out and I was in immediate pain.  I felt my ankle pop and as I was rolling around on the ground in pain, I thought…”SHIT…I hope I did not break anything!”

Bad sprain my ass

The dr. said that nothing was broken and that it was just a bad sprain.  But as the months went on and the pain did not subside, I went back for another look.  Long story short I had an avulsion fracture and minor tears of my ligaments.  I wore a boot for 6 weeks before starting PT.  After 1 month of PT my ankle was feeling better, but not 100 % by any means.  I just decided to see what would happen and gave it some time.  By September of 2010 things were not better and not getting better.  I made an appointment to see an ankle specialist.

An x-ray revealed an OCD lesion.  Basically the avulsion fracture broke off and needed to be taken out.  They wanted to do the surgery right away, but I pushed it off till November 1st.

This was the first look I had after the bandages came off.

From what I was told the surgery was a complete success and now it was time to heal.  However the healing process has slowed for me.  After 2 weeks off work of doing nothing but sitting on the couch with my foot up in the air I headed back to work.  For those of you who have not been on crutches lately….THEY SUCK!  My wife was basically doing everything for me and I could not drive.  2 more weeks went by and the doctor let me put my boot back in with crutches.  After a month of the boot and putting no weight on my foot the dr. finally said I could start walking with the boot.  Let me tell you….that first step was PAINFUL!  But no pain, no gain.

A couple more weeks went by and I got better and better with walking I was ready to start therapy.  My wife is a physical therapist, so I already know that PT stands for Pain and Torture.  I was very tight so getting my ankle loosened up was the #1 priority.  Pain and torture is not exactly how I would describe PT.  I would describe PT with a bunch of 4 letter words that are not good to hear.

Therapy went on for a little over a month and I started feeling better and better.  My last dr. appointment went like this:  Me: “So doc, is it healed?”  Dr.:  “Well, not exactly, but it will just take some time.”  Me:  “How long?”  Dr.: “Not sure, it is different for everyone.”  What I wanted to say was…”Thanks asshole!”, but I didn’t.

So now here I am.  Cycling is great.  I don’t feel any pain.  Walking is great as long as my foot doesn’t go down.  Thanks to my teammates I have started running again.  I have had to adapt my running style a little, because running is still a little painful.  I am wearing a brace, so time will tell.  I just need to push through and slowly work my way back.  No pain, no gain. STRENGTH AND HONOR!

The Rapture Ride

A while back, Adam and I decided we were man enough to ride the Katy to Augusta. Mother Nature thwarted our plans with lightning and hail, forcing us to cut the ride 20 miles short, ending at Treloar. It was a hard-fought 60 miles of soggy trail  to that  promise-land of cheeseburgers and beer, but definitely worth the effort. Upon our return to the capital city, plans were immediately set into motion for a repeat performance on May 21st… Yes, on the day of the Rapture.

The weather forecast for “Augusta, v2.0”  was pretty grim. Rain was predicted for the entirety of the day, growing into severe thunderstorms as evening came. When we met at the commuter lot, I think we were all a bit surprised to see partly cloudy skies and a dry Katy Trail.

See how stupid you look when you don't have cool sunglasses?

Excitement was in the air.  Luke and I got our bikes and gear ready while Adam took the opportunity to apply some anti-chafing creme. I don’t know why he puts it on while running, but I still managed to get a photo:

Everyone had installed fenders for this ride since the trail was supposed to be wet. Adam and I both had these on the back, while Luke had bought this kit.  Luke was pretty proud of his fancy fenders, but never got to see how well the rear one worked. Apparently it blew off the bike going down the highway. I guess we can mark that one off the next list of “Gear We Reccomend“. At least he had a front fender…for now.

Now that everyone was ready to go, we pointed our steeds Eastward and started groovin’.

Look closely and you'll see the bracket for Luke's missing fender. Serfas fenders are built to last...

This was Luke’s first time heading East on the MKT, so we stopped for a minute in Tebbetts to give him a grand tour of the $5 per night shelter. When you walk inside you’ll see this:

Plenty of room to sleep in here, too.

Need to work on your bike? No problem.

And perhaps the most smile-inducing part of this whole building…A clean bathroom complete with toilet, shower, soap and paper towels.

I'm Bob Jenkins, and I approve this bathroom. And yes, I was wearing a helmet while on the toilet.

After the tour, there was no time to dally. There were roast beef sandwiches waiting in Mokane, and we needed to get there as soon as possible.

The Katy Trail was really dry, so we were holding a much quicker pace than last time. In fact, we were going so much faster that Luke and Adam weren’t even hungry when we got to Mokane. I guess it was because they had gone to McDonald’s that morning without me, but I’m not bitter.  Fuckers.

Nearly every brick on that wall has someone's name scratched on it. Purty cool, if you ask me.

There’s just something about these sandwiches that makes me all warm and tingly inside. There isn’t anything fancy about them, but DAMN are they good. Pair ’em up with a bag of Sun-chips and a Black Cherry soda and you’ve got yourself a little thing I like to call the American dream. I mean… my American dream, anyway.

That's what I'm talking about

On our way out of Mokane, we noticed that someone had actually ridden their lawn mower into town to buy groceries. With stars in his eyes and a dab of urine in his pants, Adam jumped aboard and lived out an American dream of his own.

John Deere 420, bitches!!

Heading further East, I noticed some cars hidden in the trees. I pointed them out to the other guys and inadvertently set off an unfortunate chain of events. Luke ran into my back wheel and wrecked… I offered my support by taking this photo.
I’m not sure why Adam is tea-bagging the poison ivy in that photo,  but I guess we all have our bad habits. After we determined who was to blame for the wreck, (me),  we managed to get back on the trail before the mosquitos got too thick.
Despite such a nasty weather forecast, there had still been zero rain. We decided to capitalize on the dry trail and pick up the pace. We also needed a good shot of Luke’s tricep and Adam’s calf…you’re welcome.
I could hardly believe my eyes when we rolled up at the “Big-Ass Rock.” The miles were literally flying by; this had to be double the pace  Adam and I had ridden when the trail was wet. This was getting a bit ridiculous, and by ridiculous…I mean awesome.
Team Virtus, “Rapture Division” posing at the Big Ass Rock
With the Big Ass Rock growing ever-smaller behind us, our sights were now set firmly on the town of Hermann, a place where the beer flows like wine. (Free Honey Stinger waffle to the first Virtusite to name that movie reference)  Everyone seemed to be doing a good job keeping up with caloric intake/hydration, and the miles were passing easily. As we were taking the exit going into Hermann, Luke decided he wanted to sprint to the nearest gas station. I was feeling froggy, so the race was on. He had the jump on me, so I went for broke… for about 2 seconds.

That'll slow you down in a hurry

The sound of a bike chain snapping and the resulting loss of control is unnerving. Losing a sprint kinda sucks too, but I knew fixing the chain was going to be a problem. Lucky for me, I had a pair of supportive team-mates there to take photos of me pissing into the wind.

um..No, seriously.....I can do this!!

We could be in Treloar by now......

I finally admitted defeat and let Luke fix my damn chain. After leaving Hermann, there was only one thing on our minds… Treloar cheeseburgers. We’d lost a significant amount of time fixing the chain, so we we needed to push the pace a bit. Everything was going fine until Adam ruined everything by getting a flat tire. Dick move, Adam… dick move.

**stomachs rumbling in background**

At long last, we arrived in the town of Treloar. Cheeseburgers and fried mushrooms were CRUSHED and the world was right. No beer was consumed…this ride was serious business. I don’t have a clue why no pictures were taken inside the bar, but we did manage to get a shot of this building…which serves as an architectural representation of Dawn Daly’s penis.

(That's a gonorrhea joke)

Our final destination, (The Augusta Brewery), was only open until 9 o’clock. If you’re not there by 9, you don’t get any beer. With that in mind, we got our shit together and hit the trail.  Now that we had passed Treloar, it was officially the furthest East any of us had been on the Katy. We couldn’t help but wonder how long this perfect weather would last.  The predicted thunderstorms and 6pm Rapture had clearly not happened, so for now it looked like things were destined to go our way.

Rapture and thunderstorms, my ass!!

Marthasville was the next dot on our map, and that town was BUSY. Mud pits, monster trucks and corndog vendors… this was a redneck y’allapallooza. We watched from a safe distance… don’t wanna get too close to a crowd like that whilst wearing spandex.

Long shadows as the sun begins to set

Speaking of spandex, we made a startling observation on this ride. It seems that my most beloved pair of bike shorts is a bit… worn out. They say the eyes are the window to the soul. Well, apparently bike-shorts can be a window to your ass.

Bob's ass in spandex

Yikes!

After Marthasville, the only town left to roll through before Augusta was Dutzow. I’m sure there are lots of nice things to see and do in Dutzow, but by now we really didn’t care. There was cold beer in Augusta and none of us felt like stopping here to mess around.

Kiss our ass, Dutzow

The man-train was gaining speed as we grew closer to our final destination. Conversation ceased as our tempo increased , and it wasn’t long before Team Virtus, “Rapture Division,” was in a full-on sprint to the finish. All energy had to be burned before we could call this ride a success. Luke and I traded places at the front all the way into town. To be honest, I don’t remember who won.  Editors Note: Bob prevailed, thus redeeming his earlier chain-snapping loss.  It was exhausting, but the payoff was well worth the effort. Behold!!

Like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow

The Augusta Brewery was everything we had hoped for and so much more. The place was much classier than we expected, so we were a bit under-dressed. Oh well, it wasn’t the first time. We found a place to sit and wasted no time ordering our souvenirs….

Virtus rule #47: Always get a growler.

Food was ordered, conversation was started and much wind was broken. We couldn’t help but lament the absence of ALL OF THE REST OF YOU JERKS, but we know you’ll come next time.  There’s just something about these overnight trips that takes all of your cares away. We may have actually been a little bit too happy. Just look at how “comfortable” Adam and I look together…

Adam was fired from the team for making me look gay. Seriously, Cara thought I was cheating

As you can clearly tell, we arrived at the brewery with plenty of time to spare. Now that the beer situation had been handled, there was an even more important decision to be made:

Puled pork tacos?

Or something a little further off the Virtus grid:

Clam pasta stuff with bacon and corn

It wasn’t an easy decision, but I think we all did ok. Tonight was more about drinking beer anyway, and we did just that. 9pm was upon us in a flash, and we were getting ready to leave when a waitress informed us we could stay as long as we wanted.  we’d just have to sit in the dark. So….we each ordered another growler.

...and then we had the place to ourselves

It wasn’t long before we found a fire-pit and a few pieces of wood. Next thing you know we’ve got a fire going and there are 3 drunk Virtusans stumbling around an otherwise empty brewery. It’s amazing noone was killed.

I'm encompassed in a black cloud created by of one of Luke's pulled pork farts

In the interest of brevity and our public image, I’ll leave the rest of the evening out of the report. I will, however, reveal the location of our sleeping quarters for the evening:

Oddly, this was quite comfortable

For reasons still unknown, we were all awake very early. So early, in fact, that we had all of our gear loaded in the van and ready to go by 7 am.

That'll probably never happen again. And yes, the Virtus Van is fully equipped with a cassette deck

Next stop: Lindy’s restaurant in Hermann for breakfast . I don’t do well with winding hilly roads, so when we finally got to the restaurant I did quite a bit of dry-heaving before the motion-sickness wore off. Lucky for me, I had 2 team-mates there for support. And by support, I mean they took photos and laughed.

F.M.L.

Of course, this isn’t the kind of team that lets a little bit of vomiting get in the way of gravy consumption. We went inside and got down to business.

Luke's plate, I suspect this may be part of his American dream.

And just when I thought that maybe Adam was coming around…he went and ordered something like this:

Not a drop of gravy on that plate. That shit is disgraceful. You sir, are fired from the team.

This wasn’t exactly a training ride, but I think we all benefited from it. Once again, the weather man was wrong and we had a great day. We’ll be doing more of these rides all summer, and I predict they’ll get longer and longer as we get closer to the 24 and 36 hour adventure races scheduled later in the year.  Be there next time, you won’t regret it.

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